Monday, December 3, 2018

Turning 30 Has Been Looming Over My Head



I still have 5 days. I still have 5 days. I've even been practicing saying "I'm 30" just to ease myself into it.

Yes, December 8th I will turn 30. I have been dreading it for at LEAST the last 6 months. The closer it got, the more my eyes started to well up at the thought of it. The only thing that has kept me going is the fact that every woman above the age of 40 has told me 30's have been their favorite age. You are having fun, while also being taken seriously by people.

Yes, I'm afraid of aging. If I think about it too much I get a pit in my stomach and just need to re-direct my thoughts. I know 30 is still young. I know this. It's dumb, honestly.

I have been soaking up my last year of 20's as much as I possibly can, that means finding any old reason to explicitly tell people "I am 29".

Them: "What do you do for a living?"
Me: "Well, I'm 29 and ...."

Them: *small talk about college*
Me: "I'm 29, so I've been out of college for 7 years"

Them: "Do you have siblings?"
Me: "Yes, 3. My youngest sister is 19, and we're 10 years apart, so, ya know, I'm 29..."

Me: "Did someone say 29?? I'M 29! HAHA! Oh, sorry I guess I heard that wrong."

I really felt the need to wear-out the use of declaring my age as I near the end of my twenties. I hope I wasn't too ridiculously obnoxious.

Speaking of obnoxious, at age 30, I still:
1. Sweat profusely when I have to drive next to a semi on the freeway.
2. Online window shop by putting a bunch of items in my virtual cart and never purchasing them.
3. Become obsessed with a song and listen to it on repeat until it wears out.
4. Accidentally eat snacks instead of actual meals.
5. Mock people who are mean to me behind their backs.
6. Don't coupon
7. Not even a little bit.
8. Impulse buy dumb gadgets on Amazon.
9. Buy plants and fail to keep them alive
10. Make complex salads and fail to clean up the mess (ask husband).
11. Refuse to wear non-skinny jeans.
12. But I can also go a full day without getting out of my robe.
13. Write down a grocery list, then take a picture of it so it's on my phone.
14. Spill food on myself. Today it was a quarter size dollop of key lime yogurt IN MY HAIR
15. Forget to reply to a simple text for 2 days. 

I didn't want this to come off as sad, but I didn't want it to come off as a corny inspirational piece either. Just something in the middle. I'm leaving the young decade; the one where middle-aged people always reference back to; "Brenda! Take a shot with me! Do I look 29? I feel 29!" "It's my 20th anniversary of my 25th birthday Haaahhahahah"

My twenties were: wild, boring, adventurous, safe, full of life events, milestones, bad decisions, black out drunk escapades, kindergarten school pickups, breastfeeding, waiting outside in lines to get into the club in the middle of -20 degree weather, getting in raging drunk fights with my friends, moving 3 times and raising babies in each home, working at 4 different companies, 6 different positions, traveling to fun adult places, traveling to family friendly destinations, embarrassing moments, redeeming moments,  I'll let you figure out which order these go in ;)

Know what makes me the most emotional of all, though? In my twenties, I've completed all of my "milestone" goals. I am married to the best husband, have two beautiful children, own a home in a beautiful city, and I have my career established. Now it's time, in my 30's, to knock out my smaller list of goals. Happy birthday to me. 
Sunday, August 12, 2018

Thea 3 Months




Weight: 13 lbs
Height: TBD at next appt
Clothes size: 3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months
Diaper size: 2
Sleeps: Great. I put her to bed at 8:45 every night and she sleeps until 7 AM. Nurses and then usually goes back to bed until 9. She's super easy to put to bed; still in her Rock'n Play. Naps 3-5 times a day. Will nap literally anywhere still.
Hobbies: Eating her hands, smiling at mom and dad and sister, attempting to talk to us.
Still likes: sister Mira, getting her diaper changed, taking baths, putting blankies over her face
Eats: Still exclusively breastfed, but gets two 4 oz. bottles while I'm at work; one in the morning and one in the afternoon, then I come home during lunch to nurse her. Adam's mom was just nannying for us for the last 3 weeks and it's worked out really nice. We've tried several bottles due to her having gas; Comotomo, Tommee Tippee, Philips Avent, and now Dr. Browns. The nipple on Dr. Browns is small, and is least like a "breast" but it has the slowest flow and gives her the least amount of gas. So I'll stick with those for a while. 
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Doing Breastfeeding Better the Second Time Around

There are several things I have done differently with breastfeeding Thea than I did with Mira. I did breastfeed Mira until she was 2 years old, so that's not to say I wasn't successful the first time around. But there were two notable supply drops that caused me a lot of stress and work to get it back up. First one at 7 weeks, second one at 4 months. I tanked through my frozen milk supply the first time and had to supplement with formula for a few weeks, about a bottle per day, the second time.

