Mommy Brigade

Monday, August 8, 2016

Burned out Mom

Let me just start by saying, I LOVE my boys and I love being a mom. But it can be so hard sometimes. 
I think I could sleep for a week and still feel tired.
Most days I just don't feel like there is enough time to get everything done. I know there is, but it's like I'm moving in slow motion. 
None of my kids were great sleepers. Rafe was pretty good but Damon and Jag- forget it. Damon woke up every two hours for months. I think he was 9 months old before he slept for a 6 hour stretch. Jag is turning out to be the same way. It doesn't matter what I do, fill them up with food all day and right before bed, cry it out, rock them to sleep, noise makers, fans, soft blankets- nothing seems to keep them asleep. I am finally getting Jag there. But he has been a struggle. And he can just cry and cry and cry and sometimes it works, but it never sticks. Everyone says just be consistent. That didn't work. So I just have accepted my baby is a bad sleeper and we are working on it. I think MOST of the problem is he's been teething, and separation anxiety. This last tooth popped up two days ago and his sleep has been so much better! So I will take the few days or maybe weeks of good sleep until the next tooth. And the serperation anxiety is slowly fading. Thank goodness. You mommas know what it's like to have a baby you can't put down, or leave the room, or nap without being attached to you. It's so exhausting. Especially when you have multiple kids. You just feel like if you can't get 10 minutes to yourself you're going to cry. When I was pregnant with Jag I got sick with cholestasis and on top of all the fear from that I got the worst sinus infection/ bronchitis in my life. I cried everyday just feeling so tired and crappy. Other than that time in my life I haven't cried as much as the last few weeks/month. Just from exhaustion and feeling like I can't have any time to myself. I looked so bad. Like if I was wearing clean sweats and had a shower it was a win. Forget about hair or makeup done. I just couldn't put the baby down long enough and if I did just let him cry I never could feel like, "yes! I got my makeup done and feel better!" It made me feel worse to make him cry. 
Anyways, I know I'm rambling. But I used to kind of laugh when moms would talk about this stuff. When I had Damon and rafe I would have a few days here and there like this but for the most part felt like I was on top of things. After jag- whole new ball game. Three kids is no joke. After months of little sleep and a needy baby I am just feeling run down. So I'm trying to make a goal for myself. To spend 10 minutes each day doing something for myself. Paint my toenails. Shave my legs, deep condition my hair- whatever it is. I need to take care of myself so I can feel like my whole entire day is just about my kids. I love them, but I need a minute to myself. It's the whole put your own air ask on before you help others situation.
Being a mom is great. But you are still a living breathing person who has needs.  You are everything to everyone else all the time and you need to take care of yourself. Even if it can be hard to find those few minutes a day devoted just to you- do it. Find the time. Leave the dishes. The floor can stay dirty for one more day. I found that my free time was going to cleaning. Nap times were spent scrubbing toilets and folding laundry and all that other garbage. Some days of course, but somedays maybe that's when you find some time for yourself and do something YOU want to do. I thought maybe I was depressed. Like late PPD. But the last few days I have been trying to do this, and have gotten a little better sleep and I feel much better. My mom has been here so it's been a little easier to make some time for myself. She left today so we'll see how easy this is with her gone. Haha but I just think when you're feeling run down, you just need to shut everything out for a little bit and take care of yourself. So that's my new goal! Wish me luck! And if you're feeling run down maybe you should try it too! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

