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Milk-Soy Protein Intolerance and Breastfeeding

When I was in middle school, my way of rebelling my parents divorce and my father’s new girlfriend was to become a vegetarian and make everyone’s lives difficult, because I’m a badass like that. For ten years I subsisted on mostly cheese, yogurt, ice cream and variations of these. My favorite romantic memory of  my husband is of a Valentine’s Day when I was in college and he was working night shift. We both came home super late on Tuesday’s and had dinner together, and when i came home that day, the Mechanic had gone to Coldstone early that morning and bought a gallon of my favorite mix to enjoy with homemade whipped cream and tons of sprinkles as dinner. (It’s romantic because he HATES sweets and we’re pretty sure he’s lactose intolerant..) I can be bribed to do almost anything with ice cream, and I have a habit of dipping entire bites of pasta into grated cheese.

So you can imagine that when Ryan was diagnosed with a Milk-Soy Protein Intolerance, I was pretty bummed. Two weeks into having a little baby, Ryan started getting super cranky. At this point, I figured that he was out of his super sleepy, quiet newborn phase, so I brushed it off. He was finally gaining weight, and as a first time mom with little-to-no baby experience, I was unsure that his screaming was anything other than normal.

But his poops never got yellow, and stayed bright green. He started spitting up literal handfuls of milk that I would catch in an effort to keep the mess in on spot. His screaming jaunts continued, and his diapers started to get stringy and mucus-y. It wasn’t until blood started that I Googled and came to a conclusion – this kid had an allergy.

I started with just cutting out milk, and then quickly realized that soy was a problem too, so I cut that out too. Very quickly, he stopped screaming and spitting up, and by his 1 month appointment his diapers were clear. At that same appointment, the doctor confirmed my suspicion.

My choices were stop breastfeeding, which was going extremely well, and go on a milk/soy free formula, or keep breastfeeding and continue on a dairy and soy free diet. I chose to keep breastfeeding, which I am glad I did. (Though I miss ice cream and cheese and eating out with no complications!!) Knowing my child is getting the best I can give him is worth the inconvenience.

I asked Ryan’s pediatrician at his 4 month appointment when we can start trials – eating some soy or dairy and waiting it out. When you look online, you find everything from 3 months to 18 months. Our doctor told us 1 year. According to him, if we wait out the whole year, avoiding contact with soy and dairy, the chances that he has a long-lasting allergy are greatly reduced.

So that’s that! I’ve got at least 8 more months on this diet. I’ve definitely found some work arounds with this diet that I’m planning on sharing. If you have any tips or tricks, please leave them in the comments!

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5 Unexpected New Mom Needs

When I was pregnant, I poured over lists of what a new mom would need. I was afraid of the unexpected- what would I be like postpartum? What would I need? As I’ve said multiple times on this blog, before Ryan was born I’d never even changed a diaper. I’d never had surgery or a major medical problem that needed recuperation other than wisdom teeth removal. Because of this I relied on my old friend Google to help me out.

Most of these lists were the same : giant pads, breast pads, pre-made meals, nursing camis, huge undies. While I drank in all the information I could, I still felt like I was missing things. Was it really possible that all these post-partum women wanted was some loose PJ bottoms and a boppy?

The answer for all of those women who wrote all of those lists may in fact be “yes,” but for me, it simply wasn’t the case. In fact, there were a bunch of things that I didn’t expect or anticipate needing or being extremely thankful to have after Ryan was born. So, all you ladies dying for just a bit more information o what to expect post partum, here you go. My list of Unexpected New Mom Essentials.

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1. A big ol’ cup with a lid and a straw. I got this cup at Target while still pregnant and although everyone made fun of me for carrying around this huge 32 ounce cup, I was so thankful to have it. The first few days (uhh.. weeks?) getting out of bed/off the couch sucks. Either because you’re exhausted, or it hurts each time you sit up, (hello tears..) you’re feeding the baby or the baby FINALLY fell asleep on you, you don’t want to get up. You’re also dying of thirst. All.the.time. So a big cup that can hold a lot of water that is less likely to spill on your sleeping cherubs head with each sip is a godsend. I can also say that there were many times that my loving husband put the straw up to my mouth while I was feeding the baby and afraid to move and ruin the latch..