I think it's rare, once a mother supplements with formula, to then go back to exclusively breastfeeding, but I managed to.

Even with support from friends who had babies around the same time, "veteran moms" who knew the breastfeeding ropes, and online breastfeeding forums, there were still things I managed to get wrong with breastfeeding Mira. I'll list them below and how I changed it with Thea this time around.

I think it's pretty cool how breastmilk changes over time to meet your baby's needs


1. Not pumping enough. Like most mothers, I had an oversupply at the beginning. I pumped here and there to get some relief, maybe once a day, if that (like in the morning when I woke up with rock hard boobs and couldn't take it any longer). I don't remember how many ounces I had, but I'm guessing between 50-100 ounces by the time Mira was 6 weeks.

This time, with Thea, I purchased the Haakaa silicone pump. From about day 5 I used it to pump all my excess milk. I didn't even really need to wear nursing pads because I would nurse her on one side and have the Haakaa catching all the letdown (and more) on the other side. I didn't use this every time I nursed, simply because I didn't always have it near me. Anyway, this led me to have over 300 ounces of milk stored by the time Thea was 6 weeks old. My body just kept telling me to keep making that much milk and continued to have an oversupply as Thea got older. I haven't counted recently but I know I'm over 400 ounces.

2. Not eating enough calories. With Mira I was consistently losing weight. I got back to my pre-baby weight pretty early and even continued to lose even more. Eventually I was swimming in my pre-pregnancy jeans and actually felt "too" skinny. Yes, that's a thing, and no it isn't all it's cracked up to be. I was still considered a healthy BMI (albeit on the way low end) but I felt like I was withering away. I wasn't paying attention, but I was burning more than I was eating. Those extra 500 calories needed for breastfeeding were not being eaten.

This time, I have been going HAM on food. I even have been tracking my daily calorie/macro intake to ensure I'm not going over or under. At 12 weeks, I'm still 20 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and I'm okay with that. I take in about 2100 calories per day and am JUST starting to go into a small deficit at 3 months postpartum.

3. Not drinking enough water. I can't speak for how well I did last time, but I know that I wasn't consciously drinking a lot.

This time, I have a tumblr that's always being filled. I pack it with ice and am just constantly making sure I'm drinking it. Water is one of the key things for producing breastmilk. 

4. Working out too hard. Last time, when I was clear to hit the gym at 6 weeks I started going right away. I was running intervals and doing most of the normal stuff I did pre-pregnancy. I only got to the gym once or twice week at first, but I burned a lot of calories. I wore THREE tight sports bras because wearing two was not enough with those big nursing boobs, and I couldn't have them bouncing everywhere when running on the treadmill. Well those bras squeezed the crap out of my boobs. I can't say for certain, but that could've been affecting my supply.

This time, I started working out but just doing face paced walking. I wear ONE supportive sports bra but it isn't too tight around my boobs. I lift weights and still try to be as healthy as I can without bouncing all over the place.

5. Going on hormonal birth control. Last time at around 6 weeks my doctor put me on the "mini pill" - progesterone only. It's supposedly not supposed to affect your supply, but coincidentally this is around the time my supply dropped by over half.

This time, I told my provider right away that I won't be doing hormonal birth control this time and she actually agreed that it seemed to be a common complaint with the mini pill.

6. Putting baby on a nursing schedule. With Mira, it seemed that she was eating every 3 hours right away. I became married to the idea that it would and should be consistent. If she got fussy and I knew I had just fed her an hour before, I was just giving her her pacifier and rocking her, trying to soothe her. Yes, that got her to calm down, but it still could've been that she was hungry. I don't know who told me that babies eat on schedule. I even had an iphone app that told me when I fed her last, which side it was on, etc. Instead of using that as a guide I used it as a bible.

