No Longer Nursing

The time has come. I have stopped breastfeeding my little guy. 😦

It has been hard for me the past couple of days. I am not having any discomfort, because my supply had dropped already. When I am gone all day, then come home to him the temptation to nurse him has been strong. I just want my snuggle time with him. He was always soothed easily by nursing when he was upset too.

This morning he was awake around 4am, and very cranky. I would normally bring him to bed to nurse and either keep him with me for a couple of hours or put him back to bed when he fell asleep. Instead, I warmed him a bottle of milk. It was very tough to do when I was completely exhausted, and knew we could both just doze while he nursed.

He has been drinking whole milk, juice and water from bottles or sippy cups for quite a while anyway. He is doing fine. He did seem to grab at my shirt/chest the other day after work, but it may have been my imagination. πŸ˜‰

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Oh What A Night/Morning This Is Going To Be

Around 8 pm hubby was getting tired. He had been up since 3:30 this morning, and worked 11 1/2 hours with an hour commute on each end of that, so I suppose being tired was warranted. πŸ˜‰ I thought well, I can’t go to sleep now. The toddler was “napping”. He had been cranky around 5:30, so I put him in his crib with a movie to watch so I could get some things done before dinner. He fell asleep, like I knew he really needed to. 

I should have woken him up for dinner, but the house was peaceful. πŸ˜‰ I just didn’t think to wake him, and when I did think about it, I also thought he might just sleep through the night. 

I had put the baby to bed around 8, and then the rest of the family just hung out in the livingroom using devices and watching tv. Hubby did fall asleep on the couch, but around 10 I woke him to go to bed. I guessed that the toddler would wake up as soon as I decided to lay down, but no, it was the baby who woke up as soon as my teeth were brushed. I took him to bed with me, so I could nurse him and get some rest. He ate for about 30 minutes then fell asleep. I figured it would be too risky to take him to his crib, since he shares a bedroom with the toddler. I really wanted to get at least 2 hours of sleep. Lately the baby has been up every 2-3 hours to nurse. The baby slept on my chest, and I tried to fall asleep. Around 11:15 the toddler was calling out a request for pizza through the monitor.:(

It was time to carry the baby to bed, and switch to toddler mode. πŸ˜‰ I changed his diaper, got him a drink and made him a pizza. He’ll be up for hours. 😦 

So, he’s got Paw Patrol on, a couple of toys to play with and his tablet…he can’t just focus on one thing. Especially his “dinner”, he’s only had a few bites of that pizza he was calling for as soon as he woke up. 

My eyes are feeling heavy, and I just want to pass out. I don’t have a set time to be up, but we have a busy day ahead of us, and I wanted to be well rested. I guess that won’t be happening. πŸ˜› We have to go to the library,  drop the car off at a garage, pick up a rental car and grocery shop. We would like to get everything done early, to be home at a reasonable time. The library was to be our first stop, and they don’t open until 10am, so I suppose I could still manage to get a few hours of sleep. I’m hoping the toddler will be satisfied with his meal soon, and happy to go back to his room if I offer another movie. We’ll see. Until then, I guess I will just read some blogs. 

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

Saturday’s are hard for me. 

I work Friday’s 4am-2:30pm, getting up to pump at 1:45 to start my day. The commute to/from work is nearly an hour, so I get home around 3:30pm to a house full of boys. Since I am still breastfeeding the 7 month, old I usually have to sit down with him shortly after I arrive home. 

I don’t get much done on a Friday after work, but I almost never get to nap. Yesterday was no exception. It wasn’t overly strenuous, but after putting away my work gear, fixing myself a large iced coffee, and nursing the baby we went out to the golf course next to our property. I had the baby in a front carrier, so I didn’t play, I just walked the course with the boys. (Hubby, 11 year old, and 2 1/2 year old) We were out just over an hour, then we came in and fixed a nice easy dinner. Chicken ravioli with broccoli in alfredo sauce, with some garlic toast. πŸ™‚ We watched a movie as a family, then played some mad libs. It was 11:30pm by the time I was settled in bed. I really hoped the baby would cooperate and give me some rest. He didn’t wake up until almost 4am, so I got a decent amount of sleep. πŸ˜‰ Hubby was up getting ready for work, and about to leave. I brought Jacob to bed with me to nurse, and kept him with me nursing him every couple of hours until about 8am. 

Since I have been trying to stick to my meal plan, I knew tonight’s dinner was scheduled to be chicken tacos. I got dinner in the crock pot just after 9am, and now I know I don’t have to worry about anything until dinner time tonight. 

Being so sleep deprived during the week, going to bed around 10pm to have my first alarm go off at 1:30am is rough. Saturday can be so exhausting when it’s my responsibility to get up during the night with the baby, so hubby can get his rest before his work week starts. He doesn’t get enough sleep either, since it was 11:30pm when we went to bed and his alarm goes off at 3:30am. πŸ˜› I am just grateful that baby Jacob didn’t choose to be up at midnight or 2am like he does sometimes. πŸ™‚

Here is my chicken taco “recipe”…

I put mild salsa in my crock pot to cover the bottom, sprinkle on a generous amount of taco seasoning, place frozen boneless/skinless chicken breast on top of the salsa/seasoning then add more salsa on top of the chicken. That’s it!

