Monday, February 27, 2012

As Essential As Taking in My Next Breath of Air

I've been thinking all day today about how most of my posts must come across as negative. I find that when I really need to vent about something, blogging is a very effective outlet for expressing my emotions. Since I have felt a great need to unplug lately, it means I tend to stay away from the computer when things are going well and I am feeling great. I am not in the habit of sharing the cute things Lily does every day because I really just want to experience being with her as much as I can without thinking, "I need to blog about this later!" For the past few months, or probably even longer, not a day has gone by where I think, "I could write a blog post about that! I should totally blog about that!" And even my husband gets in on it. He'll say, "That'd make a really good blog post." This is usually in response to some neat conversations that we have together where we share our ideas with one another. On one hand I am flattered that there is ever anything that comes out of my mouth that he considers worthy of a blog post, and on the other hand, those are our thoughts and our ideas. A lot of what I say to him I tell him in confidence, though it could make a good blog post, it doesn't really help with my endeavor to unplug. Even in our private conversations, the blog takes both of our attention.

On one hand, I love to blog. I wish I had more time to stop what I am doing when I get a thought that could become a really good post. Most of the time I am nowhere near close to having a chance to hash out a post. This is frustrating because I know I will forget it. I also know that when I do finally get a chance to sit and write, I can never recall the thoughts in the same way as when I was feeling the inspiration to write.

On the other hand, I want to get the social media out of my head! Honestly I may get on our laptop about once a week, hence why I usually only blog once a week. It's my iphone and facebook app that is what I am truly trying to escape. I don't know why I feel the urge to quit, I just do. I am thankful for it. Even if I do not understand the urge to lessen my time on facebook, I notice that I am spending more time in the scriptures and more time communing with my Father in Heaven and I am spending more time trying to savor my time with Lily. It feels liberating to not be tied to my phone so much.

Only this past week was hard. Really hard. It was hard on everyone. I have debated whether or not I should share it on the blog because it's yet another thing that I am sharing that isn't positive happy daisies and sunshine. I really do have moments of daisies, rainbows and sunshine. I just never get around to writing about them. I'm not sure what my problem was last week but I just couldn't shake the irritation and sadness. I was on the verge of tears and I was angry a lot and I had no idea why. There was just no explanation for it. There was really nothing I could do except just go through it. I am convinced that sometimes we just can't fix what happens to us. Sometimes we just can't fix the feelings we have. Sometimes we just have to experience them and be done. That's what happened to me for about four days last week. Nothing worked to make me feel better. Nothing helped me to cope. And today, finally, for what seems to be no reason at all, I feel human again. I didn't do anything. It just passed. I went through it and now I am done with it. At least for now.

I suppose one of the reasons I was able to be tossed around so badly was that I wasn't praying or reading my scriptures those days. Attending those births last week threw me off my schedule. I always take a few days to recoup and get back on schedule, and last week was just harder than usual to get back on my schedule. I was exhausted. My housework suffered and I really just did not feel like doing much. I didn't do any more than I absolutely had to do. I should have considered saying my prayers and reading my scriptures as essential as taking in my next breath of air, but I didn't. I decided to sleep instead. I had nothing to ground me. I had nothing to hold onto as the waves of despair and anger and frustration just washed over me and tossed me around, making me feel like I was falling so deep under water I would never reach the surface again.

And just like that, the waves, the feeling of being tossed around on the ocean in a horrible storm, stopped. Could it be that I started my day today with prayer and scripture study? It's an interesting coincidence. It's interesting to note that the last entry in my scripture notebook was February 22 and my bad days were February 23, 24, 25, and 26. My first good day was today, and this was the first day back to reading my scriptures. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. I could say, "Eh, it isn't like you have been back in the habit of reading your scriptures all that long. It probably didn't make a difference. There used to be a time, when you actually were reading your scriptures regularly for a decent amount of time, that missing a day made a noticeable difference in your attitude. But you really haven't been doing it long enough this time for it to really make a difference." I'm sure there is someone out there that would have me believe that reading my scriptures really doesn't make a difference.


