Over sharing….all the time

CrossFit, Pregnancy, and some other random thoughts

Let’s Be Honest February 21, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 3:46 pm

IMG_8932.JPGHONEST. If I’m being really honest, I never wanted to be a stay at home Mom.

 

GASP! Can you believe I said that out loud? I have thought it a thousand times, but never said it out loud for fear of what other people might think. In my mind, people will assume it means I don’t love my kids. Or that I’m unhappy about being home with them. When in fact, just the opposite is true.

 

FANCY. I am an extreme extrovert, and being tethered to my house and three small kids isn’t exactly how I pictured my life. I pictured strolling into work with my hair did, Starbucks in hand, and saying something like “good morning Becky, do I have any messages?” I would have a standing monthly hair appointment, beautifully manicured nails, and a barista would know my order before I walked in the door. My high heel shoes would make a satisfying click clack click clack on hardwood floors, and I’d keep a lint roller in my purse.

 

LIFE. But that’s not the life I have. Instead I have pony tails, yoga pants, and a purse full of crumbs and raisins. I spend my days negotiating, teaching, dressing, diapering, and playing car concierge. I talk endlessly about Rescue Bots, pooping on the potty, explaining why farting isn’t good manners, and why we leave our pants on in the grocery store.

 

TRAPPED. I’ll admit that for about 2 years, I felt trapped. I would frump through each day with the attitude of “I’ll stay home with my kids because that’s what I’m SUPPOSED to want”. I felt this obligation to be happy about staying home. Other Moms would happily post pictures of their crafts, hiking outings, driveway chalk pictures, and their entire home preschool curriculum. And I’d be all….”here’s a picture of my kids in their pajamas for the 9th day in a row.”

 

DESPAIR. I remember crying to my BF about how lonely I was and how much I missed being part of the “adult world”. I would sulk and complain to my husband about how I wished we could trade places. I grew more and more resentful towards my kids. My days seemed to run together, and I wondered if I would ever truly feel happy again.

 

TEST. It was as if the  universe was dog-piling the stress on top of me to see how much load I could bear. My oldest daughter moved in with her grandma, my family was dealing with crushing financial burden, and each day with my kids seemed to get harder. Then suddenly we sold the gym, and my world almost fell apart. Because even though I wasn’t at the gym, I always felt I had that option. There was always the hope that “some day” I would get to coach and run the gym full time instead of being home with the kids.

 

 

GONE. Selling the gym was my turning point. Knowing that it wasn’t there anymore helped me fully devote myself to my family. By removing what I believed to be the best part of my life, it allowed me to see what was really important…what was truly the best part of my life. Through the fog of resentment, anger, and sadness, I emerged a warrior. I was going to fight for myself. For my kids. I was going to find a way to be happy and fulfilled no matter what it took.

 

LOVE. I bought every book on being a Stay at Home Mom that I could get my hands on. I found peace and fulfillment in the tasks I used to find mundane and thankless. What I really learned, was that I had to choose happiness. There are plenty of times throughout my day that I would rather scream and yell, but I choose to love and endure.

 

HAPPY. And so now, here I am. A Mom Warrior. A furniture builder. A play date organizer. A bringer of food to sick friends. I chose happiness and found new ways to get what I need out of my life, instead of just waiting for it to happen. I have also learned to ask for help when I need it. In the splendid chaos of my life, I am happy. So, so happy.

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Is it Safe? January 23, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 9:24 am

DSC_0379SHARE. In general, I don’t have a problem sharing my feelings. OBVIOUSLY. Sometimes I publish a blog post, and end up surprising myself when I go back to read it. The raw emotion of my words brings the feelings back to the surface, and it’s like living through the hurt all over again. After my husband and I sold our gym, I wasn’t sure I was ready to pour my thoughts onto the blog. I was afraid of what I might read.

 

SELL. Like how I snuck that little tidbit in there? Yep, back in October we sold CrossFit Fire. After nearly 8 years of being gym owners, we had to move on. It was time. It wasn’t that we didn’t love CrossFit anymore, it’s just that our lives kind of outgrew it. We realized that CrossFit Fire couldn’t be what we wanted it to be without both of us being involved….and with 4 kids to raise that just wasn’t possible. Without Bill, we’d be missing our mastermind. Without me, the gym was missing its soul.