This time, I didn't download the fancy app. I let Thea tell me when she was hungry. She was eating every 2 hours at the beginning, but would often cluster feed in the evenings. She started sleeping through the night at 2 weeks, too. 2018 me is looking back at 2013 me with a smug look on my face, because Mira hardly ever slept through the night.



Some other little tweaks I have made: 
-Getting a better nursing pillow. I used the Boppy last time and still use it sometimes, but My Brest Friend is a game changer; it's a lot thicker and sturdier.
-Making lactation cookies. They seem to work? But I don't even CARE if these don't work, they are yummy as hell.
-Taking blessed thistle capsules. Again, I can't be certain that it works, but SEEMS to. I take between 2 and 4 capsules per day.
-Lastly, not being afraid to nurse in public. I didn't get comfortable with NiP until Mira was around 9 months, but with Thea I have done it from the beginning. No cover, no hiding in a bathroom, just doing the damn thing. This has allowed me to be flexible with my own schedule and I can go anywhere anytime. No more trying to time my errands and worry about "what if she gets hungry?"

I'm just glad I learned things along the way. Breastfeeding has always required a lot of work from me, so it's definitely consumed a large part of being a mom. It's all worth it. <3
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Thea 2 Months / Mira growing up


Perfect baby. Adam and I were talking on our drive home from shopping yesterday. We have always agreed that we want 2 kids. But we decided even if we DID want a third, we feel like we've already used all our luck on our first two perfect babies. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? 

Weight: 11.6 pounds (56th percentile)
Height: 24.2 inches (97th percentile)
Clothes size: 3 months, 3-6 months
Diaper size: 1
Sleeps: Through any sound. I mean any. We go to bed around midnight and put her in her bassinet at the same time. She sleeps until about 7 AM. 
Hobbies: Looking at her hands, moving arms and legs, smiling at mom and dad and sister, attempting to talk to us. 
Still likes: getting her diaper changed, taking baths (she is kicking away in there now, smiling the whole time), running water, vacuums, staring at ceilings. 

Yep, I still love having a new baby. I don't love that she caught Mira's cold. I've been using the NoseFrida and while it works, it's gross. 

M i r a.



I've been studying her face here and there the last couple weeks and can't help but notice how much it has grown. Yes, just her face. I think she has the prettiest smile on the planet and her eyes are to die for; big and brown with long lashes. Her bouncy, plentiful curls match her spunky (and spicy) personality. 

I'm just impressed with how she can live off of like 4 different foods and still grow like a weed. I mean, she has literally had Club crackers for lunch on more occasions than I care to admit. Are all 5-year-olds this picky? 

But I'm soaking in all those nights where she comes crawling into our bed with her teddy. Steals my pillow and kicks Adam the whole night, but we love it. She had a nightmare the other night. Woke up crying and calling for us. I run in there. Come to find out she dreamt that we were all getting ice cream and we told her she couldn't have any. And then she ended up having to get black licorice ice cream. What a terrible nightmare.... 

She's starting to wash and condition her own hair in the bath. She gets out and gets her own towel. This is nice for us, as we can focus on getting Thea ready for bed, but also a little sad. I still have to brush her hair, read her a story (or 2), tuck her in, give her between 13 and 80 hugs and kisses, and sometimes we sing her "special song". I think she requires that when she's feeling a little neglected due to baby. 

She's going through such a transitional age. I have a lot of emotions over it: Love, guilt, regret, hope, honor, luck, fear. Am I disciplining her enough (she has some serious tantrums), am I disciplining her too much (is taking away her markers for 3 days too mean?), are we paying enough attention to her, are we paying too much attention to her, does she watch too much tv, does she not floss enough, do I yell too much, do I not yell enough, do I spend too much money on clothes, and also why does she keep digging the same dress out of the hamper? 

