Week 13 Postpartum: Breastfeeding Rollercoaster Ride


Taken at 13 Weeks which was August 1st and our wedding anniversary!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Not much happened on this day.  I will say that I love how Bella’s hair is just long enough now to stick straight up in certain places.  It is just so cute to me.

I have suddenly developed these small puss filled blisters in between some of my fingers that itch terribly.  I think it is eczema.  The only thing that has helped is the Copaiba essential oil.  It didn’t make it go away but it has helped relieve the intense itching that has accompanied the blisters which was amazing.

No, my husband’s eyes aren’t actually shut.  He is looking down and sideways at me as he usually does when he realizes that I am looking at him. 😀

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We were finally able to get out for a walk today for a brief period of time before Bella got too hot and fussy and we turned right around and went home.

Today we utilized the new chair and play gym that my husband bought for her.  She will sit in the chair for a short time before getting fussy but the gym with all the dangling toys really had her enthralled for a good stretch of time which is nice because when she is not eating or sleeping she wants us carrying her, pacing the floor, which gets exhausting after a while.

Today, I had some bleeding and I thought I was starting my period for the first time since having Bella but then it stopped again.

On our way to see the movie Wonder Woman after dinner.  I had just whipped out the camera to reapply my lipstick (no mirror on that side of the car) and took this pic.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

We were able to get out for another walk before it got too hot.  We were kept company on the way home by a white crane that kept flying off and landing a few yards ahead of us.  Eventually, I stopped and sat on a bench and watched him hunt for a while before continuing the rest of the way home.  Bella slept during much of the walk.

White crane that kept us company as we walked

We have a fairly nice routine down now.  She goes to bed around 9:30 or 10 (sometimes a little earlier or later) and she stirs a little around 4 am for a diaper change.  We change her place and she never really fully wakes up.  She wakes up around 7 am to eat and around 8:30 or 9:00 we leave for our walk.  She sleeps around this time in the stroller.  We get back and cool off and she eats again.  Naps are sporadic from here until bed time and usually only last about 20-30 minutes.  That is the basics of her schedule.

We also got Josh’s salary offer from the company he will be working for.  It was a fairly decent offer and more money than we have ever had as a married couple so we’re excited.  He’ll be starting no later than August 11th.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Today was a bit of a rougher day for me.  My cycle has officially arrived I believe.  It keeps taking several hours off at a time and then returning with a vengeance.  I’ve had quite a bit of cramping with it too.

I also think I finally figured out what the weird, itchy, puss filled blisters that suddenly showed up between my fingers this past week are.  I believe it is eczema.  Never really had eczema until around the time I gave birth to Bella.  Guess this is just a change I am going to have to deal with now.

Bella fell asleep before I could get her into the stroller so, since Josh has not started work yet, I went for a walk alone this morning and let her stay home with her Papa.  It turned out to be good call because when I left it was nice and cool and over cast but about halfway through the sun came out and it heated up quickly from then on.  On my way back home, I saw a turtle swimming in the water and then bumped into a mama duck with her duckling.  Her duckling was curious about me and was waddling towards me on the trail.  I decided to keep moving quickly by though because Mama duck was definitely not happy with me being so near her baby.  I completely understood her though!

One of the silicone breast pumps that arrived today!

The last couple of days Bella has been really fussy at my right breast when feeding and has been taking it less and less.  I am not sure why that is but I have received Moringa powder and two silicone breast pumps in the mail today so I hope that will help with my supply.  The silicone breast pumps are all one piece of silicone and you suction one on the opposite breast from the one your baby is feeding on and it catches and actually suctions out the let down on that side.  I seem to get 2-3 mL of let down on each side which is actually just about what my electric pump gets out of me so I would say it is doing a great job for a piece of silicone that is hands free and easy clean up.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Today was the saddest day for me ever!  Today, Bella officially rejected my right breast.  She screamed and just would not take it.  She still will take the left one but she is being fussy on it now like she was with the right.  I know that if she rejects the left one also the breastfeeding is most likely over for us.  I am glad to have the silicone breast pump now to help me keep my supply up as much as possible in the right breast.

I was so upset and today was the first time in a while that I cried about the breastfeeding situation.  I was in great despair so since both of our two year wedding anniversary gifts had arrived we decided to open our gifts to each other early and start our celebration a little early.  I got him a vest he had been wanting and he got me some of the makeup I had been wanting.  It is called Savvy Minerals and it launched last  month and is the purest and best mineral makeup you can get I believe.  It is actually sold through Young Living so I can hardly wait to be distributing this makeup goodness to people.  I already love it from what I have seen of the blush and the lipstick that Josh bought me.

Playing around with the makeup my husband bought me for our wedding anniversary.

We both enjoyed playing around with our gifts and being distracted for a little bit while Bella slept for a while.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bella once again refused the right breast today.  Otherwise, today was a fairly good day.  We all went for a walk together in the evening which was really nice.  The weather seems to be cooling down a bit now which is a nice reprieve for us.

I love that you can see the back as well in this picture.

Monday, July 31, 2017

We had a very successful day today.  Bella took the right breast again after two days of completely rejecting it.  The first time she reluctantly took it and I praised her, even though she didn’t stay on for very long.  For her evening meal though she stayed on and she fell asleep suckling and continued to eat in her sleep for several minutes.  I was just so happy and shocked that she took that breast again.  I thought we were nearing the end of the breastfeeding journey but not anymore.  We’re back in business again! 🙂

Shalom 🙂


Week 12 Postpartum: Amazing Bella Keeps Surprising Us

12 Weeks Postpartum and still trying to lose the baby weight but making progress I think

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We had a wonderful day today!  We took Bella for a walk down to the lake near our home in the morning before the heat got too oppressive.  When we got back I read to Bella about Ester in the Bible while she ate.  I want her to grow up hearing about strong and amazing women of the Bible who should be role models for us today.  I thought Ester was a good person to start with.

