Mommy Brigade

Monday, November 6, 2017

Breast feeding

OK seriously, why does no one tell you how horrible breastfeeding CAN be. I say "can" because it was pretty easy and natural with Damon. It all went down hill from there! I think it gets harder every time! This last time definitely takes the cake and there has been sooo many times that I've just wanted to throw in the breast pads and quit! I wasn't able to breastfeed Raquel at first because she was Sooooo tiny! And she has the smallest mouth ever. So I switched to pumping because I would cry every time I had to latch her on. I was so sore and cracked, I never thought I'd recover and be the same! So I started pumping and it was ok at first. But it was hard for my milk to let down because it wasn't my baby feeding, it was a machine!!

My milk supply is pretty crazy the first few weeks. Like 9 oz on each side crazy. SO I pumped and pumped to avoid mastitis and plugged ducts then I start to wean it down. Well then I started only pumping in the morning and at night so my milk supply plummeted! I got so tired of pumping and just being a little milking cow! I was ready to quit but i'm just too stubbourn! haha So I started taking fenugreek and pumping more throughout the day and night.....pretty much anytime raquel ate, I would pump. It worked like a charm and I built my supply back up to about 4 -6 oz each side about 5 times a day.  Finally! a win! so we pumped and pumped and when Raquel was about 3 months old, I wanted to try breastfeeding again. It would take me about an hour to pump each session and it was just sooooo time consuming! So I latched raquel on and away she went!!! It was amazing! She did so good! It was painful but I wasn't cracking and bleeding like I was the first time!

It still hurts when she latches on because her mouth is so small. (no it's not a tongue tie! Been there done that with Rafe and Jag so I knew what to look for with her) But she's nursing great now. She takes FOREVER to eat though and it's driving me a little crazy. But I'll take it over having to pump!! She eats about 2 oz then gets tired and falls asleep, takes a small cat nap, wakes up and eats again.....and again...... and again..... I am constantly feeding her. I don't know what would be more time consuming, to actually feed her until she's full, which would take about 40 minutes.....or feeding her 20 minutes at a time to just by me time until she's hungry again. When she's full shes so happy and hardly makes a sound! When she's still hungry she's pretty fussy! SO we'll get the hang of it! We've come a long way and have fought to get this far so we'll figure it out!!

But seriously, why does no one tell you the truth about how hard this can be? When you're pregnant everyone warns you about delivery and labor and recovery, but not a whole lot about nursing. It's seriously hell. HELL. It's convenient and cheap, but so hard sometimes. I've had mastitis twice with raquel, and more plugged ducts than I can count.  My little sister is having a baby in January and I'm gearing her up for what to expect. It's not pretty but it is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and that makes it all worth it!

Baby Raquel!!

I figured it was about time to get on here and blog about Raquel's birth story. She's only 4 months old's fine. hahah if that doesn't say anything about how life has been these last four months, I don't know what will. It's bee CRAZY.

I hope I can remember the main details because it's been quite a while, and most of the time I was pretty drugged, let's be honest.

The days/weeks leading up to my c section, I was freaking out. It's honestly like a little bit of ptsd. Knowing what was coming, the recovery, the adjustment, nursing....all while having three other kids to take care of is so overwhelming. On top of all those daunting thoughts, I had the Cholestasis stuff going on and was being monitored so closely, so that helped pass the time. Before I knew it, it was the night before my c section and I was just freaking out.

I was so excited to meet her, to see her face, hear her cry, and know that she is healthy and safe.

I was excited to be done being pregnant, and itching (cholestasis),  and uncomfortable.

But I was dreading the surgery and recovery and the next 4 days in the hospital.

I didn't sleep at all that night before. We had to be to the hospital at 4:30 AM. Surgery was scheduled for 7:00.

So we check in, they did some blood work, then showed us to our room. I got into my gown, they got my IV in and goin, then they asked me 7 million questions. Then we sat.......and I stressed....and cried a little.

