Saturday, December 8, 2012

i hate pumping

Everyone always asks, "Are you nursing?" One, like it's any of their business, and two, how do I answer that? I hate it when I'm at the doctors and they ask if I am breast or bottle-feeding. Uh, yes. More than one person has even had the audacity to ask why I chose to pump exclusively. Exclusively pumping was not something I decided on or ever thought I would have to do. It is double the work of breastfeeding or formula feeding and is not natural. I had four consults at the Breastfeeding Center, saw 5 different lactation consultants (both inpatient and outpatient), a pediatrician, a nurse practioner, an ENT, and had my mother and mother in law to help me. It was my sole mission for the first 5 weeks to get my son to breastfeed and I had no success. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but I wanted him to have my milk and that was the only option.

It seems to come fairly naturally to everyone else I know. Perhaps difficult at first but at least there is success for those that want to breastfeed. Not only do I have to pump but I have to maintain my supply. It doesn't matter if I get enough at one session to feed him twice, I still have to pump every time he eats to maintain my supply. So in the middle of the night, I have to warm up a bottle and feed the baby and then go pump. Yay. And I have to wash bottles. It is so important to me for him to have my milk yet I feel like pumping interferes with my time with him and bonding. At least once or twice a day, I have to sit on the floor, attached to the pump, with the baby in the bouncy seat while I bottle feed him. How instinctual is that?

I hate pumping.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Month Two

Month Two

Weigh 11lbs 2oz and are 23.2 inches long
Try and hold your head up often
Are much more awake and active
Prefer to be upright
Will now sleep in your bouncy seat, swing, car seat or someone's arms
Wear size 1 diapers but have size 2's for longer periods of time because you keep pooping up your back
Wear 3 month clothes but are getting too long for your sleepers and all your pants are really short
Eyes appear to be turning brown around the middle
Know your mommy and will track my face and voice
Don't like tummy time but love being cozied up on someone's chest (especially Dad's)
Love the movement of riding in the car
Captured your first smiles on camera
Slept through Thanksgiving dinner at Grammy T's and cried through dessert at Ya-Ya's

 6 weeks old and first photo shoot with Laurie

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Month One

The first month:

One month checkup you weighed 8lbs 13oz and were 21.6in long
Will NOT sleep on your back or anywhere else but in someone's arms
Eyes are still gray and your hair is very light (almost like Maggie's)
Cranky every night and cry from 8-11 like clockwork
Spent the night at Grammy T's and Grandpa's house for the first time
dressed as a cow for Halloween
Not tongued tied, we had you checked
Eat every three hours around the clock
Spent an entire day with Ya-Ya when mommy was sick
Wear newborn onesies and 0-3 month sleepers
Love being in the sling
Go on 2-3 mile walks with Ya-Ya, Papa and Zoey when the weather is nice
Bought a swing and you love it
ultrasound of your belly was fine
Went to the Harley Diner for the first time

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

part two

I told Joe to drive slowly to the hospital because I didn't want to be there too early and regret being cooped up. He wanted to drop me off at the entrance but I made him park to take longer and I think he parked as far away as possible (I'd like to think on purpose but it wasn't)! Once we got to the unit, things moved quickly. My nurse Jen, admitted me and started my IV and Dumb Blonde Resident (as I affectionately named her later) came in and checked me. She said I was maybe 3cm and 50% effaced. Well, that was interesting; I guess I can labor in reverse. Not more than 5 minutes later, Dr. K came in and we talked about when was a good time to get a epidural, checked me herself and said I was 5cm, broke my water, and said anytime after now would be good to get the epidural. I nodded my head in agreement and before I knew it the CNA was setting up. (Joe had to leave and went to call my parents) I was a terrible patient. At this point, I lost it. It wasn't the pain but all the anxiety. I was sitting on the edge of the bed, trying to push out my back with my head on the nurse's shoulder and there were tears, snot, heaving, and lots of wailing. Every time the CNA touched me, I moved. He kept trying to redirect me and was getting agitated with me but he got it in and I didn't even realize it; he was that good.

