3

Breastfeeding Woes

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A virtual friend of mine penned this quote on a post about the frustrations of breastfeeding yesterday: “Never give up on a bad day.”

I’ve had a few of those, with our good days being far & between.

In the beginning, little man could latch like a rockstar but couldn’t maintain it. The lactation consultants at the hospital told me I may need a nipple shield & deemed him a, “lazy eater.” He almost lost too much weight in the hospital so we started supplementing with formula. My milk also took practically a week to come in, which didn’t help matters. A friend of mine suggested I start pumping to speed it up a little so I did, getting tiny bits of colostrum in those first days. Once my milk finally came in, things went great for a few days. We laid around the house & did skin to skin all day in his first days while he ate off & on.

I’m not sure where things turned but this blissful state of nursing didn’t last for us. When we tried breastfeeding, not too long after we’d started, he got really frustrated & started to cry, working himself up & making it impossible for him to feed. Along with that, even when he does nurse now, he doesn’t eat long enough to fill himself up via nursing alone. He’ll go 5-10 minutes tops & want nothing else to do with it.

When we saw a lactation consultant for these reasons, she didn’t think he had a tongue or lip tie but did feel like he needed suck training-something I’d never heard of before that moment. She noticed, on both the breast & bottle, he didn’t use his tongue correctly & sucked with his lips instead. In doing so, he was exerting more energy, burning more calories, &, likely, wearing himself out in the process-in addition to losing a lot of milk either way. The lactation consultant also said she didn’t think I needed the nipple shield & hoped we could work toward getting rid of it.

She referred us to suck training with a speech therapist, who also agreed he definitely needed it & he is already doing better with the exercises she gave us to do with him at home.

Fast forward to now: since it has been more difficult for E to nurse than eat a bottle until his suck training is complete, I’ve been pretty much exclusively pumping. Six times a day, without fail. For about the past week, for whatever reason, my milk supply has dropped. It was never fully there, I produced about half of what he needed I think the lactation consultant had said. I was averaging 17 ounces a day & now I’m down to averaging 13. I eat the lactation cookies, drink Mother’s Milk Tea, drink water, eat oatmeal as often as possible, & this is still is happening. It is beyond frustrating to say the least. I feel like I’m trying to do everything right to up the supply & spending a good amount of my time strapped to a machine for absolutely nothing. Not to mention I spend a great amount of time doing this:

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I want to quit.

But I don’t want to do it on a bad day either & then be full of regret later. A friend of mine suggested, before I’d even started breastfeeding, to make small goals. I.E. don’t go into it saying we’ll do it a year, or two. Start with I’ll do it a week, a month, etc, etc. Against all odds, we’re coming up on the two month mark in 11 days. My game plan is to give it until at least then to see if things turn around. In addition to everything else I’m doing, I ordered some nursing supplements so we’ll see if those help.

Have you ran into bumps in the road with nursing?? How did you overcome then?? What advice would you give someone who is struggling with breastfeeding?

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Newborn Must Haves

Per request, I’ve finally gotten around to making my newborn must have list. Before we jump right in, I know blogging has been a little slow here lately but I think we’ve finally gotten a little settled into new parent life & the move & hope to start blogging more again soon.

Without further ado, here you have it!

My Newborn Must Haves:

