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! 🙂


38 Weeks Pregnancy Update: Any Day Now!

38 Weeks Pregnant!

Well, we have made it to 38 weeks and now it is just a waiting game.  There is usually a two week spread on either side of the due date when the baby can come.  It would not be unusual if she were born today, nor would it be unusual if she was born two weeks after her due date.  It’s just the nature of estimating due dates.  It’s variable a nobody really knows for sure.


At this point we are estimating that she may be around 7 lbs based off the last ultrasound we had and how much they say she should be gaining a day.  We’ll see how close that is when she is actually born of course.  She is still moving around a lot and she responds to her Daddy’s singing and voice.  She seems happy.  We are hoping for a good and peaceful transition for her when she arrives.


We talked over my birth plan with our doctor this past week which alleviated some concerns about the birth and how it will go.  We are hoping for as natural a birth as possible.  However, I am not beyond getting an epidural if I really need it.  I am nervous but excited at the same time.


I have been experiencing episodes of contractions which a timeable but I have this idea that when the real thing happens I will be able to tell the difference.  I also have been experiencing extreme fatigue this past week.  My mom said that it could be my body gearing up and getting ready for little sleep to come.  Another symptom that has intensified again this week was nausea and vomiting.  My understanding is that when labor is getting closer the body starts to try and empty the stomach through vomiting and/or diarrhea.  I am definitely getting close to my due date so hopefully it is a good sign.


I hope everyone has had a good Passover and/or Easter holiday.  Shalom! 🙂


37 Weeks Pregnancy Update: Full Term

37 Weeks Pregnant!!! 🙂

We have made it to full term!  Yay!!! :-).  This week is what would be considered early term but they will not try to stop labor at this point if it happens naturally.  If it happens now it just means baby is ready!  At my doctor’s appointment last week I closed up tight like Fort Knocks which was somewhat disappointing with all the contractions I had been having.  But it also was a relief as well because my husband was going out of town to be at his brother’s wedding (which I was so sorry to have missed).  Congratulations to them if they are reading this now!


Little Bella has been moving a lot.  She is definitely much lower now than before as I can feel a lot more discomfort in my pelvic area now than before.  She is also, we are guessing, around six and a half pounds now.  It is uncomfortable to stand and move around but I try and make sure I am getting exercise.  I am having this crazy nesting urge now but it is coupled with extreme fatigue as well.  Another issue is that I cannot be on my feet or even sitting in a chair for too long before my feet start swelling like balloons and I have to lay down and prop my feet up to help drain the fluid out of them.


I have my birth plan done and will go over it with my doctor at my appointment on Wednesday.  We also have pre-registered at the hospital and started packing the hospital bags.  I am also feverishly trying to get my thank you notes out for the baby shower but it is slow going with my feet giving me grief all the time and lots of contractions.  :-/.

This week is exciting too because it is Passover and Easter weekend.  It may be another Monday post this week again.


Shalom everyone!


36 Weeks Pregnancy Update: Nine Months & Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

36 Weeks Pregnant!

This past week was another busy week so again I must apologize for the late post.  Next week also looks like it will be busy so I’ll give you advance heads up that next post will probably be up on Monday as well.

So, I am now nine months pregnant and only have a few weeks to go.  Next week she will be considered full term and if I go into labor naturally after that point they probably won’t try to stop it.



Our little Bella is around 6 pounds this week and squirming up a storm.  She seems to stop moving and be listening when I speak to her though.  She also has seemed to jump when there are sudden loud noises.  She also gets the hiccups quite frequently which is adorable if you ask me.

There really isn’t too much to report actually this week that I care to go into any details about.  Although, this is a pregnancy blog so readers should know that there may be unpleasant things, such as hemorrhoids, mentioned in it from time to time.  Other than that  though, my symptoms have remained virtually unchanged other than one incident which I will go into momentarily.


One thing I have started doing is drinking red raspberry leaf tea.  This was cleared by my doctor after 34 weeks.  I have been drinking a cup a day for a few days but I think I may be more sensitive to the herb than other women.  This herbal tea is supposed to help women have an easier labor.  However, I am going to have to stop drinking it for a few days I think because I have started to have some serious contractions after drinking it.  It seems to be strong Braxton Hicks but to be safe I am putting the tea on hold for a bit.  This morning, around 5:00 am I woke up with intense contractions that were timeable at almost 2 minutes in between contractions and approximately 1 minute long when they came.  They lasted an hour and half but slowly got further apart and shorter in duration and less painful as time went on so I knew everything was okay but still it alarmed me a bit.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow so I will get to talk to him about all of this.  He will be doing the strep B test and checking for dialation and effacement and all that sort of stuff as well.  We’ll see how it all goes tomorrow and I will post the results in next week’s blog.  A little part of me hopes that I am a little dialated at this point already but we’ll see what happens.


