2

Week One

Well, today has been one week since we stopped breastfeeding and started using formula, and I absolutely hate it! Formula is messy and I am so tired of washing bottles! Atleast it’s only for a few months. 

We also got Jackalynn’s Cranial Band today. 

The appointment was shorter than expected and only took about 30 minutes to make some adjustments. 

As of now, we have only had the band/helmet for a little over an hour, and I’m already seeing some adjustments that I think need to be made. So I will wait for Mike (Her Orthosis) to contact us before I put it back on her. 
She is doing great tho! We even went and ran some errands right after the appointment and everything went well. Except for more than a few looks that we got from curious adults. That kind of attention is going to take some getting use to on our part, but we will be ok. I’m sure of it. 

As for now, we’re taking it step by step and adjusting to our new adventure, together, as a family. 

At the end of the day, we may not have it all together, but together we have it all. 

Thank you for reading, please be sure to follow for weekly updates! 

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5

A Sudden Change of Plans.

Makeup.
That’s what today’s post was going to be about. Lip Liner to be exact.
But there’s been a sudden change of plans.
Instead of the fun, exciting post full of pictures, which would have demanded a little “me time” to make happen. You’re getting the complete opposite. But you know what I have to say to that…..it’s LIFE!

That’s what it is. That beautiful, crazy, you love it but it makes you wanna scream all at the same time, thing we call life. So, instead of Makeup, you’re getting…

Breastfeeding: The Bittersweet Ending

242 days. 7 Months and 28 days. That’s how long I fought and struggled to keep breastfeeding. Yes, It was a struggle, but it was our struggle and it somehow made me feel strong. It made me feel important. It made me feel like I could make anything happen.

But why then, did it also make me feel like such a failure?

I’ve always known that I wanted to breastfeed. Even before I was pregnant. During my pregnancy, people were always telling me how hard breastfeeding is and how I had better have formula on hand and just endless horror stories and negativity. Basically, I felt like everyone was expecting me to fail. Which made me even more determined.

And let me stop myself before I go any further……

Just because you give your baby formula, does not make you a failure! 

This post is not to tell you that “breast is best” or any of that nonsense. Okay? Fed is best. Period. (This post is about my own personal goals and wishes for my child.)

And back to your regularly scheduled programming……So, everyone expected me to fail…..more determined….yada yada….

I had really high hopes for breastfeeding but I was still realistic. I gathered all the free formula samples that I could get my hands on and I built a little “just in case” stash and I tucked it away. (the stash is still there btw! WOOT!)

Then Jacky was born.

Within 30 minutes of being born she was already latching and eating……..or so I thought.

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Jacky’s first time nursing.

The nurses all said everything looked good, but because it was a Saturday the Lactation Consultant wouldn’t be in until Monday. So I continued with the guidance of the very nice nurses who I adored. They all would praise me and tell me that I already looked like a pro. And I was in Mommy heaven. Until Jacky started crying and wouldn’t stop.

Everyone chaulked it up to, “shes a Diva like her Mom!” Gee, thanks guys!

24 hrs after Jacky was born she tested positive for Jaundice and had to be taken to treatment and would not be able to stay with us overnight. Every 2 hours the nurses would bring her to me so that I could feed her. I had no idea until 2 days later that she was not latching correctly, causing her to not flush out the bilirubin.

Within 24 hours her levels had gone down enough for us to take her home, on Monday.
On Tuesday we had a follow up appointment with her Pediatrician, at which time she was sent for labs and found that her bilirubin levels were really high again.

So she was admitted to Palomar Medical Center, an hour and a half from home. I’ve never seen her Dad so scared or cry so much.

When we were admitted, the Doctor and nurses explained everything to us, but our biggest fear was relieved when we were told that we were able to stay with her all night. There was one hospital bed, and Jacky’s little bed in this tiny room. Jacky would spend 24hrs under lights.

Right away the nurses gave me a ticket to get a breastfeeding meal from the cafeteria (lord, they give you SO much food!) and a breast pump. I would spend the next 20 hours endlessly pumping.

Mind you, this is day 3 as a new mom, and I have never pumped in my life. I had no idea what I was doing, how much I should be pumping….nothing. 