Later on we got news that my husband had gotten the job!  We are so excited!  It will be hard to have him gone during the day but we have been working on transitioning into this new chapter in our lives for a while now.  It has been a lovely luxury to have him home with us for this long though.

Another lovely thing that happened today was that our cat, Tzipporah (Zippi for short) decided to snuggle with Bella while she was in my husband’s lap.  Zippi seems to think of her as her own kitten and is very fond of Bella.  It is so sweet!  Our other cat Samson seems to have accepted Bella now as well which is a relief.   Zippi loved Bella almost since she came through the door but it took a little longer for Samson to get on board.  Now, he is extremely protective of her and checks on her frequently throughout the day when she is in the main living area with me.

So, as you can see, this is the new blog format.  I think it will be easier to write a little every day than one big blog post about the week.  I think I am less likely to forget things too and you will see more in depth about what is happening.  Obviously, some days will probably have more to them than other days.  The weeks worth of journalling will be posted weekly still, even though I am writing a little each day.  We’ll try this for a while and see how it goes.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Not a whole lot of interest happened today.  We didn’t get out for our morning walk this morning because it was too hot.  One thing I would like to know though, from the Mama’s reading this, when you had your first child did any of you have crazy scary dreams.  I have been plagued with nightmares lately.  If you did have crazy dreams, how did you deal with them?  Thanks in advance!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

It is another extremely hot day so we had to skip the walk again.  Looks like it will be same through Saturday.

Today, Bella was being changed and my husband said “mama” when she looked at me.  Eventually, she looked back at him and he said, “Papa.”. Then she looked back at me and he said, “mama” again.  Then she looked back at him and he said “papa” again.  At this point she started to look back and forth between the two of us and we could almost see the wheels turning and the connections being made in her little brain.  I bet it won’t be long before we hear a mama or papa from her.  So excited! 🙂


Friday, July 21, 2017

This is not the best pic of her holding the bottle but it is what I was able to capture before she was done holding it

Today, Bella grasped a hold of the bottle with both hands during her feeding session.  She was not strong enough to hold it up by herself but she did attempt to keep it upright.  She also has grabbed the ribbons on her favorite toy “Mr. Owl,” for brief periods of time.  She often kisses him as well.

Mr. Owl- her favorite toy

I am not sure if I mentioned this in a past blog but she was kissing me at 8 weeks I believe.  Mr. Owl will make her happy even when she is being fussy.  She is also getting close to being able to roll over during tummy time.  She will be there soon I think.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Today, Bella once again grabbed Mr. Owl but this time she brought him up to her mouth herself (no help from me) and said, “mwah” and then repeated the action a couple more times.  Any doubt about it being kisses has been eliminated.  She is so amazing to me!  She is such a loving girl already!

She was once again very close to kicking herself over from her stomach to her back during tummy time.  She just needs a little more arm strength and coordination and she will be there.

Otherwise, not much else happened today.  Just a really good rest day for our Sabbath.

I’m really liking this veil wrap with a tail.  It’s actually a very lightweight and cool wrap for a hot day!  But it is still too hot to take Bella for a walk.  92 degrees at 9:50 in the morning 😦

Sunday, July 23, 2017

So, today I was down for the count most of the day.  I had horrible cramping most of the day.  I have been having this occasionally off and on since I gave birth to her.  I think it has something to do with the breastfeeding since it always begins directly after I feed her.  There is not a whole lot to report since my husband took care of her most of the day.  She did very well for him though.

We do believe she is teething right now as well since she is always wanting to chew on things and drooling A LOT!  Otherwise, nothing new to report.


Monday, July 24, 2017

When Bella woke up this morning she was all smiles and happy.  She slept through the night except for a diaper change at 4:00 am and I thought she would have be screaming for food but that was not the case.  She let us know she was up and then patiently waited for us to get set up to feed her, smiling at us the whole time.

Today we spent a good part of the day at a birthday party for a friend of our family at my parents house.  Many people there were meeting Bella for the first time and she made quite the impression on them.  She was so well behaved the entire time and everyone loved her.

After all the party guests left we stayed behind to visit with my parents for a while.  Eventually, she got a bit fussy and then I got a migraine so we had to leave but it was a good day for us all and we all had fun and got to fellowship with people which was really nice!

So that ends this week’s blog.  I hope you all had a wonderful week!

Shalom 🙂




Labor and Delivery Story: Traumatic After Birth Complication

So, it has been nearly 3 months since I had my baby and it is about time I finished my labor and delivery post.  I am glad I started and wrote most of it before now because I had forgotten some of the details.  I basically stopped writing at the traumatic part of the events.  So, here it is:  I delivered my beautiful and healthy daughter on Tuesday, May 2nd at 7:50 pm.

My contractions began around 4:30 am.  The whole night prior I had been experiencing stronger than usual contractions but they were still painless until around 4:30 in the morning.  I very quickly found myself starting to vocalize through them and that’s when I woke up my husband telling him that I thought I was in labor.  At that point the contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart.  By an hour later they were approximately 2 minutes apart and extremely intense and even vomited at this point.  My husband decided it was time to go to the hospital based off the recommendation of the doctor to come in when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart.

