Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our First Born...sort of

Technically Molly was our first "born" but our dog Paisley is our first child. A lot of people have asked how she is taking all of this change and adapting to having a newborn in the house and the short answer is  she has been great! But I thought I would elaborate a little bit.


From the first day I found out I was pregnant I promised myself that we would not be those people that forgot about their pet and completely focused on only the baby. And I think we have been pretty good about it. Sure, she doesn't get as much attention as she did before (which was a TON) and yes her walks are not quite as often (no more 2 a days) but all in all she is still extremely important to us and we love her as much as ever. She is, and always will be, our first born.

Paisley is a border collie, australian shepherd, blue heeler etc. etc. mix. I found her on Craigslist when she was just 6 weeks old and paid a $25 re-homing fee to make her mine. The best $25 I have ever spent. She has been the perfect dog since the day we brought her home and has turned into an excellent big sister.


A few things that we have noticed about Paisley:

  • Paisley has always been a very protective dog and she got even more so when I was pregnant. Now that Molly is here she continues to watch over her and will stand in-between you and Molly if she doesn't know you.
  • Paisley does not like the sound of a baby crying. She immediately leaves the room.
  • She knows something is different. She can tell that we are a little less attentive to her and obsessed with Molly. But she is taking it very well.
  • She isn't quite sure what to do with Molly. She will continually sniff her and check her out but is not 100% sure what she is.
  • She is milking the treats. We have a tiny bit of guilt about not being able to swoon over Paisley as much so we give her treats and human food bites to make us feel better. She has caught on.
The things we have done:
  • Walks are still a priority (when the weather is nice). She doesn't get a double dose like she used to sometimes but she still gets her exercise.
  • Trips to the park on nice days are a must. She loves it and we want to make sure she still gets to go.
  • Love on her. She isn't the only one we like to cuddle up to now but we still give her lots of belly rubs and back scratches.
  • Keep her with us. We do our best to make sure she is hanging out in the room we are in, even though she bolts when Molly cries.
  • Playtime. Chase still wrestles with her and runs around the house playing. She loves it.



We love Paisley more than anything and she will never be #2, she just has to share the spotlight a bit.

Monday, January 23, 2012

the breastfeeding truth

My goal when writing posts about motherhood has been, from post #1, to be honest and not paint this mom picture in an overly cheesy and "everything is perfect" light. The main reason being my own jaded idea of what being a new parent was going to be like based on other peoples depiction of this time. Yes, motherhood and having a newborn is amazing and people should share all the special moments but I wanted to share those special ones and the not so special ones to give it some perspective.

So in keeping with this goal I wanted to write this post about breastfeeding. And I hope that I don't get too harshly reprimanded for my story.

Before I was pregnant I didn't have strong feelings about breastfeeding or not. Then when I got pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed but that was the extent of it. And I definitely didn't connect with the "magic" that other Moms would talk about. I didn't get caught up in the breastfeeding mantra. I wanted to breastfeed and I was going to until I didn't. As my pregnancy went on, and I read more, my desire to breastfeed became a little stronger and I made the goal of wanting to breastfeed for at least 1 year. I still kind of cringed at the idea of nursing in public and making my decision so public. Those women that just whipped out their boobs and started nursing no matter where were a little too radical for me.

Unfortunately I read nothing about how hard breastfeeding actually is. I thought my baby would just naturally latch on and that was that. I had not come across any stories about how trying and exhausting and difficult it could be. Because of this I decided not to take a class on breastfeeding or research more than the tiny chapter in my baby book. I did read though that a natural unmedicated vaginal delivery made breastfeeding easier. My plan was to have Molly put on my chest right away and breastfeed almost immediately. That should set us up for success.

The reality...not so smooth.

