Breastfeeding Fail(s)

Follow up on my previous breastfeeding/pumping post…

So, a couple of weeks ago, Briar’s daycare said she needed 5 ounces, and then a couple of days later, she tells me she think she needs 6 ounces. 6 WHOLE OUNCES….4 TIMES A DAY….24 OUNCES….Bruhhhh…

I knew she was right though. So I went from thinking I needed at least 20 ounces a day, to at least 24 ounces a day. In the breastfeeding world, that’s a big ass jump in ounces especially when I was barely making the 16 ounces she needed. I knew I just needed to bite the bullet and make it happen.

For about a month now, I’ve been using the hospital grade pump. I can definitely tell a difference. My let-down occurs much quicker. And I had read somewhere (multiple places) that whenever your milk stops coming out, you can push the let down button again. Seems like common sense, but I never did it before, and it definitely helps. I can normally get at least 2, if not 3 good let downs.

I received in the “Let There Be Milk” supplement, and again, I can tell a difference in my pumping output. It tastes absolutely awful. I read a lot of reviews about it on Amazon and some people put it directly in the back of their throat and take it straight. I cannot do this. I put it in a shot glass, and put some water in it and shoot it. It’s literally the only way I can take it. BUT, it helps, so I don’t care. I will deal with the nasty taste.

Another huge factor, when we upped her bottles, I knew she was getting enough milk during the day so I decided that if she did wake up in the middle of the night, I was not going to feed her anymore. Well, I decided I would see how it went if I didn’t feed her. It’s been about 2 weeks and I am successfully not feeding her during the night anymore. She still wakes up from time to time, but she is not eating, so that makes my morning pump even bigger.

So, I went from barely being able to make 16 ounces to now barely keeping up with 24 ounces. I am making 24 ounces a day, but B A R E L Y.

But, yet another setback occurred….Every morning I send 1 bottle and a container full of milk for Briar. I put it in the diaper bag. When I was dropping them off one day last week, the bag was leaking….

ALL 24 OUNCES OF MILK WAS COMPLETELY GONE. ALL OF IT SPILLED IN THE DIAPER BAG.

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I didn’t realize this until I got to daycare. I just started crying. It’s the most terrible feeling when I am barely making what she needs and then I lost it all. All I have in my freezer that did not have dairy in it was 24 ounces. So, I had to go back home and get it and deplete my only freezer stash. What a terrible day.

Now, I literally have zero good freezer stash for her. So, if I’m ever short on making the milk she needs, I’m screwed.

THEN…this past weekend, I had an extremely sore throat, like it hurt to swallow. And I never have a sore throat so I immediately went for some cough drops. I basically had to keep one in my mouth for 12+ hours. Even in the middle of the night.

Woke up….pumped half of what I normally pump…Why, you ask…because menthol (active ingredient in cough drops) can cause a dip in milk supply.

I seriously give up. Everything I do, I am getting a set back.

I know I should just be focusing on the day to day, BUT, we are going on vacation in November, WITHOUT the kids. We are going to VEGASSSSS 🙂 I should be so excited, but I’m not. Because, all I worry about is how is my child going to be fed while I’m away? As of right now, she will starve, so that’s great. I have NOTHING extra to give her right now. So between now and November, I have to somehow freeze 200 ounces. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? That’s roughly 11 ounces a week that I need to freeze. And with no freezing in sight, that number will likely climb each week that I don’t freeze something. So it’s not looking very promising for me.

I HAVE TO WAKE UP EARLY AND PUMP. I KNOW THAT’S WHAT I NEED TO DO, BUT I JUST CAN’T BRING MYSELF TO GET OUT OF BED. BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Lord help me. I am literally counting down the months until I can be done breastfeeding. It’s been much more stressful than enjoyable this time around.

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

Breastfeeding/Pumping with Briar

I never thought things would be so different. Like literally night and day different. I have been wracking my brain and going back through my old posts and I’m kicking myself in the ass for not being more detailed with Raelynn.

I am currently on a big time struggle bus with Briar and breastfeeding. Well, pumping, not really breastfeeding. It really, really sucks.

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Big differences so far:

  • I had an extremely hard time with Raelynn in the beginning. Bad latch, bloody nipples, long nursing times because she wasn’t extracting enough. With Briar, it was the complete opposite. I had about 2 – 3 weeks of sore nips, some bleeding, some toe curling in the beginning and then after that, it was pretty easy. But, pumping output is a completely different story.
  • I never, ever had to worry about having enough milk with Raelynn. At this time with her, I had about 600 extra ounces of milk in my deep freeze. Now, with Briar; I have about 140 ounces of milk frozen and at least 100-120 of those ounces contain dairy so I cannot give them to her just yet.
  • Raelynn’s bottle size was small, I think, maybe about 3.5 ounces for a very long time. Briar’s has been 4 ounces for a long time and now her daycare thinks she needs 5, and I think the daycare is right. I am BARELY, and when I say BARELY, I mean by the skin of my teeth making enough for Briar right now. And I’m not freezing any extra. Which is a whole other issue. Plain and simple, I did not have to work this hard with Raelynn.

A typical day for us:

Lately…***knock on wood*** Briar has been waking up around 5am for her first feed. I feed her and put her back down. Sometimes she goes back to sleep, sometimes she doesn’t Regardless, she still gets one full feed in the middle of the night. And it’s anywhere from 3am – 5am. Her last feed for the day is at 7pm, and when she eats in the middle of the night, she really eats, a lot. She’s not just soothing herself back to sleep.

