(OR WHY I ♥ FORMULA, EPIDURALS & PROZAC)
Ok my lovelies. Let’s talk. These past few months have been…well…shitty at best. With Trump at the helm, our world has been turned upside down and each day brings something even scarier to freak out about. And fight about. And resist. But if there is a silver lining to this monster, it’s the fact that we have come together as women and as the country and as the world. We have been total badasses.
We’ve been sweating the BIG stuff. And that is want we need to do. But just recently I’ve been noticing some sweating of the small stuff. And not the normal small stuff which is understandable. A broken wine glass that shatters into minuscule pieces all over the entire kitchen, a stolen UPS package, even a botched manicure the moment you leave the salon. It’s cool. You can sweat these things. Sweating it can even make you feel more normal in a crazy upside down world.
What I’m worried about is the sweating of the small, insignificant MOM/PARENT stuff. You know…we’ve talked about it a million times before, but hey, let’s just remind ourselves. There have been some occasions I’ve witnessed lately which have prompted me to do a quick refresher course. Look, if someone is cruel to you…or hurts their kid physically…or voted for Trump, I get it. You can judge. If someone drives while intoxicated…or draws swastikas on a subway window…or bans whole nations based on religious belief, Yep. You can judge. I’m not talking about the big stuff. That you can sweat. That you can judge. But come on, this small stuff that seems to divide us in stupid, insignificant ways has to stop. Let’s break it down.
Before I get to the heavy hitters, let’s just get a few silly things out of the way.
It has come to my attention that some moms have been upset if their child doesn’t receive an invitation to another child’s party. Come on. Seriously? First of all, there are way too many parties to attend anyway. If we attended them all, our weekends would be insane. Our weekends are already too full. Second of all, these parties are super stressful enough as they are. Of course we want to invite your kid! We want to invite the whole grade! All our cousins! Our friends from our baby’s mommy group! But do the math. This is no longer a kid party, but a small wedding. 25 kids from school, 10 old friends, 3 cousins, 5 neighbors. I don’t know about you, but even with my most crazy parties, I can’t accommodate 43 kids. Can you? In the olden days, our moms made a cake, hung balloons and invited 6 kids from the nabe. Now it’s favors, and elaborate cakes…fantastic activities, venues and performers. Not everyone can put on, much less afford the perfect Pinterest party for 30 kids. Not everyone wants to. Especially the kid. Sometimes the kid just wants a cake, some balloons and his 6 besties. And sometimes he actually, gasp, knows who he wants to invite. So let’s keep it all to a dull roar, folks. This is NOT something to stress about. This is NOT something or someone to judge. So just sit back, read The Sunday Times and enjoy your birthday party free Sunday. There will be plenty more parties next weekend. Want someone to judge? How about those Pro-Life protesters in front of Planned Parenthood? Good. Problem solved.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. We do not know what is going on behind the scenes with another person, another child, another mom, another parent. To judge someone’s parenting skills on something you witness out of context is a terrible thing to do. Even if you don’t agree with how someone is handling a situation with a child (unless of course they are hurting the child physically), please, please, pretty please don’t judge them. You just don’t know. They could be going through a divorce, they could be burying a loved one in a few hours. They could have the stomach flu but still had to get out of bed to get the kid to school. They could be sad or sick or scared. Or they could just have a different way of parenting to yours. Here is what you can usually assume. (Minus an extremely small percentage of the population.) That parent loves that kid. That parent loves him more than anything. That parent would do anything they could do make her happy. And sure it might not be the way you do it. Or the way you think it would best to be done. But who gives a shit? You? Ok. But don’t. Because it’s not about you. It’s about someone else’s pain. Someone else’s kid. And I will bet my Friday Night Lights DVD collection that someday you will be in a similar situation you are not happy about or even proud about with your kid. And you’ll probably want some support and some Wine in a Sippy Cup. Not an eye roll by someone who just happens to be acing the parenting thing that day. Now just go call a Senator and oppose and judge Betsy DeVos. Feel better? I bet that parent who was having the bad day called their senator too. Just sayin’.
Ok, lovelies. On to the heavy hitters…
Ah, the age old debate as old as time. Or at least since the epidural was invented. If you have made a human in your body, you are a badass. End of story. How you got that said human OUT of your body does not matter.
If you used no drugs…badass.
If you had a c-section…badass.
If you had your baby in a tub or on your back…badass.
If you screamed for drugs…badass.
If you planned to have drugs…badass.
You see, you decided to make sure that little human got out safely and in a way that made sense to you, the MOTHER. Good for you. BAD. ASS.
