Recovery

My heart is truly touched by all of your continuous well wishes and prayers. I appreciate all of the texts, e-mails, letters, and phone calls so many of you have given me. I will forever be grateful.
While I really want to express and share a lot more with you, I need a little more time to collect my thoughts and put them into words.
BUT! I will say, I am doing so.much.better. 
 Like 180 better!
Now for the good stuff…. 
I’m sure y’all are really curious to see how much Emmy has grown!
Until next time (and I promise it won’t be so long!) I leave you with this beautiful quote:
“Build on your hope, one day at a time,
Though the road be steep and hard to climb. 
The hurts of the past–they should be dead.
The fears of the future are all in your head.
Just live in the present and refuse to mope.
Your life will sparkle for you’re living in hope.”
God Bless,
Katie

Capable.

Kelle Hampton has inspired me yet again with this post.

Her words really hit home to me: I am capable.

It’s my new mantra. Although I’ve decided not to go into detail about my PPD (since my story is a work in progress), it’s still a part of my reality. It’s a constant battle, but I am capable. I have a healthy and beautiful baby girl who is sleeping through the night [8-9 hours!] I have the most amazing husband who has been by my side every.single.day. And I have a family who loves and supports me unconditionally.

I have so much. And there are people who have much less, and who are going through tougher times. And although PPD isn’t a piece of cake, it’s not forever. And I’m getting help. So for now, I take it one day at a time. 

I do it for me. I do it for Blake. And I do it for my daughter.

Speaking of my daughter…. Emmy is growing up! Gosh, I love this girl so much. 

Decorating the Xmas tree:

Walk around the lake:

Christmas Eve: 
Where’s Emmy?

Christmas morning: 
 Christmas Day:

Thank you all for your continuous love, support, and prayers–whether it’s been in person, through FB, phone/text, or blog. 

Loyally,
Katie



This Too Shall Pass

First of all, thank you for your generous support through this trying time. I was going to share my story, but after discussing it with my husband and doctor we’ve decided to keep it private. However, if you or someone you know is going through Postpartum Depression, PLEASE send them my e-mail: loyallovinglearning[at]ymail[dot]com
I’d love to help a sista out if need-be!
I am well on my way to feeling like myself again. Being with my family, and especially my precious little daughter has helped immensely. 
Motherhood is much harder than I ever expected, but it sure is rewarding.
Just look at this face:

[again, sorry for the iphone picture quality]

God Bless!
This Too Shall Pass


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Today’s my birthday, yo!
I’m the big 2-4!
{My lucky number!}
We’re in town visiting our parents for the holidays and so my mom asked me what I wanted for dinner. I told her my favorite childhood meal: spaghetti with meat sauce with a side of raw cucumbers and raw green peppers with peanut butter.
Weird? Perhaps.
But that’s what the birthday girl wants! HA!
*****
Okay, in serious news. I have something to share and I debated posting about it. But here goes. I have postpartum depression. I’m not ready to share my story, as I’ve yet to sit down and write it any way, but I wanted to let you know. This past week was the hardest and scariest time of my entire life. I have immediately gotten help from my doctors and am on medication. I am doing much better. There’s still a long road ahead, but I am strong and will get through it. My husband and daughter are my rocks.
At first I was ashamed, but now I just want to bring awareness to other moms. Postpartum depression is serious and it needs to be taken care of immediately. I’m thankful I am getting the help I need.
Please keep my family and me in your prayers. This is something that will take some time to heal. I will share my story soon–I feel it’s extremely important.
Until them, we’re super busy showing off our adorable little love, decorating for Christmas, and visiting with friends and family. 
Life is good.
[sorry for the iPhone picture quality]
I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!
xoxo

Three Weeks

I just wanted to thank you all for sending me well wishes for my recovery. It was definitely a scary time–not knowing why I was feeling so sick; having to go to the ER twice; hearing my doctor say she doesn’t know what’s going on with me; getting referred to specialists. I’m glad I listened to my body and went with my instinct. I’m feeling 100% better! Now, I just have the normal postpartum symptoms of mommyhood… TIREDNESS! 
{lol}

But as for everything else, I couldn’t be happier. I wanted to do weekly updates on baby and mom, but never thought I’d be so out of it for two weeks. So here we are, at THREE WEEKS:




Baby Stats:

Sleep: 
Emmalyn’s sleep is still semi-unpredictable. But she does sleep a lot. Blake and I have found that she loves to be most awake somewhere between the hours of 11pm and 3am. My mom said I was the same way. She used to watch Johnny Carson with me; and here I am, now watching Leno and Fallon. {payback?} Emmy doesn’t like to sleep flat on her back in the pack ‘n play, so we have her in Fisher Price’s Rock n Play Sleeper. My cousin Holly sent it to us and it’s been a life saver. I would highly recommend it to any new moms. It folds up and is light-weight so you can bring it anywhere in your house. 