  • Baby monitor with camera. Even though our LO isn’t sleeping in his own room yet, this has came in handy for nap times. The one we purchased, Snug Baby Monitor, also includes a free app so you can see baby via iPhone or Samsung device. In addition to that, it also detects motion & audio. You can find that here: https://www.amazon.com/Snug-Baby-Monitor-v2-Samsung/dp/B01E8BZH4K/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1499006387&sr=8-1&keywords=snug+cam+baby+monitor
  • A STOCKPILE of wipes!!!! I had a surplus put back before Elijah was born & I am soooooo thankful I did because, in just 5 weeks, I cannot believe how many we’ve gone through already!
  • Butt paste. Yep, butt paste 😀 This stuff will save your life & works a million times better than A&D, or Destin (in our opinion anyway) https://www.amazon.com/Boudreauxs-Butt-Paste-Ointment-Strength/dp/B00569GU18/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499006649&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=butt+paste&psc=1
  • If you have a son & opted to have a circumcision, Vasoline. We found the one in the squeeze tube handy.
  • My Little Lamb vibrating seat. We were lucky enough to get a bunch of hand-me-downs from my sister & this was one of them. It’s the only thing we could sit little man in those first few weeks. https://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Little-Lamb-Infant-Seat/dp/B001GQ2RUS/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1499006759&sr=8-1&keywords=my+little+lamb+seat+fisher+price
  • Baby swing. I’d been told by several parents this was a must have for them & I can definitely see why! It’s a great nap tool & seems to entertain Elijah while I get my pump on 😀 We went with a cheaper one since my sister already had one for him to use & got the Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing. It seems to work well & the only criticism I have is that the mobile doesn’t move /: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PTL15D6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • Wubanubs. Not only are these things adorable, they’re also very helpful in helping baby not lose pacis. Eli also likes to cuddle his. Here is one of the ones we have: https://www.amazon.com/WubbaNub-25581-Infant-Pacifier-Giraffe/dp/B003CK3LDI/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007081&sr=1-2&keywords=wubanubs He also has a bull that seems to be his favorite 🙂
  • LOTS of onesies!!!! Because s*!* happens, as does vomit & pee 😀
  • ALL THE RECEIVING BLANKETS, ALL OF THEM!!!!!!! You can literally never have enough, because, read the above again
  • Baby gowns. I found incredibly helpful for nighttime changing since all you have to do is pull up the gown & avoid dealing with pulling baby’s legs out of bottoms & then putting said bottoms back on again
  • Baby Wrap. I bought two of these, the Baby K’Tan & Solly Wrap. While I haven’t had the opportunity to use the Solly yet, I can say the Baby K’Tan is very easy to figure out (much more so than the Solly was for me-which is one reason I haven’t used it yet). https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Ktan-Original-Carrier-Black/dp/B000UYFULU/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007394&sr=1-1&keywords=baby+k%27tan+wrap    http://sollybaby.com
  • Dockatot. We bought this for its, “womb like design,” that helps baby sleep easier & makes them feel safe. It has worked well for our guy & the fact that you can easily carry it & transport it when sleeping away for home is also so handy. We went with this one: https://www.amazon.com/DockATot-Deluxe-Dock-Silver-Lining/dp/B06XH2QHR6/ref=sr_1_3_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007484&sr=1-3&keywords=dockatot
  • A rocking chair
  • Lamp/nightlight for nursery. While I’d originally gotten one for decor more than anything else, I was so happy I did when we started using it every night. It was a much better solution than turning on the bright overhead light that stirred baby up.
  • Blackout Curtains. I used the design your own tool feature from Carosel Designs &, for any curtains you purchase through them, for a little extra, your curtains can be upgraded to blackout option. This helps for naps & nighttime in maintaining a dark environment
  • If you’re breastfeeding: a breast pump, lanolin nipple cream, hands free pumping bra, breastfeeding friendly bottles, bottle brush, & nursing pads. We use Medela for all except the bottles, we decided to go with Avent & LO doesn’t seem to have an issue in transitioning between breast & bottle
  • I would also venture to say a dishwasher is on my list of newborn must haves because of all the bottles &, if you’re breastfeeding, the pump parts, gone through in a given day
  • Diaper Bag. I LOVE the gigantic Skip Hop one I got from Babies R US. It has two huge compartments for baby, with two inner pockets for diapers & creams, a changing table cover that slides in the backside of the bag, & also includes one smaller compartment for mom that has a cell phone & sun glasses holder (ikr?!?!). While I wish it had a strap that came with it instead of just the handles, I have been very happy with it & love that it’s so fashionable
  • Stroller/car seat combo. I personally wanted a jogging stroller & love the one we got from Target: https://www.target.com/p/graco-174-fastaction-jogger-click-connect-xt-travel-system-coconut/-/A-16443578?regMode=REGST&registryId=42bce21a2b584d4098971c1be2f5aa3d&registryType=baby&itemLineNum=68&backLinkName=my%20registry&backLinkUrl=%2Fgift-registry%2Fmyitems%3FregistryId%3D42bce21a2b584d4098971c1be2f5aa3d%26registryType%3DBABY%26lnk%3Dacct_nav_registry&pageFrom=myitems
  • Window shade for baby (to use in car)
  • Mirror that attaches to the back of the headrest so you can see baby while driving

So, there you have it, those are my newborn must haves! I hope you found this list helpful 🙂

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July, thank you for continuing to follow along with us!!! 

