Month 6 and 7

Well, month 6 just crept on by like no big deal and we already in month 7 with Briar.

So so so so so much has changed from Month 5 to Month 7.

Developmentally, all in about one week, Briar was able to situp, CRAWL, AND sit herself up from a crawling position. It’s so incredibly crazy how quick it all happened. She actually crawled first, then situp, and then put the two together. She has been very recently starting to pull herself up on things that she can reach. We had to lower her bed. And I am not exaggerating when I say that it all happened in a week. None of this happened with Raelynn until she was around 9 months old. Briar is essentially mobile. She can crawl all over the house. I love it. She can also entertain herself for a couple of minutes. It may not seem like a lot, but we have an area in the house dedicated to her and her toys in the living room. We can sit her there for a little bit and she will just play. Raelynn never did that and STILL does not do that. A couple of minutes may not seem like a lot, but it could be the difference in getting a couple sips of hot coffee in the morning!

Overall breastfeeding and pumping are going much better. It’s just a lot of freaking work this time and I am truly ready for it to end. I’m ready for it to end all for selfish reasons. I just want my body back. I want to feel like I do more than just pump all day long. I want to be able to sleep in. I currently live by the clock. Every three hours, I have to make sure I am either with Briar or with the pump. I hate it. Obviously, I would much rather be with Briar because it makes things 100% easier. But, as all of us working moms are aware, that is just not possible.

If you recall from my last post, this was my pumping schedule:

5:00 a.m.- wake and pump

8:00 a.m. – pump

10:30 a.m. – pump

1:30 p.m. – pump

4:00 p.m. – pump

7:00 p.m. – nurse

8:30 p.m. – pump

I am still following this for the most part, except for the past two weeks I have accidentally/on purpose got rid of my 8:30pm pump. It started a week prior to Raelynn’s party. It was crazy at work (to be discussed later or in a later post), I was trying to finish last minute things for Raelynn’s party. I just couldn’t do it. And I couldn’t stay up later because that would mean less sleep. So, I didn’t do it. And then I didn’t do it for another week. And now I’m almost 3 weeks in without having the 8:30 p.m. pump. Why is this significant? Because on my July 28th post, I wrote this:

6 pumps to make 24 ounces. It took a lot of freaking work. I am scared to even say this because I’m sure the pumping gods are looking down on me just waiting to give me another set-back, but I am actually a little ahead. I haven’t counted, because I’m scared. I’m scared to get excited, and I’m scared to set an expectation for myself, but as of right now, I may or may not have 3 full bottles of milk in the fridge that are 100% extra. So, for the moment…I am going to just let it stay cold in the fridge and I’m not going to count it. I’m scared to freeze it because then it’s like, “Oh hey, you have extra milk, GREAT. Now, cue the 24 ounces of spilled milk again since you have extra”. I’m just WAITING for that moment.

Since then…are you ready for this…I have been able to FREEZE 120 OUNCES OF MILK. LIKE I AM NOT KIDDING, Y’ALL. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY BEAUTIFUL DAIRY FREE OUNCES OF MILK. I can’t even believe it. I really, really can’t believe it. When I finally counted it over the week, I about fell over on the floor. As of right now, that’s 4 full days of extra milk for Briar. And just in case you have been keeping up with my blog…I will be going to Vegas in November and I will technically be away for 7 days….so I only need 3 more full days of milk. I have been stressing so so so bad about this. To be “over the hump” with milk production for when I’m away is a huge relief. I’m still holding my breathe a little bit. But I do feel a sense of relief.

In other Briar news, sleep is much, much improved. She is consistently sleeping through the night now. We put her down at 7:00 p.m. and she wakes up normally around 6:30 a.m. I will take it. She still sometimes wakes in the middle of the night, but those days are few and far between. Thank goodness!!

She is (we are), however, relying a lot on the pacifier. She FINALLY knows how to keep the damn thing in her mouth and she can now replace it in her mouth if it falls out. Since she has figured out how to do this, she has become a lot more dependent upon it. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. It’s helping her sleep through the night so I can’t complain about that, but it’s also the only thing that will get her to go to sleep for the night and for naps. I’m pretty conflicted on what to do. I truly am ready to get rid of it because the longer she has it, the harder it will be to take it away, but…why ruin a good thing? We really have a good thing going now so why in the world do I want to mess it up?

Naps are really good now. She has been napping in her crib for a little over a month. We are somewhat in a transition between 2 and 3 naps. Sometimes she take two 2 hour naps and she doesn’t need a third nap, but if she cuts one of those naps short, we incorporate a third nap.

Since she has been taking better naps and sleeping through the night, we have decided against sleep training for now.

My sweet Briar is growing so fast.

 

Until Next Time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

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Raelynn’s Birth Story

My little, Raelynn. She turns 3 years old today.