 

JERKS. When we announced the sale of the gym we had a lot of people reach out to us. People were shocked to hear that we had sold the gym. And truthfully, some people were happy. But they’re mostly jerks. Only jerks would be glad that 2 great coaches had stepped away from the sport. I believe with my whole heart that CrossFit was a tiny bit better because of myself and my husband. We didn’t fall into the net of “all the bad coaches” that CrossFit gets a bad name for.

 

JOB. Bill ended up getting a job offer, so we had to act fast. It was either sell the gym at a rock-bottom price, or sell off the equipment piece by piece. To me, the worst possible fate of the gym would be to scatter it to the 4 corners of the Earth, and to have a storage unit full of equipment to sell. I’d be selling it off 4 dumbbells at a time on Craigslist FOREVER. To have found a buyer who was already part of the community, who wanted to keep it as much intact as possible, was a relief.

 

BROKE. At least that’s what I told myself. I told myself that we HAD to sell the gym. I told myself that it was time to move on. I told myself over and over and over again that keeping the gym “just because I loved it” was a bad decision. I mean, for the last 3 years my family has been buying our groceries with food stamps. FOOD. STAMPS. Do you realize how LITTLE your income has to be to qualify for that level of government aid? But yes, tell me again how I’m doing this “just for the money”. We tried everything we could to make the business work financially for our family, but we just couldn’t.

 

IDENTITY. So….we HAD to sell the gym. We sold it for less than what we invested in the buildout and new equipment in the last 12 months alone. Pretty much, we gave it away. But in the end, it’s not even the money that matters. What matters is feeling like I lost a huge part of my identity. I was a Mom, a wife, and a gym owner. I was a “CrossFitter”. I was an old dinosaur in the world of CrossFit, because I got in on the ground level. I owned my CrossFit gym before Facebook went mainstream. I competed in the CrossFit Games before you even had to qualify. People came to me every single day needing my help, advice, a high-five or a hug. I was their coach, and they were my people.

 

CONNECT. And along with a big part of my identity went my connection to 150 amazing people. What I failed to realize is that I needed my people more than they needed me. They were the food for my soul. They were what got me out of bed, and into my Lulus in the morning. Almost 4 months after stepping away from the gym, I am still in mourning.

 

SAD. Could I still work out at the gym? Absolutely. I hear I’m welcome there any time. And when we were selling the gym, I told myself that I’d start working out with the group classes, and stay part of the community. But when it came down to it….it was too hard. It was like signing over your parental rights, and having to sit through a Mother’s Day brunch with the new parents.

 

STALKER. I slow down every time I drive past the gym. I look to see whose cars are out front, and I imagine all the fun stuff going on inside. I can hear the crashing of the weights, the beeping of the timer, and the laugher of my CrossFit Fire Family inside. I can picture the chalky handprints on the floor, the sway of the rig during wall ball shots, and the tangle of jump ropes hanging on the wall. I smile thinking back to all the amazing people I met there, and all the great times we had. I have a handful of really great emails people have sent me over the years, and I occasionally go back through them, just to be reminded of the fulfillment that came with every life I touched.

 

WHOLE. And just like everything else, this wound will heal over time. LIFE….is an amazing distraction when you are feeling like you lost something truly great. The next challenge for me will be to find something else to fill the void in my identity, so I can once again feel whole.

 

Don’t EVER say this January 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 3:35 pm

xtf02.jpgAs someone who has both succeeded and struggled to breastfeed, I have learned a lot. Mostly, I have learned that there are just some things you should never say to someone struggling with her milk supply.

 

Here’s the thing. If I’m breastfeeding my baby, I look at my milk as the ONLY food for my baby. Rational or not, I see myself as the sole provider of food for this child. Imagine if all the grocery stores ran out of food, and your kids were crying because they had empty bellies. You would probably beg, borrow or STEAL to feed your children. You’d blame yourself for not stocking up. You’d be willing to do ANYTHING to feed your kids. Am I right?

 

Moms struggling with milk supply are likely tired, stressed, and at their wits end.  They have spent countless hours scouring the internet for anything that could help them. It’s also quite likely they are SUPER sensitive to their situation. It’s a terrible combination of feeling helpless and like you are a failure. Therefore, my friends, it’s best to be sensitive to the situation, and offer only supportive words of encouragement, rather than unhelpful advice.

