Sunday, November 2, 2014

Our Baby Monkey: Halloween 2014

I picked out Zoey's costume months ago. We call her a monkey all the time and it seemed fitting. I did not realize it would be really hard for us to match a monkey. The only thing I could think of was a banana and I did not feel up to dressing as that. So Alex dressed as a banana and I decided to be a witch. It was fitting my mood lately ;)   They were a cute pair a Monkey and her banana! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Fun Round 2

We took Zoey to another pumpkin patch to get some more pictures of her before October ends. I just love her with all of the pumpkins! The weather has been just beautiful here in Florida and I love that there are so many fun pumpkin pickin' places around here. 

"Mom, can I get out of this thing now?" 

My Breastfeeding Journey so Far

I have been breastfeeding my little girl for almost 8 months. I have gone through ups and downs but have really tried to stick it out. I am proud of how far I have come, it is a really hard thing to do! I remember when I first started I said, "I feel like I need a support group!" Only to learn they actually really have those!

When Zoey was born the plan was to nurse from the beginning. She latched on well and soon started having diapers and I was very happy it was going well. I was in the hospital for 3 days and on a lot of medications and she started to not stay latched because the meds were effecting me. A lactation specialist came in and put what they call a 'shield' on me. This basically makes it like a bottle tip, its hard and firm for them to suck on. I thought it was the greatest thing until I got home and realized one of the reasons I wanted to nurse was because it would be easy, well not if I always had to put this thing on! Then my milk came in... and by this I mean it flooded in. I had so much milk it was uncontainable. The shield became really messy and annoying so after a few days of working with her I got her off of it and said good riddance!

My milk came in really heavy, but I did not think to store any of it. Shame on me. The second week was the most painful and hardest to get through. I remember being told "just stick it out it gets better!" And it did after a few weeks the pain subsides and it becomes second nature. I also did not want to use a pacifier on her or try a bottle so she would continue to take me instead of needing the shield. Well after a few months we tried a bottle and no go. She would not take a pacifier or a bottle and to this day has never had either.  The pacifier was hard to not have when she was crying, it would have been nice. The positive is we don't have to get her off of it later. No bottle was fine at first but now that we like to go out and do things it's really hard. I am shy about feeding her in public and she does not like the cover.. she is an opinionated girl!

When she was about 2 months old we noticed she would squirm and cry a lot and seemed to have tummy issues. The pediatrician just said it was gas and to use gas drops. After doing my own research I read that a lot of babies have a problem with dairy and a few other things. So I decided to try to eliminate it and see if it helped. I cut out all dairy from my diet and she was a different baby. I also noticed if I had eggs her stomach hurt all over again so I had to stop eating eggs. I am a huge egg and cheese lover so this diet, which I am still on, has been the hardest thing for me. I have learned to use substitute for everything. I use vegan mayo, vegan butter, almond milk and my diet is totally different than before. I cannot eat out hardly at all, but we enjoy eating at home anyways. My meals are pretty plain I have a lot of chicken and veggies. Oh how I miss pizza... and omelets...and grilled cheese.. and ice cream..and lasagna... and I should stop I am just getting hungry for things I cannot have.

I am 10 pounds lighter than before I got pregnant and I think it is because of my diet. A few times I tried to sneak in some cheese and its stomach pains, gas, and up all night for Zoey. So it is not worth it.

I go through these little 'ruts' in breastfeeding where it hurts, it's inconvenient, and I am annoyed and just want to give up. Then I remind myself that I really do not want to give her formula. My goal is no formula. If I can do a full year and just go into milk (not going to start on what kind of milk in this blog but I am already thinking not dairy) I will be very happy. I also have to remind myself that I am lucky to be able to still be nursing her!

It is a rough road. Some mom's choose to breastfeed and it comes with ease, some struggle, some cannot, and some do not want to. Whatever you choose it is what is best for your baby and your family and I do not judge any mom for the choices they make. Some people are shocked when they hear I still nurse my baby. I am proud that I am doing what is best for my baby and my family. I am fortunate to have been able to do this for so long and am still able to. Even though it is hard, and even though I want to give up sometimes I am still grateful. I am grateful I get to bond with my baby in this special way and that I can provide for her. An entire year of no dairy or eggs seems and feels so long, but in the big picture it really is not and I can do it!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Fertility Journey: October is Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month

October 15th is pregnancy loss awareness day. I lost two babies to miscarriage before having our miracle baby Zoey. It was a hard day. I lit two candles in remembrance of my precious angels and held onto my miracle a little tighter. In honor of this day and my babies I have decided to finally share my fertility journey on here.

