Thursday, November 25, 2010

Milk Bonanza

Long ago...long before Audrey was even a thought I said to myself, "No way would I want to breast feed...that is so gross and your boobs get disgusting."  I still thought about what I wanted to do as far as feeding my child when me and Elijah started thinking about having kids.  Fast forward to the pregnancy and I decided that breastfeeding was a good option.  Elijah was really against formula feeding and it really is more cost efficient if your child breast feeds.  If for some reason we tried and it didn't work out...I wasn't producing enough or she didn't like it, or whatever, then we would switch to formula.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula and it was made for a reason!  Audrey didn't take very well to breastfeeding and I had no idea what I was doing.  I actually had to use this thing called a nipple shield just to get her to feed.  Audrey is also known as a "grazer."  This means that she will sit and eat for 3 hours, if not longer.  Suck, suck, sleep.  Pull her off...cry.  Put back on. Suck, suck...nap time.  This would go on forever.  I thought babies just liked to eat a bunch in like 20 minutes and be done.  This is not the case, at least with my baby.  I started feeling trapped as I watched my husband wander around the house and go on the computer while I was stuck on the couch with my little cow grazing on her pasture of boob.  Then I thought, hey I have a pump...I'm going to use it so someone else can feed this kid.  I sort of felt guilty that I was giving up feeding her because you hear all about the bonding and time with your baby.  I am one of those people who is "go, go, go" and does not enjoy just sitting for hours on end.  She is still getting breast milk, just in a different way, and the upside is, I know exactly how much she is taking in.  So here starts the journey of pumping.  I did still breast feed her, but then she got smart and preferred the bottle because it didn't require work from her end.  So, it made us both happy (even though pumping can be painful!).  I pump every 3-4 hours, like clock work.  I have scheduled pumping into my work day, which does stink at times because you are immobile for a 15 minute period of time and can't really get anything done, but I wouldn't change it for the world.  Now here's the dilemma.  I am a milk machine.  I can push out anywhere from 5-15 ounces in one sitting.  Those 15 ounces have just started happening when I pump at 9:30 and then wait until 5:30am to pump again.  But overall, I average about 7-10 ounces in 15 minutes.  I bag it all and when I am home I set aside a fresh bottle for the little one.  Because I pump so much our deep freezer became!!  My dad was kind enough to buy us another deep freezer to house all the "boobie juice" for his dear Granddaughter.  Before we got this freezer, the side by side in the house was slowly being consumed by that weeks milk.  It couldn't have come fast enough.  Here is a picture to show you just how tall these 2 freezers are!
As you can see we spend a great amount of time organizing the milk so the oldest bags are on top and the newest on the bottom.  Elijah even constructed nifty boxes that we can flip over to put the newest on the bottom without taking all the bags out!  Here he is making a new smaller box for the new freezer.
As we look at all the milk I have produced in the last 3 months, you would think that I had been saving for a good 7-8 months.  Now I wonder how we are going to calculate when I can stop pumping and get her to a year of breast milk ONLY.  I guess we will just have to add up how many ounces we have and how many she will eventually eat and take an educated guesstimation.  By the looks of things I may be able to stop pumping here in the next couple of months.

So the freezers are organized by size so it's easy to get out what you need.  Remember that these freezers go up to the top of my legs, which are long...and I am 5'7".  And to think that I never wanted to breast feed way back when.  I am now, officially, Bessie the Cow and produce enough milk for Audrey to have until her 16th birthday, plus a few friends, dogs, cats, and people along the way!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family pictures!

We were talking about taking some family pictures and got a lot of great advice on where to go.   I wanted to do the Christmas greeting cards with a photo on them and decided on Portrait Innovations because they have great prices and you can get your pictures the same day.  They did a really good job and let you do an outfit change.  Although all of us were feeling under the weather or just getting over being sick, I think the pictures came out pretty darn good!  It made me laugh because the family shots make Audrey look so serious.  I think she was just taking it all in!  We started with our Christmas shots and then changed into black with pink accents!  Poor Audrey decided to scratch her nose the day before, but you can hardly tell.  I think she looks so cute and I wouldn't be surprised if they used one of her pictures as a sample.   (I'm not just saying this because I'm her mommy either!!)  It was a great time to take pictures too, because we got the Christmas card out of the way, but we also get to cherish pictures celebrating Audrey being 3 months old.  I would like to take pictures of her every 3 months just to see the changes she makes during her first year of life!  I am so excited to get our pictures up in frames to decorate our hallway!! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Body After Baby

