Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kaycee's 2nd Week

Kaycee's 2nd week went great! It was our first week with Jake back at work, and we all survived the week! We still absolutely love miss Kaycee and think she is the greatest little blessing we could ever ask for!

Her first BYU outfit
First weekend at home consisted of our new "date night" - watching motocross races with my little family and eating pizza
Sunday we went to Jake's parents house for dinner
Jake's dad finally got to hold Kaycee! 
The first day "official" day as mom - Jake had gone to work the night before, so he was sleeping during the day and Kaycee and I were on our own. Kaycee had a bath, we read stories and took it easy on the  couch.  I also cooked dinner! Max was our little shadow and followed everywhere Kaycee went!
She started sleeping better in her pack n play at night. One night I put her down like this... 
And she woke up like this! I don't know how she turned herself so well! 
She started getting a little backed up, so we went to the pediatrician to get a suppository. She was VERY sad that day, but nothing some mommy Kaycee cuddles couldn't fix! 
Guarding the princess
Pretty sure he recognizes her smell - he loves to lay on her blankets
She has a belly button now! 
Bed head!
She napped in her crib a few times too - I LOVE her video monitor already! 
Getting her foot poked for her PKU test at her 2 week appointment. She was NOT happy! 
So we snuggled the rest of the day to make it better :) 
One of her favorite places to sleep - she LOVES laying on Jake's chest too
A few fun things from this week:
  • I read her a book for the first time. I picked a few to read, but the very first one I read her was "Love you forever". My mom and I still say the line in that book to each other all the time. I bawled my eyes out the whole way through the book. Then I read her "Are you my mother?" and cried too. Wasn't quite as bad as the first book but geez louise!
  • She doesn't like when I put lotion on her AT ALL! I had been putting it on morning and night and I've cut back to when I noticed she has dry skin or right after a bath. She still loves bath time, she took her first real bath in the sink a few days after she lost her umbilical cord. 
  • We were able to run a few errands throughout the week, and she did great at all of them! Just snoozed away in her car seat! 
  • At her 2 week appointment, she was 7 pounds .5 ounces, so they rounded up to 1 ounce. She was 20.25 inches long, and her head was 36 cm around. That puts her in the 25% percentile for weight, 50% for length and 75% for her cute noggin. 
Nursing is going a little bit better, but for the most part I pump and give her a bottle. I'm still not making quite as much as she is eating, but I'm making more than I was a week ago, so I'll take it! Pretty sure that is thanks to the DoTerra oils I have been taking, thanks to Jaelyn.

Kaycee girl, mom & dad sure love you and can't remember what our life was like before we met you!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


A couple days ago, I had a meltdown. I had just had to give Kaycee formula, again, because I wasn't pumping enough. Add to that how frustrating her feeding was going - she just would not latch on, still. I just lost it - holding her in my arms, with her contentedly drinking her bottle, I just sat and sobbed. I woke Jake up for dinner and in the few words I said he could hear me holding back the tears and he had me come lay down next to him and I sobbed again. And then my mom called {we'd been texting} and I sobbed again. 

In talking to my mom, I got some really good clarity on why I was so devastated. Yes, I've always wanted to nurse my babies. Yes, I have wanted to avoid formula, specifically for the cost. But why was this ending my world? Why was I THIS upset about it? 

Because, in my crazy emotional mind, if I couldn't nurse her, if I couldn't produce enough, I wasn't a good mom. And if I'm not a good mom, she'll get taken away. And then I won't be a mom anymore. And that's wrong. And makes no sense. But that was my thought process. 

Talking to my mom helped me calm down. Yes, my supply is low but it's slowly, slowly getting better. I'm still not making quite enough to feed her but it's better than it was a week ago. And she's made progress in latching. Definitely not doing it on her own, or every time, or for very long, but she's getting better. And that made me realize I needed to be grateful. To look at the positive. 

Even if we can't get the hang of this, I CAN feed her formula. She won't starve to death. And no, it isn't what I wanted, but just because I can't nurse doesn't mean she's going anywhere. 

I had panic attacks when I was pregnant of Jake dying. Often. I've had them our whole married life but they got worse when I was pregnant. Like way worse.  And at first I got them thinking I'd lose Kaycee too but that mostly went away after some serious prayers. I still got it a little bit but not horrible. 

Blame it on the blogs I follow of people who have lost a child. Or of stories or people I know who lost their spouse so young. But it absolutely petrifies me to think of losing one or both of them. And I think about it a lot. Like A LOT. 

