3

Losing Air

Today has been a very unexpectedly difficult day. Eli has been sick the past couple days (we’d thought it may be allergies at first because Kentucky lol & then saw that it was more over the weekend) so I took him into the Dr today. Poor guy has a double ear infection &, after we got this diagnosis & the Dr asked if there was anything else she could do for us, I thought I’d mention something I hadn’t really thought would be a big deal. It was.

A few weeks ago, my mom noticed that Eli’s butt crack was crooked (no fun medical terms here, just telling it how it is lol). She’d said my Dr’s use to tell her to watch for that when I was younger because it meant my hip was out (I had a lot of hip issues growing up & several surgeries). She looked at him & replied, “I think it’s definitely a legitimate concern.” She then said she’d go check to see if his well child visit was soon so, if it wasn’t, she could move it up when his regular pedi would be back. She came back with another Dr. with her who wanted to check him out. She looked at his legs, noticing, “a slight discrepancy in length,” felt his hips, & said she felt it may be more of his spine than hips. I was told, at his next visit, they’d probably want to do an ultrasound &/or an X-RAY to get a better idea of what is going on.

Hearing that something may be wrong with your child is one of the most awful things in the world because they ARE your world. The best way I can describe it is, it was like someone knocked the air out of me & pushed me under water. There I was with this little boy I thought was doing just fine & right on track in every way & now someone was telling me he may not be just fine.

Google, just like most things, isn’t exactly a good thing to consult on these issues. It’s like the meme that goes: “Just put my symptoms into Web MD..turns out I have cancer,” because you’re going to find literally the worst things. Something my husband & I have came across a lot is a scary thing called a tethered spine that requires surgery & can have neurological impacts. Reading that gives an entire new meaning to scared.

We can’t really do much at the moment but wait….& overthink….& be anxious….if you pray, please say a prayer that everything will be fine for our little Eli. Mama is a wreck & is extra emotional with the pregnancy plus progesterone 😦

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5

Losing Friends In Parenthood

It happens. For a variety of reasons, I suppose.

Since I’ve had Eli, I feel like I’ve definitely lost some, “friends.”

To be honest, this started happening somewhat during my pregnancy as well.

After Eli was born, I starting noticing this even more so in relationships  & some of them were very surprising. For instance, I would have thought that people who were supportive throughout our fertility struggles & even the pregnancy would have been really excited to meet him & be involved in our lives but that just hasn’t been the case.

First & foremost, I will acknowledge, because this began as an infertility blog, that one reason people in our lives may seemingly want nothing to do with our children & our new lives/roles, may be due to experiencing infertility themselves. WHICH IS TOTALLY & COMPLETELY UNDERSTANDABLE!!!!!!! I get that. I empathize with that.

Another reason my circle, like a lot of parents circles from what I hear, grew smaller could be that some people just don’t like kids. To each his own, I suppose. Chances are, if you don’t like my kid, I don’t like you though soooo 😀

JK! I understand that kids aren’t everyone’s jam. You do you, man.

By the same token, I also understand some people just aren’t comfortable around children. One of my friends is obviously in this category but, even so, she has still been involved with him & has worked really hard to get past it. Actually, I appreciate her even more because she makes an effort when she is admittedly uncomfortable in doing so.

A friend’s brother, who also falls into this category, made me LOL one day when coming by my house to address Eli with, “Hi, baby….” *looks at me “I don’t really know how to talk to babies.” My friend answered him back with, “Like he’s a person.” It was pretty epic 😀

I also feel like some people just can’t grasp how all consuming parenthood is & get a little peeved when you can’t hangout at the drop of a hat like you use to, or irritated with 90% of what I post on social media involving my child in some way (sorry not sorry, btw).

Whatever the reason, I have definitely noticed that my circle is a lot smaller since becoming a mom. What do you think? Has anyone else noticed this happening in their own lives? What do you think the reasons behind it are?

4

If There’s Ever A Next Time

If there’s ever a next time, as far as having a baby goes, we definitely experienced some things first hand we’ll do differently next time.

For starters, the visitors. Before I had Eli I’ll admit I may have raised my eyebrow a bit when I saw other moms & articles written by parents saying they didn’t want visitors while in the hospital. I remember thinking to myself, “Hum, that’s strange! Aren’t you so excited to show your baby to the world????”

Yes, everyone is excited-excited isn’t the word actually-more like overjoyed. But you are also EXHAUSTED in the full sense of the word. My labor started at 2:30 am & Eli was born at almost noon that day. We’d been up since 2:00 when I’d noticed bleeding & grabbed our bag in a rush to get to the hospital. I didn’t get an epidural so there was no sleeping. Natural childbirth, while it was absolutely worth it, takes effort. A lot of freaking effort. We walked the halls a lot early on as I started having contractions because I wanted to keep the labor going & didn’t want it to stall out. Later, our amazing doula helped us try more things/positions to cope with the pain. In other words, we didn’t just hangout in bed all those hours binging Netflix.

