Thursday, January 28, 2010


I knew I wanted to order my birth announcements from before I was even prego : ) Their site is gorgeous, and their announcements are totally adorable. Little did I know that they are also the BEST people to work with!! I took pictures of Paige last week, uploaded the photo into the announcement and submitted my order. Once I submitted, I had a bad feeling that the photo may be kind of blurry - but at that point, I figured it was too late. Two days later I received a voicemail from TinyPrints - they were letting me know that the photo I submitted WAS blurry, and instead of just processing the order and taking my money, they were giving me the chance to resubmit another photo. SERIOUSLY!? I have never experienced that level of customer service. It was surreal. So I submitted another photo the next day - and again got a call that the photo was blurry. This time they even took the time to explain WHY they thought it was blurry and give me tips on taking the perfect photo. I took their advice (I needed to make sure the flash was on and not too much extra light) and got a few more great shots. However - I had a dilemma. See, Paige has come down with a case of baby acne - YIKES! And it's not just a pimple or two - it's serious acne. BOO! (Come to find out after a little research that it's from my raging post-prego hormones - sorry, Paige!). I submitted the pictures anyway, and asked if they had any suggestions on minimizing the acne. Just two hours later I received a proof - they retouched off the acne!!! They also felt the picture would look best in sepia tone, so they did that too. The announcement is ADORABLE! I'm so happy with the results - and the amazing, caring customer service I received from TinyPrints - that I am a customer for life. Thanks!!!! You are my baby announcement heroes : )

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Recovering From the Big C

To be 100% honest, I bounced back pretty quickly after my c-section. I actually think I recovered A LOT faster than I would have had I gone through a vaginal delivery. I was up and walking around within 12 hours. Sore - yes. But for me, I was thankful to just have a sore abdomen vs. a sore you-know-what. I know many women feel the opposite - that the recovery from a vaginal birth is preferred over a c-section. I think it helped a ton that I had been walking like it was my job in the 10 weeks before giving birth. I was in better shape than I had been, and my abdominal muscles were stronger thanks to the constant walking. Now almost 4 weeks post-surgery, I'm only dealing with one small part of the incision that won't close up. The rest was healed within one week - but the right side - about a 1.5 cm section - just won't close up! So every week I've been going to the OB for them to check on it and make sure it's not infected. This process also involves sticking silver nitrate directly into the wound to "help the healing process". Not sure if you've ever experienced the joys of silver nitrate, but it basically feels like a lit match is being shoved in - burns like heck! Maybe it's payback for a relatively smooth recovery otherwise. : ) But I really wanted to write this post to let all the soon-to-be-mamas know that a c-section doesn't have to be traumatic. Yes, I will have a scar. But it honestly is already invisible (minus the part that hasn't healed). I'm happy to answer questions about my c-section - just e-mail me! I know I was freaked out before hand, so I'm happy to let you know more about my experience to help ease your mind!

Friday, January 22, 2010

No Time to Pee

When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. When I drank the amount of water I was supposed to, I felt like I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes. Now Paige is here and I can multi-task pretty well with a baby in my arms - pumping, cleaning, walking the dog, making the bed. But there is one thing I just can't do - pee! As soon as my baby cries, I'm up and running towards her to cuddle and soothe. It's only once she is in my arms that I remember that I have to use the bathroom. And at that point, it's too late. There have been a number of times over the last 3+ weeks that I'm rocking back and forth not only to soothe the baby, but also to keep from peeing on myself : )  My sister, brother-in-law and niece were visiting this past week, and I think my bladder got spoiled. Now it's back to solo-mommy duty... any way I can get that catheter back in? Just kidding... kind of : )

