- Motherhood, Wifedom, and Family: this is probably where the most changes have occurred and will continue to occur. I had a miscarriage last July and then got pregnant again in September. I nearly lost the baby at 21 weeks due to an incompetent cervix and then was on bed rest until 36 weeks. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. It put a strain on my family, my marriage, our finances, friendships... nearly everything. But we got through it and have a perfect little baby boy to show for all of our hardships and sacrifices. We're slowly (very slowly) adjusting to being a family of 4. It has been difficult to stick with the gentle parenting philosophy in which we believe. I'm hoping this experience of adjusting to two children will make me a better mother and wife. More changes are in the near future for our family as we prepare to move from DFW to Austin at the end of the summer.
- Body Acceptance: the weeks on bed rest took a toll on my body. While I lost a lot of weight (I'm weigh about 20-25 pounds less now post partum than I did before I got pregnant), I lost a lot of muscle mass as well. I'm not as happy with my body now as I was pre-pregnancy... believe it or not, but I miss the way it was. I know the muscle will come back once I'm cleared to exercise and can start doing something, but I still miss it. Jeans are baggy in strange places and not very flattering.
- Self Acceptance: the best part of being in my thirties so far is that I am very confident in my beliefs and in myself. That has continued in the past year. Sure I have moments where I'm self conscious or less than sure of myself, but overall I like who I am and who I am becoming.
- Work and IBCLC: I got the amazing opportunity to work as outreach coordinator for the local non-profit milk bank and it was a dream job. Sadly, the bed rest cut me down to part time and moving to Austin has made me resign altogether. It was the first time I was able to say that I truly enjoyed going to work and felt that I was making a difference in people's lives. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to fully do the job - there's only so much I was able to remotely from home. My favorite part of the job was to work fairs and conventions where I could speak to moms about the power of pasteurized breast milk and just how much they could make a difference. Once we have moved, I will be able to stay home with the kids. I understand that it is a blessing, but other than my 12 week maternity leave with Ethan, I've never been at home in that capacity. I'm a little apprehensive about how I will fare as a stay at home mom.
I'm still working towards becoming an IBCLC. The pregnancy and baby have pushed the exam back about a year, but that's okay. I still have a few classes left to take to complete the educational requirement and will then need to take another class that lasts for 3/4 of a year. The move to Austin means I will have to give up my mentorship with the IBCLC I've been working with and learning from. I'll also have to give up my position as chair elect of our local breastfeeding coalition. Definitely sad about leaving those "jobs" behind, they have been incredible experiences. I plan to join the breastfeeding coalition in Austin and hopefully hook up with an IBCLC as well.