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Warm up to the main event

When a baby started growing in my belly, my brain disappeared to make room.

I locked us all out of the house this morning.

the girls4

That’s a half-smile. I felt horrible 🙁

I always check the bottom handle of the door to make sure it isn’t locked, and today was the one time I didn’t.

Thank goodness Tom was still home

it was cool outside (or we would have gone to the neighbors’ to wait for the locksmith)

The locksmith showed up quickly and busted our doorknob to get us back in. Liv slept peacefully on the patio with me while we waited.

MY OTHER RECIPES


A lot of the things I experienced during pregnancy ended up just being a warm up to the main event… like my brain “kinda” being gone, to lost forever 😉

Some other things on the list:

-Putting someone else first. While I was pregnant, Liv was the driving factor behind everything I did. How I ate, worked out, and slept were all to grow a healthy baby. As a bonus, I got the benefits from it, too. It’s taken to a different level when the little one is actually here because you’re more concerned on making sure the baby is fed, comfortable, rested, and happy. When that’s all good, you can do the things you need to do for you. I’m still eating (no more cruciferous veggies or boatloads of chocolate for this girl), working out, and sleeping according to the little one 😉 It takes patience and flexibility, but I feel like pregnancy helped prepare me for that. It also gave me 40 weeks for reality to set in, and to become even more excited for the hard work ahead.

-Physical discomfort. During pregnancy, my hips hurt like a biotch and I felt pretty heavy and uncomfortable towards the end. I thought that after the birth, I’d be like, “I’m FREEEEEEE!” and be able bend down without the pregnancy style plie squat, sleep on my stomach no prob, and feel light and energized. In reality, I felt like a truck had hit me and my limbs were noodles. Even though my pregnancy was thankfully mild as far as symptoms go, I was used to taking it easy, and continued to do so while I recovered. Now, I’m pretty much back to normal, minus the boob discomfort.

-Dressing for pregnancy —-> dressing for breastfeeding. During pregnancy, you rock maternity tops, when you’re breastfeeding, you rock nursing bras and tanks. I wear a nursing bra and nursing tank every day and layer them under my regular clothes. This way, if I need to feed Livi while we’re out, I can lift up my shirt and my belly is still covered by the tank underneath.

-You make plans or have an idea of how you hope things go, and then everything changes. This one was a little bit in reverse for me, because I had a plan on how I wanted my pregnancy to be and how I’d ideally love the birth to go, and they both surprisingly worked out. I was ready to roll with option B, C or Z to get her here safely, but was very blessed to have a healthy pregnancy and the type of birth I’d been hoping for. When Liv was actually here, I had an idea of how I would have loved things to go, but really had no idea how they would turn out, especially since she was our first. Breastfeeding was a major one.

formula

I had reservations about using formula and we first had to supplement when my milk took longer to come in. After that initial hurdle, we thought we were bueno, and as she needed more food, it was our only option to make sure she was getting enough.

Even though my surgeon said I should be fine breastfeeding, my right side was compromised from the tumor biopsy. Many times, I’d pump and nothing would come out. If it was a lucky night, I’d get an ounce and it would take about 40 minutes. The only thing I accomplished by pumping the right side so frequently was damaging the tissue. I stopped, am letting it heal, and have been feeding and pumping from the left, then top Livi off with pumped breastmilk or formula.

When I pump, it saddens me to get 4 oz from the left, because if my right side could match it, breastfeeding would be much easier. It was something that I really had my heart set on and even with the steps we’ve taken, we’ve still had to supplement. We tried a couple of types of formula in the process and when we switched to a hypoallergenic version, Liv’s stomach was much happier. I’ve even heard of making your own formula, which is a really cool idea.

Being pregnant really forced me to relax and let go of many of my Type A tendencies. Instead of being stubborn and trying to make something work that wasn’t going to, I’ve had to go with the flow (pun?). I’m been pumping, drinking tons of water, eating extra calories, fat and protein, taking herbal supplements, drinking tea, etc. I asked the midwives if working out would affect my supply, and they assured me that I would be fine, especially since my body is used to it and I’m eating enough to sustain the activity plus breastfeeding.

I’m just happy that Liv is full and happy. She’s getting a majority of her nutrition from breastmilk, which is important to us, and formula is there to fill the gaps if we need it.

Being pregnant taught me that even if something was challenging, I’d make it through and have a sweet baby growing inside of me.

The challenges now are very different and on a larger scale, but I make it through, and have a sweet baby, in my arms, smiling up at me.

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89 Comments

  1. Lala on March 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Glad you made it in ok, but I am the only one confused by this? I thought you said thank goodness Tom was home, but then you got a locksmith? Haha oh well. Olivia is adorable!!

    • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      he was locked out with us and there to keep us company 🙂 we needed to locksmith to get in

      • Dynamics on March 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm

        Did I read that wrong? He broke the door knob? hmmm?

        • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm

          we were all outside- i closed the door and it locked. the locksmith had to come and open the door for us :/

      • Lala on March 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        lol, ok. I guess when you said he was HOME I thought he was in the house. lol. Well I am glad he was there to keep you ladies warm. 🙂 And you are a WONDERFUL mama! 🙂

  2. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on March 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I’m sorry breastfeeding has been such an ongoing struggle for you, but it’s clear that you are doing everything you can to nourish Liv. All of the thought that you put into everything from your pregnancy until now shows how dedicated of a mom you are. Truly inspiring 🙂

  3. Brittany on March 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I don’t get it. Tom was home but you still had to call a locksmith?

    • Brittany on March 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      I just read your comment above. I get it.

  4. Nicole on March 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Why aren’t you eating cruciferous veggies?? Did I miss that post?!

    • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      They make liv super gassy. I miss them!

  5. Jessica @ The Process of Healing on March 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Things NEVER go according to plan, it seems like. But sometimes it’s good for us Type A people.. it FORCES us to be flexible!

  6. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on March 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Don’t you worry – I haven’t grown a baby and I locked us out of the house on Sunday. Luckily (or not…) one of our back windows were unlocked so we were able to break through our bedroom. Thankfully, we found out our dog will bark if someone is intruding. Just picture my husband trying to shove me through our open window like a wheelbarrow. I could not stop laughing.

  7. Mal on March 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    That’s a bummer about having to use formula, but you gotta do what you gotta do 🙂 It’s weird that you mention making formula because I was just wondering yesterday if it was possible to make it and then today I came across a blog that had a homemade formula recipe. Here it is if you decide to try making your own: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-homemade-milk-based-baby-formula/

  8. mary on March 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    There’s no bummer about using formula. Take pride in the fact that you have the resources to one way or another feed your child the best that is available to you and from you. Some of us had to formula feed 100% and I refuse to listen to any shame or cop-out talk about it. It’s like saying a c-section or an epidural is shameful. It’s a personal thing and we all should be nice to ourselves, especially through the herculean first 6 months. Your brain comes back, too!

    • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      good to know the brain comes back!
      and you’re totally right.. i told tom i’d juice everything i owned if i needed it to feed her.

      • Laury on March 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        when does your brain come back? Mine is scary gone.

        My mom swears all 4 of us too a little piece of hers and it got worse ever year since haha 😉

        • Sejal M on March 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

          My brain came back (LOL) when ds was over 1 year old. Honestly! Then I pregnant again and it went back to having Mom-Dumb! My daughter is 5 month old so I’m waiting again!!!

        • mary on March 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

          Y’know, I didn’t want to tell Gina but I do kind of think each one takes a little brain that we never do get back! And age does, too!

          I think sleep deprivation is a big part of it the first months, though. That and you’re soooo distracted by your mind being set to “BABY NEEDS” mode, 24/7. I guess that’s why our helpless human babies survive– our minds shift into that mode and nothing else matters. But as they gain some independence, we get to think about stuff like house keys more and more. LOL

  9. Abby on March 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Motherhood its the very best and most difficult thing you’ll ever do! Its amazing how as soon as you know that little one exists everything on the world becomes based off of how it will effect them isn’t it?
    Ive experienced a similar issue with breastfeeding in that my left side easily produces 4 ounces while righty will only do 2 at best, and I’ve never even had any procedures done on it. The human body is a funny thing haha

  10. Allison on March 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    If you want to avoid using formula, you could look into donor milk banking. It’s another great option if you want to exclusively use breast milk. Just learned about it in my Maternal and Infant Nutrition class at school.

    • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      you’re right, it’s a great option. it’s very expensive, and we figured since she’s still getting mostly breastmilk, we didn’t want to do that for now. if for any reason we need to supplement more in the future, i think we’d go that route.

  11. Amy on March 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I’ve been locked out of the house twice with the kids. In an abnormally cold December here in Southern Illinois when our middle boy was 9 months old. I was trying to get the boys out of the house so we could go into town to meet my husband for dinner, I had locked the door and had the coats and diaper bag with the keys next to the door. The plan was to load the boys and then grab our stuff. At the time we lived in a cabin in the woods. It was only 20 miles from town but because of the roads and hills it took 45 minutes to get into town from our place. Luckily I had my cell phone with us and Michael came home instead of meeting us for dinner. The boys and I sat in the van huddled together they each got a baby blanket. Luckily they were both dressed, including long johns so they didn’t freeze.

    The other time was after we moved back into town and I was 8 months pregnant with #3. My husband’s car was having issues and he couldn’t get the windows to roll up so I went out there to fix it for him because we were supposed to get rain that night. I was working on it (cars are my job in our house) and he came out to see what was going on. I told him that I needed to pick up a part from the store, he volunteered to go get it. He went inside and brought the middle boy outside with him because he woke up fussy, he was 22 months. He handed him to me and took off with my van to get the part. I walked back to go inside and he had locked the door! I knocked on the window of our older boy, who was 10 at the time, but he didn’t wake up. My keys and my cell phone were inside. We waited outside for 45 minutes at 11 pm because he didn’t know where the part was located at in the store.

  12. Laury on March 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    When Ella was about 3 months old we did our usual take 2 hours to get out of the house to go to the mall, and when I got in the car I forgot something in the house, and needed the car keys for the house key. I ran up to our condo, grabbed what I needed to grab, left the keys on the counter and left. We lock the door by the handle, never the key. So I get back in the car, look at Michael and yell profanities (only after telling Ella “earmuffs” of course). He’s like, you have got to be kidding me! I couldn’t believe I did that! Thank goodness my MIL had a spare key, but we had to wait a bit for her to come. It sucks.

