Archive for August 2013

Worst mother award goes :(

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Several years ago, a friend of mine, R, called me crying one evening when she realized that her daughter (who was several months at the time) had fallen off of her bed and hit her head on the floor.  She had called the doctor and answered a battery of questions whereby they determined that she would most likely be ok, but told her to watch her closely.  I rushed over to give any type of moral support that I could, although at the time, I was really not much help because I didn't have any kids of my own and had never experienced anything like that before.

I listened to my friend tell me that in the split second where she made the decision to go to another room, the baby just rolled right off.  She felt terrible.  She was worried about whether or not her daughter would be ok and was trying to pay close attention for any "out of ordinary" types of behaviors.  You would have think that I would have taken that experience and filed it in the mommy category of my brain for later use, right?  I guess there is only so much room up there for that type of info...

Over the past few weeks, I have not slept much.  B has been teething like crazy and pretty much has not slept at all (naps or nights).  This has caused me to go into a state of survival mode.  I am basically just crawling through each day and praying every morning that this coming night will be the night where he sleeps more than 3 hours, consecutively.  I have huge dark circles under my eyes that no amount of concealer will cover.

Yesterday when I got home from work, B was especially fussy.  It was about 85 degrees and humid in the house and feeding him was pretty miserable so we decided to go around the house and close all the windows so that we could turn on the AC.  After that I propped B up with some pillows in the corner of the couch and proceed to turn on the weather to see if the rest of the week would be so sticky.  B kept sliding down and I kept placing him back in the corner.  I ended up missing the future forecast so I grabbed the remote and proceeded to rewind to play it again.  In the few seconds that I was turned away, my baby managed to roll over at least twice and fell off the couch onto the floor.  I didn't even see him fall off it was that fast.  I just saw him lying on his side on the floor and heard him screaming.

In that moment, I was so shocked at what happened I didn't even cry right then.  I picked him up off the floor and hugged him so close, trying to console him.  He screamed and screamed with huge tears running down his face.  My poor baby.  How could I have been so stupid and careless?  I worked so hard to have him and I could be such an idiot to not be paying attention to him, the love and light of my life.

I first called my husband who let me know he was on his way home from Home Depot.  I tried calling my sister, who was at the gym with the car, but she didn't answer.  Then I called my friend R and asked her if she thought I should bring him to the ER (which would have been by ambulance because I didn't have a car at the moment).  She instructed me to call the pediatrician (who happens to be the same as B's) and answer their questions.

It seemed like an eternity before a nurse called me back.  B had already quit crying, had a massive poopy diaper, and was now giggling like nothing had even happened.  I had already taken him into the dark bathroom and made him follow a flashlight and made sure his eyes were dilating properly, which they were, thankfully.  She asked me the following questions (which may come in handy for you one day if you even have a momentary space cadet moment like me):

Did he cry immediately following the accident?  Yes.  He screamed bloody murder for 10 minutes until he was red in the face with tons of tears.

How high up was the couch?  Two feet or less from the floor.

What is the surface of the floor like?  Where he fell it is partial shaggy rug and partial wood floor.  He didn't make a loud noise when he fell either.

Does he have any visible lumps or red marks on his head?  His head is generally lumpy (like his Dad's haha), but nothing new that I felt.  No red marks on his head that I saw.

Did he vomit?  Not sure.  He spit up all over my dress while I was consoling him, but I am not sure how to tell the difference between vomiting and spitting up.  He had just eaten before he fell and has acid reflux, so this wasn't abnormal for him.

Was he grabbing toys like usual?  Yes.  He was grabbing toys, the spit up cloth, my hair...

What was his routine for the rest of the night?  Bath at 6:30 PM.  Dress, sleep sack, book, nurse.  Bed by 7:15 PM (hopefully).

What times does he usually wake up at night?  12 AM & 3 AM almost always (if not more).

She told me this...  Chances are that he was totally fine.  She said that babies his age are very resilient and that it probably hurt me more mentally than it hurt him physically.  That said, she told me to take him to the ER if I noticed any of the following:

  • He seemed sleepier than normal, for example, during his bath if it was hard to keep him awake.
  • He seemed fussier than normal.
  • He started vomiting.
  • We wasn't hungry and wouldn't nurse like normal.
She also told me this was not the night to let him STTN.  She told me to wake him at 12 AM and 3 AM if he did not wake on his own to eat.  If he was difficult to wake up and didn't want to nurse then she told me to bring him to the ER, ASAP.  

