Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I wrote yesterday's blog post in a hurry because Adelyn was waking up and I felt the need to rush through and write about my journey.  I think some of it came off differently than I intended so I want to kind of clear up where I was coming from.

That blog post was mostly intended for myself. I'm my own worst critic and judge which is why quitting pumping has been so incredibly hard for me. I hate even saying that I'm quitting. I don't like to quit anything. Before having Adelyn, I was SO determined to breast feed for the first year of her life. I knew breast feeding was hard and took work but I never imagined that we wouldn't be able to do it at all and I would spend quite a bit of time pumping instead. That option never crossed my mind.  So far, in our decision to formula feed, we've been surrounded by nothing but love and support and no one has said anything judgmental or negative towards us.  I have been judgmental of myself during this process and afraid that I'm weaning for selfish reasons and not really putting my daughter's needs before mine.  I also know that I had pre-conceived ideas about formula feeding and while I don't judge anyone who chooses that for their baby, I definitely would have formed ideas about them in my head without knowing their whole story.  That's just me being completely transparent and honest. This whole process has been SO humbling for me and I know that this is probably just the beginning. God is using my struggles to really show me areas of my life where I have been so sinful in my thoughts.

I want to get that point across.  I'm not claiming to be perfect. I'm not claiming that I never judge others or that I'll never jump to conclusions too quickly ever again.  Because I know I will.  I know I will be judged for decisions that I make as a parent and I will find myself judging others.  That's a habit I hope and pray to break over time.  I guess the point that I was trying to get across is that before you're a parent you make these plans and decisions; breast or bottle feeding, crib or co-sleeping, cloth or disposable diapers.  You usually have pretty strong opinions one way or another and have a definite route you plan to take. But those plans don't always work out. That was something I never really realized or considered until I became a parent. I always said I would breastfeed and now I'm not. I always said I would NEVER sleep with my baby in my bed and I confess we've napped together once or twice because that was the only way I could get her to sleep and get some rest myself. I plan on making my own baby food but I'm finally realizing for one reason or another, that may not happen. I planned on never letting my babies have pacifiers and Addie was getting a pacifier by the end of her first week.  It's ok to change your mind as life happens. It's ok to realize that the plans you had for yourself and your children weren't realistic or weren't a good fit for your family.  That's kind of the big revelation I've had so far as a mom. I'm not claiming to be an expert. I know I still have a lot of growing and learning to do.  I just felt the need to write this all down mostly as a reminder for myself when I get super focused on how I planned life to go but that's not how it turns out, but also in case there's anyone out there struggling with the same things.  It's ok to change your plans. It's ok to not have a plan. God knows exactly what I need to get me through on a daily basis and He will provide. When I focus on that truth, all the little decisions like breast milk vs formula or letting Addie self-soothe vs picking her up every time she cries seem to become a lot less important.  We'll make decisions. We'll make mistakes. We'll learn as we go. I'm not perfect and my baby won't be either.

And I'm done ranting...haha. I could ramble on and on to try and reassure myself. Instead, I think I'll go make the bed, try to straighten up, and just be happy in my imperfect life.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Parting with the Pump

So this may be an awkward topic to blog about...but I feel like someone has to. Not many people know this because, like I said, it's awkward to talk about.  Adelyn has been bottle fed from day one...not formula, but breast milk. Due to a lot of different reasons, some me, some her, I've been pumping since our second day in the hospital and she has been fed expressed breast milk in a bottle. We never got the hang of breast feeding, partially because her jaw and tongue were so recessed at birth and partially because my supply was so large and expressed way too quickly for her to keep up, among a few other reasons.

Why blog about this? I'm still trying to decide if I'm even going to post this, to be honest. Recently, Jake and I made the mutual decision that pumping is taking too large of a toll on me, on us, and on my relationship with Adelyn.  I guess I feel the need to justify the decision we've made publicly. But I also feel the need to open up about my struggles in case there's someone who reads this who is having the same issues or is struggling with the decision to formula feed instead of breast feed.  Or even to let someone who is exclusively pumping know that they aren't alone. Until I googled ways to wean from the pump, I thought I was pretty much the only woman in the world who exclusively pumped.  And I know not many people know that I was only pumping but everyone will know once Adelyn is on formula only and I know many people who will have an opinion about it, and whether good or bad, I at least wanted a way to get all my thoughts and feelings about it out.  People are going to judge. I know that. I'm becoming more and more ok with that every day.  I've got to do what's best for Adelyn and me and honestly, others opinions don't really factor into that.

