May 22, 2015

Oh Hey Friday

Happy Friday my friends! 

{one} I took Hudson out on a "date" this week to Build-A-Bear....I was worried it was going to be a disaster and that maybe I was taking him there more for me than for him (which was kind of true). But he LOVED it and had so much fun building his puppy. And he's still talking about it, so I'm quietly patting myself on the back for coming up with a pregnancy-friendly activity for us to do!

{two} These babies are on sale and calling my name....wouldn't they be so cute for summer?

{three} We are officially on baby watch....even though we still have 3 more weeks and I'm not having contractions or anything. I've told my family to have their phones on and be ready to go.....I guess that means I should pack my bag too? I can't even remember what I packed last time, but I know I brought way to much stuff. I still need some more of these nursing tanks because I basically lived in them last time! 

{four} I've been craving chinese chicken salad like crazy! I think I've had this exact meal at least 4 times this so so good. 

{five} There's still time to make your Norwex order! Details me, you don't want to miss out on these fabulous products. 

And now the link ups....

Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!


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May 21, 2015

37 Weeks

How far along? 37 weeks! And an update two weeks in a row...I'm on a roll! 

Maternity clothes? Yes.....all day every day.

Stretch marks? Not really....but I'm not really checking! 

Sleep: Much better than last week. I'm up once or twice to use the restroom but that's it.

Best moment this week: Mother's Day celebrations for sure! I've been a little down in the dumps these past couple weeks due to my hip and back pain, but on Mother's Day I felt better than I had in weeks. And my boys spoiled me with lots of hugs and kisses, my favorite bagels, flowers, maternity photos printed and framed, rest time for me, and my husband doing the grocery shopping (which is my least favorite chore!) and picking up's the little things that make me happy. 

Miss Anything? I miss wearing normal clothes. And I miss being able to do normal things like putting on shoes or shaving my legs without having to contort my body in to weird positions!

Movement: Lots and lots of movement up in here still. Baby is head down and likes to head butt me in the bladder. 

Food cravings: Same as last week: give me all the fruit! And juice! And lemonade/ice tea!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Thankfully no...this week has been sickness free!

Gender: We still don't know, but my husband and I are both thinking it's a boy. The thought of another rambunctious little boy is kind of daunting...but I would love to be a boy mom again! And we have narrowed our list of baby names down to like 5 or 6 per gender, which was a HUGE accomplishment! It's going to be a game day decision for sure. 

Labor Signs: Nope, zero. I opted to not be "checked" at this appointment because I don't feel any different and that check is pretty uncomfortable!

Symptoms: Thank you for all of your sweet comments about my hip and back pain. I am so happy to report that I feel 100 times better this week than I did the previous week. I can walk again without pain and the pain isn't waking me up at night. I haven't had to take pain meds in over a week. I am so THRILLED to be feeling better! I still ache at the end of the day but it's nothing compared to my 3 weeks of torture. 

Belly Button in or out? Same as last's starting to pop out and is the WEIRDEST THING EVER.

Wedding rings on or off? On man...they are off....finally. I mentioned on Monday that they were stuck and we tried EVERYTHING: soap, ice, Vaseline, Preparation H, Windex, drinking a lot of water, and the youtube elastic/floss trick. NOTHING worked. And my finger got all kinds of mad and swelled up even more. So.....they were cut off on Tuesday by our very nice and kind jeweler. I was on the verge of a panic attack because my finger just felt trapped. And yes, there were tears. And my finger still looks battered. So ladies....take your rings off now!

Mood: Good! 

Looking forward to:  Meeting this baby....I'm ready!

View me at 37 weeks with Hudson here.

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May 20, 2015

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Whitney from Polka-Dotty Place

Hello! I’m Whitney from Polka-Dotty Place and I’m excited to share my breastfeeding journey with you. My daughter, Olive, is about to turn two so I figured it was time to document our story.

My daughter was full term and I was induced due to high blood pressure issues at 39 weeks. We did skin to skin right away and bonded instantly. She latched on well in the hospital, but I felt a little clueless since she was my first baby. The hospital provided nurses and lactation consultants for support so I was eager to talk to them. My husband and I also attended a breastfeeding class while we were at the hospital to educate ourselves.

I found the consultants very frustrating to work with. Each one of them gave me different instructions and it was really hard to feel like I was making any progress. I’d start doing okay with one for a few hours only to be told I was doing it completely wrong when the next round of consultants came in. Each woman would come in with her own method that was THE one right way to do things and it was different than the last. The consultants seemed ill prepared and were impatient with me. Not the best combination for a new mom. So I eventually quit asking for their help and just relied on my nurses. The nurses were much nicer and they offered more encouragement to me. They’d give tips that they had learned with their kids, reminded me that it’s hard to get started and encouraged my efforts.