So last night when B fell asleep after only 10 minutes of snuggling, following his routine, I was worried instead of happy to have a few hours to myself.  While in his bed, I kept checking in on his to see if he was breathing even though we have the Angel Care monitor and a video monitor.  Thankfully he woke up before either of my alarms went off in the middle of the night so I didn't have to worry about that.  He ate with no issues.  This morning he is back to his normal cheerful self.  I am so incredibly thankful.  

I guess the moral of the story is that even if your 4 month old has not yet rolled from back to front, it doesn't mean that they are not capable of doing it in the blink of an eye and when you least expect.  

I called my mom yesterday evening, looking for some consoling.  She told me about the time I rolled off the dining room table onto the floor.  She told me of other times that brothers and sisters had fallen down the stairs.  It made me feel better.  A few other friends that I texted said the same thing.  One friend said all 3 of her kids had had similar types of accidents and were all ok.  That made me feel so much better.  I guess something like this was bound to happen eventually.  Hopefully it will make me more vigilant for the future.  Until then, lesson learned, no more propping little B on the couch... 

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The highs and lows of breastfeeding (and what they don't tell you)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

**PAIL Monthly Theme: "Feeding your child" - I am finally participating in my first (and hopefully not last) PAIL monthly writing prompt post!  This topic was selected because it is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.  Enjoy!**

Before I had B, I remember thinking about how much I wanted to breastfeed, but how scared I was to do it.  I signed up for classes, consulted friends and family, and G.oogled like crazy.  I was very worried that I wouldn't have enough of a supply for my little man.  I spent a decent amount of time obsessing over this.  In the back of my mind I worried about things like the pain and pumping at work, but honestly the forefront of my nervousness was centered around supply.  Maybe I figured that since I had such a tough time with keeping pregnancies and being pregnant that this would be one more thing I would struggle with.  Little did I know what completely different types of breast feeding challenges that would lie ahead of me...

Like any other responsible mother, I had a birth plan.  I was adamant about sticking to that birth plan.  I printed out 20 copies of that freaking plan and distributed them to any and everyone on the hospital staff that would take one.  Amongst major plan points such as no epidural until I was screaming in pain, no pacifier for the baby to avoid nipple confusion, baby rooming with us 100% of the time so that we could bond, etc., was my insistence on having the baby breastfeed as soon as possible following his birth.  Oh and my greatest wish of all was nothing but breast milk for my baby.  PERIOD.  Everything that I had read warned of the "dangers" of introducing formula instead of or before breast milk.   My baby might not bond with me or he might grow horns or something.  Of course I would be the mom to let my baby lay on my chest following a picture perfect birth and let him leisurely find his way to one of my nipples as nature intended.  Then a silly thing called Murphy's Law came to fruition and I may as well have set that stupid birth plan on fire.

My unplanned c-section was a huge factor in me not following 95% of my birth plan.  Following my complicated surgery, I remember few things about those first hours of breastfeeding.  I remember shaking uncontrollably and struggling to keep my eyes open whilst my delivery nurse tried to shove my baby on my boob, try to make him latch, and explain to me how to breastfeed.  I couldn't even comprehend what was going on.  I was exhausted from a nearly 40 hour labor and 3 hours of pushing followed by the c-section.  The last thing I felt like doing was trying to get the hang of breastfeeding.  I wanted to be asleep.  Birth plan?  What birth plan?  Good night.

No one really prepares you for what to expect in those early days of breastfeeding.  Throw a c-section in the mix and you're screwed.  Add a raging case of PUPPPs and 2 blood transfusions and you're royally (pardon my French) F*CKED.  My hospital room became a revolving door for doctor's, nurses, lactation consultants, friends, and family trying to "help" me breastfeed.  During those first few days I found out that I had extremely small nipples, that milk doesn't come in as fast when you have a c-section, and that if your baby loses 10% of his body weight that they force formula on you.  Who knew?

Giving my son formula in the hospital made me feel awful.  Once again my body wasn't working right and I was going to forever change the optimal balance of bacteria in his little stomach with this "evil" concoction.  I cried as I pumped using the hospital's machine and saw only a few drops of colostrum fall into the cup after pumping for 30 minutes.  One of the nurses declared me an utter failure so I was determined to prove her wrong.  I pumped around the clock and had almost an ounce of colostrum saved up.  When I excitedly went to show my husband what I had done, I tripped and dropped the whole thing on the floor.  Don't cry over spilt milk?  Ummm I don't think that applies to colostrum.  I sobbed for several hours as the nurses and lactation consultants hooked me up with the SNS system and I watched my starving baby guzzle the formula.  F.A.I.L.

