Received a Disturbing Call Today…

This past Friday, I took Raelynn to get her blood drawn AGAIN….This experience was not as pleasant as the last one. They blew one of her veins and the “lost”, yes, “lost” one of her vials of blood. I wanted to murder someone.

So, as you can imagine, I was not too pleased about the following…

Around noon today, my caller ID flashed on my phone and it was the pediatrician’s office. My heart skipped a beat because we just got her test on Friday and they already had the results back. It made me really nervous they were already calling me.

I answered, “Hello?”

Doctor says, “Hi, is this Raelynn’s mom?” Side note, it’s really weird to be “someone’s mom” now instead of just Keisha.

“Yes, this is. I really, really hope you have good news for me.” I really didn’t even give him time to talk, I really just needed him to know that I needed good news. I really, really needed good news.

“Well, I wish I did have good news for you, but….”

…heart is now sinking into my stomach…

“…but, I don’t. The hospital ran the wrong test on her on Friday. They ran the exact same test, two weeks in a row”

They ran a general iron study the first Friday we went, and then this past Friday, they were supposed to run an electrophoresis test to test her hemoglobin levels because that was now the concern.

Me…”Are you FUCKING kidding me?”

“I wish I was. I was really looking forward to seeing these test results and giving you good news because I know how concerned you are about this. So with that said, you need to take her today.”

“Today? As in now?”

“Yes.”

I am happy they are so insistent about getting this done, but it’s also making me think they are seeing something they aren’t telling me. He did tell me her iron levels did come up from week to week so that’s a good thing, but he still wasn’t overly joyed. I thought that was one step in the right direction, but he wasn’t necessarily too enthusiastic about it.

Continued prayers are always appreciated

–The Kentucky Momma

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Blood Results

I got a call yesterday around 2:00 p.m. It was Raelynn’s doctor about her blood results. He asked if I had some time to go over her blood work. My heart immediately sank because I knew it was not going to be what I wanted to hear.

Her results weren’t bad, but they weren’t necessarily good either. From the iron study, they concluded her iron levels were “low-normal”, so basically just below normal, but a little on the low side. I was okay with that. In my mind, the iron supplements could hopefully fix that. He is now concerned with her hemoglobin levels. They seem to be pretty low. He then proceeded to tell me what more information than I could comprehend or that I cared to hear. I had to ask him to repeat himself like 3 times so I could write everything down and research it like an idiot.

From the conversation, this is what I gathered:

  • We have to go back and get retested this upcoming Friday for a potential blood disorder
    • They are going to do a hemoglobin electrophoresis that tests the hemoglobin even further and they are going to test something else to see if her body is responding to the iron supplements.
  • The blood disorder in particular they are going to test for is thalassemia.
    • This is a hereditary disorder that either myself or Scott would be carrying to pass down to her. Even though neither of us have this disorder, we could be carrying the gene and could have passed it to her. The gene could just be dormant within us.
  •  Once these blood results are in, he will decide if still thinks it’s just the anemia or if he thinks it’s something else that requires further testing or a specialized doctor like a hematologist. Obviously, we are praying that’s it’s just the anemia and she will respond to the iron supplements.

I googled way too much about thalassemia yesterday. I feel deep in my heart that there is no way she could have this. Yes, she is displaying some signs/symptoms that could be thalassemia, but it’s just one of those things where I just think I might be reading into it too much.

We live in a world full of information. In my opinion, too much information. Why do I put myself through googling anything? End result, your child is going to die. Every. Single. Time. I know that even before I do it, so I don’t understand why I do this to myself.

With my first pregnancy, I was able to diagnose myself with the exact condition of my miscarriage, a blighted ovum, even before the doctor told me. I can’t even explain it to you, but I just KNEW i was going to have a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. I read so many different articles about all the different types of miscarriage that are possible. So whenever they told me that I had an empty sac with no baby, I turned to my husband and told him we had a double blighted ovum. It’s beyond me that I put so much time into researching this. It didn’t prepare me for anything, or make things any better for me, it still hurt just as bad when they told me I was miscarrying. So, why? Why do I put myself through this when I don’t even know what the end result is going to be.

I’m just feeling all out of sorts. It makes my heart hurt to even think that my baby girl could have something wrong with her that could be a long term problem. I want her to be happy and healthy and be able to thrive in the world like a normal person with nothing holding her back. She already has a such a huge personality and I’m sure she will use that to her advantage as she gets older.

