Having a third child is not in the cards for me. I’m entering my late 30s—nay, I have indeed arrived. I have my hands full with a kid starting kindergarten and the other one starting preschool this fall. And I’m investing nearly all of my creative energy into my work, with scant time left over for the writing projects I wish could gain some forward momentum on.
With that said, I miss breastfeeding. I couldn’t wait to kick my toddler off the boob, but here I go again. What I miss the most about it is the oxytocin rush. Nursing a babe did something wonderful to my brain chemistry.
Oh, speaking of which, thanks to those of you who have reached out to me, both publicly on this blog as well as privately, about my recent trials of various ADHD medications. If you’re waiting for a reply from me, I will be in touch with you soon. But as a general update, after a brief run taking Vyvanse, I have decided to quit trying to medicate for ADHD altogether, at least for now. The stimulants made me euphorious, then incredibly depressed. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the suppressed appetite did not make me lose weight, as I had hoped. Instead, it allowed me to keep buzzing along all day without eating, leading to a binge later in the day to get my blood sugar up. My husband commented that the ADHD medications seemed to be undoing all the good work that the sertraline had done for my mood and ability to navigate my day – and I agreed. I pulled the plug soon thereafter.
Well then. Now that I’m not getting the highs (and lows, thankfully) of that rush of dopamine you get with amphetamines, I’m back to chugging coffee like Starbucks is having a going-out-of-business sale. But I’m also seeking out, both consciously and unintentionally, more natural, less taxing ways to boost that feel-good chemical, to keep my days as stress-free and productive as possible. Here’s what I have done so far:
• Started exercising again. Thirty minutes elliptical on Saturday. And then yesterday I was busy. We’ll see if I can get this going again.
• No strength training yet, which I realize is a necessary accompaniment to cardio for weight loss, or possibly even more important. But right now, a bit of cardio a few times a week is probably all I can manage with my schedule.
• Eating better – just a bit. I can’t go back to the days of cutting all carbs for long stretches of time. Last time I did that, I almost passed out after lunch despite eating lots of protein and drinking water all day. I’m trying to make every calorie nutrient-dense and limiting, not forbidding, carbs.
• Getting some sunshine. I don’t know if this boosts dopamine levels, but I know it’s the best way to get Vitamin D. I brought my laptop outside yesterday with the kids.
• Imagined myself nursing a newborn … oh yeah, the point of this post.
Lately, when I see a baby or think of babies, or when I’m just really bored, I start to think about breastfeeding again. I remember when my first kid was a baby, I would feel like little hearts were flying out of my chest, and up into the sky, while she was nursing. Weird, I know. But that’s the feeling I got and the visual my brain dreamed up to go with it.
Last night I thought about how I probably won’t give birth again, and it made me a little sad. And then I imagined what it would be like to nurse a newborn again. And I felt a rush of happy and I felt/saw the little hearts flying up and out again, over my bed, while I was trying to get to sleep.
Later that night, I was finally drifting off to sleep after a period of insomnia, and my near-three-year-old cried for me. I crawled into bed with her, as I often do. I crawled back out after a while and returned to bed, where I dealt with a bit more insomnia. I hit snooze twenty-six million times, and got the kids to school late again.
So I don’t think I will be having a third baby. I also don’t think I want to try ADHD medications again. But who knows.