Monday, December 1, 2014

Pre-TTC: Postpartum PCOS

Doctor after doctor, woman after woman have told me that with PCOS or an unexplained infertility, that sometimes the body "learns" what it should do after it has already been pregnant and had a baby. I was skeptical of this, and I still am.

But, it seems that I have ovulated on cd 15, without a first. My chart suggests that I did, but I didn't use any OPKs or anything to back it up. We aren't planning to TTC again for a little while, to put some space between Kaiden and the next baby, so I don't have a need for OPKs, which hardly work for me anyway.

I am impressed, though, if I did manage to ovulate on my own! We will see if it is a fluke or not next cycle.

I am also asking my GP if I can go on metformin to see if it does anything. I am not insulin resistent or diabetic, but it can help women with PCOS and non-IR to regulate. I will keep everyone updated!

14 Months: A little, willful person with an attitude

This is what Kaiden has been lately. Willful. Filled with 'tude. Gosh...I wonder where he gets it from! This has been a challenge, if only because you can't really explain to a one year old what he is doing wrong, so disciplining him has little purpose. It is so hard to explain to him that we don't scream when we want things, and we don't pinch when we are mad, and you don't throw yourself down on the floor when you aren't getting your way.

I read a Dr. Sears article (which I might have mentioned before), that said the earlier babies throw tantrums, the more intelligent they are because it shows they are desperately trying to communicate their wants and needs, but are frustrated because they can't. Kaiden's pediatrician told me the same thing when I told her at his one year checkup that he is getting really angry over things, and it is hard to calm him down.

I signed us up for a little sign language class at one of the nearby baby stores. I am hoping it gives me more insight on how to teach him to communicate better. He knows how to sign "eat" and "more" but he has slowly been dropping them and not using them as much anymore.

Aside from the tantrums, Kaiden has learned to walk backwards, and he thinks it is hilarious. He also likes to tell "stories" and change his voice for different parts, even if we have no clue what he is saying. He sits down and "reads" books out loud now, which is really cute. He gets frustrated when he plays with his puzzles, and I have to sit next to him and cheer him on so he doesn't give up. He loves to climb the stairs, and sometimes he tries to climb other things too, but he doesn't go too overboard with it. He's just started to get curious enough to try and open up cabinets, so we put the child locks on them, finally.

He has two more teeth, so eight total. His teeth are really slow coming in, and that sort of sucks. They don't seem to bother him too much, though.

Sleeping has been on and off. He usually wakes up around 3 am. I describe it as him "checking in" or wanting to know we are still around. We just go in and hug him and put him back to bed and he sleeps until I wake him up for milkies in the morning. But, most nights, he wakes up a couple more times, and we don't know why. He's not hungry. I suspect he has bad dreams. It gets frustrating some nights, and we get really exhausted, but I am hoping it might just be his teeth, and this will pass.

As far as breastfeeding goes, I was worried he was somehow weaning early, but it turns out it is normal that he sometimes only nurses once a day, and sometimes he wants milkies all the time. It is scary and frustrating when he only nurses in the morning and not again until the next morning, but Kaiden is a busy toddler, and most of the time, he rather run around and play than get milkies. Sometimes, all he wants to do is snuggle with a boobie and suck on his thumb. Such a little snuggle bug. <3

I love this guy, and I love watching him grow. :)

Loving his waffles and nutella!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Breastfeeding and Postpartum AF - You Suck

I finally got my PPAF, or my first period after having Kaiden. He is 13 months old now, so it held out for a good, long while, considering that I supplemented him for some of the time, and then I night weaned him. In reality, though, I know she couldn't have been that far off, since Kaiden's feedings have dropped to 2 or 3 good nursings a day.

I was curious, though, with PCOS, when it'd come back. A little part of me was excited for her return, if only to see if my weight loss and exercising efforts will have any affect on my cycles. My husband and I do not plan on TTC again until next summer, so I am taking this time to keep losing weight and getting myself healthier. I also think I might start to take Pregnitude again to help with all the PCOS stuff.

After a visit with my GP, she told me that I should shoot for losing two pounds a month, which is more realistic with PCOS. She also wants me to start shifting to a diet that is diabetic/insulin resistant friendly. I am not diabetic or have IR, but she thinks it will help me lose weight with PCOS. I've tried this before, and I'm happy to try it again, if it helps me meet my goal. I want to try and get down to 180 lbs by the summer. It's not my overall goal, but it would make me more than happy to be back at 180 first. And, it seems reasonable to me.

A couple of non-IR friends told me I should ask to try metformin anyway to help me lose weight and regulate my cycles. I am going to ask my GP about it, and perhaps I'll go to my new OBGYN to ask them too. I am not sure how I feel about it, since my last RE said it wouldn't serve a purpose if I am not IR, but if it can't hurt to try...then maybe I should try it?

Anyway, I know some of you are here to find out what a PPAF is like. I've heard horror stories about PPAF and how much the cramps hurt, and how it never ends, and blah blah blah.

Well, I didn't have any obvious signs of her approach. I had off and on cramps throughout the two months before she showed up, and some bloating, but nothing out of the ordinary. The onset was slow. It was light the whole time, and lasted five days. Easy peasey.

Now, I've heard that the next one can be the complete opposite, so we will see.

There's your TMI post for today.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

One Year Old!

It has been a pretty hectic last couple of weeks, so sorry I couldn't update any faster.

My baby boy is now one year old. I started to write him a letter that I wanted to post here, but then I have yet to get the chance to finish it, so I will have to post it later. In either case, everyone is absolutely correct about the year flying by. I don't know where most of it went, but I do know that the night before Kaiden's birthday, and the night of Kaiden's birthday, I wept in my bed because my little boy is growing up.

My husband didn't understand why I was crying, and I told him, "One day, he's not going to need me like he needs me now. One day, I won't be able to hold him anymore, or let him rest his head on my shoulder." It was a little too sappy for my husband, but I think a little part of him understood. One-by-one the days are passing by, and I am enjoyed to watch my son grow up, but I am also sad that he is getting closer and closer to not needing me anymore. Thankfully, that's a long way off.

This past month has been filled with doing things to get his birthday party together. We had a photo shoot, I hired a baker, I secured catering and a pavilion at the nearby park. I juggled with some family drama that kept right up until today, the day of the party. I made some crafts for the party, I printed the pictures out, I got Kaiden's outfit together. The party was super stressful within itself, but thanks to my friends and family, we pulled it off.

I just put Kaiden to sleep, and I am sitting in the living room, absolutely exhausted, but it was well worth the stress. I loved the moment Kaiden put his whole face in his cake. Also, thank goodness for my baby carrier, because Kaiden was so upset there were so many people around, and he thought someone was going to take him from me. He only calmed down once I had him strapped in and holding his blankey.

He had his twelve month check up last week, and he lost weight (18 lbs 10 oz) and is 29 inches. Both of these are below the 20th percentile, and we have to go back in a month to get him weighed again. In the meantime, our job is to try and fatten him up some, but the doctor isn't too concerned because he is meeting and exceeding his developmental goals.