I just want everything to be okay. I keep thinking after all these blood tests that they are going to call me and finally tell me, “Keisha, it’s all okay. Don’t worry about anything. Continue life as if we didn’t do 800 blood tests.” Praying this call I will get next week will be that call.

Pray for me and my daughter, y’all.

–The Kentucky Momma

PPD and Anxiety

UGHHHHH I need ALLLLLLLL the coffee this morning. I’m running on E and I technically still have three whole days until the weekend. Kill me now.

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Scott and I have both been working side jobs, by choice, after our regular jobs to help bring in some extra income for any money we may need that involves the closing of our house. In the long run it will be worth it but we are majorly sacrificing our time with each other and Raelynn lately. Scott takes her to daycare and sees her for the 10 minute car ride there and I have been picking her up and taking her straight to whoever is babysitting her for the night and then Scott and I both are going to do our side jobs. So far this week, we have each pulled between 13-15 hours a day. Not complaining…..just really really really tired…….

Side bar….we are also getting the home inspection on our house today! So finger’s crossed the buyers don’t ask for a million dollars in repairs and we will be one step closer to moving!!

Tonight, we are taking a break though and going to see our new niece, Harper Grace. Scott’s sister had her yesterday and it’s our first niece. We have two nephews so we are excited for a niece. Plus, Raelynn will have a playmate now that is close in age to her.

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I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t really having baby fever right now. I have a couple of friends that are pregnant and then I’m sure when I go see my beautiful little niece tonight it will confirm my feelings. Whenever I had to take Raelynn to the doctor last week, there was a four day old baby in there and I just started crying. I cried because I certainly do not remember Raelynn being that little, I cried because it was a sweet innocent little baby, I cried because I did not get to enjoy the majority of Raelynn’s infancy due to her colic and then my PPD, I cried because at the moment there are so many things I wish I would have done differently with Raelynn.

I went back to work at two weeks postpartum. Probably not my smartest decision. I thought “routine” would make me feel better. No. I was too worried about work because at that point and time I had the business and I couldn’t afford to be off. WIth the next one, I fully intend to soak up an actual maternity leave since I have a good job. I was too concerned with making sure the house was clean with Raelynn. I can tell you right now, if I ever go to someone’s house after they have a kid, the last thing I care about is what their house looks like. I would offer to do something for them, sweep, clean the dishes, vacuum, fold laundry. I could not stand just sitting there on the couch with her feeding her, holding her while she slept. I wanted like 30 minutes to myself, not holding a child. I am such a “do-er”. I HAVE to be doing something or else I’m not satisfied. I’m not sure how I could change the mindset with the next one, but I will certainly try. This list could go on; this is just naming a few.

More than anything, I am terrified that I will have PPD and anxiety again. Let’s not get it confused, I still suffer from it. Every once in awhile my anxiety will shoot through the roof or I can feel myself starting to settle into a rut, but I know how to cope with it a little better now, so it tends to not stick around as long. All of these feelings are starting to resurface since we are actually considering another baby in the near future. Do I really want to go through this again? Do I really want to have another child? What if I have a miscarriage? I mean, I could “What If” all day long and make about 60 blog posts about it. That’s just the way my mind works. There is so much to consider when bringing another child into the world.

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Scott and I religiously listen to the KaneShow in the morning on the way to work and at work and then we either talk about it while we are at work or connect about it when we are at home for the night. It’s just kinda our thing. One of the DJ’s posted that her and her husband were divorcing due to her postpartum anxiety. They have two kids and one of them is around Raelynn’s age and she is still dealing with PP anxiety, like myself. I cried for her, for them, for the babies, for ME. It just totally hit home for me. That could have been Scott and I. Like she posted, it most certainly put a strain on Scott and I’s marriage. I mean, I was fucking certifiably crazy. Still am, just not as bad. I look back at some of the “moments” we had through my PPD and anxiety and I don’t know how he has stayed with. I would have left me. It’s just clarity that Scott and I were meant for each other.

