The struggle

The work life, mom life, home life, husband life, and on and on. So many different hats. I feel like its always a struggle. I need to work to survive. I need to work for my sanity at times. But dang it’s exhausting trying to do it all. I need to be a 100% at work, at the same time I need to come home and be 100% with my son, step-daughter, and husband. 

Do you ever feel like you are being pulled in a million directions and nothing, nothing will bend? I feel like I neglect certain things because my priorities are my son. I’m too tired for everything and I just can’t fathom taking time for me. 

Hey! Mamas! Take time for yourself! Seriously. If you don’t you will eventually burst… or that’s how I feel. I run around trying to please everyone, doing everything and silently I’m angry that no one is helping. I hate that I have to ask… I have to remember they aren’t like me. I have to ask, or I will just lose my mind over something insignificant when my patience runs out. 


My husband brought up today how our son is so chill and relaxed when I’m not around. He doesn’t scream at his legs to be picked up, he doesn’t follow him everywhere and freak out if he’s not in his sight line. What the hell. It’s like a constant neediness when I’m around. I love how he wants to be with me and wants to be near me but I can’t do a thing without him in my arms. 

Why?? It’s frustrating…. I mean when no one is around and it’s just me and my baby it’s pretty relaxed, but when others are in the house it’s like he thinks I’m going to leave or if I’m not paying attention to him the world is going to end. 

I’m sure I will miss these struggles someday. I will miss when Mama was the center of his universe. I will miss when everyone needed me and relied on me. I need to remember that when my mama rope is slowly thinning. God help me ☺

First night away 

Tonight is the first night I haven’t been with my son. He’s with his Memere (grandmother, for all you non-frenchies). 

It’s seriously the toughest thing ever. I know it’s part of life, my life for the time being. My job involves traveling. What can ya do. I got a solid 9mths of not traveling. So I guess I’m lucky there. It’s funny how much there is a contrast from when I’m home at night, exhausted.

When I’m at home after work, I get stressed and feel like I don’t have time to get anything accomplished because the snug is attached to my legs at every step. I get annoyed that my husband can just lay around or play guitar without a care in the world. (What I assume is relaxing) I can’t even cook dinner or use the bathroom, let alone do anything I used to do before the attachment phase. 

In reality, I barely did anything before. I barely took time to paint or edit photos unless I had to. I don’t know what it is about wanting to have the option to do things that you never would do anyway. Ha. I digress. This is about my struggle at being away. I guess I was just trying to make a segway into how my perception changes. I’ve only been away from him for 6 hours. Which is less then on a normal workday… so why am I already missing him?


His little cute snug face running all over, smiling up at me, ignoring every No I throw his way and taking ornaments off the tree. Ugh. He is so flippin’ cute!!!

I’m surprisingly not nervous at all about being away. He will be fine. But will I? I selfishing want to FaceTime him to say goodnight, but I know seeing me will cause trouble. Out of sight, out of mind. 

It’s been months since I was able to write a blog post. Life really gets hectic. Thanks for listening mama’s. Get me through tonight. Get me home tomorrow. I need a good snuggle from my baby boy! 

Lazy days 

As I lay here with my son passed out on top of me I think about how different life is now. My life has changed drastically, I feel happy about it all. Although, sometimes I do look back to the days when I had nothing to do on my week nights and days off besides chill out and make dinner (or order).  Not feeding and/or pumping every couple hours, changing diapers, thinking about meal prep, wishing I had more sleep. 

Life is good. It is full. (That’s an understatement!). There isn’t a second of the day where I don’t feel like I’m running around, forgetting something, or wishing the kid would sleep for more that 30 minutes so I could catch up on the laundry list of things I need to get done today.  I shall enjoy this time, a “lazy day.” Or what is now a lazy hour. 😁

  
He is so snuggly. I know I have a million things to do. And I know I will probably be annoyed later that I didn’t get them done, but, but, I love this time with him. Our snuggle time. He is so stinkin’ cute!!

I am also in DESPERATE need of an eyebrow wax!! And time to put make up on so I don’t look like a zombie. Ha! 

