Monday, December 31, 2012

Pregnancy MUSTs

Now that my pregnancy is a few months in the rear-view mirror, it is a fantastic experience to think back and remember it fondly. There are even days now that I miss my big ol' belly (my belly now is of an entirely different, not so fabulous, kind). Yes, my pregnancy had its tribulations - the bleeding scare, pneumonia, a displaced rib, hip pain... you know, fun stuff. But overall it was a very happy time for me. I felt prepared, at peace, and calm. Like I was finally on the right track.

There were a couple of things I did (and one or two I didn't and wish I did) that I feel really worked well for us. And now we are blessed with a few friends that are expecting little people and I am simply GIDDY to be able to share my own mommy-wisdom with someone else. After all this time, it's a bit of a trip actually.

On with the list!

1. A mom friend. People, I am all for being an independent woman. I like to program my own damn electronics, thankyouverymuch. However, I think women in general have done themselves a real disservice, at least I did, by not spending more time building their village. The old adage that "It takes a village to raise a child" could not be more true. You need a confidant. A mommy who's been there and done that. No, your experience will NOT be like hers, good or bad, count on that now. Don't use her experience to establish expectations, but use her instead as a sympathetic ear, an expert on what baby gear is a must and whats overpriced garbage, and you'll certainly want a cheerleader in those last couple of hard weeks. Don't even get me started on how invaluable these people are after your wee-one arrives, that's an item for a whole different list. And for God sake, stop feeling like a burden! I love sharing my experiences when I can and to do that AND help a friend? I wouldn't think twice. Plus, if you're bugging me, I won't hesitate to tell you you're being a crazycakes. 

2. A body pillow. Remember Tony Danza? Admittedly, J was not the biggest fan of sharing his bed with my new love. But Tony literally saved my ass. Well, technically my hips and back, but you get the idea. Things, they are a changin' and that especially applied to my joints. Having a plush, supportive pillow (I swear by my Snoogle.) was key. There are others out there that aren't as plush, so if that floats your boat, have at it. Also, washing the cover for my Snoogle was a royal pain in my previously-achy backside. It's worth it, but you've been warned. Also, they can be a bit pricey. Check for sales and coupons!

3. A photographer. There will be a day, sometime in your mid-30ish-weeks that you start to feel like a blimp. Pregnancy is beautiful and growing a child is a miracle topped by nothing else, but damn you won't feel as 'glowy' as everyone says you look. Take at least one day in the beginning of your third trimester, erase that mess from your mind, and have your picture taken. Can't afford it? Check Craigs.list or something similar for a student looking to build their portfolio, or have a friend that just got a new shiny DSLR for Christmas take pictures of you and your partner. The day before I had mine taken, I almost backed out. I cried, felt ginormous, and almost cancelled my pre-paid session. Can I tell you that I am SO happy I didn't? I will forever treasure these:

4. Maternity wardrobe staples. At least one cozy dress, yoga pants, and a bra to sleep in. I just passed my long cotton beautiful dress down to own of my best pals and my yoga pants? You bet your sweet ass I still wear those once a week. Ooooh yeah. Their the best. And there will more than likely be a point at which your boobs are tender and angry. That point for me was conception through sometime a couple months ago. A good sports bra or sleeping bra is a life saver.

5. A Doula. If you can afford this type of support, I highly recommend it. Our doula happens to be my very best pal. They are trained, educated, and handy as all hell. Mine did personal childbirth education classes in our home, answered my thousand questions a day, and was there during about 45 of my 53 hours of labor. If your husband is anything like mine (i.e. not a huge fan of discussing vaginas, and its various functions during labor, with an entire group of strangers, home childbirth education was awesome.) She helped us through all of the decisions we had to make. She didn't make them for us, or pressure us one way or the other, but she was an incredible source of knowledge as we talked through pros-cons, etc.This should be right up there with a good mom friend. It can change your life. (Doula Match)

6. A good chiropractor/masseuse. Speaking of life changing! Remember that displaced rib I was talking about? My chiropractor specializes in treating pregnant women and babies - he saved my damn life. Thankfully chiropractic treatments are covered by my insurance, so regular visits kept me much more comfortable. Especially toward the end. Your body is actually a professional contortionist, whether you knew it or not. You'd think your joints loosening and getting more flexible would feel good - but it doesn't. Nope! Not to mention, especially toward the end, you'll be carrying more weight than you're used to, your gait changes, etc, etc, etc. If your insurance covers this, take advantage!


7. A journal. Pregnancy is filled with highs and lows. For me, this outlet with priceless. Wax eloquent about your pregnancy, your relationships.. make lists, check off names, write down questions for your next doctor/midwife appointment. Get that stuff out of your head. This really helped me sleep at night. Mostly, it helped me keep the peace. When I got all of the STUFF out of my head, I could focus on quality time with my husband, and more communication with my baby. I would talk to her (out loud and in my mind), rub my belly, day dream... without all of my worries or to-do's floating around messing it up. A huge bonus is that it is really fun to look back at.

I am certain there are many more things out there that can help someone through pregnancy. These happen to be my MUSTs. What were yours? What was it that you couldn't have survived without? A steady diet of ice cream? That probably should have been my #8... Let's hear it!

Labor and Newborn lists to follow soon!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Christmas was amazing this year. J and I took the week leading up to Christmas off, just to have family time. We saw Santa, visited family, and mostly just hung out with Lily. I couldn't possibly feel more in the holiday spirit.

Lily had her 4 month check up last week and she's perfect! She is almost 26" long and 15lbs, 6oz. The girl is tall! Even when I hold her to nurse or rock her, I get tangled up in her long legs. She's growing like a weed and has changed so much in the last few weeks. Her awareness, engagement, and even 'talking' has increased a great deal. The only downside to this cognitive development - the dreaded 4 Month Wakeful period (4MW). Baby girl does NOT want to nap. Granted, I am still very lucky, because while she isn't napping much (maybe 20 minutes 2-3x) during the day - she sleeps like a champ at night. 10-12 hours most nights now! ::happydance::

Combine Lily's lack of interest in napping with her first cold, teething, (and her 4mo shots... ugh) and we've had a few rough days recently. Poor thing really hates to have her boogers sucked out. I mean, who does?? It's hard for her to lay flat without mucus draining.

We're starting to find a good stride. With a baby our pace isn't quite as leisurely in the evenings as it used to be, but we're starting to get on top of most things. Last night even ended in a well deserved high-five. After work we managed to make it to the bank, post office, and library before we came home and did three loads of laundry (new toys, Lily clothes, and diapers), vacuumed, cleaned up the rest of the Christmas present boxes, etc, repacked the diaper bag, washed and re-filled bottles, prepped lunches, made dinner (woooooot - Christmas dinner leftovers!), etc, etc. Needless to say, we kicked yesterdays ass.

I think the evenings are getting easier because Lily is more alert. She can sit in her high chair and we can sing while I pack lunches. Or she can play on her mat while I fold her laundry and pack her bag. We're able to be together, without my needing to necessarily hold her every moment. And, as each evening does now, we snuggled up as a family for about 30 minutes of snuggles/tv watching before we started the bedtime routine. My favorite moment of the whole day.

Christmas day for our clan was relaxed and fun. Our parents came over, as did my sister and her boyfriend. We ate breakfast and opened presents with Lily (Son of a Nutcracker that kid is spoiled already). We got her only a couple special toys (stacking rings, a wood elephant shaped puzzle) and a couple little dresses. Our parents? I'm fairly certain they bought every 6m+ toy on the planet. Her stocking was filled with rattles and teethers, links, blocks, fabric toys that light up and sing, and so on. And she was really into it! She was griping the paper, chewing on her new things. I've packed some of them away for later (especially the more advanced toys) and she's still got plenty to keep her entertained until the end of time.

I'll end today with a few more photos. Is she not the cutest damn thing you've ever seen? How did I get so lucky?
 She absolutely loved Santa! We happen to have a fantastic local Santa who's been around FOREVER. 
(he may just be the real thing, I'm just sayin'...)

 Our beautiful girl on Christmas Eve. Cutest of the elves.

Even more than she loves Santa, Lily adores her daddy. This might be my favorite picture in the history of photography. I can retire my camera now. I will never top this one.

I hope that each of you have an amazing holiday season. I wish for you all of the health, happiness, and love in the world. Love and hugs to you!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Being a working mom.

I'm certainly not the first person in the world to be a working parent. I'm also not the first one to have a hard time with it either.