T H R E E.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

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My sweet little girl. I was so excited to share Briar’s birth story and as I went back and looked at old posts, I realize, you never got to hear Raelynn’s story. So, here it goes…

When you water breaks, I think everyone has a misconception. You relate it to the movies when fluid is pouring out of your uterus. That just wasn’t the case whenever Raelynn decided she wanted to make her appearance.

I was 38 weeks and 3 days. 11 days before my due date. I had zero signs of labor. I was just uncomfortable. You know, because I was the size of a whale. At this point, I wasn’t sleeping well. Tossing and turning to try and find that right position. This was every single night pretty much. I felt like I never really fell into a deep sleep.

However, on August 23, 2014, around 3:00a.m. something else happened. I was half asleep/half awake, tossing and turning, and I heard and felt a pop. It was like a pop in my butt. I thought it was weird, but no pain. Then I had a flashback of a conversation that my mom had told me several times, “Whenever my water broke with Keisha, it felt like a water balloon popping.”

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME AND IT WAS THE PERFECT DESCRIPTION. IT LITERALLY FELT LIKE A WATER BALLOON POPPED IN MY ASS. WELL, IN THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF MY ASS.

I calmly got up and went to the bathroom. No fluid was pouring out of my uterus. But, I knew something wasn’t right. With no real proof that I was in labor, I laid back down in the bed. Then, I felt a trickle of fluid. I kept telling myself it was just discharge. But I kept feeling it. So, I got up again, being so careful not to wake Scott up, and checked myself. I mean, there was a presence of fluid. But, was this really my water? I wasn’t in any pain, I wasn’t having any contractions. I felt like I really didn’t know if I was in labor or not. It was so confusing.

I was about 80% sure that the pop I heard and felt was my water, so I decided to wake Scott up and tell him. He popped up in bed and said, “Are you sure you didn’t piss yourself?” He would say some dumb shit like that. I tried to call my doctor, but we had a pretty bad storm overnight and their phone lines happened to be down, so I called the hospital. They told me that I should probably come in. So, that’s what we did, but at a very slow pace. I had read several articles that said to take a shower and eat food if you can before you do into the hospital because you never know how long labor can be and you never know how long it will be until you can do both of those things again. So, I took a nice long, hot shower, blow dried my hair, finished packing the hospital bags. I told Scott I wanted to stop by McDonalds on the way there. I wanted something to fill me up because I had no idea when I was going to be able to eat again. All of this took about 2 hours. I did start having contractions. But, zero pain. And they were like 10-15 minutes apart. Nothing consistant at all.

By the time we got to the hospital, it was about 5:00 a.m. They immediately took me to a triage room and checked to see if my water really had broke. And it did. I was 3 cm. I got a little nervous at that point because they want you to have your baby within 24 hours of your water breaking, so I knew that Raelynn was going to be here within 24 hours or less. I just wanted everything to go as planned.

What was my plan? Get that fucking epidural and be in lala land until I had her. And I wanted to have her vaginally. That was the only thing I had planned for.

Other plans were in store for me though.

I got into my actual room around 7:00 a.m. Still no real pain. Contractions had picked up a little bit, but nothing crazy. Since my water had broke at 3:00 a.m. and my contractions weren’t really picking up, they told me they were going to start me on pitocin. They did this around 8:00 a.m.I knew what pitocin was, but I did not know that it was the devil. It literally brought the devil out in me. I felt like an exorcism needed to take place when that shit kicked in. So, the pitocin started around 8:00 a.m. They told me when I started to show some progress (dilating more), they would give me the epidural. I was just obvlious to all the shit that was about to take place.

The pitocin started out pretty slow. I could feel my contractions getting stronger and closer together, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

Things start to get a little fuzzy around the 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. mark. I remember it all just kicked in at once. I was in an unbearable amount of pain. The contractions were taking over my body. No position felt good. I was on the bed, laying on back. I tried to turn to my side and nothing was making it better. I was crying. I started paging the nurse to get someone in here to give me the epidural. The nurse came in and she was an absolute bitch. She had been a bitch the whole time. She told me she needed to check me and see how dilated I was. I get that some people can be dramatic with pain, but fuck. I felt like I was dying. Surely you can see that I need this epidural. So, she attempted to check me and see if I had made any progress. I swear to god she stuck her entire fist up there. It hurt so bad, she ran me up the bed and I hit my head on the wall trying to get away from her. From there, my experience went completely downhill.

She told me that since I was not cooperating, she could not tell if I had progressed any, therefore, she could not get me orders for an epidural. If I’ve ever came close to punching someone in the face, it was in that moment. My pain was very obvious. And you are telling me the one thing that can take it all away, I can’t have. And she walked out of the room. I lost it. I cried uncontrollably. I was in so much pain. I have no idea how much time actually passed, I just know there is about 1 1/2 hours unaccounted for.

