Saturday, March 31, 2012

Milk Machine


Another week in the books…week three is done. During the week, the time doesn’t go by that fast…but when I look back…it did go by fast. When you have a newborn, the days all blend and you are home a lot…so, it is all a blur (at least the first six weeks are for me). We did all go out for lunch one day this past week…yep, I am so daring. I am sure we’ll have plenty of adventures in our future!


So, what did week three bring for Sammy? Well, it brought more breastfeeding (bfing)…not sure he is happy about it or not. So, I am not going to make this all about bfing – I swear my boys are going to look back on their blogs and say, “Why did you just whine about your boobs all the time?” (and yes, I am going to force them to read every last word of their fifty-two week posts…no joke) – so, I’ll update on bfing, but I won’t go into my whining saga…I’ll keep that for Jake. We did start exclusively bfing this week – no more bottles. Honestly, he was really struggling with the bottle (I think he was a little irritated that we switched him to a slow flow nipple from a medium flow one…he likes his milk to come fast.). So, along with bfing – we are now more on a two and half to three hour schedule and he’ll stretch a little more at night. This is a struggle for me, but I know it is what is best for the long-term. I have also been reducing my pumping sessions and will only pump out of total desperation (which definitely happens since I am getting clogged ducts like crazy and mastitis scares me like no other! And, I have a special relationship with Mr. Pump...I can't just leave him hanging.). It has been confirmed that I make enough milk for multiple babies, which is a blessing and a total curse. If anyone is looking for some milk…look no further than this cow! So, I am really working on slowing my supply down. Sam seems like he is a really fast eater, but I am also not sure if I am just snack feeding him. He seems full, but I am just not sure…time will tell. I am attached to my “brest” friend pillow and the thought of bfing without it is horrifying…I’ll need to wean myself of the pillow! Luckily, he is so tiny…so, the pillow is great for us both! And the thought of bfing in public is still horrifying…not so much with anyone seeing my boobs (honestly, I am modest…but I don’t even look at boobs anymore as being anything private)…more so with my whole production…I am sure we will get there…someday…in the far off future! Good news – he has gained a little weight and is now 7lbs. 5oz….he is so tiny! So, we will continue to persevere…it seems like some days it is one step forward and two steps back!


He is definitely starting to get his fussy time at night – I always want to fix this…for them and for my own sanity. Of course, I always have in the back of my mind…could it be the dreaded colic? Again, time will tell (and I am super praying that it is not the dreaded colic!). I feel bad for Sammy – you can constantly hear his stomach going crazy…those lovely Johnson genes…I gotta bring something to the table. We are staying away from the reflux meds right now, but will definitely ask for them if we think they are needed…we are a med family…for sure. In the grand scheme of things, the nighttime fussiness/digestive issues is such a short period…but it sure feels long when you are in it. He smiles at me…I know people would say it is gas, but I really think he is smiling at me (and why wouldn’t he?!? He loves his Mama (I only have these boys on my team for a short while…I gotta soak up every minute!).)…and he giggles in his sleep at times…so sweet. He seems to enjoy the Moby except during his fussy period at night (of course…the one time I would really want him to enjoy it!). I sweat like no other when I am wearing it…like I feel the sweat rolling down my back (yes, I know, too much information)…but if it keeps him content and I am able to try and get a few things done (like take care of my other two children) then so be it…I’ll just be sweaty. I continue to have my inner dilemma with “sling” babies…but I am all about survival right now. He continues to enjoy some naps in the swing…seems like a bit of a catnapper (ugh). He is SUPER alert and reminds me a lot of Hubey. And he has a hard time transitioning to sleep, which reminds me a lot of Hubey as well. He is very strong and likes to hold his head up, but then he’ll also flop himself around (I probably need to be more careful with holding his head.). He doesn’t seem to enjoy tummy time, but we are going to keep working at it. We don’t want another “helmet head” baby. I busted out the play gym…we’ll see if he is into it. I know his big brothers will be super into it (ugh). His big brothers are still very into him and this week, Sammy got hit in head with a container of wipes…sigh. He will survive and he’ll be tough! Overall, he is doing well and we are so thankful to have this sweet baby!


