Sunday, September 27, 2015

Walk of Hope Week!!!!

Holy crap it's already Walk Week!!!! A week from today at this exact time I will have my feet up and I might actually have a glass of wine to celebrate the completion of the first ever Resolve Chicagoland Walk of Hope. 

In just a few short months I have managed to put together a pretty darn respectable event (well, hopefully) if I do say so myself. I think we will hit 350 walkers and we are making a huge push to get us to the $50,000 raised mark. If you feel so inclined....donate away! Any amount is needed and appreciated. Believe me - it is greatly appreciated!!!

The rest of this week will be spent with me in a daze with K down in Milwaukee like normal and us girls hanging out at the house together. I pray we get an offer on the house soon. We are going on week four of us living like this and it's getting old. I'm exhausted. Mentally and physically. The stress of everything is eating away at me. I would love to splurge on another massage for myself but I'm trying to behave and not spend frivolously while supporting two households. Unless K's signing bonus is on this first check. Then all bets are off. 

Anyway, here is the link to the main page for our walk. Check us out and if you can help monetarily or if you would like to be a day-of volunteer, please feel free to contact me!


Sunday, September 13, 2015


So many things have been happening in this house! Not all of them baby related either! Now that's the shocker, lol.

Back in March K had an interview with his dream employer down in Milwaukee. He was offered the position but the details of the position (contractor, health insurance through the staffing firm that was crappy coverage, etc) caused us to turn it down. In the backof his head he hoped that because the four people he interviewed with were so impressed with him, that they would come back to him in the future with a direct hire. Well, they did. So we are moving to Milwaukee. We've actually known for a while - the interviewing process started back in early July for him. He started last week after Labor Day weekend! I'm staying behind M-F with Bunny until our house sells.

And that brings me to, omg our house is on the market!!! I'm exhausted from all the work and cleaning we've been doing. It's so funny how everyone gets their house into the most perfect shape they can...right before they sell it and move. I've done a good job purging things so far. Back in July we rented a big dumpster and busted our butts getting rid of things - mostly a bunch of construction materials that have been accumulating over the last 5 years of projects around this place. We do finally have the laundry room complete, LOL. I promise to take some pictures and post them on here since I blogged back in the day when we started the project. We've done a ton of work to this house. I can only hope it sells quickly. I'm not worried about profit but I'd love to maximize it as much as we can so that we can put a nice down payment down on the new house. 

What else...Bunny continues to be an amazing, smart, joyous little girl. She's so mobile now. I'm still waiting on those first steps but they really can't be that far away now. I guess we will see. She is sleeping in her crib now. I finally bought a book and it made me ok to try her in her own room and it turns out all she was craving was a schedule and her own sleeping space. I was trying to be the breezy mom who let her go to bed when she felt like it and to cuddle with her as much as she allowed. Go figure that she wanted/needed the structure. Hey - whatever works! I'm no expert and I take all the advice I can get when I'm struggling. I just wasn't ready subconsciously to let her go. I miss looking over at any point in the night and seeing her sleeping in her rnp. I miss the middle of the night cuddles. I still get some in the morning when she wakes up and I bring her into my bed to feed so at least there's that. 

We are still going strong with breastfeeding. I am shocked beyond words on that one. I find myself thinking about how sad I will be when this is over too. I want to make it to a year. That is my goal. The only thing I'm ever so slightly worried about is that she's not gaining weight at all the last few months. She's so active that I'm sure that everything she is taking in, she's burning off but it still gives me pause. She also seems to not be growing in height - or in her feet! I was so frustrated that none of the shoe sizes I have for her stay on. So out of curiosity while in Carters the other day, I put a 0-3 high top on her foot - and it fit. I did have small feet growing up and into my late, late teens so I guess she gets that from me! ;)

Well, it's late and I have to be up early to get prepped and out the door by 9 am for our second showing on the house. Wish us luck!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dear Bunny - Happy 8 Months!

Don't feel as though I haven't been writing you every month. I have...I just haven't had time to publish them. And some are just overly sappy so I might just keep them for you and me some day. 

Oh how I love you. I know every mom is proud of their baby and they think that s/he is the most special thing in the world. The way I feel about you is no exception. I've never been around such an intelligent, beautiful, and strong willed baby in my life. I'm constantly amazed at how analytical and headstrong you are. You rest at nothing to figure new tricks/activities out. It's awe-inspiring. I can't believe I get to spend every day with you and watch all of these happy little milestones. 

You are so mobile now. It won't be long before you are walking. You took yourself over to the stairs for the sunken living room and on your first try, got right up those two stairs like they were nothing. You pull yourself on anything. Standing and walking down the hallway stomping like a baby elephant while only barely holding our fingers is your favorite. When you smile I see these little two teeth in that wonderful smile of yours and I melt.

I miss you so incredibly much in mommy and daddy's bedroom. I cried myself to sleep that first night of you alone in your crib. Every day since you were born, I have slept right next to you. Looking over at the empty rock n play without you in it was such a depressing sight. You took to your bed right away so I know it was the right move. I love when you get your diaper changed in the morning before daddy leaves for work and he brings you to me in bed and I get to have a cuddle session with you for a bit. That's the best part of my day - just you and me snuggling. 

In the next few weeks it will be incredibly busy and stressful. We are moving you closer to mommy and daddy's home. Closer to all your family. It will make things so much easier on all of us to be close to your grandparents. Daddy is getting to go work at his dream job and that means we get to give you even more of everything you deserve. 

I simply will never be able to tell you how much I love you baby girl. You are my everything. 

Forever and always. 

I love you with every breath I take, with every smile I make, and every tear that falls. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015


So teething blows. Like hard core.

Bunny had her first tooth pop up last Friday, the 17th. We were on our way into the campsite with family and I had my finger in her mouth and she chomped down and it HURT! I pulled it out and exclaimed, "omg you have a tooth!!!"

She is still on her not sleeping through the night kick. It's been two months. I'm tired and exhausted and grouchy a lot of the time. I don't mean to be, but I am. I feel like I'm up every hour on the hour from about midnight to six am. We are still breastfeeding away and I know some of those sessions are comfort nursing. She's getting so much more mobile that I know we have to start the transition to her crib asap but I really get sad thinking about that idea. I enjoy looking over at her, knowing she is right by my side. My little angel.

My baby is growing up.

And it realllllllly sucks.

