February 16, 2015

Those Moms are Liars

If you are a Mom then you know those lying Moms.  The ones who LOVE the newborn stage. The Moms who can't wait to be pregnant again.  The Moms who posts a million instagram photos of their child smiling and showing what another "great day" they had.

I am calling BULLSHIT.  Sure, there are amazing days and moments as a Mom.  There were beautiful things about being pregnant.  And newborn snuggles are precious.  But, in all reality there is a lot about becoming a Mom that I didn't know and sometimes the truth hurts.

TRUTH:  Even if you didn't get hemorrhoids while pregnant, you can get them from labor.  Oh yes friends, 2 hours of pushing and now you have butt nuts (as my favorite no longer blogger used to say). So you not only get the gift of a newborn but then you get the gift of one more thing that needs to heal down there.  SEXY.

TRUTH: You may think you don't have stretch marks while pregnant and then all of a sudden you lose baby weight and there they are! And they make you look like a contestant on the biggest loser pre-skin surgery removal.  Damn you oils and big belly for being deceiving.

TRUTH: You may have to make the hard decision to stop breastfeeding/pumping earlier than you thought.  I have gone back and forth with this decision and after weeks of an unhappy baby I now am no longer giving my daughter breast milk.  This has been a really hard choice and I question it each and every day.  But to see Charlie  smile and not be in pain even for a few precious moments each day is SO worth it.

TRUTH:  When you make the decision to stop pumping you will need to prepare your milk to dry up.  AND THIS PAIN IS EXCRUCIATING!!!! I currently have cabbage in my sports bra, peppermint tea brewed and ice packs cooling in the freezer.  There have been tears shed not only because I am no longer giving my baby breast milk but also because I did not expect this process to hurt so bad.

TRUTH: When your baby cries in pain a majority of her awake time, you will wish her to sleep. You will wish away these precious first weeks at times because you have been told it gets better.  You may also say to your spouse that you aren't sure you will want to have more babies.  But people also tell you that you will forget these hard days and you will be excited for another child. And I have to believe them in order to keep some sort of sanity in those really hard moments.

TRUTH: You will be having a day that tries you and then your child will look up and give you a grin and a little coo and everything else will melt away.  And all the tears, butt nuts, stretch marks and lettuce on your boobs will be worth it.

This post sounds pretty harsh but these are things that I wish I knew before they happened so I was prepared for when they did.  But please don't take me pointing these things out as not loving being a Mom.  Because it truly is the greatest thing to ever happen to me.  It just shows how strong we are as women to not only go through pregnancy but then to transition into motherhood.  These first weeks have challenged me and I am really proud to be a part of this new club, to be a Mom.

New Mom Essentials

I know people do these posts all the time but thought I would put in my 2 cents on what items were crucial these first weeks as a new mom.  Every baby is different but here is what worked for Charlie and I.

Fisher Price Cradle 'n Swing


This swing has been a lifesaver for us.  Charlie sleeps in this swing and it keeps her safe and cozy.  I actually rarely use the actual swing feature but it rather acts as a cradle.  I like this one because it is high enough off the ground to keep the dogs out of her face and it can easily be used downstairs or at the side of my bed.  The swing has different sounds and speeds for any baby preference. 

Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper


My sister swore by this sleeper and gave it to us since her kids are bigger. Charlie sometimes naps in this item as well.  The one we have is a manual rocker so you have to do the work but it has been great with Charlie's acid reflux and keeps her sleeping inclined.  This is easily portable so you can move from room to room if necessary (much easier than the swing above). 

Medela Pump In Style Pump Parts


I was able to order my Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump through my insurance. One good thing about ObamaCare I guess.  When I went to my lactation consultant she ended up having me pump in her office and gave me a second set of pump parts to take home.  Little did I know that she did me the greatest favor ever.  I went from exclusively breastfeeding to exclusively pumping within a few weeks of Charlie being born.  That meant that I was pumping every 3 hours.  This was great as Joe could help me with feedings since she was getting breast milk in a bottle but it was so annoying to wash the pump parts every time.  Having a second set of parts made things so much easier. 

