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!