I have been in a bit of a postpartum style funk lately. My jeans and shorts all fit, but most of my summer tops do not. Before having my second baby, I was a 34A. During this pregnancy, I grew to a 34DD!!! That’s quite a change. I am now a more reasonable 34C, but I still don’t really feel connected to my new found boobs. I am extremely modest when it comes to my chest and don’t feel comfortable in most of my tops that now, with all this voluptuous size, seem to be spilling over. Not only that, but my tops now need to be conducive to breast feeding. They need to keep me covered while also having the ability to be able to pull up or down easily.
I need to be patient. I need to give myself credit for losing all of my weight so quickly, and in a healthy manner. I need to embrace these boobs because they truly are a blessing. Breast feeding is the most beautiful experience and I love it more than anything. I just need to get motivated, swallow my insecurities, and head on out and buy a few pieces of summer gear. I think I’m just afraid of my own head, facing myself in those dressing room mirrors with their terrible lighting.
Summer dresses are my favorite. I need to find a few that will slide off easily on top so that I can nurse Brees on the go. This lovely little ensemble is my inspiration today. I’m tired of this style funk. I’m ready to prance through this spring time light and feel good about the woman and mother I am. I’m ready to embrace my body and wear clothing that captures my spirit. Here goes nothing…
Working this weekend and boy howdy are we busy! Doesn’t stop me from calling home to check on my girls a hundred times, though. They spent the day with their grandmother and enjoyed the great outdoors. Isabelle helped cook supper and Brees enjoyed all the spoiling. Whenever I get sad about being at work and missing my littles, I remind myself how lucky we are to have so much help from family. What a blessing for our girls to spend the day in their grandmother’s kitchen, swinging on her porch, listening to her stories. My grandmother took care of us when my mom worked and I have the sweetest memories of our days together. Though I missed my mother and flew into her arms as soon as she got home, I enjoyed my time working with my grandmother in her garden and helping her feed the chickens. As working parents, all that Shawn and I can hope for is for our daughters’ days to be full and happy, even when we are gone. And to receive sweet text messages such as these to keep us going though the day:
I mentioned in a previous post that we were having Isabelle evaluated for ADHD. We have been engrossed in this process for the last two weeks and today is the first time that I feel ready to come up for air. After much prayer, patience, and faith, we have come to a point of peace and are ready to move forward.
The first step was to have her hearing rechecked. She failed her hearing test at school last month and the doctor felt it necessary to send her to an audiologist to rule out hearing loss. We went to see the referred audiologist and they did several different exams on her. They were extremely thorough and explained each test to us in detail before administering. She passed with flying colors! Step One: CHECK.
The second step was to complete “homework” given to us by the behavioral specialist referred to us by our pediatrician. I did some research on her before our appointment and was pleased with the testimonials I heard from her patients. We were given detailed surveys to fill out before our first appointment: one for Shawn, one for me, and one for Isabelle’s teacher. The surveys covered a variety of topics centered around attention span, social skills, and over all attitude. We completed them as honestly as possible. Step Two: CHECK.
The third step was an exam performed by the behavioral specialist. She did a complete head to toe physical assessment on Isabelle. She then asked her a ton of questions regarding her home life and school habits. She asked us a lot of questions as well, some of them even asking about how she was as a toddler. What I liked the most about this doctor was her overall vibe. She was so kind, so respectful. She spoke to Isabelle in the most warm and loving way. There was NOTHING intimidating about this doctor’s visit. It was just a nice conversation. Step Three: CHECK.
After some deliberation, the behavioral specialist informed us that she does NOT think that Isabelle has ADHD. However, she feels that she is borderline ADD. And by borderline she means that it is very difficult to diagnose a girl of her age. In fact, most girls her age with ADD go undiagnosed because their symptoms are harder to read than little boys. She also thinks that Isabelle has some anxiety issues that need to be addressed and are probably the root of some of her problems in school. Diagnosis: CHECK.
Now, what are we going to do about it? First off, we have a tutor coming once a week to our house to help her in her weaker areas. Her teacher is working directly with the tutor and sends her work that needs to be reviewed, advices her on topics Belle is having trouble with, and gives her a lesson plan of what they are covering in class. This is so exciting to me! Not only is she getting extra attention from an educator, but these two influential people are working together to make the program that much more effective! Isabelle LOVES her tutor so far and really seems to enjoy their time together.
Second, the doctor put her on a non-stimulant medication called Stratterra. Of all the ADD drugs out there, I feel pretty good about this one. Since it’s a non-stimulant, it won’t make her sedated or zombie-like. We don’t want her to lose her spirit, we just want her to learn to use it more productively! This particular med is also very effective with people who suffer from anxiety and thus a good choice for her. Shawn has taken ADD meds for the last few years so we were pretty aware of what side effects to look for. She was a bit tired the first three days and didn’t have her usual hearty appetite, but those symptoms have subsided as the first week has passed. She seems to have gotten her natural energy back and is eating normal again. This medication takes a while to really get into the system, so I’ll report back as we start to see results.