Some days I have such a hard time with how fast it's going. She's everything. She's all that matters. I just love that little girl so darn much.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


New week, almost new month, new start. I'm organizing a few things right now. One of them is pretty major. 

About a month ago I was named co-chair of the Walk of Hope!! I'm so freaking excited and honored to be bringing this amazing event and fundraiser to my hometown. The best part is that I get to do this with a very awesome friend. We met through an online IF message board 7 years ago and have become very good friends. She and her husband are still in the trenches so I am happy that we get to do this together - another great way to say FUIF!

The other is me creating a group for some of my IF girls so that we can organize and clean our houses. A challenge group, lol. To say I have a lot of work on my hands around the house is an understatement. I feel like since Bunny came along I have been just getting by on that front. She's not the type of baby I can just put down on the ground and she will amuse herself for hours. I really want to get rid of all the massive piles of clutter we have in this house. I want to have a garage sale and sell what I can and then donate or toss the rest. I actually feel like the walls are closing in some days. With my dad and stepmom selling their house and moving, they had all us kids come over and take what is ours. I now also have my childhood (wooden, antique?) highchair, bassinet, and rocking horse. You know, not like I am not already swimming in baby. ;) 

So lots going on. Lots on every front. I'm exhausted. Bunny has had a rough buncha weeks. Mommy has too. But I suppose that's a post for another day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Bunny (Happy 6 Months!)

My goodness how I love thee. I am absolutely captivated by your spirit and your sparkle. I cannot believe that it has been 6 months since you came into our lives. How is that even remotely possible? I still feel like I should be baking you in my belly for another few months. Instead, in only a few short minutes, you will be closer to your first birthday than you will the day you were born. You are one half away from no longer being an infant. Seriously, how is this possible? 

My life does revolve around you and I wouldn't have it any other way. Neither would your daddy. The choice to be home with you has been amazing. I get to see you grow and develop each and every day. In the last month you have learned how to sit unassisted for long periods. You have tried carrots and love them like a good little bunny should. You went swimming for the first time and you were mommy's little fish. Thank goodness because mommy loves the water herself. You also made my heart melt only just yesterday when you said "mama" - calling out for me from your swing. Oh how that made me feel. It's indescribable. Your voice is the sweetest thing I have ever heard in my life. 

You are precious. You are amazing. You are intelligent. You are beautiful.

Oh my dear bunny, the last six months of being your mom have been the most incredible months of my life. You changed me. In every way possible. You complete your daddy and me. From the tips of our toes to the top of our heads, we love you. Forever and always my dear sweet bunny. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Exposed & Catch Up

Hello again.

Yes I've been absent - and it's only partially due to being busy with a baby. 

This used to be the place I knew I could come to and put it all out on the page. I can say, vent, cry, ramble on about whatever I wanted. Now I really don't have that option anymore. I am contemplating taking this private. Which sucks because I enjoy having the feedback. And I really want to leave our IF struggle public so that when someone who is in the trenches stumbles upon this blog they can read all they want. 


Being home with Bunny is amazing. It's stressful and exhausting but in the very best ways. I do miss working at times though. I enjoyed that "adult" portion of my life so it's weird to not have that anymore. I also thought that I would have all the time in the world to get things done around the house now that I'm home. Ha! Hahahaha. I'm hoping that almost 6 month olds are all this needy because if not, Bunny is attached to my hip. And who am I kidding? I am quite happy to have her love her momma like that. 

I have taken a couple longer trips down to Chicago so far - once for Mother's Day/her Baptism and once to help cheer up my grandma who is recovering from knee replacement surgery. Her baptism was wonderful and my grandparents from Texas were able to make the trip up to meet her. We stayed out at my dad's house and it was a fabulous time. While there my dad and step-mom did confirm that they are going to be making the move to Texas sooner rather than later. Sooner meaning as soon as their house sells. Of course I am happy that they will now be down there for my grandparents but after all the fighting we did a few years back, I'm sad to see them go. We are all in a great place with each other right now and I'm going to miss it. I honestly love spending time with that side of my family as much as I can. I miss my grandparents so much again. I am thinking about taking Bunny down to Texas this summer or early fall to visit and then we are planning on driving down for Thanksgiving. 

What else? Oh yeah, I'm so incredibly homesick. We've been having serious discussions about moving home again. We have a lead on a house we might want and K has been applying to some jobs. If something works out awesome. If not, well maybe in the future. 

Bunny continues to grow and amaze me every single day. She turns 6 months old next week and I just can't believe that. 

Some more recent pics to share :) 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NIAW 2015

Why hello National Infertility Awareness Week 2015. You've come quickly this year. For the first time I am posting all of my statuses and facts having a four month old baby in my arms. What an incredible difference a year makes. Last year NIAW began on Easter Sunday...and that was also the day we found out Bunny was on her way. I was scared shitless last year. I was waiting for the other shoe to fall. My ass was so incredibly pained from the PIO shots that I could hardly stand to put clothes on. 

This year is so very different. But yet it's exactly the same. As a slight joke (?) my body decided to give me my first postpartum period to kick off NIAW. Is it a true ppp? Not sure. But it is a sure sign I am not one of those women who gets pregnant immediately after giving birth. Shocker I know. Lord knows we tried. 

I have to be honest and disclose that I'm sitting here typing this in tears. 

Tears that I have a baby. I am a mother. I'm somehow on the other side. But it's still not over.

Tears that I am still an infertile. I always will be. Bunny doesn't erase those 6.5 years. God knows she is worth all of it. But they still happened. I can't forget them. I can't gloss over them. They are still who I am. Who I've been. In a large part, they shaped my identity. Hi, I'm Rachael. I'm infertile. Nice to meet you. Laugh if you must but what is one of the first questions you are asked when you meet someone new? Do you have any kids. And my answer was always the brutally honest truth. No. I'm infertile. 

I didn't always handle myself with grace, tact, confidence, strength. I fell apart time after time. 

But I'm here with a baby and yet I still battle the demons. Who am I? What is my identity? I no longer work outside the home. So I lost that professional title I worked my ass off to get. I lost the infertile title to those who don't get the IF world.

A new sadness happens all too frequently. I grieve Bunny getting older and hitting milestones. This might sound completely ridiculous to the non-IF world. I reached out to my IF community and told them how I was feeling and a resounding majority felt the exact same way. About 5 of us in particular gave birth within a month of each other and we found we all are going through this same sadness. 

