Tag Archives: Hormones

Here’s what I’ve learned about breastfeeding

breastfeeding mom

I was convinced that breastfeeding would be straight forward – a no brainer. My mom was a La Leche League leader back in the day (but not one of the crazy ones, I swear) so she would be able to give me all sorts of answers, plus I read a ton of articles and books about it before Harley arrived. If there was one thing I knew, it was breastfeeding. Well, not really. So, in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, here’re all the things I’ve learned so far.

When Harley arrived so early, she wasn’t able to nurse. Sure, I’ve seen beautiful stories since with babies nursing while in the NICU, but Harley simply couldn’t. She didn’t really have a sucking reflex, had to be fed through a tube. Just learning how to suck, swallow and breathe as a cooperative activity took weeks. I was still so proud that I was able to pump for her while she was in the hospital, that I could give her milk and feed her and help her grow. It was sort of the only thing I could do for her while she was in there, and it made me feel useful, maternal. But things changed so much along our nursing journey. Continue Reading

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Mother F-er (baby edition)

sex

Back when I was pregnant, I wrote about sex. At the time, things were a bit weird and awkward. My libido was pretty much normal, and physically I was enjoying sex more than ever thanks to increased blood flow below the waist. However, Dean and I were both struggling with some psychological issues with sexy time – it was weird that my orgasm would give Harley the same chemicals to her brain as it does to mine, and Dean didn’t like that proximity of his member to the tiny baby inside me. I was worried that this was a taste of what was to come. Were we going to develop a madonna/whore complex together, making future intimacy impossible?

Since Harley has been born, things have changed, obviously. I am way, way more tired than I ever imagined that I would be. I knew that a baby would be tiring, but it’s exhausting in a whole other way. You see, it’s not just sleep deprivation. In fact, Harley is mostly sleeping through the night, only waking up once or twice for quick feeds and then back to sleep. However, after a day of bouncing, singing, reading, changing nappies, nursing and whatever else, I am pretty much shattered. When the little on goes down for the night, I’m not far behind on getting into bed. I hardly ever even read before sleep, and finding time for intimacy is more tricky, but not impossible. Continue Reading

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Breastfeeding: beyond the milk

milk

When Harley was born early, I was stuck in the ICU for a bunch of days. Thankfully, when I transferred back to the maternity ward, I managed to get the hang of breast pumping within a few days, feeding my little preemie with exclusively breast milk. I am incredibly lucky that I was able to do this, and proud that she was exclusively breastfed even though we weren’t able to nurse. It wasn’t easy, but with the importance and benefits of breast milk, I was glad to be able to feel like a good mom to my little one while she was still in the NICU.

Upon getting her home, breastfeeding was still an issue. She was so small and would get so hungry that instead of latching onto the boob, Harley would just cry and scream. It was way easier to give her a bottle of expressed milk, plus it seemed to be the only way to feed her. It was time consuming to need to pump and give bottles, but we had to do what we had to do and again, I was proud to be her food source even if she wasn’t drinking straight from the boob. Now, that she is taking the breast, I realize that breastfeeding is about way more than just milk. Continue Reading

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Hormones are real, too

weeping angel

It’s been odd lately how I don’t even realize that I’m having a particularly hormonal day until I start to cry over stuff that would never make me cry normally. Today’s realization came while watching the hilarious and thought provoking Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I watch his videos every week and always adore them. This week’s one was as brilliant and hilarious as always, but it ended up making me cry.

I knew that I was feeling a bit sensitive today, but the hormones are really driving me nuts lately. I seem to cry for no reason, or over stupid crap. A couple weeks ago, I cried because I couldn’t find my absurdly gross and processed Kraft Mac N Cheese in the Spar that usually imports them. That’s right, I phoned Dean from the shops nearly in tears because I’d gone down every aisle and couldn’t get the mac n cheese that I wanted. I feel like the very definition of a pregnant woman/crazy person. And yet, there is some element of truth that is revealed when hormones are raging. Continue Reading

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Feelings, migraines and hormones

Myprodol

I had a horrible migraine today. It still isn’t totally gone, but I’m now able to see out of both eyes and function to some degree. I’ve had migraines for my entire adult life, thanks to hormonal fluctuations. Some women are lucky enough to stop having migraines during pregnancy – I am not one of them. Instead, I am now afflicted with migraines without the support of my trusty narcotic pain killers. It’s not fun and drives home that awful pregnant feeling that my body isn’t totally mine at the moment. I’m sharing it, and it’s not always easy. But it will be worth it.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling a bit more emotional than usual. Not all the time, not to the point where I’m crying over putting parmesan on my pasta or something, but it does feel like my emotions are magnified at the moment. All of them – the ones that make me feel like I’m madly in love with my husband, as well as the ones that make me irritated with coworkers or the ones that make me feel like I have to fight the world.

There’s a part of me that likes to dismiss these feelings. They aren’t ME – I’m the levelheaded geeky girl who can think logically and handle situations “like a normal person”. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

But then, I remember many years ago, when I was a depressed teenager in therapy, my shrink pointed out that PMS and other hormonal changes didn’t create unreal emotions. I was actually angry/sad/frustrated, but those feelings that were normally quite manageable simply became amplified when hormones were involved. I suppose the same is true of pregnancy hormones – they aren’t creating feelings, but amplifying emotions that are already in existence.

Right now, I want to fire up my console and play games for seven hours straight, I want to block out the world around me and delve into the joy of gaming. I want to read my awesome book. I want to distract myself from the fact that I am feeling such big things all at once. But that’s sort of not the point.

I suppose, like my lack of codeine for migraines, it’s a time in my life to just experience what I’m going through. The good, and the bad. I’m going to try and focus on the feelings that make me feel good, though. I’m excited to spend time with my husband tonight, playing games and being silly. I’m happy to have my gorgeous cats to cuddle with as it gets cold once the sun goes down. And I’m going to put off all the other stuff until tomorrow. Maybe by then my migraine, and oversized emotions, will have subsided.

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