Boobs and periods – it’s like 13 all over again

I said I was going to be real on this blog but this may be more real than anyone is interested in.  Feel free to click away from this page.

If you are still reading, I warned you.

Help! I’m bleeding and my boobs are gone!**  No, this is not from one of my many Hunger Games nightmares.  It’s the result of weaning Chloe.

Despite having two children of my own to care for, most mornings I feel like a 13 year old girl.  Like junior high, I spend my time trying on outfit after outfit and looking at my profile in the mirror.  Only instead of watching them grow, I’m watching them go.  Seriously, how are my breasts DISAPPEARING before my eyes?!?!  I didn’t think they were something that could be removed without my consent so I am a bit confused.

The good news? This will fit perfectly now

I was a full C pre-baby and during my first pregnancy my bra size skyrocketed.  These days the only Ds I see are the batteries for Gavin’s toys.  After nursing two kids for two years total, I am a laughable A cup.  Is there a biological reason that withdrawing milk = removing breast tissue?  And what’s a woman to do???  THIS is one of those things I wish I knew about.  Not that I would have done anything different, but I would have appreciated a heads up.  Maybe cherished my old boobs a little more.

[pause for full young perky breast nostalgia]

Since I don’t plan any plastic surgery in the foreseeable future (we have preschool to pay for, people!), let’s move on to something more constructive.  Menstruating.

That's right. We're going there. Cause if I miss another there will be more of you to contend with

I haven’t had a period since 2008.  One year without for pregnancy and one year without for nursing x two kids back to back.  Almost 4 years to the month.  But alas it is here.  I feel like a teenager all over again.  I’m scared of tampons — which might be hysterical since I passed two children through the same place the uterine lining is shed.  Pads, thank god, have come a long way since I was a teenager.  In fact, they have grown wings which helps a lot (why did it take so long for someone to come up with this?!?) but they still present most of the issues we struggled with as teens (jacket tied around your waist?  Been there).

A friend suggested a Diva Cup, which I began to research once I realized it had nothing to do with Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin on VH1.  It sounds like a really great concept but just reading the FAQ page makes my head spin.  My doctor recommended Mirena, the modern IUD.

I know you wanted to let your hormones go unchecked for awhile, but look how happy I am. I using Mirena right now.

No kids and no periods for FIVE years.  Sounds good other than I really was hoping to give my body a break from hormone regulation for awhile.

I admit my first one back wasn’t too bad.  No PMS at all, cramps seem like a joke compared to childbirth and very light flow.  Mother nature must be easing me into something terrible.

It’s amazing that being a woman presents constant challenges even in areas as basic as boobs and periods.  I have been dealing with these things for decades – but this new chapter leaves me feeling as confused and unsteady as I did when tackling them for the very first time.  Only now I don’t have the locker room to compare and no girlfriends to bum “something” from in the school bathroom.  So I turn to you friends, am I alone in this?  How has childbirth changed your body?

**mommy disclaimer – the opinions above are the opinions of Carinn and do not reflect the experiences of all mothers.  Some get their periods back while nursing.  Some claim to have larger breasts after childbirth.  I envy them.

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Birthday hangover

The first sign that you’re old — you are worn out simply from exerting energy.  Don’t get me wrong, when I set out on Friday morning I was full of adrenaline.  Imagine a day with no kids, no work, just me and the hubby!

We went to an amazing brunch where we sipped Mimosas, spoke of travel and ate three courses at a leisurely pace.  Can you imagine?

I rocked my blow out:

and my green jeans:

It was a really great day.  The celebrating went into the weekend and I got to do more “adult” things in 3 days than I have all year.

1.  Saturday night dinner, complete with sushi and beer.  To be honest Ian and I used to do this regularly until he tore his Achilles tendon and has been laid up for the past 11 weeks. This was the perfect occasion to revive the experience.

2.  Movies.  Like in a theater.  With other grown-ups.  And popcorn.  And no sharing (don’t be jealous).  We saw Friends With Kids.  It was so-so.  And by so-so I mean Jennifer Westfeldt wrote and directed a somewhat interesting story with a really original concept, but she cannot act.  Not even a little bit.  I wonder if it was as painful as all her Botox injections.

3.  SLEEP!  I don’t know who read my blog – my kids or God, but I can assure you someone was on board.  We are talking minimal night wakings and 645 rise and shine times.  It was nothing short of glorious!

In the meantime I have ignored my blog, my friends blogs, Facebook, Twitter and, oh yes, my kids.  If you see them roaming around the city, please take good care of them.  And give them a kiss from mama.  I promise I will get my act together sometime this week.

It’s my birthday!! and all I got was this lousy post

It’s Friday!  It’s 76 degrees in March!  It’s my birthday!   What more could I ask for?  A lot.  That’s right, I had a list.

A hearty happy birthday from my offspring

maybe after he finishes watching Dora??

 

a great pair of colored denim that I might actually wear more than once

a really great color green

A great read

Thoughtful present from the hubby

Snacks of course!

Mama Always Has Snacks

Get your grubby fingers off my cupcakes boy!

And the best surprise/awesome gift maybe ever (behold it’s complicated beauty)

From my amazing MIL who not only reads my blog, but listens to what I say!!!