As we got closer to the hospital and then brought into triage my contractions started to slow down.  When I was checked I was at 2 cm dialated and 90% effaced.  However, when they checked me again an hour later nothing had changed and my contractions had slowed to every 5 minutes.  They sent us home saying that I was not in labor.  I was shocked because the pain was so bad and I wondered how I would cope in true labor.

We went home feeling discouraged but as soon as I got home I immediately started to contract more intensely again.  I could not move during contractions or speak except to make loud vocalizations.  I was sweating and sleeping in between contractions.

I knew I had to be in labor, no matter what the hospital said and if I wasn’t I started having thoughts of being induced early because I knew I couldn’t handle this pain for days on end.  Not only were my contractions very close together but they were also long.  Some of my contractions were lasting 2-3 minutes long.

My husband helped me get into the tub after an hour or so of being home.  As I was about to get in the tub I had another long contraction and I remember saying to my husband, “What was I thinking?!”.  Honestly, I am not sure what I was thinking as I said it but I guess it is better than blaming my husband for doing this to me, right?

I labored in the tub for a loooong time.  My husband timed my contractions​ for me as I was longer able to focus on anything else.  My contractions felt totally different than what I had been expecting.  Much of the pain was in my pelvis and lower back with milder pain in the very lowest part of my abdomen.  This combined with the fact of how long each one was, all the coping skills I had learned went out the window.  All I could do was moan and vocalize through them.

Eventually, my husband got me out of the tub.  As I was exiting the tub I had another even stronger contraction and once again vomited rather violently.  I remember saying to my husband, “Help me!” and once again he was whisking me off to the hospital.

Once again in triage my cervix was checked.  When the nurse was done checking she came out with my mucus plug.  She said it generally doesn’t mean anything but that she though it was very interesting when that happened.  She then proceeded to say they were admitting me.  I was surprised as I was expecting to have to wait another hour and be checked again so I asked how far along I was.  She told me I was 6 cm and 100% effaced.

I was almost all the way through active labor after 4 hours of laboring at home and about to enter transition.  She asked if I wanted an epidural and I said yes.  That had not been part of my birth plan but I had just been mentally defeated already by how long each contraction was, how different they were to what I had been expecting and how I had been told I wasn’t in labor to begin with.  As they were wheeling me out of triage I again vomited violently and it just confirmed in my mind that the epidural was in fact necessary for me.

Even so it took about an hour and a half for me to get the epidural after arriving in my delivery room and my labor had stalled out by this point once again.  I got to the hospital and labor came to a grinding halt even though I was still having strong, painful contractions.

I stayed at 6 cm for about two and half hours.  They wanted to put me on pitocin but I said I really wanted that to be a last resort so they broke my water instead but an hour later and there still was no change.  At this point, I spoke to the nurse and consented to the smallest possible dose of pitocin they could give me.  The nurse had sat down and spoken to me about my fears of using that drug and how it might affect the baby.  She assured me that Bella was showing only positive signs during this labor and that she did not think a small dose would affect her negatively in any way and she was right in the end.

Just as shift change was about to happen (which was about​ 30 minutes after the pitocin was administered) the nurse checked me one last time and I had finally moved to 7 cm and was finally in transition.  She said, I would definitely dialate a centimeter an hour now.

About 15 minutes later we met with my new nurse and she decided to check my cervix for herself.  After a moment she seemed surprised and she came out saying I was complete.  She called my doctor and told him I was at a nine in order to give me time to sit up and allow gravity to do more of the work before I started pushing.  My parents who had been there for a while, quietly left so that Josh and I could be alone together for a few minutes before everything began.

My nurse came back in and explained to me that there was a nursing student who had never seen a woman who was completely dialated yet and asked if I would mind if she came and checked me and saw how everything went from this point on.  Being a teacher and knowing that experience is a great thing for learning I was happy to help.  She checked me and then we did some practice pushes before the doctor arrived.  Even with the epidural I was still able to feel a lot of what was going on.  Because, I had gotten the epidural so late in my labor, it didn’t have time to take full effect before I started pushing.  It took them a long time to get the epidural in me after I arrived at the hospital.  So, the senior nurse showed her techniques for helping a woman know where to push during these practice pushes.  It almost was more practice for her than for me.  During this time they started to take my temperature more frequently and blood pressure and such like.  I started to run a low grade fever at this point in the labor.

It was around this time that I started to feel the urge to push but my doctor wasn’t there yet.  I did my first real push before the doctor was even in the room.  By the end of the push though, when I opened my eyes he was suddenly there.  They didn’t have to tell me when to push, I just did but they coached me through it.

After that first push, when the doctor saw how big her head was, he said he needed to do an episiotomy because her head was not going to fit and I would tear really badly if he didn’t.  Apparently, this happened during the second push.  The third push and her head came out followed quickly by the rest of her.  Her head was so large that I didn’t need to push out her shoulders, which they say is the worst part.  For me, the head was the worst part and then she was out.  Three pushes and she was born.  They immediately put her on my chest and she just cried her little lungs out.  I then started to speak to her and as soon as she heard me she seemed to recognize me and stopped crying and looked straight at me.  That was one of the most beautiful moments of my life!