At the end of the day, Scott and I want another baby and, God willing, we would like for that to be sooner rather than later. We aren’t putting a timeline on it. Whenever it happens, we will be happy as long as it’s healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

–The Kentucky Momma

Weekend Recap

Last Friday was Raelynn’s visit to Kosair where she had to get blood drawn for her iron study. I must say, I was expecting the worst and it wasn’t that bad at all. The nurses were great, she did well, and it was much quicker than I had anticipated. Although I would have preferred for her not to be there, the experience was much better than I was expecting, which makes me happy. We are supposed to have her results this week sometime, so praying that’s it just the anemia and it can be corrected with the iron supplements.

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On our way to Kosair on Friday

Amongst all of this, two Sunday’s ago, 9/13/2015, we got an offer on our house. I literally could not believe it. I had already convinced myself that no one was going to buy our house and we were going to lose the house that we had the offer on. It is still very beginning stages, so I’m still not getting my hopes up. They still haven’t even scheduled the home inspection yet. In order to abide by the contract, it has to be scheduled this week. I don’t believe there is anything really wrong with our house, but I’m led to believe these people are pretty picky. The saw our house on Sunday the 13th at an open house with our realtor. They were nit picking everything. I believe they will come back and want several small items fixed. I don’t believe there is anything major wrong with the house. I was actually able to locate our home inspection that we purchased when we moved into the house and there wasn’t anything majorly wrong then. I just hope they don’t ask for anything crazy that is going to scare us off. Scott and I have already decided if it’s too much money, we aren’t going to make the repairs. Again, just another reason why I am not going to get excited about this yet.

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I am becoming more and more anxious about having to move the dogs from our home to a potential new home. Like, I wake up in the middle of the night stressing about it. The dogs will have to be gone for the home inspection so we took them over to Scott’s grandparents house yesterday to see how they would do. They have a privacy fenced in yard so I figured it would be perfect because that’s exactly how ours is. Well, toward the back of the yard, the fence isn’t flush with the ground, it’s raised up a little. Of course, one of our dogs figured this out and got out. I cannot even begin to tell you how much this freaks me out. It’s seriously one of most worst fears, having one of the dogs get out and then never returning. I love my dogs like I love my kid, and I feel like I can say this now and not sound cliche because I actually have a kid. It just gives me so much anxiety even thinking about it. We currently have a privacy fence at our house and it’s perfect. I don’t really ever worry about the dogs getting out. At the new house, there is no fence, so we will definitley have to get one ASAP, but I don’t think we are going to get a privacy fence. It’s somewhat of a country setting so we feel a privacy fence would ruin the feel of that. We are looking at either a black chain link fence or a cattle fence with wire behind it. It all depends on the cost. Even though we are in a country setting, it’s on a busy street. So, if the dogs were to get out, it would not be a good thing at all. Ugh. I hate this. It seriously makes me not even want to move.

Hoping for a positive update on topics next time 🙂

–The Kentucky Momma

Anemic

We just found out yesterday that my little girl is anemic and iron deficient. It breaks my heart. I feel like it’s all my fault.

My husband took her for her one year well visit and they did a finger prick and tested some of her blood. I had no idea they were going to do that. They immediately came back and said her red blood cells were low and she would have to come back in three weeks to get her blood tested again. They also commented on her weight gain. She has been gaining every single time, but she’s been dropping in percentiles each time we go. When she was born at 7lbs 8oz, she was in the 50th percentile and now she is in the 5th percentile. Her weight at her one year appointment was 17lbs 9oz.

I took her this past Monday to the doctor just for labs. They pricked her finger and took three vials of blood. That was fun….They called me back yesterday and told me she was anemic due to iron deficiency. From here, they immediately ordered her to be on iron supplements for at least 3-6 months depending on the severity of her anemia. Also, we have to take her to a children’s hospital in downtown Louisville to get blood actually drawn out of her arm like a freaking adult for a complete iron study. I hate myself for this more than anything.

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I just had to post a cute picture of how she sleeps. It makes me smile when I have to get her up in the morning.

