Monday, June 29, 2015

Fathers Day 2015 Recap

This is the first Fathers Day I've ever celebrated.  I had a dad of course, but he died when I was young and he really wasn't a guy that celebrated holidays other than Christmas and birthdays.  I was a little clueless when it came time to plan something special for the number 1 man in my life and Ava's main squeeze.  So I turned to Pinterest and made my version of the DAD collage.  I'm really glad I have these pictures because A. Ava had no nap this day and was a fuss bucket
B. I had very limited time to have my mom help me before R came home from work.
C.  Out of the 2000 or so pictures I took, I only had 1 A and 2 D photos even come close to looking like she was posing.
 We rounded out the gift with a massage at our local spa and a trip to the beach with his family.  I took a few iPhone pictures of our weekend.  
 The first two pictures are of family hanging out on the porch watching the ocean and the third is Ava and her cousin playing while we ate our beloved Kill Devil Custard.
On Saturday we took a drive to Rodanthe and on our way back we detoured to Manteo for our favorite Full Moon Brewery for some delicious crab dip - the photo looks a bit weird because we were sitting underneath a red umbrella on the patio.  The second two were after R opened his Fathers Day surprise.

R enjoyed a day out on the boat.

And of course we have to celebrate Nugget's First Vacation!

These two!  I just can't, they're so cute!  It was so sunny that we had to cut our time short outside but she had a great first experience at the beach.  We picked out a shell and wrote the date on it to remember the trip and R's first ever Fathers Day.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mommy Beauty, an updated routine

I've been back at work now for two weeks and that means I've had to get up and look presentable at 6:30 am every morning.  I don't need to be glamorous for my job but I do need to look neat and put together. However, I also have to get my daughter ready for daycare, my pump bag ready for work, pack my lunch, make a breakfast - its much more work than before baby.  I've cut down my routine dramatically - I do try to pack as much of my meal as I can the night before and I try to shower / blow dry my hair at night to help save time.

A few makeup items have really helped me

mommy makeup

This routine takes 6-7 minutes.  Tarte BB cream is awesome, it blurs any redness and brightens my face.  It also works as a mattifier, though I usually have to use face lotion underneath it.  Benefit Boi-ing concealer is the best at hiding my undereye circles and I tend to use Tarte bronzer all over my face and neck...because I'm paper white and need a bit of color.  Bobbi Brown Pale Pink blush and Bobbi Brown Sandwashed Pink add color...and since I have limited mommy room in my diaper bag, this lipstick and one chapstick are the only two beauty products that made the cut. I don't always have time for eyeshadow but usually I reach for foolproof neutral colors like Bootycall and Foxy from the Naked 2 palette. I have to do my brows with Anastasia brow powder and a swipe of Tarte mascara finishes the look.  It's quick, it's easy, and I don't even have to think about it.

Now for hair.  I just don't have time to fix it every day.  A ponytail, a top knot, or a bun are my choices.  I can leave it with natural curl but I will need a cut soon to get it layered.  I don't care to put the effort in to curl it everyday...especially with NC humidity fighting my hard work.  I'm due for a trim and color in the upcoming weeks and I'm seriously thinking about getting a mommy chop.  Isn't it a terrible idea to get a haircut after a big life, giving birth?  I have such a hard time making decisions like this, I've had too many "bad" haircuts in my life.  Oh and this week my hair has started falling out, I was warned it would happen but it is alarming when you see clumps of hair fall out.  It is actually a good thing for me though, my hair is so thick right now that I have difficulty styling it.  Anyway, I've pinned some hair inspiration for a possibly mom cut...
via Google images
I'll be making a decision in the next two weeks.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Nursing and Pumping...

My breastfeeding journey so far has been smooth, my baby came into this world with an open mouth looking for a boob, she had a perfect latch on the first try.  Her birth weight decreased by almost 10% in the first week and the doctor gave us 10 days to gain it back....she did it in 7 days and has been gaining steadily ever since.  So far we have not had to supplement but if the need arises then we will cross that bridge.  For the first three weeks she ate every two hours day and night.  Until 7 weeks we went every three hours during the day and four hours at night.  And from 8 weeks we feed on demand but it averages about every three hours.

My breast feeding essentials:  The original boppy (my favorite now that she is bigger) and the My Brest Friend pillow (perfect for small babies used until she was 7 weeks old), Bamboobies day and night breast pads, and Bravado nursing bras.  I also love these from Champion sport bras from Target.

