The Pressure of Breastfeeding

I am officially 5 months pregnant and I for the first time in my life I am starting to feel pressure that I haven’t felt before. Breastfeeding! The child isn’t even here yet and I can feel information about the benefits of breastfeeding being thrown at me from every angle. I understand, breastfeeding is important. But it doesn’t come easy to everyone. For some women, they never produce enough milk, does that make them lesser moms? What if I don’t produce enough milk, am I a terrible mom? Every mom wants what is best for their child and if breastfeeding is what is best for their child, what mother wouldn’t want to do it? It comes down to whether they are capable of doing it or not.

Personally, I don’t want to breastfeed. I want to pump and feed. I want to be able to measure how much milk my child is getting. And to be able to quantify that he/she is in fact getting enough milk. Does that make me less of a mom?

I watched the video below earlier today and I couldn’t help but empathize with Whitney Port. You can see the pressure she is putting on herself. The pressure is a result of outside forces. It makes me sad to see that those forces are tearing her down. As women we should be picking each other up not tearing each other down, and I am grateful that she posted this video.


For the most part, I am a very strong person, but the pressure from outside forces is also starting to get to me. I don’t think its fair for me to feel as though I am a lesser person because I don’t want to conform to ‘what is acceptable’ by the masses.

Breastfeeding scares me because I don’t know if I will be able to do it. I have had a tough pregnancy thus far and I don’t expect that breastfeeding will be a walk in the park. My sister-in-law had a very tough time breastfeeding. I remember her returning from the hospital one day in tears because her daughter wasn’t getting enough milk. She thought she was doing everything correctly, but her daughter was starving and my sister in law had no idea. Since that day, I vowed to pump and feed my child. That way I could monitor that he/she was in fact consuming milk and being fed. I can’t imagine how she felt, and I hope I never have to.

Every mothers journey is different, but everyone is trying to do what is best for their child. I just wish mothers could do their best, free of judgment from outside forces.

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Maternity Stores Are Gimmicks!

Pregnancy clothes are a gimmick. They are expensive and you only wear them for 9 months. What do you do with them afterwards? Nothing. You put them in a box and store them under your bed because you don’t have the heart to throw out items that you’ve spent your hard-earned money on. So why bother buying them? If you have a petite frame like myself, you can purchase cheap clothes in Large or Extra Large sizes from cheap department stores and donate them afterwards. It’s a win-win situation!

At least that is what I thought until yesterday.

I am only 3 months pregnant, and have already popped. I grew so quickly that my body hasn’t had a chance to catch up, and yesterday I had excoriating lower back pain. I went to Sherway Gardens, a mall nearby hoping to find some relief. As I walked through the mall, I couldn’t find a single maternity store. Yes you read that correctly, I was looking for a maternity store. I was desperate to find some relief from my back pain. I gave up and walked into a Baby Gap and my worst fear was confirmed. They didn’t have any maternity stores in the mall. Not a single one! So naturally my eyes welled up with tears! Because, being hormonal, the world was coming to an end! Fighting back tears I told a sales associate and a new mother about my back problem and was directed to another mall to buy a maternity support belt.

Apparently, as a pregnant lady I have the energy to mall hop! Now I have to walk back to my car empty handed, drive to another mall, find a parking spot, park the car, walk to the store and then pray that they have what I’m looking for.

After driving with tears streaming down my face, because my natural thought is “the world hates me”, I made it to the mall. Yes you read that correctly, I was bawling because I had to drive to another mall to buy something that I needed because apparently it’s not normal to drive to multiple locations to buy what you need! Being hormonal is embarrassing! You would think that my cat just died!

I made it into the maternity store and I was in heaven! I normally purchase my tights (the only pants that seem to fit lately) from Walmart. But those tights are nothing compared to the tights you can buy at maternity stores. They have built in support in the pants. I tried on the tights and I instantly felt better. Why had I been so naïve? This place was my savior! I was like a mad woman picking up everything in sight. Yes I put most of it back, because money doesn’t grow on trees but that’s besides the point! The maternity belt was amazing! Once I put it on, it was though my back pain disappeared. The person who invented it deserves a noble peace prize!

I left the store with 4 pairs of tights, and a maternity belt! I was so happy! Never again will I question the need for maternity stores!

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I’m Pregnant!

Sorry I have been so MIA from posting, but I’M PREGNANT!

Yes that may sound all fine and dandy but one thing I can tell you for certain, the movies and television lie! Being pregnant isn’t fun at all. I just finished my first trimester, and I feel like a deflated soccer ball! Let me tell you what being pregnant is really like!

  1. Morning Sickness! HA! Try all day sickness. Dicletin is supposed to be the hero drug to help with the Nausea, so naturally it doesn’t work for me. I need something stronger. God forbid I forget to take a dose on time, because, that’s right, you guessed it, the toilet becomes my best friend! None of my actual friends had morning sickness. In fact, they felt perfectly normal. So naturally I hate them all! And that leads me to point number two.
  2. Uncontrollable Hormones. I have no control over my emotions, I can be laughing one minute and crying a river the next.
  3. The insane sense of smell. I hate the smell of my car and have to fight the urge to put my head outside the car window while driving. I don’t car if I look like a dog! The smell of anything sweet makes me want to throw up!
  4. Everything freaking hurts! Muscles you didn’t know existed hurt. Your entire body feels tense. Forget sitting comfortably! You know that space above your belly? You probably don’t, but it pains for no reason! So you find yourself stretching in weird directions, hoping the people around you don’t look at you like you’re a freak!
  5. Sleep? What is sleep? I’m lucky if I can find a comfortable position to fall asleep and pray I don’t wake up with bedsores!
  6. Working a full-time job? The jokes on you, you feel awful but you have to act like a sane person around people. God forbid they find out how crazy you really are! And going back to point number two, I have to work extra hard not to have an emotional breakdown. (Yes I’ve already had two)
  7. Your clothes don’t fit! Maybe this is because I popped early, but my pants don’t fit, so its tights and leggings 24/7. But let’s be honest, most of the time I can’t even be bothered to get dressed. I feel so awful that I’m lucky if my outfit even makes sense!