I thought that was as difficult as things would get with regards to breastfeeding.  My milk would eventually come in, my baby would get the hang of it, and we would all live happily ever after.  In a perfect world, this is what things might look like.  In reality, my milk came in with an evil vengeance.  My boobs felt like 2 hot rocks and my nipples were bloody with gross scabs.  I leaked (or rather sprayed) every time I took off my shirt.  I dreaded every 1.5 hours because it meant my barracuda baby would have to latch.  I tried the lanolin and gel pads, but thank God for nipple shields or I may have quit.  Thank God my mom was there to listen to me sob on the phone in pain.  She assured me it would get better...eventually.

To help boost the supply I thought might be low, I ate oatmeal every morning, I added brewer's yeast to everything, I chugged Mother's Milk tea, and made batches and batches of lactation cookies.  I even attended a weekly breastfeeding support group!  I would not let my baby and I become victims of a low supply.  No way!

It was around a month after my son's birth when I noticed him spitting up a ton around the clock.  He would choke on my milk when he was drinking and would writhe and wiggle with pain after each feeding.  I was lucky to keep him eating for more than 5 minutes on each side.  His poops were bordering on mucousy green.  The lactation consultant dubbed him a "BK drive-thru baby" and told me that I had an overactive letdown and (gasp) a potential over supply. She told me to stop the oatmeal, lactation cookies, and tea.  The pediatrician told me that it was either acid reflux or some type of an intolerance to what I was eating.  She told me to stop eating dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, and peanuts and to give the baby Zantac.  Oh, no problem!  Now I am that pain-in-the-ass person who has to look at the special menu or needs to lie about being allergic to soybeans because I am sure Johnny Server really doesn't want to get into a discussion about how what I eat affects my milk.  The kicker with all of this is that my baby still spit up a ton (poor kid lives in his multi-colored BRU terry cloth bibs) and still cried after he ate on many occasions.  So much for those solutions to the problem!

Breastfeeding in public is an art that I haven't been able to fully master.  Trying to position a squirming and crying baby on a boob under a hot cover-up is like trying to thread a needle in a low-light sauna.  Not comfortable and not easy.  Dealing with people staring at me makes me more angry than self-conscious.  Yes, I have boobs.  Yes, one of them is out of my shirt.  Yes, my baby is sucking on one of my boobs.  Take your stupid stare elsewhere and let me feed my hungry baby in peace!  Sheesh!

I came to find out that three month maternity leave goes by so very quickly and wasn't the 3 month vacation from work that I had imagined.  I blinked and I was back in the office.  Unlike coming back after a 3 month vacation, nice and rested, I was exhausted and loopy.  I soon learned that I had to fight with the daytime nappers to use the lactation, or "quiet" room, as my company calls it. Pumping every 3 hours during the day at work is tough.  Lugging the bag full of milk home from work is even tougher.  Cleaning all of the pump parts 3-4 times a day is a huge P.I.T.A.  For the first time, I realized that I missed nursing my baby.  I missed the comfort of looking at him happily sucking away and hearing him gulp.  I missed him lovingly rubbing my belly and pulling off to look at me with milk running down his smiley face.  I missed breastfeeding my baby.  

The truth is, my relationship with breastfeeding has been rocky.  It started out rough and then got rougher.  Through it all, I have learned this, nothing ever goes as planned, so put that silly birth plan in the circular file.  You need to learn to be flexible, adaptable, easy-going.  Just like any other skill, breastfeeding takes time to develop.  All of the planning, research, and classes in the world are not going to prepare you for your breastfeeding journey.

So if you are planning on breastfeeding your baby (high five if you are after reading this post :-), my one piece of advice to you would be to NOT listen to those people who claim that breastfeeding is a natural thing that just happens as soon as the baby is born.  Breastfeeding is hard and hurts and in the early days it just plain sucks.  Sometimes you need to supplement with formula.  Sometimes you need to switch from the breast to formula completely.  It's all ok.  You do what you gotta do to keep your baby healthy and growing.  Some of the smartest kids I know were straight formula fed.  I am happy that breastfeeding is finally working for me, but it may not be working for you, and that is ok.

If you are still breastfeeding than I am sure you can relate to some or all of this post.  There are ups and downs, but once you finally get into a groove it really does become second nature and possibly even an enjoyable way to connect with your baby.  Personally speaking, I am glad that I have stuck with it for (gasp) the past 4 months.  I hope to be able to continue until it makes sense for me to stop.         