Feed: 
Emmy is eating 2oz every three hours during the day, with two four-hour stretches at night. We’re going to try to up some of her feedings during the day to 3oz so she (and mom and dad) can get a longer stretch of sleep at night. 

Daily Routine:
What routine? {ha} The day basically consists of me running around like a mad woman trying to accomplish odds ‘n ends in between her feedings and time awake. I’ve been slacking on tummy time, which I’m determined to change. My Mommy ‘n Me class says we should be doing it several times a day.

Clothes Size:
Newborn onesies, pants, and outfits; and 0-3 month gowns. 

Hair Color:
At birth: Bald {lol} / light brown
At three weeks: coming in more and more each day in the back, brown

Eye Color:
At birth: dark blue
At three weeks: dark blueish-hazely-green
(Mom has dark brown, Dad has green with a little hazel)

Weight:  
She weighed 6lbs 14oz at birth, but we have no idea what she weighed when we left the hospital. At one week, she dropped to 6lbs 8oz, but then was back up to her birth weight at two weeks. Now, at three weeks, she weighs exactly 7 pounds 


Milestone:
Mommy finally figuring out how to use the Moby Wrap. It has been a lifesaver! When Emmy is wide awake and I need to get stuff done, like say, ummm brush my teeth perhaps, I just stuff put her in there {she cries at first} then she LOVES it! And I love having my little girl all snuggled up with me 🙂 WIN! WIN!
My mommy says I’m cute… and she ain’t lion!
{bwahaha}


Mommy Stats:

Pre-Pregnancy weight: 
110







Day of delivery weight: 
141

{last belly pic taken at 38 weeks}

Current weight: 
119


Weight to go: 
9 pounds!

Pre-pregnancy size: 
0

Current size: 
I can get my size zero jeans up around my hips, but can’t quite fully zip and button them. Guess I’ll be living in leggings this winter!


I’m surprised at how much weight came off in such a short amount of time. And can you believe I never got a single stretch mark? {please don’t hate!} I never spoke or wrote about it in, in fear that I would jinx it! ha! I can’t wait until the doc gives me the go ahead to exercise. For now, I’ll just be enjoying stroller walks with my girl. I plan on documenting my progress, so hopefully it’ll hold me accountable! 


🙂

The Time He Looked Like a Jerk

My husband is the most chivalrous man I know (he learned it from his father).


He’s the type of guy that will ALWAYS open every.single.door (car included) for me.


But the other day, he looked like the biggest jerk.


In his defense though, it wasn’t his fault. I made him look like that.


Let me explain… We needed to go to Target to get some baby bottles. I told Blake I didn’t want him to help me with the baby because I needed to learn how to “go out” by myself. Since I’m a stay-at-home-mom, I’m going to want/have to get out of the house with Emmy. I’ll also have to run a lot of errands without my husband since he has a demanding schedule with med school (and this is only the beginning). I did, however, want B to “chaperone” me just in case I really needed his help! =P



So… I drove the three of us to Target. One tip I’ve received is always park next to the cart return. (Vanessa, if you’re reading this, your mom taught me that!) That way, you don’t have to lug the car seat alllll the way back to your car. So that’s just what I did. We got out of the car and I went to take Emmalyn out, while Blake just idly stood by. There actually weren’t any carts in the cart return, so I had to carry the car seat all the way into Target. 


This made B pretty uncomfortable (and me laugh out loud) because people were already staring at him. They were probably thinking, Look at that guy–he’s not helping his young wife with their new baby?! We get inside Target and I go to put the car seat in the cart. I don’t know about your local Target carts, but the car seat doesn’t exactly fit perfectly. I kept finagling it around and was asking B if it looked okay. He was using hand gestures to try and show me what to do, but didn’t physically help me…. so, again… we got even more stare-downs. 


It was so important to me, though, that I stayed Little Miss Independent. If B helped me, how was I to know if I were able to do this by myself, right? Trying to see over Em’s car seat was actually the most challenging, y’all! My five-foot-two body could just barely see over the top and I was worried I was going to run over a small child or old lady, or maybe even a display. That would be sooo embarrassing!