    Mommy brain at it’s finest.

    Youre doing great. There are so many unexpected things, and I’m sure there will only be more as time goes on. The beginning (and I say this with my 11 months experience only haha) is the hardest. Michael wants more right away and I am terrified. Although I LOVED being pregnant and it’s a miracle, etc…I’m not ready to go through the birth and the newborn stage with my boobs out 24/7 and everything else that comes with a newborn–plus..I am completely obsessed with my baby girl am enjoying my time with her right now to even focus on another 🙂

  13. Kas on March 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I too had to supplement from the beginning, and I get it. It is heartbreaking. I desperately wanted a ‘normal’ breastfeeding relationship. It is what it is. As a previous commenter noted, I feel blessed I have the resources for my child to thrive. We still breastfeed and supplement at 6 months, which given my early sadness and reservations, I am thrilled about.

    However, in good conscience, I cannot let the comment about making your own formula go. Formula is one of the most regulated food substances… And for a good reason. Particularly if you are relying on a hypoallergenic mixture for you child’s health and dietary needs.

    Ultimately, you have to make choices that are within your own comfort level, but I urge you to do some pretty serious research (starting with your ped and midwives) prior to choosing a path forward.

    • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      i definitely will. for now, it’s working for us, so i’m not about to go and change anything
      so glad to hear that it’s still working well for you at 6 months! i’m hoping to be able to still give her breastmilk for as long as i can

  14. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on March 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Glad to hear you got back in your house relatively quickly and that everything was okay! I always worry I’m going to lock my keys in my car.

  15. Heidi on March 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Hey Gina, I don’t know if you have considered raw goats milk, but goats are the universal foster mother for any baby, be it a baby giraffe or a human baby. If you have some farms out of the city, you might be able to get some goats milk occasionally that will have all the nutrients Livi needs when you need to supplement. Granted, formula is much easier to purchase , but if high quality nutrients are a high priority, then goats milk is the way to go! There’s nothing like getting Livi hooked on goat-products at an early age. 😉 ~H

    • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      that’s an excellent idea. raw goat’s milk, correct? i’ll ask her ped about it, but we have a lot of goat milk and goat cheese vendors at the farmer’s market

      • Jess on March 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        Yikes, definitely do not give her raw milk of any kind. That is dangerous. Talk to you pediatrician for sure but don’t be surprised if they advise against goat milk until a year, just like they do with cow’s milk.

        • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

          yeah, i’ll probably just be sticking to what we’ve been doing because for now, it works. i also like that the alimentum doesn’t have cow’s dairy or soy in it

          • jenny on March 31, 2012 at 8:57 pm

            Goat’s milk does not have the same enzymes in it that cow’s milk has. Goat milk is easily digested by babies and doesn’t cause food allergies like cow’s milk can. I know many mother’s who could not breast feed that fed their babies raw goat’s milk and their babies did wonderful. Goats milk is like our breast milk in many ways. One thing you must know is that raw milk of any kind is actually illegal to sell. The mother’s I know that used it went to a local, small dairy farm and got their milk directly from the owner (because you can’t sell it at the market). When drinking raw milk you have to make sure the cleaning/sanitation of all milking equipment is done thoroughly. And the herd needs to be up to date on their tuberculosis shots. I have had milk goats in the past and my family and I always drank it raw. Do your research though bc if you get it from an untrustworthy source it could be dangerous.



          • Fitnessista on March 31, 2012 at 11:53 pm

            good to know, thank you <3



  16. Ashley on March 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Actually… In babies that have milk protein intolerance, goat is too similar for the majority of them. So be careful with that. There’s a big misconception that it’s better tolerated but that’s not the case most of the time. Are you sure she has MSPI? Goat and cow are usually cross reactive so she would probably be reacting to the goat dairy in your diet if she were intolerant to bovine (cow) dairy. Btdt with my little guy, unfortunately. Soy isn’t typically tolerated either (hence the S in MSPI).

    • Fitnessista on March 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      yeah, i said “great idea” without thinking to much about it – it’s been a long day over here, haha. the hypoallergenic is working for us, so there’s no sense in changing it. i can just have a small amount of goat diary right now, or she gets extremely gassy and cranky, so if she’s reacting from me, i can only imagine how rough it would be if she drank goat’s dairy straight-up.
      i really like that the alimentum is soy-free, too, because i don’t feel comfortable with her consuming a lot of soy at a young age
      i talked to the ped about it, but she said stick with the hypoallergenic if it’s working and there’s no need to test her now, as many babies outgrow it by the time they’re one.

      • mary on March 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

        I’m glad you’re thinking first before trying anything like homemade formula, banked formula or goat’s milk. I think I’d be terrified to feed anything not out of my own breast or a heavily-regulated, respected formula maker.