So, Nurse at 5ish am

4oz bottle at 7:00am (at daycare)

I pump at 7:30am when I get to work

4oz bottle at 10:00am

I pump at 10:30am

4oz bottle at 1:00pm

I pump at 1:30pm

4oz bottle at 4:00pm

I pump at 4:00pm

Nurse at 7:00pm and then bedtime.

So as of right now, I am pumping 4 times a day while at work and replacing all of her feeds with a pump and she is getting 16 ounces of milk while we are apart. If you take the general rule of thumb, 1 – 1.5 ounces of milk for every hour apart; we are apart for 10 hours, she is actually beyond the higher end of ounces. But she is only nursing 2 other times at home while we are together. Average milk intake ranges anywhere from 24oz – 32oz and I know she is meeting that quota. Especially with still having the middle of the night nursing. I’m sure she gets several ounces then.

I don’t nurse her in the mornings for two reasons: I have to get to work as early as possible and I NEED that morning pump. It’s the only time of the day that I make more than 4 ounces. So I count on that to make up for what I lack at other pumps throughout the day. And trust me, I lack, big time.

So, with all that said, I need to increase my pumping output. This is what I’ve done so far:

  • When I was barely and sometimes not even meeting the 16 ounce daily requirement, I started getting out of my frozen stash temporarily. To replace that, I also added in another pump at 8:30pm. I knew that if I continued to supplement with my frozen stash, I was telling my body that it was okay not to make that milk, therefore, I added in the 8:30pm pump. It has helped me and I think I only had to take from my stash for about 2 weeks before my supply increased permanently. As soon as I am done pumping, I go to sleep.
  • I have actually started power pumping at my 8:30pm pump. Powering pumping is pump 20 minutes, stop for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, stop for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes. So that puts me to bed around 9:30pm.  I cannot muster up another night pump. Plus, my supply, as everyone’s, is low at night, so what’s the point.
  • About a month ago, I also rented a Medela Symphony which is a hospital grade pump. All in all, I think I have noticed a difference.
  • I also ordered some lactation cookies. Yes, I’m lazy. I realize I could make them on my own and I still might, but for the time being, I am desperate. I have all of the ingredients to make my own, but the ones I order are really really good. I overindulged and did not make them last as long as I could have :/ So, now I’m patiently waiting for my next order. I feel like the cookies did help as well. Whenever I ate them, I was definitely engorged when I woke up in the morning.
  • Besides coffee, water is all I drink. And I get at least 150 ounces a day.
  • I have been eating steel cut oats since Briar was born.
  • I drink Gatorade at times, but I probably need to incorporate it a little more.
  • I have been trying different size flanges as well. My sister in law gave me the pumpin pals and they are much more comfortable. Not sure yet if I am extracting any more milk.

These are the next steps I know I am going to have to take:

  • I know I’m going to have to add in a pump, somewhere. And I think it’s going to have to be in the morning. God only knows where, in the morning, I’m thinking after her middle of the night/morning feed, I am going to pump right after. I just really do not want to do it. I’m just starting to get a couple of decent sleep stretches, around 5-6 hours at least once a week, and I do not want to stay up any longer and pump. Plus there is always the unknown, and with Briar, the unknown is scary. What if she doesn’t go back to sleep and I’m hooked up to the pump and I have to keep unhooking to go check on her? I already know how pissed I’m going to be because I don’t want to be pumping anyways. Regardless, I have to do it.
  • Something else that I am trying is I order this supplement.IMG_0363 I read about it in a blog and it wasn’t too much money, about $25 shipped, so I was willing to try it. I will follow up with the results. Hoping for a big increase :).
  • If my supply keeps stays the same, my absolute last resort is to give up coffee. I have already resorted to no creamer since I’m dairy free now, so I’m drinking black coffee. If I have to give it up altogether, I might cry. A lot.

So that’s where I’m at….hoping for a good follow up in a couple of weeks.

 

–The Kentucky Momma

 

 

Month 5

I never start with Raelynn…SO…I believe we are approaching what is known as the “Terrible Three’s”. I think it used to be the terrible two’s, but has since transitioned to the terrible three’s. She is a good kid, she really is. But she is giving us a run for our money. And it makes me question EVERYTHING… Am I doing this parenting thing right? Should we be spending more time with her? Should would be discipling her differently? It’s so complicated! Her biggest thing is, she does not listen. If we tell her to do something, she will look at us right in the eyes and do the complete opposite. And it’s not just us. Her daycare has recently told me she gets in time out all the time for not listening. I’m hoping it’s just a phase. But I also do not think it’s related to Briar at all. I’ve often wondered if she was going to have ill-feelings towards her, but she never has. She loves her so much. I think she would be acting out even if she was still an only child.

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Currently, we use a color chart that I made. She stays on GOOD and WARNING a lot. Very rarely do we have to use the time-out section. We also try to move her to GOOD or AWESOME as much as we can. We relate it to everyday stuff. If she gets out of bed in the morning and doesn’t argue much, goes to the potty, changes clothes, brushes teeth, then we will move her up, but if she doesn’t do one of those things, we move her down. Whenever she gets home we go right over to the chart and say, “Okay, this is where you are based on the morning, now let’s try to get to GOOD or AWESOME.” About 75% of the time, she does good. But, boy, when she is defiant, she will fight tooth and nail. She is so bullheaded. But she’s cute.

