June 1st

It’s June 1. Emerson’s birth month. How the hell has it been almost a year since I had her? There’s been so much change in my life but it’s been incredible. I am a very different person today, than I was a year ago. I have an entirely new outlook on life. Everything revolves around my family, my daughter and what is best for us.  I wouldn’t change that. Yes, maybe I would like some more me time, some more moments to myself, some more time to workout or sleep, but if that doesn’t happen I will be perfectly ok with that too.


You know it’s funny… I opened up this page to write about my postpartum experience. I have had a hard time finding a new routine that includes working out (the way I used to) and how adjusting to my post baby body has been a big mental shift. Yet, the second I started writing happiness and positivity started to flow. I think that’s a good sign! I came in from a state of negativity but my thoughts and words quickly changed.

Although I’m not where I want to be in terms of my body and routine; I’m so happy. I did not know that one little human could bring so much joy to my life. Watching her learn and develop and find love in life makes me appreciate all the little things so much more.


As we head into June, I have more change approaching in my life, a new job, new daycare; leaving what has been so normal and so comfortable for so long. And ultimately, I still don’t really know what I want. I know I need to make a change. I don’t know if this is going to be 100% right but at least I’m doing something. The one thing that I think about a lot with leaving my job and finding a new one is what do I really want to do? At the end of the day, I know my passion is health and fitness and that I don’t really want to be behind a desk all day. I just don’t know how to make that a career. I think I want to spend the next year of my life trying to figure out how to do that.

This blog has been such a great outlet for me to share my health and fitness journey, my best practices and experiences but I do it so sporadic. This summer, as I turn the page on a new life chapter, I want to start writing more. I am just so shy and apprehensive to putting myself out there, even though at the end of the day that’s what I want to do. It’s a really hard dichotomy. I need to figure out which side outweighs the other and start running towards it.

So this post was supposed to be about postpartum and it turned into something so much different but it was a stream of consciousness and I clearly needed to get it out so I’m sharing it and maybe other people will resonate with it too!

 

Introducing Solids 

Emerson is approaching her 6 month birthday. She is getting so big and developing so fast. I planned on waiting until Emerson was 6 months old to give her solids since that is what the Academy of Pediatrics recommends (however, they also say you can start anywhere between 4-6 months… it’s confusing!). However, my parenting philosophy has very much been let Emerson lead. I want what is best for her and let her pave the way. Ever since Emerson was about 4.5 months old she has been super curious about food.  Every time Vinnie and I sit down to eat dinner she reaches for the food on our plate.
Introducing Solids to baby
A couple weeks back I finally gave in and gave her some banana. She absolutely loved it! It was so fun to see her get so excited and enjoy the banana so much. The next night she was so excited about food that once she finished her banana puree, I gave her a chunk of banana to hold and play with. At her age, solid food is more about the experience of eating and learning how to swallow, develop their tastebuds and playing with the different textures of food. I have researched a lot about baby lead feeding and introducing finger foods right away. Pretty much, as long as the food is soft and mussy and they can’t chock on it, it is ok to give it to them solid. I plan on doing a mix of purees and solid foods so she can learn and experience it all.
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Shortly after eating the banana Emerson broke out in Eczema. I don’t think it is related but I didn’t want to introduce new foods until I had the Eczema a little more under control so we took a break from solids after the first few times. Now, a few weeks later, the Eczema is wayyyy better and we are starting to fed her solids again.
This weekend, I gave her some pureed butternut squash mixed with some breastmilk. She really enjoyed this too. I think Emerson is going to be a good eater! She definitely loves to eat.
Introducing Solids
Logistically, as a working mom, I am trying to figure out how we can continue to feed her solids every day. She is exhausted when she gets home from daycare. Some days she falls asleep on the drive home and is out for the night. Right now, I am thinking that I will feed her at night as much as I can and once we get a few foods under out belt, I will start to send some to daycare for her to have at lunch. I can’t even think about what we are going to do once she needs to eat real food in the morning. As it is, we are rushing out the door to beat traffic and get to work on time. Adding in breakfast for Emerson is really going to delay us a lot but I am not about to wake her up, just to feed her and get out the door so I can be at work before 9. I’ll let you know how it all plays out as it is definitely a work in progress.
Introducing Solids - Butternut Squash
I want what is best for her; I try to provide her with the cleanest, most natural, organic products I can and as we start solids I plan on making all her food so I know exactly what is in it.