2. Netflix. If there is one thing I can say you should invest in for your postpartum days, it’s a subscription to Netflix. In fact, I suggest getting it the month before you give birth, when your home a lot more and bored. Being pregnant and subsequently a new mom, you will quickly realize that daytime TV is terrible. I mean terrible. Do yourself a favor and get Netflix to keep yourself entertained while nursing your baby home alone mid-day.

3. Single serving quick food. Yes, frozen meals are nice. Really, they are. But most of the time, I was home by myself while my husband was at work in the first few weeks, and a whole lasagna for one person was a bit of overkill. Thankfully I thought ahead (this never happens..) and made and froze individual bean and cheese burritos, soup, and fried rice that I could quickly heat up while the baby was asleep. I also had a stockpile of peanut butter, microwaveable oatmeal packets, and trail mixes. Things I could eat quickly and with one hand if needed were a lifesaver.

4. Lightweight shelf camis and zip up hoodies. While I bought a few nursing bras prebaby, sometimes they were a pain in the ass to undo and keep out of baby’s face while we were both learning the ropes of breastfeeding. Also, when my milk came in and it felt like I had huge, hot lava rocks on my chest, these camis were awesome. I could easily pull a strap down and leave it down to feed, and pull back up to cover when the FedEx guy came.

Junior's Cami with Shelf Bra

Zip up hoodies are also absolutely necessary. Even though Ryan was born in summer, we cranked up the AC for fear of heat related SIDs. Pulling up my shirt every five minutes to feed left me freezing, so it was (and still is!) nice to throw on a hoodie to keep warm while feeding. Later cardigans would be a more stylish option for the same problem while out and about.

5. Nook. My last thing that kept me sane the first few weeks was my Nook. I read books on it to keep myself awake during late night feedings. I propped it up on a counter to read while rocking him to sleep. I have a Nook from 2011 that I can surf the internet, read books and magazines, and watch Netflix, and it was perfect for my postpartum needs. I love to read, but it would have been nearly impossible to read a traditional book and turn pages/actually hold the book while doing baby things. Being able to turn a page with one finger and buy a new book at any moment was great.  I still prop it up and read in the middle of the night when Ryan’s particularly fussy.

So there you have it. My top five unexpected things I couldn’t have lived without the first few weeks as a mom.

Moms- What did you find to unexpectedly need in the first few weeks?

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Ryan’s Birth Story

No exaggerations, I have written this four times and all four have been deleted somehow. So here it goes, for the fifth time, Ryan’s birth story:

In order to tell you this accurately, I feel the need to explain the days leading up to May 26, 2014.

Friday, May 23 : I have what would be my final OB appointment. I’m nervous since for the past week I’ve been having consistent Braxton Hicks contractions – 5 minutes (or less) apart, lasting a minute, (or more) and going on for hours upon hours. When we arrive I’m quickly sent to the hospital for monitoring because I’ve gained 6 pounds and my blood pressure is crazy high.
The hospital is crazy busy – we wait in the waiting room for about an hour before being let into a room. I’m nervous but calm all at once. Turns out the nerves were for nothing – Blood pressure went way down, and I’m only 3 centimeters. We’re told that I am in fact having contractions about 5-7 minutes apart and am told that the baby could come this weekend or in the next two weeks. Alex takes me home, he goes to work, and I sit on a yoga ball all night.

Saturday, May 24: I have cramping and spotting on an off all day but decide that it’s from being checked yesterday. Yoga ball, pineapple, nipple stimulation.. I do it all. I’m over being pregnant and I’m over having contractions for 2 weeks straight.

