Friday, February 22, 2013

24 Hours with Our One-Month-Old.

Myra is one month today! My how time flies.  Seriously.  I remember one of the bloggers I follow saying each week with a newborn gets easier and now that we've been through four of them, I can honestly say I concur.  That first week was completely wild, like we were in the twilight zone.  The second week was better, but still exhausting and had one day of nursing hell.  Myra is still pretty demanding, but, truly, it's totally manageable.  We can actually make plans, go places, get some sleep, get stuff done... Wow, what a nice segue I made for myself.  I wanted to document a 24-hour period so I can look back and remember what it was like at this stage.  I realize I will probably not have the energy or wherewithal to do this with any subsequent children, but I can do it now so I did.  This is every single little thing that happened from midnight to midnight yesterday.  I will try to do this each month so I can compare.  These posts are  obviously not exactly what every single day is, but rather a random snapshot into what a day could be like.  They're all a little different, every baby/parent/family is different, too.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the last month with our sweet little Myra and look forward to what's to come.  There's something so special about remembering the day she was born and those precious, exhausting, stressful, magical few days that followed.  But there's also something so special about yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow, too.  Enjoy!

I'm working on a big post reviewing all of our baby products/gear and what we think of it.  Everything mentioned in here will be a part of that post once we have a little more time to try it all.  I also have a similar post in the works for all of our cloth diaper stuff.  Stay tuned!

12:00am Myra, Trevor and I are all asleep
2:10am Myra woke up, diaper change
2:17am  I nurse her for 13 min, comfort nurse a little longer, change breast pads
2:40am I put Myra in her Rock n Play and rock it for her
2:53am I heard her fill her diaper, but keep rocking in case there's more
2:56am There was more...
2:59am Now she's crying, time to change diaper
3:10am I put her back in her rocker
3:19am She's still a little fussy, I take her out of her rocker for cuddles and burp her
3:40am I put her back in her rocker and she's asleep quickly
6:47am Myra is grunty and waking up, time for a diaper change
7:01am And now time to nurse
7:17am Myra is back asleep, I put her in her Boppy Lounger

7:32am Time for me to pump.  At first, I had to pump after each feeding to ensure we always had milk on hand in case nursing didn't go well.  I've completely weaned myself from that (thank goodness) except for once in the morning.  I'm okay with keeping that up so we have milk on hand and I'm actually just starting to donate it to NICU babies now, too.
7:56am Store milk (8.5oz), clean/boil pump parts
(I have just the slightest nipple sensitivity yet, I wouldn't even call it pain, but in the off change it's thrush beginning I'm boiling my pump parts and Myra's pacifiers daily), eat breakfast (double serving of oatmeal), drink coffee, empty dishwasher, all while listening to a podcast
9:00am Time for me to shower & start getting ready
9:35am Myra wakes up with a wet diaper, I give her some naked time to air out
9:53am I put on a new diaper, get her dressed and nurse
10:17am pull sleepy baby off to burp her
10:19am I put Myra down, awake, weigh myself (first time since having her, 137lbs. Pre-pregnancy I was about 126, my highest weight was 163 and I was 159 the day I went into labor), finish getting myself ready
10:38am Myra fussy, pacifier didn't help, time for another diaper change
10:41am She's still fussy, try to nurse other side
10:44am She's not interested, burped
10:45am I tried nursing again after burp, nursed for 11 min
10:57am I burp her again, cuddle my sleepy baby
11:05am I put her in K'tan wrap, got phone call from my aunt and talked while I got supper into the crock pot, opened new Scentsy stuff, got things ready to run errands. Myra was awake but fell asleep at some point.
11:55am started packing Myra/diaper bag up to run errands, brush teeth, change diaper before we left which woke Myra up
12:04pm We leave house with pop tarts, Luna bar and water for the road
12:15pm We get to target, Myra awake the whole time
12:50pm We get to library, Myra asleep from the drive
1:07pm We get home, Myra still asleep, eat leftover tortellini for lunch
1:28pm I start a load of Myra's laundry, put away target stuff
1:35pm I wrote out a few thank you cards and put in our mail box
1:48pm I changed Myra's diaper which woke her up, a little more naked time
2:01pm Time to get Myra dressed
2:03pm I nurse and call milk bank for donation phone screening
2:26pm I burped then gave gas drops (the reason for the target trip)
2:32pm I put sleepy Myra in boppy lounger but she woke up, content for a bit then fell asleep
2:41pm I start hanging up Myra's laundry to dry, start load of diaper laundry, then hear Myra crying, so I go burp her, sneak some cuddles then put her back down asleep
2:58pm I return to hanging up Myra's laundry
3:07pm I start an episode of Seinfeld while folding laundry that was on drying racks and have a yogurt snack
3:33pm I laid down to watch another episode of Seinfeld, Myra still asleep, I fell asleep at some point
4:52pm I woke up to Rowdy barking at Trevor getting home, Myra still asleep, kind of grunty but not as bad as she had been (gas drops helping?). I smell new Scentsy scents while Trevor is on the phone with one of his full time staff members (Army stuff). Trevor got off the phone, we talked for a bit while Myra was still sleeping.
6:10pm Myra awake, time for diaper change
6:15pm I nursed, Trevor ate supper and got mine ready for me
6:45pm Trevor burping Myra then gave gas drops, I eat supper
7:06pm Trevor changed diaper then cuddles on the couch
7:39pm Myra fussy, nursed
8:02pm Trevor burped, I was leaking everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  Dripping like a faucet, had to get that under control.
8:09pm Myra asleep, I made an English muffin for myself
8:17pm Myra awake, I pick her up to hang out
8:25pm Myra fussy, I try burping then pacifier and rocking
8:35pm I put Myra in boppy lounger, awake content
8:50pm Myra fussy, time for a diaper change
9:05pm I nurse again
Somewhere in here I felt like crap (got really hot feeling, nauseous, gassy-I usually spread out my vitamins/iron/fiber pills, but took them all at once, hoping that was the cause!) , Myra got fussy, Trevor changed her diaper and burped/rocked, she fell asleep briefly then got fussy
9:50pm I nurse for 10 min, Myra fell asleep, I felt much better.  Phew! Whatever it was passed quickly, probably the meds.
10:19pm I put diaper laundry in dryer, Trevor cuddling Myra, then she fell asleep
10:38pm Trevor put Myra into rock n play, we watched Extreme Engineers then Scrubs
11:50pm I should have gone to sleep a while ago-oops, Myra still asleep, lights out, good night!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day! I didn't think I could possibly love anyone more until...