The last month has actually gone pretty well. We were finding a fairly decent groove. J is incredibly helpful in the evenings to make sure that we've repacked the diaper bag, diapers are washed, Lily's laundry is done, bottles are remade... not to mention our own dinner, etc. It's a lot, but we've been surviving. Yesterday I attended a training class, which left me working about two hours later than normal and sitting in about an extra hour of traffic to get home. Not to mention we'd had a bit of a childcare crisis during the day, so I coordinated having my mom pick her up (thank goodness!!), so that I didn't have to leave class. It was a 12 hour day. That fact, coupled with just being SO TIRED, I was a mess last night.

My dad called on the drive home and kept me company through the stop-n-go. We chatted about silly things (the great prices on the new computer he wants from Costco - good deal! lol) and then asked how "his Lily" was doing. "She's absolutely wonderful." I had recently posted this photo:

My dad mentioned that my uncle, who is on FB, showed the picture to my grandma. "She is just so proud of you." He said. "Who would ever think of doing such a sweet thing?" (Well, actually Grams, everyone on the internet, but she doesn't know that. lol) My dad proceeded to tell me how proud he was of me. How amazing J and I have been with Lily and how love and lucky our daughter is. I bawled.

I probably would have cried anyway, because when your tough dad tells you he's proud of you, you shed a tear. That's just how that goes. But I'd had a long, fairly stressful, day away from my baby - so I was in a bit of a state as it was.

He asked if I was going to be okay and then told me to suck it up, because I was driving after all. Safety first! We talked quite awhile about how hard it is to be away. I don't have any other choice, but still. Not to mention the crazy amount of money we get to pay for daycare so that someone else can snuggle up to her sweet face.

We've previously covered how I'm a bit Type-A, and we've waited a long time for these moments, so I don't want to miss them and frankly I really want to kick ass at being a mom. I want beautiful family photos. A gorgeous first Christmas. A baby book to be proud of. I want to sew and create beautiful things for my daughter... that list is endless. Now here comes the 'but' -

THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME. Or energy for that matter.

I need to adjust the expectations I have for myself. This year, I ordered my cards through TinyPrints, instead of making my own in PhotoShop like I'd dreamed of doing. I used candid photos instead of having them professionally done or taking the time to shoot them myself. Basically, I have to compromise. I can't be the perfect super mom. And the sad part is, no one is pressuring me to be perfect, except me.

Being a stellar employee at work, and a wonder woman at home, sounds great. But in reality, it's burnout waiting to happen. Where is the quality of life there?

It took me a month, but this working mom thing finally caught up to me. Smacked me right upside the head. So, I'm learning. I'm trying to adjust. For now, I'm just going to have to do the best I can and that's going to have to be good enough.

My bathroom is going to stay a little messier while I rock my daughter. We'll be getting dressed from the laundry basket, because it won't get put away while I'm relaxing with my family. The only thing I need to fit in, is more time with J. We're both running 1000mph and thankfully, it is in the same direction, side-by-side. But we need to be husband and wife too. Not just parents. That's first on the to-do list. After I love on my sweet Lily a little longer.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I love my sleep. Folks, it's my #1 hobby. Naturally, I'm not getting a lot of it these days. Especially since I returned to work.

Last night we got to bed a little later than normal (9:30). Lily ate well and immediately passed out hard - that good sleep where their limbs just hang loose? Love that.

Typically we're up at least once a night - usually somewhere around 12-1 a.m.

Color me surprised when I rolled over to look at the clock at it said 3 am! She was still asleep!! I get up at 3:30 and don't get her up to feed her until 4 - and she was still asleep!



J came in the nursery while I was feeding her at about 4:15. Just as he does every morning for a good morning smooch for Lily and I. "How was last night?" And I proceded to smile big and tell him it was excellent - we slept all night! What did we do? Mini dance party of course!

Granted, for most normal people, 4am is not sleeping through the night... but still! It is for me, so I'll take it!

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate her turning 3 months this weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I know I've talked quite a bit about my experience here, but now that things are going smoothly, I thought I'd revisit everything as a whole.

1. Breastfeeding is HARD
Some folks make it look so easy. They're practically glowing while their child happily (and always calmly) eats away. They're feeding in carriers while they clean their house or grocery shop. Always smiling and looking loving at their beautiful baby.

Reality isn't so picture perfect. There is a learning curve. Positioning can be tricky (especially when you give birth to a baby that is basically two feet long already!). Latching (and re-latching and re-latching) is something that takes practice for you AND baby. Sometimes it isn't convenient, but nursing in her glider is the best place for us. Anywhere else and it just isn't quite right yet.

2. Breastfeeding is EMOTIONAL
There is a strong emotional tie associated with feeding our children. That's our duty as mothers. Whether it is breast or bottle, nourishing them is in our DNA. When that's not going well - problems breast feeding, having trouble finding the right formula - it's not only frustrating, but practically impossible not to take it personally. Let's not forget that those problems are usually added on top of postpartum hormones.

3. Breastfeeding can be PAINFUL (but it SHOULDN'T BE)
You hear about other peoples experiences and very commonly you hear, "Oh yes, I had the typically chapped nipples and soreness the first few weeks." So we're conditioned to think that is normal.

It's not.

Breastfeeding should not be painful at all! When I had soreness in the beginning I thought that sort of thing was normal. That we were just getting broken in. It should have been when I took action. But because I thought it was normal it took me WEEKS to seek help. Weeks of unnecessary frustration, for me and for Lily.

Now that we've survived 6 weeks with a tongue tie, mastitis, thrush, etc etc, I am so thrilled that things are finally going well. People (wonderful, beautiful people) kept telling me to stick with it. That it could and would get better. And it was such a hard thing to hear when you're in the thick of it. You're tired, frustrated, in pain... you don't want to wait for it to be better someday. You want it better now. 

I thought about quitting exactly 9000 times. And there were a few things that kept me going.

1. Breast is best. It really is the absolute best thing for your baby. The ultimate super food. How could you not do everything you could to try and make it work?

2. (and I'm not proud of this fact) I'm cheap. Formula can be expensive! We've had a lot of life changes in the last 6 months and with the cost of childcare topping $1000.00 every month - we need to save where we can.

3. It's convenient. I don't need to back formula and bottles. The only cans I need to carry around are the ones in my (now larger by 2+ sizes - ugh) bra. It's hard to beat that.

4. I'm stubborn as a mule. I do not like to fail. And I know that breastfeeding doesn't work for everyone and there is nothing wrong with formula. But I have a strong desire to breastfeed. I WANT that. And when I set out to do something, I don't want to be told I can't. I've always fought tooth and nail to get what I want in this life. Especially for our baby. (Three plus years of infertility struggles teaches you a little persistence.)

5. Lastly - my village. My daughter would be formula fed and I would be in therapy and on meds if it wasn't for my circle. The support Lily and I received is nothing short of a miracle. My IBCLC was a rock star. Texting at all hours. Checking in. Literally giving me hugs while I cried. She kicks ass. Period.

My friends are first class. I could not have better friends in my life. Friends that live 1200 miles away to friends that live in my town. I receive phone calls, texts, emails, etc filled with encouragement, tips, and love love love. They opened up their resources to me. Rachel especially. I owe her so much. She's who donated her own breast milk so that I didn't have to continue giving Lily formula. How amazing is that? Love that woman.

I am happy to report that my crazy broken boobs are healed. I no longer have sores. I no longer have any pain. My supply is crazy awesome. It's a miracle.


I am now making enough to feed Lily and put away at least one meal a day. I have approximately 100 ounces in my freezer. In less than a month I built that stash! It's more than we'll need for quite awhile, but I have a new goal. Someday I want to do for another mama what my bestie Rachel did for me. I want to donate my milk to help someone else and their baby. To be a lifeline for another woman struggling to find her way.

You don't have to be a crazy stubborn pain in the ass like me. Giving your baby formula IS FINE. I was formula fed and damnit I think I turned out pretty darn good! But, if you want this. If you want to breastfeed your baby - don't give up. If you're not getting what you need from your current support - seek out more! Email me! No new mama should be left to struggle on her own. It's a lonely dark place meant for unmentionable creatures, not pretty mamas and gorgeous babies. Get out of that place!

Our experience isn't perfect every time, but now I am finally getting a glimpse at what those 'other women' are feeling as they get to gaze at their babies. So so much better than wincing.

YAY for Boobies!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Back to the Grind.

This week is my first week back to work full time. It's been a huge adjustment and we're still working through it.

Last week was the first time I had to drop my baby off to spend the day with someone else. Dropping her off was really hard, but I am so grateful I have two girlfriends willing to help us out until the end of the year. That buys me some more time before I have to put her in real daycare. I take so much comfort in knowing that she's with people we know and trust. I didn't cry that first day until J called to ask how it went. Instantly my heart ached. I just miss her. If I think about her though I can still smell her.

