Monday, April 28, 2008

Nursing Pictures

Finally Blogger has allowed me to upload pictures. I asked on TBW, the message board I frequent, if anyone had some discreet nursing pics without covers. The wonderful mamas there were happy to share. I honestly think that the only reason people feel uncomfortable with nursing is because they are not exposed to it often enough, so here's some (discreet) exposure for you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My thoughts on Nursing In Public

Thanks everyone for the input, I really appreciate it, especially the different cultural perspective.

The reason I asked is because I plan on nursing this baby like the Canadian Government says to - anytime, anywhere. I also remember from Hana's newborn days that not every newborn baby will tolerate something being over their head. For her that just was not an option. I do plan on nursing in carriers however, which can be completely discreet. Look at this picture: (Ok, I have a couple great pictures I've been told I can use here, but I can't get them uploaded right now, so you'll have to come back to see my point)

I have to say I disagree with the sort of black/white mentality - that without a cover of some sort, the woman is exposing her breast and that's wrong. I've seen plenty of women nurse without covers without exposing their breast, and I actually find it much less distracting or obvious than when they have a big pink blanket thrown over their shoulder. I do agree that having more chest exposed than would be seen while wearing an appropriate top isn't a good idea, but the act of nursing itself is not obscene or offensive, and if someone thinks that it is, they are free to remove themselves from the situation.

I also am not sure if I agree with the "if it bothers someone, don't do it" idea, even in a worship setting. Are we saying that people who can't sing on key shouldn't sing, or that children shouldn't be present unless they are silent and don't move? There are lots of things that happen during any public gathering that can distract someone, but we learn to live with (and ignore) those distractions.

As another note, were I informed by someone that my nursing was bothering them, I would be offended that they were paying so much attention to my chest. So then who is in the wrong - the person using her breasts as God Himself designed, or the person looking at the breasts of someone who is not his wife?

I think the North American view of breasts (and women in general, but that's another post...) is very skewed and over sexualized. Yes, that's the way things are and we have to accept that, to a point. However, things will never change if we keep breastfeeding in a closet. If a woman feels comfortable nursing her child wherever she is, then she should be free to make that choice, and no one else has the right to take that away from her.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nursing In Church

I'm aware that nursing in public can cause quite a fuss, regardless that it is perfectly legal and in some places is actually protected by law.

There is no question that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for an infant. There is also no question that a mother has the right to feed her hungry child (I've never seen a bottle feeding mother asked to leave anywhere). However, people get really uncomfortable when the breast milk is coming straight from the tap.

Some say it's ok so long as the mother is "discreet". The problem is, there is no real definition of discreet. Does that mean the mother must use a blanket? Go to the corner with her back to the room? Feed in a bathroom (ick!)? Honestly tho, which is more obvious - cradling a child and carrying on with life, or sitting with a big tent draped over you?

So consider this a bit of a poll - is nursing in church (as in during the service) inappropriate? What conditions (blanket, womens service, age of the child etc.) make it appropriate or inappropriate?

I'd also really appreciate opinions of men on this, especially those who are on the platform, so ladies, ask your husbands.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pregnancy Update

I am now 27wks pregnant. Yeah, I know, where did the time go! This pregnancy is honestly flying by, but I guess that's what chasing after a toddler every day will do!

Things are very different this time around. With Hana I had an anterior placenta (at the front of my belly) so movement was sort of muted until about 30 weeks. This time around I've been getting good strong see-my-belly-move sort of kicks since about 23 wks. Baby is very active! There is also less fear and worry this time around, which has made it a much more comfortable and magical pregnancy. Feeling my baby move, seeing myself grow, it just leaves me in awe, especially as I'm watching Hana grow and learn. It's so unreal to think that I have a part in bringing a life into the world!

I go for my glucose tolerance screening test on Wednesday and I'm expecting to pass no problem. Really it's just another useless blood draw, but oh well. I'm also going to get them to check my iron - I was really anemic with Hana and have been feeling slugish again lately, and I'm getting poked anyway. I'll also have my monthly appointment to be measured. So far everything is right on track!

I'm huge again this time. Random people keep asking when I'm due, thinking it's sometime in May. Nope. Not til July. It's kind of amusing watching their reactions. This is what happens when you have a really short torso and grow a baby. I don't mind, I like my belly, even tho I can't see my feet.

Pictures to come when Blogger lets me. Or you can just check my facebook.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why Every New Parent Needs A Carrier

- All babies (that I know of) go through a stage where they just want to be held *all* the time. For some babies it doesn't last long, and sometimes you can "break" the baby of that habit, but it's still something that happens. Then you have 3 choices - listen to baby scream, hold baby and get nothing done, or get a carrier.

- It's good for the baby. Babies are biologically wired to be in close contact with their mothers. It helps regulate breathing, digestion, sleep and other cycles.

- It promotes breastfeeding. Babies who are worn in carriers root and nurse more, and their smell helps stimulate milk production in the mother.

- You don't have to worry about strangers touching your baby when you're out. Strangers can't get to the hands or faces of newborns when they're all snuggled up with their mama or daddy.

- It gives mama some freedom. When Hana was a newborn I could shop, go for walks, clean, take the train etc. without having to worry about a car seat or big heavy stroller. We lived in a basement apartments and after my c/s it was enough effort just getting myself up the stairs, let alone the stroller! I would have been stuck in the house while Ben was at work, but instead I had complete freedom.

