Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Done

As I sit and write this, I am exactly one day away from my goal of breastfeeding my son for an entire year.  By the time you read it, I will have passed that goal. The thought honestly brings me to tears.  I thought we’d never make.  I thought this day would never come.  I pushed myself harder than I ever have and I made it.  I hit my goal. What’s even better?  We aren’t even going to stop. We are going to keep moving forward.

This post may not be for everyone, but I needed to get this all out in writing.  My story.  It is very long, so bear with me.

As the title says, breastfeeding has been the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  Yes I have done difficult things (I mean hello, I birthed a child) but most of those things were just fleeting moments.  A couple of hours of my life.  This task, nursing my son, has lasted an entire year of my life.
Most women say that they love breastfeeding and the relationship with their child. They will say it is magical and beautiful and many other positive things. I can’t honestly say those things.  I never felt the magic, which is hard for me.  I think it is partly because our journey has been VERY rough.

All of my life I knew I wanted to breastfeed my kids.  My mom did it, so I knew I would too. I never even questioned it. I knew there were benefits to it, but learned so much more about it once I became pregnant and began researching. I read articles upon articles and even took a three hour class at our hospital to prepare. Nothing though, prepared me for what actually happened.
When Noah was born, he seemed to latch immediately.  I was so happy and proud.  It was a weird feeling, those first moments, but I knew I was doing what was best for my little guy.  While in the hospital, I tried nursing for what felt like pretty much the whole time.   The lactation consultant visited me while in our room and tried to help us get the latch thing down perfect. But she was very rough. She would pile pillows around me and make me sit up in such awkward positions in my hospital bed that I felt so weird. 

Noah wasn’t doing well with it though.  They didn’t think he was getting enough.  I became stressed.  I let a nurse talk me into giving him tiny bit of formula that first night. I wish I wouldn’t have given in so easily, but it’s really not that big of a deal. It didn’t hurt anything.  We continued to try and breastfeed.  I remember that I thought it was going well, but every time a nurse or the lactation consultant saw me, they tried to fix everything I was doing.  It because frustrating.  My doctor released me to go home after the first night if I wanted, but the nurses suggested I stay the night so I could get more help breastfeeding, so I did.  We just couldn’t get his latch to a point where I wasn’t in pain.
Nursing was painful. So painful.  I know that they always say it is painful in the beginning while your body gets used to it, but man was this excruciating. I pushed on. 

When we went to Noah’s pediatrician appointments in the first few days, the doctor was concerned. He wasn’t gaining any weight back (most newborns lose about 10% of their birth weight in the first couple of days). They had us come in again in a few days for a weight check.  I was also in so much pain that I started to use a nipple shield to provide some relief when feeding him. Though they aren’t the best thing, I knew I couldn’t move forward without it. I was crying while feeding him I was in so much pain.
Meanwhile, I was researching. Reading everything I could get my hands on about breastfeeding.  I had read something about babies having tongue ties and how it could cause a lot of pain for mothers and how it could affect how much milk baby was getting. I decided to pay to see a lactation consultant. I met with her when Noah was 8 days old and I asked her if she could check Noah for a tongue tie.  She helped us with his latch, but I just could not get him to do it the same way when I tried on my own. She also said she thought he could possibly have a tongue tie.  If you aren’t aware, I tongue tie is a little piece of skin that attached at the base of the tongue making it harder for the tongue to move or stick our very far.

During all of this, I was still in excruciating pain. Noah was literally tearing my body apart. Pieces of my most intimate body parts were literally coming off during breastfeeding (if you get my gist…). I was often bleeding as well.  I finally gave up.  I was so broken and upset with myself that I couldn’t push forward. I would have to give my baby a bottle.  Nine days after Noah was born, on May 20th, I woke C up early in the morning bawling and asked him to go to Target and get a special type of bottle (Dr. Browns with a preemie nipple is what our LC suggested). I felt like I had failed. I was so unhappy.
I was grasping at straws and still suspecting the tongue tie so I called to make an emergency consultation appointment with our pediatrician.  Little did I know when I chose him, but he is one of the most well-known tongue tie doctors in AZ. Our appointment was the next morning. I am so grateful they were able to get us in quickly. It was such a relief.  Once at the appointment, the doctor confirm Noah’s tongue tie and suggested a revision.  Everything I was experiencing could be due to that. We scheduled his surgery for the following day, the 22nd. 

