Monday, July 15, 2013

Breastfeeding-The Second Time Around

Breastfeeding the second time around isn't that different than the first. Other than I have another child to chase after and keep out of trouble while I'm feeding Michael. Now I just need to master feeding in the Moby wrap or Ergo and I will be good to go!
When I was pregnant with Ellie I was told by countless people about how bad breastfeeding hurt and to expect it to be horrible for at least the first two weeks. I was told that it would hurt so bad that when she would latch it would take my breath away. I was nervous, but I was mentally prepared for the pain and it was so important to me that I breastfed that I was willing to push through it. So in order to prepare I took 3 hour breastfeeding class at the hospital and was super gung-ho that I was going to make it at least a year.

After she was born she latched right away and nursed like a champ. Every time that I had to feed her I would page a nurse and have her help me make sure that she was latched correctly. I had no qualms about every one of my nurses seeing my boobs. I wanted to make sure that I was doing it right. Surprisingly it didn't hurt. There was a little discomfort but that was about it. I never cracked or bled. I was never in tears while I got her to latch and fed her. I was so thankful! She ate every 2 hours around the clock for months. She had some belly issues around 3 months and that was he first time I introduced formula. I remember sitting in the glider in her room crying while I gave her a bottle. I felt like a failure. I ended up "getting inside my head" and was constantly worried about my supply and if she was gaining enough weight. She was a dainty thing and I always had people asking me if she was getting enough to eat or telling me that she was still hungry every time she cried (which was A LOT). So the stress did eventually affect my supply and let-down. It was a vicious cycle. I continued to breastfeed, but she was so impatient and slowly more and more bottles crept in until she weaned at 8 months. I was devastated that we didn't make it a year, and I was determined that if we had more kids that I would do things differently.

Enter Michael. Just like his sister he latched and nursed like a pro right after birth. But this time I had more confidence. I didn't ask the nurses for help, and I had 2 different lactation consultants come in and offer their services before we were discharged, but things were going so well I told them thanks, but we were all set! Here we are at 2 months still going strong.

Since Ellie ended up getting so impatient with breastfeeding and ended up getting so many bottles I had no desire to give Michael a bottle. EVER. Even if that meant I could never leave his side for the next 6+ months. However; due to some recent circumstances I realized that I should make sure he could take a bottle in case there was ever a time that I had to leave him with someone so at 8 weeks he just had his first experience with a bottle of breast milk. I put an ounce in a bottle and gave it to Mike and he drank it no problem. I was pretty shocked because he doesn't do so well with a pacifier so I figured he would do about the same with the bottle. I am happy, but at the same time I kind of feel like he cheated on me! Thankfully, there was no problems the next time he nursed, but a bottle will not be a regular thing.
Ellie has seen me nurse Michael from the beginning and sees me pump too. I want to make sure that breastfeeding is normal for her and that she doesn't ever feel like it's something that has to be hidden or that is taboo. With Ellie I was so nervous about nursing in public. I spent a lot of time feeding her sitting in a bathroom. Gross. This time-not so much. Half the time I don't even use a cover. It's to friggin hot for a cover. And Michael is fussy when I try to use a cover. I wouldn't want to eat under a blanket either! I just wear a tank top under my shirt and then pull the top one up and you can't see a thing. If you don't like it-feel free to leave!

Now I am by NO means against formula feeding moms. My motto is "feed your baby". Whatever method that may be. Please just remember the AAP recommends no solids until SIX months of age. It's hard enough being a mom; we don't need to judge each other on how our babies are fed. We're all just doing the best we can!!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

My family got together at my brothers house to celebrate Independence Day and my mom's birthday which was on the 7th. (My dad's birthday is the 6th so it's a busy week for us!) I put the kids in their red white and blue and we headed over for a day fun in the sun.

I swear she was happier than she looks!

My brother had a giant blow up water slide that all the cousins were playing on, but Ellie was absolutely terrified to go down the big slide and wanted nothing to do with it. I told Mike to just make her go down, and she reeeally didn't like it after that. There was a spray gun attached to it and she had no problem shooting other people with it, but ran away yelling " No no don't get me" any time anyone aimed it at her. Typical.

After lunch and a non existent nap Ellie played outside with her little cousin and we played with some sparklers and made some s'mores on the bonfire. I had Michael in the Ergo, managed one s'more and high tailed it inside at the first sign of mosquitos.


Over all we had a good day and had fun celebrating my mom and the fourth. I had such a good time spending the day with family and Ellie always loves getting together to play with her cousins. It will be so fun next year to see Michael running around and playing with all the other kids.

And what day would be complete without a mini photo shoot at Aunties house??


