Sunday, June 30, 2013

6 Weeks of Breastfeeding

Evelyn is 6 weeks old tomorrow and I'm totally not going to acknowledge how quickly time is going, but rather talk about our breastfeeding journey. When I was a brand new mama with Logan, I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew that I wanted to breastfeed and give my baby natures milk for as long as possible. When Logan was 6 weeks old, we had already been dealing with continued use of a nipple shield, thrush and an abscess that had to be drained. (post here) I pushed through those things and stayed determined to keep nursing my new son. Then I lost it. The emotional mess that all those physical issues was causing became too much for me to handle. I was two weeks away from going back to work and I had to decide if it was time to wean or keep going. I wrote this post and my heart broke. It was over. No more nursing. In hindsight, nursing Logan was never easy or very enjoyable to begin with. I just did it because I knew it was best. I had girlfriends who breastfed their babies did their best to encourage me but I could not keep going.

Between the time that I stopped nursing Logan and the time that I became pregnant again, I knew that I was not going to let that experience stop me from breastfeeding my next baby. At my 12 week appointment with my midwife, she asked me about it and I told her I was going to do everything I possibly could to make it work, not just because I knew it was best, like last time, but because it was what I wanted. I wanted the bonding, closeness, and experience that women have been doing for forever. My midwife was almost surprised that the bad experience did not deter me from trying again.

And here we are now, 6 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding and it could not be more incredible or different than last time. The first two nights we were in the hospital I hand expressed colostrum onto my pinky finger. In the middle of day two my milk started to come in. Evie and I practiced nursing but once the milk was in, I was terribly engorged. She could barely latch but I knew that if we used a nipple shield that would be the start of the end (so I thought). By day four I was pumping and bottle feeding Evie because the engorgement was so bad she could not latch. We met with a lactation consultant and she gave us some great tricks, but still suggested I pump even just for a few minutes before nursing. So with all the pumping, bottle-feeding, practicing nursing, cleaning parts, etc I was not sleeping--at all. Day five, on Friday, I caved late that night and begged B to go buy us a nipple shield. I hated pumping and I knew Evie wanted to nurse just as much as I wanted her to. 

For the next two weeks I used the shield and most of the time I was able to start off with it and then take it away. There was some minor nipple confusion and two weeks ago she bit me through the shield. I am pretty sure I nearly blacked out the pain was so horrible. And that was it. I took the shield off and made Evie latch without it and we have not needed it since. 

The actual pain from latching happened every time we nursed for five solid weeks. My toes curled and I cursed in my head that it was just for a few effing seconds and it would go away. Then last week, as if mother nature was giving me a break, the pain started to subside and breastfeeding really is becoming a very natural, seamless experience. I am so proud of myself and of Evelyn for learning how to get this whole thing figured out. She has a bottle of expressed milk maybe 2-3 times a week and usually only if I have to pump because I continue to have an oversupply. I have over 100 ounces of milk in the freezer for when I go back to work. I still pump almost every morning and sometimes in the evenings to keep building that supply.

And the best part? I have the most supportive family. B loves that I am breastfeeding our little girl. He loves that we have a special bond and that I am giving her tons of nutrients and immunities. I've easily nursed in public and around other people without much thought. I'm waiting until Evie is a little bit more focused and older before I attempt to ditch the cover, even though we both hate it.

Here's to 6 more weeks! I'm setting small goals. I'm supposed to return to work then and I'm praying that my supply stays the same and that increased bottle-feeding doesn't turn Evie off from nursing. I hate to think about it, but ugh...gotta do what I gotta do!

Thursday, June 27, 2013's Thursday again!

Well shiiii the time is just flying by right now! This always happens after a baby arrives. You wait and wait for labor to kick in, then you have a baby, and BAM she's over a month old already! WTH?! Anyway...

Logan is currently... shows with me. I'm on a massive Food Network kick right now. Maybe osmosis will kick in and I'll end up a Master Chef. Logan seems to enjoy it!

Eating...chicken nuggets, pb&j and "cheesy cheesy" quesadillas.

Drinking...chocolate almond milk. to be a gentle big brother. He has been so sweet with Evie, gaw it makes my heart happy.

I am currently...

Watching...The Killing. Just started it up on Netflix and it's alright so far.

Reading...blogs and everything breastfeeding. This experience, as I've said, has been so different. Good different.

Eating...just as much now as I was when I was pregnant. Keeping up the nutrients for the babe.

