Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Haste Makes Waste

Regarding my last post about Salma Hayek, I was a bit rushed when posting and truthfully, I think I was wrong. That is what I get for just typing, then hitting "publish".

While it was a cinch for me to lose my baby weight, I only gained 20 lbs to begin with and, most importantly, I was already overweight when I got pregnant. I most certainly was not at my ideal weight, like Salma Hayek was. So yes - I have lost all my baby weight, but I am still overweight overall. I do think it would be hard for me to lose any more weight while still breastfeeding and frankly, I am not even going to try too hard until I am done breastfeeding. I do not want to mess with my eating habits at the risk of my health or my baby's. And that is where I realized how very wrong I was to criticize Salma Hayek for her very rational statements.

Two gals had GREAT comments on that last post that made me realize I needed to reel back in a bit. First, Monkey pointed out:
One thing I do like about Salma Hayek and this comment is that she is being brutally honest about the fact that even her (hot hot hot) body changed post-pregnancy. God bless Gwyneth Paltrow and her second day size 2 pant size, but it just doesn't reflect reality for most people. This comment may also have been aimed at people like Naomi Watts & others who claimed they lost all the weight *simply* through breastfeeding. While some may be telling the truth...well, this is Hollywood and I think Salma is kind of telling it like it is over here, not necessarily the rest of the world. When 9/10 people claim they lost weight by "pilates" or "breastfeeding" in Hollywood what they really mean is "tummy tuck" and "lipo" and "extreme diets".

And Emily added this:
I also think that Salma Hayek was attempting to counter the mostly unrealistic images of post-baby weight loss coming out of Hollywood. I'm still bf'ing my 10-month-old, and believe me, the pounds did not melt off! And exclusive breastfeeding introduces different demands on a mother's time and energy - whether or not she is pumping. In some ways, those demands can make it tougher to lose weight. In any case, I found Hayek's comments to be refreshing.

In case you are wondering, I would like to have my crow served warm with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, please.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dear Boobs.

Today, Miss Zoot wrote a love letter to her girls thanking them for all of their hard work:

......But when I’m pregnant? You grow to a size I can be proud of! You give me CLEAVAGE! Which I love sooooo much. Of course, with the cleavage come the boobsweat. But I’ve learned to live with that. Having cleavage is just that awesome. And when the babies come? You provide nourishment as well as can be expected. We’ve had our problems because you don’t like to work too hard. But that has it’s perks too as you don’t leak! Yay for non-leaking boobs!......

I definitely recommend you head over and read the entire letter.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lying Liar

I get very frustrated with the whole "you cannot lose weight while breastfeeding" comments. Salma Hayek, who I normally love, was quoted as saying on Oprah the other day:

I gained a lot of weight. I had gestational diabetes. The pregnancy was really difficult for me. I thought, 'As soon as this baby's out, I'm just going to lose all the weight superfast because I'm going to breastfeed, and everybody tells you if you breastfeed, [the weight] is going to come off.'

It's a lie; It's not true. I'm going to say something. Except for a couple of exceptions, the only reason people lose weight like that when they're breastfeeding -- it's cause they're not eating and they're breastfeeding. And this is not good for the baby.

It takes you nine months to get it, and nine months to lose it. There are shortcuts, but it's not good for the baby. So I'm taking my time. I've lost a lot -- most of -- the weight and I'm very proud of it, because it's been really hard work studying what can I eat that's healthy for me, what's healthy for her. But I'm still losing, even if it's slow. And I've been working out.

I'm proud of what I've lost. And the rest is going to go when it's time to go.

She is correct that if you gain a ton of weight, it is not going to just magically melt off simply by breastfeeding. Fortunately for me, the weight did come off quite easily. I gained 20 lbs with both pregnancies and was able to lose the weight within about 4 weeks with both pregnancies.

However, I am still overweight and certainly cannot claim to have a rockin' bod. BUT. I was able to lose my baby weight quite easily and I am quite certain that breastfeeding helped with that.

The rest of the weight I am carting around on my hips? Sadly, is mine all mine. Sigh.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Many Moons

I cannot believe it has been what - two months? *Gulp* I swear I had not forgotten this blog.


I have been verklempt lately. I had been still struggling with the postpartum depression thingie I had going on.


After the first time I posted about it, my husband was upset. He is a very private person and obviously, postpartum depression is not about one individual - it affects an entire family. I respected his wishes that I not talk about it.


Then, I felt like such a fraud because I did end up going on Zoloft a few months ago. And it seemed untruthful to post here and not "confess" that fact. But I wanted to respect X's wishes, too.


I have a daughter. Perhaps, if Anjali had been a boy, I would feel differently and would just continue on as usual. No harm. No foul. Right?



I have a very direct, very personal experience with a "child losing a parent" scenario since my own father lost his own father at the tender age of 18 months. Recently, I realized something. If something were to happen to me, my own daughter may not know the truth. She may see this blog some day and think that everything turned out fine. She may some day, have a child of her own. She may some day, struggle with postpartum depression. I would be horrified to think that she might say "well, my own mother dealt with it stoically, therefore I must as well".

I have never written a "Dear Son/Daughter Letter". I think they are a bit cheesy but am willing to break with tradition this once.

For Anjali.