So, here are some new things Kaiden is doing:

- he signs "more" when he wants more of...anything.
- he drinks exclusively out of his sippy cup and no longer uses bottles
- he is off formula
- he is still nursing (yay!)
- he walks more than a few steps, but is still very picky about when he wants to walk
- he likes to climb
- he can point to your nose and mouth if you ask him where they are
- he has six teeth, four on the top and two on the bottom (and I think two more are coming in on the bottom)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Weaning From the Pump

This year, I was given a new work schedule. It pushed up the time I had to be in work by four hours, and it has been difficult for me and Kaiden. Our breastfeeding relationship has changed because of it, and pumping at work has been more stressful than ever. We are burning through our freezer stash FAST, and I don't pump enough to keep up with him due to the fact that we used to supplement with formula up until about two months ago. Each pumping session, I only get .5-2oz, and I only pump once at work now. I wanted to try to pump twice, but my schedule and staffing doesn't allow for it, and my state law only provides pumping accommodations for a year after Kaiden's birth. 

All of this combined has brought me to the decision to wean from my pump. This means, no more pumping at work, and when my stash depletes, then I will be introducing cow's milk or almond milk instead. This wasn't an easy choice to make for me, mostly because I am terrified of my supply bottoming out and drying up all together, ending breastfeeding all together. 

But stressing out at work about pumping isn't helping my supply either. I miss having my lunch time, not being late for my meetings, and having all my planning time to myself. So, this pump has got to go!

Right now, I am shaving time off my session. Normally, I pump for 20-25 minutes. Yesterday, I pumped for 15 and stopped because I was hardly getting anything, and it was frustrating me. Today, I am going to pump for 10-12 minutes. 

We will see how it goes. I'm nervous about it. Kaiden is already getting frustrated when he nurses, which is a sign that my supply isn't where it should be. I drank some Mother's Milk tea this morning, and I feel very full. Maybe I should wait until I get home from work to drink the tea. 


As of this past Friday, I have weaned off the pump. Friday was uncomfortable, but yesterday and today weren't as bad. I make sure to remind myself to let Kaiden nurse WHENEVER he wants to when we are home so my supply adjusts well and doesn't drop all together. Seems like we are okay so far! :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

11 Months Old

Here we are, the last month before my baby is a one year old -- a toddler. I can't believe that eleven months have flown by. Every month that passes is another month that I realize how very amazing life is.

Kaiden is still going through separation anxiety. It hasn't gotten any better, but I also don't think it's gotten to be any worse. He dislikes it when I am away from him, even if I am still in the same house, and to combat this, I've been letting him cry a little more each time, or I put him in his pack and play and encourage him to play on his own.

Since school is back in session, he is back in daycare regularly. I don't get to nurse him during my work day anymore, and that's been an adjustment on both of our parts. I pump once at work, despite the fact that I don't nurse him during the day anymore, but I may have to bump it up to twice at work since I suspect my supply is not where it should be. We will see.

At the beginning of the week, leaving him at daycare is harder than at the end of the week, since he has to warm up to the idea that I leave him to go to work. Sometimes it upsets me, but I know he gets over it quickly most of the time and moves on to playing.

We've been battling tantrums as well, mostly surrounding the fact that I won't hold him and let him nurse 24/7. But sometimes, it's over silly things, like not letting him eat a whole box of cheerios. The ridiculous ones are hard not to laugh at, but I remind myself and my husband that those are his feelings we are laughing at, and we should respect how he is feeling, even if it is absurd.

We made the switch to cloth diapering after we went through all the boxes of free diapers that our friends gifted to us. So far, we love it, but we are only on day two. :)

Kaiden is still nursing like a champ. He'd nurse for 24 hours straight if I let him.

Well, here's the list!

New Things Kaiden Does

- says "Hi, Dada" or "Hi Doggie" or just "hi" ALL THE TIME.
- mimics the tones of multi-word phrases (example: Where are you? or I love you)
- figured out that waving is a way of expressing hello and bye bye (before, he'd just say the words)
- high fives
- points, but not at specific things he wants yet.
- plays in his crib when he wakes up instead of crying.
- Cruises from one piece of furniture to the next, but doesn't cruise along a piece of furniture
- Crawls everywhere and anywhere
- Starting to climb
- Can locate things with his eyes when you ask him (example: Where is your turtle? Where is daddy?)
- absolutely loves his blankey and will be silly in love with it when you give it to him

Throwing a fit -- like Kaidens do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Baby Led Weaning -- Should You Do It?

So, Baby Led Weaning is all the rage these days. If you are a "good parent" then you won't let your baby eat purees...or whatever nonsense some mothers believe.

This is what I believe: Do what is right for your baby and what is right for you.

I am not an expert in BLW in the least. Not even in the little bit. I know about as much as other go-with-the-flow moms know about it. So, take my words as you will...

I first started to try out BLW when Kaiden was six months old and started to show more interest in the food on my plate. It didn't go so well for two reasons. The first reason was that Kaiden hasn't ever been a baby to put things in his mouth. I lucked out on that front. So, he wasn't thrilled when I tried to put food in his mouth. He'd act like I was poisoning him, and he sometimes still does. He didn't start to eat table food/finger foods in earnest until around seven months.

This was also because BLW scared the shit out of me. I get that their gag reflex is normal and natural and it is safe because they younger they are, the closer to the front of their mouth it is...I get that. But, no amount of repeating that to yourself will take away the nervousness as you watch your toothless baby try to swallow a gigantic chunk of something-or-another whole. My husband and I would hold our breaths every time our son tried to eat something. Eventually, I'd tell my husband that we, as parents, were not ready yet, and we'd put aside the finger foods and give him a puree.

I recall expressing my concern on a Baby Led Weaning facebook page, and all the moms jumped on my case because I wasn't really doing BLW if I was giving purees, and how I shouldn't be in the group. It stung, but I knew what was right for my family, and I ignored them.

At ten months, Kaiden is an awesome self-feeder. He still has issues with shoving too much into his mouth at one time and trying to swallow big pieces of food that he doesn't mash down enough. He used to be good at this, but since his teeth have come in (and are still coming in), he likes to shove his whole hand and the food into his mouth. We've had a few actual choking incidents, mostly with watermelon, but it's gotten better. For instance, Kaiden kept trying to swallow huge pieces of a Yum-Yum wafer, and he would start to choke on it. My husband is always quick to get to his feet and help Kaiden, but these times I told him to wait and let Kaiden figure out what the problem is. Sure enough, Kaiden stopped trying to swallow the wafer and spit some of it out instead.

He is learning.

So, did I do BLW in the true sense of the term? No. Kaiden still gets purees, and he hasn't yet had any whole pieces of meat aside from turkey breast lunch meat, but we are happy with the pace at which we are currently going.

How did you introduce solids?

We tried a new approach -- give Kaiden his own plate of all the food he is offered this meal. I wanted him to learn not to rush to eat his food, and to know that when his plate of food is empty that is ALL he is getting. It went over very well. He didn't make a peep while eating, he ate slowly, and he didn't gag on anything but a piece of toast. On his plate there is a scrambled egg, an avocado, two halves of an apple, and toast with jam. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

10 Months Old!

A lot has happened since our last post. It really is absolutely amazing how quickly little babies grow. I think I say that every post, but I mean it each and every post.

So, here we are at ten months old. Separation anxiety is still in full force, but it has been getting a little better. This past month has been rough with our schedule, since I started to teach summer school, and Kaiden hasn't taken well to the change -- nor have I. His nap schedule was adjusted, and because of such, naptime has been very stressful. Kaiden fights and fights and fights it, even if he is just plain exhausted and should go to sleep. In turn, I get frustrated and upset because I don't get any downtime at all during the day. It's been especially hard because my school schedule for the year isn't going to be much different, so I am worrying about that more than ever.

