Friday, January 30, 2015

Life After

Have you ever had something hanging over your head that seemed so important that instead of just doing it, you put it in your back pocket because it just seemed TOO BIG to deal with at the current moment?  Yea, that's pretty much why I haven't blogged but once since Luke was born.  I wanted to document everything so I could look back (and so could he) and remember all the little day to day things that make life life.  But for the first 3 months I was so tired.  SO tired.  And then every day that went by just stacked on top of the last one until it got to the point where I didn't know how to start.  So I'm starting now!

I feel like so many blogs I've read glorify life after having a baby.  Because of that, I was not prepared.  I don't think it does women any favors to lie about how you have it all together, so I'm going to tell it to you straight.  We started having trouble the day we got discharged from the hospital.  Luke would latch in the hospital, but the day we got home and my milk came in I couldn't get him to eat.  After him not eating all afternoon the first day home, I tried syringe feeding him expressed breastmilk.  I was crying hysterically as my mom told me we needed to feed him formula that night so he could eat.  We brought him to the pediatrician the next day and he was so close to being admitted to the hospital because his jaundice was so bad.  Luckily, through formula feeding, we were able to avoid that.  I saw a lactation consultant and she couldn't even get him to latch.  She told me to just "keep trying."  She made me feel bad for bottle feeding and *gasp!* feeding him formula at night because I couldn't pump enough.  But I couldn't keep trying because trying meant 30 minutes of the both of us crying until he finally gave up, latched, and promptly fell asleep from exhaustion.  I hated seeing him so miserable, and honestly in my sleep-deprived state I just couldn't do it anymore.

Then around Day 10 things started getting really hard.  Luke "woke up."  He was a fussy eater and we didn't know why.  He would scream through his bottles like he was in pain, but as soon as he finished he was fine.  His pediatrician prescribed reflux meds but they only helped a little, and between that and pumping around the clock I was losing it.  I had been beating myself up for weeks because I couldn't get him to breastfeed.  If you thought the screaming during bottle feeds was bad, you should have seen how he screamed bloody murder the second I tried to get him to latch.  I cried for weeks because I felt like such a failure.

I remember at my 6 week postpartum appointment the nurse practitioner asked me how I was doing.  I said "Fine!" with tears in my eyes.  She asked me if I had the baby blues.  "No"- I said.  "I'm just tired.  I'm fine."  Looking back now I know I wasn't fine.  I wasn't even enjoying my precious baby because I was such an empty shell of a person.  If he wasn't eating, I set him in the swing just to have a break.  Luke would wake up every 2-2.5 hrs all night long and after feeding him I would have to stay up and pump.  Then, by the time I got back in bed, he was up an hour later and the cycle repeated.  But at 6 weeks something magic happened.  Luke started smiling!  It's like he knew I needed that to motivate me to keep pushing through all the hard stuff.

One of Luke's first smiles :)

So, I pumped.  And I pumped and I pumped some more.  For about 2.5 months I pumped until I felt myself starting to crumble.  I don't think Luke had colic, but he was on the brink of it.  He had to be held at all times and would NOT tolerate being set down.  But the crying was just isolated to his feeds.  After the first few weeks, my mom wasn't staying with us anymore and Jeff was working full time, often not getting home til 7pm or later.  It would come time for me to pump and I couldn't because I didn't have anyone else to hold the baby.  Hours would go by and I would be texting Jeff frantically asking him when he would be home.  I lived in a constant state of anxiety about how I was going to be able to pump!  I was chained to that damn pump and I was miserable.  I spent at least 3 hours a day just pumping.

Finally after 2.5 months, I decided I was done with it.  Once my hormones settled, I was able to somewhat let go of the guilt that society and the lactation consultants put on you about not breastfeeding.  Man, those hormones are a bitch.  I swear the slogan "Breast is Best!" should be illegal.  Of course I would have loved to breastfeed Luke, but it just wasn't in the cards for us.  And that's ok!  Breastfeeding doesn't work for everyone and isn't for everyone, and that's ok.  I'll try again with the next baby, knowing that if it doesn't work out that doesn't mean I'm a failure.