Drinking...tons of water and the other night, a margarita!! Oh it was so tasty. to be a mom of two. I'm trying to figure out how to spend more time with Logan. It's hard! So last night we walked the dogs together, just us, and then the walk ended terribly when he decided to run away from me. be three.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Evelyn: One Month Old

I never imagined that I would be nursing my little Evie while writing out a post but alas, I am! And it's going so well. I have an entire post swimming in my head just on breastfeeding and our journey so far. Suffice it to say, it's been hard and I've cried more that I ever did while nursing Logan, but we rounded a corner about a week ago where Evie and I are truly getting into a flow with each other.

At 5 weeks old, she has really changed and grown so much!

one day old

one month old

  • Evelyn is 8.12# and 20.5", short and stout compared to her brother.
  • She sleeps 3-4 hour stretches at night and eats every 2-3 during the day.
  • She takes in 2-3oz of milk each feed (thanks to the breastfeeding group I attend every week, I am able to know this).
  • She can recognize my voice by turning her head to look for me when she hears it.
  • We are just using cloth diapers again, but she is in size 1 diapers when she needs to be.
  • She has quite the personality already! She's a mama's girl and much more particular about wanting to be held all the time than her brother ever was. I'm okay with that. :)
  • Not a fan of the car, probably because she's not being held.
  • Takes a paci no problem.
  • Slept in her crib for the first time last night! More on that later...
And me?? Well I have lost 27 pounds. I wear sport shorts everyday. I just chopped off 6" of hair and had a lovely highlight done by my sis in law. I'm not going to talk about how little time is left with Evie before work and school begin again. I have over 100oz of milk in the freezer. And that's about all for now!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Evelyn's Nursery

The dogs new favorite room to hang out in.

I'm standing in the closet that doesn't have doors on it right now...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Currently...I have a One Month Old

Those I am so in love with my family. I truly had no idea how much m heart could expand. I even worried about how I could possibly have another baby and love her as much as I love my first born. Somehow, God created mothers to just make more room and discover new love. Seriously, wow.

On the weekend, we finally had Logan's hair cut. He was such a good boy and the stylist was able to use clippers!! His eyes are so stunning!! His new cut makes him look so much older and taller.

Evie is such a good baby. She is 8.6 pounds now and is eating like a champ. This time around with breastfeeding has been a lot better. No more shield and she is figuring out how to latch quickly and eat efficiently. Last night she slept 4 solid hours so I had a good 3.5 hour stretch of sleep. So nice! I'm still terribly exhausted during the day but feel so much more like myself. I can actually stay motivated to get things done. And speaking of...a reveal of her nursery is coming soon! I finally made some finishing touches today.

Onto the little survey...

I am capturing every single moment of this little girl's life. Swarming instagram and my fb feed with photos of her and Logan...I am THAT mom.

I am releasing a lot of life is still mine, but right now it is more about this new babe.

I am FINALLY sending a dear friend a payment for some cloth diaper inserts. OMG I am the worst at ending things off in the mail and even more so when I have no sleep, no memory, and a new baby to boot.

I am recommending...

  • The Boba carrier. I love it!
  • Deals at Hobby Lobby! I got a tone of cute decorations today, all for 50% off!
  • Sleep. Because I think just about all of us need a little more!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Currently...I have no idea what day it is!

Logan is...

Building...up his tantrum stamina. I really don't like highlighting negative things, but this kid is impressive. He is hella strong and his 30 pounds of rock solid toddler body is almost too much to handle when he's fighting something. He absolutely loves Evelyn and is super sweet with her, but he is 3 and going through a major transition so we are doing our best to be extra loving and patient with him.

Sharing...hugs and kisses for Evie! He is pretty hands-off with her, but he will love on her some and it is so precious!

Dreading...washing his hair. This is a never-ending battle and is to the point now where he pretty much refuses to even take a bath for fear of us washing his hair. So I have the dirty kid in class. He gets a bath maybe once a week. Ewww, I know.

Singing...all kinds of nursery songs! He loves to sing and loves ABCs the most. He can sing it really fast and it just cracks us up.

I am...

Building...a milk supply. I started yesterday after the direction of my lactation consultant. I really don't want to go back to work; I need to and most of not wanting to has to do with not wanting to leave our little Evie behind.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Newborn photos!

We are so lucky in that we were able to get professional photos of Evelyn done when she was 9 days old. One of Bs friends came up from Denver and she spent 5 hours with us getting the most perfect shots of our little girl and family. Here are some faves!!

Newborn photos!