Anyway, aside from the napping, sleepytime has also been a struggle because Kaiden is teething, and because of the separation anxiety. He wakes up a few times a night, and, if we are lucky, maybe only once, which is fine...but it doesn't happen often. Combine the lack of sleep, the lack of downtime and the lack of "me time"...well. Yeah.

But, enough with the negative and how exhausted I am. Here are the new things Kaiden is doing!

- He cut his first two teeth (FINALLY) the second week of July.
- He can pull up to stand
- He can get to the standing position without using anything to help him
- He cruises using the furniture to help him
- He tries so hard to walk on his own, but can't figure out how to lift up his feet
- He walks using his push walker and goes EVERYWHERE
- He crawls EVERYWHERE...and fast!
- He likes to eat solid foods and shoves them all in his mouth at once (we are working on this)
- He is tired of purees.
- He dances while standing up
- He can pull up in his PNP and crib
- He gives hugs when you ask (and when he feels like it)
- He snuggles blankets and stuffed animals, like his Bunbun and blankey
- He is a complete mama's boy
- He loves watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
- He throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way
- He sometimes waves goodbye and says "bye bye" but only when he wants to

Foods He Eats

-raspberry jam
-cottage cheese
-frozen yogurt
-apple sauce
-scrambled eggs

Sunday, June 29, 2014

9 Months!

Wow! 9 months already? Where has the time gone? I'm seriously in awe at how much Kaiden has grown, and how he continues to grow. It is amazing. Simply amazing.

So, what has my Bug been up to?

Separation anxiety is in full force. Kaiden wants to be attached to me day in and day out. He doesn't want daddy, or his caretaker, or anyone if I am in the same room as him. He will cry if I turn away from him, or if I go into a different room, or even when I am holding him, sometimes that's not enough. I love the snuggles and the hugs and the kisses that he shows in obvious affection now (and not only to me -- he kisses all babies, because for some reason, that's what he thinks you are supposed to do), but sometimes the separation anxiety wears me out, and I get frustrated and annoyed.

Thankfully, I communicate with my husband about this, and I get breaks to myself, which include going out shopping, or playing a computer game, or just taking an extra long shower. Also, since I am on summer break now, I've been taking Kaiden out to activities, such as going to the public library for Play Partner and Song Times so he can interact with other babies. We go to the park, or I just take him to the store so he can be out and about. We've gone to the Gymboree Gym and My Gym to check them out, and I just enrolled Kaiden in swim lessons for the summer as well. Keeping both he and I busy has been key to keeping sane when he wants me and only me 24/7.

I love watching him interact with other babies, both younger, the same age and older than he is. He is the only baby at his daycare, so he doesn't get to be around them too much. I've been making an effort to keep him socialized, since he loves to be around other babies, and he learns so quickly from them.

For instance, Kaiden seems to be skipping crawling all together and wants to walk. He can stand on his own and has great balance, but he hasn't figured out how to move his feet yet. Just tonight, for the first time, he held my hands as we walked around the living room. He wants to walk because he has been around other babies that walk, and he desperately and frustratingly wants to keep up with them. Sometimes, it is cute to watch, but sometimes it is heartbreaking because he gets so sad that he isn't as mobile as they are.

We are still breastfeeding! Kaiden also gets solid foods, not just purees. This is the list of foods he has eaten/self fed:

Rice Pop Cakes
Raspberry Spread
Cottage Cheese
Apple Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Baked Potatoes
Frozen yogurt

I am getting better with offering him more foods, like the baked potato at night. He wants to eat whatever we have, and he's getting much better at chewing, despite the fact that he doesn't have any teeth yet. I feel like he's been teething forever, since it's been five months now.

So here is a list of things that he does now:

- stands on his own
- says "mama" "dada" "baba" and "nono"
- says "mama" and "nono" with intent
- can pivot 360 degrees on his tummy
- pushes himself backward on his tummy
- self feeds with pincer grasp
- can get on all fours from sitting position
- holds onto objects and stands
- gives kisses when you ask for them
- sometimes high fives (but usually kisses your hand instead)
- gets to a sitting position on his own (as of today 6/40)

I will add more to this list later. I am too tired to think of anything else. Haha!

Here's a picture from his first haircut today. Don't be fooled by the smile; he cried the whole time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Crunchy vs. Non-Crunchy

Last week, some dramatics went down in my due date group. For more than a year we've been linked together, sharing our stories, our downfalls, our awesome moments and the times when we are just hiding in the bathroom and crying...and that all came to a screeching halt over some Snope article that debunked an article about cancer that was supposedly released by Johns Hopkins.

All hell broke loose.

In particular, it was between the "crunchy" mamas and the "non-crunchy" mamas, and anyone in between.

Now, before we move forward, let me just say one thing: I don't know where the hell the term "crunchy" came from, and I don't really care. Nor do I care what qualifies or disqualifies one from being "crunchy" or not.

There were a handful of women in our group who are proud to call themselves "crunchy." They are anti-vaccination, all-organic, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, all-holistic mommies, and they are super proud of it! And that is JUST FINE. Really. I mean, I don't agree with not vaccinating one's children, but whatever. As long as their children aren't by my children, I'm fine with it.

But, I am not fine with the divide. The this-mom-against-that-mom-because-she-doesn't-do-what-I-am-doing.

Our group fell apart because in the past, we've had some blow ups over vaccinations. Some passive aggressive linking to articles that were either pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination that resulting in arguing that went on for days. And for what? No one was going to convince the other side of anything different than what they already believe in. A person's beliefs aren't that easily shaken. It reminds me of missionaries, in a way. I think they are worthless and insulting, personally. Anyone who thinks that it is okay to dump their beliefs on another in hopes of changing them so they are more like you...well, they need a serious wake up call.

But I digress.

I wanted to write this blog to show how "crunchy" I am or I am not. I wanted to expose that it is okay to do whatever the HELL you want with your own children, just as long as you aren't hurting them or putting them in any danger (and again, I know that the pro-vaccination people, including myself, just winced at that statement and yelled at their screen WELL THEY ARE HURTING THEIR CHILDREN, but's not going to do much but get you angry. We are set in our ways, and they in theirs), raise your children how you see fit.

So, here are some of the major "crunchy" categories and my viewpoints on them. Then, we can measure my "crunchiness."

Vaccinations vs. No Vaccinations 

I think I made this obvious. I think children should be vaccinated. I think the return of measles in the numbers we are seeing is alarming and scary. I do not believe that vaccinations cause autism. I don't believe the rise of autism diagnoses is attributed to vaccinations either. I do believe that the number has artificially risen because we have become better at recognizing its symptoms and can diagnose earlier and more accurately. Twenty years ago, autism wasn't studied as closely as it is now. Most, if not all of my friends and family are vaccinated, and not one of them has been diagnose with a spectrum disorder. On the flip side, in my husband's family, two males (and a suspected third) have been diagnosed with Asperger's...and they were vaccinated.

