Friday, July 9, 2010

Wikio - Top Blogs - Parenting
This is very unexpected! But, wonderful!! To even be in a ranking with my favorite blog Diary of a First Child is an honor!!! I know 145 doesn't seem like very much to be proud of but it's nice to be included and I'm proud to be 145:)

Friday, May 21, 2010

La League of Extraordinary Womanhood

Last night I attended my very first La Leche League breastfeeding support group. I had a wonderful time talking about one of my favorite things: Breastfeeding! For those of you who haven't had the chance to visit one of these meetings you can find a group in your area by visiting the La Leche League website.

After we introduced ourselves and began talking what I had wanted to happen began to happen. One of the woman's 11 month old son walked over to nurse. Libby was playing on the floor in front of me having fun with another infant only a few weeks older than her. Then that baby wanted to nurse. So after Libby lost her floor companion she wanted to nurse. So her I am in a room with other women nursing our babies. No one averting there eyes, no staring, no snickers, no comments just three women in a room feeding their babies like the one who pervades the universe intended. These are the women I advocate for every time I nurse in public. We talked about nursing in public and the other women said they felt more comfortable doing it in private.
I'm all for that! It made me a little sad that it was because of other peoples reactions that they didn't and it made me feel ashamed for society.

I will definitely be returning next month for the meeting. Even though I KNOW I'm not the only nursing mother. Sometimes it can feel that way. I cannot wait until next month!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Breastfeeding Journey Or The Crazy NICU Nurse

I come from a long line of breastfed babies. My Mother breastfed her three children (Myself included). My Mother’s Mother ( My Nana) breastfed her four children and her Mother breastfed her 10 children for no less than two years each. In my family breastfeeding has become a family tradition. It was different for everyone my great grandmother openly breastfed her babies. My mother never did it in front of people feeling more comfortable alone in a room or some other place away from everyone. My breastfeeding style is based on covering my breast not my baby. Then there was my poor beautiful sister the first one of us girls to have a baby and when it came time to breastfeed discovered her nipples are inverted and after painstakingly trying everything from nipple shields to nipple stimulation it was down to the pump. Which worked out perfectly for her and baby Haley.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter I had been addicted until my third trimester. But, that didn’t stop me from reading what to expect when you’re expecting cover to cover and practicing breastfeeding positions with a stuffed monkey. I wrote out a very detailed birthing plan and at the bottom in big bold letters wrote:
Because, I understand the importance of breastfeeding my child and would like for it to be as easy for my baby as possible. I would like for my daughter to be placed from womb to chest to aid in the attachment and latching experience. The APGAR can wait! She will not grow until then I promise!!

Unfortunately Sophia’s birth didn’t go according to plan. I was induced with pitocin and given magnesium for some reason. So when my daughter was born the nurses lifted her hand and it dropped down. When they handed her to me for the first time I was amazed at how beautiful she was that’s when I had my epiphany. When I started to sit up to try to breastfeed the nurse said I couldn’t because she was too drowsy and they would have to take her to the NICU for observation. So there they went with my baby. “But, what are you going to feed her!” I asked “They have infant formula in the NICU“ the nurse said. “Yeah, but, I wanted to breastfeed her and this is a very crucial first hour” she just smiled at me. I felt like screaming “Look lady I may be young, recently addicted and raised in a family below the poverty line! But, I am NOT ignorant! I know what MY baby needs”

The doctor told me I could see the baby as soon as my vitals returned to normal. I asked for a breast pump and the doctor replied “We’ll see what we can do”. When the nurse arrived to check my vitals she asked if I was ready to see Sophia and I said YES!! They asked me if I could get up on my own and knowing I couldn’t I was eager to see my baby so I said yes again. They walked me to the bathroom and the dizziness swept over me. I was having a hard time standing on my own but, I tried so hard not to show them so I stood there obviously about to pass out and all of a sudden blood dripped from between my legs and then.. Nothing!!

