Friday, October 25, 2013


Sometimes I wonder if our elevators at work have cameras in them because I do really dumb things in there.  I just imagine someone sitting at a desk watching the monitors and then cracking up when I enter an elevator alone.  They might say, "Oh!  Here she is again!  What's she gonna do this time?"

Things like, but not limited to:
- spirit fingers
- talking to myself (but who doesn't do that)
- break dancing....ok ok maybe this is just what I want to do one day (if the running man is break dancing then I have accomplished this one)
- Opera singing

I can only hope that I can bring small joy to one person's life if they just happen to be watching monitors all day long!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I may or may not have worn house shoes to work today...I didn't have any black flats ;).

Monday, October 21, 2013


Let's start off with some cute pics of the kid.

I mean...those jeans!!

Happy baby before bed!!

On Friday, Gary's dad had surgery to remove a spot of cancer in his colon.  The doctors acted as if it was not a big deal and even after they found it, about a month ago, they let him go to Japan for a business trip.  The days leading up to his surgery seemed to be business as usual with all of us, but then on Friday I was a nervous wreck!  I wasn't able to take off of work because we had some special training going on.  I was texting everyone in the fam all morning trying to get updates.  The surgery was supposed to start at 10:30, but he ended up not going back until almost 1.  I actually made it to the hospital (about 5:30) and the surgeon hadn't even come out yet to provide the update.  He said everything went well and he should be able to go home on Sunday!  YAHOO!!  He still will have some follow-up appointments, but as of right now he is cancer free!  We went to visit him on Saturday evening as well and he was awake most of the time and talking.  He had walked 4 times that day.  Then yesterday around 4:30, Delores called and said they made it home safely!  He will be on a special diet for a while, but other than that and resting he should be back to normal and to work by next Monday!  Praise God for such great news!!

So, now for my mother-of-the-year moment...
On Friday night, Wren and I stayed at the hospital until Tony got in his room.  It was almost 9 when we left.  Gary had been there all day and after the doc came out with the update he left to go hang-out with his friend.  Wren was already snoozing when we went out to the car.  I pushed the unlock button on my key ring.  Opened the driver door and started the car.  Closed the driver door and opened the back door to put Wren in.  Got her all strapped in and closed the door.  Then I tried to re-open the driver door and IT WAS LOCKED!!!  WHAT?!?!  How did that happen??  I honestly have no idea how it happened, but it did.  We do have a code pad on our car, but I haven't taken the time to update it because last I looked it was kind of difficult.  I think I'm going to take the time to do that very soon.  

I called Gary immediately having a minor freak out moment.  He reminded me that I was at a hospital and there are cops everywhere :).  I then called my sis-in-law who was still up in the room.  She just giggled and made her way down.  Even though I wouldn't have been able to get to Wren if she was upset, I felt as though I needed to stay by the car.  She told the cop at the front desk and he called the Smyrna police.  I was a little embarrassed, but they all made me feel better about it saying it's not the first time they've seen this.  The police showed up within minutes because there was a kid trapped in the car (whoops!).  He put a metal thing in the door, blew it up with a little woopie cushion type thing and then reached in with another piece and hit the button.  Was Wren screaming her head off you may ask?  NOPE she was sound asleep the whole time and has no idea any of it happened :).  The cop had to get my driver's license info and call in my license plate #.  I was also a nervous wreck during that part because ever since we had Wren we haven't gotten our new tags...they expired in MAY!!!  YIKES!!  We have got to get them soon.  I just prayed that he wouldn't notice and guess what, he didn't!!  He gave me back my DL and told me to have a great evening.  Whew!

Sunday morning Wren went to Bible class for the first time.  She usually goes with us because we don't have a baby class until they can sit up.  She isn't fully steady with sitting up yet, but enough to sit in those seats.

"What's happening?  Where am I?"
"Who are these crazy people?"

"Oh, Hey Preston!" 

"I'm so glad you're here with me!"

She may not be able to sit up, but she can speak in full sentences!  

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Rest of the Story

I heard that yesterday, October 15th, was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  So, I find it appropriate to share the rest of my story.  It might be too graphic for some and it’s very long.  I apologize I’m detail oriented and I’m sure I still left some stuff out.

