Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Weaning - Step #1

Well, I just had my last pumping session. I'm a bit sad.. but not much. I've always loved breastfeeding, but haven't had that same relationship with my pump.

I plan on taking this forced vacation from work to wean. Natalie has been taking her bottles with half breastmilk and half Lactaid whole milk (she didn't react well to the plain milk) for the past few weeks. She will even take the bottle of just Lactaid. We will still nurse at nap and bedtime as long as my supply will hold out. She doesn't drink a lot at that time anyway, it's mainly a comfort thing.

My supply has been in the toilet for the past 4 - 5 months anyway. It's been a real struggle to make it to this point. I've been taking a medication that I had to buy from some Pacific rim country over the internet that induced lactation. I had to take two pills, 3 times a day. It was very expensive.

I'm so happy that I was able to make it a year. It was my long term goal. I'm not going to miss pumping at all, but it is a precursor to weaning totally. Hopefully I'll be able to last another month or so. When I quit nursing her all together, I will be very sad.

Nursing has been such a joy in my life. It's been amazing to see how big and chunky she's grown, all on mommy's milk. I treasure the quiet times we've spent nursing. There's nothing sweeter than nursing your baby to sleep after a long day. I've truly enjoyed every minute and hope someday my daughter will experience the same joy with her child.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not so Happy Birthday

Oh my god. This whole weekend has sucked SO BAD. I've been on the verge of tears (and in tears) all weekend.

The kids (my kids and my sisters kids) were screaming and running around and my nerves were SHOT. Natalie was very fussy all night. She could have cared less about tearing the paper on her presents and when I tried to get her to sit with me and try to tear the paper she screamed.

So, after dinner we tried the cake smashing and she screamed (not cried... screamed) the whole time. She never even stuck her hand in there. We finally tried to take her hand and tried to put it in the cake but she screamed even harder, then she grabbed the cake and threw it on the ground. We picked it back up and but it on the highchair and put her hands in it. She was basically a huge pain in the ass the entire day.

To say this isn't how I expectected my daughter's first birthday to play out would be an understatement.

I took her to Sears this morning to have her 1 year pictures taken. Luckily I took Mom with me too. Natalie wouldn't hold still at all. She won't sit, she won't stand, she RUNS, then screams. We were lucky to get these photos. She finally sat down for a second while we snapped the cake photos. I gave her her bottle and that's the only way we were able to get her to sit.

Just what I wanted... a photo of my daughter, who I have breastfed for a year, to have her photo taken with a bottle (even though it is breastmilk in there). And on top of it - the photos SUCK. They're out of focus and the backgrounds are all wrinkled. I bought a CD with a photo release so I can try to edit them. I know it's Sears... but shit, if you're going to do photography, then do it right! Guess I've been spending too much time at [URL=""][/URL]

Friday, December 19, 2008

1 Year Ago Tonight

1 year ago tonight, I had no clue how my life would change. I went to bed early swollen, tired, achy, bloated and still 6 days from my due date. 1 year ago, at 2:00 am tonight (or I guess technically tomorrow the 19th), I started going into labor.

I really didn't think I'd get crazy emotional until her actual birthday, but as I nursed and rocked my baby girl to sleep tonight, I started crying, thinking about where I was, one year ago.

God blessed me with an angel, a beautiful little girl who I love more than anything in this world.

Here's my story of 1 year ago tonight

Dec 18 2007, 10:09 PM

Well - I think this crazy ride is starting. Been having some irregular contractions since 2:00 today and they're getting stronger. Still not patterned yet, but something's DEFINATELY brewing. Think I started loosing my plug - just went potty and had some blood tinged stuff and some bits of mucasy/snotty clots.

So.... Heading to bed (with a towel under me) :lol and I'll update tomorrow!

Cross your crossables!!!!!

December 19th –
I started having contractions around 2:00 am (they woke me out of a sound sleep)- averaging about 10 minutes apart. Around 4:30 am, Mike got up and we started seriously timing them. They were averaging about 5 - 7 minutes and about 1 min long by that point and they hurt!!
During this time I did a few loads of laundry, cleaned the bedroom, etc...

Lost my mucus plug around 5:00 am - wow, that was weird. It was like 2 HUGE blood clots. And they looked like blood clots too. Really red and full of blood. When I wiped, it was really really bloody too. Everything I had heard said "blood tinged". This was not tinged!!!!

After the 2nd part of the plug, the bleeding stopped, then about an hour later, started trickling again. Went ahead and called the doc on call who was an ASS. I told him there was a decent amount of blood and I was concerned. He said "how much blood". I said "like when I'm on my period - a heavy flow". And he said "ok.... so... how much??!!" UGH! He was getting annoyed that I couldn't convey exactly how much. So he told me that with the contractions being that close together, to come on in and get evaluated. That was about 6:15 am or so.

