It’s Only Just Begun

It’s 7:35 am and I’m sitting in E‘s nursery pumping. Baby girl slept nearly 8 hours from the time she was put down and I’ve already filled a 4 ounce bottle from just one side, and switched it out. Going into and throughout my pregnancy, my nightmares revolved around breastfeeding. I was convinced it wouldn’t work out or that E would end up preferring bottles. Personally, I wasn’t looking forward to the idea that I’d end up offering formula or being an exclusive pumper. 

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Image Source: Amazon.com

Once E was born, she was a champion nurser according to our nurses! Our issue was in demand vs supply. Right off the bat she was starving and no amount of colostrum would satisfy her. She’d eventually get so frustrated she wasn’t satisfied she would refuse to nurse more. 

At one point in her first full day of living the kindest nurse asked me how I felt about formula. At this point E had been screaming for hours, fitfully attempting and quitting to cluster feed and was overall miserable. I told her I hated the idea but seeing my baby so miserable was worse. Later that evening, E got her first supplement with formula. 


While in the hospital, she had a few more instances of supplementing but overall she was attempting to breastfeed. We were able to meet with a lactation consultant our last morning inpatient and she set us up with a supplemental nursing system and sent us home with formula. I did find it interesting (and food for thought) that when I’d mentioned I’d pumped to induce labor several times (unsuccessfully labor wise) but didn’t save the colostrum expressed she was disappointed I hadn’t saved it. What first time mom thinks to save the dribbles of colostrum that she initially expressed before baby is born? 

E had about 5 supplemental instances while home the first 2 days with her. She was fully breastfed by our doctors appointment 2 days after bringing her home but sadly had lost more weight. Needless to say I was worried! The pediatrician we saw that day said we should put her on an every 2 hr nursing schedule, offer her a bottle of breast milk or water in between if she’s inconsolable. I’d expressed to her that E was feeding almost constantly and wouldn’t take a pacifier other than the breast. 


I had a hard time following the pediatricians recommendation. I continued to have C offer her one evening bottle of expressed milk but otherwise tried to let her eat on demand. We’d worked hard so far for this relationship and I didn’t want to supplement (even with breast milk) if unnecessary medically. 

At a follow-up lactation appt when E was 10 days old, we were given a full seal of approval for all we were doing. Our little gal was latching properly, eating 2-2.5 ounces per session AND had regained her birth weight! In fact, she’d gained 10 ounces in just 5 days! 


Evenings were hard those first couple weeks/month. Our version of cluster feeding is akward and unsatisfying for both parties. She was irritable and so was I. Neither of us knew what she wanted…but we stuck it out. Lately, her evening bottles are only every 2-3 days and we’re all much calmer (relatively speaking) in the evening fussy hours. 

I had been terrified of the supposed 6 week growth spurt and the rumors it was when lots of mamas and babies quit breastfeeding. I desperately didn’t want to be one but…seeing my baby full and satisfied was an amazingly content feeling. 


Week 6 was rough in a lot of ways, but feeding didn’t really register in my radar as particularly difficult. Our issue that week was sleeping during the day. 

We still struggle with some issues, mainly flow wise. For bottles, E is currently using Avent and their preemie or newborn flow. This causes her the least discomfort. She still has some difficulty with the flow rate when breastfeeding but doesn’t get nearly upset as she used to! 


A few days ago we tried introducing the Medela Calma nipple to her. This nipple is marketed to be uniquely similar in usage to breastfeeding and reduce nipple confusion. I haven’t seemed to have any issues with E and confusion, I’m mainly concerned with flow. This nipple is attractive to me due to its ability to work directly with the Evenflo glass bottles I pump into. One less transfer and bottle to wash is ideal for me! E did great with it for the small bottle she received. I hope to introduce it more and see if we can transition to mainly using that.

Overall, this girl is a champ. We’ve been working really hard on a loose routine during the day and we’ve made a ton of progress. We try to follow an eat, wake, sleep routine however our main concentration is keeping the wake time to around an hour and getting her to sleep. This means we are often running an eat, wake, eat, sleep schedule but it’s working to get her the rest she needs to grow. Therefore, she’s still feeding every hour or so. 


It dawned on me recently that this little lady and I have made it nearly eleven weeks now in this journey. Her and I have developed a system for what works and doesn’t work for us. Shortly, our story and system will change slightly but in time we will adjust, continuing our journey. 

