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Monday, May 4, 2015

Adulting

We all know that being an adult can be less than the fun we imagined it would be as kids. Aside from the random decision to have ice cream for dinner one night last week (which the girls were totally confused by!) the past few weeks have just been very Adult.

We are finally ready to move out of our small 5-year house into a bigger 20-year house, which should be super exciting. Except it has been super stressful! The market is so fluid that anything that meets our needs and doesn't look like it is straight out of 1989 moves quicker than we can schedule a showing. This leaves us with 3 choices: wait it out and obsessively check realtor.com; look outside of our desired area; build

And we honestly can't decide which direction is the right one for us. We both feel sort of overwhelmed and our pro/con list for each option are similar in length so that isn't helping! We hope the right decision makes itself glaringly obvious soon!

There are other decisions that needed to be made this week that I just didn't want to make and events that I needed to attend because I am an adult, after all, even though I didn't want to at first. 

All in all life lately has been just running at full speed ahead and I feel like I can barely hang on sometimes. While I don't expect it to slow down, I hope I can get a better grip soon. In the mean time, being on the ice cream and liquid grapes.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Breastfeeding: This shit ain’t easy

I made it fairly clear when I had Aleesia how difficult I found breastfeeding to be. Said difficulty did not leave a warm fuzzy feeling for me during this experience with her. Yes, there were moments that were sweet and I did enjoy the calm when she would have a good non-frustrated feeding. But as a general rule, I was doing it because I wanted to try it and then I was committed to giving it the best effort possible, which was 6 months.

When I was pregnant with Vivian I knew I would do the same thing – give breastfeeding a try, maybe it would be easier. Maybe she wouldn’t have lip and tongue ties or issues with weight gain. I was especially interested to see how things would play out since I would be working at home and not having to pump full time. (for the record, the working at home/feeding on demand thing is great!)

As soon as she was born, I checked her for ties – which she had. I even mentioned them to the lactation consultant who saw us before we left. She blew me off and told me they were no big deal. I knew they could be a big deal, but decided to use some of the tricks I learned from Aleesia to try and make things work.

We battled through the initial discomfort and it seemed that her latch was okay – not great, but she was a new human so I was giving her some slack! She then started to do a lot of things that I knew were not good including using a chewing motion v. sucking, pulling off so far that she usually had no areola in her latch, and she was getting so frustrated. Also, she did not seem to bet getting bigger. But, unlike Aleesia (and Gianna, for that matter), Vivian is such a generally happy baby! I figured I was being paranoid all that time…

But eventually I used my mommy instinct and took her to a breastfeeding group so I could do a weighted feed, have her evaluated, and validate what I already knew – her lip and tongue ties needed corrected. All of which happened . That particular day I ended up feeding her from both sides over 40+ minutes and she transferred about 2 ounces of milk. Cue all the guilt. We got her to the pediatrician for a weight check, and while both G and A were similarly small (they were all really close to the same weight at the same age!), Vivian was born the biggest and had the lowest gain over the same time period. Our pediatrician agreed with our plan to have her ties revised and thankfully a wonderful dentist much closer to us was available to do it.

We saw Dr. Milton who let me know that her lip tie was fairly bad but her tongue tie was very bad (like an 8/10 on the “this is the worst I’ve seen” scale)! He fixed her up in about 3 minutes and we could already tell the difference. She did great with the procedure, we have about a week of stretching left and then she will be REALLY happy!

before and after pictures

V. Dixon

Along with having the ULT and PTT’s revised we started some cranial sacral therapy (CST) which she hates but is helping! We had a one-on-one consultation with an IBCLC as well – she is still not transferring much milk per feeding. The IBCLC confirmed the chewing v. sucking situation and we think that is likely the cause of the poor milk transfer at this point. So, we are trying to do some suck training, a different way to position her when she latches, and basically doing everything we can to break the bad habits she has formed/help her to learn to suck the right way.

A lot of little problems that might be a big deal on their own but are all compounding together to lead this happy little girl to maintain her portable, peanut status.

This all seems like so much to go through when giving her a bottle would be so much easier. But now I am committed to doing my part in making this work for at least 6 months, or longer. She does take bottles sort of okay most of the time when I am out of town or away for any reason, so that’s not the issue. I have enjoyed the experience with her slightly more, maybe because I feel more empowered or knowledgeable on how to maneuver these crazy situations. Maybe because she is such a happy baby? Maybe I enjoy it more simply because I don’t have to pump full time on a regular basis.