- It gives Daddy a chance to bond with baby. Newborns sleep a lot, and usually when they're awake it's to be fed or changed. For a baby who is nursing, it can be hard for Daddy to get quality time in. Wearing a baby in a carrier during naps gets baby used to daddy's smell, voice, movements etc. and also gives Mama a chance to shower or sleep while Daddy gets bonding time.

- It can calm a fussy baby. The security, movement, breathing and heartbeat will remind baby of the womb and help soothe it. It makes the transition from womb to world easier on them.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Beautiful Sight

This is a picture of Hana sleeping in her bed for a nap. I know I've talked a bit about our sleep troubles on here, but honestly, unless you've had a child who doesn't sleep, you have no idea how absolutely amazing this is.

First of all, Hana had only slept in her crib a handful of times for naps since she was about a month old. Even when she was staying most of the night in her crib she would not go there for naps. She either needed to be in a carrier or in my bed. Starting last Monday, she has had every nap in her bed without issue.

Secondly, she's been staying all night in her bed. All. Night. No falling asleep in our bed and then being transfered to hers. No waking at 3 am and absolutely refusing to do anything but stand there with her arms up, sobbing until we bring her into our bed.

We've had people tell us to just let her firgure it out. Or to "be strong" and just not pick her up. But after over two hours of constant crying to the point of gagging (and that's with me in the room to comfort her!) and the knowledge that my daughter feels emotions so intensly that when she gets worked up like that she just does not have the ability to calm herself down, bringing her to bed was the wise option.

For a few months when she was younger, she put herself to sleep at night, woke around 3 for her soother, at 5 to bed fed, came in bed with me at 7 and was up for the day before 9. Not a bad routine at all for a 4 month old! After while she cut out the feeding and would wake at 11 and 4, come in bed at 7 and sleep another hour or so with me. Again, nothing to complain about, since really I was only getting up once in the night (at 4).

When we moved it all went to pieces. She would consistently wake 4 times a night (11, 2, 4, and 6), sometimes more, sometimes only 3 times. Then she was sick with a mold infecton that lasted a couple of months. Then we moved again and she refused to be in her room alone, never mind in her crib. Then after Christmas we managed to get her to sleep in our room, transfer her to hers and she'd stay there til about 5 (waking at 11 and 3). That lasted about two weeks and then her molars started coming in and I lost count of the number of times she would wake.

Since February she's been falling asleep in her bed and then coming in with us around 3, then waking once or twice until we got up around 8. It wasn't perfect, but it was a system that worked - we all we getting a decent amount of sleep, and she was usually only awake for a few minutes. Some nights we just didn't bother transferring her to her bed because she was so restless it wouldn't have been worth the effort.

Mid March that system wasn't working so well for us anymore. I have trouble sleeping when pregnant as it is because I usually sleep on my belly or my back. Sleeping on my side makes my hips and back hurt, so I shift positions a lot at night. So I would shift and wake Hana up, she would shift and wake Ben up. It would take her 20 minutes or so to settle, and if either of us moved during that time it would take even longer. Something had to change.

We had been debating taking the rail off of Hana's crib since Christmas, but weren't sure if it would make things worse. Last Tuesday I decided just to do it.

Best. Decision. Ever.

It started with her nap. Within 20 minutes of putting her on the bed, she was asleep. In her bed. Alone. She slept for two hours and then waited until I came in to get out of bed. That night it took over an hour to get her to sleep (which happens about twice a week recently), but she slept. She woke twice, but never once asked to go into our bed. I slept all night next to my husband without Hana kicking me or trying to push me off the bed. It was a beautiful thing.

Since then we haven't looked back. She still needs help once a night to get her soother off the floor or put her blankets back over her, but I usually get up once or twice a night to go to the bathroom anyway, so that isn't a problem at all. I feel better than I have in months - a good night of sleep makes such a HUGE difference in how I see the world. My house is cleaner, my days are more active, and our family time has much better quality. She's getting me up a bit earlier than before (usually between 6:30 and 7), but even tho I'm not a morning person, after a good night of sleep that isn't a problem at all!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

17 Months

I realize I'm a whole day early on this one. It's to make up for all the times I've been a day or two late.

Since learning how to walk, Hana has taken off. I think her brain was just so focussed on that one thing that now the whole world has opened up to her. She's toddling along everywhere - arms out in front of her, still a little stiff. It's a cute little zombie walk. She tries to run, but hasn't quite got the mechanics of that down yet.

She's learning so quickly. Yesterday while trying to steal a few extra minutes in bed I taught her what a chin is. It throughly impressed Ben when he came home, but didn't give me enough time to stay under the covers. I'll try for a harder lesson next time.

This month we're trying something new - Hana sleeping in her own bed. Since moving from Alberta she's spent at least part of every night in with us. There was a lot going on in her little world, she needed the extra comfort and we were happy to give it. Unfortunately, there's just enough room for Ben in bed along with me and my belly and my pillows, so lately no one has been getting a very good sleep. We took the side off Hana's crib yesterday and she slept there all night. It was blissful. Hopefully this will be the new trend.

Every day I get to see more of her personality - her passion, her emotions, her joy and curiosity. I'm so proud of my daughter, amazed by her. The person she is is so much more than I could have ever imagined. I hope that Ben and I are able to nurture, teach and encourage her to grow and mature in those things. To be sensitive, to be passionate, to be strong and to not give up. Those things might be a challenge now, while she's so young and doesn't understand all of her big emotions, but they'll shape her into a wonderful woman as she grows, and I can't wait to see that.