Breastfeeding Round Two

Now that I'm more than a quarter of the way through breastfeeding this time around (how is that even possible?) I thought it would be a good time to do an update on how things are going, what's different, etc.

First off, my supply is out of this world! I had read it typically is for the second baby, and I'm sure that my knowing what I'm doing this time helps quite a bit as well. Both my boys were born on Wednesdays, and my milk came in on Saturday with Cooper but Friday with JD. I used the manual pump at the hospital following feedings to help take the edge off and that helped tremendously.

I remember my n*pples really hurting those first couple weeks with Cooper, but not so much with JD. It was more of a discomfort if you will but nothing horrible. Honestly the worst pain for me this time was the contractions, especially combined with healing from a C-section.

So as of now, with JD being about 3.5 months, I have approximately 1500 oz. frozen. Which sounds like a ton, but if I suddenly dried up, would only feed him for about two months. I'm essentially pumping enough every day right now to not only feed him, but freeze 15-18 oz. daily. I suppose it's a good problem to have, and he's growing well.

I obviously credit being home with him for a longer maternity leave for a big part of my great supply. I also knew what I was doing and am still a bit terrified of my supply tanking around 9 months like it did with Coop so this gives me a much better cushion!

While on maternity leave, I would obviously feed on demand. Then once he started sleeping in better blocks of time, I pumped before bed. Like most women, I produce a lot overnight while sleeping, so I would pump after any night/morning feeds. Once he started sleeping through the night (and now) I still pump before I go to bed, and after his first two morning feeds. On days that I work, it's typically just once that I get to nurse him in the morning. I send about 16.5 oz in bottles to daycare and he typically finishes them.

At work, I try to pump three times - around 9/9:30, 1 and again at 3:30 - approximately the same time he takes his bottles. He actually doesn't typically take his last bottle until 4:15 or so - which would have bothered me with Cooper but since I have a healthy supply is OK in this case. When I went back to work, he typically wanted to nurse almost immediately once we got home, but now he gives me until about 6 - long enough to get bottles made and supper prepped.

He usually nurses 2-3 times total before bed. It just depends and since JD began sleeping 9-10 hour stretches pretty early on I don't worry too much about it.

We aren't on a real schedule as he definitely wants to eat more often when I'm around :) But he's growing and my body is keeping up with the demand so I figure we are good!

I did try to cut back on my pumping a couple weeks ago and was dropping the night pump. But I ended up with mastitis because we had a busy day and I skipped two pumps, so I've picked it up again. Once I'm done with the antibiotics I'll probably try to drop it again. I would like to continue adding to my freezer stash, but honestly, I'd be happy with just an extra 9-12 oz. a day at this point. I've been doing some reading on WHO and am leaning toward continuing with breastmilk past the age of 1 - I'll definitely drop my pumping at or before then, but may continue bedtime nursing, as well as stretch out the frozen stash, to help my little guy continue to get his mommy milk daily for as long as possible. But right now, the goal is to make it to a year, and fingers crossed, we will get there and then figure things out!

In terms of eating/drinking, I don't have any real limitations other than being very conservative with alcohol. I did pump and dump one night and it was sad but vital :) I do still drink occasionally, but try to do so immediately after feeding and only one beverage every few hours, based on my weight. I drink a ton of water (80+ oz. daily) and have nuts or a nutty granola bar at least once a day.

I was concerned that working out/running again would hurt my supply but that hasn't been the case! I have to schedule things around feeding times and wear good bras, but that's it. I actually felt like I started producing MORE once I began increasing activity, so that was good. I do feel like my body is holding on to more flab and I'm starving ALL THE TIME but I also weigh 20 lbs. less than I did postpartum with Coop.

So basically, it is easier the second time around, and in my experience, there's a much better supply! We are just cruising right through and I'm glad - 3 bottles, etc. a day is more than enough to wash.

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Weekend rewind

Just like that, another weekend is over. Time sure is flying. I can't believe September is practically halfway over, and I sure can't believe I've already been back to work more than five weeks! Next thing I know I'll be enrolling my kids in college!

Don't you wish you had a muffin top cute as this one?

It was a pretty typical weekend in our hood. I had plans to do a chicken/rice bake on Friday, but Cooper requested pizza and obviously that's 10X easier so of course we went with that. I haven't cleaned house in about three weeks and needed to do that but instead decided to just chill and we watched a movie.

Saturday morning JD woke up around 6:30 and was the first in the house to stir. So after feeding him and pumping, I decided to hit the pavement for a run. The weather was in the 50s and it was absolutely gorgeous. It's really hard for me to get in a good run any day other than the weekend because mornings are so hectic and I can't get up early or I'd have to pump first, so I always try to run both Saturday morning and Sunday evening. I've been wanting to take the plunge and do the 5K distance for a few weeks but have been chicken shit ... and let's face it, it's been hot. I started out strong and feeling good, and about a half mile in decided to go for it, not to worry about pace, just run. I ended up doing 3.3 miles and felt great!

