Saturday, May 31, 2014

Our Breastfeeding Journey: An Update

I know you all sit there on the other side of your computer screens thinking, "Hmmm... wonder how things are going for Stacy and Felicity in the nursing department?". Yeah, doubtful, but here's an update anyway!

Felicity is nursing up to 5 times a day now!!! I am so thrilled with her progress. She still has some days where she doesn't want to nurse much, but most days she seems to want to nurse before naps, bed, and if she's cranky. It's really nice to be able to soothe her with nursing (although it'd be nice if Steven could soothe her, too! but hey, I feel needed) when nothing else seems to work. She seems to, for the most part, associate nursing more with comfort than with food, and I'm ok with that. I'm not quite sure how much she gets when she nurses, between my low supply and her low facial muscle tone, but I am thinking about an ounce per session. My hands down favorite part about nursing is that she wakes up almost every morning sometime in the 6am hour and, just by bringing her into bed and nursing her while I snooze, I get about 2 more hours of sleep! Unless we have somewhere to go, we don't get out of bed until sometime in the 8am hour, and she will sometimes stay in bed until closer to 9 which gives me time to pump, eat, or just generally get myself situated for the day. All my life I've been up around 7-7:30... I'm just not a sleeper inner. But you add in 2 pump sessions (1am and 4am) every night and I love having the ability to stay in bed at least until 8! So yeah, that has been the best 'side effect' of nursing that I've seen, besides the sweet cuddles with my baby girl, of course.

Felicity still drinks donor milk, and she still gets most of her calories from a bottle. The fact is that she can drink from a bottle a little better and I rarely have enough for her to nurse an entire feed anyway. Unfortunately with my supply issues it means that I don't really get to pump less. I generally delay my 7am pump until I get out of bed since she nurses the longest in the morning, but I am still pumping 8-10 times a day. I still hate it, but I'm at least more used to it. At first I was kind of pissy that not only am I pumping 8-10 time a day but now I'm also nursing 3-5 times a day. But as much as I wanted to be all "woe is me" and be a mommy-martyr, the fact is that I love the cuddle time with my baby and I love how much nursing calms her, gets her down for naps quick, puts her back down quick in the middle of a nap, and, like I mentioned, buys me extra sleep. My wish was that I could pump much less once she started nursing, and I might still ease up a little at some point, but that would likely mean more donor milk and less of mine. I like being able to provide half, sometimes a little more, of her milk during the day so for now I'm not going to change anything. I'll reconsider once she's a little older, possibly. I also still have my Reglax rx sitting on the kitchen counter (an off label use but it can help increase milk supply... but can come with weight gain and possibly depression), so maybe at some point I'll try it. Who knows? What I do know is that what we're doing right now is working for both of us for now, so we're going to keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Felicity Marian: 3 Months

Ahhhh, make time stop or at least slow down! How do I have a 3 month old already???

Weight: I really need a baby scale because the whole "weigh yourself, weigh with baby" thing doesn't work on our crappy home scale. But I'm guessing she's around 11 lbs.

Height: Well, measuring is not a one person job apparently. Maybe 23 inches?

Medical Issues: This month she seems to *knock on wood* be doing pretty well medically! Her tongue and lip have both reattached a little, but not badly enough that we need to get it redone...yet(?). Her hemangioma isn't growing anymore since we have been using the medicine, and, so far, she seems to be putting on weight pretty well.

Sleep: Where did my good sleeper go!?!?! For about the past week, she has been pretty hard to get to sleep, mostly at night but sometimes during the day, too. But we had 6 good weeks of her just laying down and going to sleep so I really can't complain. And luckily once she's asleep she's still sleeping pretty well and in long stretches... it's just GETTING her to sleep that's been difficult. We're working on figuring out what helps her, and I'm sure once we get that down, it will change ;).

Clothes/Diaper Size: She is completely in size 1 diapers, and only not able to wear her one size cloth because of her chicken legs. She is wearing a mix of newborn, 0-3, and 3 month clothes. Some of her 3 month stuff is still too big in the waist, but she's definitely getting long enough for them!

Likes: Nursing to sleep, being outside, playing on her play mat, when I make faces or talk in a high pitched voice to her, being in the ring sling, this musical teddy bear Steven's aunt and uncle got her which, by the way, it's fascinating to see her show preference/like a toy!