Fenugreek Pills 


When I first started breastfeeding I had an issue with supply.  The lactation consultant (and lots of Moms on Instagram) told me about these pills.  They told me to take 3 pills 3 times a day and it would help boost my supply.  Apparently it also makes you smell like maple syrup but that did not happen to me, much to Joe's dismay.  



This is perhaps one of the grossest things I have ever bought.  If I hadn't heard the rave reviews on it I would never have even considered it. I mean, who thought to have parents literally suck the snot out of their children? GROSS.  But it works, and it's easy. 

Snuza Baby Monitor


I have an insane fear of SIDS. I knew I would be getting a Snuza Hero monitor for Charlie before she was born. I registered for one but was lucky enough to have my good friend Sara (Oh Hi Sara!!) give me hers as she never used it on her baby.  This little monitor clips onto the baby's diaper and it will stimulate the baby if they stop breathing and it will sound should the stimulation not work.  This alarm has sounded a few times on Charlie. I don't know if they are "false alarms" as Charlie does have labored breathing with her acid reflux.  It is scary as shit when this thing goes off but at least I know it is working.  And transitioning Charlie to her nursery is scary enough and having this monitor on her makes things easier for me. 

Gripe Water


Gripe Water has come into our lives just the past week or so and it has been a lifesaver.  I don't really see a difference in Charlie's fussiness or gas but due to the acid reflux she gets hiccups all the time.  The Gripe Water stops hiccups almost immediately.   It smells just like ginger ale and she really likes the taste.  Since poor girl is so uncomfortable all the time anyway, I don't want her to suffer through hiccups non-stop too. 

And when all else fails, grab a bottle of wine. 

February 6, 2015

Charlie | One Month

This post is a week late but that seems pretty good for someone who doesn't even know what day it is half the time. I know I did an update post last but want to document these first months so I can look back.

Height: 20.5 inches (This is up for debate as she apparently was this length at birth soooo).
Pediatrician said she's below average for height and was puzzled as I am 5'8" and Joe is 6'3". I doubt we will have a short daughter but only time will tell. 
Weight: 9 lbs 3.5 oz. Little peanut gained almost 2 lbs in just 2 weeks. Catching up!

Clothes: Still wearing newborn sleepers but I think this is short lived now that she has put on a few more pounds.  I can't wait to break out some new outfits once she fits in them! We did graduate to a size 1 diaper a few weeks ago. 

Nicknames: Puds, Baby Bear, Le Charles, Squirts, Chunk, JoeMar

Milestones: Charlie has held her head up since about 2 weeks old! Her neck is so strong. As tummy time increases so does her strength.  We also witnessed her first rolling over from tummy to back.  This was done on our bed but she did it all by herself. This is early right?? 

Sleep: Sleep is something we are working on.  We have started the transition from napping in rock n play or Mom's arms to the crib upstairs.  This is hard for both Mommy and Baby but we are doing this slowly.  We also have baby sleeping in Pack n Play in our room now to try and adjust her to the crib.  Her acid reflux makes it difficult as she wakes often.  We usually have night sleeping from 10pm-1pm, 2-5am and then 6-9am. Hoping to see longer stretches here soon. 

Best Moment: Charlie is becoming much more alert and we are seeing more smiles while she is awake. She loves to make little noises at herself in the mirror and we adore watching it all happen. 

Worst Moment: Learning that Charlie might be suffering from acid reflux.  After giving Zantac drops with little relief we have recently switched her to a milk allergy specific formula which seems to be helping. At $40/can it is an expensive switch but hoping to see little Miss not in pain anymore after eating.  Our once happy, sleepy baby became a crying mess in a blink of an eye which is so hard for Mom to witness. The painful screams are slowly subsiding.. Hallelujah! 

Likes: Pacifier, swing, being walked around the house, singing, cuddling, watching self in mirror, bath time 

Dislikes: diaper and clothing changes, ANYTHING DIGESTIVE (Hiccups, Burps, Gas, Pooping), being tired or being too hungry. 

Health: Aside from acid reflux/milk allergy our girl is healthy. Pediatrician loves to tell us how perfect she is, despite how it seems she feels some of the time. 

Eating: Charlie is eating every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night.  She is eating less with the formula switch and it's not keeping her full like we thought. Hoping this is just her acid reflux/allergy and that we see an improvement on this soon. 

