just half

note: I wrote this Saturday morning, but set it to publish for Monday morning.

I’m sweating.

I know that is not even remotely exciting for most of you, but the sweat is not because it’s 90* degrees out on May 2nd, no, it’s because I went downstairs and ran on the treadmill !!!!!

I was feeling a little down this morning.

I used to wake up at 430am on purpose on Saturdays so that I could go to Starkey with my running friends and run.. Now, I am woken up at 5am by the sounds of a crying baby. She’s hungry, I’m tired and I really wish she would go back to sleep. It’s not going to happen, especially since she has figured out how to roll over. Rolling over is fun, being stuck on her tummy, is not.

I drag myself to her room, feed her, and then will her to go back to sleep. nope. we are up for the day…at 5am, on a Saturday, no run in site.. just me and a baby that will not go back to sleep.

I told Chris later on that I wish I could have just half of my old life back. I adore Paisley, and I wouldn’t trade her, and I wouldn’t change anything – but it is hard. I still follow my old running group on Facebook, and sometimes it’s tough to see everyone out on their Saturday long runs.

the days of putting on my shoes and going out the door for a run are over. Now I need to consider Paisley and her needs; when does she need to eat? when does she need to go down for a nap?

Even going downstairs to the treadmill takes planning..

After I laid Paisley down for her morning nap, I changed into running clothes and headed downstairs to run on the treadmill. I got 3 minutes into my warm up when I saw the lights on the monitor lighting up red… that means someone is awake and making noise. I ran upstairs, rocked her, and put her in the swing. I really prefer that she nap in her crib, but desperate times… I turned up the white noise, and she fell back asleep almost instantly.

I ran back downstairs and crossed my fingers that she would stay asleep so that I could get 30 minutes done on the treadmill. My pace was not fast, and I have no idea how far I made it, but I ran for 26 minutes! That’s a record since Paisley has been born. I’ll probably be sore but it will be worth it.

It felt so great to be able to run for 30 minutes, holy crap endorphins! Now I just need to remember what that feels like so I can make time every day to run. I think morning nap time might become Mommy & treadmill time.. Fingers crossed that Paisley cooperates with this plan.

I’m craving some normalcy; I know this is my new normal, but I would like my new normal to feel a little bit like my old normal.

Mama & Baby must have (0-3mths)

Hello friends, this post probably won’t appeal to very many of my 5 readers, but, bookmark it and come back to it when you find yourself knocked up.

It’s true that babies require a lot of crap. Okay, actually, the truth is, mommy requires a lot of crap to make baby {and mommy} more comfortable. Baby probably only really needs boobs, diapers & a warm place to sleep. All the other stuff is to make Mommy’s life just a little bit easier.

Since we are still deep in the trenches of babyhood, I thought I would share a few things with you that have made my life slightly easier…

 

There are varying recommendations on whether a baby should sleep flat on their back, or on an incline. Our pediatrician didn’t give an opinion one way or the other, so we use the fisher-price rock n’ play for Paisley’s “bed.” The rock n’ play is small, and compact. It can be folded up and stuffed in the trunk for a trip away from home. Paisley sleeps really well in it, I’m actually kind of afraid that when we move her out, she won’t sleep as well. This model retails {at target} for $59.99.

 

If I ever get brave enough, we will transition baby girl out of the RnP and into the pack n play.. Pack n Plays, man.. There are about 1 million choices on the market for these things. We chose the Graco Cuddlecove in the Winslet pattern. imageHere’s what I know so far about the pack n’ play. That changing table, good idea in theory, not so easy on the back. You’re basically hunched over the pack n play, trying to change a squirmy little baby. That lasted for about 2 weeks before we moved her changing station to the stop of our dresser. MUCH easier on the ol’ back! The other insert is a “rocker” which doesn’t really rock. I did use that quite a few times when Paisley was much smaller and I needed somewhere to put her while I was downstairs in my office working. It vibrates…hard. At first I thought there was no way Paisley would tolerate that hard vibrate, but she actually liked it and slept pretty well in it a few times. (I’m pretty sure they say don’t let them sleep in it, but I was RIGHT THERE the entire time she was sleeping.. use your own discretion people.. Have some common sense)