After I got home we got to cleaning, my FIL's birthday was last week and we had intended to go to their house (about an hour away) to visit, but they were planning to come through, so we just told them we would grill. So we got the kitchen/living room tidy and Cooper and I made a cake. Once again, the weather was gorgeous so wen just chilled outside. After they left, we changed clothes and went up to my parents'. My dad farms and is in the middle of corn harvest. My cousin used to help him, but changed jobs and actually works for a farm now, so of course he can't help, and my dad needed help running the grain cart from the field to the grain bins again. It was a shorter day since we didn't make it up there until around 4, but helped free up my dad a bit. After that, we went to Cape to look at a used deep freeze - my milk supply is great, but mine and my parents' freezers are now filled with it, so I needed some extra storage space. This is an older model but works great and I got a good deal on it so I don't feel bad that we will likely just use it for a year and then I will resell it.

Sunday morning after breakfast, hubs went outside to do some bush hogging while I worked on laundry and more house work. We needed more groceries and he was planning to help my dad again, but there was a couple hours before he needed to leave, so I fed JD, put him down for a nap and hightailed it. Poor little JD didn't have the best weekend (growth spurt?) and hubby actually ended up giving him a bottle in the 1.5 hours I was gone! Thankfully that seemed to make things a bit better for the rest of the day.

After a quick lunch, hubs went up north while I stayed back with the boys, since Cooper needed a nap and I needed to clean. Once we got to my parents' house, I helped them do a few things while the guys finished up in the field and moved the equipment! I was getting changed for a run when they got home. I'd rather pound the pavement but decided to just run the field row across from my parents, as well as a little on the highway to make for a two mile run. Running in the grass sure is a challenge, my calves/ankles were sore this morning! But it was a great run and I enjoyed it.

Since we didn't know how late they would work, my mom planned supper for all of us, which definitely helped me in the cooking/dishes department :) Then once we got home it was time for some Big Brother, baths and bed. All in time for another Monday!

I've gotten back into meal planning and actually did a little prep yesterday (I'm sooo ready to lose the last 2 lbs. of pregnancy weight) so thought I would share :)

Sunday: Pizza and chips
Monday: Pinto beans in the crock pot, cornbread muffins
Tuesday: Chicken, rice, black beans and corn casserole, tomatoes (eat plain or burrito-style)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Baked salmon, rice, salad
Saturday: Leftovers/TBA

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Cooper's first broken bone

Alternative title: How my entire family got poked and prodded by doctors in an eight-week time period.

When JD was 1.5 weeks old, Cooper broke his collarbone.

It was a Saturday and we were at the park for a family event and it began sprinkling. Cooper was climbing up a piece of playground equipment, slipped and fell.

Poor thing couldn't lift his arm at first and we weren't sure what was going on, but it looked like his collarbone had a point in it and he complained it was "bumpy." Urgent Care was only open for about another hour and costs us quite a bit less out of pocket, so we loaded up and went that way.

Mind you, there was no way I was leaving my 1.5 week old with ANYONE (no bottles yet and just too little for this mama to feel OK) but he also wasn't sitting in a hospital waiting room. So while the big boys went inside to wait, I sat in the car, then headed in with JD once I got a text that they were in a room.

First day home alone with both boys

An X-ray confirmed what, unfortunately, we already knew. Collarbone breaks are actually the most common in kids, which isn't surprising as much as they fall. Thankfully it was a clean break and they said to just do Tylenol and it would heal on its own.

Poor little Cooper was miserable though and would sometimes put pressure on his arm, forgetting about the break. So the following Monday, I called our family doctor to get him in. She confirmed what the NP at Urgent Care said. They do make immobilizers, but nothing that small. However, we decided to get a small sling for him. It helped to hold up the arm, but more importantly, reminded Cooper (and the kids at daycare) that he was hurt so not to use the arm.

Meanwhile, my little buddy didn't want to do much other than walk, so less than 2 weeks out from my C-section (and that Monday was actually hubby's first day back to work, so I was alone with both kids, one injured) I was lifting the 34 lb toddler and such. When I technically wasn't supposed to lift more than 10 lbs. Or drive. Whoops. Thankfully I know how to lift with my legs and had stopped taking pain medication. I actually told my dr at my 2 week follow up that week after getting the all clear and her response? You're a mom. You've got to do what you've got to do.

Thankfully after a couple weeks Cooper felt much better! We did swim lessons and he did great and I think he's all healed and will hopefully forget the broken bone ever happened.

Me? I'm telling God to stop testing me. A husband with a broken foot was bad enough, but add in a C-section, low blood sugar/partially jaundice baby and a toddler with a broken collarbone, and it was all I could handle. Wine, anyone?

