July 25, 2011

The Only Reason it's Okay for Cooler Weather to Come

Miss A will get her first dose of college football this fall! She is already excited about it haha-- I just need to buy her a little baby jersey... not sure if they make those in that newborn sizes but she will need something. Maybe just a Michigan State t-shirt or cheerleader outfit.

[I don't want summer to end anytime soon! I'm just saying that I am excited for football season!]

My First 2 Weeks of Breastfeeding

Mommy & 3 day old Miss A
Let me begin by saying, motherhood would be ten times more enjoyable if I could get at least a five hour stretch of sleep throughout the night... For some reason, I wasn't anticipating the true meaning of sleep deprivation. Miss A is hungry every 2-3 hours for the most part. However, I think she just went through her first official growth spurt because she was hungry every single hour yesterday! Feeding her is getting very tiring. I have to remind myself that her tummy is very small & breast milk digests faster than formula, making her hungry more often.

Overall I don't really mind breastfeeding because it is easier than getting up and making warm bottles every 2-3 hours. As soon as she was born, the doctor handed her to me and I fed her. She latched on perfectly the first try. The first week she ate for 15 minutes on each side. That was good! Now she goes for about 10 minutes on each side or only 15 minutes on one side. I have no clue the amount of milk she is actually getting but I assume it's the right amount because she has gained her birth weight back and is definitely over 8lbs now. She also has plenty of wet & dirty diapers!

I like breastfeeding because I know it's the healthiest choice for Miss A. Like I already mentioned, there is nothing to prepare when she is hungry. If someone is around I just go somewhere private to feed her. Otherwise, I usually spend the entire day in my bra. It's easier. I also like breastfeeding because it is really great bonding time. Sometimes she is just sleepy and falls asleep, but other times she is wide-eyed and staring up at me while she eats. It's precious. <3 It's also nice to know breastfeeding has many health benefits for the both of us, including helping me burn off my leftover 15lbs from pregnancy!

Breastfeeding is not my favorite thing because my boobs are sore! It might be getting better... but I really don't think so. I'm pretty sure that she latches on correctly and it's just my body taking forever to adjust! I use lanolin after every feeding and so far have not had any bleeding/cracking issues. [That just sounds terrible!!!] The worst part is when my boobs are engorged & they're filled to the max with milk. I pump sometimes if Miss A is not hungry but I don't want to increase my milk supply by pumping in between feedings. Sometimes if she waits a good 3-4 hours before getting hungry, I pump an ounce of milk from each side before feeding her. This way she doesn't struggle for so long trying to latch on. It's also less painful for me. [BTW, I use the Medela Swing Breast Pump and it works wonders! I can't image using a hand pump... mainly bc I pump one side while feeding her on the other side... I am getting better at multi-tasking!] In general breastfeeding does not hurt, it's just the initial latching on! Several nurses told me that the pain from this will go away soon. [Still waiting...] Another inconvenience is choosing which clothes are easiest to breastfeed while wearing. I personally think it is harder to find clothes to wear while breastfeeding, compared to my third trimester of pregnancy.

Regardless of the self sacrifices I have to make in order to breastfeed [and take care of my child forever...!] I feel obligated and want to continue breastfeeding. My goal is to breastfeed solely, no formula for at least 3 months. I will do a reassessment at that point. It really depends on whether or not I find a career job that is worth having. I have to like it and make enough money to see if it's worth paying for a babysitter and losing precious childhood moments 40 hours a week.

July 18, 2011

The Birth Story of Amelia June


More pictures soon! <3
I don't know how I ever survived. All that I remember is that I was traumatized and my memories are very distorted due to all the pain and agony... okay so while I don't want to discourage anyone from having a baby, I did not like the whole process. Pregnancy all the way through the third trimester was fine. Great. Dandy. Birthing... holy crap. Even though I will probably do it all over again, don't let me do it anytime soon! Yikes! Okay, enough intro... here's the story.

On the night of July 8, 2011 Bill & I decided to go to bed around 1:00am. My contractions began at 4:30am July 9, 2011. I woke up due to a slight rolling cramping feeling in my stomach. It wasn't unbearable but it was uncomfortable and I couldn't fall back asleep. I was very excited, hoping that I was going to have my baby that day. I timed my contractions the entire time. I was a Time Nazi making sure that they were consistent and that it wasn't a fluke, or Braxton Hicks contractions. My contractions were light and occurred every 5-15 minutes. They started getting more intense around 3:00pm, when they occurred every 4-5 minutes. From 4:30am-3:00pm I walked up and down my stairs, took long walks outdoors, did some prenatal yoga positions to help me dilate [fail], and read a million things online about contractions, labor, and delivery. At about 4:30pm, I went to the emergency room at Metro Hospital because my contractions were hurting a bit more and were consistently every 4-5 minutes for about an hour or two. I went to the OB triage area to get examined and found out my cervix was only dilated to 3cm. [A couple days before, I was dilated to 1.5cm so I guess those contractions were doing something...] I had to stay there another hour to see if my contractions were really making me dilate. An hour later I was still at 3cm. We waited another hour to be sure to find out I was still dilated to 3cm. By this time it was after 6:00pm and my contractions were not feeling good AT ALL. I was at the point where I could no longer walk and had to drop to my knees at every rolling contraction. Painful. My grandma called me randomly after I was out of the hospital and decided to drive down and help me through early labor pains. She is a retired OB nurse so her support was very much needed and comforting.

