Thursday, February 13, 2014

How does a mommy balance it all?

How do you balance taking care of a baby, cleaning, cooking, working and above all save money?  I work part-time so I work 3-4 days which mean I get 3-4 days off.  My days off goes by so fast.  I need to figure out how you mommies do it.

Looking back at my grandma and mommy, it is definitely hard to balance it all.  My mom worked 3 jobs one point of her life to put my sister and I in preschool.  My mom would work full time her day job, part time evening shift and on the weekend.  My mom or dad would drop us off to school.  After school we went to after school program then my mom would pick us up and drop us off at my grandparent's house so she could go to her evening job.  I spent a lot of time at my grandparent's house with my cousins.  I was lucky to have a great grandma who cooked a home cook Filipino meal every night.  My dad would then pick us up from our grandparent's house to go home.  On the weekend when my mom was not working her full time job she spent it doing laundry, cleaning.  If she cook it was a big pot that could last a couple days.  As children, my sister and I had to help do chores around the house since our parents were so busy.  We were good kids...

Me and my sister were talking about how this and I am trying to figure out solutions to making life easier.

1.  Cleaning schedule.  On my days off instead of spending all day cleaning I will break up tasks during the week so that I am still able to go out and hang out.

Everyday:
Clean Bottle and dishes
Wipe down kitchen and table surfaces
Sweep kitchen and carpet

Days off
Day 1: Laundry and bathroom 

Day 2: vacuum, mop, dust, doors and light switch

*Once a month 
Clean out fridge
Sanitize Trash can
Organize mail and receipts 
Ac and dryer vents 

*Once a year clean
January: Organize personal files
organize cabinets, drawers, closets
Fans 
Blinds and Curtains 
Light fixtures 
Stains off Carpet 
hard to reach 
Appliances
Windows and outdoor
Garage 
Toss expired medicine and foods
December: Donate clothes 

2. Budgeting.  The hardest thing to do, but since I got a new car and after my tax return is done I can pay off some bills and figure out how to free up some unnecessary spending.

3.  Meal planning, freezer and slow cooker meals.

4.  Continue to work out... haha hope I can.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New family car

I am so happy I was able to trade in my BMW for a 2014 Rav4.  I am super happy with this trade.  It is spacious and a perfect family car!!!  I love the color, the interior and backup camera!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lets do it again, the GAR

So I signed up for the Great Aloha Run.  I'm a little nervous since I'm a new mom and wondering how I will schedule runs/exercise, chores, breastfeeding, pumping and now work.  It has been a challenge trying to juggle the new life changes.

My goals for this GAR
1. run in the morning before my BF goes to work and while my sister is here babysitting baby
2. walk daily with dogs and baby or with my sister and the babies
3. when not walking try to do exercise video, Jillian Micheal's 30 day shed

Before I gave birth, I weight about 185 pounds.  I am now 166-169 pounds.  I need a little push, so hopefully I can get down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 159-164.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas



This week we have decided to stop using the shield.  I took a chance and we have been quite successful.  She has been sucking better.  Only problems is she spits up a lot, but not to worry she pee and poop a lot!  Have a great Holiday!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Breastfeeding update: 8 weeks

After 9 weeks of maternity leave I finally went back to work.  It is so bittersweet.  I would love to stay home with my baby but we gotta work.  Thank God I'm not full time anymore.  My hours at work is enough and I still have time to spend with my baby.

My sister has been babysitting and she has been a great sitter.  She is very patient with her.  When I come home from work I will breastfeed or pump, spend time with baby, exercise, eat then sleep.  Only problem I have since I have been back to work is the breastfeeding and pumping routine.  I have a oversupply of milk because of the extra pumping I have been doing.  My freezer has the proof of my pumping efforts.  I have a good stockpile of milk since baby doesn't need supplement milk.  We give her a bottle a day with her vitamins or if we are out in public.

My fear was when I went back to work that my milk supply would decrease or baby would not want to breastfeed.  My supply is not going anywhere as my baby enjoys breastfeeding.  So I only pump for work and exclusively breastfeeds when baby and I are together.  I have been more engorge more often since we are not pumping as much as before.  So hopefully my supply will regulate and I won't have to pump just to relieve the engorgement.  

I am now less shy to breastfeed in public.  I have breastfeed in the car, dressing room and restaurant.  The breastfeeding cover is my best friend!!!  Thanks God I'm surround by my family who supports breastfeeding!!!