My husband cut the cord and after a little while, my doctor told me to give one more good push to birth the placenta.  Shortly after this it became apparent that something had gone wrong.  The nurses took her from me to weigh her and asked my husband to come with them to “take pictures” of her.  We figured out later that this was to get him away from me and distract him.  While they were doing this I suddenly realized that my doctor was elbow deep in my uterus.  I will tell you, even with the epidural, that was extremely uncomfortable.  He was in there grabbing the fragments of my placenta that had basically disintegrated and had been left behind in my uterus.  He went in several times to make sure he had gotten everything.  It was during this procedure that my temperature suddenly spiked to 100.4.  I heard the nurses telling the doctor that my temperature was up, that my pulse was raising and my blood pressure was dropping.  One even asked, “should we prep her?”.  During the pause from my doctor at this moment, I remember turning to look and take in my husband and daughter because it sounded bad and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me.  Finally, my doctor responded with, “No, I think I got it all now.”. He then began vigorously massaging my uterus and clamping it shut over his fist.  He would be sewing me up and then stop to massage and clamp.  He was extremely uncomfortable and my doctor even apologized and said he knew that it hurt, to which I responded by thanking him.  I didn’t know what he was doing or why but I knew it was necessary.  It turned out that I was hemorrhaging and it had taken all the interventions they could do on the spot plus a couple medications through my IV to bring it under control again before they would have needed to give my a blood transfusion.  I also ended up tearing also, even with the episiotomy so that was another aspect that I needed to heal from afterwards.

So, apparently, there are different ways that doctors count how long your labor was.  Some count from your first painful contractions that increase in intensity and change your cervix.  This is a little hard to judge on me since I was having contractions that were slowly dialating my cervix for a while (I had measured 1 cm a week or so previous to this) but we’re not very painful like what started at 4:30 that morning or increasing in intensity.  When I went into the hospital I was only 2 cm dialated which could have happened even before the contractions started and the hospital told me I was not in labor.  But if you count those first painful and increasing in intensity contractions at 4:30 I was in labor 15 hours.

The next way that doctors count the amount of time in labor is from 4 cm and on.  Well there is the issue that I didn’t go back to the hospital until I was 6 cm dialated so there is no real way to know when I reached 4 cm.  However, things kicked up a notch after I returned from the hospital the first time and we waited 4 hours before returning so that would be 8 hours.  If I were to estimate dialation as a cm an hour then it would roughly be 6 hours of labor from when I possibly hit 4 cm.  If however, you want to go from when they admitted me as officially being in labor by the hospitals standards my labor would have been 4 hours long.

There are apparently some doctors that only count the labor as when you start pushing in which case that would be 15 minutes.  I don’t really hold to that one though.  I am more inclined to go with the 6 to 8 hours.  What are your thoughts and how did you count your labor if you have had a baby?

In the end, I have my beautiful daughter.  She was born at 6 lbs 7 oz in weight and was 19 inches long and she is healthy, strong and thriving.

Shalom 🙂


Weeks 9, 10 and 11 Postpartum: First Word and Doctor’s Appointment

Week 9 and the 4th of July, hence, my red, white and blue outfit! 🙂

So, life has been so chaotic here the last few weeks but here is an update on everything that has been happening in the last few weeks.


Week 9 was by far among the most exciting!  It started off with her suddenly saying her first verbal word, “hello” followed quickly by “hi,” “okay” and “wow.”. She also is immitating a lot of sounds.


We also had her doctors appointment during this week.  She weighed in at 9 lbs 3 oz and she measured 22 inches long.  She is in the 9th percentile for weight, 33 percentile for length and 67th percentile for head size.  She also had her first round of vaccinations which made her cranky and she ran a temp for a while as well, just in time for the 4th of July celebration.  Even so, I think she had a good first Independence Day celebration.

Week 10 Postpartum

In week 10 there was not a whole lot that happened but she has officially outgrown her newborn clothes.  We are now dressing her in 0-3 month size and 3 month.  Amazingly enough, 3 month fits her better than 0-3 month.


This week my husband also had an interview for a job so he spent a lot of time preparing for that.  This has been good though, because it has helped to start to figure out how I will do things while he is back at work and I am home alone with Bella.

Week 11 Postpartum

This past week (week 11) was again, more transitioning towards being alone with Bella and setting up new routines to compensate for Josh going back to work.  Josh also had his final interviews with the company and they seemed to go quite well.


This week Bella suddenly went from eating 4 to 6 oz of formula, after being on me first of course, to 10-12 oz overnight.  We think she must be going through a growth spurt because she never eat more than what she needs and will often stop herself when she is full.  It was amazing to see her downing that much formula in such a small body.  We are now using bigger bottles that hold more and the nipples that came with them.  She seems to be doing quite well with these nipples and bottles.  She hasn’t been as gassy and hasn’t been spitting up as much anymore either.


Also, this week we had a lovely visit from Bella’s Grandma and Grandpa who were passing through.  It was lovely to get to see them again and have Bella be around them.  I hope that they will be around frequently so Bella can grow up knowing them well.

My husband making jokes behind the camera.  He’s so funny! 🙂

So, there will be some changes happening with the blog in the next few posts but I will explain more about that in my next post.  There will still be weekly updates but I will be doing it in a different way that will hopefully make it more manageable so that the updates get posted on time.  So be checking back next week for the new blog format and explanation.

I hope you are all doing well and as always, Shalom! 🙂



Week 8 Postpartum: She Is Growing So Much


Hello to all of my dear readers!  I can hardly believe that Bella is almost two months old now.  She has grown so much.  She can basically sit up on her own now for several seconds before losing her balance again.  She holds her head remarkably still when she does this and we are always right there to catch her.  Our hands never leave her completely of course.  She also holds up her own weight when we hold her in the standing position and she stomps her little feet like she’s try to walk which is the cutest thing ever, in my opinion lol.