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Also…if you are not immediate family, or close friends I talk with on a weekly basis, the time for your to make an appearance is certainly not after my crotch was, literally, ripped open, is bleeding, & hurting like a mother. Did I mention I’m sporting mesh, “underwear,” & sitting on an ice pack?

To add to the fun, I’m trying to figure out how on earth to get a tiny human to breastfeed so the bra has went out the window. Breastfeeding…IE my boobs need to be out when said baby is hungry. Which become a little difficult to do when someone I’ve seen a handful of times is making an appearance. Reserve those visits for when we get home.

Second, the announcing. I had someone else announce via Facebook I was in labor &, as I’ve seen many other moms say, I feel like that is something reserved for the parents to do unless they otherwise specify.

Lastly, if Eli ever becomes a big brother, I’m kicking everyone out of the delivery room. All I want is my husband & my doula 😀 My mom freaked out because she said she couldn’t stand to see me in pain-which I can sympathize with since I can imagine that would be difficult. She was also traumatized for months by the amount of blood courtesy of the blood thinners I was on during pregnancy. So there’s that. Alongside her, my poor sister was about to legit pass out & was, I kid you not, biting her nails in the corner…my photographer friend has photographic evidence of this LOL I love em but I just need some people who can keep me calm 😀

If there’s ever a next time around, I think we’ll probably just have the baby & then tell everyone 😀

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9

Mom Life: An Update

Wow, I cannot believe it has been a MONTH since my last post!! &, at the same time, I am laughing at myself for being half shocked at this. Since it has been a hot second since my last post, I wanted to give a bit of an update before I, hopefully, get back to posting more frequently.

Mom life is a busy life, to say the least & put it ever so lightly. We’re, at the end of this month, HALF WAY THROUGH OUR FIRST YEAR, & I am just now getting to the point where I can sneak in a shower…this shower looks like me sitting one of E’s activity chairs outside the shower beside me while I, more frequently than I’d like to admit, rip back the curtain to make sure he’s still doing just fine. Yeah, I’m a crazy person lol

Eli has also newly started entertaining himself for a few bits of time & babbling away. He cries for people & puts his little arms up when he wants to go to them (which is pretty intelligent, if I do say so myself lol), & loves Peppa Pig. He had his first cold starting last week & it has been the saddest thing to watch because I just want to fix it & make him better in an instant…& not give him the breathing treatments he so hates with a passion. Unfortunately, we are still not sleeping through the night yet. We sleep quite terribly actually. lol Feel free to bring me all the coffee!!!

We are still living in Eastern, KY & also still hate it. We’ve came to the conclusion, a few months ago actually, that this just isn’t where we are suppose to be. Our old town felt like our home, despite the fact that we are actually both from here originally, & we’ve been homesick in the worst way. Because of this, we’ve never gotten settled into the new place, are tired of feeling unsettled, & want to go home. We are both  looking for jobs there & hope to get moved back ASAP. We know we will be much happier there, as we were never dissatisfied living there before, & saying Eli will have so much more to do is an understatement. There is literally nothing for children to do here….they have a Gatti Land, for older kiddos, & A FEW parks that hail in comparison to the ones in Lexington….that’s it! No Gymbroee classes, no baby swim classes, no mom/baby groups, no family days, nothing! If I want to run now, I literally have to drive 35 minutes to get to a place to do that. It takes about 20 minutes to get to a grocery store. It’s insane when we were both accustom to being 5 minutes away from everything we needed, or wanted on any given day.

Other than that, I feel like I’m still trying to find some balance in this whole mom thing to find some time for myself. As a social worker, I know self-care is so important but, as a parent, those moments are few & far between. Even so, I think we need to prioritize ourselves sometimes, too. For me, I think going out to dinner with a friend, date night, & a girl day on occasion (&, lets be honest, going to Target because who doesn’t love that? LOL)  will be my go to self-care days. We shall see how that goes since I also never want to leave my tiny human.

To my followers: How have you been?? What’s new??? I know I’m so behind on your posts & feel out of touch with my WordPress fam. Sending love to all of you! Xo

Also, does anyone have any tips on how to sneak in some self-care as a parent, or on improving baby sleep? I’d LOVE to hear it! 

Until then, I’ll leave you with a few pictures of little man 🙂  

2

I Had To Stop Breastfeeding During Breastfeeding Month & This Is How It Made Me Feel

Like a failure. At first, anyway.

During the month where breastfeeding selfies & statistics were everywhere, my milk decided to dry up. To make matters worse, this happened just after little guy & I were at a good place in our breastfeeding journey.

