The Deuce

Time for an update:

Christmas, New Years, got Covid, started moving.

Okay, now that we’re up to speed, it feels too late to do a holiday post so I’m going to blow right by Christmas and New Years and the fact that I woke up at 3am on Jan 1st with a Covidfever (we all recovered), and just get to what’s happening now.

My lovely family and I are in the process of packing up everything and moving into my mother-in-law’s place. We are so beyond grateful that she is letting us stay there for a few months, because I hate paying rent and she lives in a country club with 6 golf courses. So yeah…pretty hard to beat that as we start rounding the corner into Spring (hopefully). Despite how excited I am to live there, here comes one of the worst tasks ever: moving.

Moving absolutely sucks. The fact that moving exists makes me question why I have things. Every time I move, I end up throwing out so much shit, then I accumulate more just to throw it out again when I move out of that place. All I really need is a mattress, TV, Xbox, grill, computer, 9 outfits, a chair, and my golf clubs. That list has grown to include Jenn and Emily’s stuff, but I think I could legitimately live with just those items. Anyway, moving sucks, but it sucks more with a baby. Since we aren’t moving into an empty apartment, all of our big stuff needed to go into storage. Luckily, I have a free storage facility known as my parent’s basement. So, we had to rent a UHaul and bring most of our big items and boxes of non-necessities to my parent’s place. Not too bad since they came to help but moving furniture in the snow with a baby isn’t fun. Plus, we’ve gotten all the big stuff out and we still have a bunch of shit to deal with by either donating or getting to New Jersey. Thank goodness Jenn’s grandparents have a truck and a trailer.

I didn’t write this just to bitch about moving, here comes the unsolicited advice you’ve all come to love: ASK FOR HELP! As a young father, I want to be the man of the house. I have the picture in my head of what the ideal father is, and it’s really just my dad. My dad is a worker, and he works harder than anyone I know. He is getting something important done seemingly 24/7. Obviously there are breaks for meals, walking the dog, and Jeopardy!, but even his leisure activity is running. The man is a goddamn machine and also an amazing dad. This is the man I want to be. So, when it comes time to move, or budget, or make a big decision, in my head I am going to solve it on my own and get it right the first try. But that is complete and total bullshit. Despite my gut feeling that I need to solve every problem on my own, I constantly ask for help. I have had a lot of practice. You don’t get 5 years sober alone, and early sobriety has taught me that I need to ask for help to survive. This is something that has made its way into every facet of my life. I ask my parents, my friends, and my wife for help all the time. This was something that I struggled with for a while, but it is something that I feel so strongly about now. Asking for help is critical, whether its help with a diaper change, moving a couch, or needing a basement to stay in, you can’t get it if you don’t ask.

Why I Stopped Breastfeeding At 4 Months

There is such a huge stigma surrounding how to feed your baby.

Let me kick off this post by letting every mama know that as long as your baby is growing, happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter how you choose to feed them.

I didn’t think I would ever like breastfeeding. Growing up, I never dreamed about breastfeeding my future child(ren). I was very indifferent on the topic all the way up until Emily was born.

The first time she latched and breastfed was the most magical moment of my life. You can see that moment here.

I mean…

From that moment on I was very adamant about strictly breastfeeding. We, of course, had formula at the house as a backup, but I only wanted to use that in the event of an emergency (infection in my breasts, supply disappears, etc).

Come mid-November, things had changed. When Emily got super hungry, she would refuse to latch. It was take near an hour to get her to latch to eat a decent meal. It was so frustrating every time I tried to feed her, as she would fall off or refuse my breasts.

Breast milk is stored in the milk ducts, which aren’t just readily available at first suck. The ducts themselves need to be stimulated (whether by pump, mouth, hand) and it takes up to 2 minutes for the milk to truly be released. Emily HATED that. She wanted milk right then and there. And there were times I couldn’t provide that for her.

One extremely bad night ended in hyperventilating crying from me and Emily, words between me and Connor, and I finally broke and made a bottle with formula. It was so hard for me to make the decision to give her a bottle of milk that wasn’t my own, but she needed to eat and I wasn’t producing.

She sucked the formula down, didn’t die, and fell right to sleep.

No harm no foul. The seal was broken (literally).

Moving forward, we agreed that when Emily was having a particularly rough feed, if I didn’t have breast milk pumped, she would have a formula bottle.

Fast forward to the 3 month milk supply drop. At around 3 months, your milk supply regulates. You’re only producing what and when your baby is demanding to be fed.

Em started getting more and more frustrated around meal times when the milk wouldn’t be readily available, but I was also producing a lot less than I should have been.

Following my diagnosis of COVID-19, I began feeding Em more formula and began pumping less, only breastfeeding overnight (if needed). She was sleeping 7 hours a night so we would feed her a bottle around 10 and she would go until 6:30 in the morning before needing food.

This trend continued marvelously. Emily wasn’t really breastfeeding, and was maybe once or twice a week suckling for comfort.

2 weeks ago from yesterday (February 16), was the last night I breastfed my baby girl. It’s a little sad! Such a huge part of your infants life, the food that kept her alive and growing made solely from your body, no more.

While I’m a little sad that chapter of our relationship has ended, I know that moving to formula full time was and is the best thing for us. Now, Emily is starting solids (yay!) and is still a happy and healthy girl.

I feel guilty that I had such a stigma surrounding formula. No matter how your baby gets fed- breastfeeding, pumped breast milk, formula, what have you- is the right way.

Losing It

I am 4 months and 4 days postpartum.

Since having Emily, I have lost my baby weight, making it back to my pre-pregnancy weight… and then I gained it all back.

I gained back 12 pounds in 4 months.

That is NOT a good feeling. I am not carrying it in my arms, or legs, or butt… but in my GUT. My belly is a foreign country compared to the rest of my body.

Yes, I grew a human. Yes, my body went through severe trauma with having a c-section. Yes, my body will never look the same as it did prior to delivering Emily. And I don’t want it to… but I am not happy with the body I have now.

I am proud of what my body went through to bring our baby girl into this world, but that doesn’t mean I am okay with the number on the scale. It doesn’t mean I am okay with my diastasis recti or my mommy fupa. I don’t hate my body- but I want to make it something that I can look into the mirror and say, “This body delivered a baby. This body is strong. I can play with my daughter. I won’t get tired running around at the park or going sledding. This is the body that I am proud to show off.”

It has been well over a year since I have done any strenuous physical activity. This month. February. I began my workout with Blogilates.

I have NEVER been one to sway from workout classes/trainers. I cannot go to the gym and create a workout on my own. I need motivation. I need someone pushing me to do the last squat or pushup. I mean, I was a dancer for 18 years, competitive for 12 of those. I know a thing or two about structure.

Cassey Ho is INCREDIBLE! I had never done a pilates class before, and LET. ME. TELL. YOU. 4 months postpartum or not, she KICKED MY ASS!

I started last week with a quick tone challenge from her as I awaited her February workout calendar to drop. I swear I thought all of my limbs were going to fall off.

At one point during her No Weights Arm Sculpting challenge, I took a wine break… have I reached peak mom? Pilates and wine…? Send help.

I am so excited and proud of myself for deciding to truly get back into shape. Connor and I have changed our eating habits tremendously and now it is time to incorporate physical activity. I want my daughter to be motivated by her mothers motivation. And I truly believe that she will.

Stay tuned each week as I update you on my weight loss journey!

February 2nd, 2021: 163 lbs and change.

Goal weight: 130 lbs.

Let’s go.