I am surviving! I am really hoping that I’ll start enjoying bfing more in the next few weeks – I am constantly praying about it. I don’t resent it at all, but at times I always think how strange it is…not sure why pumping would feel more normal?!? So, I pray about it and maybe one day I’ll have a love affair with bfing! Thankful that God sustains me and gives me every bit of grace I need to make it through every feeding session, every hour, every day. I am really going to need a second helping of His grace for this next week! And, I am going to learn to make coffee! Thankful I have amazing family (seriously amazing) and a wonderful husband!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Persevere...


Crazy that it has been two weeks! Really, already two weeks has passed by…honestly, today it feels like it has been longer than two weeks (I am just tired (this blog was started on Saturday…but I am still tired), so I guess that is why I am feeling that way because I didn’t feel this way yesterday.). We love the added spice Sam brings to our family (my gut tells me this post may be a little off…I have started speaking slower in the last couple of hours and am having a hard time processing thoughts…ah, the joys of the lack of sleep…or maybe it is the margaritas?). So, this last week I was solo (not all week…my mom still comes over like she did when I was working…fine by me…not trying to be a super mom)…but I was solo for the bulk of the week, and overall, it went well. I learned that I would rather have all three boys than our youngest two…I need Hugh to help entertain Judah. I love Judah with everything in me, but at times…he can get a little crazy, so Hugh helps keep him occupied. So, this is our new season…crazy, but good…very tiring, but I know it is just a season and I wouldn’t change it (however, I would freeze time for a few additional hours in the night so I could get some more sleep…yes, I would).


So, what has week two brought for Sam? Well, it has definitely brought back breastfeeding – it is going okay…working through it each day. So, he doesn’t always get the best latch, but we are working on it. (We just don’t have “boob” men…they don’t know how to treat “them” like ladies.) Just like I have told myself that I could handle twenty-four hours of hard labor…I tell myself that I really am going to give breastfeeding a go for at least four weeks. So, I am in that super fun cycle of breastfeeding/pumping/bottle feeding…however, I don’t try to spend like an hour breastfeeding. I give it a good go for ten minutes prior to going to the pump. I am hoping to eventually drop the pumping, but it is still needed right now (I am not using Fenugreek this time around)…it is a vicious cycle with the pump…it helps build supply, but almost to a fault…ugh, I just can’t win. And, the freezer is already starting to get full! I am not ready to try any bfing in public…I could care less if the world sees my boobs, but just not ready for the struggle in public…eventually we’ll get there. So, not planning on going anywhere any time soon (much to Hubey’s dismay). So, my saga continues…(yes, bfing is one of the hardest things ever for me…seriously). So, besides the boob, what else did this week bring? Well, we realized that Sam can get hit in the head with a tub of Vaseline and be okay (you’d be surprised by how much those tubs can roll after little hands throw them). Sam realized that he does not enjoy being covered by a blanket (and his Mama realized that she needs to pay a little more attention to older brothers during a shower…can’t a girl just get a shower…like twice a week?!?).