All that I knew is that my baby needed food and was not going home unless I made her enough milk to flush out the bilirubin, and I was determined to do it. No matter how hard it was. And I did! After the first bottle of pumped milk, Jacky became a completely different baby. She had been crying for three days because she was hungry, and this was the first time I felt like a failure. But, with the help of the amazing Lactation Consultant at Palomar, I learned that I have flat nipples, which was causing a poor latch. After three days of trying to breastfeed this way, they were in bad shape. Essentially my nipples were just scabs. So she taught me how to use a nipple shield and spent over an hour with us, just watching Jacky eat and talking to me about everything. She went over all my notes and questions that I had come up with overnight and she sent me home with confidence and a sense of pride.

After 24 hours, Jacky was discharged and we headed home.

For the next 7 months we used the nipple shield, I pumped, supplemented with formula for a short time, exclusively pumped and exclusively breastfed. I’ve eaten endless amounts of oatmeal, lactation cookies and lactation teas, I’ve massaged and used heat. I’ve power pumped and done everything suggested to maintain my supply. I’ve shed sweat, blood and tears. But after 242 days, teething and a cold took its toll. She just doesn’t have an interest in nursing (because her teeth hurt and her sinuses are congested).

Yesterday, after 2 days of no sleep for me, and struggling to keep Jacky hydrated, I pulled the last three bags of breastmilk from the freezer, took the formula stash out of hiding and decided that this is it. Its time to stop breastfeeding.

It’s just time to relieve all three of us, of the stress that breastfeeding has brought (yes, breastfeeding can be just as stressful for dad’s).

I’ve waited for this day. I joked about the amounts of alcohol I would consume, and the freedom I would have. I thought I would be so excited.

But even as I write this I cant help but feel like I failed.

But I didn’t! So why does it feel that way?

I’ve fought harder than I have ever fought for anything in my life, I know that I did the absolute best that I could. Hell, I’ve even known that it was slowly coming to an end. But it still feels so sudden and bittersweet.

To top it all off, I started my period yesterday. YAY!

So what do you do when breastfeeding suddenly ends, Aunt Flo comes to visit and you just feel like crap?

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Wine and junk food makes everything better. 

No matter what other people say, and no matter how hard we are on ourselves, we must remind ourselves and each other, that were not alone. We all have our struggles and we are all fighting to do the best that we can for our kids.

So Today, remind yourself or another parent, that we’re in this together and we’re awesome!
You never know how much it could mean to a struggling parent who feels alone.

Have you ever felt like you failed as a parent? Let me know in the comments! 

Thank you for reading, be sure to follow for updates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

“I’m a Phillips, not a Flathead!”

Have you ever seen babies with those helmets that are all decorated and cute? Have you ever stopped and wondered, “what the heck is that?!” How about this. Have you ever seen one of those helmets and made your own ridiculous assumptions?

Don’t worry, it’s common to do this when something is strange or unknown to you.

But sometimes the things people say to parents who have a child with Plagiocephaly (or any of the other head shape conditions) can really get under their skin, when its really such a simple and harmless condition.

This was and is our biggest concern when we heard that Jackalynn would need to get a Cranial Remolding Helmet or Cranial Band. We know that as far as development goes, Jacky is excelling in all areas. She is ahead of her age in so many things. Her only little teeny thing is that from the day she was born (and even while in my tummy) she preferred to lay on the right side of her head. In ultrasounds, she was on her right side and in her very first photos at the hospital, she is on her right side. This is how over 20,000 babies a year develop Positional Plagiocephaly or Flat Head Syndrome.

Why have you never heard of Plagiocephaly?

As Jackalynns specialist at Hanger Clinic explained to us, it was common to put children to sleep on their stomachs, until the 80’s when the “Back to Sleep” program was introduced to lower the risk of SIDS. With more babies being put to sleep on their backs, more started to develop flat heads, and so we have the larger number of flat heads today.

While some can be corrected by simple re positioning, others are stubborn like Jacky, and require further treatment. That’s where the helmet comes in.

So, we started our 4 day President’s weekend by taking Jackalynn to have her head scanned for her helmet.

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Reading while waiting for the Doctor

I was surprised at how easy the scan was. They started by fitting her with a cloth “hat” or sleeve. This made a smooth surface around her head, making it possible for the computer to make an exact image of her skull. This was the hardest part of the scans. Even tho Jackalynn cried a little, and didn’t want the Doctor touching her, they said she is still the calmest baby they have had in the office. It could just be something they tell every parent, but it sure did relieve some stress, so I’ll just pretend its absolutely true!