I know that reading my scriptures does make a difference. A huge difference. As much a difference as taking in my next breath of air.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh Babies! Two Back-to-back Births in Twelve Hours

Picking up where this post left off. If you haven't read that post, this one may not make sense.

After I finished making the scripture/prayer/talk cards for primary, I spent some time with Robbie and then went to bed. I thought I'd get a great night's sleep since the induction was off and we have 11 o' clock church now.

A little after 7am the mama in my previous post sent me a text message to say they were inducing with Cytotec. (Disclaimer: yes she was informed about the risks of Cytotec) From all my reading and talking with other doulas, Cytotec can work kind of quickly to help ripen the cervix. We kept in touch throughout the day. I actually skipped church thinking I would get called to go up to the hospital. Silly me!

Around 5pm I talked with the dad and he said they were still working on ripening the cervix. I found out later after hearing one nurse catch another nurse up to speed during a shift change that she'd had three doses of Cytotec and they inserted a foley bulb through the night.

Yesterday morning I woke up and expected to see a message of some sort, but there was none. I called the dad to see what was going on and he said that they had started the pit and she was at about 5-6cm and she was handling contractions really well. She didn't want to be touched, so he said he was out shopping. I told him, "5-6cm? That's usually when a mama calls her doula. Does she want me to go up there?" He didn't know so he called the laboring mom's mother, who was staying with her. I called too and was asked to call back in a few minutes. At one point I called and they were breaking her waters. I was worried that she wanted me there but no one would let me talk to her and find out from her, the woman who hired me, whether or not she wanted me there. I was prepared for her not to want me there, although I admit I would have been disappointed, but I wanted it to be her choice. So finally, when I asked to speak with her, and her mother said she didn't want to talk, I asked her if the mama wanted me there and she was like, "Yes!"

I was worried that they were aggravated with me, but I couldn't worry about anyone but the laboring mama at that point.

When I arrived, mama looked to be handling her contractions beautifully. She had a nice set up in the room. There was a cool breeze from a fan and soothing music. I added a bit of lavender essential oil to the air. I was brought up to speed on how things were going. Basically she could not move around with her contractions because it would make her blood pressure soar. They were trying to find the perfect combination of magnesium to lower the blood pressure and pitocin to help contractions. Magnesium works against pitocin, but it seemed like the pitocin could never get high enough to produce more effective contractions without making her blood pressure soar. Finally mama had had enough and opted to try the epidural to help lower the blood pressure.

While the epidural was being placed, we had to leave the room. We waited outside the door and said a prayer together for the laboring mama. Her mother gave it and it was wonderful and powerful. It made me cry! The dad said something like, "It's good to know that she hired someone who is so passionate about her job!" Although, that's not really why I cried. Ha ha!

Once the epidural was taking effect her blood pressure went in a safe range and they could try increasing the pitocin. She slept soundly for a long time. After many hours, there was no change in her cervix or the descent of the baby. Probably a combination of about 8 hours of no change, the baby showing some late decels, and their inability to increase the pitocin without her blood pressure rising too high made the doctor recommend a C-section. Mama consented. I asked her what she was thinking, and she said something like, "I knew it was going to happen anyway."

I have never felt so helpless and useless as a doula. I'm not the type of doula that always feels the need to do something if mama seems to be coping well, especially if she prefers to be left alone, but I just didn't see there was a point to having me there. I know she hired me to be there, and I felt really bad to almost force myself to be there, and then show up, and find out that I probably really didn't need to be there. But maybe all mama truly needed was to have her loving support people present with her, and that I did. All I ever hope for these mamas that hire me is that I am of service to them in whatever capacity they want. I just hope I fulfill whatever hopes they had of hiring me.

When mama was being wheeled off to the operating room, I got a phone call from the dad of another mama that was in labor that they checked into the hospital. This was around 9pm. I knew she was in early labor because when I parked my car at the hospital she called me to tell me she was in early labor and her contractions were 8-9 minutes apart. That was around 1:30pm.

