babies, Uncategorized

My Body Isn’t Mine

My body isn’t mine. It hasn’t truly been mine since May 5-ish, 2014. If you’re pro-choice then you may not really agree with me on this, but this post isn’t about my views on abortion. We’ll save those for another day. What I mean by my body not being mine is that once there’s a baby growing in your uterus, your body changes. Inside and out.

Hormones start raging, your skin gets stretchy, you start sweating if it’s anywhere above 70*, you might be sick 24/7 and lose a bunch of weight, you might be starving 24/7 and gain a bunch… crazy things happen. And let’s not forget what happens to your brain. Pregnancy brain? It’s a real thing. And you know what follows pregnancy brain? MOM BRAIN! It ain’t pretty, folks!

My body hasn’t been mine since May 2014. That is when I got pregnant with my first babe. Obviously, being pregnant really requires you to give your body to the baby and do what’s best to help it grow. Eat as healthy as you can, maintain a healthy calorie intake, drink lots of water, no alcohol or drugs, exercise regularly, take your prenatal vitamins (OR Juice Plus+!) Once you finally get to hold that precious baby in your arms instead of your belly, it’s like heaven! And in many cases, this is when some women start working to “get their body back”. This is not the case for me.

Breastfeeding is and always will be a huge goal in my parenting style. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for up to two years. Pediatricians here in the U.S. generally recommend breastfeeding for one year if possible. I think it’s important for a mom to celebrate small goals but still have a large one in mind. If you make it 6 weeks nursing, that is a HUGE accomplishment, every month or two after that is even better. Make it 6 months? Awesome! 9 months, great! A year! WOOHOO!!!! Anything more than that… your babe is getting perfectly tailored nutrition so keep on keeping on!

For me and my first baby, nursing was SO HARD! It took us eight weeks to really get things figured out. EIGHT WEEKS! That’s TWO FULL MONTHS of bleeding, sore, cracked nipples, and a fussy, hungry baby trying to latch. It isn’t easy! But oh is it so worth it! Once you finally figure things out, it gets good. Like way good. Like you put your bare boob in your babies face and they do all the work from then on regardless of whether it’s dark at 3 a.m. or not kind of good.

With my first baby, my goal was to nurse for a year. I read a bunch of mom blogs and had it all planned out by the time I was 6 months pregnant. I’d do everything I had to make breastfeeding work, I’d start pumping super early to make sure I built up a good supply and store as much milk as I could and then I’d be able to quit nursing when my baby was 9 or 10 months old because I’d have plenty of supply built up by then. Meanwhile, my body would shrink to almost unhealthy levels of skinny while I ate whatever I wanted because making milk takes up a ton of calories. HA! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

As it turns out, I didn’t want to wean at 9 or 10 months. I didn’t want to wean at 12 months. And I’m pretty sure I would have still been nursing both my babies at the same time if pregnancy hormones hadn’t slowed down my supply big time. I got pregnant with baby #2 when #1 was 13 months. We nursed for two more months after that, and ended up weaning during a trip where I sent my little girl to my parents’ house for a long weekend before meeting them down there. It wasn’t easy, but we didn’t have much choice since my supply was so low and Grace was only nursing a couple times each day anyway. It worked out perfectly.

Anyway, reeling this back in… nursing baby #2 is much easier because let’s just say your nips are in much better breastfeeding condition, and you know what to expect otherwise. For me, that means until I quit nursing, my body still isn’t truly mine. It is still working for and dedicated to another individual. It is still operating out of the “normal” setting. And as frustrating as that is… for me, it’s ok.

If you’re preparing for your first (or subsequent) baby, just remind yourself of your priorities. Remind yourself how much you’d rather nurse for 5, 7, 10 months instead of hitting pre-baby weight. Remind yourself how you’d rather give it your all to not have to pay for formula. Remind yourself of the perfectly tailored nutrients your milk has for your baby. And if or when you do decide quit, regardless of the circumstances, be PROUD of the effort you gave. Be proud of the sacrifices you made whether it is the extra pounds you couldn’t get rid of or the hours of sleep you didn’t get. Be proud of the mom you are!