Dislikes: being in any carrier besides the ring sling, the first 15 seconds of a bath (lol), being in a reclined position if she's not sleepy, having her feet touched

Nicknames: Mu Mu, Moopy, Stinkaminka, Monkey, Bear... they continue to evolve

Milestones: She can roll from belly to back most of the time and is grabbing for/hitting toys. She also found her hands this month and is eating them almost constantly! 

I don't want to forget this!: Felicity has been much more interactive this month! It's been so much fun and so rewarding to watch her learn and change. I love watching her play. It's so refreshing after 2 months of just watching her... kind of lay there. She'll "talk" to her toys and go to town batting at them. I love being in a different room and hearing a toy rattle and knowing that she had to hit it for it to do that. This month, more than the past 2, I've had TONS of people come up to me when we're out and say that she is so beautiful or that she looks like a baby doll. Sometimes it's slightly annoying because it takes forever to get something done when I'm being stopped every 3 seconds lol. But I love how much everyone loves her :). Another favorite is about every 3 days or so she'll have 10 minute long 'conversations' with me. I'll talk and she'll coo back over and over!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fun With Felicity 1st Edition

The past two weeks, I have been having SO much fun with my sweet baby! She is napping on more of a schedule, I'm learning to read her cues a lot better, and she is so much more smiley and interactive. I finally feel like "ahh! So THIS is what people can't get enough of!". Because of her more predictable naps, I'm better able to manage the household, which has taken off a huge amount of stress. We're also getting out most days which, while good for me as a homebody, is really good for Felicity who is showing signs of extroversion. Is that a word? I don't know who in the world she gets it from but she loves to be out of the house and around other people. Though I do see some of myself in her when she crashes almost immediately after getting in the car. Yeah, I need some time to recover, myself! I figured I should document the fun things we do a) because my memory sucks and b) because it'll be good to read during the rough periods. I'll try to get pictures in the future to go along with the posts!

  • Story time at the library: We've only been once so far (well, she's been twice because Steven took her once as well), but it was SO much more fun than I anticipated. The name does not at all do it justice. Out of 20 minutes, only about 5 is spent on the story and the other 15 is spent doing little songs with dances/motions. That probably sounds horrible to you non-moms out there :P, but it's so much fun for me to interact that way with Felicity, to see how she reacts, to watch her watch other kids, and to see what my future holds in how the other/older babies respond to it. I love it for Steven because playing with Felicity doesn't come as naturally to him so it's helping him learn how to play with her before she's big enough to really play. It's twice a week at our library and we will definitely be going at least once a week! 
  • Babywearing International Meeting: This wasn't the most fun I've had because I didn't feel like I really learned anything new, but it's always fun to be around moms with similar interests/philosophies. Felicity loved staring at all the other babies (a common theme for her in most of these activities), and I got to see some different carriers I'd only heard about. The meeting location we go to is at one of my favorite baby boutique stores, so that's a plus!
  • Consignment store shopping: Felicity, you guessed it, likes to look at other people (and things) and I have a blast finding really amazing deals. Sadly, I've bought way way way way too many clothes so I have to put a stop to that (besides a gap in the 9 month size range, she's basically covered until she's like 18 months. It's a sickness, I tell you). But I can still look for other must haves, like stuff for the beach this year (floppy hat- check!), toys that are quality and hard to come by, etc. It's so much more fun to me than thrifting because everything is in better shape but you can still get amazing deals. 
  • Walking with the neighbor: Ahhhh, adult time. It's so great to have another adult to talk to! She has a 2.5 year old and 6 month old, so I learn a lot from her. Felicity and I both get vitamin D, and she loves to be outside (again... whose kid is this???). We usually go walking with the neighbor about 3 times a week and I look very forward to it. Not to mention that it's great having a neighbor friend! We ended up leaving Felicity with her a few weeks ago when we were so sick that we went to the ER and I can't say how good it feels knowing we can trust someone 2 doors down with our baby. So yeah, I am loving our walks! 
These are my current fave things to do with baby girl and I'll be back for more in a 2nd edition later :). What are your favorite things to do with your baby/child?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Felicity's Newborn Must-Haves

Little Miss is 11 weeks old. 11 weeks old!!!!! STOP TIME!! I can't believe how fast it's going- even the long days. She is a completely different person than the little lump of baby we brought home from the hospital. Felicity is so interactive now and I'm having a ton of fun with her. She "talks" in the sweetest coos, especially when she's on the changing table. Her smiles are about the best thing ever. And it's so much fun to see which books' illustrations grab her attention. 

