New Family Traditions

I remember when my husband and I had to decide who was going to skip their family Christmas for the first time to attend the others. That was an especially difficult Christmas. It hasn’t really gotten easier. Letting go of childhood traditions to create your own has been an interesting journey to say the least. We try to fit into each others childhood traditions and it never really feels right.

What is family? Mother, Father, Children

What happens when those children grow up and get married? When Mother and Father become grandmother and grandfather? What happens when you try to combine in-laws with all of that? Now your brother and sister are married with kids and there are more in-laws than you can count. Mass Confusion.

It sucks growing up. Adulting is hard. Having to navigate the needs of everyone around you, including your own. It’s difficult.

The bottom line is, we aren’t children anymore and it will never be the same. We have to hold on to our memories because we can never replicate those childhood moments as adults as hard as some of us may try. What we can do is give our children memories to take with them the rest of their lives. Those memories hopefully will shape the new memories they make with their families.

After spending years building our little family unit (Me, Justin and our kids) and growing apart and coming together as a couple(repeat x1000), we have opted to start our own family tradition.

We attempted this last year, but as expected, had some push back.

“Holidays are for family.”

It brought us immense guilt to want to celebrate without them. But it also reinforced that YES! HOLIDAYS ARE FOR FAMILY!

You see, we are going on a little FAMILY vacation to the Rocky Mountains. A place that Justin and I dearly love and enjoy for it’s beauty and solitude… and it’s black diamonds.  Just me, my husband, and my kids. We are going out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner (GASP!). We are going to spend much needed time just having fun with each other. Not worrying about laundry or dishes. We are creating a new family tradition.

When our son was born, I felt strongly that we could NOW start his childhood traditions by staying home for Christmas. Not just staying in Colorado, but staying HOME. Waking up Christmas morning to presents under the tree (in my own home)… hot coffee (cocoa) and jammies. Not worrying about putting a bra on. Not worrying about drinking the last cup of coffee because we don’t know how to work the coffee maker or how to make the perfect pot of coffee each family prefers (watered down or turkish black). Not scheduling a shower around other visitors or asking permission to take a shower because we aren’t really sure when breakfast or presents or other traditions are happening. Not worrying about who has to make breakfast or when the kids will be fed.

Waking up in our own home with our own coffee… and no bras. This is my dream.

The excitement of figuring out what MY family tradition will be has been a ton of fun. This is the part of adulting I can embrace. I can bring in a little of Justin’s memories and a little of my memories and make them brand new for us and for our children.

As I think of us changing it up like this, I think of what Justin’s parents and my parents might be feeling. That’s the hard part. Are we hurting feelings by doing our own thing? Probably. I very much dislike causing hurt feelings. I think of when my kids are older and our little family tradition is no more. I can see how that will be hard for me as a mom to watch my children grow into adults and build their own family traditions with their kids. I do see it. Hopefully I can embrace their choices. Though in this moment in time, I can never imagine them not NEEDING me for every single possible thing. You mean I won’t have to wipe runny noses and poopy butts the rest of my life? This makes me sad. Seriously.

Because I want to cherish each of these moments, we MUST start our family tradition now. I want to experience it as long as possible.

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In this statement alone, my guilt is gone. I love our extended families, but this day we choose to celebrate our Thanksgiving together for the first time as a family of four. It may not be your perfect idea of a Thanksgiving tradition, but it is ours.

 

Now get out there and ADULT THE SHIT out of this holiday season.

Be Kind.

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Holy Boobs Batman! (Part 6)

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I am 7 weeks from starting the thought process and 5 weeks from starting the medication. So I thought I would update you on my progress.

About ten days ago we went on a family vacation to California. I was fully prepared and brought my fancy pump and my supplementer. I was prepared to nurse on the takeoff and landing and had back up bottles as well. This would be my first public nursing experience, which I’ve had some anxiety over. This is also baby girls first flight. Our son has flown several times and does very well.

I brought my super fancy and trendy cover up to put myself at ease. Ultimately I knew baby girl could care less but this was all on my nerves. I know, why does it matter, women are fighting to normalize breastfeeding. It feels like I’m still getting past the legitimacy of deserving to breastfeed. As if everyone on the airplane will know that 1. I’m nursing and 2. that my child is adopted. And who cares if they did.

I realize have some things to work through here. Thank God for my incredible therapist who is filled with a fiery desire for me to reach my full potential and is also filled with enough grace to catch me when I fall. In combination with my amazing friends and husband I should be wonder woman by now. But then again, I am breastfeeding my adopted child with actual milk from my actual boobs … so maybe I’m getting close in at least one field.

Now, the flight. She did really well! I nursed her taking off with the supplementer and she slept the whole flight (2 hours) and was ready to nurse on landing but she didn’t wake up to bother with it. It was the same situation on the flight home. Totally fine.

As for keeping up with my nursing and pumping schedule while on vacation… well thats another story. I pumped twice a day and nursed twice a day. So that’s half as much that is recommended to keep your supply up. I was still pumping about 2 ounces total per session.

When we got home from vacation I remained at 2 oz per session. This week however, I am increasing to 3 oz in the mornings and 2 oz at each pumping session per day.

At this point I would say she is getting about
1/3 of her calories from breastmilk which is pretty incredible. My goals are adjusting as we continue on this journey. I’m comfortable if we stop here, but man… if I could create enough milk to not have to worry about packing formula everywhere… that would be AMAZING. Until then, I’ll keep plugging away and trying my best to stick to my nursing/pumping/nursing schedule.3-oz

Nursing has been so enjoyable for me. I love the connection that I get with my daughter.  She is showing a lot of preference for the breast vs the bottle so that keeps me pushing to increase my milk supply. Its a team effort between the two of us and so far we are kicking ass.

SIDE EFFECTS:

I’ve had a few changes at home since starting this process. My son (3) has lost a little bit of his mommy through this process which I feel very guilty about. He has latched onto dad pretty hard (not a bad thing) because I seem to always be feeding baby girl when he wants to play or he only wants to play when I’m feeding or pumping.  He is requiring daddy give him hugs and kisses prior to leaving for work (5:30am) which is kind of difficult because if daddy does this he is up for the day. Little man usually wakes up around 7am. So we are navigating that. The other morning he woke up in a panic because he thought dad had left without kissing him. Luckily it was a Saturday and he got to him immediately.  I really try to do one on one things with him, but it is challenging. Generally speaking he is still a super fun loving little guy that acts out by coloring on my bed sheets with sharpie. Typical three year old with a touch of awesome.

I’ve also had some physical side effects like feeling jittery throughout the day. I believe that is coming from a lack of hydration in combination with the domperidone I’m taking. I’m still around 80mg a day – which is the minimum dose my LC suggested. As I build my supply I’d like to wean off of it if I can. Many blogs I’ve read state they have to stay on the drug to maintain supply, so we shall see.

Next side effect:

HOLY BOOBS, BATMAN! I’ve probably increase by 2 sizes, so have had to do some wardrobe configuring. My husband is pretty much terrified of them. Either they are going to spontaneously squirt milk at him (this has never happened) or he feels like he is cheating on me with fake boobs. I’m sure he will come around. It doesn’t help that I chase him around with them and make him touch them when they are super hard in the morning. Poor guy. Total entertainment!!

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up-arrow This 100% deserved its own quote box. You should probably pin this as “awesome”. You’re welcome.

That is where we are as of today! I’ll check back in a month to update those interested in hearing about my hoots. Thanks for keeping up! I really do get the gravity of how amazing this is… all joking aside.

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