Archives for category: Acid Reflux

As I sit here writing at 34 weeks pregnant with my second baby, and indulging on some Nutella and pretzels, something I never actually ate until I got pregnant, I can’t help but think about the wonderful world of being pregnant.  I am sooo incredibly overjoyed and grateful to be pregnant, but there are so many crazy things that happen to us while we are expecting, it’s almost hard to narrow it down.  However, I think I’ve managed to put together a quite realistic list of more than what to “expect when you’re expecting…” Warning: this is not a composed list of how amazing you feel, because while you feel mentally wonderful, our bodies sure go through the ringer while growing these miracles inside us!  So, this is more of a list about the common discomforts women experience while pregnant.

The Top Ten Most Challenging Aspects of being Pregnant:

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1) Exhaustion: It’s a different kind of exhaustion that I can’t quite put my finger on, it’s not the staying out all night exhaustion or working a 12 hour shift exhaustion, it’s the exhaustion that comes from your body suddenly supporting not just one, but two living beings now. For no reason at all you will just want to camp out on the couch, bed, chair, nearest willing shoulder to rest your head on and just doze off into oblivion.  It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, if you had a full 8 hours of sleep the night before or if you just came out of hibernation, it will hit you, I promise!

2) Forgetfulness: Vitamin B12 anyone? Not only does your body suffer from sheer exhaustion, but you will start forgetting the most random of things while you are pregnant. Pregnant brain, mommy brain, becoming a total airhead, whatever you want to call it can be difficult to deal with.  This is coming from a woman who lives off her to-do lists and she suddenly finds herself wondering where it that she put that to-do list is or why she even made it at all?  The woman who thinks she has everything all set in the car before she heads out for the day and realizes she forgot her keys, only to find them later in the bathroom closet.

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3) Mood Swings/Extra Emotional: Yes, I understand that as women we are already pretty emotional, but something happens to your feelings when you find out you are expecting. The extra tears, fears, joy, pain, sappy love song or commercial, snappiness, wanting to punch random people in the face or even just give them a hug all has to do with one thing- HORMONES!  Please pass the tissues…

4) The Pains: Between back pain, breast tenderness and growth, acid reflux, gas, heartburn, carpal tunnel, TMJ, constipation, stretch marks, sinus pressure, chasing around your first child (if you have one), stretch marks, worsening allergies, cracking pelvis, swelling, or in my worst case scenario gross and terribly bulging varicose veins that require wearing compression stocking daily. Pregnancy changes your body in so many ways, so be sure to take extra good care of yourself as your baby growing inside you is quite literally sucking the life out of you, but trust me is adding a whole lot of love to make up for it!

5) Morning sickness: Not every woman gets this one, and if you aren’t I envy you! With my first pregnancy with my daughter’s it wasn’t so bad, I had it mostly in the morning and I am not one who vomits, but I had the feeling like I wanted to all through those AM hours.  During my current pregnancy with my second child I felt sick, morning, noon and worst of all at night during my first trimester.  I had to force myself to eat because while I was hungry, literally everything grossed me out.  For most women this nauseous feeling subsides or at least gets better by the second trimester, but for some never fully goes away.  I still get it some mornings and after certain things I eat…carbs and ginger ale help.

6) Frequent Urination: Before I ever got pregnant I didn’t think this started until the end of pregnancy, boy was a wrong. Not only do you make many more trips to the bathroom than you ever thought possible, but it’s also much harder to hold your pee.  When you do get to relieve yourself you expect it to be this huge amount (the kind my husband and like to call ‘A League of Their Own’ pee, you know you remember that scene when hungover Tom Hanks pees for about 6 minutes straight), but it’s not it’s usually quite as huge as you thought.  You leave the powder room scratching your head wondering how such a small amount feels so urgent, but not to worry you will be back there soon enough to forget.