Up until October 2010 Gary and I were using contraceptives, not birth control I don't like that stuff, to prevent getting pregnant.  We had been married a year and half at that point and thought  it was a good time to stop preventing and see if we could get pregnant.  We were living in Malaysia at the time and we thought it would be really fun to get pregnant there before we came home in February.  Well, it didn’t happen.  When we returned home in February 2011 we still stuck with the same attitude of we aren’t necessarily trying, but we aren’t preventing either.

I’m not exactly sure when it hit us (maybe it was just me) that we were done waiting, but I think it was around the 1 year mark.  I went to the gyno in October 2011 for a yearly check-up and told her that we were trying to get pregnant.  She told me that I needed to lose weight and that was probably why we were having trouble.  I’ve never been very large and I’ve known people larger than me to get pregnant with no problem, so that kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  She also said to be sure we were waiting at least 24 hours between each time we had sex because it takes that long for sperm to fully re-populate.  She suggested that between day 12- 16 of my cycle we have sex every other day.  It was at this point I really started paying attention to my body.  I never really wanted to be the couple who had to try to get pregnant, I just wanted it to happen.  It makes intimate moments not as fun because you have other intentions besides just the intimacy, but it was something that I had to do if I wanted to have a baby.

There were several other couples around us that were also trying and having a hard time getting pregnant, so it was nice to have the support.  However, starting in January it seemed like they all started getting pregnant and we were the only ones left.  In January 2012, my friend Martha and my sister told us they were pregnant.  In February, we found out our good friends Lee and Rachel Evans were expecting.  In March, over a skype chat, I was told my roommate Rachel Kyle, who lives in New Zealand, was going to become a stay-at-home mom the following November.  Then the gender reveal parties started at the end of March.  Even though I was sooooo excited for all of my friends and my sister it was HARD!

On April 19, 2012 (day 36 of my cycle) I came home from work and took a pregnancy test.  I had taken several tests before, but this felt different.  I walked back in the bathroom after a few minutes to find the word pregnant!!!  OH MY STARS was I soooooo excited!!!  I ran and grabbed Gary and we immediately taped ourselves telling ‘the story.’  The next morning when I got to work I went to the store and bought another pregnancy test and took it because I wanted to be sure there wasn’t something wrong with the one the night before.  It also said pregnant!!  I went ahead and told my manager at work because she knew we had been trying as well.

It was still VERY early, but I figured since I got 2 positives that was good enough for me to start telling my close friends and family.  My sister and friend, Rachel Evans, were coming to my house that night, remember they were both pregnant :).  I wrapped the pregnancy test up and gave it to my sister as a ‘gift for her baby.’  I pulled out my video camera and told her I had to capture every moment of my niece/nephew’s life.  She didn’t ask any questions and just continued to open the present.  She saw the pregnancy test in there, but was really confused at first.  Once they figured it out they jumped up and down and we all laughed and giggled like little school girls.  We talked about how I was going to tell the rest of the family and how exciting it all was that the 3 of us were going to be pregnant together!!  Shelley was having her gender reveal party 2 weeks later and so I thought that would be a fun time to tell people.  Yes, that’s still early, but I felt like it was a super fun time for people to find out.  On Sunday, my friend Alison asked Rachel how we were doing because she knew we were trying.  Rachel couldn’t hold it back and told her, which I was totally ok with.  I’m not sure why, but for some reason, I had a strange feeling about it the whole time.  I can’t explain it, but I just felt like something was going to happen.  I remember mentioning a pain in my side to Rachel at church that morning and her saying that it probably wasn’t a big deal (I’m not saying this had anything to do with what happened, it’s just something I remember).

On Sunday night I went to sleep and around 3 am I woke up and had to use the bathroom.  I groggily walked towards the bathroom in our room, turned on the light and sat on the toilet.  I peed and then wiped and when I looked at the toilet paper it was FULL OF BLOOD!