When it came time to check out, Blake STILL didn’t help me. I put all the bags in the cart and made sure to get out my sunglasses and keys before heading out the door. I was trying my best to think ahead. This was the part I was most nervous about… How was I going to get the bags and baby in the car, AND return the cart? 


This is where parking by the cart return comes in handy. First, I put all the bags in the trunk. I then made the mistake of taking Emmy out of the cart next. This made it difficult to return the cart because I only had one readily available hand and had to maneuver it around without hitting my car. What I should have done was stroll the cart to the return, THEN take the car seat out. (Rookie…)


Next, I put Emmy in the car, but Blake did have to remind me to push down the handle bar (whoops…thanks, babe!)


All in all, though, it was a huge success, I’d say! Since I was on a roll, I even went to get gas afterwards. Normally, I lock all the doors when I’m by myself, but this time I kept the driver’s door open. Even though I had the keys in my hand, I still had a fear that if I shut the driver’s door it would somehow magically lock and my keys wouldn’t work! (mommy paranoia much?)


Even when we got home, B still didn’t help me. I brought Emmy into the house first (and left her in the car seat), then propped the door open so I could carry in the bags, then took Indy outside. 


The. End. 


*phew*


Are any of you seasoned mommas reminiscing about your first outing with a baby? Was it anything like mine? A success? Or maybe a complete ‘mom FAIL’? Do tell.

Let’s Be Real.

Sometimes the things you want, aren’t always what’s best for you.


Case in point… breast feeding.


I’ve always known I’ve wanted to breast feed, and since becoming pregnant I always assumed I’d do it for about six to nine months. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy even though it’s supposed to be natural. I’ve read and read and talked and talked to women about it. I felt prepared.


Boy, was I wrong.


So you know how I’ve been so nauseous? [Are you as sick of that word as I am??!] Well, since all of my millions of blood work from three OB and two ER visits came back normal, I started questioning if my nausea was psychological. As I mentioned in my last post, I started wondering if it had anything to do with my mom leaving after ten days? But I ruled that out after STILL feeling nauseous days after she left. I wasn’t paranoid or anxious about taking care of Emmalyn. She’s a pretty easy baby (so far… knock on wood!) I wasn’t depressed, although I questioned this. I seriously tried thinking of how I could be depressed, but nothing came to me.


Then I started thinking about breast feeding. In the beginning things were pretty normal. She was latching on all right, I was sore and tender, but it wasn’t terrible. I felt confident Emmalyn was getting what she needed. Em was born on a Wednesday and by Saturday… BAM! My milk came it. It’s just like people say… it hits you like a brick.


And guess what day I started feeling nauseous? Yep. The same Saturday. I never thought anything about it at the time. Over the last few days breast feeding has not been going well. For Emmalyn, yes. For me? notsomuch. It has been painful to say the least. I’ve literally been dreading feeding her. That’s not supposed to happen. The whole anticipation and preparation of breast feeding has made me terribly anxious and stressed. I’ve totally been beating myself up about it and I feel like my body just cannot keep up…. I’ve been setting my alarm about fifteen minutes ahead of Em’s feedings so I can fill both my gatorade and water bottles, plus eat a little something. Then, I change her, set up the bed with the pillows I like, sit down to nurse… And then, there’s the pain! So much pain I am gripping the sheets, shouting expletives, and crying in my husband’s arms. Plus, the whole process from the time I get up, to the time she finishes feedings lasts an hour!


I cannot go on like this. It’s not worth it. To me.


Blake and I have had several discussions over the last few days about whether to continue breast feeding or not. I’ve had a war with myself over it. (As well as debated posting this since people can be so judgey) Should I stop? Will I regret it if I do? Should I just try to get through the first month–I’ve heard it gets so much better… 


While all this was going on, I started thinking that maybe I’m nauseous because of the anxiety over breast feeding. Maybe I’m making myself sick over it. So Monday night, B and I decided we would supplement with formula, while I pumped a little to get relief. Then, at Em’s pedi appointment on Tuesday, we’d talk to the doctor about stopping breast feeding. Remember how when I pumping before, I was expressing nearly 4oz at every sitting? Well, this time when I pumped, I was barely getting ONE ounce between the two girls. Whaaaat??? Maybe that’s why things have been hurting so bad–Emmy is trying and trying to get stuff out and it’s just not happening because nothing’s there anymore…? It’s hard to tell since you can’t see.


