Why your typical breastfeeding didn’t work for me

Before I had June, I hadn’t considered breastfeeding being a problem.  It’s what people do, it’s what they’ve always done.  I’m going to be a stay-at-home mom, I took a breastfeeding class eve, that’s what I’ll do.

Well, when June was born, we had a little struggle with feeding while in the hospital.  I had shallow nipples, she couldn’t latch well, when she did she wouldn’t stay on very long at all, it was just a struggle.  My nipples were cracked and bleeding and hurt so bad.  I dreaded when she needed to eat.  The lactation consultant helped us out, and she was eating better by the time we left the hospital.  When we were home, it was still kind of a struggle.  I had prescription ointment, but they still hurt so bad.  The hardest part though was that she would fall asleep whenever I would try to feed her, so she would wake up like 30 minutes later hungry.  We did all the tips they tell you to keep the baby awake, but none of it worked.  We even resorted to getting her face wet – she didn’t wake up.

I was getting so frustrated.  Breastfeeding is supposed to be this great bonding experience, breast is best, yada yada yada.  Because she could never stay awake to eat, I wasn’t getting any sleep.  I was so exhausted, and when she would be hungry, I just wanted to cry.  I was constantly having to leave everyone to go feed her, unsuccessfully.  I hated that I was the only one that could do this miserable job.  Reeve was a good support and would always be there for me, but there’s just not much he could do.

I started to pump bottles for night time so I wouldn’t have to go through everything to feed her constantly at night.  That seemed to work pretty well.  I feel so blessed that June takes a bottle.  And luckily, she stayed awake better while drinking a bottle – maybe because it was less work? I don’t know, but I was so relieved.

Once she was eating better at night, I didn’t mind feeding her during the day so much, but it still was a struggle, and I felt like I wasn’t able to do anything with my day.  My days were spent feeding her, changing diapers, and trying to get any rest possible.  That didn’t work too well for my personality.  I felt like my days were such a waste – sure I was raising a child, but absolutely nothing else was getting done.

My other thought that seriously made me want to cry every time I thought about it was I can’t do anything on my own anymore.  I literally can’t be away from her for more than a couple hours, and that’s even risky.  I couldn’t stand the thought of losing all independence, so I started to pump more during the day also.  That way if I ever needed to run some errands or take a nap or something, or spend an hour with just Reeve, I could leave her with Reeve’s mom, and she would have food.  That was a total game changer!  Don’t get me wrong – I love June to death, but I also need some time on my own to stay sane!

Pretty soon I was only giving her pumped bottles.  I worried about the bond, but I felt so much better personally.  I could tell that overall this was a better fit for us.  I still am the one to feed her the majority of the time, and we do have a strong bond.  She knows who I am, and I can tell she loves me, so that made it easier for me to not feel guilty about not actually breastfeeding.  The only struggle then was what others thought.  I would get self conscious of people seeing me feed June a bottle – not because I wasn’t actually breastfeeding, but because they probably assume it’s formula, and everyone says “breast is best.”  The thing is, I know it is breast milk, and if others judge without actually talking to me and knowing the truth, why should I care?  It’s hard to not worry about what others think, but when we let that go, it’s liberating really.

fb_img_1469310934425

candid taken by Brittany – clearly we’re happy with bottles haha

Now that we’ve finally figured out what works best for both me and June, I am so much happier.  She is happier.  She’s healthy and growing great.  We’re really doing great now.

Advertisements

Labor and Delivery

Well, our little girl must’ve been real comfortable, because she was not coming out on her own!  Friday, June 24 was the day I was going to be induced if she didn’t come on her own.  Well, she didn’t.

So Friday morning we got ready and luckily got to go into the hospital at 9:45am (I’ve heard stories of people supposed to get induced but the hospital wouldn’t let them come in until like 5pm). It was so weird leaving the house knowing that we would come back as parents.

But we got all checked in, they gave me the pitocin at 11am and a little later my doctor came in and broke my water.  Reeve and I pretty much just hung out and watched TV for awhile, played some cards. We watched a few episodes of Tanked again (we decided it’s our hospital show haha).  We also took this picture and Reeve sent it to family/friends…IMG1854730068.jpg

Totally fake haha.  Everything was good and we were just waiting.  The doctor and nurses said I’d probably have her around 9pm – that seemed like forever away!  But anyway, the nurses said I could have the epidural anytime I wanted, but first labors usually last long and you wouldn’t want it to wear off.