 

family, Life in General, Uncategorized

Rock-a-bye Baby

What is it about sleeping babies that is so magical and tragic all at the same time? It’s minutes that feel like hours putting a usually overtired infant or toddler to sleep because Lord knows they need a nap, and momma seriously needs some peace and quiet. So after ?? minutes worth of rocking and shushing and shaking (because yes… my son thinks he needs shook to sleep) when they finally give in, it’s a relief. Until it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days when the moment they are down, I’m busying myself with picking up the disaster they have created, or switching up the laundry, or some other type of chore. And there are also days where I am down and out and fast asleep as soon as I hear them start that deep breathing for a rare nap of my own.

I’m referring to the other days in between those where I can’t seem to put them down fast enough, and then instantly I am missing them. I sit and watch them sleep and my heart almost bursts out of my chest with so much love and adoration. And I can’t help but peek in and check to make sure they’re still snoozing every 15 minutes or so because heaven forbid they lay awake without me immediately picking them up.

The sleep habits in the Rahmann house are not ideal. When we first bring our littles home from the hospital, we use the most amazing bassinet ever created (Fisher-Price Rock N Play) for the first few months. Both of my babies have had reflux issues from day one, so the incline that the rock n play offers is perfect. Plus it hugs them nice and close, and for Heston we even splurged on the self-rocking one, which he loved. Then once they start being able to move around more the rock n play becomes somewhat unsafe (usually around 4 months or so). That’s when the sleep situation becomes a mystery that needs solved. What is the best solution? For us, so far that answer is bed sharing.

This is the point where my mom gets super annoyed with me because she thinks I just need to put my baby in their crib in their own room and let them adjust and learn how to sleep there. And honestly, she might be right. But the minute I consider laying my baby down and walking away and leaving him there for hours at a time, my anxiety kicks in to overdrive. Not to mention, a baby in the bedroom down the hall makes for a much more difficult middle of the night nursing session (or three). Selfish? Yes. Very.

I’m not here to give anyone baby sleep advice! I’m not qualified for any of that. But what I am here to say is… do what feels best for you and your babe. Do what you think will get you and baby the best sleep while also staying 100% safe. Do what your instincts tell you will work. And don’t judge someone else on their method of doing things. Chances are, they’re just doing what works for them too.

Life in General, Uncategorized

Fail.

Have I said before how much I wish there was a way for me to publish posts to the blog telepathically? Yes. I have. This may sound odd, but I literally think in blog posts. Like when I have a thought about how I feel about something, it automatically forms into what I would write if I expressed that thought via blog. I don’t really think this is normal. Am I wrong?

Almost an entire year has passed since my last post…hence the title fail. Since then, baby #2 has arrived (my sweet Heston boy!) and I feel like I am in full blown motherhood now. Of course, Grace made me a mom over two years ago. But its that second baby that makes you really a full-time, muffin top sportin’, non-sleeping, memory-losing, baby puke wearing mom. I officially have to hide in a different room so I don’t have to share the chocolate I’m eating with the toddler. Watching my favorite TV show requires staying up after everyone else has went to bed and sacrificing one hour of precious sleep to accomplish. Laundry is coming out my ears and can be found piled on almost every flat surface of my house on a regular basis. My entire top rack of the dishwasher is permanently loaded with bottles and pump parts and sippy cups. Seriously… just the other day I noticed a brown smudge on my finger and sniffed it to see if it really is chocolate or poop (chocolate – thank God!)

Although I’m drowning in motherhood, I’m loving every second of it. I’m taking on the identity with gusto and am determined to make a new ME! One that can embrace my “Mommy” title and run with it. After I had Grace, I had no real desire to make myself a priority because I was totally content with giving all of myself to her and what little was leftover to her dad. That isn’t working out any more, for obvious reasons. So I’m changing things up and going to attempt to do all the things I’ve been throwing on the back burner (this blog, especially!) PLEASE keep me accountable. PLEASE if you like my posts, share them and leave comments. I appreciate any and all feedback!

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Uncategorized

Blogs for dayssss…

They really need to come up with an app that will telepathically take the blog post I write while showering and upload it to my blog for me. Really, that’s what I need! In the shower, I am so witty and smart, and I really do “say” things (to myself?!) that are somewhat important and could be of substance to others as well.

Since I’m quite sure that there are no app developers out there capable of creating something like this, I’m going to just have to make a better effort to REMEMBER what I said to myself in the shower, and then actually TYPE it out myself to share.