  
That’s all for now. I shall leave you with the cute face of my smiling squeak. ❤️❤️

Last Day

Today is the last day of my maternity leave. I am beside myself… I don’t want to leave him. I really don’t want to be away for 9-10hrs a day. All those hours when he is mostly awake. 

Can I just work nights? Ha. If only I could make my own schedule so I wouldn’t have to be away for so long. 

Sad momma  

 

Who knew…

  
Who knew my life would change so much. 

Who knew it would change so quickly. 

I look back and think “Wow… How much have I grown?” (Not just physically- 😂) 

My son is two months old now. He is my world. I literally cannot think about a time when I don’t want to be with him. As the end of my maternity leave nears I have a ton of fears. Leaving him, working too much, missing some milestone, missing something in my Steppy’s life. 

None of which involve the future of my career. Right now I’m thinking “Who knew I wouldn’t care?” Because I sure as hell didn’t think that way before. But I don’t. I’d be so much happier working less, doing anything that could give me that. 

Motherhood really does change your perspective. I have been a step mom for almost four years now. And just over a year she has been living with us, that is when I feel my true leap into motherhood began… Once I found out I was pregnant and adjusted my work schedule it all changed again (only a couple months after she moved in). After that change, I knew I wanted to be home every morning with my Steppy. I wanted to be there to talk to her after school and have breakfast with her in the morning. 

With my son here now we lose out on that time. Feeding, sleeping… Shit our schedules just don’t match all the time. I miss our mornings. I miss our girl time. 

Motherhood is such a challenge. Juggling it all now is tough. Trying to do what is best. What you feel is right. Being the world to another person. Being everything they need. 

It is so draining but also so rewarding. 

Who knew I’d be here? 

Who knew I’d feel this way?

I sure didn’t. 

  Me, squeak, and Steppy ❤️

Going back to work

F%@k!! I only have two weeks left of my maternity leave. I fear going back. I was pretty content until three days ago. When all our plans imploded. 

My office changed everything. My schedule. My work location. Now I am in panic mode about being away from my son for a longer amount of time. I went from a 15min commute to 45-90min depending on traffic. 

Our plan was to have our son with a nanny for a minimal amount of time- only a couple days a week. Now all that is lost. I am so emotionally drained. I have been crying on and off for 3 days. It’s absolutely frustrating. At this point I wish I could quit, but sadly we can’t afford that. 

I’ve been planning child care for months. Found a fantastic woman that was looking for flexibility and part time…. And in our price range. 

My flexible, set schedule is shot. Unknown. And accommodations for breast pumping that I understood to be for 6mths after my return are only until my son is 6mths old!!! 

Now I need to research federal law in more detail and probably fight for what I’m supposed to get. 

Pumping Sucks 

  
So after a solid month of exclusively pumping I am tired, annoyed, and frustrated. 

Tired because it is exhausting to pump every 3-4hrs before or after feeding my son. And then clean up at 3am instead of passing back out. 

Annoyed because this machine is part of me now. Like my BFF but I hate it. 

And frustrated because I have not increased my supply at all, my right breast is significantly smaller, and it produces a lot less than my left.  Ugh! 

Why is all this so difficult? Breastfeeding was crazy challenging and painful for us. I wish I was stronger or could take the pain and “get through” like other moms have. Supposedly it gets better – I felt like it was getting worse. 

I probably am just sleep deprived, emotionally drained, and fear I am not doing enough for my son. 

The struggles of a new mom are really really ridiculous sometimes. How can we be saddled with so much and be successful? Dads just don’t understand all the worry, anxiety, and work that goes into all this. 

I guess we just figure it out. I hope I do… I hope.

Nighttime life

I am now a night owl. Something I never thought I would be. I sleep maybe 4hrs tops (now this is a vast improvement to the maybe 2hrs I was getting a couple weeks ago). 

  

Pre baby: I wanted, no needed, 9+ hours of sleep. Oh how I craved it. I never felt rested. I even saw a sleep specialist. Cost way to much $$$ and basically told me nothing. 

Oh you are breathing fine. 

You are going in and out of REM as needed. 

It’s your job. The hours you work. It’s not a healthy sleep pattern. 

Take melatonin. Drink caffeine. 

