Thursday, July 26, 2012

Post baby body

Please, don't hate me.

I fully expected it to take a long while to get to a place where I would be happy with my post baby body.  I was ok with that, and hubby had been warned it could take awhile.  I was very, very fortunate (thank you mom and God for good genes) that it took me significantly less time than I thought it would.

Here I am at 39 weeks, just a few days before delivery:

I gained a total of 27 lbs during pregnancy, and I was down 18 lbs the day I came home from the hospital (big baby and lots of fluid).  Even then, I thought I'd have a ways to go, as I'd read that it was only healthy to lose about 2 lbs a week while breastfeeding.  For this reason, I did not diet, just tried to eat fairly healthy, and drink a LOT of water, to maintain by breastmilk supply.  One week later, I was debating ordering a belly band, as I was continuing to loose weight quickly, but the belly was still hanging around.

I ended up ordering the Belly Bandit, and while I only wore it for about 2 weeks total, I think it was worth it.  Why did I only wear it for 2 weeks?  There's a comfort curve for that sucker.  It was tight, and uncomfortable, and dug in, for like 2 days.  Then, you don't really notice it anymore.  And right around 2 weeks of wear, I had a bit of a tummy bug, and I wasn't going to wear it when I didn't feel good, so I took it off for a few days, and since I was pretty happy with my belly at that point, it was hard for me to get past the comfort curve again.  I'd wear it for a few hours here and there, or at night, but then I'd pull it off.   A few months later, I wish I'd worn it the full time, as my belly got some of the roundness back, but it's not horrible.  This was my belly after wearing it for around 3 days, so right around 2 weeks postpartum, I think.

I will note that this is right around the point I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Please, don't hate me- I truly believe it had nothing to do with anything I did, and was a result of being blessed with good genes.  I would say breastfeeding also helped.  

Three months later, I'm still pretty happy with my post baby body.  Like I said, I've gotten a slight amount of the belly back, but honestly, it's such a small amount I'm probably the only person that notices.  Also, I never had great abs- even at my thinnest, I've always had a softer belly- it's where I (and my mama) hold any extra weight, so my post baby belly expectations may have been lower than other people's. I still have quite a few stretch marks on the left side of my belly, and I still have the linea nigra.  Please excuse the awesome quality of the photos- I didn't really feel the need to break out my big girl camera for these shots.

Also, this is weird, but as you can see, my belly button is now kind of a half outie.  It used to be very deep in, and now it's more flat/out.  Combined with the dark line of my linea nigra, and my belly button now just looks dirty.  I promise it's clean!  Obviously I don't love the stretch marks or line, but it's a small price to pay for my sweet girl.

Other aspects of post baby life- I felt really weak for about 5 weeks after giving birth.  I think this was how my pain manifested itself, because when I took my painkillers I'd feel fine, but I stopped the Percocet about one week postpartum, and then I quit the Ibuprofun around three weeks.  I wasn't expecting this, and thought maybe there was something wrong with me, but yeah, that's all it was.  My skin was awesome during pregnancy and for about 2 months postpartum, but it has returned to its normal state.  Boo.

In the interest of TMI, the red lochia stopped around 3.5 weeks, and was completely over around 6 weeks.  I had my first postpartum period right around 8 weeks, despite exclusively breastfeeding. At 10 weeks postpartum I stopped having to wear my Lansinoh breastpads.  Occasionally I'll spring a leak during letdown, but my nursing bras absorb it well.  And since I'm sharing all, I had previously stated that during pregnancy, intimacy was not high on my agenda at all, and I'm happy to report this was not a permanent state.  I had a lot of pain though, which I think is common, especially if you're breastfeeding, so at my postpartum apt my Dr gave me some topical estrogen.  This, plus time, really helped.  Still not fully pain-free, but getting there.

Clearly I'm not afraid to share, so if there's something I missed that you're dying to know, just comment or shoot me an email.  Everyone's experience is different, but I think it helps to know what various people dealt with, so it's not as scary.

Monday, July 23, 2012


We are celebrating because hubby passed all three of his Pharmacy exams (NAPLEX, Missouri licensing, and Oklahoma licensing)!  So very thankful for all of his hard work!  This means the last big hurdle of our crazy busy summer is to get our house sold and move up to Missouri.  This means we are also...

Praying that our house sells soon.  We parted ways with our realtor and are going at it FSBO for now, and have a second showing tomorrow night.  Really, really praying this goes through so we can get this sucker sold and not have to mess around with marketing the house ourselves, or interviewing other agents.  And because no blog post would be complete without addressing the state of my daughter's bottom, we are...