7) Temperature Control Issues: Hot, cold, warm? All of the above?  Mostly hot for me, which left me apologizing to anyone I used to make fun of before who seemed much more on the warmer side, and I was usually the cold one.  Not anymore, though…you won’t always be hot, but for some reason it will be hard to regulate your temperature, especially when you sleep.

8) Shortness of Breath: It’s getting extremely hard to breathe now as I enter into the last six weeks of my pregnancy. Baby starts taking up too much room and sits on your lungs, ribs or whatever else they can find.  Sometimes I will find myself doing breathing exercises as if I just came off the treadmill for an hour, if only that were true.  Sitting upright helps, slowing down, putting your hands behind your head, taking deep breaths and drinking water helps.

9) Pressure: There’s a pregnancy waddle I’ve been sporting since somewhere after the 20 week mark. It’s kind of like a duck walk, except ducks have much leaner legs.  It’s not just because of the weight or because of back, hip or leg pain, it’s from the pressure you feel on the lower portion of your body and shifting your weight helps.  So you ultimately start to tilt and sometimes even lose balance because of it.  I actually twisted my ankle on my due date with my daughter due to losing my balance and mistepping, and then really had to stay off my feet until she decided to make her appearance four days late.

10) Getting ready for baby/life with baby: You’ve got the room set up, you’ve got your bag packed, you’ve got your birth plan all lined up, and have an awesome amount of diapers ready. Think you’re prepared for when that little bundle starts to contract?  Or that you are ready when your water breaks?  Or you’ll be able to handle this tiny little person when you’re blissfully on your way home with that little one from the hospital?  Think again, you will never be completely ready!  But the good news?  You will learn, there will be ups, downs, highs, lows, moments when you don’t think you can handle it, moments when you wonder what the heck you’ve gotten yourself into…but it will all truly be worth it!  Because with all the stress also comes a brand new outpouring of love that you’ve never experienced.  This love will fill you up and help you pull through and soon feel gleeful again when you hear that first little coo, or see that first little smile, successfully breastfeed, successfully burp, bathe or handle your baby all by yourself alone, or get more than four hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Having a child is a complete whirlwind and I am still learning, my daughter and 3 ½ and my son is due in a little over a month and I still get scared.  I still have days where I feel totally awesome and then days when I feel like a total failure.  I can tell you this though; IT’S ALL TRULY A LABOR OF LOVE AND A DREAM COME TRUE!  So to all my fellow preggers out there past and present, whenever you get a chance to, which can be very difficult, pat yourself on the back, sit back, put your feet up, smile and tell yourself you’re doing a good job.  😉  ~J

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merry xmas

I know it’s been a while since my last entry.  I blame it on the life of a busy mom, Hurricane Sandy madness, power outages, Juliette getting over a stomach virus and a cold, hosting our first Thanksgiving, starting the Christmas rush, etc…I am sure all you Moms out there can relate, sometimes life just gets in the way.

I was planning on making my next blog all about “The UGLY TRUTH behind Motherhood,” which I did much research on and even had the help of some questions answered from many of you moms out there.  However, in the spirit of the holidays approaching, I’ve come up with a funny little list, which I truly believe to be the truth, and have wanted to write about for some time now, as I think about it OFTEN.  Basically it breaks down to the fact that the life of a baby is just awesome for them, and we should try to live our lives the same way!  Never fear though…The UGLY TRUTH will be coming shortly after the New Year.

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Until then, I have been thinking lately about how the more and more as we get older, being an adult sometimes, well sucks.  There is so much responsibility to being an adult; at times it can be intoxicating.  Isn’t there an age old saying of something like how we all wish we could see the world “through the eyes of a child…” quite ironic isn’t it?  Because all we want when we are younger is to be older, right?