I had to snap a picture of her last night. She is so sweet, especially when she's sleeping. I wanted to capture her hugging her teddy, the books under her pillow, and well the picture doesn't show it but her cute little snores. I still call her my "baby". She might be my baby forever. Ok writing that last sentence made me lose it a little. Happy tears, though, right? 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Thea 1 Month



Stats:
Height: 22.9 inches (98th percentile)
Weight: 9 lb 14 oz (58th percentile)

Things Thea Likes:
The sound of running water
The sound of the vacuum
Being held by mama
Staring out windows
Sleeping during car rides
Going for walks
Getting her diaper changed
Light mouth kisses
Bath time

The girls at their checkups earlier this week

She smiles at us :)
She eats every 2 hours unless she's taking a good nap, then will go 3. Has been sleeping for 5 hour stretches at night in her Rock N Play.
Can count on one hand the amount of times she's actually cried so far. Usually she makes her requests by grunting or a quick little yell first.

Not much to say about a 1 month old. She's cute as a button and we're thoroughly enjoying this stage!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Thea's Birth Story

Thea's birth story is similar to Mira's, but different in that it was all planned. Since Mira was a c-section baby, my risks were a little different. I would have a VBAC if I were to go into labor early/on my own, but scheduled a c-section. The former never happened to c-section it was.




I knew what to expect this time around, thus I was able to be more clear headed and calm. We had to go to the hospital at 5 AM that morning. Checked in, they took a few blood tests, asked me all the standard hospital questions. Oh and they stuck an IV in my hand, which is honestly possibly the most terrible part of it all. Ugh. I squeezed Adam's hand pretty tight during that. There was a lot of waiting around. At around 8 they wheeled me down to the OR, or at least the floor of the OR. They made me drink the sour stomach acid-reducer drink to prevent vomiting. The anesthesiologist came in and asked me a bunch of questions. My blood pressure was taken several times. Some other stuff went on, I'm sure, there was just a lot going on.

At 8:40 I was finally wheeled into the OR. I saw my OB sitting at the computer and all the staff (attending RNs, Surg techs, CRNA, etc.) prepping. I tried not to look at the surg techs sorting all the surgery tools. A little intimidating. The nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist then had me sit up and hunch over. It was time for the epidural. It's not as bad as it looks, it's more of a nuisance than painful. You have to stay hunched over for like 8 minutes while the huge needle is in your back. You can't move. But you feel the cool juices getting shot into your back. After that it's finally time to get moved to the operating table, with assistance of course. Then it's time for the oxygen mask, the blue tarp, the "pinch test" to make sure I'm actually numb. Adam was actually asked to briefly leave the room because apparently spouses aren't allowed to be in there while the epidural is being done. He was able to come back in once I was on the operating table. I was all cool, calm, and collected until the surgery actually began. I could feel every tug, just like last time. I can feel my blood pressure drop (it's normal) and can also see it on the screen next to me when the numbers go down. They give me some sort of antidote for that. Then after a little while I tell the anesthesiologist I feel nauseous. She gives me a different antidote for that.

I think it was about 20 minutes and there was a few seconds of exciting commotion that hinted Thea's arrival was imminent. Sure enough I hear the cries. They lifted her up so I could see her and I got super emotional, of course. Didn't bawl, but let myself cry. Adam cut her cord and she got quickly looked over by the attending pediatrician. Everything was perfect and they brought her back to me. I got to bond with her. Since I was still getting stitched up she was just held next to my face/upper chest. I thought she was so beautiful and looked very similar to Mira. I kept stroking her head and face and talking to her. She was content with her mama.









After the stitching up was done, they put her back in the bassinet, moved me back to my bed, and wheeled me into the recovery room. Adam followed me in, as did Thea. The nurse gave her to me so she could nurse for the first time. She knew how to nurse, that's for sure. My vitals were taken quite frequently. The anesthesiologist asked some more questions, checked to make sure the epidural wasn't moving up my body. Everything was fine. Baby Thea was still perfect. Then we got the go-ahead to move back upstairs. I got to take Thea with me on the bed.



We got to our room and had our cuddles, Adam held her for a while. We snapped some pictures of her, texted family the news. Since my mom had Mira, we told her she can come by with her to see her new sister. They came by not too long after. Mira finally got to hold her sister, the little human she's been kissing through my stomach for the last 9 months. I think she was in shock and wasn't fully processing the fact that this was her sister. It wasn't until she came back to visit the second day that she really started giving her kisses and talking to her.