It was bitter sweet. This was my last baby. My last few moments being pregnant and feeling the kicks and movement. The stress from the last few weeks took away the excitement of having a new baby. It kept me from really soaking up and enjoying the last little bit of pregnancy. But I was ready to meet my little girl and see her sweet face.

The anesthesiologist came in and gave me this horrible drink that they give you to help settle your stomach so you don't throw up while you're in surgery. It is seriously the worst and I gag just thinking about it!! After that settled it was time to go in and get started in the OR.

The OR is always so cold, especially in the morning. My anesthesiologist was so sweet and had a heater going and warm blankets ready for me. He was so thoughtful and nice! We started the spinal tap, which doesn't take very long, but it always stresses me out. When you get an epidural during a normal labor, you've been having contractions and have been in pain so the epidural hurts, but it's not horrible. The spinal isn't bad, but I don't remember hating getting my epidurals that much!  It was really giving me cramps down my right side so we had to adjust a few things, then it was go time!

I had dr Matt, and Dr. Gunderson for my surgery and they were both amazing. They both had to be there because it was a little more complicated with the amount of scar tissue. It took them 30 minutes just to get to Raquel. It usually takes about 5-7 minutes for them to get to the baby, but I had so much scar tissue they just had to cut through it all.

She came out screaming! I was so happy just because I was having horrible dreams about her not crying when she came out and she was over 3 weeks early and just all the risks of cholestasis had me so worried. So hearing that cry made me so happy.

She was born at 7:30 and was 6 lbs. I was in surgery for about another hour. They took my tubes out and sewed up everything. They also removed my previous 2 c section scars and just left one.....which is huge so not really a great trade off, but I don't mind.

Raquel screamed the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME! I hate not being able to hold her or comfort her. It was so frustrating and usually c sections aren't an hour and a half, but more like a half hour to 45 minutes. So it felt like FOREVER!!! But once it was all over, they wheeled me into recovery and I honestly don't remember much after that. I'm usually pretty drugged and remember bits and pieces but not much more. My parents came, we took some pictures, she got a bath, i tried to feed her, I threw up a few times (which hurts so freakin bad after a c section, even with the morphine!), then I slept while my mom took care of the baby.

The next few days were rough. Trying to get up and get your crying baby out of the bassinet after surgery is just not fun. Having my tubes taken out and having so much scar tissue cut through and around, my whole abdominal area just felt so sore and scraped through. But she was so worth it all! She was so sweet and tiny! I just can't get enough of her. I tried to just soak up the time with just her and I while we were in the hospital.

My mom came and stayed with us for 6 weeks! It was so nice to have her here and get help with the kids and the cleaning and the laundry. My little sister came for a while too, and it was just so nice to have all the help! They are my best friends and it was nice to not feel so overwhelmed because I can trust them with anything!

The recovery this last time around was definitely the worst, but the pain meds help you get through it, and having all the help was a lifesaver. It was all kind of a blur once I got home. I had a lot of problems breast feeding, and she dropped down to 5.5 lbs so I started pumping exclusively and it was so exhausting.

I know this post might seem a little negative, and "everythings hard and exhausting and the worst!" but it's my true feelings! It's why I don't want to have any more kids. The toll it takes on your body, and the c sections are just tough. And this last time was a doozy. So I love my kids, but I'm done. Some people just aren't blessed to have easy deliveries and birth stories. So that's why it might sound a little negative. But some of you probably relate!!

Anyways, Baby Rocky (I call her that, Dan hates it) is the sweetest little thing! She's a good sleeper and just all around happy baby! I'm so glad that she came to complete our little family! She's lucky to have 3 protective older brothers who just smother her with love! Jag really wanted nothing to do with her in the beginning but he's just as obsessed with her now as the rest of us! ;)

This going home outfit was mine too. My grandma Jolene made it for me and made my mom a matching nightgown. It's so special to me so i'm glad I got a chance to pass it down to my little girl!