 Well, here is my Top 10 list of why we should all should aspire to be more like our little ones:

 1) THEY GET 10-12 HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT! If you are lucky enough to have a baby sleep through the night, (Juliette has done so since about 2 months old thankfully), with the few exceptions of an illness or new teeth waking her up.  In addition to sleeping soundly, they don’t have to get up to relieve themselves in the middle of the night, thanks to their diaper.  They can roll around wherever they want and not fall off the bed.  They have a nice lullaby to fall asleep to, and a pretty twilight turtle that lights up the room.  If they don’t happen to sleep through the night, they get rocked to sleep, sung to sleep, put in a vibrating chair, put into a swing, or practically anything their parents can possibly find until they are finally sleeping!  What’s an easy solution for us adults?  Go to bed earlier!!  Juliette barely makes it to 8:00 p.m. most nights.  As adults, we don’t get nearly enough of sleep as we should per night due to many things, some out of our control, some in our control…but whether it be our jobs, stress, television, trying to get our little one to actually sleep, etc.  Oh how I wish I could get 10-12 hours of sleep like they do!

2) THEY EAT A VERY WELL-BALANCED DIET– From mother’s milk to the most expensive milk that money can buy, formula.  Any parent who has gotten even one of the so-called ‘cheaper’ formulas know how expensive it is.  From there they move onto cereal and lots of pureed fruits and veggies.  My now 16 month-old daughter still has three cups of whole milk a day and quite a bit of water too, (she hasn’t had any fruit juice yet, as it has really no nutritional value in it).  I always make sure she has 3-4 servings of fruit/veggies each day and I don’t let her have too much sugar in her diet.  She always has fruit with her breakfast and no matter what we are having for dinner I always make sure Juliette has a vegetable with it, which intern had led my whole little family to always have a vegetable with every dinner now too…no skimping on that one anymore.  Anyone heard of the baby diet??  I think I might try it!

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3) THEY APPRECIATE THINGS WE NEVER WOULD– We’ve all seen our little tots play with the box rather than the toy.  My daughter is very happy just to “be” and always wakes up in a great mood.  She gets such pleasure from things like our dog barking, waving at others, bananas, applauding at herself when she learns anything new, a song she likes, saying a new word, reading a book, and how can we forget ELMO? As adults, we get too caught up in the nonsense around us to appreciate things like this, but WE ALL should do more of that.

4) THEY NAP!  Does this one really need an explanation?  I miss my siesta days from camp, my almost daily naps as a college student, ahhhh naps are just wonderful…if you ever have time in your adult life to fit one in, do it!!!  You will be very thankful you did, and you will also feel amazing afterward too!  Babies have the right idea, at first they nap constantly, then move onto 3-4 times a day, then onto twice a day, and now Juliette just recently got to one nap a day.  Even though this one long nap is now smack dab in the middle of the day, she needs it and I must admit, I need it too.  This one nap is usually (on average) about 2 hours (sometimes more, sometimes less) and I get soooo much done during those two hours it’s a wonderful thing!  Do I nap during those two hours???  Heck no!  I used to nap when she napped back when she was just a few weeks old but now, no way!  I clean, cook, do laundry, catch up on correspondence…but if I am completely exhausted or just need to kick back I might lie down and read or watch some TV, or on a an extremely rare occasion I might even fall asleep for a small amount of time.  I miss napping!

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5) THEY DRINK LOTS OF MILK– I sort of covered this one in #2, but we all see the “Got Milk” ads just about everywhere.  Plus, there is the wonderful benefits that the vitamins and nutrients in milk give you, like calcium especially.  Additionally, until the age of 2, babies drink whole milk…and from someone who drinks skim milk on a regular basis let me tell you they have the RIGHT idea…have you tasted whole milk lately?  It tastes like cream…yum yummm!!

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6) THEY DON’T HAVE TO CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES IN ANY WHICH WAY– From the time they are born until they are way into those grade schools years, let’s face it- these kids have it good!  They don’t wipe themselves, don’t feed themselves (for a while anyway), don’t bathe themselves, or dress themselves (that comes after a little while too).  NOT A PARENT YET?  You will soon learn a huge part of your everyday it just keeping them and your house looking presentable.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve almost tripped over a toy or book on the floor.  Once (if you are ever) done cleaning them up, be sure to keep yourself presentable, I know it’s hard especially at the very beginning to even fit in a shower, but you will learn the best times to do so.

