Sunday, February 23, 2014
We wanted to tell everyone that we are pregnant! We are due Oct. 26, 2014. While some may consider it odd to be announcing our pregnancy at 5 weeks, we have our reasons. Yes, there is a possibility that this pregnancy doesn't make it. We hope with all of our hearts that is concludes with a healthy baby. But in the chance that it doesn't, like the miscarriage we had before Leif, we would prefer to have our friends and family to be around us to support us. Our joy is your joy. Let's enjoy the excitement, shall we? You love and support mean the world to us.
Monday, February 17, 2014
I finally decided that I am done with the journey of breastfeeding my son. He has reached an age when he is simply using me as a comfort for when he hurts himself playing, or is over tired and wants some snuggle. I am just a pacifier. I am not resentful or frustrated, and I feel good about my choice. Leif is almost 2 1/2 yr old. I am proud of myself for the stamina it takes to keep going as long as I did.
"Extended" breastfeeding isn't easy. I will admit I wanted to give up several times. When Leif hit 9 months, he went through a bit where he slacked off a lot, and I almost let him. When he got teeth, it was excruciating for months as his teeth grew. There were times his sharp little finger nails on my skin felt horrible. I kept going because I knew that what I was doing was right for us. Leif is very healthy. He doesn't get colds. He doesn't get ear infections. His skin is flawless. He has never had a stomach ache. These benefits made being a mom an easier job. I considered it a fair trade, his amazing health for having to sacrifice some personal freedom while breastfeeding.
The benefits aren't just for him, too. I have managed to keep from getting pregnant again simply by breastfeeding. I wanted at least 2 years before trying again. I have significantly reduced my risk of breast, uterine, ovarian and endometrial cancer, as well as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
The benefits to Leif are incredible, too. On top of providing him with needed vitamins and minerals, he gets a super load of antibodies. Children who breastfeed past 2 have a lower risk of illness, as well as shorter duration of colds and lower mortality rates. Children who are breastfed longer show to have higher IQ scores, as well as be better socially adjusted and better overall mental health. According to some medical professionals, breastfed babies and toddlers are easier to discipline and have better ways of coping. The list goes on and on.
Yesterday was our first day. I expected it to be a lot harder, but it really wasn't. I have taken to telling him I have no more milk, and giving him options as an alternative. Most of the time it is an emotional need, so we give hugs, snuggles or quiet time. He is a very smart little guy, and understands when something is "all gone", and so he understands my explanation. He hasn't been tugging on me, but has accepted a cup of honey milk, or taken a long hug and some singing as acceptable alternatives.
What I was the most worried about was bed time. He would always ask for milk at bedtime, and I always obliged. Last night we did a longer rough house and book reading time, and then just went to bed. He wanted water, but then he just went to sleep! I was shocked. It was amazing. I think that if he was putting up a big fight, I would reconsider weaning at this point, but the fact that he seems completely fine makes me think I picked the perfect time.
Day Two is today, and I have my fingers crossed that by the end of the week, we can be completely past the urges! I am optimistic, thanks to my very happy little man. I got lucky!
Monday, February 10, 2014
Ooohhh. My heart hurts. It happens. It will happen, is has happened. Life goes on, and your heart embraces the hurt, over and over again, and you tremble with each new wave, letting it shake you like an aspen leaf in the wind. You listen to the sad stuff, and you dwell on your moments. You listen to the good stuff, and remember the things that make you happier, the pictures on the wall and sleepy smiles. It keeps rolling by you, life. Such a wondrous thing. Grieving is just a phase you will go through. It gets easier. It hurts now, but it will get easier. Listen to loons call out in the mist. Listen to the violins. Listen, listen, listen.
Monday, February 3, 2014
I live in a tiny little cabin at the edge of a frozen river. Sure, it's on a street with other houses, in a little town. But with the snow coming down in a foggy blanket, it feels like I just happen to be a million miles away from anyone, anywhere. With the music playing quietly in the background, fiddles going round and round, I am content with the feeling that there is nothing out there but snow. That my husband will come home to us, and a hot meal will make it to the table. That my children will sit at the table with shining faces, and the warmth of the pine logs will feels comfy.
Sometimes I wish for that cabin so far away. I wish for no communication for months on end. I miss the feeling of letters. I want the feeling that while winter has a trapped for a while, it keeps us quiet and contemplative. It makes me want to make hearty food and sing songs from my heart and feed large hairy animals. It makes me want to struggle against the elements enough to be so grateful to be alive when I fall asleep every night.
I know that I may seem a bit hermit like here, but it simply comes from a want for the simpler things. Simplicity and quiet are things that I hold very dear. The sound of drums around a fire, soft and thrumming.