NIP

Some of you may wonder what that stands for…. others may already know. It stands for nursing in public. It’s an abbreviation used on forums about breastfeeding. A video was shared on the Le Leche League forum that I watched today that was so powerful to me, that I felt like I needed to write this. I need to get my thoughts on “paper” and maybe, just maybe, someone would read this and re-evaluate how they view NIP, at the least give it a thought.

Breastfeeding is a subject near and dear to me, and the education of today’s society on it is very important. It’s a subject that is surrounded by plenty of controversy with “mommy wars” being fueled daily with “breast is best” slogans and “my child was fed formula and they turned out fine” comments. Mostly, I stay out of this. Although I do feel that breastfeeding is far superior to formula and that if a mom can breastfeed, she should. There is obviously a need for formula as there are cases where a mother cannot (realistically a VERY small percentage – but it does happen as I know someone personally who could not) or shouldn’t. Just take a look at the scorecard that the US received from the CDC for 2012. It’s appalling that such stats exist on breastfeeding and that the CDC actually has to campaign to increase the number of breastfed babies.

Anyway, back to NIP. I would love to walk into a room full of people and ask for a show of hands on who would be offended or embarrassed by a woman nursing her baby in public. I would not be surprised to see a large percentage of hands raised. But then, I would pose the question – who would be offended by a woman wearing a low-cut shirt with sizable cleavage? How many hands would be raised? I dare say nothing close to the previous question. In this over sexed society, the simple act of feeding a child the way that we were intended to be fed has become a lewd act that has caused mothers to be treated with terrible disrespect. There are stories of mothers being kicked out of restaurants, asked to leave stores, even You read the stories all the time how a mother was treated as though she were acting like a stripper while breastfeeding. Let’s be honest, people see more on a commercial for an upcoming blockbuster than you would see from a woman nursing her child.

This is not a battle that needs to be fought, yet woman are fighting it daily. What is wrong with a society that sees nothing wrong with a bikini clad 13 yr old on an Abercrombie wall, but wants to persecute a mother feeding her child?

Since I am on baby #2 with breastfeeding, I have found it somewhat liberating to not really care where I feed him these days. It has taken almost 3 yrs for me to feel comfortable feeding my baby at the table while we eat dinner out in a restaurant. When I was pregnant with #1 I did not ever think that would happen. There is an enormous mix of emotion that surrounds NIP for me… frustration, anger, sadness… those are with society. Then there is the simple satisfaction that my child is having his needs met in the most natural way possible. Should I feel uncomfortable? Should I be ashamed to expose my breast to feed my child? NO. Am I? At times, yes. It is a sad day that mothers have to feel this way. And the fact that only 3 yrs ago I was one of the woman who felt like breastfeeding should be done in the privacy of your own home makes me so regretful. In my life, there is only a small circle of woman who breastfeed, and only a couple that would ever NIP. I hope for the day that this changes. I hope to be a part of that change. Each time I NIP now I hope that some mother who is embarrassed to do so sees me, and feels a little glimmer of hope that she can do the same.

Here is the video that prompted this post… it is powerful to me and I hope that it is to others.

Just a note: in case you are not aware of some of what she is referring to – formula companies were going into third world countries (without clean water sources and little to no income) and pushing formula as superior breast milk. Mothers would stop or not nurse, causing their milk to dry up and then be unable to provide safe or enough food for their babies.

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Week 34/35 preggo update

I really can’t believe I am this far along! Time is flying by and I am just trying to keep up. So how are things now… well, uncomfortable. I had an amazing second trimester, super easy on me. But the third tri is making up for it as I fully expected.

How do I feel?

I am tired a lot, and all of those familiar aches and pains of relaxin doing it’s job are starting up. I have been sleeping surprisingly well for the most part with some bad nights here and there. Thank goodness that Ashton has decided to start sleeping better!! And daddy taking him to bed has been the biggest relief to me lately…it gives me a little time in the evenings to just chill out and relax.

This little guy might have his brother beat on kicking…he kicks a lot and HARD. Although, he is not up in my rib cage like Ashton was. Instead, he seems to like to stretch with legs and arms…let me tell you this is not a pleasant feeling. Surprisingly though, I enjoy all of it. I know this is my last, and I am enjoying all that I can of it!!

Am I prepared?

Well mentally, I am getting there. Luckily, my sister-in-law is going to be my “doula”. She is reading books and trying to be prepared as well…we are also getting together to talk about things so that she knows how I feel about things and can help be my advocate. I am trying to prepare myself with techniques to manage the pain. For me it will just be wrapping my mind around it. Once I can get to a good place with the contractions I will be able to cope for sure. At least this time I have figured out that I need to read more about how to actively manage my laboring. So I am getting there.. a few more weeks to go so I still have time to get my head in the game. Of course, that could all go out the window anyway lol… no one really knows what it’s going to be like.

Am I ready in all other ways?? NO. The house is a wreck – and I am in nesting mode so it’s about to drive me crazy!! My mom is going to come over and help me get things in order, and I am sooo thankful for that!! It’s going to be keeping it there that is the challenge, as well. I have almost all of the clothes ready, but I still need to find some of them..feels like I am missing stuff?? Odd. Carrier – check, co-sleeper – check, baby clothes check, nursing wear – check, diapers – uumm, almost check. We have some cloth, but we are going to need some disposables too I am sure. I still have time, but I have this pressing feeling that time is going to run out!!