You see, to someone who gets pregnant accidentally or someone who gets pregnant on the first try, they have trouble understanding how an infertile can watch that miracle baby (or babies) reach a new milestone and have it make them sad. For me, it's having a loud booming voice in my head telling me that this might be the last size 3 piece of clothing I put on her. Or the last time I hold her bottle for her. Or the last time she falls asleep with her perfect, tiny hand grasping only one finger. She could very well be my last four month old baby I ever hold. Every second is timeless. Every moment is priceless. Every single morning I wake up thinking about how much I love that miracle sleeping in her rock n play next to us. Our love for her and our fierce understanding of how incredibly lucky we are has no bounds. 

Infertility doesn't end if and when you get a baby to keep. It is a haunting foe that never really loosens its grip. Some are able to ignore it better than others. For me I can't ignore it. That's not who I am. I battle the IF demons and I also battle other personal issues almost on a daily basis now. But that is for another day, another post (which who knows when I will have time to write, apologies in advance). Just know it is nothing to do with my marriage. That is one area that is happily solid. 

To all of my infertile friends - you are still my family. I am still one of you and always will be here by your side. I will never forget the battle, the scars, the pain. I will never stop fighting nor will I ever leave you to suffer in silence. You are not alone. As I said in one fb status: 
 1 in 8, Mother or not, I'm still 1 in 8. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

The time I went back to work and got into an front of my boss


But for real - it happened. 

That was how epically bad my first day back from maternity leave was. 

The whole entire morning was so messed up from the moment I got up. Shockingly Bunny wasn't the issue. she ate, went back to sleep, I pumped, got ready, all perfectly normal. Then I noticed two stray dogs in the backyard about to set my dog off on a barking/growling spree. The dogs were cute little white fluffy types and so I went outside to see if I could corral them and to listen to see if their owner was calling for them.

Now mind you we live in a rural area and the houses on our street are lake homes for the most part so we aren't right on top of each other. I couldn't hear anyone looking for the dogs and by this point one ran off while the other became my buddy. I was able to look at his tag and see his rabies tag and notice that they go to the same vet we do so I made the decision I would just drop the dog off at the vet on my way to work so they could contact the owners (no owner id tag). As I was pulling out, a truck came slowly down the street and when it approached I saw the owner was calling for the dog. Woo hoo! Issue number 1 of the morning done. 

Five minutes later I was trying to leave my neighborhood and the one way out was blocked due to a horrible three car crash. Again, I live outside city limits and there was terrible fog that morning. I called my mom as I waited for the road to clear for me to get through and told her to be careful if she ran out for coffee for her and my grandma as the fog had visibility down to almost nothing. I text K and told him about the crash and he told me that he had almost hit a deer that morning due to the fog. Issue number 2 done. 

Then I drove my 30 miles to work and looked for a parking space in the lot adjacent to my building. No dice. I immediately missed my next to the door expectant mother parking space. I waited for traffic to clear (or so I thought) and went to cross the road into our overflow lot....and t-boned a car. I didn't see her. Like, at all. I have no idea what happened. I know I was looking both ways because my boss was one of the cars I was waiting for to clear - and he saw the whole thing happen. My only (logical) explanations are; I had on my new glasses that I have been complaining don't seem right (I had been complaining for a couple weeks and had already sent them back to the eye doctor once by that point), it was still foggy and the car was silver, and my head was obviously not in the right state as I had just left my baby for the first time to go to work. 

Sigh. Only me, right? I felt (and still feel) like a giant toolbag for doing that. I know accidents happen but still. 

The rest of the day was a fog, like the weather. A good friend/co-worker took me to lunch that day to help cheer me up and I even indulged in a giant slice of greasy gooey pizza. Oh how I miss pizza. I love you bunny but damn, I miss my favorite foods. ;)

So that was day one back to work. I'll fill you in on the next phase shortly...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The time I played catch up

Did you know I have about 3 or 4 different posts just sitting here in drafts?

Well I do. 

I have my monthly letter to bunny post, a went back to work post, a quitting my job post, and a maybe we will move post. 

Yup....all of that. Well the last one isn't a for sure deal but we are working on it in more ways than one. 

My goal is to get them all posted this week...and I will probably back date my letter to bunny (as an fyi). 

So stick with me, I'll try to get this old blog updated soon - Promise!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

My life outside of baby

Next week is my last week on leave and I am not processing this well. In fact I'm having breakdowns daily. K and I have had multiple conversations regarding my return to work and the possibility of me staying home with Bunny. While we think it is feasible, it will drastically change our ability to have the discretionary spending money we currently enjoy. Right now, if we want a new TV, we buy it. If we want to go to a concert, we buy tickets. If we want to go out to eat 5 days in a row, we do (ok, we don't do that but it's the point of it.) It means a budget that we completely have to stick to and work within. 

My tentative plan is to go back to work to see how it is and to get a few more paychecks in the bank. In my head I am going to try to stay until Memorial Day. That doesn't mean I am going to quit after that point - it just means that I think that would be enough time to see how things are progressing at work with my group. I have the issue of the short term disability company and my HR screwing up how my intermittent leave was supposed to go and now I have no idea what I am going to do for care for Bunny on Mondays. My mom is going to be here to watch her Tuesday-Thursday but she can't add another day due to her schedule at home. I was originally going to have 15+ weeks of Mondays off to buy me more time but that is no longer. Daycare facilities up here don't like doing less than three days for part time care and I don't know anyone who can recommend in-home care. 

I thought my boss would be cool with things and just tell me to work from home on Mondays since Fridays are already wfh days but he nixed that. His boss had a meeting with me and him before I left and had pretty much said, "whatever it takes to get you to come back" and she's in town next week so I am trying to schedule a meeting with them to see what my other options are. I'm completely fine going down to 32 hours or so a week to give me more flexibility to be home with her. It would actually be more of a perfect compromise for me. WFH on Mondays, in the office T-Th, off Fridays but I have no idea if it will fly. It's a mess and I'm stressed about it. For the time being I am going to use vacation time for the Mondays in March to get me through to April. 

Outside of work issues, I think about how I had the best of intentions when it came to this maternity leave. I was going to get so much accomplished around the house. Get all the paperwork filed away, organize all the closets... I have gotten caught up on all the random laundry that was sitting down in that room...that counts right? With us contemplating selling the house and wanting to at least show it to the couple that this realtor contacted us about, at least we will be powering through some projects in the very near future. I am hoping that this weekend we can make progress towards the laundry room completion. Once that is done I can move the unnecessary items out of the other side of the utility room that belong in there. That frees up room on the other side to bring the overflow from the rest of the house into. Or you know, purge it!