I kept nursing Olive whenever she showed interest, but she seemed very sleepy. She’d been through a lot with just being born and all so I did not think much of it. The nurses were a little concerned with her blood sugar early on, but no one seemed too worried. They took her to the nursery to do some routine checkups a little later on and came back with the announcement that she was really struggling to maintain her blood sugar and needed to eat more right away. The situation had escalated and it was no longer a wait and see kind of thing.

We started doing SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) where you have the baby nurse and there is a tiny tube taped to your breast for you to pump formula through to your baby. The baby thinks they are nursing and getting the milk from you. It worked well. Olive’s blood sugar was holding and I felt good about things momentarily. She was still latching on and the process seemed to be going well for the moment.

Olive ended up continuing to have blood sugar issues for the next few days and we all stayed an extra day at the hospital. Her blood sugar was getting lower and lower so we ended up giving her bottles of formula and I’d attempt to nurse her when she was back with me. The nurses would take her to the nursery and check her blood sugar levels hourly. Her poor little heels were getting pricked all day long. My milk had yet to come in, but we were working through it knowing she was getting colostrum. We were eventually released and they sent me home with the expectation that I’d continue breast feeding and supplementing with formula. I was fine with this plan even though I was a bit terrified to take my new baby home. Don’t all new moms feel this way?

We got home and things were going pretty well. My husband was super helpful and supportive. He’d research supplies and anything else I needed. We continued our supplementing routine and we also got a breast pump thanks to our insurance. I started pumping regularly in addition to breast feeding. It took a few tries to get pumping parts/supplies figured out, but we did it. I was noticing that I’d pump for 15-30 minutes sessions and only get about one ounce at the most total on both sides. I’d pump throughout the whole day and only have around 3 ounces to show for it. My milk eventually did come in a few days after being home, but it was still a small amount of 3-5 ounces. I chugged water, started taking supplements, ate foods that were recommended to increase milk production and did everything I read on-line to do to help with supply issues.

I made an appointment with a highly recommended lactation consultant about a week after coming home from the hospital. We talked about my supply issues and she agreed that my supply was much too low. She bumped up my supplements, cut back my allergy meds and we talked about best nursing positions, best pillows, techniques and other tips. I headed home energized with our new game plan. I did all the new things she suggested for a few weeks and had very little change in my supply. I was still pumping all throughout the day only to get 3-5 ounces. So we were still supplementing and had switched to a soy based formula due to tummy troubles with Olive. I pumped what I could and would bottle feed Olive every drop of breast milk I produced. She did really well with both breast milk and formula.

I decided a second round of appointments with my doctor, Olive’s pediatrician, and the lactation consultant was in order to say that my milk levels were still the same despite their interventions. It had been 5 or 6 weeks and I wasn’t producing any more milk than I had been before. They felt like I was doing everything I could and that my body just wasn’t producing a ton of milk. So they left it up to me whether or not to continue to pump or to just stop. I talked it over with my husband and we opted to stop since I was still producing such a small amount of milk. We were moving across the country the following week and starting a new life in a new city and it was the best choice for us. It was a busy time, we were switching doctors and I felt like it was okay to stop. Olive did great on her full formula diet and I didn’t have any guilt about stopping pumping. I knew that I had tried my hardest and for whatever reason my body just didn’t produce much milk.

I was just fine with our outcome, but then I started to get really nasty comments from people. An acquaintance told me that I was lazy and so was my baby for not trying harder with breastfeeding, people would comment to me how much better breastfeeding was than formula when they found out Olive was on formula and others were just condescending about the whole thing implying they were somehow better moms for breastfeeding their kids. I tried not to let it bother me, but I really hated it that moms were spending their energy bringing me down. It was discouraging to get comments like that so I found myself avoiding conversations about what was in Olive’s bottles.

Overall, my breastfeeding experience did not go exactly how I’d envisioned it, but I am perfectly content knowing that my daughter got every drop of milk I produced. I want to encourage moms to remember that every baby is different, every situations is different and not to judge when people do things differently than you. I’m an advocate for feeding babies in any way shape or form that is necessary ☺ I will always be proud of my efforts and know that my daughter has grown into a perfectly happy, healthy, thriving toddler because of them.

Thanks for reading our story!

Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.

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May 18, 2015's not just a river in Egypt....

Happy Monday friends! Let's talk about pregnancy DENIAL. Because I am suffering big time.
1. I can't believe we are going to have a baby in 3 weeks (or less....hopefully less). Where did the time go? Didn't I just announce I was expecting? Once you hit 30 weeks, it's all down hill from there.

2. If you are wondering why I haven't posted about the baby's nursery, it's because it still pretty much looks like this. But we have a sheet on the crib now (thanks mom!). And a dresser that is in parts on the floor. See what I mean about denial?