Sunday, May 25: I loose my mucus plug at 3 am in the morning and have some good cramps. I’m having more Braxton Hicks, and I start timing them – every 5 minutes, lasting a minute. Not painful, just uncomfortable. During the day we end up walking 4 miles and I spend the rest of my time on my yoga ball. We go out to dinner and they get further apart and irregular. 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 7 minutes… I sit on the yoga ball and we decide to go to bed when it seems nothing is going to happen.

Monday, May 26: I’m awake at 4 am with low, warm back pain that feels like I have my period. I’m uncomfortable, and know I won’t be going back to sleep for a while, so I go downstairs. As I’m making myself a PB&J – don’t judge me. It’s quiet, quick and delicious – I have my first contraction. Not painful but not comfortable. It lasts about 30 seconds, and I start timing. They start out 9 minutes apart and by 7 they’re 5 minutes apart consistently. I go upstairs to wake up Alex and tell him I think today is the day.
I hint to Alex that we should go to my favorite bagel place as just in case fuel and he takes the bait, so off we go. We go for a walk after and call my doctor, who tells me to come in when I can’t talk and when all I can think about is drugs. I am hoping for a natural birth, but I tell her okay, and we go inside to watch Breaking Bad, shower, and hang out on my yoga ball. At this point I’m timing my contractions and they seem to be getting further apart, more irregular (same as last night – a few super close, then nothing for 10 minutes, then a few 5 minutes apart) It’s stressing me out so I stop timing them, which makes them more regular and closer. I tell Alex I need to get out of the house so I can stop thinking about it. What will be will be.
We decide to go to Princeton for Chipotle and our favorite ice cream. It’s an hour away from the house and a half hour from the hospital. We walk around the town and enjoy ourselves. I’m still having mild contractions, but now I’m questioning if they’re Braxton Hicks or real contractions. In the car home I cry to Alex. I feel like a total crazy person. Am I in false labor and just creating it all in my mind? I’m generally a pretty bad hypochondriac, so I’m worried that this is it. Alex calms me down, and assures me that this baby WILL eventually come out, just maybe not today.

I must put in a sidebar here – we were on a weird schedule for when this baby “could” come. We knew he would come when he was ready, but at the Mechanic’s job requires him to take vacation days one week at a time, starting on Mondays. He can use sick time, but with the million and seven snow days we had this year, he used most of them to ensure he’d get paid during them. At this point he had 2 days of sick time left, so if I went into labor after he left for work (1 pm) on Monday through Thursday, we were mildly screwed. So I was definitely feeling pressure to have the baby on the one Monday he had completely off since it was a holiday.

