Thursday, June 2, 2011

We've survived

I kind of waited to post on this because I wanted to be able to say, "yeah! we did it!"
Yeah! We did it!
We survived
-breastfeeding struggles
-postpartum depression
For breastfeeding to be so natural it is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. JT immediately latched on in the hospital, but he barely wanted to nurse. This was partly due to the fact that it took 5 days for my milk to come in, which is average. This wouldn't have been a big issue except I didn't have a pump nor could I pump because there was no milk. I was really leary about giving him formula or even breast milk in a bottle. I was so scared of causing nipple confusion. However, after his jaundice worsened and he started dropping o-z's like crazy, I gave in a little. Of course all babies drop ounces, but his was dramatic and combined with the jaundice got too scary. On Friday I called his pediatrician because the whites of his eyes started to yellow. Fortunately, my milk had just come in, so I was able to continue nursing and top off with formula just to get his weight up. When we went to his check-up on Tuesday, his billirubin had gone down significantly and his weight had gone up. He was a completely different baby than the one I had brought in the week before. He is still changing before our very eyes. He loves to feed now, so much so that he's mistaken daddy's nipple for mine (Mr. Soup was not too happy about that). He also loves to explore. He has incredible head and neck strength and can shimmy his way around when on his tummy. He loves to be held. I think Mr. Soup has spoiled him in that area. There are plenty of times where we are sure he's good and konked out. We go to put him in his pack n' play and he immediately wakes up and cries. Yeah. Not fun!
Post-partum depression is not fun. I don't think I had it very badly, but I definitely had some symptoms. I think a lot of was due to the fact that JT wouldn't nurse. I never felt as though I wanted to hurt JT or hurt myself. I just had this nagging sense that I wasn't doing a good job as a mother. I would look at JT and cry because I didn't think I was a good enough mommy for him. Everyone around me did a good job of building me up and not allowing me to wallow too much, but sometimes I gave in to my feelings of insecurity. Once JT's health was on the up and up, I started to feel a little bit better. Each day, I feel like I'm making progress. I'm sure part of it has to do with my hormones evening out too. Talking my feelings out really helps as well. I'm such a perfectionist who never fails at anything. The thought of failing at motherhood was overwhelming. I have so much love for this little guy and want to do my best for him.
So before JT was born, I posted about attending an information session on a PhD program. I went to it and was really blown away. I knew this university had a PhD in Reading Education, but I was never really interested. Reading seemed so clinical and diagnostic, as well as elementary. I really wanted to study English Education like I did for my master's . In that we were able to study young adult literature, writing, reading, etc. Well, the university revamped their program into a PhD in Language & Literacy Studies. It has a broader focus that includes Reading Ed, English Ed, and Bilingual/ESL Ed too. They got rid of their EdD program and made their PhD less rigorous (meaning less research classes). They also cater to full-time teachers and offer classes at night only. Right now they only offer classes at the main campus which is 40 minutes away, but they are looking to offer more classes closer to us in the near future. So, it sounds perfect, right? That was before I became a mom. Now I cringe at the thought of spending a couple of evenings a week away from him. I already work too much as it is. Earning my PhD has always been a goal of mine for many reasons: 1. personal satisfaction 2. impact on teaching 3. expand career options 4. show my children they can do anything they set their mind towards doing. I still want to earn it, but I need to learn to balance mommyhood with work first. So, instead of looking at entering in fall 2012, I'm thinking fall 2013. Instead of going full-time or taking a heavy part-time load, I think I may just take one or two courses at a time. I'm also hoping that some day soon I can transition to working at the community college full-time or part-time. It'll take me a long, long time to earn a PhD, but at least I can do it and minimize my time away from JT. He seriously is all I want to focus on for the next few years. Funny how having a kid will change you. Not that I'm giving up on my dream, but I'm realizing there are other ways to achieve it. I'll keep you all updated on what I decide to do in the near future. Whatever it is, just know my family will always come first!


  1. Good luck, mama! I'm right there with you--family always comes first. It's so hard for me to fathom the back to school thing. For what I want to do, I either have everyday 8-4 for a year. OR I go M-TH evenings from 5-9 for two years. Either way, that's way too much time away from my little peeps. Maybe when all are in school I can make the daily 8-4 classes work for a year. Glad you feel things are normalizing for you all. And so glad JT is doing well!

  2. The more I think about it, the more I want to wait until he and siblings are in school. I can't get these years back, but I can always get a PhD. It doesn't seem that impossible now that I have given birth!