After all of that, can I just say how happy we are now??  Things get SO much better around 3 months.  Yes, they sleep more at night but you also get used to functioning on way less sleep.  Luke is a sweet, happy, and most importantly, HEALTHY little boy.  90th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight at his 4 month checkup!  I'm only 5'0" and Jeff is 5'10" so where the heck did that come from?  After a few months of feeling like you're flailing around, you become more confident in your parenting decisions and learn not to give a you know what about what other people think.  It's really empowering actually!  I'm SO looking forward to seeing who this little boy is going to be.

At 4.5 months, Luke:
-is starting to eat solids!  Loves sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  Not so sure about peas.
-can roll from belly to back, but seems to forget how sometimes
-will roll from back to his side, but doesn't want to go all the way to his belly
-fights me on naps and still wakes several times a night
-has his fingers in his mouth at all times!
-still loves bathtime
-has started laughing, mainly when Daddy lifts him up in the air
-jumps like crazy in his jumperoo
-smiles like crazy when I say "mama"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hello- I'm a mom now! Luke's birth story

Greetings from the other side!  It's been 3 months and I'm finally coming up for air.  I had big dreams of documenting all the moments of Luke's infanthood on this blog, but when quiet moments to yourself are few and far between, sleeping/eating/showering trump blogging any day.

Luke entered this world on September 12th, bright and early at 5:59 am, weighing 6 lb 14 oz and measuring 19 inches long.

Without further ado, introducing Luke Bingham-

2 weeks old
Milam Photography

In true doctor's wife fashion, I went into labor one afternoon while my husband was performing surgery.  Being new to the whole labor thing, I didn't know I was actually in labor at first.  After all, it was a week early and I was convinced that I would go overdue with him.  I had just seen my ob/gyn the day before and was only 1 cm dilated!  I even called the on call ob/gyn who told me he didn't think I was in labor and "this could go on for days."  Well, "days" ended up being a couple hours before the pain was unbearable and I was having contractions 30 seconds apart.  

I called Jeff's cell phone knowing the scrub nurse would answer and relay whatever I had to say to him while he was still scrubbed in.  I probably called 3 or 4 times over the span of 3 hours.  The first time I called my message was something like, "I'm in a lot of pain, but I can wait till you get home."  An hour later, it was more like I need to go to the hospital NOW!  I could hear him cursing in the background because there was literally nothing he could do for me at the moment, since he was still finishing up a surgery.  

Starting to panic, I called my one friend here since we were still new in town and couldn't get in touch with her for over an hour.  Afraid I would be one of those people having their baby on the side of the road, I finally called Jeff's phone one last time and screamed at the nurse to call our friend's husband who also happens to be my husband's partner, a fellow orthopaedic surgeon.  The last thing I wanted was for him to see me in full crazy lady mode, as at this point every other word out of my mouth was "F*@!", but at this point I knew I just needed to get to the hospital and get an epidural FAST.

We made it to the hospital and hilarity ensued as our friend wheeled me into labor and delivery and everyone thought he was my husband.  Then the nurses, bless their hearts, made me sign about a million papers and answer a thousand pointless questions before admitting me and letting me get an epidural.  Questions like- 'Have you taken a birth class?'  Now tell me, why do you need to know that as I'm screaming in pain?  Maybe we can save this little Q&A sesh for later?  I was most definitely that lady in movies you hear screaming curse words down the hall.  

My husband finally arrived and I thought, hey, I've never once pulled the "Doctor" card, but now is the time to use it!  The nurses kept telling me I couldn't get an epidural until my ob/gyn came to check me and she was currently finishing up a c-section.  I turned to Jeff and said, "Call Anesthesia, NOW!"  Before I knew it, we had anesthesia in our room and I was getting a blessed epidural before I saw my ob/gyn.  Why ANYONE refuses epidurals is beyond me, but more power to ya!  I am just not cut out for a "natural" labor, that's for sure.  I had relief for a couple hours, but as my labor progressed overnight and into the early morning hours I began to feel very uncomfortable, shaky, and an unbelievable amount of pressure.  I'm jealous of all those moms who are able to sleep after getting an epidural, but that was not the case for me.  Although I had relief from the intense pain, I still felt terrible all night and didn't get a wink of sleep (although Jeff did- there is nothing more frustrating than watching your significant other sleeping peacefully in the chair next to you as you suffer through labor!).  I had to stay laying on my left side because in any other position, Luke's heart rate would drop.  Towards the end of my labor, they put me on an oxygen mask and I started to get really nervous.  Finally at 5am it was time, and after an exhausting hour of pushing, we finally got to meet our precious little man!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It's Baby Month!

