Tag Archive | stay at home mom

How I became a cow. . .

I had this whole plan worked out for when Munchkin was born. I was going to breastfeed. He wasn’t going to have any bottles or pacifiers until at least six weeks old. We were going to cloth diaper bc my washer and dryer was going to be hooked up.  We were going to move to another apartment when he was about 6 months old.

That was the plan.

Well, the thing about plans, in my experience anyway, is they don’t usually work the way you want.

Munchkin nursed well in the hospital. The first night we were home was ok. The next morning when I woke, my breasts were so huge. Remember that scene in Look Whos Talking where Kirsty Alley goes in the bathroom and is like holy crap? Yeah, that happened. My milk came in full force. My poor little guy couldn’t latch properly. He would throw himself back and cry when he did latch. I called the Dr’s office because I was concerned that he wasn’t eating much and he hadn’t had a bowel movement since we had left the hospital. They told me not to worry and to just come in the next day when I had an appointment scheduled.

We went in Saturday for our appointment. Munchkin got weighed and the Dr examined him. He told us he was concerned because Munchkin had lost more weight than they like to see and he was dehydrated. He sent us back to the hospital so that he could get IV fluids and be watched. I was a mess. I felt like a failure. What kind of mom was I that couldn’t even keep my baby sustained for a few days on my own?! I was so worried, so upset, I couldn’t talk to anyone. Every time I tried, I would break down and start crying. I’m sure the effect was exaggerated due to my raging hormones.  My husband had to do all the talking and he hates talking to people.

The Dr came in once we were situated in the room. She told us that we had to give him formula. I informed her that I wanted to be able to just breastfeed. She got a little hostile and said he needed food now and that was that. Obviously she is not a breastfeeding advocate. This further added to my distress. They took Munchkin out of the room so that they could draw blood and place an IV catheter. When they brought him back he had a catheter in his temple! All his other veins were collapsed from getting blood and being dehydrated. My poor little guy had bruises on his arms and hands. It was awful. I cried some more. The Dr also said she wanted to do a spinal tap to make sure it wasn’t an infection. I was hesitant, but she pushed. So he had another test and this one I should have said no to. But I was a first time mom and didn’t know what I was doing.

Begrudgingly, I gave him bottles of formula until a lactation consultant was able to come up and see me. She was also irritated with the way the Dr had pushed the formula. She brought me a pump and showed me how to use it.   The LC tried everything to help get Munchkin to latch on correctly so that we could nurse. But it wasn’t looking promising.  I pumped every 2 hours around the clock at the hospital. May I add that my husband was there with us the whole time. He was just as worried and super supportive and helpful while I sat there holding the pump parts up to my breasts as I pumped “liquid gold” for our son.  We ended up there until Tuesday. Munchkin was feeling better, I had the pumping thing down and my husband and I couldn’t wait to go home.

This began my relationship with the pump. When we got home my schedule consisted of pumping every two hours during the day and about every three hours at night. I kept up this schedule for about three months. My nipples felt like they were going to fall off. My left one was cracked and bleeding. It was awful. I tried air drying. I tried using the lanolin ointment, but that only made it worse. Turns out I am allergic to it. I tried neosporin. I even treated for Thrush with Gentian Violet. I had purple nipples for a week! Finally the Dr gave me a special cream and within a few days they were starting to feel better.

Along with my nipple issues I had supply issues. I struggled to make enough for Munchkin to eat. I had to supplement with formula for 2 months. I was so excited the day that I finally made enough for my little guy to stop drinking formula. I had tried taking Fenugreek, but that caused horrible gas in my poor baby. He would scream in pain. I tried Mother’s Milk tea, but didn’t really see much of an increase with that. I made diet changes, added oatmeal into my diet and just started eating healthier overall and drank lots of water. I started taking a whole food prenatal vitamin and a calcium supplement. These changes helped my supply.  I read a great book called Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson. It was a  really good read about being healthy and making more milk through lactogenic foods and herbs.

I bought every size flange they make to find the right fit for my nipples. I had to buy a small bottle of olive oil to keep in my pump bag. Coating the flanges reduces friction. I bought a hands free puming bra. It looks silly and my sister called me Madonna for a while every time I donned it. I am so glad I bought it though. Being able to relax while pumping helped my supply as well.  I can eat, use the computer, take care of the baby and scratch all those annoying itches that start as soon as you don’t have free hands to scratch them.

Slowly I have been able to decrease the amount of pumping I do. I am down from 10 -12 a day to 5 a day. I now produce about 30 ounces of milk. Just enough to keep Munchkin full.  It has been a long hard road. I definately don’t love pumping. I do it for the love of my baby. I want him to have the best possible nutrtion. So I am 7 months in, with at least 5 more to go.

So, that was my journey to becoming a cow. My sister lovingly calls me Bessie. My husband threatened to buy me a bell. My sister will text me to see what I am up to and all I have to type in reply is “Mooooo!”

Life begins

My name is Amanda and welcome to my world. I am fairly new to it myself. I had always envisioned myself as a stay at home mom, but had never thought the day would actually arrive.  It seems every new stage of my life was just this surreal incident that I never imagined would happen. When you are in school, you think graduation is so far away and will never actually happen. Then it does. The real world starts and you can’t believe that you have actually made it this far. The times when you were riding your bike and playing tag with the neighborhood kids seem like they were just yesterday and you couldn’t wait to grow up. Then you have a real job. You finally meet the love of your life
(again) This time the puzzle pieces fit together perfectly though. You get married, move in, start a life together. That life(in my case) includes baby. A baby who arrived at 9:05 am on a cold, but sunny December 23rd in 2008. A little one who could not wait to join the world. This is where the story really begins. Not 27 years earlier when I was born. Not 29 years earlier when my husband was born. Life truly began on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 9:05am.

