Friday, August 10, 2018

6 Months! And my take on Breastfeeding

Savannah Marie!!!

You are 6 months old!!!! Just like everyone says, the time has absolutely flown by. You were born in the coldest of winter days, and now it is blistering hot outside, otherwise I would not possibly be able to believe that 6 whole months have gone by.

You have gone from a tiny little baby who made squeaks in her sleep, to a rolling, scootching, laughing bigger baby who will scream if she needs us.

You LOVE LOVE LOVE your daddy and all the crazy faces and sounds he makes. You love giving mommy hugs when I get home from work. You're still breastfeeding like a champ. You're eating between 10-15 ounces of breastmilk/formula mixed in occasionally while I'm gone during the days.

When you're around other babies, you do really well. You're getting better with adults too, that aren't mommy and daddy.

You usually sleep from 8:30ish at night till 8:30ish in the morning. Most of the times you're getting closer to 11 hours a night than 12, but I wouldn't be surprised if that starts getting longer. You've seemed to drop from 3 naps a day to 2 for the most part. The morning nap is still around an hour, and the afternoon nap is closer to 2 hours.

You love playing in your Fisher Price stand up piano toy and making music. We've put it in your room, so you can play while I put away your clothes.

In the living room you still like playing in your tent. Margaux and Greg handed down a Baby Einstein bouncer. You really like it, but you haven't started bouncing yet.

I swear I heard you say "Da Da" 3 times on Saturday. But I haven't heard you say it since.

We love you so much, and we are SO grateful God sent you down from heaven to be with us. You are the greatest surprise gift EVER.


First, I am SO grateful that I have been able to breastfeed Savannah for 6 months! A friend that is in her third trimester recently asked me about breastfeeding, does it come naturally? Is it easy? I think the greatest lesson I've learned through breastfeeding is that even something that comes naturally does not mean it is easy. Breastfeeding is hard. It's physically and emotionally hard. The emotional factors stem from hormones (holy hormones!!!) and the fact that our breasts aren't see-through like a bottle. We really have no idea how many ounces our babies are eating when they take straight from the breast. When doctors or friends ask, "How many ounces does Savannah eat per day?" It's really a guessing game, because although we can measure her ounces while I'm at work, we have no idea how much she is eating at 5:30-6:00 in the morning, or 5:30-6:00 at night or 8:30-9:00 at night.

For me, and this is truly a personal thing, because I know great mommas who are using formula to feed their babies (and fed is best in my book!), breastfeeding has been one of my greatest joys. My love language is physical touch. So the fact that I get to snuggle and nurture Savannah with my body is about as good as it gets.

From a physical standpoint, breastfeeding is hard. It is painful. I remember at our first pediatrician appointment, I asked him to send in the lactation nurse. I showed her my nipples covered in scabs and asked "Is this normal?" She said "yes, momma. They will go away soon." And sure enough, by the end of the week, they were gone. But that didn't mean they didn't hurt anymore. About 3-5 weeks in, I noticed an intense pain after I fed Savannah. It was shooting pain in my nipples. My mom came for Savannah's 3rd week of life, to help when Dave went back to work. I remember waking up in the guest bed, and my shirt had red all over it. At first I thought my nipples were bleeding again, but in the middle of the night, I had been in such pain that I had grabbed a frozen bag of cranberries from the freezer and slept with them up against my chest. Luckily, we had red sheets in the guest room or that would have been messy! :)

When Savannah turned 6 weeks old, I had an appointment with a lactation consultant at Saint Francis. I had some ideas of what my pain was based on googling and texting some friends. But I wanted to know for sure, and know if there was anything I could do about it. Turns out I have nipple vasospasms. There was blood flow constriction to the nipple, specifically on my right side, I believe. But eventually, I was feeling it in both breasts. The lactation consultant helped me adjust the way I was holding Savannah to help get a better latch. We want her mouth as wide open as possible when she latches on. But she also gave me some tips on keeping warm, because cold made the vasospasms worse.