I will let it cook on low for several hours, and then shred the chicken before dinner. Tonight we are having soft tacos, so we will just put some of the chicken and salsa mixture on a soft tortilla and add lettuce, cheese and sour cream to our liking. 

This is after cooking for about 3 1/2 hours. The chicken creates a lot of liquid as it thaws and cooks. I know I shouldn’t open the lid, but I can’t help giving it a bit of a stir. If it’s too moist at dinner time, we can just use a slotted spoon to serve.  Once the chicken is shredded I’m sure it will seem thicker.

I am looking forward to a nice relaxing day without watching my clock to make sure I am ready to prepare dinner. Often times the baby will need to nurse, or 1 or both of the little ones will require diaper changes at crucial moments of dinner preparation. I tend to burn food, over cook pasta or make other mistakes when I have to do so much multi tasking. I hope to make more successful meal plans in the future to make these difficult days easier. πŸ™‚

My Baby Is Growing Up Too Fast

Today I gave my little man bananas for the first time. I can’t believe he’s eating solid food already. I started giving him thin rice cereal about once a day a month ago, so I knew this day would come.

He has been very interested in food and untensils for a while now. I think he would try to eat anything I put in front of him, since that’s basically all he does. Every toy, blanket or body part he can reach (his own or otherwise) goes straight in his mouth. πŸ˜‰

He did really well with the banana today. I wasn’t sure if I should just mash it and give it to him like that, or if I should make it thinner by mixing breastmilk into it. I decided to try it plain and apparently the texture was not an issue for him since he gobbled it up, pulling the spoon right to his mouth. He never had the instinct to push it out of his mouth, and surprisingly didn’t make any faces that would lead me to believe he didn’t care for it.

Breastfeeding isn’t really easy, but now that we are adding solid foods to his diet our routine will become more difficult. Our days will require more planning and clean up. We will also be less flexible to be spontaneous. As long as I had nursed him, we could go anywhere and know that as long as I was with him he’d have a meal ready when he was hungry again. Now, I’ll still be nursing him but we’ll have to make sure we always have food on hand for him too. 

We plan on blending up whatever we make for family meals for him, rather than buying jarred foods. We used a Baby Bullet for his 2 year old brother, and only used a few jars/packaged meals for him while he was at the stage of eating pureed foods. It worked out well for us, and I’m sure it saved us a ton of money. πŸ™‚

Our first sleepover

My 11 year old son is having his first sleepover tonight. πŸ˜€

His friend just turned 11 a couple of weeks ago, and his family had a rule that there were no sleepovers until they were 11. So, on his friend’s birthday my son stayed over his house. They had a great time, now it’s our turn to host.

His friend was dropped off around noon today, and gets to stay until 2 tomorrow. They went outside to play in the snow and build a fort, they played a lot of minecraft, we all watched the movie STORKS, we played some Wii games together and now they are using the Mario Maker game for the wii. With all of the options for games and activities we have in this house, Β you wouldn’t believe how many times they have already been bored or just couldn’t decide what to do. I hope the fun that I know they have had stands out in their memories more than the bored moments.

My son regularly stays up until midnight or even later, but his friend has a regular bedtime of 9-9:30. His friend asked if they could stay up until midnight. I’m fine with it, and hope they sleep in late. I have been up since 2am for work, and am pretty sure my baby will be awake soon to nurse. (It’s 10:45 now) I’ll be lucky to be asleep by midnight myself, Β and I know another feeding won’t be far off once I do drift off.😞 I am happy to be able to breastfeed, Β but sleep deprivation is awful.

My husband has to be up at 3:30am to go to work tomorrow, otherwise he would take a night feeding to give me some rest.

I really hope the kids let me sleep late, and maybe make breakfast for themselves too. We’ll see how it goes. At least I have nothing planned, so I don’t have to set an alarm. πŸ˜€

Feeling Blessed and Stressed

I woke up at 3:39 this morning to the sound of my 8 week old baby crying. It was just 1 minute before my husband’s last alarm clock was about to go off. He was just hoping for a few more quiet minutes before he had to get up and get ready to head to work. Oh well, such is life with a newborn in the house. πŸ˜‰

I made sure I took a moment to use the restroom before I went to get the baby, since a nursing baby can do so for more than an hour at a time in the wee hours of the morning, or actually at any time of day. He started nursing at 3:43, and by 4:03 when my husband came to give us kisses goodbye, it was time to switch sides. My hubby took the chance to hold his baby before leaving for his long day of work. (It will be more than 14 hours before he makes it home again) I warned him to be careful, since the little guy tends to puke after a feed. Of course he knows this, but thought the risk was worth it.