My labor and delivery was great. Everything was as planned or better. I was in labor (extremely intense labor) for just 3 hours and it only took me 2 good pushes to bring Molly into this world. She was placed immediately on my chest and we spent a good 20 minutes together before she was taken away to clean, weigh and wrap up. As soon as that was done she was back in my arms ready to make our first attempt at nursing. It was a short attempt, she was sleepy and not really latching on and in the midst of all the excitement we quickly moved on when she didn't seem all that interested. I think that was the first mistake we made in our breastfeeding journey.

The next few days in the hospital we continued our attempts at breastfeeding, we met with the hospital lactation consultants several times a day, we used a nipple shield, we did skin to skin time etc. She wasn't quite getting it.

We took her home and continued our efforts. She was still not really latching well. We didn't give up. We had a breakdown around day 4 or 5. And then we had a breakthrough. She latched! And she latched well. Success! For the next 5 days or so our nursing sessions were amazing. She was latching and drinking and swallowing. It was wonderful. And then it wasn't. For some reason she just stopped latching. And for some reason I wasn't producing. It was a catch 22. She didn't latch on for long because not enough milk was coming out and I wasn't producing enough because she wasn't draining me. It was heartbreaking because she was hungry, really hungry. She was crying and screaming because she wanted to eat. And despite my best efforts my body wasn't giving her what she needed. So we decided to supplement. This was a very hard decision and one that my husband and I made together after a lot of discussion. Our final deciding factor, our baby is hungry and she needs to eat.

The plan of action was to breastfeed as much as she would tolerate then supplement with formula until she was full (she never got the milk drunk full from exclusively breastfeeding). Then I would pump as much as I could to try and get my milk supply up. As the days wore on she got worse and worse at latching and would just scream when I tried to get her to nurse. It was killing me. All I wanted to do was feed my child naturally. To be able to whip out a boob and bond as my baby nursed from me. But it wasn't happening.

The next step, call a lactation consultant. She came out to our house, spent a couple hours with us and assessed the situation. In the end, the only real hope was to get my supply up with the idea that Molly would start to latch again once plenty of milk was offered. The problem, to get your supply up you have to pump around 10 times a day. 10 times! I tried my best and felt like I was pumping around the clock but I was only able to get in about 5 or 6 pump sessions (Molly liked to be held around the clock and would cry if not). More supplementing was being done and at this point she was now about 60% formula and 40% breast milk. As the days wore on my supply was not getting any better. I got on a prescription medication that was supposed to help along with lots of herbs and vitamins. No change. My body was failing me.

Over the next 6 weeks I continued to try. I would breastfeed her for her first feeding because that is when I was the most full. And I continued to pump during the day and bottle feed what I was producing. As the weeks wore on she latched on less and less in the morning feeding and my body was shutting down production.

The hardest most painful decision I have ever made came next. Breastfeeding was over. We moved to 100% formula.

I felt like a complete failure of a mother. The most basic of needs I was unable to provide. I cried and cried everyday. And not a day goes by still that I don't tear up thinking about it.

I want to be that Mom that pulls out her boob in doctors office waiting room. I want to be that Mom that has a freezer full of breast milk supply. I want to gush about the magic that is breastfeeding and the incredible bond I have with my baby during feedings. And I get insanely jealous when I see other Moms enjoying these things. Its not fair. Why not me? Why did my body fail me?

I wanted to write this post for all the Moms that have tried, with the best intentions, and it didn't work out. Because those Moms don't get support. We get too harshly criticized and ostracized by women who haven't had these obstacles and don't know what its like.

I want the very best for my child. And I tried, boy did I try. But it didn't work out. And I am doing my very best to move on and move past it. But its hard to admit failure and feel okay about it. Especially when it comes to your baby. But here I am, sharing. Sharing in hopes that this post might help someone else. Might pull someone else out of the darkness that takes over when you let yourself down.

In the end all you can do is your very best. And I know that Molly will be just as healthy and thriving on formula. I did what I could and I have to take solace in that.