  17. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on March 29, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Oh I know I already commented but I also wanted to say that I think that you are handling your breast milk issues really well. I’ve read a lot that breast is best but so many people have situations that come up or things out of their control. When I have kids I really want to breastfeed but if I can’t I’ll feel lucky that there are other options for my baby to nourish them. And I think that you’re really lucky to have your left side producing enough milk to mostly fill Livi. I was breastfed exclusively until I was three months old when my mom died and then I had to be switched to formula. Apparently it made me really cranky but no long term damage. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 12:54 am

      i’m really sorry to hear about your mom <3 the bonding time is really special and it's great you had that during your first 3 months
      i was given formula and breastmilk as a baby too, and i think i turned out ok 😉

  18. Averie @ Averie Cooks on March 29, 2012 at 1:29 am

    So sorry about the lockout…ugh! I am a bit OCD about that after locking myself out of my car about 5 years ago. I double triple check all doors and locks now. Sorry you had to deal with that whole event.

    Nursing is not always easy and I am glad you are doing your best, doing what you can, and are okay with other options and exercising them as need be. Good for you, Gina.

    I’ve also known lots of women who make homemade formula with goat’s milk. It’s a bit tricky, because in order to get the full complement of iron, many of the recipes I believe call for using liver (hello Vitamix) and then there are drops that you will likely need to purchase of trace vitamins but for babies who don’t tolerate commercial formula well, or for mom’s who want to make their own, I’ve known many who have done so successfully.

    Whatever you end up doing, you’re a great mom and doing everything you can and Livi loves you, period. 🙂

  19. Kate on March 29, 2012 at 6:00 am

    My little girl is almost 5 months and we have had to supplement on and off with formula since she was born. She is a poor sucker and for whatever reason couldn’t eat enough at breast to stimulate my supply, and I have some issues on my left side and don’t produce very much milk from it. She would frequently lose weight in between doctor’s appointments. When I went back to work I couldn’t maintain my aggressive pumping schedule and we had to start supplementing with formula 1-2 times a day, and guess what–she is finally thriving and gaining weight at a normal rate. I cried the first several times I had to give her formula, but this has worked out better for us than anything else, and as a bonus she still eats mostly breast milk. You’re not alone, and no matter what anyone says, the most important thing is that your daughter get the nutrients she needs

  20. Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl on March 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I was one to lose the “Thinking” side of my brain during/after pregnancy too. I use to have such a great memory and now I forgot EVERYTHING and pretty darn quickly too. I can do something and then forget 5 minutes later that I did it and do it again. :/

  21. Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) on March 29, 2012 at 7:52 am

    It is frustrating (at least for me), when things don’t go the way you planned. I’m a little Type A, too, and was bummed at first when labor didn’t go the way I planned (natural vs epidural), but then I looked down at H and didn’t give it a second thought.
    Mommas have to do what we have to do and I think it’s fabulous that Livi is nursing and has gotten so much benefit from your milk, even if she needs a little formula to fill up her tummy. After all, a healthy, growing baby is all that matters 🙂

  22. Mali on March 29, 2012 at 7:58 am

    So glad to read this post, I feel guilt at times over not breastfeeding (MAJOR issues with latching and a really unhelpful lactation consultant, plus exhausted and frustrated me) and it even makes it difficult to read some of your struggles with BF b/c I would think to myself, she had MEDICAL issues that were effecting her and she still did it! But I can’t do that to myself and my little boy is happy and healthy and that’s all that matters. Maybe if I have another one I’ll try again and maybe have a better experience but I can’t beat myself up anymore.

    • Jen in MN on March 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Mali, I so completely relate to your comment above. I was very much planning on breastfeeding my daughter and instead, we went into a downward spiral very early on – such that in extreme sleep deprivation and frustration, I threw in the towel at just 2 weeks (my milk really didn’t come in, baby getting dehydrated on day 4, mastitis complicating matters etc). At the time I felt so awful about it, but still deep down I KNEW I was making the best overall choice for all of us to be happy, healthy, and thriving. And that’s exactly what has happened – my daughter is almost 3 now and is a healthy, growing, happy girl! In retrospect I gave it my best shot that I could at the time and I now have no regrets.
      All that said, I am 35 weeks with baby girl #2 and plan to give nursing another try. I personally just would not feel right if I didn’t at least *try* you know? But I have flexible and realistic expectations this time around. I’m certainly hopeful my milk will actually come in this time. I’m going to do everything I can, within reason, to ensure that happens. But if for some reason it doesn’t? I know we’ll all be ok (well, besides having to spend lots of $$ on formula the first year, ha!). I want to basically expect the best and yet prepare for the “worst” if that makes sense.
      I agree there is no sense in beating ourselves up over breastfeeding not working out! Believe me, I so wanted it to but it simply wasn’t happening, I was sleeping very very little, and something had to give. All still turned out well in the end.
      Just hoping to add a little encouragement for the moms whom, for whatever reason, nursing just did not work out. But lots of love to all the mamas! It’s quite a job we have! (-:

      • Mali on March 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

        This was great to read! Thanks for the encouragement =)

      • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm

        i loved reading this comment, because many times i too wanted to quit with all of the problems we were having. i think it would have made me a lot happier in the beginning, especially with the sleep deprivation. i really think i had breastfeeding depression, especially with the anxiety from trying to nurse from the right side knowing that a lot of the ductal system was missing. tom convinced me to take it one day at a time, but for our next baby, i’m going with the exact same plan. hope my milk comes in and things work out, but if it doesn’t, we’ll all be ok.