C-section Recovery/ Round 2

Recovering from a C-section is rough. I always stay 4 days in the hospital so I can get every ounce of extra help I can get those first few days.
When my Dr. was putting everything together after Jag was born he told me that I had a lot of scar tissue around my uterus. Like so much he couldn't take it out and clean it all out and sew me back together like he usually does to his patients. So I didn't think too much of it at the time. Then at my 6 week apt. I asked him about it some more. He basically asked if I wanted more kids. I said, yeah probably 1 more. And he said that I should probably get a hysterectomy after my next c section and that he for sure wouldn't advice me having more than 4 c sections. Which is fine because that's a lot of kids and 3 is crazy, so if I can have one more, that'd be great. But the thought of having a hysterectomy seems so final. If I have a boy next then I'll have a hard time having it done. knowing I'd never have a girl is kind of hard for me. But if that's what happens, it'll be fine.
So after I learned all that about the scar tissue, I knew I would need to really take it easy for my recovery. I really try. But when you have 3 kids....... and you're stubborn.......sometimes staying in bed is hard. But I think I did pretty good. My mom was with me and was a huge help. So was Dan of course. That man is getting major celestial points for putting up with me and all my medical crap. he's the best.
This recovery I was bleeding.  quite a bit. For quite a long time. And that's not that normal for a c section. So I'm hoping that everything is ok in there! haha. I didn't want to pay the tons of $$$$ for a scan. and the bleeding was minimal by the time I talked to my Dr. about it. I just tried to take it easy and as long as I was up on my pain meds I was good to go! The nursing issues were way worse than the c section recovery. See my other post for that......
having a planned C section was actually pretty nice. I really liked picking out the date, going in and bam! It's done. No contractions or water breaking. No hours of contractions and no progress. I gave it a good try. Twice. So I feel great about having planned c sections here on out.
I didn't use a belly band or any waist trainer type things that they always say work miracles. I work like compression high waisted panties and those were great! You don't feel like you're going to fall out your incision, and they're comfy.
My best advice for women recovering from a c section/rules for myself when I look back on this;)
C section necessities are
comfy undies
good pain meds
a step stool next to your bed
Dr Pepper (for the dreaded #2. It works way better than stool softners. TRUST ME!)
Supportive Pillows for nursing. Behind your back and for under the baby. Your stomach muscles will hate you if you try to use them
TRY: not to laugh, lift, twist, or cough. Seriously 2 nights after my surgery I swallowed water down the wrong pipe and had to cough then sneeze and I thought I had ripped my stitches open. It was horrible haha.
Just try to take it slow! There are layers or stitches inside and it takes a long time to be able to move and stretch like normal without tugging and pulling and stiffness. Just be patient and let your body heal!


Nursing this sweet boy has seriously been the worst.
First of all, I am part Heffer........I produce so much milk. Like I was pumping 9 oz out of each side in the beginning. Now it's just the usual 5-6 oz. But I seriously think I've had every problem you can have when it comes to breastfeeding this time around.
not to mention the numerous plugged ducts.
I've had lots of plugged ducts in my breastfeeding adventures. But this time it's horrible. It's like once a week. And I break out in sweats, chills, and headaches. I dread it! I know how to prevent them, yes. And I try to make sure my breast is always empty, that my bras are underwireless and all that good crap. but it still happens and it's seriously so annoying. I've considered stopping multiple times. But basically formula is expensive. So i've thought about pumping exclusively. Sounds like a huge pain in the butt and way too time consuming. When my baby is hungry, I don't have time to defrost milk. or warm it up. He's hungry NOW.
So I'm trying to roll with the punches.
But so help me if I get thrush or mastitis one more time! That will be the end of it.
Anyone have a hard time breast feeding? Anything help? It's a full time job, breastfeeding.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Jagger Matthew Morley