Maybe what I need is a personal assistant. Or really, what I need is a live-in maid. One that follows my husband around the house picking up empty pop cans and beef jerky wrappers, stray socks and High Plains Journals that seem to plague my house. Also, it would be great if she could put away laundry. I have no problems DOING the laundry… it is all clean. And neatly folded. On the couch. Where it will stay until I either put it away (not likely during the week) OR we wear the items and they go back into the dirty laundry. It’s a viscous cycle.

Also, it would be great if this maid could have supper ready when I get home each night. My standards are low. It doesn’t have to be a four course meal. In fact, I’d prefer a meatloaf and mashed potatoes over some fancy schmancy crap anyway. Just some good ol’ hearty food to feed the fam.

I guess in reality this maid/chef really does exist. Her name is Reba, and she just so happens to be my grandma! The only problem is that she lives two states away with my grandpa and does all these things for him instead of me! Darn.

Well, looks like I’m S-O-L this time. Better get started on this laundry pile…

Uncategorized

Daddy’s Girl

What is it with girls and their daddies? That special “Daddy’s girl” bond that magically happens. How does it happen? Is it bred into them? Like the baby girl pops out and sees her dad and then *BOOM* she’s magically in love and no one else really matters?

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I just don’t get it. Here I am… the mom who carried my sweet little darling girl for nine (OK really 10!) long months. Suffered through the heartburn, sleepless nights, swollen legs and feet. Stretched and ballooned to make room for her chunky 8 lbs. 8 oz. of fluff (plus the other 30 lbs of “baby weight”). Sacrificed my hair, got rid of all of my glorious shoes that are now too small… Gave up SO MUCH. All before that sweet little princess even breathed her first breath!

And then labor. Oh goodness… I know why they call it LABOR! Hours of unnatural, Pitocin induced, never ending contractions, followed by four – YES I SAID FOUR!!! – hours of pushing. Four. Hours. Of. Pushing. If you have never had a baby, you don’t understand. You will, someday, but you don’t yet. But four hours of pushing, breathing, grunting, turning sideways, and pushing more. It ain’t pretty. And then, that RING OF FIRE. Ya know… the one that the epidural was supposed to prevent me from feeling?!?!? HA! Apparently after four hours of legs in the air and pushing, epidural means VERY little. Even after working so hard to bring her into this world, she prefers her dad.

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Then there is her dad. Who is a pretty great guy, I’ll admit. I mean, I didn’t marry him for his money 😉 . And yeah, he’s kinda funny and tells good jokes. And maybe he makes a great pillow and gives the best cuddles. But really… is he really that great?! I mean… can he FEED you from his body? Can he change your poop explosions and wash off your booty (ok so maybe he CAN, but DOES he?!). Does he take you to daycare each day to play with your friends? Or wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes WAY too many times!!) to give you whatever little thing you need? Does he do these things?? Does he!? No. He works late to provide for our family. And then he walks into the house right before supper and brings with him all that magic. The magic that makes him the best thing ever.

I just don’t understand that whole “daddy’s girl” thing…

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OH WAIT!!!!!! Yes, I do!

P.S. Anyone know how much it costs to choose the sex of my next babe? I need a momma’s boy!

Uncategorized

My front porch view

   

 
Not too shabby huh? I can’t say enough how grateful I am to have the opportunity to raise my babies on a farm. I can’t wait to teach them about animals and watch their daddy teach them about crops and the land. We’ll give them chores to do and show them how hard work pays off. We’ll help them fall in love with the amazing sunrises and sunsets, but still appreciate the beauty of a good rain cloud. We’ll show them first hand how to take proper care of raising a baby calf and then teach them an important life lesson when the circle of life rolls around and we have steak for supper. So many wonderful things in store for my family!

Having a corn farmer for a husband has its pros and cons. It means that I’m practically a single mom from March through October. It means that if I want a date with my man, I may have to settle for an eight inch wide seat and a nose and mouth full of dust. Or if I want him to accompany me on a trip to anywhere, I will have to wait until we get a good rain first. It also means I get some of the freshest sweet corn possible every summer! And an evening sunset cruise to check the progress of a crop south of the house. I’ll never need to call a handy man! My hubby has every tool ever made for any job I might have… (Too bad he won’t have time to do the job until “tomorrow” 😉)

I wouldn’t trade my front porch view for anything. Because when I look out at this view, I see everything that has been, that is, and that will be for me and my family, and I can’t imagine anything that would make it better! (Unless of course we could just erase the entire state of Kansas so my parents were just an hour or two away. Then maybe it would be just completely perfect! Ha!)