Independent Sleeping vs. Co-Sleeping

From birth until about four months old, we co-slept with Kaiden. He slept in his sidecar sleeper or the rock-and-play right next to me every night so that I could nurse him with little interruption to either of our sleep. When he started to sleep through the night, we moved him to his nursery. The transition was not traumatic at all for him. In fact, it was rather easy. Kaiden has always been great at self-soothing. He wasn't dependent on his pacifier at all, and around five months old, he started to suck on his thumb to calm himself when he was frustrated or sleepy.

I have been adamant about getting Kaiden into his own room. We only occasionally allow him to sleep in the bed with us, and that's usually when he's sick, teething or just not feeling well. It has never been a regular thing because it's not a battle I want to fight down the road when I want him out of my bed, and he doesn't want to go. I value my space and well as a good night's sleep. I don't get a good night's sleep when I am tossing and turning and trying not to squish my baby in the process.

But, I do love to bed-share with him from time-to-time. Like today, I stayed home from work because I'm sick. I took Kaiden to bed with me so we could both nap, and he laid down next to me and snuggled up, hummed a little bit and fell asleep almost instantly. We slept for two hours, and it was lovely.

Organic vs. Non-Organic

For the most part, I buy organic food for Kaiden. I feel like I should put the least toxic things into his body if I can help it. I didn't think I'd feel so strongly about this, but the more he eats solids, the more I find myself searching out the organic options.

At the same time, I don't get all up in arms if I have to feed him something that I know isn't organic. Hell, I lived on non-organic foods, so a little bit won't hurt him every now and then.

Baby Wearing

I want to do this more, but I find that as a working mom, I don't have the time to do it as much as I want to. I take my wrap everywhere, and any chance I have to use it, I do. If there's another baby after Kaiden, I want to make sure to wear him/her more. I feel like I missed the boat on this, even if I DO baby wear...I just wish I did it more.

Holistic Care

I love holistic, non-traditional medicine. While I was going through IVF, I did regular acupuncture treatments. I use massage and acupuncture to treat and prevent my migraines. When it comes to Kaiden's treatments, I try to find a balance. I don't give him herbs and supplements unless his doctor tells me to. I have found through my infertility journey that taking herbs and supplements without a doctor's input is dangerous and stupid. So, I won't take that chance with my baby.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to tell you what I believe, necessarily. It is to show you that everyone is a mix of something, and there's no right or wrong way when it comes to a mother's personal decisions.

I am sad that my due date group fell apart. I am hoping that they come back together. Every day, a few more return to the group and stay on the sidelines. Maybe, one of these days, we can co-exist again and come to an understanding that we are all very different people who love our babies just the same. :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

8 Months Old!

How much difference a month can make! My baby is growing up more and more each and every day. Every time we blink, he's learned something new. So, here's a list of Kaiden's new abilities!


Kaiden is still breastfed (yay!). These days, it is a little harder because he always wants to do baby gymnastics, or pop on and off to have a conversation (or stare down other people who are having a conversation and DARE to interrupt his eating). This makes nursing in public a little more difficult because he keeps exposing his boobies to the world while he is going on and off and on and off. Meh.

In addition to "milkies", Kaiden has yogurt or a fruit puree for breakfast, a fruit and a snack for lunch, and a veggie and a snack for dinner. I have been getting better with offering him finger foods, such as MumMums or Little Yums crackers, pancakes, Gerber Puffs and whatever I have that I am eating that he might be able to handle. I still get nervous about him choking, so my plan to do baby led weaning pretty much went by the wayside, but I am comfortable with that. It's just not what I was comfortable with doing my first time around. Maybe for baby #2! ;)


I think that the worst of the reflux has passed. Actually, I think the reflux in general has passed. Kaiden's pediatrician did say that when he started solids, it would get better. We don't really give him his medicine anymore, unless he's having a bad day. All of the issues from the beginning seem to be so far away now. I am glad he has gotten over this. We still give him two rice cereal formula bottles a day, though, just to keep it in check. That, and my body is so used to him getting bottles twice a day, I doubt I'd be able to make more milk that would satisfy him while he is at day care. Once summer break starts, he'll only get one bottle of formula at night time.

Digestive wise, Kaiden is doing much better. All that painful gas seems to be a thing of the past as well. He will get stopped up because of the solid food, so we've been giving him prunes every two days or so to help his system a little better. It seems to be working okay for us right now!

Thank God for our healthy baby.

So, here's the list of things he knows how to do now! Hopefully, I get them all...

- can get up on his hands and knees with some help from mommy
- rocks back and forth on his hands and knees
- can get from a sitting position down onto his tummy without banging his head on something
- scoots EVERYWHERE on his butt while sitting
- can pivot 360 degrees on his tummy
- can scoot backwards on his tummy
- stands while holding on to something with someone spotting him from behind
- says ba-ba/bye-bye, mama, gaga, and a hard "c" sound
- throws tantrums/holds breath when he's feeling sassy
- seems to wave "bye bye" but he is always opening and closing his hands, so hard to tell
- knows what words mean, like "milkies"
- plays in his playpen by himself
- walks in his walker (and is getting better at it every day)
- makes a fish face
- holds his own bottle
- drinks from a cup with help
- laughs at the TV
- knows when mommy is leaving (and doesn't like it)
- goes for longer car rides without being cranky about it
- feeds himself finger foods
- can hold his own spoon, but is lazy

Friday, May 16, 2014

Being Grateful

This week has been an exhausting week. Kaiden is teething in earnest again, and he has slipped back into his newborn sleep schedule. He has been waking up every 1-3 hours, depending on the night, and it has left me exhausted. Most of the time, my husband doesn't even know I have gotten up 2-3 times at night because I zombie in and out of our room, to the nursery, and then back to bed again.

When you are sleep deprived, you become a little irrational. Irritated. Senseless. I have been bumbling about in a haze the last couple of weeks, wanting to blame someone for everything, even if they weren't responsible for it. It has been difficult.

But this week, I have also followed two different mothers through two different journeys in which they've lost their sons. Ben is the first boy I was following. He was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer a half year ago. He was 4 1/2 years old. Last night, he passed away in his home, on the couch while his identical twin brother and his little sister played on the deck, completely oblivious to the fact that their brother had just left this world for the next. The other is a FF Mama, Abbie, who had her twin boys at 24 weeks and lost one of them a couple of days ago. Not to mention, another mommy in my due date group lost her pregnancy, and another FF mommy of mine lost hers too.

My heart has been heavy. You see, I've always had some sort of fascination with death, grieving, and the human experience. Sometimes, I hate that I am so drawn to it. I wonder why I am. It could be because I grew up with a mortician as a step-father, but mostly I think it is because when we are grieving is when we are most human and most connected to one another.

I read somewhere (and I forget where right now), about a Buddhist story of a mother who lost her child. She went to the Buddha and asked for the life of her child back. The Buddha told her that she had a week (I think) to knock on the doors of those in her village and ask for a pebble from someone who hasn't grieved. A week passed, and she returned to the Buddha without a stone and quietly told him, "I understand now."

Because, the truth is, we've all experienced loss in one way or another. I can't imagine having to experience the loss these women have in these past couple of weeks. It breaks my heart just thinking about it.

I was mad, at first, when I read Ben's mother's blog. I was mad because she seemed to trivialize her son's suffering as being a part of "God's Plan." I still don't buy into that much, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. And reading Ben's mother's words has strengthened my resolve as a mother. This woman is the definition of strong. Her relationship with her husband is one to learn from -- supportive, caring and understanding. Her interactions with her children are just...remarkable.