Since it’s summer time here, we try to go outside as much as we can. Raelynn loves it outside. She is her daddy’s shadow when he works outside. When he mows, she wants to help him, whenever he does gardening, she wants to help. We also have a fire pit in our backyard and she loves to have “camp fires” as she says. 🙂

She is too smart for her own good. She remembers EVERYTHING. Like, when we tell her that she can have her iPad on the weekend if she is good…she has no problem reminding us about it. Or if we tell her that a special event is coming up, like a friend’s birthday. She will ask about it everyday until the actual event occurs.

She is definitely going to be our little pistol.

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Scott and I had our first actual date night! It was amazing and so so so much needed. I wish we could do it every weekend. It was very impromptu. We actually kinda decided at the last minute to do something and we found a sitter.

We went to a local brewery that we had never been to before. The brewery also happened to have vegan food. And a lot of Vegan food is dairy free!! So I was super happy. We got an appetizer, had some beers, we sat outside, it was so nice. We talked about EVERYTHING. We talked about things going on in our lives, we talked about things we wanted to do, we talked about our kids, we talked about having more kids or not having more kids. It was just so nice to have uninterrupted time together. After that we went to another local restaurant and drank some more. There was also a live band and we love live bands. It was just such a perfect night. Neither of us wanted it to end. We were only out for about a total of 5 hours and home around 11pm. I pretty much went home and went straight to bed and of course, my little Briar was up at 3, 4, 530, and 630 :\ I’ll elaborate more on her sleep later.

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The next day was Father’s day. We went to the Zoo. That’s what Scott wants to do every year. He said he wants to make it a tradition. We try to go early too. Not only to beat the crowd, but the animals seem to be more active when it’s not steaming hot. After that we pretty much ran all day to see all of our dads. So needless to say, we were not excited for Monday to roll around.

*************************************************************************************And of course, can’t forget my little Briar. Oh Briar. Just when I think I have you figured out, you throw a wrench in my plans.

Sleep is still our biggest issue and she is no where near consistent at all.  We did, however, have our first, official sleep through the night. She slept from about 7:30pm – 5:00am. She’s actually done that twice now. And while I get glimpses of this wonderful life of sleep, she says, “HA, FUCK YOU!” and wakes up literally 3-5 times a night. Lately she’s been averaging at least 3 times waking up a night. For about a month now, I have only been feeding her once. It’s around the 3:30am wake up. 7:00am until 3:30 am is a long time without food, and she truly does eat good when she wakes up at that time. She’s not just trying to soothe herself back to sleep. So for now, I will keep that feed.

We were absolutely spoiled with Raelynn’s sleep abilities. At about 4 1/2 – 5 months old she started sleeping so well. She slept from 7:00pm until we had to wake her up the next morning for daycare around 7:00am. Even on  the weekends, we had to wake her up at 8:00am.

I already know we are going to have to sleep train Briar. We did not have to do this with Raelynn. She just taught herself how to go to sleep. The biggest difference is Raelynn didn’t have a paci, and Briar does. And when we finally sleep train, I am getting rid of that thing for good. I wouldn’t hate it so much if she kept it in her mouth. She constantly spits it out. But when she does keep it in her mouth, it soothes her. I’m like, okay, what logic are you using here Briar?

We were also really blessed that Raelynn took very consistent naps. Briar is still all over the place. Whenever we figured out what worked for Raelynn, we literally revolved our day around it because it worked! And she cried for 4 months straight, so whenever we figured out how not to make her cry, we did everything we could to make it happen. Briar is just a little shit. A huge believer that the paci is not helping her take naps really either.

I’ve been reading up on what sleep training method I want to use and we are probably going to do the Ferber method. It’s a version of cry it out, but with check in’s. Everything I’ve read about it says it should work within 7 days tops if you do it correctly. Also, all of the research I’ve done says to wait until 6 months. I’m so so so ready to try now, but I’m still afraid it’s too soon and I’d be wasting my time. I literally contemplate it every night whenever I have to go back in her room and put her paci back in her mouth. But I don’t want to half ass it. I want to do it the right way so that it will actually work.

She has been pretty clingy lately too. She’s always had her fussy time from about 5pm-7pm, but it was getting better and only from about 6:00pm – 7:00pm, but now she’s reverting back to 5:00pm – 7:00pm. She doesn’t want to do anything except be held and walked around. You cannot hold her and sit, you have to walk. It’s like there is an alarm that goes off whenever we try to sit down with her. It’s frustrating and exhausting.

She tries so hard to sit up, but she is still pretty far away from it. Probably in the next month or so she will be able to. I’m so ready for that, because she likes to sit up with assistance now.

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We have just not had it very easy when it comes to kids. We have some high needs kids. Which leads me to my next topic….to have more or to not have more.

Scott and I finally had an in depth discussion about it. Both of us had valid points and I think we both took each other’s perspective pretty seriously.

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I can only imagine…..

ME – I just do not feel done have babies. I want one more. I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl. Just a healthy baby. I hate being pregnant. I don’t enjoy the beginning months. But, that first moment whenever I get to see my baby is literally magical. Nothing else matters at the point. I know the next year is going to be fucking hard. But, it’s worth it. We have been blessed with 2 healthy girls. What if the next one isn’t healthy? What if there are complications? With the exception of Raelynn’s unexpected natural birth, both labors and births have been pretty easy. What if I have to get a C Section the next time? I know it’s not the end of the world, but it’s not ideal.