Around 10:30 a.m., the doctor who would deliver Raelynn came into the room. She wanted to know what the current situation was. DO YOU NOT SEE ME?!? I told her all of the preceding events. I pleaded for the epidural. PLEADEDDDDDD. She said she was going to check me. She looked at me in surprise and said I was 8 cm dilated. She then broke the news to me that it was too late for me to get an epidural and I was going to have Raelynn naturally.

Uhhh…..EXCUSE ME, WHAT?

No, bitch. That was not the plan.

I looked at Scott in utter disbelief that I was about to push a child out of my vagina with no medication. Zero. I literally had no words. I just couldn’t believe this was about to happen.

I honestly don’t remember if she left the room or got dressed in the room, but she checked me again at 10:45a.m. and said that I was at 10 cm, so it was time to start pushing. I didn’t actually start pushing until closer to 11:00.am.

I was 0% prepared for an unmedicated, natural birth. I had no idea what to do.

I put my legs in the stirups and she told me that whenever I had a contraction, to start pushing. I pushed for 21 minutes. And there she was. When she came out, my contractions stopped. And I was on an adrenaline high. It was a very euphoric feeling to have a baby naturally. I remember all I cared about was that she was out and my contractions were gone.

Raelynn Monroe Tower. 7.8lbs. 21 inches. 8/23/14. 11:21a.m.

And now here we are, 3 entire years later. The joy she has given Scott and I is unbelievable. She is so smart. She is such a good big sister. She makes me smile every time I am around her. It is such a blessing to be her mommy.

Now I’m going to go cry for the rest of the day.

 

–The Kentucky Momma

 

CrossFit + My Dairy Free Life

I realized the other day that I had not been giving as many updates on CrossFit and my diet in a while, so, here we go…

If you recall, around month 5, I was starting to get some glimpses of sleep. When I actually started to get some consistent nights of sleep, my engine came back and I was ready to go. At 7 months post partum, I am 100% the strongest I’ve been in my life. I’m on a PR train. I keep hitting them over and over. My endurance is back, and better than it ever was. I am just really focused on my health and well-being right now. Not only that, it’s such a good outlet and “me” time. In a 24 hours day, I look forward to that 1 hour of focusing on nothing else, except making myself a stronger person.

I am still about 95% dairy free. I have very recently started to trial some dairy back into my diet. There is a dairy ladder that I am following to properly reintroduce dairy. I started with some goldfish and everything seemed to be okay. I unintentionally ate some BBQ sauce with some butter in it (very minimal), and she has still been okay.

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Overall, the dairy free life has been very eye opening. I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. And honestly, the only reason I am trying to reintroduce dairy back into my diet is because of our Vegas trip in November. I just don’t want to have to spend my time looking up the allergen menu for every single restaurant that we go to. I just want to be able to go there and enjoy my time and enjoy eating shitty food and not feel guilty about it. I actually have done a little research about Vegas restaurants and there are several vegan restaurants. So, if worst comes to worst, I will be visiting those restaurants quite often.

After Vegas….let’s be real…after the holiday’s…, as long as I can successfully reintroduce dairy, I think I am going to take it back out of my diet. I just realized that I don’t miss it, and I don’t need it. I’m not saying I won’t occasionally have it when I want it, but I’m not going to make it an essential in my diet.

Whenever I started having supply issues, around 2 months ago, I stopped counting calories. Right now, feeding Briar is more important that fitting into a size smaller jeans. I eat basically the same things that I was eating before, but maybe just adding in a snack or two. Or, I may or may not be indulging in some of my lactation cookies. I still meal prep for lunch and dinner. I’m still making very healthy choices.

My weight has stayed the same for the most part since I stopped counting calories. I’m not sure if I ever put my stats out there, and I’m too lazy to go back and check, so, around 3 months PP, I was 189lbs and 30.6% body fat. Whenever I started being very religious about counting my calories, I lost weight pretty quick and lingered around 184lbs and 29.1% body fat. The lowest I have been is 182.0lbs and 29.0% body fat. I’m not terribly happy about this, but, I just can’t care about that right now. I really do get compliments all the time that I look leaner and skinnier, but I just don’t feel it. All of my clothes still fit the same. I do feel a lot more muscular in my arms and legs, but my midsection is remaining the same.

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More like 37 pound weight gain…

I am super envious of all my friends that were able to eat whatever they wanted and breastfeed, and they just watched the weight fall off. This was not the case with Raelynn, and it appears Briar is going to follow suit. My prepregnancy weight was like 173lbs….so around 10-12 lbs left to go. I can assure you that will not happen anytime soon.

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

Pumping…Success??? WHAT??