Shalom everyone! 😀


35 Weeks Pregnancy Update: Baby Shower

35 Weeks Pregnant!  These were taken by mother-in-law just after the shower

This week was a special week because my sister threw me a baby shower.  I think I will write a separate blog post about all the sweet things that I was given but I was most blessed by the presence of so many people who are special to me.  We had lots of fun and games.  My sister hosted but the venue was my parents house.  My mom put together a beautiful spread of foods for everyone and my sister and four nieces decorated the place.  My sister had several fun games that we all played along with advice notes for me as a first time mom.  I think almost all of the experienced mom’s in the room at some point in their advice notes stated to cherish each moment!  What wonderful advice from so many wise mothers! :-). I loved my shower and was blessed by it deeply!


As for growth and stats this past week of our little Isabella Marie, she is probably around 5 lbs 13 oz at this point and the size of a pineapple.  She is still moving around quite a bit but she is a bit squished in there now so not so much kicking and punches anymore.  She has times where she is very quiet but just as I start to get concerned she picks up her activity level by a lot.  Her kidneys and hearing should be fully developed by now and she should be head down which we know she is because of the ultrasound we had.


As for the ultrasound follow up with my doctor, he hadn’t received the report yet so I am assuming he will have that by my next appointment.  She was very active during this appointment and her heartbeat was 168 which is higher than she has been in a while but definitely in the normal range.


As for my symptoms I continue to have really bad heartburn and a lot of contractions.  My back is also sore quite a bit and often.  Mostly though I just feel so blessed to be carrying this beautiful child and I am trying to soak up the remaining 5 weeks or so left in this pregnancy.


I just want to thank everyone who came to my shower and made it such a wonderful event.  And I want to thank all those that wanted and/or tried to be there but couldn’t for whatever reasons.  You were in my heart as well.

Shalom everyone! 🙂



34 Week Pregnancy Update: Ultrasound Results and Baby Dropped?

34 Weeks Pregnant

First, I must apologize for the delay getting this post out this week but here it is now.  As many of you are aware, I had an ultrasound scheduled for this past week.  We found out some very interesting things at this ultrasound.  One of the first things of note was that she is head down and is very low.  The tech kept commenting on it and really seemed to struggle to get an image of her brain, causing me quite a bit of pain as she was pressing really hard and hitting into my pelvic bones.  Her brain is looking excellent though.


The night before the ultrasound I had a particularly strong contraction and I felt her drop downward.  It was a very dramatic and sudden movement downward that took my breath away for a moment.  Now I am feeling a lot more pressure in my pelvic area and on my bladder than ever before.  She is now not just kicking my cervix but full on head butting it which is causing the aptly, if not quite vulgarly named, sensation of lightening crotch.  So when the tech commented on her being sooooo low, my husband responded for me in a somewhat joking but also serious manner, “Yes, she knows.”


Another thing of note and the main reason for getting the ultrasound was her size.  Because of the diagnosis of gestational diabetes we had to make sure she was not growing to big.  At this current point in time she is 5 lbs. 3 oz.   We were told this is in the 59th percentile and just about as perfect as it gets.  She had very big cheeks to her face and so she is plumping up just perfectly at this time.  In fact, if she was born today, she would most likely be just fine. IMG_20170320_175834

On the topic of due dates we also noticed something very interesting dealing with her estimated due date.  We saw that there are now two different estimated due dates.  The first one is the one based off my last menstrual cycle which is April 30th.  However, a second estimated due date showed up according to the actual ultrasound age (AUA) as April 23rd.  My understanding of this though is that as long as they are within a week of each other, they are saying basically the same thing and one can disregard the AUA due date.  Based on this information we are still expecting her around April 30th but we won’t be shocked if she comes a little earlier.


The ultrasound tech and doctor checked many things including her lungs, heart, stomach, positioning of the placenta, my weight and my blood pressure and everything came back perfectly healthy for us both.  The ultrasound could not have gone better.  This week we have a follow up appointment with my doctor about this ultrasound as well as the regular two week check up.  I am eager to see what his reaction is to the ultrasound.  Stay tuned for that update next week on Sunday.

My husband and I

Shalom everyone! 🙂


Week 33 Pregnancy Update: More Contractions


This past week has been one of the more uncomfortable weeks.  It started off normally and the doctors appointment went extremely well.  My fundal height was perfect (the height of my belly outwards) as was my blood pressure and protein and sugar levels in my urine sample.  I now weigh 161 pounds so I have gained approximately 30 pounds so far this pregnancy.