I have been so behind on blogging! Since having Jag, it seems like time has been flying by! He just turned 5 months and is the sweetest thing in the whole wide world!
A little about his birth!
If you've been following my other blog you might know that the end of my pregnancy was scary and super stressful. I don't know why I didn't write more about that here. So basically I was diagnosed with Cholestasis. Or ICP. There was too much bile in my liver and it was released into my blood stream and it is dangerous for the baby. I had a severe case and was being very closely monitored. Lots of ultrasounds and blood work and non stress tests. So I was so anxious to get him here. With cholestasis they don't like to let you go past 37 weeks. The risks are too high that your baby won't survive after that point.
It was a Sunday, 37 weeks exactly. I went into the hospital at 4:30. They hooked me up to an IV and all that fun stuff. Before I knew it, I was ready for my c-section. (I went ahead and did a repeat c section because of all the risks with my cholestasis. I just wanted to get him out and know he was healthy). I was so worried about getting a spinal because normally you're in pain from contractions so you don't hate the epidural as much. Thankfully it was a breeze and so much easier and less painful that I was thinking it was going to be. So once that was in it was only about 10-15 minutes before baby was here. I actually can't remember the exact time of his birth right now. I want to say 6:48 A.M.
He was so perfect. I was so worried there was going to be issues with him being born so close to full term. Not to mention all the horror stories with Cholestasis, and I also had too much amniotic fluid which has more risks to it as well. I just started crying when I heard him crying. I couldn't wait to hold him. Dan held him next to me and I was so happy to just have him here and safe. Just thinking back to how horrible the last part of my pregnancy was then seeing him for the first time makes me choke up. It's such a blur now and life has just been in fast forward mode since I had him. So when I sit back and think of all it took to get him here healthy, I can't believe we went through all that. He was so worth it. of course! but he is just the sweetest happiest little guy!
The boys instantly fell in love. They just adore Jag and are constantly trying to be near him and hold him. I love the bond they already have. He is the perfect addition to our family!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

ICP/ Cholestasis

So if you follow along with my , you know that a few weeks ago our family got sick. Like ridiculously sick. The boys had colds and pinkeye. I got bronchitis and a sinus infection that was unreal. I have never been so miserable in my life. I would just cry to Dan like every day about how frustrated I was and how I just kept getting worse and worse. So I was on a z pack and it didn't clear my stuff up, so they put me on amoxicillin and some cough syrup and after about a week I started to get better. But then I started itching.....
Oh my goodness the itching.
It's worse at night and just starts with my feet and spreads all over my body and the more I itch, the worse it gets. I had an apt with my Dr. and told him about all the itching and how I have been on all those meds (he had been out of the office for a while so I had them prescribed by another Dr in the office)  and he looked a little concerned and started asking me all these other questions.
I had lost a lb since my last apt, which again, being sick I just figured that's why.
I was getting a lot of braxton hicks contractions.
and the itching was mainly on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet.
He said he wanted to test me for cholestasis. I have never heard of cholestasis so I asked him quite a few questions which didn't put my mind at ease at all. But he made it sound like it would be a little crazy if I had it because it's usually genetic and it's more common in other countries and other ethnicities of women. AND I have never had it with my other two pregnancies. Which isn't uncommon, but kind of strange.
He mentioned that if I did have cholestasis that he would deliver no later than 37 weeks. There is a high risk of stillborn so I would also be monitored every he sent me over to get my labs done and I was just kind of in la la land about everything he just told me, but I was trying to stay positive. I wouldn't get my labs back for a week, so in the meantime I just had google.....curse you google. I love and HATE you.