I'd been thinking throughout my pregnancy Jake might die because my life was just too good. I didn't have any trials, and therefore something bad was going to happen. And that something would be death. His death. 

I read once that a way to prevent SIDS is by nursing. That's part of why I'm petrified to not nurse her - what if my low supply could lead to her dying? 

First off, I'm grateful to know I'm sealed to both of them. That if, God forbid, something happened to one of them, that the separation is only temporary and that I would get to see them again, and be with them again, for eternity. It'd be devastating and nearly kill me to go throughout this life without them, but as soon as my time is done on this earth I'd be able to see them again. 

Secondly, I don't know that anything is even going to happen to one of them. Yes, death happens and is a for sure thing but I don't have any reason to think it will be soon. It's a fear I have. A fear because I feel I haven't had enough trials in my life. 

And with everything that's happening with nursing, it's helping me realize that trials come in all sizes. I don't have to experience death to experience a trial. And for me, this potential formula thing is a trial. No, it's not an earth shattering, life altering trial. It's probably not a trial at all for some people. But it's something very hard for me. 

And I'll take it any day of the week. 

Yes, it's a long night: waking up to calm her, feed her, get her back to sleep, pump and then try to get back to sleep myself. And doing it alone, might I add, since Jake works nights. But each time she wakes up crying, I say a prayer in gratitude that she's still alive. That SIDS hasn't taken her. That she's home with us and that I get to be the face she sees when she wakes, not a nurse who calls me. 

I'm grateful for my "trial". There are so many horrible things that can happen in this life, and I'm grateful for my problems and how they pale in comparison to things others go through. I'm grateful mine is so easily "fixed" - we can just buy formula at any store. 

I'm grateful beyond words for Jake. I have no idea what I'd do without him. I'm grateful for each day I get with him. For the way he looks at me, with no make up on and spit up on my clothes. For the way he holds our daughter, the way he kisses her over and over, the way she clings to him and the little voice he uses when he talks to her. For the work ethic he has, and the fact he hasn't complained once about how hard it is for him to go to work every single night after not sleeping well due to her crying or fussing.

I'm grateful I get to stay home and struggle through this each day with Kaycee. That I don't get much accomplished some days because all she wants is to be held. That I CAN hold her. For the fact that when she's sad, I'm the one who can make it better. My voice, my smell, my touch makes it better. 

I'm grateful that she's here at all. We were so lucky in how fast we got pregnant. It felt like eternity because I wanted to be trying when Heavenly Father wanted us to wait but we only tried for 5 months before we got the positive test. We had no miscarriages. We didn't have to have medical intervention. And with the exception of her very brief NICU incident, she came to earth perfectly healthy. And since then, she's had a perfectly average 2 weeks of life. 

I'm grateful Max has done so well with her. We haven't had to discuss getting rid of him, or ways to discipline him or anything. He's so good with her - just sniffs her and today gave her a kiss for the first time. He hasn't tried to nip or snap at all, which is a HUGE relief for me that I don't have to worry about having to get rid of him. 

And I am BEYOND grateful that Jake is officially moving to day shift. They've decided to no longer have temps on day shift, they'll be on swings or graves, so it's opening over 20 day shift positions. Each hired (non temp) employee interested is ranked based off of seniority and then they'll move them to a new area on days. Jake is #2 on that seniority list. He's definitely going to days. 


After 5 and a half years of graveyard (longer if you count before I met him - that's just how long I've been a part of it). Of sleeping alone 5 nights a week, sometimes 6. It's finally over. 

Its all I can think about the last few days. We'll need a new routine. I'm used to him leaving for work at 10 PM and waking up to him coming home. That's what we've done our whole time together, minus probably 2 months when we very first met. Now we'll wake up to an alarm and he'll be home by 4. Every day. I can sleep next to my husband every single night. 

So yeah, I have a trial. And yeah it's hard. But I have a LOT more to be grateful for. I have a lot going my way. The cloud has more than a silver lining. The whole cloud is silver. 

This is what my evenings look like. Loving on my 2 favorite people, with a little dog curled up at my feet. Seriously, does life get any better than this?! 

I have a lot to be grateful for. And right now I feel like I'm the luckiest girl in the world. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

F Word

So I feel like there is this "F word" in the mom world.


It's like this evil word, where you immediately feel guilt and condescension and judgement being passed. Or is that just me?

Even pre pregnancy, I picked up on it.

