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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blog Neglect/Update

WOW, I haven't blogged since Tuesday, unlike me! It's been a crazy last few days.

I had my first Mommy Bootcamp on Tuesday and let me tell you, it was ROUGH!! I thought I was going to die. It was a true indication of how out of shape I am, how far I have to go but also how dedicated I am to getting fit and healthy for little miss. Our whole workout was on the BOSU ball.Let me tell you, that ball is the devil. We did a variety of exercises, everything from squats, lunges, sit-ups, push-up, step-ups and running around it. It was 45 minutes of pure hell but I made it through it, even though I felt like I was going to pass out and die. My legs were SO wobbly by the time I left the gym that I couldn't wait to sit in my car to rest. I knew I was going to be sore, but I didn't prepare for not even being able to sit on the toilet seat. By Friday evening, my muscles felt semi-normal and I didn't cringe every time I got up off the couch, bent down to pick Addison up or even think about moving.

Ha, short lived because I was back at it on Saturday. Another Mommy bootcamp. Today we did a variety of running exercises, lots of abs and lunges. Once again, I felt like I was going to die. But, once again, I conquered the workout even though I was the last person to finish pretty much all the exercises. But, I need to mention, I am the only one there with a 6 week old. Most of the ladies have 4 month plus children so credit is given often by all the other very supportive ladies. I emphasize very because all these ladies know where each other is coming from----we all know late nights, early mornings, sleep deprived, on edge days. It is such a wonderful thing! As sore as I am, I enjoy every minute of it and I look forward to seeing the pounds drop off, my abs underneath all the fat and my waist-line once again! I am also looking forward to meeting some new Mommie friends.

Mom aka Grammie, is in town for the weekend. She's having a blast hanging out and watching Addison's every move. Let me tell you, this child is super spoiled. Mom and I went shopping at the Outlets and Addison got MORE clothes from Carters and Gymboree. But, hey, they were on sale! :)

I have been doing great on Weight Watchers and I am really enjoying the new program. I look forward to going to the grocery store tomorrow with CJ to see what new items I can add to our pantry and fridge. I have been able to follow the program with what we already had in the house but as a result, I have had to be really creative which is always fun.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. We finally had ONE day that was really sunny and in the 70's---wahhooo!

Addison FULL of smiles!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

6 Week Check Up

"You need to put that baby on a diet" said Dr. Campbell! :)

Haha! We have a VERY healthy little girl! She weighed in at her 6 week check up at 10 lbs 8 oz and 23 1/2 inches long (at birth she weighted 8 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long). She is in the 75 percentile on the growth charts for both her height and weight.

For the time being, Layla will be our "measurement" on Addison's growth!

She received her 2nd Hepatitis B shot which she cried for 2.5 seconds and then went right back to her happy self!

She goes back again for her 8 week check up and she will receive 5 additional vaccinations (it's going to be a rough appointment for both Mommy and Addibug!)

Milestone--holding her head up for 8-10 seconds at at time!

So, here is a rundown of the most frequently asked questions I have received.

Q: How are you feeling?
A: I am feeling great! I had my 6 week check up at my OBGYN yesterday and I got the clearing to resume life as we knew it. I can work out, go back to Weight Watchers, get on birth control and have S-E-X! I was back to normal when Addison was about 3-4 weeks old. I feel like I am getting plenty of sleep which is good otherwise NASTY Nicole comes out! The hardest part of me feeling 100% normal is eating in a regular schedule. Seeing that we get up anywhere between 9-10am, that is late for breakfast. Now, once I go back to work, this will regulate itself and I will feel MUCH better!

Q: How is the baby?
A: Lil Miss is A-MAZING! I think we have a perfect baby (of course I am her mother so I would think so regardless) but in all honesty, she is really great. She eats well, sleeps well, plays well, and loves well! There isn't ONE thing I would complain about her.

Q: How is the sleeping?
A: Wonderful! We have had a few hard nights where Lil Miss wanted to be up and party instead of sleeping and that is hard when Mommy and Daddy want to be sleeping, especially at 3am. Those few nights occurred around the 4 week mark so we chalked it up to a growth spurt. Lately, in the past week or so, Addison has been giving us 5 hour stretches of sleep which is wonderful however usually it is 3-4 hours. We take shifts so each of us can try to get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep but with a baby monitor in your ear picking up every sound, that can be difficult.

Also, not sure if it is a coincidence or not, but as Addison has turned 6 weeks old, she has also started eating 4 ounces at each feeding instead of the 3 ounces which I am sure helps with the 5 hours stretches of sleep she is giving us! :)

The hardest part is anticipating when she will wake up. I think we both are on auto-pilot and automatically wake up when we should be feeding her even though she is happily still sleeping. Getting past the fear that if we fall back asleep she will immediately wake up is the hardest but we are getting better and better at this.