Hockey, Lacrosse, and Family

This weekend was filled with sporting events and family time; my two favorite ways to spend Fall days.

My cousin, Mia, had a hockey tournament at Harvard so she stayed with us for the weekend. We shuttled her to and from her games, watched her play and on Saturday we even took advantage of having a babysitter around and went for a mommy/daddy run for the first time.

Weekend Run

Mommy Daddy Run

I thought for sure we would have a crying baby when we got home, but Mia and Emerson were happy and playing on the couch. Mia didn’t even have to use the bottle I left…granted we were only gone for a 30 minutes but it felt like forever to me!

Cousin babysitter

After our run, we brought Mia to her game and stayed to watch. Emerson loved watching the Zamboni clean the ice and she totally followed the hockey players as they skated up and down the ice during the game. Emerson has quickly started to become more aware of her toys, people and objects. I feel like it happened overnight but now she is much more aware of what is going on around her and follows things that she is interested in.

Harvard Hockey Rink

On Sunday, my sister, Lily, had a Lacrosse tournament at Harvard. It was a total coincidence that both Lily and Mia had games at Harvard but it made it very convenient to watch both of them play. The weather was absolutely perfect too. The air was crisp but the sun was shining. Emerson was bundled up warm in my dad’s arms wearing her Patagonia vest and ski hat.

Fall sporting events Emerson is going to be the #1 fan for the UNH Lacrosse team this year! Lily’s teammate and roommates taking the first of many group shots with E. UNH Lacrosse

In very exciting news, Emerson surprised us all and rolled over! I was showing my dad how strong her neck was getting and how she was starting to like tummy time and she literally just rolled right over to her back. It was incredible! We all looked at each other in shock 😳. She’s since rolled over a few more times. Always from her stomach to her back, never back to stomach. She’s starting to hit some of the bigger milestones. I can’t believe how fast it’s all happening. 

Emerson rolled over

 To top off the weekend, we celebrated my moms birthday with some crock pit pulled pork and homemade funfetti. It was delicious. 

Lofo's Birthday

One of these days I’m going to start eating well so I lose this darn baby weight!

Going back to work 

Today was my first day back to work after having Emerson. I still can’t really express or put into words how I feel about going back to work. Yes, I am happy to be back at work, with my colleagues and stimulating my mind. But I’m sad not to be at home with Emerson. 


I tried to not focus on the fact that I was going back to work and really just go with the flow. Which was nice but it made the morning a little hectic.  In hindsight I wish I’d made a list of everything I needed and prepared a little last night so that I could just grab and go in the morning. Instead I had no food for the day, I had to pack up my pump, make sure the milk is ready for my mom who is watching Emerson until she starts daycare, and put the car seat in my moms car. Come to find out I left part of my pump at home so my mom had to come and deliver it. It was kind a like leaving your lunch at home on the first day of school! Although it was a blessing in disguise because I got to see Emerson halfway through my day!


Once I was packed up, I gave Emerson a big hug, thanked my mom and got in the car. I thought I would be more sad but I was pretty stoic. It wasn’t until I walked into my office and I saw familiar faces that I lost it a little bit. Reality hit and tears welled up in my eyes. I cried, took a few deep breaths, and walked to my desk. Once there everything went pretty smooth. It was great to see so many friends and colleagues and it was nice to get back into the groove of work.

 I think I’m going to struggle with the work/life balance. It’s always been something that I have a hard time with but I’m going to have to figure it out now that I have a baby at home. At 5 o’clock I found myself just hanging out at my desk when I should’ve been packing up and walking out the door to go see my daughter. I’m just not used to that lifestyle at work. Previously I always stayed late, lingered around, and made sure all tasks were done before I left. I’m going to have to work hard to stay focused during the day, get done what I can and then leave at 5 so I can spend time with Emerson. Especially because of the commute is brutal. Our office moved while I was out and it’s in a high traffic area. So now my commute is a good hour which is terrible, it’s only 13 miles… the wasted commute time in the car is a real bummer and something I’m going to have to figure out. It will be hard with a baby who has her own schedule but I need to make sure I get as much time with her as I can while still being a good employee and working efficiently.  


Right now, working out is at the bottom of my priority list.  I need to figure out balancing work and time with Emerson and then I can try and incorporate working out. Once I get into a little bit of a grove I might try and do some work outs at home after Emerson goes to bed but I’m typically pretty tired so we will see how that goes. As for training for the half marathon at the end of October I’m just going to have to utilize weekends to get a long run in and hope that’s enough. 