These first few days in the office have gone by really fast. That certainly helps! Until the end of the year, J is doing the drop offs and I am doing the pick ups. That has really helped me transition. It feels better to feed her, give her a few snuggles, kiss her goodbye and lay her in her own bed before I leave. Then J can pack her up and drop her off. Leaving her with him hasn't been as hard.

I'm very lucky to love my job and coworkers. If I was still loathing my job like I was in my old position, it would be impossible for me to have made this switch back. Not that we can afford any other option! I'm comforted by my friends here and have so much support from my managers. It helps that in my first few days back all anyone wants to do when they see me is ask about Lily. :)

Pumping at work has gone really well. We have a health room and only two other moms here are using them, so there haven't been any issues. I'm always the most full first thing in the morning. Last week I got 8oz one morning and 10 the next! WHOA! That sure beats the hell out of the 2oz I was getting MAX 5 or 6 weeks ago.

Breastfeeding is going much much better. Rarely do I have any discomfort, my supply is clearly back and thriving, and unless we're out and about, it's really gotten to be almost second nature. Almost. :)

Life has been a little crazy preparing for my getting back to work, so I never shared Lily's Halloween costume! Brace yourself for cuteness overload:
Is she not the cutest elephant you've ever seen? Don't worry, I made sure to smother those chubby cheeks with all the smooches they could handle.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Settling In Only to Change Again

Just as we start to find our stride as a pair, I am now preparing to go back to work. Next week will be my last week of leave. Noooooo!

Breast feeding is going much better. It isn't always perfect, but I think we've found a groove we can sustain. Each night J gives Lily a bottle (or two) while I pump and it gives me a little break. Also, my supply is doing so well! During one of my pumping sessions on Tuesday - I got 6 ounces! It feels so amazing to be storing away milk in the freezer, when a couple weeks ago I couldn't produce enough to feed her a full meal. Amazing what a little stick-to-itness will get you. Or, I probably should say, amazing what being to damn stubborn to quit when people tell you that you don't have to fight so hard... that's another story. We're doing great! I have over 60 ounces in the freezer and feeling good about my stash.

Quick question: How much milk was in your freezer stash when you went back to work? How did you store it, in what quantities?

As I mentioned, I head back to work the week of 10/29. It will be a fairly relaxed week back (Monday: off, Tues/Wed: half days from home, Thursday: half day in office, Friday: full day in office). I am hoping to regularly work from home at least one day a week going forward. Perhaps even looking into a 4x10's situation, but we'll see, that can make for some long days.

I am feeling ready to return. I've always thought that I would want to be a stay at home mom if I could, but after being on leave, I just don't think that it is for me. I didn't realize before that I found such a sense of pride and got so much satisfaction/happiness from a job well done, exceeding goals, and getting praise for my work. I'm competitive and my drive just isn't satisfied at home. Don't get me wrong, staying home is HARD WORK. Maybe that's part of it, it's too hard. lol But, it also isn't an option for our family, so maybe it's also what I tell myself to make going back okay. I am going to miss Lily like crazy during the day. If I could strap her to my back and take her with me, I totally would.

Luckily, I love my coworkers. I work with an amazing group of super supportive women (and one guy). They're great leaders and I am learning a ton every day. Plus, frankly, I kick ass at my job. My last reviews have been the best I've ever had. And to have people you admire so greatly tell you that you're awesome? Yeah, I'll take it. Daily.

I am a bit anxious about what our new routine will look like. It takes us forever to get out the door right now and J and I both work early shifts (6:00 - 2:30 for me). We also each work about 40 minutes away from home. So that means I would get up at (wait for it...) 3:50 a.m. Now, I will have to nurse Lily, etc and I'll probably be looking at getting up at about 3:30 a.m. At least... ::breathsintopaperbag::

Fake it 'til you make it, right?

Just as we start to get used to each other and find our grove, the setting changes. Time to relearn and adapt to a new way.  

Times, they are a changin'

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finding our stride.

I feel like Lily and I are finding our breast feeding stride. It isn't perfect yet - my nipple still isn't completely healed, and she doesn't always have the best latch, but we're getting there. I've been exclusively breast feeding for a week now. My confidence has wavered a few times. She has spit up more than I'd like at times and she's been going through a growth spurt that's left her feeling less than satiated some evenings, but all-in-all, we're doing it!

I have been a little stressed about whether or not she's gaining weight. I almost bought a baby scale to make me feel better, but I've tried just not to think about it. I've got to stop stressing the details now that things are going a bit better. She's peeing and pooping, so I've got to have faith that all else is working itself out.

This morning we had a bit of an 'episode' I'll call it. She was falling asleep at the boob when she started to spit up, I think it caught her off guard a bit and caused her to cough it up. In the spit up was spots of blood (red) and it startled me quite a bit. She otherwise seemed fine and was asking to nurse a minute later. A few hours later I nursed again and this time it wasn't spots, but about 20 minutes after I nursed, there was clotty chunks of blood.

I kind of freaked out for a minute, but checked over what I knew - she'd had the frenotomy last week, but looking in her mouth the site was good and she had no other marks. She's been a little sleepy and I've had a cold - maybe she caught that? Reaction to something I've taken or eaten?

I called the pediatrician and got an appointment for the afternoon and we laid low. I chatted with my contacts, including my lactation consultant. While we talked through the details (was I bleeding? How was she acting? etc) we landed on the fact that she probably burst a blood vessel when she coughed up her breakfast. Fast forward to out appointment - confirmed - thank goodness! Before could even tell him too much, he described how it's really easy for something like that to happen and it will quickly clot. Which explains why it was clotty the second time. He gave her a good once over and declared her perfectly fine. Phew!

I swear, this child is going to give me a heart attack before she can even sit up on her own.

The silver lining though - it wasn't breast feeding this time! lol

Bigger silver lining? He weighed her - 11 pounds 13 ounces. That's a gain of 13 ounces in 13 days!

I gave myself a quiet little pat on the back for sticking to it. Even with the ups and downs, we're doing our best and we haven't given up just yet. Let's just hope the trend continues and this week is better than the last.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Watching Lily learn is amazing. It isn't always anything grand, but watching her do things like discover the mobile on her swing... it makes my world. Making simple facial expressions and having her mimic them? I squeal! Laying her on her activity mat and watching her smile at herself in the mirror and reach up and hit the toys? I almost cried. Singing her songs and her locking eyes with J or I and smiling - I could die happy in those moments.

These little moments, where she discovers something we've overlooked a thousand times... they're simply priceless.

Even with our trip through breast feeding hell. It's been almost a week since her tongue was clipped and each day she's improving. Sometimes you can see her get frustrated. Her brow gets furrowed and she drops my nipple, but the next latch or the one after - it's less frequent. Even when it is frustrating, it is amazing. The little pieces are forming and fitting together. Each coo and grasp, her stares are more focused and less vacant.

Every tiny moment brings such wonder and joy to my life. I simply cannot fathom our little family without her.

4 years ago we started on our path to Lily. 4 years ago we ditched the pill and started dreaming of these days. (funny how 4 years later, within a week, I'm going back on the pill..) The dreams I dreamed don't come close to the feelings I have watching her discover our world. I couldn't have imagined that this level of awesome could exist.

Don't get me wrong, it isn't always easy, but every moment is worth the years it took to bring her to us. Each moment of joy with her erases one of pain and frustration that we experienced bringing her to us. That path taught me so much about myself, my body, my relationships... and now she teaches me more about life every day.

I love this little girl more than the world itself.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

All Clear!

I had my six week check up today and got the sign off from Doc Oc. I've healed up nicely, the ol' ute is back to its original self, and I'm healthy as a horse.

We did talk through my feeling down and he was a great listener, as always. He agreed that we'd had a rough go of it (he was impressed we were still fighting the breast feeding battle) and that my feeling down was probably a natural response to the stress and frustration. We agreed that should it get worse or I feel the need for intervention, that I will call or go back in.

I decided to go on the mini-pill. The IUD comes with a number of risks that we just weren't willing to tackle at the moment. A lot of people have really great experiences with them, but with our history of infertility, combined with my uncertainty, we went another way. We'll see how it goes - I haven't been on the pill in years!

Speaking of the breast feeding battle... we are trudging along. It's two steps forward and a step back. Some times she nurses really well and I think we're moving right along and the next time she is chompy, pulling, I'm sore so I don't let down, and then she throws up. Right now I'm just doing my best, taking my supplements, and trying all the tricks I know to keep things going as smoothly as they can while my boob continues to heel and she gets used to working her tongue.

