Becoming the best me I can be

Archive for the ‘Becoming a better mother’ Category

Waiting for Player 4!

That's right! Peanut's going to be a big sister!

That’s right! Peanut’s going to be a big sister!

This is why I haven’t been on my blog. I know, I know! It’s an excuse but a pretty good one if you ask me. The first trimester fatigue was a killer. If Peanut was asleep, so was I. My body has adjusted to all of the hormones and I am finally feeling more like myself again. Well, as close to myself as I can while pregnant. I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant and finally in the second trimester. I have been feeling the baby move for a few weeks now but his/her movement has really increased this week. I have nicknamed our new little one Blueberry and I’ll be calling him or her Blueberry for now on.

Hubby and I are very excited and happy to have Blueberry although we were DEFINITELY surprised when we found out. Haha! This just means it was meant to happen. Due to my pregnancy, my blog topic will be changing to more baby and motherly related posts. Although, I hope to continue posting about what exercise and workouts I will be doing during my pregnancy. (These are exercises and workouts I choose to do according to my fitness and comfort level. Always talk to your doctor before performing any exercise, especially when pregnant. End disclosure LOL).

It feels great to finally tell you guys about my pregnancy. I’ve been looking forward to it and will be posting more about my pregnancy soon! I missed you guys!

Peanut is gaining weight!

I am so happy! I have been busy so I didn’t get a chance to post this yesterday but our little Peanut is gaining weight! She had gained 4 ounces at her nurse weigh-in last Monday. She was weighed again yesterday and she gained another 8 ounces! That’s 8 ounces in one week! It’s the most she’s ever grown in such a short amount of time. Peanut now weighs 12 pounds 12 ounces! Woohoo! I can’t express how happy and excited I am!

Peanut also grew longer so she’s up to 25 inches long. Her doctor was very happy with her progress. He says we are going great, said he is proud of us for doing everything he says and told us to keep it up. He said it looks like her medicine is working like it should be. Her doctor told us we could still go the aggressive route and take her to the GI doctor or we could wait, see how she is doing and redo the stool test in a month. Hubby and I both said we would rather take the less aggressive path since she’s so young. The doctor said he was glad and believes its the better option. I am just so happy she’s growing and doing so much better. I am A LOT less stressed now. Wootsies!

We are so happy she's doing good. Can't you tell?

We are so happy she’s doing good. Can’t you tell?

We love our little girl so much.

We love our little girl so much.


Frustration and good news.

I swear every time Peanut gets into a good routine with her eating habits and I think she will start gaining weight more rapidly, she sabotages herself. Then I am left scrambling to figure out what to do next and how to make sure she’s getting enough calories and nutrition to be healthy. It is very frustrating and leaves me feeling helpless. She was doing so well up until this past Friday. She was nursing frequently, eating her three meals of solids and was even hungry enough to have the occasional extra snack of solids. Her eating habits always seem to fluctuate but they usually aren’t too bad. She loves to eat and eats a lot.

Apparently hearing the words milk and peanut allergy made Peanut believe she can no longer nurse because she has been fighting me about nursing ever since Friday (which is the day we found out). Peanut has always LOVED nursing. Whatever issues she has had in the past with food and eating habits (like refusing to drink from a bottle or refusing to eat certain foods), she has always loved drinking her breastmilk and greedily drinks as much as she can… until this past weekend. It started out as continuing to be hungry after she drained both breasts. She’d drink all she could and would still be hungry. I would give her solids after she was done to make sure she was getting enough to eat. You can’t overfeed Peanut. She just doesn’t let it happen. She screams if she’s hungry. She clamps her mouth shut when she’s full. It’s that easy to tell when she’s done.

As the weekend progressed, she began to refuse to finish breastfeeding at first. Then she was refusing to breastfed at all every other time I tried to nurse her. Today she has refused to nurse altogether. I have tried repeatedly and I have been very persistent but it just hasn’t been working. I only managed to get her to nurse ONCE all day. Its so frustrating when she needs the calories to gain weight and she’s having weight gain issues.