I may or may not be having some pumping success now…a whole 2 weeks later…

I FINALLY took the plunge and started waking up at 5 a.m. during the week to add in an extra pump. Now, this is what my day looks like:

5:00 a.m.- wake and pump

8:00 a.m. – pump

10:30 a.m. – pump

1:30 p.m. – pump

4:00 p.m. – pump

7:00 p.m. – nurse

8:30 p.m. – pump

6 pumps to make 24 ounces. It took a lot of freaking work. I am scared to even say this because I’m sure the pumping gods are looking down on me just waiting to give me another set-back, but I am actually a little ahead. I haven’t counted, because I’m scared. I’m scared to get excited, and I’m scared to set an expectation for myself, but as of right now, I may or may not have 3 full bottles of milk in the fridge that are 100% extra. So, for the moment…I am going to just let it stay cold in the fridge and I’m not going to count it. I’m scared to freeze it because then it’s like, “Oh hey, you have extra milk, GREAT. Now, cue the 24 ounces of spilled milk again since you have extra”. I’m just WAITING for that moment.

On the weekends, I do not wake up early. I sleep in a little and wait for Briar to get up between 6:30a.m. and 7:00a.m.. After she eats, then I pump. I yield anywhere from 4-6 ounces. That milk is pure extra milk. I nurse on demand on Saturday and Sunday; ranges anywhere from 2-4 hours between feedings. And then I pump again at 8:30 p.m. Again, the pump at 8:30 p.m. is solely extra milk. So, I have been doing this schedule for about 2 weeks, hence where I think the extra milk is S L O W L Y starting to make it’s way into my refrigerator and hopefully freezer…soon 🙂

So, what do I think the biggest factor was that helped? POWER PUMPING. 10000%. For an entire week straight, I power pumped at almost all of my pumping sessions. It fucking sucked. It was not fun. I felt like I could not focus on anything else except pumping. BUT, I’m lucky enough to work in a small company that allows me to basically do whatever I need. I have my own office, so I’m able to shut the door, pump, and still continue to work. I know I am a small percentage of women that is actually able to do this, which is why I’m forever grateful.

THIS…… —-> Power Pumping Guide THIS is the best thing ever. I had only ever read about one way to power pump, but this guide is BEYOND helpful. It explains all of the different ways that you can power pump. It’s pretty amazing actually. For the most part I used the pump 20, rest 10, pump 10, rest 10, pump 10; but I also used pump 10, rest 10, pump 10; when I didn’t have an entire hour to dedicate. And it truly did work. After about a week of doing this, I went back to pumping between 20-30 minutes (it takes me a long time to completely empty), and my supply was up. I couldn’t believe it.

Along with the power pumping, I have still been taking the “Let There Be Milk” supplement and I truly think that helps to maintain my milk supply. I also found a pretty good smoothie recipe that isn’t terrible for you. AND, the main plus (from a healthy standpoint) you get WAY less sugar than you do if you make and consume the cookies. Also you get as much brewers yeast in the smoothie as you would by eating a dozen or so cookies :/. I mean, I know, I like eating cookies too, but my sometimes my waistline does not appreciate it. In the recipe below, I up the brewer’s yeast to 2 TBSP, and the oats to a 1/2 cup.

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I also still eat oatmeal EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I can’t wait to not eat oatmeal anymore. I’ve also read some things about a drink called Body Armor. I have drank it a few times, but not consistently enough to see a change. I might have to test this one out.

I am still contemplating what to do for milk for our trip to Vegas. At this point, I am really unsure of how much milk I am going to have. As I’ve said a million times, I have about 100 ounces frozen, but with dairy. And it appears that I might slowly be able to start building somewhat of a dairy free freezer stash. I plan on reintroducing dairy into my diet soon to see how she takes it. If I was not going to Vegas, then I wouldn’t even care to reintroduce it to me, but at this point, I just want to be able to go to Vegas and have fun and not have to look up an allergen menu at every single restaurant that we go to. It could be a real game changer if she has outgrown her sensitivity. But, I’m not getting my hopes up. I have already decided that I’m not going to put her on formula for the one week that we are gone. In my opinion, that’s pointless and it would probably upset her stomach more than anything. The last option is getting milk from a milk bank. Then the issue becomes, you told me you were dairy free, but are you REALLY dairy free? It just makes me nervous. I’m also hoping she starts to take less as she gets older and starts to intake more solids. She will be 10 1/2 months when we leave. I basically have 3 months to build some type of stash. I know it’s doable. And I really want to be able to do it. Fingers Crossed!

I hate to even say this, but I will really be glad when I am done breastfeeding. It’s just a completely different experience this time around. Being dairy free, having to rent my pump and pay monthly, paying for supplements, pumping around the clock, always worrying if I have enough milk. It’s just really, really exhausting. Briar turned 6 months on July 22 and I told Scott to remind me every day that it’s all downhill from here. I just need that reminder that I’m on a downward slope so I will keep on pushing. It’s hard work, and it is 100% worth it, but I’m just ready to be done.

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

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