Ok, but back to the point of this post. I thought I'd share Felicity's must haves so far. All babies are different, of course, but these are items we can't live without!

Feed Baby app
This app has saved my sanity. If you're exclusively nursing, it might not help much. But as someone who has mostly bottlefed, and with an underweight infant, it has helped me keep up with her intake. I can also put in there when she nurses, which side, and how long so I've been able to track her progress as far as that goes. There's also tracking for poop, pee, and naps, none of which I use, but I'm sure some people love. I mainly love keeping up with feedings. When we were waking her to feed her, I never could remember when we last fed her (it's such a blur!) so this not only tells you but you can set it to have an alarm go off when it's time to feed again. My favorite part is that I can put in pumps (also with an alarm to remind me) and how much I get, so I always know each day how much milk she gets from me vs donor milk. I like it so much that I upgraded from the free version to the paid one, and I'm a cheapskate ;).

White Noise app
I swore my kid wouldn't use a paci. She's currently an addict. I swore our living room wouldn't be overtaken by baby stuff. It's a baby jungle in here. I swore we wouldn't make her high maintenance by having a sound machine. Enter this app. Basically, don't say ANYthing about what you will or won't do before your baby is here, because your baby will laugh in your face! I still haven't broken down and bought a sound machine, but why spend money when this free app exists? Felicity is a champ at going to sleep at night. We read her a story, say a prayer, swaddle her, and lay her down with her paci. We might have to replace her paci up to 3 times for her and she goes to sleep. But we've noticed that if we use white noise, she passes out almost instantly. And if she's having a rare fussy night, this does the trick then, too. I've just started using it during the day for naps, and it seems to help her nap longer. It's got a ton of options for sounds, but I love 'doppler' and 'car ride' the most. I just turn the app on and set the phone face down a few feet from her. The only downside is you can't use your phone for anything else because it will turn the app off. But it's a small price to pay to get her to sleep in 5 minutes or less! Then the phone is all mine again. I love the app for traveling because there's nothing to pack!

When Felicity was a newborn, we swaddled her in Aden and Anais blankets. I love those for other things, but not for swaddling because our kid has super human arm and leg strength. She would break through them almost instantly and then have blanket surrounding her head death trap style. Plus it was a decent amount of work to actually get her swaddled. So we quit swaddling her for about a month. Then I found 2 halo swaddles I'd gotten for about $5 each at consignment shops and decided to try them. Well, not coincendentally, that's when she started just going to sleep on her own when we would lay her down awake and began sleeping 5+ hours in a row. So now we swaddle nightly. She grew out of the newborn size and I couldn't find a used size small (these things are pricey new!). I panicked until a friend let us borrow hers, so now I'm on the search for medium for when she outgrows this. I <3 the halo swaddle! Its super strong velcro means she very rarely breaks out of it, and it's hip friendly because it doesn't restrict the lower body. She struggles for about 2 minutes when we first put her in, but then sleeps almost the entire night (wakes up once, maybe twice to be fed) so I think she likes it. Before, she'd flail and wake herself up a LOT. I bring her into bed with me between 5 and 6am and I unswaddle her at that point since it's not safe to swaddle and bedshare.
Edit: Well, our Halo days are over before I can even get this posted! The next size up Halo swaddle (which she is in the pound rage for) keeps riding up to her face. I woke up the other day and it was actually up to her forehead. I panicked, of course, and decided no more halo right then and there. So now she's in a Summer Infant Swaddle Me (kiddopotomus or something like that?) which has way less material. I didn't think the velcro would hold since it's little squares instead of the huge Halo strips, but she hasn't broken out of it yet. I'm also investigating the Woombie. So basically, figure out what works for your baby and make sure you check on them when trying out a new swaddle! 

Zipper sleepers
There are soooooo many cute sleepers out there, but future-me will resist any that snap rather than zip. The snaps take forever, are hard with a wiggly baby, and really suck in the middle of the night! Zippers are so quick and easy. I think I went sleeper crazy in general, so I might just use the zipper ones with the next baby! (I know some people swear by the elastic bottomed nighties, and we do use them, but they generally end up around Felicity's waist half the time so I actually prefer the zippies if it's the least bit chilly.) Now we use our snap sleepers during the day and zippies at night.