 

 

As a disclaimer, people never say these things to be a dick….they’re just a dick without realizing it. (And I say “dick” in the same loving manner I refer to my kids as my “shitty kids”) In fact, some of the people who say these things will be the people closest to you in your life. So, here’s the list of things NOT to say to a mother struggling with her milk supply:

 

  1. My kids were all formula fed, and they’re FINE! Well what a relief! I was secretly waiting for your personal testimonial before deciding to buy formula.
  2. You know, you can just switch to formula? Oh, you mean, chemical milk? Geez, they sell it right on the shelf at the store…why didn’t I think of that!? I know formula is out there as an option. But here’s the thing….you got to CHOOSE to use formula. Nobody wants to feel forced into something. It’s akin to telling a vegetarian to “just eat meat already”.
  3. Is it really worth all this frustration? This isn’t camping out on a sidewalk to get a Black Friday deal on an Xbox, this is the health of my child. YES. Yes, it’s worth it.
  4. I tried breastfeeding, but it was too hard. Pardon me, but I’m still trying to breastfeed here. Quit trying to play your Jedi mind tricks on me and get ME to quit too.
  5. Just feed your baby some rice cereal. Ok, good plan. Because that solves my milk supply issue, how??
  6. What matters most is your baby, don’t let her be hungry. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’m hooking myself up to this pump for 3 hours a day for ME. I super love it. Without your helpful words, I would have selfishly lost sight of that fact.
  7. How long are you going to keep doing this? Truthfully, I think I’ll give it another 2-4 years to make sure I really gave it my all. Thanks for letting me know how hard I make all this mother-hood business look though.

 

So, should you happen upon a Mom in this unfortunate situation, just be kind. Be encouraging. Speak in a quiet voice, and suppress the urge to bring her Enfamil coupons. Tell her you support her decision to keep breastfeeding. Tell her that this won’t last forever, and she’s doing a great job. Bring her a Decaf Americano and sit with her for 40 minutes and take her mind off pumping. But DEAR LORD…..don’t tell her bottles are so much easier….

 

 

Pumps, Pills and Concoctions January 21, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 12:09 pm

Fin Skin Time photo.JPGSLEEP. As most of you know, I ran into quite a problem while breastfeeding Finley. What it breaks down to, is that I sleep-trained her right into starvation. A friend of mine once lovingly joked that my sleep training skills are “legendary”, and I suppose that’s true. My 3 youngest kids all take naps like champs and are in bed by 6:30PM. Brady is our rooster, so he wakes us up at 7AM on the dot, Avery sleeps until 8:00AM, and Finley….well…..she’s her own story. She would pull a Rip Van Winkle on me if I let her.

 

PEACE. Somewhere around 3 months old, Finley decided that she LOVED the peace and quiet of her crib. She just lays in there staring up at the ceiling, feeling the satiny edge of her blanket. She would stay in there “napping” for 5-6 hours at a time during the day, and for a full 11 hours at night. There was never any crying when she was hungry, or even when she needed her diaper changed. She was just….content.

 

DEMAND. Breastfeeding is 100% based on supply and demand, and my Itty Bitty wasn’t creating any demand. And by 5 months, my milk supply ended up almost completely non-existent. She was only taking about 1 ounce at each feeding, even after nursing from both breasts. It was a tragedy. The motto is “never wake a sleeping baby”, but it was time to start waking her up.

 

FRENZY. After learning that she was actually LOSING weight, I went into full milk supply frenzy mode. I started pumping 5-8 times per day, taking Fenugreek until I smelled like a waffle house, and waking Fin up every 2 hours. I held off on waking her up at night to try and preserve my own sanity, but I just wasn’t seeing results fast enough. I decided that waking her every 4 hours at night would be sufficient.

 

AWFUL. Fast forward a month, and my milk supply was improving, but still abysmal. Fin was taking about 2 ounces at each feeding when she should be taking about 5 ounces. It was time to pull out the big guns. I rented a hospital grade pump, and dedicated nearly 3 hours every day to pumping. I was also taking every milk increasing supplement possible, drinking lactation smoothies, getting skin to skin time, sipping MilkMaid tea, and learning “breast compression” techniques. Yep, it’s as awful as it sounds.