"Oh. You don't nurse her anymore? She's only, what, 5 months old?"

"Oh what happened? Did your supply dry up?"

And I don't think people mean offense. Or maybe they do. I'd like to think they don't. But either way, it's freaking stressful to think of having to use the F word. Of the "failure" that means for you as a mom. And that's not including the stress of the cost. THAT is a whole different situation!

When Kaycee was a day old, I was talking to her nurse after we fed her what I had pumped {not much at all} about how to get her off of her IV. They said that we needed to get her eating lots, to maintain her sugar levels on her own. I was worried because I wasn't making enough, so we decided to start giving her formula. Because we didn't want it to affect my supply, we had the "contraption" - we would fill a large syringe with formula and have a little tube run down to a shield I would wear to nurse her {Kaycee hasn't been able to nurse without it, I've been wearing a shield the whole time except her very first nursing after she was born}. The nurse would squeeze the syringe as she sucked, since I was holding Kaycee, and then the nurse would also squirt a smaller syringe into Kaycee's mouth with formula to encourage her to suck. Otherwise, she'd just cry and not do anything. She doesn't latch on her own - only has the 1 time. She needs something to encourage her to suck, and once she is sucking, she wants it NOW. Instant gratification already, she's just like her mom haha.

We realized pretty quick that set up wouldn't work once I was home - I only have so many hands. And even with Jake being home the first week, we knew that it'd probably be the "set up" we used for a while, so we needed to figure out a way to make it work without anyone helping me. We ended up taking the top off of the big syringe and pinning it to my shirt. I would fill the syringe on my own, and have to be very careful of it spilling anywhere. Then I'd need to balance her, and shoot the smaller syringe into her mouth. It worked. Not well, but it worked.

Our first night home was hell. I got formula all over both of us, a TON of blankets and burp cloths {every time I would spill, I'd get a new one out. Bad idea!}, the couch & the rocking chair and probably the carpet. And she wouldn't sleep in her crib or her pack n play. She wanted to be held. So I'd fight putting her down to sleep, hurry and pump to get my supply in, and then have 5 minutes before she was crying and wanting to be held. So I'd hold her and try to get her back to sleep, and before I know it's been 3 hours and it's time to eat and do it all over again.

I was exhausted the next day, and kept reminding myself how badly I wanted her to not have formula, that I wanted her to be nursing and it would all be worth it. I decided to stop pumping and just nurse her, and make her do it and my supply would come in faster and all would be well. Except I could tell she wasn't getting enough. And she'd get frustrated nursing without any immediate gratification, like with the syringe. During the day wasn't so bad, but that night was insane. The shield the hospital gave me stopping working {they gave me a smaller size because she has a little mouth, but because of all the pumping I did, it no longer was fitting me} and she would just scream and scream. I ended up just giving her formula all night and didn't pump once. Screw this whole thing, it isn't worth it.

Jake came out at 3 AM and we talked once I had her calm and I was bawling. I felt like the world's worst mom. She's 5 days old and I already can't feed her, and this stupid "contraption" for nursing with the syringe and tube wasn't working anymore and it took too many hands and I hated pumping at 3 AM and I just can't do this and would rather do formula. Jake was amazing and told me that formula wouldn't kill her and although it's not what we had wanted, our goal is for her to be healthy and alive and for me to not go insane so that I can be a good mom and at that moment, I wasn't feeling capable of taking care of her. I was insanely overburdened and didn't want to deal with it anymore. Every time she would flinch in her sleep I would FREAK out thinking she wanted to get up to eat AGAIN because it was so dang stressful having her eat. And newborns eat 8-12 times a day. I was a NERVOUS wreck those couple days.

So having Jake tell me it'd all be ok and we'd use formula and I could feed her whatever I pump, when I do pump, so that she gets some of my milk and other then that use formula made me feel better. The rest of that second night went MUCH better.

But the decision made me feel really guilty, and sad. I was so anti formula. I didn't want to use it. I took classes! I can do this! People in 3rd world countries do this, why can't I?!

I had set up an appointment with a lactation consultant at her pediatrician office for that next morning, but because we decided to just go to formula, I almost cancelled the appointment. My mom suggested I still go and see if she recommended anything to help get my supply up so that I could give her as much of my milk as possible. I wanted the bonding experience of nursing her, but she just would not latch and the stupid shield didn't work anyway and I was just so freaking frustrated. And I was scared of the lactation consultant. I was worried she'd judge me for giving my baby formula at 5 days old.