I was hoping to ask my doctor at her appointment today but I didn’t realize her appointment was just a nurse weigh in and I wouldn’t be seeing her pediatrician today. As for the good news, Peanut has started gaining weight again!!!! Woohoo! She only gained 4 ounces but its better than not gaining weight and MUCH better than losing weight. She is now 7 months old and weighs 12 pounds 4 ounces. Progress is progress regardless of how small 🙂

After the nurse weighed Peanut and gave her her shots (and Peanut told off the nurse in facial expressions, screaming and grunts), she asked if I had any questions. LOL! Where to begin?!?! I saved most of my less dire questions for when I see the doctor next time but I asked the most important questions today.

  • Is she allergic to just peanuts or tree nuts as well?
  • What can I do to help her continue to nurse?
  • What can I give her to supplement with since she isn’t breastfeeding? (she’s allergic to milk and vomits when she’s given soy, which makes supplementing hard)

The nurse said she would ask the doctor and call me with the answers. I should hopefully hear from them tomorrow. For now, I have been trying to breastfed her. When it doesn’t work, I pump and add the milk to her cereal to make sure she’s getting the nutrients and calories. I’m just taking this one day at a time and doing my best for my baby girl. I’ll keep you guys updated as I learn more.

Peanut Allergy: Now what?

My little Peanut has a peanut allergy. I have jokingly been calling her the AntiPeanut since we found out on Friday. But all joking aside, I am very cautious and uncertain of what this peanut allergy means for my baby girl. Obviously, she has never tried peanut butter or peanuts. She’s only 7 months old and way too young to try it. I had been eating peanut butter and foods containing peanuts while I was nursing her up until we found out. I am very very very glad I didn’t have to find out she had a peanut allergy by giving her peanut butter. That is one situation I will gladly avoid.

But I am left with so many questions I want to ask her doctor, including questions I don’t think he can really answer. Questions like:

  • How severe is her allergy?
  • Is she allergic to just peanuts or all tree nuts?
  • Should I cut all tree nuts out of my diet, including almond milk (which I love)?
  • Should I refrain from eating foods that MAY contain traces of peanuts or foods processed on the same machinery as peanuts?
  • Should I make people wash their hands after eating peanuts (peanut butter) before they touch her (or in the case of my husband, brush his teeth before kissing her)?
  • How do I know what will affect her and how badly?

These questions are only a few of the what feels like thousands of questions floating around in my head when it comes to her allergies, her health, her weight gain issues, and all the other issues we’ve been having lately. I am just so worried for her. A peanut allergy is a very serious allergy to have and can be very scary. I have heard the horror stories of children with severe peanut allergies and the problems that have arisen from it. I just don’t want my baby girl to deal with that. I am hoping her allergy isn’t severe and it doesn’t get worse. I am only hope and pray.


The lab results are in…

Last week, my sister-in-law and I took Peanut for blood work. You can read about it in this article if you missed it. I have been waiting anxiously for her lab results to come back so we know what’s going on. The unknown leaves me feeling lost. It’s hard to fix something when you don’t know what it is. I’m not a super control freak but I have a slight tendency to enjoy having things go my way. I like to know what the problem is, so I have something to attack and fix.

She is right where she should be developmentally and loves to explore.

She is right where she should be developmentally and loves to explore.

On Wednesday, I got a phone from her pediatrician while I was at work. I didn’t realize it until I went on my break (we can’t have our phones with us while we work). Her doctor left a voicemail stating her lab results were in and he’d try to call me tomorrow. I tried calling the office back but they were closed. First thing Thursday morning, I called the doctor office asking for her doctor. I was forwarded to a nurse, who told me the lab results were NOT in and they would call me once they came in. I told her the doctor called me but she dismissed it and hung up. I was confused but I let it go. The doctor said he’d call so he would if it was important.