Well, around 1pm (only 2 hours after the pitocin), I was in pain. I asked for the epidural the next time the nurses came in, and she said “let’s just wait til I check you in 30 minutes”. Well, 45 minutes later she showed up and I told her I needed the epidural.  It was just super painful cramps basically.  So she got the anesthesiologist in, and I got the epidural at 2pm.  Turns out I was dilated to a 5 (more than the nurse suspected).  Okay and all the stories of the epidural being terrible…I honestly didn’t know that I had gotten it yet haha.  The IV hurt more than the epidural haha.

Well, let me tell you – epidurals are AMAZING!  It started relieving the pain so fast, and pretty soon I couldn’t feel anything from my stomach down haha.  We basically just waited while my body did the work.  My family came to visit:

img540505409

They were going to leave, but the nurse checked me right when they left the room, and I was fully dilated!  The nurses were pretty shocked it happened that fast.  So my family waited in the waiting room.  It was just me and Reeve in the delivery room when we had her.

So they said it was time to start pushing.  They would have me push 3 long times during each contraction.  I pushed for 2 contractions I think, then they said I had to stop because my doctor wasn’t going to get there in time (his office was across the parking lot).  So we just waited haha.  When Dr. Jones showed up, a contraction started, I pushed once, I started pushing the second time, and they told me to stop. I was so shocked when they held up our baby girl. It happened so fast, it didn’t feel real!  Reeve got to cut the umbilical cord (he said it was really strange), then they handed her to me.  It really just didn’t feel real.  I couldn’t believe she was born so fast!

June Hazel was born Friday June 24, 2016 at 4:56pm (just short of 6 hours from the time I got induced).  She was 21 inches and 8 lbs 3 oz.  She looked a lot like Reeve when she was first born.

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days.  We had the best nurse, Janie.  Lots of family visited, and Jackie came too.  We really felt so much love from everyone, and I felt super blessed that the labor and delivery went so smoothly.  I had a 2nd degree episiotomy (whatever that means haha) but the recovery was smooth also.  I never got up to taking the serious painkillers, I just took Midol occasionally.  I really was blessed!

41+ Weeks Pregnant

God is so much smarter than us.  He can see so much clearer than we can and knows what’s best for us in the long run.

My baby was due June 14th.  I was sure she was going to come early.  My husband had tons of family in town until about June 22 (the day his sister went into the MTC to go on an LDS mission). Of course she would meet the baby before.  What I really was concerned about at first was having the baby and being overwhelmed with everyone wanting to see her and the house being so crowded and noisy.

Well, my entire pregnancy went really smoothly.  I didn’t get very sick, I never got the pregnancy waddle, I didn’t gain too much weight other than my stomach, things were good.  I felt pretty good the whole time.  I did get some pretty crazy cankles right at the end though haha (see below). But, regardless of how smooth it had gone, I was so ready to NOT be pregnant anymore! Not so sure I was ready to have the baby, but I was so done with being pregnant that I wanted to go into labor.  I was just so huge.  I couldn’t handle it – it was hot, I couldn’t bend over, I just couldn’t move easily…

When I went to see my doctor a week or two before my due date, we talked about a plan in

case she didn’t come by her due date.  Intermountain Healthcare has a policy that with first time moms, they won’t induce until 41 weeks, and you can only be induced by your own doctor.  Well as luck would have it, my doctor was going out of town and wouldn’t be back until 10 days after my due date (2 days after Sarah and all Reeve’s family left).  I tried talking to several different people at the doctor’s office and the hospital, begging to be induced sooner, but they just said nope.

After that response, I decided to try all the wives tales that supposedly put you into labor.  And boy did I get a lot of input and suggestions I didn’t ask for. When people would see how pregnant I was (I was getting really huge!), they would start saying things like “you need to walk that baby out!” “go jump on the trampoline” “you know how to get that baby out? The same way you got it in!” etc.

After trying *almost* everything I had heard/read, I was getting pretty discouraged.  I had gone on walks, jumped on the trampoline, eaten eggplant parmesan, had sex, you name it (except for drinking castor oil), I tried it.

On Friday June 17, I felt miserable!!  I was sure I was going to have her.  I was throwing up, couldn’t eat anything, and feeling awful.  After talking with my doctor’s office, I was told to hang out at home and if I threw up more and it all continued, to come in.  It didn’t improve, so when Reeve got home from work, we went to the hospital.  They hooked my up to an IV with saline and monitored the baby.  Reeve and I hung out there for a couple hours.  We watched some random TV shows like Tanked (a show about fish aquariums haha).  After waiting awhile, I was sent home.  I was so mad.  I felt a lot better, but I was so tired of being pregnant and had felt so miserable!

