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The brutal truth of me, without all the sugary coating.
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I talk about my family, my divorce, and a lot about MAKEUP.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Most Beautiful Things

I was 18 years old when I had my first child. He was 6 lbs 14 oz, absolutely gorgeous, and a complete surprise.

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Me - 2003 - 18 years old

A senior in high school, I traveled 5.4 miles on the school bus every morning and afternoon, huge and pregnant, which is where I met my husband. 9 months pregnant, hair in a ponytail, exhausted and nauseated, he still found me intriguing. I of course didn't start dating him then, but that is when we met. After 6 weeks maternity leave, to my surprise he was the one I was most anxious to see when I returned to school. A few weeks later we got to know each other and started dating. It has been an extremely bumpy road since then, with twists and turns I never would have expected.

Aubrey_steve_tree
Husband & I - June 2004 - Just graduated from high school

But one thing has stayed the same. Since the moment I met my Joshua (and subsequently, when I met my Asher, and then Max), I have been a completely different person than I ever imagined I would be.

As a teenager I was utterly convinced that I would never subject myself to pregnancy and childbirth. That was simply off the table for me - I had other plans. I was going to be a high-powered journalist, writing about important things and eventually becoming the editor of a highly-circulated newspaper. Either that, or an actress on the stage and screen (but we've been over that).

I guess you could say becoming a mother - and finding out I loved it - was a shock, to say the least. My sweet little baby Josh turned my heart inside-out and taught me that all the success in the world couldn't compare to being the first person your little boy sees in the morning and the last person he sees at night.

Very Tiny
Joshua Lucas - June 2003 - 6 months old

I always thought of breastfeeding as something I could never do, something ancient and unnecessary, and certainly not acceptable for me... until my baby was born, and I suddenly felt the need to provide him with his nutrients. By the time I figured it out, it was too late, the hospital had already fed him a bottle or two, and he was unwilling to learn the art of nursing. I spent two months trying to teach him, but failed and gave up in the end. (We'll talk more about the consequences of that someday.)
Two years later, pregnant with my second child, I was sure I was ready to nurse a baby.

Pregnancy Pictures 
from Jenn 031
Me - 6 months pregnant & Joshua - 2 years

Along came Asher, the hungriest baby ever to live, nursing like he was going to starve for the next century so he needed to store up some good fat to sustain himself. He nursed flawlessly from day one, and I was able to breastfeed for seventeen months without problems. The only reason I quit then was an unfortunate incident involving his teeth (ouch) and his inability to sleep because he so badly needed to be near me.

Pregnancy Pictures 
from Jenn 008
Me & Asher - September 2005 - One month old

Last May, I discovered I was pregnant with my third baby boy. Another huge surprise (some people are slow learners), I immediately knew that I was going to nurse this one. I will always cherish the time I had with Asher, just the two of us - even though it resulted in certifiable insanity.

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Me & Max - November 2009 - Special Care Nursery

My plans - as they always seem to in my life - fell through this time, when my Max came along prematurely and landed in the NICU for 2 weeks. They refused to release him from the special care unit until I agreed to supplement my breastfeeding with bottles of high-calorie formula to bring his weight up. I very reluctantly agreed, afraid I would end up with a baby like Joshua who never accepted the breast again. Well, Max didn't have the same problem - he's a very versatile child, accepting either breast or bottle. The trouble was, he wouldn't gain weight and threw up all of his food, so my milk supply never caught up to his demand. Combine that with the fact that the first six months of his life my husband and I were splitting time with the kids - we were separated at the time - and I ended up with another baby who required more bottles than nursing. Now that he's eight months old, I am only able to nurse him about twice a day because of my low supply, and I am struggling so much with postpartum depression that I am forced to quit breastfeeding altogether in order to start the medication I need.

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Eight months is more than a lot of people do, so I feel lucky to have had so much time with my little Max, but this is (according to my plan, knock on wood) my last baby, and it is much less than I was hoping for. I'm disappointed and in pain, and I am going to miss bonding with my sweet little one.
Knowing this is the end of something I (surprise!) love to share with my babies has left me feeling empty.

I'm lucky, though. I still have my cute boys - healthy, happy, beautiful boys.
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Asher - 4, Joshua - 7, Max - 8 months  - July 2010

I'll try to just focus on that.

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