So at 9pm, after they wheeled the first mama away, we were told it would probably be an hour to and hour and a half before she would be back. I decided to go ahead and help the other mama while I was just going to be waiting. I asked the mama's mother to let her know where I went and that I would be back to check on her before I left to go home.

Oh, all of this was the most awesome stroke of luck that the mamas were delivering at the same hospital. So I just walked a few more feet down the hall to the next mama's room. I arrived about 9:20pm and the mama had helped herself to the shower. She said she was at 4cm when she had checked in about 30 minutes prior. So she was laboring in the shower for a little while when the nurse came in to say she needed to get a reading with the electronic fetal monitors. Mama consented and made it to wear the could monitor her. While she was being monitored the baby started showing some decels and the resident doctor said it could be just because the labor was going so quickly but that we needed to keep her in the bed, that we could do massage and what not, but that she needed to be on her side with some air to try to make sure baby was okay. So long story short, baby was still showing decels and they wanted to monitor the baby internally. When they broke the bag of waters there was meconium staining. And to leave out even more details, mama pushed the baby out in 4 minutes with her own power a little over three hours after I arrived. She went from 5cm to complete in about 30 minutes! And as soon as the baby was out, they had to whisk her to the little table next to the bed to suction the meconium out. Mama said something like, "How in the world did I just have a baby naturally?" Ha ha! She was surprised that she did that! I said, "Because you are AWESOME!" She just couldn't believe she did it. Everyone was amazed by her. Her first birth was a three day long induction. And this birth was a three hour natural delivery. She seemed happy.

So the second birth was a little bit more what I am used to.

After mama was settled I texted to see if the first mama was still awake and they were. I stopped by to see how she was doing and when I arrived she was hooked up to all sorts of stuff. Poor mama. Pre-eclampsia is definitely no fun.

I left the hospital twelve hours after my arrival and finally made it home around 2:30am. Lily must have known I made it home and woke up at 3am and decided that she was done sleeping for the night! I'm one tired lady today.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Yes, No, Maybe, I don't know!

The past 36 hours or so have felt like a week! During my nap yesterday, one of the dads I am working with called me and left a message. I did not answer because
1. I did not recognize the number and
2. I thought I kinda recognized it a little bit as a person who has been calling me the past few days that I did not feel like talking to at that time.

About an hour after the dad called me, Robbie texted me to beg me not to go to the scheduled prenatal visit with said dad's girlfriend due to the horrible rains that were due to come last night. Also, Robbie does not feel safe when we travel on Friday nights. So I called both the mom and the dad to ask if we could reschedule our prenatal visit for Saturday or Sunday as soon as we could because she was scheduled to be induced Monday or Tuesday. After I called and left messages for both of them, I decided to check the voicemail. It was the dad! He told me that the mama was in the hospital again and they were thinking she would need to be induced this weekend due to her blood pressure being so high. Oh my! So I called and texted to get the scoop. I thought I would need to go visit for a prenatal anyway, so while I was waiting to hear something, I hurried and made pizza for dinner. Yes, we have decided to quit the Atkins diet yet again.

After I finally finished making and scarfing down the pizza, I gave the dad a call to see if they still wanted a visit. Mom was being moved to a labor and delivery room at the time, so he said he would talk with her to see what she wanted. She was very nervous about what was going on and really wanted a visit. He finally got in touch with me again and we set an appointment to meet at 11am Saturday (today).

So I went to visit mom at the hospital this morning and she seemed to really calm down as our visit progressed. Shortly before I left, a nurse came in to bring food, and to report that they would move her back to the antepartum rooms, monitor her blood pressure, and probably start the induction process tonight. We went over our game plan of when to call, and I came home.