When I came to the doctors had me on the bed asking me if I was alright! I shook my head yes and the doctor proceeded to tell me that I had blood clots in my uterus that they needed to manually extract from me. I asked “When can I see Sophia” they told me they didn’t know I asked How she was doing and they said they didn’t know. My boyfriend who was out visiting Sophia came in and was asked to leave “It’s going to get messy sir” I heard one of the nurses say “It would be better if you waited outside” “She was fine a minute ago what’s wrong with my girlfriend?” “Sir please step outside” and they closed the door. After failing to remove the Blood clots from my uterus they told me I would have to have a DNC to vacuum out any of the left over blood clots. Which meant I would have to be knocked out so they could do it. “But, I have to see Sophia I miss her I can’t even remember what she looks like, can I at least pump before so she has something to eat” I cried “There isn’t any time we have to do this now! She will have plenty to eat don’t worry” “I am worried she NEEDS the colostrum from me don’t you get it?” he just smiled and walked away. That seemed to be the theme here smile at the crazy drug addict and walk away.

They wheeled me into the operating room and my boyfriend Johnny held my hand the whole way. “ Sophia is so beautiful” He told me trying to smile but, obviously looking at me with tears in his eyes.
“ She looks like you!” he said a little choked up. “She needs me Johnny “ I said starting to cry. The doctor said “Alright I’m going to count to 10 and hopefully we’ll have you ready to see your baby in no time” My thoughts wondered to my new baby girl. One…I wish I had her here…Two…I wonder if she knows I’m not with her…Three…I…
When I came to I was in another room. My Mother, Sister and Johnny were all gathered around me eyes all red and puffy . They had obviously been scared. Right then the doctor came in “ So how are…” I cut her off . “When can I see my BABY!!!” I said “We have to make sure…”I cut her off again “I want to see my baby NOW!!!” They got another nurse to wheel me into the NICU bed and all.

When we got to her little bassinet she wasn’t in there a woman was sitting in a rocking chair beside the bed holding MY baby and feeding her from a bottle. I started to cry “What’s the matter” Johnny said “It’s over” I said the window is gone she thinks the bottle is my chi chi she’ll never latch” I cried “Just give it a try C.C. she knows what she needs” Johnny picked up the baby and handed her to me. I held her close to my body and she looked right up at me it had been eighteen hours since the first time I saw her. I asked Johnny to untie my gown so I can try getting her to latch. The nurse started to wheel over some screens to put around us for my “privacy” ‘I don’t need any screens” I said “Well there ARE other people in here” she said as she looked around. I wanted to slap her. Unfortunately then I was ignorant to my rights. So I let her put up the confinements. I felt like I was in a prison cell.

From that moment on breastfeeding was a challenge. I couldn’t get her to latch I tried every position and finally the football hold seemed to be effective. But, she wouldn’t stay latched for more than a minute and to make things worse every time Sophia cried or made a noise a NICU nurse rushed in to ask if everything was okay. Till finally when Sophia was crying very loudly and hungrily the nurse came in with a bottle and said to me “I don’t think its going to happen!” and with those words she crushed my very fragile and delicate spirit. As I took the bottle from her hands I felt like a traitor to myself. I felt like a failure.

Sophia took the bottle and drained 2 oz in minutes the feeling of rejection was overwhelming and I started to sob. “Oh honey!” the nurse said “It just doesn’t happen for some people” “Get…the fuck…away from me!” I snarled .

I asked repeatedly to speak with a lactation consultant and after two days finally spoke with one. She told me about how important it was for me to be stress free and comfortable. At this point I had already been informed that Sophia wouldn’t be going home with me. “how can I be comfortable” I told her “This place is sad, the screens make me hot and the nurses wont leave me alone! I can’t take my very first child home with me and I’m feeling terrible about myself” she said she understood and as she was about to leave she told me to call La Leche League and of course Miss. (Apparently ) Anti-Breastfeeding looks at me with a disgusted face and shakes her head “No”.

We took Sophia home to my mothers and I tried feeding her but she wanted a bottle so I pumped for a month. It was difficult for me being on the bus all day and having to express, and nowhere to store it.

I learned a lot from my experience in the hospital. I learned that no matter what kind of support or lack of support I was receiving I needed to be strong and educated. I needed to know what to do in case I was put down or let people make me question my decisions.

One year later when the little cross appeared on the pregnancy test. I sat down and before I called or told anyone I started to plan out how this pregnancy/delivery would be different! I WILL breastfeed this time no matter what! I knew I couldn’t pressure myself! But, I needed to have the strength and confidence to make it through.