I also texted our pediatrician's lactation consultant, and she gave me some tips too. One of my friends also had nipple vasospasms about 5 years ago, and her doctor prescribed a cream of essentially blood pressure medication that she rubbed on her nipples to help.

I've either gotten used to them, or once it warmed up, they have not been an issue.

I am SO grateful for the lactation consultant, because without that appointment, I would have probably stopped breastfeeding within a couple of weeks. The pain was so intense.

My favorite parts of breastfeeding - the naps afterwards. When I was home on maternity leave, sometimes I would let Savannah sleep an hour or two on my chest after her morning or afternoon nursing sessions. I don't regret that time just sitting on my booty one minute. Sometimes it was a challenge to leave chores undone or not get to those last 20 birth announcements, but I'm so so so glad I chose to just hold my little girl.

Now she is as tall as my torso and head when she stands on my lap. Sometimes I feel like I'm wrestling an alligator when nursing, cause she can roll in my arms. I still try to hold her when she is asleep after nursing, but it usually doesn't last more than 15 minutes, cause I can tell she would be more comfy in her crib. She loves spreading out in her crib.

Breastfeeding at 6 months is totally different than breastfeeding a newborn. She is SO curious about the world around her. With any little sound, she pops off the boob and looks all around. It could be dad on the phone in another room, or dad closing the front door on his way out for the morning jog, the washing machine changing cycles, my leg making a noise on the ottoman, whatever it is, she is all over it.

My Favorite Brands:

Pump - Spectra S1. I've used the Medela Pump In Style at home and the Spectra S1 at work. The Spectra is the better pump hands down. It's quieter, gentler on my nipples, extracts the same amount of milk or more. It's smaller. It has a night light. It has more adjustments to the settings. It has a timer.

Storage Bags - Lansinoh. These bags are sturdy, flexible plastic, don't smell, hold up to 6 oz of milk. The markings seem accurate with my storage bottles. Nice place to mark the date/oz and time. They can also freeze laying flat. And they stand up by themselves when fresh. I do not like the Medela bags. The plastic is not pliable, and they do not freeze flat. And to pump into them, requires an extra part.

Bottles - I like Medela bottles and Spectra bottles. Medela bottles are easier to get my hands on and cheaper to purchase. With a cheap converter piece purchased off Amazon, I can use all of my Medela bottles with my Spectra.

Hands-free Pumping Bra - Lansinoh Simple Wishes. This bra is adjustable due to some super strength velcro in the back. It lets mommas size down the bra as needed. I use the Medela also, and don't like it nearly as much. The zipper is also much wimpier than the Lansinoh. Oftentimes I'm putting the pumping bra on over my regular nursing bra, so it needs to have a lot of give and alot of strength. Lansinoh wins this one.

6 Month Picture Roll

6 Month Doctor Appointment
Coming Home from 6 Month Photo Shoot
First Foods Purchased One Day After We Got the Thumbs Up from Dr. Raley to Get Started
Fisher Price Classics
Hat Attack - The difference between feeding a 3 month old and a 6 month old. Feedings are spotted with lots of play time and exploring anything she can get her hands on from the glider in the nursery. Some of her favorites are my face, my glasses, this hat, the cushion on the chair, the wooden arms of the chair, the crocheted blanket from one of Dave's coworkers, burp rags, and as of this morning (8/10/18) the curtains
Swimming at a B&B, Party Time, Library Time with Dad and chilling at home
Teething in Full Force - but no white nubs spotted yet
I feed Savannah before I go to work, and she is usually asleep for most of it. Such a beautiful sleeping babe.
Cuddling with mommy after work
At Dr. Raley's - She loves dancing on the paper!
First Food - Avocado 7/26/2018
Playdate with Myrtle Babies...from left to right...George, Abe, Finn, Sophia, Savannah, Addy
Her legs are getting long for the chair. Sometimes she kicks the wooden arms, and other times she curls her toes around them.
She started riding in her stroller without the carseat this month. I believe her first time was 7/23/2018. She usually enjoys it more, but we miss seeing her face when walking.
She started sitting up on her own right before her 6 month appointment.
95% of the time Savannah is a really happy baby. She sleeps amazing too. Her biggest challenge is eating, but I think it's more of a mental challenge for me and daddy cause we imagined we'd have a really heavy eater. She is content and happy and makes wet and dirty diapers regularly.