After saying goodbye, and that I wished he could stay I got back to nursing the baby. He didn’t nurse for too long, but I held him until 4:50 anyway. I layed him back in his crib, and went to grab a drink and snack for myself. After my snack I felt that I should take care of some laundry that I washed before bed and had to dry. So, I took my comforter out of my dryer and threw the next load in. Time to tackle another wash from the mountain, so I got that started too. Now all that activity woke me up…perhaps for the day, though I am hoping to get a bit more sleep in a while.

I turned on the tv, but didn’t find much that interested me. I follow a few blogs here on WordPress, so I checked to see if I had any new posts to read. There were some. Next I went to check out posts in tags that I follow. I read High Risk Pregnancy posts, since I have had some myself, and one quite recently. I read a story that brought me to tears, and reminded me of my first pregnancy which tragically ended in a loss at 22 weeks 5 days pregnant. The story was of a NICU stay for a set of premature twins in which one had passed. The post reminded me of my tiny daughter who was never given a chance to live. It was 12 years ago that I lost her, but yet some of the details come rushing back as if it was much more recent. I didn’t hold her long, and I regret that. I was scared, and didn’t know what was appropriate. I hope I never have to go through anything like that again, even though I would know to handle it differently.

I am sitting here now in a fairly quiet house (the wash is washing, and the woodstove fan is blowing) knowing I have my 3 amazing sons resting in their beds. I am so blessed to have them here safe and sound. The sister they will all know about when the time is right, made it possible for me to get them here that way. (My 11 year old already knows her story, and crys for the sister he lost when we speak about her, but the 2 year old and infant of course wouldn’t understand) Losing her, let my doctors know that I would need precautionary cerclage surgery during any future pregnancies. I have had those done for my 3 boys and have gone on to be induced to deliver, without any signs of premature delivery prior to. I did lose 2 other pregnancies, but they were at 11 weeks, and 5 weeks along which was too early for even a precautionary cerclage. I did add progesterone to my list of precautionary treatments as soon as that positive test is seen after those losses.

I have had some fantastic doctors see me through my last 2 pregnancies, and am sort of hoping they might get a chance to do it again. I have found that having two babies 2 years old and under, is a bit stressful. They are both in diapers, Β can’t communicate everything they want or need clearly, and have quite strong opinions about those things. πŸ˜‰ Still I think growing our family would be awesome. My husband and I have no extended family to share our boys with, and we hope that our sons build strong relationships with eachother and keep in touch as they grow up and start their own families.

I know the quiet won’t last long, but I am happy to have had a bit of time to reflect on the blessings I have, and to remember what I have lost along the way. It will get crazy and stressful any moment, but it’s a good thing and a wonderful gift from God.

 

Getting Back To Work

I had my 6 week post partum appointment on 10/25, and went back to work 10/26. 😦

I used all 12 weeks of my FMLA coverage, so I had to return to work. Thankfully my little guy has quickly recovered from his weight loss issues and is now nearly 10 pounds. He was not even back up to his birth weight of 7lbs 10oz until he was 3 weeks old. We had to supplement with formula for a few weeks to get him there. I am taking fenugreek capsules, and pumping as much as I can to keep my production up. I have been able to keep 3-5 feedings on hand in the fridge at all times. I haven’t started freezing any yet, I just make sure we’re using the oldest first and rotating the stock in the fridge.

Getting back to work has been hard. My first night before I went back was the worst. My anxiety level was so high. I only got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep, and I was worried I would forget to bring something or have trouble pumping. Things have gone pretty smoothly.

There have been some changes made in my department while I was out for 12 weeks. Some are good, and some I think are mistakes, but I’ll just have to see how it goes. 2 associates were fired while I was out, and 2 have transferred to other departments. That makes things a bit stressful in my area and we all have to be very flexible. I am glad that I have never had a problem with flexibility. Some people just find it too stressful to go with the flow, and panic. I work in distribution for a major retailer, so this is a very busy season for us. I am happy that they have cut out mandatory overtime for now. If they have to reinstate it, my husband and I will have to take turns working an extra day each week. That will mean not having a single day off as a family. 😦

The first day I worked, I came home to a very happy family. My 2 year old was so excited to see me, and wanted hugs right as I walked in the door. πŸ™‚ The newborn was ready to nurse, so that made me feel good and needed. My husband was exhausted from his first day alone with the boys and I was happy to have enough energy to give him a bit of a break. The 11 year old was glad I survived my day too. πŸ˜‰ The puppy was even jumping at the front door when I got home.

The next 2 days were very hard on me physically, and again I had very little sleep only 2 1/2 hours one night and 3 the next. My wedding ring was stuck on a very swollen finger when I woke up Friday, so I’ve been taking ibuprofen regularly. My neck, back, arms and legs have all been so sore. I am thankful that I get 4 days off to recover.

Overall I would say my return went well, but I so wish I could have been home longer…. like forever.