Mike left to take Christian and AJ to their grandparents house (they were leaving that afternoon to head to North Carolina to be with their Mom for Christmas), He got back, we finished packing our bags and headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 9:00 am or so. They hooked me up to the monitor and said I was definitely contracting and in labor, but was only 1 cm dilated, but 90% effaced. Even though they were 5 minutes apart and very intense, my lack of dilation and because my water hadn’t broken, they sent me home. We left there around 11:00 am with the nurses guessing they’d see me later that night.

We stopped by Cracker barrel for lunch – I could barely eat. I must have been a sight! I was doing my breathing and clutching my belly the whole time! Got home and I camped out on the couch.

Around 6:00 pm, the pain started getting REALLY REALLY bad so we headed back to the hospital. I was 5 cm at that point and they took it as a good sign that I progressed so quickly. My water broke almost immediately after we got set up in the room. They gave me the epidural and we waited. Mom and Dad showed up and waited as well. Periodic checks throughout the night showed my progress had slowed considerably. I remember sincerely thanking everyone who came in the room to check on me. I used my “yes ma’am”s and apologized whenever I felt I was inconveniencing anyone. Mom and Mike kept laughing at me. None of us slept worth a crap, and by early morning Dad had to leave to head to work.

December 20th

Around 3:00 am or so (??), they had determined that my contractions weren’t making any progress, so they turned off epidural and gave me Pitocin to help speed things along. Around 6:00 am, I was barely 10 cm and was allowed to start pushing (the whole time saying “yes ma’am” and “please” and “thank you” – it was rather comical. The nurses said I was the most polite woman in labor they’d seen!). Mike was counting me through the pushes – and at one point he had to take a break to go to the bathroom. I could hear him counting loudly from the bathroom for me (I love that man).

My hemrroids were horrible. There was one nurse who’s job was to put pressure on my bum to keep them from getting worse – poor nurse. At one point the doctor came in and said he didn’t really like the progress that was being made, and that Natalie’s heartbeats were dropping during my contractions. If she didn’t come out soon, I’d be getting a c-section. For a few moments I gave up hope – I remember I said “I can’t do this” and came SOOOOO close to asking for the c-section. Remember, I’d been in labor since 2 am the day before – 31 hours).

I was terribly bloated from pushing and probably from labor in general. I had burst blood vessels in my eyes from pushing so hard – but at the time I was pushing I didn’t care – I wanted her OUT! I couldn’t focus on anything without closing one eye and oh… my tushy. Ouchie.

Mike helped me through it and about ½ hour later Natalie was starting to crown. She had started coming out sunny-side up and they had to turn her as she was crowning. At 9:33 am, Natalie Joyce Sullivan came screaming into the world.

It was all worth it though when they placed her in my arms. That first moment when she looked at me and I held her I was completely in love. This little person that poked me tirelessly during the past nine months was here and I finally had a face to the love I’d had in my heart. She was perfect.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Visiting Santa

Last week, we loaded the kids up in the car and headed down to the local mall to visit Santa. The line was long, so Mike took Christian and Anilyse off to the book store occasionally to help with the boredom. Finally, the time came to see the Big Red Man.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't half hoping for Natalie to scream and cry at him. There's nothing cuter than a little baby crying on Santa's lap. Christian and AJ cozied right up to him and talked his ear off, then we put Nati on his lap. She squirmed bcause she wanted to get down. They finally snapped this photo.

Dont' get me started on the quality of this photo. I spent $20 on this damn thing. I wanted a refund when it printed out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas

By Andi Silverman,

‘Twas a holiday eve and the babe was asleep,
Swaddled tight in his crib he made not a peep.
My boobs were depleted from feeding all day.
“Please don’t wake. Sleep all night,” to the babe I did pray.

But his lips, how they moved, as he lay in his bed.
Visions of milky breasts danced in his head.
Dad in his boxers and I in my sweats,
Could we get some shuteye? Go ahead, place your bets.

The moon on the breast of my t-shirt did glow,
Gave a luster to leaking spots set to grow.
My nursing pads were soaked, they fell out of place.
My bra had unsnapped. How I missed sexy lace.

For months I’d been feeding our babe everywhere.
Coffee shop, park bench, museum, movie chair.
All my modesty gone, nothing shy anymore.
If the kiddo was crying, I knew how to score.

And now with the holidays, things often got dire.
While out buying gifts, I sometimes drew ire.
I breastfed in clothing stores. Changing rooms rock.
I breastfed in bookstores. To the stacks I did flock.

When from the babe’s room there arose such a clatter.
We sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.
Away to his room we flew with a flash,
Threw open the door, in the dark I did crash.

What a klutz I can be, ‘twas those bags made me fall.
Sacks for our trip, all arranged in the hall.
We were going to Grandma’s, a five hour drive.
Holiday time—Will I make it alive?