I also find myself pinning so many things on Pinterest while sitting on the couch nursing and I really wish I had the time - or a schedule for daily going-ons - to do them all. Especially all of the crochet and sewing projects. I do want to work more on things that I can sell in my etsy/facebook shop. I had a little success last year doing some things here and there but with the pregnancy and baby taking my full attention (as it should) it went way back on the back burner.

I did make the crochet props we used in Bunny's newborn photo session so that was a great accomplishment for me. I also made her a Valentine's Day heart hat that was actually made too small because I followed the 0-3 month sizing. I forgot that my little girl has a rather large head (98% at 40cm) and fits more in the 3-6 month hat range already, lol. I had to go back and add rows which means I now have to move the heart further down towards the new brim. The heart is not as "crisp" anymore but I think I can fix this one and any others going forward. Next up is a St. Paddy's Day hat with shamrocks and a bunny hat and diaper cover for Easter. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dear Bunny 5 (Happy 2 month Birthday)

My dear sweet bunny,

You are the light of my life. There is no doubt about it. I can guarantee people are most likely so nauseous from how much I gush about you and how much my life is consumed by you. Quite honestly, I just cannot get enough of you.

You started really adding more sparkle and shine to your already stellar personality this past month. You smile and it melts my heart when you recognize me when you wake up from your sleeps.

You started to turn over from your tummy to your back frequently already. While it is not consistent or every tummy time session, it was frequent enough to warrant it not being labeled a fluke.

I go back to work soon and I am heartbroken over it. Your daddy and I have frequent conversations about the possibility of me quitting and staying at home with you. Somehow I hope we make it work. I used to think I needed a job to feel like I am providing for the family but now I know I just need to take care of you.

You took your first trip to Chicago over Valentine's Day weekend and you got to meet some great-aunts and uncles along with your aunties, uncle, and cousins on my side. Of course when we got home you had to deal with your first cold :( Mommy was sick right along with you my little boogs bunny.

So here's to month 3. It just keeps getting better and better my miracle baby.

I love you!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

So much on my mind

My head has been spinning for days now. We have so many things going on right now. Some bad, some good, some interesting. All stressful naturally. 

The death of my Bean is hard to comprehend for me. It doesn't seem real and probably never will. 

I only have 3 weeks left of maternity leave and I am not happy about that. I really don't want to go back. I dread it. But I know that I have to. I have to at least try it out and see what is going to work for our family. Also, because of some promises made to me by my bosses, I want to see how things work out.....Actually I had started writing this blog post two days ago and even more crap has happened regarding my job. So originally I had planned on taking 8 weeks of FML time, a week of my 2015 vacation, and then using the balance of FML in 8 hour increments each week to be off on Mondays for 15-20 weeks. I had talked with my in house HR rep as well as verifying with the company that does our STD/FML approvals and it was all set to take incremental leave. Until I found out yesterday that my company doesn't allow it. It must have at some point because I had a coworker do it three years ago. Whoever verified the info read the policy incorrectly. My local HR rep is honestly good for nothing so I'm not shocked she gave me incorrect information to begin with. She only tells you to "go to this website/call this phone number" - she does nothing. And my boss (well all the managers there) really don't schedule your leaves with you. You basically set it up and let them know. Gotta love giant clusterfuck companies, eh? There's nothing in writing saying for me personally incremental leave was approved so there is nothing I can do. I'm so pissed off. 

My mom is only going to be up here Tuesday-Thursday to watch bunny. I was going to be working from home on Fridays and off on Mondays. I had hoped that once my incremental leave was up I would be allowed to work from home on Mondays as well. I told my boss about the situation yesterday and asked him what my options were and he said that working from home on Mondays was not going to fly. So yeah. Now I'm waiting for a phone call from local HR (shocker - she didn't get back to me today) to see if I can go to 32 hours a week. I have no idea if this will fly but I hope it will. There will be some weeks where I will end up putting in more than 32 hours I'm sure but for the sake of simplicity I will just plan on that amount. Fingers crossed it is approved. I really don't want to be scrambling right now to find a caregiver for one day a week. It's just getting too complicated.

So that's part one of the many things happening in this household. The other part has to do with our house. As I am already a day late in posting this and it's late right now and we are hitting the road in the morning to head down to Chicago, I am going to end this now and (hopefully) pick up part two on the drive down.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

RIP Shelby

I can't even believe I am writing this post. 

I am heartbroken, devastated and beside myself with the loss of my little shadow kitty. She has been my best friend for the last 6+ years. 

She started to lose weight drastically enough that we knew she had to go into the vet about a two weeks ago. Before that she had lost a little weight but we chalked it up to bunny coming and her food being moved to a new location - basically her just being stubborn. Which is not unheard of for her.

I got her into the vet on Monday evening and they only thing they did that day was give her an IV and took blood to be sent out the next day. On Tuesday the bloodwork came back showing all of her liver panels elevated. The vet was not surprised as she suspected fatty liver disease. She said that the main goal was to get food in her so she recommended a feeding tube and to do a biopsy while they were in there. By the time we got done playing phone tag on Tuesday, it was too late for them to do it that day. Wednesday they did the feeding tube around noon and it went well. I asked if I could come in to visit and they suggested the next day at noon for one of her feedings. On Thursday I got there a bit early and spent some time with her. She didn't look like herself. I felt so bad for her. I spent about an hour with her and saw her feeding. We talked over the road ahead of her. The vet told me that her situation was very precarious and that at any point her other organs could decide to stop working and she would pass away. The vet did say that we were doing the best treatment we could and that she has seen other cats make full recoveries. I left feeling like it would be a long road but it would be ok. 

After our morning feed on Friday I noticed I had missed a call from the vet. The voicemail said that she would like for me to call back as soon as I was able. When I got a hold of her she informed me that at some point in the overnight hours Shelby had passed away. She was alive when she left for the evening but when they got there in the morning, she was gone. 

I can't even fully process this to be honest. 

I blame myself in a huge way. They say that this disease can be a fast onset disease and can be caused by social stress. 