After that I pretty much just had to tell myself I wasn’t having her until the 24th when I would be induced.  I thought a lot and realized that yes, I was really tired of being pregnant, but a lot of the reason I wanted to have the baby was pressure from others.  All of Reeve’s family (immediate and extended) wanted to see the baby before they went home to different parts of the country.  I wanted to please them. But you know what, I had no real control.  God’s timing is not always the same as our timing.  Looking back now, I see that it’s actually good that she didn’t come until after.  That first week as a mom was insane.  Exhausting with lots of tears from not being emotionally or physically 100%.  I feel bad that some family members didn’t get to meet her, but they’ve seen pictures, and that will just have to do for this one.

To read more about the actual delivery, read my next post!

Love Others

Have you ever met someone and even though they don’t really know you, you know they care so much about you and really want the best for you in life?  That is Reeve’s mission president and his wife.

In the LDS Church, it’s common for men to serve 2 year missions (and women to serve 18 month missions if they choose to).  They have a mission president, and once everyone’s home, it’s common to have a mission reunion near General Conference weekend.

Reeve’s reunion got postponed a week, and I wasn’t as excited for this one because the people I know most that are normally there wouldn’t be this time.  Well, we got there, and things were still great, it’s fun to see everyone.

But as we were leaving, we talked to President and Sister Cordon.  I didn’t even serve in their mission – I just married one of their missionaries – yet every time I talk with them, I leave feeling so loved! They are so genuinely interested in my life, so excited for our baby and want us to keep them posted on that, and just so encouraging.  I can’t imagine how much they care about those they actually know better! They’re incredible.

So I left thinking a lot about that, and I really want to be more like them.  I want to be someone who when others leave an interaction with me feel more uplifted and loved! So that’s my new goal.  Show more interest and love in those I interact with ❤

LDS-Primary-Presidency-Power-Rangers.png

PS The mission reunion was postponed because Sister Cordon got called into the new General Primary Presidency, because she’s that great! (She’s the yellow ranger)

Grateful when Life isn’t Fair

Yesterday I got to spend time with two of my good friends/old roommates.  They’re both planning their weddings right now, and it was unbelievable to listen to them, just because they are coming from such a different situation than I did when I was planning my wedding. And I know they’re both such great people – they’re really great friends of mine – but it just didn’t feel like real life talking with them, I was blown away.

They both just have huge budgets for a wedding, like three to four times what mine was. And yet there was still some complaining from one about different aspects of her wedding. And then I found out the other was just given a 2016 Subaru Outback by her parents last month.  And I had just told them about how Reeve and I just bought a used car and were thrilled…[PS our “new” car is a 2002 Ford Explorer. We got a great deal on it though, and it meets our needs. We’re honestly really happy with it!  I was excited to share that with them, until I started comparing my situation to theirs, then I was regretfully slightly embarrassed by it. Here’s a picture of the car we actually are super grateful to have. We’re excited that it’s more reliable than our last and we’ll be able to do a lot more of the fun outdoors things we like to do without worrying about getting our car stuck somewhere, etc.]0317161556.jpg

I couldn’t stop thinking about this whole situation for hours after. How life just is not fair.  I didn’t by any means think I deserved what they were getting, but I found myself thinking why are they so lucky? I was getting pretty worked up over it when I realized I needed to take a step back and be grateful for what I have! The song Count Your Many Blessings popped into my head, so I did.  Here are a few of my many blessings that helped me realize it’s actually great that life isn’t fair.

I’m grateful that I haven’t been given everything I’ve wanted, because it has taught me responsibility.  It has taught me to work for what I want and to really appreciate it [I do think my friends appreciate what they have, don’t get me wrong].

I’m grateful for a loving, supportive husband who comes from similar circumstances as I do, which makes it so we have similar priorities in life. He’s the best! We understand each other and can trust that we’re working together towards the same goal.

EKP_9981

We also both come from amazing families.  Both of our sets of parents are great examples of how to treat each other and make a marriage work.  I’m so grateful for that and know that many aren’t blessed with such ideal family situations.

I’m grateful that Reeve and I worked hard to earn the money for our car and that we were able to pay for it in cash.  We have had a goal since being married of not going into unnecessary debt.  We’ve been blessed to be able to live in his parents’ basement apartment while finishing school, which has helped us save a ton and be able to pay for all of our schooling and other expenses.

I also have the strong foundation of the gospel in my life.  I have a sure testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the prophet President Thomas S. Monson.  I know when life gets hard that everything will work out if I stay close to my Savior.

Life isn’t always fair, but if it was, I know I wouldn’t have learned many valuable lessons in my life that have made me who I am.  I’m grateful for the unfair life we live!