The main reason I'm making the switch is because of how hard it was on me emotionally.  Almost every time I was pumping during the day would be the time when Adelyn would wake up from a nap screaming and wanting to eat and I literally could not help her.  I spent many pumping sessions in tears as I had to listen to my baby cry and I couldn't even get up to comfort her.  I was trying to do the best thing for her by giving her breast milk but since I couldn't just feed her naturally, it was putting a huge strain on our bonding and relationship.  And as I was writing this, Adelyn woke up crying from a nap and I was able to run upstairs and grab her and now she's quite content snuggling on my chest, which is just reinforcement that I made the right decision.  If I had been pumping when she woke up, she'd still be up in her crib crying and getting worked up.  Not worth it to me.  I know the benefits of breast milk and I very much wanted to breast feed her for the first year of her life. That's just not the cards we were dealt and I'm trying to be ok with that.  And I was fed formula from day one and I think I turned out pretty great :)

If I had been able to breast feed I think I would still be breast feeding now.  I'd be able to comfort Adelyn any time she needed comforting.  I'd also be able to breast feed her, no matter where we were.  Another reason I'm no longer pumping is because you can't just start pumping in public. Sounds silly, right? But we had a wedding about a month ago and Jake was in the wedding so we had the rehearsal and everything, too.  It was a busy weekend and I spent most of it stressing out about where I was going to be able to pump.  It was beyond awkward to have to ask the owner of the hall where the reception was if we could use his office so that I could pump on schedule.  It was uncomfortable.  Maybe that's selfish of me. But I didn't think about how much a pumping schedule would dictate my life when I made the decision to pump.  I hesitate to say it isn't worth the stress because Adelyn is worth it.  However, I know she will still thrive on formula.

I think a huge reason this has been so emotionally hard on me is how terrible society makes formula sound. I know breast milk is the best option.  However, formula isn't going to kill them.  I'm proud and happy that Adelyn made it 2 months on only breast milk and that she is still getting it for a few feedings every day and she's almost 3 months old now.  But even if she had never gotten a drop of breast milk, that's not what's important and I'm finally realizing that.  My relationship with her is what is important.  Being able to hold her and comfort her as soon as she starts crying and not 15 minutes after the fact is what's important.  Surrounding her with love and hugs and kisses is what's important. I know there's some people out there who will still judge me and disagree with me about how what's most important for my child.  I'm not writing this to change anyone's mind. I'm finally just becoming ok with the fact that people are going to think what they want to think even when they don't know the whole story or the facts. I'm not writing this to change anyone's mind.  Part of me is writing this to at least tell people my side of the story...but this is just scratching the surface on my journey with pumping.  If anything, I'm writing this to help myself work through pumping.  It has been an emotional journey and I've felt really guilty a lot of the time.

I guess part of me is also writing this to hopefully make people more aware of the fact that they don't know what anyone else in going through when they judge them.  That goes for many areas of life.  I'll be the first to say that before having a baby, I was really judgmental of people that formula fed.  I've realized now that when I see other people doing things or making decisions that I wouldn't....that I have no idea what their story is.  I have no idea what struggles they've been through.  I think the world would be a lot better place if people realized that instead of just assuming they know what that person has been through and judging them for the decisions they're making.

I'll get off my soapbox now and leave you with a cute picture of my baby instead :)

Helping Mommy with her blog :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2 Month Check Up

Yesterday was Adelyn's 2 month doctor appointment. I knew she's grown SO much but it didn't really hit me until they weighed and measured her. She weighs 10 pounds and 13 ounces and is 22 1/4 inches long. She was in the 25th percentile for height and weight at birth and now she's in the 50th percentile. That explains why it took forever for her to grow out of newborn clothes but now she's almost outgrown most of her 0-3 month clothes already! She did such an amazing job. She smiled at the doctor throughout the entire examination. At every doctor's appointment we've gone to, she's never cried or fussed once when they look at her eyes, ears, nose, and throat. She was SUCH a good baby and I couldn't have been more proud of her.

