Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Note to My Baby Girl: You're Three Months Old!

Baby Nora

You laughed! You laughed for the first time (11 weeks) and my heart jumped. 

You're kinda chatty now. You're favorite time to talk is after a diaper change when you're still lying on the table. You have the sweetest little baby voice.

You're super calm. You rarely cry.
(But when you do...girl....)

You're still a big eater, which I'm grateful for.

Your hair has grown a little, but you may be a cute little baldy like your brother was for a while.


You're super easy to take anywhere. You occasionally get fussy in the car, but it's usually because you need something. A couple of times recently, I think you've just been lonely in the back seat, because when I'd stretch my arm around and hold you hand- you'd calm down and fall asleep. Talk about crazy heart melting...

You got my dimples! Now I just have to make you smile constantly so I can see them all the time :)

My sweet baby, I can't wait to see who you become.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Patch

We've gone to this pumpkin patch nearly every year since I was a baby. The place has changed a lot, and in many ways I wish it would go back to the way it used to be; but the nostalgia is strong and Oscar loves it. 

(Oscar and I are entering one of those Facebook "World's Most Awkward Family Photo" chains. Because if straight faced toddler, over enthusiastic Mama and baby kangaroo in a denim and football embellished pouch doesn't make that list...I dont know what would)




Thursday, October 22, 2015

Supply Fail

When Oscar was about four months old, we hit a speed bump. The kind that isn't painted well, and the are no signs to warn you, so you slam into it and your stomach does a flip.

If breastfeeding had ended in a way that respected the four months we fed, or from him weaning himself- I feel like I could've handled it ok. It would have been bittersweet, but manageable. However our breastfeeding journey ended with a burnt-out doctor, a too-late reflux diagnosis and a whole lot of tears (mostly from me).

I do want to note, (before I start spilling all my rambling thoughts and emotions) that this post in no way judges any other parent's choices. I respect that breastfeeding isn't for everyone, and I'm ultimately grateful for formula. I'm not 100% grateful for the abuse of power that some formula companies have shown, but that's a whole other post...

Oscar was a good eater. I wouldn't call him voracious, but he ate when he needed and I was lucky to have a lot of milk. Like, too much milk. I would go to sleep with washcloths shoved down my shirt and pump like crazy (which I know now makes things, well... fuller). I thought things were going well. He was growing, he had a little pudge to his legs, and only had some minor belly problems. I mean, what baby doesn't spit up? Nothing was excessive enough to cause concern. So when we went for his 'Well Baby' checkup at 4 months, we felt side-swiped.

It was an off day for the office-busier than normal. There were about 15 doctors in this practice which gave it a factory-esque feeling (and reputation) and about a million kids in the waiting-room. Our normal pediatricians were busy so a new doctor came into the room. Right off the bat she was withdrawn and cold. She started taking his measurements and after entering them into her fancy computer programs, she looked up and said "His growth is stalling".  When we asked what could cause that stall, she responded (without looking up this time), "Well, its likely your supply or a disease".  Not exaggerating at all, this woman was  ridiculous.

So of course, our first time parent mental response was, "WHAT?!?!? OUR BABY ISNT GROWING?!?!? WE'RE STARVING HIM?!?! HE COULD HAVE A DISEASE?!?!?!"

Likely seeing the terror written across my face, the doctor backed off a bit. She told us that they'd do blood-work, to start supplementing, take Fenugreek to help boost my supply, and come in for a feed and weigh. (Which ok, is that not the most ridiculous thing? Sure, I'll just get my baby to eat at the appointment time, disregarding his normal schedule...He'll totally be hungry and not weirded out by the nurse hovering over us and being thrown on a scale every few minutes...). We walked out of that office in a near panic.

Now remember, up until then I had a washcloths-shoved-down-my-shirt supply. I was almost always in pain from how much milk I had. That next morning? Dry.

Oscar was obviously aggravated at the boob now, and when I pumped I could get maybe 2oz, where I used to get 8+. This doctor's voice of judgement rang loud in my ears and for the life of me, I could not up my supply. I tried pumping, fenugreek, teas, supplements, everything I could come up with, but nothing worked. It was mental at this point, and I couldn't get her voice out of my head.

So many feels. I felt inadequate. Unequipped to fully care for my baby. Anger at myself for letting this doctor get into my head. Fury towards my body for failing me-for failing him. Disappointment in that doctor. Confusion. Depression. Yearning.