Gary ran in there and rubbed my head while I cried and cried.  I didn’t realize how much this story still affected me until I was telling a girl at work about it the other day and my eyes started tearing up, just like they’re doing right now as I type this out.  I stayed home from work that day and Gary took me to the doctor.  They took my blood and confirmed I was miscarrying.  I had to go to the doc a few more times after that.  I have negative blood and Gary has positive blood, which isn’t compatible.  So, I had to have the rhogam shot.  I later found out that my mom also had to have this, but I had never heard of it before.   The doctor I met with a few days later was so nice and supportive.  Like I said, I had this miscarriage very early, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

That weekend I was going to my parent’s house so I figured that was a good time to let them know about the miscarriage and that we have been trying for a while.  Even though my parents weren’t over the top about pressuring us to have kids it did bother me when they would say things about it, so I thought it best to let them know what we were going through.  At some point, not sure when, Gary told his family as well, but told them I didn’t really want to talk about it and they respected that.  The one thing I remember his mom saying was , “Kimberly, you know I love you very much.”  I knew exactly what she was eluding to and it was the perfect way for her to tell me that she knew what happened and that she was respecting my wishes.

It seemed that every baby event I went to for a while was very emotional.  People might not have noticed and I honestly hope they didn’t because I would never want to ruin their joy.  Plus the majority of the people I was celebrating with had their own struggles to deal with whether it be they had miscarried, they were waiting for a spouse to be sober for a year or it was just taking them a while to get pregnant.  However, my cards at baby showers were much more sentimental during this time :).

When I would see or hear people complaining about their kids it tore me up (and honestly it still kind of does).  I would think, “You have kids.  Be happy!”  Of course, more and more people were announcing their pregnancies and the more it happened the worse I felt.  The doctor had told us not to try again for a month to let my body fully recuperate.  So, when June came around I was ready to try again.  I kept up with what was going on with my body.  Counted days, had sex on the suggested days and PRAYED PRAYED PRAYED!!  I decided I was not going to take another pregnancy test until I was at least 2 weeks late because I was notorious for taking them early and being disappointed.  I had taken the other one when I was only a week late.  The doctor had told me that you are very fertile after a miscarriage, so it will probably happen fast.  There were 2 other friends of mine that had miscarriages before me and they said they both got pregnant the month they started trying again.  So, I was overly hopeful.  The day I was supposed to start came and went, but I stuck to it and didn’t take a pregnancy test.  Then on day 40, the same day of my cycle in April, the exact same thing happened.  I can’t fully support that it was another miscarriage because I didn’t take a pregnancy test and I didn’t go to the doctor, but it felt EXACTLY the same!  They call these chemical pregnancies.  Had I not been so in tune with my body I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it.  I might have thought I was cramping more and bigger clots were passing, but definitely the first thing on my mind wouldn’t be miscarriage.  However, at this point in my life it was.  It wasn’t necessarily as devastating because, like I said, I didn’t have the support to back up the fact I thought I was having a miscarriage, but it still proved that I was not pregnant for another month.

I finally broke down and bought some ovulation sticks that Rachel Evans had been trying to tell me to get and on August 14th I got that smiley face!!  I also decided that this go ‘round I was going to take my test early and try to get into the doctor before I miscarried.  So, on August 28th I took a pregnancy test (day 30 of my cycle) and it was POSITIVE!!!  I remember being so excited, but so scared at the same time because I knew that it could all end up the exact same way it did the times before.  I called the doctor immediately (btw I had changed docs at this point) and made my first appointment.  It was still too early for them to see anything on the ultrasound, but they guessed my due date would be May 6th.  I requested to go ahead and get the rhogam shot and I also mentioned progesterone because I had heard that helped, but the nurse practitioner I met with said they would only give me the rhogam if I was bleeding and didn’t think I needed progesterone since I was already pregnant.

I did start telling my close friends and family so they could begin praying for us and the baby.  I was so nervous for day 40 to come.  I just kept saying, “I just have to make it past that day.”  On day 40 I went to the bathroom at work and I was dripping blood.  I didn’t necessarily freak out because that was already different from gushing blood, but I did call my doctor and they wanted me to come in.  I went in later that afternoon and they gave me the rhogam shot and put me on some progesterone that I inserted in the morning and in the evening.  They should have just listened to me and it might have saved me that trip, don’t ya think?  I had to revisit the doctor more frequently in the beginning because of my history and everything, but on September 20th we got to see our sweet baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound and my due date was changed to May 14th.  They told me that the risk of miscarriage lowered significantly when you saw the heartbeat and then even more when you could hear it on the external monitor.

