Thursday, March 20, 2014

Breast Pump Epiphanies & Anatomy Scan

Forgive me if I continue to sound like a fish out of water with some of this pregnancy and motherhood stuff. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I'm starting from square 1.  Like many other women who traveled the road of fertility treatments prior, it's like once I became pregnant I was just totally BURNT OUT on learning anything. I've literally only read one book, The Complete Organic Pregnancy, which didn't talk much about birth but served more as a reminder that I should be walking around in a plastic bubble (a BPA free one of course) to protect me from the ravages of this toxic planet we live on.

It's highly unlike me to be so unmotivated to learn about such an important new life experience.There are other books I'd been saving for pregnancy, like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, but still haven't made the effort.  However, I am honestly enjoying NOT being an expert about something for once. Furthermore, the girl who once thought she might have a completely natural birth (possibly not even at a hospital) has made a complete 180 and decided that I'm OK handing the reigns to my OB. I'm seeing a MFM specialist/perinatologist every month and my OB in between, so I have an apt. every 2 weeks right now to assess everything...really not much they can miss I'm guessing.

Plus, I've heard enough stories about well-intentioned birth plans that change according to circumstances last minute. I'm not going to say I do want an epidural, because what if I go into labor too quickly and there's not enough time? I'm not going to say I don't want an epidural, because I have no crystal ball on how bad the pain will be. I don't want to set all these expectations and then have my plan changed, because I am not good at dealing with defeat. All I know is I'd like to avoid a C section or induction unless it's medically necessary. Outside of that, I'm leaving it up to the people who went to school and have been delivering babies as long as I've been alive.

Still, after taking a loooong hiatus from the infertility forums on BBC, I decided it might benefit me to go back online and learn a thing or two about all the stuff I'm supposed to be doing.
Hearing about everyone else's nurseries in full force and all the things they already have ready-to-go motivated me to start thinking about a gift registry, which I quickly realized I knew nothing about either. Luckily, I got some good advice from several women with newborns and toddlers, and I discovered there are also some good examples of must have items on amazon.com from other new parents.

The one thing I've become acutely aware of when reading comments on baby forums is that breastfeeding is definitely not the picture perfect experience of peacefulness and solitude we'd like to believe it is, especially in the beginning; More like a continuum of bloody cracked nipples, finding time to pump, and figuring out which bottles your baby will drink from to give yourself relief, all the while battling baby bouts of acid reflux and screaming at the top of their lungs. I can't say I wasn't warned, that's for sure.
 
Once again, I was taken back once I clicked on the plethora of pumping bras available to the modern woman. These are the images taken from one...

Yep, I'm sure that's exactly how I'll look and feel!
Look how thrilled she is to be pumping at work!
Why even try with the polka dots? Seriously, you can't make that thing cute.

Lord help my husband to still find me attractive once he sees this watermelon exiting my body and the year of oh so fashionable lingerie which will follow. I don't know if I can bring myself to buy one of these things. I might just cut a couple holes in my sports bras or just wear nursing tanks, which are way less scary in my opinion.

It will all be worth it in the end though for our little guy. This was taken at his anatomy scan yesterday, which he passed with flying colors thankfully!

Preston waving @ 17w5d. (Measuring 18w1d & heartbeat @ 147bpm)
Favorite part of the scan was seeing all the structures of the brain and the heart. They look at EVERY single part of the baby's body inside and out, even the arteries and chambers within the heart to see how they're functioning. Those pics are hard to get with him wiggling so much, but very fascinating stuff.

We received our third confirmation that he's definitely a boy...

WARNING BABY PORN: Under the booty shot

Think he might already have some running legs on him too...


Ironically, I felt him kicking for the first time yesterday morning before getting out of bed...a very surreal feeling indeed. Of course, now I'm laying in bed every morning at 4 am completely fixated on my abdomen, waiting for the sheer chance I'll get to feel him again. Hopefully it will become more frequent and pronounced over the next couple weeks.

In other good news, the hubby accepted a fantastic job offer from a software company that recruited him very aggressively.
He's now a Vice President of Sales, which is a step up in title for him from Director at his last position, even though he was doing the role of a VP all along really. It's just really nice to see him get so much interest from everyone he's interviewed with, because he's so outstanding at what he does. He deserves to finally have his talents celebrated and appreciated.