Yes I know what you’re going to say…getting pregnant is a blessing, not everyone is fortunate enough and you are right! It is a blessing but what I didn’t mentally prepare for were all of the changes that my body would go through. The naive part of me thought this would be a walk in the park. After all, women have had babies for hundreds of years. These are my realities of being pregnant! I just have to remind myself this is only for 9 months. 3 done…6 more to go!

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The Little Train That Could….Maybe.

Six months ago, I started a new role at work and to say the role is challenging is an understatement. Every day feels like an uphill battle and up until last week, I felt that I was up for the challenge.

Last week, I was thrust outside my comfort zone as I attended a week of intense training at our company’s headquarters. And boy was the training tough. I felt both mentally exhausted from the amount of information being dumped on me and physically exhausted from the time difference. Having health issues, traveling is very tough for me. But the information overload was tougher. As a flew home at the end of what can only be described as one of the most exhausting week of my life, I made a conscious decision to do my best and become the ‘little train that could’.

That thought quickly evaporated on Monday morning as I sat at my desk. Conquered, yes I mean conquered and not consumed, with fears and insecurities, I did my best to try and tackle the obstacles put in front of me. I was close to the end of the day, when a colleague called me and shouted at me. “What do you want from me?” he shouted down the other end of the receiver. I was shocked. This is my colleague, not a customer. He is someone who is meant to be on my team. I was trying to work on a request for his customer, and needed more information to help fight for his ask. Keep in mind I am new to role, so my ask may have been ‘stupid’, but my mind and effort was in the right place. I was extremely hurt by his reaction, and asked him to adjust his tone, which he did not. Needless to say, I got off that call as quickly as possible.

After collecting my thoughts, I sent him an IM that read:

“I apologize if you feel that my work is inadequate, but I am 6 months in role
and am doing my best. It is not okay for you to shout at me. I am trying my
best to find a resolution for an ask that came through you.
Going forward, it may be best for you to please send all of your asks through the account managers. Thank you.”

I hope I handled the issue correctly. I will be the first person to admit that I am having a hard time in the role, but I also continue to try and push through my insecurities and do my best. I don’t pretend to know more than I do, and am constantly reaching out for help. I want to get better in this role, but it is very hard to when you have colleague shouting at you. It is extremely demotivating and it makes me very sad.

Maybe this role isn’t for me….

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Home Sick Already!

I am currently sitting on an airplane, mentally preparing myself for another adventure. I love the idea of spreading my wings and exploring new lands, but the minute I take my seat on an airplane, I am instantly homesick. I would consider myself an adventurous person, however as I grow older, I am slowly becoming intimidated by thing that are unfamiliar. As you can imagine, I’m finding this new-found personality trait frustrating. I don’t want to become someone who enjoys the comfort of being home and misses out on new experiences.

Ironically, as I sit here typing, ‘A Whole New World’ from Aladdin has started playing on my playlist. For those of you who know me well, I live for the magic of Disney, and as I hear Aladdin and Jasmine sing their verses, I can feel the feeling of excitement creeping up on me again. It’s as if the universe is helping me suppress this nervous, cautious feeling and replace it with excitement.

Disney has a way of making everything better. I started off this blog post feeling nervous, and vulnerable. After two minutes and thirty seconds of listening to ‘A Whole New World’, I feel ready to take on the world again! I am ready to see unbelievable sights and experience indescribable feelings!

 

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The Rat Race

It’s Monday morning and I grudgingly make my way through the office doors and into the lobby. I press the elevator button and wait for the elevator doors to open. We only have 4 floors in our building, yet for some reason, I find myself standing impatiently for what seems like eternity. When the elevator doors final open, I press the button for my floor. As the doors close, its official, the countdown to the weekend begins.

Am I the only person who starts their countdown to the weekend on Mondays?

Some may say that my countdown starts prematurely. I would disagree. Our work weeks are far too long, and our weekends are too short. It makes me question our society. Do we work to live or live to work?  My workplace is great. I can choose to work from home or go into the office whenever I please. So long as my work is complete and deadlines are met, I have great flexibility. However, I am still using the bulk of my day working. I am not enjoying my friends or family and creating memories. Instead, I am spending most of my day inflating a bank account. Don’t misunderstand me, I love my job and I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been blessed with. But I question if there is more to life that I am missing out on.

Recently I watched a viral video that highlighted the value of our time, and it made me question whether I am making the most of it. Five days a week, I leave for the office around 9:00am in the morning, and return home around 7:00pm. In time to make dinner, watch a few television shows and head to bed.  The weekends are usually filled with errands, chores and family functions. And within a blink of an eye the weekend is over and its back to the rat race.

I find it frustrating that so much emphasis is being placed on mental health awareness and mental health issues, but the government refuses to recognize the root cause of these issues. The root cause is that our population is overworked. In Canada, we are legally entitled to two weeks of vacation. God forbid you get sick, because you’ll need to use a week of vacation to recoup. Leaving you with one week of vacation for the rest of the year.

In most places in Europe, I think they receive a minimum of four weeks of vacation. That seems much more reasonable to me. If I had more vacation time to look forward to, perhaps I wouldn’t start the countdown to the weekend on Monday mornings.

Just a thought.

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