        • Jen in MN on March 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm

          I’m so glad to know I was able to offer encouragement! I really felt blindsided when it all went south, so quickly, with our first daughter. I had done *everything* to prepare, you know? Took the class, did the reading, heck even used the lanolin cream BEFORE baby was born…..blah blah blah. Nursed early & often…..in my case, it just didn’t matter. I know I gave it the best I had in me at the time, and I’ll do the same this next time. Just hoping for better results of course (-:

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      it’s not worth beating yourself up at all. you’re an amazing mom.
      as much as i really wanted it, i wanted liv to have a full belly more than anything. one of my friends said to me “you’re feeding and nourishing your baby. how you’re doing it doesn’t matter as long as she’s growing and thriving”

  23. Kara on March 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Just FYI, the Alimentum isn’t milk protein free (it’s just like pre-chewed protein, but it still derives from milk if that makes sense). If she honestly has an allergy, the Alimentum may not be the best choice. If she just has an “intolerance” like you do for gluten, then it won’t matter. If you’re only supplementing with formula, you may get a false sense of comfort that the formula is working well but if you try to increase the amount, then problems can start.

    Just 2 cents from someone who had a kid with a milk protein allergy 🙂 She did outgrow it by 14 months!

  24. Julie on March 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Gina if you are pumping 4 oz at a time from your left side, I honestly think you are making plenty of milk to feed Livi with that one side and really do not need to give her formula also. Yes, you will be lopsided for a while unfortunately, but your baby will get all the milk she needs from you. I was only able to nurse on one side also for different reasons and my baby is still going strong at 13 months without ever being supplemented with formula (obv she eats solids now too). It is absolutely possible to exclusively breastfeed on one side.

    This is a good article to check out (particularly the last paragraph) : http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/lopsided/

    • Anna on July 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      I think you must have meant to say that is was absolutely possible for YOU to exclusively breastfeed on one side. Everyone has such a different experience, different body, different baby.

      • Liliya on January 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        To the comment above…You also have to keep in mind that not all breastmilk is equal. In the sense that some produce more fatty milk and some less fatty, as well as the amount they produce. Some babies might be satisfied with 4oz but some need more. Any amount of breastmilk is good. It helps protect the baby from the inside out.

  25. Kathy on March 29, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Hi Gina – as usual your posts are inspiring and a great model for how to make the most of any situation. I have learned that anything that happens to us that is not aligned with our expectations is an opportunity to become more whole & grown up / wise people. I once read that the faster we can move to acceptance of what is, the more fulfilled & happy we will be and the better we will be able to reach our goals. That time of acceptance is where the power to develop a new strategy, adjust and continue creating the life we want lives. It is a great lesson not to wallow, after allowing reasonable time to feel sadness or disappointment of course. Being able to model how to do this for Livvie will be one of the best outcomes of how you opperate your life. And having kids will give you lots of opportunities LOL. Kudos!

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      <3

  26. Kristen on March 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I love this post! I’m almost 4 weeks into motherhood and I totally agree with what you wrote.

    Dressing for breastfeeding is no joke! I didn’t even think about that when I was pregnant. I thought,”oh, I can’t wait to wear my cute clothes again.” I really have to plan my outfits around breastfeeding when I go out. And I was so looking forward to sleeping on my stomach after pregnancy, but with breastfeeding I can’t. I learned that the hard way with a little mastitis scare.
    Also, the after pain. Oh, the after pain. My hips hurt worse after birth than my whole pregnancy. My dr even reccomended a few rounds of physical therapy. That’s how bad they hurt.

    No one really told me about the “after” stuff. That’s the things I’m telling my friends about when their time comes. I wish someone had told me about alot of the stuff I’m going through.

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      you’re totally right- no one talks about the after stuff, and for me it was way harder than anything i dealt with in pregnancy

  27. Alisa on March 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I’m right there with you on the supplementing…I’m even taking domperidone (which I have to order online) to get my supply up and we’re still supplementing at least one feeding a day. Not what I had hoped or planned, but we’ve made it almost three months and we’re still going.

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      did you experience any side effects? i was thinking about taking it but the depression thing worried me

      • Alisa on March 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

        I don’t think the dom is as prone to the depression side effects as Reglan. The difference is that dom is not FDA-approved, and you have to get a compounding pharmacy to make it stateside (I got the script with full permission from my OB and the LC). I had a compounding pharmacy do the first batch but it was mega-spendy (like over $1/10 mg pill and I’m taking 90 mg a day). So I order it online now (inhousepharmacy.biz) and get it for 10 cents a pill.

        It does help, but we are still supplementing about 3-7 oz. a day and I pump 6 times a day (first thing in the morning, 4 times at work, and last thing before I go to bed) and he nurses 3x (right before he goes to sleep and twice overnight). We’ll see if he’s still getting enough at his next appointment. I’ve not noticed any side effects to speak of.

        • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

          good to know- thank you!