So my labs came back and my levels were "elevated". I was in Boise for a few days hanging out with my parents and the boys and just getting the last few things I needed for baby. Idaho Falls shopping isn't the best;) and my favorite consignment sale was happening so I had to go! The down side was that I wouldn't see my Dr. for a week but he didn't seem too worried about it. He just told me to do my kick counts and if anything changed to let him know.
Tuesday morning was my apt. I woke up to do kick counts and I wasn't really feeling anything so I just got up and got the boys breakfast and waited to feel the baby kick. About an hour past and I started getting worried. So I laid down and rubbed my belly and started talking to him and just praying for a kick. He's usually pretty active and it takes no time at all to feel him kick. So after about 2 minutes I just started bawling. I was just waiting and waiting for him, nothing was happening. Not even a flutter. I had to get Damon dressed and ready for school then off to my apt but I just couldn't move. After about 10 minutes I finally got 2 little kicks on my hand. I can't tell you how relieved I was. That was the longest 10 minutes of my life. The worst part of having Cholestasis is the constant worry I have about my baby being Ok. Women talk about how they go to bed with a baby going crazy in their stomach to nothing when they wake up. That things can change so fast and you don't even know or feel different. It scares the crap out of me and it's just made me so paranoid.
So I went to my ultrasound an hour later and he was moving around and his heart was beating well so I was so happy! Just seeing his little face on the ultrasound made me so happy and relieved. She even gave us a few 3D shots, and he looks exactly like his brothers! His nose and his lips are the exact same.
Then we met with the Dr. I asked him a whole lot of questions. I wanted to know my levels on things and just how bad things were. My bile acid count was 45. The normal is 12. Then the 2 or 3 tests they did on my liver ranged from 200-500. The normal is 50. Women have higher levels than that all the time, but they are definitely high. Especially my liver tests. Having both that high isn't a good sign, so I'm being monitored twice a week. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and non stress tests. If anything changes we might have to deliver sooner. But for right now the plan is 36-37 weeks. I'm 33 weeks 5 days today so it's just right around the corner.
So the main question I've been getting is what is Cholestasis. Basically there is too much bile in your liver and the excess gets released into your blood stream. If too much of the bile salt gets to your baby, it's not good. The main risks are still born, preterm labor, and hemorrhaging. I really think I have this because I had my gall bladder taken out last year. There's no where for that bile to be stored and my liver cant keep up or process it through the right way so it gets back in my blood.
So I take 300 mg of urso 3 times a day. It's supposed to help get my levels down to a safer place. Then my Dr. gave me a pill to help with the itching and it has a sleep aid. That's been great to have but I find myself waking up at 3:00-4:00 every morning just wide awake.
I joined a support group on Facebook that has been pretty helpful. Some of the stuff can freak me out, but it's just the reality of the situation that can be scary. It sounds like a lot of areas of ICP are kind of a mystery and Dr.'s don't have a ton of experience and information on it.
Luckily my Dr is really great and seems to have a good handle on things. He's been talking to a really good high risk Dr. and I like having him in the loop. He asked me if I would like to be referred to him full time, but I feel pretty confident in my OB right now. Tomorrow I'm going in for a non stress test and I will hopefully get my labs back from the beginning of the week. Hopefully they will be lower this time.
I've been trying to stay positive and look at the silver lining in all of this.
I get to have my baby here in just a few weeks. I get to hold him and see his sweet face.
I don't have to go through the last month of pregnancy, which is the worst!
I get to have him before Halloween which gives me plenty of time to heal up from a c section before the holidays hit.
I have 2 siblings getting married so I have a little more time to feel like a normal person before their weddings.
The itching and worrying will stop once I have him. He might spend some time in the nicu, but he is looking healthy, and measuring big!! Most babies at 33 weeks weigh a little over 4 lbs, he is measuring at over 6 lbs! I've been measuring big this whole pregnancy, and I don't know how accurate the ultrasound is, but I think either way he will be a little bigger than normal so i'm hoping he will be nice and healthy even though he's about a month early.