So it has been 11 weeks as of tomorrow that I have given birth and I need to get my body back.  Okay, not like losing weight, but the measly muscle I once had.  I am a very odd person with the metabolism of some foreign alien.  I lost all the baby weight in about 4 days (gained 25 in all).  I now weigh less than what I did before I got pregnant.  Now most of you are thinking that's amazing, but for me, I'm already a stick, so now I can't even qualify as being a stick.  I'm a toothpick.  What's weird though is that I can't fit into some of my jeans I used to because my hips are wider.  I thought, yay, I can wear all my old clothes.  Wrong.  About 95% of my work pants look horrid on me.  Reason being:  my butt no longer defies gravity.  It has rapidly drooped to almost knee level.  The days of a cute little bubble butt are no more and the days of a flat and flabby butt is upon us.  I have been complaining about this since I went back to work in mid October.  Today was the day that Elijah started me on my goal to gain the butt back!  I am sick and congested so I can't do anything strenuous (oh no!) because I might have to be rushed to the hospital with asthma problems!  Everyday we are going to work on lunges and squats and eventually these military jumping jack squat things that I will do once this sickness is gone.  I blame Audrey for my butt sagging so I forced her to watch me as I lunged and squatted.  For my counts I wanted to make it educational for her (hey, I am a teacher after all!!).  As I squatted I would call out a letter in her name.  So here I was at 9 tonight with my hubby motivating me to get my butt back up (literally) and me staring at my beautiful daughter yelling, "A", squat, "U", squat, "D", squat and so one until I spelt her first and middle name.  She found this quite amusing.  Hopefully I'll get my butt back soon and be able to wear my pants without them sagging in the behind!!  I am including a picture of what I looked like 1 day after giving birth and the other of Audrey watching me as I worked on my butt that she gave me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Family Post

We decided that we wanted to create a blog for family and friends so you can be updated on what we are doing and how Audrey is growing...especially for those close family members who don't live nearby.  As many of you know 2010 was a crazy year for us.  For that matter, the end of 2009 was too.  Elijah decided to join the Air Force National Guard in November of 2009 since he wasn't having much luck finding a decent job.  This would allow him to maybe start a career at Kirtland as a civilian worker.  A month later, right before Christmas, we got the biggest surprise yet!  We were expecting our first child!!  It was 4 long years in the making (which would take up a whole additional entry).  It was not the greatest timing since Elijah had been out of work for a while and was soon getting ready to ship off for boot camp and then tech school.  I was going to do the pregnancy and possibly the birth alone.  Scary!  Fast forward to March when I am now 18 weeks pregnant.  We go to the doctor expecting them to tell us we are having a boy (we thought it was a boy this whole time) and were told...It's a Girl!  What?  Can you check again?  Same answer.  We then drive over to Babies R Us to start our registry and actually get into it, scanning all the great things a baby girl would want!  1 week later my dad moves in to help me out in case anything happens and Elijah leaves for Texas. It was so sad because I might not be able to go and see him graduate in June (expensive and pretty darn pregnant) and I won't see him again until September.  I then find out a couple of weeks later that Elijah has been removed from his group and is now in this place we'll call "prison."  He is waiting to come home.  They have decided to release him from the Air Force because of his tattoos.  It is very bittersweet.  He was stuck there for almost a week and then came home.  So much for using the Air Force to better himself and his career.  On a lighter note, he would be here for the remainder of my pregnancy and get to see our baby girl born!  We now fast forward through the hot summer with my watermelon belly to August 30.  I decide this is the day I will start my maternity leave from work (after spending an ENTIRE summer creating lesson plans for  my leave).  I was already 3 days over due and really thought she was coming early!  I went to the doctor and was going to force them to induce me (elective induction).  I did end up being induced, but it wasn't elective.  She was ready to come out.  I won't spare you the details of my crazy labor and all that, but 11 hours after arriving at the hospital I gave birth to a 6lb 14oz girl at 10:52am on August 31 that we named Audrey Rayne!!  She is such a joy and a wonderful addition to our family.  We will continue to update you on the growth of our beautiful baby who is now almost 11 weeks old!  She is trying to roll over, she always smiles, and laughs at our silly faces!  Life couldn't be better.  Oh, and by the way, Elijah has an amazing job now where he can pick Audrey up early and bond with her before I come home from work!  He got this job 1 week before I gave birth....thank God for miracles!