This first month felt so long yet so short.  Every day was a different adventure but we are already seeing our little girl grow before our very eyes.  Newborns are TOUGH but I know I will look back on these days fondly.  

January 26, 2015

Life With Charlie | First Month

Wow, I have been meaning to blog for weeks now but as any of you with children know, it's just not that easy anymore.  Life has been crazy beautiful and so I wanted to pop in and jot down some thoughts on life this first month.

* Let me start with the real deal folks: Healing from a vaginal delivery is not what I expected.  Now I did not have your average delivery as they had to use forceps to get Charlie out so they had to, as Joe likes to say, "Get Baghdad ready for the Olympics".  Here I am 4 weeks from giving birth and I am still recovering.  The first week was absolute hell and even worse than actual childbirth (seeing as I had double the epidural meds I did not feel one thing so not a hard statement to make). 

* Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I have ever done.  There has been nipple shields, formula given in moments of pure panic, screaming and crying (from baby and I), loss of supply, gain of supply, pills taken, cookies eaten and so on.   At 3 weeks I decided I could not do it any longer and made the switch to pumping.  Now I pump every 3 or so hours and feed Charlie from a bottle.  This decision has saved my sanity and my marriage.  Joe was feeling helpless not able to assist me with feedings and I was so exhausted so now he can take over and it is SO much easier.  I don't love being hooked up to a pump all the time and feel like a cow but it's worth it to me.  I try and do one boob feeding session at night to keep that bond and lull Charlie to sleep.  

* Surprisingly, I am not tired during the day.  Once I have my cup of coffee and some breakfast I feel totally fine and ready to take on the day.  I may get a little tired in the afternoon but it's nothing worse than when I was just pregnant and not sleeping much.  I rarely nap and spend Charlie's nap time cleaning up, watching Parenthood on Netflix (OMG so good) or just holding her. 

* On the contrary, I DREAD the nighttime.  Even though my Mom and Joe can help with feedings, the nights just feel really lonely.  While I like having bonding quiet time in the dark with Charlie, it just always feels like the nights are so long.  

* Charlie didn't get back up to her birth weight right away and at our appointment last week was just under 8 pounds. We have a little peanut on our hands! Thank goodness my good friend Kate advised me to buy a few extra newborn onesies because Charlie only fits into 5 or so items still.  We are hoping she grows out of them soon so I can dress her in some fun new things for a change. 

* Charlie is a pretty great baby.  So far she is pretty even tempered for the most part. She has been dealing with either acid reflux or painful gas or something else I am not supposed to google and therefore has trouble calming down after feedings.  She is not a fan of baths or being changed.  She does though LOVE to be held and rocked and talked to.  We have started putting her down in her pack n play with a mirror and she loves to talk to herself. 

* The older she gets, the more people say she looks like her Daddy.  I have no clue who she looks like and I can't wait to see as she continues to fill out and grow. Each week it's different. 

* Speaking of Daddy,  watching Joe become a Dad has been really special for me.  He constantly tells me what a great job I am doing, when I am questioning everything.  He holds our daughter and talks to her and I melt.   I know it's different for Dads as they don't have that instant connection to babies so seeing Joe and Charlie form their special Daddy/Daughter relationship moves me.  I try not to wish away these first weeks but I am so excited for Charlie to get a little older as she has the best Dad and playmate to look forward to. 

Finally, motherhood is not at all and exactly like I thought it would be.  There is a lot of self doubt as you and your baby learn this whole new world and I wasn't expecting that.  But, as everyone tells you, the love you feel for your child the moment you lay eyes on them is indescribable.  Each day I fall more and more in love with my daughter.  My daughter; it took me a few weeks to actually realize that I am a Mom now.  I feel so blessed to be her Mom.  

January 5, 2015

She's Arrived | Charlie's Birth Story

Hello World! Let me introduce you to Charlotte Jane Hawley.

Date: 12/30/2014
Time: 11:24pm
Weight: 7lbs 0.25 oz
Length: 21 inches

Here is Charlie's birth story (this will be super long for my own memory's sake so bear with me).