We have been determine to keep breastfeeding even if it is with the shield. The shield has saved us from giving up so soon.  Now that I'm back at work hopefully we can maintain the milk supply  so she can breastfeed for 6 months or more and stop pumping extra.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Breastfeeding and pumping

It's been 6 weeks since Jazlyn has been born.  Since she was a late preterm I have been trying to breastfeed but her latch is sometimes good and sometimes bad.  Since she was in NICU I did not spend too much time breastfeeding since we only had 30 minutes outside the isolate for feeds.  She had feeding problems: her suck was weak, frequent spit up, constipation.  She had a feeding tube place.  I tried to breastfeed then supplement with formula till my breastmilk came in and gave her via bottle or tube.  I became obsess with pumping since I felt this was the only way to help her get better!!!

The lactation consultants were very helpful.  They guided me with positioning and latching.  The problem was I have flat nipples.  They gave me a nipple shield to use.  This helped with latching since I was starting to have crack and sore nipples, engorgement and mastitis on the left breast.  I got very sick and feverish for about 3 days.  I felt like I wanted to stop breastfeeding.  I kept pumping to help maintain my supply.  

So it got worst before it got better and I wanted to give up many times.  I was disappointed that baby and I was not latching but I kept trying.  At first I would only breastfeed for 15 minutes then offer expressed milk in the bottle then pump for about 15 minutes. This process was so long.  I felt like I could not get anything  done!!!  

As she got stronger she was able to suck better and stay on the breast longer to get her full feed from there without supplementing.  We still used the shield.  I would try to go without it but latching is still not so great.  She is content after her feed.  Poops and pees a lot!!!  I would keep pumping after feeds to have a good stockpile of milk for when I go back to work.  Baby feeds every 1-3 hours.  At night she can go 3-5 hours.   I have a oversupply of milk right now so I have to pump or I will get engorge.  I try to simultaneously pump and feed to save time.  

Breastfeeding in public has been interesting.  I have breastfeed in a fitting room, car and in a restaurant.  I have a pumped in the car.  It's been awkward but gotta do it.

By 5 weeks of age we offered her the pacifier.  At first I tried to offer it but she did not seem interested.  Then we tried again and she seem to like it.  I felt really guilty because I was afraid she would like it too much and have nipple confusion.  But she still likes breastfeeding with the shield so no problems there.  It's been a life saver on her fussy days!

Breastfeeding and pumping is not easy but I kept doing it.  It's very tiring plus you need a lot of patience.  Now that I will go back to work we will see how breastfeeding and pumping will go.

Products I use and love

Medela Symphony - rent monthly from insurance
Medela Double Ease - borrow from family
Avent double breast pump
Avent Comfort manual pump
Medela nipple shield  
Lasinoh lanolin cream 
Lasinoh breastmilk storage bag
Avent nursing care breast set
Johnson & Johnson nursing pad
Nuk nursing pad
Simple wishes hands free pump bra
Medela Easy Expressions bustier
Avent Classic bottles
Avent microwave steam sterilizer - save time from boiling
Gerber burp cloth - big and thick!
Thermos Raya lunch bag
Fit and Fresh cool cooler slim lunch ice pack
Thermos mug
Uddercover nursing cover

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Took a chance with love

We made 3 years together.  I went through a lot before I met him.  I never expected to find love.  I was very cautious and he was very patient.  We grew in love and now I have a little family. I'm really happy and can't ask for anything more!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A baby is born a little early


I was 36 weeks and had an ultrasound on Wednesday October 16.  The doctor had scheduled to induce me for October 20 due to my recent diagnosis of preclampsia.  He mention the possibility of delivering early if baby was small.  He estimated she was 5 pounds and a half. The perinatologist did my ultrasound and said she was 4 pounds 7 ounces which was too low and that I would have to be emergency induce due to intrauterine growth restriction from preclampsia. 

never wanted to be induce but for the safety of me and my baby I will do what I have to do.   I was allowed to go home to pack and eat.  We ate Thai food before heading back to the hospital.  I had stuff chicken wings, spring rolls, pad thai and jerky.  It was so good!!!  Last good meal before I delivered!!!  Who cares about checking my blood sugar!!!

When we got back I was placed in the same room from the last time, labor room 7.  I got stick 2x trying to get a IV.  They check my cervix and I was 3cm.  I was started on pitocin since the ob-gyn staff did not think I need the cervidol or misoprostol. I was only allowed clear liquid diet and they kept checking my blood sugar.  My blood pressure was not high at first but during the night it started to act up so I was started on magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures that could occur with preclampsia.  It made me feel very horrible.  Felt hot and like I got ran over by a bus or just finish doing a marathon or hike.  I was so drowsy.  I started to have some contractions but they were not painful, just uncomfortable.  I had more back pain since I was not allowed to move around, only could stay in bed and move side to side.  I look forward to getting up every hour to pee.  