You're doing great baby girl!!!!

Monday, July 9, 2018

21 Weeks (19-21 Week Photo Recap)

A Letter to Savannah...

Oh baby girl! You are getting even harder to leave in the mornings. If you flash one of your big, gummy smiles before I head out the door, it warms my heart and shatters it all at the same time, because I'd love to just stay home and play with you ALL day. But alas, someone must work and that someone is me :)

You're up to a few new tricks. You often roll 75% of the way from your back to your tummy by yourself. You do it super easily if you get to hold onto dad's finger or momma gives a slight push to your hips at just the right second.

You really enjoy being on your tummy and reading books with mommy.

When I get home from work you want me to hold you right away and for a long time. If for some reason I start to put away your milk from what I pumped that day, you get mad and start to scream till I let daddy do it and he hands you over to me, and then all is right in your world again.

Last night we went for a long walk, because it was under 90 degrees. I wore you in the Mei Tai carrier facing in, but with your legs out. You looked all around the whole 45 minutes. And for most of it you were shining me or dad your adorable smile. You love looking at your daddy when he isn't looking, and then as soon as he turns your way, your face just lights up. I call it flirting, but I think you just love him with all of your heart and you're happiest when he is smiling.

We are transitioning you from being swaddled at night to being free. Inevitably, you get one or both arms out when you're in the Halo Swaddle Sack. Last night, you made it from 9:30-5:30 in a regular sleep sack. It's my favorite one because the pattern is bears, pine trees, bicycles, bows and arrows and cute clouds on it. You woke up once at 1am and I heard you babbling to yourself. I got up and stared at the monitor for a few minutes and laid back in bed confident you would put yourself back to sleep. And you did just a few minutes later. You woke up again at 5:30, hungry. I love starting my day off cuddling you and nursing you. Feeding you is one of my greatest joys of motherhood. I love all of that quality snuggle time we get together.

Speaking of eating, you ate 15 oz yesterday from daddy while I was at work! I was gone a long time, right around 11.5 hours. And you did awesome!

I pumped right around 15 oz, so I'm still keeping up with you. But if we need to dig into the freezer stash, that is ok with me.

I love you so much, Savannah. I thank God for you all the time. Maybe the reason He had us waiting for so long was so we would appreciate you with our whole beings. It worked :)

Pictures from June 1-20...Weeks 19-21

Playdate at Emily's with Finn and Addy
Mom and Dad's date to George Strait - longest night out so far
Mom broke her toe right before the first 5k of 2018
So we cheered on Daddy together. He did great, 3rd place in his AG!
Thursday Night Concert in the Park in BA
For weeks, you would wiggle yourself so that your head was touching the side of the crib. It didn't take long at all, just in the amount of time it took me to walk from your room to mine
Story Time at the Central Library on Wednesday, June 6. Mommy was able to sneak away for an early lunch at 10. I walked there to meet you guys. You, me, Kristine, Addy, Emily and Finn
You've been sleeping with one or both arms out of your swaddle for a while. You're such a strong, wiggly little girl.
I love all of your crazy faces :)
On June 9, Mom and Dad rode 39 miles in the Tulsa Tough Piccolo. We had fun together and couldn't wait to get home to you.
Daddy, you, Mason and Margaux at Tulsa Tough Saturday night
Mimi came to visit you this week and care for you while Mommy and Daddy did their crazy ride. We made a new friend, Amela through Greg and Margaux. And we're SO glad to have met her, and her parents Lauren and Zach. She is just a couple of months older than you!
We also got to meet Ellia and see Mason again!
MiMi took us to Wild Fork before she had to fly home.
Another Thursday night concert in BA! Your first time outside the house with shoes on.
Mommy LOVES your baby snuggles, especially when you fall asleep on me.
Transitioning to the sleep sack. Slowly, but surely.
Bouncing Beethovens with Daddy
You found your feet and love holding them.
We love you Savannah Marie!