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Boy mom with Asperger’s | published author | French transplant in Austin, TX | chatting all things #autism
With all three of my babies, I dealt with breastmilk oversupply. While, this may seem like a great problem to have, it’s not. “Just donate” or “pump the excess” are not solutions. In fact, they make the problem worse because you’re telling your body to create more milk. Here are some issues that can come with oversupply: - Severe breast pain - Painful milk letdown - Plugged ducts - Mastitis - Breast abscess - Baby unable to latch - Baby gagging due to forceful letdown - Constant leaking - Back pain I have a lot of sympathy for people who struggle with breastfeeding. Latch issues, low supply, oversupply… One person’s struggles doesn’t make another’s any less valid. Charlie stopped breastfeeding after only a few weeks. He had a terrible latch from Day 1. Using a nipple shield helped for a few weeks but ultimately it wasn’t enough, Charlie had decided breastfeeding wasn’t for him. I consulted with several lactation consultants and no one could get Charlie to latch. I ended up exclusively pumping. Charlie was my first baby and it was quite depressing. I felt like a failure… To top it off, the oversupply led to countless instances of mastitis (breast infection). Thankfully, antibiotics cleared it every time but it was extremely unpleasant, with fever spikes as high as 105. With Jude, despite latch issues caused by a lip-tie and tongue-tie, I was able to breastfeed for two years. I dealt with oversupply again. I ended up pumping and donated breastmilk to a mom in need. Again though, I dealt with mastitis countless of times. With Billie, I’m of course dealing with oversupply again. After a few days, she didn’t want to breastfeed anymore because she was either unable to latch or gagging. I bought a nipple shield so she could control the flow and latch on more easily. Best decision I’ve made. It saved our breastfeeding journey! Plus, now that I’m getting infusions for my antibodies deficiencies, I have a feeling I may be able to avoid mastitis, or at least not get it as often. Let’s hope! Sending love to anyone who wanted to breastfeed and wasn’t able to, whatever the reason is. I get it. It’s hard. Fed is best and you’re not a failure ❤️
I often see posts which claim that grieving a living person is an unimaginably horrible thing to do. I disagree. It’s not the person we grieve — we grieve the life that became unexpectedly...different. We grieve what should have been easier, what we had always wanted. For them, and for us. When my therapist said those words, “It’s okay to grieve,” I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The guilt that had been torturing me for years started to fade away. My feelings were normal, after all. She explained that all the parents of severely autistic children she sees have similar feelings. They feel powerless, defeated, and depressed. I’ve felt all these emotions. I’d kept them to myself for a while because I was ashamed of feeling this way. I love Charlie, so the sadness that engulfed me at that moment was confusing. For a long time, I buried it. The truth is that raising a severely autistic child is emotionally draining. I wish I could say that I was strong enough that Charlie’s severe impairments didn’t affect me, but I’m not. It breaks my heart to see Charlie struggling daily. I worry about the future. Besides basic needs, which he conveys using an app on his iPad, Charlie is unable to make himself understood. I wish someone would invent some kind of brain decoder, something that would allow me to understand him and make it all better because that’s what moms do. We make it better. I love Charlie. All of him. The way he is. I simultaneously don’t want to change him and do. I’m not grieving him. I’m grieving my dreams of him. I’m grieving the dreams I had of Charlie as a seven-year-old, sitting next to me outside, at sunset, debating which Pokémon is a better starter option in Pokémon Blue. I’m grieving my youth, the naiveté that led me to believe that all moms get to hear their child call them mommy in a purposeful way, the innocence that tricked me into believing that all children love and cling to their parents. I’m grieving the dream of speaking French with Charlie, and secretly laughing at the first putain he pronounces. I’m not grieving you, Charlie. I’m grieving my dreams.