Thursday night, I go on my break. Of course, her doctor decides to call me while I’m at work yet again. I listen to the voicemail. Peanut’s doctor tells me he wants to talk to me about her lab results and come up with a plan for her. I don’t know about any other mothers in the blogosphere who hear something like that about their baby’s health but when I heard the voicemail, I started worrying like crazy. Why couldn’t he just tell me the darn results so I didn’t have to freak out all night until I heard what he had to say. I tried calling the office back but he had already left for the day (of course!).

This morning I called bright-and-early yet again. The receptionist told me she would pass the message to the doctor but he was busy. She said he would call me once he had a moment. I was so worried and anxious all day. I was staring at my phone, checking the volume like a hundred times to make sure I’d hear it when he called, checking the phone logs to make sure I didn’t miss it, etc. etc. etc.

While Peanut was down for her nap, I decided to workout to get my mind off things and to help me de-stress (even though I was in NO mood to workout). I did my BeFit in 90 Day 12 and felt much better and more relaxed. Peanut even waited until after my workout was finished to wake up from her nap. I breastfed her and brought her downstairs to play. While she was playing, my phone finally rang. I was so anxious to answer the phone, I almost hung up on the doctor (I would have been so angry LOL). We talked and he told me the results and his plans for what to do next.

My little Peanut is allergic to peanuts (ironically)… and milk. We already knew she was allergic to milk so I wasn’t surprised about that. Thankfully, she isn’t allergic to wheat, eggs, or soy. I was worried she might be but I’m very glad she’s not. Now I have to cut peanuts out of my diet. Hopefully, that will help clear up her eczema and help her gain some weight as well. Her pediatrician said the rest of her blood work came back fine. Her iron and calcium levels were fine. She’s not anemic. She doesn’t have celiac disease and she doesn’t have any other allergies. Unfortunately, all three of her stool samples came back positive for blood in her stool. He said the cause is either her stomach or her intestines. The doctor said he was going to put her on Prevacid to help repair some of the damage in her intestines and he was going to put in a referral for her to go to a GI doctor. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get into the GI doctor office but hopefully it won’t take too long.

Let’s hope the medicine works and she gaining some weight. I will keep everyone updated on how she’s doing and what’s going on.

She's still a happy little girl who loves to play and smile

She’s still a happy little girl who loves to play and smile

Waiting for the results

I have one awesome sister-in-law. She recommended taking Peanut to a specific lab for her blood work and also recommended going to a specific man at the lab. My niece also has problems with food allergies, food, and she use to have problems gaining weight. My sister-in-law, Shell, has had one hell of a journey with her daughter getting her to gain weight. They are still unsure of why Boo is having problems with food. Shell has taken Boo to have more blood work than either of them want to remember so she knows where the best person to go to for getting blood work for babies/toddlers.

Not only did she recommend where to go and who to see, she also took us there and suggested nursing Peanut while she had her blood drawn. The man’s name was Gilbert and he had no problem with mothers nursing babies while he takes blood. I was extremely anxious. I had a very bad experience with getting Peanut’s blood drawn when she was a week old (they thought she had jaundice but she didn’t). I was afraid of having the same experience. I know Shell is a pro with this process and tried to relax.

We got there, requested Gilbert and waited. He came out and called for us. He started smiling the moment he saw Shell and they started talking. We went back to where they draw blood. Peanut was completely captivated by his deep voice and dreadlocks. Gilbert would talk to her and she would just stare at him in amazement. It was so cute. Plus, she kept smiling at him. After he figured out how much blood he needed to draw, we went into a room where we could lay Peanut down to have her blood drawn. I popped out a boob and started nursing her. She kept pulling away from me so she could look at him and see what he was doing. Then she would nurse for a few seconds and go back to looking at him. She was too curious for her own good. Haha! She didn’t even flinch when he put the needle in. No crying. No fussing. Nothing! She was happy as can be listening to this strangle man talk to her in his deep voice. It was wonderful! There were no problems whatsoever. We thanked him profusely and left.

I truly hope I don’t have to take Peanut for anymore blood tests but if we do, I know where I’ll be taking her. What a weight off my chest!

Worried beyond belief

Monday was one of the worse days I’ve had in a LONG time!!!! I’ll try to write this post without crying. We’ll see.