We wanted a baby as soon as we got married and began trying right away. We had a stressful first year losing my mother in law, and moving across the US so I thought it was taking longer because of the stress. After a while I decided to go to the Dr. because I was not having cycles. He started with metformin to get my cycles going. It hurt my stomach so bad that I had to stop, but soon after I did start to get my cycles. Unfortunately they were 40+ days apart. Which means the opportunity was not as often as normal.

We continued on through ups and downs and tried clomid for the first time. The clomid makes you "super ovulate" and it is painful as well as makes you very hormonal! The first time I tried it it worked! I remember that first positive pregnancy test like it was yesterday. I was so excited I told EVERYONE and celebrated right away. I called the Dr and went in for blood work. I started bleeding before the blood work results came back so I knew. Hearing the actual words was a lot different and I couldn't believe how hard it was for me. I cried and cried. I lost my precious baby.

After a few months we continued with the Dr. on our fertility journey. I had some cysts in between that were painful and delayed things. I got some crohn's flare ups from the stress which also delayed things. I gained weight. I got depressed. I went through painful testing and exams. Lots of blood work. An hcg, where they shoot dye into your fallopian tubes and take an x-ray to make sure they are all open. I was sad and jealous when I heard other peoples pregnancy announcements, which I hid with an odd over joyed reaction. This was a hard time for me. Living across the country from all my family made it that much harder.

 My Dr. mentioned we should try AIH (artificial insemination by husband) and we finally decided to do it.  AIH is where they take the swimmers and use a catheter to place them directly into your uterus. I got my second positive pregnancy test after we did this for the first time. I couldn't believe it! I was overjoyed and it felt so good to say the words to my husband, "I'm pregnant!" But this time I did not tell hardly anyone. A few family members and maybe one or two close friends. I was really scared and went in immediately for blood work. I was so excited and hopeful because I had no cramps or bleeding and I was at least 7 weeks already.  I did blood work and they told me to repeat it in two days to make sure the hormone levels were going up. Two days later everything was still fine so when I got the call from the Dr. I was devastated. "Unfortunately your hcg levels dropped so I am sorry to say it is a miscarriage" I remember his exact words and I couldn't even say bye I just hung up and cried.

That one was a lot harder on me, it had been over 2 years of trying by this point.  Losing this baby was so emotionally and physically hard for me. I was depressed for a long time after this sweet angel.

After a while I decided we should continue to try because at least I knew I could get pregnant. I started tracking my ovulation by checking my morning temp and charting so I could figure out my exact days of fertility. We wanted to give it our best shot so we did clomid, I did ovulation tracking plus an ovulation test and we did the AIH. The morning my temp and ovulation tests matched up I said, "I am ovulating lets do this!" I was very confident this was going to work. My ovary felt like it was going to burst from the clomid, which is a good thing (hopefully an eggs bursts!) We went in for the AIH (which is very unromantic) and afterwards I came home and just relaxed all day. I kept telling myself, "this is going to work we will have a baby!"

Two weeks later I took my third positive pregnancy test. I was so excited and nervous! We did our blood work like before and the waiting game is the hardest! I had to wait two days test, two days and test again! Sure enough my levels were QUADRUPLING! twins?? oh my! (that is what we thought) we were so happy and grateful.

Going for our first ultrasound at about 7 weeks and seeing a tiny little bean beating away was the greatest feeling! Then soon after the nausea kicked in and I was in denial almost half my pregnancy and all through the extreme sickness. After more than 3 years I was pregnant with our precious baby girl and I am forever thankful.

Now we have our beautiful daughter Zoey Elizabeth and our life could not be any better. She has shown us what love really truly is and we are so grateful to have her light up our lives!

Today I remember my sweet baby angels and everyday I am thankful I get to hold my precious baby girl.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Ovarian Cysts Hurt

For the last few days I had some pain in my right side. I knew it was a cyst because I have had them a few times before. The first time I ever noticed I had one it burst and was so painful! I guess I forgot that the extreme pain means it's bursting. Well this morning I woke up and it was excruciating. I was hobbled over and couldn't even pick up Zoey so I called the Dr. I went in right away and even had the Mr. come home from work to drive me and help with Zoey.

While waiting I noticed the pain going down and by the time I saw the Dr. it was pretty much gone. He ordered an ultrasound and there was some fluid. Meaning I had a cyst and it burst. That was why it hurt SO BAD. Too bad I went down to the Dr. and paid just to be told it was gone. I just was worried my entire ovary might explode or get damaged so I wanted it checked.