“Why don’t you show Charlie with Billie?” “How come we only see Jude?” “What about Charlie?” The answer is simple: Charlie, just, isn’t really interested. He ignores his little sister. I don’t mean just a little, I mean that, to Charlie, Billie is transparent. Does that make me sad? It does, in a way. But it’s not a surprise to me. When asked, “how do you think Charlie is going to react to his little sister,” I always answered, “he’ll ignore her until she’s old enough to get him a snack.” So far, bullseye. Charlie is most interested in people who offer him something, whether that’s attention, tickles, or food. He’s not inclined to, I guess you’d say, seek out interaction for the sake of interaction. Billie can’t offer much that’s interesting to him, at this point. I’m not upset about it. It’s a lot better than the aggression he displayed when Jude was born. “Why don’t you let Charlie hold the baby?” Because it’s not safe. Charlie doesn’t understand how fragile Billie is, nor can we explain to him that he needs to support her head and not just drop her on the floor when he’s done. He doesn’t want to hold her, anyway. Severe autism and babies don’t mesh well, and that’s okay. I love my three babies, whether they interact with each other or not ❤️ Enjoy this picture of Charlie and Billie, obtained under safe circumstances with an apple pie bribe. 😉
There are some things that aren’t comfortable to think about but are necessary. Life insurance comes to mind. #Ad It took me years after becoming a mom to look into it and actually purchase a plan. I knew it was necessary but having to think about protecting my family in a worst-case scenario made me sad. My family relies on me financially, so I pushed through those feelings and finally got life insurance. The process itself wasn’t as bad as I expected and I learned many things while doing it. For instance, life insurance can do more than paying for final expenses and replacing your income — it can help you save on taxes, provide funds if you become ill, even can supplement your retirement income, and help your business grow if you have one. A few ideas I had about life insurance were even totally wrong. For instance, it can be inexpensive, contrary to what I thought, and there are plans for all budgets. The process is simple, and you can now apply online or electronically and get your policy in days. A medical exam might not even be needed. Issuance of a policy will depend on how you answer the health questions in the application. If you want to learn more @Prudential is a top choice. They have nearly a century and a half of helping people with their finances. I’ll post useful links in my bio and stories. Check it out! #WomenPlanWithPru 1063382-00001-00
“He’ll eat when he’s hungry.” How many of you have heard that about your picky eaters? Charlie, like many autistic kiddos, would seemingly rather starve than eat something he doesn’t like. Sometimes it’s the texture, sometimes the smell. Could even be the shape! Or color. He can be quite…choosey. But when people with autism don’t want to eat something, they’re not being “brats.” It can be a genuinely painful, horrible experience for them. So, sadly, no, he won’t simply eat when he’s hungry. Not always. He’ll wait ‘til we give in — and that, we’ve found, can be a long time. Often too long. We did feeding therapy, years ago, and it helped a lot, but we still have a ways to go with Charlie.
I fight because I don’t want a single autistic person to be bullied, and I fight to normalize non-harmful stimming. I’m rejected because I think that neurotypical parents of autistic children absolutely can speak about autism from their non-autistic perspective and that the attempts to quiet or shame them, primarily, are toxic bullying. I’m rejected because even though I respect others’ right to say it how they please, I don’t always say “autistic” over “person with autism”, and I’m not offended by either term. I’m rejected because I don’t share the same views as the most vocal autistic subgroup who label themselves “advocates” or #ActuallyAutistic.
Sensory Enrichment Therapy is an effective, affordable, evidence-based, clinically-validated program designed to help individuals with autism improve their outcomes. It’s designed to increase brain function, resulting not only in improved sensory processing but also in enhanced attention span, sleep, communication skills, and many other core symptoms associated with autism. In randomized control trials, children who added Sensory Enrichment Therapy to their existing programs were six times more likely to improve by at least five points on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. Sensory Enrichment Therapy is an excellent complement to Occupational Therapy because its goal is to induce a state of enhanced plasticity in the brain which helps reach deep into the root of behaviors, anxiety, processing issues, etc, and not just autism symptoms.
We were left without heat and electricity for days when it was 7F outside. Imagine your winter without heat, electricity, and water. A grocery store with food ⁃ Limitless water for drinking and cleaning It’s crazy to think that in 2021, in a country like the United States, millions of people could go without safe water, heat, and electricity for days.