I am feeling like a real failure at being a mom. Yes, she is taken care of, yes, she is fed, yes, she is even happy, but I felt like there was more I could do to ensure this didn’t happen. I’m questioning a lot of the choices I’ve made in the past year of her life now. I knew I always wanted to breastfeed. Not only was it the best thing for her, but it was free. As long as I was able to breastfeed, I was going to do it. I’ve always read on several sites that their iron storage starts to deplete around 6 months, therefore, they need to start getting solids, cereal, etc to make sure their iron levels are replenished. Whenever we decided to introduce solids at 6 months, I decided to skip cereal altogether. Cereal doesn’t have much of a nutritional value, except if it’s iron fortified. That will help up their iron intake if I were to give her cereal. I read several reputable sites that you could skip cereal altogether and start on solid foods that were packed with iron. I did a lot of research on what types of food were packed with iron so I could make sure I was taking care of her. I made all of her food with the exception of prunes. I mean, i literally handmade every meal. Unless it was prunes and on the very rare occasion, she never got anything processed or in a package. It was all fresh produce. The point of all this? What if I had just given her formula and given her the packaged food? Would she be in this situation right now? Would we be having to take her to get her blood drawn out of her arm?

Just to clarify, this is not a bash on formula or packaged and processed baby food. I, personally, just tried so hard to give Raelynn everything as natural as possible, breastmilk, fresh produce, etc. and I feel like at this point it just wasn’t even worth my time and effort. Ask any mom who has breastfed alone and they will tell you how much of their personal time it takes to ensure their child gets breastmilk. Not to mention all of the food I made for her and I’m still making for her. I literally spend all day on a Sunday meal prepping for myself and for her to make sure she has the appropriate nutritious food all week. Was it even worth it? Would she have gained weight better if I just put her on formula and packaged baby food? In the long run, yes, she probably would have. Therefore, it really and truly just makes me rethink everything I have done for her so far.

You would never know that she has anemia by looking at her. Yesterday after I found out, I couldn’t wait to get home and just squeeze her. When I walked in, I heard her and Scott playing in her room. When she saw me, she lit up, but continued to play and talk up a storm. She was just really happy to be home playing with all of her toys. I imagine her babbling about inviting us to play with her toys or telling us which one she likes the best. And for about 10 seconds, I forgot about the phone call I had today from the doctor’s telling me she had anemia. I forgot about all the questions I had asked myself all day long. I lived in that moment with my daughter and played and laughed with her.

I wish I could always live in the moment with her. I wish I would not constantly question myself when it comes to her well being. If she had not been anemic, I would question myself about other things with her, I’m not sure what things, but I know I would.

I have a therapy appointment on Friday and it’s the first one in about 2 months and I’m pretty sure the timing couldn’t be any better. New job, house shit, Raelynn shit. Just looking forward to talking with someone who is open minded. She usually puts me back in line when my reasoning is outlandish.

–The Kentucky Momma

Labor Day Weekend

Hey y’all!

I hope everyone had a nice, long three day weekend. I, for one, did absolutely nothing and it was fantastic. However, I feel like I ran a marathon and drank 34 bottles of liquor, when in fact, I did not. I literally sat at my house all weekend long, playing with Raelynn and watched TV. Like what the hell? Why do I feel like such shit? Such a love/hate relationship with long weekends. I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I actually stayed in bed a little longer than necessary and was running late this morning. Go figure. Luckily, at my new job, they don’t really care what time you get here so even though I was running late, no one really knew I was running late. If that even makes any sense.

I have a couple of things on topic for today, Aunt Flo has officially made her return after almost 2 years in hiding and then this stupid house buying/selling shit.

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So, Aunt Flo officially came back last month. While I was weaning, I started to notice some cramps, and I thought, oh hell, it’s about to happen. I’m about to get my period for the first time in 2 years. It may sound dumb, but I was almost happy for the return of my period because I just wanted something “normal” to happen with my body. After being pregnant, giving birth, and breastfeeding for a year, I wasn’t really sure what normal was, but a period just felt like my body was returning to it’s old self. I was really scared to have my period back because I always had really, extreme, bad periods. It didn’t hurt, I was just really tired and exhausted. In my mind, it could have been a lot worse. For that, I was thankful. Speed up to yesterday, I could just feel my period coming on again for the month. My period has always been regular to a freaking “T”. I’ve always had a 28 day cycle. Very very rarely have I ever strayed from that. I like having a predictable cycle. Yesterday was the 28th day and I just knew it was coming. I was so tired and exhausted all day.

With the return of my period, I am also questioning a planned pregnancy in the near future. Scott and I have always wanted to have our babies close together. Is the timing ever right? I mean, I do have a new job with great benefits, but then there is still this whole house thing.

