Friday, August 30, 2013

my struggle with nursing, take 2.

breastfeeding didn't go so well for round one. i was convinced that having done it all before, that this time would be easier. perhaps a bit too optimistic. or confident. in some ways, it was easier. but what i wasn't prepared for were the things that would be different. after all, this isn't the same baby, and things at home were different this time around, too.

i blamed my dwindling milk supply the last time on stress. coming home from the hospital, i had my husband and my mom here for 2 weeks. and my baby gained weight immediately. like a champ. i was doing great. but at the end of that 2 weeks, things changed. my mom went back home, and my husband buried himself in the construction of finishing our basement. and the demands of a newborn were high, and being a new mom turned loose in this world.. well, it all got to me. and unbeknownst to me, for the next 2 weeks, my baby was being fed less and less. 

this time, i knew what i was getting myself into. i've got this. 

but this time, my mom left the day after i got home from the hospital. my husband wasn't building a basement, but our basement did flood. and we were dollars deep in having our back porch transformed into a screened in porch and outdoor space. and it wasn't the beginning of my husband's summer break. it was the tail end, and he was back to school in no time. but he also was still managing the pool, which makes for very long hours. and this baby? he was even smaller than my first. and weaker. and he had his nights and days partially confused to begin with. no one was sleeping. and naps didn't happen while the baby slept during the day, because it was still summer break for my 3 year old. and 3 year olds don't sit still. or nap. or let their mommies nap. (at least, not mine.) and my baby was becoming hungrier.

he wasn't gaining weight like a champ. i wasn't doing great. so we had a series of weight checks. and suddenly, here i was back in that regimen that i never wished to revisit: nursing, supplementing, pumping. and frequently. and it was national breastfeeding week, as social media reminded me on multiple occasions. mostly, i just cried.

with little success in the increased milk supply department, i decided i would continue to combo-feed [as i did the last time] until i felt i had dried up.  but even that plan failed me. sleep deprivation paired with having another child to care for while trying to balance nursing, bottle feeding, and kept me in tears.

i was worried i was headed in a post-partum downward spiral, and realized i was emotionally unable to keep up with the combo-feeding method. for my sanity, i began weaning at 2 weeks. 

i'm no longer breastfeeding. and i'm coming around, but it still hurts sometimes. and at times, i feel shamed with guilt. a lot of "what if's" cross my mind, and thoughts that leave me wishing i could have changed just this one thing, and that this would have turned out differently. but that's an unhealthy place for my mind to wander. i have to remind myself this: i know that my decisions were best for our family's current circumstances, and everyone under this roof is better off because of it. and that alone makes me feel good.

i had a good friend send an article to me during national breastfeeding week who knew of my struggles. of course, it made me cry, since that was my expertise that week.. but it also was therapeutic, in a sense, for that time. you can read it here: I Support You: The Conversation We Should Be Having About Breastfeeding And Formula

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

my baked oatmeal obsession.

this recipe comes from my husband's cousin, bethany. you can find it on her food blog here.

upon returning home from the hospital after my delivery, this dish was brought over by my mother-in-law. my appetite did not dwindle after giving birth. if anything, i felt ravenous for something homemade after having been fed ice chips and carry-out food from the days prior.

this dish really hit the spot. and did so at breakfast, many lunches, and in-between meals. (hey, i was nursing - i was allowed to eat all i want!) i have made pan after pan after pan of this stuff. in double batches. the number of pans i've consumed over the last 4 weeks is absurd. but it's sooo delicious.

here's the recipe:

Mix together the following dry ingredients in a mixing bowl:

3 cups Rolled Oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon. 
Then melt the following ingredients together in a saucepan:

3/4 cup honey (though you can substitute brown sugar or maple syrup)
1 stick butter
Once melted, whisk in: 
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and mix very well together. 
Add in 2 cups of chopped fruit - I used 1 peach and a handful of blueberries, but you can be creative! 

Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 mins.
See the link to the original recipe for ideas for variations to the recipe. She suggested serving with greek yogurt or milk poured over top, but I happen to enjoy it as is.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a visit from momma.

my mom is a gem.

she wasn't able to commit the two week stay this time around, and could only make a week stay a few weeks after brooks' arrival, rather than right away. but the timing couldn't have been more perfect with colby being back to school, and still working at the pool. i was on the verge of losing my sanity at home. an extra set of hands around here was heavenly. i posted this on my facebook page which sums up her visit nicely:

I NAPPED. My house has been cleaned. Dusted. I've made trips to the grocery store. To pick up dinner. To a baby shower. ALONE. My fridge has been stocked. My Owen has been entertained. My Brooks has hardly been put down. And I NAPPED. (Did I mention that?)

All credited to a glorious 7 day visit from my amazing momma. 

i sure didn't want to take her to the airport monday morning. and i wasn't the only one who was going to miss having her here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

here comes preschool!

took my little [big] guy to his first day of preschool on monday.

"i think i'm going to have so much fun today." - owen, on our walk in to his first day of preschool.

i can't tell you how excited i am about this year for owen. we transferred from his last "school" to a new one that accommodated our working schedules better. as it turns out, it also came highly recommended by another parent, and i can already see why. we love his teacher, and love what she has in store for his class.

Friday, August 16, 2013

on being a big brother.

one of my favorite moments during my hospital stay was when owen joined the three of us in the delivery room to meet his new baby brother. he was the sweetest. he was so tender. he touched him so gently, and kissed him on the forehead. the first of many kisses brooks would be receiving from his big brother. he introduced himself, and also introduced brooks to his mommy and daddy. then, he found his feet, and showed them to me, "look at these sweet little piggies, mommy." that boy knows me well. 

we're home now. three weeks have gone by in our new world, and here's what i've learned: owen loves to kiss his baby brother. brooks can pretty much count on a smooch being layed on him by his big brother as long as they are in the same room., which is often since owen likes the company. 

owen is crazy proud of his brother. he loves to tell people that he came out of my tummy. he will often refer to him as "my baby" or "sweet Brooks" and was the first to use the nickname "Brooksy," which has stuck for all of us. he likes to give us updates on his brother's happenings in the backseat when we're driving. ("his eyes are open," "he's starting to cry," "he's looking out the window, " etc.) he is helpful in fetching burp cloths and pacifiers which are seemingly always out of reach. he loves to have brooks as his audience as he shows him how he jumps from his bed, races his scooter through the house, or writes his name in chalk. he talks to him so sweetly. he shows genuine concern when he cries, and we often will hear him singing a made up lullaby to try to soothe him. i'm so proud of the way he loves his brother.

i'm thankful, however, that we have survived these 3 weeks. with colby back to school, and still working at the pool through labor day combined with the time-consuming demands of a newborn that have left me quite stationary.. i have a 3-year-old who is becoming increasingly bored at home. and increasingly three. school starts on monday for my little guy, though. while it's sad to see summer coming to a close for everyone, i'm confident this will be the outlet he needs and a big year for our growing boy.

here's a video from a few months ago. if you'll recall, owen also was carrying a baby in his belly during my pregnancy. with the same name, even. it makes me giggle a lot. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

brooks' airplane nursery.

as promised, i finally snapped some pictures of the completed nursery. i jumped between nautical, superhero, and airplane themes as i gathered inspiration via pinterest. i finally settled on an airplane theme, and have pushed the superhero theme to owen's new room.

you can see my pinterest board here with nursery inspiration, which includes links to websites where bedding, wall art, boppy cover, area rug, and my diaper bag were purchased from.

there is one blank wall which i'm reserving for a couple of newborn canvas prints, but otherwise, it's complete!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

hello, brooks.

This perfect teeny blessing arrived on Friday, July 26 at 8:04pm. World, meet Brooks Thomas Dischinger. 
We're so in love.