Category Archives: bebe

Breastfeeding the Second Time Around

This is my experience with breastfeeding my second baby. Please note that my experiences will not apply to every mother-baby dyad. If you are in need of breastfeeding assistance or support, please contact your local IBCLC or La Leche League.

My little man is now a month old and we’re starting to fall into a little bit of a rhythm, growth spurts notwithstanding. Breastfeeding has not been a walk in the park. I expected issues as this is a new baby I’m breastfeeding, but I know so much more about the early days, book learning and from experience with E. However, all of the knowledge that I repeat to other moms flies out of my head when it comes to me. I found myself worrying about all of the same things any mom would – supply, diapers, growth spurts, you name it. Here’s what I thought would happen with breastfeeding the second time around and what actually happened.

What I thought: milk supply would increase like crazy between days 2-5 post partum and I would leak like crazy.
What happened: my milk supply did increase between days 2-5 post partum, but my milk “came in” with a whimper rather than a bang. I didn’t have the rock hard, lumpy breasts that I had with E. Instead, my breasts felt full, but not hot, throbbing, or rock hard. I’ve leaked a little bit, but most days I do not wear nursing pads. It was the opposite with Ethan – I would soak through my nursing tank and t-shirt if I sniffed his head.

What I thought: it’d be smooth sailing with supply since it was my second baby and I had encapsulated my placenta this time around.
What happened: it was smooth sailing with supply for the first few days. Unfortunately, due to some complications with my post partum recovery, I had to take a medication that was known to reduce prolactin levels as a side effect. My milk supply did drop due to the medication. In addition to starting fenugreek, I asked a two trusted friends to pump some extra milk for me. I did have to use their donor milk on a few occasions when Rohan didn’t seem satisfied. One of those times was during a growth spurt at 7 days – you can bet I was thankful for those friends! These were the times where I felt like I was drying up. I finally feel like my supply has caught up with his demand, but it took a while.

What I thought: if there’s a tongue tie or a lip tie, we’ll get it taken care of quickly and move on with our breastfeeding journey.
What happened: I noticed Rohan’s lip tie in post partum the night he was born, but I wasn’t able to get a good look under his tongue. His lip tie is a class 3 (out of 4); it was so bad that even the on-call pediatrician at the hospital pointed it out to me. After an IBCLC friend came over to help the day after we got home, she pointed out his tongue tie as well. Although, I could’ve confirmed it thanks to my sore and bloody nipples. Yowch. I made an appointment to get them corrected with a popular and reputable dentist in the area, but there’s quite a wait. Our appointment is not for another few weeks. Things have improved, but I’m often sore after a feeding. If I’m not careful with how wide he opens his mouth, I can easily undo all of the healing with one bad latch. I’m making it through thanks to alternating Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Nipple Butter and Motherlove Herbal’s Nipple Cream, and ibuprofen.

A quick snack in the car while waiting to pick up Big Brother

And there you have it. That’s what breastfeeding the second time around has been like for me.  It has been more difficult in some ways but easier in others. Despite the ties and the lowered supply, Rohan was a half pound over birth weight at two weeks! Ethan wasn’t back at his birth weight until he was a month old. I’m glad that Rohan was a full term baby and a great eater, but the reduced supply has been very tough to bounce back from. Thanks to a very supportive husband reminding me that I can do this and not waiting too long before calling in some professional help, I believe that things are only going to get better. Here’s hoping Rohan and I make it to two years!

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This week’s fruit: mini-watermelon

Alternate title: #stillpregnant

In some serious shock about how pregnant I am…

How far along: 39 weeks. 39 WEEKS. I have never been this pregnant before. I don’t know what to expect anymore! I’m officially full term by ACOG’s recently revised standards!

Total weight gain: Probably about 8-10 pounds.

Maternity clothes: They barely fit. I usually wear yoga pants and a t-shirt that barely covers my belly.

Sleep: It is so interrupted at night! Heartburn, prodromal labor, and getting up to pee every few hours makes it very hard.

Miss anything: Sleep, being able to wear sandals without assistance, shaving my legs without getting winded.

Movement: Yes, but it’s a different type than before – still pretty powerful, but not so many jabs. More like moving around trying to get comfortable with what little room is left.

Food cravings: Those soft pretzel appetizer things from Chili’s, milk & Oreos, watermelon, apples, avocado, mangoes.

Anything making you queasy or sick: certain smells. I’m not sure of which ones until I smell them.

Have you started to show yet: There’s no hiding it, that’s for sure!

Baby’s Sex: Still unknown. We will find out when Baby makes his/her debut!

Labor signs: Consistently inconsistent contractions, I’ve spotted a little of my mucous plug in the toilet, was told of some cervical changes as of 3 weeks ago when I got my stitches out.