Today I'm officially 38 weeks pregnant and Luke will be here in a matter of weeks!  People look at me like I'm going to go into labor at any moment.  I'll be glad to stop getting stares in the grocery store after he comes.  Don't worry people, I'm not going to pop this baby out on your floor!  Geez.

I guess I've been doing what everyone calls "nesting."  I get super anxious about things left on my to-do list until they're checked off.  Baby clothes are washed, freezer meals prepared, house semi-organized.  But just when I think progress is being made, a surprise happens that sets me back.  Take a look at this:

We were having an alarm system installed last week and the guy threading wires in our attic stepped his foot through my kitchen ceiling.  My FRESHLY painted ceiling.  So right now I'm sitting on the couch while a painter hopefully finishes repairing what they screwed up (on the alarm company's dime, obviously).  Oh, and did I mention we had to replace all the A/C ductwork in our attic a week after we moved in because it was leaking through our dining room ceiling (also freshly painted)?  And just for funsies, we got a letter in the mail a couple weeks ago from our homeowner's insurance company saying our policy was cancelled due to tree limbs overhanging our roof.  Seriously?  Our rep at the company straightened everything out, but I was thisclose to going hormonal-pregnant-lady-crazy on them.  Also, I get to deal with all of this on my own as Jeff is super busy getting settled into the new attending job.  I wouldn't trade staying home for going back to that terrible job I hated for anything, but things have definitely not been as "restful" as I had anticipated.

Home ownership!  Two steps forward, one step back.  Fingers crossed that there will be no more fun surprises before Luke comes!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Big Move and Third Trimester Update

It's been forever since I posted an update on here, but things have been pretty busy lately so please forgive me! 

Jeff graduated from his Sports Medicine fellowship in Jackson the last week of July and the program celebrated by having a nice dinner:

Fellowship grads

Proud wives!

Jeff and I moved to Louisiana last week and have been busy bees getting settled in our new home.  We had someone paint the entire house, so all the walls are fresh (and so clean clean), but we are still waiting on the painter to come back and install all the cabinet doors and drawers in the kitchen (he took them with him to sand down and re-paint so my kitchen is still all in boxes). 

We had an amazing contractor work on the nursery and replace wainscoting all along the walls.  It looks great!  We also finally got the crib put together and the rest of the baby furniture moved into the baby's room.  We have no furniture in the rest of the house besides our old couch and a plastic folding table, but hey!  The nursery is pretty much done!  We still have to add drapes and some artwork for the walls, but here's what we have so far:

Tomorrow I will be 35 weeks!  I can't believe how fast these last few weeks are flying by.  I would say about 3 weeks ago I started to have trouble sleeping due to hip pain at night and I can't do quite as much throughout the day without feeling really tired and getting painful cramps under my belly.  Oh, and it's been 95 degrees outside for the past month, so that has definitely added to the "fun" of being 8 months pregnant.  But other than that, I am really enjoying not working and nesting in our new home!

In other big news, Jeff starts his new job on Monday!  I don't know what we would have done if he hadn't taken these 2 weeks off between finishing fellowship and starting this job.  We have been scrambling trying to make minor improvements to the house, fill out job-related paperwork, and tying up loose ends.  We also went to New Orleans last weekend for my baby shower and Jeff went fishing with his Dad and one of his brothers.  Here are some pics from my baby shower high tea at the Windsor Court in New Orleans:

I had a great time celebrating baby LUKE (I don't know if I've shared his name on here yet?!) with sweet family and friends!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

NYC Babymoon

Jeff and I decided to take a little "babymoon" of sorts a few weeks ago to NYC over Memorial Day weekend.  I think most people do something relaxing, like go to a B&B, but not us!  We completely exhausted ourselves every day on our trip.  I was 23 weeks pregnant and luckily still had the energy to trek around the city!
It was Jeff's first ever trip to NYC, so I thought a good way to start off would be a ferry tour around Manhattan.  We even got a close up view of Lady Liberty herself, something I've never done on my visits to NYC.  It was a great way to start the weekend, and the overcast weather cleared just in time for us to enjoy the sights!

