Tuesday, March 25, 2014




How I wish I didn't have anything to say on the topic because I never had to pump. Sadly, I have all too much to say on the topic.

If feels like my (Monday-Friday) life revolves around the pump.

My supply TANKED the first week I was back at work. I tracked how much I got per pump session everyday for the first week and it just kept getting less and less each day, each session as the week went on. I FREAKED OUT. I was pumping FIVE TIMES A DAY while at work the first week: 7:45am (I always got/get the most from this session, even though I fed Bailey at 6:30am), 10am, 12pm, 2pm, & 4pm.

Bailey was getting three 3.5 ounce bottles a day at daycare (given at 9:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm) with 2 extra small 1-ounce bottle if she seemed extra hungry. Some days she needs 1 of the 2 extras, some days none, some days both. So, we'll average and say she takes 1 extra ounce a day. That's 11.5 ounce a day. That first week I wasn't even making 9 ounce a day.

That first weekend I went on a supply-raising mission. I made lactation cookies
A lot of lactaion cookies. First, let me just say-- these cookies are GOOD. The Hubs eats them all the time. I joke that he's going to start producing milk soon if he keeps it up. Anyway- they are YUMMY. I eat at LEAST 2-3 a day.
I started taking Fenugreek. I take 1 capsule a day. While that's less than what lactation consultants reccomend to increase supply, I also heard they can be really tough on the tummy and I have a pretty sensative tummy so I didn't/don't want to risk it. I figure 1 capsle a day is better than none. 

I also drink about 2 cups of Mother's Milk tea a day. 

I also kept pumping like a lunatic. Everything and everyone I talked to said just keep nursing and pumping like crazy. So, I started pumping at least once in the evening (usually after Bailey's 7:30pm nursing session) and started getting an extra .5-1 ounce from that.

I made sure to eat and drink enough during the day, ESPECIALLY days that I workout.

It's hard to say if it was any one of these things or just a decrease of the first-week-back stress of what, but my supply has steadily increased since that first week. Now, on average, I get about 12-13 ounces per day while at work from pumping 4 times a day on average, which while it's not a TON it is enough to cover her daily need, so I'm happy with it.

Unfortuantely, if the Hubs gives her an extra bottle for the 11pm feeding, I'm not pumping what she's getting from bottles. I'm OK with it right now. We've got a pretty decent freezer stash and it's not worth more stress or worry. Plus, I think the extra sleep I get from him giving her that night bottle helps me produce more. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. :)

I've decided to keep doing what I'm doing, as it appears to be working. So, I'm still eating lactaions cookies (SHUCKS! :) ), taking Fenugreek, drinking an obscene about of water, eating like it's my job, and pumping as much as I can at work (now, it's more like 7:45am, 11am, 1:30pm, and 4pm most days). I also  still pump on the weekends which SUUUUCKS. By Friday night I am BEYOND sick of the stupid pump. But, it's worth it to get several more ounces each week.

Worst part about pumping... well, besides ALL OF IT? (TMI alert...) OMG. My poor, poor nipples. Yes, I just said nipples on my blog. They are SO INCREIBLY sore by Friday afternoon. I'd likely try to pump more on the weekends, but seriously- they just can't take it. Bless anyone who has to pump exclusively b/c my poor boobs just cannot handle it. I've tried pretty much everything they say can reduce soreness and while it helps slightly, it still huuuuurts. By Friday, I legit cringe everytime I start to turn on that dreded stupid machine. Cringe and curse. A lot.

So, while I hate pumping something fierce, I have learned a few tricks of the trade to help ease a little of the pain-in-the-assness of pumping...

-Having a small fridge in my office so I don't have to get up and down to put milk away.
-Storing my pump parts in that fridge. By keeping them in the fridge, I don't have to clean them every time, as bacteria can't grow in the cold fridge. Saves me SO much time.
-Utlizing the weekends. I spend a decent chunk of Sunday morning prepping bottles for the next week, freezing extra milk from the week before, etc.
-Label bottles by the day of the week the milk was pumped with some take and a permanent marker. Saves me during the weekend from trying to remember which identical bottle was from Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
-Pump right before working out. Just trust me on this one.
-Ask for and accept help. The Hubs washes bottles and all my pump parts every night after I go to sleep and re-packs it all into my pump. Then, he takes my pump out to my car each morning so I don't forget it and so it's one less thing I have to carry. Seriously, this may not seem like a lot, but it helps SO MUCH.
I can't stress that last one enough. As a new mom, somehow I find myself falling deep into the "I need to do everything... and I need to do it myself!" trap, which is just crazy pants. No one can do it all. I certainally can't. It's tough for me to ask for help for ANYTHING, let alone something as big as Bailey, but the Hubs and I are in this together and it's important that to me that we're a team on everything. Sometimes I can get wrapped up in my head and just get so go-go-goooo that I forget that not only CAN he help, but he WANTS to help. He's not a mindreader, though. He needs me to ASK. Simple as that. So, to any other new moms out there-- ASK for help. It doesn't make you a failure, I promise.

