Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Gift So Great!

Isaiah is already 6 1/2 weeks old and I'm finally getting my groove back. Now that we've both passed the six week mark, we're running out of excuses to stay cooped up in this little apartment. I'm not just starting to feel better, I'm starting to feel great! I've been exercising (I even wore my skinny jeans today!), spending alone time with my wonderful super-hubby, and feeling more comfortable about the little "field trips" I take Isaiah on. Now that I'm passed feeling the relief of no longer being pregnant and dealing with the recovery of post-partum, I've been able to reflect on becoming a mother.

There isn't really one way or word to describe the process. We spend nine long, emotional and sometimes torturous months growing and carrying a baby that we love automatically without even knowing who he/she is or even looks like. I know personally I spent every free moment imagining who Isaiah was going to be and what he was going to look like. And when it wasn't a free moment, I was constantly distracted by the little miracle inside me.

Even after all the hours I spent dreaming up who Isaiah was, and then seeing him for the first time, realizing how different he is from what I imagined, it amazes me just how perfectly he fit into my arms and into my heart and into our life. I remember thinking, "Of course!" when I first saw him. "Of course you look like this! Of course you have your daddy's lips and my eyes; my ears and daddy's nose!"

Now everyday I find myself realizing how everything about him makes sense. Of course he smiles at me when I change his diaper. Of course he sleeps soundly through the loud church music and wakes up as soon as the sermon starts. Of course he eats more than me and poops more than his body weight. Of course he smells the way he does and snuggles on my shoulder when he just needs his mommy. Isaiah is nothing like I imagined! He is so much better and I love him so much more than I ever could have imagined. He is so wonderful and being his mom is so amazing that of course I couldn't have imagined it. Having Isaiah is a gift so great that only God could have imagined him. And we thank God every day for bringing him into our life. :)

And so now I believe more than ever that God loves His children up and down, through and through. Why else would he give us a gift so great?

"As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there..." 1 Samuel 1:26-28

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mama Didn't Raise No Quitter

Hello mama's and mama-to-be's (since most of you reading this are)! I just wanted to tell all of you THANK YOU for all the love, support, and advice about breastfeeding. Since my post about my struggle with it, I've received emails, messages, and phone calls with such great encouragement. It's so relieving to know I'm not alone with this issue. Many women struggle with breastfeeding for the same reasons I do (I guess we just don't talk about it very much). I guess it's a little taboo to say it out loud but I'm glad I did because I wouldn't feel this much better about it had I kept quiet.

Feeling nauseous (caused by hormones), smothered, and just not enjoying the feeling is completely normal and common! Thank goodness - I'm not an alien! I've decided to really stick it out. I've had my hiccups in the short time I've been doing it so far but I have no health reason to quit now and my mama didn't raise no quitter. Plus, I think Isaiah might get nightmares if I take away his nurse ;).

We did decide to give him a bottle at night (sometimes formula and sometimes breastmilk) to make sure he's nice and full before bedtime. This definitely has helped us establish a routine and helps Isaiah sleep for at least 5 hrs (for the first stretch). We're learning...we're getting there!'s to the roller coaster of breastfeeding!

I'm Isaiah, Hear Me Coo!

Since so many of you haven't met our little man yet (and those that have, he has changed SO MUCH!), I thought it'd be fun for you to hear him chat a little. He's getting more talkative everyday and every grunt, sigh, whimper, and coo is just so precious to me. But of course, I'm slightly biased!

Lovin' Our Little

He always sleeps with at least one hand up.

In his big boy crib, talking to his animals.

He loves to sit and hit the animals hanging in his bouncer. He doesn't have the best coordination yet, but practice makes perfect!


All clean!

Think about it...

Lovin' on my baby boy!

Seriously! We can't get enough of our little Isaiah - he's just too much fun! He's growing so much and getting to be so smart and full of personality.

March Madness - This Kid Loves Sports!

This is not a joke. Isaiah was zoned out watching Sports Center with daddy. I've even caught him staring at all the basketball games on...future NBA star?

Go Team Go!

Rockin' Jordan's jersey!

Go Padres (for now)

Throwback...old school!

My mom and dad have told me about this magical place called Pullman, WA. Land of Washington State University and HOME OF THE COUGS!

Lately, my parents have been teaching me to represent...sports teams, that is. I'm really little but I'm doing my best!

Meeting Auntie Sam

This week Isaiah got to meet his Auntie Sam - I'm sure she'll be spoiling him for years!

Master of Tummy Time ;)

Hello bright eyes!

Oooh what's that?

And we're talking!

Kisses from Grady

Friday, March 11, 2011

Praying for Patience

Our pride and joy - love this face!