  28. Heather on March 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Gina,
    I feel like we are so similar! Reading your blog makes me feel like I’m chatting with my BFF. I have a 5 week old son and I, too loooove to exercise (Zumba is my addiction!). Anyways, a couple of questions for you….1. What nursing tanks do you like? I’m looking for some that will go nicely under my tops. 2. How long before you could comfortably leave the house without a meltdown? We are really struggling with that right now. 3. Does Liv fight sleep and, if so, what do you do about it? I try to put him down at the first yawn but he will fight sleep for an hour or 2 after that!

    I look forward to your advice! You always have some great insight on here. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      hey girl,
      congrats on your little guy!
      1. i love the bravado tanks! decent support, too
      2. it took a few weeks, but livi is pretty mellow when we leave the house- she likes being out and about
      3. she fights it a little bit, but if i catch it before she gets angry, it’s a lot easier to put her down. have you tried different ways to put him to sleep? i try to make it pretty consistent so she knows it’s nap time. i swaddle her, shut the blinds, turn on the pandora lullaby station and tell her it’s naptime before i rock her
      xoxo

  29. Jess on March 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    If you’re getting 4oz out of one side, that’s really good. My nearly 9 month only only eats 4oz at a time when she has bottles at daycare. Breastfeed babies don’t generally need an increase in ounces as they grow because the composition of your milk changes. With that said it sounds like you’re making plenty of milk and shouldn’t need to supplement with formula.

    My daughter also went through a gassy stage at about the same age as Olivia. She was fussy for a month then fine, no problems since. Might not be the formula but just her digestive system changing.

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      i don’t get 4 oz every time – i wish :/ i’ll have one really good pump at night before bed, but during the day, i’ll get 1-3 oz in addition to feeding her. the thing that makes it more challenging (which i didn’t really want to go into in the post, people only care so much about boobs, haha) is that sometimes during the day, she doesn’t want the boob, she wants the bottle. she got used to it really quickly while we initially had to supplement at a lot more. the funny thing is, she happily takes the boob at night, which i’m grateful for- i like the snuggle times, and heating up bottles is a PITA.
      so during the day, i’ll offer her the boob, and if she doesn’t want it, i’ll give her the bottle i have pumped in the fridge. if it’s only 2 oz, then she needs formula for the rest. i pump while i give her the bottle, so she has breastmilk for the next round

      • Julie on March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        If I were you, I would stop offering bottles when you are able to nurse her – think about how much more work you are making for yourself! Instead of just nursing you have to give a bottle, wash the bottle, pump more milk, wash the pump parts… Maybe I’m just lazy, but I think if you want to have a successful nursing relationship, it would be better if Livi was only offered the breast all the time (unless someone else is baby sitting obv). Just give it a try! If she isn’t gaining sufficient weight or loses weight/is extra fussy all the time then you might need to supplement, but I bet that she will surprise you.

        • Julie on March 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm

          ETA – I’m sorry if that sounds pushy! I really struggled with breastfeeding for the first couple months until we fell into a groove so supporting nursing moms is something I’m super passionate about.

        • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm

          not pushy at all! we tried that, and she was going in for weekly weight checks (she lost a lot of weight initially) and that was the week she didn’t gain enough. so we had to go back to the formula, pumping, bottle circus over here
          i’ve been tempted to try again, but since she’s doing so well, it’s not worth it to me

  30. Sarah on March 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    You hit the nail on the head! The biggest plan to make during pregnancy is BE READY TO DITCH YOUR PLAN! The little ones dictate things and we’re just here to provide for them – keep them safe, fed, and content Plan B might work better, or C, D…..X, Y, Z. Do what works and forget the plan
    The best plans can quickly be squashed by these teeny tiny human beings!

    • Kristen on March 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      AMEN! I second this comment.

  31. Christina on March 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I hear ya. I had so much pain breastfeeding at the beginning (bad latch, fissures, ugh) and cried my eyes out when we switched to formula/pumping for a couple weeks until I finally healed. Now that I’m back to work I pump twice a day but still don’t make enough to cover the bottles that he takes when I’m gone (he can go through up to 20 ounces during the day but I only pump around 12). Our routine is for my husband to give him a bottle of formula at bedtime while I pump – he gets to bond with the baby and I have time to try and keep up the supply for the next day so that he is mostly breastfed overall. One thing I told myself but took a really long time to accept was that it doesn’t have to be all formula or all breast milk when it comes to feeding. And there shouldn’t be guilt about it – as long as everyone is happy and healthy then that’s all that matters.

  32. Lizzie on March 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I feel like she’s sleeping in all your pics now!

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      i took an awake one today, just for you 🙂 i’ll post it tomorrow

  33. Debbie on March 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Ha, ha! Get used to it…pregnancy brain quickly turns into mommy brain…which is much worse! I always tell my husband “At least I rememberd the children!” 🙂

  34. Rebecca on March 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Dont worry at all about supplementing with formula. You have a legitimate medical reason why. As long as you are giving her some breast milk during the day, she will continue o get the benefits that breast milk provides.

    We had to supplement at 4w due to poor weight gain (more like no weight gain). Our schedule now is 7 feedings a day with 3 of them being bottles of a mix of formula and breast milk. I pump first thing in the morning on one side and sometimes in the afternoon. I could phase out the formula but Max doesn’t seem bothered by any of it, so we just kept going!