After the first 3 nights at home where she slept in her pack and play, she has been in her crib since. We have had only ONE, yes ONE night where she has slept in the swing. We got the Fisher Price Newborn Rock and Play which is the best MUST HAVE product out there! (Here's a back story. We registered for it and received it and returned it after 2 weeks of not using it. Because she was sleeping in her crib fine, I didn't think we needed it. CJ takes the morning (6-7am) feeding and he was putting her back in her crib. She would fuss each and every time. So eventually, I would get up and bring her back to bed with me. Of course, the paranoia of her being in my bed kept me up all morning even though she peacefully fell back to sleep. So, a few weeks later, I saw the Rock and Play at a consignment sale and told my friend, I want to get that and try it out. She said she had one that I could borrow since her son didn't like it. We borrowed it and let me tell you, LIFE SAVIOR!! Every morning CJ feeds her and puts her in the Rock and Play by my bedside and Addison continues to sleep from 6-7am until 9-10am.)

Q: Are you settling into a routine?
A: Yes, I would say so. Every other night Addison gets a bath so that is routine one. Secondly, we begin the nightly routine around 9pm and try to get her down by 10pm. Ever since we started swaddling her with the Halo Swaddler, this has helped keep this routine up tremendously. It is our goal to have her asleep by 10pm however this is going to change soon because she is sleeping a little longer (approximately 5 hour stretches) so we will need to start putting her down sooner. Since I will be going back to work in the next few weeks, we need to work backwards from the time we get up and feed her in the morning.
Here's the schedule we will start tonight:

7:15 bath (on bath nights)
8-9pm feeding
1-2am feeding
6-7am feeding

This will take a few nights, but hopefully we will get right on schedule soon!

Q: What's your favorite thing about parenthood so far?
A: I simply cannot believe the heart's capacity to love this much. The love I feel for Addison is so tremendous that words truly cannot accurately describe it. And the love I feel for CJ, which I didn't think could possibly be any greater, has doubled as I watch him interact with his daughter. We are a family, and the joy that brings is beyond words. Parenthood has taught me great responsibility as well. I love my life and I wouldn't change a thing! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

This past weekend, on Saturday, CJ turned the big 3-1! WOW!!

We had a great day. Addison dressed up in her cupcake outfit to help Daddy's celebrate. Uncle Michael and Carrie came to have dinner at our favorite sushi place, Sushi City.
All in all, it was a great day! We hope Daddy's had a wonderful birthday!

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from the Hoadley's!!!
Clearly Easter worn them out!

Pretty girl! OMG, I could eat her up! So big!

Easter Outfit! (the original one I purchased was a Newborn and when I went to put it on her, it was TOO small. Luckily I had a back up in her closet!)

Addison's 1st Easter basket filled with candy for Daddy, hair bows, new summer outfit, toy dog and peanut butter eggs for Mommy!

One Day at a Time

I knew going into this week that it would be a busy/crazy one and for that, I was ready but taking things ONE day at A time!

I started this with going to my OBGYN for my 6 week check up. This, I was excited about and dreading at the same time. I dreaded going to see how much weight I did not loose but was excited to get the big OK :) and to get a medical release to begin to work out. As expected, I did not loose nearly as much weight as I had hoped but no worries, I had already planned to begin my Weight Watchers journey today. (More to come on this) I am happy that the doctor cleared me for working out, gave me the big OK and even mentioned that he could not even tell that I had a baby and I healed VERY nicely. AWESOME! We talked briefly about the infections I had and he once again stated he was happy I came in when I did and that I trusted my instinct (no, dude, I was in so much pain I couldn't stand it any longer therefore I wasn't going another day without something being done!!!).

All the gals in the office oohhh and awhhhed over Addison and couldn't believe how beautiful she was. Now, don't these woman see babies on a regular basis? Either Addison was extra special or they just say that about all the woman's babies.

Today also marked my first day back at Weight Watchers. I am so excited to loose the baby weight plus some. I have a lofty goal of 75 much needed pounds to loose. I weight in, the much dreaded weigh in, but knew this was a step in the right direction. I learned there is a new program which I am not used to but it will give me some good reading materials. I start tomorrow! :)

Tomorrow, Tuesday, we take Lil' Miss to her 6 week pediatrician check-up appointment where she will recieve a plethora of shots. Mommy is surely going to be upset seeing Addison so upset but we have been told to give baby Tylenol right before the shots and every 3 1/2 hours after for the next 24 hours. We shall see how the rest of tomorrow and evening go. Fingers crossed, she takes to the shots well and we wont have any issues.

Tomorrow evening I start my first Mommy Bootcamp. I am super excited yet nervous at the same time. I am excited to meet new people, hopefully some new mommy's that I can form friendships with and babies that Addison can play with. I am nervous because, let's face it, I haven't worked out in many many many months and quite frankly I am dreading it. But, once again, a move in the right direction. I will report back tomorrow if I make it through the class :) It's 2 days a week, Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. I will add an additional day at the gym and another day on the elliptical (after all, we got one for the house, I have to use it!)