Friday, June 16, 2017

33 Weeks and Cholestasis update

I'll be 34 weeks in 2 days, and I just can't believe I'm getting to the end. we have 3 weeks left! That's it! And they're pretty packed weeks with Father's day, Dan's birthday, the 4th of July, and at least 2 dr apt's a week, then she'll be here no later than the 9th! That's when I'll be 37 weeks, and I'm pretty sure that's when they're going to have me deliver her because I got my cholestasis labs back this week and my levels were elevated. I was kind of fooling myself into thinking that I wouldn't get it again this pregnancy, but here we are. It cut our time left almost in half. Thank goodness we just had the baby shower and I bought more clothes so that I feel like I have a little stock pile for the first year. Now it's all in bags in her room and I have no motivation to go through everything yet.

So I get a lot of weird looks when I tell people I have cholestasis. It's a weird thing. Not many people get it, and I'm just that lucky to get it again.....hahaha
So what it is is when your liver has a hard time processing all the bile, so it gets released into your bloodstream and can harm the baby. So they start doing medication, that I'm taking three times a day. I hate that because I'm always second guessing if I've already taken my pill. I need a chart or something! Then they do non stress tests and ultrasounds every week. So it's a lot of dr apt's. The main concern with cholestasis is there's a high risk of still birth. So you're constantly stressed if you're baby is moving enough and if they're ok in there. The medicine and monitoring definitely helps put you mind at ease a little, but it can still happen and it's scary. Most mornings I can't do anything until I feel her move. If I have to wait more than 5 minutes to feel her I start to panic.

So three weeks left, a nursery to organize, and a house I should probably super deep clean because I'll be laid up for a while. I always think I clean a lot and that my house is super organized, then something like this happens and that weird pregnancy nesting kicks in and nothing is good enough or clean enough or organized enough. I kind of love/hate it.

It's really starting to kick in how soon she'll be here and I'm a little terrified of having 4 kids. Three is tough. 3 kicked my butt and I'm just hoping 4 won't be any worse. Damon and Rafe are just the best and are great helpers. But Jag's sleep and fit throwing needs to get sorted out. I don't know how i'm going to handle all that he's doing and a newborn because Jag is a full time job right now.

The boy's are at a father and son's camp out tonight so it was just Jag and I. He was like a different kid without his brothers around. He was so happy and goofy. He just ran around playing with everything and just loved being with mom. It was so much fun. I haven't just been able to enjoy him for a while. The last week we've been in Melba having fun at grandma and grandpa's house. Jag cannot sleep well there. I always have to lay with him until he falls asleep which can take forever. and then try to sneak out! Then he wakes up and so I pull him into bed with me which I always hate sleeping with my kids. I never get any real sleep! He just kicked me in the face or back and had to sleep on top of the pillow baricade which made me nervous he was going to fall off the bed so I was constantly readjusting him and waking us both us. Anyways, tonight was nice to just love on him and enjoy his little personality. He has no idea what's coming with a new baby! haha and it's going to be hard. on both of us. He's super needy and jealous so we'll see how that goes!

so 3 weeks left! Pray for us that we can get everything done that we need to and especially that baby girl can stay healthy in there for the next few weeks!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