Little One’s heart beat is 144 beats per minute which is also perfect.  Based on my fundal height, her growth appears normal although we are having an ultrasound on Thursday to make certain of this fact.  If all is going according to plan with her growth as we suspect, then she is currently approximately 17 inches long and weighs about 4.19 pounds.  Her brain development was accelerated this past week as well.


She is moving a lot which is causing some unpleasant symptoms for me from time to time.  Some times she hits me in the cervix which causes a sensation like lightning to run through that area of my body.  Still, I love to feel her move and mostly she doesn’t hit me in that area.  I also have had a tremendous increase in my need to use the restroom.  My two biggest symptoms though this week was a tremendous increase in both heart burn and contractions.  The heart burn has been awful but the contractions have become much more intense and usually at night which has not helped my or my husband’s sleep.  It becomes a game of musical beds as I sometimes find the soft guest bedroom bed more comfortable or the firmer mattress in the master more comfortable but sometimes neither one is a good option.  IMG_20170312_161214

However, despite the discomfort I am just thankful that the nausea and vomiting have subsided significantly and I think these discomforts of the third trimester may be somewhat easier for me to manage than perhaps other women at this stage who have had easier pregnancies to this point.  I have felt much worse during this pregnancy than these discomforts I am experiencing now.  I am still delighting in feeling her movements which are much more dramatic now than before, even visible through clothes.  I am really enjoying my pregnancy now.

Shalom everyone! 🙂


32 Weeks Pregnant: Horrible Contractions

32 Weeks Pregnant

This week has been a very busy week of moving and cleaning up the new house.  I over did it the first few days and started having very painful contractions again.  They keep me awake at night, or have actually woken me up in the middle of the night.  I have now been ordered by the family to sit and direct and nothing more.  My family has really pulled together to help us get moved, even though several of them are recovering from the flu right now.  We are so blessed to have family living so close to be able to help us like this.  We now have most of our furniture moved into the new house and we’re living in it now.  We’re so happy about that! 🙂


So, Little One is about the size of a squash.  She is 16.7 inches and 3.75 pounds according to the Bump app.  I feel her rolling around a lot more now rather than just the kicks and punches from before.  She seems very active and healthy.


This past week I scheduled an extra ultrasound to measure her growth and make sure she is on track because of the hypoglycemia.  That will be happening in a couple of weeks.  I also have a routine, two weeks, doctors appointment on Wednesday so stayed tuned to find out how that goes in my next pregnancy update post.  I also will be posting a house tour soon.  We got so busy this week that I just didn’t have time to post that like I wanted to.  I hope to get that posted for you all this week.

Another symptom I have been experiencing this week is pale lips which you can see a bit in this pic.

Shalom and blessings to you!  🙂


Week 31 Pregnancy Update: Good News!

My husband and I at 31 weeks pregnant

This past week has been a really good week for us.  So much has happened and we are making some wonderful life changes as well.


First, let’s go over some stats.  Little one is now almost three and a half pounds and approximately 16 inches.  She is moving around so much and I am just loving it.  I was laying down at one point and she suddenly appeared to raise her head so much that I could clearly distinguish her head and touch it through my skin.  I didn’t realize my skin was that elastic.  My husband and I were also able to feel her hiccupping this past week.  It was such a special moment between the three of us.


As for me, I have continued to have the pressure and pain in my pelvic area.  The doctor said that this was perfectly normal for this stage in my pregnancy, but if it had happened earlier he would have been more concerned.  My blood pressure was also perfectly normal and there was no protein or sugars in my urine sample.  I have also started to have contractions.  At the beginning of this week they were horribly painful and would start at the same time every night and last for hours.  The doctor said that they were Braxton Hicks contractions.  Since then though I have continued to have contractions but they are not painful.  They just feel like my muscles are tightening up hard, just like when you flex your arm muscles and hold it.  It can be a bit tiring but they’re not painful.

You can see through my shirt that my belly button is an clearly an outy now.

So, the best part of the doctors visit was when we discussed my blood sugar levels.  They have continued to be very low and I kept going hypoglycemic so the doctor has taken me off the diet.  He said that the test was a screening but sometimes it is not accurate and in my case he does not feel that I am actually diabetic.  What good news!  🙂


Another wonderful thing has happened this past week.  We were looking for a house in order to move before the baby gets here.  We found one that fit almost all of both of our wish lists and we were approved within hours of submitting our application.  We take possession of it tomorrow so stay tuned for a house tour in the next couple of days.  We are so excited and praising G-d for this amazing blessing he has given us.

My husband and I dancing together

Shalom everyone! 🙂