The nurses and staff were all great. I love those few days being in the hospital; being taken care of, getting to order room service, and not having to care about anything but our baby. We started off the first day in one of the smallest rooms, and after moms started filtering out and with some complaining by us, we got moved to the biggest room (with a lake view) the next day. Yay!

My recovery this time around was faster. I was up and walking around without any help on day 3. Adam has been great, again, with helping getting up in the night with Thea, with helping me/waiting on me. I didn't have the baby blues much, maybe just the first week I would cry easily. Glad that's over and the hormones are back to normal.

Thea nurses every 2 hours pretty consistently. I'm producing well and even have about 65-70 ounces of breastmilk already stored. Thea sleeps well in her little rock n play. She sleeps for 3 hour stretches typically. We started off using the pack and play but would have trouble getting her back to sleep after her first feeding because she needed to burp like 6 times. Having her at a slight incline in the rock n play has helped and doesn't need to burp so much. My milk letdown is also less strong now than it was the first couple weeks, so that's probably helping too (swallowing less air).

The second baby is much easier because we've learned from the first time typically what each of her cries mean. With Mira we were left so lost and confused about why she was crying, only to figure it out a month later; oh it was gas because we weren't burping her enough.

We feel so lucky to have Thea. I have spent the last almost four weeks holding her 90% of the time. I don't typically set her down in any of the gear we have unless I absolutely need to (like make food for myself).


As for Mira, she has been hot and cold. She loves to help and she loves her sister. But sometimes loves a little too much. I do have to remind her to be gentle. She will just wind up and yell "but shes just so cute!". We've been really trying to make sure the adjustment from only child to sibling is going smoothly. Adam has taken her to the park, alone, a few times. I try to make sure she gets in on all the cuddles. We will go out for ice cream and continue to do our "normal" stuff. Now that I'm almost fully recovered, I can take her on little mommy and me dates too. 


We simply love our girls :)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Mira's 5th Birthday!

We celebrated Mira's birthday at the Children's Museum again. It's the perfect place to have family and friends (big and small) join us. She had an absolute blast and was sad it had to end. Thanks everyone who made it!















Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pregnancy: Last Time vs This Time

Differences between last pregnancy with Mira vs this pregnancy



Last time: Buys all the pregnancy books, looks at "what to expect" app every day, knows approximate size of baby. I am 27 weeks, 2 days, 3 hours. Went 1.5 weeks past due, didn't mind at all.
This time: *wakes up in the morning* Oh yeah, LOL, I'm pregnant. Can't remember how far along I am anymore. Checks my app to find out. Oh. HOW am I going to last 6 more weeks?!

The village:
Last time: Gets thrown 3 showers, everything is purchased off of registry and more
This time: "You made a REGISTRY? That's greedy".

Doctor appointments:
Last time: I wish I could get more ultrasounds! Also I will take ANY blood and urine test possible!
This time: Umm, can we please skip any and all blood work? If I don't need another ultrasound, please don't sign me up for one.

Last time: Gets doc to prescribe most prestigious prenatals
This time: Finds generic prenatals at the grocery store on sale

Working out:
Last time: Got to the gym 2-3 times a week. Ran 10 minute miles until 9 months. Did lots of squats.
This time: Gets to gym maybe once a week. Can maybe slowly run ONE 13 minute mile. Mostly just walks. Lifts light weights.

Belly:
Last time: Belly was cute. Didn't start showing until 22 weeks. Didn't wear my first maternity top until 26 weeks, could "hide" pregnancy with the right clothing until 30 weeks.
This time: At 31 weeks strangers assume I am going to pop tomorrow. Had to start wearing maternity clothes at 14 weeks. Bought a new winter coat one size bigger, can't button a single button.

Both times: I am soooo excited to meet her and LOVE feeling all the kicks. The kicks are so intense I sometimes jump. She is JUST like Mira was.

One fun thing this time around is there's an older sister in the mix. Every night before bed Mira has to kiss my belly several times, same with in the morning when we are parting our ways to school/work. Sometimes she will randomly just get excited and say "baby!" and come over and hug my belly. She's so cute. It almost makes me forget all the times she told me my butt is "super fat".

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