Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Better Week!

I'm dream-feeding my babies right now and just soaking in there closeness.  It doesn't really matter that I just got home from work one hour ago and I have to go back to work in mess than 8 hours.  I have my babies in my arms and all is right with the world.

Except for tonight, this had been a better week.  I got to spend Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon with the twins.  Wee took walks, took baths, and did lots of playing...and a little bit of napping!!

Thank you to everyone for your support after my last post.  It's nice that I can come on here to vent when needed.  It leaves me feeling so much lighter and happier.

Start tuned for a funny post about how not to store breast milk in your freezer, especially if space is an issue!

Good night!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I miss my kiddos...

Yea, so this week pretty much sucked at work.  The hours were just awful.  I got home at 6:30 on Monday (and got to see the kids awake, which was awesome!!), 9:00pm on Tuesday (in time for the dream feed only), 7:00pm on Wednesday (rushed out of the hospital only to find out that both kids were fast asleep before I made it home), 9:00pm on Thursday (in time for the dream feed).  Now, I'm back at work having been called in because of a couple emergent cases.  I can't complain at work so I'm going to vent here.

I'm tired of working and the long hours.

I miss my babies, desperately at times

I miss my husband (although I have hung out with him in the evenings)

I'm post-call tomorrow and my plan was to spend the whole day with the babies, but now that I'm going to be working all night, I will probably have CJ bring them to day care so that I can sleep for a couple of hours and then I'll hurry over there and pick them up.  Did I mention how tired I am??

I'm also pretty burnt out.  I'm a little over 100 days away from completing my residency.  Then I will be starting a fellowship, so the end is not really in sight yet and I'm just super, super sad that I don't have more time to hang out with CJ and the twins.  I know that I choose this career path, but it's a long road with little reward at this point.

The bonus to be up at night at work is that I just pumped like 10+ ounces in about 10 minutes!!  The twins are drinking a little less these days now that they are eating some solids so we have a surplus of milk.  Seriously, most of our freezer is breast milk and I can't tell you how proud I am with every bag of milk that I freeze.  CJ is so proud of me too, which makes it so awesome!!

And speaking of breastfeeding and pumping.  I don't think that I'm going to be ready to be done at 6 months.  No, I know that I will not be ready to stop at that point.  I love nursing the twins in the mornings and for the dream feeds and on the weekends.  It's such an awesome bonding experience.

That being said, I'm going to Florida for a conference at the beginning of April.  If anyone has any tips on flying with breast milk, please share!!  I will probably have about 120-130 ounces to transport back (I had 96 ounces from our ski weekend away in January and that was just Friday night until Sunday night and this will be Friday night until Monday night.)  I'm going to just do it as a carry on with refrigerated milk, but I'm worried about keeping it cool and what kind of cooler should I use????

Okay, that was a lot.  Back to work.  Good night!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No 'Poo...Help for greasy postpartum hair!!

I didn't even realize what my hair looked like during the first 3 months postpartum.  Seriously, I cannot remember and didn't care at all.  Mostly, it was up in a bun, I think.  I am pretty sure that I washed it almost everyday though because my daily shower was a priority during my maternity leave.  I got my hair cut in December, which helped it to look nice for a couple of weeks.  Then, in January, I started to notice my hair again...and I was not happy with what I saw.  First of all, it's thinning out and I'm constantly shedding hair, but I was expecting that.  On top of that, my hair looked and felt incredibly greasy.  It didn't matter if I washed it more or less or what shampoos and conditioners I was just a greasy mess.  The bun wasn't even cutting it because the top of my head just looked greasy and gross.

Cue google search for easy remedies for help with greasy hair.  I came across a number of blog posts and articles about No 'pooing and I thought that I would give it a try.  It definitely couldn't hurt and I already had all the ingredients.

Step 1:  Mix baking soda with water (about 1 tablespoon in 1 cup of water) and massage into scalp after wetting hair in shower.  This is like the shampoo step.  It feels like just massaging water into your scalp.  Rinse Hair.

Step 2:  Mix apple cider vinegar with water (about 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 cup water) and pour on hair, mostly the ends, but a little on the scalp as well.  This is like the conditioner step.  Again, it just feels like dumping vinegar water onto your hair.  Rinse hair well.

Step 3:  Dry hair or let hair air dry.  The key is that your hair may smell like vinegar while it is wet, but the smell completely goes away once your hair is dry.

The results:  AMAZING!!  Seriously, my hair felt lighter and looked healthy and shiny after even just one time, but it has continued to get better.  I'm so happy that I tried this and will continue to use it.  I don't always do this because there are some times when I'm in a hurry and just put a little conditioner in my hair ( I also have the Go Blonder Conditioner from John Frieda and I'm trying to get my hair back to a little blonder color without having to color it.)  I highly recommend No 'Pooing!!

What hair remedies have you tried?  Let me know if you try No 'Pooing and what your results are!!  Any other tips for greasy hair??