I ate lunch and after Lily woke up from her nap, I decided to go shopping with her to give Robbie some "me time." I've been wanting to do that for him all week long, and it just never happened. Finally, I seized my opportunity. We went to Dollar Tree and bought some Easter window clings, some new cookie sheets since mine met a terrible fate last night and some lip balm for the mamas due in the next few weeks. Then we went to Target for some kitty litter, goody bags and chocolate icing. I debated buying a peanut ball to help with those mamas who use epidurals, but a doula friend of mine convinced me that there were other ways of providing the same effect without spending the money. Another doula friend of mine said I could probably find one cheaper elsewhere, and she's probably right. I've been perfectly fine without a peanut ball so far, so I'll get one after I've attended a few births where I feel like it would have come in handy.

When I came back home it was time to start making dinner. I can't remember if it was during dinner or right after where the mama texted me to tell me that they were NOT going through with the induction, that her blood pressure was doing great, and that they were going to leave baby be and get her to full term. Yay! Mama was not quite 36 weeks yet. I'm so happy for her and amazed by her. She did so great taking charge of her birth and protecting her wee little baby and made sure that the hospital staff had the right information.

Since then, I have been working on Primary Scripture/Talk/Prayer assignment cards. They are ALL done! Phew! That took FOREVER!!!

I think all the "yes, no, maybe, I don't know" with that particular mama the past 36 hours has just wore my poor little brain out. I can't imagine how she is feeling right now. And guess what! I have another mama due tomorrow. And then another 9 days after that. It's definitely going to be a fun month.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How in the world did this turn into a post about vaccinations?

I first learning about free writing in my sixth grade English class. At that time I was living in Houston, TX. I had moved from Alexandria, LA, where I was considered "gifted" to Houston, TX, where I was tested, and where I must have done well enough, and was put in G/T (Gifted and Talented) classes. However, I learned how UN-gifted I truly was when I started having to write papers in my English classes. There is a huge difference in expectations between Louisiana and Texas education and as well as elementary school and middle school.

Anyway, back to free writing. Remember those little marble notebooks that you had that was your "journal" in school? I had one. I hated it. She always gave us about ten minutes at the beginning of class to write on a certain topic, and knowing that I truly SUCKED at writing, it was torture for me. That is, until she explained about free writing. During free writing, we were just supposed to write and write and whatever came to mind was what we wrote about. We had to try not to stop. I loved being able to do this because it felt like what journaling really was.

For some reason I just feel like writing today. I don't know why, I just do. It seems as if I feel like writing during moments where I have no time or opportunity and usually what I want to write is what I think are really awesome topics. And then, when I have a chance to sit and write, I forget what it was I wanted to write about. Major bummer. So today I've pulled out my egg timer and set it for 20 minutes. Anything goes. Which means this will probably be boring. Or maybe, very interesting if I start to talk about things deemed too much information. That usually gets kind of interesting.

Yesterday we went to church. It seems as if there must have been something in the air because all the little kids were being a little more rambunctious than usual. Including Lily. I had to take her out. Now, when she goes "out" I don't want it to be more fun that being "in." We usually find the closest empty room, but that happened to be the mother's lounge yesterday. I made her sit still in the chair in there. She hated it. She didn't cry, but she pouted. She was obviously bored. I was happy that she was bored. We stayed in there awhile and I finally explained to her that she had a choice. She could either stay in there and sit still and be bored or she could go back into the chapel and color or play her game and have fun but stay quiet and sit still. I guess she understands more than I think she does because she was just fine after that.

I'm glad that she is old enough to go to nursery now. She really enjoys it, and I am proud of her for how well she does in there. She's so cute and sociable. I was never like that. Always so shy. I suppose she gets that from Robbie.

I am getting to a point where I feel like pausing. Can't do that! Must keep typing.

