When Breastfeeding is Hard

When Breastfeeding is Hard

I didn’t know much about breastfeeding when I was growing up. When I played with baby dolls, I played with plastic pink bottles. I didn’t know anyone who breastfed, so, to me, it was just this vague, weird thing that hippy women did. Why breastfeed when bottle feeding seemed so much more convenient?

When I was in college, I took a developmental psychology class. I read that breast milk was nutritionally superior to formula. I read that a woman’s body was scientifically wired to support her baby’s needs. I read about this awesome hormone called oxytocin that is released during breastfeeding. But I also thought: “Meh. Not for me.” And that was okay. Continue reading “When Breastfeeding is Hard”

Dear Postpartum Body

Dear Postpartum Body

Dear Postpartum Body,

First of all, you’re amazing. You grew a human being inside of you—let’s get that on the record.

I’m sorry that I don’t always love you well. You deserve better.

I am not going to compare you to other bodies. You are my body, unique all on your own.

I am not going to hide you.

Stretch marks prove that you are mighty in battle.

I refuse to say that I need to “get back in shape.” You have a perfect shape already.

I wasn’t kind to my old body, but I’m going to do better with you.

I am not going to cut you, harm you, hate you. I did that to my old body, and I’m not doing it to you.

My husband sees how I treat you. My son will hear how I talk about you.

I will exercise because it makes you feel well, not because I want to look a certain way.

I will feed you wholesome things because it sustains you, not because I want to shrink you.

I won’t wait to buy you clothes until I look like I did before. I will let you look pretty right now. I’ll buy the bigger size because you deserve to look beautiful just as you are.

I will never take a “before and after” photo—you’re worth more than that.

I don’t wish you away. I invite you to stay.

I celebrate you.

I honor you.

You let me nourish my child.

You let me love my husband.

You let me see the world.

You hold a beautiful soul inside of you, dear body. You are a vessel of something sacred.

Love,

Anna

Saying Goodbye to Baby Bump Insecurity

Saying Goodbye to Baby Bump Insecurity

“Anna, you have a belly!” My neighbor said jubilantly, pointing at my midsection. I’d just gotten out of my car and was going up the stairs to my door. My neighbor, Pat, is one of the cutest little old ladies you’ll ever meet and she had stopped on her way out to greet me.

“Oh yeah,” I tried smiling, “Almost twenty weeks now.”  Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Baby Bump Insecurity”

Do not covet?

Do not covet?

It’s just a number. It’s just a number.

That’s what I was telling myself yesterday when I was pulling on a pair of jeans in the dressing room. Size doesn’t matter. Who cares if you’re now a bigger size? It’s just a number.

I have to give myself pep-talks whenever I go shopping. When I pull on a pair of pants in my ideal size, I hold my breath, hoping that maybe, just maybe, I’ll fit. When the pants don’t fit, I pull them off and reach for the bigger size, all the while commanding myself not to cry. Continue reading “Do not covet?”

HEALTHY™

HEALTHY™

For only $200.00 a month, receive an all-inclusive membership at HEALTHY™ and full access to HEALTHY™ level 1. Continue toward premier membership level 2 at $400.00 a month and join the nationwide HEALTHY™ movement

I tossed the pamphlet to Jack. “See? I told you it was a good deal.”

My husband stretched and then settled back into his pillow. “What are you talking about? This not a good deal. The regular gym is cheaper than that.”

“This isn’t some ordinary gym. This is, like, a lifestyle. It’s exercise and nutrition all built into one.” I struggled into my leggings, pulling the high-waist elastic over my belly, and reached for my shoes.

“So that’s what they call it these days?”

“Look. The pamphlet says it isn’t a gym or a diet. It’s different—new. Everyone is talking about it. I’m just getting a tour. Is that so bad?”

Jack pulled the covers up over his head. “Okay, go. But I’m staying in bed.”

It took me longer than expected to find my keys (they were in my jacket pocket) so I grabbed a muffin and stuffed it into my mouth on my way out the door. If Jack didn’t want to come, then whatever. I’d go by myself.

It was a short drive to the massive new building on the north corner of State street. It was five stories high, covered in large gray reflective windows that reminded me of the interrogation room mirrors in police TV shows. A little intimidating.

“Welcome, welcome to HEALTHY™. You must be Julia. I’ve been expecting you.”

“Uh, yeah.” I was taken aback by the beautiful woman with a clipboard accosting me at the door.  Continue reading “HEALTHY™”