Adjusting to cloth diapers.  E's rash is still gone (hooray) which says to me this was definitely a disposable diaper sensitivity.  We have had issues with leaks around her legs (but no blowouts).  Not sure if she's just a heavy wetter and I need to switch to hemp only, or they just haven't reached full absorbency, if I don't have them tight enough, if I have them too tight, or if I'm already having repelling issues because I washed them with hemp inserts.  Need to figure it out since disposables are no longer an option for us (though I may still try organic to use while on trips or at the church nursery).  If I could get the leaks figured out I'd be much happier, since I already really love how cute and soft they are (and I love saving the $).  Not going to lie, still not loving the extra laundry.  Right now I only have 16 FuzziBunz, and I just ordered 6 BumGenius, so this will hopefully mean I do laundry less often.  I also think it will be better as she gets older and goes through less diapers.  Right now she uses around 11-12 a day, so I'm doing diaper laundry pretty much every day, since I like to start them when I still have a couple left since the whole wash and dry routine takes around 2-3ish hours.  Sadly, I could have bought 14 more diapers with what we spent on everything trying to get rid of her rash- ughhh that's just depressing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Have I mentioned that I hate diaper rash?

Almost as soon as I hit publish on my last booty post, bragging about finally conquering the diaper rash, it was back.  I figured I had been lax in my use of the medicine, and returned to religious applications.  And again, it would seem to go away, then come back.

At this point, we had spent hundreds on creams, ointments, powders, and of course, various brands of disposable diapers, since we couldn't use most of the creams with our cloth diaper stash.  Add in hours of reading about rashes (my google history is pathetic), and a wash routine that was three times longer than normal for our cloth wipes to make sure I eliminated bacteria and yeast from them each time.  I was even scrubbing down her bath sling after each use, and of course, ensuring that she got plenty of naked time.  Nothing was working.  Consider me defeated.

The only blessing in all of this is that the rash has never really bothered E (except when we used disposable wipes), so at this point I figured it might be something that she just had all the time, and it would be a mostly cosmetic issue.  It would always bother me, but I was thankful my baby wasn't in pain.  I was tired of purchasing disposable diapers, since we had a lovely stash of cloth dipes I was wanting to use, so I bought fleece and cut liners for them, so I could still use the creams, but also use my FuzziBunz stash.  

Four days in (and kind of still expecting it to return), and the rash is gone.  I even stopped using the creams and obsessive wash routine, to really test if E was responding to the new diapers.  So far, so good.  Is it really possible that this whole time Emersyn was just sensitive to disposable diapers?

It's frustrating that the (possible) solution was here all along, but I'm also thankful that we had done a lot of research on cloth and had this as an option.  Gone are the early days of wondering if I really wanted to mess with the added hassle of cloth, because now that I'm not exhausted all.the.time it doesn't feel like that much extra work, especially since we were already washing our cloth wipes, and it's clearly a lot better for our baby girl.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that it's also adorable:)

Monday, July 16, 2012

So that's what everyone meant...

This is the first week I have actually thought Emersyn is growing too fast and I want time to slow down.  This may have to do with the fact that since the Fourth of July she has been *fingers crossed* sleeping better!  She goes right down after her 10pm feeding, then usually sleeps until 6 or 7am.  A good night used to be her sleeping until 3 or 4am, and now those are bad nights- crazy how things have changed in just a few weeks time.

It's not that I didn't love her those first few weeks, I certainly did, but it was so hard to process any feeling other than exhaustion.  Add in the stress of her reflux, breastfeeding and hormones, plus the overwhelming feelings of being completely responsible for a little life- it's a lot to handle (thought no more than any other new parent experiences, I'm sure).  I may regret saying this tomorrow, but it feels like we've finally passed from survival mode into living mode.  As a friend of mine said, things finally just clicked, and it all seems a little more manageable.

That being said, now it feels like my baby is growing up quickly, and it makes me a little sad (there's just no pleasing me, is there?).  I finally understand why everyone told me to savor these early days.  Oh how I love her.

So now, when my to-do list is a mile long, and she won't nap any place other than my arms, I snuggle her close and breathe in her sweet baby smell.  I kiss her cheeks, and the soft spot on her neck, over and over, whispering how much I love her, and how thankful I am to be her mom.  When she wakes in the morning, I go in and greet her, and as she grins up at me, so happy, and ready to start the day, I smile back at her, even if it's a little earlier start than I'd like.  When I nurse her, I hold her little baby hand, and marvel and how big she is getting, at how heavy she now feels in my arms.  After her bath, I hold her and rock her, and read book after book, until her eyelids are too heavy to focus.

Some days are still long, some nights are still short, but I'm doing better about appreciating every moment with my girl.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dear Emersyn: Two Months

Dear Emersyn,

 I can hardly believe two whole months have passed since you came into our lives.  You have definitely graduated from the infant stage to the full blown baby stage.  You have so much more control over your body, and you now will actually cuddle into us when we hold you.  Your actions are more purposeful than they were last month, and I'm sure that will only increase.  Best thing about this month: coos and smiles.  For some reason, I thought that you would go from not smiling to smiling in response to anything fun we did, but it's been much more gradual.  You make us work for those precious smiles, and we are making fools out of ourselves to get them.  Us laughing usually gets us some smiles, as does blowing on your hair.  Daddy gets more giggles than Mama, guess I'm just not as fun, huh?

