Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots

I plan on breastfeeding exclusively.  Science willing (as Matt would say), I plan on never even having to use a breast pump, as we are fortunate enough to have me stay at home during the most crucial years of our child's development.  I'm the kind of girl that is not only giddy excited about nursing, but I plan to do it as long as my baby chooses - or practice child led weaning.  This is a subject that I am incredibly passionate about, and I feel so grateful to have learned about the benefits of breastfeeding.

There are women I know that have chosen the breast, and have been able to provide milk for their child upon returning to work through pumping.  However, when I became pregnant, I looked at our environment (ARMY!) and wondered how women in the military continued breastfeeding in a male-dominated environment.  Aside from the recent issues plaguing the military (particularly its women), I wondered how women found not only time, but an environment in which to express.  What didn't even cross my mind, until I was speaking with a military mommy, is how one continues to provide milk for their child while in the field, during an exercise, or TDY.  Sadly, most well-intentioned military mommies are left with no other choice than to supplement with formula, even if they never had that intention.

In a country where breastfeeding is still often taboo, and though most American mothers breastfeed, moms don't do it for the suggested amount of time, we should find every way possible to support those who choose the breast.  

In my research I came across a group called Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.  It is based on a book marketed for military moms seeking to breastfeed while serving, and has been enveloped into the ever-growing breastfeeding movement.  Based on demand and interest, a movement within the military itself has started, and mothers across the country have become involved in making breastfeeding not only accessible to military moms, but a priority.  

A lawmaker that I have looked up to for some time now, Kirsten Gillibrand, has decided to draft a military-wide breastfeeding policy.  Not only is this unprecedented but it is sorely needed, and Senator Gillibrand needs your support!  Please join me in writing an email of your support to  

Also, check out this article on why we need breastfeeding policy in the military.  Let's serve those who serve us!

Peace, love, breast,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

26 weeks

The next time I write a blog entry, I'll probably be in the third trimester!  NUTS!

Matt and I are getting SO excited for this baby!  We wish we could fast forward to August.  Though, I just realized these are the last few months it will just be the two of us.  WOAH.  That's crazy.  At our last appointment we weren't able to determine if Nugget is a girl or a boy, and I'm quite happy about that!  I just wish we would have never done ultrasounds if we weren't going to find out.  Oh well.  I feel this is the first of many efforts this child will have at keeping us on our toes.  At first Matt was pretty frustrated, but I think he's excited now.  

How far along?  26 weeks!
Maternity clothes?  Exclusively.  I have a feeling the jeans won't last until August, though I'll be living in dresses by then :)
Stretch marks?  A few
Sleeping?  It's becoming easier.  Whenever there is a growth spurt, I have trouble adjusting.  I currently sleep with a towel rolled up under the side of my belly.  If I don't do this, my back begins to ache.  
Cravings?  Eggs!  With ketchup, of course.  I used to add hot sauce to the mix, but that had to stop.  I've also been craving chocolate, which is often cured by drinking a glass of chocolate soy milk or Ovaltine with peanut butter.  On the weekends I usually get frisky and bake a batch of cookies.  Though I have my fair share, Matt typically finishes them off by Sunday evening, or they are sent to the office on Monday.  Fresh fruit juice is another thing I crave.  Every other morning I make a batch of apple/pear/blackberry/carrot juice good enough for two days.  And yesterday at the market, I began to salivate at the sight of nectarines.  I also wake up in the night craving grapes.  I'm still all about tomatoes, which has been the norm since I was about five years-old.  Because I switched to gluten-free bread, tomato sandwiches haven't been near as good, but I'm still drinking tomato juice like a crazy person.  Salsa and hummus are consumed every afternoon with olive chips, and typically followed by a pickle and perhaps even a glass of pickle juice.  YUM!  But the weirdest most surprising craving of all is garlic bread.  I ate it for dinner and lunch two days in a row last week!  I found that gfree bread is best toasted, and after experimenting one evening, I was hooked.  I've never been a bread person, and though I've always liked garlic bread to an extent, it has become an obsession.  I cut back because the act of consuming empty calories upsets me.  But sometimes, you just want them!  A food free craving - reading!  I can't stop.  I finished Catching Fire last week and immediately began Mockingjay.  The Hunger Games trilogy has consumed me...
Aversions?  Tuna.  All meat products.  Even watching someone eat a sausage makes me want to vom. And violence.  No, that's not food either, and though I've never liked violence in films/television, it's even more so now.  Which is strange, because the Hunger Games books are about as violent as you can get.  Something about watching people get injured, or even more so, animals in bad shape (thanks SKY campaigns to help animals), pushes me over the edge and I get angry and cry.  Another aversion, stupid people.  I can't deal right now and fear that before long I will snap on someone being ignorant.  You have been warned.
Other symptoms?  Crazy ass dreams!  I've always been a vivid dreamer, and often have journaled dreams as I believe they are the gateway into the subconscious.  However, hormones add a whole new dimension!  Sometimes I have dreams that I'm nursing the baby, and I can't believe it's already here!  That's probably because we are getting so excited and starting to realize it is almost time.  Other times I dream of food - often times Zaxby's chicken fingers with Zax sauce :/  Recently it has been all about The Hunger Games.  Last night I dreamt I was the Mockingjay (this only makes sense if you've read the books) in urban combat.  I woke up a little startled, to say the least.  There has also been a wee bit of heartburn, perhaps a precursor of what's to come, and upper abdominal discomfort which isn't so bad once I learned that it is just my muscles shifting.  And the feetsies get a bit swollen from time to time, but I'm keeping them propped up at every opportunity.  And excitement!  Before long it will be August and we'll have a baby on our hands!
Best moment of the week?  Pace has become so intuitive.  Though she is usually all about Papa, she now jumps in my lap and lays her head on my belly, or falls asleep in front of my belly when we're napping.  I really thought Patton would be the protective one, and he definitely is, but Pace even more so.  

 Pace, loving on Nugget and Mommy :)
Baby Cole's the size of an eggplant!