I have not even packed my hospital bag. I have a couple of things ready to go in, but actually packing it just keeps getting put off. I know, your saying I still have lots of time! But with my list, I need to get the easy stuff checked off quick! One day at a time is the way I am rolling now.

The gestational diabetes is getting old… I am coping well and doing a good job keeping up with it. Even the doctor was impressed with how well I have been tracking. I was a little surprised at that, after all, it’s not really just my health, it’s my baby’s. I am so ready for a big piece of cake, or a roll, or brown sugar on my sweet potato. The silver lining in it? I have not gained weight, as in maybe 2 lbs since I was diagnosed. Last pregnancy I gained 50+ lbs… all the while eating well and working out at least 2 times a week. I also swelled like crazy. This time I have to say that the only negative part is the GD. No swelling, minimal weight gain, little to no real side effects of pregnancy. 🙂

As of now the OB office I go to is not wanting any interventions. I am hoping it stays that way. I do not agree with interventions. They are 9/10 unneeded and have negative effects on the labor and delivery. I trust nature to do its thing and will go with the flow. I just don’t want to fight them for my rights, and with as natural child-birth friendly this hospital is, I am hoping that won’t be an issue. One good piece of news that he shared last visit was that they now have a labor tub in the L&D in the hospital. Great news!!! I have heard so many women swear by laboring in water. I’m hoping it helps me too!

So there you have it… slowly getting there. I can feel him growing and don’t be surprised if my “He’s here!” announcement comes before my due dates!!

Week 22/23 Update

Ok, I suppose it’s time for an update. I intend to start doing this at least every two weeks for a while. I had wanted to chronicle my progress during this pregnancy through my blog, but alas, haven’t had the motivation to do so. Thanks morning sickness!! But I think I can do it now. I had the strangest side effect of morning sickness – I love to read blogs, but every time I would open one, I would feel so sick. It was extremely odd. lol Now I am over that and back at it! And be forewarned, there might be a bit of TMI in this post. If you are squeamish or just not interested in pregnancy stuff, feel free to skip this one!

I have to post 22/23 because my doctor’s office has me at 22 weeks, but according to my calculations from important dates I am 23 weeks. I am keeping track for my own purposes, it’s in my favor that they have me later. I do not want pressure to induce if I go over that estimated due date. I want this baby to stay in as long as he needs to. I am sure when I get close I will be more than ready to be done, but it’s not all about me!

So how is this pregnancy going? Really good!!! I am in the second trimester and in the glory days of pregnancy. I feel good, have pretty good energy, can eat most anything and rarely feel ill. I even have energy to work on projects around the house (so long as the power is cooperating!!).

What I’m noticing:

Baby is moving quite a bit at times, and he is strong! I guess I will have another active little monster like I did with Ashton, lol.

I seem to be carrying this little guy low, it’s an odd feeling.

I do have bouts of fatigue, seems to me to be more of an iron deficiency maybe. Time to evaluate my diet.

I have no cravings really, but this doesn’t surprise me much. I never craved anything with Ashton either. I eat a fairly good diet and keep a variety of foods. I think the only thing that I want more often is sushi (which I AM eating this time, in moderation and only certain types from one restaurant that I fully trust their product).

No swelling just yet, it would be nice to avoid this through the summer. I intend to wear support hose if needed (per my bf’s advice last pregnancy, so should have listened to her) and would like to avoid that in the heat.

My pants are officially not fitting – maternity pants are what I am wearing most. Although as I type this I am wearing some capris that I am keeping secured by looping a hair band through the button holes and looping over the button. Neat trick for wearing your pants longer. And thanks to some tutorials, I have made several of my own maternity bottoms on the cheap. I will be posting pics and links to the tutorials soon over at wherelovemeetslife soon.20120711-105056.jpg

I have been a little crampy at times with this one. I am sure that is due to chasing a toddler, and honestly forgetting I am pregnant at times. I need to take it easy sometimes.

I am feeling a strong desire to prepare myself mentally for this birth. I have even been doing practice breathing and calming techniques. I want to be prepared, and I want to feel like my coping strategy is in place and ready when the time comes.

I am writing a “cliff notes” guide to natural childbirth for Jeff. I figure, if he has an idea of what he can do to help me, it will make things easier on him, too. I know I would hate to stand around feeling useless, and he knows better than to fill his time during labor on his cell phone…. so I will give him pointers and a guide.

I didn’t show as soon as I expected that I would with this one. I have always heard your second pregnancy you show a little earlier. Not in my case! I started showing around 20-21 weeks – last time it was really close to the same. It may have been closer to 24 weeks last time, but really, 4 weeks isn’t that big of a difference to me at this point.

I have a strong feeling I am going to have this baby around October 26-31st. Hannah’s birthday is the 28th, mine is the 26th. I wanted to avoid having another birthday so close, but no dice! My edd are 11/5/12 and 11/11/12(which would be a cool birthday). So either way, we are going to have close birthdays. Oh well, can’t win em all.

So that is about it for now. I have busy work days coming up and a family vacation. Time is going to fly by. And once I can get some pictures, I will be updating everyone on some projects I have been working on in the last month.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far!