Best of all, we're not moving away from Austin, which was a very real possibility as other job opportunities were entertained the last few weeks. It's an interesting feeling to be almost half way through a pregnancy and living in limbo, not sure if/when you might need to pack up and move, praying that your COBRA healthcare will go through appropriately during the unemployment. We're just so thankful it's all a non-issue now, and Preston can begin his life right here in a safe home we already know and love. I am so proud of hubby, and I know Preston will be proud to call him his dad. Hopefully, I can get over all the scariness and newness of motherhood once it is really here, and I will be a mom everyone can be proud of too.

45 comments:

  1. I love every single thing about this post!! So many answered prayers :) Congrats big time on the hubby's new job, that is such wonderful news!! You have one precious lil baby there and you will be the best Momma ever to him!

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    1. You are always so supportive and generous with your comments and emails Amie. Thank you for being such a sweetheart. xo

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  2. This is a great post! I'm just so happy for you, Emily. A lot of big things are happening, and you deserve it! You sit back and relax, Mama. You'll learn what you need to learn; don't put pressure on yourself. xoxo...

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    1. I love this reassurance. No pressure. No pressure. Just take it day by day. I feel better already. Thank you. :)

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  3. Hahahahahahaha!!! Goodness, where did you find those photos?? Yeah, the pumping experience is NOTHING like these pictorial depictions. They clearly forgot to give me my flowy gown and crown of flowers when I picked up my pump rental a few weeks before Reid was born. I feel cheated.

    Yes, just cut holes in bras or tanks, or get some nursing bras (though I had NO luck finding any that gave me enough support while not being too supportive. That whole "no pressure on the milk ducts" thing killed it for me. That and a nasty case of mastitis that reared its ugly head twice. I caved.

    Is there a place in your area who rents out breast pumps? I was able to rent a Medela Symphony. It's a hospital-grade pump. Sooooo comfortable, but definitely not for everyday transport. It's a monster. But I used the Pump N Style for my first pregnancy and that one made my nipples bleed (the horror of it all). The Symphony did not. It was whisper-quiet. It pumped colostrum. It was wonderful. For the very brief period I pumped, it was worth it.

    So happy about your husband's new job!! And the anatomy scan... Perfect. Nothing better than that feeling, is there?

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    1. P.S. You get a free breast pump via insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. I looked into that option before deciding to rent a pump. Let me know if you have questions! Having navigated through all this not that long ago the info is still fresh.

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    2. I have heard mixed things about hospital grade vs. the ones you can buy, but this is great feedback. It seems like a professional grade pump would always be better, but I was curious if insurance would cover rental of one in leui of purchasing one. I forgot to ask them while on phone the other day with insurance. I don't mind the bulkiness since I'll just be pumping at home for the most part, unless I travel. Maybe I will buy one that's portable for travel and then just rent the hospital grade kind for daily use. I figure, it's still cheaper than buying formula, and if it's such a huge help to use breast milk, it's well worth the $ to rent.

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    3. There may be different hospital grade models? Not sure. I did some research on Amazon, Babies R Us, and maybe a few other sites, and it seemed like the Symphony was the way to go (and luckily that is what was available to me for rental). I have Aetna for insurance and they would not cover a rental (however, they may have changed their tune had I had a preemie who required feedings via pumped breast milk-- they just wouldn't cover a rental because that's what I was choosing to do). Definitely look into it with your insurance if you decide that's what you'd like to do. And I thought renting was nice because it gave me a chance to experience pumping before committing $$ to owning a pump. I made that mistake with my first son, but it wasn't a huge deal -- I ended up selling that pump to a friend and she bought a new kit for it. I did like my experience much better the second time around with the hospital-grade pump -- was able to spend less time pumping and the let-down/customizable pump levels made it a breeze. I slacked off on the night pumps because I was too tired, and that's when I got the clogged duct and developed mastitis -- it had nothing to do with the pump. :-(

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  4. First of all, YAYYYY hubby! How WONDERFUL! I know that has to be such a relief for both of you! I'm so glad that everything worked out for the best!