SCOTT – He really, really hates the beginning months. He does not feel bonded at all to the baby. He felt the same with Raelynn and Briar. And I can totally see why. They are essentially attached to me for the first year of their life. Both cried a lot and he couldn’t soothe them. Both didn’t sleep for the first couple of months. It’s really fucking exhausting. It’s expensive as hell. We only have a three bedroom house, where would we put the third kid? We obviously aren’t going to move anytime soon. There is no down time with 2 kids. We each basically manage one, so what kid is going to be left out if we have another one? We didn’t realize how much we enjoyed our freedom until we had kids. We didn’t realize how much we enjoyed each other until we had kids.

We both decided the decision is not to be made now. We are still knee deep in Briar being a handful. I just reminded him that if we had made the decision to have another kid when Raelynn was 5 months old, the answer would have been no.

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Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

The Never Ending To Do List

I feel like I have a never ending to-do list. 24/7, 365 days a year. Whenever I have the chance to mark something off, another task or two gets added. I thrive off lists and organization. I literally feel lost without all of my to-do lists. I have work to-do lists, personal to-do lists, family to-do lists. With that said, they are all extremely overwhelming. I have so much shit to do that never gets done. And then, there is always that one task glaring at me that I secretly know I will never do, yet it seems to remain on my to-do list, taking up space and reminding me that my to-do list will always be there and it will never be 100% complete.

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The overwhelmed feeling is currently consuming me. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished.

I am quickly approaching Raelynn’s 3rd birthday and I haven’t accomplished much of anything and it’s a little over 2 months away. Decorations, food, favors, the ice cream bar…the list never ends…We are having an Ice Cream themed party. I’m not huge on decorations and things like that, but I still like to put a little something together. Not to mention, it’s expensive to feed everyone. I think last year we spent almost $500 on her birthday and I swear we didn’t do anything elaborate at all.

With that said, I already have more stuff planned out for Briar’s 1st birthday than I do for Raelynn’s 3rd. I was scrolling through a yard sale website on Facebook and I came across a Unicorn theme for a 1st birthday. I knew I had to have it. I bought the unicorn lot when Briar was 2 months old. Still, it’s a completely different party to plan, and it’s only 5 months after Raelynn’s.

Now that we have a bigger house, and a bigger yard, and more landscaping, and a huge garden, the chores are never ending. Ever since April, we have pretty much been non stop on the weekends, either with plans or doing stuff around the house. There is just a lot more upkeep with this house than I was mentally prepared for. We’ve been in this house for a year and a half, and I’m definitely still adjusting to all the work both inside and outside that needs to be done.

One of my friends recently shared an article that explained how her household worked better because she was like me. She was a type A personality that needed order, needed the dishes to be done, needed all the laundry to be done, needed clean floors. And all of that is so me. I, personally, operate better when things are in order and clean. The anxiousness and overwhelming feelings get supercharged when my house is a disaster. I cannot stand it. There are times that I probably do too much, like scrubbing the baseboards. No one really gives a shit about my baseboards. I don’t look at anyones baseboards when I go to their house. I know that no one looks at my baseboards when they come to my house. BUT, I know they are dirty and covered in dog hair, so the job must be done. Then, there are other times, when I feel I don’t do enough. Just today, I looked at the shower and wondered when the last time I cleaned it was. I know it’s at least been a month. Again, does anyone care? Hell no. But, I do. So, I add it to my to-do list..Clean the shower on a free weekend…so…November…maybe…

I bought a book, Hand’s Free Mama, over a year ago. I was around 6-7 weeks pregnant. I have started the book around 5 times and I’ve not got further than page 10. In the first 10 pages, she pretty much tells you that you have to make a lifestyle change and the to-do lists will be gone. Even though my to-do lists are overwhelming, I can’t mentally prepare myself to let them go yet. Isn’t that awful? I know it would be a good book and I know it would help me. But I just can’t right now.

I know every mom has to feel like this to, but I feel like no sooner than I get something cleaned up, someone has made it a mess again. It’s so incredibly aggravating.

There really just aren’t enough hours in the day. I feel so rushed, constantly. Monday – Friday is terrible. I feel rushed at work, I feel rushed at home, I feel rushed to allocate enough time to both kids, I feel rushed to love my husband, I feel rushed to make time for myself. I hate it.

I do love my life. It’s just all a little hectic right now.

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

 

 

 

3…..4 months with a Toddler and a Newborn

Well, I’m 3 months into our new life of 4. It’s definitely hectic and we are still trying to figure things out.

I’ve been asked several times how much harder are things with two kids. Everything is harder. But, in my personal opinion, the hardest adjustment was going from 0 kids to 1 kid. You have to sacrifice literally everything and care for another human being. You have to put someone else before yourself. Our family of 3 got into a routine and then we added Briar. Things are a little shaky, but we are already in the habit of caring for another human being, and now we just added one to the mix.

As I assumed, balancing time between kids, our careers, our marriage, our social lives, household chores is all very hard and stressful. But, we manage. Some days are better than others, and that’s okay for now.

For the first three months, Briar has basically been attached to me. Which leave Scott to care for Raelynn. I’ve had hard time dealing with this because I’m sacrificing a lot of time with Raelynn. In my head, I told myself, things weren’t going to change. I would get equal time with both kids, but that’s just not reality, unfortunately.

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I’m going to lest this post Rest In Peace because we are now 4 months into our new life….

And I’m dying….

Literally dying from no sleep…

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The moment I think that Briar has somewhat turned a corner, it’s like she looks at me and laughs in my face for even thinking such a reasonable thing can happen.