March 29, 2008

Dear Anjali,

When I found out I was having a daughter, I was over the moon and beyond. I think I was all the way out to Saturn - maybe even Jupiter. Wait, a second. Which is farther out??? Whatever. I was so excited to have a girl. You get the picture. A daughter. I considered myself the luckiest ever in the history of women giving birth to have a boy and a girl. I love butterflies and dinosaurs! I love, love trains! And dolls! And cars! And hair barrettes! (P.S. You love trains, too. I have photos.)

When you were born, I cried. You were my 2nd baby and the experience was less surreal than your brother's birth. With Arun, I was high on excited adrenaline about having a baby and in a bit of a shock about being a mother (something I had dreamed of since I was little girl.) However, with you, I knew exactly, precisely all the joys I was in for with you. Your birth was all about you and nothing whatsoever about me becoming a mother. I was already a mother, I knew what what I was doing at that point and was not scared in the least to be a mother again.

After you were born, while I was still on the delivery table , you immediately came to my breast to nurse and we never looked back. I am so grateful that I have only breastfed you and we have never given you formula. You are a healthy, chubby little girl and I totally relish your pudgy thighs and dimpled knuckles. I am hoping you breastfeed until about 18 months or so, but truly - it is up to you. If you want to give it up as 12 months. So be it. Two years? That is fine, too.

While we were in the hospital, I did not want you to leave the room. I was on edge when you were not with me. With Arun, I was more nervous and sent him to the nursery more often so that I could sleep. With you, I felt more comfortable and did not want you to leave at all - I was very nervous when you were not with me and preferred that you sleep with me in the hospital bed (a queen size, HUGE bed - very safe for co-sleeping.) I slept so peacefully when you were beside me. I could wake up throughout the night and immediately feel your chest to make sure you are breathing (I still do this, nearly nine months later. When will I stop this?)

When we brought you home, you decided that you would not sleep in the bassinet and that you needed to sleep with your daddy or me. And we did not argue. You are still sleeping with me in our bed and we have no intentions of moving you to another bed until you want to move to another bed. You sleep best with daddy or me. In India, this is the common way to sleep, so we do not care and we all sleep together. Because we are a family. We are confident that you will head off to college wanting to sleep on your own.

Anjukutty, I do not expect us to be friends. Ever. I want to be your mother - the one to guide you and share life with you. But not as your friend. You will have many, many friends in your life. I might be a sort of friend, on a lesser scale, but I will always, always be your mother first. This means that I may tell you things that you do not want to hear. On the other hand, friends have to a tendency to tell you only the things you want to hear. You can always come to me for an honest opinion, that you may or may not desire. But it will be honest and only with pure intentions for I only have your best interest at heart.

I have so many interests, thoughts and ideas - I am so excited to share those with you. I do hope that we will enjoy doing things together - playing cards, going to antique malls, playing board games, watching sports, reading books, traveling, knitting. But I will always be your mother first. Not your friend. Please remember this on those days that you are angry with me for telling you what you did not want to hear.

Anju, this is the serious part of this letter. After you were born, I encountered the saddest, darkest period of my life. The dreaded postpartum depression. Fortunately, you and Arun were not a part of that dark part. Actually, you and Arun have been the light of my life and have kept me going. I wake up each morning and try to think of fun things to do for you and Arun - even on the days when I do not want to get out of bed. The two of you keep me going and make me get out of the house. Every single day, you and Arun do something that makes me smile.

I have been taking Zoloft and that has helped. In addition, I am still trying my best to eat healthy, go for walks and keep active while I wait for my body to get back to normal. Reading, writing and knitting have taken on an even greater importance for me as a means for relaxation. Lately, I have felt that I am getting more normal and that my hormones are settling down. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

AnjukuttyAlthough the past few months have been so hard, I would do them all over again in a heartbeat. No questions asked. You have made our family complete in so many ways I never thought possible and we are grateful that you are so healthy.

I pray that someday I will give you this letter myself.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Banks. They're not just for money anymore.

The Mothers Milk Bank of New England is in the finals! Please consider going out to vote again for this. Thanks!

I had an exciting post planned about how Anjali weighs 18.1 lbs. Which means that she has gained exactly 10 lbs since birth. 10 whole lbs that my body provided for her! Then, I received an email from Tanya of The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog that made it all the more poignant for me how lucky I am that my body stepped up to the plate for Anjali's benefit.

Tanya posted about The Mothers Milk Bank of New England needing help with raising money. Currently, the nearest milk banks are in Ohio and North Carolina which Hello! Is a bit far away for folks in the New England area. In short, parents in the NE area with a baby in the NICU are struggling to get breastmilk from such faraway locations. As someone whose friend gave birth to her daughters at 28 weeks gestation, I am intimately aware of how critical breastmilk is for preemies. My friend's daughters are turning 6 years old this year and are perfectly healthy.

Tanya writes:

The Milk Bank needs money for 1) processing and storage equipment, 2) a "Milk Money" fund to help families whose insurance won't cover processing fees, and 3) marketing materials to get the word out about the new bank.

So, here's our chance to make a big difference today. Here's what to do:

  • Go to the Milk Bank page on IdeaBlob, and vote for this project! You have to register first and confirm by email, which doesn't take long.
  • Blog or post about this wherever you can to help bring in more votes.

Thank you for your time today! And cross your fingers...