We are so lucky in that we were able to get professional photos of Evelyn done when she was 9 days old. One of Bs friends came up from Denver and she spent 5 hours with us getting the most perfect shots of our little girl and family. Here are some faves!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Body After Baby and Breastfeeding

So, here I am 3 weeks out from Evelyn's birth and I feel really good. I gained 50 pounds with both pregnancies, but loosing the weight this time and the way I feel in general has been 10 times better than the first time. Since my recovery has been better, I have been up and around walking and doing almost everything at a normal level which I'm certain has helped me lose weight faster. AND I really don't care how quickly I lose the weight. That is the best part. It's summer time and I knew there was no way I was going to have a summer body, plus I live in a land locked state so it's not like I have a beach out there waiting for me to slim down. AND I think I look pretty good with some more meat on my bones. You long time readers will remember that it was only a year and a half ago that I was terribly underweight. My clothes were hanging on me, I felt terrible and I wanted nothing more than to gain some healthy weight. I got back up to my normal weight just before I became pregnant and during pregnancy, I ate well and walked around a hospital everyday for exercise. A 50 pound weight gain for my height and stature is normal.

Someone asked me today how I'm losing the weight and I honestly think it just has to do with breastfeeding, eating fairly well, and walking around the house more. With my first birth, I hated to even move from the couch to the bed and the thought of going up and down 3 flights of stairs was out of the question. I nursed Logan for 10 weeks but did not feel like I lost weight from doing so. We store extra fat in our rumps for breastfeeding and so naturally, it hangs around for the duration.

Speaking of breastfeeding, it's been a trip. It's hard, painful and different almost every time. I just weaned Evie from the nip shield and that is going well, however I have an over supply and that makes things even more complicated. Every week I have been going to our breastfeeding support group which is free through the hospital. I'm able to weigh Evie before her feeds and see how much milk she is transferring. Last Monday she weighted 7.8# and today she is 7.15# so we are doing great! As a mom there are a million things to worry about and healthy weight gain is just one thing I can cross off the list.

So things are okay. Not great, not terrible. Still adjusting.

Monday, June 10, 2013

3 weeks old, time is flying!!

This always happens with life events. Leading up to the impending birth of our baby, time stood still. I watched the clock and timed contractions and woke up another day pregnant praying for labor to kick in and here we are, three weeks later and Evelyn is here! Three of the craziest weeks of our lives and Evie is growing and changing so much already.

B just went back to work. Yesterday was my first day home alone with both kids and today it's just me and Evie watching Bridezillas, doing laundry and organizing cloth diapers. Having B home was such a great, priceless blessing. He and I are both super bummed he is back to work.

Yesterday was rough. Logan had a hard time with the lack of attention I could give him. We are all still adjusting to this new way of life and I hate that my attention is now clearly divided. It will get better only because I know it cannot get worse! ;)

I am pretty anti-schedule and routine with a newborn. I feed her when she's hungry, she sleeps when she's tired, and we play when she's awake. Nailing down something solid is too stressful for me and baby girl so we are just going with the flow.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

On Waiting

As most of you know, we chose not to find out the sex of our baby before she was born. We found out at the 20 week scan with Logan that he was going to be a boy and honestly, I knew he was a boy and finding out was so anti-climatic for me that there was no way I was finding out the second go around. I actually would have been fine not knowing then, either, but B really wanted to know so we made a compromise that this time we would wait.

Once we got past the 20 week ultrasound without finding out, it became much easier to wait, even though we had a few more ultrasounds after that one. When we told others we were waiting, almost everyone thought that was so awesome while also commenting that there was "no way!" they could do the same. Being that I work in a hospital, people asked me all the time if we knew the sex of our baby. Every time I said no I felt a little more excited and proud that we were holding out. It's 9 hard can that be? There were times when it would have been nice to know but there was never a moment where I felt like I needed to know.

In my family we talk every now and then about our top 5 life moments. You know the ones that just move you and make you feel every single emotion you felt at that time all over again. The moment that Evelyn was placed on my belly and B and took that long anticipated peek between her legs and saw that she was a girl? Yeah, that is one of my top 5 life moments. The exhilaration I felt and seeing everyone's eyes well with tears upon our announcement will never be forgotten.

So to all you soon to be mamas, whether for the first or fourth time, I urge you to wait. It is one of the greatest, most exciting surprises in life, as I'm sure you've heard others describe, and it could not be more true. And if you think you really can't wait, trust me, you is so worth it!!


Not much time to write out a post right now so here is some serious eye candy for ya. Happy Wednesday!