Cradle swing
I didn't buy a swing when I was pregnant because they have bouncy chairs, swings, rock n plays.... I just couldn't see myself with all these baby items not knowing what Felicity would like. I heard the best things about the rock n play so I got that and figured I could buy anything else at the giant consignment sale that was happening 2 weeks after she was born. After about 2 nights of rocking Felicity in our arms in a swinging motion, we knew we needed a swing. We picked up one of those super fancy nature's touch cradle swings for $25 (a few years old, but who cares!) and we have used it DAILY since then. The rock n play basically hasn't been touched since she was just a few weeks old. So every baby is definitely different on this one, but she loooooves her swing! She's just gotten to the point where she wants to swing from front to back instead of left to right, and the cradle swing has us covered!

Ring sling
I was silly and bought a ton of baby carriers while I was pregnant. I say silly because, even though they are nice to have and I got them for good prices, I probably should have waited until I could try stuff on with an actual baby! Anyway, the ring sling is hands down my favorite day to day carrier at this point. I could use it from the very beginning and, once I learned and had some practice, it's pretty easy to get on and off, and her in and out of. I also like that it smushes up for portability, and having my hands to do things is so nice! I've put her in it to go for walks, run errands, go to church, and even so I can make lunch when she's not wanting to be put down. I have a mei tai and ergo I'm dying to get her in, but she loves the ring sling and so do I, so it's my go to for the time being. 
Felicity getting hugs from her bff, Liam

Friday, May 9, 2014

Playdates: My Anti-Drug

I have had such an amazing few days! No, don't check the blog address; you're at the right place! I'm here to finally post about motherhood being amazing! After 3 days of hiding in the house with the plague, I have spent the last two days out of the house for play dates. I'm happier, Felicity is happier, and, ironically, the house is cleaner. How does that even happen? I'm pretty sure since I'm feeling happer and more with it, I'm being more productive when I'm home and during Felicity's nap times. And because we're spending more time out of the house, she's taking longer naps instead of the cat naps she's become famous for, that are just long enough to get nothing done. We're going on 2 hours right now and I tidied the whole house (except for the master bedroom where she's sleeping), vacuumed, and did the dishes. 

Yesterday, we were out of the house for 5 hours together. Pretty sure that's a record (not including when we've been out of the house with Steven, too). I pumped in the car, while driving!, twice so that's no longer intimidating to me. It's not fun, but at least I know I can do it so if I have a day like yesterday- many more, I hope- I don't have to feel guilty about missing pumps, or cut the day short to rush home and pump. We went to a tongue tie support group/playdate where we hung out for 2.5 hours. Then we went to get some 1/2 price cat foot (woot!) and groceries, followed by happy hour at Starbucks. I came home both exhausted and so, so happy. 

When mama's happy, everyone's happy!

Today we'll have had TWO playdates. They were both planned kind of last second which is sometimes the best ones. We went to the library where I had a book on hold (What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life... nerd alert!), and then to our local coffee shop and consignment shop. Felicity is currently in that long nap and I'm having a little internet time after being super productive. Once the neighbor's son wakes up, she and her two boys will be coming over for blocks and cheezits time until our husbands get home.

There is just something about connecting with other moms that is so good for my morale. I don't love the big group stuff, being an introvert, but I love, love, love small group or individual play dates. I love seeing what other, older kids are doing (because, let's face it, my 11 week old is about the youngest kid on a playdate) and having time to chit chat with other moms. I especially love hanging out with moms who talk about things besides their kids! I love Felicity, but I like talking about other stuff, too! 

So there you have it. A post in which I manage the house and my own happiness. And it only took 11 weeks ;) !!! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Birthday with Baby

I wasn't sure how my birthday was going to go this year with Felicity here. I've gotten into somewhat of a tradition of less presents/more experience, but a day of 'experience' with an infant can be tricky. And then there's the annoying around the clock pumping. I'll say my birthday got off to a bit of a rocky start, but it actually turned out to be one of my favorites ever... except that I think it gave us food poisoning which meant 2 days later we left our baby in the hands of our neighbor, oru first time leaving her, for a super expensive date at the ER lol. Boo. But back to the happy parts :).