Sam enjoys sleeping on Mama’s chest and could probably sleep for like six hours straight (if two missiles weren’t ready to launch)…we normally end up in this position around eight-ish every night. Honestly, he has been doing okay with sleeping…but there is such a difference between getting six hours of sleep in one stretch versus in pieces. No complaints…I am functioning. And we are so napping him in the swing...oh, yes we are…and yes, we know it is one more thing to break…not worried about it…there are lots of things that we have to break, but we do them…we just add swing to the list. I am all about sanity in the first few months…really don’t care how we get there. He is in his room at night now…sleeps in the crib and is doing well. He enjoys his half swaddle…so much for all the fancy swaddles I bought…I love baby gear and can pretty much be sold on anything that people swear helps their babies sleep better (I would buy a puppy if people swore it helped their babies sleep.). Well, I should have known that it would be pure torture to keep Sam’s hands away from his face…lesson learned. We are really working on tummy time...don't want another flat headed child! He is enjoying the shower with Dada –we learned our lesson with Hugh and will forever throw our boys right into the shower. I took all three boys out for a walk on Friday…by myself…yes, I am sort of amazing. We are back at church – I am sure I didn’t understand one word that was said – I can barely understand Sesame Street right now…definitely will not be able to comprehend any theology right now. Glad we are back…but I won’t really be back mentally for another four to six weeks…let’s just be honest. He is hit or miss on the car rides…we heard a bit of the dying kitty today. And the big question is, who does he look like? I have a lot of people saying me this time around...honestly, I think he looks like Sam...time will tell.


Overall, I am doing well. Bfing can definitely take its toll, but I am not a quitter (oh, wait…yes, I am…but I am really going to try this time). What I have had to get over is my unrealistic expectations of getting Sam on a four hour schedule from birth (honestly, he is fairly close), but what I have to tell myself is it doesn't need to be a focus...I am such a schedule person so this is easier said than done. I am sure I mentioned before, but I LOVE my iPhone and I have been reading so many encouraging things as I nurse or pump…I am really trying to focus on God’s faithfulness and that my strength and energy comes from Him and only Him. I cannot rely on my sleep or my husband or my children’s behavior to dictate my day – God doesn’t change – He is always there for me…even on days when I don’t think I am going to have the strength to make it to the next hour. So, that is what I am trying to focus on…not always easy, but I am trying. So, I am hoping this baby weight starts to come off soon…do not enjoy wearing maternity clothes still and don’t really want to buy more “transition” clothes (transition clothes that turn into normal clothes…ugh…I am going to need to get me a Spanx…seriously…like ordering it now). And no, this time I will not be doing any Thirty Day Shred by Jillian…no thanks…I’ll just keep eating cookies (and praying the weight comes back off). So, until next week…let the fun continue.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Let it Begin...


Week one down and back to weekly blogging I go. Hard to believe one week is down, but harder to believe that Jake goes back to work on Monday…that one is a major bummer. I LOVE having Jake home – he is an amazing help and the boys ADORE their time with him (I've said it before and I'll say it again...I seriously have the BEST husband in the world). Life is definitely going to get interesting next week…so, bring it on. I have set very low expectations for myself (like if all three boys are alive then I am calling it a successful day), so I should be good. Sam is settling in and we are adjusting to our family of five…so thankful to be a family of five (and in a family where I am VERY outnumbered)!