And third, the behavioral specialist gave us lots of behavioral modification techniques to try at home. Reward charts, goal setting, time limits, etc. We have already been implementing some of these and she enjoys them immensely. She is a goal oriented person and accomplishing tasks makes her thrive.
So, here we are. My emotions are still on edge about all of this. You give birth to these perfect little creatures and you have no idea what life will bring. You just want your children to be happy and healthy, to have everything in life they could dream of. And that’s what we want for her. We want her to have every opportunity to be everything she can be. And so we will move ahead with this new plan, this new outlook, and we will give her every tool she needs to succeed. Because she can do anything, be anyone. Because she is loved.
Brees Elizabeth is four months old!!!
14 pounds 4 ounces, 25 1/2 inches long
1. We are still exclusively breast feeding. Brees nurses every 3-4 1/2 hours during the day. This month, she has occasionally started waking up in the middle of the night around 2 for an extra feeding. The whole sleeping through the night thing was nice while it lasted! The night time feedings aren’t too bad because I sleep lightly while she nurses, though. I pump every three hours at work as recommended by my lactation consultant. As daunting as this first seemed when I went back to work, it is actually super easy and has become part of my routine. My coworkers are so supportive and that helps, too!
2. She takes 3-4 naps a day and goes to bed for the night around 6:30 pm. She wakes up, eats, plays for about an hour and a half to two hours, and then goes back to sleep. She repeats this cycle all day until bed time. She can now fall asleep on her own, which breaks my heart. I still rock her to sleep at least twice a day because we both love the cuddle time so much. But it’s also nice that she can drift off on her own, especially when Isabelle needs me or I have to go to work. When she wakes up, she plays quietly in her bed for a while before beckoning us to come and rescue her. She loves her glo-worm and aquarium musical crib toy.
3. She can now roll from her tummy to her back and vice versa. She is a rolling machine and travels all over the living room floor! We have put her bouncy chair away for good as she somehow always manages to scoot completely out of it, even with the seatbelt on. She has found her feet and likes to give them kisses. She almost always has at least one sock off and even managed to take her diaper off last week. We are quickly realizing that she is the quiet, sneaky type:)
4. She is very, very vocal. She talks and sings and coos constantly. She squeals and giggles loudly while we are all talking, actively participating in our family conversations. She doesn’t cry much and is very easily pacified. She is a very happy, content baby and is so adaptable. She can nap anywhere, doesn’t mind running 20 errands, and will let anyone hold her. She smiles all the time now and will let out a deep belly laugh is you tickle her neck.
5. She has not been sick at all this month. She is cutting a tooth and is drooling a lot. She puts everything in her mouth and loves to suck her thumb. Her reflux seems to have hit its peak this month and she spit up A LOT. Our pediatrician said this is totally normal: most babies with reflux tend to spit up the most around 4 months. As long as they are still gaining weight and are not experiencing any other symptoms (such as coughing, crying when spitting up, or losing weight), then we are on the right track. She is still taking Prevacid every night and it is so effective in preventing any of the acid reflux symptoms she was having. Her weight is right on track and she eats like a champ. We’ve just had to do more laundry!
It’s amazing to see her sweet little personality forming. She and Isabelle have a lot of similarities, but we can already see so many differences in them as well. The dynamics of a family are so amazing to me. God placed us all together for a reason, for that I am sure. Our personalties compliment one another, our strengths and weaknesses come together and we are able to use them to make our family better. I am so, so thankful for all that is ours.
With Spring in full swing, we have decided to begin our much anticipated garden. We have spent the last few weeks planning what we wanted to grow, where we would plant, etc. We decided to start with a flower bed behind our house that was completely overgrown and unutilized. Together, we dug up the old weeds and bushes and tilled the soil. It was the most lovely afternoon, Shawn, Isabelle, and I getting our hands dirty. Soaking up the sun and feeling the dirt between our toes.
Every morning and every evening, Isabelle announces to the whole household, “Time to water our garden!!”. And together we tromp outside in our rubber boots, replenishing these beautiful, living beings. We ooh and aah over their progress, relish in how beautiful the flowers look as the setting sun casts its rays on their petals. And it is the most wonderful feeling to have between all of us, a shared interest, a common goal, an intertwined desire for success. A garden for our family. Food for our bellies, flowers for our hearts, and peace for our souls.
This past weekend, Shawn and I went out for our first post-baby date! Oh, what a lovely evening it was! After four and a half months of hibernating away and filling our hearts with the love of these little girls, it was time for a night to ourselves.
We went to our favorite sushi restaurant and took our sweet time eating plate after plate of delicious fare (breast-feeding friendly options for Mama). We got to eat with TWO hands, while the food was still hot, and have uninterrupted conversation. How long it has been!! We only stayed out for two hours, but it was the most wonderful two hours we have spent together as a couple in a long time.
How I love you, my darling husband. We have walked hand in hand for almost twelve years now and I can honestly say that I am more in love with you now than I could have ever imagined. You are my best friend, my most trusted confidant. I love you, I respect you, I admire you. Thank you for giving me two of the most beautiful little girls. Thank you for committing to make this life the best it can be. I look forward to more sushi dates, more nights on the couch, dancing in the kitchen, little girl bath time, sitting on the front porch, being free. Together.