The Run That Wasn't

I had every intention of running yesterday during my lunch hour.

Sunday night I carefully packed my gym back and actually remembered socks and a sport bra. That's a big deal, people.

Monday morning I was excited as I remembered I had no meetings around lunch and could get to the gym for a good run.

At 11:30am, I walked out of my office and over to the gym. I changed and grabbed my iPhone and headphones. I walked up to the track.

And immediately I did NOT want to run. Simple as that. I just was NOT feeling it.

I tried anyway. I started slowly running jogging around the track. I told myself "you'll feel like it after a lap or two". 1 lap later, still over it. 2 laps. 3 laps. 4 laps. 5 laps. Nope. Still over it. My legs felt heavy (which they shouldn't as my last run or workout was last Thursday). And I just did NOT want to be running.

So, I walked a lap hoping to find the motivation that was still eluding me. Nope. No where to be found.

I tried telling myself if I did speed work maybe I'd be less bored and get into it. So, I sprinted a lap (it's an 1/8 mile indoor track) and then speed-walked a lap. 1 round of it and I was still not feeling it. Round 2, 3, and 4. No better.

So, I called it. I just was NOT feeling it. After 2.5-ish miles if I was still not feeling it, I decided it was just better to stop and call it a day. Some runs aren't magical and rainbows. Some runs just aren't period. Yesterday's run just wasn't.

And that's OK.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Workout Summary: 3/16-3/22

Weekly Workout Summary: 3/16-3/22
Sunday, 3/16: None
Monday, 3/17: None
Tuesday, 3/18: None
Wednesday, 3/19: 3 mile run
Thursday, 3/205 mile run
Friday, 3/21: None
Saturday, 3/22: None

I'm coming to accept that my life has done a legit 180 since Bailey was born. Weekends used to be a guaranteed get-great-workouts in. Yeaaaaah. Now, IF I get ANY workout in over the weekend, it's a HUGE win.... but, at the same time, it's a HUGE bummer b/c that's time I spend away from Bailey the ONLY days I get to spend with her all day. But, if I time it right, I can workout during her nap so I can avoid that but she's not the greatest, most consistent napper in the world, so we haven't fallen into a perfect rhythm just yet. We'll get there. Eventually. Until then, I'll keep trying to utilize my lunch hours to get some runs in when possible.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Running Keeps Me Sane

Life is crazy right now. Far too crazy for anyone's good. I can't really go into much detail yet, so let's just leave it at that.

When life it's crazy, I turn to the one thing I know.


Running saves my sanity. It helps me process life and tough decisions. It gives me alone time where I don't have to talk to anyone. It gives me how-ever-many glorious minutes of not being needed for anything.

Running has been my BFF lately. I can literally feel stress melt away with every step. I know this stress won't last forever. And, I know running won't be the end-all-be-all solution forever. But, for today- it's helping. So, I'm going to keep running.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Me: 4 Months After Baby

I can't believe it's been FOUR MONTHS since I had Bailey. It really boggles my mind. I can't even remember what life was like without Bailey and yet it feels like she just got here. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

Reguardless of what it feels like, it has, infact, been four whopping months since I gave birth to my little peanut. Bailey's grown and changed everyday since she entered this world. 
I've talked a lot about her changing and growing, but haven't much talked about any changes to ME since she was born. So, let's chat...

I was lucky. Really lucky. I felt PHYSICALLY back to normal mere minutes after giving birth. Sure, I was a little sore down there and had a hell of a hernia (fun), but I was up, walking, and even asking if I could go back to work (in hopes of saving my maternity leave for when Bailey was HOME, not in the NICU) shortly after having her. I didn't feel like I thought I'd feel after just giving birth, though I guess I have no idea why or what I thought I'd feel like. I think the hormones and endorphins really carried me through the first few days and by the time we left the NICU, while I was EXHAUSTED and STRESSED more than I realized in the moment, I felt physically fine.

