Hadley had just turned one day old. The nurse came in the room to take her vitals, but I didn’t want to move my baby. She had just fallen asleep after a long nursing session and I the last thing I wanted to do was disrupt her.
“Is there any way you can check her here? I don’t want to move her,” I begged.
“I wouldn’t ask you to,” the nurse responded. “She’s in her favorite place in the world.”
Cuddled up against me. Her head resting so perfectly in the crease of my elbow. Her torso pressed firmly against my chest. The world must be so overwhelming for babies but here is where she felt warm, safe, and at peace. Feeding brought her comfort.
At the time, I thought breastfeeding was the best thing ever.
But eventually those feelings faded. Thanks to the nipple injury, I dreaded nursing because of the pain. And now there was the bottle issue. I felt trapped – unable to ever leave my daughter’s side for more than two hours. I feel so selfish admitting this, but I need her to take a bottle. I understand that it’s a short time in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a big deal to me. I have nights away from her planned, I’d like to start working more again, and my husband wants to feed her, too. I hated myself for getting into this situation – and I started to see breastfeeding in a negative light, too.
This week we ended up at the lactation consultant. A last-ditch effort of sorts. I’d already tried all of the ideas the LC suggested. We tried a few new feeding methods – bottles for babies with special needs and an SNS system – without luck. The LC called the pediatrician in to see if he had any other ideas, but he came up empty, too. Hadley’s doctor asked how everything else was going with her and I responded, “she’s the perfect baby. This is her only flaw.”
“Honey, it’s not a flaw,” the LC said. “How can you blame her for only wanting to nurse? The breast is her favorite place in the world.”
Her words hit me like a ton of bricks.
Of course it’s still her favorite place in the world. Just because I have been less than happy with nursing lately doesn’t mean she ever felt any differently about it. I realized that it makes sense that she’s been turning down bottles. We should have just kept offering them gently. Instead we’ve changed the nipples, the temperature of the milk, the position and environment she nurses in, we’ve let her get really, really hungry and tried to feed her when she wasn’t hungry at all, etc. She associates eating with warmth and safety and here we were rocking her world. Not to mention she likely felt our stress, too – which just upset her more and made her even less likely to take the bottle.
Her doctor assured me she’d be OK when I need to leave overnight in September. Even if she’s still not taking a bottle, she’ll be fine for one night. And same thing if I need to be away for an afternoon to do work – she won’t starve. Plus, as the weeks pass by, we’ll have more feeding options. We’ll introduce a sippy cup at 4 months and solids around 5 months (we’ve been advised to start her on food on the early side since big brother has food allergies). I won’t be “trapped” by her side for a full year.
I left the appointment feeling at peace. We’d keep trying with the bottle but we’d be more relaxed about it. If I need to take her with me on my trips, so be it. It is what it is. I was no longer going to blame myself – or my baby.
Who really is perfect! You have no flaws, baby girl. Only mommy does.
I explained this all to Jeff that night, but I asked him to try one more thing that the lactation consultant suggested. Dream feed her. About two hours after she falls asleep, pick her up, don’t unswaddle her, hug her tightly up against you, and touch the bottle to her lips. See what happens. Let her see that bottle-feeding could be comforting, too.
I wasn’t hopeful.
Around 10 p.m., Jeff walked into our room.
“Jen, Jen, Jen. Wake up.”
I sat up in my half asleep stupor and saw him holding something. Why was he bringing her to me if she wasn’t crying? I told him to just rock her back to sleep – I didn’t want her to get used to nursing at this hour. He held her out to me.
Only it wasn’t her.
It was an empty bottle.
“She chugged the whole thing.”
Last night played out the same way. Far from ideal, but a step in the right direction.
I’ve been a runner for 12 years now – more than 1/3 of my life. Crazy! Over that time, I’ve tried a lot of different clothes, from what was on sale to what’s trendy. I try not to buy much – I’d rather spend my money on race entry fees! But when I do purchase something, I tend to go for higher quality since most apparel lasts so long.