The epidural worked right away and I calmed down (coincidence? I think not). My parents showed up and Dumb Blonde Resident came in to check me again and I was at "maybe 6 and 90%" around 3pm. I though the epidural was so funny because my legs felt like tingling tree trunks and they didn't feel like my own body when I touched them. I could move and lift them and turn myself but it was the weirdest feeling! I think we all took a nap around dinner time and the staff changed shifts. So Dr. Mendise came in and I was 9cm. Wohoo! Many different residents came in and out after this and 2 of them even tried to do the same exam on me until I got fed up. Luckily Dumb Blonde was gone but she had left me in a mood towards residents. They were trying to find what position the baby was in and no one could figure it out.

At 8pm I started pushing. I kicked my dad out of the room and my mom and Joe each took a leg. Joe would count and my mom would say encouraging things. I pushed for what felt like forever. My nurse, Chantal, suggested trying to wait longer and not push but it felt like I couldn't help it. It wasn't painful but it was like I was supposed to be pushing and if I didn't then it hurt. So I kept on pushing...for 3 hours! I had a few nervous breakdowns scattered through here too. I cried a lot. Everyone said I was making progress and was pushing effectively but the baby's head was stuck and they could tell he was trying to turn himself around.  Oh he turned alright, and in the wrong direction.

I got really excited when Dr. M came in, got gowned up and they started taking apart the bed, uncovering the delivery set up and turning on the baby warmer.  I think I started crying and said something like, "I'm so happy to see you!" because I knew things were close if the doc and resident were in the room. I had no idea how close we were though. It seemed like 1 or 2 more pushes and I saw Dr. M holding what appeared to be a big baby and Joe was cutting the cord.

Turns out, he presented with the side of his head first and then rotated to a face up position. This meant that the largest part of his head would be coming out first. No one seemed to know this until he crowned and he was looking straight up at everyone. This lead to a 4th degree laceration and lots of back pain for me and a baby with a very lopsided and smushy (and probably painful) head. They laid him on my chest and the baby cried and I cried and we all cried. The nurse wanted to weigh and assess him but I said I wasn't giving up the baby until everyone was done "down there". When he did get weighed, I couldn't believe he was 7lbs 12oz and 21in long. That's a average baby! I thought for sure I would have a peanut because I didn't gain a lot of weight and up until like 36 weeks, I just went up a size in all my shirts.

All in all, it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The epidural was amazing and work magnificently. Although I did declare right after delivery that we were never doing this again and getting separate beds a la I Love Lucy. Dr. M laughed and said he would see me again in 2 years.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

so that I may praise him more fully

Our Birth Story

At my 39 week appointment, Dr. K checked me and emphatically proclaimed that the baby would be here within a week. She was sure of it. She said to make an 40 week appointment but I wouldn't be keeping it. All week long, every time I scratched my nose or stopped and paused, Joe would give himself whiplash and ask if I was in labor. Nothing happened; and actually my Braxton Hicks calmed down if anything. So off we go to my 40 week appointment, which was the day before my due date and I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced and Dr. K stripped my membranes. She made another declaration that the baby WOULD be born within 48 hours. She told me she was on call tonight and she looked forward to admitting to the hospital. Haha! I went home to lay on the couch cramping, bleeding, and in pain but no real contractions.

Until 11:30pm when Joe and I went to bed. I laid there for about an hour and noticed they were just shy of 20 minutes apart. I was too excited to sleep so I got up and sat in the recliner in the nursery and read 300 pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Joe woke up at 5am and noticed I wasn't in bed. I told him to go back to bed, I was about 8 minutes apart and only had 50 pages left to read of my book. Then I would shower and wake him up. He did not like this answer and insisted that I shower now but agreed to go back to bed until I was out and I would wake him up again. I showered and went back to reading when Joe woke up again and rolled his eyes and got ready to go himself; he was so nervous and wouldn't not go back to bed! We both went downstairs and laid on the couch until about 9:30am. I was contracting every 6 minutes since about 6am and they weren't getting any closer together but they were getting stronger. It was getting to the point of not being able to sit still through them and I couldn't really focus on anything else. Joe would rub my back or give counter pressure every time and encouraged me. We decided to call Paragon and ask what we should do.