The other day dan and I were having a little pity party about how it seems like life just always seems to be crazy for us. That when things finally start to turn around, it's only a little while before we get hit with something else. I saw this quote from Richard G Scott and it just really hit home for both of us.
Even though this is definitely one of the harder things we have gone through, I can feel the Lords hand daily. He helps put my mind at ease and I can't help but think that everything is going to be fine, even though the risks are scary. I know with Dan by my side we can get through anything. He's been my rock and always knows what to say or do to help me out. When I got home from Boise, he had the whole house cleaned top to bottom. Bathrooms, carpets, kitchen, EVERYTHING! The baby's room was put together and looked so cute. I cried when I walked in and saw everything, it was exactly what I needed. He said he just didn't want me to stress about the house being ready for the baby and he just wanted me to relax. He is so sweet and thoughtful. 

I know this is a super long post, but I have so much friends and family asking about this, and I figured this was the best way to keep everyone informed. I'm so grateful for the love and support we've had these last few weeks. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

24 Weeks and So tired

This pregnancy has been so different. So so different. It's made me realize how "easy" my other two pregnancies have been. This one just seems to keep throwing new stuff at me.
I have always been a girl that NEEDS sleep. Like a lot of sleep. I've never been someone who can sleep a solid 5 hours and wake up totally refreshed the next day. I seriously think I need double that. hahah. Ok not double, but at least a good 8 hours. Having kids changes your sleeping habits and I literally thought I was going to die when I had Damon and he didn't sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time for almost the whole first year. I remember praying every night, to "just let this baby sleep for 4 hours and I would be so happy! Please I need sleep! I'm going to lose my mind! " and once he was sleep trained, what did I do? Have another baby. Luckily, Rafe was a decent sleeper and before long they both slept through the night and were decent nappers an life was ok. And of course as a mother, you just adjust and get through it.
Damon stopped napping around 3 and Rafe stopped napping around 2 because Damon never napped and he would freak out if he was the only one who had to sleep. So they both go to bed around 8 and wake up around 8:30 which works great for us. We have had that schedule for over a year and half and I'm pretty used to it. The idea of going back to a newborn who is going to wake me up every few hours is freaking me out a little. I was just in the zone when I had Damon and Rafe so close together. I was used to it. Now I'm used to kids who sleep all through the night for a solid 12 hours. It's going to be interesting adjusting to a newborn for me.
The only thing that MIGHT save me is my sleep now sucks. For the last month maybe 2 months my sleep has just been so crappy. When we were living with my parents, we slept in seperate beds because I could sleep better. And I would pop a unisom and be out. Well I stopped taking those because then I was so groggy all morning and felt like I could sleep all day.
Then we moved and I was so excited to get my mattress back and get some good sleep without the unisom. Turns out our house doesn't have A/C so our room was a nice 75-80 degrees at night. If you know Dan and I we like it cold. Like year round 68 degrees in our house. So my sleep continued to suck. Then our lives were saved when Betty and Jerry gave us a floor A/C unit for our room. We have been in heaven ever since then and sleeping in a nice cool 68 degree room every night.
The last few weeks I have been fighting sleeping on my back. I am most comfortable on my stomach but my belly has gotten too big to really do that. I can sleep at an angle an mostly on my side but then I wake up and my shoulders ache and I'm never really comfortable on my side. When I sleep on my back I'm restless. All night. I don't know why! It's obviously the best position for being pregnant. But I just toss and turn all night. Get up and pee. Get up and get a drink. I Just can't get some solid sleep.
So this morning I woke up just feeling like I got hit by a truck. I feel like my body just wants to shut down and sleep for like 3 days straight. I am so tired! But I'm only 24 weeks! I didn't get this feeling with either of my other boys until I was probably 34 weeks. So I'm stressing. This is going to be the longest pregnancy if my sleep is already out the window. I think just moving and being on my feet and unpacking and organizing is slowly wearing me down and then adding crappy sleep to the mix and I just am exhausted. And I always feel like such a BABY when I'm telling Dan how tired I am because he wakes up before me and goes to work all day at a job that's pretty stressful and I know he's tired too. I just have no energy today and am feeling a little panicked about going through the rest of this pregnancy with such low energy then having a newborn and two little men to keep up with all day. I'm just going to be a zombie. And I don't want to be.
So! I need some help. What helps you sleep when you're pregnant? Unisom was a lifesaver for me in the first trimester but it ends up making me feel tired all morning. I'm active during the day and am on my feet a lot keeping after the boys and the house and stuff. Any special drinks or pillows or lotions or music or something I could be using to help me? I just keep waiting for the point in pregnancy where you get a second wind and start nesting and you feel cute and pregnant and have energy. That normally hits about 10 weeks ago and so the fact that I haven't felt that yet is freaking me out.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Belly Bandit!

Ok Mommies!! I was just on Pinterest and came across this belly bandit thing. So I went to the website and started checking it out. It looks like it might be something I would be interested in, especially if I end up with another c section. But I wanted to know if any of my friends have used one. The reviews on line are all over the place.  Sounds like the bamboo one is the way to go, but that you'll have to buy a smaller size after a few weeks. 
So I'm thinking IF I do buy one of just buying it in a smaller size and wearing it a few weeks after I give birth to get around buying two. 
ALSO, this might just be a weird thought but if I have a c section and wear this, is it going to heal me differently. Like I just imagine those three different layers of atitches all mushed together and healing to each other because this thing is supposed to be tight. Is that a weird fear???
So any thoughts or reviews would be appreciated!!!