I woke up on Monday to the simultaneous sounds of a jackhammer and my crying 6 month old (who was startled by the jackhammer) at 8:10am! They are putting in a gas line to the church next door to my house. The church which is only FIVE feet away from the side of my townhouse. The construction began right outside my daughter’s bedroom with them using a jackhammer. The construction (and the noise!!!!) continued until 3pm! The noise was so loud there wasn’t a spot in my 3 bedroom townhouse where she could sleep through the noise. This meant I had a very tired baby who could not fall asleep. I bundled her up in her stroller and decided to take a long walk where she could sleep in the stroller. Unfortunately, it was FREEZING outside and I only made it three blocks away from my house before we had to turn back because I didn’t need a tired and sick baby.

The construction stopped for the day at 3pm (around the time Hubby gets home from work). Peanut had a doctor’s appointment at 4:20pm. So when the noise finally stopped for Peanut to be able to sleep, we had to get her dressed and leave for the doctor’s. I had one cranky little girl. We get to the doctor’s office. Peanut is stone-faced with exhaustion. She isn’t a crier even when she is super cranky as long as you don’t agitate her. The exact thing we did to her during her appointment by unchanging her, weighing her, getting her length, etc, etc, etc.

Now I haven’t posted much about her weight/health yet because I haven’t been too concerned. Peanut was 7 lbs 1 oz when she was born and she’s had a slow weight gain. She’s a petite little girl though. That’s what I told myself and everyone says the same thing. We have been taking her to the doctor’s every two weeks for a weigh in to make sure she is gaining weight. We began feeding her solids at 5 months because the doctor said it would help her gain more weight. Peanut is in the less than 5 percentile for her weight but she has been gaining weight and length each time she is measured…. until this doctor’s appointment. Peanut is going to be 7 months old next week and she weighs 12 pounds. That’s it. Just 12 pounds. She didn’t gain any length either. She is currently eating solids at breakfast (3-4 Tbsps of rice cereal with a fruit), lunch (fruit or veggie) and dinner (3-4 Tbsps of rice cereal with a veggie), PLUS breastfeeding 8-10 times a day. So not weight gain is not for lack of food. We feed her when she is hungry, which is pretty often.

The doctor said there are two possible reasons for her not gaining weight. The first possibility is my breastmilk isn’t high enough in calories to make her gain weight. This could very well be true but I find it hard to believe its the only problem since she also eats plenty of solids. The second possibility is Peanut isn’t absorbing the nutrients properly causing her to eat a lot but not gain weight. There are several reasons why she wouldn’t be absorbing nutrients. We have to take Peanut for blood work to see if/what food allergies she has and check for any indications of why she isn’t gaining weight. Plus I have to take stool samples to check for blood in her stool.

Hubby and I are both worried sick about our baby girl. It took everything I had not to start crying in the doctor’s office. No parent wants to hear a doctor tell them their child is malnourished especially when you are feeding your baby plenty of food. I can’t help feeling like this is my fault. Either my milk is not enough for her OR she has inherited my stomach issues. I don’t even know what my stomach issues are and to have the possibility of giving it to her is devastating. The car ride on the way home was pretty silent between my husband and myself.

Apparently, Peanut decided to cheer us both up. She was babbling to herself on the way home. She paused. Then said “Mama” clear as day. Hubby and I looked at each other surprised. Hubby said “I just heard her say Mama. Peanut, did you say mama?” We both said mama a few times and waited for a response. After a while, we stopped and started staring out the window again (well, Hubby paid attention to driving LOL). Then Peanut said “Ma ma” again. We both heard it clearly yet again! She said mama twice!!!! It made us feel a little better.

The doctor suggested we try supplementing with formula to give her added calories. We have strong reason to believe she is allergic to milk (she gets a rash, diarrhea, crankiness, and doesn’t sleep when I use to eat dairy). So when I gave her dinner, I mixed soy formula in with her rice cereal and sweet potatoes (she doesn’t take a bottle and I mixed it with water than used to formula to make the rice cereal). After eating her dinner, she was still exhausted from not taking a nap all day. I took her upstairs and put her to bed. It was around 7:20-7:30 so I figured she would sleep for the rest of night. Just wake up to breastfed and go back to sleep.