Tonight has been rough. She was fussy, so I fed her, and she threw up. I say threw up and not spit up because of the sheer volume. But, now I'm empty! Thankfully I had a couple ounces in the fridge from pumping last night and was able to top her off. That staved her off for about 45minutes so I tried to nurse her again. She fell asleep at the boob and that lasted about another 15-20minutes before the next complete meltdown. Have you fed your baby, had them spit it all up and then still be hungry? What do you do? 

We get this fussy time about 6-8 every night. It's so hard to see her so upset and not have a good solution. A sweet friend recommended bath time and that has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion. Does your baby have a 'witching hour'? What are your tricks for bringing them around?

I'm off to take my turn at soothing the babe. G'night!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Today we saw the doctor and had Lily's frenulum clipped. Her doc was really great with her. She responded well to him and he was very gentle with her. The procedure was very brief and he was quick to comfort her when it was over. She barely bled and only cried for a bit. She nursed right away and I immediately felt a difference. The right side felt great. The left side, that still has a bit of a sore, hasn't felt great. I feel like her latch was fine, bit it was probably her suck.

Going forward we are nursing!

Our consultant will be checking in tomorrow and meanwhile we will be doing some exercises to work out the new movement in her tongue. I will still pump if I don't feel empty or if I have any pain. Folks, I don't have an alarm set.

Here we go!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Breast Feeding Update (The NEW Gameplan)

Today I bit the bullet and paid for an IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) to come out to our house. I wasn't truly comfortable with the plan given to me by the consultant at the hospital. After digesting it, it just didn't feel 100% right. Plus, as I started getting her back to breast, I was already feeling sore. Something just wasn't right.

I am so glad I did!

Firstly, she's awesome. We had a great conversation last night, she talked through our experience, familiarized herself with our background, and did her best to see if she could help via phone without charging us at all. In the end, I needed her to come and spend a little bit of time with the two of us. She rearranged her afternoon to ensure that she saw me right away. I think she could tell I was getting desperate.

She was only with us for an hour and already I think we've found our solution. And it's a simple one - Lily is tongue tied. Part of me is pissed off. She had two lactation consultants put hands in her mouth before we even left the hospital - and now we've had two appointments with another... how did they not know this?! Clipping her frenulum takes minutes and could have been done the day after she was born! There was no reason at all for us to struggle, for me to get mastitis... none of it! Her tie is a bit more posterior, so it isn't immediately obvious, but even I could see it once she pointed it out. A trained consultant, that even commented on her holding her tongue back... didn't know?? Maddening.

But, the good news is - we have a fix.

Our new favorite person in the whole world referred us to a doctor that can see us Monday to fix it. Folks, our whole world is about to change. I hope!

Having a game plan feels amazing. Once we wrapped things up, I cried I was so grateful. If this is it, I am going to drive to this woman's house and smother her in kisses.

I appreciate everyone's comments on my last post. It does make me feel better to know that I'm not alone in this. I am going to keep talking about it - I am lucky to have good listeners and this blog when I need a good word-vomit. Otherwise I am going to give myself a little bit of space to see how things go once we are on the mend, breast feeding wise. I think if that major stress can be removed - and I can sleep more consistently - perhaps my overall disposition will improve. But, as one of you suggested, I will get a referral from my doc at my appointment next week. That way I have it should I need it.

Fingers crossed that our time pumping/bottle feeding is limited!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baby Blues VS. PPD

How do you know the difference? The past six weeks have been wrought with frustration. Mostly surrounding breast feeding. There are been a few other hiccups that come with having a new baby - figuring out why she's crying, dealing with a lack of sleep, her scare spit-up episode...

The first few weeks I was definitely emotional, would cry at the drop of a hat, and simply exhausted. I was recovering too. Most everything I read says the blues should be gone by now, but I still feel them most days. Most of the time I don't care to get dressed (hellllo yoga pants - again) and it's all I can do to make sure I at least brush my teeth. I've only really left the house for doctors appointments. But, I don't really have any desire to socialize either - going out feels like A LOT of work.

There are times that the extra pumping/breast feeding problems really weigh on me. Living in such restrictive three hour cycles is making me a little nutty. Especially at night, because our routine takes at least an hour of that three hour cycle, so our sleep is really impacted.

Money is really tight for us right now. We just got rid of our rental property and do to so we basically emptied our sizable savings. That stress is added on top of all of the rest because we're facing the added cost of childcare expenses. A friend of ours is helping us out the first few weeks, but not for nearly as long as I'd originally been planning for.

There are some days, honestly, that Lily would already be on formula if it wasn't for the cost. I'm continuing this fight firstly because I know it is what is best for her. If I can get through this rough patch it will mean giving my baby the best start possible. But, on those really hard days when I want to say 'Screw it! I was formula fed and I'm FINE!' the added cost plays a part too. I have to go back to work in a month. I need to work out my breast feeding issues because I want to start building a freezer supply. 

There is an ongoing pity party in my mind too. WHY must everything be so difficult? Why did it take me almost 4 years to meet our baby? Why did I have to be the one with the two and a half day labor? Why did I get mastitis and thrush at the same time? Why do I now have problem breast feeding? Couple the pity party with the other stresses in my life and some days I just want to quit.

How do I know the difference? Do I wait for my six weeks appt, or see my doc now? Really, I hope it passes because I do not want another thing to keep me from relaxing and enjoying our baby.

But instead, like right now, I am going to stop what I'm doing and go hold my baby - she just woke up. The rest will just have to sort itself out.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Breastfeeding Woes Continue...

My left nipple is still giving me grief. I have a large crater in the center and Lily latching on is excruciating. I called the lactation consultant yesterday and today they fit me in. I did a bit of homework last night and watched a few videos (search for Jack Newman - a canadian doc and good resource for breastfeeding info). I noticed that Lily wasn't sucking like the babies in the video and that got me looking into my letdown.

At my appointment today I learned I was on the right track. What started with my Mastitis and then the resulting pain/stress, has resulted in a huge drop in my supply.


She watched Lily latch on both nipples and on each she really chomped down in frustration when I wasn't letting down for her. It was her level of aggression that contributed to my being put on 'nipple rest'. It isn't the ideal situation when working to build up supply, but what are you going to do? My nipple simply won't heal.

We've got a good game plan that involves pumping, fenugreek, ointment, and a lot of time topless - all for at least the next 48 hours. Here's the plan:

I will feed Lily what I pumped the prior session and supplement whatever is lacking (thankfully I have a friend who has donated us her breast milk, so I no longer have to do formula - which Lily only got at two feedings)
I will then pump again (both breasts) for the next feeding.
After pumping I will apply a mixture of triple antibiotic ointment and lotrimin (anti-fungal) 4x a day
Every hour I will rub my nipples with breastmilk
Fenugreek 3x a day

Tonight will be an interesting, and probably long, night. It's a lot of work to feed her, put her back down, pump, clean up, etc, etc. But, we will do what we have to do until we're healed up and build our supply. Once my nipples have healed we will hopefully be able to ditch the exclusive pump and get back to building supply with nursing.

Tomorrow, even though I cannot nurse her, Lily and I are going to spend the whole day in bed. Her in her diaper, me topless, and we're going to snuggle and rest, drinking tons of fluids.

I am so frustrated. I was so sad to have to give my baby a bottle of formula at the consultants office. But mostly, I feel good about the plan. I am just pissed as hell that nothing can go smoothly. Why must we hit these speed bumps at every turn? I'd like to pass through one thing without hiccups. Getting pregnant, pregnancy, labor, breast feeding... everything has been so damn hard.

But for now, I just need to get through it. And now, it's time to pump. Here we go again...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Period?!

I'm fairly certain that I'm currently having my first period postpartum. I've had irregular periods for years now and all of a sudden I'm going to get one almost exactly one month after I give birth?

I'm fighting tooth and nail through this breast feeding business and I cannot even get a delay on the start of my period? Figures.

How long did it take for Aunt Flo to visit you for the first time after giving birth?
 Were you regular right away?

All of this period crap got me thinking... My six week visit is in a couple of weeks and I'll need to start some sort of birth control. I'm thinking of getting an IUD. I've not had one before, so I'm a bit nervous about the experience, but I think it is the best option for us at the moment.

Which birth control option did you choose? Why?

Friday, September 21, 2012

One Month!

I cannot believe it, but it's true...

Doesn't she look thrilled about it?? lol

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mastitis and Thrush

This weekend the pain in my boobs got much worse. Achy stabbing pains in my boob, in addition to the agony that already was my nipple. J was out of town, but thankfully my mom was around to go to the walk-in clinic with me and help with Lily.

