Nursing moms, nurture yourself!

So over Thanksgiving my family took a vacation to Pacific grove. We stayed on a house overlooking the ocean, just steps from a beautiful walk along the California coast. One day while out on a jog I met this lady in a gazebo overlooking the ocean waves. We got to talking about babies and she told me that she used to come there to nurse her son everyday when he was little. In true NorCal (crunchy granola all-natural mom) fashion she said,

“Moms give so much of themselves! They give and give and give. They nurture their families and do so much for others. It’s important to remember who you are and meditate on that, nurturing yourself in that most important time.”

And it’s so true!

I like to joke that my baby literally “sucks the life out of me”. Sometimes when you’re done nursing your baby you can feel so weak, thirsty, and tired.  While your baby feels so happy, full, and energized.  And although that is not a metaphor, it can be a metaphor for how things will feel for you as a mom for awhile to come!

I really miss certain things this year as I nurse my baby.  I love working out and giving myself that me-time and energy. I’ve spent months at a time waking before 5 to make it to bootcamp or bikram yoga.  But when I have a baby calling for me at 3AM, 5AM, etc, how can I plan on leaving the house for a couple hours?  On top of that the sleep deprivation!  At this point if I even have to get up once in the middle of the night I end up sleeping through my alarm.

I also have been watching less TV and working less at night.  All that matters now is sleep!  When you wake up 1-3 times per night you need more than 8 hours.

And how about work time at work?  Oh yeah, I have to pump!  OK. So I love nursing my baby… but the pumping! Ugh. You don’t even get the touchy-feely good stuff from that.  Just the life sucked out of you, and smack in the middle of your work day.  Just when you get in a groove with something, POP, up comes the reminder and you have to walk across campus and get down with your little black bag.  And forget working while you pump… any stress reduces the supply, so you might as well be on Pinterest 🙂

And the calorie intake needed to keep this up…. ok, that’s not so bad 🙂  I’m really enjoying eating what I can for the next few months.  OK, I’m avoiding too much sugar and milk products, but that’s good anyways.  It’s pretty amazing that I’ve been able to lose all 40 lbs from pregnancy within 3-4 months, even getting below my pre-PJ weight!  All while eating a loaded (albeit healthy) diet.

I love the snuggle time with my LJ.  The precious face staring up at you like you’re the only thing in the world is something you just can’t explain. And my little secret — it gets me some nice quiet time after a long day when I have to nurse him to sleep.  It just happens to be during PJ’s crazy witching hour 🙂  My reading has increased if I can get away with a book on my phone while he nurses. Not sure how I’ll keep up with my book club after he weans.

I’ve made sure to nurture myself in ways that I can.  Shaun has been helpful and generous enough to make me get out – either at night with girlfriends after LJ is in bed, or on the weekend on my own.  Massages – either at work (therapist visits every Tuesday) or on the weekend (gift card from loving husband) – are amazing and help not only with the relaxation but also the sore shoulders. Chiropractor visits qualify as me time.  As do Starbucks runs on the way to work.  Heck, even the dentist is relaxing at this point 🙂

So I have to enjoy this as much as possible while I can!  It’s not hard in these precious evenings, but in the middle of the night, or at work when I could be working on a deadline, I need to remember that this might be it!  The last chance to nurture someone in this way. I can relax and enjoy it – catch up on the working out, working hard, and me-time in the very near future.

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