I felt like a failure.

It took me a while to get out that negativity and depression. I missed feeding him; I was so incredibly sad. I couldn't even stand looking at people's breastfeeding photo's on social media. Each photo made all those painful feelings flood back, and honestly- I was jealous. Reflecting back, I hate that I unfollowed so many incredible Mama's feeding their sweet babes. I'm not proud of that jealousy, but it was so real and so consuming. (For the record, I just unfollowed photos. Reporting photos of breastfeeding Mamas is whack, and I'd never do that).

About two weeks passed and the kicker in all of this emerged. It turned out that he had reflux all along. REFLUX. That was the source of his belly troubles (that progressively got worse). And that was the cause of his very slight change in weight gain. It was absolutely not my supply. At this point it was too late. I had barely any milk left, and was emotionally exhausted. He drank formula until her turned a year, and my heart healed (mostly). 

I absolutely don't want my story to come across as a 'Don't trust your doctor' type thing, because I respect medicine a whole bunch and a stall in weight gain can be very serious. We're lucky that it was a fixable problem with Oscar; it could have been so much worse. The doctor had the right to be concerned about what was causing this change in Oscar and I'm glad she didn't take his wellbeing lightly. She didn't however, have the right to shatter my ego by by being cold and unresponsive to our family's needs. We're now with a different practice; a much better fit for us.

Nora is getting close to the age that Oscar was when this all went down, and I'm feeling a little wobbly. Breastfeeding has gone great so far (she's consistently been in the 85th percentile :-0), and I'm more experienced this time around.... But I'm justing waiting for that other shoe to drop. I know that stress can decrease supply so I'm trying to keep my emotions in check (hence writing this post) and I'm proactively eating milk bars etc. I even had a conversation with our pediatrician in the hospital, when Nora was 2 days old. I told her what happened, how badly it shook me and she responded so perfectly. She basically said that the other doctor was out of line and the experience shouldn't have looked like that (THANK YOU). She said if there are ever any concerns that we'd look at them gently, and that we'll likely be just fine.

Deep breaths. We'll be just fine. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Note to My Baby Girl: You're 2 Months Old!

Little love, I'm late with this post! I'm so sorry're already basically 3 months while I'm posting this (but these photos were taken on your 2 month birthday at least!). Better late than never right??? Ugh. 
You're the sweetest girl. You started smiling at around 6 weeks old, and it's the best. 
You love silly sounds and faces.
You are a strong girl, always kicking your legs and lifting your head. 
I'm clearly a little obsessed with putting bows and headwraps on you. Not sorry.
He LOVES you
I mean, really, really loves you. He wont go to bed without kissing and hugging you goodnight.
Even your sneezes are cute!
Baby girl, you've truly made our family complete.
I've said it before, and I'll repeat it over and over...
I feel like I've known your face always.
 I've loved your soul forever.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Note to My Baby Girl: You're 1 Month Old!

My beautiful girl,

You've changed our lives in a million ways, but it seems you've been here forever. 
You're a pretty calm babe. Don't get me wrong, when you get mad, you get MAD...But overall you just want to snuggle and eat. 
Seriously, you eat so much.
 But thats a great, because you're growing! You're in the 85th percentile across the board!
 You're brother is crazy about you. He loves hugging you and kissing you. He has all big brother things covered.
You are just the prettiest girl. I couldn't have dreamed up a more perfect daughter. 

 I want to eat you like, all the time. I mean look at those wittle legs!
 You're always on the move. You've been lifting your head since the day you were born, and those legs of yours don't stop moving.
You haven't smiled at us socially yet (well, I kinda think you did but all the books tell me I'm wrong and that you're too young....dumb books), but you're a smiley girl. You just seem so content most of the time.
I can't wait for the first time Oscar makes you smile. My heart might explode.

I'm excited to show you the world, but if I'm being honest, I'm also terrified. Life isn't always easy and there are many things out there that can hurt you. But sweet girl, there are amazing things to be seen. We will do everything in our power to nurture your power and curiosity. We'll protect you fiercely, but when we cant, we'll trust you and your strength. You have so many people standing behind you always.
Some days I wake up and cant believe how incredible my life is. It's hard sometimes, and exhausting...but I get you, your brother and your Daddy. I need nothing more. Thank you for completing our family baby girl, we cant wait to see you grow.

I love you, I love you, I love you