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Holy moly 4 months already

Monday, August 19, 2013

I can't believe that I just got back from taking my little one to his 4 month appointment today.  He weighs a whopping 17 lbs even and is 25.25 inches long.  He is in the 80th and 56th percentiles (respectively).  I have a chubby baby!

The doctor was very pleased with his growth.  This little over-achiever already has his first tooth coming through on the bottom right.  He has rolled over from front to back, three times.  He can sit in his exersaucer with a pillow under his feet.  He is doing really well.  The only not so great part about our visit today was the 4 vaccines that he had to get.  It is the saddest thing to see your baby kicking and smiling joyfully and then screaming in terror as they are stuck in the leg with the needle.  Ugh it is the worst.

Tomorrow is B's appointment at the Children's Hospital for his acid reflux.  We will finally figure out (or start down the road to finding out) if this is what he has or if it really is a MSPI (milk/soy protein intolerance).  I am hopeful that there is nothing wrong with him at all and he just spits more than the average baby.  I would love to enjoy a slice of pizza again.  :-)

I have two appointments with daycare centers coming up.  One is this coming Friday, near our house.  The other is next Wednesday near my work.  It will be quite interesting to see these places and hear about how expensive they are.

As for me, 4 months post baby and I am happy to post that my diastasis recti is back down to normal levels.  I have gone from a more than 4 finger separation to tight 2 finger separation.  My physical therapist was quite impressed with my progress and she sent me on my merry way with a packet full of exercises that I can continue to do in the coming months (and a whole set of pregnancy ones if I end up pregnant again someday).  She also cleared me for crunches and yoga.  I am sooooo excited to start yoga again!  In an upcoming post, I am going to document the exercises that I did so I can help people who are looking for advice on this topic.  I had trouble finding anything that wasn't a gimmick or that I didn't have to pay for a few months back.

I am also pleased to say that I am down to 125 lbs and I fit into a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans this last weekend!  I was happily shocked.  The jeans were definitely big on me pre-pregnancy and they are just fitting now, but hey, I'll take it.

Last week I was able to run 5 days out of 7.  Granted they were not fast runs and they were not especially long runs, but I was able to do it and work and take care of B.  I am hoping to keep up with at least 3-4 days a week and walks on other days.  B loves going with me.  I think he is going to be my new favorite running buddy!  :-)

This past weekend was one of the most social that I have had yet.  I feel like I am finally getting back to a semblance of my old self and am getting the hang of this working mommy thing.  Friday night I left baby with Daddy and attended my sister's birthday party.  Even though I was the first one to leave the party, I was out until almost midnight.  Late night for me!  Be was great for Daddy, too.  He slept the whole time I was gone.  Saturday, my husband and I went to a BBQ with B.  Three other babies that were the same age as B were there.  It was a riot.  Sunday, I went to the local farmer's market, got coffee and took a stroller walk with my sister and B, and then met up with a few families at the beach.

It took me 4 months (and 2 years) to get here, but I am content, finally.  Life is good.  I didn't think I would ever get the chance to feel this way.  I am so very thankful.    

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The high cost of childcare

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I am very lucky to have my sister nanny for B right now.  As a child, I never went to daycare or even preschool so I have no real experience with it.  My mom stayed home with us.  You might think that I missed out on social interaction with other kids my age and didn't get enough mental stimulation.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I was the oldest of seven kids so starting at age 17 months, I always had at least 1 playmate.  My mom also had a very close knit group of 7 friends who also had children that were around the same age as me and my siblings so we had regular play dates.  I never felt like I missed out on anything.  I was always appreciative of my mom that she stayed home with my brothers, sisters, and I.

Fast forward back to now.  Unfortunately, I can't stay at home with my baby boy.  Mommy and Daddy have to go to work to be able to pay the mortgage and to be able to afford to buy food.  I would love nothing more than to stay home with him, but it just isn't in the cards for us.

My sister is doing an awesome job with B!  She plays with him, takes him for stroller walks, and brings him to music class every week.  The little over-achiever even rolled over twice yesterday from front to back and is threatening back to front on a daily basis.  The problem is that my sister is not going to want to nanny forever.  She wants to go back to school to get her masters and to wants to ultimately end up with a teaching job.  This means that eventually little B will have to go to daycare.  I am dreading this for many reasons.