After a quick pit stop at an after hours walk-in clinic for an emergency allergy shot for Jeff (and a few hundred dollars poorer), we headed to the UWS for Shake Shack.  When you're on vacation and your only options are paying out of pocket for quick medical care or ruining the rest of your vacation, I'll pick the former any day!  Shake Shack had been on my to-do list for years, and I was not about to miss out on yet another chance to see what all the hype was about!  The line moved quickly and in no time we had our delicious burgers, fries, and custard for me/shake for Jeff.  It was 2:00 in the afternoon before this pregnant lady finally got lunch, and let me just say I was ha-ppy!

The UWS location of Shake Shack is right across the street from the Natural History Museum, so we popped in there because we had heard such great things about it.  The dinosaur fossils were really cool, but other than that I would skip it unless you have kids.  By this time, my feet were killing me and Jeff's allergy shot hadn't kicked in yet so we half walked/half limped back towards our hotel by way of Central Park. 

We made it about halfway through the park when the sky opened up and it started to rain.  We somehow got lucky and nabbed a cab right before the heavy downpour started and went back to our hotel to recuperate for a little while.  Our concierge recommended an Italian place in the theatre district for dinner called Osteria al Doge, and it was really good!
The next morning we had tickets for the 9/11 museum that had just opened earlier in the week.  It was so moving and I had to stop the tears from forming in my eyes a few times, especially when I read some of the last voicemails the victims left for their loved ones.  Definitely a must see when you're in New York.  We spent about 2.5 hours there and then took the subway over to Brooklyn to go to Smorgasburg!  It's basically a huge open lot with tons of gourmet food tents lined up- basically my dream come true.  You can read more about it here.  My friend Brittany who lives in NYC met up with us, and we all had these amazing lobster rolls, followed by these homemade ice cream sandwiches seen below.  Incredible!  I love going to Brooklyn and having the chance to get out of some of the craziness of Manhattan.
After another exhausting day (and thinking my feet would never recover) we got cleaned up and met up with some good friends for some rooftop drinks (and water for me!) before heading out to a delicious dinner at Buddakan in Chelsea Market.


Anyone recognize this from Carrie's rehearsal dinner in Sex & the City?!
The next day we had to head to the airport around 1:00, but we found time to stop at FAO Schwartz first to buy baby Witty a couple cute stuffed animals for the nursery.  This was a babymoon after all, so I couldn't leave without getting something for him!
I'll leave you with a bump pic from this past Sunday at 25.5 weeks!


All of our house negotiations are finally done and all that's left to do is close mid-July, pack up our apartment, move August 1st, and have this baby (hopefully in September when he's due)!  I'm very anxious, yet excited for what these next 3 months have in store for us :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Last few months of training

Happy Medical Mondays!  It's been awhile since I've linked up, but it doesn't mean that exciting things haven't been happening over here!  Jeff is counting down to the last couple of months of his Ortho Sports Medicine fellowship before he starts his first attending job in August... 

...we're buying our first house...

Our Louisiana house!

And more importantly, our little family of 2 will soon be a family of 3 come September :)

20 weeks
Not to mention me transitioning from being a full-time scientist to a full-time mommy.  Things are going to be changing pretty quickly around here!  We'd love to have you follow along as we get used to life on the "other side," aka post-training!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Halfway there!

Well guys, as of today our little chicken is officially halfway cooked!  Yep, I'm 20 weeks today and wondering where the time has gone.  I've been taking semi-regular bump pictures next to a chalkboard, you know the type you see on Pinterest.  And by semi-regular I mean every 2-3 weeks or so.  Haven't uploaded any of them onto the blog because that would require me actually transferring them from my fancy non-iPhone camera onto my laptop.  Maybe I'll get around to uploading them all at once somewhere before the end of this pregnancy.  Plus, I feel like who really wants to see a bumpdate every other week?  I'll spare you.  Here's a bathroom iPhone pic instead (excuse the dirty mirror).

Picture taken 4 days ago
The most exciting thing to have happened thus far though is that as of about a week ago I can feel the little guy kicking around in there!  I was suprised that I started feeling him at only a little over 19 weeks, because I've heard that some first time moms don't feel him til about 22 weeks or so.  Maybe it's because he's measuring a little ahead according to the ultrasound tech?  Regardless, it's pretty cool.  What's not cool is that I'm starting to get what I expect is round ligament pain in my lower abdomen, I guess from everything stretching.

In other news, we got the inspection on the house we are buying and there were no big surprises, thankfully!  We are submitting what we want fixed to the sellers today.  Fingers crossed they will fix the few things we asked for.  Next step, appraisal!