I haven't spent even a fraction of the amount of time I normally had with her. I yelled at her often because she was trying to be all over me when I was either with the baby or trying to get something done. I yelled at her when she was doing her super loud "play with me" calls and the baby was sleeping. I haven't been sleeping in our bed because I've been sleeping in the living room with bunny so she has been sleeping with K. I just didn't have, or rather make, the time I used to have for her. The other two cats and the dog have been fine but that's because the dog is the dog. He gets attention simply because he has to go out and be fed. The two other cats, Crank and Salem, are best buddies so they had each other. 

But she was always attached to my hip. If I took a bath or a shower, Bean was in there with me. She loved to steal our socks and drag them around our house meowing for us to play fetch with her. Every single morning as I brush my teeth she would climb into my arms to be held. Ever brush your teeth with one hand, hold a cat draped over your shoulder with the other all the while 9 months pregnant? Yup, I have. 

I used to give her all of my attention. Every single day. I cannot even imagine how she must have been feeling the last month or so. I feel like I broke her heart. Like I rejected her - or at least made her feel rejected. I feel so much guilt over not handling the transition better for her. I failed her. K keeps telling me to stop beating myself up but I can't. I know that it wasn't a long term illness. It was brought on by her stress. I just know it. 

I miss her. I don't know how to really be without her anymore. Which is why I am hurting so much - I hope she knew that I loved her. I hate that she felt so alone and ignored at the end. I never meant for this to happen. I cried into her fur so many times. She got me through all of this infertility and everything else that has happened the last 6 years. She was my original baby girl. 

This hurts so much. I can't believe she's gone.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A simple thought

I just love my kid. There really isn't much more to say other than that tonight. I have a much longer post to write but I just don't have the energy tonight.

My other "baby girl," my cat Shelby has been at the vet for the last two days and will probably be there for another 3-4. She has a feeding tube in place now and had a biopsy of her liver done. Any thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery (they say the tube will be in for 6-8 weeks!! :::insert bug eyes here:::) are much appreciated.

So to keep it short and sweet, I will focus on the fact that I simply am head over heels in love with my little bunny. I enjoy every single second I spend with her and I never want to leave her side.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Settling in

Caroline is doing so much better now that she's had the Zantac for a few weeks now. We even began to wonder if she still needed it but when we missed a dose yesterday morning (because I have been battling a sinus infection and was out of it) we heard it fire up by mid-afternoon. Poor little bugger. We gave her just a teeny tiny dose to hold her through until her nighttime dosage and that helped her out. I actually wonder if I should be talking to the pediatrician about increasing the dosage. I know it is determined by weight and she's much bigger than she used to be...I can add that to my always growing mommy to-do list :-)

She's also now at the point where she has stopped pooping every day and gone to the more normal breastfeeding routine of every couple days. Yikes. I wasn't aware that happened. Oops. I thought something was wrong because she had always been our champion pooper - almost every diaper change had poop. Well, let me tell you about Friday's epic diaper blowout - because I haven't completely crossed over into gross mommy topics or anything - this kid had such a mess in her pants that it was straight to the tub for her. It was all up her back and stomach. Poor kid! Of course I'm totally gross so I took pictures of it and sent it off to K and shared with some family as well. lol. Poor bunny again. 

I was so afraid that I was going to get her sick this past week. I started to feel like shit on Wednesday so I started chugging my hot water/lemon/honey mixture all day to stay ahead of it. It wasn't a cold, thankfully, but a sinus infection so I think we are in the clear for her coming down with anything. Today I am just having fun hacking up all the crap that has dripped down into my throat. Glorious. Ugh. I hate being sick! I hate being sick with a baby to take care of even more. Poor bunny - I didn't want to hug or kiss for fear of her getting sick. I miss all my loving I give her. 

On Friday I also had my 6 week postpartum ob/gyn check up. I got the full physical and pap smear since I was about due for my annual anyway. Oh joy. I was cleared to resume all normal activities no problem. He laughed and asked me if we needed to talk about birth control. I said, um no...hopefully it happens right away and out of nowhere doc. Which, we are seriously hoping for. We already started "trying" lol ;-) 

But seriously, if it does happen, I can't even begin to say how excited we would be. We talk about getting pregnant again all the time. I miss carrying bunny so much. It was the best experience. Nothing made me more excited. The worst part was the crippling fear and the bloodwork results that kept me on the PIO train for those first 20 weeks. Other than that, any of the "bad" I miss. We want to be able to give bunny a little sibling to play with - and soon. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long. 

I am only a month away from going back to work and I am dreading it. Extremely. I don't know how I will be able to do it. We've even started talking about the possibility of me not returning. At the same time, we do enjoy the financial perks of me working. I don't know. I plan to go back. I need to see how it will be for at least a little bit before I can make that decision. If I got to make an "in a perfect world" life plan, I would return to work only to find out in a few short months that I am pregnant again, work until baby #2 comes and then quit. In a perfect world. We know that doesn't happen over here in my world, lol.

There has been a very cool upside to not being pregnant anymore - the weight loss. I was never really overly concerned with getting the pregnancy weight off. I thought about it and was a little nervous, but not to an extreme amount. I figured, "hey I got 40 off me, I can get these off too." It only took me 3.5 weeks to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and now at 6 weeks past, I am actually down 6 lbs from pre-preg weight! Very cool. I might not be a huge fan of breastfeeding but I will take this little added benefit (so they say). I think part of the issue is that I simply don't have time to snack during the day! The little booger always seems to wake as soon as I have finished making my meal, no matter the time of day. Good thing she's adorable and I love her ;-)

I continue to take a million pictures of her every day. I don't want to forget one moment of this experience. She brings her daddy and me so much joy. It's amazing. I didn't know that it could be this good. 
Our 1 month family photo
 My little cutie...who mommy dressed like a boy
My English Rose

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wrap-up of last week

This past week has been both bumpy and happy at the same time. I figure I should write a little wrap-up, mainly for myself so that I remember all of these little things later on down the road.

The week started off with the colic "diagnosis." That night was a rough night with very little sleep had by me. I've been sleeping with Caroline in the living room or guest room simply because it's easier, lol. I am most comfortable nursing in the corner of the couch so those middle of the night feedings work out much better if I'm right there to begin with. An added plus for K is that he isn't awakened by a crying baby and he is able to get a good (usually 6 hours or so) night's sleep since he needs to go to work. I do miss my bed. I'm not going to lie there.