It's really hard to do this and work.

I don't want to give up.  I've told my husband that I need support and he has taken over all bottle washing, pump part cleaning, and bottle preparation.  He usually feeds her bottles if I can't nurse at home, she does not like to take one from me.  Our current schedule - I pump in the mornings and R feeds her a bottle because it's quicker than nursing, I pump three times during the work day 9:30, 12:30, and 2:30 - it works best for me.  I nurse in the afternoon, at bedtime, and at least twice during the night which is why we end up cosleeping a lot.   I usually pump at least once before bed or in the middle of the night.

I own the Medela Pump in Style Advanced.

Before work I pack my pump bag while R packs nugget's bottles.  My pump bag essentials:

  • Lansinoah Hands Free Pumping Bra
  • extra Medela line set
  • extra Medela membranes
  • Two sets of disposable breast pads
  • Lansinoah Lanolin cream (I've not needed this but it's nice to have)
  • Plastic freezer bag - I use this to put my flanges in after I use them and usually I store them in my lunch bag in the clinic refrigerator
  • The Medela cooler with 4 collection bottles and ice pack
  • extra batteries for the battery pack

I also find it useful to have a space heater in my office while I gets a bit drafty when I'm only wearing my pumping bra. Every morning I quickly rate any outfit ideas in level of difficulty to pump...that's why I usually stick to easy pieces that will not show milk stains.  Lovely visual.

Ava has her own lunchbox for daycare - we include an ice pack and 3 bottles - she takes anywhere from 9-12 ounces during a typical workday.  We love Tommee Tippee bottles, these dishwasher proof personalized labels and matching date labels, and Enfamil Tri-vi-sol for her first morning bottle.

I think we have hit our groove for now, especially with our new work/daycare routine.  Babies nutritional needs don't change much until six months so I'm hoping that it will be smooth sailing.  Weekend and evening nursing is key to keeping up my supply...that and eating enough calories.  I'm not dieting and I take care to eat a variety of clean foods, protein, and fluids.  I'm hoping to update my blog through this journey as Ava and I learn to do this together.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ava Rose at 2 Months

Baby girl is two months old!  Where, oh where, have the last eight weeks gone and what were we doing with our lives before now?

Fun new facts:
  • Still only takes a pacifier about half the time, but she has found her thumb and that seems to be her preference.
  • She loves to mimic faces and will stick her tongue out and try to move her mouth to form "words"
  • Sleeps in four hour increments and wakes us when she is hungry
  • Coos, giggles, and makes "ahhh" sounds
  • Still doesn't have very good control over her arms and "flails" them quite a bit
  • Her hair has grown back and is longer than it was when she was born
  • Loves long walks in the park, mommy's milkshake, and being held on daddy's shoulder
Weight:  Unknown.  I stepped on a scale with her and the difference was 8 pounds and that was a week ago but we will find out for sure at our upcoming 2 month appointment. 

Length:  Unknown, our appointment is this week and we will find out.  But she is fitting well in her 0-3 month clothes so I know she has gotten quite a bit longer.

Eyes: Brown eyes with a bit of green, I'm not sure what color they will eventually be.  My husband says they're gray.

Clothes:  We retired her newborn clothes at the 7 week mark.  She still fits the onesies but the sleepers were just too short.  Now we are comfy in our 0-3 month clothing and we have so many more options!  None of her shoes or socks fit well yet so we are still wearing our newborn Zutanos.  I plan on buying another pair in a size up.

Diapers: We still fit newborn diapers well, however we didn't want to keep buying them in bulk knowing that any day now we would have to move up to size 1 anyway.  Right now we are on our last pack of newborn and have restocked our drawers with size 1.

Sleeping:  Getting more consistent, she wakes us when she is hungry and usually goes back to sleep easily.  The trick is to get to her before she gets too fussy.  We still co-sleep some nights and others nights she sleeps well in her bassinet.  We have to swaddle her arms down though, all the "flailing" keeps her awake.  Oh and she makes all kinds of noises at night, I peer into the bassinet thinking she's awake but she isn't so I guess it's part of dreaming.

Likes:  Mommy's voice :-)  finally someone appreciates my off key singing.  She loves to sit up so she can look around and she is interested more in toys, particularly rattles.  She also loves to be carried, R puts her in the ergo sometimes but mostly I wear her in my JJ Cole Agility sling.  It's the best way to get her to nap.  She also has a fondness for Led Zeppelin and R has the proof on video.  Also she seems to like getting her hair washed and in recent weeks she has started to enjoy 20 minute increments in her Mamaroo.

