Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Good News

Overall August has been good for a lot of reasons, but after spending about half the month completely exhausted with YET ANOTHER cold/cough, despite the fact that I was eating better, exercising more, and generally happier and shit, I started to wonder if this was just how it’s going to be.

I considered the culprits of my sheer exhaustion and subpar immune system. Was it that:
a. I am a mom of a toddler who is extremely active and being constantly tired and regularly ill is simply my new normal.
b. I am just getting back into a regular exercise routine which, in addition to my extremely active toddler, is straight up killing me physically, but it will pass as I get stronger.
c. I tried to come up with other excuses for feeling shitty and effectively ignored the fact that I had walking pneumonia for two solid weeks.
If you guessed “c,” you would be correct. So the good news is that this is not the new normal. My life is not so exhausting that I have to nap every day after I put Emme to bed in order to have enough energy to face the tasks of cooking dinner and vegging out on the couch. I just had pneumonia.

The even better news is that I was so committed to getting into a healthier and happier routine this month that I didn’t let that shit stop me. Since the first full week in August--so going on four weeks now if you’re counting, and I am--I have been attending a boot camp twice a week and running (FINE--run/walking) three times a week.

And, it feels fantastic. I feel more myself than I have since giving birth, even though I didn’t realize that I didn’t feel myself until the haze of baby’s first year began to lift and the edges started coming into focus. Shortly after Emme turned 1, I stopped nursing and I haven’t looked back. I took my new found freedom and MM took on even more of the house management, which allowed me to make myself a priority for the first time in a long time.

I also realized that I spent much of this first year fighting reality, not wanting the choices I had to be the choices I had, failing to find acceptance in where I was at. I think I could have made things easier on myself if I had just been a little more accepting, made some decisions, and stopped living in the space between reality and a potential better reality that might exist.

But it’s easy to say that now, right? When you’re in it, it’s hard to see out of it.

Decisions have been made and reality has been accepted. I have decided that it’s better to move forward with imperfection and compromise and understanding than it is to stagnate in “what ifs” and fantasy scenarios. This life includes laundry and bills and annoying trips to big box stores on the weekends and a work schedule that isn’t ideal and a job that isn’t perfect. But this is it. This is life. 

In other words, I’m back.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ready for Round 2?

So maybe I'm not training for marathons or even half marathons these days (I am training for a 10K!), but I still enjoy invoking the life as marathon as life metaphor whenever possible. I’ve started running once a week on Monday evenings with a local moms group. Last night, I was running next to a newer-than-me mom, and as new moms tend to do, we started sharing our war stories—labor and delivery, sleepless nights, work-life balance, nursing, pumping, daycare.

Then the subject of second babies came up. Our family has hit the one-year mark, which, if nothing else signals to nosy family members and strangers that it’s time to start telling me that Emme “needs” a sibling. So I asked the new mom running on my right, “Have you ever run a marathon?” She had not. (I totally recognize that this makes me sound slightly obnoxious, but that was not my intention and I had a point.)

The way I feel about having a second baby is the way I feel about training for and running another marathon. I think about it; I watch other people run marathons and think, ‘I could do that’; there are moments that it seems totally doable—a good idea even. And then there are times I think, ‘never again.’ But mostly, now that I know what I know what to expect from training for and running a marathon, I just can’t wrap my head around doing it right now. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around 26.2 miles for four years. I honestly can’t tell you if I’ll ever run another marathon, and yet, I have a hard time believing that I won’t give it another go at some point.

That pretty much sums up my feelings about baby #2. Maybe we will; maybe we won't, but right now my head's not in that game, and I'm not ready to go back.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

This Is The End

We've come this far, I might as well tell you how the story ends. Right?

In July, I stopped pumping and we starting weaning Emme, at 11 months old, to whole milk. It was kind of the plan, but once I spent the first half of July mostly out of the office, the thought of coming back to work and locking myself in an office for 40+ minutes twice a day was unbearable. Not the mention the fact that I wasn't pumping enough to justify the time and effort. And, moreover, I was in so much pain while nursing, I knew I had reached my limit.

Knowing I couldn't just quit, I refilled my prescription-strength ibuprofen that I took after giving birth, and I took that several times a day to get through nursing sessions. No joke people. I was in near-constant pain. We started dropping nursing sessions one by one until by late July, when we were down to one morning feeding and one evening feeding. By then, I was pain free, thank god.

We've continued like that until last night when I unexpectedly was away at bedtime. My supply has very obviously tanked, most evident by the WTF? look I keep get from Em when she nurses, so I figured now was as good a time as any to drop the bedtime feeding. Tonight was the first night I put her to bed without feeding her. Since she's now far more interested in running around her room like a crazy toddler before bedtime, it really was a non-issue. I'm not sure she even noticed.

And then there was one.

I'm in less of a hurry to completely wean her since I'm not in pain, but the truth is that mentally I'm just done. And while I think Emme will keep nursing if I keep offering, I think she's at the point where if it's not offered, she's not going to miss it. It will probably be another week or two--taking it slow is always the best way to wean--but we've no doubt reached the end of nursing relationship.

I'm hopeful that my hormones don't go completely haywire, and I don't completely lose it emotionally. I expect I may get a little upset,when it's truly over, but mostly, I expect to feel relief that we're moving on with our lives.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

We're Number One

Oh hello. Did I just manage to skip an entire month of blogging?

Is it possible that just over a month ago we were celebrating the 4th of July? It seems like it was a million years ago.

First, the most important update: Emme is one!

I cannot believe that this fuss who came into the world just one year ago:

Has turned into this fuss who is practically running circles around us. 

We've already celebrated this major milestone several times, and we have one more party to go. On her actual birthday--a Thursday--MM and I both took off work so that we could spend the day together as a family. We went to breakfast, to the zoo, and for ice cream.  

On Saturday, we had relatively low-key celebration with some of Em's baby friends and family. We had perfect weather for our party in the park complete with ice cream cart (are you sensing a theme here?).

This weekend, my MIL is throwing a final bash for some of the older relatives on my husband's side of the family. And, with that, the celebrating will be complete.