Tuesday I managed to get bunny and me to the mommy club run by a lactation consultant at my hospital. It's a free club that meets every Tuesday from 10:30-noon. I wanted to go talk with the LC about breastfeeding and diet modifications that I should make. She was amazed at how well bunny has adjusted between bottle/nipple as well as how alert she is. She also didn't think that I needed to go dairy free completely right away. She first suggested to cut things like onions and garlic. Tuesday afternoon was the second afternoon in a row that she didn't really want to nap. Like, at all. From 10:30-4am into Wednesday, it was a battle (again). She had a diaper blowout at 6 am that K handled before waking me up to feed her (since he was now running late for work and couldn't do his normal bottle feed for me).

She and I slept from maybe 7-9am and then she was up pretty much all afternoon. Over the last day I had really started to try to piece together all of the signs and symptoms I could find that could be causing her this distress. My mommy's intuition really wasn't convinced she was just entering an extremely fussy stage. She was now fussy during the day and night and not the typical only 3-4 hour pattern she had been (and most colicky babies are). I began to think it was a silent reflux issue. She has always had horrible hiccups, sort of gasps out of nowhere both during feedings and not, she started spitting up a lot more once we went to mostly breastfeeding (coincidence I'm not sure???), she arches when feeding sometimes, and the list goes on.

Because I was at my witt's end, I called the pediatrician again and told them my new theory and asked about having her put on baby zantac. Before prescribing it they wanted me to bring her back in to evaluate her. So at 6:10 pm, back to the doctor's we went. The on-call doctor thought that we could be on to something and gave us the prescription. We got home and K gave me a much needed break to sleep for 2 hours. After that first dose that night, she was up longer than I wanted after a feeding, but by 1 am she fell asleep for an hour, I fed her and she was back down by 3 am for another 3 hours. She slept well during the morning but was pretty much awake all afternoon - but not fussy for the most part, just awake.

Thursday night I got another wonderful nap from 8-10 pm before feeding her. She actually konked out a little before midnight and slept all the way until 4:30 am! I woke up and was shocked at the time. She fed and slept another 3 hours. I was able to actually take a shower, straighten my hair, brush my teeth, and put on real clothes! :) She has done a LOT better with naps today. Friday afternoon was an improvement with a few shorter hour long naps. I will gladly take them. Maybe they are her gift to me for her 1 month birthday, lol. K gave me another round of sleep from 8-11:45 (holy shit amazing) and I fed her and she was down by 12:30...and she slept until 5 am!!!

Saturday was another good day with breastfeeding and napping. My mom and grandma came up late in the evening so I sent K out with a friend to go to a local concert for a bit. She had her general fussiness from 8-11 but as soon as I was done feeding her at 11:45 and put her down shortly thereafter, she was out until 5 am again!

I have no idea how long this nice stretch will last but oh my word am I thankful for it. I was ready for a meltdown mid-week. K keeps telling me how proud he is for me doing the research and trying to figure out what was really bothering her. It just didn't sit right with me. I knew something more was going on.

So that has been my week. It's always something new in this parent world!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dear Bunny - Happy 1 Month!

How are you one month old already? This does not seem at all possible. 

It was just yesterday my water was breaking. 

It was just yesterday that I saw your daddy holding you for the first time and my heart completely melted and I saw my whole world in front of me. 

It was just yesterday that I held you with tears streaming down my face knowing that I was holding my own daughter by her first Christmas tree. 

You are the light of my life.  You are the light of your daddy's life.

Today you have the first of many "birthdays" to come. Each one we will celebrate because we are overwhelmed with love for you, our little miracle child. The last week has been a bit rough with your colic and silent reflux but we are getting there. We will get to the other side of those nasty things. You are still so incredibly sweet and loving. 

Your alertness surprises most people when they meet you. You seem to be on some sort of accelerated pace. You have had incredible neck strength almost since birth but it is even stronger now. You still have beautiful deep blue eyes like your daddy and I hope you keep those. Your hair was almost black at birth but it is lightening up a bit now to a more medium brown with some reddish tinges.

At your last doctor's appointment you weighed 9 lbs 11 oz! I'm well on my way to making you my cute little cubby bunny. Breastfeeding you is going much better. We continue to work at your latch. You prefer my left do I at this point and that is only because I don't have to hold that boob with my free hand so I am free to change the tv channel or play on my phone when I need the distraction. 

Happy 1st Month of Being Alive my Sweet Caroline - I love you to the moon and back!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Dreaded Colic

Oh what fun the last week has been...

I have tried to not do much complaining about anything pregnancy or baby related on here. It just always felt wrong to do so for two reasons. One, I was/am happy to have these problems. Morning sickness and exhaustion? Awesome. I'm pregnant so it's totes a-ok. Two, it never felt right to complain being an "IF survivor." Which is totally stupid I know. Just because we went through infertility doesn't mean I don't get to have rough days or have a hard time dealing with things relating to babies. 

I do know the above. It's just hard to get past those things. So I have tended to gloss over the "bad" on here. Which is dumb. This is my place to blog it all out anyway.

That brings me to what I have to complain about today. A little over a week ago I noticed that Caroline was starting to have these stretches of fussiness. For hours at a time. Then about a week ago it started being a nightly occurrence, generally starting anywhere between the hours of 7-10 and lasting for 4 hours each time. Prolonged nursing sessions, multiple nursing sessions, skin-to-skin, swing, bouncer, nothing seemed to do the trick for more than a short period of time. There would be times she'd be nursing and latched and then pretty much spaz out - pulling and thrashing (with nipple in mouth - ouch!) and crying. I felt helpless to calm her.

Last night I finally just hit that point where I was crying with her. I wasn't mad or angry. I was just heartbroken that it felt like I couldn't calm my sweet, beautiful, angelic little girl. It broke my heart. I just wanted her to be happy and not uncomfortable. K made me promise to call the pediatrician today. 

Of course today during the day would be the first time she decided to be colicky during the daytime hours as well. From 9:30 until 2:20 she was pretty much up and unhappy. I got her down for about 30 minutes around 12:30 and had enough time to call the pedi and get an appointment for 3 pm today. 

I managed to change my clothes and I think I brushed my teeth (I am not positive on that one though, lol) and got her bundled up and we headed off. The car put her to sleep and she slept until I had to undress her in the exam room. On the plus side, she must be feeding very well as she is now up to 9 lbs 10 oz a day shy of 4 weeks old. My little peanut is becoming a little chubby bunny. I love it. On the downside, her pediatrician diagnosed her with colic pretty much right from the get-go. I was expecting it but still wanted to cry when I heard it. Why I have no idea. I mean, I knew that was going to be his answer. 