This girl just texted me about a pediatrician in our area that doesn't care whether or not parents vaccinate. Now, after a lengthy discussion about vaccinations she said to us, "Now, you're the parents. It's up to YOU to make the best decisions for your child. I just want you to know that I respect what you decide." Now, I'm not sure how true it really is, because we decided to vaccinate. I wonder what she would have said had we not. But during our later visits, with the questions I ask her, it seems like she has plenty of clients who decide not to vaccinate. And she didn't say anything sarcastic about it. She said they were in the minority, but that was it. I usually decide to vaccinate, but it was always later than the normal schedule. She never said anything about our timing. When they ask us if we want the flu shot, and I say no, the only response I get is, "Okay." No pressure or anything. So from just the things she's told me and my husband, I don't get the impression that she would have a problem with us deciding that we don't want to vaccinate.

Now I know that vaccination is a controversial subject, but we have researched and given lots of thoughts and prayers about this. Honestly, if we lived elsewhere, I think I would probably not feel like I'd want to vaccinate, but I do believe in the efficacy of the vaccines. I also know myself and if my child contracted something that could have been prevented, I wouldn't be very happy with my decision not to vaccinate. I wouldn't have done everything I could to keep my baby safe. Of course, if my child gets sick from a vaccine, my story would probably be different. The vaccination decision truly is one of those damned if you do damned if you don't sort of decisions. I don't think I could be truly comfortable either way. I just feel less uncomfortable choosing to do it.

I am a nervous wreck after every trip to the doctor where she receives vaccinations. I hate it. So far she's been okay.

Isn't that crazy? I'm all about the whole natural childbirth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering thing, but I also believe that vaccines work. Silly me.

I was about to say something, but I forgot. Oh yeah. Those that don't vaccinate say that those parents that do vaccinate don't want their kids to play around unvaxed kids because they are afraid their kids will catch whatever it is that unvaxed kids are supposedly full of. I guess those perfectly healthy looking unvaxed kids are full of all kinds of icky germs that my vaxed kid can get. It doesn't make sense to me because that is why people get vaccinated. To protect them from any of those icky germs. So the vaxed kids are supposed to be the safe ones, right? I'd be more worried about my unvaxed kid playing around, well, anybody.

Anyway, my time is up. So basically, I guess the point of the above paragraph is this. If your kid is vaxed or unvaxed, I don't care. We'll still play with you. Not that I don't care, but it's truly a non-issue with me whether or not you choose to vax or not. And if anyone gives you any grief about whether or not you vax, I'll be the first to tell them where they can go.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The battle in MY brain

I'm no scriptorian by any means, but every now and then I feel like Heavenly Father really reaches me in my scripture studies. Most of the time I am lucky just to be able to open my scriptures, much less truly dig in them. And even less, I actually feel something. I know, I'm horrible, but I am doing the best I can do. Sometimes the best I can do is to just go through the motions of reading my scriptures, and that just has to be good enough for now.

However, a few days ago I read "The Battle in Our Brains" over at Segullah that seemed to describe exactly what was going on in my mind lately. Recently, I have felt a great need to unplug. Basically, I want to spend less time on my smartphone playing on facebook. I find myself checking facebook and my email on my phone any time I have a little break. Even if it's a 30 second commercial break while we are watching Picket Fences on Hulu, I feel an urge to check my phone. I have felt that this is really not very good for me, so I have tried to remember those other things I liked to do for fun before I had a smartphone. Then I read that article which combined reading scriptures and learning to unplug in one article. Score!

The author says that in order to combat the urge to always check my phone I need to spend more time in the scriptures. What should have been a "Duh!" moment and something I have been doing was an "Aha!" moment instead. I just didn't think about it the right way. Somehow reading this particular article was what I needed at the time. In this article she lists four steps to really effective scripture study.

1. Pray before you begin.
2. Really immerse yourself in the text. Read and cross-reference.
3. Jot down any and all impressions no matter how random or out of place they seem.
4. After awhile, read back over your notes and look for trends and patterns. You will see what the Holy Ghost is trying to teach you.

Awesome sauce! I did number 1 really well and number 2 horribly. Number 3 and number 4 have been non-existent.

After reading this article, I pulled out my old notebook labeled "Scripture Study Notes." My first entry in this book was March 5, 2008. I took notes faithfully every day for several months until July 9, 2008 where my only note was "Seven more days!" Seven more days until what?