I remember when we finally decided to put the word out on social media.  I was well past my first trimester and all of my close friends and family knew, but I was sooooo worried about certain people’s feelings.  I still had some friends or acquaintances that were still struggling with getting pregnant and I did not want to be one of those people that rubbed it in.  I reached out to one person in particular and she made me feel so much better!  She told me that it meant a lot to her that I thought of her, but she was honestly overjoyed for us. Her and her husband are still trying, to this day, and I pray for them often and I would like to request that you do the same.  God will know who she is.

The rest of my pregnancy seemed to be flawless and I am soooo thankful and overjoyed that we were able to welcome our sweet baby girl into the world on May 11th.  We did have a few issues towards the end as well, but Wren was born safely and healthy!  Thank you Lord!

I pray that I enjoy EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. of Wren’s life.  She is such a blessing and honestly a GREAT baby!!  I know things can change daily with babies, but I do believe that what we went through has allowed us to enjoy her more and not really notice if we’re having a “bad day.”  I’m just so thankful I have her!

I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix and there’s an episode when Derek and Meredith are trying to get pregnant and out of nowhere Callie does.  Callie isn’t married, she really wasn’t trying, but she’s the one who gets to have a baby.  There’s a scene when Derek and Meredith are in the elevator and she is having an emotional break-down about how Callie wasn’t even trying and she is doing ‘all the right things’ and can’t get pregnant and how it’s not fair.  I’ll be honest it’s how I felt during our hard times and I’m still slowly working through thoughts that I have concerning other people.  It can sometimes be a daily struggle, especially with social media and ‘keeping up with the Jones’s.’  I have been having some break-through moments lately and I’ve noticed that my view of other people and their lives has completely changed and I thank my sweet precious husband for that because he helps me with how to word my prayers in a certain way that gives my worry over to God.

I pray that this post helps people understand where I’ve come from and where I’ve been and that if I have ever snapped at you for something, especially concerning your kids, that this helps explain it.  I also pray for those people who are still trying to get pregnant and those who are about to welcome a baby into their lives.  I pray for new mom’s and mom’s of teenagers.  I pray that we can all be respectful of what others are going through as well as keep in mind that people don’t mean certain things that they say to be taken personally.  I just pray!!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Cutie Booty

Wren and I got to tag along with the in-laws on Friday for a day trip to Mt. Pleasant and Pulaski. 

Our first stop was to visit Christine at her new house in Mt. Pleasant.  After Gary's grandmother passed away his Pop married Christine.  I was never fortunate enough to meet his grandmother, but we LOVE Christine and even now that Pop has passed we love spending time with her and letting her be a part of our kids' lives!

Wren had her first experience with sitting at the kid table :).

Our second stop was to visit Cool Springs Church of Christ in Pulaski where Gary's parent's got married.  They have a creek right behind the church and the kids went wadin' in the water.

Wren with her Granny in front of the church she was married in.  It's such a cute little country church!

Our third stop was the square in Pulaski.  Reeves Pharmacy still has nickle cokes... 
Wren's first nickle coke.  J/K!!  But she did grab at it :). 

My mom met us in Pulaski to bring us to her house for the night.
This was mine and Shelley's high chair when we were kids.  All the grand kids have used this at Bebe's house.  We had to set a pillow in there with her because she still isn't steady with sitting up.

PePaw was so excited to watch the 1st NLCS game with Wren... 
It was so exciting it wore her out!!  Yes, she's sporting her Cardinals outfit :).

**Spoiler Alert - In case you missed game 1 the Cards won in a 13 inning game!  It was crazy intense and dad and I both had to do some silent cheering as to not wake the baby up.  Game 2 ended with the Cards winning as well!!  Can't wait to see what happens in game 3 tonight!!**

On Saturday we had Rachael's baby shower and I forgot Wren's bow, which I hate, so at one point we put her sunglasses on her head just for accessories :). 

                                    I ended up loving how this 
                                      diaper cake turned out!!

One of the hostesses wasn't able to make it because one her girl's was sick, but we still had fun!! 

She did still do all the food, which was DELICIOUS!!!!

