Today, I'd like you to meet Mike, one of our new parents from the Bravado Designs Breastfeeding Diaries Class of 2011.
Your eyes are not deceiving you! Mike Schaffer is here to provide our first-ever male breastfeeding perspective.
He and his wife, Marisa, a TV production executive, are expecting their first child this summer and have decided to attempt to breastfeed. Neither of them were breastfed, so they are anxious to go through this process together. While both travel for work quite often, Marisa’s job takes her on the road for long stretches, meaning Mike will have to be extra-involved in the pumping, bottling and feeding process. Planning to breastfeed for at least six months, they know this will require teamwork, coordination and trust.
A nationally-recognized social media and public relations strategist, speaker and blogger, Mike is now applying his exuberance to parenthood and breastfeeding. His instinct is to write about and share this journey. He also discusses preparing for parenting at TheFatherhoodGuide.com.
We asked each of the new bloggers these questions to get to know them better. Here is what Mike had to say:
If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you spend them? In no particular order: Watch old Wrestlemania matches, eat Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, play my guitar, drink my favorite beer, Golden Monkey (it's as delicious as the name implies), restart my fantasy sports addiction.
Besides your child, what is your proudest accomplishment? I did PR for a Mike Tyson boxing match... and survived to tell the story! Also, creating my blog www.thebuzzbymikeschaffer.com allowed me to explore career options I had never dreamed of before! Overall, saying I lived my dream by working in the sports industry before choosing to move on is a really cool thing for me. As I'm about to have a child, there are zero dreams I have to push on them.
If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be? Barack Obama - the man connected with people in new and creative ways.
How did you meet your spouse? How did you know she was "the one?" We met on a blind date! About six months after we met, we road-tripped from DC to Texas to visit her family. When we arrived back in DC after spending two weeks together, instead of parting ways, all we wanted to do was be together. We ordered pizzas, watched movies and that's when I knew.
What is your spouse's most endearing quality? What would he/she say about you? Marisa has vision. She can intuitively see down the road, and quite accurately. It's really impressive! I think she would cite my positivity as endearing. It makes us a really balanced couple!
What was your favorite thing about your wife being pregnant? It's been an amazing adventure to watch my wife transform physically and emotionally. Watching the maternal instincts kick in has been more fun than I thought it would be. Having a designated driver for a few months hasn't been such a terrible thing, either!
What do you dislike the most about your wife being pregnant? The 12 weeks of sickness was a real challenge. The pregnancy has been filled with other lifecycle events, like deaths in the family, househunting/moving, and professional opportunities and challenges.
What was your favorite week or month or trimester of pregnancy? One of our happiest days was when we decided to tell EVERYONE! I officially launched www.TheFatherhoodGuide.com that week, right around Valentine's Day. Being able to talk to our friends and not try to hide everything was a major relief.
What surprised you most about pregnancy? The biggest surprise to me was the overall discomfort. Trying to get comfortable in bed has been an ongoing issue, as everything changes constantly.
What part of being a parent excites you the most? I remember when I was a kid and my dad came home from work and I ran and jumped into his arms the minute he walked in the door. That's going to be fun! But the sense of family is what has me most excited. We get to create our own family, with shared memories and experiences.
What part of being a parent scares you the most? I'm most nervous about the first few weeks and months where I'll be learning to understand non-verbal cues from the baby. Hungry, diaper change, sore, hot, cold - she won't be able to tell us what's going on. College tuition is up there, too.