From month 3 to month 4, a lot has changed.

Developmentally, Briar has learned to roll over both ways. She smiles SO much. She laughs out loud. It’s the cutest thing. If we place a toy in front of her, she will grab it. It’s amazing the things we get excited about as parents.  Me to Scott – “OH MY GOD SCOTT, LOOK!! SHE GRABBED THE RATTLE!!!” Scott to me – “KEISH, SHE’S ABOUT TO ROLL OVER, STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING AND COME LOOK!!” I mean, seriously. Who are we??

She is still pretty fussy from 5pm – 7pm. It does seem we have more good days than bad though, so that’s a plus. I remember feeling completely locked down with Raelynn when her last feeding and bedtime was at 7pm and I already feel like again. Briar has no fear in letting you know that she is hungry and ready for bed. It doesn’t matter where we are.

Sleep…Sleep is still the biggest issue for me…I guess sleep really is overrated because it’s still pretty nonexistent. She was really taking well to the swaddle and then she started to roll and I was done with it at that point. I would feed her at 7pm, when she was done eating, I would swaddle her, and then I would have to rock/hold her for about 40-50 minutes before I could set her down in her crib. At this point, there was no putting down to sleep drowsy. This worked for us, so we did it. From there her sleep varied tremendously. Some nights she would wake up at 11pm. The majority of nights she would wake up between 12am – 1am, A very small handful of times she would sleep until 2am, and we had one instance where she slept until 3am. Of course that night, I didn’t make it to bed until almost 11pm :\. Go figure. So, she was overall having a very good first stretch of sleep. I would go to bed anywhere from 8:30 – 9:30. On most nights it was 8:30 just so I could get at least 3-4 hours of sleep. After her first stretch of sleep, her middle of the night wakings were literally everywhere. Sometimes it was every 2 hours, sometimes it was every 3 hours. On average, she was still waking up 3 times a night. After her first stretch, she would either come in the bed with me or go to the couch with me. I couldn’t muster up enough energy to stay awake and nurse her in her room and put her back down asleep in her crib. It was easier for me to nurse her, then lay her next to me so I could at least get some rest.

So, when she started to roll, we ditched the swaddle.I had read several different articles about how to wean off the swaddle: one arm out, two arms out, Merlin’s Magic Sleep suit, Zip a Dee suit. I told Scott that I just wanted to cold turkey it. I figured, there was nothing consistent about her sleep right now, so what’s the point in trying to slowly transition out. Let’s just do it and get it over with. The first couple of nights were a little tough. She had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, initially. It would take around 1 1/2 – 2 hours to finally get her to sleep. That was a combination of Scott and/or I going in her room and shushing her or putting that god forsaking pacifier back in her mouth. We let her cry a little bit. I’m very hesitant to do a full on cry it out with her because of Raelynn. I can’t imagine having to calm two kids down and put two kids back to sleep. We do a somewhat modified version. We let her cry for a couple of minutes and then we go in and reassure her that all is well. That has paid off tremendously for us. For the past couple of days she has went right to sleep after her feeding. She may toss and turn for a minute or two to get settled, but no real crying or having to go back in.  For about a week, she was sleeping like a champ, down at 7pm up around 1am-2am then up around 5:30am – 6am. Still very broken sleep for me and no more than 4 hours at a time, but I felt like I could see the light. Then….the 4 month sleep regression happened. It happened with Raelynn too. I was just hoping to slide right on by this time. It started last weekend. Friday night and Saturday night she was up every 2 hours. Then Sunday night happened. She never slept for more than an hour at a time. I was awake from Sunday morning until Monday night. I was awake for around 40 hours. It was terrible. I never EVER go into work late and I didn’t make it into work until around 9:30am Monday morning. I felt terrible. I know I looked terrible. WHYYY was this happening? I swear, I’m never getting sleep again. My body might be regulating to 4 hours of sleep, because now 4 hours of consistent sleep feels natural and normal. This past week (Monday – Wednesday), I thought she had somewhat went back to normal sleeping habits. I was putting her to bed around 7pm, then getting up around 1:30am – 2:00a.m. and then again around 5:30am – 6:00am, UNTIL Scott informed me that she was waking up every night between 10:30pm and 11:00pm. He was getting to her before I woke up and has been able to settle her back down to sleep until she wake up for me. So, instead of the normal 2 night wakings, we have somehow increased to 3 wakings. Last night there was even a 4th waking. All I know to do is to keeping being consistent and hoping this passes soon. I’m at a loss. Since she has been born, I’ve not got more than 4 hours of sleep, a handful of 5 hour stretches, and one 6 hour stretch. And at this point, we are going backwards, but hopefully not for long.

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We had our first overnight with both kids away and I wish I could have enjoyed it more. I guess, the sleep, I mean. That was my only 6 hour stretch. They stayed at my in laws house. I was not sad at all to give them away. LOL. I wish I could do it more often. Scott and all of his guys went to a BeerFest and me and all of the girls went to a WineFest. It was much needed. But, as you can imagine, I didn’t wake up feeling refreshed. I woke up feeling very hungover. I had to get up early to pump, then pick up the kids from my in laws and take them daycare so Scott and I could recover. I didn’t really feel like myself again until about 5pm.