So, what did week one bring for Sammy? Well, everything is new for him…so, it brought lots. Let’s start with my typical “woe is me” on breastfeeding (just need to get it out of the way)…I am struggling once again (ugh), but not giving up. I have an infection that it is being treated, so once it is healed we are back to it. I am not stressing – just taking one day at a time. I really want to enjoy this baby rather than stress over what or how he is eating (way easier for me to type than to actually act upon…praying about it). So, Sammy will take a bottle…praise God. He enjoys his milk and he is gaining weight, which is great. He also enjoys his pacifier and has been known to jump at it with his mouth (I think he thinks it will give him milk…he is sadly disappointed every time). He gets the hiccups every time after he eats…every.single.time. He goes through about twelve onesies a day…he is like a magician and can completely keep a diaper dry, but soak the onesie…no joke…it is amazing. He has been sleeping decently – no complaints…I have a newborn…I am not expecting a good night of sleep. He is either sleeping in his swing or his little rocker (a new gadget I just had to have for this baby…and I read the reviews and people swore this gadget helped their baby sleep…so, of course I HAD.TO.HAVE.IT!...Jake loves this about me). He’ll be moving to his room in the next week…sad day, but Jake cannot sleep with all the noise and it gets a little weird sleeping in a different room than your husband…however, a girl could get used to a king bed all by herself…just sayin’. He loves to be held…and we love to hold him. And, I love that there is something about a Mama holding her baby…he just knows me and fits with me. Sam will have a rude awakening next week when Mama can’t hold him all day…maybe it is time for the Moby? Unfortunately, the Moby makes me sweat…it is so hot and I already sweat…like a lot and I think recovering after a baby gives me like menopause sweats and I wake-up drenched…it is awesome (and yes, too much information…I am tired). So, we’ll see how he does with less hold time. We’ll see how I’ll do with less hold time…oh, I just want to enjoy every minute of this sweet little boy. He handled his circumcision like a champ this week (poor buddy)…the doctor actually told me that he thought maybe he had a congenital defect against pain since he didn’t cry at all (he was joking…but Sam really didn’t cry at all…tough little guy). His brothers adore him – they always want to know what he is doing and want to touch him all the time…especially when he is sleeping. Jake thinks he looks like Hugh...I honestly have no idea who he looks like...he just looks like Sam to me. I am guessing his personality will start to come out in the next couple of weeks…I still think he is in the sleepy stage, but he is starting to wake up more. We’ll see what he is going to bring us…praying for chill…expecting wild. Crazy we have three boys…really crazy that I have to watch them all by myself next week.



I am doing well…recovering. I got an iPhone this week…not sure what was the bigger deal…having a baby or getting an iPhone…both are very exciting. I love the iPhone (it can do so much…waiting for it to suck away all my stomach fat)…especially when I am up late pumping (oh, Mr. Pump…my dear friend…so nice to see you…again). I have been reading some great things about enjoying the moment and not worrying about the little things (like a clean house). I was reminded by something that I read that being a mom was a dream of mine…and now God is allowing me to live my dream (now, I can guarantee you that the breastfeeding and Mr. Pump were not in this dream…well, maybe Mr. Pump (he is a good friend)…but I want to stop and remember what a gift God has given me and remember that my husband works really hard so I can be home with these crazy boys…and stop and enjoy it…let the big boys get crazy and hold Sam a little longer…the cleaning can wait). I am sure I will need constant reminders of all of this…so, if you hear me starting my “woe is me”…remind me that I am living my dream.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Welcome to this World, Sammy!


Welcome to our third son, Samuel Elias Saylor! Sam was born on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 8:54PM. He was born on his due date – I found out only 4% of babies are born on their actual due date…so, he is kind of already amazing, but we already knew that. (So thankful he came when he did...I was starting to get a little freaked that I would have a day old+ baby living inside me...yikes...yes, I think about those things.) He weighed 6lbs. 13oz. and was 20in. long! He was right in between Hugh and Judah for weight and was our longest little boy. I was certain this little guy would be over 8lbs…since he was two weeks late in my book (Hugh and Judah were both born a little over 38 weeks and of course, this baby would follow suit…ha). Well, clearly he wasn’t over 8lbs…nope, it was definitely my thighs and tail that gained all that extra weight…oh joy. It is for my milk supply…I’ll just tell myself that. So, I got my tiny baby…I LOVE tiny babies! He is so long and skinny – he looks a lot like Hugh, but we said that with Judah and they don’t look anything alike now…so, I guess time will tell. It does look like he has those Johnson big lips…and hopefully, Jake’s nose (getting my nose would be sad). We are so excited to be home with him and so excited to start this next chapter of our lives (with a lot less sleep!)!