NOTE: My husband gave me the idea for this one…how did I not think of it first on my own?  Leave it to the stay-at-home Mommy who does just about everything for her daughter to get BABY BRAIN (to learn more about this BABY BRAIN craziness see https://juliettesworldblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/losing-my-mind-my-balance-and-even-my-shoes-have-i-become-a-mom-or-a-just-klutz/) while trying to come up with a list about her!  Thank you Steve 🙂

7) THEY CAN BURP AND FART IN PUBLIC AND NO ONE CARES!  No ones cares IS RIGHT, its actually cute instead!  How many time have you been out and let one loose and didn’t know what to do?  You could never fart or (god forbid) much less poop your pants and not feel embarrassed.  Burping?  That’s a whole other story; it’s not crazy embarrassing in public as you can always excuse yourself, unless it was too big that is.  But when you are a baby and you burp, Mommy and Daddy are very, very pleased.  Juliette was a very tough burper until about 10 months old, so when she did get those burps out, we had our little mini-celebrations….unfortunately it was usually followed by some lovely looking (and smelling) spit-up, but in her defense, she did have a bad case of acid reflux.

8) THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR WEIGHT!   They don’t care if they’ve gained weight at all, in fact it is so important that they do during those first few weeks of life, you feel like a failure as a parent if they don’t! The fatter they are, the better and cuter they are.  Juliette was an average sized baby at first, 7 pounds 9 ounces, very long and skinny though.  I always thought I was going to have a hugely chubby baby at first, but little did I know she would get there after a few months.  Now that she is stretching out a bit and losing her cute little chunky baby thighs, I have to admit I am going to miss them!  She is still in the 90th percentile for weight, and does that bother her or me?  Not one bit at all!!  I realize she might fall behind the 90th percentile, but whatever weight she is, I hope she doesn’t worry about it for a very, very, very long time!  I wish we could all take a cue there.  Back when I was an adolescent, I couldn’t gain an ounce if I tried, I was very tall and very thin, (and wish I appreciated that more), but that changed when I hit my late twenties, had two foot surgeries and then got pregnant too.  Having to watch what I eat, and exercise for more than just ‘fun’ wasn’t a great feeling, but hey just another sucky part of being an adult I guess.

9) THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH WALKING AROUND IN THEIR UNDERWEAR!  Onesie anyone?  The cutest thing!  Just a diaper?  Why not?  Even naked is just adorable too!  Some people may love walking around in their skivvies in the privacy of their own home, or perhaps wearing an itty-bitty bathing suit on the beach.  However, I think we can all admit that no matter what size, weight, etc. a baby in with just the tiniest amount of clothing is truly precious.

10) THEY HAVE NO PREJUDICE– Ignorance is truly bliss sometimes, and that is definitely the case with our little ones.  They have no prejudice and are (for a little while anyway) oblivious to the world around them and all the hate there really is too much of out there.  I think we would all be a little better off sometimes if we were the same way, unfortunately, life happens.  Tragedies, sadness, death, and many other experiences could and most likely will affect them, but its important for us, as parents to do the best we can to help them through those difficult times and let them know they are truly loved.  We need to reassure them that no matter what, no natter the color of their skin, or any religious or political view or something they have been through, I believe LOVE does and will truly conquer all.

