Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's coming to an End

My set up at work: the "mothers" room.

Only I can do that.
My breastfeeding days are coming to an end.  I knew it would happen and I knew I would have conflicted feelings.
As time oh so quickly goes by I want to try and remember all of it with my special little girl, and I feel like breastfeeding has been such a struggle and a milestone all at the same time.
Let's start with the pumping.  Oh the pumping.  Pumping was not part of the plan.  I got a pump for the sole purpose of going back to work.  I can still remember the lactation consultant bringing in the pump and instructing me on how to put all of the pieces together.  She said "You can't put it together wrong."  Which makes medela pretty smart.  I remember her telling me that Helena had a good latch, but she was quick to point out her tongue was tied (as was mine, but I didn't get mine clipped until I was 16).  We got her tongue clipped (which she thankfully slept through the whole thing) and I started pumping when baby girl wasn't gaining enough weight.  We supplemented with breast-milk in the hospital, and I pumped and pumped.  I remember getting a tiny bit of colostrum, and my mother accidentally threw it out.  I cried.  They advised that we should get a hospital grade breastpump to rent for the house.  My vision of having my newborn lay next me, and being able to pick her up in the middle of the night to lay with me and eat was slowly dwindling. That's the one memory I really wanted that never happened. 
Our first trip out of the house without Helena was to go get a pump a couple days after we got home.  I remember pumping and see the milk actually spray out.  I had called my friend Dena for advice, and I said to her "It's spraying out!  What does that mean?!"  She advised me, my milk had come in!!! 
Helena immediately got used to the instant gratification of the bottle and really wanted nothing to do with me.  We tried the breastfeeding group at the Mamahood when she was 5 days old, along with the group at St Anthony North, where (after a couple of weeks or so?, who knows I don't remember) she finally latched on with a nipple shield.  I continued to pump and she stayed latched to the nipple shield until she was 10 weeks old.  I still remember the first time she latched without it, by total accident on the 4th of July.  I cried because I finally felt the bond I was yearning for.  With the nipple shield gone, I finally got a glimpse of what I wanted my breastfeeding days to be like.  I've really enjoyed being able to feed her in public, to know that all she really needs is me.  Feeding her, along with pumping at work gives me a weird feeling of empowerment.  That I'm doing what's best to care of my daughter.  But oh, pumping at work.  And pumping period, just isn't fun.  On days I'm at work I pump twice, and I always pump at home, once at night before I go to bed,  and again in the morning.  Loading the pump to work back and forth, it's just a pain.  I definitely won't miss pumping. 
With all of these struggles I had decided six months was enough.  My pre-baby self said I would breastfeed for 1 year.  But then we decided to fly for Christmas, and a friend told me that nursing her would give her comfort on the plane, and to feed her during take-off and landing, to help with the pressurization of her ears.  So now that's the plan.  I'll nurse Helena through the end of the year.  Which means I have a little bit more than a month left.  As I think about it now, actually typing it out, I'm about to cry like a baby.  I know I'm going to miss it.  I'm going to miss the closeness and comfort it brings to both of us.  I obviously, won't miss the pumping.  I also won't miss those times (usually after a nap) when she's too distracted to eat and wants to play, and moves her head while trying to take my nipple with her.  Ouch!  My favorite time to fed her are the times she's tired.  She just lays there and cuddles.  We both get to enjoy it.  I also wonder that once I'm doing breastfeeding how in the world I'll clip her fingernails?!
I've read some information on how to stop breastfeeding, and honestly I'm not too concerned because my supply has always been low.  I think the whole process will be pretty easy.  I'll just fed her less and pump less.  I hope to be completely done by my birthday which is January 19.  I'm looking forward to truly sleeping in.  Right now I have to get up and pump after about 7 - 8 hours of sleep because I'm so engorged.  Being able to sleep a whole night without having to pump! 
Oh but I'll miss my baby girl falling asleep eating.  The past two nights we have had some really good feedings, and I just want to bottle them up and treasure them forever. 
I feel proud knowing that with all of the struggles, for the first 7 and half months of her life she primarily got me.  My batch of frozen milk that I saved up for when I returned to work on Labor Day was finished on Monday.  Almost a 3 month supply, not bad.  I honestly don't think I would change anything.  I of course, wish my supply had come in sooner, and that I had more to give, and that I wasn't attached to my breast-pump as often as I have been.  But all of that was so worth giving my daughter me and feeling that closeness for as long as we have.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Six Months

We celebrated Helena’s half birthday on Monday!  I can’t believe it.  We’ve had an extremely eventful month!  I hope to document it all.
We went to the doctor today in this single digit weather.  She got another round of vaccines including her flu shot.  To recover we’ll be staying in where it is nice and warm, and most importantly above freezing.
She weighed in at 14 pounds 10 ounces and 26 inches long.  I was hoping she would have doubled her birth weight, but even better is that she’s back on track with her original growth chart after her dip from her four month weigh-in.