Personally, I am a huge fan of the epidural. Love it. Honestly if I could have an epidural for bad cramps or even a minor migraine, I’d take it. It came in very handy for my emergency c-section for my 32 week preemie. But when I really fell in love with the BIG E was during my VBAC with my son. (BTW, it doesn’t matter if you have a VBAC or a repeat C either. Either one? You guessed it. Badass.) I had been on bed rest for the last month with my second pregnancy with pretty consistent painful contractions every 15 minutes. Not. Fun. Once my water broke, and I was in the hospital, I got that epidural and the contractions didn’t hurt anymore. WHAT? A modern miracle. My husband kept telling me to rest, but honestly I wanted to go out dancing. I hadn’t felt that good in months. I even googled the dude who invented the epidural because I was so in love with him at the moment. Turns out after his wife almost died from complications with anesthesia during the birth of their first child, John Bonica, MD, invented the epidural in the 1940s and used it on his wife the second time around. How’s that for a romantic gesture?
So there you have it. Epidurals rock. But they’re not for everyone. So what are you going to NOT judge? How your fellow female got her human out of her body. Who can you still judge? Trump and mosquitoes.
Sigh. Here we go. Of course Breast is Best. We know. My God, we know. And we all want what is best for our baby. Let’s say it again. We all want is best for our baby. Ok. But here’s the skinny, lovelies. Some of us don’t breast feed as well as others. It’s true. And trust us, we feel super super shitty about it.
But it’s kind of like this. Whenever I throw a party (I promise to post my badass parties soon!) people exclaim, how do you DO it? I don’t know…I just do. It’s my jam. I’m good at it. And I like it. But then someone can cook or bake for me and honestly it just blows my mind. How do they do it? How is it not a super amount of work for them? Why? Because it’s their jam and they are good at it.
So for those of you who breastfeeding is your jam…yes! Amazing. We are so in awe of you and proud of you and jealous of you. But for those of us who got three drops from pumping hour after hour, or who had breast cancer, or some other extenuating circumstance, go easy on us. It’s hard enough without the judgment. We aren’t trying to poison our child with formula, we are beyond thankful for it. Because it lets us feed our baby. Which is all we want to do.
Zoe was born at 32 weeks and weighted 3 pounds 9 oz. She had a very very hard time latching. Pumping was so frustrating and I just never had a good supply. Yes I got a lactation consultant. Yes I took the vitamins. Yes I wanted to breast feed so badly. But yes, we supplemented with formula (a lot of it) in the NICU, because, uh, we wanted her to grow and live! But when my little girl came home 3 weeks later on a heart monitor and still couldn’t get her on my breast, I felt like a failure. I pumped constantly to give her what little of my milk I could, but with caring for a preemie, and trying (in vain) to get more than half an ounce, I was going to lose my mind. After about a month of having her home, I called it. I let myself stop the constant pumping and the constant attempts to get her to latch. And I let myself grieve and cry for a week. But then I stopped beating myself up. Why? Because I was a badass mom who just wanted the best for my baby.
So next time you see one of us shaking that formula, think twice before you judge. Even silently. We are you. You are us. We just have crappy breastfeeding boobs. Now let’s fight and judge the people who are trying to take away women’s rights.
I love Prozac. Almost as much as I love that awesome dude who invented the epidural for his wife. Prozac is the bomb diggity. At least for me. Why? I used to sweat the small stuff with such anxiety and OCD behavior that I drove myself and my sweet husband absolutely nuts. I wasn’t depressed, but every little thing out of place or messy or not perfect made me insane. My therapist at the time suggested I try an antidepressant but I was super hesitant. I’m not depressed! I’m Courtney! I’m super fun! Happy! Yeah, a little controlling and OCD, but not more than other people right? Uh, wrong. When I finally gave in and got over my embarrassment of the stigma behind it, it changed my life. Within a week I was calmer. Kinder. Happier. Lighter. My hubby couldn’t believe the change in me and I was thrilled.
And this is just a tiny example of someone who needed a baby dose of Prozac to help her stop sweating the dumb small stuff. Can you imagine someone who needs it way more than I do? Can we please stop the stigma around antidepressants? You are a badass if you take care of yourself and get the drugs and care you need. End of story.
The more we talk about it…the more we are honest about what we need to stay sane and be better people, the more people we can help.
So. I love Prozac. I want to make a t-shirt that says how much I love Prozac. Maybe I will. But in the meantime, know that I’ve got your antidepressant back. And you are a badass. Drugs or no drugs. And we have plenty of things to judge. How about everything that Donald Trump has done to date. (Speaking of someone who could use some outside help from pharmaceuticals.)
Oh man, I love you all. So let’s celebrate each other by supporting and coddling and lifting up and letting go and remembering we are all the same. We all feel left out. We all feel like failures. We all feel pain. We all feel scared. We all feel embarrassed. We all think we are the only ones going through what we are. But here’s what I know. I don’t feel all those things every day. So when I’m feeling strong I will be there to have your back. And I know the same will happen when I’m feeling like nothing is going right.
And remember something. A text or email will never replace a good old face-to-face or even phone-to-phone conversation. Once I hear a voice or see a face, I know I’m less apt to make pre-conceived judgments. So go out for girls’ night. Talk like teenagers on the phone. Don your “I love Prozac” or “I love Breastfeeding” or “I love C-Sections” or “I love VBACS” or “I love Epidurals” or “I love Formula” t-shirts and toast each other with your Sippy Cups. You are indeed badasses.