I am a blessed woman and the day has barely begun!  Off to the festivities (more on our adventure day later!)

If you are free tonight, God, I have a favor to ask

Dear god:

I am so very sorry for laughing at moms who told tales of children over a year not sleeping through the night.  Please ask your fiery torture administrator (aka my daughter) to back off.  She not only doesn’t sleep through the night, she doesn’t sleep more than two hours at a time.  That’s not true, she has one four hour stretch when I put her down at 730. THEN it’s every two hours.  Sometimes every hour.  You must really think I was particularly cruel to these complaining women.  For this I apologize profusely.

As of late you seem to have engaged my son in your efforts as well.  I must report he is working superbly with your primary torture administrator.  They never wake at the same time, alternating seamlessly.  Some of your best work was Friday night.  Remember, when Chloe woke at 11:30pm and then again at 1230am?  Gavin shrieked about a wet bed at 2am.  Chloe up again at 3am.  At 4am, for the love of screaming at the top of your lungs, Gavin COULD NOT FIND FINN MCMISSILE.  That woke everyone.  Except daddy of course.  This torture is designed specifically for mommy and like a dog to his human, he cannot hear these cries.

I am wondering if you were busy with March Madness on Sunday night because Chloe only woke at 2am and 4am and Gavin slept until 630.  My bleary eyes were thankful that Kansas needed that much help beating Purdue on their way to the Sweet Sixteen.  Two night wakings after my own 4 hour stretch of sleep barely registered on my sleep deprivation meter.  It remained steady at “SEVERE” without crossing into “tomorrow you might be arrested for CHILD ENDANGERMENT.”

Despite thinking I was in a comfort zone as a mother, you have sufficiently humbled me.  I don’t know what to do about Chloe’s inability to sleep through the night.  I admit it!  I nurse, I refuse to nurse, I soothe, I let her cry.  I am at a loss.  There is no quicker and easier way to have a mommy call mercy than to render her sleep deprived…for over three years (what? no one sleeps during their third trimester).

You win dear god.  Consider me Daniel Plainview in church at the hands of Eli.  I will say whatever you need to hear.  Please just let my children learn to sleep a whole night through.

Eternally yours,

Carinn

 

PS – Don’t get all warm and fuzzy at this family cuddle.  It’s a survival technique.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

PSS – note the offending Finn McMissile in the photo.  I wonder if he is the one behind all this torture.  He is a spy after all…

What I lost during March Madness

Today is the first (real) day of March Madness.  Oh, how my former self LOVED March Madness.  The gluttony of competition.  The plethora of hope.  Rooting for the underdogs.  Keeping score, talking smack, spending your day at a sports bar.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Or it was.

2007. You can see the games on the screen behind me. And yes, the photographer (Ian) was drunk and yes, that's why it looks like this.

2008. A particularly memorable blowout I wanted to capture.

which probably seemed funnier at the time because of all of this...

2009 – I kept the tradition alive even after my son was born.  He was days old when the brackets came out.  Without regard for sleep (silly, silly girl) I completed mine in the middle of the night during a long stretch of feedings, trusty laptop by my side for research.  Do I have enough upsets?  Where are my Cinderellas?  My favorites?  My unbeatables?  I looked at records, strength of divisions, seniority.  And sometimes I just loved the mascot.  It was a fun game and I was in it to win it.

2010 – I lost a little steam.  I had been sleep deprived for over a year and it just didn’t seem as fun.  But I filled out a bracket before the deadline.  Ian and I enjoyed taunting each other at home, if not at a sports bar.

2011 –  I had a daughter who was days old.  No way in hell I had the time or the energy to put into a bracket.  We watched a few of the games.  I was sad that I had nothing invested.

2012 – I am going on 3 years of sleep deprivation.  I didn’t even have a pang of regret when I saw the brackets come out this past weekend.  I am fine with sitting these out.  For now.

Though it got me thinking about the other things I have given up in ‘my life with kids.’  I mean, we all openly mourn the loss of privacy in the bathroom.  Or the ability to nurse a hangover.

But what about those things we gave up with little fanfare?  Here’s my top 5:

1. March Madness. RIP. 1980s-2010s

2.  Grooming.  When did I stop shaving my legs?  When I was pregnant?  First or second?  Definitely before I let weeks go by without a visit to my local threading salon but after I gave up on highlighting my hair.

3. Snoozing.  As in your alarm clock.  In college I hit the snooze bar for hours (sorry Liz!).  I don’t even own one anymore.  My kids are my alarm clock now, and I still haven’t found their snooze button.

4. Travel.  I don’t mean the air plane kind.  I mean the completely unnecessary kind.  Like, ‘let’s travel through 17 neighborhoods to get that apple sausage bacon you love.’  Now it’s ‘what’s close, has no wait and customers that won’t spit on our stroller?’

5. Doing whatever the hell you wanted, whenever the hell you wanted.  Without having to plan ahead, make arrangements for strollers and naps, or bringing a weeks worth of snacks for every 4 hours you’d be gone.

At times like March Madness, I miss the freer times of my pre-children days.  I do.  But don’t tell them (you think it would spoil their fun?).

Gavin's look says it all. "MOM, you aren't talking about when you used to have FUN, are you?"