Thursday, Grammie (my Mom) comes into town. I am, of course, really looking forward to this. I can't wait for her to see how much Addison has changed and "grown-up" in the past 5 weeks. She's growing too fast! I am sure we will have a weekend of fun before I go back to work in the next few weeks (2 weeks to be exact).

All in all, crazy, but busy week. Not mention, school starts next week so it's going to be even crazier but no worries, I am ready, just ONE day at A time!

Happy Monday! Here's our little one this afternoon.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Addison and Layla Video

Thursday, April 21, 2011



Today, I went into the office for a half day to meet with our advertising agency. Let me tell you, not only was I overwhelmed with how much I have missed at work, but also how overwhelmed I felt. There is SO much to do when I get back.

I know that I only have a few more weeks left until I go back to work (May 9th to be exact). May sound weird to others but

I miss work.
I miss the sense of accomplishment.
I miss the structure.
I miss getting dressed, putting on make up and doing my hair.
I miss my co-workers.
I miss traveling to the campuses.
I miss seeing lives changed every day.
I miss adult interaction.
I miss making a difference.
I miss the fast paced, overwhelming, don't have a moment to pee feeling.

Bottom line, I miss Antonelli College. I LOVE my job and I LOVE the company I work for. I am doing exactly what I have wanted to do for a long time AND I am changing lives at the same. Most people cannot say they are doing the same thing.

While I am not the stay at home type of person, I know what I will miss most.....

My daughter when I go back to work.

Today was a real eye opener, just a few more weeks............

Mommy and Addison

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Activity Mat Time

Ambitious Mommy?

Yup, you got it!

I have decided, in my spare time (ha!), I want to take photography classes. I have a wonderful Canon EOS Rebel T2i camera that I got for Christmas and I want to capture everything I can from Addison's life, that I need to learn what I am doing. Just pointing, shooting and clicking is not using my resources wisely.

So, with that said, I am going to be looking into photography classes. Nothing long-term, just a few basic classes here an there. Really looking forward to it.

And, this is on top of everything else I have going on, as Auntie Suzanne would say. Starting in May I will be going back to work full-time, going back to Graduate School, taking 3 Mommy Bootcamp classes a week (hello pre-baby body!!), joining Weight Watchers, caring for a newborn, being a wonderful wife, and another new hobby, bow making. EH, if you're not busy, then what are you?

I am and always have been an ambitious, go-getter. That is where I thrive. I enjoy a "full" calendar, something to do every day. I am not a down time type of person. I find that I get lazy and complacent. Who wants a mom that lays on the couch all day....certainly not Addison. I want to give Addison the values that my mom and grandmother gave me. My mom, as a single parent, worked her butt off for us kids and showed us the importance of hard work. I have a lot to live up to....if I could be half as good of a parent as my mom was to me, I will be doing something good! (love you Momma!).

Addison the Angel?

It just might be. I have been told several times that we have a little angel on our hands. And I mean angel as in well-behaved child. I have been told horror stories of inconsolable colic babies, unable to find a formula that the baby will take without problems, extremely gassy or constipated babies, etc etc etc. I can honestly say, we have not experienced any of this.

Lucky for us, we have a happy, content, easy going baby. She only fusses when she's trying to tell us something----I am hungry, I need to be changed, I need Mommy/Daddy time (aka I want to be held) or I am too hot/cold. Otherwise, if she is fussy, she is easily consoled with a little rocking, singing, or talking.

We have continued to have VERY successful nights of sleeping. To date, at 5 weeks old, we are still at only 3 days (ironically 3 consecutive days at the 4 week mark, umm hello growth spurt) of rough nights. It amazes me how consistent Addison is throughout the evening. She is down between 10-11pm, up at 2-3am, up at 5-6am and up for good around 9-10am. It's crazy....for example: CJ fed her a bottle at 10:10pm. At 2:10am (on the dot) she was fussing to eat and then at 6:10am (again, on the dot) up fussing to eat and finally, at 10:15am (okay, 5 minutes off the "dot") to feed. Simply amazing!

I honestly expected to be up all night every night trying to console a crying baby. I was fearful I would be unable to calm her because I would not be able to figure out what was wrong with her. But boy, was I wrong. Now, I understand she is only 5 weeks old, but I think I have this parenting thing (at least baby parenting) down. So, not to brag, but I think we have a little angel on our hands. CJ and I couldn't be prouder!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Serious Love

Words can't explain the love a mother has for their child. Thank you Mom for instilling love and wisdom in me! I am so blessed to pass this to Addison!

Lay and Addibug

These pictures capture it all!

Girls Weekend

This weekend Addison and I spent lots of time with the girls.

On Saturday, we had lunch with Auntie Suzanne, her sister Shelby, niece Jenny and her niece's baby Addie. We did a little shopping, had lunch and chit chatted away. I got a lot of good information and advice from Jenny. It was great to talk with her. Unfortunately I was REALLY bad and didn't take any pictures which is horrible because they all live out of state and don't come to Chicago too often. But, so you can see how incredibly cute Addie is with her chubby cheeks, here is a picture of Addie.