At 5:00am on December 30th (8 days before my due date)  I woke up to use the restroom. This was the second time that night which never happened.  I got back into bed and started scrolling through Instagram and felt leaking.  I got up, went back to bathroom and started leaking even more.  Joe was awake when I came to tell him the news, my water broke.  I called the triage nurses line and asked for instruction on what to do next.  Since I was not having contractions they told me to go ahead and labor at home for awhile and wait and see if any contractions start.  If nothing had happened by 7:30am then to head on into the hospital. 

I hopped in the shower while Joe called my Mom to tell her to start making the journey here.  I straightened my hair, put on make-up, logged into work and put up a maternity out of office, did the last little bit of dishes in the sink and tidied up knowing we would not be home for a few days.  By 7:30am we were packing the car and making our calls to family and friends that today was the day our little girl would make her arrival. 

The journey up to Labor and Delivery was very surreal.  In the movies you see the husband speeding up to the main entrance and hospital staff rushing with wheelchairs to get the Mom up to L&D.  Since I was still not having many contractions we parked in a normal space, walked casually into the main entrance and took ourselves up to the L&D floor and checked in. 

Once there the midwife checked me to see where I was in the process.  I was 80% effaced and 2 cm dilated.  Since I was already dilated and my water broke they had my walk the halls for an hour to see if I could get the contractions to start naturally before we would look into inducing me.  I took to those halls like a champion.  Loop after loop, the nurses would give me little pep calls as I rounded the corners.  Family members of other new Moms gave me encouraging smiles as I passed them several times.  Within an hour the contractions started getting really strong so I went ahead and ordered an epidural.  11:15am epidural was in place and at 11:45am I was checked and had progressed to 4-5 cm dilated.  

I was feeling good from the epidural, my Mom had arrived and now we just needed our girl to be here.  Only problem was Charlie was not ready to make her debut.  We listened to Hall & Oats Pandora station, chatted up all the nurses and spent lots of time texting and talking on the phone to provide updates to everyone who was anxiously awaiting news. 

Finally around 9pm I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. Since it was so late Joe quickly ordered a few pizzas (my first non-diabetes diet request) and had them delivered for us and the nurses for after delivery.  I pushed for 2 straight hours with very little progress. The nurse could feel Charlie's head but she was not making it past the pelvic bone.  They called Dr. V in to assess the situation. I was starting to run a fever and was running out of steam so they had to determine next steps before I continued. 

Dr. V checked me at 11:15pm and discovered that our little girl was face up with her forehead getting stuck on my pelvic bone.  At this point I only had 2 options: She could try getting her out with forceps or we could go right to a C-section.  She told me she is good with forceps and she thought there was a 60-70% chance she could get her out.  But, in order for that to happen I would only have 1 chance through 1 contraction, which equalled 3 very strong effective pushes.  I didn't know if I was strong enough after 2 hours of pushing and starting labor at 5am.  My nurse looked me in the eye and said "I would only trust 2 people to try this and Dr. V is one of them.  You got this".   With those words I agreed to try.  They brought in NICU nurses and the anesthesiologist in case this didn't work and they had to rush me to a c-section. 

The time came for me to give the performance of a lifetime. The contraction started and I gave my all to those 3 sets of pushing.  My eyes were closed and all I could focus on was getting my baby out.  The whole time everyone in the room was cheering me on " Come on Maran"  "Harder" "Push Push Push".  Since I was numb I could not tell if I was making any progress but just kept pushing.  Next thing I knew they were congratulating me and put my daughter right on my chest.  I looked at Joe and we both started crying.  She was here! Our girl was finally here. 

Her face was swollen and puffy from the forceps and she wasn't making any noise.  They took her to the warming table to start checking her.  We yelled over to ask if she was ok and they said she was perfect.  She was just taking everything in.  While Dr. V did clean up on me they got Charlie cleaned up and brought her back for some skin to skin.   Ready to meet Daddy and my Mom they wrapped her up and handed her to her proud Daddy. 

Dr. V- the woman who saved me from a c-section with our little angel

My Mom was able to come in and finally meet her granddaughter a little after midnight.  It was the longest and best day of my life.  

December 15, 2014

36 Week Update

Don't mind my saggy ass. Only gaining weight in my belly, wouldn't mind some junk in my trunk finally.

This post is coming to you a little late as I was struck with a cold that knocked me out the end of last week. 