The doctor I saw was hugely helpful. She gave me major kudos for breast feeding and we talked about how incredibly hard those first days/weeks can be. And that is without the added pain. We talked about my pain, she examined my breast. I was fairly certain I had at least a mild case of thrush. Although there is nothing in Lily's mouth, I did have a white spot on one nipple and the pain that went along with it. Doc agreed and recommended an anti-fungal cream (ewww).

But, in addition to thrush, she said I have mastitis. She (and I) was glad to see me when I came in, because I didn't yet have any of the flu-like symptoms yet. But my breast (left especially) was a bit red, swollen, and complete with all of the lightning and stabbing pains that typically go along with it. I couldn't even let Lily snuggle on my chest. Even the light pressure from my bra could make my eyes water. "I'm glad you came in when you did, this can get much much worse."  WORSE?! Dear Lord, I'm glad I came in when I did too. What I had was sucky enough.

With my perscription antibiotic in hand, I was sent home with the instructions to continue nursing - frequently. After 24 hours I do feel a bit better. The aching has subsided and while it still hurts for her to latch on the left side, it has improved. Hopefully after a few more days we'll be sitting pretty.

Moral of this story? If you're having any aches and pains associated with breastfeeding - do not hesitate to go in. Waiting to see how things go only makes it worse.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Just Because

J is at an overnight bachelor party tonight (paintball and camping) and baby girl and I are flying solo. Well not entirely solo, my mom is coming up for girls night!

For now, Lily and I are snuggled up with Netflix and a cookie.. or two.

I mean, I can survive one night without my husband when I have this face to snuggle, right?

When did I turn into such a chicken?

Friday, September 7, 2012

4 ounces!

We saw the nurse for another weigh-in today. On Tuesday Lily weighed in at 9lbs 11oz. In three days she wanted to see at least a gain of 1.5 ounces - or .5 ounces a day. And what did she weigh?

- insert drum roll -

9pounds 15ounces!! - A gain of 4 ounces!



I am so relieved to have that behind us. We are starting to get it down - she slept so much better between feeds last night I woke up feeling rested.

She was alert and all smiles in the doctors office too. Not even a peep when we had to strip her down or change her diaper. And we're now back home, relaxing in the back yard while Lily takes a nap.

Today, we kicked ass.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Now Hiring: Wetnurse, Nanny, and a Housekeeper (A Vent.)

Cause damn it - I'm tired. Three nights of only sleeping in 45 minutes stretches has caught up. The days are starting to go really well. Lily is napping, breastfeeding is going a bit better (with one exception I'll talk about in a minute), we even made it to the grocery store yesterday. Then night time comes and the gloves come off. She wants to marathon feed and then will wake up the instant she's laid down. Or she'll lay awake forever just looking around... Or, like last night, I woke up, changed her diaper, she ate for almost 30 minutes, she burped and laid there forever. She finally closes her eyes almost 40 minutes later... and poops. So, I change her, she's wide awake again.. we rock and snuggle - and she asks for the boob again. And we start over.

Lord-e-mercy child! We could not get in sync last night. And since I didn't get a nap yesterday, there were tears. Snotty ones. And not two hours before we started settling down for the evening, I'd declared victory on the day. That's when the universe saw fit to karate chop me down a peg.

J did everything he could to help us and the poor guy had to work today - now add guilt. We finally got things settled a few hours later and I got strict orders to do nothing today but nap with the baby. Now - before you jump on me cause I'm online - she's laying here awake - I swear!

I'm trying to be patient with myself. To take things as the come. Allow myself space to learn and let everything else fall away. But that's hard! I want to have confidence that the next night will be better and that it's okay for me to get a few things done - you know, like shower and make dinner... only to self destruct later.

At our two week visit we hit another speed bump - Lily hasn't gained weight. She was 9lbs 14oz at three days and Tuesday, she was 9lbs 11oz. The nurse instantly suggested we supplement with formula. That was like a kick in my metaphorical nuts. I had some really great conversations with my friend Rachel (who called on her midwife and pediatric friends) for some advice. I've changed up some of our feeding - letting her go as long as she wants, even if that means spitting up (which has gotten more 'normal' again btw). The running theory is that at our three day visit, she wasn't done losing weight. My milk didn't come in until that day, so she probably lost weight for another couple days and is on the upswing now. So, we have another weigh-in on Friday. Until then I am not going to supplement. If she's continuing to lose weight, we'll talk about it again then. I really don't think my supply is an issue - I can tell they're full. If you have a spare positive thought - please think/pray/wish for a bit of weight gain tomorrow. We need a win around here.

Last nights drama? Also, breast feeding related. My left nipple is killing me. When Lily spit up last night - it was kind of thick and mucus-y (which is fine), but it was tinged with brown. The brown freaked us out. Turns out my nipple is bleeding a tiny bit. There is also a small white spot on the end of my nipple. I need to allow my nipples to air dry and switch away from the disposable breast pads to something that breathes better. When we visit the nurse on Friday, I am going to ask about thrush. I have been doing some reading (FYI - don't look at images of Thrush - it's enough to make anyone panic) and we have a fair amount of the symptoms, including the fact that we had antibiotics after labor (which can kill off the 'good' bacteria and encourage yeast growth). If I do have thrush, I know it would be minor. We'll see...

My stride could not be found soon enough. I love this little girl. The time we get to spend together, snuggle, and I get to look at her sweet face... the best in the universe. She is so stinkin cute and I just cannot believe she's ours. She's starting to be a bit more aware when she is awake. Wide eyed and checking things out. Every single day I'm in awe that she is here. Finally. For once I would just like a few less hurdles. Struggling to get her here, a long labor, tricky breastfeeding... fewer speed bumps and more time basking in her awesomeness is all I ask. Is that too much?

With all that said - yes, I am hiring. Not really, cause we're broke, but isn't it a nice dream? Nap with your sweet baby while someone else runs around cleaning, changing a thousand diapers a day, and chaffing their nipples? Meanwhile, I am off to feed my sweet girl. Dreaming that my nipples that are in one piece while I stroke her adorable chubby cheeks.

(I'm not even going to go back and read this. It was meant as a thought-dump and that's what it will be. Blech - there it is. Motherhood - Day 18.)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Being a mom is scary stuff.

J and I joked a lot the day we were leaving the hospital. Mostly things like, "They don't need to do a background check on us before we leave with her??" "You mean, the nurse doesn't come home with us?" Nervous jokes filled the air as it settled in that we were taking our daughter home.

Now that we've been home a couple of weeks, we trade off being neurotic. "Is that normal? Is something wrong with her?" and the other typically responds with, "She's a baby, it's okay."

As a person who has struggled with anxiety, panic attacks, etc in the past - this is something I always try and stay keyed into as to avoid a problem. It hasn't been something that I really suffered with for years (college), but the anxiety will occasionally pop up in times of high stress. That has certainly been true with Lily at home. I have a harder time relaxing, especially if we're out, now that she's with us. I would call it more nervousness and nowhere near anxiety/panic attacks. But more on that another day. I can tell you what doesn't help - now Lily has started spitting up after breastfeeding. Not normally too big of a deal though, right?

Which leads us to last night. Commonly during the night I have to wake her up to nurse. It was 2:20 a.m. and about 3 hours since she'd eaten last. Lily was sound asleep when I picked her up from her bassinet. Our routine is to check/change her diaper, reswaddle, nurse, burp, snuggle, back to bed. As soon as I laid her down on the changing table - she was pissed. She started crying - and then she scared the shit out of me...

Her mouth was wide open, but no sound was coming out, she turned bright red and arched her back so that only her head and butt were on the table. I quickly picked her up, bounced and started firmly patting her on the back. She weakly burped and made this awful tiny little gasping noise. I immediately turned her over on my arm and smacked her good a couple of times on the back before she cried. (baby CPR style) I held her and kept trying to burp her while I woke J up for help. For about 20minutes or so she cried her little heart out while she worked up spit bubbles and a bit more spit up - through her mouth and nose. We tried to help clear her nose with the nasal aspirator, and basically did whatever we could think of to help clear her out. Three hours after she ate last.

By about 3:00 a.m. she was doing better - able to breath normally - so I was able to finally nurse her. We only went a few minutes at a time and I would burp her again before putting her back to the boob. Afterward I sat up with her - she was wide awake - for about another hour and a half. I didn't hardly take my eyes off her.

She's made a few gargle noises before when we'd lay her down after a nighttime feeding. Talk about an awful sound. You mind instantly goes to her aspirating on her own vomit while you fly out of bed to get to her in the bassinet. But nothing like this. If I never have to see that panicky look on her little face again, it will be too soon.

