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Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Beyond Myself


I look beyond myself. This tired, worn and failing soul. Look towards the chubby legs and reaching hands. Stretching out towards my face. Joy and smiles. Hope and wonder. Look beyond the darkness and the fear of not enough. See the life and hope growing in these little boys. Screams of joy and laughter split the air (and my head) but I will look beyond this momentary annoyance to the life it speaks of. Beautiful, wild and free. I want to be more like a child. Loving unreservedly. Unafraid of asking for what I need. Hope and fear. Unsteady feet running towards the one I love. Trust look beyond myself and towards the open arms ahead. Beyond myself and to the one who has loved beyond all borders and limitations. Unabashedly I lift my arms. With the trust and hope of a child. Hear my prayer take me beyond.


I typed this on my iPhone, normally I could write more then this in 5 minutes ;)


Four Months of Tandem Breastfeeding - Check In

It's been a little over four months since I said "yes" to R's request to nurse.

He's not showing any signs of stopping at two and a half!

Oh, it's a roller coaster for me. Some days I'm so grateful that I have this gift to give him and that I get these special moments of quiet with my active, non-stop talking boy. Other days I want to scream every time he asks. Oh how I cringe at just writing that! I know that he is still getting some awesome benefits both health-wise and emotionally. I am still a huge advocate for breastfeeding. But some days I am just DONE. But I'm really not sure I'm done with nursing him or just done being a parent. I don't think I'll have more patience just because he's not nursing. So we are hanging on for now.

I have felt the need to limit him a good bit more. He usually only nurses in the morning and at nap time. Though there are quite a few times he'll ask "Go to bed and nurse?" and then after nursing smile at me and jump out of bed and run downstairs to play again. A few mornings he'll forget to ask right away and ask later once we are downstairs starting our day. I usually say yes. But I have let go of the guilt (or tried to) and I have less hesitation of saying "I'm sorry Boppy, but mommy's nipples are tired right now. We'll nurse later" (Yes he calls them nipples and he is constantly asking to nurse on "the big one") (the big one can change from day to day :)

J has cut his first two teeth at five months old. Ouch.

I must have blocked out R biting because I really have no memory of it. But Daniel insists that it was a problem for a while. I have had a few bad nips lately and my reactions have been less gentle and understanding then I wanted them to be. Oh how this momma needs more patience. Today J bit down and when I unlaced him and said "Ow, that hurts Mommy" he laughed at me! I see how this is going. Oh, but his laugh is beautiful and his smiles warm my heart.

I am struggling with enjoying nursing J as much as I want. Perhaps it is the added complication of tandem nursing. Maybe it's just the novelty has worn off. Oh there are still those wonder moments and the heartbreaking sweetness of being his mother and seeing him settle into sleep clutching my finger or shirt. But then there's those "oh he's growing up moments" where I feel like I didn't really take the time to enjoy his newborn nursing. This morning he was nursing and smacking me enthusiastically on the chest... hard! Daniel was amused... and I laughed a bit too, but I got worried about trying to nurse an older baby and a toddler.

I am thankful to have perspective and to not be as overbearing about how often J "needs" to nurse. He nurses as often as he wants when I'm around. But I have taken a few 4 hour absences over the past few months and he has been content, hungry when I arrive, but content. He also has taken the bottle of expressed milk well. But with my excess lipase I try not to pump that often, it's a lot of work to scald my milk and then never really be sure how it's gonna hold up. It seems it's doing ok. But I'm lucky enough not to need a huge freezer stash.

This is where we are: Content for the moment. I do anticipate gently guiding R towards less nursing over the next 6 months. I don't know how long I will be tandem nursing, but it's going ok so far. The issues that are there seem more like my own issues as a parent and much less about breastfeeding.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is my day

You're tired
I try to have Grace
I'm tired too
Have pushed
Like labor
Through these lonely days
Lost patience
Lost sleep
Lost bits of my sanity
Until you could grab the reins
Take the slack
Let me breathe

But you're tired

Oh I catch this breath
And pray for strength to let you rest
Pray my heart won't hate
That resentment fades
Into softest sigh

The sweet sound of babe's breath
Weight on my chest
Grounding and secure
These tears will wash me
Make my motives pure
Release control
Hope for more

Let you rest
Let me rest
Let my expectations rest

Oh that rage does not commence
To rob us of or dignity
So that Love can hold
Each choice and word spoken

But my tears scream
See ME!
Hear ME!
Know ME!

And heartbreak and selfishness collide
I will sort the mess
Chose not to place it
At your feet
But at the Cross
Let Mercy judge
And Grace decide
I will chose to love

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Today I allowed myself to breathe.

