21 Mar

Some nights after the baby goes to bed you sit on the couch and high five each other because the bedtime routine went so well.

Some nights after the baby goes to bed you collapse onto the couch and reminisce about the extra 45 minutes it took you to get him to bed since he peed on himself (and everything else) three times, which got him really worked up and excited for some reason (not the ideal mood for bedtime).

Luckily we’ve gotten into a pretty good routine and most nights have been the former recently.

Oh baby boy, the past five months have been one wild ride and I don’t think it’s going to let up for another 17 years.

And I’m totally okay with that. <3

Flashback Friday v.1

1 Mar

Lately I’ve been thinking about the past a lot. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I’m 26 years old, married, with a beautiful baby boy. When I was young it felt like I was never going to grow up, and now that I’m an adult everything is moving so quickly!

I’ve seen a lot of “Friday Finds” or “Friday Favorites” on other blogs, but that’s just not my style. Today I’m going to start a feature called “Flackback Fridays” where I give you one thing from the past that I’ve been savoring this week and why.

Since I started using Spotify I’ve revisited a lot of music I used to listen to when I was a teenager and young adult. Some of it is terrible and I have no idea how I ever listened to it over and over and thought that I liked it. I tried listening to Panic! At The Disco again the other day and could not figure out what I had seen in it. Then there are other bands that I’m not sure why I ever stopped listening to.

This Flashback Friday is dedicated to Punchline‘s album 37 Everywhere.

I haven’t listened to any of Punchline’s newer stuff, but remembering how much I love 37 Everywhere may inspire me to give it a try. The album came out in 2006 when I was a sophomore in college. At the time I was listening to a lot of angsty emo bands with cliche lyrics. While I still like some of that, I’m glad that Punchline doesn’t fit into that mold.

Check out “Green Light” and see what I mean:

“Caller 10″ was by far my favorite song. It’s one of those songs that I listen to now and can still picture my dorm room, remember the guy I had a crush on, relive late night talks with my roommate. I can feel 19 years old driving around that spring with the windows down listening to that song.

Check out “Caller 10″:

What are you reminiscing about this week? Have a great Friday!

Little letters

22 Feb

Dear baby N, I can’t believe you turn 4 months old today! Your smiles and giggles brighten even the worst day. I can’t wait to see what your 4th month has in store! Also, can you please sleep a little bit tonight? Daddy and I are getting pretty worn down…

Dear weather, I’d love if you’d warm up a little bit, please. S, baby, and I would love to spend a little bit of time outside!

Dear Game of Thrones season 2, S and I have been waiting a long time to watch you. Prepare to be dominated this weekend.

Dear thesis, Is there any way you could work on yourself for awhile? I thought maternity leave would give me a much needed break, but I’m still having a pretty hard time focusing.

Dear weightlifting, I am so glad you are back in my life. Let’s not stay apart so long next time, okay?

Dear Spotify, Thanks for reacquainting me with the music I used to listen to as an angsty teenager. It’s been really interesting looking back on all of it with adult eyes. Some of it I can’t believe I ever listened to, and others I really missed.

Want to know more about Little Letters? Check out the link-up!

Got milk? Not me…

20 Feb

I stopped at Starbucks to get a coffee the other day.

Barista: Would you like room for milk, miss?
Me: … no. *sniffle*

N has a milk protein allergy. Well that’s what the pediatrician called it, on closer examination it’s actually a milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI). We’re still figuring out whether he also can’t handle soy.

This is the icing on the cake of breastfeeding issues that we’ve had. He was given a bottle when he was first born so that he would have enough fluid to flush out the antibiotics they gave him, which caused us to start out with him not even wanting to breastfeed. Then we dealt with thrush, mastitis, oversupply, and the little guy being too congested to want to eat.

A month or so ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long already…) S was washing N’s diapers from daycare and noticed a few small spots of blood. A couple of strange poops and a few pediatrician visits later he was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy. Luckily most babies grow out of it, but it means that in order for it to clear up, I can’t have any dairy.

No dairy! Of all of the things to have to give up, it would be dairy. I drank milk all the time, cheese was one of my favorite additions to a meal, and my favorite desserts are chocolate and ice cream. And it’s likely I can’t have any of those things for 8 more months. Talk about rough.

At the moment I’m also cutting back on soy. After everything is a-okay I’ll probably add in a small amount to see how he reacts. The pediatrician said that 40% of babies that are allergic to milk are also allergic to soy. Do you have any idea how many foods have milk or soy in them? A lot. A whole lot. And many of the dairy free foods use soy. It’s a nightmare.

Luckily most of it is taken care of now.  I’ve found a blog that sadly is no longer updated, but it has recipes and info that have been a lifesaver: MSPI Mama. Oh how I missed chocolate, so her brownies were a Godsend.