The nurse said since I was a first timer and I lived so close to the office that we should just go in there and be examined. Dr. M would see us at 10am. He was very confused about why we were there but agreed to check me and halfheartedly determined I was 3 maybe 4cm and 90% effaced. He said he would call Dr. K at the hospital but didn't see a reason to not admit me; I was in labor! Dr. K agreed to directly admit me to the L&D unit so we went home, let Zoey out one more time and were off to the hospital.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


"Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means that you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate."
--Rick Warren
“We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. Our goal is simple: to provide great food, genuine hospitality and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
--Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A executive vice president of marketing

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

a five year old's favorite songs

Things I've learned in the past 2 weeks:

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.
-One Thing Remains, Passion Band
You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of us.
-Beautiful Things, Gungor
Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always.
-Always, Kristian Stanfill

Thursday, July 5, 2012

these are the things I know

My heart has been so heavy as of late. Brokenness, evil, and pain seem to be all around and I'm grieved by loss and sadness.

I know God is good in all situations.
I know that it is not our circumstances that make God good.
I know that grace does not depend on suffering.
I know that you will find grace in suffering though.
I know that life is not fair.
I know that my life is good.
I know I do not deserve any of the good things in my life.
I know I am to give thanks in all circumstances and situations.
I know that anything less than gratitude and trust is disbelief and practical atheism.
I know the river of joy flows down even to the lowest places.
I know that in thanksgiving, I will find joy.
And I know that joy is always possible.

When there is so much garbage piled up around me, I wonder why I get to live in the clean, green grass. I am elbow deep in crap and digging holes trying to bring light to those around me. And with every piece of trash, I have to give thanks for the gifts of grace and mercy. I want to be this person : "The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world." -Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

that's why I pray

These demons from my past haunt me every night
And I just can’t get through it.
If I could forget them on my own, I’ll let go and just move on
But heaven knows I am only human.

I’m begging for forgiveness, I wanna make a difference
Even in the smallest way.
I’m only one person, but I can feel it working.
I believe in better days
That’s why I pray.
--Big and Rich

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
--Galatians 6:2

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
--Nehemiah 1:4

Adria and Caden now rest in the arm's of an ever-loving God and play at the feet of Jesus. Please strengthen the bond between Brinna and Matt and draw them to the comfort and peace found only in knowing Jesus. Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2012

to the ends of the earth

Love unfailing
Overtaking my heart
You take me in
Finding peace again
Fear is lost
In all you are

And I would give the world to tell Your story
Cause I know that You've called me
I know that You've called me
I've lost myself for good within Your promise
I won't hide it


Monday, April 30, 2012

Old Wives' Predictions

The Carry
Low and front =Boy
High and wide =Girl
(So I've been told anyways. I'm widening rather than protruding)

Heart Rate
Under or in the 140's =Boy
Over 150 =Girl
(This one is tricky. We have heard the heart beat three times. Once was at 150, another at 156, and another at 144. Totally not helpful!)

Salty, Protein =Boy
Sweet, Carbs =Girl

Body/Facial Changes
Dry hands, cold feet, looking more beautiful while pregnant =Boy
Acne, beauty disappearing =Girl
(Again, I've been told my face is changing. Not sure how to take that...)

Dad's Weight
Gain =Girl
No Gain =Boy

Wedding Ring on Necklace
Circling =Boy
Back and forth =Girl

Chinese Gender Predictor Chart
Uses mother's age and month at conception =Boy

Smelly =Boy
Not smelly =Girl

Family Birth Order
Mother is first born, then her mother's second child's gender =Boy
But the Father is last born, and his mother's oldest child =Girl
(Not sure who wins this one but I'll guess me since I'm the mom, right?)

Aggression at Conception
The opposite gender of who initiated "that night" = ??
(Oh dear.)

Smile and happy =Boy

Super moody =Girl
(So I think, anyways!)

The opposite of the dream is true =Girl
(Oddly enough, I've only had one dream and it was a boy!)

Left side =Boy
Right side =Girl
(I always sleep on my right if I'm sleeping on a side at all)

Larger Breast
Right =Boy
Left =Girl
(TMI, sorry)

Morning Sickness
Not as much =Boy
Plenty =Girl
(I feel it certainly fell into the "way too often" category but who is to judge?)