Seven days later, Robbie and I got married.

And the next entry in my scripture study notebook was January 6, 2009. Six months! What happened in those six months??? Well, marriage and my first semester of graduate school when I was living in Houston and Robbie was still in Baton Rouge happened. I'm sure I read my scriptures, but I didn't really dig into them. And I obviously didn't take any notes.

I kept notes pretty faithfully until March 9, 2009. And then, not again until last week. Sigh. It has been three years since I have feasted and really dug into the scriptures. THREE YEARS!!! That is....really sad. Now, I have read them. I have pondered. But I haven't taken notes or jotted down my impressions. I am missing a key ingredient by not jotting down my impressions!

Yesterday I had quite the impression that I wanted to share. Since we have been married, we have been unorganized when it comes to our finances. We've struggled and feared and have just been plain unorganized. To make a long story short, we are still poor as dirt, but we are more organized about our finances and there is less fear involved. I really feel like the Lord is helping us in this matter, but we still have a long road ahead. With Robbie's job change over the summer, we have experienced greater relief and happiness in some areas but more fear and struggling in other areas. Money has always been an issue, and it is even more of a concern now as we have even less of it. We would not be able to make it without the Lord's help. Not at all.

Before I read my scriptures yesterday, I prayed. I prayed a little more fervently than I usually do. I admitted that I felt like I have been holding something back, though I could not describe what that something was. I admitted that what I really wanted was the means to be able to take care of everything financially without asking for help. I also admitted that I was afraid that instead of changing our situation and making it better, I was afraid that Heavenly Father would change ME and make ME better. This seems silly, but I was afraid that Heavenly Father would change my attitude so that I would be okay with the situation that we are in now rather than change the situation that we are in now to be better. But I suppose if He changed ME, then it wouldn't matter what our situation was. I've been resisting being changed by Him I suppose. I suppose that something that I have been holding back was my desire to be changed. Well, I turned it over to Him yesterday.

I've heard some of my fellow Christian friends mention "turning it over to the Lord," and I admit, I didn't quite understand what they meant. I mean, I intellectually understand it, but I suppose my heart didn't truly understand it. Don't get me wrong, this is not something that comes naturally and easily to me. I will have to practice this more. It's not something I really want to practice, but I know it is something that I need to practice.

Back to my prayer. I admitted my fears, and said I was willing to be changed, and well, yesterday I was changed. I almost didn't even notice. Then I realized last night that my attitude about our situation was pretty good. It was a subtle change, but I liked it. I told Robbie about this, and I told him I'd probably need to pray about this again and again and again.

After my more-fervent-than-normal prayer, I opened my scriptures to Helaman 12 in the Book of Mormon. It wasn't any kind of inspiration or anything, that was just where I was in my studies yesterday. I read,

"And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him."

After all that, after praying to prosper and asking for a change of heart, I read this scripture that tells me what to do. Instruction manual for life, those scriptures are!!!

The rest of that chapter was just wonderful for me yesterday. I truly felt like the Lord was speaking to me. I heard somewhere that prayer is how we speak to the Lord and scriptures are how He speaks to us. It's like, I said what I needed to say, and then through the scriptures, He said exactly what I needed to hear, and I didn't even have to dig for it. That doesn't usually happen to me. I've heard stories where people just let the scriptures fall open where they're going to fall, and it's exactly what they need to read and hear. I suppose that you could let the scriptures fall open and odds are, there's something "good" in them. But, ya know, if they happen to fall into those Old Testament parts where they are describing laws about sacrificing animals or whatever, I'm just not gonna feel it. Sorry. I'm not that good yet.