0

Pregnancy Update

After our regular scheduled programming-I mean Dr’s appointment yesterday :P- I thought I’d do another pregnancy update. Looking back for the other I did, I quickly realized it’s been a good while since I’ve updated (oops!).  So, without further ado:

How far along? 26 weeks & 5 days

Weight Gain? Around 13 pounds

Maternity Clothes? All of them. Just all of them lol My favorite thing is my Jessica Simpson top. I can still wear some of my stretchy tops & dresses, though.

Stretch Marks? On my sides

Belly button in or out? Still in…miraculously enough 😀

Sleep: For the most part, this is still okay. It is starting to get a bit interrupted with random bouts of insomnia, back/hip pain, & trips to the bathroom.

Best moment this week: Hopefully, this will be passing the gestational diabetes test we took yesterday *fingers crossed. Until this can be confirmed later today, it was our appointment going well yesterday & hearing everything looked fine &, again, being told he’s a, “big boy.”

Symptoms: My heartburn & nausea is back

Miss Anything? I still miss sushi & wine. But, again, I’d happily give that & anything else up for life if it meant I got to have this.

Movement: LOTS!!!

Cravings? Again…SUSHI!!!! &, oddly, rum…this baby is a pirate! 😛 Also, anything sweet.

Food aversions? Chicken!!!

Queasy or sick? Sometimes

Looking forward to? Our baby shower I never thought we’d get to have tomorrow!!!! We are having one near our hometown for our family & friends there & another at our home near the end of the month.

Anything new? Instead of monthly appointments, I’ll now be having biweekly appointments….which is exciting & mildly scary at the same time since that means we’re nearing the end & we aren’t anywhere near ready yet. We also signed up for hypnobabies & begin classes on the 12th of this month!

Complications / Medications? Still taking Lovenox injections, baby Aspirin, & Methylfolate daily. Complications: None since whenever ending infections have ceased!

Nursery Update: Yeah, about that….we haven’t done anything since the last update 😀 Another oops! We have what we plan on hanging above the dresser & decorating, just need to mount it to the wall so I can decorate it. Also still on the list: finding what I want to hang behind the crib/decorate, finding bedding I want, & curtains, & either having the carpet in his room professionally shampooed or putting down the rest of the laminate flooring we have left over down in there.

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5

A Late Update

My apologies for updating everyone a bit late! I had planned to right after our appointment but we didn’t find out the results until late that evening & I was on the road.

Our ultrasound was at 10 yesterday at the hospital, which totally helped with the whole anxiety element. Scott met me there. Surprisingly, I even had to wear one of those fun/itchy hospital bands for it that he later cut off with his pocket knife.

When we were called back, the tech asked why I was getting the ultrasound so I filled her in & also told her what the Dr. had told me in regards to what they were looking for. She nodded & then informed me I’d be having two ultrasounds done, an abdominal one & also a transvaginal to check the cervical length. First I’ve heard of this, I thought. Even more fun.

Baby had, we think, just woken up when she started because his heartbeat was 132 (it’s usually a lot higher) & he wasn’t moving around quite as much as he normally does…this soon changed when he realized what was happening & she struggled getting him to hold still. Kid hates ultrasounds…& dopplers, apparently. Always moves away! She even called him rotten. She took a bunch of measurements & pointed out a few things to us in regards to where certain body systems were. We also got to hear how much he currently weighs for the first time, which was exciting. One pound & 10 ounces as of yesterday, I believe. He measured a week ahead on height, which isn’t surprising given my husband & father in law’s stature.

Then came time for the fun part, another round with the dildo cam! Which, just let me say, is even more fun when you have a bigger baby floating around inside you. We were not amused. While she was moving it around she told me she needed to check my cervix so she’d have to push on my abdomen & it would probably be uncomfortable. Yep, no questions asked about the uncomfortable. She did this twice, then it was over.

We were on our way to the OB’s office….where we’d wait, & wait, & wait.

Apparently, thanks to some idiotic new system the company has as a whole, my Dr. couldn’t get the results of the ultrasound to interpret. We waited an hour & 30 minutes &, at that point, the Dr. came in to apologize that they still couldn’t access the ultrasounds. We were told we’d get a call when they did on those.

She  explained again what they were looking for on the ultrasounds & said she could do another exam since we were there. At that point, we both felt like, since we were there anyway, we may as well in case anything else came up. She noted my discharge still looked better & then checked my cervix again (ouch) to make sure it was still closed. She said that it was still thick & closed.