So now I am doing all my research and getting fb feedback on things to try. It sounds as though giving up dairy is one that is highly recommended. Selfish mom moment - I did honestly think for a minute, "Um yeah, I live for dairy. I live in effing Wisconsin, the land of cheese. There's no way I will be able to give up dairy when it's a huge (!!) part of my diet. On to formula she goes." But I know that's not the answer, at least until I give it an honest try. But seriously y'all. My daily breakfast for years has been yogurt. I eat string cheese most days. And put cheese on all the things. All.The.Things. ;) Another culprit can be onions I guess. Guess what else I love? Onions. I've had onions at least once a day for the last 5 days, lol. Sigh. This is going to be hard. 

I know this too shall pass. I'm kind of still wondering when I am going to catch a break over here in this house.

But she is the cutest baby (biased opinion) in the world. Seriously. How did I get so lucky to have this beautiful, sweet, angelic little being as my daughter? She's amazing and I love her little colicky butt to pieces. 

Friday, January 9, 2015


I totally shouldn't have blogged that yesterday afternoon, lol. 

After that post she woke up and was up from about 3:45 until 8. I had questioned how much milk she was actually getting throughout the day off the boob because I fed her at 4 and she seemed to be full after a short nursing session, fell asleep, as soon as I put her down, she woke up. Rise lather repeat for the next several hours. In the end she got both boobs and at least 6 oz of formula in that time. The only thing I can come up with is maybe that was one of those "cluster feedings" they talked about in the breastfeeding class? 

I don't know. Either way, today is going just as yesterday did up until this point. I really hope that she doesn't do that again tonight. The only nice part is that at least K was home and he was able to help as much as he could. Thank God he's an awesome daddy and supportive husband. I've needed the help and he's been fabulous.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First day on our own

Today is the first day Bunny and I are on our own. K went back to work today and it was a sad parting. I have loved having him home with us. He was so heartbroken to have to leave us. He is so incredible with her. He's an amazing father, almost like he was born to be a dad.

I think I am finally seeing the light at the end of the first haze of newborn fog. I say that knowing that I am jinxing myself - and full well knowing round two will come shortly. The last few nights have been a little easier in terms of at least being able to get a minimal  amount of sleep. Plus then I have been able to sleep a couple hours during the day during naps. Woo hoo! 

Breastfeeding yesterday went well. We had been trying to get K into a work morning routine and so he had been taking the 5/6am feeding and so he gave her pumped breastmilk or formula but every other feeding yesterday was directly from the boob. That's a huge change. So far today it has been the same. I haven't been able to pump the last couple days but I'm hoping that I after she wakes and feeds this next round, I can get a couple ounces between the two. I hear her stirring now so I will know soon enough. 

I just can't believe that this is life now. It's wonderful. All the "bad" is so worth it to be able to give that sweet little bunny hugs, kisses, and cuddles. I love her so much.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bunny's Birth Story

Because I am incredibly lazy - ok not lazy but adjusting to life with a newborn - I am going to simply copy over the birth story I shared with my online friends down below.

Life has been busy in the last couple weeks. I still struggle with breastfeeding and have shed tears over this latest setback. I always thought it would be easy. It can be. For you know, people who have bodies that work properly. We all know that hasn't been the case for me in the reproductive world. I curse my flat nipples. It's made for a rough road getting breastfeeding off to the right start. On top of that, I feel selfish because of how much time it takes and how I just want to get into routine. I felt like I was pumping and feeding for hours. And then leaking everywhere overnight because there was no way I would be able to get up in the middle of the night to both feed her, change her, and then pump for another 30 minutes to get one bottle. I feel like I'm always covered in sour breastmilk, lol. But "they" all say that's normal. Anyway...we're working on it. I want to keep trying. I also have to find some compromise. 

As for the birth story...

Around 4 am on Dec 16th I woke up, like normal, to pee. Went back to bed. About an hour later I woke up and felt a little trickle. I thought my bladder basically leaked a little. I honestly was so tired that I just didn't care to get back up and go to the bathroom so I laid back down. I have no shame obviously. 15 minutes later I felt a huge WHOOSH of fluids while still laying in bed and it just didn't stop. I though to myself, "omg am I peeing myself?!" and tried to stop the flow. Didn't work. Of course I hadn't been sleeping on a towel or waterproof pad or anything. I shook (ok, maybe punched) my K awake and told him "My water just broke!" That's one way to see your husband spring to life, let me tell you. I was still leaking fluids pretty heavily so I got up to get myself to the bathroom. I left a wet trail behind me the whole way there. After sitting on the toilet for a while, I decided I would just get in the shower next because I was soaking wet and felt nasty. After I showered, I got dressed and came out to the living room to call the hospital. When I called them it was about 6:15 am. The on call doctor told me to wait until the office (my ob/gyn office is actually located in the hospital) opened to talk with my doctor to formulate a plan for me since I wasn't having contractions much at all. Meanwhile I'm still leaking heavily and gushing at times so I was changing pads often.

During the next 90 minutes or so I text a few friends, called the parents and my grandma in Texas to let them all know that today was the day, I was smart and ate some greek yogurt and a clementine for breakfast. I finished packing up my hospital bag and straightened out a few areas since we would be having family up that day now. K was a nervous wreck. The poor guy had so much nervous energy that he started vacuuming under the refrigerator! 

At 8:15 I called the doctor's office and they had to page my doctor because Tuesdays he doesn't work out of that office. When I heard back they wanted me to go ahead and come in whenever we finished packing our bags (in case they admitted me) and got ready. We took our sweet ass time since I really had wanted to labor at home for a while and the contractions weren't really regular or strong at all.

We got into the office at about 9:45 and I was checked by another doctor who confirmed it was my amniotic fluid and was only at 1 cm. Because it had been almost 5 hours since my water broke they sent me down to L&D to be admitted. Boo - I wasn't a total fan of this but nothing I really could do.

For the next couple of hours I basically hung out and met the nurses. Around noon my doctor came in to check me and he said I was at maybe 2.5-3 cm. Contractions still weren't coming regularly or very strong. He decided that it was important to get me going into active labor since we were at 7 hours since my water broke. They started the pitocin at about 12:30 pm and I was back to the waiting game. The tentative plan was to see if the pit would push me over into active labor (greater than 4 cm) and then I could come off the pit and get in the tub to labor in there instead and to give me my planned water birth.