That night we got to go to Tate Farms for FREE!!  Nick and Rachael's church rents it out and they are allowed to invite 3 families and those chose us!!  LUCKY DUCKS!!
We tried to get a pic of Easton and Wren with their heads through this...didn't work out too great!!

That little brown arm is Alyza!!  They loved the bunnies!!

Easton checking out the goats!

Alyza talking to the goats.

The pigs were not all about the people.  They were napping.

Daddy and Wren.

Wren and I went down this huge tube slide!  She did fine the first time, but we went a lot faster the second time and she did not like it.

Adeline and Wren playing in the corn crib.

Who knew corn could be so much fun!!  It was really fun to put in people's pockets when they weren't looking.  I put a handful down Rachael's shirt and then one down Shelley's.  When I was least expecting it, Shelley came in with the attack and got me back.  It was hilarious!!!  We are definitely big kids!

The hayride to go get our pumpkins! 

Easton riding to the car with the mother-load!

What Gary pulled out of his pocket when we got home that night :).  Dad said everytime he reached in his pocket at work that night he would get a kernel.  HAHA!!

Now, for your final picture of this post... 
This cutie's booty on Sunday morning!!  Thanks Rhonda Sharp for her cute bloomers.  Is it weird I asked everyone at church to check out her booty?...NAH!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Feeding Baby Part 1

When I wrote this post I had no idea how much attention it was going to get.  People I haven't talked to in years reached out to me to express their interest in my experience.  I had already thought about doing a follow-up post with other people's stories, but that just confirmed it all.  It has actually turned into a 2 post entry because there were more stories that I wanted to include.

I am extremely blessed, as I know many of you are, to have close friends and family who experience feeding their newborns completely different than I have.  I find this to be a blessing because it helps us new moms comprehend the fact that everyone is different and we don’t have the same story or experience.  Feeding a baby, whether you nurse or use formula, can be difficult and let me just say that I have learned so much already by reading these ladies stories!

So strap on your nursing bra or shake that formula because you are in for a milky ride!

Hi!  My name is Rachael.  I have 3 daughters:  Alora, 11, Adeline, 8 and Alyza, 2.  I am pregnant with my 4th daughter, Allove, who is due in November.

With Alora and Adeline I breastfed the first 4 months and my milk dried up. I look back and think several things played a role:
1. I was under a ton of stress.  With Alora, we lived in Texas.  Nick, my husband, worked nights.  This was my first C-Section and recovery was terrible due to being so large, never exercising, poor diet, you name it.
2. With both of them, I had no support team for breastfeeding, so when it got tough I quit trying.
3. I didn't know the simple things like, it’s hard.  You are told by everyone, ‘it is natural. everybody can do it,’ and if you have trouble something is abnormal with you. That is so not true, it’s hard!  Sometimes they don’t latch right, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it takes awhile to get it, etc.
4. No one told me that your milk supply dips when you are on your monthly period.  I am thinking that is probably what happened with both of my older girls.  I thought, “Oh I am drying up.” When really it would have picked back up after my period.

Who knows what all factors came into play with them, I was young and naive.

However, with Alyza I had support all around, I was determined to make a true go of it. I do think you can lean on the crazy side of being a breastfeeding nazi though. I know people that will endure torture and go through all kinds of crazy issues so that they aren’t considered a failure if they do not breastfeed. I do think breastfeeding is by far the best milk for babies, but formula is also a great choice. It has come a long way and can be very healthy and safe for babies too. Not everyone can breastfeed for whatever reason, just like no matter how bad you want it, not everyone will have a vaginal birth. I went into feeding Alyza with determination but also with a stress free attitude that if it didn’t work oh well, that just meant it would be a little easier on me;)  I was not going to get all bent out of shape and I was only planning on nursing 6 months anyway.  Well, it went GREAT!  I was never able to pump, who knows why, but I was able to produce enough for her until she was 13 months old. I actually grieved stopping, which I did not plan to happen.

I think you set what you can do.  For example, if you can go from bottles to breast and keep your supply up and baby does great, go for it! If you can’t and you want to breastfeed them, don’t use bottles. You have to find what your body can do and what your baby will do.  Every situation is so different!! I am excited to breastfeed Allove! I am more confident that it will work because I have a good experience behind me and great support. I am in this one for the long haul, but again anything could happen so I will be willing to accept something different if I have to.  There are so many resources out there and crazy things to try to keep and gain supply, my advice would be try it all but stay relaxed and enjoy your baby!!