    Now on to those pumps... OMG! I don't think I've ever paid any attention before, but WOW! That's got to be the most ridiculous looking contraption ever... and the polka dots! As if any husband is going to appreciate that view more. This really makes my laugh to think of all the new moms talking about pumping at work... Image number two will forever be etched in my memory available for instant recall as soon as pumping at work is mentioned.

    Glad to hear baby boy is doing well and passed his anatomy scan with flying colors!

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    1. Haha! I know. I had never even seen an actual breast pump until recently and was absolutely horrified. I know it will become old hat, and that seasoned moms out there think it's no big deal. But look at those things! Who in their right mind wouldn't be scared upon viewing that scene the first time?

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  5. I haven't read a single book either- I'm exhausted from research :)!! So happy for you for a great anatomy scan and for your husband'a job!!! XO

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    1. Well, I did forget to mention a couple pregnancy devotionals I read once per week, but they are just short snippets....total opposite of research. Aint nobody got time for dat!

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  6. So happy for the great anatomy scan!!! Such awesome news. Love that you're starting to feel him move around a bit.

    Fantastic news about your hubby's new job. Big huge congrats to him!! I'm sure this eases quite a bit of stress!!! xoxo

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    1. Girl, you don't even know. I could have been packing up a 3000 square foot home right now in sunny 80's Austin and moving into a 1000 square foot condo in downtown Chicago with snow. Huge relief!

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  7. What a great scan! And I am trying to research but infertility has burnt me out too. Those pictures are adorable, the leg one is SO clear.

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    1. That leg one is almost kinda freaky. I found myself actually thinking it looked like hubby's leg and then thought...nah, too early for that. lol Still, it looks like a real man leg doesn't it?

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  8. Wow such good pics, i love that he's waving to you! It's crazy how much research goes into IF, and then how much into pregnancy and babies, its totally overwhelming!

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    1. Seriously, not enough bandwidth for all 3 IF, pregnancy AND babies. Saving my brain for baby stuff at this point I think.

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  9. Lol those photos. That's exactly what I imagine new moms just returning from maternity leave look like. I'm sure my clients wouldn't mind if I did their phone consults mid-pump--as long as I have my polka dot tube top on!

    Congrats on your husband's new job and the fantastic anatomy scan!

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    1. Oh, I think having to wear the polka dot nursing bra should give a free pass on anything! Thanks Lilee!

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  10. What a great waving picture!! I'm so jealous, we are at the very same stage but I have to wait another 2 weeks +!! So not fair! xo

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    1. I'm getting antsy for your anatomy scan as well Kharini! It will come, and it's pretty amazing all they can see in there. Get ready to get excited!

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  11. big stuff happening there Em! Congrats to the hubby on his new position! I was dying when I read "under the booty shot." glad to hear everything is progressing so well.

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    1. That shot always cracks me up as well! How embarrassed he would be if he knew everyone was viewing him from that angle. So funny to see those legs wiggle from underneath though!

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  12. Aww yay! I am so happy for you I find myself feeling too overwhelmed to look at baby stuff while my husband is clicking away. I really pray to be all into it when we get our BFP. Congrats on your hubby getting a job. God is so faithful I knew you guys would prosper!! And Preston is already so adorable. Can't believe you are almost half way there.

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    1. Awe, that is so cute of your hubby. It's nice when the men get excited, but I can understand your tendency to be guarded at first too. I feel like hubby and I kind of took turns at first; One being slightly excited while the other one guarded and careful. It's only now that we're both on the same page truly. It's easier to let down the guard for some people than others. For me, the anatomy scan really sealed the deal and I feel like I can finally buy a baby item or two. Wishing you luck with your FET Charity!

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  13. First off.... congrats to hubby (and you) on the awesome job! YAY!!!!!! That must be a very relieving feeling to the both of you :)

    Secondly..... I already have one kid. I read EVERYTHING and totally researched EVERYTHING when pregnant with her. This time, not so much. Like you, I was just to freaking exhausted and over it to read anymore. To learn anymore. Sure, I have the experience from Taylor, but that was 4 years ago! A whole lot has changed in 4 years. I've changed in 4 years. Products have changed. So, ya, I'm with you. I'm going with my dr's recommendations. Last time, I had a birth plan... I wasn't set in stone about anything, but it ALL went out the window the moment we found out she was breech.