So, when Kaiden is waking me up every couple of hours at night, and I am waking up exhausted and annoyed...I think about the struggle Ben's mother had to endure. I think about how she wrote that some nights, Ben just cried and held on to her all night long, his anxiety rising, restless. I think about how she wrote that she had to wait until her children were asleep before she'd let herself cry in her husband's arms.

Perspective is brutal and honest. It might not be ideal that Kaiden is keeping me up all night, but at least he is waking up. At least he is screaming and filling his lungs with air. At least he is flailing around, looking for a boobie to comfort him.

At least.

I am grateful for my son and his health. I am grateful for the women who teach me to be a better mother because they have been extraordinary mothers. I am grateful for Ben, even if I don't know him personally. How wonderful that someone so young and so small could be so magnanimous. What a legacy to leave behind.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

7 Months Old!

Kaiden is now seven months old! Here is a list of the things he knows how to do now.

- Kaiden eats a fruit puree during lunch time and a veggie puree for dinner.
- He nurses about five to six times a day now. When he wakes up around 6 or 7, then at 9, then at 11:30, at 5:30, 7:30 and 3 am.
-He gets two bottles of A.R. formula, one at 3pm and one before bedtime around 8.
-He still loves to jump.
-He rolls both ways easily
-He sits up on his own for extended period of times
-He "falls" over gracefully when he doesn't want to sit anymore.
-He scoots across the floor on his back
-He pivots full circle on his tummy
-He moves from a sitting position to his hands and knees for about a half second before falling on his face.
-He can freely pass objects from one hand to the next
-He grabs objects that are too big with both hands
-He reaches for things he is interested in
-He gives kisses and hugs
-He sings...loudly.
-He dances enthusiastically
-He falls asleep on his own for naptime and bedtime. No rocking, etc..
-He loves music
-His favorite toy right now is probably his vtech nursery rhyme book and his blinking chickies
-He likes to stick out his tongue
-He spits
-He makes raspberries
-He likes to watch people's mouths when they talk
-He likes to drink out of a big boy cup (just sips)
-He wants to eat when everyone else is eating
-He wants only mommy at night time
-He doesn't like being left alone for too long, but is getting better with it
-He loves looking out our deck window and watching the trees or the rain
-He loves to go on walks
-He loves the wind

As you can see, a lot happens in a month! I think he'll be mobile sooner than I know it, and we've been preparing with baby gates and babyproofing little by little. We just moved houses, so it's easy to set things up with childproofing in mind.

I am also happy that I made it to seven months with breastfeeding. I have been encouraging other mothers who are having a hard time nursing by telling them my story. We even got to go back to a mothers group meeting, and my LCs were there and were very impressed at Kaiden's progress. He is fat and happy, just as they like. :)

This picture is from the second half of being six months old. My phone died, so you'll have to stay tuned for a seven month old picture. :)

An Open Thank You Letter to My Body

Dear Body,

Last year, I wrote you an apology letter. 

Last October, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. We struggled through an intense labor, and I threw my ideas of a natural birth out the window, and when my baby boy was put into my arms, I didn't feel the least bit like I failed. I didn't have the guilt other women told me about, the guilt about wanting a natural birth and ended up in an induced labor that lead to an unplanned c-section.

Tonight, after feeding Kaiden in the rocking chair, he rolled over in my arms, flat on his tummy, stuck his thumb in his mouth and fell asleep. My eyes filled with tears, and I sat there and rocked with him in the silence, listening to his little breaths as they brushed against my arm. I have moments like these all the time, when I feel frustrated, exhausted and scared...but these moments? The moments when Kaiden is still and happy and content? Those are the moments that remind me that everything I've been through to get him was well worth it.

So, Body, I am thanking you. The struggle was hard, and I wanted to quit many times, but if I didn't have the struggle, I wouldn't have my Kaiden. I don't know what will happen moving forward...I don't know if I'll struggle again in the future...but I do know that I am grateful for what I have now, and I wouldn't ever have it any other way.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

6 month stats

My baby had his checkup today. He's now 16.5 lbs and 27 inches long with a head circumference of 43.5 cm. He's in the 30th percentile for weight and 60th percentile for height and 58th percentile for head circumference. He's gonna be a string bean.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Six Months Old: Happy 1/2 year birthday, Buggy!

I can't believe that my little man is going to be six months old tomorrow. Where has the time gone? There are some nights, as I am putting him to bed, that I hold him a little longer because I am so amazed and in love by the little being in my arms. I cry happy, silent tears because I know that one day, I won't be able to hold him like this anymore. One day, he will be big and grown and won't need me the way he does now.

When Kaiden reaches out for me, my heart melts. Those little hands open and close, waiting for me to pick him up, and when I do, I hug him and kiss him, and sometimes he hugs and kisses me back. I don't even mind the open-mouth, slobber "kisses" that he plants on my cheeks...I love them. I love him.

Tomorrow also marks six months of breastfeeding. I believe it is called the "silver boobies" but...I find that whole system to be ridiculous and a bit pretentious. Anyway. Today, I went to the park with the baby, and he wanted to eat. I spotted another mother nursing and an empty space on the bench next to her. So, I wandered over her way, asked if I could join her, and we nursed and chatted about our babies. It was nice, really nice.

I remember when I was trying to make this choice to nurse or bottle feed that I was only going to nurse for the first week. Then the first month. Then the first three months. Now, I am at a half a year. I think it is because I have a great support system, from my LC to Corrine, my husband and my co-workers. Most working mothers wean early because it's a pain in the ass to pump at work. I am fortunate in the way that my co-workers do not mind if I take my lunch and planning period to go nurse Kaiden, who is only ten minutes away. They also always, ALWAYS make sure that I have some coverage so I can go pump as well. No one ever makes me feel guilty about it. They are all very aware with how important it is for us.

So, what is my Bug up to now?

-He is still teething, but no sign of any teeth yet aside from drool and crankiness.
-He grabs and manipulates well with both hands now, using them together to get objects he wants
-He can drink from a sippy
-He eats 1/3 a jar of fruit for lunch and 1/3 a jar of veggies for dinner along with 1 TBSP of rice cereal. So far he's had applesauce, bananas (solid and pureed), pears, prunes, mangoes, peas, sweet potatoes, squash and carrots. He likes all of those except for the carrots, it seems like.
-His reflux is still around. It was better for awhile, but it seems to be acting up again. He needs his medicine adjusted
-He reaches for people he wants
-He cries when mommy walks away
-He doesn't mind the car seat much anymore
-He loves his blue blankey with the bears. In general, he loves snuggling under blankets.
-His favorite toy is his jumperoo or his crazy ball thingy.
-He still prefers "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" over "Hush Little Baby" at night time
-He is very impatient. Still.
-He can sit on his own.
-He easily rolls both ways.
-Sometimes he can move from a sitting position to moving forward onto his hands and knees, and then his belly
-He still doesn't love tummy time, but he is getting used to it and knows he can roll over if he's tired of it
-He loves the dog. He loves to grab the dog. The dog doesn't seem to know what to do.
-He flirts with all women
-He can play "Peek-A-Boo" on his own

I am sure there is more, so I'll add to the list when I can. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

5.5 Months: Still Growing!

It's been a little bit since I updated, so I thought I'd let everyone know how the boy is doing.