She also has used her first word “milk”.  We have been using some sign language with her and the biggest word we have been focusing on is milk.  She does use this sign now, from time to time, however, not always accurately.   She definitely has made the sign though and in reference to actually wanting milk.  I think she is just experiementing to figure out what it really means still.

She is also sleeping less during the day and interacting more with us now.  She has her adorable social smile down pat and she babbles back at us when we talk to her.


Also, this past week I accomplished filling my first storage bag of milk to begin my milk stash.  It takes several pumping sessions to fill a bag, but at least I am able to fill them now.


I also finished my Reglan medication this week which was prescribed to increase my milk supply.  I believe it did help.  It wasn’t necessarily the miracle I was hoping for but it does appear to have made a difference.  We are now only giving her about 6 oz of formula three times a day instead of after every nursing session like we had been until now.  This is an improvement!


One thing I had noticed though this past week, is that when I use the Basil essential oil (2 drops neat on each breast) about 20-30 minutes before pumping, I will pump about a half ounce of milk.  When I don’t use the oil I literally only get drops, if that much, when pumping.  So glad I have these oils! :-).  If you’re interested you can learn more about essential oils here.

Also, this past week, the business my husband has been working on for the last six months has finally launched and is open for customers and also looking for affiliates to spread the word.  It is a program designed specifically to help children who are struggling with math.  We are very excited to be a part of this program that is helping these children increase and develop their math skills.  You can find out more here, in my blog post about it.  They are called

Life is good here!  I hope you all are doing well also!



Week 7 Postpartum: Doctor’s Appointment & Breastfeeding Medication

7 Weeks Postpartum!!!

It is amazing that it’s been 7 weeks since Bella first entered the world.  Since then it has been an interesting and exciting journey.  Bella is growing but still as cute as ever!  She went to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s for a couple hours on Thursday while my husband and I went to my 6 week’s postpartum doctors appointment.


The appointment itself went well.  I felt a little discouraged when I stepped on the scale and weighed 159 lbs.  That means I have lost a grand total of one pound since the last time I stepped on the scale a month ago.  Oh well!  After the examination we started discussing the breastfeeding issues.  She listened to my concerns, asked questions and then immediately prescribed Reglan.  She said if the Reglan didn’t work to increase my supply in 10 days that nothing would.  However, she did not say whether this was a one and done event or if I should could continue after the 10 days if my milk did increase.  Do any of you know the answer to this?


Meanwhile, back at my parents house, Bella was hard at work charming them.  My dad was playing her and had to leave the room for a few minutes.  My mom took over holding her over her shoulder.  When my dad reentered the room and started talking she twisted herself around and searched for him.  She has been able to hold her head up for several weeks now but this is the exact same thing I did as an infant with my dad.  She is her mother’s daughter! 🙂


After we picked her up from there and took her home, I immediately took my first dose of the medicine.  (Btw, yes we looked it up and it is safe for Bella).  An hour and a half later I also put my usual blend of 3 drops Fennel oil and 2 drops Basil oil neat per breast.  Within 5 minutes I let down in dramatic fashion, causing us to scramble to get me into the pump.  The remarkable thing wasn’t so much the let down, that happened consistently on application of the oils, the thing that made it so different was how much let down and how much I pumped.  I was able to pump 14 mL on one side.  Now, considering that, that very morning I had pumped 15 mL from both sides together, this was a vast improvement.  And might I add that the 15 mL in the morning was also double what I had been producing thanks to tbe essential oils.  All this was the first dose of medication to even out my hormones which tells me that there was a hormone issue there that needed to be corrected before production could really begin.


Before and after (at the moment) of milk production

Currently, what I am doing to boost my supply even with the medication is continuing to drink 3-4 liters of water a day, eating oats and lots of protein, 2-3 drops neat of Basil oil per breast (the Fennel oil should only be used for 10 days at a time and yesterday was my 10th day), and power pumping again.  I am currently doing the power pumping boot camp which is 8 sessions of power pumping in 48 hours.  I have seen improvements using all of these now.  Overall, I am feeling encouraged about breastfeeding again and hopeful that I can make it work now.

First fully breast milk bottle for Bella!  These 3 ounces took me 5-7 pumping sessions (I lost track) but I am fairly proud of this! 🙂

Shalom 🙂





Week 6 Postpartum: Breastfeeding frustrations and rant. Plus, taking votes on hair color

6 Weeks Postpartum

Can you believe six weeks have past already since our little Bella was born?!  Time is flying and she has grown.  She is now 8 lbs 3 oz and we were told by a lactation consultant that we are over feeding her now with the formula  We took her to see this lactation consultant about the breastfeeding and I feel like every time I go and see anyone about this I lay out my concerns and they never get addressed or they get brushes aside.  I will tell them that when I pump I only extract about 5-10 mL from both sides; not even from each side.  The response I ALWAYS get is that some women do not respond well to the pump.  Even if I am not responding​ well to the pump, my understanding is I should be pumping at least half of what I am actually producing in the worst case scenario.  So, this automated, brush it under the rug, response has really started to bother me.  When I mention that there was trouble with birthing the placenta and that it basically shattered inside me and the doctor had to manually extract it, the basic response I get is that that was an unfortunate way to start the breastfeeding journey.  There is no mention of the fact that if even a small piece was left behind it could be hindering my milk production and that I should talk to my doctor about it.  I think I have seen 4 or 5 different lactation consultants since Bella was born and the best information I have gotten was from my husband’s family, my family and friends.  So, thank you to all you ladies who have pitched in to give advice and counsel​ through this whole journey so far and those of you who will in the future.