Once the “hat” was on, we read books until the Doctor came back and was ready to take the scans (which was only a few minutes). The trick to getting a good scan,was getting Jacky to face forward and stay still. Impossible you say?

Let me introduce you to my secret weapons……

Sesame Street and Teething Biscuits.

We sat Jacky on the end of my  lap, put Seasame Street on Dads phone and gave her a snack. The Doctor got to work, and within a minute, the scans were done. The scans are done with a gun that produces a light, similar to a bar code scanner. it is scanned around the head as images are captured and a 3d model is produced on a computer. It is harmless.

Now that the scan was done all we had to do now was wait for them to be approved. After about 5 or 10 minutes, they were approved and the Doctor came to let us pick designs. We decided to go with a light pink, and I will be decorating it myself. How exciting, right?

In total, the appointment for scans took less than an hour and were painless. It was actually kind of fun. We played, we had snacks and read stories, and the Doctors are very nice men who make this process a lot less stressful. In fact, everyone in the office are sweethearts, and even though it was only our second appointment, they knew Jackalynn by name when we walked in the door. This made us feel so secure and comfortable.

So now, we wait for her helmet to be delivered to the office, which should only take about a week from the time of scans, and then we will go back for her to be fitted and to receive our instructions and training.

We are very nervous for this journey that is about to begin, but we know that as a family we will make the best of it and get through it together!

Thank you for reading! Subscribe for weekly updates. 

Introduction to Palgiocephaly treatment by Hanger Clinic

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The Fight with Eczema and Cradle Cap

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Jackalynn Lee 2 weeks

When Jackalynn was born, she had a decent amount of dark hair. I was so excited for the chance to add cute little bows and braids. However, that excitement was short lived.

Somewhere in the first month I noticed the cradle cap starting on her right ear and eyebrow. I treated that daily with a combination of baby oil and A&D ointment. It seemed to help, but then overnight it spread. She woke up one morning and it was in both eyebrows, her right ear and her scalp. She had a red bumpy rash all over the side of her face and it seemed to ooze a yellow goo. It didn’t bother her tho. So I just continued with the treatment I was using. From then on, as one spot would clear up, it would break out in another spot. Until finally- the hair on the top of her head was gone and she had a George Castanza hair-do.

Don’t get me wrong, she was the cutest George Castanza I have ever seen, but as any parent who has experience with this knows, it’s just sort of frustrating. 

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The First Rash

The First 3 Months

At her two month wellness check, her Pediatrician addressed the cradle cap and just suggested that I keep doing what I was doing. She said that by 6 months it would clear up on its own. At this point I already knew that she would also have eczema, if she didn’t already, because I have it and it is very common in my family. However, her doctor did not address it until her 4 month wellness check. Over that time I had been applying lotion everyday and making sure she was always hydrated, but dry. Anytime she would sweat she would break out. So I had to keep her cool at all times, and make sure to wisk the sweat away at the first sign. That entire time I was stuck on cradle cap, and I only thought the rashes were because of the cradle cap. So I never thought to treat it like eczema. At her 4 month appointment her doctor pointed out some bumpy patches and said to start applying Eczema Cream everyday.

I didn’t even know this stuff existed and I thought that the cute purple bottle of beautifully scented baby lotion, that we all know and love, was enough. Boy was I wrong.

 

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4 months- George Castanza in full effect.

After the appointment I immediately went out and bought the $17 tube of cream that the pediatrician had suggested. I used this brand for 2 months, day and night, and any time I felt she needed it. I did not see any difference in her skin. She was still just as patchy, and I feared that it was going to start getting even worse. Her cradle cap had made no improvements and we were already hitting the 6 month mark.

After 2 months, I told Jairo that I wanted to go  out and find a new product.

The next day we attended a FREE Santa Photo event hosted by New Life Ultrasound and Kayleigh Ashworth Photography. It was the cutest, and most amazing first Santa Claus meeting we could have asked for (did I mention it was FREE?). During the event they held a raffle and I just happened to win a super great Babyganics gift basket, donated by BabyganicsSD. Jairo and I were super excited because we love to try new products and find what works best for our family. Since we had never tried Babyganics, we were extra excited about this win.

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Photo By @KayleighAshworthPhotography

Well, what do you think we got in that basket?

That’s right, Eczema Cream! The day after we had discussed buying a new cream (yes, it was a discussion, because that stuff is expensive and budgets are tight) we were blessed to win this basket with exactly what we needed! It was completely meant to be.

