Category Archives: breastfeeding

Friday Favorites – Post Partum Edition

I thought I’d ease back into blogging by writing about a few things that’ve been really enjoying since Rohan was born. I haven’t been able to do a whole lot since I spend the better part of my day breastfeeding a newborn, but here are a few things I am loving for Friday Favorites. These are vastly different than the Friday Favorites I’ve done in the past… here’s hoping I get to write about some of those things soon!

aden + anais for Target Swaddle Blankets. These were on our registry and we ended up getting two packs of them. My husband wasn’t sure what we would do with 8 swaddle blankets, but trust me, we’ve found uses for them now that baby’s here. Since E was born in December, the thick fleecy swaddle/receiving blankets would be way too hot in Texas in May. These linen blankets are just the right thickness to keep baby warm when the A/C is blasting. They’re super soft, but durable, and make a great surface to change a diaper or lay baby down. They’re great for swaddling, too!

Boba Wrap in Stardust. This has been a lifesaver during growth spurts, when Rohan wouldn’t sleep unless it was on me. Wearing him close to my chest in the wrap has been wonderful. I get to sniff and kiss his head, he gets to sleep and be close to me. Everyone wins. I had a different stretchy wrap when E was a baby, but I didn’t care for it. I never felt like I could get it tight enough. The Boba Wrap is very stretchy, which allows me to get it really tight. I’m not sure if it is actually longer than the other stretchy wrap, but I am able to wrap it around myself several times. I wasn’t able to do that with the last stretchy wrap I had. Plus the Stardust print is gorgeous!

In the midst of a growth spurt where someone is refusing to sleep.


Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
 and Motherlove Nipple Cream. Unfortunately, I did not buy these before I had the baby and was stuck using lanolin in the hospital for a few days. I’m not a fan of lanolin because it doesn’t absorb well into my skin and it likely leaves a film in baby’s mouth. The baby has a pretty significant lip tie and a tongue tie as well. As you can imagine, my nipples were pretty torn up before we even left the hospital. I prefer these to lanolin because they absorb into my skin and don’t feel slimy like lanolin does. I typically alternate between the two of them, even though their ingredient list is similar. I keep one in my bathroom and the other in the pocket of my nursing pillow.

What were your can’t live without post partum items?

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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!

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.

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.

We’re Halfway There

I can’t believe I’m at the halfway point of this pregnancy. That means there are only 20ish weeks until Bebe arrives, of which I’ve got maybe another 10-12 good weeks until third trimester fatigue and discomfort hit. Yikes.

I’m feeling more connected with the baby and I’m feeling more pregnant, too. The movement, yoga, and the big 20 week ultrasound have helped me focus. D & I have been figuring out sleeping arrangements, baby clothing storage, and what we want to pull out from storage. All of these things are making it seem more real. I haven’t been posting as many updates as I would like this pregnancy, but you can follow me on Instagram for more snippets of my pregnant life.


How far along: 20 weeks!

Total weight gain: -11 pounds. First trimester nausea and food aversions caused me to lose weight.

Maternity clothes: Pants for sure, some non-maternity tops and sweaters still fit if they’re long enough.

Sleep: I will pass out by 10pm if no one wakes me up. Sleeping pretty well, but the crazy pregnancy dreams have started.

Miss anything: Champagne on New Years Eve

Movement: Oh yes. Lots of it. Bebe didn’t like all the coughing and sneezing when I was sick, he/she let me know!

Food cravings: fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, apples, oranges, Cobb salad (no meat other than eggs & bacon), french fries

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still not a big fan of beef or chicken, but it’s getting better.

Have you started to show yet: Yep

Gender: Surprise baby

Labor signs: None. Not even Braxton Hicks yet.

Belly button in or out: In. It never popped out with E, so I don’t expect it to pop out with this one.

Wedding rings on or off: On, I don’t have swelling. Yet.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. Commercials make me cry all the time.

Looking forward to: My sister coming to visit in a few weeks!

Party of Four

Lots of big news over here. A few months ago, I accepted a position that is a huge step in the right direction for me. I’m finally working at a place I don’t mind going to every day!

I think the biggest news would be our family becoming a party of 4. I’m pregnant and Baby 2 is due in May 2014!


Story time with E. Photo taken by Valerie Cannon Photography


Everyone’s got some new reading material. Photo taken by Valerie Cannon Photography

This pregnancy has been a lot more difficult than my pregnancy with E, both physically and emotionally. Between the loss this summer, constant nausea/vomiting, food aversions, and not being able to keep up with a toddler after working a full day, I have not been enjoying it as much as I enjoyed E’s pregnancy. However, baby is healthy, growing, and wiggly all over the place, so I know all of the difficulties have been worth it.

Expect to see this blog become more active again. As long as my energy stays up, of course.