Size:  At my 36 week appointment the doc felt baby girl and said they believe she is of average size and probably right around 6 lbs.  How accurate that is only time will tell. 

Weight gain:  Up now 28 pounds. Steadily climbing up the scale.  Even with being sick I still had a major appetite and had to eat for my gestational diabetes so I assume at my 37 week appointment tomorrow that I will be up another pound.  Belly measuring right on the appropriate week.  

Maternity clothes:   Still lucky enough to fit into non-maternity items, leggings and only wearing a few tops and pants. 

Stretch marks:  No new marks!! Hooray!

Sleep:  Improving a little bit. We put our memory foam topper back on the bed and that has seemed to help on the achy legs front.  Only getting up once a night to pee.  

Gender:  Charlotte Jane!

Movement:  Still an active girl. Mostly in the AM and after dinner. Joe got to witness her soccer skills this weekend much more defined now that she is running out of room. 

Best moment this week:   Starting to pack the hospital bag. Shits getting real.  Other than that I felt like poo dollar and spent 4 days on my couch so not a whole lot of great moments unless you count getting through 5 seasons of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. 

Looking forward to:  Feeling 100% better and some holiday fun this coming week. 

Food Cravings:  Orange juice and cold cereal. 

Food Aversions:  Eggs, peanut butter, bread. oh wait, that's all I eat. 

Labor Signs:  definitely googled to see if I was in labor yesterday. Strong back pain came on suddenly, nausea, cramping.  I went grocery shopping and tried to organize some things and I think it was my body's wall of telling me to slow down since I have been so sick. 

What I miss:  Eating like a normal person  

Symptoms:  back pain, cramping, nausea, waddling, overall running on fumes it feels.  

Mood:  Excited the holidays are here!!! Can't wait to see when Miss Charlie decides to make her debut!

November 28, 2014

34 Week Update

Size:  She is beefing up and is the size of a pineapple this week! I asked the doctor if they could tell how big she was but they weren't too sure at this appointment because she was moving around too much.  They said at my 36 week appointment they should be able to tell more. 

Weight gain:  Up now 26 pounds.  Belly is measuring right on track. Out the window is my hope for a 20-25 lb weight gain.  Guessing I will be closer to 35 around delivery. 

Maternity clothes:   Still a mixture of regular leggings, dresses and tops paired with some maternity pieces. 

Stretch marks:  No new marks!!

Sleep:  Slipping back into my 1st trimester habits where I fall asleep on the couch around 7:30pm and then go up to bed whenever Joe wakes me.  Get into bed and do the toss and turn game all night.  

Gender:  Why do they even put this one on here? She's still a she. 

Movement:  Little Miss is very active still. Except now her movements hit an organ or something and they are painful. I am happy to report she has migrated and is now head down and she has dropped. Getting into position!

Best moment this week:   Thanksgiving for sure. Normally we are up in Ohio and rushing between families but this year we woke up and had a relaxing brunch, took the dogs on a long walk on our greenway, cooked together and then ate when we were ready.  It was so nice! 

On another Thanksgiving note, I allowed myself to eat pretty much whatever I wanted (minus cranberries because of the sugar) and my glucose numbers were right on track! I was so worried about having high numbers even though the doctor said it was ok.  All of that for nothing! 

Looking forward to:  Watching Ohio State beat Michigan on Saturday. 

Food Cravings:  Orange juice and cold cereal. 

Food Aversions:  Eh nothing really. I could probably eat a bell pepper these days with how hungry I always am.  

Labor Signs:  a few Braxton Hicks contractions and pelvic pressure

What I miss:  Not eating on a schedule and not counting carbs. This is the first diet I have ever been on. Don't know how you girls do it on purpose.  

Symptoms:  Now that Charlie has dropped some of my shortness of breath and back pain has gone away, hooray!  Now it is replaced with pelvic pain and pressure. Oh and I about died trying to steam mop the floors. 

Mood:  Thankful for getting to 34 weeks with minor complications.  Anxious for what the next 6 weeks holds in store. Ecstatic thinking about finally meeting our daughter. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Now it's time to decorate for Christmas and get our brains wrapped around another holiday and the end of this pregnancy.