I went to visit my sister today and we talked for a few hours about this breastfeeding topic.  It turns out the reason she did not breastfeed her children exclusively and sometimes at all was because she had medically diagnosed low milk supply.  This is different from just low milk supply in that when she got a blood test to check if she was producing milk her numbers were extremely below the average range they expect for this test.  Regular low milk supply would be if your numbers fell at the bottom of this average range.  By the way, this is the first I am hearing about a test to see if you are able to produce enough milk.  Why was this never mentioned by any of the consultants​ I went to see?!

Bella loves these flour sack towels and holds them like a security blanket.  So cute! 🙂

Anyway, now I know there is a family history, more than what I already knew, of women having low milk supply in my family.  I already knew my mom never got her milk in with her first child and now my sister had low supply with ALL of hers.  Knowing these facts gives me a stronger case to have my actual milk supply tested tomorrow at my 6 weeks doctors appointment.  I feel that this test can only have a positive effect on me.  If it comes back normal, I can have confidence that I can provide milk for my child.  But if it comes back abnormal, I’ll finally have an answer and we can look at options from there.

Bella can now hold her head up on her own while being held in sitting position

So now to the fun part of this blog.  Now, that Bella’s hair is starting to grow in more we are trying to determine her hair color.   There are times I am sure she is brunette and then there are times I absolutely convinced she has red hair growing in.  What is your vote?

What color do you think her hair is?

Shalom! 🙂




Weeks 4 & 5 Postpartum and One Month Update: Exciting News for our Little Family

Week 4 Postpartum

So, Bella is now a month old and doing really well.  We had a weight check for her and she had gained 11 oz since the last appointment which had been 14 days before that.  They said they like to see babies gain a 1/2 ounce to a full ounce a day so she is right on track.  We are still having to feed her from both the breast and formula from the bottle.  This still gets me seriously down but we are trying some natural remedies to help with my supply.  I have been drinking at least 3 cups of Mother’s Milk tea a day which seems to have helped a little bit, power pumping for an hour a day a long with pumping after each feeding but the one I am most excited to try is Fennel essential oil from Young Living which I am currently starting my own business under because their products have really worked for me and for people around me.


So this leads me into our exciting news.  Both my husband and I are starting businesses this month.  My husband has been working with his father to start a business that will help children who are struggling with math in school.  My husband has been working on the back end for several months now, creating the complex programming​ to make this online business work while my father-in-law has been working the front end that everyone will see and the details of how the business will run.  They both have been working so hard to make this something that will really be beneficial for children, parents and teachers a like.  Honestly, as a teacher myself and someone who has struggled with math my entire life, after I saw how this will assess students and help them to focus on their areas of need in this subject area I became very excited about it and wish there had been something like that for me when I was growing up.  When they launch I will put up a specific post about it for any of you that might have a child who is struggling in math and might be interested.


I am also starting up my own business under my mother-in-law using Young Living Essential Oils.  These are some of the purest and best oils you can find in the United States which makes them more effective than the ones you might find in the store which claim to be 100% pure but really aren’t.  The standards for being able to put 100% pure on your label in the US is 5% oil and the way they destill their products damages the product and makes it less effective, if not actually toxic for us.  Young Living is dedicated to being the purest essential oil possible from seed to seal.  They have their own farms and hold themselves to strict standards.  So this is a product I feel I can get behind and support.  My mother-in-law and father-in-law came down to visit us this week and she brought her oils with her from her starter kit.  We defused an oil blend called Stress Away and at Bella’s next feeding I had my first really good let down EVER!  She didn’t​ need the bottle afterwards and slept for several hours afterwards.  Then the next day she was fussy all day and wouldn’t go down to sleep even that night.  Finally we pulled out the Lavender essential oil and defused that and within 10 minutes she was sleeping soundly.  After these successes I am looking forward to my starter kit and the extra Fennel and Basil oils I ordered to come in either tomorrow or Tuesday.  The Fennel especially but also the Basil are supposed to be really good for increasing milk production.  I will let you know how it goes.  I am also excited to share these products and opportunity with anyone who is interested.  If you are interested in learning more I am more than happy to tell you all about it so feel free to ask me.  This is more of an education business than a selling business.  Sales are just a perk for me, as I really believe that true and pure essential oils are natural remedies for just about anything; which G-d put on this Earth for our use and health.


This also has given me a new focus which has helped me with any remaining Baby Blues.  My mother-in-law got me out of the house for a while too this past week which helped to give me something of a break and a change of scenery which has helped.  It was a very nice visit with them both!

So I know this post is late for week 4 and a little early for week 5 but I wanted to get them done while I had the opportunity.  I hope everyone is doing well!  Shalom! 🙂


Weeks 2 & 3 Postpartum: Breastfeeding Woes and First Mother’s Day

Two weeks postpartum

Well, I decided to put weeks 2 & 3 together since things became so hectic around here.


Week two was an interesting week as we continued to try and adjust and baby blues began to set in, mostly centered around the struggles with breastfeeding.  My husband’s mother came to visit and stayed with us for several days to help us which was so amazing!  My parents also have dropped by almost every day with meals which has also been a big help.


We celebrated mother’s day this week as well which was lovely.  My family had a big get together for the mother’s and my brother’s birthday combined.  It was nice to get out of the house for a bit and spend time with loved ones.