It was a hard decision, to choose to do the revision.  I knew it would be putting Noah in pain, but I also knew it would be beneficial to him for the rest of his life.  Some tongue ties can cause a lot of issues into adulthood if they are not corrected, namely major speech issues and neck/back pain. 
The procedure lasted all of 5 minutes.  They took my little man to another room while C and I just stood there holding each other.  I heard him cry and then they brought him back.  Once back in the room he was happy again and nursed like a champ.  He latched on better and I felt instant relief from a lot of the pain I had been feeling.

With a revision like this, you have to do “stretches” of the babies tongue 3 times a day…..basically to keep the wound open and let it heal that way.  I had such a hard time doing these, knowing that they hurt my little man each time.  We forged on though and did what we needed to do. Luckily he would only cry during the few seconds of the exercises and was perfectly content once they were done.

Though a lot of the pain had been relieved and I was able to nurse Noah around the clock again, I was still hurting. I was grasping at straws to fix it. I thought maybe I had an infection called thrush that can be in both mama and baby and can be painful. I went to see my OB and she told me I didn’t have it. I was going to be alone with Noah for the first time that weekend while C traveled and she told me she thought it would be best if I pumped and fed him that way.  I honestly think she was scared for my sanity, that I may have a breakdown if I kept trying. I followed her advice, which was a nice relief, but so much work.  It was exhausting trying to pump hooked up to a machine and take care of a newborn all alone.
When we had the tongue tie consultation, our doctor also informed us that Noah had a lip tie. A lip tie is a little piece of skin connecting your lip to your gums, usually right above but between your top two middle teeth. Since they don’t usually do the revisions at the same time, C and I had a little time to decide if we wanted to go through with that one or not.  As Noah still wasn’t gaining weight very well and I was still having pain, I wanted to go through with it.  C wasn’t too sure, he didn’t want to put Noah through so much in such a short time.  We deliberated for quite a while.  The problem is, some lip ties do not cause problems in the future and some do.  I actually have a very large lip tie (which I didn’t even realize I had until I started this journey) and never had any problems.  Other times, they can cause a big gap in your teeth and a lot of speech problems.  I thought though, it was better to prevent those things now while he was young than to wait until he was a few years old and have a much larger issue to deal with.

On July 20th, Noah had the lip tie revision.  He took it like a champ again and didn’t even cry.  They usually suggest baby Tylenol if baby seems to be in pain after the surgery but Noah didn’t even really seem to need it. We gave him one dose and he was fine after that (whereas with the tongue he took it for a couple of days).  He little lip got puffy that night, but he wasn’t fussy at all.  We did his “stretches” during bath time (which he loves) so I think that kept him happy.  He would whine for a second just like before and then it would be all over again.
Over time, our breastfeeding relationship got much better.  Noah ate faster and there was so much less pain.  I was finally happy to do it.  I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it per-se but I didn’t dread it.

As the months went on, Noah was still having problems with his weight gain and I began having problems with my milk supply. I knew the two might be correlated so I knew I needed to do something.  I researched and talked to many other breastfeeding women and even sent emails back and forth with our LC many times.  Everyone kept saying I was doing all the right things and that I should have a plentiful supply.  It was so frustrating. Noah was consistently in the 3% or under weight percentile and at was point was even at .03%.  Not even a full percent.  Our doctor gave us one last chance before he made us supplement with formula, which I really didn’t want to do. 
Through all of my research I had heard of a prescription called Reglan  that had some scary side effect possibilities but also helped women up their milk supply.  In order to get it, you had to have low prolactin, which is a hormone that causes your body to make milk.  Well, I called my doctor and asked her to order me a blood test for prolactin (among a few other things, like thyroid, that can cause low milk supply).