Belly button in or out: Still in, but maybe it will pop! Now I know why they’re referred to as a navel orange.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, but I can go from happy to weepy in seconds.

Looking forward to: Maternity leave starting on Monday, whether Baby is here or not. My water birth (fingers crossed), learning whether this little one is a boy or girl, a baby in my arms! Breastfeeding, being a mom of two, Ethan meeting his little brother or sister. Newborn noises and gulps and smiles and smells.

Lets see if I make it to pumpkin, shall we?

It’s Out

15 weeks ago to the day, I started bleeding and cramping while at work. I went to maternal observation only because I was 21+4 and I knew they wouldn’t turn me away. I was told my cervix was funneling and that my bag of waters was making its way down. I was told I had an incompetent cervix. I got an emergency cerclage that night. I’ve been on some form of bed rest ever since – in fact, it was 13 weeks of strict bed rest at home. The past 15 weeks have included a half dozen trips to maternal observation or labor & delivery because I could’ve sworn something wasn’t right. It has meant not going to work anymore, stopping all other activities, and living a very different life. It has meant not being able to pick up E and cuddle him when he was upset and sobbing, “Mommy, pick me up!”

Well, about an hour ago, the same doctor that put the stitches in took them out. My baby has grown stronger by the day. I am an incompetent cervix success story, an emergent transvaginal cerclage success story, proof that bed rest (while incredibly difficult) does help. This has by far been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

BUT


Photo by Valerie Cannon Photography

it has been worth it. Every twinge, ache, worry, and tear has been worth the rolls, kicks, punches, and hiccups that I feel. I can finally exhale and stop worrying about having a preemie. I can focus on labor, breastfeeding, and life with two kids. I cannot wait to meet you, Baby. I can’t wait to introduce you to the people who already love you so much.

30 Weeks – The Countdown Begins!

Click to enlarge so you can actually read it!

How far along: 30 weeks – 10 weeks from EDD, 6 weeks(!) from stitch removal, and 2 weeks from even greater viability.

Total weight gain: Within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.

Maternity clothes: I got to wear something other than yoga pants this week! The lovely moms from the mom-to-mom breastfeeding group I helped facilitate prior to bed rest threw me a sprinkle this week. I got to wear a maternity dress I bought months ago, blow dried & flat ironed my hair for the first time since January, and put on my going out makeup. It felt so nice to feel normal.

Sleep: I can’t get enough. The baby starts its calisthenics at about 1am every day. I’m usually up, thanks to pregnancy insomnia. I nap a lot during the day.

Miss anything: Social interaction, though the sprinkle helped a lot.

Movement: So much movement! The nightly exercise includes rolls, kicks, and punches. Sometimes I feel like the baby’s going to break through my pelvic floor!

Food cravings: guacamole, chocolate, grilled cheese, and funnel cake.

Anything making you queasy or sick: certain smells. I’m not sure of which ones until I smell them.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I love my big belly.

Gender Baby’s Sex: This has been bothering me for weeks. It’s not gender. It’s sex. We don’t know the baby’s sex. The gender will be determined after its born. Lots of green and yellow.

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks continue, but usually go away if I empty my bladder or drink water. Hoping not to see labor signs for another 6+ weeks.

Belly button in or out: Still in. I don’t think it’s going to pop.

Wedding rings on or off: On and they are kind of loose.

Happy or moody most of the time: Very moody. Regular pregnancy hormones + extra progesterone + dealing with bed rest = moody.

Looking forward to: 32 weeks, seeing the baby at my perinatologist appointment this week, getting baby stuff, stitch removal!

Big Belly Bliss

As I come into the home stretch of pregnancy, I think I can finally say I’m starting to enjoy it. At almost 30 weeks, I’ve grown accustomed to the kicks, rolls, hiccups, and jabs that this little one has been throwing out for several months. The heartburn isn’t that bad (yet) and having to pee every 10 minutes gives me the chance to stretch my legs and walk a little. It makes me a little sad that it took me so long to finally come to terms with the sudden transition from low risk pregnancy to a high risk pregnancy.

One of my favorite parts of pregnancy is the change my body goes through. The hips widening, the curve at the small of my back becoming more defined, the basketball I seem to be smuggling under my shirt, even the new stretch marks appearing because Baby enjoys hanging out on my left side. Yes, I am that weirdo lady that doesn’t mind stretch marks. Pregnancy is a time when I feel womanly and truly beautiful, especially when I’m in full bloom during the third trimester.

My most recent IG belly shot

My stomach has always been where I carried my extra weight. The spare tire, the muffin top, the pooch… I have them all when not pregnant. I don’t like drawing attention to it when my uterus is unoccupied. When pregnant, the opposite is true: I no longer feel the need to suck it in, I own many striped pregnancy shirts, and prefer a belly hugging top to an empire cut. I want to get my bump painted, henna’d, and photographed. I take the pregnant woman pose: hands on the back of my hips, stomach out in all its glory.