Our day managed to get even worse when I heard her crying at 8:15pm. At first, I assumed she was still hungry and wanted breastmilk. I walked up to her crib. She was crying hysterically and was covered in vomit. Not a little… A LOT of it. She was covered, her clothes were covered, bed surrounding her was covered, all of it. She rarely throws up so she was really upset. I trying soothing her as I called for Hubby. He came up grumbling until he saw her. We stripped her down and I started giving her a bath. She threw up again while she was in the tub. She threw up all over herself, my arm and into the bath water. I yelled for Hubby. He came running and we cleaned it up. She seemed better and we even got a weak smile out of her. Then she threw up again when I tried getting her dressed. Yet again, all over my arms. I told Hubby I was going to call her doctor. I called the doctor’s office, talked to the receptionist and waited anxiously to have him call me back.

I felt so bad for her, not to mention worried out of my mind. She has only thrown up a handful of times. It was never like this. She threw up a lot each time. While we were waiting for the doctor to call, she threw up again. It had been a half an hour so I called the office again. I was fully prepared to take her to the hospital if he didn’t call back soon. Fortunately, he did call me back right away. He asked a bunch of questions. The doctor said since she wasn’t running a fever, wasn’t vomiting without stopping, she didn’t seem in pain and she managed to play in between throwing up, she would be fine. He said she might throw up a few more times to get the formula out of her system and we should just keep a close eye on her and call if anything changed.

She threw up one more time. By that point, she was so exhausted from the long, terrible day, she fell straight to sleep after cleaning her up and laying her back in her crib (after we cleaned it up, of course). I checked on her throughout the night but she didn’t have anymore problems. Thankfully!

I am so worried about her. She is such a happy, little baby. Even between throwing up, she was trying to smile at us and was playing. She’s right where she should be developmental-wise and she’s never had a cold or been sick yet. Other than not gaining weight, she is doing wonderfully. I just want my baby girl to be okay. Thanks for letting me rant and worry! I just needed to get this over my chest.

Sitting up

My little girl is getting so big and growing so fast! Peanut sat up by herself for the first time today!!! She’s still pretty wobbly and still needs some assistance but she is doing great. She was so proud of herself too! I have been helping her practice sitting up on her own and followed this post by The Little Dabbler. I was busting at the seams with excitement and pride. Hubby was even there to witness it and take a picture.

Peanut sitting up for the first time. I am so proud of her!

Peanut sitting up for the first time. I am so proud of her!