Thankfully she's been fine ever since. But holy hell did she about give us a heart attack.

To help manage her spitting up I've been trying to feed her for a shorter period of time (and more frequently) because I'm certain she's overeating. She's a comfort sucker (loves her binky - damnit), so she doesn't quit when she's full. We've also been trying to keep her more upright for awhile once she's done to let her tummy settle. I'm also trying to limit my diary. Some of it has helped, but I still feel like she's spitting up more than she should.

Has anyone else had trouble with spitting up? Any other suggestions for things I could try or something you did that was helpful? I know that some babies are just more prone to spitting up and as long as she's still gaining good weight, she's fine, but if there is something I can do to make her more comfortable I want to try it. Our two week pediatric appointment is Tuesday, so I plan to chat with the nurse then as well.

Being a parent is clearly a 24/7 fright fest. One worry to the next. Let's hope I at least live to see another birthday before I have my first heart attack.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Hi everyone!

I fell off the face of the earth for a bit, but for good reason - Lily has arrived! She was born on August 19th. She is perfect and healthy and wonderful. I've been soaking up every second of her perfect little self.

What we didn't expect, at all, was her size - Lily came into the world at a whopping 10lbs 11oz!! Granted, I did have an epidural and we both were pretty pumped full of fluid, she's still a big baby! I gave my doctor a ration of crap for predicting that she'd be about 7.5lbs. lol

Here she is at one week:

She and I are still working to get the whole breastfeeding thing down. It's not easy! Add that to our other parental fumblings, mix in some good hormones, and the week has certainly had it's ups and downs. Thankfully J has been off work the past two weeks and we've been figuring it all out as a family.

Watching J become a father has been amazing. He is so in love with this little girl. He rarely even wants to put her down. I didn't think it was possible to love him any more, but I do.

I have quite a bit more I'd love to share about my first two weeks as a mama. So, I will be back! Meanwhile, we have our first big outing today. One of my best friends is getting married, so we're getting dressed up and headed out to a wedding! (Please, let's not talk about my lack of wardrobe at the moment - finding something to wear is always stressful enough without my new wider hips and rib cage. Eek!)

Monday, August 13, 2012


One of my favorite things to do is to stalk blogs and look at the beautiful nurseries people put together. There are so many awesome ideas and folks get so creative! So, how could I possibly deny you a peak at Lily's?? That wouldn't be very nice of me at all, especially since I cannot pass up a chance to show it off. I LOVE this space. I cannot believe how well it came together and how our hard work paid off. It has been a lot of work over the last few months, but we couldn't be happier.

Without further ado... a tour!

I love how the coral and blue came together.

Little bits of yellow and green throughout
 The frame above the shelf has a cut out section of a gift bag from one of my showers. 

 Some of the details - shelf frame and mirror above the changing table

 A closer detail on the ruffled crib skirt that I made. 
I am a hugely novice sewer - so I'm very proud of this! 

 Lily's friends, just waiting patiently for her to come home.  

 Diapers, all clean and fluffy, ready for her chubby little buns.

Side table stocked with handy things for snuggling in the glider (iPod, books, support pillow, etc)
Oooh, the fun things in her closet - blankets, hats, wraps, etc - can you spy her adorable pink shades??)

We really aren't too into 'themes', so this is where we landed. A good color scheme and an eclectic collection of things we love. Now it just needs a pretty baby to call it home. Enjoy! If you have questions about any of it, feel free to ask! I know how challenging it can be to find and borrow ideas. Ask away!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

38 Weeks

Hello all! I know, I have officially fallen off the face of the earth. Life has been a little crazy as we're getting near the end of this pregnancy. There has been tons to do around the house, I'm getting things wrapped up with work, trying to sell our rental (again...) and you all know how plans go when summer time hits - madness.

While I still haven't exactly decided what I'd like to accomplish here on HimPlusMe going forward, I have been missing you all terribly. I try to keep up and follow where I can, even if I'm not commenting! I had a couple emails so I wanted to drop by and check in.

38 Fricken Weeks. Wow.

Time has flown by and I am so beyond grateful for this little girl. We are mostly put together and ready for her arrival and now it is just a waiting game. We just had our 38 week appointment yesterday and are both doing well.

Besides some braxton hicks contracts, we've had not other signs that things are eminent - not that it means anything! lol I'm fully planning for her to remain on the inside for at least another few weeks - anything earlier is just icing on the cake.

She's an active little stinker, that's for certain. I'm currently watching my belly morph into crazy shapes and shake all around. Someone's kung-fu fighting in there.

One of my favorite parts of this pregnancy has been watching J. He's still nesting (currently the man is out sanding the deck) and is determined to make this house in tip top shape for her arrival. The cutest part is that he knows she won't care a bit, but he wants to be sure that he's not distracted by any of the chaos and gets to just spend time with her. He's had such thoughtful questions and has really been involved in every aspect. The man has only missed one (maybe two...) of our appointments this whole pregnancy. Don't even get me started on his test driving strollers and such. A-fricken-dorable. He's grown so much already these last few months, that I simply cannot wait to see him meet his daughter.

Our relationship has grown as well. While we haven't necessarily been down for The Maritals as frequently - thank you aching pelvis - he's been so loving an affectionate. We've been communicating really well and talking constantly. I am so so lucky to be blessed with such a supportive husband.

Something I didn't anticipate would be how hard pregnancy is physically. I mean I knew, conceptually, that you get tired and worn down, but there have been days I felt like I was in a car accident or something. My joints are not used to the strain (thanks to my lack of restraint, we're talking all 40 extra pounds of strain), my rib is still displaced - although not as painful as early on, and sleeping just means my hips ache. I've been seeing a chiropractor fairly regular and it has made a world of difference day-to-day. So, it's manageable, but certainly not something I was prepared for. Pregnancy isn't for wusses! lol

I cannot wait for the next few weeks to pass so that we can meet our girl when she's ready. I am so thankful for her continued health, and for mine.

I hope that each of you are doing well, that you know I'm thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts. If you'd like to connect, please do not hesitate to email me! Also, I promise not to hide Lily - there will be an announcement and photos when she arrives - Scout's Honor. (can I say that if I wasn't a scout?)

Monday, May 28, 2012

A fun comparison...

29 Weeks

Loving my first complete week of my third trimester. While I am starting to have trouble getting comfortable at night, I am also feeling much better about myself and the changes happening to my body. Yes, I'm filling out, but you know what? It isn't permanent. I'm enjoying time with my friends and family and doing my best not to beat myself up over some indulgences. Yes, overall I need to make good choices, but damnit, my strawberry ice cream isn't killing anyone. Nor will it stick around forever either. It's all about the balance.

Now, with that pesky body-image crap aside, I've been feeling pretty good. I can definitely feel myself start to transition into that third trimester mode... getting tired at the end of the day, sore lower back, but nothing crazy at all. A nice welcome break from the pneumonia/loose rib drama crap of the first part of this adventure.

Our nursery work is really coming along and we're feeling more and more prepared for Lily's arrival. My mom even sent out the invites for my shower next month! She is hosting a get together for my family, a small lunch so that I can spend some good quality with my grand mothers, aunts, and close family friends. I still cannot get over the fact that it will be for me and our baby. We are so blessed.

A fun comparison with this weeks belly photo:

Crazy what a couple months will do. I thought I had really started filling out... The 19 week photo was from the day we had our gender scan. HA! - look at me now. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012


As many of you guys already know, I've been one who has struggled with my weight and body image for years.

When we got pregnant I knew that would come with weight gain. What I didn't anticipate would be how hard it would be on me. It is really hard to watch the scale climb to numbers you never wanted to see again.

There are a few things weighing on me...

I'm not being as good as I should be. I've been dieting for so many years that I literally don't know how to eat normally. And since I don't know how, I've been careless. This was not helped by my initial aversions and weight loss in my first trimester. I got in the habit of being able to eat whatever sounded good. Which is never veggies, btw. Also, while sweets were an aversion before... not any more! Oh the guilt!

Since we got off to a rough start with this pregnancy, I've not been exercising enough. Plain and simple I haven't been active enough at all. J is pretty paranoid and even when I want to, I get 'maybe you shouldn't ...' not helping!

My doc did say that around 20ish weeks, give or take, that my weight gain would play catch up. Between that phenomenon and my lack of restraint, I am now up 17lbs at 26 weeks. Which, while not horrible at all, means I won't meet my 20lb weigh gain goal. In 10 weeks I've gained almost 20lbs. Damn.