At Bella’s two week doctors appointment we got the all clear to stop supplementing since she was now 4 oz over her birth weight which is better than they usually hope for and they were very pleased.  At the appointment, her umbilical cord stump fell off so the doctor was able to look in and inspect it also.

Three weeks postpartum

Week three was full of firsts too.  We took her for her first walk and gave her first bath (which was nerve wracking to say the least).  I also have begun to feel myself coming out of the baby blues.  I feel that my mood has improved over all and I am not quite so teary eyed this past week.  I had another doctor’s appointment for me, the last one with my doctor, as he is moving to another state.  I was his second to last delivery.  My score on the baby blues evaluation was still not great but he said it would probably improve in the next few days and it did.  Also, everything else looks great healing wise for me.  I am dropping the pounds I had gained rapidly (155 lbs I believe on their scale).  IMG_20170523_194201

We finally broke down this week and bought a nipple shield.  Because of being introduced to the bottle in the first few days of her life, she has learned some very bad habits which were leading to some major damage to my nipples.  I got to the point I couldn’t even wear clothing against my nipples because of the constant pain and it was affecting how well I was able to connect with her.  With the nipple shield I have been able to continue breastfeeding and even so, it is still painful but better.  I am now able to enjoy it more and continue to build that bond with her during nursing.


We also bought a special Medela bottle which is teaching her to suckle properly we hope.  It seems to have made a difference from what I can tell.  I think I will know better once I take off the shield this week and go back to feeding her as I had been previously.  So, she is still on the formula but we are gradually reducing the amount we give her.

We give her a little more formula at night because she will sleep 4-6 hours straight at night this way.  Also, by the end of the day I have basically very little left to give her.  A normal feeding for her right now takes about 2 hours which is exhausting and makes me wonder why that is happening as that does not seem like an appropriate amount of time.  It seems excessively long to me to be occuring at every nursing session.  I hope that once I remove the shield this will also improve.


I will try to be better about updates but we’re still struggling to figure this all out so there may be joined weeks here and there but I will do my best to keep them weekly whenever​ possible.

Thank you for your patience.  Shalom!



One Week Postpartum Update: Bella’s Blood Sugar Complication & Recovering from Traumatic Birth

One Week Postpartum!

So, I have decided to do a weekly update on how we are all doing post birth.  Sorry, this post is late but we’ve been working on adjusting to our new life.  We have made the decision to not show pictures of Bella’s face at this time for privacy reasons and we hope you all will be understanding of this.  I will try however to post a Postpartum picture of me each week.

I will have a dedicated post for my labor and delivery story but in order to understand some of this past week you need to know that I had a very serious complication when it came to birthing the placenta.  Bella’s birth though was relatively uncomplicated​ and went smoothly.


Because of this complication with the placenta I was held an extra night to monitor my bleeding and other vital signs.  It was during this extra time that Bella started to have problems with keeping her blood sugar levels up.  The nurses even had to whisk her away to the nursery and give her glucose drops a couple of times.  We eventually figured out that the energy it was taking for her to breastfeed was causing her sugar levels to drop.  We therefore were forced to supplement with formula which was rather heartbreaking but it was best for Bella.  Even so, she continued to struggle and one night they had me not feed her at all and took her to the nursery the entire night to feed her formula and get her sugar levels to where they needed to be.  It was at this point that I was discharged from the hospital and she was admitted.  They allowed us to sleep in with her that night and then it looked like they weren’t going to let us stay with her if she had to stay another night.  However, they talked about it and decided to let us stay in that eventuality but we were able to establish a routine that kept her sugar levels where they needed to be and she was discharged that night.

We were admitted into the hospital on Tuesday in the afternoon and left on Friday night around 10 pm.  It was an ordeal with much stress and tears from both mom and dad.  Bringing her home from the hospital felt like a huge relief and victory.  We had gotten her stable but now she is more dependent on the bottle than me for her food.  I have struggled to get my milk supply up and it feels like we’re more supplementing with my milk than with the formula.  However, she is still latching really well as she has been from day one and I am pumping every two hours day and night.  As you can imagine there really isn’t a whole lot of sleep happening right now.


Saturday morning we took Bella to a doctors appointment.  They weighed her and she had only lost 6% of her birth weight which was good and her sugar levels were perfect.  She was given a clean bill of health at this appointment and now we will see the doctor again in two weeks.

As for me, I am still experiencing quite a bit of soreness and after birth pains.  I am currently on two strong painkillers because of the severity of my pain because of the difficult after birth.  I also have this awful postpartum rash on my thighs that is itching like crazy.  My feet have also been extremely swollen this week.  They are swollen way worse than they ever were through the entire pregnancy.

Emotionally, I am loving being a mama but I am also struggling with the fact that breastfeeding is not going as well as I had hoped it would.  We went and spoke to a nurse about the situation today and she said that the trauma of having had the life threatening complication after the birth as well as the stress of having Bella be on the cusp of being in the NICU and taken away for a whole night for medical intervention and everything else that went along with that situation could be affecting how well my milk is coming in.  It definitely is having an affect on my emotional health as I scored a 10 on their baby blues evaluation and a 12 is where they have the mama talk to a counselor but most of my answers were focused around how I am feeling about the breastfeeding​ situation.


On the bright side though, we got Bella weighed and she is back to her birth weight already.  I also was weighed and I am now down to 162 lbs myself since giving birth.  I had been at 171 before giving birth.  I gained a total of 36 lbs during this pregnancy and I managed to get away with no stretch marks, yay!

I hope everyone is doing well!  Shalom!