After baby: So…. I ask myself. How the HECK do I get more than 3hrs in a row??? 

What do sleep specialists tell breastfeeding mothers? 

It’s not about not being able to fall asleep. It’s about staying asleep. 

Now most of all I crave consistency…. So I can get into some sort of pattern. 

Enter acid reflux: my son is now 5 weeks old. Pretty easy baby up until last week. He is, honestly, in no way a fussy baby. He’s just… Well a little bitchy now and then.  

The gas on this kid could wake anyone. His poor belly is gurgling and he has started spitting up… Which he never did. 

Poor guy is definitely not comfortable. 

  
I write this as my head bobs with my son passed out on my chest. Forgive the grammar and spelling mistakes. I can not keep my eyes open. 

Know that if I do pass out I will awake in less than an hour. Sad face.  😩

Breastfeeding Drama

  My son is now a month old. I can’t believe how fast time has gone by…. And then I feel like “how did I make it through.”

Breastfeeding for my son and I was challenging from the second day. He was aggressive and a pincher. I assumed it was a normal feeling, pain in the beginning. I mean- after all my breasts were so tender during pregnancy I didn’t want anything to even graze my nipple. I kept putting him on to establish our bond and get him the “gold.” Ahh colostrum. 

Who knew I’d be talking about all this a year ago? 

Not me that’s for sure!

My son pretty much destroyed my nipples in those first two days in the hospital. I was bleeding and in pain. But still letting him latch. Lactation consultants came and tried to help. Nothing was wrong with his latch, no tongue tie or raised pallet, just a vigorous little barracuda. 

The lactation consultants and my OB said I needed to heel, putting him back on the boob would only cause more damage to me… And potentially cause infection. Pumping began. The hospital pump was pretty serious. Everything hurt, lowest setting lowest suction. Holy crap. This was not fun. Since my milk hadn’t come in yet (typical 4 or 5 days post Partum) I was getting 5ml of colostrum. All that work and pain for a teenie bit of gold. 

Using a syringe we sucked up the drops and fed it to my son- avoiding confusion for him by going to a bottle-plus there was so small an amount a bottle would be useless. 

I felt good leaving the hospital. I had a pump at home. I was ready to get better, pump until I did, and then get him back on the boob. 

Enter: my pump. 

Now I was feeling positive. We had just gotten home, my mom was over to help, she took the babe while I went up to sit in the rocker and pump. And nothing happened. No milk, not even the tiniest bit. I was devastated. Thinking my pimp sucked, I was a terrible mom. I couldn’t even produce anything for him. The husb had come up to check on me. I was crying with the pump attached, in pain, angry, a million other emotions. 

He started researching. Talked me down. Honestly, I may have quit if he wasn’t there. He talked to me about my let down, how I should massage my breasts before pumping, warm them with water, etc. As I’m sitting there completely annoyed and not wanting to do anything, he helps me. Massaging away. 

As weird as it may sound or you may be picturing us- me sitting crying while he is massaging my sore boobs- it was what I needed. Support, someone to push me through this tough time. I mean no one talks about this stuff. How hard it is after birth. How much pain you go through- in all the areas of your body. As a new mom I needed him to be there with me. 

Success! Drops began to come. We went through this every couple hours for the next few days. Sucking up the milk with a syringe and feeding it to my son. I started producing more, but needed to supplement with formula. Something I didn’t want to have to do. I did it because it was what my son needed. 

By Thanksgiving I was pretty much healed- (about 6 days). Now the real fear came. Could I really let him latch back on? What if the same thing happened. Well I did it anyway. It wasn’t comfortable and most of the time I had to break the latch because of his pinching… We both were frustrated. I was in pain… And really worried he wasn’t eating enough. It was like he was constantly on me suckling away. 

 I called a lactation consultant on Saturday  and had a meeting for Sunday morning. They were so supportive. That’s another fear I had, judgement. Judgement from everyone. I wasn’t doing enough, I should be able to suck it up and feed my child. 

That is not what happened. The women was great. She showed me better positioning, how to get him on better. I will say this my son is always great on the breast when other people are there checking. (Oh ya…. Everyone and their mother will see your boobs… And you won’t give a shit!!). She also suggested I get a triple ointment prescribed by my OB to heal my nipples further. Done!