31 Weeks!

Oh the homestretch! I can't believe it's already here and I'm just a few weeks away from meeting this baby girl!
It's bitter sweet being this far along. Sweet because it's getting so close and because then you don't have to be huge and uncomfortable that much longer, but bitter because you're huge and uncomfortable! hahaha
the sleep struggle has been real these last few weeks! Some nights are ok, other nights I feel like I'm just laying here with my eyes closed hoping the sleep gods will take me away to a perfect cloud that will form around my body and make me comfortable. That hasn't happened yet, but I'm still praying. ;)
Sleeping on my side is the hardest. I'm normally a stomach sleeper, so trying to sleep on my side is foreign. I usually end up on my back, but can never fall asleep on my's kind of annoying. But my hips and my shoulders get so smashed when i'm sleeping on my side that it's just not my fave.
speaking of hips, mine literally don't feel like they're connected to my body anymore! they're so loosey goosey and always feel like they need to be like popped back into place.
But all complaining aside, I've been lucky with my pregnancy so far. It really hasn't been too bad and the little things that i've mentioned before are just part of getting that sweet baby here! I'm just trying to remind myself of that while I'm a zombie through out the day. It won't be any different once she's here! hahaha
Today I had one of those morning where you're like, holy crap what am I going to do with one more child?! Like I cannot even handle these ones I have already! Jag is just going through this phase where he cries about anything and everything, he's not sleeping good, he's not eating well, and everything is a fit. Like how did I forget this stage?! and as soon as he's out of it, the next baby will be in it! I think he might be getting his two year molars......and he had a high fever last week and a sore throat so he's just been thrown off, but man! I'm ready for it all to get sorted out!
Then Rafe was having one of those mornings where he was just being really sassy. And he wanted to watch youtube videos on my phone and I wouldn't let him. So he was mad and crying. He had the fever and sore throat a few days ago, and so he's still off from that.
Don't you hate that?
Like when you're kids get thrown off their schedules or get sick.....and it takes days to get them back to normal. Everything is a big deal and they get super emotional or are sensitive about everything?! Yeah that drives me NUTS.
Damon was at school so he wasn't a problem, but between the two youngest I was like UGHHHHHHH! I called my mom and had that "What the hell am I doing having another baby?!" phone call. Which she then assured me I would be totally fine and it would all work out. I love my mom. Seriously, I wouldn't survive without her.
Then I realized I'M probably being overly sensitive and emotional because I'm pregnant and that my kids are really great and they are going to be the best big brothers and just spoil their baby sister with so many hugs and kisses! Sometimes you just need to put yourself in check, call your mom and have her reassure you it's all going to be fine, and you just go about your day.
Here's to hoping these next 8 weeks fly by!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

29 Weeks

You know how you wish your pregnancy will fly by and just be over with so that you can hold your sweet baby? I've been trying to soak up the pregnancy and enjoy it but in the back of my mind it's like, okkkkkkk, come onnnnnn..........
I like being pregnant. Don't get me wrong. It's a huge blessing and I'm pretty fortunate to have decently healthy pregnancies. But this fourth time around is no joke. Chasing theses boys around is just zapping my energy. But I also am like......well when I have this baby it's just going to be even crazier! The nursing and the sleepless nights and healing from another c section just sounds like a marathon and i'm just prepping right now.
I had a dr apt this week and they did my gestational diabetes test, we did an ultrasound to check for Placenta Acreta, and we took some blood work to test for Cholestasis.
I passed my diabetes test!!! I know it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but i'm always so relieved when I pass because it's just one less thing to worry about.
The ultrasound was good. Baby girl moves a lot! She's growing well and my placenta looked great!
And I'm still waiting for the results for my Cholestasis. I've started itching and it's just getting more and more as the weeks go on. So I'll be surprised if I don't have it, but I'm also itching more since they tested me. So this test could come back ok, but I might have them test again in a week.

In other news. Jag has started throwing these monster fits and I'm literally ready to lose my mind! haha this child is just crazy. He doesn't want me to hold him or try and comfort him. So I'll let him throw his fit and he just follows me around the house screaming and crying. It lasts for 15-20 minutes before he will finally let me hold him and chill out, but then as soon as I set him down it starts up again. Little things will trigger these fits. Not letting him have my phone or ipad. the brothers playing downstairs, him being hungry or thirsty, or just not wanting to be in the house. It's like ANYTHING will trigger it. It's just driving me crazy. I love that stinker, but these fits! Man. I have just forgotten what it's like at this age. I just hope they get a little better before the baby comes. His sleep is also sucking which just adds to everything. I just feel like a zombie all day.

Mother's Day was the best! I got to sleep in, have breakfast in bed, got lots of cuddles and cards from my boys, dan had the boys shirts all ironed and got them ready for church so I just had to focus on myself, and after church he cleaned everything, made and cleaned up dinner, and did all the laundry. Like I seriously struck gold with this man. He made my day so great and relaxing and I truly felt like I had a day off. It's tuesday now and not having to worry about laundry or some of the little chores you have to catch up on from the weekend has been so nice. I've just had time to do other things and take the boys outside and ride bikes. We have a crazy busy week this week and we will hardly see eachother until after the kids go to bed every night, so having those other stresses off my plate has been heaven.
I'm just glad that I have a husband who really appreciates me and my role as a mom. Sometimes I feel like he doesn't really care about my daily grind, but he always is listening and seeing how he acted and treated me on Mother's day just made me realize how much he really does care. Marriage can be tough and I'm so glad that I have a partner who helps me out and lets me know how much he cares and appreciates me.