This little angel slept from 11:30pm-7:15am only getting up briefly once at 4am. That's love.

Oh, and I love that she's perfect for our family and that I somehow snagged the best dude on the planet to be her dad, that's love, too.

Other than that-this day is silly. Maybe it's because my birthday is in 10 days and I'd rather celebrate that. Or maybe I'm just lucky in knowing every other day of the year that I'm loved a whole bunch. But hey-girl looks adorable in this outfit so we'll take the excuse to wear it today!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Think Outside the Box.

This is a post about breastfeeding, but includes a bigger picture moral of the story.  You've been warned.

Last week Myra helped me remember an important life lesson, to think outside the box.  As you may have read already, we struggled a bit with nursing in the beginning.  It was about a week ago that we really started to get it figured out.  Thank goodness!!  But wait... Two days after our biggest breakthrough day was absolutely awful.  At her early afternoon feeding, girl just would not eat.  We tried different holds, burping, bicycling her legs for gas-I was desperate.  Finally, I decided she must not actually be hungry and I got her to sleep.  We woke up an hour later and she had to be hungry, she just had to be.  So, we tried (and failed) again.  I was getting stressed, she was getting stressed, and I knew she needed to eat.  I swallowed my pride and syringe fed her with some pumped milk then pumped so I wouldn't explode.  It was very disheartening after all the progress we had made.  I had so been looking forward to the days where we could free ourselves from the pump, syringe, any props and felt like we had taken two steps backwards.

Like usual at that point, she napped after her feeding and I resolved to take a deep breath and try nursing again next time.  Just a few short hours later, next time rolled around and like a slap in the face we had the same problem again.  I tried to stay calm, but I could feel myself getting stressed much more quickly knowing this couldn't end well...again.  I could get very specific, but long story short we wound up with a very hungry, crying, screaming, frustrated baby and a very sad, stressed, frustrated, crying, defeated mommy.  This all went on for 45+ minutes.  I tried everything again.  I finally had to just set her in my lap and cry (the ugly, sobbing, can't breathe, hopeless kind of cry).  I know I said I was desperate before, but now I was desperate and felt like a crazy person who didn't know how to feed her own kid.  Again, lots of people are willing to say "breastfeeding can be difficult, have patience and don't give up!" but no one really tells you what that means.  I felt like I was in a panic, frantically looking around the room, my mind racing, thinking again, "what on Earth could be so different from yesterday? We were doing just fine! Great, actually!" And like a scene out of a romantic comedy, I locked eyes with my tube of lanolin.  My nipples had really started to heal since we were making so much progress with nursing I didn't need to use it anymore.  I took a deep breath and thought "here goes nothing, baby girl."  I slapped some on and BOOM! LATCHED! NURSING!  

You have got to be kidding me.

We have had no episodes like this since last Wednesday, so 7 days of darn near excellent nursing.  And, we graduated from our lactation nurse appointments yesterday.  Myra has reached and surpassed her birth weight and her bilirubin level went down quite a bit.  Oh, and we've since weaned from the lanolin and are doing just fine without it.  She's two weeks today-I'll call that a success story!  So, take this as a reminder to be patient and think outside the box with breastfeeding and, I suppose, life.  Lesson learned.  Thanks, Myra.


Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Cope When Deployment Means Missing Family Milestones.

I'm pretty excited about this post.  I pinned our Christmas card from 2011 on Pinterest (from when Trevor was in Kuwait) and it went a tad viral.  Among those who got a hold of it was the Facebook fan page "Military Spouse Central," a part of Veterans United.  Within a day, our Christmas card had over 22,000 "likes."  I commented that it was ours with a very brief update of what the last year had brought us.  They responded asking to interview me for their blog and, of course, I obliged.

Here's the card that started it all:

And here's the link to the blog post they wrote with my interview:

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