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The boppy lounger is a DEFINITE MUST HAVE on my new mama baby list! I had never even heard of this prior to getting pregnant… and it was pretty far into my pregnancy before I had ever seen one. My sister had one for her newest little guy and I knew RIGHT AWAY that I HAD to have one! This guy was hard to track down! They sell them on amazon, but I couldn’t find a “girly” one on amazon, so I trekked all over the place looking for a pink one. Listen, most of our furniture is gender neutral, I wanted at least one thing that was PINK!

The last furniture type item that we really use, is the swing. Paisley has spentimage many naps, and a few nights sleeping in this swing. When she hit her 2nd leap in The Wonder Weeks, she refused to sleep anywhere but her swing. Night time sleeps in the swing gave me a little anxiety, but mama’s gotta do, what mama’s gotta do (to get some sleep).

I think the swing we have is an older version of the little lamb swing that is currently available through fisher price. The swing currently retails for $139.99 at Target. We got ours from my sister, who got it off of a facebook resale site.

Honestly, if you are a mama, and don’t mind used things, you should find a local resale site. We have found a lot of great deals on baby items.

I’ll share with you a few other things that we use on a day-to-day basis that make life with a baby just a little bit easier:

imageMoby Wrap. Seriously, this thing is amazing. I understand some babies don’t like them, but Paisley loves this thing. She can’t stay away when we wrap her up in this. It’s like a guaranteed naptime. AH-mazing!

Best $25 I’ve ever spent! I bought this off the resale site; they retail for $44.95 on Amazon.com

 

Everywhere I look I see people raving over the Aden & Anais swaddle blankets; they are soft, but I just can’t spend $30 on two swaddle blankets. Thankfully we found an alternative (at Ross, no less) that is just as soft and work just as well as I’m sure the A&A blankets work. We use the TOO GOOD blankets, by Jenny Mcarthy.  — I don’t have any pictures of the blankets, but I added them to my amazon store so you can check them out there, or search Too Good blankets on Amazon. We got a few packs of them for $8-10 at Ross. I think they came either 2 or 3 in the pack. They are really light weight which is great for these hot summer days we’ve been getting since Paisley was born. They’ve been washed quite a few times and are holding up very well.

 

Another great, new to me, product is the OXO Tot perfect pull diaper dispenser. No one wants to fight with the wipes container at 3 o’clock in the morning. We use huggies wipes, and while the containers the wipes come in are fine, it’s annoying to fight with the container to get the wipe out. The OXO wipe dispenser has a weighted shelf that holds the wipes down & allows you to pull one wipe out at a time. I know it seems so trivial, but believe me, it’s worth the $20.

Last on my list of MUST HAVES is the myBaby sound spa lullaby sound machine & projector. We use this white noise machine every single night. We love the projector because it acts as a night light so that we can easily navigate to Paisley’s rock n play for those late night feedings. I’ve always loved white noise machines, and regularly slept with one prior to having Paisley – they are so calming and provide a filter for the noise coming from the nearby road (and our obnoxiously loud neighbors).

I’ve added all of my favorite baby must haves, plus a few other things that we use all the time to my amazon store. You can click on the link to my store and it will bring you to a page of all the items. I will add items to the store and Paisley grows!

our breastfeeding journey so far

 

I wrote this post over the course of a week or two so it will likely be a bunch of jumbled thoughts vomited on to the page.
Also, if you follow me on IG, you’ve likely seen most of these pictures.

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Breast feeding has been everything & nothing like what I thought it would be.