When the results came back I wasn’t surprised.  Most pregnant or lactating women have prolactin levels in the high 100’s to 200’s.  Mine was at 13.  13!  I had found the cause of my low supply! Knowing that the Reglan prescription should help me, I requested a prescription from my Doctor.  Turns out, she didn’t know much about it though, so she denied it and just told me to pump more (since I didn’t talk to her I couldn’t explain all of the things I had already tried and thought I was just taking an easy route).  I had to call back and fight for myself. I spoke with a nurse at length and told her everything I had tried and the research I had done on the pill.   She talked to the Doctor again, who approved it this time!
I was given a dose of 10 days.  As I mentioned before, the side effects of Reglan can be scary. It can cause severe depression.  Because I didn’t have any hormonal issues during or after pregnancy, I was hoping I’d be ok.  I asked C to watch me very closely to make sure I wasn’t having any problems with it that I couldn’t pick up on myself. Thankfully, I had no problems at all.  In fact, I had just the effect I wanted. More milk! So much more milk! My doctor agreed after I had no issues to continue my prescription, which I’ve continued to take for 5 months now.

I am so proud of myself that I fought for that prescription too.   I had run out of options and out of people that thought they could help me.  I did a ton of research on my own and requested my own blood testing, learned how to read my own results and asked for a specific prescription.  I honestly think I taught my Doctor about it too!
Since going back to work when Noah was a little less than three months old, I have had to pump at work too.  I had to fight for a space to pump (showing my office the law that they have to provide a space for you that isn’t a bathroom) and 3 times a day take time out of my job to pump milk.  At about 10 months old, I dropped to 2 sessions a day and at around 11 months old I dropped to only one pumping session a day.  I am currently working on dropping all pumping sessions during the day and just feeding him when we are together.

I hate pumping.  Always have. It’s funny though, I have looked forward to the day I wouldn’t have to pump anymore, but now that it’s here, I just can’t stop it.  I know what an amazing benefit the milk I provide is to my child, it feels selfish to stop giving him that. I’m having a hard time with it. I NEVER thought I would feel that way! I'm going to stop though....soon. Really. I keep telling myself that.

Ok so there it is, my entire breastfeeding story.  I know, I know, it is soooooo long. I just had to get it all written out, for me. If you made it to the end though, congrats! I hope someday I can encourage someone that is struggling to keep going.  I never thought I would make it to a year and I am so proud of myself for pushing through to my goal….and beyond!  Through it all I have learned that every relationship and breastfeeding journey looks different and they aren’t all easy peasy. I also learned that breastfeeding is an amazing thing and whether you do it for 2 days or 2 years, you are still giving your child an amazing benefit!
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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ipsy Review - April

Ipsy time!

I love getting this bag in the mail! For a price that doesn’t break the budget ($10 including shipping), it is a great deal and you get a little beauty treat each month.  Sometimes they are a complete hit, sometimes a few products are a miss, but it’s always worth at least what I paid regardless!
The theme of this month’s bag is “Dreamers” and comes in an almost tie dyed, water color like bag.  Probably won’t be using that too much. The card states “Create looks that celebrate every side of your unique beauty-from natural and understated to high fashion and ultra-glam.”  I guess that about covers it?
Next up…the April Ipsy bag!
1) Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask – .5 oz.
I do like face masks…..actually I love them.  That being said, I would never pay this price for one!  I am just fine with my $7 freshly made masks from LUSH.
Full Size: $54.00 for 1.7 oz. My Value: $15.88

2) Jor’el Parker Fango Mud Therapy – 1 oz.
Alright….two face masks this month?  I guess Ipsy knows I like them!  At least this one is a bit more in my price range, but it’s nothing spectacular. Also, it smells like my grandma.  Seriously. This scent strongly reminds me of her!
Full Size: $27.00 for 7 oz. My Value: $3.85