Our journey, a lot like our journey to parenthood, was never easy. From the start, he had difficulty maintaining a latch. I was also told I may have flat nipples. After seeing a lactation specialist, she determined I did not, in fact, have flat nipples & felt our LO could nurse just fine if he went to suck training. So we did. & he did! But right as we started doing soooo good, bam! Or lack thereof? Nothing. When I was usually able to pump 19 ounces a day at the end, it kept reducing. Firs down to 16, then 15, then 13, & then 10. Ten whole ounces out of EIGHT sessions of pumping. Eight!

My supply was never up to par with where it should be. It had reduced & raised one other time when I took an antibiotic & then stopped but not this time.

I drank more water. I ate oatmeal (every damned morning). I took my vitamins. I sipped Mother’s Milk Tea & threw back lactation vitamins, along with my lactation cookies. Still, no dice. For whatever reason, breastfeeding longer just wasn’t in the cards for us. I was greatly disappointed at first after we’d overcome so much to get to where we were & felt this was made worse by the glorification of breastfeeding. Not to say that breastfeeding should not be glorified, I’m just explaining it was an extra sting when I sooooo wanted to breastfeed little man for at least a year.

Once the initial sadness wore off, however, I’m now at a place where I can say all of this:

-I’m proud of both of us for sticking with breastfeeding for the 2.5 we did

-& even prouder of all each of us overcame in order to do so. From working to ditch the nipple shield to driving 3 hours to suck training biweekly, we did it! &, even though the speech therapist said E prob burned more calories to eat because he wasn’t eating effectively, it never stopped him from getting more & more adorable rolls

-I’m so thankful we got to experience breastfeeding. Through out infertility journey, along with mourning potentially never being able to carry a child, mourning the breastfeeding relationship I wanted was also something I was really sad about. Little did I know, that wasn’t out of the cards for us so all I can be now is thankful that I was able to experience it at all

-I’m glad that, if miracles strike twice & we ever have another child, I’ll be more equipt in knowing what to do next time

Something else I have to say is I am more thankful than words for our sweet donors who have donated breastmilk to us! & to the women who told me about the FB page for KY & Indianna breastfeeding mamas. They have sweetly given me milk that our baby is use to so his tummy doesn’t get all messed up. As someone who was also strapped to a machine, for hoursssss in a day, I full well know these sweet ladies also put A LOTTTT of time into this donation & we are so, so thankful for that. Something else I have to say is I am more thankful than words for our sweet donors who have donated breastmilk to us! & to the women who told me about the FB page for KY & Indianna breastfeeding mamas.

Breastfeeding is beautiful! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done & I am forever thankful I worked hard to get to have that experience.

I would also like to say if, for whatever reason, breastfeeding just isn’t in the cards for you, it’s okay! FED IS BEST! Say it louder for the people in the back.

Sending love & wishing a beautiful weekend to all!

3

Postpartum Vultures

Ever since I’ve had Elijah I’ve been approached by several individuals who found me on some form of social media one way or another. Individuals who are either wanting to sell me a product, or enlist me in whatever fitness program they’re selling. I can only guess these people found me through hashtags relating to babies & the like (since some noted that they’d noticed I was a new mom). When looking further into the issue, it became clear that I am not alone in this sick phenomena.

For one, I think it’s very sad that people are using motherhood to prey upon people & take advantage of new moms who may be vulnerable in their new bodies & fluctuating hormones in order to make a profit for themselves.

After struggling with an eating disorder for years, I’m finally in a place where I love my body & truly appreciate all it has done for me. Watching it grow & change in pregnancy, birth, & then, somehow, snap back from it all is astonishing to me. But I know too well I didn’t arrive at that mindset overnight & worry about the woman who haven’t arrived in this mindset that are being hunted by these people. Women who, for the first time in their lives, may see numbers on a scale they’ve never seen before. Women who think they’ll never, “get their body back,” & are self-conscious about the body motherhood has given them.

For me personally, it also took me four years to be immeasurably blessed with my sweet boy that my body grew & even longer for me to learn to love my body. Yes, it has scars. Yes, it has a few stretch marks. But I’m finally at a place where all of that is okay & I’m in awe on what my body is capable of. 

 I want to use my body to enjoy the sweet boy I thought I’d never get to have. I want to use it to continue meeting my goals, one being working up to a 5K because running is fun & it’s something we do together-not because I want to lose weight or,”get rid of,” my body.  I want to use it to enjoy life & live it to the fullest, not to count calories, eat, “meal replacements,” or obsess about covering it with creams. I’ve lived that life for far too long & know too well it’s not a life.

If you’re someone preying upon new mothers, or anyone, in order to make a profit for yourself, shame on you.

If you’re being targeted by these individuals, know it isn’t about you & your body is absolutely amazing just the way it is. ❤

0

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!!!