The doctor's gave me some sort of prescription medicine when they told me to go home. I don't even know what it was supposed to do. It took us an hour plus to find a pharmacy open after 8:00pm on a Saturday. When we eventually got this medicine, it did nothing. I was crying through my contractions from about 7:00pm until I was finally admitted into the hospital around 5am? I lost time during this period. We went home after filling the prescription and I tried to lay down and find some comfort. No luck. I got a cool rag to place over my forehead. Soon my grandma arrived and helped me breathe through some of my contractions. It kinda helped. My preferred method of getting through a contraction was crying and moaning in pain until it was over... It hurt really, really, really bad and it wasn't getting any better. Around 1:00am we decided it was time to go back to the hospital because my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and PAINFUL. We went back and found out I was only dilated to 4cm. But still, it was progress... :/ We stayed another hour and that hour was the worst. My grandma, Bill & I were outside the triage area praying that my suffering was actually doing something! [making me dilate!!] I was making a lot of noise throughout the hospital hallways. I would cry so hard through each contraction. After a contraction there would be a moment of peace... and then the rolling pain would come again. We called for the nurse and she checked me again.

Thank God I had dilated another cm in that hour and was finally admitted into the hospital. I was at 5cm so they took me to my room and gave me some medications. First, I got my IV and they gave me narcotics. [?] It made me feel drunk, happy, and social. It was a huge relief. Another 20 minutes passed and the anesthetist gave me an epidural. I felt great. This was all happening around 5:00, 6:00, or 7:00am. I have no clue. I think I slept a couple hours at this point and waited to dilate further. The nurses/doctors came in and checked me several times to find out I was not dilating anymore. I ended up having to get Pitocin to help me dilate. Thankfully, I was on pain medication and did not feel the awful results of being rapidly induced. I was dilating very slow the entire time. I think around 1:00pm it was time to push. I was tired but very excited at this point. I was going to meet my baby very soon! I had no clue what I was doing but the nurses and doctors were very helpful, motivating, and super nice. I pushed with a few contractions. I thought everything was going good until I realized that "Ouch... Things are hurting again!" It hurt every time I pushed. I did not like this anymore. My happiness suddenly went away. My epidural must have worn off??? I pushed... cried... moaned... yelled... got angry... hated my life... wanted to die... and finally a healthy baby A was born at 2:01pm July 10, 2011. I was exhausted and sobbing at this point. They took my baby away, sucked the gunk out of her nose and mouth, and handed her back to me while I breastfed her successfully at the first try.

The moral of this story is this.
***It is physically and emotionally draining to give birth but yes, of course, it is worth it!***
I have a low pain tolerance as it is so it just sucked. It hurt really bad. However, I do think I could have managed everything a little better if I was more rested when everything had started. [And if it wasn't so fricken long!!!!!!!!] I expected my labor to last the average 12 hours... I was definitely wrong. But I am definitely happy with my 8 day old baby girl. I am still in shock that I am officially a mother and that Bill is a father. We look at Miss A, then at each other in amazement. Crazy feeling. Despite all the pain, Life is good.

July 16, 2011

Oh No! I Can't Find Time to Post!

My daughter, Miss A was born six days ago on July 10, 2011. She is very healthy and we are doing well. I have many post ideas that I want to write about but finding the time to write has become difficult. In my spare time [anytime she sleeps], I have to make a huge decision on whether I will sleep with her or whether I will clean up around the house and take care of myself. I have not been able to manage time for my hobbies yet, so bear with me. I intend on posting my birth story and an entire post dedicated to her newborn pictures. I also want to write on breastfeeding, sleep deprivation [oh yeah], after-pregnancy emotions, and more... I am feeling energy to write more today. It just depends on whether or not Miss A takes a long nap soon!

July 6, 2011

My Pregnancy Experience with RAGE

For the 4th of July, Bill & I decided to watch the fireworks in downtown GR. I was excited for the large crowd and beautiful fireworks display. While overall I had a great time and enjoyed myself, I had several episodes of intense rage that I can only explain by saying PREGNANCY HORMONES.