Then came the shots :( She cried but only for about a minute (I say only but it felt like FOREVER) and then I was able to get her in her car seat and she slept the whole way home. She woke up and was her usual happy self until it was nap time and she could NOT get comfortable. She naps in her car seat right now because she won't sleep in her crib during the day and she just fussed and fussed which eventually turned into crying and screaming and she would only calm down if I was holding her and walking around. I tried giving her a warm bath but that just made her more angry. I looked in the medicine cabinet and we only had infant advil, not tylenol, and Jake wasn't going to be home for another hour and there was no way I could take her out to the store. So I found the most comfortable position I could for her....

She still whimpered now and then but her legs weren't touching anything in this position so she finally slept

Finally, Jake got home and all I can say is THANK GOD for infant tylenol. She finally was in a better mood and went to sleep around 8:30 last night and slept until 5 this morning. I doubt anyone really cares to hear about all of this but I want to remember as much as I can about her first months of life and that includes the pain and hard times. And as much as my heart was breaking for her, part of me felt good that I could comfort her enough to get her to sleep. I know I can't protect her perfectly and she will get hurt again...heck, we have another doctor's appointment in 2 months :/ But I know that I will do everything in my power to ease her pain when she is hurt. I know right now it's just pain from shots that she won't even remember but one day it will be bigger and more painful experiences and I hope and pray that she will still come to me to be comforted.

And that was not at all where I expected the blog post to go :) Just wanted to share how big my baby girl is getting and remember how horrible those shots are for poor little babies :(

Oh also it was Father's Day on Sunday :)

Can we please just focus on how cute these 2 are?

I mean seriously...melt my heart

And how identical they are?

Twins...it's so unfair.

Monday, June 10, 2013

2 months

Baby girl is 2 months old, as of Saturday! I can't believe how quickly she's growing!

She was getting sleepy so this was the best smile we could get. Still a cutie :)

You are chunking up, girlfriend! I boxed up all your newborn clothes last week and you are quickly filling out the 0-3 month clothes. Some of the sleepers don't even fit because your legs are so long. Slow down baby!

We went for a little drive today while you were napping and checked out the schools you'll be going to :) It made me happy and kind of sad at the same time. I know it won't be long before I'm driving you to school on a daily basis and I'll wonder where the time went.

You still LOVE baths...hardly ever cry. You love just hanging out in your diaper, too. Not a fan of clothes. 

You don't nap well in your crib but you do great in your car seat...so guess where you nap multiple times a day? Momma has to get stuff done and it's impossible when you start crying every 10 minutes in your crib.

Speaking of crying, your cries are pitiful and break everyone's heart. Seriously. Yesterday, Trip jumped on the couch while I was feeding you and scared you and you were inconsolable for about a minute and it felt like an eternity. I was just about in tears. I'm not looking forward to your 2 month appointment next Monday and all the shots :(

You're sleeping like a champ at night...most nights. Last night was ideal. You fell asleep at 9pm within minutes of being put in your crib. You woke up to eat around 4am and were back asleep by 5 and then up again at 8. Most nights you're a booger to put down but you sleep for pretty long stretches.

You're smiling ALL the time. You love sitting up and talking to us. You're cooing more and more every day and sometimes you even seem to scare yourself with how loud you can be. You also laugh in your sleep sometimes which is the cutest thing ever.

You love your activity gym. You just lay there and swing your arms and kick your legs non-stop and talk to the toys and your reflection in the mirror. It's adorable. I feel a little rejected though because you don't want to look at me or talk to me when you're playing with it.

You follow Daddy and I with your eyes a lot and when people leave the room you follow them, too. When we talk to you, you usually turn your head. It's so exciting to finally be able to get and keep your attention :)

You're such a precious blessing in our lives baby. It's so rewarding and fun to watch you grow and learn every day.

We love you!