 

In the Double digits

How it’s been 10 whole weeks since E finally came to live with us, I’m not quite sure. This week we had cool temperatures which made sleeping so much more comfortable! 

Sous chef E


Starting Wednesday we focused on getting E to sleep on her own for her naps. Wednesday she did great until late afternoon. You see Wednesday was E’s two month doctors appointment and she got her first round of vaccinations. I bent the rules and snuggled her all she wanted. 

Seriously, this girl is too much!


She did great at the appointment and that evening. I think C and I had a harder time than she did! She got a super clean bill of health and even impressed her doctor with her skills…especially her control of her neck! 

Snuggles and sleep were on the agenda for the next day. We did sneak out of the house to get my ring inspected and cleaned as well as to get a cookie!

Thursday night E slept over 8 hours once she was put in her own bed! This is the best she’s ever done and she woke up SO happy. We were all happy! Following this, when she went down for her first nap, she slept 90 minutes. She might have slept longer but I had to wake her up to go get an oil change. 

Saturday morning we went to the Washington State Fair. You can read more about our day here but overall we had a great time! Since the focus this week has been on getting E to nap consistently, we kept up her schedule even while at the fair. I was really impressed with how well all of us did with it!  


The following day the entire family (including Oscar!) went to a bbq hosted by a coworker of mine in Olympia. Although it was time for E’s nap when we got the bro the car, she preferred to remain wide awake just until we got close to our destination! She did really well while there and charmed quite a few people. 

Oscar decided to book it out an open gate shortly after we arrived so that created quite a commotion. C got in the car to track him down and meanwhile a coworkers husband successfully nabbed him down the road. What an adventure!  


Labor Day was calm for E. She spent the day napping on track and being the smiliest gal around! We spent the day preparing for the upcoming week. I’ll be returning to the workforce Tuesday which means quite a lot of change for us! That evening we had dinner with the family whose dog we’d watched the week prior. It was a nice end to a long weekend. 

Overall, this week was such a turning point in E’s napping. She has a consistent nap routine (at least with me) and I think it’s allowed her to sleep better and longer during the day. All naps during the day are spent in her bed while she still naps on me in the evening. We’ve had a happier girl between naps and that has been SO nice! 

9 Short Weeks

This week we were fully on our own as a family of three humans. Oscar had an interview for a pet sitter and we interviewed a nanny candidate. Oscar will need a place to stay when we go to a wedding in a few weeks and E will need someone to stay with her 15-20 hrs a week once I go back to work. 

The first day E was 9 weeks old we went to visit my work, meandered through Target and Babies R Us. She slept the entire way to my work and for awhile once there. Eventually she woke up and mingled but it was short lived. Knowing my girls sensitivity to becoming overstimulated with new people, we left before she got too upset. 


At Babies R Us we obtained a new bouncy seat to try to combat the evening fussies. She seems to like it! Target brought just the usual odds and ends. 

C and I agreed to watch his coworkers dog while they were out of town for a family emergency. He picked her up on his way home from work! Life with a little girl and two “puppies” was quite an interesting time…

The following days were relatively mellow. Not much happened but E being cute! This week she did start to move her hands and arms more purposefully…most noticeably rubbing her eyes! She also took a liking to a new pacifier which is HUGE around here, especially if she takes one from me!

 

hanging out with the girl in the mirror!

 

Not the biggest fan of tummy time!

Saturday E and C had a daddy/daughter morning while I took some time alone time with myself, my planner and a Starbucks chai. 

For a solo date, these two are the best company I could ask for!

Sunday brought a VERY big day in our household.

somehow 2 months have past

The last day of week 9 was a doosie…let’s not rehash it. You can find those adventures here

Week 10 will be my last week home 7 days a week with her before I return to work! I’ll be going into the office 3 days a week and working from home 2. 

More E: The Life and Times of EMF 

You Belong To Me

Two months ago, we had a baby girl.


 The nurses told us she was a beautiful baby and honestly, not all babies are cute so we really got a good one! She’s seriously only gotten more beautiful…and fun.


Read More →

And Just Like That

Suddenly it’s over. I spent 10 weeks home with our newborn daughter and a total of 12 weeks off of work. Now is the time to return. I’m both excited to return to somewhere where I get to dress nicely and talk to adults almost hourly but I’m also mourning the moments I’ll miss in our daughters life. 