And then we waited…….until 4 that evening for ultrasound results. Finally, the nurse called me & said that the cervical length was 4 & that was good. Cervix also appeared competent & the placenta was no where near the cervix, just like they were hoping for.

So all is, thankfully, good. We are guessing the brown spotting I had this week was just old blood from my cervix being irritated from the meds I’d just finished.

THANK YOU, TO EVERYONE WHO SAID PRAYERS FOR US, SENT GOOD THOUGHTS, & ASKED ABOUT US!!!!!! I am so sorry it took me so long to update. I was driving when I got the call & then my friend took me out for my Birthday a day early so I didn’t get home till late & then was exhausted by the time I did.

We appreciate you all more than you will ever know. ❤

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Favorite Things Friday: Free Stuff

Special Thursday edition! 😄

I love getting things in the mail, there I said it. Judge me. If you buy something online, it’s like Christmas all over again when it finally arrives. What I love even more than this is when said stuff is FREE!!!!! You read that right, free! 

Take a look at this sweet welcome box I got from Amazon: 


Included was an 80 pack of sensitive wipes, a teether/toy, a Philips bottle (natural bottle), wipe case, Muslin swaddle, nursing pads, & some samples!!!!! Expectant mamas: all you have to do in order to get all of this FREE is create a baby registry at Amazon & make a $10.00 purchase from it. 

Target also gives out a free welcome box of some sort but I’m not sure what is included as the store has been out of them when I’ve checked on it. When I find out, I’ll let you know 🙂 

Also, if you plan on formula feeding, Similac mails out free samples as well. I use to get them when we were going through the throws of Infertility treatment & be so mad so I remember getting those samples well. 

Are there any free samples that have been a favorite for you (baby or otherwise)??? What were they??? 

18

It Is Well

“& through it all

through it all

my eyes are on you

& through it all

through it all

it is well”

After fully mourning all of our treatment failures, I’ve always believed that, someway somehow, we’d become parents one day.

Growing up, I watched a lot of Joyce Meyer & something she said has always stuck with me in the midst of hard times: “God will give you double for your trouble.”

That’s what I’ve told myself to maintain my sanity in all of this. In a world where seemingly every strung out addict, child abuser, & teenager can get pregnant when you can’t, you start to doubt things. You start to wonder why. You think that maybe, just maybe, you can’t have children because you’d be a terrible mother.

I held onto hope that, in some form, I’d get to be a mom to some pretty special kiddos. Was it easy to always believe this? NO!!! Of, course not. There were times when you may as well have told me pigs were finally flying. I’d heard promises, enough of, “I believe this one is gonna be it for you!” Especially, in the midst of fertility drugs...especially then. Do not try to be overly positive or talk sense into a woman pumped with a shit load of hormones. Just don’t do it.

While we’ve done two cycles of Femera recently & have an upcoming appt with a new RE to discuss doing an FET with our 1 snow baby, we entered the world of foster care. Going in, I became fully prepared to parent someone else’s child & give them back. I prepared for partnership with birth parents, visitations, the whole shebang. Even though we went into this in hopes of adoption, we doubted it would come to us soon. We believed that, after fostering a few kiddos, a situation where adoption became the plan would present itself. But we never believed it would be the first thing that came along.

A few weeks ago, we were asked to do respite for a seven month old baby boy. We had him for a few days & our worker checked in to see how it was going with him several times (which seemed strange at the time considering she hadn’t done that with the last respite placement). Yesterday, when he’d be returning to his foster home soon, she text me again asking about him. I told her it had went really well & mentioned that his foster mom had told me his goal would soon be adoption and her family couldn’t adopt him as they are much older. I let her know we were interested in adopting him if possible. And then it happened….she told me that had been her plan all along & she felt it would be a great fit!!!!! She even told me she’d spoken to her supervisor about it who also felt it would be a good fit for all involved.

For now, we’re just waiting to be officially approved-something our worker said should hopefully happen this week. When that happens, we can talk about how baby boy will be transitioned to our home.

We are over the moon excited & praying all works out. We feel this would be the perfect situation for us as bio mom has already TPR-ed (terminated parental rights) & bio dad is expected to have his done next month since he hasn’t followed through with requirements at all at this point.

I for one won’t be able to breathe until this is all said & done. Just trying to contain my excitement.

So now we wait….something I’m still not very good at, at this point.

If you pray, please send prayers up for our situation please!!

“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” ~Isiah 61:7