Dislikes:  Being naked, daddy's beard, and being ignored.

Feeding:  Breast milk only, daddy gives her a bottle in the morning and she gets 3 at daycare; we nurse in the evenings and night.  I'm pumping 6-7x per day.

Ava's favorites:  Zutano shoes, a variety of rattles, her Mamaroo, Halo swaddle sacks, sleep gowns, cuddles, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles

Milestones: First smile, first Mothers Day together, first cookout, first visit to church, first day at daycare, first visit to the park, first "coos", and she found her thumb.  She also sent mommy some beautiful flowers on my first day back at work.

Mothers Day 2015

 We celebrated my first Mother's Day.  Nugget sent me flowers on Friday before the holiday and she gave me a bar necklace engraved with her name and a Kate Spade bow trinket box.  I was able to get lots of snuggles and cuddles after our Panera lunch.
 Unfortunately she wasn't in a mood to pose with me on Mother's Day.
 R took some photos of us after a nursing session and we also inked her footprints to hang on our bedroom wall.

First Visit to Church
 We were invited to attend our niece's christening in Greensboro in May and I was nervous about attending with such a small baby.  I wore her in my Agility sling but she was so fussy I had to step out of the service a few times...I think we saw a total of about twenty minutes of sermon and then she magically went to sleep during closing prayer.
 At least she looked cute.

Miscellaneous pictures from the month

 She is holding her own bottle in this photo :-)
 Memorial Day 2015 - she did so well during our cookout.  R wore her for most of the afternoon.
 This is how she sucks her thumb.
 First walk in the park, nugget is deep in thought.  

 All wrapped up in mama's sling.
Flowers sent to me on my first day back at work.

Postpartum:  The first month was rough, especially early on because I was still healing.  Ice packs, Ibuprofen, and docusate sodium were my best friends.  I was cleared for work at my 6 week appointment and was told I could resume exercise as normal.  The second month of my maternity leave was much better physically but I had to work to improve my confidence as a mom.  Especially when she went through her "purple crying" phase and basically screamed at me for hours every day.   I'm focused on getting my tone back and trying to ease back into working out.  Which isn't fun since none of my nursing bras are very supportive.  I'm not dieting and I don't care to since I'm trying to produce enough milk for my baby to take to daycare.  I'm still very hormonal and I am more sensitive to things than I was before. Since I'm still wearing the baby weight, I needed new clothes for work so basically I've had to do a lot of shopping (and trying not to buy too much since I'm hoping to get my weight down over the next several months).  Right now R and I are both focused on eating healthfully and getting some regular exercise and we've been trying to support each other's goals by trading off childcare responsibilities.

Going back to work:  I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about it in detail after Nugget's eight week mark.  The first day was rough, it's been four days and it hasn't gotten much better.  Emotionally I'm a bit of a wreck and I have some mama guilt.  I miss her terribly when I'm away from her and it's stressful to rely on pumping enough milk during a work day.  Maybe I'll be able to blog more about my work experience after a few weeks when I'm back in the groove.  For now it's a bit raw but it's good to know that my patients and coworkers missed me.   

Daycare:  I had my child ready for daycare - cute washable, personalized bottle labels; monogrammed daycare bag packed with extra clothes, pacis and blankets, a new mermaid lunchbox with ice pack to transport her bottles...boom!  On the outside we had our shit together.  On the inside I was a hot mess...we dropped her off, met her teacher, cuddled for several minutes before our goodbye, and then I cried in the parking lot for 45 minutes.  Now R is on daycare drop off duty until I can get myself least now I can break down out of public view.  I always knew I would go back to work, I make more money than daycare costs, good insurance, manageable hours, an office that locks and the flexibility to pump, basically I've got a dream job in a great location with fantastic coworkers - and as grateful as I am, for now I just miss nugget.  She will be in this daycare for the summer and will be starting a church daycare in the fall, I feel that both are more than capable of handling her needs and have been more than accommodating and friendly to us.  I just don't know if I would have ever been ready to leave her.  We are adjusting to our new schedule and I don't take for granted the time that I do have with her.

The journey continues, I'm looking forward to our 2 month MD appointment and to managing our new daily routine.