Contractions started to get a little stronger after about an hour and a half, two hours. Another internal check by the nurse showed that I was at "maybe" 2. I wasn't really a fan of this nurse too much - esp at 5 pm when I was in so much pain and K remarked on how well I was doing 12 hours into labor but she made a comment on how "I wasn't even in labor yet". Another 3 hours went by and by this time my MIL, FIL, and my grandma had arrived and were hanging out with us in the room. It was nice having them to distract me. At this point (around 6 pm) the pitocin was turned way the heck up and contractions were coming every minute and were hard to breathe through. I was having to hold K's hand to squeeze and I moved back into bed from the birthing ball, which I had been sitting on for the last two hours or so.

Another internal check showed I was still hanging around 3.5. My doctor came back around 6:30 or so and verified that. I was not lasting well in the pain department at this point because there wasn't any rest between contractions and since I had been planning a water birth this whole time, I had been thrown off my game big time. I finally broke down and asked for the drugs during a contraction. She ignored my request. Another 15 minutes went by and I told K in the meantime I wanted the epidural. When the nurse came back I was having another contraction and said once again, "I want the drugs." She finally said ok and then another 30 minutes later they were finally starting to get me prepped for it. I was worried it wouldn't work because of multiple previous surgeries I've had on my tailbone area and I have severed nerves there so it was a crap shoot for me. 

Once it took effect I hated it. Absolutely hated it. I still could tell when contractions were happening and still had to breathe a bit through them but their intensity was not as bad at all. However, I hated the dead, legs fell asleep feeling my legs had. Hated. I also didn't know I wouldn't be able to lay on my back anymore - which I guess I should have but since I was never planning on an epidural, I didn't research that part. I had to have pillows wedged behind me and lay in this awkward semi-side laying position that wasn't comfortable in the slightest. The area where the epi was placed also killed. I was in a lot of pain in that area and couldn't get comfortable at all. I have no idea how some people are able to be all smiles and naps as soon as they get the epidural. That was not my experience at all. I just all around was not happy and regretted my decision, even though I'm not sure I would have been able to last much longer going without.

Around 8:00 pm I could tell something else was going on with the baby. The night nurse, who was much better in my opinion, explained that they had been monitoring the baby and noticed that bunny was having late decelerations after contractions. It was explained to me that early (going into a contraction) or mid (during) decelerations aren't concerning but late ones are as oxygen isn't getting to the baby (possibly). They consulted my doctor and decided to pull me off the pit to see how my contractions continued without them and how the bunny would rebound off the pit. This was the first time a c-section was brought up to us.

At 8:45-9 my doctor was back in my room and talking to us about the next steps. The contractions had basically gone away without the pitocin and the baby was doing fine off of it. They wanted to kick the pit back on for a bit and see what would happen. At 9:45-10 he came back in and told me that the same thing was happening and that he thought that at his point a c-section was the best course of action based on how bunny was tolerating labor plus if even if they allowed me to continue to labor, it would be an extremely long labor. My epi was wearing off at this point on top of all of it and I was so uncomfortable with back pain so I basically was ready for the c-section.

By 10:30 they were ready to wheel me in and get me prepped. I was so afraid that I was going to be one of those people who feel everything because it took them forever to get me numb. I kept feeling the sharp test pokes they were giving me. Finally they were able to bring K in and get everything started. For the record, I'm not a fan of the phrase, "lots of pressure" from nurses anymore because it was more than lots of damn pressure. I'm not sure what word to use but it wasn't pain but it sure as hell was more than just pressure. I was skeeved out by the whole, lots of hands inside my belly while I'm awake thing. At 11:25 Caroline Virginia was born with a full head of hair. She weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 20 inches long. K got to announce to us all what she was, and that was perfect.

After a little while they brought Daddy and bunny back to the room to finish being checked out while they finished sewing me up. They had asked me if I preferred for his parents and my grandma to be in the waiting room vs my room when they brought her in for the first time but I elected to have them in the room if they wanted to be. K got to tell them it was a girl just as I had wanted. I think the in-laws and my grandma were finally heading back to our house around 2:30-3 am and K was passed out shortly thereafter on the couch/bed in my room. I managed to get about an hour of sleep in before my mom walked in the door at 4:30 am. She had driven up after she got off of work - she's nuts! She and I sat up and talked for a few hours until she went back to my house for some sleep around 8:30. 

The next few days in the hospital were pretty nice to be honest, lol. Other than the fact that I was struggling with breastfeeding and her jaundice (which didn't require the lamp), it was nice to have 3 meals a day catered to me, lol. The first day after surgery I was very sore and it hurt to move but painkillers are awesome. I highly recommend the pain killers after a c-section. Don't be a hero.

Some side notes/commentary:
- I was not aware that if you have your water gush out like I did, chances are, it will keep on gushing. For hours. It like, doesn't stop. I went through so many pads and pants before even getting to the hospital and then even in the bed, we kept 4 "puppy pee pads" as we liked to call them, under me at all times. Nothing like sitting in your own fluid pool for hours on end, gushing every time a contraction came.

- the pushing on the uterus after birth by the nurses effing sucks. I obv didn't have a vag birth but I wonder how much more that actually hurts vs the damn pushing on the uterus. Honestly. It blows balls. And you will have them pushing on you regardless of vaginal birth or c-section. Consider yourself warned.

- stay up on your pain meds, even through the middle of the night. Waking up in pain sucks.

- you might have flat nipples and not know it. I didn't and it has made breastfeeding a bit more complicated - especially if your baby doesn't like nipple shields. Stick with it if you can or pump to try to bring out the nipples before each feeding. We're starting to get a much better latch now. I'm exhausted but it's worth it. I wish I would have pushed harder to supplement sooner bc I knew she wasn't getting much from my boobs at all those first days (less than the small amount they tell you is fine) because she was down to 7 lbs at her first appointment, one day after leaving the hospital (so 4 days old)

- 4 to 5 days post birth I had the massive swelling that can happen from all the fluids pumped into me during my labor. I have never seen such swollen legs/feet/wrists. It was terrible. Sleeping with my legs propped up on pillows on the couch seemed to help. My skin on my calves still feels loose to me because of the massive swelling.

- about a week past birth I developed this horrible pain in my right shoulder/neck/ribs. It was residual gas/air pockets from the surgery that manifested itself there. It was incredibly painful. It hurt to take a deep breath. I was miserable. Nothing helped except time. It sucks.