 First off, we arrived a little late around 8:00pm. So we knew that we would have a difficult time finding a place to sit and watch the fireworks. There were tens of thousands of people there. [That's the best number I could find.] I wasn't really concerned with finding the best seat this year. All I wanted was some elephant ears and/or cotton candy! We settled with a large $6 bag of cotton candy. Ha... :/

Anyways, what really upset me were all the obnoxious people that were everywhere! I felt like there were hundreds of greasy teenagers in their own little cliques staring at me in disgust. Some of them would blankly stare at me as if they had never seen a pregnant woman in their life. How rude... They didn't bother me the most though. After we found a spot to sit down by the river, a mother decided to give her little boy a billion snap pops to throw right next to us. Unfortunately I had a slight headache and found these to be incredibly irritating. He was throwing these snap pops next to us, many of them hitting Bill's legs for a good half hour! And the mother kept opening more and more boxes of them... I wanted to strangle her. She could have made the kid throw them a little further away from us... So she triggered some of my rage... I was so mad that I didn't know what to do.

Then later around 10:30pm, the fireworks started and all was fine except the giant tree blocking our view. I really didn't mind the tree... it was fine. But 10 minutes into the show, these guys walked over and stood right in front of us. There were several of us sitting down and they STOOD in front of our view. I wanted to get up and punch them. I have never felt such a strong urge to punch someone and be violent. I cursed a little and ended up standing up. I wanted to hit them with my water bottle too! I was PISSED. Anyways, I ended up doing nothing... and just tried to enjoy the rest of the fireworks display, which I did enjoy.

So there are some of my hormonal issues/breakouts that are definitely due to my pregnancy! I am kinda shocked at how intense my anger had built up. I can't really explain how mad I was... but I was mad. I'm glad I don't normally think so violently.

Anyone Thinking About Getting Pregnant? [Here's my experiences so far.]

Here is a list of all the pregnancy symptoms I have experienced up to this point in my pregnancy. My intention is NOT to scare you but give you a real example of what you could experience. 

  • Nausia-
    • First 11 weeks.
    • When I didn't eat enough or if I ate too much randomly throughout my pregnancy
    • If I didn't eat enough while taking my prenatal vitamins & iron supplements
    • Randomly just because (though not often, only a handful of times after 11 weeks)
  • Vomiting- only once or twice
  • Soreness of Breasts- only a couple weeks in first trimester
  • Enlargement of Breasts
  • Darkening of Areolas
  • Frequent Urination
  • Increase in Libido- always a plus for a woman :D
  • Fatigue-
    • First Trimester- I took lots of naps.
    • Third Trimester- Now, I look back at my first trimester as if the fatigue I experienced then was a joke. I am much, much more exhausted now than before. Even when I sleep the whole night, I'm still EXHAUSTED. [That's definitely the right word!]
  • Food Aversions- I've had more food aversions than cravings. I could not look at meat for the first trimester. I haven't had a big appetite for the majority of my pregnancy.
  • Strange Cravings-
    • First 11 weeks I ate a lot of fruit, but I think that was due to nausea and my inability to stomach anything else.
    • For 2 weeks straight I craved pie. I don't like pie or desserts very much...
    • Lately, I've been craving ice cream and sweets. Again, I'm not a "sweets" person...
  • Colostrum from Breasts- Around 5 months, I noticed I was lactating a little bit.
  • Emotional Mess-
    • Mood swings most severe in first trimester
    • Lots of pointless tears & sob sessions
    • Rage- I have never wanted to hurt strangers/people more! I will tell you my Fourth of July experience next post... :/
  • Stretch Marks- I didn't notice mine until someone pointed them out. I think I got them towards the end of my second trimester on my sides.
  • Extra Gas- Embarrassing, but especially in my second trimester I just couldn't hold it in!
  • Increased Discharge- Started around 35 weeks. Maybe later-- but there's definitely an increase.
  • Vaginal Pain- Sharp pain "deep within". It's due to the baby settling further down into my pelvis. 
  • Shortness of Breath- This really started up in my third trimester. I'm winded every time I walk up the three staircases to my apartment.
  • Bleeding Gums- I've noticed my gums bleed more when I brush my teeth.
  • Backache- My lower back started hurting more & more as I got further into the third trimester
  • Slower Movements- I can't move as fast as I could before... it's annoying, especially since I've basically been in good shape my whole life.
  • Difficulty Sleeping
    • Insomnia- During my second trimester, I found myself getting only 4-5 hours of sleep or just not being able to sleep more than 8-9 hours. This was definitely abnormal for me because I used to sleep 11-12 hours straight!
    • Uncomfortable- I just can't find a good sleep position anymore. This really started to be problematic a week ago (at 37 weeks).
  • Heartburn- Very Minimal... nothing more than the normal few times I've experienced it before being pregnant.
  • Nasal Congestion- Since the beginning of the third trimester, I've felt like I've had a constant case of the "sniffles".
  • Weight Gain- I was always paranoid about becoming "puffy" but most of my weight gain is concentrated in my stomach area. I've gained a healthy 35lbs and have leveled off at 162lbs for a good month now.
  • Swelling- My hands & feet occasionally become swollen. I do yoga poses & drink water, which help control it. This started in my third trimester.
  • Difficulty Putting Pants On- :D just during this last trimester because of my big belly.
  • Light Headed & Dizziness- If I bend over & come up too fast, I get light headed. I stand up slower to avoid this. 
  • Shinier Hair- Not always, but my hair looks like it could be in a shampoo commercial :D
I feel like I am missing a bunch of random symptoms. I will update this post as soon as I remember more symptoms or experience more of them.