  35. Jen on March 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    When I was working and going to night school full time I would lock my keys in my car all the time. One time I did it getting gas, the gas attentent was not too happy as it was a busy time. Opps had to call a tow truck, after I gave all my family and close friends keys. Maybe try hiding a key outside in a locked combination box, so if it happens again your covered!

  36. Ali on March 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I love your sunglasses (“sunnies” in my vocabulary).

  37. Michelle on March 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    You go girl 🙂 I hear so much about ebf (exclusively breastfed) and I always feel a little guilty. We have been supplementing since two weeks(per our pedi’s orders) because my daughter was taking a while to get back to her birth weight. Just a couple of bottles a day, but I always felt a little strange talking to other woman who ebf. After 6 months though I have decided that her diet is mostly breastmilk and she is getting a lot of the benifits of bfding even if she doesn’t have it 100% of the time. I think you just learn that parenthood means doing what works for you (which is different for everyone) 🙂 period! I commend you for your dedication and thank you for making me feel better about my situation 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      no need for guilt at all. you gotta do what you gotta do, and if the baby is growing and thriving, that’s all that matters

  38. meghan on March 30, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I locked myself onto our back porch
    Yesterday morning with our dogs, laptop and baby monitor. The baby and my husband were in sleeping and i had yo im my sister in law on Facebook to call and wake my husband up.

  39. Melissa on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 am

    As Livi’s mom, you always know best! A lot of people, things I read, etc tried to convince me that I didn’t “need” to supplement with formula and while maybe they were right, I did what felt best at the time and even though I wish things had gone differently, I still think I did my best by my baby, my family, and myself. We started supplementing at 1 month, and by 3 months I was back at work and my son started getting about half breastmilk and half formula. It was really hard to keep up with pumping at work, and my son will be 6 months next week and I just stopped nursing altogether last week. It was great while it lasted, but for us there are a lot of unanticipated benefits of bottle feeding too- his dad can help more, weight gain has picked up where it had stalled out, and my stress level has gone way down to the point where I feel like a better mom. There are lots of “shoulds” with motherhood- do what’s right for you!

  40. Amy@healthyhungryhappy.com on March 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    i love hearing about your experiences!! im 17 weeks now and so far, it’s been pretty easy. but like you said, not what you expect. i expected lots of other things to happen and none of them did. i know it’ll be the same once the baby is born….totally unexpected. i cant wait though!!

  41. Julia on March 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I am just curious about how you decided that she needed hypoallergenic formula? I don’t have any babies yet so I’m just wondering how you figured out the allergies? Was it just worse gas than usual or did she have allergy tests done?

    • Fitnessista on March 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      the ped suggested it as a last resort after trying 3 other types. at first we thought the high amount of iron was messing with her tummy, but all of the formulas backed her up, and she would cry out in pain from the gas. it was far worse than it had ever been, and it broke my heart because she was in a lot of pain.
      when she finally went, the contents of her diaper weren’t normal at all. the ped said to try the alimentum and see if it helped, and the stomach pain and diaper debacle went away. it could have been a change in digestion, the formula, who knows, but the ped said if it’s working for us, just to stick with what we’re doing. she’s gaining weight well and thriving, and if she still has problems with dairy later on -many kids outgrow it after the first year- they’ll do testing then.

  42. Marie on March 31, 2012 at 12:27 am

    She gets more and more adorable every time I see a pic you post! 😉 I am behind in reading so I read backwards on Reader and saw some more current posts first. Can I just say that your energy is astounding? You just seem to have so much energy and I love the fact that you seem so calm…like how you mentioned her crying her heart out and then smiling at you once she stopped and looked to see you smiling. I would be so frazzled. I really had my heart set on breastfeeding mine. The OB sort of kept mentioning to me that formula was OK and I remember wondering if he was anti-breastfeeding but when my twins were born around 4.5 lbs each and wouldn’t latch on, even with the two different consultant’s help, I gave up after 6 weeks. I just didn’t have the energy to feed them with a bottle (with my husband), hold them up for half an hour after each feeding for reflux issues, and then pump again for the next feeding. It seemed around the clock because they seemed to eat every two hours for the longest time. I just couldn’t keep up and though at the time, it worked out and husband and I were glad to just have them thrive and grow, I get super excited to hear others’ successes and a twinge of regret that I couldn’t. There was only one time I miraculously got them latched on and we even took a picture because it was that monumental. Sorry for the long post! I love your family posts and always want to comment but not sure if it appears silly sometimes.

    • Fitnessista on March 31, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      i’m so glad that you did!
      and thank you so much for the sweet words. it’s funny because with this whole thing, all you can really do is take it in stride and be calm. if she’s frantic, there’s no sense in both of us being frantic, so i try to bring her back down.’
      so glad to hear that your twins are doing well! breastfeeding is HARD work, and after going through all of the challenges we’ve had, it’s easy to see why many women don’t want to or aren’t able to.
      hope you’ve had a great weekend <3

      • Marie on April 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

        Thanks for the reply! 😉 You definitely are a good mom! Most of uscwould like to be calm or patient but it doesn’t come that easy. My twins are four now and about to start preschool this fall. BTW, I made your breakfast cookie again last night, for the whole family. In the past, I thought you were supposed to cover it & watched your video again last night. Everyone loves it even more now. The kids kept asking for more; guess I’ll have to make them separate ones instead of sharing one between them. 😉 Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

        BTW, I was wondering if you’ve ever thought about adding that feature which e-mails your replies to someone’s comment? I just happened to check back for this or would have missed it because I don’t remember which blogs have it and which ones don’t, so I always wait for an e-mail.