3. Also, speaking of denial.....I have a major problem. I can't get my wedding rings off of my finger. I tried a few weeks ago (I think?) when my hands were having a particularly swelly day to take them off and they wouldn't I just made a mental note to try again the next day. And hello mom brain/ we are a few weeks later and they WILL NOT BUDGE. We tried everything yesterday and my poor finger is all kinds of mad at me and life now. In my defense, my rings are a full size smaller than when I was pregnant with Hudson. (Having Hudson and breastfeeding him sucked the fat out of me and my rings were clanking we had them resized down and soldered together). It's been hot and humid the last few days and is supposed to cool down tomorrow. We are going to attempt a technique I found on you tube (don't google it, it will make you sick) please pray that it works. Otherwise I'm going to be THAT girl that needs her rings cut off. So embarrassing that I let it get this bad. 

4. I panicked a bit this weekend and bought a ton of little things we still needed: diapers, wipes, new mattress pads, a changing pad and cover, a few picture frames for the wall, and new breast pump tubing. All such glamorous stuff, I know....but I feel a little better. 

5. I sorted through Hudson's baby clothes and we have a lot less gender neutral stuff than I thought we did. But a girl can wear dinosaur jammies right? 

Send help. And a giant virgin margarita. 

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May 14, 2015

Be All Here

Isn't that a beautiful quote? (source)

Let's just let it sink in for a minute. I know so many of you are struggling with "doing it all". Being the perfect mother and wife. Working outside of the home or never finding one second to yourself if you stay home with your kids. Trying to be all the things to all the people all the time.

It's rough, and I get it. Something about me getting towards the end of this pregnancy and realizing my whole world is about to change (again), has made me stop and realize that all these little things that seem so important, really are not. I do not have to have a perfectly clean house all the time. It's okay if the laundry piles never end. No one minds when I don't have the energy to cook dinner and order a pizza instead. 

What's important is that I'm present for my family. That instead of rushing Hudson out the door each morning that I take a few minutes to cuddle with him in bed. The sloppy kisses and chubby toddler hands grabbing my face and whispering "I love you mama"  in my ear make it all worth it. 

We don't have to do it all. We don't have to be perfect bloggers with pinterest worthy posts every day. We just have to "be all here"...wherever that may be, in whatever we are doing.

Want to join me?

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May 13, 2015

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Sydney from Raising Southern Grace

Hi friends.  I am Sydney and I blog over at Raising Southern Grace.  I live in Upstate, SC with my husband Luke and our 1 year old son, Griffin.

Before Griffin was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed 100% for at least 9 if not a year.  I knew all
the health benefits and knew that being able to breastfeed my son was top on my list of importance.  After more than 24 hours in labor with only making progress to 2cm, they wheeled me into surgery for an unplanned C-section.
I remember holding Griffin for the first time and feeling the most powerful love that I have never felt before.  As quick as I had him in my arms, the nurse put him to my chest to start getting colostrum and he latched perfectly. Or so I thought.  I just watched Griffin going to town like he knew exactly what he was doing.  I had zero pain or discomfort from it.  It felt amazing and I felt bonded to him.  We nursed like champs for a full night and full day.  The night two, I had a new nurse and she noticed that he wasn’t latching correctly at all.
She nicknamed him “Barracuda” because he was a “chewer” instead of a sucker.  She showed me how he was supposed to be latched and that’s when the discomfort came.  But, I was willing to go through the pain 100% because I wanted my son to have the best of the best and the best food was from me.
On day 3 of being in the hospital, Griffin had dropped over a pound since birth and we had to start supplementing him with formula.  My heart sank knowing that I was not able to give him what he needed and we would have to stay in the hospital an extra day to get more nutrients in him.  I visited
with a lactation consultant on different occasions and we were still never able to get him latched perfectly.  We tried every holding technique and several nipple shields. 
They then told me the best thing to do was to breastfeed for a few minutes on each side and then pass him off to my husband to get formula.  While Griffin was getting his bottle of formula, I was pumping hoping to get every last drop for my son.

We were able to go home on day 4 and I continued you breastfeed and pump.  At Griffin’s first appointment he was still dropping in weight and we had to decide to give him formula because I was not making enough milk for him to go up in weight. It was such a hard decision to cut off all milk supply (even though it was never a lot) and go to formula.  I knew I would do whatever it took for him to be at a healthy weight and it formula is the thing that gets him there, that’s fine. 
There is a lot out there that makes you still second guess feeding your child formula.  Hearing
everyone saying “Breast is best” and “You can only bond with your child with breastfeeding” is hard. I’m here to say that it is okay for you to have to feed your child formula.  Breast isn’t always best when you have nothing to give your child from it. I bond with my son every day without the help of breastfeeding.
If you are in a situation like I was I am here to tell you that you are not alone in your parenting choice. You are doing what is right by your child and there is nothing sweeter than that.
Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.

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