The End

147 days. Through latching issues, to having a tongue & lip tie clipped, to using a shield for almost 2 months, to a few nasty bouts of thrush, to low supply & taking all sorts of supplements, to an oversupply & an overactive letdown & having to pump all the time, to horrible acid reflux & adding thickening agents to my milk just so he could drink it, to seeing numerous lactation consultants & just trying to make it through the days, one damn day at a time. I breastfed my son for 147 days, just 1 month short of my goal of 6 months. And Im proud. It wasnt easy, perhaps the hardest thing I ever did (other than infertility & loss). In fact, it was harder than laboring for 22 hours with him. Dont get me wrong, it was wonderful at times. Gummy smiles, boob drunk sleeps, breastsleeping. All the feels. I wouldnt change it for the world. But it was so hard. And the world doesnt make it any easier on someone struggling. They are always trying to provide another suggestion or advice, when sometimes what a mom needs is simple understanding. I didnt know how tough quitting would be on me, not just mentally but physically too. Ive experienced withdrawls including headaches, dizziness, nausea. Its no joke. We have been weaning for about 2 weeks now & Ive shed lots of tears. Ive watched him go from eating to just looking for comfort. And although I know without a doubt the timing was right (prolly even sooner than now), it is SO bittersweet. I can only hope that I get to experience this bond again one day. If not, no regrets. 

147 days ❤️

3 Months

Miracle is offically 3 months old now, which means mommy & daddy survived what is said to be one of the toughest times by most. There have definitely been some challenges, but there has also been so much laughter (no coincidence our boys name means full of laughter). He is such a blessing. 

I think the most difficult things we have faced are feeding and sleeping (and working from home, but I’ll save this 1 for another post).  Pretty sure most new parents would say the same things if they had to pinpoint something. We finally have feeding under control, but it took us a full 12 weeks. Sleeping, on the other hand, not so much! 

As I mentioned in my prior posts, baby has reflux pretty bad with my breastmilk. I tried LOTS of different things (eliminating foods, adding rice cereal, diff bottles, nipples, etc) in hopes of him being able to drink my milk. One late night as I was feeding him, and searching Dr. Google, I came across a product called Gelmix. Its a USDA approved all organic thickening agent. I ordered it and its been a God send for us.  He now drinks all my milk no problem, and we were able to stop the special formula he was on. 

TONS of times I almost threw in the towel with my milk, from low supply to tongue and lip ties, to reflux and thrush. BF doesnt work for everyone, and in no way should anyone feel guilty if they did throw in the towel, but Im just saying Im glad I didnt. And if you are out there and struggling with baby feedings, know you arent alone. 

Sleep. Oh my. Why do I fall for all these fancy sleep aids? We have SO many darn sleep oriented items its not even funny. Maybe soon I will accept the realization that the way he sleeps is just part of his normal development. For a few giggles, I will tell you some of the things I have tried (marketers must know sleep deprived people will buy almost anything).  

  • Swaddles-velcro, zip, tie, swaddle up, down, every which way. Every brand. Blankets included. 
  • Magic sleep suit-worked for a few weeks until his Moro Reflex overpowered it. Side note-reflex is still going strong. 
  • Zip-a-Dee-Zip gown (shown on Shark Tank) or something like that? Was an immediate return. 
  • Dock-a-Tot-first 2 nights thought it was a win, 3rd night a total fail. Still trying. 
  • We have also slept (or tried to sleep in) snuggle nests, pack and plays, crib, swing, boppy, you name it. 
  • Sound machines (bought two now), lotions (which are not secret potions lol), goodnight prayers…need I go on?? 

I know, I know…accept the fact we arent sleeping and move on. It could be much worse. 

Some miletones to note at 13 weeks old-

  • Rolling over! This happened just before 12 weeks. Tummy to back only.
  • Head control 
  • Chuckling out loud (this is the best) 
  • Recognizing people (mostly nanna) on Facetime…no joke-he stares at the phone & laughs like crazy
  • Sucking on his fist & drooling
  • Holding toys and blankets on his own, grabbing them as well

Everyday I thank God for our miracle. As I was sterilizing all his bottles and he watched me from across the room just smiling, I thought about how much less anxiety I have now. When going through those IVF cycles and when pregnant, it was through the roof. Yes, I still worry about him, but it is different because he is HERE. Thinking of all you out there who are still chasing your dream(s).  

Back to Work

If I had not resigned from my elementary teaching position, my maternity leave would be just about over now. But since I did resign, there will be no tears shed this week about leaving Miracle and heading back to the classroom. 

However, I am still working. And I decided what better time to get back into it than now. That being said, today marked the start of the online college course I am teaching. I signed up to instruct a quick mini-semester course (only 8 wks) that is easy to grade (pass or fail).  It is a class teachers can take if they need to renew their current certificate. I only have 9 students enrolled, making this a total piece of cake. 

I also started working for a different virtual education company last week, where I tutor up to 6 students at a time through a web cam. So far I enjoy it. It is right up my alley in that I set my own schedule completely; I can teach 1 session a day, 10 sessions a day, or 0 sessions a day. Sessions are 45 minutes long, and the lesson plan is already done for me. All I have to do is make it come alive. I have been picking up night sessions so that hubby is home to watch the baby. After this week, I plan to try a few day sessions too, as my mom said she will watch baby boy. So back to work it is. Just in a new way. 

In other (not so good) news, both baby and I have been diagnosed with thrush. Ugh. I feel awful for him, although there was nothing I could do to prevent it. I just hate to see him uncomfortable. He is actually taking it like a champ overall, but my heart breaks seeing it. I know it could be much worse, but something like this makes me so thankful that he is healthy and thriving otherwise. He is almost 14 lbs now at 11 weeks old, and of his infant inserts have been put away. The newborn days are no more. I cant believe we have survived the first 3 months. We made it!