 

DOCTORS. I tried seeking out help from a few doctors. There is an anti-nausea medication called Domperidone that as a side effect, causes women to have increased lactation. As soon as I read about it, I was like “SIGN ME UP!” I went to three doctors, hat in hand, and asked them for a prescription for this miraculous medicine. They all looked at me like I was some drug seeking degenerate.  “Hmm…..this is your 6th trip to the emergency room this month, and you’re asking for Percocet? VERY suspicious!” 

 

So, I did what every other Mom with access to the internet did….I ordered the medicine online. GASP! I know, shame on me. What can I say? Desperate times and all….

 

TO BE CONTINUED. I’m still patiently waiting for the Domperidone to arrive, and I have continued the insanity of trying to increase my supply naturally. Fin takes about 2 ounces from the breast, and 3 ounces from a bottle at each feeding. She is growing and happy, but my ultimate goal is to get my own milk supply back up to where it needs to be. Fingers and toes crossed!

 

 

 

My Itty Bitty January 19, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 11:47 am

Fin photoSTRESS. This last month has been one of the most stressful of my entire life. And that’s saying a lot. I’ve dealt with some TOUGH SHIT in the past. Divorce. Death of a parent. Death of a friend. Loss of a job. None of it compares. I’m still adjusting to a new life without my gym, and the Universe throws a curveball at me – my Finley was labeled as failure to thrive. The Pediatrician stood in that tiny exam room and looked me in the face and said, “Mrs. Yundt, this is bordering on neglect. If she doesn’t gain weight by Friday, we’ll have to admit her to the hospital. Should you choose not to admit her, you’ll be reported to Child Services.”

 

NEGLECT. The Pediatrician kept talking, and I stood there holding my naked 5 month old infant…..all 11 pounds of her. I didn’t hear much of what she said. Neglect. She thinks I am NEGLECTING my baby. Hot tears streamed down my face, and I felt nauseous. Willing myself not to vomit, I quickly packed up my children and drove home. I frantically called my BF….no answer. Shit. I tried my Mom….no answer. DOUBLE SHIT. And so I just drove.

 

TEARS. By the time I made it home, I was in full hysteria. I clutched my baby close and rocked her to sleep. Fat tears dotted her little pink blanket as I laid her down in her crib. She closed her eyes, and for just a moment I watched her sleep. “This isn’t neglect” I thought to myself.

 

SOS. I threw together a quick social media post about Fin, and then went about the rest of my day. Within minutes, I had dozens of comments, and people from all over coming out of the woodwork to help; people I have known for years and years, and people from far away that I have never met. It’s as if I sent out a Bat signal, and the entire community of Moms answered my call.

 

MOMS. Within hours I had Moms willing to donate their breastmilk to help supplement Fin. I had Moms offering to come watch my kids so I could get my pumping time. I had Moms calling and texting to just tell me they think I’m a great Mother. I had Moms offering to drive around and pick up breastmilk. I had Moms bringing meals so I didn’t have to worry about cooking. I had Moms sending me their tried and true methods for increasing their milk supply. I had Moms coordinating with other Moms to fill my freezer with milk, and help my itty bitty grow.

 

GROW. And grow she did! Finley gained 12 ounces in only 9 days.

 

LOVE. I never could have anticipated all the love and support I would receive. For anyone who has ever pumped breastmilk, you know it is a true labor of love. Pumping is by far, one of the least enjoyable experiences in the WORLD. And for all these Moms to be willing to pump, not for their own baby, but for mine? Well….now there’s some genuine goodness.

 

THANKFUL. And as I feed Finley her bottle, gently gliding her to sleep, I listen to her happily gulping down that donated milk. That precious gold that cost some Mom out there an hour of her day. She finishes off her bottle, and I smile just knowing that this baby is growing because of all the Moms she’ll never know, who helped her in a thousand different ways.

 

 

 

An Empty Room and a Broken Heart August 18, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 3:41 pm

kate bradyTEENAGERS. They exist for 2 reasons: to challenge you emotionally and mentally, and to break your heart.

GONE. Upstairs, an empty room sits. 5 weeks ago my 16-year-old daughter moved out. I’m numb to the feeling of sadness as it sweeps over me. I bury myself in stupid tasks like sorting baby clothes or cleaning the garage. For a while I can stuff the emotions back inside their box, but eventually they come back out. Inside me, there’s a gaping hole.

