I have no good title for this post…

A quick Baby C update: he’s healthy, he’s growing, and his breathing is a-okay. In fact, at his follow up appointment yesterday, is oxygen saturation was 100%!! Can’t get any better than that! So although Baby C’s lungs are in tip top shape, the poor guy is suffering from reflux. He’s on meds twice a day and I am seeing a slight improvement already. I’m hoping in another day or so, our happy easy going baby will be feeling tons better!

In other news, Brother I is signed up for soccer!! FirefighterDad is a big soccer fan and played all through is childhood and into college so I’m excited to pass along the sport, so to speak.

So in short, I’ve gone from corporate mom 👗👡💄👜 to soccer mom 👚👖👟🎒⚽️

And I’m really looking forward to it. Obviously my days are more flexible now which makes attending practices and games much less daunting. There will be later nights for Mr. I and quick dinners on soccer days, but I’m looking forward to seeing him outside running around having fun.

I’m also ready to start working out again. I’m pretty thrilled with where I’m at postpartum wise – I’m about 4-5 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight and back into my regular shorts, however things aren’t quite as toned as they once were. With my breast still healing I’m thinking about starting out slowly with yoga. I’ll keep ya’ll posted on how this goes.

That’s all I have for now! I’ll talk to you in August!

What We’ve Been Up To Lately

Hello dear blog friends!

Im sipping a cup of coffee and holding sweet Baby C. He’s wide awake looking around and well, trying to poop!

Here’s a quick update on our goings-ons

1. I had my 6 week postpartum appointment and was very excited to see my OB. She ended up not delivering Baby C because she was in the office (you can read Baby C’s birth story here) so it was great to see her and thank her for getting me to 35+ weeks. She checked me out and cleared me for activities and said I looked great. She did peak at my left breast but since the drains were still in and I had the incisions covered in guaze, she left well enough alone. It’s kinda weird going from weekly appointments with her to once a year!

2. I had my second post-op appointment for my left breast. The doctor was VERY pleased with how it looked and decided to take both drains out. I was really excited for this appointment because I wanted the drains out but I was also VERY nervous because I didn’t know how badly it was going to hurt. It was FirefigterDad’s day off so he came for moral support and ya’ll….I didn’t feel a thing. Not a single tug, pinch, burn or anything. It was easy peasy. Prior to this appointment I noticed some milky white liquid leaking from my incisions. Well come to find out its breastmilk!! Doctor said its to be expected since some milk ducts were cut but it’s nothing to be concerned about and will heal. And I’m happy to report that Baby C is nursing even more on the left side and my milk supply seems to be increasing!

3. Baby C has been congested and rattely for a week or so now and I took him to the pediatrician. His breathing is good, his lungs are clear, and everything seems good. However, we are popping in again this morning so the doctor can double check his breathing and make sure he doesn’t have a virus that could potentially very quickly compromise his breathing. It’s a little nerve wrecking, but I’m so grateful for our pediatrician. They NEVER dismiss our concerns or chalk it up to paranoid parents. Instead they are compassionate and thorough. I’m sure if Baby C was older, a virus wouldn’t be so alarming but at his age inflammation can restrict his airway…so I’m grateful for our pedi!

4. Yesterday at Baby C’a appointment he clocked in at 10 pounds! 10 pounds ya’ll!! My little baby is in double digits and put on almost 4 pounds in 4 weeks!! Pretty soon he’ll be out of newborn clothes for good! It’s crazy how quickly Baby C is chunking up compared to Big Brother I. It’s so bittersweet to see Baby C grow up but it’s so wonderful to not be worried about weight gain!

5. And the best for last…this very morning Baby C responded to me signing “milk”. He was a little squirmy and fussy so I signed “milk” and he got very still and SMILED!  Ya’ll he smiled and responded to a sign!! After unlatching and burping, I signed “milk” again and Baby C stopped fussing and gave me his sweet little “eh eh eh” sound and he nursed on the other side! I love baby signing. I think it’s an amazing and powerful tool and so glad we are using it again with Baby C.