Then on Sunday we went to the Davis' for a cookout and Keira and Addison got some play time. Of course Kalen had to get in on the action too. All around it was a great weekend with lots of friends to play with. (You would never know that Keira was born 6 weeks early! Check out those chipmunk cheeks!)

We had one great night on Saturday night and an okay night last night (Sunday) to make up for the three "bad" nights (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). And a bad night consists of Addison fighting to go down and waking up in the middle of the night and not going back down. While she is usually not fussy, she's wide awake at 3am and just wants to be held when Mommy and Daddy have other plans. So, I think the last three "bad" nights Addison was going through a growth spurt. At 5 weeks, that makes sense. She's doing well taking all 3oz and we could probably up it to 4 ounces as we find ourselves, especially at night topping her off with another 1/2 to 1 additional ounce.

Jenny also gave me some good advice. Try to swaddle her with her arms in, even if she resists it. At the hospital, they did not swaddle Addison with her arms "in" the blanket because of the risk of suffocation if she were to get her arms out and pull the blanket up over her face. So, when we brought her home, we naturally swaddled her with her arms out like they did at the hospital. A few night we used the Halo Sleep Swaddler and Addison fought it tremendously, so much so I felt that I was using a straight jacket on her. I was convinced this was not for her so I returned all the Halo swaddlers I had (3 of them!) and we continued to swaddle her with her arms out using a swaddle blanket.

So taking Jenni's advice on Saturday night, we gave Addison lots of floor and tummy time right before bedtime routine. She got a bottle, then a bath (was super happy during bath time) and while getting her dressed for bed, she fell asleep on the changing time. She was certainly pooped from a long day in the city and floor time. I put the Halo on her, arms in and put her in her crib---no rocking required. This was about 9:30pm. CJ and I spent another hour or so being husband and wife (much needed!) and eventually went to bed. Addison woke up for her normal 12pm feeding but went right back to sleep. Same thing with her 3am and 6am feeding!!!! She finally got up for good around 8-9am! WOW!!! Not sure if it was the Halo Swaddler or the long day in the city but she was back to her "normal" sleeping schedule.

Last night was no different. We put her down, she watched her mobile for a bit and was lights out--ON HER OWN--no rocking required! Now, she did get up early than she normally would for her bottle, around 2am and only had an ounce. She was back up at 5am and again at 6am but I believe it was because she was off on her feeding from spending the day at the Davis'. I am certain that we are back on our routine and she will be sleeping MUCH better being swaddled ARMS IN!!

Friday, April 15, 2011


One would think I was referring to Addison, but NO, I am referring to our furry child, Layla. I tell you, this dog is ridiculously spoiled. Yesterday, a few friends and I went to a consignment sale where people sell all their gently used clothes, toys, strollers, and baby items. Many items still have tags on them.

I went to the sale with the intentions of getting Layla her OWN bouncy chair. Layla has fallen in love with Addison's lamb bouncy chair but I didn't want her fat butt to stretch out the fabric and make it unusable for Addison. So, that was my first purchase, almost the same one as Addison's but a wonderful $10. You can see Layla loves it already.

I should mention, Addison is equally spoiled. For just under $180, I picked up 18 outfits (many still brand new), 10 books, 4 Baby Einstein DVD's, Snap and Go Stroller (major find and perfect for our airport trip to VA). and the bouncy chair. Addibug got SEVERAL ladybug outfits that are so adorable. I mean seriously, check it out for yourselves. Here are some of my favorites that I got:

Do you see it? It says Luv Addibug! :)

Bath time Video

(Don't mind my commentary!!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Moby Wrap

A friend of mine told me that I had to get the Moby wrap and let me tell you, I am SO glad I did!

All you new moms, it's a must. You can find it here and it's only $39.99 at BRU.

Not only does it give you free hands to do what you need to do but it also puts baby to sleep ASAP!

Here are a few pics of Addison in the Moby wrap:

Big News

After a whole month, Addison finally latched on to my breast and nursed for 15 minutes. WOW!!!

I was offering her the boob at each feeding for the first 2 weeks or so and each time she wouldn't even come close. After awhile, you become discouraged and I gave up figuring she just didn't want to nurse. I was okay with this as I have been pumping therefore she is getting breast milk.

Last night, during BBB time (Bath, bottle, bed) I was rocking her to sleep. This is typically Daddy's job but I offered to do it this time. I fed her a bottle and had her close to my breast and she kept opening her mouth making a sucking sound. She has never done this before so I thought I would give it a try. Almost immediately she latched on, no problem at she had been nursing for weeks now. She nursed for about 15 minutes and burped right after so I am certain she was able to get some breast milk. AWESOME!!! And lights out she went......

well until I tried to put her in her crib. Nope, she wanted to be held and rocked. No problem baby, Momma continued to rock her for a good hour. She was very sleepy but wouldn't give in. Daddy came up and rocked her and within 15 minutes she was down for the count. She went down at 10:30pm, a whole hour earlier than normal. She was up around 2am and 6am for a feeding and slept thorough them, as usual until around 9am. She took at bottle and feel back asleep around 10am. Once again, can I mention how much I adore my little sleeper??