Breastfeeding is becoming another issue. The beginning of our breastfeeding relationship was MUCH better than Raelynn and I’s. Briar is eating MUCH more than Raelynn did at this point. Raelynn was around three or four, 3 – 3.5 ounce bottles every 3 hours while we were apart. Briar is four, 4 ounces bottles every 3 hours. That’s 16 ounces for Briar compared to around 12-14 ounces with Raelynn. It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but I struggle majorly to get 16 ounces a day. I had to add a pump session in at night, which I absolutely hate. Instead of going to bed at 8:30, I now have to pump at 8:30. I’m considering power pumping for a while until my supply goes back up. I drink Mother’s Milk Tea every single night. I put flax seeds in my protein shakes and in my morning oatmeal. I have just recently ordered some cookies from a nursing mom. The company is called Milk Boosters. I’ve read rave reviews about them. I am praying they work. I also just ordered some brewers yeast to make my own cookies. I’m hesitant to take Fenugreek because I’ve heard it can upset mom and babies stomach so I will hold off on that for now. For a couple week straight, I had to get into my frozen stash to make up the 16 ounces. I knew that once I started supplementing with my frozen stash, I was letting my body know it was okay not to make any more milk than I was making, so that’s why I added in the 8:30 pump. I am currently making just enough day to day and as of the last two weeks I haven’t had to dig into my frozen stash. I maybe freeze 3 – 5 ounces a month which is terrible. I think I maybe have around 120 ounces frozen and 100 of those ounces contain dairy :/. So I am on the struggle bus for sure to make the milk. Ideally, I would love to add a pump session in the morning, but Briar is just too inconsistent with her sleep. I know the day I would wake up, so would she and she would want to eat. Or she would wake up as soon as I get done pumping. I would love to have just an extra ounce or 2 a day. I don’t need or want a huge stash, but just enough to feel comfortable if something were to ever come up.

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And my little Raelynn. She is becoming a feisty…almost 3 year old…cue the tears. I don’t know where the last 3 years have gone. It’s really sad. She’s so smart. But, she takes after both me and her daddy…she is a head strong little girl. She is starting to give us a hard way to go. I don’t think it has anything to do with Briar because she gets ample time with us after Briar goes to bed. We make sure to spend quality time with just her. I just think she is going through a toddler stage. She is definitely Miss Independent, she is strong willed, she is so bossy (me). Sometimes I feel like I see some of my negative traits come out in her. I expressed this to my therapist in my last meeting; the bossiness in particular. I want Raelynn to be a good leader and I want her to stand up for herself, but I also want her to listen and be able to help other people. I told the therapist, my controlling and bossy side has come out majorly in Raelynn already. I am scared to death more than anything that I am going to portray my anxiety onto Raelynn and that’s the absolute last thing I want. I would not wish my anxious self on anyone. I try to be very careful and mindful what I say, but sometimes, I just say the wrong shit. I’m trying very hard. Plus, I want to be happy. I want her to see me happy. I want her to see me and her daddy happy. All of those things are very important to me and balancing all of them are really hard.

Speaking of being happy with Scott. We are about the same. We aren’t terrible, but we aren’t great. When we both get home from work, it’s balls to the wall until Briar goes to bed, then Raelynn goes to bed, then I have to pump, then I’m tired so I go to sleep. The weekends are already getting crazy with plans. It just seems we never have time to ourselves. We never MAKE time for ourselves. Just today, I asked him if he would be okay with me going out to eat Friday night with a couple girls. He said yes, and then in turn asked if he could go to grab a drink with friends tonight. I, of course, said yes, then immediately said, “Next time we need to make plans together, not separate.” The last time we had a date night was when I was 6 months pregnant, so around 6 months ago…and before that….I think it was well over 6 months.  Another thing that plays into us never making plans together is that we feel one of us always has to stay home with the kids. If not, we have to find a sitter and they are hard to come by with two kids. Everyone is a little more hesitant to jump on the babysitting bandwagon with two kids. One that we use regularly, we pay hourly, and sometimes that’s just not in our best interest to have to pay someone, or we literally don’t have the money. So we each make a sacrifice so the other can have some time away from the kids. It just sucks that we don’t spend more time together without the kids.

Work is a whole other issue and it’s praying on me more and more each day. Ever since Briar, I feel like I just cannot get back into the swing of things and I hate it. I feel myself becoming less and less focused at work. It’s a very huge struggle for me because I’m normally very work oriented. I stay under a lot of pressure at my job and it really sucks to not be 100% focused.

A couple of pictures of the girls over the last month or so…

 

 

That’s it for now. Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

Dairy Free + Meal Prep + CrossFit

As I hope you’ve previously read, I made the decision to go dairy free when Briar had an adverse reaction to dairy through my breastmilk. I’m not a big dairy eater in general so overall it wasn’t that hard for me to give up. It becomes hard when I’m tired and I don’t feel like meal prepping. It becomes hard whenever I’m at a party and they have pizza and I can’t have it. But, it’s worth it knowing that I’m not hurting Briar. Her face got really badly broke out for a while and the two times I ate a large portion of dairy (cereal with milk and ice cream) she projectile vomited. She also had some pretty mucusy diapers. At her two month well check appointment, I expressed these concerns to her pediatrician and he said we could do a milk protein allergy test. It would just require drawing some blood and testing it. Her test came back negative. So, I just assumed she has a sensitivity. Which is much better. I still have not reintroduced dairy. I might try around 5-6 months.