Anyway, we get home and rest, planning on a late dinner out, and I’m once again on the ball while we watch some TV. All of a sudden I feel what I can only explain as the baby giving me a HUGE kick and – poof! my water breaks all over the yoga ball. I tell Alex that my water broke, I stand up and start bawling. I honestly just felt such a rush of emotions, I couldn’t handle it. I told Alex that, “it feels so gross!” but that was just a bit of what I was feeling. It didn’t hurt (yet) but I just felt such a rush of relief – it wasn’t in my head! – and also excitement that this was finally REALLY happening. I change and use the bathroom (I told Alex that I kind of felt like going number 2, but wasn’t sure if I was allowed since my water broke and I was afraid of infection. Alex sets up the car with a garbage bag and towel on top (I HIGHLY recommend keeping this in your car the last few weeks along with your bag. Never know when it’s going to happen.) and we’re off. I still feel pretty good at this point, and we’re a half hour away from the hospital.
About ten minutes into the drive I’m feeling contractions and man, they are no joke. Half way there we joke about having to give birth on the side of the NJ Turnpike. When we pull into the parking garage I tell Alex that I’m sorry. I can’t do a natural birth. This is worse than I anticipated.
The hospital has the option of valeting, but I tell Alex to park as far as possible. My biggest fear is being sent home, so I want to walk as much as possible to help it progress. I stop in the middle of the parking garage since I refused to take the elevator much to my husband’s dismay. we get to check in and they take their sweeett time. I cant blame them first-time mom, water broke, and I was pretty quite as I don’t like making a scene. It seems they ask a million questions before they give us wrist bands and tell us to sit in the waiting room. Thankfully its an empty hospital, because with each contraction I dance a weird jig to stave off crying/puking/grunting.
Our nurse comes to take us back to our room and she’s chatting us up non stop. We get to the room, and while I’m doing my contraction dance and pacing she asks if I’m okay. “Yeah, I’m just in a lot of pain..” I tell her. She says we’re going to check to make sure it was m water that broke (it was) and then calls my doctor. Does she want to come and check me, or should the nurse? My doctor was in her quarters or whatever, so the nurse checks me while she gets ready and heads over. This is where I’m nervous – please let me be far enough along that I don’t get sent home. Please. She goes in to check, and she makes a funny face. “Let me just check to make sure this is right,” she says. Oh dear god, I went DOWN in centimeters. Alex says she looks absolutely stunned. She picks up the phone to call me doctor. “She’s nine and a half centimeters.”
What seems like immediately, eight nurses come into my room. There’s no time for anesthesia, which I’m happy about – I’m getting my natural birth, whether or not intentional. A nurse gives me a shot in the thigh, no time for an IV, and my doctor gives me some shots of lidocaine down there. I start pushing. Ryan is out in four contractions. My water broke at 6, and an hour and a half later I had my son. There were so many different variables that could have made this birth happen on the side of the road, or in a waiting room, or at my house, but thankfully none of these happened.

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So that’s how Ryan was born. I had two tears and I don’t know how many stitches. No desire to ever know, haha. But regardless, I got the best little boy I could have asked for, I became a mother, and my life changed forever.

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I’m back! And with a baby!

I’m baaaaaaack! Things got a little crazy over here.. uhm, I had a baby! AND we bought a house! Between getting used to a baby, packing, moving, getting used to a new town, a new house.. this blog has fallen to the wayside, and I’m sorry! But here I am and I’m ready to get into it with you guys!

So here he is, my little baby boy, Ryan Richard.

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Born on Memorial Day, May, 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm, he’s the love of my life.

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He came to us at 6 lbs, 4 oz, 21.25 inches long and a head full of hair.

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I’ll be back soon with my birth story, the house story, how we’ve all been coping and so much more soon!

-Morgan

PS. Cooper is loving on his little brother just as much as his mommy and daddy are.

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Aside
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Who else is loving this spring weather? (sorry to all of you not enjoying the weather I am!) Even though the pollen is crazy around here and I can’t take any allergy pills except for Benadryl (great for 3 hour naps with the pup…) I am so happy to have some warmth and sunshine in my life. On this gorgeous Friday , let’s take a look at the things I’m liking this week!

Favorite Freezer Friendly: These Soft Baked Banana Cookies look SO good, and, as the author points outs, would be great to freeze and snack on while breastfeeding/in between meals once the baby comes. Now if I could just get this oven fixed…

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Favorite Parenting Win: Any Harry Potter fan will agree that this is the most awesome ever. Even though the Mechanic is not necessarily an HP fan, this baby sure will be, just like his momma.

Grounding done right

Favorite for One: I’m not a huge fan of pancakes, but when the craving hits I want them then and there. I made this pancake for one the other day and oh. my goodness. Delicious. I made banana chocolate chip, but the options are endless! I also suggest making this into 2 pancakes, easier to flip!

Single Lady Pancake

Favorite TV Find: Being on maternity leave has made Netflix and I BFF’s. I found the Canadian show Lost Girl via some random suggestions. If you like Grimm, Supernatural, or any other kind of otherworld within the human world shows, check this out! SO GOOD.

Favorite Mommy Advice: I read this article shortly after writing my post about being told the good parts of parenting, and it really hit me. I love this honest post, 10 Things They Won’t Tell You, but I Will by Scary Mommy.

Favorite How I’m Feeling: My brain no longer works. Baby has taken over. See ya.