New Things He's Learned:

- Sits up on his own without much help
- Gives kisses when you ask for them
- Gives hugs (not necessarily when you ask)
- Sleeps through the night again...for now...
- Started solids in earnest. He has eaten rice cereal, sweet potatoes, applesauce, peas, winter squash, prunes and bananas. We are also tentatively trying out baby led weaning, but I am so nervous!
- pivots around on his tummy
- gets up on his knees while on his tummy, but not quite his hands yet
- reaches and grabs with accuracy
- squawks like a bird
- sucks on his thumb 24/7
- self soothes like a pro
- can take a long car ride without a meltdown
- lazily army crawls/scoots toward objects out of reach during tummy time

He is growing up too fast...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

5 Months!

A lot has happened since I last posted! I know I talked about how Kaiden was getting better at sitting for like ten seconds at a time, but I swear to you, the very next day, he went from sitting for ten seconds at a time to sitting for five minutes at a time without any help at all. I was so amazed at how quickly he learned!

In fact, the next day, he went from sitting on his own, to moving forward onto his hands and knees, then laying on his tummy and squirming to try and reach a toy, almost like an army crawl, but more like a drunk snake. He is still lazy when it comes to rolling around, which he avoids doing, even if he knows how to do it, but he will sit for as long as we will let him. Usually, he gets tired and lets himself slump over onto one of our legs, or rests his back against our tummies so he can catch a break.

He will be mobile in no time, I just know it. I also know that it'll be a huge change that I'm nervous about, especially in this shitty house of ours.

For most of the past week, Kaiden has also slept through the night, averaging about nine hours. He had one night he decided to go back to waking up every three hours, but I think that might be because he's teething. Tonight, for example, he keeps waking up and crying out of a deep sleep. So, it's either his tummy issues or his teethies, and I'm leaning toward the teethies.

We have been giving him some rice cereal with a spoon as well. I forget if I mentioned that, but because he's been so interested in our food, we tried with the rice cereal again to see if he'd take it, and he did! He eats a tablespoon when he seems to want our food, so I go and make him his own.

I think his reflux is getting better as well. The rice cereal definitely helps, that's for sure. He hasn't been spitting up nearly as much as he used to, and he doesn't seem like he's in pain from the acid reflux anymore either. I am glad that it is getting better, because nothing makes you feel more helpless than watching your baby suffer and there's nothing you can do to fix it.

Kaiden has also started to experiment with different consonant sounds, so we've been trying to get him to say "da-da" and "ma-ma" when he's stuck on those sounds. When he finds out that he can make a new sound, he'll do it at nauseum until he moves on to something new.

Oh, and he has officially become a thumb sucker, which is cute and a little annoying at the same time. :)

I can't believe how fast he's grown. I'm going to say that every month, I know.

Here he is, sucking his thumb!

Monday, February 24, 2014

21 Weeks: I can sit!

This week's huge accomplishment is sitting! My baby is sitting all on his own, a little longer each day. I'm so impressed with him, since he's not even five months old yet. We keep practicing with him, and he is learning how to better self correct his balance each time we do it. He's an awesome little dude!

Kaiden has also been sleeping in his nursery since Friday. We started Friday night, and so far, every night has been great. He hasn't been crying himself to sleep at all. He usually just talks to himself until he peeters out. He's been sleeping from 8pm to 4:30pm most nights as well. Yay!

We've upped his bottle intake to six ounces right before bedtime, since it didn't seem like four ounces was cutting it anymore. He still gets two bottles a day, for his reflux. I've also been trying to get him to eat rice cereal from a spoon, but that's hit or miss. He's been watching us eat with so much interest, so I try to give it to him while we are eating, which is when it works the best. I'm not rushing him, either. He loves his boobie, and he rather than then solid food any day of the week.

He's also started to reach out for my boobs and grab them, and/or bury his head into my chest to tell me he is hungry. Such a boy, huh?

He's growing up too fast. Someone tell him to slow down. :(

This is Kaiden after eating some sweet potatoes for the first time. I cheated and gave him some to try and get him to eat his rice cereal. :P

Thursday, February 13, 2014

20 Weeks: Holy Attachment, Batman!

Kaiden has officially entered the "I WANT MY MOMMY" phase. It's both very heartwarming and very annoying. I especially hate when he does this with my husband. I tell DH not to take it personally, but how can you not? I can see the despair in his eyes when the baby is flipping out, tearing up and screaming for me, and there's nothing DH can do but hand him over.

Sleeping has been on and off. Some nights, all Kaiden wants to do is make sure I'm next to him.  He sometimes holds a hand up in the air and waits for me to take it, or he wants to nurse every hour or two. Other nights, he only wakes up once to be fed and is good until the morning. It's left me very tired, either way.

This past weekend was my first time traveling back home (2+ hours) with Kaiden, alone. It was very, very stressful, especially because Kaiden was tired of being in his car seat. One night, while we were at the Cheesecake Factory, waiting for a table, Kaiden had an honest-to-God meltdown. He was tired, overstimulated and sick of being in his car seat. Nothing I did calmed him except for when I took him out of the restaurant all together. He was so frazzled when we got back to my mom's that I just put him into bed with me, cuddled him and fell asleep. I felt guilty and horrible all weekend, and I'm not sure when I'll do something like that again.

Otherwise, all is going well. My baby is growing every day. He started at a new day care this week, and when I picked him up on Monday, he REACHED OUT for me. I didn't realize it at first until Miss Rhonda pointed it out to me and I nearly cried. It was a sweet moment that I'd never trade. :)

Kaiden has been trying to sit up more, as well as roll over onto his tummy, which he can do, but pretty much only when he's sleeping and doesn't notice he is doing it. He scoots for his toys, screams and sings, and gives lovely belly laughs when he thinks something is funny. He also has a fondness for animals, just like mommy. <3

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Breastfeeding is a Bitch

I felt inspired to write my breastfeeding post tonight. That’s because, tonight, I gave away 50 oz of milk to a couple of dads who want to make sure their daughter gets breastmilk. One of the dads came to my house at 8:30 at night and I handed over the milk with tears of happiness in my eyes. I told him how much this meant to me, because I had such a hard time starting out, and now, not only am I feeding my own baby, another baby will be drinking my milk as well. It makes my heart swell. I didn’t know this man at all, but I gave him a hug and sent him on his way with the milk. My milk. Kaiden’s milk. 

So, I wanted to write this post for a long time, because while there is a ton of breastfeeding advice out there on the internet, very few of it seemed to be “real” to me. Very few took into account the misery that precedes the joy of breastfeeding. Now, I know that women don’t want to hear about how much it sucks…but they have to hear it…because when they don’t hear it, they start to feel guilty about not having an easy time of it, just like I felt guilty. So, here are some private moments from my experience that I hope can help other women who are struggling. 

Tig Ol’ Bitties

You would think that women who are made with bigger boobs should be better breastfeeders…right? I mean, why have gigantic breasticles if you can’t use them well? I’ve asked myself that question many, many, many times. I have been blessed with a generous rack ever since the seventh grade. But, when it comes to breastfeeding, my boobs are a pain in the ass. 

Women with big breasts can’t necessarily just whip them out and feed their infants. We have to whip out a boob and hold it practically the whole time to keep it in place. Or you have to prop it up, or stick something under it. Oh, and forget that nursing cover. That’s more of a nuisance than it is a help…and really, it isn’t a help at all. 