I must also mention yesterday is the day that I reduced the number of pumpings I have been doing. I normally pump around 8 times over a 24 hour period but in preparation of going back to work I decided to reduce this to 4 times a day which means my breast were fuller with milk (rock hard more like it!). Now, is this a coincidence that I reduced the number of pumpings and Addison latching on, not sure, but I will offer her the boob if she will take it (even though I didn't offer at the 3am or 9am feedings---{Daddy did the 6am feeding}). I am hoping it wasn't just a one time thing......

Love my little "Crib Potato" outfit and sleepers from Auntie Suzanne!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One month old Video

One month old Video

Happy One Month Old

Today Addison turned one month. I can't believe it's been 4 weeks since she was born. How time flies.

Had you asked me if the last four weeks of my pregnancy went as quickly as the first four weeks of Addison's life, I would have said HELL NO!

As a bonus, Addison gave us some good sleep last night. After a long struggle to finally get her to go down (one of the "bad" evenings thus far) she finally went down around 11:30am. At 3am I woke up to feed her and at 6am CJ woke to feed her. She slept through both feedings and didn't end up waking up until 9:30am. WOW!!! We've got a sleeper on us.

After a nice long 4 hour nap, a fully belly and clean diaper, we started our photo shoot this afternoon.

Here are some pictures from it:
Naked baby!!

Look at those eye lashes

Ah-Choo (caught her in the middle of a sneeze)

Her one month sticker!

Layla, the "big" sister

I could not have asked for Addison to have a better "big" sister.

A lot of people are asking how Layla is with Addison. I couldn't be more proud. We raised Layla to be the best big sister possible.

Layla has been our pride and joy for the past 5 years. She has been spoiled rotten and given all the attention in the house. She was the first thing I woke up thinking about and the last thing I went to bed thinking about, of course, besides CJ.

She has filled our hearts with lots of love so how could we have anymore room. Well, lucky for Addison we do but Layla has not been forgotten.

Layla helps in every way possible:

She is happy to keep Addison's bouncy seat warm.

She is kind enough to give Addison kisses when she's upset.

She is the Addison's best friend and a wonderful big sister.

Now, I can say our life is officially complete with our two girls!

(For those who are wondering---Michael watched Layla while we were in the hospital. Shortly after getting home on Thursday afternoon, CJ went to pick Layla up. He brought Layla's security blanket and the shirt and blanket Addison wore while in the hospital. He let Layla smell all these items so as to familiarize her with the new scents. When Layla came home, she came up to Addison, sniffed her, licked her face, gave me a kiss, and laid on her chair. Successful introduction!)

Monday, April 11, 2011


Why Addibug?

Well Michael, my brother named Layla, Laylabug when we first got her. The name stuck and she has forever been known to all of us as Laylabug.

To carry on the theme, we have nicknamed Addison, Addibug partly because I don't believe in shortening names, therefore she will probably never be called Addi but a nickname, I can live with.

We love our Laylabug and Addibug! Oh and Uncle Michael too.


No, not Buy Buy Baby or Bed Bath and Beyond.

Bath, Bottle and Bed. The routine.

Routine is important so I have been told so we decided to get in the routine early.

Addison gets a bath every other night. We were advised by our friend, mom of 2, to ensure baby gets extra time in the water, so as to "marinate" her in the water, and that will ensure she gets nice and tired. Thus far, it works. Guaranteed, bath nights Addison sleeps far better than non bath nights....maybe it's the Night Time bath wash and lotion, or the extreme crying during bath time, but regardless, we know these nights are going to be easier to put her down.

Addison's First Bath

Complete with her first pee while bathing. LOL

During the first 2 weeks, we found ourselves going to bed close to midnight. Whether it was the time she finally fell asleep or when we finally wound down from a world-wind day we decided this needed to change, ASAP. We set a bedtime of 8:30/9pm. Now, even though we set a time, we know realistically this isn't going to happen, at least not for some time therefore we start the process around that time and hope to have her down as soon as possible even though that time is sometimes 11:30/midnight .

So every night, we bath her (only on bath nights), lotion her up, give her a baby massage, dress her in jammies, swaddle her, and in the rocker we go. She is fed a bottle and rocked until she's asleep. This has become Daddy's job and he truly loves this time with her. Once she's asleep she is put in her crib and the music/mobile goes on, book read, and she is left to a peaceful slumber. Now, sometimes the process of rocking and in the crib goes on several times until she stops fighting sleep and finally gives in to the exhaustion.

Side note: We set up the pack and play in our bedroom for the first few nights (three to be exact) and decided to transition her to her own room and crib thereafter. She has done MUCH better sleeping in her own crib rather than in the pack and play even though the first night was a challenge.