But she was amazing.

Seriously, I owe Cathy A LOT.

She told me that it takes a lot to put aside my feelings about formula to make sure that my baby is getting enough nourishment. That the "contraption" is not a long term solution. And that pumping is a great idea. I was super surprised.

She came up with a plan for us. I would give her a bottle, of what I had pumped, formula or both, and then have her "practice" nursing for 10 minutes on each side after she has calmed down because she has had something to eat from a bottle. Then, after she's practiced and had enough to eat and is asleep, I pump for 10 minutes. I needed to be pumping 7-8 times a day, skipping one time in the middle of the night so that I can get some extra sleep. And I needed to get a hospital grade pump, just rent one, to help get my supply up. She gave me a different, better shield. One that fits and will work for us. And she encouraged us to never use the "contraption" again. HALLELUJAH!

I figured this wouldn't hurt anything to try, and if anything practice nursing would help with the bond with Kaycee, since I had been frustrated up until that point. Especially if she wasn't crying when we did it because she would have already eaten something. So starting last Wednesday {6 days ago} we started the plan.

The next day, my lactation consultant from the hospital, Jill, called and wanted to see how things were going. I explained the situation to her and what the LC at the pediatricians office had said, and she said she agreed with everything we were trying to do. She also suggested I add a supplement called Fenugreek to help my supply, taken 2-3 times a day, and that I "power pump" at night. Basically, that means I feed her, practice nursing and then put her to sleep and pump for 10 minutes, then take a 10 minute break, pump for 10, break for 10, pump for 10, break for 10 and pump for 10. So I am pumping for 70 minutes with 3 10 minutes breaks. She recommended I do it in the evening and to make sure I take Fenugreek 45 minutes before I start pumping and make sure one of the times I take it is when I power pump. The point of power pumping isn't to get crazy amounts out - it's to signal my body that it needs to be making more.

So far, everything we are doing is helping.

I hadn't been making ANYWHERE near enough to feed her when we came home. We are almost exactly even now with how much I produce and how much she eats, she just eats what I pumped at the last feeding.

The Fenugreek seems to be working, it has just given Kayc some gas but I have been using a DoTerra oil diluted on her tummy and it totally solved the problem. My friend Jaelyn suggested 2 oils to help my supply and I started taking those yesterday. Hopefully that helps too.

I've been making sure I don't forget to eat, since when I don't eat, I notice I make less.

And she's nursing better. Ish. She definitely doesn't nurse yet. She did a 6-7 minute span yesterday and I was thrilled. And she did a 15 minute span the day before and I cried I was so happy. Other then that, she's very passive with it and will cry for the few minutes we practice before she has a bottle, and then fall asleep or suck softly like a pacifier instead of how she sucks when she eats.

But we are getting somewhere. The hospital grade pump ROCKS and I am SOOOO glad we rented it. We have it for a month, and I will keep it longer if needed. It's TOTALLY worth it. I had the "older" version for the last few days, but today the one the hospital was letting me use became available so I went down and got it. It's MUCH better than the other one, I can already tell, so hopefully that helps too!

I'd heard breastfeeding was hard. I knew it would be. But I didn't think it'd be hard like this. I was expecting engorgement, or cracked/blistered/bloody nipples. Nope, just not making enough and having a baby who doesn't want to latch period. But latch is getting better with time, it's only been 6 days of "the plan" and supply has DEFINITELY improved. I don't notice the separation of my milk when it's pumped with creaminess on top, so I am hoping the oils I am taking will help get more hind milk - that's the part she really wants :)

I am not quitting. This is VERY important to me. I want to nurse her. My original goal had been 12 months. And that would be beyond awesome to be able to do that. But I am breaking it down into smaller goals {thanks Kort for the idea!}. Goal for right now is 3 months. When she turns 3 months, I want to still be nursing her. It'd be AWESOME if I wasn't pumping anymore at that point because she was doing it on her own, but if we still are pumping that's ok too. I just want her getting it from me and not formula.

I'm grateful I want this so bad - it makes it easier in the middle of the night to go through the routine. It takes about an hour to do the whole process, with washing the bottle and the pump and prepping for the next feeding, but it's all worth it. And I don't work, so I can sleep the next day when needed. I am grateful my supply is coming in. For the interest she is showing in nursing, slowly but surely. For the support Jake has given me, especially while I power pump. She has gotten fussy the last 2 nights and he has taken care of her so I could finish. I'm grateful that I have been pretty dang reassured that the first 3 weeks are hell for everyone, and that it does get better. No baby is born a pro with a mom who has an abundant supply at day 1. Every mom/baby duo has complications and it takes work to get through them, but it's possible.