Getting ready to breastfeed with giant boobs is a task all in its own. So, if you are a big-chested lady, it is completely normal for you to have to take some time to learn to set yourself up before feeding the baby. You’ll try every position in the book, you’ll use burp cloths, blankets, Boppies, pillows…all sorts of crap. And even after all that, your baby STILL might not understand why these gigantic flaps of boogie are overshadowing his face. 

What I found worked with me was rolling up a washcloth or burp cloth and slipping it under my boob to keep it propped up and the nipple where the baby could latch to it. I also like using the football hold sometimes, because the baby doesn’t have to angle his head strangely. 

Flat Nippies

My nipples were super flat. Super. Flat. All the nurses kept telling me that the baby would be able to pull them out, but all the nurses didn’t know shit. My son couldn’t latch at all because he had nothing to fill his mouth when he was latching. It wasn’t until my LC gave me hard-shell bubble shields that my nipples started to come out.
You can buy these at Babies R’ Us. I suggest the Medela ones that are slimmer and don’t look so awkward when you wear them in your bra. You should wear them all day long and take them off when you sleep. If you don’t take them off when you sleep, you will wake up with bubbles filled with milk. Trust me. 

The shields will help put pressure around your nipple to push it out. Eventually, your nipples will understand that they can’t hide forever. I used the hard shells for about a month before I ditched them. 

I also used silicone nipple shields, which are super, super annoying. Beyond annoying. They suck. I had to use these for a couple of reasons, but it was mostly to help my baby find something to latch onto, since my boob just wasn’t doing it. Eventually, I had to keep using these for an extended period of time, but it wasn’t because of my nipples; it was due to other issues my son was having.

Bad Latching/Nipple Soreness/Wanting to Die

I like to call the first couple weeks of breastfeeding “Nipple Boot Camp.” This is when your nipples are going to hurt like someone is setting them on fire every night, and you will want to instantly quit. The pain is unbearable. 

Everyone will tell you to check the latch, check the latch, check the latch. I’m no LC, but hearing that the baby has a bad latch day in and day out while you are already struggling to breastfeed your infant is exhausting. Most days, if Kaiden had a bad latch, but he was nursing? I let him. I let him because any pain was worth him being able to breastfeed. I immediately regretted it later. 

If you suspect your baby has a bad latch, please see your LC. I saw my LC every week for about seven weeks trying to get it right. My son had some rear tongue tie, had to get his tongue clipped, then had to relearn how to latch and suck all over again. It was very frustrating, and I think these weeks were the lowest weeks I had breastfeeding. I don’t know what I would have done without my LCs. More on them later. 

There were some nights when the pain was so bad, I’d cry after every feeding, stick my boobies in some hot salt water and pout. It made me miserable and depressed. No one likes to be in constant pain…but a mother will choose to be in constant pain if it meant the best for her child. Especially a mother who is struggling and already feeling guilty. Which leads to my next point:

Depression/Guilt/Struggling with Breastfeeding

There is a strange phenomenon that surrounds breastfeeding these days. Absolutely no one has to be actively shaming you for not breastfeeding your child, but you will still feel guilty about it. You will feel like the worst mother out there. You’ll feel like a failure that you can’t feed your own child. It is awful. 

On top of that, those first six weeks? They suck. Let’s not screw around here and call it something it’s not. IT FUCKING SUCKS. I even cursed there. 

I remember having a conversation with my breastfeeding friend, and it went like this: 

Me: I am so depressed. All I do all day is sit on the couch with my boob in Kaiden’s mouth. I don’t do anything for myself. I do nothing.

Friend: You aren’t doing nothing. You are feeding your baby. 

Now, she might not be happy with me saying this…but that is complete bullshit, and I am calling out anyone who thinks that it is just WONDERFUL to sit on your ass all day doing nothing, smelling like sour milk, fighting with your baby to breastfeed and waiting until it’s night time so you can sleep for about two hours and get away from it all. That is BULLSHIT. 

This was one of the hardest parts for me. I already suffer from depression, and having to sit on the couch and do nothing but feed my baby (the pump afterwards) wasn’t helping. On top of that, I wasn’t getting any sleep because I’d have to fight with Kaiden every nursing session at night, and it’d last anywhere from one to two hours long. Every two hours, I was fighting to feed my baby…and it wore me out quickly. 

So what did I do?

Use a Damned Bottle

I used a damned bottle. Kaiden had some weight gain issues in the beginning due to the poor latch, tongue tie, flat nipples, etc.. I had to start supplementing with formula, and I tried, Lord, I tried using the SNS system, but it was too much every time i had to feed him. I had to prepare the SNS system, tape it to my boob, line it up with the nipple shield, weasel it into the baby’s mouth, then unclamp the tube to make the formula flow. Every single feeding was a circus. 

I went to the pediatrician, and he told me straight up, “It is okay if you are giving him a bottle.” Now, I know this is not popular opinion, and there’s the whole nipple confusion camp that I do not subscribe to or believe in…but I was putting so much added pressure on myself to try and do this the way the breastfeeding books suggest I do it…and it just wasn’t working. 

Kaiden took the bottle right away. He was two weeks old. He gained weight. I used a bottle every other feeding for his supplementation. He didn’t die. He still knows how to breastfeed. He never confused my nipple with anything else. 

Using a bottle was always a source of contention between the EBF (exclusively breastfeeding) moms and me. Even if they didn’t mean it, every time I had an issue with breastfeeding, they would blame it on the bottles. “Oh, maybe he’s not breastfeeding well during the day because you use bottles at night.” No. He’s not breastfeeding well during the day because babies need to LEARN to breastfeed. Some babies are really quick at it, some babies have trouble. I don’t think I started to comfortable nurse until around 12 weeks. That’s two times longer than most moms say breastfeeding gets easier. 

I took a lot of flak for choosing to use bottles in addition to breastfeed. And if I mentioned formula on top of that, HOLY SHIT. The truth is, I chose to use bottles to supplement because my baby was rapidly losing weight. I chose to use bottles for night feedings because it would take, on average, about an hour and a half to feed Kaiden each nursing session, and most of that hour and a half was fighting with him as he screamed and cried, to latch. It was a miserable experience for the both of us. 

I will never forget what my lactation consultant told me, a woman whose whole job is to encourage breastfeeding. She said, “Stephanie, it doesn’t matter HOW your baby is being fed, what matters is that he is eating, he is healthy and he is happy.” 

Suck on that, all you breastfeeding judgers out there. 

Give Yourself a Break

You need one. Sometimes, this means having to give daddy a bottle to feed baby at night. Sometimes, this means you’ll have to give formula for a feeding or two so you can pump and build up a supply before you go to work. Sometimes, this might mean that you go into the bathroom, shut the door and cry, cry, cry. 

All of this is okay. 

In the end, you are the mommy, and you know what is best for your child. Try not to feel guilty about anything. We are our own worse enemies. 

It took me a long time to learn that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and to BELIEVE it. 

If breastfeeding works out for you — awesome. If it doesn’t? That’s okay. Formula isn’t going to kill your child. It’s not “bad” for your child. You aren’t less of a person for having to use it. Heck, I still use formula for Kaiden’s reflux…and sometimes I use it when I need a damned break. That’s my business, my decision…and everyone else can deal with it if they have an issue. 