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Quest for Liquid Gold

For some reason I always thought breast milk was plentiful - like a tap, that flowed whenever, wherever. Pretty much filling gallon containers on a moments notice. WRONG! Breastmilk is like liquid gold. I produce about 2 - 3 oz. per pumping. That's like a single gulp by adult standards. And it takes 20 - 30 minutes just to pump that! And once I do pump it, the process of transferring the pumped milk from the pump to the storage container is a highly orchestrated dance making sure every single drop makes the transition. When you're only producing 2 oz - every last drop counts! First I take the pumps off and shake every droplet into the container - no holdouts in the suction cup! Then I gingerly walk from the living room to the kitchen - paranoid the entire time that I'm going to trip and spill the goods. Then comes pouring into the storage containers. Anyone watching me would think I was disasembling a bomb with the level of concentration I have at the moment. And next thing you know, Paige gobbles it up and its time to pump again. I go to the doctor again this week - hopefully she will have gained weight and all this is working!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Truth About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is no joke. Before I had Paige, I was told that the first few weeks of breastfeeding would feel like someone was rubbing Brillo pads over my nipples. And I can tell you this - they weren't lying! A Brillo pad combined with a vice grip with super human power. The first week I must have been in a new Mama fog - it hurt, but I figured it would get better. By the time I realized something was very wrong, my nipples were bloody stumps (literally). SO GROSS! A normal person would seek help - I decided this was the process I had read about of my nipples "toughening up". Week 2 came and went, and reality set in - this is pretty much the most painful thing EVER. I literally had tears running down my face every time. I didn't want to throw in the towel, because I know how important breastfeeding is for the baby. But, at the same time, I knew I couldn't go on like this for much longer. After talking with my mom and sister, I figured out Paige was latching on wrong... yikes! When I went to the pediatrician for the 2 week check up, I also found out Paige wasn't gaining as much weight as she should be. Basically, a combination of not latching right paired with severe pain on my end (causing me to tense up and not let the milk down) was causing her to not get enough food. So for the past week, I've started a new feeding routine that has been working MUCH better for me. I do a combination of breastfeeding (with a revised latch), pumping and formula. It's not what I had thought I would be doing - especially the formula part - but I have to say that it is working out really well. Everything is healing up, and its becoming a much more pleasant expereince for mama and baby.

Monday, January 11, 2010

December 26th - The Best Day of my Life!

December 26. After 39 looooooong weeks, THIS is the day I had been anxiously anticipating. Going into the induction on Christmas day, I had a feeling it wasn't going to work. Not sure why, but I just had a sneaking suspicion that my baby wasn't going to come out the traditional way. And needless to say, after 42 hours of labor - 2 rounds of Cervadel, and many bags of Pitocin IVs, the doctors decided it was time for a C-section. Despite relatively strong contractions, my baby wasn't dropping, and my cervix wasn't dialating AT ALL. Luckily I wasn't in pain during this process. The contractions hurt, but not the kind of red-faced, screaming, Lamaze breathing pain by any means. That also clued me into the fact that I probably wasn't progressing the way I should be. So at 5 pm on the 26th, the doctor checked and said we needed to move forward with a C-section. The next thing I knew, my room wad filled with nurses and doctors prepping me. Ends up the day after Christmas is pretty slow at the hospital, so they were all ready to spring into c-section action. Daniel said that when they called him into the operating room, my face was white as a ghost. I guess I was shaking and panicing. I honestly don't remember much after they began wheeling me from my labor room to the OR. It's all a blur. But the next thing I DO remember is hearing the beautiful cries of my baby. Daniel lifted his camera over the curtain to get a pic of her entry into the world. I will spare you this photo - in addition to the baby, you can see all my insides. Yes, my intestines. Pretty much the grossest, yet most precious photo ever. Paige was now in the world, and my life would never be the same again. Absolutely amazing. Absolutely blessed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baby, I'm Back!!

After a 2 week hiatus, Sweet Leigh Mama is back in action! The past two weeks since Paige arrived have been the most stressful, yet rewarding and fabulous weeks of my life. I have so much to share- so much for us to catch up on! Thanks for all your kind words and congrats on the birth of Paige. I'll take the next few days to bring you up to speed on this mama's new life. A whirlwind to say the least : )