I’m Shelley, Kimberly’s sister, and this is my precious little buddy, Easton.

I believe a little bit of background is necessary for you to understand my story.  I graduated with a degree in Social Work and worked in that field up until 2011 when my government paid position was not renewed. This forced me to look elsewhere for employment.  I applied for several other social work positions, but was unsuccessful with finding a job in that field.  I was given the opportunity to begin working with an insurance agency and after discussing with my family, friends and many hours of prayer, I decided to become an insurance agent.

While I was pregnant with Easton, I traveled to and from Atlanta on a regular basis to attend training classes. I had to take several tests in order to be a licensed insurance agent as well.  I believe I went into labor due to the stress I was facing with this career choice I had made.  Then once he got here, the stress only got worse when I tried to balance a newborn, new career and other home and church activities I was involved in.

Nursing Easton from the beginning was HARD!  I felt awkward in the hospital and a couple of weeks in I was ready to give up.  Luckily, I had great support and my friend, Rachael (above), made me an appointment with a lactation consultant.  The apt was on a Thursday and I decided that if this did not help and we were not doing better by that Sunday then I was only going to pump and I was not going to continue to stress myself out about it!  Easton was doing SOOOOOO much better by Sunday!  If it had not been for Rachael I would have quit right off the bat!  She even came and spent the night with me one night and got up with me every time it was time for Easton to eat!  When she couldn’t be there she had one of her friends call me and talk me through it.  Such a good friend!

I was only able to stay home with Easton for 4 weeks because I had to get back to studying for my insurance tests.  I tried to pump at least twice a day, but eventually I got too busy and was only able to pump once a day.  We had to start supplementing formula at 4 months and by the time he was 6 months I had dried up and he was only eating formula.

I have no clue how to explain the stress of being a new mom and trying to breastfeed!  I was a crazy person!!!!!  Sometimes I regret doing all of that other stuff during the first few months of Easton's life because I feel like I was not focused enough on him and on being a new mom!  Plus, I think the stress made my milk supply decrease!  So sad!  My advice for new moms is NEVER FEEL LIKE A FAILURE!!! Definitely give breastfeeding a try, if it’s something you want to do.  Remember that it will be hard especially if you experience any ‘baby blues.'  Try to find a breastfeeding coach (this can be a friend who has the experience and wisdom) that can help you through those hard times.  But like I said, if it comes down to it and you aren’t able to breastfeed or even pump, you are not a failure!

My name is Jillian and my little man is Braylon.

Nursing Braylon was difficult in the beginning because it did not seem like he was getting anything. We were so tempted to just go with formula because we weren't sure how much he was getting. We had 3 different people (some lactation consultants - some not) show us in the hospital how to do it. Every one of them had a DIFFERENT method! Finally, on the LAST DAY, like 2 hours before we went home, the Lactation Consultant who had TAUGHT our breastfeeding class, showed us and it seemed to work. She told us that Boppies, sometimes, got in the way, so we went with a stack of pillows.

About 3 or 4 weeks after Braylon was born, I started having a pain in my wrists.  I'm pretty sure that the pain occurred because of the way I was pumping at first. I was just pumping one breast at a time, but I was doing it with a double pump. I did not know that you can pump one at a time without having to hold the funnel manually.  Yes, I did have a pumping bra, but, again, I did not know that I could pump one side at a time without holding it in my hands.  Boy, if I had known... :) It killed my wrists because I pumped and/or fed so often.  My nursing goal was at first 12 months; then, when the pain started, it turned to 6 months.

At my 6 weeks post-partum visit, I told my gyno about it, and she had never really had any experience with it.  De Quervain's Tendonitis is the official name, but people call it ‘mommy thumb.'  Sometime in January I went to my primary doctor, (Braylon would have been around 4 months), and he said ibuprofen and rest. Rest! What?! But Braylon has to EAT!! Like....A LOT!! The lactation folks that I spoke to while I was on maternity leave said to change my nursing position, so I tried the Boppy that the other lady had discouraged me from using and it worked a little better than the pillows, but it still hurt SO BAD.