And if it doesn't work out, and she won't latch or whatever, and I end up using formula, that's ok. Yes, I want to nurse. Yes, I want to save money by not buying formula. Yes, "breast is best". But I want a living baby more than I want the mindset of knowing that I am giving her "the best". Food is best. And I am not determined enough to avoid formula that I will let her starve. I'm not going down without a fight, but if it comes down to it and she needs formula, I'm going to give it to her.

Hoping for tomorrow to be her first "formula free" day - she is close so far today, only had 1 ounce of formula but she has had a little. Compared to the 14 ounces a day she was having 5 days ago, I will take it!! I'll be sure to update again in a few weeks on her progress. She's learning quick at things, I'm pretty dang sure I'll have a good report in a few weeks!

Kaycee's 1st week

So I'm torn between wanting to blog every breath Kaycee takes, and wanting to spend time with her and not be blogging. So I will probably just be dumping photos for the next little bit, since there is NO shortage of pictures being taken! 

Our first day home. I couldn't believe how much love I felt for her. It was crazy overwhelming  
First pair of jammies from Grammy
Kaycee & Max met last Monday, her first night home 

All swaddled in her BYU blanket, laying in her pack n play the first night on her fleece BYU blanket. We're training her young. Too bad she didn't sleep longer than 15 minutes in her pack n play that night! 
Max was exhausted when he got home from my parents house, which was a HUGE blessing!  
Tired, but we survived her first night home. I wanted Jake to sleep and I wanted to practice doing it by myself, since he works in the middle of the night 
Love this onesie
We bought a swing her 2nd day home. She really likes to be held, so I had to hold her the entire first day {not that I mind, I just knew that if I needed to go to the bathroom she'd come unglued if I put her down, and sleeping was interesting} but she LOVES her swing! YAY!  
2nd night went MUCH better!
Loving her swing
Woke up for a picture...  
And then Jake tucked him in and he zonked out! 
First bath at home. She still loved getting her hair washed - just like mom!
Love her little hooded towel Lindsey made for her! 
The flowers Jake got for me bloomed. Seriously, I love lilies.  
The flowers Jake's work sent
My 2 favorite people having some quality time
Seriously love this little bean. This was when she was officially 1 week old. 
The week was tough, but not in the ways I was expecting. It felt like a production to leave the house because of the effort required to feed her {I'm planning to do a post about that VERY soon} so I never wanted to go anywhere. It worked out thought, since Jake took the week off and he did want to get out of the house each day, so he would go run errands I needed done and I could just stay home and hide with her.

I thought moms were kidding or being dramatic or lame when they would say they get so busy they forget to eat. Nope, its totally true. I forgot to eat so many times, Jake was constantly having to check to see if I was eating. Whoops!

When she had been home for 2 days, she went to the pediatrician for her newborn check. Everything looked great, and she had gained 2 ounces from her leaving the hospital weight, and an ounce from her birth weight, putting her at 6 pounds 10 ounces.

She did GREAT at her newborn photo session - I was super surprised that we had no crying or fussing at all. She woke up and wanted to be awake for part of it, but she did so great and I LOVE the pictures that she's awake and attentive. 

She slept most of the week either in my arms on the couch with my reclining or in her swing. She took one or two naps in her crib or her pack n play, but other then that not so much. We're working on it though, she's been getting better! 

Max has done AMAZING with her - I am SOOO proud of him. He is VERY attentive and if she cries he comes and stands right next to her and just looks at her with his head cocked. Last night, she was crying and after I got her calmed down he gave her a little kiss on the forehead. It was adorable. She doesn't notice when he barks at all, which is AWESOME or I'd be super mad at Max every time he barked. 

It was an eventful first week, but it went great. Crazy to think she's already 11 days old, and that she's been home for 8 days now. Time flies!! 

Kaycee's Newborn Pictures

Last Thursday, when Kaycee was 6 days old, we went to CameraShy in Lehi and had her newborn pictures taken. Here they are!  

One of my favorites 

I love this one too

I LOVE this picture! 

Another of my favorites

LOVE this one too 

Love how this one turned out 

We couldn't love her more - we think she is the cutest thing to ever grace planet earth. So grateful I get to be her mom!