We have a good little sleeper on our hands, for the most part. Typically she is fully asleep from 11:30pm through 6:30/7am with a quick fuss around 3am to feed in which she sleeps through. I consider this sleeping to be mirculous and amazing. I honestly don't know if this is normal or not, but put it this way, I was preparing for much worse. Now, this is a typical night. In the past 4 weeks, we have had 2-3 "bad" nights meaning we could not get her to go down until after midnight or she was up super early however, without fail, she has consistently gone back to sleep without effort after her 3am-ish feeding. AWESOME kiddo!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Breastfeeding aka "Pumping" Adventures

oh, where do I start.

As mentioned before, almost immediately after Addison was born, the nurse positioned her to latch onto my breast to begin feeding. She latched on fine and "nursed" on each breast for about 5-8 minutes before she fell asleep. The nurses encouraged to continue to try nursing her every 2 hours explaining that this would help the colostrum come in. The first few times, Addison latched on immediately, without any issues.

(Side note: due to my breast enhancement back in 2005, I worried my entire pregnancy that I would be unable to breastfeed. I had a lift on my right breast and they did surgery through my nipple in order to do so therefore there was a chance the milk ducts might not have been reattached fully.)

Once we were moved into the postpartum room, the nurses encouraged we try again. Well this time, Addison would have nothing to do with my breasts, either one of them. She would not latch on. After continuous tries, we both became frustrated but I was whole-heartily determined to continue to try. On Tuesday afternoon, I met Linda, the lactation specialist. She was very encouraging and tried to help Addison latch on, still no go. Linda called Addison lazy because she would just fall asleep each time she watch put near my breast. Throughout the afternoon, we continued to try, using different techniques. Each nurse that I had assisted me in trying. Still no luck. [I admire all their persistence]. Well, by the early hours of Wednesday morning, Addison had not eaten because she refused to latch on and she was screaming at the top of her lungs--call it mother's intuition, but I was certain she was hungry. The nurses and LS (lactation specialist) said that if she was hungry enough, she would "figure it out". Ha!

Finally, the overnight shift nurse allowed us to give her some formula, but no more than 1/2 an ounce. This calmed her down tremendously but we continued to try. Literally, every trick in the book----drop formula on the nipple to encourage baby to suck, rub crease of neck to encourage baby to open the mouth, tickle foot to try to wake the baby, etc. Still nothing so the nurse thought it might be a good idea to bring the hospital grade pump to at least get my milk production going. Of course, I didn't pump anything out, but was told by the nurse that this would stimulate the breast to allow the milk to come in. Many different nurses and another LS came in all trying to help us work on the art of breastfeeding throughout our whole stay in the hospital, but Addison refused to latch on, but not without us trying, and trying hard.

We (CJ, the LS and I) decided to continue to pump and "hope" my milk would come in therefore, in order to ensure this breastfeeding would work, I rented a pump from the hospital ($27 for two weeks). We were sent home with directions and instructions to continue to try to offer the breast each feeding prior to offering milk or formula.

Once we got home, I did exactly as instructed and she still would not latch on. Well, I kept up the pumping even though I was producing such small amounts. Such small amounts that the first few days, we fed Addison breast milk with a medical syringe and supplemented with formula. As the days continued, I started to slowly produce more and more milk, but not nearly enough to solely feed just breast milk. To date, I have not been able to produce more than 2 ounces at one pumping session although usually, I am pumping 1-1.5 ounces. We chose to feed her what I had pumped and then supplemented with whatever formula she would take. Well, we quickly realized we were wasting lots of formula because we could not tell how much she was going to take at any feeding session. After consulting with the pediatrician, he gave us the go ahead to formula feed at one feeding and then breast milk feed the next and continue to switch on and off at each feeding. This will allow her to get maximum breast milk (in order to give her enough breast milk at each feeding I have to pump multiple sessions).

My pumping schedule consists of every 2-3 hours during the day and every 4-5 hours at night. It is recommended you pump at least 8 times a day so that is what I strive for.

Now, my whole goal was to feed breast milk for at least 2 weeks and to date, I have been pumping and feeding for 4 weeks. I plan to continue through the month when I have to return the pump and go back to work. I am choosing not to continue to pump once I go to work for various reasons.

All in all, breastfeeding/pumping is a job in itself. It is a lot of work, time and you must be diligent. I have been unable to go far from home because I have to stay on schedule. Luckily I haven't felt the engorging feeling too much, possibly because of my surgery but I have also not gone long enough without pumping to feel the full effects. I am sure when I wean myself off in the next few weeks, I will feel the "pain". I will be sure to report on it! :) By no means am I am an expert but I am fairly confident I have done what I can and consider my efforts tremendous!

Home Sweet Home

On Thursday, March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, CJ, Addison and I were able to leave the hospital and boy was I happy.