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Currently, we are awaiting our house to be sold. This is the main factor in getting into the house we currently have an offer on. Scott and I have somewhat talked about what we would do if our house doesn’t sell. Our current contract would be void. Could we put in another offer on the same house, sure, but would they want to deal with us again? Probably not. I don’t think I would want to deal with us again. it’s not our fault the house isn’t’ selling, but the sellers of the other house also have a house they want to get out of and into another one. So, I wouldn’t blame them on not waiting around on us. Maybe it’s just not meant to be. Again, I’m okay with that too. If it doesn’t happen, then there is a reason that we are just not aware of yet. We have two open houses this weekend and I think if it doesn’t sell then, we are more than likely going to take our house off the market for the time being. Holiday’s are unfortunately right around the corner so we definitely would not want to move then. I finally had to ask Scott if he would be okay with having another baby in our current house and he said yes. It is not ideal at all. We are completely out of space, but in the same token, when is the timing ever right? If we waited on getting into a house, it could be a lot longer than we think.

I’d like to think that God is looking out for us and guiding us in the right direction. While, we may think the situation currently sucks, He won’t put us through something we cannot handle or overcome.

–The Kentucky Momma

BUY MY HOUSE!!!

No, seriously though, buy my house!

I swear, sometimes I think I am just glutton for punishment.

Amongst all other stressful things in my life…we are still house hunting. Well, somewhat.

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We found a house we really liked. Nice house, room to grow, nice piece of property, great price, so we finally put an offer in. Only to have it pretty much flat out rejected. This was the house that I’ve talked about in prior posts. I was blown away. Our realtor ended up calling their realtor and we found out that one of the owners of the house very recently and unexpectedly lost his job. The house was taken off the market the very next day. Obviously, given my job situation, I completely understood what they were going through. Yes, it sucked because I had finally talked myself into putting an offer in on this house, but I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason. We weren’t meant to have that house at this time and I’m okay with that.

We found another house we really liked and it was in our ideal location. It was still in our price range, but a little more than we wanted to pay. The house is gorgeous, there is room to grow, nice piece of land, and my favorite part is that it’s not in a neighborhood. yes, we would have neighbors, but they are spaced out, which I really like. So, we put an offer in on this house. After two counters, they sellers finally accepted on August 22. Yes, I was happy, but there was still too much shit to go through until I could get excited about this. Two major things that are keeping me from being excited, it had to pass the home inspection and we have to freaking sell our house still. We had the home inspection 5 days later and the only major thing wrong was it had small termite activity. We asked them to treat for that and they accepted. Beyond that, we now have to sell our house. Apparently the market is starting to slow down since school is back in session which really sucks for us. We were getting a couple of showings a week and this is the first week we haven’t had one person inquire about the house. When we have open houses around every two weeks, there are people that come and act interested, but it never pans out. I have a really bad feeling that we are going to lose this house now because we can’t sell ours. I know that everything happens for a reason, but this house feels so right for us. Definitely a better fit than the first one we put an offer in on. We put in a contingency offer that stated from the date of the accepted offer, we had 30-45 days to sell our house. We are now 11 days into that.

I just really hope this whole situation pans out for us. If not, I will look back one day and realize that it just wasn’t meant to be.

As always, pray for my family y’all.

–The Kentucky Momma

Timeline of Breastfeeding

My ultimate goal when I started breastfeeding was to go to a year. In the early days I never thought I would make it to a week, or a month, or 3 months. BUT, I accomplished my overall goal and breastfed my daughter until she was a year old. It was certainly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, if not THE hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s such an emotional roller coaster.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that every baby is different and every breastfeeding journey is different. Breastfeeding is not for everyone and that’s okay. I was a formula fed baby and I would like to think I turned out okay. When looking for advice, suggestions, or just venting, I always turned to mommy forums or mommy blogs. In my opinion, they were the most resourceful and helpful. I wanted to share my story kind of by month and ending with my weaning process.

So….here goes nothing…

As soon as Raelynn was born, I wanted to breastfeed her. Even though i had read pages and books of literature about breastfeeding, I was so scared. I wasn’t really that sure how I was supposed to do it, I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to feel. I had an awful labor and delivery nurse that was not helpful at all. I tried to ask questions, but she was just bothered by me. So, 4 hours later, I finally got her to latch on with the help of a new nurse. It hurt like a bitch. I ended up seeking help from the lactation consultant and she was awesome. She helped me so much and described things to me in a way that made sense. I told her over and over that I was just going to take her home because she made me feel so confident. I dreaded leaving the hospital for the sole reason of trying to breastfeed her without the help and guidance of my lactation consultant.

