Wednesday, November 27, 2013

C'mon, Breastmilk! WTF?!!

Two tips for dealing with sick kids:
Acetaminophen is easy to overdose, and the effects can be deadly.
If you've got a sick baby who is likely to nurse all night long,
you may want to have some lanolin on hand.

I was anxiously rushing through the grocery store with Bellybean strapped to my chest in the Ergo, radiating heat into me from his 102-degree fever.  I knew I had to stock up on some supplies in case I got sick, too.  I had this weird sense that I was the only one in the store aware of the coming Apocalypse.  Well, Flupocalypse. 

I have been properly conditioned to fear the flu.  Poor Glenn
& the gang from The Walking Dead have been on my mind
while I've been freaking out a bit about my little ones being
so sick.  Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC, found here.

I smiled only thinly if at all as I passed other shoppers.  I was a little extra annoyed when people were oblivious to their shopping carts blocking my way as I hurried about, grabbing applesauce and eggs and four different over-the-counter medications.

Anxious that I was spreading germs, I didn't check my raspberries for moldy fruit on the bottom as I usually would.  I just hoped for the best, because I wasn't going to put them back and have some poor unsuspecting fool pick them up and catch flu from us.  When I checked out, I guiltily suggested to the cashier and the bagger that they should use antibacterial gel as I tried to rub some of it onto the credit card machine's stylus.

On my way out I grabbed some complimentary antibacterial wipes.  After I loaded my groceries into the car, I wiped down the sides and handle of the shopping cart before pushing it into the cart corral.  I thought I must look like I was wiping off my fingerprints, and wondered if there was anyone suspiciously watching me through a security camera.

Magoo had perfect attendance last year, but Monday morning when he'd crawled into our bed, I could tell as he snuggled up to me that he'd probably be missing school.  Though he'd been breastfed well past his third birthday, he tested positive for flu on Tuesday morning.  Sweet Pea already had an appointment for a persistent cough, and he was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  When his fever spiked Tuesday afternoon, we knew he had the flu on top of pneumonia.  And he'd had over two and a half years of Liquid Gold!  By nap time, the baby spiked, as well - despite getting antibodies through my breastmilk the whole time we'd been exposed to Patient Zero.

C'mon, breastmilk!  WTF?!!

We're supposed to have a virtual force field, aren't we?!  Shouldn't my children be immune to all bugs?  They aren't supposed to be able to get colds or ear infections or stomach viruses, dang it!

For that matter, I was breastfed - I shouldn't be overweight or have Celiac Disease!  And my husband was breastfed - he shouldn't have diabetes!

Of course I know that the benefits of breastmilk are measured in percentages of reduced risk - they're not a sure thing.  But still.

I remember being truly flummoxed when Magoo caught colds as a baby and toddler.  I was downright ticked off when Sweet Pea was literally sick without a break for more than half a year.

And when the whole house is hit with 103-degree fevers and Tamiflu is being vomited up in the night (worst.smell.ever.), well - then I get to feeling, albeit irrationally, a little betrayed.

But of course they get sick. It helps build their immunity, too, and they're sick less now as they get older.  Did I mention the perfect attendance last year?

And at least when they're little and sick, like Bellybean, I can comfort them by breastfeeding.

Do you ever get frustrated that your Liquid Gold isn't living up to its "promises?"  
That your Miracle Milk has failed to prevent this or that?

Monday, November 25, 2013

In Search of Balance

Me & my boys at Quintessence.  I was so busy
that I didn't nurse Bellybean until the latch on
at 11am.  So yeah, that's a wet spot from
leaking on my shirt there...
I haven't blogged in close to a month.  I haven't written about receiving a Breastfeeding Hero Award from Central Texas Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, or the TXBC Fall Meeting with Representatives Walle and Farrar, or seeing the documentary "Breastmilk," or hearing back from AISD since my last update.  I still hope to write about these, but I'm trying to focus on my family right now.

I love the sense of purpose that breastfeeding advocacy has given me.  I love the friendships I have made the past year.  I am thankful that, with the help of many people, I have affected some positive changes.

But through all of this advocating for optimal infant nutrition, my older kids are not getting as much whole, healthy food as they need.  Too much pizza, too many frozen vegetarian chick-un nuggets.

My house has been clean only twice in the past year.  I don't mean anal clean, I mean presentable clean.  Willing to open the door to the UPS guy clean.

I've been overweight for more than two and a half years now - since going on a gluten free diet and suddenly absorbing from food what I hadn't the 15 years prior.  Attempts at dieting repeatedly fail and I haven't even tried consistently exercising - I'm too busy.

My middle son doesn't get any play dates and still talks about the kid who moved over a year ago because he's not close to anyone new.  I want to be homeschooling him at least for his pre-k year - and if I can't be organized enough to do it now I can't keep him home for kindergarten, making this my last year with him home with me.  I want to make it a good one.

I have three borrowed books on dyslexia and though my oldest was diagnosed last winter, I've yet to read them.

I don't really do balance.  I love projects.  I love compartmentalizing.  I'm disorganized overall, but I can be organized at working on the school's silent auction.  I'm no good at home maintenance, but if we host Christmas or I get pregnant, suddenly I'm all about painting the bedroom and hanging shelves on the walls.

The past year, advocacy has been my project.

I want to continue.  It's not just a project, it's my passion.  But I need to step back and try to find some balance.  I need my kids to be my main focus.  I am a stay-at-home mom for that reason, and this year it's more like I'm a work-at-home mom.  And as I said, I suck at balance.  That's not how I want to parent.

I've been struggling a lot with this need for balance, with depression, with not knowing what direction to go with this blog, with keeping up with social media.  But things are getting better.  A few friends are helping me admin on Facebook.  I've spent a few weekends starting to de-clutter.  I took Sweet Pea to a great homechool co-op class and took Magoo on our first-ever date.

So I'm finally posting here again, and I'll share more about all that other good stuff I opened with when I get to it.  For now, I'm going to nurse Bellybean back to sleep and get some sleep myself.  Because I've got three energetic boys to focus on in the morning.

How do you find balance when there are too few hours in the day to accomplish all there is to do?