But anyway, has thinking about studying scriptures in a different way helped me with my obsession with facebook on my smartphone? Maybe a little. I still check it, but I can feel it's hold on me weakening, and that's great!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Breastfeeding for 20 months

Oh yes. You read that right. Lily is 20 months old and she is still breastfeeding. I never thought I would breastfeed this long. In fact, I was worried that we wouldn't even make it to 12 months like I had originally hoped. I constantly worried that my milk supply wasn't good enough because Lily was always smaller than most kids. For a few months she fell of the chart, and that was even after we were starting solids!

When I think of breastfeeding lately, my mind goes to my group piano class my freshman year of college. Why? Because I want to apologize for the thoughts that I had at that time. One of the piano professors was breastfeeding her toddler. I do not remember how old her little girl was, and I never saw it with my own eyes. I only heard some silly boys mention that she was still breastfeeding her kid and her kid was *gasp, old enough to ASK FOR IT. Eeeeeew!!!!

I made the decision that I was going to breastfeed for 12 months back when my little brother was born. I was a mere 9 years old and I overheard his mother (my stepmother at the time) talking about how babies are not supposed to have cows milk until they were a year old. To my 9 year old brain that meant that babies had to have BREAST milk until then. I didn't really know about solids and I didn't really know about formula. All I knew was that babies drink BREAST milk. I knew they could drink out of bottles, but it didn't cross my mind what went in those bottles. I remember that my little brother was given formula after a few weeks or months, but it didn't seem strange to me. It didn't bother me. But to my 9 year old brain, I just knew that I was going to breastfeed my babies until they were 12 months old. That's it. Simple as that.

Nearly 20 years later and here I am breastfeeding a 20 month old. Nooooot what I expected. My mind often goes back to that silent teasing I did while sitting in group piano. After hearing it reported by some silly boys that Mrs. M was still breastfeeding her kid and the kid comes up to ASK for it, I made the decision that THAT was just gross. "I'm not going to breastfeed MY kids when they are old enough to ASK for it!"

Well, my friends, this weekend, Lily finally ASKED for it. Never mind the fact that newborns can and do ASK FOR DEMAND it, my sweet little munchkin said, "Ninnie?" out of the blue when I was trying to distract her from her obvious hints. She had gone three whole days without ninnie and without seeing me at all, and I thought that this might be the time she would wean. I was okay with this. I love breastfeeding her, but I realize that our time may be coming to an end soon. I'm not sure that I can handle the social pressures of breastfeeding a baby past 24 months. 20 months probably already gets me some talking behind my back. Now, I will say that no one has said anything negative to my face...yet. I don't really expect them to because the people I know are nice people and they have nothing to gain by being mean to me.

So Lily said "Ninnie." What you need to understand about Lily is that she will not say a word unless she is SURE that she will say it correctly. She must have known how to say it for awhile, but it wasn't until this moment of panic, that clear as day, she said it. It melted my heart, y'all. How could I deny her after that? Well, I did. For a little while longer. But she got her precious ninnie after she took a spill off the bed when we were playing. I think she did it on purpose.

I must admit that I love that she can say "Ninnie." She can say, "Mama, Daddy, Mimi, cow, cat, kitty, meow, woof woof, shoe, uh uh, no, yeah, eye, hair, ear, and water." Now, these are the words I know she can say, but I bet she has more up her sleeve.

So back to the breastfeeding. I must admit that I love extended breastfeeding. I think the past eight months have been my favorite time of the entire experience. Once we reached 12 months, I know longer worried about if my milk supply would make it. It truly was a load off my mind. I could focus on just being with her and enjoying the cuddles. I also admit to enjoying it because she did it fewer times a day. It was more predictable and I didn't HAVE to do it if I didn't want to. Her survival didn't depend on it. It's just less pressure. I don't have to leave bottles with anyone if we want to go out. I don't have to pack a cover. I can give her something else to eat if we go out. I can still give her ninnie if she hurts herself or needs help falling asleep. I suppose what I worry about now is wondering what I'll do when she hurts herself once she is weaned. My whole mothering style will be changed!

I really want to make sure that I cherish this time as much as I can. I want to cherish it so much that when I look back on it 20 years from now, I won't need to miss it. Is that even possible?