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Favorite Baked Good: This Lemon Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze looks AMAZING. I’ve mastered the skill f baking banana bread without an oven(how to coming soon!!) and I wonder if this pound cake will work with that method?

Lemon Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

 

Although Friday no longer has the same meaning to me being on Maternity Leave, it does mean I’m one more week closer to meeting baby boy! So what links have you been loving this week?

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10 Things Tuesday: Happiness on an Icky Day

I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday again? Time is so messed up these days being pregnant – on one hand, it’s flying. How on EARTH am I already almost 35 weeks pregnant? On the other hand, it’s dragggginnnggg – Is it seriously still April?

My internet’s been really weird the past week, but I think it’s all handled now. And not a moment too late as today is such a gross day – overcast, cold, windy, and spitting. Days like this, I need a real pick me up, which bring us to this weeks 10 Things Tuesday:

10 Things That Make Me Happy on an Icky Day

1. Watching quirky TV shows:  New Girl, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, etc. Usually a quick 30 minute episode of any of these shows will do the trick, but sometimes you just need a marathon. Usually the ickiness of the day correlates exponentially to the length of the marathon.

2. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Something about the combo of bread, sauce, and cheese always puts me in a good mood. Order it to be delivered, and life is that much better. I apologize in advance to all of you who live where the only pizza options Domino’s or Pizza Hut. As much as I ache to live down south, I don’t know how to live without good, buy by the slice pizza.

3. DIY it up lady. I love arts and crafts. They are my all time favorite. When it’s icky out, I feel like I’ve gotten a free pass from the world to work on my 846,250 projects that I’m working on at any moment. (just make sure to separate the DIYing and the pizza. Trust me on this one.)

4. Catch up on your shows. Do you have an shows that you watch in bursts? Watching them weekly sounds like a lot of work/commitment, but sometimes you go a watch the 5 episodes that you missed all at once. Icky days are the best for this. I’m looking at you, Grimm and Nashville.

5. Make a big pot of soup and a large batch of cookies. What better time that an icky day to sit and cook a huge pot of soup? You have the time let it sit and do it’s thing, and at the end you have comforting bowl of deliciousness. Plus, after you put the left overs in containers and either you have lunch/dinner for the week or emergency freezer soup. While you’re at it, make cookies. Because cookies are delicious. Use that recipe that makes  4 dozen, and freeze the portioned dough, so you have an emergency cookie stash as well. You’re welcome.

6. Go online window shopping. Please, please, please tell me I’m not the only one who does this? Go to your favorite shopping website, and go shopping. Add things to your cart. Rack up a big ol’ bill. Then see the subtotal and laugh. For some reason, I find this fun and entertaining. If the website has a ‘wishlist’ option, that works as well, though no as fun.

7. Clean. Okay, depending on the day, this is a bad option. But sometimes, I feel the need to go on a cleaning binge. I clean out closets and drawers and fill up bags of crap to throw out. I do a billion loads of laundry or move all the furniture to sweep under it. And man, when I lay down later (maybe after eating a bowl of soup and more cookies than I care to admit) and I smell how clean everything is, damn it feels good.

8. Call someone I haven’t talked to in a while. I’m the queen of texting and emailing. I HATE talking on the phone. But sometimes on an icky day, I’ll call one of the people who love to talk on the phone and chat for an hour or so. Usually at the end I wonder why I don’t do it more, and everyone’s happy. Then I don’t call again until the next monsoon. Love ya, Dad!

9. Read a non-sense book or magazine. Often, when I’m reading I feel like I have to read something fulfilling, that will enlighten me, or expand my knowledge. Icky day = reading trashy magazines and romance novels.

10. Cuddle or take a nap. If it’s a Sunday (the Mechanic’s only day off) and an icky day, I’ll try to convince him to sneak upstairs and spend the day cuddled up and comfy. Keep the PJ’s on, turn on a good movie or show, and just do nothing. When was the last time you did nothing? A long time ago, I’m sure, if you’re anything like me.