I get these here and there and they are so painful! I am not sure what causes them, something about ovulating I believe.

All is well and the fluid will be absorbed by my body. I am reminded of the hard time we had conceiving and when I would get these I would worry I wouldn't be able to have a baby. Then I am grateful we have Zoey and that each time they burst on their own and I do not need surgery to remove them.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Zoey is 7 months old!

Zoey Elizabeth is 7 months old now! I cannot believe how fast it is going by. She is growing and changing so fast!

She says Mama now! This morning she said Dada and talks (yells) all day long!! She likes to eat peas the most. I tried carrots and she did not like them.  She rolls all over the house to get from here to there but not crawling yet. I can tell she is going to crawl soon though! She laughs and is ticklish now on her ribs so I like to blow raspberries on her tummy. She thinks this is hilarious. She talks and laughs a lot EXCEPT when other people are around. It is so funny she is always so quiet around other people and just stares and takes it all in. I am not sure if she is shy or just learning the world! She does not like putting clothes on or taking them off and she does not like to nap anymore (yay!) She loves to go for walks in the stroller and explore outside. She likes to play with the grass and go to the park.

My baby girl is getting so big! She is growing out of all her clothes and now fitting into 9 month stuff!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Update of Zoey being sick

We went to the park Sunday morning and were sitting under the beautiful trees on a blanket and we noticed Zoey seemed very lethargic and did not want to sit up on her own. She wasn't really smiling much and just seemed very sleepy. We didn't think much of it and walked around for a bit before we headed home.
We got home and she hardly ate anything before her nap. She napped for almost 2 hours. She usually naps for 30-40 minutes so I knew it was odd. Alex got her from the crib and said she felt really warm so he took her temp. It was 101. I instantly was worried I let her nap with this fever!
Took off her clothes put a wash cloth on her head and gave her Tylenol. I gave her another round of tylenol 4 hours later and there was not much change. Her fever fluctuated between 99 and 103 and had me so worried. I started asking for advice and my cousin told me to alternate with Motrin and tylenol. I gave her one dose of Motrin and it seemed to help right away. She didn't get her fever back all night.
I thought she was all better and it was just a little fever for the day. I noticed some red bumps on her diaper line the next night but by morning they were gone. Then that night they were back but all over her arms legs and stomach . I decided to wait till morning again to see if it would go away. By morning it was worse! My poor baby was waking up every hour and hardly eating and covered in these red bumps.
We took her to the Dr this morning and they said it was roseola. A virus that will run its course in a few days. It starts with a fever then ends with a rash.
I feel so sad for my baby. I am very over protective so her getting sick is so hard for me! I end up freaking out and thank goodness my husband is always there to calm me down and tell me it'll be okay.
She will be all better in a few days and build up an immunity for this virus so she won't get it again.
Thank you for all the advice and love from family and friends this week while I worry myself sick and got almost no sleep.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Zoey's 6 Month Check Up

Zoey had her 6 month shots on Monday. It is so hard for me to see her in pain. The decision to have her vaccinated was not an easy one for me. I went back and forth for a long time and did a lot of research. I wrote up a whole blog about it, but decided not to post it. I just want to say that we decided it was the best decision for our family, and I now accept that. I want to protect my baby the best way I can, and this was something I felt was going to protect her.

I do want to say the biggest influence in my decision was I asked every single mom I knew, and they all vaccinated their children. The adverse reactions are very rare and the benefits outweigh the risks, for us.

That is all I want to say on the topic, but please feel free to share your decisions and why. 

She had a little fever that night and next day so Tylenol helped. I let her sleep with me all night last night, even though she has been sleeping in her bassinet for weeks. Hopefully we can do the transition to crib soon. I feel like it will be harder for me to have her so far than it will be for her.

Zoey weighs 17.02 Pounds (50th percentile) and she is 25.5 inches long (30th percentile). Growing big and strong! Mommy's milk is making baby very healthy and she now also eats sweet potatos, green beans, squash, zuccini, and we tried banana but she did not like it just yet. I am trying to teach her how to drink from a nuk cup with bite spout but so far she just chews on it. =)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Zoey Elizabeth's Newborn Pictures

These are some of my favorites from my precious baby girl's newborn pictures. I will treasure these forever. She was so tiny, only 6 lbs. 1 oz.  I wish I could go back to when she was a tiny, sleepy, squishy baby. I do miss these moments, but now she is a happy girl always talking, playing and full of personality! This little girl has changed my whole life and I love her more than anything. 

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