I have not experienced [knock on wood!] some common symptoms like constipation, hemorrhoids, nose bleeds, blotchy skin, varicose veins, frequent headaches, or excessive hair growth in not-so-nice places.

I am still waiting for my water to break, contractions to come, or even Braxton Hicks contractions [false labor contractions]! I've never before been excited about feeling intense pain... obviously I'm not excited for the intense pain but kinda! It means I will meet my baby girl soon!!

For more of my pregnancy experiences, read the 10 Things I Love About Pregnancy and the 10 Things I Hate About Pregnancy

38w2d- I Am Ready!!!

I don't really have a post topic per say, but I just want to update you all on some more of my pregnancy feelings. Today I am officially 38 weeks, 2 days pregnant. So I am nearing the end of this journey and very soon will officially become a mother. This is still very hard for me to comprehend but I feel that I am as best prepared as I can be for the arrival of our new baby. We have everything [& more!] that she will need. I am mentally prepared to sacrifice and devote all of my time and energy to her. I am learning as best as I can how to breastfeed and just care for her in general. But as real as I am trying to make this be, caring for my daughter is still apart of my imagination. Yes, I feel her moving around in my belly all the time. Yes, I talk & sing to her all the time. Yes, I talk about her all the time. But I still have not held her yet... and I really don't know what to expect when she comes. I can't wait for the moment when it all becomes REAL. This may seem kinda silly but despite my aches & pains from pregnancy, I still have my own time. I don't have someone depending on me 24/7 yet... [like someone to feed, change diapers, hold, comfort, bathe, etc. She is depending on me to be born, yes but you get the point...] SO my point is that I am really excited & wish I would go into labor right now! :D It'd only be 12 days early.

Still can't believe how much time has passed and that I am only 12 days away!!!!!! Ahhhh!! Crazyyy!! :D

July 1, 2011

Need to look Sexy @37w5d Pregnant? [Bachelorette Party to Attend!]


Just Kidding! But really, I have tried on everything in my closet and have come up with only a few pieces of clothing that are supposed to make me look sexy. This may be an easy task for someone who regularly buys maternity clothing... but I have only purchased a BeBand & BellaBand to help me continue wearing my jeans. So trying to find my sexy outfits, which are generally too tight to begin with, (without being pregnant!) was challenging.
I decided to skip out on my dresses all together. The only dresses that look and feel great on me are the flowy, more casual styles.
I was going to wear a white skirt but the skirt doesn't zip up all the way and I couldn't find a shirt that would cover the zipper and match the skirt appropriately.
Moving on.
I have a really flashy navy blue sequin cardigan... but I couldn't find anything to wear underneath it besides this super sexy black lace tank that made it impossible to breathe in...

And I tried on more & more until I settled with this outfit. I will call it my Charlotte Russe Outfit because everything besides the undergarments comes from Charlotte Russe. [Even though all of it was bought at Plato's Closet...hehe]

See-Through Purple Sequin Tank
Lace Purple Tank layered beneath [gives me an extra sexy feeling even though you can't really see it!]
Dark Gray Lace Cardigan 
Light Gray Dress Shorts [that do NOT zip...]
Large Black Beaded Tear Drop/Hooped Earrings

Don't be fooled.. I'm def 37wks, but this pic is doing a decent job hiding that fact! 
My overall opinion? It's not really sexy... I'm trying to be sexy with the sequin top but the shorts make me look too casual. Regardless I have ran out of patience trying to figure out what to wear! For goodness sake, there is a live human baby growing inside me right now! Give me a break... :D

BUT, I still have to figure out what I'm going to do with my hair... It kinda has a nice wavy/curly look today but of course it's down pouring right now and I don't anticipate that it will stop anytime soon. Maybe an updo? Updos are sexy...
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