Here are my running favorite from head to toe:
Headband: Sparkly Soul
I always wear a headband when I run, and since trying Sparkly Soul a few years ago, I haven’t looked back. I’ve just ordered more colors! These are the only headbands that won’t slip off my head. And they’re cute to boot!
The nursing bra and Brooks infiniti bra are really similar. Both have lined, molded cups for increased modesty and adjustable straps – which are the two biggest things I look for in a sports bra. Note that I don’t have much in the boob area and I don’t need much support, so the nursing bra isn’t a good recommendation for most breastfeeding runners.
Tank top: Under Armour women’s US victory tank
I’ve worn this tank for years and have it in several colors. I like running in tight clothes, so I love that it’s fitted but doesn’t ride up when I run. It’s also long enough to cover my long torso. And, in my opinion, Under Armour has the best moisture-wicking material so it’s my go-to for long runs.
Long sleeve: Oiselle flyte long sleeve
Last year when I was pregnant, I polled twitter to see what was the best running long sleeve top for women with long torsos. I wanted something that I could wear as long into my pregnancy as possible. Everyone said the Oiselle flyte long sleeve top – and with that, my obsession with Oiselle began. I love the material, the fit, and the fact that the fabric stretched out to cover my bump until the end but returned to it’s regular size so I can still wear it now. It gets bonus points for thumb holes. I ordered it in another color, and splurged on the tank version, too.
Shorts: Oiselle roga short
I used to only run in spandex shorts in the summer because I’m a heavy sweater, and every single pair of looser running shorts would stick to my inner thighs and bunch up. Then my friend told me about the roga short and I am hooked. They stay in place (with Body Glide) and are way more flattering than spandex.
Socks: Asics intensity low cut
These are the only running socks I wear. I love that they’re not too thin or too thick – they’re just right. They offer extra padding at the heel and back of the ankle to prevent blisters. Plus they’re moisture-wicking.
Shoes: Brooks Adrenalines Ravennas
Oh man, after 10 years of running in Adrenalines, it was painful to write Ravennas! Actually, the shoes are quite similar. The wider toebox has been the only difference I’ve noticed. They still feel like I’m running on pillows -- I’m definitely in love. It will probably be another decade before I change shoes again.
What’s your favorite running apparel?
One week of marathon training down, 15 to go!
I like counting down to a marathon way more than counting down until the end of pregnancy because the end date is set in stone. If this was a week 25 pregnancy update, I’d have anywhere from 12- 17 weeks left if I carried to term. So marathon training for the planning win!
Here’s how week 1 was supposed to look:
|4mi easy + lifting; 2mi stroller||Spin||5mi tempo w/ 3 at 8:05||Spin||9mi||3mi stroller + spin||OFF|
And here’s how it really went down:
|4.25mi at 8:36 pace; 2.25mi w/Hadley at 9:16 pace||45min spin||5mi tempo w/ 3 at 8:03 pace + lifting||45min spin||9mi at 9:09 pace||3.25mi at 8:27 pace + spin||OFF|
I felt great this week! And, umm, I should – it was only the first week of training! I feel really motivated by my workouts and haven’t dreaded any yet. I was pleasantly surprised by my tempo pace, too. It was definitely tough, but manageable. Now let’s hope I can keep saying that for 15 more weeks…
Some notes from week 1:
I moved my Monday lifting session to Wednesday because I was still sore from my strength workout on Saturday. I’ll likely do the same this week. Charlotte and Fort Mill friends – the Saturday morning class I’ve been taking at Pushpointe at 10am is killer. This past week was my last week taking it for awhile because I have plans/ will be traveling the next few weeks, and then long runs move to Saturday. I’ll be back after marathon training, though. I cannot recommend this class enough!
My tempo run was on the treadmill, and I’ll likely do the next few 800m repeat runs and tempo workouts there, too. I like doing this in the beginning of training so my legs “learn” a pace. Besides, it’s ridiculously humid out and I don’t want to get discouraged from not hitting target paces so early on in training.
Wyatt didn’t join me on the planned Saturday stroller run because it was raining, so it turned into an “easy” run.
Bring on week 2!