I bought a used breastfeeding book called “Breastfeeding Naturally: A New Approach For Today’s Mother" for two dollars from my local Goodwill. The copyright date read 1999. I figured it had to be the same school of thought through out the ages on how to breastfeed. When I started to read the book I said to myself “Oh! why hadn’t I picked up a breastfeeding book before“. I was flooded with information. I read the book twice back to back and soon I wanted to know everything about breastfeeding. I asked my mother and her mother. I read articles on line and through it all. I kept talking to my belly about the wonderful thing we were going to do together.

Today I have been breastfeeding Libby for 5 months. I look at my older daughter and I’m sad that we didn’t get to share this experience with each other. The feeling I get from nourishing my baby with my body even outside of the womb gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes late at night I take Libby to nurse in Sophia’s room and I stare at my beautiful children. I think about the nay saying NICU nurse and I wonder how many other women she has deterred from breastfeeding and it makes me cringe.
“I did it” I think to myself “and anyone can”.

So to all you women out there please stick to your guns don’t ever let anyone’s ignorance determine your worth and the outcome of your decisions. I’m grateful to that nurse for teaching me this lesson a lesson I can now spread to other moms. Thank you! Crazy NICU nurse!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Share your addiction/recovery story!!

I am opening this post up not just to people who have had substance abuse issues. But, to all people who have felt hopelessness in their life. Recovery is for all people! It's a chance to step back from yourself and become a better person. It isn't to be ashamed of I was raised in a culture where you didn't talk about your feelings and we're rejected with sayings like "suck it up!" or "I will give you something to cry about". It was definitely NOT okay to seek help in situations of grief and failure. People who succeed in recovery are a step ahead of the rest, Having worked through various issues and analyzed why they do the things they do, why they are so hellbent on destroying themselves and why they went
to great lengths to recreate sorrow, pain, rejection, worthlessness etc. We are the Children of the Streets, Homemakers, Gutter Punks, Suburbanites,Christians,Atheists Etc. and we have these beautiful stories of redemption. So please share you story with me and other people in the recovery community. Feel free to read my Recovery story If you have any questions feel free to ask or contact me at Thank you for your time! I look forward to reading your stories!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Recovery Revolution

I presented the following speech to an audience of one hundred people when I graduated from a voluntary program called Family Drug Court Even though I was speaking to the wonderful women who graduated with me. I feel that there are people out there who can benefit from what was said!! Enjoy!!

To all the graduates here today: We have been given a great opportunity to prove to the world that people can change. We have been given the opportunity to change the face of the addict and usher in a new way of life, the recovery life!!! Not just for addicts but for all people, from all walks of life. We are responsible to carry on the message that recovery does work! To be the voice of the voiceless and give back for what we have taken! Today we can say that we took a step back, looked at our life and realized we needed a change and when the world looked down on us we didn’t give up. We held our heads high and said “Yes, I can!!!!!!!!!
Thank you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Body Image Carnival

Baby Body
I have a baby body, and no not like my body is small and fragile. But, like I've had two babies in two years and, it shows.

I have the muffin top blubber hanging over my jeans you might call them love handles. But, in my culture they're called longjas. I have the stretch marks and the cellulite. According to my husband I have a episiotomy scar from when my first daughter was ripped out of my body
via forceps.

I don’t view these things as negative. These physical marks are worth the beautiful “prize” at the end of the 40 weeks. Don’t get me wrong I had a few issues with my body after I had each of my children. I gained a lot of weight with each baby and after escaping my first pregnancy stretch mark free ,the pregnant belly of my second child wasn’t as forgiving.

But, over time I have been able to accept my body and now I wear these marks like a badge of honor. These marks are like my secret handshake into the world of motherhood. I love my body and the way I look!

This post is participating in the Body Image Carnival being hosted by Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and MamanADroit who will be posting articles on themes pertaining to body image all week! Make sure you check out their blogs everyday between April 12-18 for links to other participants' posts as well as product reviews, a giveaway, and some links to research, information and resources pertaining to body image.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear upstairs neighboor:

Dear upstairs neighboor,
I tried to tell myself that I didn't want any conflict over your constant loud music playing. But, this has gone too far!! Since I have entered recovery I try not to be petty and conflicting. I let it go when you played out my favorite Metallica Cd making me cringe when the song "One" shuffles on my Ipod. Last night was the last straw you played your loud ass metal music till 3AM WHAT THE F!!!!! So guess what metal lovers it is now 5:30 A.M. and everyone in my house is awake!! ENJOY FUCKERS!!!!GOOOOOOOOOD MORNING!!!!!!!
"World Town" BY: M.I.A. lots of bass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!