I feel like writing something tonight. I happened to see a short clip about breastfeeding and I want to share my story.

When I was pregnant I decided I wanted to breastfeed. I read information about it and I expected it to hurt. Although, I kind of assumed it will be a natural thing and I don't have to worry about it so much (as I thought with childbirth too! Haha...)

From the moment my daughter came to this world, she wanted to breastfeed. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that right away, since I was recovering from a c-section. After 1.5 hours of her life outside the womb she was finally reunited with me and found my breast. I will never forget the feeling when she latched on to my nipple for the first time. It seemed like the most natural thing for her and my heart sang "she knows how to eat, so wonderful!".

She loved to eat from the start. The second night and onward she was constantly at my breasts. I had a lot of help to get her in the right position. The feeling was so special. The breastfeeding did not hurt and I just kept going without much thought. As soon as I got home, I got wounds on my nipples. Now, this is so painful. I even called my mom the second day home that she should buy formula because I thought I couldn't do it anymore. I remember the pain, the tears, the frustration, the awful feeling of not being able to give my daughter what is best - breastmilk.

With great help from family and friends I stuck with the breastfeeding and after a few days it only hurt in the beginning of the feeding. I still disliked breastfeeding from time to time, thinking I cannot live my life so attached to somebody else. I asked my friends around why they chose to breastfeed. I felt like my daughter did not love me, she only loved my breasts. I felt like it was very difficult for me to find positive things about breastfeeding, but for some reason I just did not want to give formula unless I really really really felt like giving up.

Today, I wouldn't want to do it any other way. I have no more pain from breastfeeding (unless she is not doing it properly and then I stop it since she isn't even eating then). The best feeling in the world is when your baby comes to you and gets instant relief from your breastmilk. Babies want to eat whether they are hungry, sad, needs comfort or closeness. It's an absolutely amazing feeling that my body is able to produce FOOD for somebody else. That sometimes the only thing they need is you and your milk. I am so valuable to my daughter and it's a joy when she calms down in my lap and falls asleep because she feels so safe at my breasts.

WHO recommends that you breastfeed your baby at least 2 years. This is something a lot of people don't know. Many think that you only breastfeed babies when they are really small and people around me tend to ask when she starts to eat food. Only breastmilk for 4-6 months, after that you start with solid foods as well. The main energy intake under the age of 1 is milk, either formula or breastmilk. Earlier I also thought "I only need to survive this for 6 months, then I can stop", but as time has gotten along I've learned to understand that this is not the case.

It feels weird for me to give my daughter cow's milk instead of MY OWN SPECIALLY PRODUCED MILK. But, whatever way a woman decides to do with her baby, is her own decision. Giving formula is not worse than breastfeeding or something anybody should feel guilty about. The mom's well-being is of most importance. I know, since I was so close to stop breastfeeding a few times. I just want to say, that if breastfeeding is something you want to do, fight hard to do it and get a lot of support from people around you.

I've been lucky since Jasmine has always loved food and wants to be often at the boobs. Many women experience problems with babies. For example, the babies don't want to eat, screams at the breasts, eats too little, only likes one breast, only eats at home, only eats in one position and so on...breastfeeding is a whole science and I feel like more support for this needs to be out there. More money reserved for fighting problems with breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is so normal for me now. My boobs are not even boobs anymore, they are milk machines. They give my daughter energy and nutrients. Seeing boobs and nipples does not bother me one bit. I see breastfeeding as such a beautiful act between baby and mother - just how it should be. When and how the breastfeeding will stop depends on only two people - the baby and the mother. Not what society thinks is appropriate. I also breastfeed in public when needed. My daughter gets food when she is hungry, no matter where I am. Because my daughter's needs are more important than you being comfortable seeing somebody breastfeed.

Aaah, there is so much to say about this topic! What are your experiences? Did breastfeeding work for you?

http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

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One thing that never seems to end is the discussion of sleep.


J have always slept well since she was born. I never had to worry much about when and how she should sleep, she just slept. But the latest month she has been struggling. One thing I've noticed now, is that once you start talking about sleep, the discussion never stops. How does your baby sleep, how often, how does she fall asleep, how often does she eat during the night, does she sleep in the bed or the crib...the questions goes on and on.

It's great to compare experiences with others, and it will give you some strength on tough days. One thing that keeps getting my attention is how different babies are. One thing will work on my baby but not the next one. I've tried several things with J and she now falls asleep in different ways. Sometimes while eating, sometimes by herself sucking her thumb, sometimes in the stroller on a walk.


I find myself stressing about sleep more than I would need. Babies need sleep often and when they don't get it enough, they become cranky during the awake hours. Sometimes I stress so much about naps that I make myself crazy. In the end J will fall asleep, and so far she sleeps good through the night (wakes up 1-3 times). I am scared about her not being able to sleep in the night if she doesn't nap good during the day. Isn't it unnecessary worrying about something that is not even happening.

I wish that I can chill with my baby's sleep patterns and trust that everything will work out fine, while still creating some kind of habits for her so she still can find peace to sleep during the day. Parenthood is all about finding that balance...

How does your baby sleep?