Tally it Up (Not including Heart Rate even though I feel it is most important and the biggest determiner)
Boy = 7/12
Girl = 6/12

71% of mother's guess correctly

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Christ Alone

The value of this life I’ve lived
How did I love, did I forgive
Where did my treasure truly lay
How did I start and end each day

Don’t measure me by battles won
Or some good deed that I have done
By Christ alone will I be found
Worthy of that golden crown
Worthy of that golden crown

May be a pauper or a king
Have nothing or have everything
The question begs, do you belong
Do you sing a resurrection song

Measured by the Master’s hand
On only one truth can we stand
By Christ alone will we be found
Worthy of that golden crown

--Eden's Edge, their song "Christ Alone" dedicated to the students of Chardon High School can be viewed The song's video

Monday, April 16, 2012

March 2nd and 15th, 2011

Well, little burrito, we were supposed to hear your heart beat for the first time. I haven't been feeling so well so to top that off with all the nervousness of going to the doctor's...I was NOT in a pleasant mood. The doctor was very sweet and made me feel very comfortable but it took her a few seconds to find your little heart beating on the doppler. Now, I like to think I have pretty good ears, especially for little tiny hearts but I could not hear it like she did. Daddy said he did and tried to tap it out on my shoulder for me, but I think he was confused. The doctor kept running into my heart beat and having to find yours again! I was so sad, I knew you were safe inside of me but I didn't get to hear for myself! We were asked to come back in 2 weeks to try and hear it again. That time, your little heart was strong and loud! I heard it and it made my own heart beat with joy. Both times, the doctor calculated your heart beat around 150, and the second time, I did too. I wish I knew whether you are a boy or a girl! I want to think of you and talk about you and pray for you as a "she" or 'he". A few more weeks and then we'll know and be able to give you a name as well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

forever reign

You are good, And there's nothing good in me

You are love, On display for all to see

You are light, When the darkness closes in

You are hope, You've covered all my sin

You are peace, When my fear is crippling

You are truth, Even in my wandering

You are joy, You're the reason that I sing

You are life, In You death has lost it's sting

You are more, Than my words will ever say

You are Lord, All creation will proclaim

You are here, In Your presence I'm made whole

You are God, Of all else I'm letting go

--One Sonic Society

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 7th, 2012

I literally couldn't believe my eyes. Since it was early in the morning, I thought my eyes just hadn't woken up yet. Things were blurry and I couldn't believe my eyes that there were two pink lines. I kept rubbing them and bring the pee stick closer and then farther away to make sure they were still there. I was so surprised I just sat down on the bed staring. Daddy was going away on a snowboarding trip and I wasn't going to see him for few days, so I had to go tell him at work before he left. I called him and said I was coming up for lunch. We sat in the car while he ate and I thought, "In a perfect world, he would come home to dinner and have baby cornish hens, with baby carrots, and maybe some spaghetti with prego pasta sauce." Daddy's first question was "How do you know?". It made me laugh and as I talked to him, he just kept eating and putting food in his mouth so he didn't have to talk!

A few days later we went to go tell my mom and dad. Maggie already knew because I couldn't keep a secret. She cried in the middle of Pita Pit and swore up and down she wouldn't tell anyone. She helped me come up with idea on cute ways to surprise mom and dad but I was so nervous and excited! I just told them they better start thinking of what they want their grandbabies to call them. Both started to cry and gave us hugs. Patrick came home just a few minutes after we left and mom and dad told him.

The next day was Chuck's birthday and we went to dinner at Ya-ya and Papa's house. Daddy said he wanted to ask them about a 529 college savings plan to break the news but he kept getting nervous and not saying anything! I had to go to work soon so when daddy asked me to pass the cucumbers at dinner, I held them hostage. Joe blurted it out and I just giggled. Ya-ya reached over and patted my belly and Papa just kept saying my name over and over again. Jessie! Jessica! Oh my! Oh Jessica! Chuck said it was a pretty good birthday present but he hoped the baby was a boy because he only knows how to play with boys. I think he is lying! We tried facetiming with Valerie but the iPad kept freezing on their end, so I called her on my way to work. I told her I had bought a food processor (because that's how she told Yaya and Papa) and she knew what I meant! Val screamed and I could hear her jumping up and down and told Jace and Jack, who gave me big smiles. Later that week, I gave Tricia some wine coolers at dinner and told her I wouldn't be needing them for the next few months!

Two weeks later, I've been to the doctor's and have seen you on ultrasound. You are the size of a blueberry and have a fluttering heart beat and are making me very tired! I love you already and can't wait to meet you and hold you in my arms. Daddy think you're a girl and gives you kisses through my belly.