These days I really have been praying for patience. Not as a parent (I think I'm doing OK with that - it helps having a baby that is practically perfect!) but with a few other things I'm struggling with since Isaiah was born. Let's face it, I'm not the most patient person. I couldn't wait to grow up and graduate college; I received my bachelor's at age 19. I couldn't wait to get out of Washington; I took the first internship I was offered in sunny San Diego and moved one month later. I couldn't wait to get married; I was engaged for only 2 months.

I've always been eager to get up and get things (whatever they might be) going! While we're slowly developing a new routine for everything with the newest addition to our family, there are two things in particular that I'm struggling to wait for.

First off, I don't like breast feeding. This is REALLY hard for me to admit (I only just told Darren a few days ago). It makes me feel like a bad mom admitting that especially because I know how good it is for Isaiah and have heard of so many women that enjoy it. Well, I'm sorry, world, but I don't.

I'm sure one of the biggest reasons I don't like it is because I'm struggling with it; it hasn't been easy for me at all. Not only did I deal with the sores and cracks but I developed an infection (mastitis) - a very painful issue to deal with on top of the usual symptoms of the recuperation period. I also don't like not knowing how much milk Isaiah gets. Sometimes he nurses for 20 minutes, sometimes 10 and sometimes 45 minutes. I've even given him a bottle (4.5 oz) and he wanted to nurse after. The boy LOVES to eat and he's gaining plenty of weight so that isn't my concern. My concern is that it's a little more difficult to figure out his schedule when I don't know how much food (in fluid ounces not minutes) he really requires.

It also makes me nauseous. I don't know why. I haven't heard of this happening to anyone else and I may just have to ask my doctor about it in two weeks. I do not think nursing is "gross" at all but for some reason, I get really nauseous when I nurse and pump. I even have made sure I'm drinking enough fluids and eating enough - I still get nauseated!

I also don't like how it feels when my milk lets down. It feels likes Isaiah is sucking the energy out of me (literally!). Even worse, I hate how it feels when my milk comes in. We were watching American Idol the other night and Pia's rendition of "All By Myself" gave me goosebumps. As soon as I got the goosebumps I got the tingly feeling of my milk arriving. It also happens any other times I get chills or goosebumps (heaven help me when I get out of the shower!). I just don't like it!

I don't plan on giving up breast feeding any time soon. I really want to stick it out because I know it's really good for Isaiah's health as well as my own health and he really enjoys his nurse time. :) But I just want to be honest, it's no cup of tea for me!

I'm also praying for patience about moving to Washington. Since having Isaiah I've realized the lack of a support system we have here. Darren was gone for four nights a week ago to go up to Washington and I felt very lonely. We did have some friends that brought over meals and kept me company (you know who you are...THANK YOU!) but I know that if we were in Washington, I would have had more friends and family over throughout the day and probably night. I can imagine my sister coming over with advice and her crazy boys, my other sister with lots of kisses and a great story, my mom AKA super-grandma, my dad with some mean BBQ chicken or steak, or just the comfort of knowing they're all just a quick drive away if I needed them.

Here, in San Diego, it really is just the two of us (now three). I don't want to discredit the life we've built in San Diego because there have been so many wonderful memories created with some amazing people and Darren and I will share those stories with our kids for decades. But our life here has nearly run its course and we're anxious to get home. I'm praying that God helps me to remain calm and patient until the date is set.

I'm aware this post may come off a little "poor, poor, pitiful me" and I don't mean for it to - I just wanted to get a couple of things off my mind!

Isaiah was just relaaaaxing while I was writing this post. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Isaiah is one month old!

Look at him grow! A friend of mine did these kind of pictures with her twins so I'm stealing the idea!

I can't believe Isaiah is one month old! This has been a long month but it has gone by so fast at the same time. I love my little man so much and watching him grow and change is incredible! He is awesome at holding up his head, he's starting to smile more, and he still rolls to his side when he's sleeping. He is also much more alert and requires more entertainment. He loves all his mobiles and easily gets mesmerized by them. Then he'll get bored and fussy until he gets picked up so he can look at the lights. Now that he's getting and acting older I'm going to try and put him on a schedule during the day - no more long naps! The longer he naps the more likely he'll be up at 3 and not sleeping until 6 and I'm getting tired! We'll see how it goes.

Isaiah also loves to eat! I've given him 4 oz of bottle and he'll still want to nurse. He's already grown out of newborn clothes and fits into 3-6 month clothing. Big boy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post-Partum Myth Busters...

...for me at least!