"Worrying is praying for what you don't want"

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"Thank you for who I am. Thank you for who I've become. Thank you for showing me forward. Thank you for all that I have. Thank you for the place in my life that I am in right now. Show me the right way. Let me see the right path. Let me gravitate towards who I am. Let me fill up myself with me. Let me make the right decisions to take me where I need to be. Thank you for all the lessons in life. The person I was 1 year ago, 3 years ago, 5 years ago...it's not me anymore. I am so different right now. Thank you for giving me opportunities to be better and to learn. Let me be important to someone, tell me what the meaning of my life is. Most of all I am grateful that right now, I feel more like myself than ever before."

Just something I was contemplating while looking at this beautiful view outside. It's crazy how much has changed. Of course, on the outside my life looks totally different, but even more has happened on the inside. I am of course never perfect, which I don't think anybody can be, but I feel much more relaxed and in tune with myself now than 2 years ago or even 1 year ago.

Today was a good day but J has started with being loud and unable to relax to sleep so my only option to calm her down was to go out for a walk. She cried in the stroller for 10 minutes before finally sleeping. That is not like her, usually she falls asleep right away without screaming. When I then was walking I could feel the wind and look at the sea and the sunset and my mind filled with an appreciation of life. Be grateful, even for the challenges. They will shape you and make you who you are.

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Hej igen!

Sedan ungefär en månad tillbaka har jag gått ut och gå nästan varje dag med Jasmine. Oftast har jag sällskap av en annan mamma, min bästis Sonja och hennes dotter. Vi går gärna ut och går längs vattnet, det finns fina strandpromenader i Vasa. Jag började gå ut och gå för att försöka få Jasmine att sova en lite längre tupplur på eftermiddagarna. Nu är det en daglig rutin som ger fin motin, frisk luft och oftast pratsällskap. Om jag går ut och går själv så får jag en fin stund att reflektera över livet.

På senaste har jag gjort mycket "soul searching". Jag har tänkt massor på min framtid och jag försöker forma den. Jag försöker lyssna till mitt hjärta och till min hjärna OCH till min mage 😉 Det är synnerligen inte lätt när man samtidigt spenderar nästan 24/7 med sitt barn, och dess behov går före ens egna. När jag var tonåring gick jag på många soul searching promenader. Gillar det tysta och att få bolla sina tankar fritt, därför lyssnar jag inte på musik eller liknande om jag går ut och går själv. Det är också en identitet om mig själv som formas om nu när man är mamma. Man liksom kalkulerar om hela grejen, man räknar om sig själv. Mammarollen är stor och den ska rymmas inom mig själv. Jag funderar mycket på vem jag är och hur jag relaterar mig till övriga livet.

Att gå på promenader är också ibland enda sättet att få en skrikig och trött baby att förstå hur hon ska slappna av och somna in. Tacka vet jag de vackra vyerna 😍.

Lately I've been out walking a lot with Jasmine. I like it because it gives me fresh air and a pause in everyday life. I get to reflect over myself and life and how the "mom role" fits in my life and where my life is headed right now.

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When I logged into my blog this morning, I saw that I updated last 30 days ago. 30 DAYS??! Where is the time going? I was thinking it was more like 7 days ago...

Time really does fly by so fast after you become a mom. In the beginning life takes a completely different turn. All of a sudden you don't decide when you eat and sleep and meet your friends. The baby does. It was hurtful to realize that you are no longer the same person you used to be. You have to give up a lot to become a mom. You are stepping into a completely new life and your priorities change, your way of thinking change and you change. A small part of you gets broken down in order to be able to build something so much stronger

After almost 6 weeks of being a mom, things do get easier. You get used to letting the baby decide and you find new ways of doing stuff. Right now I feel so much better than I did in the beginning. The first week was very rough and I was very emotional. I think it's very normal to feel overwhelmed and lost, but just know, it gets easier. I just had to get used to this new life, when you plan only 2 hours ahead, and spend a lot of time indoors.

There is a lot of stuff happening every day, even though the days are not packed with program. Me myself, I hate being indoors a whole day. I have to go out, even if it's only for a walk. I don't like to be alone either, and so far I have not been alone with the baby much. I try to plan something to do every day in order not to go crazy. But. Forget about being on time anywhere. Just when you are about to step outside the door, she will demand food or attention. You have no other choice then to sit down and give her what she needs and then try again when she's finished. I hate being late so this is really something I had to accept.

It's all really about expectations. When I expect that I will be somewhere 2 pm or I will do laundry and it does not happen as I wish, I get stressed. But when I do the best I can, with the situation I have at hand, I feel so much better. Keeping your expectations low and accepting every situation makes my mind feel so much better. I can have some initial idea of what to do every day, but if it does not happen the way I imagined, I try to accept it and move on. Seems like an easy thing to do, but it's not when I like to be in control.

Lastly, time flies when you become a parent. Almost 6 weeks and it feels like 2 or 3 weeks. She grows so fast and I really want to try and capture the time as well as I can.