And I actually accomplished more that way. My in-laws came to visit with my beautiful niece and R was too excited to eat lunch!

The little ones and Nanna played on the playground and they screamed for joy at the military helicopter that flew over four or more times.

We came home. R nursed and was read to. He napped without fuss. I said goodbye to our visitors and took baby J to bed hoping for a nap myself. He nursed and I remembered to see him and take him in this time. Not just catch up on twitter and waste these precious moments. Though I did write some encouragement to my cousin who is having a rough time breastfeeding. I am blessed. I forget.

R woke up before he wanted to and he came to my bed just as I was about to fall asleep. He woke J then fell back asleep himself. I nursed J again and then again. And I got hungry. R didn't want to eat. He wanted to sleep. It is 6:30pm not naptime anymore!

We go grocery shopping. And get gross fast food because I don't want to cook. J practices crawling and R and I eat greasy food and smile at each other.

It's late and I'm tired. No nap happened for me. I get grumpy. I start that "I just want to do my own thing for a moment can't you kids entertain yourselves?" R and I read his favorite book together. He finishes the sentences and recites some of them on his own. He is adorable. J is fussy. He bites me while nursing with those brand new teeth of his. I jump and reactively smack at the thing causing me pain. And tear up realizing I smacked his cheek. I apologize. It's not looking so hot for our night.

We have drama. I'm harsh with myself and the boys. But we get to bed. I read and stay up too late and then write a blog post cause I can. Now J is awake for a midnight feeding.

I will snuggle and be joyful

I will love

I will forgive myself and move into tomorrow without guilt



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lonely and Mothering

I struggle with friendship. I don't make friends easily and I don't do well with casual relationships. I want to share my heart. I long to be seen. I delve deep and fall hard and love passionately. I am hesitant to reach out and slow to respond. The "normal" routes for creating relationship (mom groups, women's groups at church, even our small group) just leave me feeling awkward and wanting more. I was touched by this post by Emerging Mummy: In which I write a letter to Womens' Ministry. I want for, long for, a community of women to live and love with. 

I am lonely

We married young and moved a few times and most of the close friendships I have are now long-distance. Reaching out and calling and writing are not things I do well remembering. So life-giving conversations are few and far between. I am blessed to have married a man who has become my best friend. But there is only so much baggage and conversation a good man can manage. I've learned quickly that every though and every feeling does not need to be shared. We are happier when he is not my only friend.

I did not have a good model for making friends while growing up. My family was isolated, home schooled, counter-culture and my parents were introverts. Thinking back on it: our family friends decreased as I got older. I did not see my parents pursue and seek out friendships. They invested deeply in the few close ones they had and then slowly lost them.

Jugement and self-righteousness eat away at relationships. I struggle so mightily with these standards that seem "right" to me. I judge myself the hardest. And my lack of self-worth makes me put up a wall of my own negativity which effectively blocks those trying to reach out to me in friendship. I know I have failed to respond to some because I was too concerned by how well we might "fit" as friends and didn't open my heart to them.

I want to break through this wall of depression! I want to reach out to the image of myself that is reflected in Christ. I want to be the beauty that I know those few I hold dear see me as. I want to live like a person loved well because I AM. The darkness chokes me. Stifles life and hope. I rise up; willing myself to laugh and love and reach out. Then fall as those boney fingers of self-doubt and shear breathtaking tiredness drag me down.

I am a mother. I do not want to be a lonely one. I push and push and push. Trying to be enough and love enough and hide the darkness I feel in my soul because GOD I do not want to dampen these bright spirits with my own CRAP! I ask Jesus to hold me when I remember and I crash into this amazing Man who has held me through some of my darkest times. But it's not enough. I continue to return to the pigsty of depression. I know that this is not how I want to mother. I also know that I am doing a GREAT job. I am an incredible mom.

But it is taking everything that I have. Every ounce. I don't want to crash. Don't want to fail these little souls. I love these boys with everything that I am and I adore being their mother. They bring me joy in the darkness and they are a smile in the midst of my tears even today. I want to be more than this for them. I want to live fully. Not crippled and limping.

Knowledge is not enough. I see the patterns; know the triggers, am so damn self-aware! But that does not stop the flood of tears. It does not heal my heart. I know all the problems, see all the solutions, but I am paralyzed by fear.

I am afraid to hope. Afraid to fail. Desperately longing to be seen yet terrified of being found unappealing.

How do I move forward? How do you find the strength? I think I am, only to find myself here in the same cell of myself.

There is nothing contented about the state of my heart today. I feel more trepidation then anticipation.

My only prayer is this: Jesus hold me.

How do you fight isolation and loneliness as a mother?