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On top of dairy free, I am also soy free, and somewhat egg free. Whenever I self-diagnosed Briar with a dairy sensitivity, I also immediately cut soy because they go hand in hand. I cut all obvious and hidden dairy and soy. I decided to cut egg a couple of weeks later because her face was still breaking out. I wasn’t really sure if it was still the dairy in my system, or if it was the eggs I was eating for breakfast. Just yesterday, I tried a paleo bread recipe that had baked in eggs and so far she’s been okay. So fingers crossed we are okay for eggs because I need protein!

I took this dairy free life as a blessing in disguise. With CrossFit, the Paleo diet goes hand in hand with it. The Paleo diet is called the caveman diet. You are essentially eating, meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. You are not supposed to eat grains, dairy, refined sugar, or anything processed. For me, it was just an easier way to incorporate this diet into my life. I very, very loosely followed it in the past, but I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it the right way. At this moment I’m probably about 90ish% paleo. The only thing that is keeping me from being 100% paleo is the oatmeal (grain) that I eat in the morning. At this point, I’m not willing to give that up because it helps boost milk supply.

So, what exactly am I eating. Chicken and vegetables, basically. I have no problem eating the same thing over and over again for a really long time, so it’s been okay for me. Here’s somewhat of a breakdown:

Breakfast – steel cut oats (instant) and then I add blueberries and strawberries

Snack – Protein Shake

Snack – raw almonds/pistachios

On days I workout I will have another protein shake right after I workout.

Lunch – chicken/turkey burger and roasted vegetables

Snack – oranges/apple/grapefruit

Snack – Larabar

Dinner – chicken/turkey burger and roasted vegetables

My breakfast is not paleo. And for now, I’m okay with that.

For lunch and dinner, I have to roast vegetables about every other day. The vegetables I like to use are a combination of carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, asparagus, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, just to name a few. It all depends on what I’m feeling at the moment in time and what’s on sale. I almost always use sweet potatoes though, because they are my favorite. Whenever I roast the vegetables, I normally just chose 4 different vegetables, dice them, mix them together on a baking sheet, put olive oil, salt, and pepper on them, and put them in the oven for an hour. Half way through I mix them up. I am all about quick and easy because I do not have time to waste these days. Plus, Raelynn loves to help me cut up “begetables”. I let her put them on the baking sheet, and then she helps sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Total prep time is 15 minutes at the most.

For the turkey burger, I buy premade, all natural, butterball turkey burgers. They are full of protein. I normally just grill them. It takes about 20 minutes.

For the chicken, I have found a recipe that I’ve really been leaning on because it’s so easy, it takes literally 5 minutes, and the chicken stays moist and tender throughout the week. It’s called Lemon Garlic Chicken.

Since I am meal prepping for a couple of days, I use way more than the recipe calls for so this is my recipe:

5-6 pieces of chicken (breasts)

1 TBSP kosher salt

1 TBSP pepper

1 TBSP parsley flakes

1 TBSP oregano

1 TBSP minced garlic

1 lemon (need juice from the lemon)

Put chicken in crockpot, mix spices together and spread on chicken. Squeeze lemon over the chicken. Depending on your crockpot, you can put on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. I prefer high for 4 hours. Total prep time is 10 minutes. Super easy!

Protein…this could be a touchy subject. Some people are okay with taking protein while nursing and some are completely against it. For the type of workout I’m doing, I NEED protein or else I will lose all of my muscle. The problem with the protein I need, it was a struggle to understand and research what was safe and that complied with my dairy free, soy free, and egg free life. Anything that was Whey Protein and Egg Protein was out of the question. So, I started researching and I found that I needed a plant based protein. Previous to pregnancy, my protein needs were met by a company called MRM. Their protein was not full of crap, essentially. They happened to have a plant based protein. I ordered some samples, made sure Briar didn’t react adversely to them, and she didn’t, thank goodness, and then ordered me a big ol tub of protein. My favorite protein shakes:

Morning Protein Shake:

1 cup almond milk

1 cup coffee

2 cups ice cubes

1 scoop of protein

After workout Protein Shake:

1 cup almond milk

2 TBSP PB2

1 scoop of protein

1 cup ice

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Again, I try to keep things simple and tasty. I love coffee in the morning. I love peanut butter all the time and PB2 is full of protein and way less calories and fat than regular peanut butter. Plus the PB2 powder mixes really well in a protein shake. You can also blend these. I’m just always on the go, so just adding ice to my shaker bottle and shaking vigorously works well for me.

I also use the MyFitness Pal app to track all of my calorie and nutrient intake. I need to make sure I am getting enough of everything with nursing Briar and working out. I’m not going to lie, I struggle most days to get all of my calories and nutrients in. I’ve been tracking my food intake for around 45 days and I’m still trying to figure out what works best and what foods go well together. Some days I am super high in carbs, some days I’m super high in fats, and I ALWAYS struggle to get in enough protein, even with 2 shakes and turkey and chicken. It’s a work in progress. I’m hoping to be able to incorporate eggs again so I know that will help. I feel like I am constantly researching Paleo recipes, snacks, etc. I try something new at least once a week.

In a nutshell, that’s what I do for food.

I started CrossFit back at 6 weeks. I was only going 2-3 times a week, and now slowly doing 4-5 days a week. My CrossFit box is right around the corner from work and I am only part time at work right now. I return to work full time on April 24th, so I’m hoping to be more consistent with 5 days a week. The same with pregnancy, I have just been letting my body dictate when I can and can’t do.