Here is that story:

It was 3am and I was up yet again for another trip to the toilet. The baby knew just where to sit to make my bladder feel as if it were going to explode. Of course there would be only a small trickle though. I waddled back to bed. Sat on the bed so that I could then get each leg up and lie down. This time, however when I sat down, there was a small gush of warm liquid. Up I jumped, well I guess what you can call jumping for a woman who was 38 weeks pregnant, and went back to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and waited. Nothing. Hmmm. Got up, changed my underwear. No sooner had I done that, I had another small gush. Ok. It was official. I was pretty sure my water had just broke. It wasn’t the bucketful you see in movies, but enough too make me change my underwear three times. I start smiling and giggling (I do when I am nervous)and wake up my husband. He looks at me bleary eyed and asks if I have had my bloody show. No. His reply, I have a little while then, and rolls back over to sleep. I make him get up. We haven’t packed. The carseat still isn’t in the car. I am not sitting through contractions by myself. I call the OB’s office and tell the answering service that my water broke. A few minutes later a nurse from the hospital calls and tells me we can head on down. I tell the nurse I am only experiencing minimal discomfort. She says okay and tells me to take my time and head in when I’m ready. I call my best friend and let her know. I go across the hall and knock on my sister T’s door to let her and her girlfriend know. Her girlfriend thought I was kidding because of my giggling. I then go downstairs and wake up my other sister, K, who is up visiting from school in TN. I start packing and my husband goes out to the blazer to try and get the carseat situated.

As 5:30am rolls around I am starting to get quite uncomfortable. My husband is irritated. He can’t get the big convertable car seat into the the blazer. I tell him we have to go. We hope we haven’t forgotten anything and head to the car. My youngest sister, K and my sister T’s girlfriend come with us. My husband wants to stop for coffee. I ask if it can wait. Sitting in the car is incredibly uncomfortable. Luckily the hospital is only 20 minutes away. We get to the hospital at about 6am. We check in and start to make our way up to the maternity ward. I’m waddling as fast as I can. We get to the elevator and push the button. We wait. We push the button again. Elevator isn’t working. At this point I am dancing around in the hallway. Luckily a couple of hospital staff members round the corner and direct us to another set of elevators. These ones work.

We get to the maternity ward and I tell the nurse my water broke. She asked if it was a gush or if I had had my bloody show. I said no to both those questions. She told me that water probably hadn’t broken then. I was positive it had though. We  make sure to ask to get the room with the jacuzzi. I want to be able to take advantage of that perk. I change into the gown and a nurse examines me. She says it will probably be a while because when your water breaks, its usually a lot of fluid. I say ok. I am  3cm dilated. We discuss if I want medication. I say I want to try going natural. The contractions start coming quick and hard. I start vomiting every time I have a contraction. They recommend an epidural, several times. I really didn’t want to get one, so I try to say no. The nurses keep pushing for it. Finally I give in. Gettng an epidural hurts. The nurse asks me how a contraction was.  I had a contraction? She says good.  I think it is about 7:30am at this point. I realize I have to pee, but the nurse tells me I can’t get up. Why didn’t she tell me this before? Obviously I wasn’t thinking clearly when they pushed the epidural on me. The nurse catheterizes me and I absolutely hate it. It is really uncomfortable. It does not make me feel better. At about 8:40 I start having the incredible urge to push. No one tells you about this part, but it feels like you are trying poop out a bowling ball! I am trying to resist. The nurse tells me to let her know when the feeling is constant and leaves the room!  My best friend is in the hallway searching for her because the feeling was all ready pretty much constant. The nurse comes back and examines me. I am 10cm and the baby is coming now! The dr barely has enough time to pull on his boots and surgery gown. He seems pretty grumpy about the whole situation. The time is now 8:57am. I don’t yell and scream. I squeak and say I can’t do it. I keep squeaking and pushing. The Dr proceeds to give me an episiotomy without asking or mentioning it. I push out my amazingly perfect little boy at 9:05am. He is 19 1/2 inches long and 7 lbs 7 oz. Ten fingers and 10 toes. And growling. He doesn’t cry. He growls at us. This is the moment my life begins.

An Introduction

I am 28 years old. Before I became a stay at home mom I was a veterinary technician for about 12 years. I absolutely love animals and I miss my job, but I missed my little one much more. So we made the decision that I would stay home and take care of him. I have an absolutely wonderful husband. Sure he has his moments, but don’t we all? My little boy is not so little now. He is 7 months old and 18 1/2 pounds. Growing like a weed. I love him more than I have ever loved anything.

We rescued Sawyer, our 1 1/2 year old Carolina Dog mix last August. The poor thing had no idea what it was to be loved. He has turned into a marvelous dog with the guidance of my husband and I. Isis and Radar are sister and brother. They are our silly white kitties.  I was fostering them for a shelter when they were about 7 weeks old and fell in love. Isis is a princess and Radar is a dunce. They are never far from each other and always provide entertainment to the household.

I have two younger sisters. K is 21. I can’t believe it. She is going to school in TN. She is following her dream to be a kindergarten teacher. She took this last semester off though. She needed a break and really wanted to be around to see her nephew. She is going back to school in a few weeks. T is 24. T is, well, T is just T. She is fun and charasmatic. If you meet her, you love her. She has a big heart, but rarely lets anyone get too close to it. She loves, but not with her whole heart. She tries to keep herself protected I think. I love both of my sisters and do whatever I can to help them when they need it. Family is so very important to me.

My mother lives in TN. She moved there a few years back. She is my mother. We agree to disagree. That is how we survive.