Addison's Coming Home outfit! XOXO

Don't get me wrong, I appreciated all the help the nurses gave us but it was the constant in and out of the room that was disruptive and made it hard for CJ and I to just "be" with Addison. And it was heart wrenching for me to see CJ try to get some sleep on the world's most uncomfortable pull out chair. Poor guy.

We were moved from the laboring room to postpartum just 2 hours after Addison was born. Up to this point I had only had yogurt in the past 24 hours and was starving. It was about 6am and the cafeteria was still closed. I was SO exhausted and tired and just wanted to eat and go to sleep. The nurse was kind enough to bring CJ and I a turkey sandwich. We ate up and went to sleep. The nurses kindly watched Addison and did several tests while we napped.

On Tuesday mid afternoon, the plethora of people came through the door including the hearing specialist, lactation specialist, photographer, pediatricians, nurses, doctors, etc. Our room was a revolving door---the hardest part of being in a hospital. If I need you, I will call you, thanks!

We were required to stay in the hospital for at least 48 hours but because Addison was born so early in the morning, we were there for a little longer than 48 hours. Upon release, I had to be checked out by my doctor. He came in on Wednesday afternoon and said I was actually free to go although the pediatrician was keeping Addison in the hospital another day to check for jaundice. When he came in to visit, he proceeded to tell me about the birth of Addison.

Apparently, I was a very easy patient up until the delivery of Addison. I progressed how he wished me to and he was very proud of my pushing skills and couldn't believe that I delivered her in 10 minutes----GO ME! He then proceeded to tell CJ and I that Addison's cord was wrapped around her neck, no big deal according to the doctor however, he had an extremely hard time getting her shoulders out, unbeknown to me!!! But, it all made sense. When the nurse originally took Addison to clean her off and weigh her, the doctor kept asking how her shoulders and collarbone were. I thought this was just normal. Noooo, he was VERY worried that they were broken. He continued telling us that it was a difficult delivery and he was very worried but glad that everything went off smoothly.

I failed to mention that for some reason the nurses thought Addison had some bruising on her face. CJ, nor I, nor the doctor could ever see this bruising but the nurses felt it was necessary to put a sign in her bassinet. When the doctor came to talk to us, he once again brought it up and we all laughed that we couldn't see the bruising. Our baby girl was just cone shaped head, no bruising, nothing wrong......well with the exception of the jaundice. They did many tests and ultimately decided on Thursday morning we could be released.

The picture that show's Addison's "bruising" sign.

So, off we went, in the car, on our way home. And, we arrived, safe and sound.

First car seat ride

That same day, we called the pediatrician to make an appointment to see him and we were scheduled for Friday morning. On Friday morning, we took Addison in to the pediatrician's office. She was weighted and had lost 8 oz, very normal. She was still 21 inches long. The pediatrician did a full body check and thought she was yellow so he sent us to Hinsdale hospital to get another jaundice test done. Based off the results, we needed to go back in on Saturday to get another jaundice test done. The pediatrician compared the two numbers and she was once again cleared for jaundice. The pediatrician had suggested we start increasing the formula for a few feedings which helps with the yellowing and getting the bad things out of her system. And, it worked.

Saturday afternoon, Grammie arrived!!!

D-day (Addison's Birthday)

I don't ever want to forget everything that occurred on March 14th and 15th, also known as Addison's birthday! So here it goes....the long story.

I was originally due on March 8th, my birthday. The days leading up to my due date, I did everything any 10 month pregnant person would do, mostly out of desperation to get my body back. I walked and walked and walked. I ate spicy food. I drank raspberry tea. I did what caused me to get pregnant in the first place. You name it, I tried. And no such luck.

Starting two weeks before my due date, I had progressed to 1cm. Each week I went back to the doctor, still only 1cm dilated. Frustration set in but I was patient. I knew my little angel would make her presence when she was good and ready. At my appointment a day before my due date, my doctor talked about induction. I was hooked up to the non stress monitor and baby and I were looking great. Doctor did not want to induce if it wasn't 100% necessary for fear of my labor resulting in a c-section. So, I left, discouraged, still ready to get this baby out of me and scheduled my next appointment, 6 days after my due date. A few days before my next appointment, the doctor called and asked that I come in on Saturday just to check me again. So, Saturday morning came, I went in, and still NOTHING! Not a single change, are you kidding me? So, I left again, discouraged but with the knowledge that at my next appointment, Monday, March 14th, we would be setting up the induction date, most likely the evening of March 16th so that we could plan to have her on St. Patrick's Day.

Monday morning, March 14th came and off CJ and I go to the doctor, fully prepared to come home, finished cleaning and getting things ready therefore I chose not to eat breakfast (my appointment was at 9am). I get all hooked up to the non stress test machine to be monitored. (by the way, how the non-stress test machine works is that you have a heart monitor and a movement monitor, both external positioned on your belly and you are given a device that you click everytime you feel movement). Well, after 15-20 minutes I felt no movement. Clearly Addison was sleeping. Doctor came in and "shocked" my belly which he said would wake her little butt up and sure enough, she started kicking and moving and going crazy. A few minutes later, doctor came in, said everything looked good and told me to get undressed to examine me and we would schedule the induction date.