Photos by Newlife Ultrasound

As soon as we got home I applied it to Jackalynn’s whole body. Including her scalp.

My first impression was just sort of whatever. The formula was better than the other cream I had used, but the scent was almost exactly the same, as was the active ingredient. So I thought that there as no way it would be any different. Again, I was wrong.

I will never buy another brand of Eczema Cream. 

By the time bed time rolled around, Jackalynn’s skin was already showing improvement. I applied the cream again after her bath and by morning her skin was completely clear, and the softest it had been since she was born. Even her cradle cap showed significant improvement over night. I was sold!

We have been using the cream and other products for a little over a month now and we love the Babyganics brand because their products are simple. They don’t have a ton of unnecessary ingredients, they are gentle on our baby’s skin and clothes, and best of all they are affordable. You can always find coupons, and since I started using Babyganics, I can always find their products on sale at one of my favorite stores. While chatting with Taylor (BabyganicsSD) I learned that there are over 100 Babyganics producsts, and I was only aware of 5!

At this time, Jackalynns cradle cap is completely gone and her hair has almost all grown back. Her skin is clear and soft. People are always commenting on what perfect skin she has, and they always say its just because she is half Hispanic.

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Beautiful Clear Skin at 7 Months

If I didn’t openly talk about the struggles of parenting, no one would ever know, what a job we had getting her skin so beautifully perfect. 

If you have a child with sensitive skin, and you haven’t already, give Babyganics a try. It might just be the solution you need, like it was for us. 

(I was in no way compensated for my review. Opinions expressed are based solely on my own experience.)

Thank you for reading! Be sure to subscribe for updates about new posts each week! 

You can find more information on Instagram at:
@BabyganicsSD
@Babyganics
@newlifeultrasound
@kayleighashworthphotography

0

Jackalynn

My precious Jackalynn Lee……

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Before she was born it was just me, Jairo, our dog Miya and our cat Rambo. It had been that way for 6 years (minus Rambo for 5). It was great.

We never really worried about much. We would go where we wanted, when we wanted to. Once or twice a week we would go out to eat, and fast food was basically an everyday thing. The TV was always on something not rated for children and our choice in music may have been questionable (ok, it still is but we keep it low key now).

We both had jobs before Jackalynn. I guess I still have a job, it’s just a new and different kind of job, but I digress.

I held so many different jobs, but the most recent was as a Photographer at a school and sports photography company. I absolutely loved it and I worked until my doctor put me on maternity leave. After that, as a family, we decided that I would be a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM for short).

That is where Jack and June begins.

Things have changed a bit since Jackalynn was born. We dont eat out nearly as often as we used to and fast food is a thing of the past (for me anyway, Jairo still has the ocasional “snack”). We are more cautious about the things we eat and drink.

Going anywhere now a days is like a Task Force mission. Any Mom will tell you, we carry enough supplies to take care of a small Army. Gone are the days of spontaneity and quick trips to the grocery store. We spend more time together watching our friends party on Snapchat than we spend actually partying ourselves, and we actually don’t mind it one bit. And boy has our schedule changed. Jairo went from a M-F 9-5 job, to a Sunday-Thursday graveyard job. We are still learning to adjust.

I have learned so many wonderful things in the past 234 days. There have been ups and downs, twists and turns, tears of joy and tears of frustration, but all in all this is the happiest I have been in my life.

As I said, I have learned so many wonderful things. Some of those things may not seem so wonderful to some, but every moment of motherhood has its blessings. Oh the snoty, poopie, drooling, bite your nipple blessings!

What have I learned?

I’ve learned how to appreciate myself more. I’ve also learned to appreciate Jairo, our families and our friends more. I’ve learned some new organization skills, that I will share at some point. My cooking and cleaning skills have improved. But most importantly, I’ve learned how to be a Mother, and still have a lot left to learn.

I’ve learned how to breastfeed, give baths, clip nails and clean ears. I’ve done countless hours of reading and research on endless topics having to do with the health and wellness of my baby and I know that learning will never be finished.

I will soon learn how to care for a baby with plagiocephaly, and I will continue learning how to treat eczema. In my next post, I will introduce you to some of my favorite products that I have used, including the best eczema cream you will ever find (hint: Its Babyganics).

I look forward to sharing our journey with you and I hope to be a source of advice and comfort for other parents.

If you’re still reading, thank you for being here! Make sure to subscribe to get updates about new posts!