Good Luck, Mommas!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

18 weeks: Four month check up

Check up went well. Kaiden is well ahead of his milestones, and the doctor's impressed. A couple of days ago, he scooted for the first time and pulled himself out of my lap and toward a pacifier that he wanted. I think he'll be on the move soon. He's ready to go!

Here are his stats:

Weight: 14 lbs 13 oz (21st percentile)
Length: 25 inches (46th percentile)
Head: 16.5 inches (61st percetile)

We learned that Kaiden also has eczema. Boo. It's not so bad right now. He just has a couple of patches on his cheeks from drooling so much. But, we have to stop bathing him every day and start putting lotion on him 2-3 times a day instead.

And, in other news, I am donating 50 oz of my frozen milk to a couple of dads who are visiting the area on vacation. I'm so excited! It's amazing to me that I went from struggling to feeding my own child to helping to feed someone else's child. How wonderful!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

17 Weeks: Sleep Regression Has Ended!

And it couldn't have come a moment sooner. I'm still very tired from it all. I've been taking naps that last three to four hours on the weekends because my lovely husband lets me. I fall asleep while I feed the baby his night time bottle. I fall asleep with the baby before my husband comes home from work. I feel like I did this time last year, if you look back on my posts then. I was newly pregnant and tired all the damned time.

Kaiden is back to his normal self, for the most part. He is still waking up once at night around 2 to eat, and I am hoping he goes back to dropping this feeding at some point. And there are some mornings he insisted on eating at 5, 6 and 7, but they are getting to be less and less.

He has been trying to roll from his back to his tummy and almost has it. I've taught him how to scream, because I'm a masochist. He isn't being so angry anymore when we put him on his tummy for tummy time. Actually, sometimes, if we are holding him, he tries to lean to the side until we put him on his tummy across our lap, where he is content to play for a little while.

He has mastered the art of blowing raspberries. Constantly. He's learning to communicate better by looking at things he wants with his eyes or leaning toward people or things he wants. He loves to stand pretty much all the time, and we've started to put him in his high chair to sit "like a big boy." He'll be an early mover, that's for sure, be it crawling or walking. I think he'll learn to walk before he crawls, since that is what I did, and because Kaiden's always preferred to stand since he was like six weeks old.

I've been learning to speak up for myself and for him, but it's not been easy, and I still have to work on it. I have to remind myself that I am the only voice he has right now, and even if it sometimes makes things uncomfortable, I have to speak up because I'm the mommy, and he's my boy.

Also, I am going to be writing a breastfeeding post sometime soon, when I can. I feel like another update about this is needed, and I want to make it clear to other women that it will be hard, but it is not impossible.

Here's a picture of Kaiden in his high chair for the first time.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

16 Weeks: The Sleep Regression Continues

You know? The four month growth spurt/sleep regression has been the worst. The WORST. We are now going on week four of Kaiden getting up at least three times a night...sometimes upwards of six, and it's just been exhausting as hell. It's especially bad when he wants to nurse for an hour every hour.

Last night, he only woke up twice, so hopefully this means he is coming out of the regression. I am certainly over it, that's for SURE.

This week, Kaiden has been trying to eat his foot. He's been experimenting with his voice and making new sounds. He's also discovered how to blow raspberries and spit bubbles on Thursday, so his shirt has been soaked through with spit and drool. That's also been what he's doing...drooling. A lot. I think he's started to teethe, even if there aren't any teeth visible. He likes to chew on his fingers, as well as my own fingers and anything else he can get into his mouth.

Breastfeeding is still going okay. I'm dealing with some oversupply and overactive let down issues again because of the growth spurt and Kaiden's reflux. It gets frustrating, but we are getting through this, just as we've gotten through the last fifteen weeks of breastfeeding ups and downs.

Here's a picture of my baby boy trying to eat his foot. He also has a scratch on his face because he likes to claw his face while he's sleeping.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

14 Weeks: Sleep Training and the Early Four Month Sleep Regression

Since the week after Christmas, we have been working on sleep training. Note: This does not mean we are using the Cry It Out (CIO) method. Sleep training and CIO are not the same thing, though they are often thought to be the same thing.

Really, we have been working hard on sticking to our bedtime routine. The week before Christmas until the week after Christmas, Kaiden started to sleep through the night. Then, he hit a growth spurt, and that went to hell in a hand basket real quick. Now, at the end of Kaiden's 14th week, we are going through the four month sleep regression two months early.

Before I get into the hell that is the four month sleep regression, I want to write down what we managed to accomplish, and how we worked out our bedtime routine.

- We agreed we wanted Kaiden to be in bed by 9pm. Previously he was staying up to 11, and that was getting to be too much.

- We start our routine at 8 pm. This includes a bath every night, sometimes a belly massage before or after the bath, reading two books, saying our prayers, getting a bottle (since he will comfort nurse for while if I let him nurse, and this way, I know he's getting a full meal before bedtime), then being put down for bed.

- The first couple days were the worst...but they weren't really that bad. We had to go up a few times to assure Kaiden that it was okay and to give him his bink. We've been in the routine for a little over two weeks now, and we only go up once, if that. He's really good at self-soothing, he just doesn't like being alone in rooms by himself, and when he realizes we aren't there, that's when he gets upset.

It was nice, after we got into this routine, to have a few hours to ourselves each night before we went to bed too. It was also nice because we could sleep through the night with the baby.

Was nice.


And then the sleep regression hit. Suddenly, Kaiden started getting up for his 4 am night feeding again. Then, he started to get up for both the 4 am feeding AND the 2 am feeding. Now, we are back on his newborn schedule, for the most part. He sleeps from 9 - 2, then wakes up at 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9. It's that last stretch that has been the hardest. I would rather get three solid hours of sleep at a time, then be woken up every 45 minutes to an hour. It is wearing me out, especially because I am nursing all of those feedings.

We are thinking about using a bottle for the 2 am feeding again, like we did when he was a newborn. That would let me rest a little longer before he starts waking me up every hour until I have to go to work. The downside, I thought, would be that I'd still have to pump, but really, I don't, since he was skipping that feeding all together before. My body should know what to do. I hope.

The sleep regression also goes hand-in-hand with a growth spurt that lasts damned near a whole month, or so they say. This time, Kaiden is eating his most through the hours of 4 am and 9 am, and he seems to be eating less during the day. He is also fighting me at every chance he can get when it comes to nursing, which is super stressful.

We also tried to move Kaiden into the nursery yesterday...which didn't work. It was mostly because of me, since I got super anxious and cried as soon as I left the room. I put Kaiden back into my room. It was silly to try anyway, since he is waking up so often, and I don't feel like getting up out of bed and walking to the nursery each time he needs to eat.

So, that's what's been going on this week. Such a long, long week. I really hope this doesn't last a month.

Here he is helping mommy fold a sock:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Post-Infertility Survivor's Guilt

This article really touched me. It's why I hesitated to continue this blog. It's why I waited until Kaiden was three months old before I thanked my RE for not giving up on me. It's why my RE will never, in person, see this baby he helped me grow.

This is a real thing. It's a difficult thing. Infertility doesn't go away after you have a baby. It lingers emotionally and physically. I still deal with annoying PCOS things, and I know in my future, I'll still deal with it too. When I am ready to be pregnant again, I know I will be subjecting myself to all the same things that I have these past three years.

Infertility hurts. It always will.