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Labor Day weekend

We had a nice, long weekend, but as per usual, it passed by much too quickly!

My hometown does a big festival called Neighbor Days over the Labor Day weekend. This year, I planned to just take the boys up for the parade and a bit of socializing on Saturday. But, since Cooper won the Tiny Mister last year, he had to go and "retire" his crown on Friday night - ha! So we ended up letting him ride a few rides before heading home.

Saturday morning hubby and I got up and ran. We've figured out a system where we let the boys wake us up on the weekends. Hubby will go for his run while I feed JD and pump, then I'll get ready. We live in the country so it can be a little sketchy but I run with mace and always end my Map My Run app immediately so he knows that I'm done. I felt pretty accomplished to get 2 miles in before 8 a.m.


Afterwards we got cleaned up and headed back up north for the parade and some more rides.


Cooper got me to get on a couple rides with him. I'm pretty sure they are scarier as a 30 year old than a kid, but then again, as a 30 year old I'm a scared mama who is aware that the people putting those rides together basically make minimum wage. I tried to get out of it but he was willing to use his last ticket for me to ride the swings with him, how does a mama say no to that?

We went home and had naps and cleaning all around on Saturday! It was in the 90s here and we were all hot and tired.

Sunday morning I woke up around 4 a.m. and felt like my left boob was about to burst (sorry if that's TMI). I went back to bed after pumping 14.5 oz. (yowza) and had chills so I was pretty sure it was mastitis. I've had a very healthy supply this time around and have been eliminating the before bed pump, but since I'd also skipped a pump that morning, apparently it got to me. I ended up taking both a morning and afternoon nap. Tylenol helped but I still had an ache so we went to Urgent Care later in the day. I say we, but actually mean that hubby and the boys dropped me off then went to pick up groceries - no way my babies were sitting in that germy waiting room! About three hours later, I got the script, but we had to drive about 40 minutes to get it filled as all the pharmacies in our town close at 6 on Sundays. But it was an easy process and we just stopped to have pizza for supper. We went home and watched Big Brother and I passed out in the recliner with my littlest love.

Thankfully I felt much better Monday morning (they said it was good that I caught it before fever so it didn't get too bad) so I went for a run after feeding JD. My dad farms and was beginning his corn harvest but needed hubby to help him get a few things started, so he and Cooper went up and I met them at my parents house later.

The boys both got to ride the combine and Cooper has now declared he wants to be a farmer when he grows up.

Mom and I did some things around their house, including me going through Cooper's old clothes - I washed up the 6-9 month stuff and a lot of it already fits. My baby is so tall! We ended up just eating supper with them since it was about 8 by the time the guys finished up in the field.

And now it's somehow Tuesday and back to work. Whew. How was your holiday weekend?

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What's in a name?

I always think its fun to hear how people arrived at their baby's name, so wanted to share. As has become our tradition, it took about two days to name our kid.

Our girl name was set ... Chelsea Danielle. Hailey was our backup name just in case, but we had nothing for a boy, other than the middle name, Daniel (that's hubby's middle name so since Coop's middle name is Michael for Michelle, we had to incorporate hubs in some way for this one.)Throughout the pregnancy I joked that if R2 was a boy, his name may be Baby Boy, and it was almost that!
We had so many lists, marking off names, etc. it was insane. A couple weeks before I was due, we narrowed it down to three names: Wade, Ryan and Jacob. Ethan was on the fence, but there were, of course, drawbacks to each.
Wade: My husband wasn't really sold on, said it wasn't a name. Ryan: Our last name is the same as a famous actor with the first name of Ryan. Jacob: I have a cousin named Jacob (we call him Jake) but we liked it because I wanted to do an initial name like JD. Ethan I was never sure on because it seems super popular and then his initials would be ER (or ED if you consider first/middle names.)
So I had basically settled on Wade but was keeping Jacob and Ryan as runners-up, just in case he came out and didn't look like a Wade. I was ready for a boy, until we were driving to the hospital. At 5:15 a.m., when I was scheduled for a 7:30 a.m. C-section, my husband vetoed the name Wade, saying he just didn't feel right about it. At that point, I told him he better pray we were having a girl, because if not we were screwed and would be bringing home Baby Boy.
Well, we all know how it turned out - we had a boy and had to come up with a name. On his birth day, I actually didn't feel any of the three names were right and went back to Ethan for a bit. But I decided to sleep on it, and the next morning woke up considering Jacob again. After much deliberation/weighing the pros and cons (and asking the baby for his opinion, duh) I settled on Jacob Daniel. My little JD.
Funny side note: For the first bit, Cooper insisted his brother's name was Daniel. We'd say "Jacob ..." and Cooper would be like no, call him Daniel. Sometimes it was even Daniel Tiger. Ha!