I need to wrap this up and get everyone ready for Baby C’s follow up appointment!

Fill me in on your weekend plans!

I Have The Best Luck (cue sarcasm)

Hi.

Hello.

So I had emergency surgery Tuesday afternoon.

I’m fine.

Really, I’m good.

I’m sore, I’m bruised, I have 3 open incisions and two drains.

But I’m good. I’m healing. I’m mending.

So I’m guessing you want the deets?

Okay well you know that Mastitis I was dealing with?

Well after 3 different oral antibiotics, 1 antibiotic shot, 1 visit to my OB, and 3 visits to urgent care, that bitch turned into MRSA.

Yes, as in super-bionic-bacteria that pretty much says “F you antibiotics you’ve got nothing on me!”

My third trip to urgent care, with increasing white blood cells and no improvement in my breast, I was referred to a breast surgeon.

3 needles later, she said I needed to go to the OR. Like now.

So two hours after meeting the breast surgeon (who is very nice and basically awesome and in full support of me breastfeeding), I found myself prepped for surgery.

Breast surgery.

The very things giving life to Baby C is what I was going to get cut open to clean out the infection.

I cried. I stressed. I prayed. And I cried some more.

Then I fed Baby C on my good breast.

And I cried some more.

All in all, it was a simple procedure and only took my doctor about 30 minutes. I had excellent nurses and I was home 2 hours later.

And the kicker? My doctor said if we would have waited another day or so to do the surgery, I would have lost breast tissue. The infection was that bad.

So I’m grateful. Grateful she adjusted her schedule and did the procedure.

Grateful that I’m healthy and healing.

Grateful that I’m still feeding Baby C even if 95% of it is on my right breast.

Grateful that it’s all behind me.

But y’all, I’m feeling something else to. Sad maybe? Angry maybe?

Honestly I’m not sure.

I just feel like this time, this time around with Baby C was suppose to be easy. It was suppose to be joyous. It was suppose to be a normal newborn experience.

And right now it’s anything but “normal”. Granted it’s still a million times better than the NICU. I’m holding my baby right now as I type this and my right breast is already picking up the slack and making more milk.

So at the end of the day, the outcome was good.

But I’m still struggling and I can’t put my finger on it.

I’m feeling a lot of feels, but also the joy has been extinguished.

Maybe that’s why I’m struggling.

I had so much joy. And now, well now I have 3-4 weeks of recovery ahead of me and taking every day one at a time.

I know the joy is close by, just beneath the surface, but until it comes back, there is love and gratitude.

Lots and lots of love and gratitude.



Ladies, if you get a hard, tender, red lump on your breast get it checked out right away! Mastitis turning into an abscess (or 3 in my case) is rare but it does happen!

And Then You Have a Break Through…

I had to get both boys and myself to Walgreens when they opened this morning at 10 because I needed a different antibiotic for this Mastitis I’m still fighting. #MastitisIsWorseThanLabor

While there, Brother I was a gem. I reminded him a couple times to make good choices and in the end the 40 minute trip was easy peasy.

At one point Brother I asked if he could have a 7Up which I wiling allowed since he was behaving and, bubble juice as we call it, is a very rare thing.

We paid, hopped into the car, and went home.

At lunch time I asked Brother I if I could have some of his bubble juice. He graciously said yes, however when I poured some into a cup for me, Brother I wasn’t so thrilled.

He said he wanted the bubble juice that I had poured back into the bottle. I explained we were sharing and he was quick to remind me the bubble juice was his.

So I asked what he was feeling and with his little 4 year old crossed arms and pouty face, he said most emphatically “I’m mad”.

I said “Ok you’re mad because I poured some bubble juice into my cup?”

Brother I said yes and I asked what he needed. And he explained he wanted the bubble juice back in the 20 oz bottle.