My Gestational Diabetes test is tomorrow. I am so nervous. Since I don't handle carbs well anyway, I'm worried I won't pass. I don't want any other obstacles.

Starting this game overweight sucks. It makes everything harder. I am more self conscious. I'm harder on myself over the little things and I feel myself focusing on the wrong things.

Not my entire self is crazy about this. I do have a piece of my mind that days I've gained weight for worse reasons and lost it before, I can do it again! Also, I want to do everything I can to enjoy this time. If that means a small bowl of ice cream with the hubs at the end of a long day I suppose its worth it.

I need to get back in better habits. Walk more, eat more veggies, and take a damn deep breath.

We have been so blessed, I don't want to mess any of this up. So, if you have an extra prayer, please say one for me passing my GD test. I promise I'll be better. Pinky promise.

How did you deal with weight gain? Any tips or resources?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

24 Weeks

While we fully expect Lily to stay an inside baby and grow for a few more months, the 24th week is a bit of a milestone - viability. Should circumstances cause her to arrive early, she'd now have a fighting chance. And while I pray daily never to test those statistics, it's a bit of a relief to reach this point.

In my few years of experience TTC I have met many women who have given birth at this point, or slightly before. It is those women, and their angel babies, that my thoughts have surrounded lately. My appreciation and perspective is different now. While I cannot, and hope I never, fully appreciate the suffering of losing a child in that way, I now know what they stood to lose. The attachment I have to Lily now is real. She's real. (Not that she ever wasn't...) Lily has already changed my life. I say a few extra prayers for those babies. I send a few extra loving thoughts to their beautiful mommies. And I ask nothing in return except that those angels keep an eye out for Lily. That they protect her and keep her safe until she's fully baked and ready for the outside world.

I am feeling pretty good these days. I had to travel for work last week and experienced my first bout of swollen feet/ankles. Not fun when you're trudging through OHare.

J continues to play protective daddy. 'Dont lift that! Go relax, I'll do it. You're not overdoing it, are you?' I think between him and my mom I would never leave the bed unless I was in a wheelchair. Lol It's very sweet that he's so concerned about us, but I do hope he relaxes before he has a breakdown.

I am so grateful to gave passed another little hurdle. One more step closer to a happy and healthy Lily. Did you see that? It was my shoulders relaxing another half inch.

Happy 24th Week baby girl.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dreams of Lily

The last two sleeps in a row have held dreams of our little baby girl. It was amazing. She had short fuzzy blond hair (both her daddy and I did too as babes), big blue eyes (like me), and little tiny red pouty lips.

One of the dreams had moments of her with our pups. Both dogs laying near her, looking longingly at her, or watching her protectively. We've been thinking a lot about how to help the dogs adjust when we bring her home this summer. I hope that they're as good with her as my dream suggested.

With the exception of this weird moment in my dream when I was trying to get my dog (when she was a pup) into a comfortable position to be nursed - W.T.F. - it was a fairly boring dream about lazing about with our little Lily. I woke up and told J about it both times. Telling him that I got to see her and it really felt like what I imagine her to look like. "Was she a good little girl?" was what he asked. And she was. Throughout the whole dream she was quite or smiling, happy as a clam.

There could not have been a more perfect way to start our Saturday. Sun shining in the window, snuggled up with J and Tony Danza, dreaming of our daughter.


Like whoa.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Half Way

This week is a big one!

Im 20 weeks and now theoretically facing the second half of this pregnancy.

I feel halfway too. I go back and forth between equal parts thrilled I've come this far and terrified that I'm already half way to an outside baby.

Folks, an OUTSIDE BABY. Holy spitballs. I'm having a kid. Not just a nameless future kid. But in a finite,measurable, number of weeks I will have a child. A female child. Whoa Nelly, I'm having a daughter.

Now I know that was the goal, but it's taken so long that I suppose it's just starting to sink in.

I will be responsible for raising a productive member of society. No pressure! Where's my paper bag??

I'm feeling tons better, rarely ever nauseous. I feel like I have most my energy back, but when I'm tired, its over. Going out on a Friday is practically an impossible feat.

These last couple weeks have been stressful. Nothing baby related, thank God, but trying to sell our rental house, work is insane, our house is a disaster, coaching volleyball (I am a sucker who can't say no to 11 year old girls - foreshadowing much?).... I've been feeling tapped. Here's my question to you, how do you relax? Say having a beer and I might growl at you! ;) Should I squeeze in yoga, are there breathing exercises I should do? What's your trick?

I can tell you what doesn't work. Crying in your bosses office. Tried that already! Yeah.... she was amazing and sympathetic, but that's humiliating. +1 major professional career points for Sarah.

C'mon second half!

P.S. board and batten is going up this weekend! Woooot

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lacking an Identity

I've been thinking recently about taking some time away or stopping the blog entirely.

Last week, I talked to Jeremy about it. "But you love it and it's helped you so much." was his response. And he's right! This blog has been such an outlet for me. I've 'met' so many women struggling with infertility at such different stages in their journey.

I've shared the ups, down, and the tears - both happy and sad. I've received such great support when I needed it the most.

But that's what it was for me - a blog about infertility. Of course that is exactly how I still think of myself, infertile. Even now that I'm looking at being halfway through my pregnancy. But I'm not blogging about my struggles with infertility right now - and I am so grateful to have made it to that next step. But, I'm not really a mommy blogger either.

I knew it would happen, but it did make me sad to see that my traffic took a huge it after we got pregnant. It was a bit discouraging to continue to share. I know what it feels like to see other women struggle and then move on to be only puppies, rainbows, and unicorns about their getting to move on. I knew that people perhaps wouldn't identify anymore and would move on to other blogs.

And perhaps since things are going smoothly for the time being, I just don't have a lot to say or share. Most days I'm just giddy and so very grateful. But I don't feel as though I can come here anymore to just blather on about how wonderful my life feels right now.

I feel like I've lost my voice. Even this post doesn't have a real point, which is probably fitting considering my frame of mind.

I'm certainly not looking for, "No, please stay!", but perhaps you've been there? How do you transition from one stage to the next?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's a....


A healthy, perfect, growing right on time, girl.

We couldn't be happier!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

18 Weeks!

18 Weeks! Wow, that makes me feel pretty deep into this process already. It's a good thing we're starting to check things off our list of stuff to do! It never seems to end.

This weekend my father-in-law came up to help up plan and take measurements of the nursery. He's going to be helping us install the board-and-batten we'll be putting up. We discussed batten distance, molding size, spacing to accommodate outlets, etc. Basically, I think we've gotten it all planned out! Once we know what kind of kiddo we're having, we'll be able to select a paint color and really get at it. It's crazy to think that in one month we'll be looking at pretty different room. I knew this room would be our nursery from the moment we moved in (almost 4 years ago), it's pretty great to see that finally start to happen.

This week the babe is about 5 1/2 inches long and is weighing in at approx 7 ounces. I've felt movement a few more times and I always stop what I'm doing (usually just talking, lol) and enjoy the moment. Such an amazing feeling. It will never grow old. I'm almost back up to my starting weight, which oddly feels really good. I will admit I have been enjoying the compliments at work about how 'healthy and happy' I look. Now if those could just continue for the next 5+ months, that would be great!

Only a week is left until our big anatomy scan! While the doc has his suspicions, we should have our answer in a week. And let me tell you, after that week, it is (shopping) GAME ON. I have been so pent up that this mama is ready to do a little shopping! I've been given a great new discount site (email me if you don't get the daily Zulily deals - omg! I'm obsessed.) and plan to attend a few local consignment fairs over the next few weekends. I don't plan to go too insane, but I've got to get it out of my system!

Hopefully that will include a major item or two. Did you have a hard time finding a crib you loved? I've look at all the major stores, granted it was online, and I am not in love with anything. Well, that's not entirely true. My egregious taste led me first to a crib that I am still fawning over, but it is $1049 at Restoration Hardware. YEAH RIGHT. I can do my whole nursery with that budget. But, of course now everything gets compared to that and doesn't measure up. It is much more challenging than I expected!

Here is my updated belly photo! There should only be a couple more before you start to see changes happening on the wall behind me. Don't worry, I'm capturing pictures of the whole process as we go!

(Let's make a deal not to talk about my bubble butt, got it?? Glad we had this talk.)

Friday, March 9, 2012


Happy Due Date, Sprout.

Our first little bean sprout. We think of you often. Miss you daily. I even find myself thinking about you, the personality you would have had, and especially as we approach our gender scan, I think about if you were a girl or a boy.