40 Weeks Pregnancy Update: Due Date and Final Pregnancy Update?

40 Weeks Pregnant!!!  My due date!!!

Well, we did it!  We have made it to the due date and 40 weeks.  I have just a little more than a week to go at most.  Next Monday I will be induced if I haven’t gone into labor at that point.  I have been showing some signs that labor is about to start so we are just waiting now.  I actually thought that maybe I was going into labor earlier today but it all got quiet after a while.  I am still not feeling very well though.


At my last doctors visit I weighed about 171 pounds (started at 134 lbs.) and, according to my app, Bella should be creeping up close to 8 lbs. at this point.  Of course there is no way to know for sure until she is born.  I, unfortunately, had not progressed any further from the previous week but that was to be expected.

My cat Samson photo bombing us!

We talked to our doctor about the itching which has only gotten worse over time.  He ordered a bile salts test be done, as, for some reason, the hospital did not run that test on me while I was there.  My doctor said that often times the bile salts can come back abnormal before the liver function ones do but he reassured us that it was just a precaution and most people don’t test positive for Colestasis as it is very rare.  However, if the results do come back abnormal they’ll induce me this week rather than waiting until next week.

Isn’t he just so handsome and cute!

This past week my biggest symptom has been this itch.  It has spread to my knees and hips as well as my feet.  My feet are still the worst though.  Although, I have scratched my hips until they bled recently and I have rug burns on my feet from grinding them into the carpet and small cuts on them from scratching them on sharp edges.  I just can reach my hips easier with my fingers than my feet currently.  It is an horrendous itch.  The worst itch I have ever experienced in my life.  Think 1,000 misquote bites in one small area but deep inside where you can’t really reach it to relieve it no matter how hard you try.  It is miserable but I can handle it as long as I know it is not being caused by something that can harm my child.


I feel incredibly blessed that this only showed up at the very end of this pregnancy and I haven’t had to live with this for weeks or even months like some other Mama’s have to because they’re still too early to induce.  I am truly blessed and very soon I will be holding my baby girl in my arms!

Shalom everyone! 🙂


39 Weeks Pregnancy Update: Pre-Labor and Hospital Visit

39 Weeks Pregnant!!!

This week has been something of an interesting week.  I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for some time but I found out at my last doctors appointment that my contractions are now actually dialating my cervix and I have begun to progress.  At my last check I had dialated to about 1 cm and my cervix was also softening (also known as effacement) and her head is engaged but he said it wasn’t great but there is still time.  From my understanding when a woman’s contractions are changing the cervix but it is changing very slowly and contractions start and stop and don’t lead to actual birth, this is called Prodromal labor or pre-labor.  It is actually a form of true labor because the cervix is dialating but it is not active labor.  Currently, I am having contractions every 15 to 30 minutes.  Sometimes they are closer together (like every 5 minutes) and sometimes they slow down to almost non-existent.  At my last appointment my doctor also scheduled an induction date for May 8th in case I don’t go into labor naturally but none of us think it will come to that.


As for today’s events and why I ended up in the hospital in Labor and Delivery.  The last few days I have had a terrible itch on my feet, mostly on the bottoms of them.  There is no rash, just a deep, awful itch that seemed to be getting worse and spreading to other parts of my body.  I have been constantly scratching the bottoms of my feet especially on anything that has texture like carpet or a hard edge like chair legs and the edges of table tops.  The sharper the better but there was really no relief.  I didn’t think anything of it though since I am pregnant and itching happens in pregnancy, until last night when I couldn’t sleep at all because of the itching.  I finally got on Google to see if any other pregnant Mama’s had dealt with this and what remedies they used for it.  However, my search immediately popped up with a condition called Obstetric Cholestasis which is a problem with the mother’s liver which causes her not to process bile correctly and can lead to stillbirth.  Needless to say I became alarmed and immediately woke my husband up and told him my concern.  We called the on-call nurse about it and she said we should go into the hospital and get it checked out, just in case.  The concern was that Bella would need to be emergently delivered, whatever that looked like, today!


I will say that the experience was not the best I have had at that hospital.  The nurse was almost condescending and at first was acting like we were bothering her because we came in because my feet were itching and then when I told her it had been going on for a number of days she suddenly wanted to know why we waited so long to come in if it was so bad even though we had just explained that it had been progressively getting worse.  I have to say I was really frustrated with her attitude and struggled not to show it and remain nice to her.  As soon as she left I signed to my husband how I felt about her.  He helped me to calm down and reminded me to give her grace since we do not know what has been happening in her life that could be causing her to act this way.  He is such a good man!!! :-D.


She actually did warm up to us after a while and seemed to become more compassionate to our situation as time went on.  I was put on monitors to measure her and my contractions.  Bella kept squirming away from the monitor though and making it hard on the nurse but after a time it was determined that she was doing just fine in there.  In the end, my blood work came back fine also and we were allowed to leave with our minds more at peace and the recommendation to put my feet in cold water and the reassurance that once Bella is born the itching will end.  While there though and hooked up to my contraction monitor I had two big contractions and lots of little ones too.


The contractions I have been having aren’t painful, just uncomfortable.  In fact, I didn’t know I was progressing at all and thought I was just having Braxton Hicks.  I know that a lot of mom’s who have this Prodromal labor say that they thought they were in real labor (even not first time mom’s) and that their contractions were just like their real labor contractions.  So, I feel blessed that I am having a pain free experience thus far.  :-D.

I hope everyone is doing well.  Shalom! 🙂