Then a couple of weeks ago N started acting up again and it looked like the allergy was back. After close examination we figured out that it has to be one of two things – we accidentally bought meatballs with cheese in them so he could be reacting to that (luckily I didn’t eat too many), or he also can’t handle beef. Lovely. If things don’t clear up by his four month appointment next week then the pediatrician wants to send us to an allergist.

It’s rough, really rough. But I don’t want to give up after all that we’ve gone through to make it this far, and I want to do what’s best for N. S is ridiculously supportive and often comes home with cookies or something that doesn’t have milk or soy in it. I love that man.

What makes it harder is some of the negativity. Why is there so much negativity with breastfeeding? Almost every single time I talk to my father he asks me when we’re going to start giving N formula. I tell him never. He asks how long I’m going to “keep doing this.” I tell him as long as N wants. Well how long is that? I don’t know. Until he can talk and tell me he doesn’t want it anymore? Haha, very funny.

I’m going to keep at it, and so far we’re doing well. The little guy is growing like crazy. He’s smiling at us, trying to talk to us, giggling, and playing with toys. He’s so amazing, and I try to remind myself that whenever I get really stressed about the breastfeeding problems that we’re having.

For those of you that care nothing about breastfeeding – thanks for sticking me with me. Breastfeeding mamas – what are some problems you’re having, and do you have any advice?

Mom wars

12 Feb

First of all – I’m back! Things have been nuts, but I’ll get into that another time. I always felt too boring to be a lifestyle blogger, but these last few weeks I’ve had loads of ideas for blog posts! I feel like I can finally come back and make the blog what I had always wanted it to be. The little guy has brought a whole new world of experiences, and I’d love to share that.

I want to start with something that’s really been bothering me. I thought that becoming a mother would bring me closer to my mother. I thought that I would have someone to go to for support or when I had questions. I thought there would be some strange sense of camaraderie. For some reason that’s not really how it’s working out for me.

I am having a completely different experience than my mother had when she had children. Between the birth itself, feeding, and all of the info out there now, my mother and I have had such different experiences that she has to start over again with her ideas on a lot of things pertaining to baby care. Herein lies the problem – she’ won’t.

Even though it was kind of crazy, we traveled to visit my parents for Christmas. The drive is normally 6 hours, but it was at least 8 since we had to stop to feed and change N. He was only 2 months old.

I don’t mind advice, even if I disagree with it. My mother, however, overstepped her boundaries at Christmas. One night I explained to my siblings that I was going to hold N because he wasn’t feeling well and was tired. Five minutes later my mother told me to give him to my sister. She got angry at me when I told her to let him go back to sleep in his crib instead of picking him up. And she told me I was selfish for not passing him around to everyone at Christmas – for not handing off my 2 month old baby to over a dozen people during cold and flu season. Before we left I told her how upset she made me and tried to explain things again, but that word just kept being thrown at me – selfish.

It still bothers me so much that I brought it up again when she called a couple of weeks ago.  We got into another fight, and she said things so hurtful that we still haven’t spoken since then.

I thought that I would get unsolicited advice and maybe even arguments from other moms, everyone has an opinion when it comes to babies, but I never expected such a heated fight to come from my own mother. I don’t regret any of the decisions we made to keep N safe, and I don’t care whether people were offended or not. My priority is to take care of that little boy and to do what I can to keep him safe and healthy, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

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The difference your doctor can make

14 Dec

There are 6 doctors that are part of the practice that I go to, so I knew that there was a very small chance that the doctor I was most comfortable with would be the one delivering my baby. I was okay with that, all of the doctors are really good. We got to the hospital at 8:30pm and I labored all night. The doctor on call came in and told me that a new doctor was going to be on call at 8am, but she didn’t know who it was going to be. Somehow the planets aligned and the doctor that I really like (Dr. M) came in to check on me at 8am.

I’m sure that everything would have been fine with any of the doctors – I liked all of them and they are all good doctors. But many times since N’s birth I’ve found myself so thankful that Dr. M delivered my baby.

S and I had talked about labor and delivery a lot. He and I were on the same page about most things and he knew exactly what I wanted. Afterward he told me that he was really glad that the doctor did exactly what I told him I wanted – she pushed me. I was pushing for a long time, and a c-section was never mentioned until I started telling the doctor and nurses that I couldn’t do it anymore. Even then she tried to get me to try pushing for a little while longer. I didn’t want a c-section to be defaulted to as soon as I had the least bit of trouble, and it wasn’t.

Every day the doctor on call came to check on me. On the day I was discharged I met with the doctor on call, and a couple of hours later Dr. M came in to check on me one last time since she was at the hospital office that day. That meant a lot to me.