I’ll admit that I was probably ill equipped for this whole breastfeeding thing; I didn’t read any books & I didn’t go to any classes; maybe books & classes would have helped, maybe that wouldn’t have. At this point it doesn’t really matter. What’s done is done, and now all I can do is move forward.

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Breastfeeding is hard. It’s physically painful, it takes an emotional toll on you when things don’t go perfectly {and probably even when they do} , and it takes up a large chunk of your day.

 

It hurts:

I was under the assumption that breastfeeding would come naturally to me (and to Paisley). Ha. The only thing natural about it is that she roots when she is hungry, and I know to put her to my breast… after that, it’s all downhill. Maybe if I had read some of those breastfeeding books I would have known that it is painful…. then again, maybe I wouldn’t have known; I’ve read in multiple places that the initial latch should be painful, but then the pain should stop. ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT B.S? On very rare occasions do we have a feeding session that is pain free. I know from talking to friends/family that BF can be pain free, but for me, it’s not. I’m hoping that with time it will get easier, and the pain will lessen – or my pain threshold will increase. (you would think my pain threshold would be super considering the delivery I had, but no, it’s still basically nothing).

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It’s emotional:

I recently wrote about our struggle with jaundice and how our pediatrician wanted us to supplement with formula. My heart nearly broke at the thought of feeding my brand new baby formula – I desperately wanted to exclusively breast feed her, but I needed to do what was best for her. We gave her a few feedings of formula from a bottle, and I pumped so that whatever milk supply I had wouldn’t go away. (I don’t know how these things work, but from what I’ve read, pumping while she ate from a bottle would help to keep any supply that I had, up.)

The pain that comes with breastfeeding also wears on your emotions. It’s tough to let a baby latch onto your nipple when you know it’s going to hurt. I became a little bit resentful; I love my daughter more than anything, and I want to breastfeed her, but it stressed me out every time that 2 hour mark would hit. I would feel pressure to breastfeed, but I didn’t want to because it was so painful.

The more I pushed myself, the more anxiety I got, and the more stressed I felt at every feeding.
A few days ago I basically spent the entire day in our room crying and breastfeeding. That was a hard day. I prayed a lot , and cried some more.

I finally broke down and ended up giving her a bottle with breast milk. I just couldn’t handle anymore that day.

I’ve read on so many websites that you should avoid feeding from a bottle AND avoid giving a pacifier for the first 4 weeks because it causes nipple confusion.

We messed that up pretty much right away….and I cried about it. It was all my fault that my baby was having such a hard time latching.

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we snuggle as much as possible after every feeding.

It takes up a large portion of the day {and night}:

The pediatrician recommended 2-3oz every 2-3hours when we had our first appointment with her (where we found out Paisley had jaundice). Every 2-3 hours is a whole lot easier during the day than it is in the middle of the night. Our middle of the night (MOTN) feedings have turned into every 3.5 – 4 hours; I typically feel guilty about this, and I’m not doing it on purpose; I’ve started to sleep through all the alarms that I set. As of right now, Paisley doesn’t wake up & cry when she is hungry, so we have to set an alarm so that we can wake her up and feed her. Her sleeping is a blessing, of course, but sleeping through the alarm is kind of a problem.

Attempting to go anywhere is also a challenge; It takes some pretty good timing, and lots of team work to get out the door quickly after she eats so that we can be out and back by time she needs to eat again. Obviously I can NIP (nurse in public) but I’m a little apprehensive about that since I already struggle with breastfeeding. I have fed her a few times in the back seat of the truck, which is not ideal, but it works.

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I finally found a lactation consultant that will come to my house for a consultation. Prior to finding this lady I was directed to the LC at the WIC office. Uhm. I’m not sure how that works since I don’t qualify for WIC, PLUS, she is/was on vacation. PLUS PLUS, I’m an idiot when it comes to asking for help & I’d rather suffer for as long as possible before I break down and ask for help. My threshold has been reached, I’ve asked for help. Now I’m just waiting for her to call me back to set up an appointment.