Perfect latch. No pinch. Always when we are being checked! Then come the evening feeds- anytime after 4pm was horrible. He’s tired, I was sore from all day feeding. Ahh. Ouch! I literally would have to pump at night to give myself a break. Also I had an overactive let down. Which caused my son to get pissed off because too much milk was coming out in the beginning. Lactation peeps said to hand express to get past that. 

Umm… Do you know how hard it is to do that? I don’t me the physical part- emotionally I did not want to waste a single drop of the liquid gold. 

After another week of our struggle we had his two week doctors visit. His weight was back to birth weight. Yay! Success. Most breast fed babies loose 10% of their body weigh after birth. 

Doctor wanted me to go full breastfeeding and stop pumping. Me wanting to be the best and do what they say I attempted this. reached out to my breast feeding group (La Leche League) and friends who knew a lot about breast feeding challenges. 

  
All was well for a couple days. Then the soreness, pain and borderline breaking of the skin returned. Dammit. I finally broke down. I was so exhausted from feeding him for hours, not sleeping, and working through pain trying to get to the point where my nipples adjusted. 

After 3 weeks I decided to pump exclusively. It is what was best for both of us. No frustration. Not flip outs in the middle of the night. He gets his bottle and is a happy little babe. 

I wanted to share this so that moms to be can see what I went through and know they are not alone if they face challenges or if it isn’t easy. Maybe they will be stronger than I was and will push through. Most of all I want whoever reads this to not feel guilty for their decisions or judged. We have to do what it best for ourselves. What is best for our baby. A stressed out mama isn’t good. 

  

Life as a New Mom

  
Lets talk about the first few days after the birth of my son. Knowing most of what to come was out of my control I didn’t focus on much of anything before hand. I planned to breast feed. I didn’t think much of it though. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I knew it would probably hurt. I mean during half my pregnancy my nipples were so tender thinking about something brushing against them caused a panic in my body. 

Right after he was born we had our skin to skin time. He was so cute and tiny! They took him for measurements, cleaned him up a bit and then back to me to try my first nursing session. It was uncomfortable and awkward. Pinched a bit. But what did I know? Nothing that’s what. I didn’t know if it was supposed to hurt or not. I just kept feeding him that first day thinking it was supposed to be painful. First time mom and all. 

The night nurse was also a lactation specialist and tried to help me with feedings. I had pinch marks, blood blister looking things. Then they started to bleed. That’s when I asked about it. They were so ravaged the lactation people called my son a barracuda. They weren’t kidding. 

It was really hard for me to accept that I was hurting because I wanted to feed my son. “Stay away from bottles for 3wks to avoid nipple confusion,” “don’t use a pacifier  either.” All things I had been told prior when discussing breast feeding. I just wanted to do the right thing. 

I had to pump that second night because of the pain. And let me tell you pumping hurt too… Because I was already so ravaged. And I was getting nothing since I was still in the colostrum phase of production. 

Going home the next day was even worse. I had to learn how to use my pump.. Different brand than the hospital. I felt positive, until I sat in my nursing chair and set myself up.  The machine hurt and nothing was happening. I was a mess. A crying mess. My mom was up for the weekend to help so she had he baby. My husband was pright next to me trying to help, doing research, talking me off whatever ledge I was on (the ledge of ok formula it is). If he wasn’t there I don’t think I could’ve done it. 

  
The amount of things I didn’t know. Let down, massaging, using warm water to stimulate the start of the milk before pumping/feeding. Over the next few days it got better. My nipples started to heal, peeled and seemed semi-normal. Pumping was easier- although I wasn’t producing enough so we had to supplement with formula. I was and still am an emotional mess. I cry often, due mostly to insane exhaustion. I miss normal sleep. I miss my life before pumping. I feel like a cow… I serve one purpose -feeding my son. And I can’t even do that well enough to satiate him. 

I love him so much. I just want to be able to give him what he needs. I know supplementing isn’t bad. And I will do whatever it takes. Drink mothers milk tea, eat oatmeal, whatever to increase my supply. Stay hydrated, eat well, etc. etc. etc.