While I was still at home during my 6 week maternity leave I pumped often, but not consistently.  Once I went back to work I would try to pump twice a day, but some days I would skip because of the pain.  By the way, I'd be happy to tell you about being walked in on while pumping during my planning period and having to deal with janitors and principals unlocking my door…but we can save that for another time :).

I didn't go to the orthopedic specialist until March or April, which was right around the time I stopped nursing.  Braylon was 7 months old.  I got braces for each wrist. Insurance paid for them, thankfully, because they were like a hundred and some dollars a piece!  I went to a post-natal yoga class, and the instructor thought the braces I was wearing from the orthopedic doctor would not help me.  Who am I supposed to listen to??

Like I said, my nursing goal was at first 12 months, but when the pain started, it turned to 6 months.  So I had surpassed my goal, but it was still a little hard.

I was hard on myself at first, but I knew that I had been in pain for months all because I wanted to give Braylon the best start possible! (I'm holding back some tears now, just thinking about it!!!!!!) It made me feel so much better when he did well with formula. He had already had bottles of breastmilk at his Grammie's, so he was used to bottles. Matt and I talked about it, and he was so supportive and told me I didn't have to keep suffering. We also thought it best for me to stop nursing Braylon so that when we tried for another kid, I could nurse that one, too. So basically one of the major reasons we did NOT try to get pregnant this summer was because we had to make sure my hands could have time to heal. We knew that 7 months of breastmilk for Braylon was awesome and so we feel really good about it now.

My advice to you new moms, don't give up on breastfeeding no matter how hard or inconvenient or uncomfortable it may be. The bonding experience and alone time you get with baby is SO precious. I can't imagine NOT doing it now. People may say, "Oh, I couldn't do it," or "My baby just couldn't," but God made us this way. Before formula, this was all we had! Experts say to do it early and often in the beginning. Persistence, the right people around you for support (like my wonderful husband, Matt), and love for your baby will get you through it for however long you want to do it. Some is better than none at all  :) Find everything out about your pump that you can, too! :)

I hope you have enjoyed these stories and check out part 2 when I share stories about colic babies and wound vacs.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fry them Fish

The Preds had their first game last week, so we celebrated by putting this cutie in her Preds attire.  Thanks Josh and Steph for the cute onsie!  Do you see that bow??  Yes, her hair is just long enough now :).

Friday night, we went to my aunt and uncle's to celebrate my Grandmother's birthday.  Braden is always over there and at one point he gave Wrennie her first piano lesson.
Taking it all in

There goes the prodigy!!!

Riley, my cousin's 5 year old daughter, is a genius!!  She is only in kindergarten, but can read like a champ.  Wren and Grandmother enjoyed Riley's reading of "Oh the Thinks You Can Think."

Wren was jumping up and down during the book!!

On Saturday morning, Wren and I got up to head to a yard sale!  A friend from college was having one in Mount Juliet and she has two girls older than Wren, so I knew she would have some stuff that I will need for Wren in the winter.  Check out these cute shorts I got her!!  They are a bit tight around her ghetto butty cloth diaper, but they sure are cute!!  That's probably the only time she will get to wear them, but I'm totally ok with that.  It was worth it just for this picture!!

On Sunday, Gary's Pop had his annual fish fry.  He invites his family and some of his old pickin' friends to his house for a good old fashion fish fry.  They usually pick and sing, but they didn't this year.  Pop was in a bluegrass group, Connie & Babe And the Backwoods Boys.  650 AM actually plays some of their songs sometimes!  Hopefully in a couple of weeks we are going to hear Pop sing a bluegrass festival!!

Hope y'all had a great weekend!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Into the Woods

My mother-in-law loves decorating for Halloween.  It's her favorite!!  So, Emily (my sister-in-law/Wren's baby-sitter), took her 'into the woods' yesterday to help decorate.

Emily has watched all of the nieces and nephews.  She was given the nickname "aunt mommy."

Benjamin is such a big helper

It's almost time for the Annual Washer camp-out!!  WOO HOO!  CAN'T WAIT!!

Wrennie even helped a little.  What a cute little pumpkin...the baby, not the actual pumpkin :).

Happy (Almost) Halloween!

P.S. I'm still working on the Part 2 of the pump-it-up post!