BLAME. I failed her in so many ways. And in general, life has failed her. First there was a failed relationship with her father. Her first experiences of him were tense visitation exchanges or disappointing waits in a parking lot when he never showed up. Then there was a failed marriage resulting in a step-father with zero desire to be part of her life. He was her Dad for 6 years, and then one day, he just wasn’t anymore.

MEN. It’s safe to say that men failed her pretty miserably for the first 7 years of her life. And then came Bill. Bill had to somehow make up for that. He had the impossible task of convincing a 7-year-old girl that HE’S DIFFERENT. He’s not leaving. He cares. He opened his heart to her and surrounded her with love in the hopes that he could chip away some of the hurt.

REGRET. Maybe worse than being failed by all the men in your life, is being failed by your own Mom. At 19 years old, I held that tiny bundle in my arms, and I knew instantly that I loved her. I knew I would fight for her. I would die for her, but I never knew how to make her feel that love. If there is one major regret in my life, it’s that I didn’t make Katelyn my world like she deserved to be. Instead, I just made her be part of my world.

GROW. I asked too much of her. I asked her to grow up too fast. I asked her to be too independent. I asked her to understand grown-up struggles and decisions that she could never comprehend. I asked her to be loving, without ever showing her what it was to be really loved. Let’s face it, at 19 years old, I didn’t even know who I was or what it meant to be a mother. I guess I expected that the bond between a mother and her daughter was something that just happened automatically. I never realized how much work and sacrifice were involved.

MALFUNCTION. And she’s gone. She’s always been gone. Since she was a child she wanted to live with my Mom. It’s as if deep inside she knew that there was some Mom function that I wasn’t fulfilling. My internal Mom-switch was malfunctioning, and she was the one who had to suffer. And when she saw me now, at 36 years old, with Brady, Avery and Finley…she knew. She knew I hadn’t given her what she needed. She knew that somehow these 3 babies were getting a totally different experience of me as a mother than what she had, and it was more than she could handle.

SAFE. I know she is safe and loved at my Mom’s house. I know that Bunny will enforce all the same rules I have in my home. I know my Mom will give her what she needs, exactly when she needs it. I’m trying not to feel hurt that she’s gone. I’m pretending like there isn’t a feeling of failure crushing me every minute that she’s away.

SECOND CHANCE. And so here I am, sitting in her empty room and staring at the bare walls. She packed up her life into cardboard boxes, and carried away a piece of my heart with every box. It has taken me a long time to finish writing this post, because it is filled with sorrow and regret. It’s hard to say out loud that I failed so miserably to connect with my oldest child….but there it is. I failed to connect with her. Maybe down the road, our relationship will get a second chance, and I can be the kind of mother she deserved all along.

 

I ate my placenta, and it made me happy August 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 3:49 pm

Placenta pillsEXPLANATION. I was recently tagged on Facebook in a link to an article titled something like “Scientists say there is no reason to eat your placenta”. Now, considering I’m one of those people who chooses to consume their placenta, I can only feel annoyed with this passive aggressive dig. Before you get all grossed out, I don’t roast it over an open flame, or turn it into chili. I dehydrate it, encapsulate it, and take it in pill form twice a day until my supply runs out. Pretty simple stuff. Truthfully, when Bill first suggested this to me 5 years ago, I was horrified. I couldn’t believe he would ask me to do something so….weird.

NOT WEIRD. And here I am, three pregnancies and three placentas later, and I’ll tell anyone who will listen that I think new Moms should encapsulate their placenta. I don’t have a science-y explanation for it. In fact, if my friend would have read the article, it simply says that scientists can’t “prove” that there are benefits….but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits. Please remember that at one time, scientists believed the world was flat. FLAT. That’s just fucking stupid. So let’s not hang on every word every published scientist say, m’kay?

It has been my experience that placenta encapsulation helps with hormone regulation and postpartum depression. From a hormone regulation standpoint, I had CRUSHING headaches after Finley was born……up until my placenta pills were ready. And with Brady, I had to skip a day of pills because my husband was down at Navy Pier and didn’t have time to make them before he left. I spent a full day crying about nothing. I think I cried 7 times in one day.

So, my Facebook friend, thank you so much for tagging me on Facebook to publicly call me out for your “I TOLD YOU SO” moment, but you’re wrong. You’re dead wrong. I ate my placenta, and it made me happy. And whether or not a scientist can prove that it worked doesn’t matter.