Post Bailey

Everyone told me to bring sweat pants to the hospital because I would still look pregnant and be bigger than my normal pants size. I don't say this to brag or because it's normal (it's NOT!), but I could fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans the day after I gave birth. Again, this is NOT normal. And, I should note that my jeans were WAY too big for me pre-pregnancy. I weighed myself about 4 days after having Bailey while I was home showering one morning and was SHOCKED to find I was 3 pounds UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight. SAY WHAT?!?!? Again, this is NOT normal. I KNOW that. I really have no idea how this happened so fast... but, I attribute it to not gaining too much during pregnancy, having Bailey so early (I very likely would have gained several more pounds if I had gone full term), staying active during pregnancy, and having a LOT of fluid which came out during labor. Ready for TMI? I had so much fluid gush out of me during labor I soaked the doctor and a nurse so had she had to change clothes. Oh, and the fluid got ALL OVER the Hubs and even the wall behind my head. That takes talent. Anyway, back to lose of weight post-baby. I also attribute it in large, LARGE part to immediate lack of sleep and post-partum stress.

Post Bailey

Again, I think I was stressed WAY MORE than I thought while she was in the NICU and while I was eating during this time, it was minimal as I was just too busy and worried to even think about food. When I saw that I was under my pre-pregnancy weight, it was a wake up call. I needed to gain back those pounds. I knew to be successful in nursing, I needed to keep my strength and weight up to produce enough milk. I made a concious effort to eat (and drink more water!) more and to try to relax (though I failed miserably at that last part). I gained back the 3 pounds within a few weeks and continue to sit right around my pre-pregnancy weight +/- a few pounds.

I feel like I should also say that the weight is staying off now due to an amazing combination of breast feeding and working out. I've been working out at least a few times a week since I got the all clear at my 6-weeks post-partum appointment. Couple working out with the extra calorie buring of nursing and the weight is staying off. Which is good, since I am eating like a freaking machine. OMG. I am ALWAYS hungry. I've decided while marathon-training hunger trumped pregnancy hunger, nursing hungry far trumps all. Wowza.

Now, just because my WEIGHT is the same as it was, my body is most definitely not. My tummy looked like a water bed after giving birth. It was SO SQUISHY! Not that I ever had a toned, flat tummy-- but, this was a whole new thing. It's gotten a little less squishy, but is still much more than I can remember it being before. And, I have a POOCH. You know the one. Yep. Not sure when that'll go anywhere. The shape of my body is just different now too. I can't really explain it or tell you exactly what's different, but almost all my pre-pregnancy clothes fit differently now. I wish I had a gazillion dollars so I could go buy clothes that fit properly... but, I don't. So, I'm wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes that all just fit a bit off. Though, I did buy a new pair of jeans and a new pair of work pants on crazy sale one day while B and I were crusing around the mall killing time while I was on leave. Both are 2 sizes smaller than my pre-pregnancy size, but remember those were really big.

Again, I'd say I was lucky. I did not experience post-partum. However, let me tell you-- all those emotions and hormones they say run through you post-partum... they're real. Oh my goodness, they are real. I was all outta wack. I am just now starting to feel normal and like ME again. For the first several weeks, I was SO emotional. Yes, some of that was likely do to the extra NICU-stress, but I think more was due to just having a baby. I would get SO MAD at the Hubs for pretty much nothing. I would cry along with Bailey sometimes. I was just an emotional mess. But, I never felt overwhelmingly sad or depressed. Again, I was lucky. Having a baby does a job on your emotions and hormones. I tried to be gentle with myself and allow myself to cry when I felt like I needed to and not get too mad at myself when I snapped at the Hubs for no reason... though I always appologized to him. He was a tropper and never got too mad. :)

So, I suppose that's that. I'm still the same me I was before, but 100% different at the same time. Makes total sense, right??

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bailey: 4 Month Update!

How is it possible I am already writing Bailey's 4 month update? No way she's 4 months old. Seriously. It was like yesterday when I had her.

Age: FOUR MONTHS!!! She's SO big now!!! Seriously. I think I'm going to blink and she's going to be a toddler.

Weight/Height: She's up to a whopping 11 pounds, 2 ounces. CHUNKER. She's grown 2 inches from last time and is clocking in at 23.5 inches for height. Her weight is in the 20% and her height is in the 25%, both on the preemie growth curve scale.