CrossFit has overall been going very well. I am struggling mentally and physically, which was expected. Mentally and physically, I know what my body is capable of. I could do more in my ninth month of pregnancy than I can right now. And it sucks. The biggest thing is I have no core at all. Core is key in everything I do. So, until my 6 pack decides to show up *sarcastic smile* I suppose I will be on the struggle bus.

I can feel myself getting stronger each week. I’m also putting in extra work at home so I know that’s helping. I work on a couple of different lifts every week and each week I’m getting closer to my maxes. Even though I am struggling (more so mentally), it’s very refreshing to watch myself get stronger and closer to my max lifts. I feel like it’s just a matter of time before I’m back to where I was; hopefully even stronger. I made a list of goals this year to attain in 2017 and I honestly think I can hit the majority of them by summer.

I am having a hard time coping with my body not looking like I want it to and I’m finding myself on the scale every single day. I used to never get on the scale. I’m just so impatient, summer is quickly approaching, and my body is nowhere near bikini ready. Not to mention, I have some terrible, horrible stretch marks. I’m hoping as I tone and get a little tan from being in the sun, they will “disappear” a little. I know I will get there, it’s just not in the time frame that I want. Patience is not a virtue for me :/

 

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

 

Let’s try this again…

I did have a really terrible day yesterday. Which prompted the really negative post.

But, last night, I actually got some sleep, so I felt compelled to write about the somewhat positives of my first 12 weeks with Briar and maybe elaborate a little more on certain situations currently going on in my life.

She is happy.

She is healthy.

She is well taken care of.

She is loved.

That’s really all that matters.

Her first month was pretty laid back. NOTHING compared to Raelynn. Raelynn screamed from the moment she came home. Briar ate, slept, was awake for a little bit, slept, and ate some more. Our breastfeeding journey was and has been MUCH less complicated that mine and Raelynn’s. I struggled with Raelynn for about 3 months with a terrible latch and bloody nipples. Briar, maybe a week, which was a welcome change. Sleep sucked, which was expected in the first month. The adjustment to two kids was weird, but we were establishing a routine.

Briar’s second month into her third month is where things started to go downhill. (I know, this is supposed to be positive, but I feel like I have to say this). She started to have colicky moments and I instantly had flashbacks of Raelynn. It was not welcome at all. I don’t know why, but I like to be in denial of certain things instead of acknowledging them and trying to fix them. Briar’s colicky behavior was probably one of them. She is now almost 12 weeks old and looking back, she probably definitely had a mild case of colic. It was nothing compared to Raelynn, but Scott and I both faced some desperate moments with Briar.

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YEP…. 

Scott’s desperate moments most certainly outweighed mine. I found myself being able to be cool, calm, collected, and for the most part able to deal with the crying. Even if I wasn’t able to soothe her, I could deal with the crying. With Raelynn, I couldn’t deal. Period. I was in a very bad place with Raelynn very early on.

Which brings me to my next point, I honestly don’t know if Scott was like this with Raelynn or not. I was so fucked up and wrapped up in my own emotions that I did not have the energy to focus on Scott. Some similarities between Raelynn and Briar with Scott, I know he did not like coming home from work with both because they would both be in the colic stage and they would both cry until they went to bed. He felt like he could not soothe either of them because he didn’t have boobs, even though Briar is somewhat taking the pacifier. But one big thing I notice with Briar is he simply loses it. He has ZERO patience with her. He gets so worked up so quick and he doesn’t realize whenever he does this, she feeds off him. My rationalization for this is, he can talk to Raelynn. Raelynn can tell him her wants and needs and he can fulfill them. He cannot do that with Briar. He finally told me he doesn’t feel connected to Briar. I know he felt the same with Raelynn, too. It’s just hard to hear. Even if I am feeling those same feelings, vocalizing something like that just hurts my heart. But, I get it. I really do. If the roles were reversed, I can’t say that I wouldn’t be experiencing the same feelings.

I read an article yesterday that kind of put things in perspective for me and my post partum depression. Even though this should be common knowledge and I should know better because I’ve been through it once…this simple statement really speaks volumes…”You can’t do it all”.

But, I am the mom and I want to do it all. I have a very hard time asking for help. I’m strong willed and hard headed and I’m not afraid to admit that. I am a controller. I would just rather do things myself, my way, instead of having someone do them for me. It’s how I’ve always been in all aspects of life. Is it right? Probably not. But, I can’t help who I am. I’m working on it. I don’t want my kids to feel this “controller” part of me. Therapy helps with that and she calls me out a lot on this side of my personality.

Back to the positives…

Briar smiles and laughs which is adorable. And when she does, it almost always seems to erase the bad night we had together.

Raelynn absolutely loves Briar. Every day when she gets home from daycare she asks, “Mommy, did she have a good day?!” So far, there has been no hard feelings about having to share her mommy and daddy. But, we also try to give her a lot of attention. Especially since it’s starting to feel nice outside, we go outside and play a lot. We try to interact with her as much as we can before we result to the TV or iPad. So far, I think we’ve done a pretty good job with managing this. Now, I’m not saying we don’t ever use the TV or iPad to give us a break because we most certainly do! We just try to do it in a positive way. We try to make it a reward for us so she doesn’t think she just gets it all the time.

Briar will be 3 months on April 22nd. As each day passes, I feel like we are getting closer to having a happier, sleepier (fingers crossed), baby.

I know both Raelynn and Briar will be strong willed like me, they are already proving it. For that, I am thankful.

Here is a picture of both of them at their 2 month appointment. Raelynn is on top, Briar is on the bottom.

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Here are some pictures of my girls.