  43. Tori on March 31, 2012 at 11:45 am

    OMG I love your epics of Olivia…she is such a doll!

    Anyways I wanted to comment (not so much for you but more for some of the other commenters) that making your own infant formula can be extremely dangerous. I’m a pediatric RD and while I wholeheartedly believe in eating whole natural foods, this might be one instance where the big nutrition labs might be the better choice. Labs like Abbott or Nestle spend millions of dollars researching and testing their products, because even the smallest miscalculation of how much of a certain nutrient goes in to the formula can mean death for a baby since their bodies are so little and their needs are so specific. I see dehydration and failure to thrive in some babies from something as simple as not giving them the exact amount of calories per ounce thar their body needs
    ce (I.e. they need 22 calories per oz and they are getting the standard 20 kcal/oz, etc). To be honest, I have yet to see a baby fed homemade formula without some kind of nutrition deficiency or other issue.

    • Tori on March 31, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Oops I had some technical difficulties before I finished 🙂 Anyway, while I would love to see some kind of nutritionally sound homemade formula recipe, I haven’t yet nor have any of the pediatricians that ive ever worked with. I just wanted to urge people to be careful, because i know that most moms have only the best intentions for their children and I hate seeing sick babies when a mom is trying to do the right thing, but isn’t aware that its negatively affecting her baby.

  44. Regina on October 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I had a question for you. What are the 19 pills a day you used to take while breastfeeding?

    My son will be 2 months old on Friday. I started off exclusively breastfeeding and didn’t think there was any concern. At our 2 week appointment, however, he still wasn’t back to his birth weight. By 3 weeks he still wasn’t. I was breastfeeding almost non-stop and was told to start pumping during the rare times he wasn’t latched on or was asleep. At 4 weeks, he was still gaining slowly (an average of 2.5 ounces a day). I’d been drinking Mother’s Milk tea every day, three times a day since he was born, even in the hospital. But I had a feeling my supply was low. When I’d pump after feeding I’d barely get anything. When I’d pump after an hour of him not being latched, I’d get maybe 1/8 of an ounce. It was disheartening.

    I decided to try to supplement because I knew, in my heart, though it was something I wanted to avoid at all costs. We picked up some Enfamil Premium Newborn and he guzzled a bottle down. At 5 weeks old, he was finally over his birth weight and had gained 9 oz in a single week! I started taking Fenugreek and still pumped after every feeding and every 2 hours at night (since he was sleeping 4-6 hour stretches).

    Then 4 days later there was blood in his diaper. It was the scariest thing we’d ever seen. We called the Ped who told us to go immediately to the ER. Our poor little boy as it turned out was allergic to the formula (milk protein allergy). Not only did I feel like a failure for having a low supply (getting mastisis at 3 weeks didn’t help matters) but now the formula we’d supplemented with to help him grow big and strong and become healthier was hurting him. We switched to Nutramigen.

    From 5-8 weeks I was supplementing with 1-4oz a day. And then at 8 weeks old there was blood again. Pure, red, blood. Back to the ER to discover he could also have a soy allergy and that I needed to now cut out all dairy AND all soy products from my diet. They weighed him and he was only 10oz more than he’d weighed 3 weeks ago (just over 3oz gain a week which was still low). So here we are, supplementing much more than I’d like but I know he’s healthier and happier with the supplement. I upped the fenugreek and that’s helped my supply as well but I read other mom’s blogs about breastfeeding and how they “leak” 4-6oz a day without effort, not even pumping and my heart breaks a little. Pumping for hours, manually expressing, etc. would get me about 2oz a day total. It stinks.

    Long story short, I was wondering what pills you were taking as I’m still chugging along trying to breastfeed as much as I can, despite how little it may be (we’re up to supplementing about 4-6oz a day). Any ideas of how to increase my supply would be appreciated. And as much as it stinks to have to struggle with something like this, especially because you have your heart set on providing your little one with the best nutrition possible, it’s nice to know I’m not alone. That it isn’t easy and effortless for everyone. And at the end of the day the most important thing is that your baby is healthy and happy regardless of what they’re eating.

    • Fitnessista on October 18, 2012 at 12:52 am

      i’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been through so much :/
      breastfeeding woes are awful and definitely heartbreaking when it’s something you want to do so badly, but your body doesn’t seem to have the same idea. and like you said, it helps to know you’re not alone.
      i was taking mega doses of fenugreek and blessed thistle. 3 of each, 3 times a day + my multivitamin = 19 pills
      i’d definitely talk to your doctor or midwife before doing the same, but it did help my supply. when i forgot to take them, i noticed it in the amount i pumped. oatmeal and drinking a ton of water helped too, along with lots of healthy fats. but still, i never leaked and am still jealous of those that do/did.
      don’t beat yourself up about it. you’re doing an amazing job <3

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