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Postpartum Cravings!!

We always talk so much about pregnancy cravings and I definitely had my share.  Can we say anything made out of potatoes during the first 3 months (especially fries and tater tots!!) and then milkshakes during the last 2 months and red meat from months 4-8.  But what about postpartum cravings???  Maybe it's just me, but during the past 5 months I have had even stronger cravings then when I was pregnant.  It might totally be just me.  

Here's my list of cravings/new food preferences.

1.  Dark Beer.  This one kinda amazes me because I was a strictly wheat beer or cider drinking girl before IVF and getting pregnant.  Now, all I want to drink is dark beer including oatmeal stouts and Guinness. It just tastes so good and I find myself craving a stout once or twice a week.  My husband loves this new preference because now we can share cases of beer (he was never a big cider fan.)

2.  Chicken/Egg/Tuna Salad.  I am seriously obsessed.  And it's a good thing I'm still breastfeeding/pumping because I know this isn't the healthiest craving.  I probably have a chicken or egg salad sandwich at work once or twice a week and then I make either egg or tuna salad at home with salad or crackers a couple times a week too.  

3.  Milkshakes!!  Maybe I just love milkshakes and should stop attributing it to cravings!!

4.  Chocolate.  I have been trying to cut back, but there are times when I don't want anything else to eat besides chocolate.  Especially brownies.  Yup, I'm obsessed with brownies right now.  

5.  Krave Cereal.  It's so good.

6.  Steamed vegetables.  This is the only way I really like eating veggies right now.  Last week I had steamed carrots and snap peas 3 nights in a row.  

Okay, those are the major ones.  I just find it interesting and wanted to document it to see if these are lasting preferences or just a phase.  

Did you have any strong postpartum cravings or preferences or aversions??

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Breast feeding, pumping, and working...oh my!

Breastfeeding and working

Pailbloggers posted an article about breastfeeding and working and then some questions to answer.  I have wanted to post more about breastfeeding and pumping and working, so I'm just going to use their prompts!!

If you are nursing and back to work, how is it going? Do you feel truly supported?
It's going pretty good actually.  I feel supported at work because there are a lot of  new moms currently or women who have had babies in the past couple of years and their advice and support has been so  helpful.  There are days or weeks when it is hard and exhausting because all of my breaks are spent pumping, but other days I love the time that I get to pump and read blogs and think about my wonderful babies.  My Attendings in the hospital have been great about giving breaks, but I have also had to advocate for myself as well.

Do you have adequate access to a room to pump in, is it comfortable, clean, secure?
I pump in one of the call rooms right near where I work in the hospital.  It's clean, there is a computer and a TV, the door locks, and there is a bathroom right across the hall.  It's pretty much ideal and I'm very thankful that we have this room.

Did you give up nursing because it was too hard to work and pump?
Nope and the babies are 5 months old now and I returned to work when they were not even 2 months old.  Originally, I wanted to make it to 6 months, but I may continue on a little longer.  We'll see.

Did you have access to a Lactation Consultant in the hospital? Did you have access after you left the hospital?
Yes, I did and I asked to see Lactation every day when I was in the hospital after my c-section.  They were very helpful.  I also went to see them once after I got out of the hospital since my milk came in late.  They were a little over zealous (mainly the lactation pediatrician doctor) at that appointment and told me that I would basically be breastfeeding all day and not sleeping and I wanted to cry and quit.  However, I had great support from my husband and we just supplemented a little bit of formula and my milk supply increased and I continued to breastfeed.

Have you ever felt ‘penalized’ in your job because you chose to pump milk for your child while at work?
No, but I try really hard not to bring it up or ask for favors because of it.

Here are some of my personal tips for pumping at work.

  • Make sure you have a full water bottle when you sit down to pump!!
  • The hands-free bra is key!!
  • Keeping some snacks with your pump is also helpful in case you don't get another break to eat (which I don't...I pump throughout my lunch breaks and coffee breaks)
  • Oatmeal and Fenugreek are great for increasing milk supply!!  I also enjoy a dark beer occasionally in the evenings, which is rumored to help with milk supply as well.  
  • Even if I don't have a lot of time, pumping for 8-10 minutes is still better than going longer than 5 hours between pumping sessions.  
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy pull un-tuck and pull up and that you don't mind getting a little breast milk on.  I am lucky enough to wear scrubs everyday, which is helpful so that I don't have to unbutton anything or worry about a breast milk stains.  
  • Be flexible.  There are times when I don't make enough milk for the twins.  We always give them one ounce of breast milk in each of their bottles at daycare followed by 4-5 ounces of breast milk depending on how much they are drinking.  This allows me to not stress of my supply is a little lower one day or I missed a pumping session and on days when my supply is great, it allows me to freeze some milk.  I have a huge supply in my freezer that will help extend how much breast milk they get when I start weaning.  
What are your tips or tricks for pumping at work????