Any way… were my suspicions correct? Is the nausea related to the breast feeding? Well, I’m no expert, but since late Monday night when I stopped breast feeding, I have not been nauseous, y’all! Now, I do have a clogged duct in my left breast, so I’m experiencing ‘flu-like’ achey-ness, which is normal. (I’m applying a warm wash cloth and taking hot showers to help clear it up) Plus, I’m a new mom so my energy is still low and I’m tired, so I’m not feeling 100% like myself quite yet. But no nausea.


At Emmalyn’s pedi appointment yesterday, her doctor was fully supportive of my decision. She said I need to be happy! And if mom isn’t happy, nobody–especially baby–is happy. She was very adamant I don’t beat myself up over breast feeding. She said in order to stop breast feeding, I just do it cold turkey, and the nurse at my OB’s office said the same thing… and to wear a tight bra!


So how am I feeling emotionally? Let’s be real… I can’t help but feel a little sad. I don’t feel like a failure because I honestly gave it my all, and for two weeks Emmy got tons of nutrients and immunity from me. (Although B says my immunity sucks any way… LOL) I’m not even worried about what people will say. But I loved that when I was nursing, it was just me and my girl; and I loved that she’d hold my finger by her ear. BUT, I know I can get special-mommy-daughter-time in other ways. My mom did. She could only breast feed for two weeks, before she stopped producing milk (which could possibly be what happened to me, too…???) and my mom and I are super close to this day, so I don’t see any reason why Em and I won’t be.


I’ve talked to a few family members about this and while they all say, don’t beat yourself up over stopping, but I can’t help it. It’s sort of like I have to go through a little mourning. Not in an extreme sort of way. Just a little grieving. I’m confident I made the right decision for me… for my sanity, for my body and well-being. And what’s best for me, is ultimately the best for my daughter.


It may be too soon to tell if the nausea is related to the breast feeding, but it does seem very possible. It all matches up…. the nausea started the day my milk came in, and the nausea has ceased (so far) the day I stopped breast feeding. Makes you think…?




*Thank you ALL for your sincere words and genuine well-wishes over the past couple of weeks. It means so much to me that y’all care. I’m truly grateful.


**Today Emmalyn and I are off to a ‘Little Nippers’ class at the hospital I delivered at. It’s for new moms to discuss EVERYTHING & ANYTHING! I’m excited to go, but nervous because it’s my first time driving since delivery, plus my first time alone with my girl. PLUS, it’s icky and cold out today and I don’t have anything to wear post-partum! HA! Wish us luck!

Happy Thanks!

Hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. And if you went out for Black Friday, I hope you were safe and got everything you wanted. I, for one, do not like waking up before the sun, nor so I like big crowds. And clearly, this year I have the only gift I want 😉

My mom has been staying with us since Emmalyn was born, and my dad came for the day yesterday to spend Thanksgiving with us.
My mom’s going back home today
(don’t wanna think/talk about it… I’m gonna bawl my eyes out!! Even though she’ll be back next weekend.)

BUT, Blake’s parents are coming today and his mom is going to stay with us for several days. Thank goodness!!!

***

As for my health… I’m still trying to feel better. I was in the ER TWICE for nausea (threw up once) and dehydration, even though I’ve been downing water and Gatorade like I’m going to the desert! I’ve just been so weak that I can’t even function. Like, can’t even fully take care of Emmy. It’s been awful. I’d much rather be in pain than nauseous. 

We’re not sure if the nausea is a result of postpartum or maybe I’m just sick?? B thinks I could just possibly have the flu or a bug. Especially since now my throat is hurting. UGH! I just wish I knew what was wrong, and when it’s going to STOP! Seriously! I’ve been miserable. I’ve been trying to enjoy my angel as much as possible, but it’s hard when you feel like you’re going to throw up almost 24/7.

Any other moms ever experience anything like this?

*P.S. This is Emmalyn’s due date*

Sunday Stickies

Random Facts About Me

Kinda creepy, huh?! B and I think so! LOL

Happy Sunday, y’all!!
**UPDATE: Since I got asked about the wax thing, here are some more deets…
I was asked by Ripley’s Believe it or Not to be the “model” mold for Britney’s and Madonna’s body for their wax exhibit. Did you think that the celebrities did their own figures? Yeah, me too. Apparently not. So for the gig I wore basically a bathing suit, then they covered me in this really pretty purple gooey-gak stuff. I had to stand or sit in the position you see in the pictures the entire time. After the purple goo was on, they covered me in casting (sort of like paper-mache lol) Then I had to wait for that to dry. It was A LOT of fun!