The costs of childcare in my area, and probably in most areas around the country, is crazy high.  I have inquired into a few centers near my house and they all have extremely high rates and very long waiting lists.  What is annoying to me, is that my husband and I both work full time jobs.  We work very hard, pulling in many extra hours a week as salaried employees.  I went to college and he did not.  We both make around the same salary (don't get me started on that one), which when combined, is enough for a comfortable existence.  We can pay our bills, we own a house, and we can afford to go on a simple vacation every year.  Where I live, if you are on welfare, you can get free or very low cost childcare at the same places that I would have to pay big bucks at AND you child does not have to wait on a waiting list.  They can skip the line and get right in.  How is that fair?

Like many of my good friends, my husband and I decided to have a child when knew we could afford the child.  We may have even waited so long that it cost us fertility issues, but that is a different story.  My friends and I work hard to pay for the things that we have.  Others around me get pregnant and then get pregnant again and again and cannot even afford the first child that they had.  They then get free child care as a reward.  I work my tail off (and I paid for college myself) and both my child and I get screwed.  I'll basically have to send my son wherever I can get in, even if it is not my first second or third choice because I have a job and make a decent living.  It makes my blood boil.

Oh and if we should be lucky enough to have a second child, the costs go up from there.  The second child would need to be in daycare from the time he/she turned 3 months old.  Half of either my husbands or my salary would go towards childcare costs.  It is sad and it sucks.  Long gone are the days where one salary is enough to support a family of 4.  I am not sure how my Dad was able to work to support 7 children.  We didn't get everything we wanted, but I never felt deprived.  We rarely went out to dinner, but I never went hungry.  I never flew to Disneyland, but we traveled in our van on a family vacation somewhere every year and we always had a great time.

I had a conversation with my neighbor who has two young girls.  She stayed home to watch them or had someone come to the house to watch them while she worked part time.  When it came time for her to send her kids to daycare/preschool, she found herself in a pickle because of waiting lists and the crazy application process that you would think was for an ivy league private education.  Because her girls had not gone to a center for formal daycare and were not on any government assistance programs, they were pushed to the bottom of the list.  The girls are bilingual and they could not get in anywhere.  Oh and I don't even want to think about the costs which my neighbor mentioned cost more than my public college education.

Then there is the option of home daycare.  I have some friends who are going to be sending their children to home daycares in the area.  The problem with that, for me anyways, is that they are not regulated by the state and this they do not have to abide by any specific rules.  I have heard horror stories from home daycare situations.  I don't think I would be able to concentrate at work, not knowing exactly what kind of care my child was getting.

Right now I feel quite trapped and overwhelmed.  I know I need to get on some waiting lists and take some tours of daycare centers.  I am trying to set all of this up while working my full-time job and taking care of B at night.  I am worried that I may have waited too long to start this process.  The problem was that I was too worried that I would jinx my miracle baby if I started looking at daycare centers when I was pregnant or even when he was a newborn.  Now we are screwed in a major way.

I have sought advice from several mothers groups and my friends and they have offered some advice.  I still feel like I am wandering around in the dark though, holding my baby close and dreading the day I have to leave him with people that I don't know, at a center that isn't close to my house, at a place that I was lucky to get into at all, and paying half of my salary to do it.  It is enough to make me sick to my stomach. 

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You may be wondering what the heck dyspareunia is.  Sounds like a really bad disease.  Luckily it is just a fancy word for painful intercourse, something that I have unfortunately become a victim of.  I made a return to my old GYN this morning.  It was weird going to the place where I last went 2 years ago to have a D&C on such different terms.  Sitting in the waiting room amongst many preggos and babies, I finally felt at peace.  No anger, no sadness, no frustration.  I even made friends with the cutest 15 month old baby.

I definitely confused the heck out the medical staff with my current situation.  The last time I saw them was in December of 2011.  I had my second miscarriage and was there for a follow-up where the doctor proceeded to tell me that there was nothing wrong with me and to keep trying.  Well, thanks to the fact that I have a PPO, I made the decision to see a RE on my own and did not tell them.  One miscarriage, several months of fertility treatment, a pregnancy, and a c-section later, I was back.  Because their medical system is not on the same system as the RE/OB that I was seeing, I had to hash out the long and painful story of the last year and a half in medical terms, twice (once to the nurse and once to the doctor).

I thought I would get a lecture about how I should not have taken matters into my own hands, but the nurse didn't really care and the doctor was really nice and understanding.  He spent a lot of time trying to understand what I had gone through.  I think we talked for at least 20 minutes about everything.