Last week I posted about accepting my “failed” birth plan. Last week I also had my 6 weeks postpartum appointment with Dr. M. She asked how I was healing from the c-section, and I told her I felt good. Then she asked how I was dealing with the c-section emotionally. That caught me off guard for a minute, and after I thought about it I told her I was really disappointed at first, but now I see N and how healthy he is and I’m doing well too, so I’m okay with it. She said that sounded about right. She spoke with me about how hard my labor was, about how it didn’t go at all the way that I had planned. She said it must have hit me hard after I gave up on the natural birth and got an epidural, I must have thought “Finally, I’m done with the pain now,” then that just wasn’t the case. She said “It’s not like you just pushed for 20 minutes and gave up” (it was actually more like 4 hours). She told me “There’s no way that baby was coming out down there.” And I felt better about my birth experience than I had since I first heard N cry.

I’m really grateful that she took the time to actually talk to me about all of that and reassure me that I did all that I could. I felt so much better after that conversation. Later, looking back on it, I actually cried out of relief. I had spoken with female family members about N’s birth, but not like that. It was such a blessing to recap the experience with the doctor that was there for the decisions and hardships, and to hear that I did all I could and shouldn’t be hard on myself. I was even more glad that she is my doctor.

When I got pregnant I began researching doctors. I read as many reviews as I could find and went with this practice because a couple of the doctors had amazing reviews. The funny thing is – I didn’t pick this practice because of any reviews I saw of Dr. M. But as I went there I was comfortable with all of the doctors, and whenever anyone asked who my doctor was, I always heard really good things about the practice. I learned a couple of things from this – 1. Do as much research as you can before picking a doctor. 2. Only stick with the doctor if you are comfortable with them. Luckily I liked all of the doctors at the practice and was comfortable with them, but I was the most comfortable with Dr. M and that carried over to labor and delivery.

I say all of this because I never thought that the doctor that delivered N would be an important asset to me emotionally. I thought the doctor would be there for labor and delivery, and as long as they were a good doctor then we should both come out healthy and that is all that we needed. Now almost 8 weeks postpartum, how “good” the doctor is really mattered at the time, but her support really added to my well being after the fact. I couldn’t be more thankful that not only is Dr. M a “good” doctor at the hospital, but weeks after she was still taking care of me and not just performing a check-up.

Accepting a “failed” birth plan

4 Dec

As I mentioned in N’s birth story, the only part of N’s birth that ended up going along with my birth plan was healthy baby, healthy mom. And we were only both healthy after a couple of days of antibiotics.

I’m such a planner. I knew from the start that not everything with N’s birth was going to go the way that I wanted it to, so I kept telling myself (and others, when they would ask) “I’m planning on a natural birth, but I’m not going to be hard on myself if I need an epidural or something.” I kept telling myself that after I asked for the epidural. I kept telling myself that after the nurse left to call the anesthesiologist. I kept trying to tell myself that as I cried about how I just couldn’t do it the way that I had wanted. I kept telling S “I’m just so tired” as he rubbed my back through contractions, as though I needed to justify my decision to him.

The c-section is a whole other story. The contractions during pushing really sucked, but what sucked worse was this terrible pain in my hips between contractions. As though I wasn’t exhausted enough after laboring for a day and a half, I couldn’t even get relief between contractions. The doctor and nurses tried to push me through, they kept saying “We’ll just try a little longer.” In the end I couldn’t handle it. And at the moment, I didn’t care that I was getting a c-section. The whole period of not knowing was over, and the pain would be over soon, and after that I would get to meet my son.

Afterwards I was really disappointed in myself. I’ve been disappointed in myself for weeks. It’s so hard not to go back and think “What if I didn’t get the epidural?” I was already 8 cm, and I had to feel the pain of pushing after the epidural wore off anyway. What if I just didn’t get it? Labor probably would have progressed more quickly, I wouldn’t have had to physically try to push before the epidural wore off because my body would do that for me, maybe I just shouldn’t have gotten the epidural and I could have had my natural birth and not ended up with a c-section.

I can’t tell you how many times that argument has gone through my head. Why couldn’t I do it? I exercised up through 37 weeks. I read the books. I took the Lamaze class. Why couldn’t I do it?

I have to remind myself how tired I was, that’s why I got the epidural. And when I spoke to S about all of this a week or two ago, he told me that not only were they worried because N’s heart rate was high during labor (that explains why they were so annoying about monitoring it when I was pushing), but he was turned a funny way too. He says they told me about N’s heart rate and talked about it a lot, but I don’t remember any of it. There was more to it than just getting the epidural.

Even through all of that, there’s still a small voice in my head asking me why I couldn’t have the natural birth that I wanted. It especially bothers me when I have trouble going up stairs, or I’m not allowed to lift something yet because of my c-section. But I’m here and I’m healthy, just with an extra scar. And N is a happy, healthy baby. A plan is just that, a plan. I just need to remind myself that the plan wasn’t important, the end result was, and I couldn’t be happier with my baby boy.

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