8 things no one ever told me about breastfeeding

1. The Smell
Breastmilk has a unique smell. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bad smell (unless it gets on your clothes because then you get the dreaded sour milk smell which is completely unpleasant) but it isn’t really a good smell either. I don’t really notice it anymore since I’ve been smelling it for 6 months. When I first started breastfeeding, I was so surprised by the smell.
2. The Mess
Another surprising part of breastfeeding for me was the mess. I guess it was part of the first time mom way of thinking. I just thought she would latch on, drink and let go when all the milk was done. No mess, no cleaning up, nothing. Haha! Boy, I was wrong! Its not really a problem anymore. But when my milk came in, I was a mess. At first, my right breast leaked incessantly for 2 months before it got itself under control. Plus, Peanut is a messy eater. She will eat for a minute, stop to look around, then continue eating. This makes milk go all over the place. I have to tuck a burp cloth under my breast while she eats to keep it off my clothes (refer back up to #1 for why you want to keep it off your clothes). Sometimes I will forget the burp cloth is tucked under by boob when I put myself back together and I will walk around with it sticking out of my shirt until I realize it. Talk about embarrassing!
3. Latching On
No, I’m not talking about her latching onto my nipple. She’s great at that. What I’m talking about is how Peanut latches onto me with her hands. It happens now that she is older and she has great control of her hands. She will grip my shirt tightly in one hand and my bra tightly in the other. Then she will fall asleep that way without loosening her death grip. I wouldn’t mind except when I try to put her into her crib because I wake her up trying to get her to let go of my clothes!
4. Feeding her in the bathroom
Yes. I have fed my baby in a bathroom. I was out to dinner with my husbands parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Peanut was hungry and yelling up a storm. I didn’t want to offend his family by feeding her at the table although I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded. Instead I took her into the bathroom. Hubby’s mom came in with me, brought a chair with her for me to sit on and held the door shut so I could feed Peanut in privacy. (I won’t get into the reasons why I think its wrong for breastfeeding mothers to have to feed our babies in bathrooms because some people have issues with it. I try to be respectful though, which is why I won’t talk about it)
5. You might offend people you care about
It will happen. Everyone has their own opinion. Some people will be offended by you breastfeeding your child. Like it is any of THEIR business. I knew I might offend a stranger for my choice to breastfed. I knew I would hear the questions (“You breastfed?” “Won’t your breasts get saggy?”), the comments, and the looks. Even your own family could be offended by it. I learned this the hard way at Peanut’s first thanksgiving. I took it really hard, especially after how supportive my in-laws are about my choice to breastfed Peanut.
6. The Staring
No one told me my baby would stare at my breasts like she found the lost city of Atlantis. She stares when she’s hungry, when I’m changing, even when I wear a lower cut top. She is more fascinated with my breasts than my husband (which is saying something).
7. The thirst
I get soooooooo thirsty since I breastfeed Peanut. I thought I was thirsty when I was pregnant. That was nothing compared to the intense thirst I have now. I drink almost a gallon of water a day. I am thirstier now that I also exercise.
8. The Silly moments
No one told me of the silly things babies would do while they are breastfeeding. Some of my favorite moments with my daughter are while she’s breastfeeding. Sometimes she will stop nursing to look up at me, give me a huge smile with milk trailing down her chin, and then continue to eat. It is always random, adorable, and hilarious whenever she does it. There will be times when she’s eating that she will hold her arm straight up in the air. As she starts to fall asleep, her arm will sink towards my shirt. The moment is touches my shirt she yanks it back into the air. The process will continue until she falls asleep completely. This reminds me of when wrestlers are put into a sleeper hold and their arm falls as they pass out. I try so hard not to crack up laughing whenever she does it.

Sleeper Hold

Sleeper Hold

Where did my newborn go?

Peanut as a newborn

Peanut as a newborn

Peanut has turned 6 months old this week and I am left completely baffled. Where did my newborn go? I know she has been growing and learning but I cannot believe she is 6 months old already. It feels as though time has captured my newborn, took her away forever, and gave me this adorable, active, chubby little baby instead.

Don’t get me wrong. I am just LOVING this stage right now. She is working hard to explore her world and to learn as much as she can. Peanut’s not really moving yet but she is trying. She rolls really well now from her tummy to her back. She rolls onto her side to look at things and reach for toys. Peanut loves babbling at everyone she meets, including animals. She picks up all sorts of toys and chews on everything. She loves to go out of her way to pull on her daddy’s beard or to tug on my hair. Peanut absolutely loves our daily walks where she can look at all the colors, smell all the flowers, and figure out where the sounds are coming from. She is growing so quickly.

Peanut at 6 months old. She's growing up so fast!

Peanut at 6 months old. She’s growing up so fast!

Part of me just wants to yell slow down and figure out a way to make it happen. Yet, I know it’s just a part of her growing up. I know it’s how life works. It’s the hard part of being a parent. I know in the years to come, I will continue to be amazed, surprised, frustrated, delighted, and baffled by this little girl. I also know I am going to love every minute of it.
But for now, I will just live in the moment with her. I will cherish our time together when we snuggle as she nurses. I will enjoy the way she cuddles in my arms, how she feels safe and content in my arms, and the way she looks up at me with such love and trust. I will watch her learn, explore, and take on the world, offering her my assistance when she needs or wants it. I will laugh with her, cry with her, and act completely silly with her. Most importantly, I will love her immensely and unconditionally.

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