3) City Color Hightlight Trio – .083 oz. each
I really like this!  I have started using highlighters more these days, so I know I will get use out of this. I like that it has three subtly different colors.  One is more gold, another closer to a cream color and the third has a hint of pink in it.  All of them are very pretty!
Full Size: $2.99 My Value: $2.99

4)  Luxie Beauty Highlighter Brush #522 – (FULL SIZE)
Well if you receive highlighter in your beauty bag, the next thing you need is a brush and Ipsy has you covered! I don’t have a brush at home that is dedicated specifically to using highlighter, so this is a very welcome addition for me.  For the price though, I would never buy it again.
Full Size: $32.00 My Value: $32.00

5)  Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme in “Wonder” – .056 oz.
I really wanted to like this….but I just can’t.  It looks like it could be slightly neutral rosey in the packaging, but when I get it on it is just way too bright for my taste.  Bummer.  It is also very drying to me. 
Full Size: $24.00 for .1 oz. My Value: $13.44

Final Cost: $10.00
Final Value: $68.16

I am really happy with this month’s Ipsy bag!  I love the highlighter and highlighter brush and I can definitely see myself using both of the face masks. Hopefully I can find a friend who likes the color of the Tarte Lip Cream. The value this month is absolutely fantastic; even if you take out the highest priced item (the brush at $32) it’s still a pretty good value!

What are your thoughts?

If you’d like to give it a try you can
sign up here!
(As always, I swear I’m not a review blog….I just like sharing these things in hopes that other people will get to have the same fun that I do!  I am not compensated in any way.
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Thursday, May 12, 2016


Well it is official, as of yesterday, my little man is a year old. One. I can't believe how fast time flies! I don't think I can write a sentimental post about being a mother and how much I love this little tyke, I will just cry too much. But believe me, he is the best thing in my life and I am so happy God chose me to be his mommy.

About a week and a half before his birthday, we did a little photo shoot to commemorate.  Of course, I had to get some smash cake pictures. Man, Noah did not disappoint with those! I will share pictures of his actual birthday soon! ( We didn't do a party, just a few friends gathered around and some more cake)


Monday, May 9, 2016


So yeah, I haven’t done one of these since August.  Oops.  I have  just been so busy with life and working full time and being a mama that I just haven’t had time to really blog.

That being said, I thought I would try and sit down and write out some updates!


During the Carrie Underwood concert...he bought me tix for Christmas.  He looks excited yes?
We made it through the offseason and the Arena Football League started up again this March.  Unfortunately, C’s wrist injury from a few years ago is coming back to haunt him.  It’s been causing some pain and he has also had a pinched nerve in his neck from it. Confusing I know, the human body is so interconnected.  Because of this, the team put him on IR (injured reserve).  This means he can’t play and even if he gets better, he must sit out at least 5 weeks.  It’s been really difficult for him to watch his team play without him.  Hopefully, he should be back soon.  His 5 weeks is up this week and he is feeling better. Now we need a doctor to clear him!

In his free time he has been driving for Lyft and Uber, which he really enjoys.  Something about meeting new people constantly and instantly seeing the money he made for the day give him great joy.  It’s nice because he can do it whenever!  If I feel like going to bed early (which is like, always) he can go out and drive for a few hours and make money.


By the time this posts, he will be just a few days from being a year old. I can’t believe it.  Everyone says they grow so fast, but you don’t really believe it until you are living it.

We did a photo shoot recently to celebrate one year and also did a smash cake. It was amazing!  Noah loved it.  I can’t wait to share the photos with you. He took a little taste of frosting and enjoyed it so much that he picked up the whole dang cake to take another bite!

Right now he is in size 3 diapers and busting out of his size 9 month clothes (switching to size 12 month when they arrive this week) which is awesome because he is finally starting to catch up to where he should be.

He loves crawling and standing up on things.  He cruises the halls in the house in his walker with ease while I am getting ready in the morning. He’s gotten great at backing up and turning around when he hits the end of the tile, it’s quite funny.