So I obliged because in the end it wasn’t a lesson on sharing it was a lesson on using his feeling words and Brother I knocked it out of the park.

He didn’t throw a fit and cry and scream. Instead he used his words, told me how he was feeling, and I was able to help make it better for him.

So sometimes having a 4 year old means you have break throughs and proud mommy moments.

And water with your lunch.

This is Four

We’ve all heard of the Terrible Twos and the Threenager, but what about 4?

Ya’ll No.One.Warned.Me.

Now, I don’t want to scare you but 4, well 4 is tough. Like really REALLY tough.

And here I am thinking I had escaped the ugliness of two and three because I LOVED those ages.

4 is basically the evil step sister of 2 and 3.

It’s frustrating.

It’s aggrivating

It’s voice-raising.

It’s repeating yourself until you just about explode.

It’s hard.

It’s exhausting.

It’s NOT my favorite.

And here’s the thing, I don’t have a bad kid. I don’t have a child who knowingly and willing and mischievously is bad. And I know every parent says this about their kid – but the truth is, I have a good kid. Neighbors have watched him and raved about his behavior. Family has watched him and said how well behaved he was. His teachers at school mention to us how he’s kind and generous and helpful.

So cue in crazy-eyed “what the hell am I doing wrong then” look because I have a child that is far from angelic when he’s at home. Nope, not an angel at all – something much worse. I have a 4 year old.

So what is a mother to do?

Well I have made a goal to be more present with my kids since I’m doing the whole staying at home gig. I want this to be a fun time. Sure there are rules and expectations for behavior, but I don’t want to waste away this time.

I’ve also realized that when I yell and raise my voice….

It.Does.Absolutely.No.Good.

It doesn’t change Brother I’s behavior. And I feel like a shmuck.

Actually, less than a shmuck. I’m the food that schmucks eat.

So we are both feeling, well shitty.

Something had to change and this is where I realized that sometimes a hug is better than a raised voice.

Cue epiphany lighting and music.

So, the other night bedtime wasn’t going well. Not well at all. And it was late. And I was tired. And I’m hormonal and basically Brother I and myself had a terrible horrible no good very bad day.

I yelled.

FirefighterDad yelled.

Brother I cried and continued his antics.

Baby C was cluster feeding.

And.I.Was.Wrought.With.Guilt.

My first born, crying in bed and not going to sleep. He needed me. I needed him.

I passed Baby C off to FFD (how FFD can get Baby C calmed and asleep in a split second is beyond me. I mean, I’m the one with the boobs!) and I went to my first born.

My Little Man. My Bugaboo. My precious sweet child, and I crawled into his bed and we talked.

My voice was calm and caring. And I reminded him that he mad a bad choice and decided to throw a fit, and that’s why he didn’t have any milk (he got water instead). I explained to him that using his words is a better choice.

I went on to explain that using his “feeling words” is a much better choice than having a fit and screaming and yelling.

So I asked him what he was feeling and he broke down into a warm 4 year old sobbing  noodle and between sobs he said he was feeling sad.

I asked him what he needed.

He needed snuggles. So I scooped up my big boy, put him in my lap and we snuggled.

When he settled down, I decided to get to the root of some of our challenges. I asked him how he felt about school.

He’s happy at school but sad.

Now I’m confused. So I ask more questions.

He’s happy at school but sad because I’m far away.

Aha!

This explains drop off – the crying, the pleading for one more hug, and the screaming “mommy” as I walk out the door.

He’s happy at school, but sad that I’m at home and far away from him.

Wow. How eye opening. Learning has taken place and this time it was me who learned something so valuable.

we continued our chat and within 15 minutes, I had a much better understanding of my 4 year old.

When you’re 4, you feel all the feels.

And sometimes, these feels run into other feels, and often times they are the opposite feels.

He’s happy AND sad.

He’s frustrated AND sad.

He’s mad AND happy.

For a 4 year old, it isn’t just one feeling. A situation is just never that black and white.