Sleep: Wait... what is this sleep you speak of? Bailey is still not sleeping through the night. I'd be OK with it if she ONLY got up at 3:30am and then at 6:30am each night consistently. I really would. I could deal with that. It's when she (frequently) gets up at 2am and we have to paci it over and over til 3:30am. Or, I'd be fine with nursing her at 2 if she could then make it to 6:30am, but that doesn't work either. And, then there's the nights when she decides she wants to get up at 5am instead of 6:30am. I know. Whine, whine, whine. I know I could have it worse. And, I know she'll sleep through the night someday. After all, as everyone loves to tell me, teenagers don't get up all night long. Note: I LOATHE this expression and when people tell me this and if I don't get a solid 8 hours of sleep til she is a teenager I will very likely go coo-coo-for-coco-puffs. Consider yourself warned.

Nursing: I was really worried about nursing after going back to work. I was worried B would suddenly be over it and realize how much easier the bottle is and just want nothing to do with nursing. Thankfully, I was wrong... at least so far. While our nursing sessions are definitely fewer (boo!!), they're still just as strong and I love every second of it. She has started to get a bit squirmier (that's totally a word) and she wants to look at things and move around instead of just feed (multitasker like her momma!), but we're making it work. We are nursing now M-Fri at 6:30am, 5:30pm, 7:30pm and 3:30ish-am. Every other night I also nurse the 11:30pm feeding and on the opposite nights the Hubs give her a BM bottle. I'm really hoping we can cut the 3:30am feeding and I can nurse the 11:30pm feeding every night. I THINK she might also be FINALLY starting to get a LITTLE more efficient and nursing sessions are getting a little shorter... but, it's hard to tell if she's really getting a full feeding before she squirms to indicate she's finished or if she's just squirmy mc-squirmerson at that moment.

Likes: Still her playmat. Girl LOVES it. Definitely one of our must-haves. She loves it. It's the cutest thing in the world. She'll bat at her toys and STARE at herself in the little mirror for like a solid half hour totally entertained. She also likes being on her tummy now. Not for a HUGE chunk of time, but now that she has pretty good head control she doesn't mind it as much. She's rolled over from her tummy to her back numerous times now and is thiiiiiiiiiis close to getting from tummy to back but not quite there yet.

Dislikes: The car seat. Still. She just hates getting in. And she HAS to have her paci when she's in it or watch out. She used to be pretty good about passing out once the car started moving... yeah... long gone are those days. She MIGHT fall asleep, but it's a total crap shoot.

Special Moments/Milestones: Lifting her head. She's gotten SO much better at head support. It's crazy. It's like I picked her up from daycare one day and BOOM-- she's had great head support. And, like I mentioned, rolling over from belly to back. I feel like she's growing and gaining new skills everyday.


Looking Forward To: Maybe, just maybe her sleeping through the night... sometime? Maybe? You know... before she turns 16. Maybe. And giggling. I think we're like days away from giggles. I hope so! I can tell she thinks things are funny, but she's not quite ready to acknowledge it yet. Soon, I hope!

NOT Looking Forward To: Sleep training. I know it's hella conterversial. I'm a firm believer of the you gotta do you style of life. Do what works best for you and your baby and your family. To each unto their own. Oh, and GET OFF ME if you don't agree. I don't have to do everything you do. That style of life is right up my alley too. Anyway- we're likely gonna do some sleep training (no idea what yet!) sometime semi-soon. I legit can't keep functioning on 5-6 hours of broken up sleep and/or going to bed at 8:15pm and not spending anytime with the Hubs. I swear, I forget what he looks like somedays. So, yeah. We're talking about sleeping training. Not sure when we'll start or what it will look like for us... but, something's gotta give a bit.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend In Review

I had a pretty great weekend. Nothing special. Nothing stand-out. Just a regular, low-key weekend.

Friday we went grocery shopping and somehow managed to get back just past Bailey's bedtime instead of the usual hour + after. The wild party animal I am was faaaaaaaast asleep by 9:30pm. I'm telling you. Nothing but excitement over here.

I got to SLEEP IN Saturday til a whopping 6:45am! WOOWOO! 45 extra minutes is pretty darn amazing.

I love weekend mornings when we have no where to be. Bailey and I get up and take our time nursing. Amazing how not having to rush makes the day start so much better. We read a few books, played with some toys, changed diapers/clothes and then we head to the kitchen and she plays in her bouncy seat while I make coffee and do a few chores around the kitchen. Weekends used to be for relaxing and now they're for getting as much shit done as possible to make the work-week a little less hectic. I spend Saturday and/or Sunday morning cleaning a bit and prepping food for the week ahead.