Now, I must mention here before I go any further. On our way to the doctor's office I casually asked CJ if he thought anyone's water had ever broken at the doctor's office and how weird that would be to happen. We both agreed it was probably slim to none, end of conversation. Okay, now I am undressed sitting on the exam table talking to CJ waiting for the doctor. I felt what I can only explain as a little pop and mild gush feeling. I felt like I was "leaking" or having some extreme discharge (TMI, I know). I said to CJ, I think my water might have broke and we both look at each other, panic in our eyes, and CJ quickly asked if I was sure. No, I am not sure, I have never done this before but something doesn't feel normal. The doctor walks in and I said to him, I think my water just broke. He told me to lay down and he would examine me. Well, sure enough, my water HAD broken....I was one of those women who's water broke in the doctor's office (which, btw, I asked the doctor and he said yes, women's water had broken in the office, but it's not a common occurrence as typically less than 10% of pregnant women's water breaks before going into labor anyway). This was the only time CJ and I had any feelings of panic. Once we knew for sure that we were off to the hospital, we were both calm and cucumbers, and excited more than our words could express. No nerves on my end, CJ on the other hand....well he will have to share those feelings as things started to progress.

I was given a pad (heavy duty I must mention) and told to go to the hospital. They were going to call and tell them I was on my's D-day! Now remember, I chose not to have breakfast and I was already starving at this point as it was close to 10:30am. I had been warned to eat before hand because once you are admitted, no food is given, just ice chips. Not knowing how long I was going to be in labor, I force CJ to take me to McDonald's to get something to eat. Fear quickly set in....I can't eat too much because I don't want to throw up so I opted for a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait. I gobbled it down, we parked at the hospital and I got settled in for what I knew was going to be a long day/night.

By 11am, I was all set and I was given and IV and Pitocin almost immediately, which is a medicine that helps start contractions. I would say by 1-2pm I could feel the beginnings of contractions, all mild and manageable. Fast forward several hours, around 6-7pm and I had progressed to about 2-3cm dilated and was ready for my epidural (the contractions were beginning to be painful and unbearable). They called for the epidural and by 8pm, I had my epidural and shortly thereafter I was in far less pain. Now, the epidural is AWESOME for relieving contractions but HORRIBLE for other things. I could not feel my right leg/foot to save my life and I had the worst tingling pain ever. I constantly had to have CJ massage my foot because it felt like there are pins and needles shooting in my foot and up my right leg. My left side was fine. I had to have the nurse reposition me several times because there was nothing I could do to get comfortable. Lucky for me though, I never got sick from the epidural, my greatest fear.

Because my water broke earlier in the day, and typically once your water breaks they like to deliver the baby within 10-12 hours, this time had passed so they were not checking my progress as frequently as they normally would have in order to reduce the risk of infection. At about 10pm my epidural started to wear off...PAIN PAIN PAIN. They came in and gave me another dosage and I was ready to get some sleep. 1am rolls around and once again, the epidural wore off AGAIN and the pain set in. Yet again, they came in and topped me off and I was good to go. An hour later, at 2am they checked me and I was 5cm....progress! We are now just over 15 hours into labor. While I was sleeping, the internal monitor to check the intensity of my contractions must have picked up because at 3am the nurse came in to check my progress again and I was at 10cm dilated, it was go time (please note, I was told that most women progress 1cm per hour once they reach 5 cm so I was fully prepared for several more hours).

The nurse called the doctor and came back in and said we were going to practice pushing. She got me all set up on the stirrups, gave CJ his position which was holding my left leg and the practice pushing began. I practiced through one contractions and the nurse told me to stop, I was too good of a pusher and I was ready to deliver right then and there. What? OMG? the doctor isn't even here. I was given strict instructions to not push, no matter how much pressure I felt, which up to this point, I felt no pressure or anything different for that matter. At 3:30am, the doctor arrived and it was pushing time.

Are you ready for it.....(don't hate), I pushed a total of 6 times through only 2 contractions (3 pushes per contractions). Addison was born at 3:46am. She was SO beautiful. Tears came rolling down my face. The doctor asked if CJ wanted to cut the umbilical cord and I think everything was a little too overwhelming for him that he couldn't do it. I was given the opportunity and of course, I took it. AMAZING!!!

I had the opportunity to hold my precious baby for quite some time while the doctor finished things down below. I practiced breastfeeding and Addison latched on quickly. Score! so I thought. After about 30 minutes, the nurse took her and weighted her, 8lbs 8oz and 21 inches long and gave her her first bath. She was back in our arms, peaceful as can be. Daddy was SO proud and in love immediately. I don't think I could have ever imaged he would have loved her as much as he did so quickly. We all bonded, as a family, immediately. We became the Hoadley's in a matter of seconds. XOXOX!

So, that is her birthday AMAZING one at that! Love you Addibug!!