And now I know.

So there’s lots of work going on in our house to change our ways. Mine and Brother I’s.

There’s more understanding, more patience, and more talk of feeling words and what Brother I needs when he feels a certain way about something.

It’s a work in progress, but I have a feeling this will make 4 that much better.

 

One Month

As of Thursday I officially have a one month old baby!

Agh! How did this happen?!

I need time to slow down just a bit.

Baby C is doing really well. He’s bigger for sure and longer but I dunno by how much. We don’t go back to the pediatrician until he’s two months. But trust me, he’s growing too quickly.

At two weeks Baby C was 6 lbs and 12 oz so 2 oz above his birth weight and he was 20 inches long – a half inch longer than at birth. So all know is that he’s growing, eating, sleeping, and pooping.

He loves to sleep on his belly which I only let him do during the day so I can keep an eye on him.

He’s rather gassy now so he’s fussier than usual and warm baths, lying on the heating pad and lots of snuggles are getting us through it.

Baby C is also more alert with longer awake periods so we have really started focusing on baby signing. Right now we’re doing “milk”, “change” (for diaper changes), and “bath”.

Overall Baby C is such a blessing and I’m so glad he’s here.

Likes

1. Nursing

2. Being held

3. Napping on his tummy

4. Baths

Dislikes

1. Getting diaper changes

2. Getting dressed

3. Not being held

4. Gas/Burps

 

 

Beauty in Contrast

In light of the recent heartache in Dallas I remembered this post.

See here’s the thing, I’m part of an interracial marriage. I am white and FirefigterDad is black.

Our children our a beautiful mixture of us both, as all children are of their parents.

As Americans I so wish we could set aside our differences, our hurt, our hate, our need to feel superior, our need for revenge, and our racism.

I wish we all saw the beauty in each other and loved one another. After all it is our differences that brought us together and made this country great. It is our differences that led to changing of laws and acceptance. I don’t want to see us lose sight of this and take steps backward plagued in hate and ignorance.

I don’t have any profound words to say except that I am praying. I am praying for Dallas. I am praying for the families, I’m praying for police officers, I am praying for our country, and for us. I am praying for love and understanding. I am praying for full acceptance of our differences.

Pant Suits & Diapers

It startles me. It catches me off guard, and stills me. Sometimes my breath catches, and my heart is stilled by the comfort while my mind catches up. It always happens when I least expect it among mundane daily life, but when the beauty of the juxtaposition is processed, I am calmed. I never expected this. I never dreamed of it. I never planned for this. I was never opposed to it. I never fought it. It just happened – naturally, organically.

Sometimes these moments happen hand in hand.

Other times they happen when I view a picture gaining an outsider’s perspective.

And sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. It’s my normal – surrounded by contrast. Beautifully intertwined in a sea of difference.
What’s ironic is I see this from the outside and always think – oh how surprising. How beautiful. Then I am snapped into reality and recognize, oh…

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4 Weeks + Fever + Antibiotics

Hiya! I’m back and I know you’re thrilled. My absence was due to the fact that I’m enjoying some major baby snuggles. And today Baby C is 4 weeks old.

Let me be clear on one little thing though.

I have a 4 week old not a 1 month old baby m’kay?

You see, I did the math. 4 weeks times 7 days in each weeks equals 28 days.

28 days does not make a month (unless your the calendar outcast know as February and so self-involved that every 4 years you have to add an extra day to your month.)

Well clearly I have some repressed deep-seated issues with February.

Anyways back to my original point.

Therefore, Baby C is 28 days old today, or 4 weeks. A standard month is 30 days except when it’s not and its 31.

Ugh this is getting complicated.

Anyways, for my purposes, let’s just say a standard month is 30 days.

Therfore, Baby C will be one month old in two days. #IDontWantToTalkAboutIt

This also means, although I will commemorate his 4 week milestone with pictures, I will NOT be taking pictures of Baby C with his cute “1 Month” bow tie sticker today.