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So, there it is my list of why being a baby is freakin’ awesome!  (I’m sure if I were a guy writing this I would also include something about breastfeeding, but I am sure we can all use our imagination there…)

Yes, I do realize that most of these things, as they are only babies/toddlers, they don’t care about because they are too young to even fathom any of this, but hey it’s the holidays and thought we could all use a little extra holiday cheer!  Especially in light of the fact that of the absolutely terrible school shooting happened last week in my home state, Connecticut.  I always knew Newtown to be a very safe, quaint, and nice place to live, and my hearts truly go out to those who lost anyone in that shooting.  This is an awful thing for anyone to go through, and not only does it hit home with me because I was a teacher, but also because innocent children and staff were a part of this shooting.  Losing a loved one is always a horrific ordeal, but when that loved one has barely lived yet, and is the apple of your eye (like I know my daughter is), I can’t even imagine going through something like that.  Additionally, I am extremely proud of my fellow educators who stood in front of these children and risked/lost their lives.  I am proud to say I was a teacher too, and will be again one day.

Now, go have some even happier holidays and enjoy that extra glass wine, or spiked egg-nog or pour a little extra peppermint schnapps into your hot chocolate, because if you are a parent, you deserve it!  Hey, even if you aren’t a parent, we all work our butts off on pretty much a daily basis, so enjoy!

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Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!     ~J

Someone's been good this year :)

Someone’s been good this year 🙂
Juliette’s 2nd Christmas

Got milk???

Ahhh the joy of spending $30 a pop on a tub of formula…did we really have a choice in the matter though?  Actually we didn’t after a rough first 8 weeks with Juliette.  It’s a great debate…formula vs. breastmilk, and I have to admit I believed that breast was best.  My daughter did get breastfed at least for a little while, not as long as I had hoped, but there was reason for that.

Let’s back up a bit here, I believe in a woman’s right to choose in many ways.  Now, I am not going to go out on a limb (like Mr. Bloomberg did) and decide to take away formula from any place, but I will say that choices are there and they are made for a REASON, not just for convenience.  Unto the whole nursing issue, I was so very excited preparing for all of the things motherhood brought upon me, and one of the most important things was my ability to breastfeed (and my bigger cup size too might I add).

When I first started to breastfeed Juliette it was not easy as I had hoped, but I told myself that it was going to be ‘ok,’ I wasn’t expecting it to be.  A nipple-shield helped a lot at first, especially with that precious “liquid-gold” colostrum that comes in those first few days.  Then, as the milk came in, the shields were used less as Juliette latched on much better.  Unfortunately though, this is not where the story ends.  I so wish I was like one of those women who easily popped their baby on their boob and delightfully fed them on each side.  I envied those women!!  This was not the case for me…the first problem was, Juliette never seemed full, and was also quite colic after almost a week at home with us, especially at feeding time.  After one very worried trip to the ER, many pediatrician appointments, a meeting with a lactation consultant, and joining La Leche League, I began to also pump my milk.  They all agreed that, most likely, our somewhat discontented newborn wasn’t getting enough milk or and when she was, she wasn’t getting it fast enough.  Every new mom will learn that all babies lose weight once they come home from the hospital, but she wasn’t gaining any and loosing too much.