He took a look at my incision and said it looked fine.  He commented on how low it was but made the inference that, based on the situation with B getting stuck in my pelvis, was the reason.  Next I had the lovely metal speculum inserted (OUCH!) so that they could do a culture to make sure I did not have some type of infection.  After that was the lovely internal exam.  He did a few tests to see where I felt the pain.  It ended up being at the back of my vag/perineum area where I whelped in pain.  He felt around my uterus and cervix to feel for adhesions or obvious scar tissue sticking out, but he found nothing, which was good.  I also had no pain associated with that part of the exam, which he said was good.

Based on the exam he made the assumption that my issue is muscle tension from lack of use (haha) and now mental association causing the muscles to tense even more after having had one painful experience.  Basically, now I am expecting it to hurt so I am not enjoying it and not relaxing the muscles.  He also said that the mini-pill and breastfeeding will kill your desire along with exhaustion.  He mentioned that it was a myth that all women are "ready" for sex again 6 weeks postpartum.  He said it usually takes much longer.  Even after making this "diagnosis" he decided that he still wants me to have an ultrasound on 8/30 to make sure I don't have anything else going on that he can't feel.  Basically, because of my 2 D&Cs and c-section my uterus could have some scarring that would be better found now rather than later when I want to try to get pregnant again.  Fine by me.

So I guess the good news is that there doesn't appear to be anything seriously wrong with me.  I guess I'll find out for sure in a few weeks.  The doctor told me to use lots of lube (duh) and to work at it slowly when I am not stressed out.  Haha.  I am always stressed about something!  

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The great sleep strike

Monday, August 12, 2013

I have reached a whole new level of sleep deprivation and exhaustion that I never knew existed.  Saturday I went to the grocery store for the sole purpose of getting walnuts to make a pesto for our salmon.  I managed to spend almost $50 and ended up forgetting to get freaking walnuts.  How embarrassed was I when I had to tell my husband that we were not going to have any pesto with dinner because I forgot it?  Oye.   

Many "concerned" people tried to warn me as soon as they found out that I was pregnant, that I would not be sleeping for at least the next 18 years.  I wanted to slap the $#!t out of those people.  Didn't they know that I had tried for so long to have a baby?  Sleep was the last thing that I cared about.  Of course babies don't sleep when you first bring them home, but they grow out of the waking multiple times a night and every thing is hunky dory.  Ha.

My little B has turned into quite the night-time party animal...drinking (breast milk of course!), arms flailing, talking, and laughing up a storm at 11:30 PM, 1 AM, & 3 AM.  All we need is some Jay-Z and we would have a regular dance party USA.  Now I have to get up for work at 4:30 AM, so this schedule is just totally sucking for me.  Last night I fell asleep at 9:30 PM and then was up at 11:30 PM and then for most of the rest of the night.  It is getting impossible to track his sleep on Baby Connect anymore because there are so many starts and stops.  Today my diary entry was "B doesn't sleep".  Enough said. 

I thought we were making progress when I was able to get him to go to sleep last night at 7:30 PM.  We followed his regular routine:

  • Gave him a bath at 6:30 PM.
  • Gave baby massage with lavender lotion.
  • Read 2 books (well 1 1/2, because he got fussy half way through "Sweet Dreams Roo").
  • Swaddled with 1 arm out.
  • Sound machine on w/sounds of the womb.
  • Laid him in his crib awake, but tired at 7:20 PM w/ pacifier.
  • Sat in glider and watched him fidget and finally fall asleep at 7:30 PM.
  • Woke up 45 min later and needed his arm pinned down for 1 minute before falling asleep until 11:30 PM.
I think I know what a few of the issues are here, I am just not sure how to correct them all...

1.  I think that part of the problem right now is the fact that once B wakes up, I bring him into our bed to feed him and 99% of the time I fall asleep doing it and wake up 2 hours later when he fusses.  I need to break out of this habit and put him back in his bed when he is done eating.  I think he just smells me and thinks it is time to eat again.  I need to get my lazy ass out of bed and walk the 10 feet to his bedroom to put him down in his crib. 

2.  He has developed the bad habit of getting distracted when eating during the day.  He now only eats for 2-4 minutes on a side during the day when I breast feed him.  He pulls off and looks at me and smiles.  OMG.  I love that smile, but I want to the kid to get most of his calories during the day so that I can sleep a little more at night.  He is over 16 lbs.  He should be able to go at least 5 hours in between feedings!

3.  He has serious gas at night.  My diet change has done nothing to help this.  I am counting down the days until we see the gastroenterologist. 