Looking back, the last 10 weeks went by so very quickly and yet so much happened! Did I spend my maternity leave meaningfully? 

  • I watched a lot of movies. Before E arrived I took myself to the theatre to see The Conjuring 2 and The Jungle Book. Both were a nice distraction and way to get out of the house from waiting for a baby to make her appearance. While home and nursing, I watched a number of older films like My Best Friend’s Wedding, Kate & Leopoldo, When Harry Met Sally, Twister, and Ocean’s Eleven. We did manage to watch a few newer movies like Joy and The Boss. 

  • We ate some delicious Cookies. Our favorite hangout this summer was Metropolitan Market for a variety of reasons. For one, they have excellent food which we can get packages to go and eat outside there, leaving quickly if E gets upset. Secondly, they sell The Cookie. I’ve never had a better cookie…I want one all the time. Third, they introduced me to my new favorite dessert, Blueberry Peach Crumble. In a nutshell, Metropolitan Market is child friendly and kept my nursing calories up 😉

Part of my attempt to replicate “The Cookie”

I did successfully copy the Crumble!

  • We had a ton of visiting family! You can read all our adventures in past weeks. It was nice to have the help from family but also rough to have so many visitors in such a short span of time. I’m glad so many family members have had a chance so far to meet our amazing daughter though! What a lucky girl she is to have family that loves her so much. 



  • I watched a LOT of TV! I was home almost my entire maternity leave. While I spent a ton of time watching, talking to and sleeping with E, there was plenty of time to watch endless episodes of numerous series. Some I attended to better than others. Between me and C, we watched Shameless, The Americans, Homeland, The Affair, Masters of Sex, Elementary, I Love Lucy, and some Sex and the City. I’m sure that’s not a complete list but it’s a good solid handful. Why, just the day I was in labor we watched an entire season of Modern Family!
  • I finished a book I’d been reading forever, Terms of Use, and started a new one, Midair. I didn’t read nearly as must as I’d thought I would. I think that’s because it took quite a bit of attention and focus as opposed to the TV running and me staring at E. 
  • Googling took a significant amount of my time. We had intended to follow Babywise so from the start I was googling how to get started and where we were going wrong. Not to mention all the other stuff we didn’t know what to do about..like bathing and diaper rashes (thankfully we haven’t had any!).
  • Overwhelmingly, I spent the time worrying. I was so worried about how much (aka little) she was sleeping and how often she was eating. At the beginning, I was so afraid we weren’t being successful with breastfeeding even though she was gaining an appropriate amount of weight. What would happen when I went back to work? Who would take care of her? Would she do ok? They can’t feed her too much! Will she get enough to eat? How will they get her to sleep? I shouldn’t be nursing her to sleep. 

In the end, none of it mattered. E was happy, healthy and so very well loved. Her behavior analyst mother and engineer father learned new skills at relaxing and not knowing the answer and everyone was ok. If only I could go back ten weeks and tell myself to just snuggle and love that tiny homemade miracle. Because after all…babies don’t keep. 

    It Ends Ok…

    It’s not easy being a mom. I never thought it would be, really. I did underestimate how difficult it would be to eat a regular meal at a semi decent time or to eat that meal slowly and deliberately. It’s no wonder my digestion is all out of wack. 


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    8

    Eight weeks this tiny human has lived with us.


    I can’t believe we’ve been so lucky! She’s such a great person and is teaching us a ton so far. Read More →

    Seven Down

    Week seven began with a 12 hour E and Mama day. C had a work function that kept him until 8pm! We definitely had our struggles…mainly on my end. She was pretty happy!


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    It’s Been Six Weeks

    Six weeks since E arrived and we started a whole new adventure. I’d thought pregnancy was hard but I had no idea what was to come! I’d also heard rumors about 6 weeks being a really rough patch. All this past week I tried to figure out if it was week 6 of life (which we just completed) or the week after (the week we are currently experiencing). Well, week 6 of life was a doosie…

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    Five Whole Weeks

    Her fifth week of life is over. In this time she celebrated one full month with us. She truly blossomed…and probably grew a ton this week. I’m afraid if we blink she’ll be in college.

    IMG_5981 Read More →