my pumping journey.

(one day's excess milk getting ready to go in the freezer! 1 qt!)

*disclaimer :: this going to be very random, but i'm writing just so that i'll remember.

when i was preggo, i never would have thought that i would have gone the route of exclusively pumping. i didn't actually think that breastfeeding would be so difficult for micah and i. i was definitely naive when it came to the realities of trying to get a good latch. to be honest, i feel like all of the classes and books make it seem that it is easy. like all babies come out with a great latch if you just know how to position them and that if you have problems, you're doing something wrong. bull.

my journey wasn't the ideal. it wasn't what i expected. it wasn't what i wanted, but i love the road that i chose.

micah came out and actually did have a perfect latch. he nursed amazingly through the first night and it wasn't until the next day that he started refusing to latch. he would fight and scream and after one bad latch, it was just too painful to keep going. the LCs told me to take a break. to pump and feed him what i pump and then to supplement with formula. just for 24 hours. well, after that break, i was left with an infection and i wasn't able to get him back on and after tears from all of us and multiple visits to the lactation consultant, i decided to exclusively pump.

i knew it was possible because my sister did it. if she hadn't, i wouldn't have known that it was even possible because the entire medical profession (that might be a slight exaggeration) denies that it's possible. seriously. 10 months in i had doctors/nurses tell me that it's impossible....i wanted to say, "really?!? you mean the last 10 months of my son getting only breastmilk is impossible? oh and the 3 months worth of milk in my fridge isn't real??" but i didn't, because i'm just not that bold (or rude). instead, i politely said over and over again, that this is what i'm doing and it's working for us.

anyway, God is so good. i prayed that i would have enough milk, and i did. i prayed that He would make a way for me to provide micah with enough milk for an entire year, and He did. i prayed that my journey would be helpful to others, and it has. my God is good.

through this journey, i've been able to help other pumping moms. i helped a mom through the rough beginning stages when she was devastated that her son wouldn't nurse and she felt like no one understood. God has made a way for me to share what I've learned, and because of that, i would not have had it any other way.

as far as production goes, i had a massive oversupply when i was on maternity leave and a couple of months after, and then as work got busier, and micah got busier, i slowed down on pumping until i was matching what he was eating. we maintained that for a while (and i saw we, because Alex was a HUGE blessing and made it possible for me to pause to pump up to 8 times a day!), and then i started weaning. i was completely weaned off the pump by a couple of weeks before Micah's birthday and i had a freezer stash that has kept him drinking only breastmilk for a longer than a month! we'll use up the last few gallon bags of milk over the next couple of weeks. i just introduced whole milk yesterday and micah liked it just fine. he'll get that during the day, while he'll still have pumped milk for the mornings and evenings...just to make it go a little further :)

i felt like i wanted to write this down so that i won't forget. i don't want to forget how proud i am of myself, and i don't want to forget how thankful i am that God sent me on this path. the most common thing that people want to know is if i would do it again with our next baby. i can't say that i can answer that right now because i now have a son who would have to do a lot of waiting around while i pump (and wash bottles, and prepare bottles, and steralize parts...) and take care of another baby, and if i could avoid that, i would. pumping would never be my first choice as it's a ton of extra work, but i don't think i would adamantly say that i wouldn't do it if my baby won't nurse next time. we'll just have to wait and see :)


twelve months.

you are one! this picture makes my heart so happy and so full. at twelve months old, you are quite the little man. i've said it before, and i'm sure i'll say it again....you are ALL boy. seriously. i can't even get you to sit still to read a book, but i love reading to you so i read while you eat...that way i have you trapped! you are a ball of energy and are always on the go. you don't stop when you're awake and still take 2 (long) naps every day. the picture above is evidence of your energy as your legs are almost always covered with little bruises! you go, fall, and then go some more! you've been taking a few steps at a time for a while now, but on May 1, you started really going for it...10-15 steps at a time, and within a week, you were pretty steady on your feet and walking down the hall and around corners! you are officially a toddler and mama has mixed emotions about that ;) with walking came tantrums, but you're still little enough that we can redirect you and you forget about it pretty quickly. you don't watch tv, which isn't a bad thing, but sometimes mama would like just 15 minutes with you distracted :) you still only say da-da, but you have started waving, clapping, climbing and dancing! you are so much fun to be around and you are SO silly. you do things that crack us up, and you crack yourself up too! it is such a joy to be your mama. i love your big open mouth kisses...you grab my face (or hair) on both sides and bring my face to yours for kisses. it's the sweetest thing EVER. your hugs are the only things that rival your kisses. they are strong and warm my heart. i never knew the depth of love that i would experience by knowing you. thank you for making me a mama. every day with you is a gift and the last 365 gifts have been amazing.

i love you little man,


my first mother's day.

we had an awesome day. it started bright and early since i had to be at our new RH HB campus so Alex and Micah brought me breakfast and a venti chai to get the morning started right :) it was a great launch and then we spent a couple of hours with my mom and grandma at my grandparents house. after that was family nap time followed by packing and more birthday party planning. the day was busy and full, but i loved spending it with my two guys. last year on mother's day, i thought i was 2 weeks away from having a baby, but i delivered my little guy just three days later! i just love being a mama to my little man and look forward to many more mother's days!



i'm a crier. always have been. pretty sure i always will be.

i get especially emotional every time alex and i move...which is once a year at this point...let's pray that this next place will be somewhere for us to be long term!

i think it's helping that the birthday party is distracting me from the reality that we are moving in less than a week, but, i know that this move is going to be the most emotional yet. just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. this is where i labored. this is where we brought him home. this is where we walked the hall in the middle of the night soothing our newborn. this is where he learned to roll over. to scoot. to crawl. to walk.

oh my.

while our neighbors are not ideal, and being on the second floor with a baby is rough, we have had some amazing memories here. ones that i hope to never forget. and with that i am going to try to move forward, knowing that this move is going to be great for our family, and i'm going to try to cut off the weepiness before i got into the ugly cry. here are some of those first memories with micah at home.


almost one.

did you know that this guy is turning 1 in less than a week??! i can hardly believe it. he started walking a LOT more this week! it's safe to say we have a walker, even though i think he prefers crawling because he's faster! with all of the craziness that is surrounding us right now, i am still trying to focus on the details of his little man birthday party. i love and appreciate the details that go into making a party so special, and i'm not skipping any because his birthday happens to fall at a crazy time :) okay, okay, so i'm not focusing on every teeny tiny thing, but i am trying to be intentional for our little guy. here's a sneak peak of what's to come...

(little jars with adhesive mustaches)

(tiny paper bunting)

everything is really starting to come together...maybe i'll start packing this afternoon ;)


quick update.

we get the keys to the new place in 5 days.
micah's birthday is in 7 days.
his party is in 10 days.
giant event at work in 7 days.
launching the RH HB campus in 3 days.

there are so many things to do for all of the things above, but this morning i just enjoyed the morning with my boy. the to do list can wait for nap times.


our new home.

so, the virus has not left me. went to the doctor, but he was no help. dumb virus. i did have to go to work today, but i stayed as far away from people as possible and didn't even step inside a kids room! just there for support, ya know?

okay so the virus is kind of depressing...especially since i've been resting like crazy...alex and my parents have done double duty to keep me resting. anywhoo...our new home is much more exciting than a dumb virus, so i figured I would post some pictures. it's still a work in progress as they are currently installing new countertops and a new tub. we visited again yesterday to check out the progress and it was really exciting :)