4.  He isn't really napping well, or should I say he isn't really napping at all.  He takes a 45 min- 1.5 hr nap in the morning and then that is pretty much it for the entire day.  He will nap on a walk or in the car, but he doesn't like to go to sleep in the afternoon because he is too busy doing things that almost 4 month old babies like to do (like trying to roll over and babbling up a storm).

Every morning I wake up and pray that tonight might be the night where I get 5 hours a uninterrupted sleep.  All I want is just 5 hours!!!  When I wake up sleep deprived and groggy I try to remind myself that this is just a phase, that he will grow out of.  When I see his smiling face for our 5:40AM scheduled feeding before work, it is tough to be too upset because he is just so freaking adorable.  Tomorrow I am working from home due to a scheduled GYN appointment for me and my "painful intercourse" issue (I'll have an exciting update about that tomorrow...haha), so I can "sleep" a little later.

Until I get my 5 hours of sleep, you'll find me sleeping under my desk...ZzzzZzzzZzzz.    

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Never give up!

Friday, August 9, 2013

I can't even believe that it has been a little over one year since I found out that I was pregnant with my baby B.  After so many months of testing and going through the pain of losing pregnancy after pregnancy, I finally got another positive pregnancy test and another hope of a take home baby.

Of course, the road through the pregnancy was long and uncertain.  I was never sure if my doctor's visit would yield a positive or negative outcome.  I developed serious anxiety around going to the doctor to the point where my blood pressure was borderline high.  Ultrasounds were the absolute worst.  Silence from the technician was my cue for tears. I was petrified to "graduate" from the RE to an OB because it might jinx my situation.  Each test was more reason for headaches, sweaty palms, and stomach aches.  The Doppler became my best friend and my worst enemy.  Food aversions and nausea also plagued the first half of my pregnancy.  Thyroid issues, shingles, diabetes, PUPPPs...made the second half of my pregnancy even less enjoyable.  Even in the last few weeks of my pregnancy I still worried that I might not get to see my baby.  Fears of still birth raided my dreams at night.

From the second that I saw my baby's face, I knew that everything that I went through was worth it.  All of the memories of struggle and heartache in the beginning and all of the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and childbirth were pushed to the back of my mind.  If you asked me a year ago at this time where I would be today, I would never have guessed that I would be a mommy to an almost 4 month old.  I was convinced that I would never be able to carry a baby to term, but also more determined than ever to prove myself wrong.

Some people have been following my blog for a while now and others have stumbled upon it recently while searching for info regarding long cycles and late ovulation.  Still others seem to land here via a random Google search about miscarriages, looking for hope that their situation might have been experienced by someone else out in the universe who has ultimately been able to have a healthy baby.  My message to anyone looking for advice, guidance, or support would be this: never give up!  The journey my not always be easy.  There may be many bumps in the road.  There may be unexpected twists and turns.  There may be sadness and heartache, too.  Your journey may be easier or harder than mine.  Everyone's is different.  I think that it was all worth everything that I went through, for me anyways.

I wish anyone who reads this blog and is going through the same crap that I went through, the best of luck.  As always, I love hearing from people and though I might not always be the fastest to respond these days, I will write back to you!  Any support that I can give you, I will!


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The joys of pumping at work

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Before I started back to work last week, I scoured the web to find resources and articles about pumping.  Thinking about the logistics made my head spin.  How many times a day would I need to pump?  For how long would I need to pump?  What types of supplies would I need?  Would I feel uncomfortable popping out my boobs in a small room while at work?  Would pumping interfere with my work day?  Yadda, yadda, yadda. 

I found a few of helpful places that helped to point me in the right direction:

1.  KellyMom - Pumping & Employment:

2.  La Leche League - Pumping:

3.  Work & Pump -

Nothing could really have prepared me fully for the experience.  Granted I am only 1 1/2 weeks in, but I feel like I am sort of a pro at it now.  It honestly is not as hard as I thought it was going to be, but there are some tips I'd like to share that have helped to make my experience a little better.  I wish I could have heard these tips before I started so I figure that I may as well share them with you all. 

1.  It's the pump that counts.  Back when I was pregnant, I found out that insurance would cover a breast pump.  I was excited to knock that item off of the registry.  I was dead set on getting a Medela, since it seems to be the gold standard in the pumping world.  I was unsure on the actual pump to get.  My insurance fully covered the "Pump In Style Advanced".  When I went to pick it up, I found it to be quite heavy.  My daily commute to work includes up to 4 miles of walking, so I was worried about the heaviness.  I ended up getting the "Freestyle", which is the lighter version of the double electric pump.  It can be used away from the bag, which is something that the Freestyle can't do.  The cooler bag and ice pack that were included with the pump are awesome.  I freeze the pack at night and place the milk in there and in the fridge.  It is a good system.  I am so extremely glad that I got this pump.  It has been awesome so far.  I would STRONGLY recommend it to anyone who has to walk to work with the bag and doesn't want to be tired to the bag.