It's a bitter sweet day. Obviously we are expecting again and are so grateful for the miracle we've been given. But that doesn't make us forget. Not the feeling we had when we learned about you, seeing your grandparents react, all of your aunties being so excited for your arrival. I wasn't certain we would ever experience those things.

Your arrival told us to hang in there. It brought J and I closer together. Encouraged us to share our journey a bit more publicly. I grieved like I  never have before. But, as I healed, it brought me the hope I needed to keep moving forward.

This weekend J and I have agreed to make no other plans. We are spending the weekend together. Enjoying each others company, remembering you, and doing some special things, just the two of us.

Thank you for watching out for us. For looking over our current baby, your younger sibling. We will never forget how you changed our lives. We will always love you.

Love and hugs little baby,

Your Mama

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Monday, March 5, 2012

17 Weeks

17 weeks today! Our next doctors appointment is tomorrow and our anatomy scan is only TWO WEEKS away. I cannot believe the time that has passed!

I am feeling really good these days and am so happy and appreciative of our blessing. There are many exciting things around the corner and for once in a very long while, I am just enthusiastic. Joyful. Happy. So grateful and in love with this baby and my husband.
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This is all still so surreal at times. My girlfriends had dinner on Friday night and the conversation turned to planning my baby shower. MY baby shower. I cannot wrap my head around that and at the same time I am so thrilled. My friends have been so sweet and excited for this baby. It warms my heart to think of all of the other people in our life that have been anticipating this child right along with us. To think back to those lonely days over the last three years, it does help to take the edge off, knowing that there were so many people supporting us.

I don't think my bump has changed much this week, but never the less - here it is!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


My 16th weeks started with something pretty amazing... movement!

For years I've heard people describe their baby's first kicks. Like bubbles, gas, poking from the inside... I was ready my week-by-week book and it describes the first movements has popcorn popping or a bubble (which is why most people confuse it early on with gas!).

"Popping" really resonated with me. For some reason when I imagined people talking about bubbles I was thinking something like carbonation (I don't know why...). But the idea of a single bubble popping is what struck a cord.

I lay in bed on Sunday nights, reading my pregnancy week-by-week book to learn about the week we have ahead of us. Then I try and lay there for awhile, thinking about our baby, talking to him/her, and generally just focusing on the good stuff. It's a special little moment each week.


Was that what I think it was, or am I making it up??

It's very faint and if you blink, you'll miss it. Two or three more times over the next few minutes, I felt it. And then, just as I convinced myself I wasn't making it up, the show was over for the night. But it was amazing! To me it didn't really feel anything like gas, but I can understand the confusion with all of the other crazy feelings/pulls/etc that you feel throughout pregnancy.

This is an odd comparison, but have you ever made a spit bubble with your mouth? Go ahead, try it. Now, pay close attention to the sensation your lips have when it pops... that's what it felt like to me! Just a tiny bubble popping in my lower abdomen.

I know it's early and that this will come and go, but I cannot wait for this to be a consistent and regular occurrence. I may never do anything but quietly lay in my bed again.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Consignment Fairs

I had no idea such a thing existed until a lovely coworker brought me a whole list of them in our area!

What is a consignment fair? There are a number of organizations in our area that organize local moms into these organized, high quality, garage sale like events. Except they take place in large gymnasiums, community centers, etc.

I've talked with a few women now that have come away with major scores from these events. Some of them are known for being more high-quality than others, but either way - I'm IN! I've even been able to get on a few pre-sale lists. I'm ready to sort through and find treasures. I'm all about saving a pretty penny or two where I can.

And, guess what, they start the weekend after we find out the gender of this kiddo! How awesome is that?

If you live in the greater Seattle area, I am happy to email you the list I was given!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Poll: Baby Bits

Everyone has a strong opinion on the gender of this wee babe that I'm baking. So, I'd like you to officially share it!

I've added a shiny new poll in the menu on the right.

Go ahead, take a peek.

Do you see it?


Now go ahead and cast your vote! There is nothing quite like an afternoon voting on baby junk. Am I right?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

15 Weeks

...and a day!

I'm happy to report that I am off to a great start in my 15th week. My rib pain has been reduced to an occasional annoyance and I am barely coughing! I am taking that as a sign of positive things to come.

This weekend was spent with good friends. It's a pretty amazing experience to watch our extended circle celebrate this baby. We are so loved and are so grateful for the community this baby will be joining.

I've laid pretty low, trying to let my rib heal and kick the last of this cough. It paid off - for the first time, I'm feeling healthy and I am no longer nauseous. This week also marked the return of chicken to my life! I am thrilled to be expanding my menu choices. So, I might add, is J.

Now, I am off to make another to-do list before I have to breath into another paper bag. Time is passing so quickly!

Friday, February 17, 2012

National Geographic Boobs

I'm here today to discuss another pregnancy oddity - boobs.

While my boobs have gotten a little bigger, enough that I needed a couple new bras, but not so much that the new ones are the best fit just yet. However, the oddity I am referring to now is my nipples. First, it started with the actual nipple. I've heard they get bigger, but now mine are two, noticeably, different sizes. And while the color of them hasn't changed too much, my aureola are now puffy and huge!

I got out of the shower today and was standing in front of the mirror (notice a theme this week? I've got to stop this self inspection!). J happened to be in the bathroom with me and was there to witness when I looked down and said, "Sweet baby Jesus my nipples are huge!"

After he stopped laughing, he agreed.

While I know they will continue to change, they already look like something straight from National Geographic.

I'm glad we had this talk, I'm feeling much closer already.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Steps in the right direction (and peach fuzz).

Things are looking up. I've seen the chiropractor some more and I feel like I'm making some progress. I'm not healed, but I'm feeling better and more mobile. The coughing is slowing down quite a bit and that helps a ton.

I am taking it very easy, trying to stay down a lot, and icing like a good patient. So long as we keeping moving in a good direction, I think I will be okay. The backwards steps were sending me into a bit of a tailspin, that's for sure.

But boy am I ready to be able to breath again without stress or pain!

The one things this has done well is serve as a distraction. I can't very well sit around and be impatient for my next appointment while I'm too busy nursing myself back to health. Time is passing quickly and I'm grateful to get to see our babe in just a couple more weeks. I'm so happy to start to see my belly grow. I will say that it is a bit odd to see without feeling anything though! I'm looking forward to continuing to see my body change.

With one exception - am I the only one getting a hairy belly!?

I got out of the shower last night and smiled down at my little bump. It was a nice little moment until I caught my peach fuzz in the bright bathroom light. My whole stomach is covered in it! I say peach fuzz, but I think everyone has little hairs, these are getting longer! (I am horrible at guessing length, but maybe 1/4"??) They're blond, and fine, but still! Please tell me this is a crazy phase and I won't have to shave my belly or something insane.

With that cheerie little visual, I am going to bid you adieu. Back to kicking back on the sofa and watching some DVR. Perhaps a Big Bang? Or a Modern Family? I could use a good chuckle or 5.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm Cranky and Sad.

I feel guilty even talking about not being all rainbows and unicorn farts during this pregnancy. My mind keeps going to this place of, "if I complain, people may think I don't appreciate this miracle I have." But, dammit, I hurt. I'm still coughing. And now I'm either getting a cold or my allergies have come early and in full force.

I had my second appointment with the chiropractor today. He gave me a good work over, adjusted my ribs again, as well as my neck and hips. Unfortunately, he said that he may not be able to give me a permanent fix until after I give birth. Are you kidding me!?

During pregnancy our bodies produce the hormone Relaxin. Its purpose is to help loosen your joints and ligaments to give birth. Makes sense. Unfortunately it isn't exclusive to your pelvis. So, while we work to put everything back, my body is fighting against it and is preferring to stay all 'loosey goosey'. Awwwweeeesome. I have one more visit tomorrow and then I'll probably see him as needed until I deliver. Just as I feel uncomfortable.

I got home, relaxed on the couch, and then I coughed - POP.


I cried.

I'm tired. I'm tired of coughing, and now sneezing. I'm tired of this pain. Of not being able to take a deep breath. Even my crying hurt my ribs too bad. It has subsided a bit, but damn. I'm really frustrated! How can my bones rest and get better when I'm jostling them around every 5 minutes?

I'm supposed to be starting to feel better. My nausea has all but subsided (I have my days...) and I'm getting to where I should be feeling good! I feel like I'm missing out. I cannot relax or enjoy this time because I'm mopey, sick, and in pain. Not to mention today is Valentines Day! How fun is a crying wife? Add guilt to my list of things to mope about.

I'm confident things will get better. I'm confident in my chiropractor. What I'm not confident in is the time frame with which this will all take place.

I'm a woman on the edge.