Every weekend, I package up left overs in smaller containers for the Hubs to take for lunch, hard boil eggs, and chop any veggies for recipes for the week. I also portion out almonds, pretzels and cookies into individual baggies for lunches. Saves SOOOO much time during the week.

The rest of Saturday was spent running some errands and playing with Bailey. Love, love, love.

Sunday morning was pretty much an identical replica of Saturday. Nurse, play, read, play, chores. During B's first nap I got to look through some cook books to start prepping the next weeks grocery list and meal plan. I'm trying to be MUCH MORE intentional about meal planning and such. It makes the week SO MUCH EASIER.
A little while later, B and I headed to the mall to walk around with a new friend of mine who also has a little baby (6-week old little boy-- he's SO CUTE!!).

We walked around and chatted about all-things-baby for about an hour and a half before we headed home to nurse again and hang with the Hubs and Sadie.

Another low-key night at home ended with taco night, more playtime, and bedtime for the baby girl followed all too shortly after with me.

Sometimes go-go-gooooo weekends are great. And, sometimes low-key nothing weekends are exactly what you need. Any weekend I get to spend with this face is perfection.

Weekly Workout Summary: 3/2-3/8

Weekly Workout Summary: 3/2-3/8
Sunday, 3/2: None
Monday, 3/3: None
Tuesday, 3/4: None
Wednesday, 3/5: 5 mile run 
Thursday, 3/6: 5 mile run (speed work, 800s)

Friday, 3/7: None
Saturday, 3/8: None

It was a slooooow start and end to the week. And by slow start I really mean a crazy, hectic, didn't-have-time-to-breathe start to the week and busy spending time with Bailey and the Hubs end of the week. So like the opposite of slow. Luckily, life slowed down a bit and Wednesday and Thursday I got 2 good runs in during lunch. I'm still not really timing myself (minus the 800 of speed which is ranging from a 8:45 to 8:00 minute mile). I'm HOPING it gets a little warmer, the snow melts a little, and me, the Hubs, and Bailey develop a good weekend morning routine soon so I can get out for some long runs. Double digits, I miss you. They'll be back. Eventually.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bad day: Baby poop, puke, and being late

I'm having a bad day.

Bailey was up more than usual last night and I didn't get to bed til 10pm, making a whopping total of 5ish hours max of sleep and that was broken up with 2 nursing sessions and 4 paci-retrievals.

I was supposed to get to work early today so of course Bailey had a monster blow out 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave. 25+ wipes, a new diaper, a new outfit, and the old poop-stained outfit soaking in cold water later and then she spit up all over me before I could put a robe over my work clothes, causing me to change my shirt.

Finally we were out the door. Late. Likely with poop still hiding somewhere on my child.

Then I got to work late for a meeting where I realized I still had baby vomit in my hair. And I didn't have time to pump. Throw in that I realized as I was walking into my meeting late that I neither put deodorant on nor brushed my teeth this morning... you know, just for good measure.

My boobs are craaaazy sore from pumping and hurt.

I have a cold and can't take anything for it because I'm nursing.

Now, I'm pumping as I write this when I really should be checking email and working, but my mental sanity needs a 10 minute "break" (as much of a "break" as pumping could ever be considered).

I have to work til well past 8pm tonight, getting me back after Bailey's bedtime so I've already seen her as much as I will today and that just makes my heart ache.

I haven't gotten to work out since Saturday and likely won't get to on my "lunch hours" all this week because I'll be working through lunch. Fun.

Today, I feel like a whiny failure mother of the year and failure employee of the year (ok... maybe month) all at once. I feel like I'm falling short in every way, not giving 100% to anything. Ugh. I know I'm being dramatic. I KNOW that in my head. But, my heart feels differently and it's putting up one hell of an argument and fight. I know tomorrow I'll wake up and it'll be a new day and things will look and feel different. But, today... ugh.

So, I'm choosing to say "F YOU" to today and let go of control. It's a bad day. Yep. It'll likely keep being bad. But, I'm also choosing to remind myself it's just one day and that tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Workout Summary: 2/23-3/1

Weekly Workout Summary: 2/23-3/1

Sunday, 2/23: None
Monday, 2/24: 5 mile run (speedwork: 800s) during lunch
Tuesday, 2/25: 30 minute elliptical
Wednesday, 2/26: None
Thursday, 2/27: 4.5 mile run during lunch 
Friday, 2/28: None
Saturday, 3/1: 8 minute abs and 10 minutes of arm/leg strength moves