Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh, that's what they're for!

Boobs. Let's be honest, everyone loves them. Entire industries have been built around holding them up and showing them off. In fact, I'd say that the average person has probably spent a fair percentage of their life consumed by them. Sure, they're nice to look at and all, and I'll even admit to a few wishful chants circa junior high ("We must, we must, we must increase the bust! It's better, it's better, it's better for the sweater"). But, boobs are surprisingly not just for enhancing the fit of a dress or making for a better view on a date! (I know! Can you believe it?) So it absolutely floors me how many people get the heeby jeebies over breastfeeding. I am sure some people that I send this blog out to regularly, will even get all weird about it. But, it's my blog, so - get over it. :-) But, seriously. What is the big deal? Some women leave the house showing more skin than I do when I'm feeding my child, so I don't really understand why people seem to think there is any level of indecency around breastfeeding - whether it be done in public or not.

I mean, let's think about this. We are mammals. Just like other mammals, we have live births. We are also fully equipped to feed those offspring. People don't think of it as indecent if they spot a mama animal feeding her young at the zoo or the state fair, so why then should a woman feel the need to hide when feeding her baby? I am all for courtesy and aiming to make people feel comfortable. I mean, we have these adorable little nursing covers (hilariously named "Hooter Hiders" and "Udder Covers") and I do love those, so I use them when I can. But, have you BEEN to Sacramento? It's hot here! I'm not about to stick my child under a hot feeding tent and let us both sweat it out sauna-style while I try to satisfy his biological need to eat. Would you want to eat in a sauna? Or how about in a hot and stuffy car? OOOOH! Or how about in a public bathroom? Doesn't that sound appetizing? In case you aren't familiar with how a woman nurses, it generally requires sitting down and having your arms free to maneuver and hold your baby. So think about that for a second..... in a public restroom...where then does one sit to feed a child? Yeah... no thank you!

Of course, even covered up, some people aren't comfortable knowing "what's going on in there". I've even had two good friends (who shall remain nameless) make comments regarding their discomfort around breastfeeding women. I have to say, it's amazing to me! How has our culture created this reaction amongst people when it comes to such a natural, normal event? It should be a non-issue. When Joel and I were in Italy and Croatia last year, I realized how uptight we as Americans can be about breasts in general. Women and girls in Europe regularly sunbathe topless, and no one bats an eyelash about it. What's the big deal? I'm all for modesty, but if you don't want to 'see' anything.... uh, don't look. It's quite simple. Remember...boobs are for breastfeeding.

Since August is World Breastfeeding Month, that had originally sparked my interest in mentioning the topic on the blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding and it has become one of my favorite times with Noah. Don't get me wrong. It has not always been a joy ride. We have had some tough times, and I'll admit to a few tears just at the thought of having to nurse again when we first started out (ouchie!). But, after a couple of weeks, we were fine, and it has been SO worth it! I think it's totally incredible that I can just sit down and feed him, any time, any place! I don't have to clean bottles or buy formula, and I don't have to remember to pack anything but diapers when I leave the house! Not to mention all of the health benefits for both of us! I definitely try to eat sensibly, but as a breastfeeding mother, I am allotted 500 more calories per day than normal. That's 200 more than I was allowed when I was pregnant. (When I learned that statistic in our Bradley class, I was like, SIGN ME UP! Let's face it, I like to eat!) I haven't set foot in a gym and I am almost back in my pre-pregnancy clothes. THANK YOU, BREASTFEEDING!

Anyhow, yesterday, I happened upon an article from the NBC news affiliate in LA about a woman who was harassed in a Cost Plus World Market store for breastfeeding her baby in public. I thought it was an atrocious example of the ridiculous attitudes in this country, so I posted it to my Facebook page. Amazingly enough, it turns out that I went to high school with one of the women pictured (although she wasn't the one harassed in the store), and a college friend of mine's sister was her mother's (a midwife) client, as was the woman that was asked to leave the store or cover up. (Bet you had to read that sentence at least twice!) What was so incredible about it though was that a number of my friends chimed in about how they agree that it is insane that we as women can't feed our babies, the way God obviously intended for us to do, without public scrutiny.

Along with all of the 'small world' details that came about from posting that article, I also came across another fantastic blog post that really puts everything into perspective. I do hope you will all go and read it! It is a quick one, and I'm sure you will find it enjoyable (at least to some degree). You can click on the link here.

::Steps off soapbox::

I do promise that my next post will be ALL ABOUT Noah. I have quite a bit to update about that little rascal. He's cuter than ever and he's sporting some new tricks! But since I am the author of this blog, I get to use it however I see fit. And lately, I've had a lot to say! So, thanks for! :-) Also, it should be noted that I feel very fortunate to have such a supportive husband. Joel doesn't get what all the fuss is about with people being offended by breastfeeding. I believe his reaction was pretty simple: "The kid's gotta eat!" So once again, can I just say how much I love him? He really is the best and I'm such a lucky woman!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For THIS Child, We Prayed....

Most of you know that we had a rocky start to the pregnancy with Noah. At 8 weeks, we ended up in the ER and were told after two ultrasounds that we had lost the baby. We were devastated and spent the rest of the weekend grieving the loss of the baby that we had been so excited about. We cried and tried to accept God's plan, understanding that miscarriage is a sad but very common occurrence. We had only told a small number of people and felt that we had to share our loss to move forward. Again, we were overwhelmed with love and support. We couldn't have been more appreciative.

At the ER, they had set up an appointment for me to see my regular doctor as a follow up. We talked about the symptoms and what had brought us in to the ER over the weekend. She decided to do an ultrasound again to confirm things for herself. We were totally unprepared for what had happened next. I'll never forget what she said. She started with, "I'm so, I'm so sorry." And then she turned the screen around and pointed. "We have a baby with a heartbeat." I don't think I can put into words what the felt like. Joel and I were speechless. I think we even laughed in our amazement. It was total shock. We had had TWO ultrasounds and had spent hours in the ER. How could this be true? But, it was true. The most amazing and wonderful news!

Joel and I left on a complete adrenaline high. I don't remember much else except for the calls to our parents to share the good news. We were so happy! It was such an incredible turn of events and we didn't know what to do next. But the relief was short lived. Follow up appointments had been scheduled to monitor the pregnancy a little more closely over the course of the next 10 weeks. My doctor believed it was a subchorionic hematoma and told me that I could expect more bleeding, but that the baby was fine and I would most likely go on to have a healthy, full term pregnancy. "Most likely" was not quite the reassurance I was hoping for. I always expected that I would be a bit of an anxious pregnant woman, but having been through that experience, I was a wreck. I don't think I was able to really relax until about December when I was feeling the baby move regularly. We prayed every day that God would let us keep THIS baby. We do our best to trust in His plan for us, but we desperately wanted to meet the baby that had given us such a scare! (As I had joked at the time, this kid was grounded for life!)

Fast forward to now. We have a beautiful, healthy, happy, incredible son. We are SO thankful for Noah! Words can hardly express our joy and gratitude to God for giving him to us. He is so amazing and we never tire of marveling at his sweet sleeping face or his hysterical laughter. So, on the birth announcement, when we included the Bible passage from 1 Samuel 1:27, "For this child, we prayed..." it has a very special meaning for us. While we always prayed for the blessing of a child, we truly prayed for THIS child. And exactly a year later, we still do.