We got home and it was still a struggle. Sometimes she wouldn’t latch and then she would scream forever because she was hungry. Then I would get frustrated, in turn making her more frustrated. It was a really awful cycle. And for whoever says breastfeeding doesn’t hurt is a fucking liar. Raelynn had a good latch; a lacation consultant confirmed that for me. BUT it still hurt like a bitch. I had toe curling pain for about 8-10 weeks. On top of that, I had very cracked and very bloody nipples for the same length of time. ON TOP OF THAT WAS THE FUCKING HORRIFIC CLUSTER FEEDING. UGHHHHH. I know I referenced this in my last post but I just cannot even begin to explain the toll this took on me. ON TOP OF THAT, was me trying to pump after nursing her in the morning to help build somewhat of a freeze stash so I could go back to work. Let’s not forget the key factor here, she had colic. So anytime she was not attached to my tit, she cried. I could barely find time to pump for 10 extra minutes once a day to try and build my supply up.

Looking back, it’s all a little fuzzy with the lack of sleep, but I do remember things getting significantly better at the 4 month mark. The colic started to subside, feedings were no longer an hour and a half, I wasn’t in any pain anymore. Dare, I say, it actually started to get easy?!

Tricked ya!!!! I also went back to work at 4 months post partum. So, whenever things actually started to take a turn for the better, they actually started going back down hill. The worst part? FUCKING PUMPING. OH. EM. GEE. FUCK PUMPING! Pumping in general is a complete mind fuck. For some reason, I never worried if Raelynn was getting enough milk when I solely breastfed because she always had plenty of wet and dirty diapers. I always felt really confident with my supply and she was gaining well also. When I started pumping, family members and Raelynn’s daycare always questioned the amount of expressed milk I was giving her. They didn’t understand the fact that breastmilk changes and adapts to your baby and they don’t need 800 ounces per bottle. I hated it. Then if I even stressed out about ANYTHING, my milk supply plummeted. If I didn’t drink enough water, my milk supply plummeted. It was really awful. My heart goes out to people who dedicate themselves to exclusively pumping. You da real MVP.

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Besides all of this, I suffered really bad with post partum depression and anxiety. It peaked around 6 months. I was a complete nut job. I still might be, but not as bad. I just had a very hard time going back to work and not being able to nurse my baby. The maternity leave in the United States is bullshit. That’s a whole other post for a whole other day.

I digress…Even through the depression and anxiety, breastfeeding continued to get easier. Eevn though my ultimate goal was a year, I would mentally celebrate each month I hit and then proceed to count down how many months I had left. For Raelynn and I, breastfeeding really remained the same from month 4 until about month 10. I pumped while at work and I nursed at night and on the weekends. We had a pretty strict schedule that I stuck too as well. I know scheduling isn’t for everyone, and that’s all fine and good, but it was certainly for me and Raelynn.

In my opinion, it’s pointless to put baby on a schedule for the first 3 months of life. They pretty much feed on demand. Around 3 months old, we started to develop a schedule:

8am – eat

11am – eat

2pm – eat

5pm eat

7pm – eat

This worked for us. I didn’t set the schedule, I let her lead and then I just followed it. She started sleeping through the night completely at about 5 months old. From 4 – 5 months old she would occasionally wake up once a night to feed, but the night feedings were pretty much cut out for us around 5 months old.

It wasn’t until she was about 11 months old that she changed the schedule herself again. She started to extend the feedings to 4 hours in between each feeding instead of 3 hours in between each feeding. So, I followed her lead, and we developed a new schedule:

7am – eat

11am – eat

3pm – eat

7pm – eat

Since she dropped a feeding, I figured it was time for me to take inventory of my frozen stash and figure out if I could start weaning. When she was 11 months old, I had roughly 600 ounces frozen and we had very, very slowly started to introduce whole milk. I decided I could start weaning.