I admit that it was frustrating, (not to mention those very, very sore and leaky nipples to boot), and I was quite worried and felt somewhat inadequate.  But, I would not be defeated!!!  So, after her feedings, I would pump, then hydrate, try my best to replenish my insatiable hunger, and by the time this process was done I was left with maybe 15 minutes or perhaps 25 minutes, (if I was lucky), before her next feeding.  So, there I was exhausted, feeding her directly from the breasts, then offered her some from the bottle with pumped milk (if she was still hungry), then burped her (she was a very tough burper), followed by pumping, eating/drinking for myself, and then having barely any time left to do anything for myself, like brush my hair or go to the bathroom.  Still, I was not giving up, I was determined to do this.  By her next doctor’s appointment she seemed to be getting enough now, however she had begun to spit up a lot more and was having an even harder time burping.  On top of that, she still hadn’t gained much, but (AH-HA!) something was working because she hadn’t  lost any weight!  Unfortunately though, due to the gassy, non-burping and constantly spitting up baby Juliette had become after just a few weeks, they suggested changing my diet.  So, I gave up dairy first, which wasn’t too bad.  My husband stocked us up with many new types of food for my diet, after a week though, still no change, so then they suggested to try to soy free diet.  Well, I really feel very badly for anyone who can’t eat soy, because it’s in almost EVERYTHING!!  This diet was hard, but I pressed on and kept at it, sent Steve to the store almost daily to find something to eat that way soy free and filled me up…but still no change, and a lot more crying and spitting up.  Next up, I tried a soy and dairy free diet, this was the hardest one, but I was doing this for the better of my child, so I still didn’t give up!  Much to my chagrin though, no change with Juliette.  She was not so happy at feeding time especially, and the poor thing couldn’t keep anything down.  I went back to my regular diet and just exclusively on the breast and she would cry and cry and cry and not even want to eat.  What was happening?  Was she self-weaning already?  What did she want?  It was so hard to tell!!  Would there ever be a resolution to this?  Will I ever enjoy my new daughter?  Why can’t I just feed her my milk?  Bottle or breast is best?  Why does she cry every time she is nursing?????  So many questions and I NEEDED ANSWERS!!!

Finally, after six long and stressful weeks of this…she was diagnosed with ACID REFLUX, and with the right formula and meds, she was like a new baby!  I couldn’t believe it!!!  Why didn’t we know this before?  Apparently it is VERY common, and my younger sister and mother-in-law even had it when they were babies…who knew?  Finding the right formula and meds wasn’t easy either, and I even kept trying to sneak in my pumped breast-milk too, but every single time I did, she puked and had a sour stomach.  Plus, because as this point I was just pumping, my supply was going down.  So, I finally and unfortunately stopped breastfeeding after 8 weeks of putting my all into it!  It was very sad day for me, and I shed many tears over it, but no one could say I didn’t try, because I did everything I possibly could.  My loving husband was very supportive of the fact that I had to stop, and he was my biggest supporter through all of this.  In conclusion, I did not have a choice but to give up nursing my baby, unless I wanted to make her sick everyday…I think NOT!

I started to enjoy Juliette so much more, and from that moment on there was stress here and there, but nothing so bad that we couldn’t handle it.  Burp cloths, bibs, and wipes became my new best friends, and burping every 2 ounces was much better for my hard to burp baby.  As she became an adorably happy and, might I add, very full baby, who by her third month was in the 95th percentile for weight, and has stayed around that same mark since, we knew we did the right thing for her.

So, trust me, they made formula for a reason, not just for women who chose not to breastfeed (which if you chose that too, I have no judgment there either because breastfeeding, even if it agrees with them, is serious business), but it was also made for those babies who couldn’t be exclusively breastfed.  It was a long road, and once she started solids her acid reflux kept getting better, her spit-ups diminished, and she now loves practically all food.  Skip to the present time…today was her last day of her beloved soy formula, which took us so long to find the right one after those six weeks.  Today it’s all whole milk.  This was a 3-week milk  project, adding more whole milk and less formula every week…and I was quite nervous about it, because of all her problems feeding in the beginning, but I am happy to report that so far, so good!

So, all you new moms hear me out- DO NOT be too hard on yourself, if for whatever the reason, you can not breastfeed, because you do have choices.  I tried my very best, and still do hope to be able to breastfeed (for a longer period of time) with the next child, when that time comes.  But when that day does comes, if it doesn’t work out I am not going to be too hard on myself, because I have a very happy and healthy baby now.  And if you are successful in breastfeeding easily, congratulations to you, I am very jealous!

Got milk?  Yes, we all do, but it comes in many different shapes, forms, sizes, and brands, and yes you do have the right to choose!  Please remember that ladies, your baby’s health and happiness comes first, and don’t be too hard on yourself like I was…it’s unnecessary in the end! J

PS: Any questions about acid reflux, feel free to ask me anytime!  I had a hard time finding enough information out there about it, and while I’m no expert, I can try my best advice to help.