He isn’t talking yet, just lots of babbles and dadadada.  I know he understands us though, because he listens.  Every once in a while he will copy something we say though and its incredible.  I’ve heard him babble “peek a boo” and even caught “happy birthday” on video!  Too bad they were all one time deals though. No solid words yet. I’m trying not to get too worried about it.  Every baby does these things in their own time!

Momma is so proud of being able to breastfeed for a full year, but she is also very tired.  I am beginning to work on stopping pumping at work.  I am hopeful we will be able to still nurse in the mornings, evenings and weekends, but we will see. We are now working on transitioning Noah to more big boy foods and meals, instead of little snacks here and there.  It’s quite a confusing process for me and stresses me out honestly.  I just want to make sure Noah is getting all the nutrition he needs! He is so easy going that he doesn’t fuss much if he is hungry (we had a lot of problems early on with that) so it’s hard to tell what he needs.


As I mentioned I am working on stopping pumping milk for Noah during work hours.  It has been a rough year breastfeeding and I honestly hate pumping with a passion, so I am proud I have kept up with it through our goal of one year.  As much as I hate it, I am really having an emotional time with the transition, which is very odd to me.  I thought I would be so happy to stop this.  I guess even if you don’t like doing something, once you’ve done it for a full year it kind of grows on you.  I just hope I am making the right decision about it and I’m not thinking selfishly. Noah love’s his momma milk!

Noah is still not sleeping through the night and it is really affecting me.  I spend my days exhausted.  Once I get home from work, all I want to do is eat dinner and go to bed. I hate it.  Last night I was in bed by 8:45pm.  That’s pretty embarrassing for a woman in her early 30s!  He has started to sleep a pretty long stretch, but usually still wakes up anytime between 430 and 545.  The problem is, my alarm goes off at 615! If he wakes up at 545 to eat, I don’t really get to go back to bed and get more sleep (even though he does) before my alarm goes off. So basically, I am waking up every day very early.  I have never been a morning person, so it’s very rough!

(Ok though this updated was about me….it’s still kind of about Noah.  Imagine that. Mommy life!)


Since Noah was born I haven’t gotten to read nearly as much as I used to.  Since the last updated, these are some books that I’ve read:

I am currently reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

Unfortunately….I just didn’t love any of these books.  Pretty Girls was good and kept my highly interested and wanting more, but it was also VERY disturbing. I wish the subject matter was a little different, I would have liked it a lot more. The Paris Wife was soooo boring and took me forever to get through.  I really wanted to like it, but it was not for me.


Well….we still have a DVR full of shows that we need to catch up on!  I’m not sure we will ever get through them.  Right now my must watch shows are Scandal, Nashville and Grey’s Anatomy (C doesn’t watch this one).  I’ve also done some guilty pleasure watching of LA Clippers Dance Squad!  I was a dancer once upon a time, so I enjoy seeing the behind the scenes things that make these teams work. It’s not the best quality show, but I still like watching it!

Any new TV shows I should add to our list?  What about awesome books you suggest?  I have less time for both of these things now, but I still want to watch and read the best! 
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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Noah - Month 11

Well here we are, another month closer to one!  It just goes so, so fast!

We haven't had a doctors appointment in a few months now, so I don't really know his exact height and weight.  What I do know is he is finally out of 6 months clothes and into 9 month sizes!  He also switched to size 3 diapers. If I had to guess I would say he has crossed the 18 pound mark and he is steadily moving upward. The boy is finally growing and catching up to where he should be!

This month we celebrated his first Easter.  We went to a friend's Church where we visited a petting zoo and did an Easter egg hunt.  By "hunt" I meant I sat him in a pile of little eggs and he picked up a few around him.  He loves shaking them though and putting him in his mouth!

Getting a monthly picture is getting increasingly harder, this little man will not sit still!  He loves to turn around and grab the sticker off of the back of the chair.  Only one more picture to go though!

Visiting daddy at football practice

Easter egg hunt!

Hair salon visit with mommy

Easter basket goodies!

Flying Superhero art from daycare haha

He loves blackberries....messy messy!



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