For me, the first feeding I dropped was the 7pm nursing session. We started to give her a bottle instead. I never felt uncomfortable or engorged so about a week later, I dropped the 3pm pump. Same thing, I never felt uncomfortable or engorged; a little “full”, yes; but never uncomfortable. About a week later, I dropped my 11am pump. Still felt full, but neither uncomfortable or engorged. So I was down to one pump. I thought this day would never come. On August 19th, I pumped for the very last time. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I felt a clog coming on. I hand expressed in the shower. A couple of days after that, another clog. I hand expressed in the shower again. It’s now been almost 2 weeks since my last pump and I can fit back into my pre-breastfeeding bras and I think I am finally and successfully starting to dry all the way up!!!!!

I’m not sure at this point how much breastmilk I have in the freezer, but Raelynn will continue to get breastmilk until my freezer stash is depleted. We are now at about half whole milk and half breastmilk. I am surprising thankful that Raelynn will still be getting breastmilk past a year. I wish I had had it in me to continue past a year, but for my own sanity, I was so ready to be done. It is so incredibly nice to not live life in 3 hour increments. Overall, it took me a little over a month to successfully wean off nursing and the pump. Weaning in itself is a huge process and if not done correctly you can end up with major clogged ducts or even mastitis, something I was so thankful to have never gotten.

I have attached some literature that hopefully someone finds useful. For me it was really spot on when it came to the general timeline of breastfeeding: Timeline of a Breastfed Baby

–The Kentucky Momma

Milestones for Baby and Me!

In the midst of my unemployment journey something else happened. Something very big. A couple of big things, actually.

My sweet baby Raelynn turned 1 year old, I made it to 1 year of breastfeeding, and I was also able to successfully wean her off the breast.

But first….how did this happen??? The first picture was taken about an hour after birth. This is probably one of my favorite pictures of her. Even looking back at this picture now brings tears to my eyes. I have a perfectly healthy little girl and I am forever grateful for that. I am so beyond blessed. When I took the second picture a couple of days ago, I realized I have a diva. A very spoiled little diva.

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I am also so grateful that I was able to provide breastmilk for her for a year, and now beyond. It was not easy. At all. I wanted to quit so many times. Too many times to count. It was the epitome of a love/hate relationship. If I had to do it all over again, I would a million times over. We struggled in the beginning, as I’m sure most mom’s and babies do. It’s just something that neither of us had ever done before and it took a long time to get it down pat.

Things I wish someone had told me about: CLUSTER FEEDING. That shit sucked. I thought I was so prepared for breastfeeding, but there is no book that can mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare you for breastfeeding, the problems that can occur, and OMG the CLUSTER FEEDING. She was like clock work; every Friday for the first 8 weeks of life, she cluster fed from 5pm – 10pm. Nonstop. Switching back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. Then questioning your supply after cluster feeding events. “Why is she doing this?” “Surely she isn’t getting enough…” “Is all of this even worth is?”

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Bottom line, 1000% worth it. I didn’t really start to enjoy breastfeeding until she was about 6 months old. By then, it was quick and easy, and best of all, FREE. I am a mom that was determined to do this for the health benefits and because it was free. I have several friends that breastfed only for a couple of months and then they switched to formula and now regret that decision because formula is so costly. Their babies thrived on formula and hit all milestones, but it was just the price of formula that made them regret quitting.

Something else I wish someone had told me about breastfeeding, PUMPING FUCKING SUCKS. In all caps with a million exclamation points!!! Once we got the hang of breastfeeding, which took a lot of time and practice, it was seriously so easy. You just pop a boob out, baby latches on, food at babies disposal. How nice is that? No warming up a bottle, etc.Returning to work was awful because that means you are away from the baby which means you have to pump to keep up your supply which means pumping around every 3 hours that you are away from baby. I dreaded my pump. I felt like I was constantly attached to it. Then I would stress too much about not pumping enough causing my supply to take a temporary dip and I would stress some more. I would drink 200+ ounces of water to try and make up for my dip in supply….blah blah blah blah….It’s just a never ending worrisome cycle.

When Raelynn was about 11 months old, I counted my frozen stash and realized that I could slowly start weaning some pumps away. When she was just shy of a year, I was able to pump for the last time. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! I feel like I have my life and my body back for the first time since I was pregnant with her. My life also no longer revolves in 3 hour increments, which is also amazing! I still have about a couple of weeks worth of frozen stash so she is still able to get the benefits of breastmilk which I’m super excited about. In my next post, I will elaborate further on the weaning process and how I was able to do it.

Until next time…

–The Kentucky Momma