One big huge duffle held all the babe’s stuff.
Diapers, wipes, onesies. Did I bring enough?
Now don’t forget burp cloths, crib sheets and toys.
Books and Bjorn, we’ll exhibit such poise.

On breast pump, on bottles, on stroller and boppy.
On car seat, on cradle, on blanket and binky.
Fill the back of the car, fill the trunk with our haul.
And we’ll drive away, drive away, drive away all.

Now don’t forget stopping to feed long the way.
Gas stations, McDonalds and rest stops, oy vey.
Of course there’ll be lots of those diapers to do.
Get out the Purell, you’ll be covered in poo.

When we finally arrive, now what will await?
Lots of food and embraces, it’ll be really great.
No, no one will not fight. I will not shed a tear.
Ok, a white lie— but rejoice in who’s here.

And what about wine or a champagne or two?
Will it make my milk bad? Old wives tale or true?
And will anyone say, “Can he now take a bottle?”
“How long will you breastfeed?” How these questions can throttle.

Now back to that “clatter,” the babe and that noise.
We had rushed right on in, leaping over the toys.
When what to our wondering eyes did appear,
Our babe still asleep, oh how sweet, oh how dear.

His cheeks, how they glistened, his hair soft and furry.
And I smiled when I saw him, despite all my worry.
How delicious, his belly, moving in and then out.
How precious, his lips in a sweet little pout.

He had not woken up! He did not need to eat.
He had had quite enough, his day quite complete.
And so back to our bed we did quietly crawl.
Happy Holidays to one, happy sleeping to all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Parades

What a HECTIC weekend! My company participated in TWO holiday festivals and parades this weekend, one on Saturday, the other on Sunday. I, as the company appointed cruise director, was there for the entire event, both days.

Ugh. My bells are tired of jingling.

Here is our tent set up at the Port St. Lucie Festival.

We were selling raffle tickets for a child's playhouse that we built. The proceeds of the raffle benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters!

Here's Yours Truly, the head elf. Yes, I look ridiculous, but the hat was W.A.R.M.! Vanity goes out the window when it's 60ยบ with a strong breeze. I look a little thick in the middle from the 14 shirts I was wearing under the jacket. Not really, but kinda...

We had a good time doing bean bag tosses with the kids that were at the festival. This little girl was ADOREABLE!

And Natalie got to be in her very first parade! She wore those adoreable antlers for both parades! She got so many OOHs and AAHs, it was adoreable. My boss got tons of photos on his camera, but he's in Georgia now with his camera card. Pffftt.... I'll have them on Wednesday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Catching up

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted. I'm going to blame it on the stress of the holidays and the stress of a near one-year old! To make up for it, I started this post with a new little photo gem from Thanksgiving. Isn't it great?

A LOT has happend lately. As you know, I wrecked my car and well, it ended up being totaled. I took Mike's car (Kia Rondo) and he went out and bought a used pick up. We're all happy now. The Rondo is SO much easier to get Natalie in and out of!


Work has been crazy, as I'm the self-proclaimed "Cruise Director" and I kick into high gear around the holidays. Our company, Paul Jacquin & Sons, is doing something really neat for the holidays!

Our guys built a child's playhouse and we're going to raffle it off to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. This thing is NICE! We've already raised a bunch of money! We're entering it in the two local holiday parades this weekend and we even have a booth to sell more tickets.

You can see the playhouse on our website If you're local, please come out on the weekend and buy some tickets! Or, contact me and I can get you some tickets. Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00! 100% of the proceeds benefit BBBS!


Natalie turned 11 months on November 20th. Can you believe it? Time is FLYING. She's getting to be such a big girl. She's been walking for months and is all over the house. She's a very active little girl! She's eating like a champ and is very good with table foods. We only do "baby food" on a rare occasion. Her favorites are diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, diced chicken, tiny broccoli florettes, and her day care even has her eating beans (yucky!). She's a good healthy eater. We're starting to sneak whole milk in on her occassionaly in preparation of weaning at 1 year, but she is wise on us and doesn't like it. I have a feeling weaning may take some time. We'll still nurse at night, but I want to stop pumping and get her on cow's milk during the day.

She's still pretty slow on talking. Her first sound was "Ba" and has graduated on to "Da" and sometimes "Ga". She's just not in a hurry to talk. Go figure.

We are a bit concerned with her legs. She's always been a bit bowleged and pigeon toed since she was born, but we figured as she started walking they would straighten out. Well, they really haven't. She's also having a bit of problems walking sometimes, tripping over her toes. We're keeping a close eye on them. I had orthopedic problems at birth as well and I know that at a young age, it can be corrected very easily. We're going to give it a few more months before we look into it more.


I took the kid's christmas photos a few weekends ago in the garage. I got hundreds of photos of them not loooking at me, and the ones where they did look at me they were making funny faces. Here are the two photos that will make the Christmas Card this year!

I promise I'll start getting better at updating on a regular basis!