I sent Steven an email a month or so before my birthday with general guidelines of what I'd like. I'm no dummy; I have learned that he can't read my mind and I have to let him know what I want. I find it way less fun if we have to have a whole conversation about it, so I email him, we never talk about it, and it happens. It still feels exciting to me that way ;). I said I wanted breakfast made without me having to wake him up (lol), I wanted to shop for scrapbook supplies, go out to eat somewhere, get my eyebrows waxed, buy a new shirt or two, and get cake or cupcakes. He got up at 6am to make cinnamon rolls and bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits. I don't know why we never thought to make those at home before but oh my word they were YUMMY! We were up very early but that meant we could have breakfast together since the baby was asleep. We had a Creighton follow up at 10am so I opened a present from a family member and then we got going to that. On the way, I suggested Steven get gas because my car had been on E since the day before. He didn't. You might see where this is going :P. On the way to lunch, I asked him to get gas before lunch and he said he would right after. I insisted on getting it before and he agreed. About 3 minutes later, my car died on the side of the highway. So we waited about an hour or more for his friend to come bring us gas and another 30 minutes for them to rig a mountain dew bottle as a spout since the one on the can was broken. All the while I was paranoid we'd be sideswiped and also prayed Felicity would stay asleep. She took her longest day time nap since her newborn days.... 5 hours! I normally wouldn't let her sleep through 2 bottles since she's still tiny (little miss 5th percentile) but you better believe I let her sleep that day! So then my birthday lunch included his friend since of course we needed to express our gratitude. Annnd then instead of going to this awesome downtown art walk Steven had planned, we needed to go home so I could pump. I was SO bummed. He had planned that part of the day with no input from me and it was beyond sweet because it's right up my alley. But by that time I knew we couldn't do everything we had planned. Steven is a smart boy and suggested that the shirts and scrapbook supplies would always be there, but the art walk wouldn't.
Daddy and baby at the art walk

So we went home and pumped, and then to downtown Raleigh. It was called the front porch art walk and front porches of all these big, old homes in downtown were set up with various wares.... pottery, paintings, jewlery, clothing. It was fantastic! The weather was beautiful and Felicity was happy. I was totally in my element. We walked around for an hour or so and then walked to Krispy Kreme for an afternoon treat.

We went back to the house so I could pump again and then to this shopping center that I've wanted to hang out at for forever. This is where I was impressed again. Steven knew I wanted eyebrows done, dinner, and cupcakes, and he knew how much I keep talking about this shopping center, so he checked to make sure I could get it all done there and I could. It is really unique in the way it's built/designed, has outdoor gardens and fountains, a huge playpad, cornhole, torch and decorative lighting at night, a 'creek' running through... it's just so cool! So we got there and I had my eyebrows done (oh the relief! it'd been too long!), and I chose to eat at Barberito's which was kind of like Moe's. I'd say it was better than Moe's except we ate the same thing there and both got violently ill the next day so.... but I'm not focusing on that! We walked around a little and then went to Gigi's where we each picked out a cupcake. It was getting near Felicity's bed time (8:30) so we came home and got her to bed before devouring our cupcakes in front of the tv and I opened a gift from Steven and a few others from family. It was just such an amazing day! I love my husband so much for trying so hard. He really pays attention to what I like and has learned how to make me feel really special on my birthday. Felicity was such a love all day and was happy because we spent most of it outside. She either napped or silently observed her world most of the day. So birthday with baby was a huge success :).

Friday, May 2, 2014

Nursing and Breastfeeding

Did you ever think about how those are two different things? It might not matter to the majority of moms, but is has mattered so much to me. For the first 8 weeks of Felicity's life, I was a breastfeeding mom. I fed her with breast milk that I pumped (and milk other moms pumped for her). But I was not a nursing mom. For multiple reasons which I've talked about here before, Felicity and I were not able to have a nursing relationship. When people asked if she's breastfed, my gut response was "I feed her by bottle but it's breast milk". And then I stopped to realize that a simple "yes" would suffice since, yes, she is fed by the breast, even if it is in a bottle. Some may wonder why all of this matters. What's the difference? Well, it's surprising how many complete strangers want to know how your child is fed, why they are fed that way, and how much worth I judged myself to have by those answers. I have had to explain the special needs feeder more times than I care to count (I still do). While it annoys me and I'd love to feed my baby the 'normal' way, I do remind myself that it's an opportunity to share information with people, especially that nursing doesn't always work no matter how much it's wanted. For the first 8 weeks, we tried everything that was suggested to us, and even some other things!, and Felicity would not... could not... nurse. I had to become ok with never having that relationship with her. I actually wrote a whole blog post about it, and for some reason, I just didn't feel ready to post it so it has sat in my drafts.