So, as I should have known…all pregnancies are different, all babies are different, and all labors are different. And this labor, definitely different. As most know, I wanted a leap year baby…which was ten days prior to my due date, which was timed perfectly with how the other two boys came early. Well, leap year came and went and so did the days past leap year. This time around, we decided to deliver at a birthing center away from the hospital – we have had no issues with St. Joe’s in the past – they have been great, but we wanted to follow the midwife that delivered Hugh and Judah. So, when she left the practice at St. Joe’s, we really prayed about it and felt this was the best decision for our family. And, as it would be…since I would be delivering at a birthing center, there would be no inducing at all…not an option. And of course, this was going to be a time where I would have thought about getting induced…so ironic, and you just have to laugh. Well, on Thursday night I was having a lot of on and off contractions – I went to sleep certain that I would wake up in labor on Friday morning…I was wrong. I had no contractions…oh well. So, I went about my day and at about 7:30AM…I think my water broke, or I had wet my pants…like a lot…it was gross. I told Jake that if my water didn’t break, I had bigger problems (like much bigger problems). My water has never broken – they normally break my water when I am about 8cm dilated. So, I know all the risk of your water breaking and infection…so I called my midwife – she told me some things to try and get contractions going and for us to come in around noon to verify my water did break. So, I tried those things and nothing – there were zero contractions! So, I knew my window was short – my midwife would send me to the hospital to be induced if the contractions didn’t start. (Side note – I am really afraid of Pitocin…most people say it is horrible for women who do unmedicated births – making their labors ten times worse. I know what labor feels like…the thought of it even being twice as bad is a nightmare and I really wanted an unmedicated birth. I have a sister-in-law who has had four babies on Pitocin and unmedicated – every labor and delivery nurse I speak to says she must have some type of super human strength – I don’t have that strength.) So, my midwife checked me at noon and confirmed my water had broken, Sammy sounded great, and I was 4cm dilated (mind you, I was 4cm with no contractions – I was in one of my pre-natal labor groups with a mom who was having her seventh boy (yes, seventh boy) and she said she was dilated to 4cm and after six kids, it is where she just starts…I think I am in that boat now). So, again she told me of some “natural” ways to start labor – one was some herbs (those scare me a little) and one was castor oil, which she explained would be horrible but it would probably get labor started since my water had already broken.


So, I went with the castor oil – oh my word, horrible is an understatement…seriously. At first, I swore it didn’t work…but she told me to be patient. At around 3PM it started working…oh my wow was it working (I’ll save the details…they are not blog appropriate and normally, I like to share – just ask my sisters-in-law). And contractions started around 3:45PM – the contractions started getting painful about 5PM…so we headed to the birth center and sadly, I was only dilated to 5cm (I told my midwife that maybe Pitocin would have been easier than the castor oil (I was cursing that castor oil…big time)…she swore to me it was not). However, I think the castor oil made the contractions stronger or my body was already beat up from the castor oil. Anyway, we walked for a little – until it was dark (the birthing center is in the da’ hood…so walking around at night…not a good idea). The contractions were definitely picking up and so I headed into the tub – the warm water was so relaxing, but as soon as the water would get cold…I would start convulsing and it wasn’t fun. So, I got checked around 8PM and was 7cm – I stayed on the bed and Sammy was born at 8:54PM. So, in all about five hours of labor…piece of cake (well, cake would have been better – but it honestly wasn’t too bad…just focused on my verse – Phil. 4:13)…and we got to follow our hearts with delivering in the birthing center. So, in hindsight was the castor oil needed…who knows? Today, we have our baby and I still have the joys of the castor oil (and my curse continues) – two for the price of one…doesn’t get much better than that (I am only a good eight jars of castor oil away from my goal weight). The best thing about the birthing center, we left at 12:30AM…three and half hours after baby…love it. Honestly, the birth center was AMAZING – I would recommend to everyone (and honestly, I am not a “crunchy” mama…but I am passionate about birthing my babies…not in a crazy way (at least that is what I tell myself)). We are so thankful God brought our sweet boy into this world safely – He is so kind to us. (Another side note – Jake is amazing. I know we all have amazing husbands, but he is the best labor coach there is…shoot, he could be a doula…he is that good.)