Here’s to Day 2. 

Breastfeeding + Mastitis

Once I found out I was pregnant, I did a lot of reading, listening to Podcasts and talking to Mommy friends. I quickly came to the realization that I wanted to try my hardest to exclusively breastfeed my baby, for as long as I could. But, I have to admit, it was also one of the things I was most nervous about because I had read and heard of so many moms having trouble with breastfeeding. I bought the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which helped me mentally prepare for what I should expect.

Luckily, Emerson and I had a quick connection and we really have not had too many issues with nursing. Yes, I was sore for the first few days and had quite a bit of pain when my milk finally came in but that is all very normal and expected.

It wasn’t until this week (10 weeks post-partum) that I had my first real complication. {I am going to be talking about my boobs for the rest of the post so if that makes you uncomfortable, please just skip to the end!}

Emerson

It started on Tuesday night, right before bed, I had some pain in my left breast; it felt like it was a little engorged but I had just fed Emerson so I didn’t think that was possible and I went to bed. At 2am I woke up with intense pain and my boob feeling incredibly full so I got up and pumped to relieve some of the pressure. It didn’t work. My boob continued to ache and felt really hot. I laid in bed googling my symptoms hoping whatever I had would not affect my milk supply so I could continue to exclusively breastfeed Emerson. In the morning, I nursed her and my breast was feeling better but my body ached liked I had done an intense workout (if only!) and I had a wicked headache.

I continued with my plan for the day and went and met up with my Moms Walking Group but felt off the whole time. On my drive home I called the doctor to speak with a Lactation Consultant to get some advice and guidance. Based on my breast pain she thought it might be a clogged milk duct and suggested I do a hot compress and massage the breast to hopefully get the milk flowing. I immediately did that when I got off the phone with the nurse. But about an hour later I came down with chills and nothing was feeling better. I took my temperature and it was at 101.4. So I called the doctor back and they had me come in to get evaluated at suspected I had mastitis. Before going to the doctors I did take 600 mg of Motrin because I was feeling so terrible and that made me feel like a new person. It was amazing.

At the doctors they took my temperature and blood pressure and evaluated my breasts. My left breast had redness but she couldn’t really find a lump or mast caused by a clogged duct. However my fever and the redness on my breast was enough for her to conclude I had mastitis, which is an infection in your breast, and she put me on antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

I was prescribed Dicloxacillin and have to take it for a full 10 days, four times a day. It is not that sweet. It leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth but I’ll take it if it makes me feel better. I was nervous about taking the medicine while still breastfeeding but the doctor assured me it would be OK and I’m Emerson should not have any reaction.

On my way home from the doctor I picked up Vinnie early from work so he could take care of Emerson and I could rest. I really did not feel great until Friday. It was hard to be home on Thursday all day without any help but my parents came down Thursday evening which was a huge help. I was able to get a nap and rest a little. They were shocked at how hot i was to the touch and how much of a fever still lingered. I was shocked at how crappy I still felt. My boob continued to be incredibly tender even though I had been doing lots of hot compress and massage. Luckily, Emerson was such a good little girl while I was feeling sick. It was almost as if she new mom wasn’t feeling well.

Sleeping With Emerson

I didn’t start feeling better until Friday. I finally had a little bit of energy and my fever was gone it my left breast was still tender. And, I did still have a really bad headache but that didn’t seem like much compared to how I have been feeling. Saturday Vinnie and I were able to go out for a couple short walks. But then Sunday I was down for the count again. I don’t know if I pushed it too hard or if I had a little bit of a relapse but I was exhausted, felt incredibly weak, my head was pounding all day and my boob still ached. I reached out to some friends I knew who had mastitis to see if this was normal and decided if it didn’t get better by today (Monday) call back the doctor.

Luckily I woke up this morning and I’m feeling better. I was able to meet up with the moms in my walking group and I am feeling closer to normal than I have in a while. I cannot believe how much mastitis kicked my butt. But I am happy that I was able to continue to breastfeed  Emerson throughout the whole thing and because I had to nurse or pump every three hours I contributed significantly to buy milk storage due to the late night pump sessions.

Emerson Sleeping

Sorry this is so long, but I am hoping to sharing  my experience I may be able to help another new mom. I know I wished to read more stories of how moms felt, healed and cooped with Mastitis.

Have you ever had Mastitis?

What do you do when you are feeling really really sick?