DUUUUUDDDDEEE as we speak jag is just screaming in his crib. It's naptime and he's just not having it. Even though he's been crying all day. Like I seriously even took him to the dr to make sure he didn't have an ear infection or anything. So there's either something more going on here that I can't see or the terrible two's are just in full swing!   :(

Pray for me! haha

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Baby #4 Update!!

Holy. Cow.

This pregnancy has really been flying by. Which is a nice thing, but at the same time I'm trying to soak up every minute because this is my last one.

I've had a few raised eyebrows about being done having kids. I know it's a big decision. I know it's hard to make. But I truly feel like I'm done. I never really saw myself with more than 4 kids, and after having 3 boys in a row, and now having a sweet baby girl, I'm totally ok with being done. I think if this baby would have been a boy I MAYBE would have considered having another. But since it's a girl, I'm good being done here.

Not to mention my health when it comes to having babies.

Each time it gets a little worse. This time around has been good so far. I'm hoping I don't get cholestasis again, but I will be surprised if I can escape it. The chances are usually pretty high that you'll get it again. It's not a fun thing. And with Jag, I seriously debated ever having another baby because of it. The worry and the stress is just so much to handle. Throw a few kids you need to take care of on top of that and by the end of each day you're just amazed you made it through. I should know sometimes soon if I have it again or not. It usually shows itself in the third trimester, I'm 27 weeks now. Last time I was 32 weeks when we caught it. I itch every once and a while and just feel so burned out which was one of the signs last time that I just never paid attention to. Like of course I'm tired, i'm pregnant and I have other kids to take care of. So anyways, we'll see what happens.

This pregnancy I was super sick the first 16 weeks......but when I say super sick I just mean nauseous all day. I never throw up, but just feel like it all day long.

I've felt pretty good since then. I have always been pretty tired no matter how much sleep I get. I was taking unisom almost every night and it just made me a zombie throughout the day. So I stopped taking it but every once in a while, like if I have a few nights of crappy sleep, I'll take half of one which is a lifesaver.

I've been surprised I haven't had heart burn really at all this pregnancy. Or braxton hicks, which I usually get pretty often.

Sleeping has been terrible and being able to keep up with the boys has been tough! They are so busy! Especially Jag. That kid is a tornado. He is everywhere. He's into everything. He has this scream that seriously makes my head hurt by the end of the day. He's figured out how to pinch, which the older boys hate. And he crawls on everything! He's definitely my most busy child.
Then we have soccer 3 nights out of the week and just chasing  Jag around for an hour to an hour and a half while the boys play, is not really my idea of fun.

They are just so busy. And getting so big. So fast. Which is bitter sweet.

With baby girl and Jag being about 20/21 months apart life is just going to get more busy. and more hectic. and just plain crazy. But before I know it, they'll be headed off to school and I'll be done with this phase of my life. Having babies, having toddlers, and having them need me for every little thing.


I love my babies and I know I'm always going to want a baby in my house. There's just nothing like it.
But I'm ready for that next stage. I'm ready for them all the eat by themselves and talk and walk and be potty trained. But even more, I'm ready for the sports and family bike rides and movies together. Where kids can enjoy those litte things in life with us. Like camping! I don't want to take my kids camping when they're this young. I'm way too much of a controlling mom hahaha! They need to be older, so I'm excited for that phase of life. Like 3/4 years down the road.

So I'm just trying to enjoy this last pregnancy. And enjoy my babies being babies. And trying to enjoy the craziness that is our life. Because before I know it, it'll all pass and they'll be in school and I won't know what to do with myself!