Have a great day,

Maria

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Good Evening. I have now felt the urge to write more again about my life and ideas that come to my mind. Excuse my low activity. I've had several topics pop into my head the last few days and it's time I give blogging yet another chance😄

Today we went on our first trip with Jasmine. A car trip to Seinäjoki to watch a football game. Jasmine was sleeping the whole car ride. She really loves the car and falls asleep quickly. When we came to the field, Jasmine showed me her best side.

You could say that she is a bit of a dream baby. She was so calm, sat in my lap and looked around the whole time. She ate a few times but never screamed during those three hours. Everybody was in awe over the "easy" baby I was having. I was even pleasantly surprised myself. Now on our way home, she is staying quiet in her car seat and I feel like I am exploding with love and pride.

There were many lovely and nice women watching the football game. One wonderful woman was sharing stories of her four kids and tried to make me talk about my experiences. Every new mom needs extra support in the beginning and I loved the fact that she had made it her mission to ease first-time mothers' minds.

Now, today is actually Tuesday 😅 Jasmine had a small breakdown on the way home and I did not put time on finishing this post before now. Hope you all had a good start to your week.

Well wishes,
Maria

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Hello 👋

So my baby decided to arrive on the 14th of July, within 48 hours  after I drank a few cups of raspberry leaf tea. The labour was a bit of a shock, and ended in a c-section. Now I have focused on getting used to a new life with a baby, as well as getting healed from the surgery.

I will soon tell you more about everything. I can tell you that our daughter was very good today. She slept 2-3 hour long naps while we were doing errands. So impressed!👏💕

Have a good night!

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So I have yet not gone full mom-mode since my baby seems to like it too much inside my belly. But I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mom and how my everyday life will look like in a near future.

One thing that has helped me to prepare is to listen to other people's experiences. I have several friends who have had babies recently, and I take any opportunity to ask about anything I am wondering about. I also have found help in several groups on facebook. I read peoples' posts about hard times or difficulties and what people respond to them. I find it very helpful to understand that it won't be easy, and everybody faces different challenges throughout the child's life. It's also good to know that you can get real help and advice through social media if you need it.

I do trust my instincts and I think I will, without problem, be able to take care of my baby. It will likely be a bit more challenging than I can imagine right now, but for now I am feeling positive. I will only understand motherhood when I am facing it myself. One thing is for sure, it will be the most life-changing experience I will ever have.

One thing I have been thinking about is how soon do I want to return to work and/or hobbies. The right time for that depends on my physical and mental condition but also on an active decision I will make. Sometimes I feel that women that go back to work / or start living their life "like before" very quickly are celebrated a lot. "Look at her, she is already back here, she is awesome, she has it all!" Pregnant women that are able to exercise, do normal things and live life without issues are also celebrated more than those that are restricted because of the pregnancy.

My point is that every woman makes her own decisions on when it's time to get active again or how active you are during your pregnancy. Nothing should be celebrated more than the other. If you choose to rest or if you choose to dance every week, that's your decision and your choice is equally important. If you choose to stay home for a long time with your baby instead of returning to your "old" life, that should be equally celebrated as the one that started exercising two months after giving birth.

I do want to capture the time I will be given to take care of my baby, not stress and return to work when I feel best. Life is full of new surprises every day and I think you will survive it best if you are willing to adapt to changes in a calm way, finding your own way out.

Have a great day :)

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Hello again.

I hava taken an unwilling break from blogging for a little bit over a month.

In this time I have moved from Stockholm, started my vacation and maternity leave, moved into my new home and concentrated on taking care of stuff for the baby. Now I am settled down again, with a beautiful home and more time. It feels good to be back in Finland, even though my days are very slow and I don't do that much in a day. I am resting a lot and waiting on the baby.

The last two weeks of my work I started working 75%, since my body was too tired to work 100%. The move itself went good, it was a long weekend before we arrived back in Vaasa from Stockholm.

Now I will try to blog more often, and let you interested in my life take part!


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Social media and internet is said to have destroyed human relationships and interaction. But when I compare my mom's experience with my own, I am very happy that I am becoming a mom in 2017 and not 1992.

My mom was pretty much on her own when she had me. She did not know others around her with the same experience. She did it all on her own.

The amount of support you can find on social media is insane. There are tons of facebook groups where you can ask any questions. You can google if you need. You can always find someone who has experienced something similar like you and find relief. It's tricky to be a mom and I believe you need a lot of support. Fortunately I also have close friends with babies so I will have people around me. But if I did not have them, I know internet would be my go-to support line.

Breastfeeding is a good example. It can be difficult to get it going and learn the technique. My mom only breastfed me 1 month and my little sister for 3 months. If she would have had internet and facebook groups about breastfeeding. she might have breastfed us longer, but in her situation it did not last longer than that.

We also have blogs and youtube and when you are a part of such a global movement as the internet, you get more educated. Some people only show the "pretty" picture to social media and that can easily put pressure on yourself to be perfect. I find that during the last few years, more and more moms show the real picture and tell you that you are enough and you don't have to be perfect to be a good mom. Empowering each other over internet is very important and makes us all grow together. Knowledge is power.

2017 or 1992, babies will be babies and every experience will be a bit different. To quote my mom "I did it on my own, but I did it damn well! "

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