UPDATE: Thanks to my amazing readers this blog post is now being featured in an eBook from Babble. You can find more information here:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bumpdate: A Recap

It's been 10 weeks since I was pregnant. It feels like 10 minutes. And I miss it. I never thought I would say that but I do, I miss it. I am sure the fact that I had a great pregnancy (little weight gain, no morning sickness, very little aches and pains) and a great delivery (3 hours of labor and 2 pushes -- albeit still insanely painful) helps but I miss that feeling of growing a human being INSIDE ME.

Only now, after seeing and raising Molly for the past 2 months, am I really starting to grasp how much of a true and utter miracle pregnancy is. And I yearn for the nights sitting on the couch looking down at my belly and watching her little kicks and feeling her tiny baby hiccups. (And oh yea, I got to go to bed whenever I wanted) Only to be replaced by sitting on the couch and looking down at my amazingly beautiful daughter that Chase and I somehow made. Now that the dust has settled, a tiny bit, from the arrival of Molly I thought I would re-cap all of our baby bump photos. What a journey.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Molly: Two Months

I feel like I was just writing Molly's One Month post yesterday (and part of me feels like that was forever ago!).

Our little girl is now 2 months old! She is growing and changing everyday and we are enjoying seeing her little personality start to come out.

She is smiling a lot (after we eat and are full and happy) and has started having some intense cooing sessions with her dad and myself. We can sit with her and talk back and forth. She tries her best to make the same noises we do and replicate the faces we are making. Its adorable!

A few firsts we have had is our first happy hour when the weather was beautiful last week. She did really well, only got fussy at the very end. We also had our first trip to the grocery store, another success and our first visit to our favorite taco spot Fuzzy's. We are really enjoying getting out with her more and more but its still a bit tricky to plan as she continues to not be a big fan of the car seat and she has about 1 hour of happy time after a feeding before she gets really cranky from being tired.

We are continuing to adjust to the whole being parents thing and while each day is a new challenge and some are much harder than others we are making it through. And no matter what, each day is filled with huge amounts of love for our little girl.

9 pounds even
21 1/2" long
14 1/2" head

Activity play mat
Talking to Mom and Dad
Her new swaddle blanket
Sitting on Mom and Dad's knees

Taking her medicine
Being in the car-seat for too long
Not getting her naps

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All About Baby

It's hard to have a conversation these days that don't revolve around baby. Our life has been completely and utterly taken over by baby. And most of the time I am completely content with that. But sometimes the thoughts of "what happened to my life" creep in and I crave conversation that is not about changing diapers or methods to calm a crying baby. I want to talk about stupid TV, politics, the new restaurant that opened up and so on.

Problem is I don't have time to watch that stupid TV, read about the latest in politics or visit that new restaurant.

The desire to get out of the house and do something completely normal like go to a movie gets overwhelming. It's all you can think about. And its depressing because, unlike 2 months ago, we can't pick up and run to the theater for the matinee of Mission Impossible. And we won't be able to for months and months!

But its a trade-off. Instead we get to nourish our growing little baby. Watch her transform into a tiny human being. See her smile and giggle for the first time at the sight of our faces. And watch her eyes light up when we make her favorite sounds. Its humbling really. This new life of ours.

So for now I will continue to watch my Amazon search bar auto fill with every possible baby product and remember how truly special this time is.

It only happens once.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to Work

Last week I started back to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave. While I feel the urge to do something besides change diapers and bounce on the ball to calm my crying little one I am also sad to not have all day to do nothing but be a Mom. But, lets add a little twist to this scenario...I work from home.

These first couple weeks my amazing husband is here to help make the adjustment but after that its just Molly and me and the work calling from my computer. This will probably be the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life thus far. Balancing work with my baby who prefers to be held and bounced at all times and lets you know about it when she isn't. But I am extremely fortunate to have a job that allows me the flexibility to work like this, because dang! daycare is expensive and I can't bare the thought of my precious baby girl crying in some room filled with other babies and not getting the loving attention she deserves.

So, in short, challenge accepted. No matter how hard it might be.