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Meeting Michael

When I was pregnant we didn't tell anyone until pretty late in the pregnancy. We kept it a secret and only told immediate family until we had already found out we were having a boy. After the miscarriage I was nervous that everything would be ok so we waited extra long to share the news. We waited just as long to tell Ellie because we didn't want her running around saying "Mommy has a baby in her belly!!" When we told her we tried our best to make sure that Ellie understood what was happening. We would tell her that she was going to be a big sister and that baby Michael was in my belly. We prayed for him every night that he would grow big and strong and that he would be healthy. She would talk about him and she heard his heartbeat when she went to a few of my midwife appointments with me. I really didn't know how much she actually grasped and wondered how much it would rock her world when he actually arrived.
When I went into labor Ellie stayed with my brother and sister-in-law Andrea while we were at the hospital. Andrea sent us lots of pictures of Ellie having fun while she stayed at their house. We couldn't believe how big she looked now that we had another little baby in our family.
Doesn't she look so big!!
We had told her that I was going to have baby Michael and she was going to be a big sister. The day after Michael was born they came up for her to meet him and I was so curious how she would react. I am so thankful to Andrea for capturing these first moments of us as a family of four! Ellie was excited to see her daddy and I and knew right away that this was baby Michael.
I told her that baby Michael was here and wasn't in mommy's belly anymore. She kept saying "aww he's so cuuuute." and "he's so liiiiiittle." She knew that this was baby Michael and this was her little brother. It was so sweet and warmed my mama heart to see her loving her little brother so much.

She was so gentle and sweet with him I couldn't believe it. After a little while my brother and SIL held Michael while Ellie and her little cousin entertained themselves playing in the hospital room. It was such a sweet time and I was so glad that Ellie was able to come up and meet her little brother.

Since we have been home she hasn't asked if there is a baby in my belly and she absolutely adores Michael. She looks for him first thing in the morning, she always strokes his head and says he's so cuuute, when I burp him she pats his back and says "he's such a good baby", and she covers him with a blanket; and not his head either. She will just put it over his legs and say "there ya go". She tells me she loves him and is just so sweet.
She seems to have adjusted so well and hasn't had really any behavioral changes or jealousy outbursts. She has never tried to hit him, or ask when he's going back to the hospital. She was in heaven after he was born because Mike took some time off work and she got to play with daddy all day. I love her sweet spirit and am so thankful that it was a pretty smooth transition for her. I am so excited to watch them grow up together and I pray the become the best of friends in the years to come!



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Michael: 1 Month


I can't believe that Michael has already been here for a whole month! (Ok almost 7 weeks, it's hard to blog when I'm nursing or keeping a 2 year old entertained all day.) Time has flown by; except for when Mike is at work allllll day, those days seem to drag on. We're still trying to figure out a routine around here. When Mike is at work it's hard for me to time Ellie's bath/bed time around Michael's feeding time. It seems like it changes every day, or he just ends up cluster feeding for 4 hours and I can't seem to get anything done. But I know how incredibly fast this stage goes and I am perfectly content getting in all the snuggles as I can!

This Month:
*You weigh 10lbs 7oz (Up from 7lbs 11oz at your newborn appointment).
*You are just starting to get too big for your newborn clothes. I'm not ready to pack them away yet!
*You eat like a champ. You eat about every 2-3 hours and cluster feed most nights before bed.  
*You are still in a newborn diaper (we switched to size 1 shortly after 1 month)
*You eat around 9pm then I wake you up for another feed when we go to bed. You usually give us about a 4 hour stretch and then every 2-3 hours after that. Then we are up for the day when Ellie wakes up any time between 8:00-9:30.

You really like to be held. As soon as we put you down you wake right up. I am so thankful for our Moby Wrap and Ergo. A few minutes after I pop you in the carrier you are out cold. You aren't a fan of your swing or bouncer. Just Mommy or Daddy's arms. Looking at Ellie and seeing how big she is really reminds me just how fast time flies so I am content to hold you and give you what you need. You won't want to be held forever!

You grunt a lot. Thankfully you aren't that big of a crier-unless we are in the car. I don't know why but you hate that thing. I feel awful whenever we go anywhere, but we can't stay cooped up in the house forever. You are a little hot box so we bought you a fan that clips on your car seat so hopefully that will help cool you down and you will be more content. You don't want to take a pacifier and no matter how hard we try we can't get you to suck your thumb. You just like mama. For naps you like to be bounced and swayed to sleep, but at bedtime you pretty much just pass out while you are eating.

You aren't much of a crier. You don't cry when we change your diaper or when you wake up for middle of the night feedings. You really only fuss when you are tired or want to be held. You have the cutest little pout face and sometimes when you cry you "mew" like a little kitten. It's the cutest thing! 

 Ellie is obsessed with you. She always looks for you first thing when she wakes up in the morning and says "Awwwww, he's so ca-uute" and "gotta be niiiice to the baby" while she strokes your head. She always needs to cover you up with a blanket; and surprisingly she doesn't cover your face! She is always giving us play by plays of what you are doing. When you cry she says "He's saying La".

I can't imagine life without you here and I am so excited to see your personality start to show. You are such a sweet boy and we love you so much!!