Enter week 8 which was a week and a half after her second lip and tongue tie revision, and the day of her first craniosacral therapy appointment following the 2nd revision. And Felicity nursed. She nursed! She has been nursing since then, up to 5 times a day, and up to 90 minutes at a time! The bad news is she is only transferring 1/2 oz and, while my supply is pretty small, it's not that small. And since she can take 3 oz in the special needs feeder in anywhere from 10-25 minutes, she should be able to do the same at the breast. I'm also having pain when she nurses so there's something going on with her latch. So, we still have some work to do (in fact, I'm waiting on the lactation consultant right now!), but it is a huge, huge leap for my morale, my heart, our relationship, and a beautiful place in our journey after two months of struggling. I have even less time to get things done now because I'm still pumping and bottle feeding her the same, but have added in multiple nursing sessions, but I'm learning to be ok with that because I wanted this so badly for us. And because as you all so gently remind me and Steven reminds me the house will wait, but my baby will grow up quickly. So I am enjoying our sweet mornings in bed together (nursing buys me another hour! it's amazing!), nursing her to sleep when she's fighting a nap, and seeing her break her latch to look up and me and smile that one dimple smile. *melt* Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and prayers as we have battled all the issues that prevented us from having a nursing relationship the first two months. I am so, so excited to be able to finally nurse my baby!

One of my favorite pictures from Felicity's first week or two at home. Everyone needs mommy! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Struggling with Motherhood

To say that motherhood has been an easy transition for me would be a complete lie. But I did think it would be easier, or at least less hard, than it has been. Of course the first 2 months or so were really rough with Felicity's eating issues, refusal of nursing, and medical stuff we were dealing with. But even when pumping and feeding every 2-2.5 hours began to feel like the norm, I've still been struggling to basically do anything but care for her. And I know lots of people say "that's all you SHOULD be doing!", and I get that. But I guess I had this idea in my head that by the time my baby was a few months old, I would have it more together. I didn't picture the house not getting cleaned for weeks on end. I can keep it tidy, but not actually CLEAN which drives me insane. I didn't imagine the same clean laundry sitting there 4 days later waiting to be folded. I didn't picture her idyllic nursery looking more like a storage unit. And I didn't think in my wildest of dreams that I still wouldn't have it together enough to cook dinner. But there you have it; that's my life right now. And no one else seems to be bothered by it but me. But I'm really bothered by it. I like order and routines and schedules. I'm used to feeling like I have everything under control. The norm for me is having a to do list and knocking it out in one afternoon. So having 8 million things to get done and accomplishing approximately none of them as the baby cries while I'm pumping for the 6th time that day feels very out of control and disconcerting. I know that I need to accept this as my new normal, at least for a while. I know this is what people are referring to when they talk about their life in "seasons". But it's going to take me a while to get to a place of acceptance, of not beating myself up for the house looking like a mess, of not feeling guilty for being on the 10th week of eating freezer food. This is a part of motherhood that people seem to not talk about until you're in it, and then they're all telling you how normal it is. And I get that we don't want to scare people off who are considering having kids, but I think it would have been much more helpful to expect more of this in advance. I sort of imagined life just falling into place somewhere around the 6 week time frame and I'm seeing that it will probably be many more months before I can even clean the house to my standard. I know in the end I'll remember cuddling my baby and not that the floors are dirty. I know that. I'm working to embrace that and luckily my husband is nothing but supportive. He constantly responds to my distressed texts with "Take care of you and baby girl. Don't worry about the rest". Oh and "drink water". :) Because he just knows me that well. He is gone up to 12 hours a day and doesn't bat an eye at having to come home to another microwaved meal, laundry that isn't done, or to me handing him the baby for basically the rest of the evening.

I love Felicity more than life itself and I'm so happy to have her. I have way more fun and good times with her than I do bad, so please don't think I'm sitting here depressed day in and day out because that's not at all accurate. I just don't want to only post happy posts and pictures, and pretend that I'm floating through this. I also want to share with others who might be struggling but only see the prettied up posts of people who appear to have it all together. I'm over all generally happy; I'm just still working on getting used to this challenging, yet rewarding, phase of life!