She’s officially sitting up.  She was able to sit up for a few  seconds around her five month birthday, but throughout the past month she’s getting better and better.  I can confidently leave her on the floor now.
We’ve started her on solids.  As of right now she’s had banana, carrot, and sweet potato.  She knows exactly that food is coming her way, and opens right up, but once the food is her mouth she acts like she has no idea what’s going on.  For the most part she pushes it out, but she is slowly getting the chewing reflex down and eventually does swallow some food.  Yesterday was a huge accomplishment as more food got in her mouth than on her bib!
No teeth yet.  The doctor didn’t notice any coming in, so that means we’re still at least 3 weeks out.  She’s definitely drooling more and most things go into her mouth.
I hate to jinx myself, but she’s a pretty easy baby.  We can take her out pretty much anywhere and just hangs out.  Even the week that Chris was in the hospital she just played on the floor.  She didn’t nap very well, but that was to be expected. 
She loves to grab at things and shake them vigorously.
She’s amazing at  going in reverse.  Once she’s on her tummy she moves all around but can push herself backwards super fast.
She laughs and it is pure joy.  She loves it when I hold her baby style and bring her up to me and kiss her swaying her back and forth!  Also playing “bouncy” on my knees.  That is a sure thing to get a giggle!
We need to retire her swing.  She’s been in the swing once over the past month.  I think it’s time to put it away.
Her vocabulary is growing.  I love our conversations.
She’s still in size 6 – 9 month clothing and size 2 diapers.
We definitely have a routine.  She’s usually up by 8:30am and gets a 8 ounce bottle of breast milk for breakfast.  After some play time she’ll feed on me if I’m home, or have a 5 oz bottle of BM {next week my frozen milk will be all gone}.  Nap time starts anytime between 11am – 12noon.  Once she wakes up we feed again.  Have play time, then we’ll snack on some food, then I’ll feed her again (or bottle feed).  Her afternoon nap happens anytime between 2pm – 3pm.  Once she’s up we do all of that again on repeat (except for the food, she gets that once a day).  Her bedtime routine starts anytime between 7:30pm – 8pm.  We take a bath which always includes singing and signing the ABCs, numbers, and the itsy bitsy spider, then our prayers.  Her nighttime meal is always about 7 oz of formula, and she’s usually down for the night by 9pm at the latest.  She’s still sleeping through the night.  I can’t remember the last time she was up in the middle of the night.  It was before I went back to work, because I know that since I’ve been back at work I haven’t had to get up.  If she does get fussy in the middle of the night she’ll move around a little and always puts herself back to sleep.
I feel so blessed to call her mine and that I’ve been trusted to take care of her. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Pretty awesome if you ask me!

C'mon you know you want to!  Who doesn't LOVE some free make-up!?

I’m finally taking the time to tell you all about this new thing that I’m doing.  I’m not as ready or prepared as I would like, but I have to kick start it at some point.  I’m already a month in, so it might as well be now
At the end of September I signed up under my High School/Facebook friend Bre to a presenter for Younique.  
What is Younique you ask?  It's amazing make-up and so much more!  I'm just learning how fantastic this stuff is and I'm pumped up to experience all of it!
Back in June while I was in the awe of a newborn, that included many late nights and early mornings.  Helena definitely got my attention, but this time was also spent randomly looking at Facebook.  My friend Bre would post about Younique, loving her job, and getting paid to play with make-up.  Her postings definitely caught my eye.  In the past, I had been interested in some sort of direct sales thing to try and bring in a little bit more cash flow for my family, but hadn’t found any that truly spoke to me. 
Until Younique.
Over the summer I didn’t really do anything about my interest in this company I had never heard of, as I was enjoying my newborn daughter.  But then in September I decided to take the leap and join.  As previously stated October got away from me, but now I feel ready to tackle this additional role.  I’m excited to learn and grow with this company, and of course the extra cash won’t hurt either. 
I’m part of an awesome team and have lots of support! 
I’ve played with the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes, which is beyond wicked awesome!  Along with tons of eye shadow!  It’s a thrill to be part of a fairly new company that’s growing, and I’m excited to be part of it.

By the end of the week I’ll be throwing my Launch Party via Facebook.  If we’re friends you’ll be invited.  I ask you to reply “YES” and join the fun.  Even if you have no intention to buy anything or check out my website, please join, as your replying “YES” just gets my name out there to all of your other friends, and at this point in time that’s all I’m seeking.  Secondly, I’ll “suggest” my Younique page to you, also to just get myself out there in this new role.  Please “join” and “like”!  Just doing those two simple things will support me greatly!  In advance, I thank you!
If you do decide to purchase, or want to throw your own party, even better!  If you have any questions please let me know!

Here’s to a new venture and being successful!
No make-up

Regular mascara: I use Clinque

3D Fiber Lash!  Ohhh la la!