#IStillHaveTwoDays

Now that we got that cleared up, let’s move on and talk about our “girls”.

Yes, I mean our boobs.

Boobies.

Breasts.

Call them what you want. Personally I like Elixar of Life Makers. Has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think?

Okay well anyways after a week or so (probably more like 10 days-ish. With a very big ish) I finally went to see my OB because my left breast is hard, painful, red, and warm. Thank god it doesn’t hurt to nurse Baby C but everything else pretty much does hurt.

Honestly, Leftie is just one big “hurt” now.

So they squeezed me in to be seen and checked me in: BP little high (hello feeling like shit) – check, temperature is 101 (say what?! It was 99 at home) – fever check. Thank god they didn’t get my weight.

Then I was ushered into a room and told to get undressed. And after a quick exam and explaintion of my symptoms…

I have Mastitis.

And now I have a 10-day course of antibiotics.

Anyone have this before?!

Well let me tell you it hurts. Like capital H hurt.

It hurts more today than yesterday. That constant burning aching feeling….yep typical mastitis symptom. #ThankYouWebMD

So here’s the deal: I take my antibiotics 3 times a day for 10 days (and pray I don’t shit myself – hello probiotics!), nurse, nurse, nurse. Use warm compresses and massage the hard knot, hand express and or pump if needed to empty Leftie. And in two weeks I follow back up with my doctor.

 

Fill me in on your going-ons!

 

 

I Brought My Baby Home

*I’ve slowly realized I am still processing a lot of emotions surrounding Mr. I and Baby C’s birth and my experiences with each. I wrote this one night trying to capture the sweet essence of the peace in my heart.*

 

Perfect creation.

Every line, curve, and feature known – memorized.

Every movement, wiggle and squirm felt – cherished.

Every noise, squeak, and cry captured – answered.

Small squishy body pressed against mine warm and calm.

Love and joy are intertwined.

Smooth skin and silky soft hair is treasured and caressed.

Peace and happiness are intertwined.

Days are filled with motherly instincts and your weight in my arms.

Days are filled with the sweet suckle of life and your weight in my arms.

Days are filled with the quiet solace of peace and your weight in my arms.

Every longing, every ache, every prayer answered in one moment.

One life-defining, soul-healing moment.

Every dream, every wish, every prayer answered in one moment.

One life-defining, soul-healing moment.

The journey is complete. From brokenness and fear to joy and peace.

I brought my baby home.

 

Morning Chores

Ya’ll, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret:

I’m a little OCD.

Seriously. A therapist once told me so.

For realz.

Oh, and she said I have some degree of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Yeah, I guess it’s not normal for an 8 year old to lose sleep over fearing about death.

(Please know that although I mean for this post to be a little tongue in cheek, there is nothing funny about anxiety, depression, or other illnesses and my intent is not to offend anyone)

With all that being said, I have instituted…

Drum roll please…

MORNING CHORES!!!

Can you sense my excitement?!

Now that I’m a SAHM I needed to create a little more routine to my days so I get shit done. Since I am a morning person and HATE clutter in my home (OCD part maybe? Although I do get anxious when things aren’t put away), I have started doing morning chores.

I love it!

Brother I hates it.

I figured he’s 4 and it’s about time he does some things himself like laundry, dishes, and cleaning up his own messes. I of course guide, instruct, and help along the way, but ya’ll even though it’s a bit of a struggle, this kid is capable of a lot!

For me, this is my time to straighten up, do the dishes, get laundry going, make my bed, and I typically get this is all done within 30-40 minutes. So I’m not busting my ass.

I drink my coffee, nurse Baby C, and then get to it. Then we eat breakfast and I feel SO accomplished before 9 or 10am. It’s working right now and having a generally clean house is SO nice and refreshing.

Let’s not even talk about Mr. I’s room though.

I’m getting anxious just thinking about it.

 

Mommas out there, what is your routine like?

Any “must dos” in your routine?