Thursday morning they did a cervix check and decided to stop the pitocin since I was not dilating, I was still at 3cm.  They finally gave me misoprostol x3 to soften my cervix.  I was allowed to eat but had to stay bedrest.  One day went by, even though I still had the magnesium drip, I felt good.  I started to have bloody show so I was most likely more dilated. 

Friday morning they let me shower, did a cervix check and I finally was 5cm.  They restarted my pitocin.  The contractions got more painful and my blood pressure started to get higher.  They had to give me hydrazine couple times again.  They ask me if I wanted an epidural since it could help me with my blood pressure but I chose not to have one.  

The midwife finally checked me and I was 7cm dilated. They decided I should have my water bag broke to speed the labor since my blood pressure was getting too high.  They also did my labs to check my liver.  I was diagnosis with HELLP syndrome:  H (hemolysis),EL (elevated liver enzymes) and 
LP (low platelet count).  I never realize at the time the symptoms I was having was related to the preclampsia and HELLP syndrome: nausea and vomiting, epigastric/heartburn pain, bleeding nose, swollen legs.  I couldn't tell if I was having headaches or blurry vision since I took my contacts out and was closing my eyes most of the time.  I was having more rectal pressure like I had to poop and tried but no poop.  Must be baby coming down, but it was hard not to push it was getting more uncomfortable not really much painful.



My bf, sister, cousin Lisa and my BF sisters were in the labor room with me.  I almost never notice who was there I was so concentrated about labor and upcoming birth.  I started to feel unsure about things and doubt my plan.  I wanted a natural birth free from Meds, but it was not going that way.  I was thinking maybe I should ask for pain Meds since the recital pressure was irritating me.  I kept telling everyone in the room "I dunno what to do!" since I was told not to push.  Finally the nurse did a final cervix check and said if I push a little I will be fully dilated.  They started to prepare the room for birth.  They open te birth table with supplies and turned on the newborn warming bed.  



It was time to push and everyone was supportive.  Pushing is kind of awkward.  They say push like you need to poop or like your holding your breath going under water.  You gotta imagine pushing out and up so baby can get through the pelvic.  I dunno how to push, I just did.  It was not easy.  I could see why someone would give up and get tired.  Thank God during the pushing part my blood pressure was stable!!!  The ob dr, midwife and neonatal team came to mh room in anticipation of delivery.  I think after about 5 tries+ of pushing I finally pushed out baby Jazlyn on Friday October 18 at 9:57pm.



Since she is a late preterm with low birth my bf did not have the opportunity to cut her cord.  They rushed her to the baby warmer to assess her.  Her APGAR score was 7/9, weight 4 pounds 6.9 ounces and was 17 inches.  Her temperature was stable and said she could stay with me in mother baby, she did not need to go to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).  I was able to bond with her and tried to breastfeed too!!!  Definitely a very life changing event for us!!!  I was in disbelief I actually pushed this baby out and 
happy to finally meet her.  We are a little family now!!!






Shortly after changing to the mother baby unit the nurses were concern about baby unable to keep her temperature due to her being so little.  The pediatrician was notified and she was sent to the NICU after 4am.  I was sad but it was for her health.  I couldn't go see her since they were still monitoring my blood pressure and I was still on the magnesium drip.  



I felt so helpless for her.  So I learned to used the breast pump and started to pump.  Colostrum that came out first was about 20 ml!  Amazing, but then after it was about 1-5 ml per session.  Maybe I was stressing, but milk was not ready yet.  I kept trying since this is the least I could to help my baby since we are apart!!!








It was only after 24 hours that I was finally able to to see my baby, but it was sad to see her hook up to monitors and IV.  The warmer was regulating her temperature and she was getting my colostrum and formula.  We were only allowed to hold her for feeding for 30 minutes.  Otherwise all we could do is watch her.  I felt so disconnected since we could not bond as much.  I was feeling really sad.  Postpartum blues kicked  in and I was always crying for her.  I wanted her to get better!!!


Baby had to start phototherapy for Jaundice on Saturday.


On Sunday, baby having a lot of spit up and not eating well.  So they had to put a feeding tube/gavage.  She still tried to breastfeed, take my expressed breastmilk and then formula if not enough.





They did not discharge me right away because my blood pressure was too high most likely from stress.  I finally was able to leave on Monday.  It was bittersweet since I would be leaving without baby I came to the hospital for her 11am and 2pm feeds and came with my bf for the 8pm feeds.  They told me on Wednesday to bring in the car seat to test her breathing and took out her tube feeding that day. She stayed in the NICU till Thursday.  We were so happy to finally bring her home.  Now we can enjoy her.

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