Much of this post was written when Paisley was about 2 wks old. She is three weeks old now, and while breast feeding is getting better; it is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, nor has the pain gone away. I am trying hard to come to terms with the fact that exclusively breastfeeding just might not work for me. Right now I am breastfeeding during the day, and bottle feeding breast milk at night. This is working for us right now. We’ll see what the lactation consultant says after we meet with her.

Where’s my instruction manual?

I think the hospital forgot to give me my baby instruction manual when they discharged us from the hospital!

We’ve survived the first 2 weeks :::round of applause::: It’s had it’s up & downs, but mostly ups.

Right before we were discharged from the hospital, the nurse noticed Paisley was a little bit yellow. She checked her bilirubin, told us it was 11, and then sent us on our way.

The next day (Christmas day) we noticed she was getting even more yellow; she had a check up with her pediatrician on Thursday, so we just watched her and waited until her appointment.
Thursday came & her pediatrician was pretty concerned about the shade of yellow her skin had taken on; the whites of her eyes were also yellow.


You can kind of see the yellow in her skin

Here is what we learned about newborns & jaundice; it is very common. Pretty much everyone we talked to had a kid that had jaundice, or had it themselves. Shoot, Chris & I both had jaundice as babies.

Here is what we learned, after the fact, but should have been told prior to being discharged.
Babies will not always wake up and cry when they are hungry. You have to physically wake them up to feed them every few hours.

I sort of remember the nurse, or maybe it was the Pediatrician who discharged us, telling us that Paisley needed to eat every 2-3 hours. I was totally under the impression that she would cry and wake us up when she is hungry, and if she didn’t cry, then we should let her sleep.

Yeah, no. Totally wrong. Apparently, newborns need to eat every few hours so that they produce enough pee & poopy diapers to get rid of the extra bilirubin in their system, which causes jaundice. When they don’t pee/poop enough the bilirubin starts to build up, and shows up in the color of their skin.

again, I am not a Dr., so I’m sure my explanation of that is a little off – but that is the way we understood it when the pediatrician explained to us WHY it was so important for her to eat every 2-3hrs.

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milk coma

SO, the pediatrician sent us to the hospital to have a bilirubin test done on Paisley so that we could make sure her level wasn’t to high. The Pedi also said that she wanted me to supplement because she didn’t think I was producing enough milk yet to ensure that Paisley was getting enough to eat. This was important because, again, she needed to produce a lot of diapers to get rid of the excess bilirubin in her system.

:::cue a meltdown in the pediatricians office:::

hormones y’all, they are real.

I was devastated at the thought of having to feed my newborn formula so early in the game. I had it IN MY HEAD that I HAD to breastfeed. HAD TO.
So I had a good cry, then bought some formula.

After we got Thursday’s lab results, the Dr. wanted us to go back on Friday to have her level tested again. The number came down by .1

We went back to the hospital on Saturday to have her level checked again. After some miscommunication with the lab, the pediatrician called to tell us that her level had dropped quite a bit and that we could follow up with her in 1 week, instead of Monday, like we had originally planned.

My heart sang when I heard her level was coming down.

There has been no worse feeling than feeling like I failed my child.

The recommendation was still to feed her 2-3oz every 2-3 hours. The Pedi gave me the okay to feed breast milk exclusively, IF I was able to produce enough.

I desperately wanted to feed her only breast milk, but I also wanted to make sure she was getting the recommended 2-3oz; so I decided that pumping would be my middle ground. I pumped as much as I could & fed Paisley formula as needed. This was a happy medium for me – sort of.

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Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with formula, I just had it in my head that I would breast feed Paisley, and needing to supplement was a hard pill to swallow.

Deciding to pump has been a bit of a blessing, we’ve had a bit of a rocky road with breastfeeding, but i’ll write more about that another day.

It’s time for me to hit the hay; I have a sweet babe that will need me to get up and feed her in a few hours.