The Medela Freestyle

The cooler bag included with the pump
2.  Extra supplies are a MUST!  On Monday, I did a stupid thing and forgot bottle lids.  I realized it when I was pumping my first session.  Luckily, I had one extra lid from the previous week in the bag, so I didn't have to dump the session.  That would have killed me.  After pumping I headed to the drugstore to purchase some more milk storage bags (I have a bazillion at home).  I now keep the 1/2 the extra bags in my desk at work and the other 1/2 in the bag, just in case.  I also purchased a complete set of spare parts for the pump.  This will be helpful if something breaks and I need a backup, but also so that I always have a clean/dry set to use. 

3.  An emergency manual pump.  I have never used this, but I bought the Medela Harmony Manual Pump on Amazon for $40.  I am keeping it at my desk at work for emergency situations, like if I forget my pump at home or my electric pump malfunctions.  It is insurance that I am glad to have.

4.  Axillary pumping items.  I have the Medela Quick Clean Wipes, which I would strongly recommend.  You don't need water.  I clean the parts between my first 2 sessions at work and then put them into a clean gallon sized bag.  I have a bottle of hand sanitizer.  This is good after touching the gross community doorknobs.  Tissues/paper towels are also handy.  I seem to spill a lot and also I use the paper towels to quickly air dry the parts after wiping them down.  I keep extra breast pads and lanolin in the bag as well.  You never know when you might need one of those items.

Awesome Medela Quick Cleaning Wipes!
5.  I find that pumping at 8:30 AM, 12 PM, and 3 PM for 15 minutes at a time works for me.  I usually get the most out of the first session and less and less after each subsequent session.  I seem to get at least 4-5 oz at each session though.  Once I have even gotten 8.  Not sure what I ate that helped me produce that much!  I book the time in my Outlook calendar at work like a meeting so that no one schedules me for anything during those times.  Sometimes I go a little earlier or later depending on how my day is going.

6.  Start pumping one extra time a day before going back to work to build up a stash in the freezer.  I did this and I am so glad that I did.  I have over 100 oz in the freezer just in case.  I actually keep adding a little to it each day to the point where I am running out of freezer space!  I guess it is time for a deep freezer!

7.  Walking in and out of the "lactation room" (or "quiet room" as my company calls it) is awkward.  Being in the lactation room at all is awkward.  Waiting to use the lactation room is both tedious and annoying.  Today I ran into an issue where someone was parked in the room with the door locked for 45 minutes plus.  I am the only person pumping in my office right now, so the person that was in there was either taking a private phone call or taking a nap.  I was pretty infuriated and made a call to HR.  I asked for a sign-up sheet for the room, which I think is a reasonable idea, but I am not sure the idea will go anywhere.  For now I am left to fend for myself and I pray every time I go to pump that the door is open.

The dungeon (a.k.a. lactation room)
My view while pumping, very inspiring!
8.  Nursing clothing is underrated and over priced.  I only have a few dresses and tops that I can wear to work that are nursing friendly.  The rest of the days, I am forced to sit on my sweater (it is about 50 degrees F in my office, year round) and pull up my shirt or dress which sucks.  Nursing clothing is usually hideous and also quite expensive.  Deep v-neck shirts/dresses are my new b(r)e(a)st friends. 

9.  I don't use a hands free bra.  Well rather I didn't purchase one.  I seem to be able to do hands free with a regular nursing bra by leaving it clipped and just wedging the pump shields in there.  Once the section gets going, they stick on pretty well and I can surf the web on my iPhone.

10.  When I get home I fill up a pink bucket (that I was gifted at the hospital) with the Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap and hot water, let the parts soak for 5 minutes, rinse them, and dry them on the bottle rack.  Some people say the soap isn't worth it.  I beg to differ.  It leaves no residue and requires no scrubbing.  The bottles are squeaky clean. 

So in a nutshell, this is my life for 2 plus hours a day for the next 6 plus months (I hope).  It is tough and kid of a pain, but I am hoping that my hard work pays off.  I know that I appreciate the time that my mom spent breastfeeding me.  I hope little B feels the same way when he gets older! 

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