We had your two month check up a little over one week before you were actually two months. You weighed in at 11 lbs 8 oz (75th percentile), and you are 22.5 inches long (50th percentile).  You are in size 2 diapers, and in 0-3, 3 month, and even a couple of 6 month outfits.

Speaking of sleeping and eating, I'm really trying to stick with the Eat, Awake, Sleep plan during the day, (on a 3 hour routine) and you seem to be settling into a little bit of a routine (yay!).  After your first feed of the day at 7am you're usually awake for 2.5 hours, then wake up for your 10am feed.  Then you only last about 20 minutes, and settle in for a long nap.  You eat again around 1pm, then sometimes want to go back to sleep, sometimes want to stay up for a bit, off and on until your 4pm feed, then you're awake for around an hour, then nap off and on until 7pm.  You usually eat really well at 7- even feeding on both sides, then we do bath, a book, and pray, then you usually sleep off and on until 10pm.  Last feed of the day (sometimes it's a dream feed, sometimes you're awake), and you often take both sides at this feed too, then go right to sleep.  We're finally doing just one nighttime feed (4 am), but you still usually wake up more than this, just wanting your paci, or a hand on your belly to settle back down.  You will sleep like a rock whenever someone holds you, which we often do- you're just so sweet!

Your doctor said within the next month you should really start sleeping those long stretches without waking and that we might need to start letting you fuss it out when you wake up to encourage you to do so.  We have a lot of changes in the next month with your dad working in Missouri, and us staying there with him some, and visiting my family some too, so I'm thinking right now is the not greatest time  to really push anything.  Once we're moved I'll revisit the idea of letting you fuss it out, but hopefully you'll just start sleeping without waking on your own:)

Your reflux is doing SO much better now that we have you on Prevacid instead of Zantac, and your gas issues have gotten better as well.  With your diaper rash clearing up you're a whole new, happier baby! You had your first week in the nursery at church, and you did awesome- the ladies in there just love you!  I love having an excuse to put you in all your cute dresses and bows:)

You love to hang out on your changing pad, and you like to watch the birdies on your bouncy seat.  You also seem to really enjoy the poms above the chair in your nursery, so I want to add a few more in the new house.  And of course, I can't forget to mention how much you love your pacifiers- Duckie and Lamb Paci.

We love YOU, with all our hearts.  I am beyond thankful to be your mama, and there is nothing better than watching you grow and become your own little person.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ding dong, the rash in GONE!!!

Hooray, hooray, hooray!  That stupid rash is finally cleared up, and I can officially stop obsessing over the state of my daughter's behind.  I VERY much appreciate everyone's words of encouragement and advice, that stupid thing was driving me crazy!  The whole saga in case anyone else experiences the same thing...

E's rash popped up on Mother's Day, when she was only one week old.  Disposable wipes made it worse, and she screamed bloody murder when we would use them, so we switched to cloth, using a solution of water, mineral oil, and her bodywash.  This helped a lot, but a week later, it was still there, and at her 2 week appointment we asked the dr about it- he said it was fungal (yeast) and had us get an over the counter anti fungal (jock itch cream) and Desitin.  Did not help, so he wrote us our first prescription anti fungal (Econazol Nitrate Cream) and a prescription for a cream that worked a lot like Desitin (Cholestyramine).  This also helped, but there were still little bumps that wouldn't go away, and occasionally it would still flare up.  We were giving her lots of naked time, we had tried different diapers, and even some baby powder- no help.  I was worried the cloth wipes were reinfecting her, since yeast can be very hard to kill, so I started adding Grapfruit Seed Extract (GSE) when I washed her wipes, which kills the yeast and the spores.  Since the rash was STILL not gone, I called the dr and he prescribed her a second anti fungal (Nystatin and Triamcinolone Acetonide).

We had her two month appointment a few days later, and the rash was as bad as it had ever been.   At this point, the dr said he thought she had both a yeast fungal infection AND a bacterial infection, and prescribed an anti bacterial (Bactroban).  He wanted us to apply the Nystatin twice a day and the Bactroban twice a day, with Desitin in between.  Three days later the bumps were clearing up but the redness was still bad, so I went back to the Econazol for the yeast.

In addition, I did a lot of research on killing bacteria and found out it's very contagious, so anything E's behind came in contact with got washed with a half cup of vinegar, to kill the bacteria, then washed again with detergent, with an extra rinse with the GSE to kill the yeast.  I also added vinegar and GSE to her wipe solution.

I'm going to give it probably another week of applying the medicine and continuing my obsessive washing routine, and then we'll transition to our waiting cloth diapers (yay!).  I hope E never has diaper rash again, but good heavens, I've got a whole pharmacy in my medicine cabinet to treat the darn thing if she does.