The moral of the story, breastfeeding is probably not going to be easy but it doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be miserable for you or your little – so go with your gut.

If you think something is wrong, seek advice/answers/help. Lip and tongue ties are considered midline defects, they can (and often do) have a detrimental affect on breastfeeding but they also affect other things, like digestion. Our pediatrician sometimes thinks I am crazy, but does support me in my efforts to do what is necessary to make this work. I would say something is helping, she had a 3 ounce gain in 3 weeks, which for her, is a lot! She is up a full 2 pounds from birth at 4 months – we’re taking this as a win for the moment (despite what that pesky growth chart says).

Also, at the end of the day, we all know that it only matters that you feed your baby in whatever way works for you and your family. I have no idea how long I’ll be able to breastfeed for, it’s up to Miss Vivian, I suppose. (and for the record, my other kids had formula and they are awesome, so obviously I have no bias there!)

DSC_0167

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

It has been a crazy long time since I've updated buuuuuut in the mean time - this sweet thing is 4 months old. She might be tiny but she is great at flashing her  big smiles. She rolls over, giggles sometimes, loves to cuddle.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Progress: Notes

I have been horrible at carving out time to get my thoughts and memories down in writing lately. And it bugs me, because there is a lot going on that I don’t really want to forget. I’m going to try and put together a “progress” series of posts – because let’s face it, everything going on right now is “in progress” anyway we look at it!

A few notes on life right now:

  • My new job is going well, it feels like a breath of fresh air and a great professional (and personal) fit right now.
  • Traveling while breastfeeding/pumping experience #1 went as well as I could have imagined.
  • I super love the age of 2.
  • I am almost done with the Piyo workout series. I really like it and I can tell a big difference in my flexibility and the way I look.
  • We are getting ready to list our house, which scares the crap out of me.
  • The age of 5 is quickly coming to an end for Miss G and I am looking forward to 6.
  • Mike and I celebrated our 8th anniversary recently. 8 years ago I never would have imagined this life, it is so much MORE than I imagined.
  • My best friend had her second set of twins last month. She has twin boys and twin girls that are 2 years and 10 days apart. She is a rock star (her husband, too!).
  • I signed up for a race series this summer – a 10k and 2 1/2 marathons. I am excited but mildly concerned about fitting in proper training.
  • The age of 3 months is excellent as well. Vivi prefers to be what I have deemed a “Koala baby” many days, but you know what, we make it work. She’s a great snuggler.
  • I would really love for spring to just arrive already. Or better yet, just skip right to summer please.
  • My 30th birthday is in less than 2 months. That just sounds so crazy to me, but I’m excited.

I have almost 2 months of adorable pictures still on my camera, including Aleesia’s birthday party, waiting to be unloaded and gone through. Still working on figuring a new normal schedule, which has been more difficult than expected, but I know it will happen some day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WAHM

I was so lucky to have been presented with the opportunity and ability to take a new position recently. This is a great opportunity professionally and I truly can't wait to begin working next week.

This also allows me to be working remotely nearly full time. So I can be home with the girls and have more flexibility during the week. I will be doing some light travel as well. Our nanny will be here 4 days a week which is awesome.

Here is where I need some ass-vice from anyone who wants to dish it out.

The home office.

We live in a little house with 3 bedrooms all of which are used as a bedroom! Before Vivian was born we reconfigured a bit so we could make better use of our basement as a family/play room. And now, office. Basically, I will be working alongside my adorable kids. Which sounds great and loud and is obviously not the best. But it is what it is and there is literally no where else to go! I am organized and not too worried about productivity. But from those who do work from home, what tips do you have? What are things I wouldn't anticipate that could be a problem? A dedicated office is high on the list for a new house, but we don't have a new house right now so we need to make this work!

Travel

I will be traveling on occasion. The first occasion being soon for on boarding purposes.  I have everything in order for the girls' care and now I need assurance that pumping on the go will be just fine. I will only be gone 2 days/1 night but I am nervous. Nervous I won't be able to pump enough, nervous TSA is going to be ridiculous, nervous V won't like me when I get home! Rationally, I know it will be totally fine. But if you've been through this, hit me with your best advice!

It is going to be a new adventure but I love  good adventure!