 

So what do you do when it’s really icky out? Let me know in the comments!

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10 Things Tuesday : 10 things that freak me out about having a baby

I’m the Queen of lists. Ask my husband – I have about five going at once at any given moment. To-do lists, shopping lists, bucket lists, things I want lists, baby lists, calendar lists.. the list of lists never ends. That’s why I wanted to start a weekly list – a place to list my favorites, my fears, my thoughts – whatever this crazy brain thinks of. So I give you : 10 Things Tuesday!

This week I’m highlighting the things that make me nervous about having a baby. Not the normal, “will I be an okay mom?” “how much will labor hurt?” “will the baby be healthy?” (I do worry about these things, fyi though.) No, the weirdo things that only I would worry about. So I present to you,  things that freak me out about having a baby:

1. I’ve never changed a diaper. And I’m skeeved really easily. I’m sure I can handle the actual process of changing a diaper, but the poop part? yeahhhh….

2. I’ll get annoyed if someone wants to even look at my baby. I’m very territorial. And selfish. I know right now I’m not going to want to hand over my baby so someone else can gush over him. I’m sorry, you want to cuddle the little munchkin I just went through 9 months of pregnancy to hang out with? Think again. When people tell me now about how they’ll take the baby overnight, I’m like, oh, will you now? I have problems.

3. I’ll drop him. Or something similar. I’ve also never been a baby sitter. There are no small children in my family. I have no friends with babies. Before a few months ago, (when I was literally FORCED to hold a coworkers newborn- thanks guys.) I hadn’t held a baby since my cousin was born. My cousin is now graduating high school this June. The whole supporting the head, very fragile thing seems like a lot of responsibility..

4. I’ll take too long to get the bod back. One day I’ll tell you guys all about how I lost 50 pounds a few years ago after always thinking I was just a bigger boned curvy chick. Gaining this weight has been fun, (hey there cookie dough ice cream!) and also emotional. Although I know it takes a while to get back to where you were body wise, I’m afraid I won’t cut myself enough slack with it.

6. I’ll need a c-section. Right now, little dude’s reeeeall comfy in the transverse position. I am extremely uncomfortable all moments of the day. Since I’m just about 34 weeks, I’m going in Friday for an ultrasound to see if there’s any reason he isn’t turned yet. Obviously I’m hoping he turns head down ASAP, but from what my Dr. said, it doesn’t look too promising. And if he doesn’t turn, c-section it is. I am terrified of needles and hospitals and surgery – the biggest surgery I’ve ever had was getting all 4 wisdom teeth out at once, but that’s it.

7. He’ll like the hubs more. I’m pretty sure the Mechanic was always cool. I, on the other hand, was not. I’m pretty sure this baby will like my husband more than he likes me, if only because he’s genuinely cooler and will let the baby do whatever his little heart pleases. (for example, I’ve already had to bargain when this kid is allowed to get his first dirt bike. Sorry babe, you can not put my 5 year old son on a dirt bike.) It’s just not fair.

8. I won’t think he’s cute. I have a confession to make: I don’t think babies are cute. In fact, about a month before I found out I was pregnant, I distinctly remember talking to my friend at work when someone brought their baby in about how much we didn’t like/care about babies, but the second a dog came in the office it was game over. I just don’t think babies are cute. But what if I don’t think mine is cute? Won’t I go to hell or something?

9. I’ll be delisional about how cute he is. Only thing worse than an ugly baby is a parent that thinks their ugly baby is the cutest baby ever. I don’t want the be the mom that gushes about how cute my wittle bity baby is when it’s really a beast. God, I really AM going to hell..

10. Nothing will ever be the same. I know this one is fact. And I’m actually okay with that. Nothing will be the same because I will have the most precious, poopy, potentially ugly little man I could ever imagine, and I am so okay with that.

 

So what were you afraid of when you were expecting, or before you were pregnant? Let me know in the comments!