So, we start our first week with Sammy at home. Jake’s parents have been fantastic and have taken our big boys for a couple of days…so, real life hasn’t actually set in just yet. It will all start tomorrow. Hugh and Judah are already loving on little Sammy, but we definitely have to keep an eye on them all…we know it can get crazy quickly in our house. I am so excited to see the relationships of these boys grow. We pray we raise these boys to chase after God’s heart – we all know this world needs some good men. We are so blessed – it is all surreal.


So, bring on the breastfeeding joys, let the sleepless nights begin, let Mama falling asleep in the playroom while the big boys go wild start, let random meals begin…it is all about survival. And I really want to enjoy it all…I always say this and then I realize how hard it all is and my trust in God drops and I have lots of pity parties…blah blah blah. So, I am really hoping I have a better attitude with this season…at least I can have some wine again (like a bottle). And as I watch my sweet son sleep on his Dada’s chest…I wouldn’t change this season for anything…as we all know, this season is so short and babies don’t keep! (And let the weekly posts begin...what did I get myself into?!?)


Friday, March 2, 2012

A First...

Being pregnant for thirty-nine weeks...yep, it is a first. I totally set myself up. I was certain this baby would come just like his big brothers and be born prior to thirty-nine weeks...clearly, I was wrong. That is what I get. I really wanted a leap year baby...clearly, Sammy did not want to be a leap year baby or a March 1st baby or a March 2nd baby...and the days go on. I AM trying to coax this baby into coming out, but why would he leave? I need to stop my constant eating and start starving him out of there. So, I am certain now that Sammy will be my biggest baby...time to embrace it. So, that is where I am at...still pregnant, but not really getting sick anymore which has been great. I am huge and putting on the serious pounds to prove it...so, no...there will not be a picture.


I really had a goal to post about our trip to California with the boys, but it hasn't happened yet...it will. I am sure the post will be different than what actually happened since I cannot remember anything, but it will still be good.


The boys are doing well - sharing a room now. Wish I had a picture to post of Judah in his big boy bed...I will, just not yet. He loves being in there with Hugh and at some point they both fall asleep after LOTS of talking and playing. There has definitely been some serious training...and I am sure it will continue. He went in for his eighteen month appointment...25lbs.3oz. (45%) and almost 33in. (65%)...and he has a large head...no shock there. He is talking all the time (we know most of his words), but he loves to talk. Fruit snacks are probably the most exciting thing for him - seriously, it is like we are getting him a pony when we bring out a bag of fruit snacks...and he asks for "nacks" ALL the time. He got his first haircut (he was starting to have quite the burns and tail)...Jake did a great job. I did make him stop on trying to "even out" the side burns for fear we would be shaving Judah's head. We have also figured out that the clippers are the way to go...lesson for next time. I've gotten some one on one time with Judah lately and I love it - he is seriously the sweetest little boy and I love him. I am super lazy right now (like I have never been this lazy in my entire life and I am a really lazy person, but now I have taken to a whole new level lazy), and so Judah just likes to come cuddle up next to me on the couch (he would prefer my lap, but it isn't working out right now) and watch a video...love him...he knows just what his mama needs.


Hugh is doing great. Saying funny stuff all the time...a lot of it relates to his wiener - yes, I just posted that...there is no "proper" language at our house. Seriously, he has something new to tell me about it almost daily. One of his new favorite words is "terrible" and uses it to describe everything. He is whining ALL the time and it really drives me to the point of insanity, but then he'll say something so sweet to me, like - "Mama, I love you from head to toe and everything in between." (I say this to him.) or, "Mama, I am really going to miss you when I am at Gramma and Papa's house."...and I realize I still hate the whining, but that I love this little boy so much it is crazy. So, we work on the whining and complaining...easier said than done.


I am thankful for my boys (all of them - I really have the best husband in the world, and he is the best dad in the world...these boys love him with everything they have) and I am so excited to welcome another sweet baby boy to our family...even if it means past forty weeks (oh, please no).