We’re the luckiest we’ve ever been. You’re super patient, mild tempered and extremely chilled out. Everyone marvels over you. You have the best smiles and your laugh melts my heart. We beam with pride.
Thank you so so much for choosing us as your parents. Making me your mom. I’ve come to learn so much more about myself because of you. I am so glad you’re here. I love watching you grow and can’t wait for the months to turn to years to decades. We both love you so much!
Happy 3 months, kiddo.
Please do not reblog or use any personal photos without my written consent first. Thank you.
I’ve always been a person that is driven by intent. I am never one to speak quickly. I don’t make many rash decisions. I try to really maximize my time and energy.
I have always had a need to be helpful. Useful. Necessary. I am not interested in having the attention by nature. It’s more about being impactful than anything else.
This has manifested itself in a few ways. It’s what propelled me to start my own jewelry business. It’s what’s help to fuel a million other projects (some started, some not). It’s also what started this blog. As private as I can be, I love sharing on an online platform. I wanted a space to not only document what has happened to me personally in pregnancy and motherhood, but to share those experiences with others in hopes that someone might read something and reflect on what it means in their own life.
In a way, that’s what most bloggers do.
I really started to get it when my friends started emailing me about how “brave” they thought I was because I would openly discuss things that are currently happening in my life. It has helped them as well.
It’s so important to share these stories. Especially for women. Those stories are seldom told. Motherhood is amazing, but it comes with a lot of stuff we’re just not expected to vocalize, leaving us alienated and feeling awful for no reason.
So, as far as being impactful on a daily basis, I have finally found my purpose. My voice. My place. This is what I’ve been searching for and why it’s come so easily for me to open up.
The next moments in motherhood series that I am running will focus on feeding our babies. I’m still interested in submissions, so if you would like to participate with a post, email me with how you feed your baby and I can send a few questions as a guide for writing your post. I’m interested in all forms of feeding.
Thank you for the love and praise. It means everything! I’m happy for you as well. Breast feeding definitely isn’t the easiest thing in the world and the pressure to feel like a failure surely outweighs that of feeling like a champion. Here’s to being champions!
The weekend comes and goes. It’s Monday morning. 9:22a. I just put baby down for a morning nap and my cell phone rings. It’s an unrecognizable number. I answer my phone. Who’s on the other end? Why the same lady from the consultation bureau! She starts off the conversation with how “so very worried” she was “all weekend” that she had to “call and make sure everything was okay”. HUNH? WHAT? I asked her plain as day why is she worried about him. There’s nothing to worry about. He’s a happy pleasant baby and he’s strong and healthy. What I’ve noticed and have had confirmed by other expats is how intimidated people here are when you are extremely direct.
I told her we never made it to the lactation consultant on Friday because we were busy and that ran over, but we’re going on Tuesday because that’s the next time the shop is open. She said okay and was asking for any new weight measurements. Then she asks if it would be okay for her to call the lactation consultant and have a chat with her. I said flat out “What about? We are going there ourselves tomorrow. Any correspondence should happen through us.” There’s no need for alarm. But immediately I wasn’t feeling right about the call while I was on the phone with her and I wrapped it up and told Dennis what just happened. She said she would call us on Wednesday to get any new numbers so she could put it in her program and they can have it on file.
After too much discussion about it all, we decided that we weren’t comfortable with what this woman had done. Why did she call us on Monday morning? First thing in the morning? It’s as if she had it written in her agenda to call me right away. Especially since we met in person Friday afternoon and already agreed to come in sooner than our next scheduled appointment for a walk in weight check 10 days later. She agreed I was doing all that I could and to continue doing so.
Why the call?
The next action we made was to call our LC. I made my appointment with her for later that week and flat out asked her if they contacted her and she explained they don’t have the power to call on my behalf without my consent, but she wouldn’t worry about them too much because they can be more of an alarm than need be.
Wednesday came and Dennis decided to call the bureau back first, throwing them off a bit and told them we’re no longer interested in their services outside of vaccinations. We will do everything with our house doctor and leave it at that. The first thing this woman responds with is, “OH. I hope you don’t think we were checking up on you? That’s not what we were doing.” Who mentioned that? Neither one of us, so yeah she gave herself away. After that, he just wrapped up the conversation and only kept our vaccine appointment scheduled for a month’s time.
Thursday we went to our house doctor and had him all signed up to see her permanently from now on. She was happy to see him. She did a quick check and said everything is fine then we scheduled our official appointment also for a month from then to coincide with his vaccine.
The following day we made our way to our LC and he put on another 100kg, officially making him heavier than when he was born. Outside of giving birth, that was one of my most proudest moments in life. She was extremely proud of me for sticking to my guns and giving him breast milk. I told her that he drinks A LOT and I feel drained most of the time, but it’s only for a short period of time in comparison to his entire life so I’ll just deal. She said she wished more young women were that confident. I was absolutely bursting at the seams. When we left, the entire walk home I kept saying, “I’m the best man, I did it!” I wanted to celebrate. I did right by him and that really helped redeem me and heal how my first week as a mother went. Our LC suggested that we come weigh him maybe every month or so just for a guide to how he’s gaining and to keep us from obsessing over his weight.
Now I could finally close this chapter.
In the vein of Nibbles & Bits’ post last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about my wardrobe. I realized that I almost have zero tops/dresses that would allow me to nurse outside of home freely. So far, I’ve been recycling the same few tops relentlessly. I’m bored.
My problem: no Old Navy in Amsterdam (or Europe, I think). It doesn’t have to be their stuff, but I definitely want some of these:
A loose cardigan.
A loose tank.
A loose tank with sleeves.
Button down shirts.
Wrap maxi dresses.
What do/did you wear when you nurse your babe?
There are some things you can’t really mentally prepare for if you’ve never had a child or cared for one since birth. Logic goes out of the window. In hindsight, I suppose it’s best this way. You just have to experience it to understand.
I have always thought of breast feeding as this wonderfully natural and relatively simple task. You sit with your babe and a glow surrounds you every time they suckle from your breast. You stare lovingly into each others eyes and coo at one another and smile.
Even when you’re warned that it can be painful, you don’t really get what kind of pain it actually is. For the first 2 weeks I felt pain like I’ve absolutely never known. It felt like tiny needles were being inserted from all angles all the way to my lungs, the pain was so bad. I didn’t stare lovingly and mean it. I winced in pain. I guzzled half a liter of water every time he latched on. I silent cried. I gasped for air. I shot evil glances over at my husband if he made a comment about my posture or that I just have to deal with it. I watched them change role and functions into these feeding nozzles and stood under the shower relieved for the down time.
After getting help from our LC, that excruciating pain subsided for a few weeks until he was big enough to properly latch without assistance. Once we got over that huddle, I was almost back at square 1. I assume this is the square the average mother starts from. I had the initial 1 second of latch-on sting, then normal. Sometimes I could really feel the milk leaving my body. That was freaky and wonderful.
Now, almost 11 weeks in, nursing is a breeze. I’m still getting used to milk flow, but other than that I have no issue nursing in public or any other nursing problems. If he’s hungry, he’s getting fed.
I seriously didn’t expect it to take this long, but I’m happy to be here. If you factor feeding on demand 24/7, I was easily feeding 12+ times a day in unspeakable pain. My threshold for pain is absurdly high, so for me to be in relentless agony when I expected just total joy was not fun. I’m proud of myself for not giving up.
A beginners knitting kit.
A few books you just know she will love. Click each photo to purchase.
A sewing machine (or other appliance) you know she’s had her eye on.
Or the holy grail of diary keeping, My Life Story.