The entire time I was pregnant I received a lot of advice - good and bad. It's ALWAYS nice to hear what happened to other people/what worked for them but, let's be honest, when it comes to someone who isn't a parent or isn't a parent you'd like to be, their advice can just be stupid. I know everyone is different but I'd like to share my experiences. For those of you that would like to hear it, here are a few things that have come up during the first few weeks for me that I wish I had more of a warning about/didn't expect:

1. The hospital is NOT fun - everyone told me being in the hospital after delivery is great. You have all the extra help and resources, etc. No thank you! I didn't get any sleep while recovering because there was constantly someone in our room - checking my blood pressure (yes, I was woken up for that on many occasions), checking on Isaiah, cleaning the bathroom, getting your food orders (seriously, bring me a PB and J - I could've cared less!), bringing you food, checking your panties for bleeding and swelling(woken up for that too!). I know these are all things that needed to be done but I really just wanted to be left alone with the baby, my husband, and mom. Then again, it made coming home that much BETTER!

2. Breastfeeding is HARD! This is still something I'm recovering from/working on. It's so strange to me that something so natural can be so difficult. Getting a good latch took some work, maintaining it required even more work, and not cringing at the pain while your baby eats requires the most work! I was warned about sore nipples and cracks but you never really understand how it feels until you experience it. One thing I wish someone would have told me is to pump when your milk comes in. It was our second night home and my milk had come in so my boobs were huge and hard and Isaiah just couldn't latch no matter what I did. He then turned into a hungry baby which meant he was a very fussy baby and we didn't get much sleep that night. The next evening I was in tears, I was frustrated that I couldn't feed my baby and very uncomfortable because I was so engorged. My wonderful husband googled some relief remedies and came across pumping to relieve yourself enough to get the baby to latch. This was incredible! Not only did it help for the latch but everything feels so much better when you are not full to the tippy top! Isaiah could eat and everyone could sleep!

3. Don't feel bad about using a nipple shield! When the lactation specialist checked on me in the hospital (because of the sores I had) she said my latch was good and that I may just have to tough it out. I told her my sister gave me a nipple shield and I was going to try it when I got home. She seemed so hesitant to approve of me doing that because your don't want your baby to get used to it. Well, when you are crying and your toes are curling (see #2), WHO CARES!? Use it, give yourself a break. Not only did it help with an even better latch, it also helped the milk flow and helped my sores heal. I also found out a few women I know down here used it all the time so it's not unheard of. Sure it's slightly inconvenient to have to wash it in between uses but it beats washing bottles and mixing formula (which I was so close to doing because of how frustrated I was).

4. Pay attention to yourself. It was very easy for me to forget that I was recovering. I was paying attention to everything going on with Isaiah - checking his temperature, worrying about his jaundice, logging how many times he ate and for how long, how many wet and poopy diapers he had, etc. Then, BAM, I get a fever and chills from the nasty infection called mastitis. Luckily, I caught it pretty early but I still wonder if I could have caught it before the fever if I was paying attention to my body.

5. The first bowel movement is not scary! Where did this nasty rumor come from? I was given stool softeners in the hospital to help ease the fear but seriously, I felt more relief after the movement and no pain.

6. Don't act like your the only one that just gave birth. This is a stupid story but I have to tell it. We went to a "Taking Home Baby" class in the hospital (another thing that interrupted my sleep) and there were about 10 couples in there with brand new babies. There was one girl that walked in late, was limping around, making noises, asking stupid questions, and talking about how big her baby was. (He was only 8 lbs. Bigger than most, yes but not that big!) NO ONE else was this dramatic and we all just delivered a baby. You don't want to be that girl. ;)

7. Don't freak out if your baby doesn't wake up every 2 hours to eat. The nurses and lady teaching the class all said you need to make sure your baby is eating every 2 hours and you should wake them up to eat. Well, to me this is silly because babies will let you know when you are hungry. I felt so worried that Isaiah wasn't eating enough because he would sleep for 4, sometimes 5 hours. The pediatricians said he was healthy in the hospital and he was still eating throughout the day but the nurses still insisted I wake him up to eat. DUMB! If you are getting 4-5 hour stretches of sleep, you are lucky and should embrace it, not worry especially if the doctor says he's healthy! Personally, Isaiah had no issue gaining weight - he was 7 lbs. 13 oz. at birth, 7 lbs. 6 oz. on day 2, 8 lbs. at week one, and 8 lbs. 11 oz. at week two (most doctors say your baby should return to their birth weight by week 2, Isaiah passed it by nearly one pound!). Now if your baby is having trouble gaining weight, that's a whole other issue. If not, enjoy the sleep you get while the baby is enjoying his shut eye!

That's far. :)