My iPhone camera and Instagram feed is filled with bathroom selfies. When I was pregnant with E, I went into labor the night before my maternity pics were to be taken. I don’t have any professionally shot maternity pics, but my husband took weekly bump pics for me (every Monday, after prenatal yoga). He hasn’t been taking weekly bump pics this time around and I’m not sure if the restrictions will be lifted long enough for me to have professional photos taken, so the phone bathroom selfies may just be it. Unless I can talk Dave into helping me with a belly cast in a few weeks…

Hello Third Trimester!

The last trimester of my last pregnancy. Very bittersweet feeling.


How far along: 28 weeks! As someone told me earlier this week, “the days are long, but the weeks fly by” – this is especially true on bed rest!

Total weight gain: I weigh 12 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. At my last midwife appointment, I learned that while I may be gaining weight, the bed rest is likely causing me to lose muscle tone 😦

Maternity clothes: If by maternity clothes, you mean yoga pants and t-shirts, then yes.

Sleep: So tired, and it’s just going to get worse from here on out.

Miss anything: Lots of social events, pedicures, hair cuts, wearing makeup every day (although I will wear it around the house when I have visitors), going outside, and Guinness.

Movement: Tons of it! Each kick, roll, hiccup, and punch is getting stronger by the day. Sometimes the kicks take my breath away.

Food cravings: avocados, Coke (don’t judge, I don’t give in very often), oranges, apples

Anything making you queasy or sick: the smell of cauliflower when it’s cooking.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, for weeks now. I am feeling large and in charge.

Gender: still a surprise. When my sister was here, we did some old wives tales to see if we could figure it out. Check out this video to see what we determined.

Labor signs: just Braxton Hicks. While it’s not a labor sign, my linea nigra is starting to come through.

Belly button in or out: Still in.

Wedding rings on or off: On and they are kind of loose.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. Still very moody.

Looking forward to: A refresher birth class this weekend, making it to 32 weeks.

It’s Not All Cutesy Pregnancy Updates

This pregnancy has been hard. Having to go from being really really busy to laying down for 99.97% of the day has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I definitely have my less than optimistic days, and today was one of them. I had a pity party of 1 which included lots of tears. Pregnancy hormones suck.

I am missing out on several fun pregnancy things that I was looking forward to, silly things like dressing the bump, getting my belly painted and/or henna’d, maternity pics, and even a baby shower/sprinkle/blessingway. I hate that I can’t do these things because gravity is not my friend. I just want a cervix that works. I hate that I feel really let down by certain friends because they’ve about fallen off the face of the earth for the past 6 weeks. Bed rest really makes a girl realize who is there for her and who isn’t (and cue the text messages asking how I’m doing from people I haven’t heard from in ages). I hate that I am missing out on events I’ve been looking forward to since before this baby was conceived. I hate that I feel like I have let people down. At least in reality everyone understands and has been supportive, so I’m really not letting anyone down.

Sorry Mrs. Gaskin, I respectfully disagree. Pretty sure mine is a lemon.

My body feels broken and I am not sure I trust it anymore. It’s making me apprehensive about labor. It’s making me even more apprehensive about breastfeeding. I don’t feel very connected to this baby or pregnancy. While I care very much about the growing life inside of me, I certainly don’t feel about it the way I felt with E. I’m almost a little grateful that this is the last pregnancy I will have. Almost. Then I get sad again about all of the things I won’t get to enjoy.

While this post is some sort of verbal (written?) diarrhea about feeling all the feels, I am trying very hard to keep a positive attitude. I’m so thankful for the friends who’ve come through in this tough time and have helped me take care of my family when I can’t. I’m thankful that I’ve made it this far. I’m thankful that there seems to be an end in sight. I’m thankful for every kick, punch, roll, and hiccup that grows stronger every day. I’m thankful for having fantastic health insurance. I’m thankful that E is old enough to understand that Mommy has a big ouch and needs to lay down a lot.

I’m looking forward to getting this damn stitch out and going into labor on my own. I’m looking forward to having my baby in water, even though it will be in a hospital setting and not at home. I’m looking forward to breastfeeding again, and all the newborn things (the desperation, the gulps, the sighs, the sleepiness, the warmth, the smell, the love) that come with it. I’m looking forward to getting to know a tiny person and watching him or her develop and learn. A tiny part of me is even looking forward to the newborn stage filled with no sleep, no showers, and no schedule.

There you have it. The roller coaster of emotion that has been my pregnancy. This post has been brought to you by pregnancy hormones and underwritten by 17P progesterone shots.