    LOLOLOLOL to those pictures. Seriously, WTF????? Yes.... cut some holes in a sports bra. That's all you will need. I barely even used that, as I had to squeeze, wiggle, and move my boobs around to get all the milk out anyways.... so there was no need for a hands free device. BF'ing was hard! It was so hard for the first few weeks. Then, it got easy. Then, it got hard again... you get the picture. I, too, thought it was just easy, natural instincts. Not so much.

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    1. Thanks for the reassurance on the sports bra idea. I'm not a well endowed person, and being home helps as well in that arena since I won't be the girl in picture #2 anyways. Glad you enjoyed those. haha!

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  14. I would put off pumping as long as you can. Breastfeeding can go great for some people. Hopefully you will be one of them. But I don't think anyone likes pumping.

    I remember just reaching a point in pregnancy when I couldn't read another word. I think pregnancy itself just tired me out and I didn't have any energy for reading anything longer than a blog for a while. I'm not 16 weeks on pregnancy #2 (right behind you!) and debating epidural or no again, and I just can't be bothered to do any research on the subject.

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    1. Yeah, who knows. Everyone says pregnancy is so hard too, but it's been easy for me thus far. We'll see near the end. Hopefully breastfeeding will also come as easily as possible.

      Nothing against anyone with a strict birth plan, and I can see the benefits of making your intentions knows. I just tend to believe I will actually be able to trust my own judgement on the big day and won't become completely unable to make decisions according to how I'm feeling and what the doctor feels is best. Just a personal thing! GL with your decision on that too!

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  15. Great pictures! I've often noticed a correlation -the more complicated the birth plan, the more likely to need a C/section!

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    1. The irony! So funny and many times true!

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  16. Congratulations on the new job! Those pictures of the bras are too funny! You will be a fabulous mom regardless of what books you do or don't read. :)

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    1. I'm hoping! I will break down and crack open another book eventually, but chances are it will not be about pregnancy. Need to focus any energy on how to make sure the child survives once it gets here.

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  17. Wow. Those are quite the pictures! hahaha! I am a little nervous about how nursing will be because like you, I've read/heard of a lot of really painful stories. All we can do is our best though, right?

    Those are some great shots you got at the ultrasound of your little guy. Congrats to hubby on his new job!

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    1. Yeah, I figure if the bf'ing turns out not to be that bad I'll be pleasantly surprised and if it is just as hard as they say...well, at least I knew it was coming and wasn't totally caught off guard. If millions of women before us have done it, so can we!

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  18. Eeeek so exciting! The kicks will pick up a lot over the next month and then there will be no mistaking them! Enjoy the soft kicks now...eventually he will be kicking your ribs or bladder ;)

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    1. Thanks M! Think I've felt them at least a couple more time each day since then, but you've gotta really be paying attention they are so light. Got to be kicks though, because nothing else goes on in that front area right below the belly button that I know of. Looking forward to the unmistakable ones, even if they are swift kicks to the ribcage. ;)

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  19. Congrats to your hubby! Glad y'all are staying in Austin. And BTW..have I mentioned that I love that you're naming your sweet boy Preston...that's my step brother's name. And he's the best!

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    1. Thanks Jessah! The name Preston has really grown on us as well...just seems like perfect fit, even without meeting him yet. Hopefully we won't start a new trend with it! ha! Don't want it to end up like "Aiden" which is what I wanted for a boy name for at least 10 years....until everyone else decided they did too.

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  20. Oh and I don't know if I said for you to check with your insurance to see if they cover a breast pump for you. Most insurances cover a pretty good grade breast pump for you.

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    1. Yep, well aware. So cool the Affordable Care Act provides that for all women! woot!

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  21. Those pumping pictures are too much! I am so excited for all the good things that are happening for you lately! I know you must be incredibly relieved about not having to move and your hubby getting the job he deserves. And how cute is little Preston waving!? That's one of my favorite names, btw, but I know brothers with that name and the one we plan to use if we have a boy (which is my most favorite), so we obviously can't be creepy and use both if we ended up with two boys. Anyway, I think it's totally fine that you haven't felt like reading a ton about pregnancy and birth and baby related stuff right now. You have time, and for now, just enjoy a break from the reading and researching! You deserve it!

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