Hi Friends! We are entering into my favorite time of the year–FALL!! When I first met Yung, I expressed to him how much I love this time of the year, and I’m pretty sure he thought I was crazy. Bringing it back to childhood, fall to me means the beginning of a new school year (which I oddly loved), new activities, dance rehearsals for a winter production, cooler weather, football season (this was only important to me in college), and holidays. Fall in Dallas is fun! I think what makes it the most fun is that it is not 100 degrees outside anymore, and everything is better when you are not sweating buckets and swatting away mosquitoes when you step out of your house.
The past few years have felt like a bit of a blur. Yung and I became parents, bought a house, I changed jobs to a clinic minutes from our home, and just as we were getting comfortable with taking Jack out and about, the pandemic hit. I haven’t written anything about our house on here, but I have to say, moving here was one of the best decisions we have made. It might not seem like anything special on the surface, but to me, it is magic. We are so grateful for the space and the location. We adore our neighborhood which is adjacent to a park with 2 playgrounds and we are finding our community here.
I don’t remember a lot from 2020. My dad told us about a disease called COVID-19 that was in China that January. It wasn’t really on my radar, and then all of a sudden, it was. I wore a lot of gowns and gloves and masks at work. Face shields and goggles. How many layers was enough? How was I supposed to talk to parents and see patients all covered up? I ordered a lot of COVID tests and reassured a lot of parents. I was exposed to pediatric integrative medicine at my new job and it has shaped how I view medicine and has influenced decisions we make for our family and our lives. I was nervous to go anywhere for fear of catching COVID. That first grocery trip after the country shut down felt strange. There was no toilet paper, and I was walking around the store in a mask wondering if the virus was on the surfaces of my groceries. Every time I had a positive COVID patient at work, I watched myself for symptoms for 2 weeks after. It didn’t matter that I was all covered up and no one ever coughed in my face. I visited with friends but said no thanks to hugs. We kept Jack at home a lot, but when the weather turned cooler in September, I remember taking him to the playground regularly and meeting friends for playdates. With masks. Every time we got a sniffle or a sore throat, we thought, could we have it? We managed a trip to Galveston and Jack got to play at the beach.
2021 was another blur. I went with friends to Waco to visit a friend’s baby. With masks. The entire car ride down, the entire 5 hour visit, and the entire car ride back. We became a statistic and we lost a baby. We had an early miscarriage, and it shook our world up a bit. Thus began our continued journey of trying to conceive. That’s what I remember for the majority of 2021. Tracking my cycle and analyzing ovulation strips. Feeling so sad and let down each month when it didn’t happen. I don’t do well with things that are beyond my control, and this is a big one. It took an unspoken strain on our marriage, and I am glad we are past that stage. Truthfully, I was not my healthiest when all of this was happening. I quit my job and started taking shifts at my old clinic, which helped. I was very overweight, and just couldn’t get the motivation to move my body the way I should. We went to Great Wolf Lodge. Jack started school in June. I did a small kitchen renovation at my rental condo. I decided to start running in August and really stay consistent with the Peloton. We got pregnant in October! Never have I spent so much time on pregnancy websites and message boards. The amount of pregnancy test pictures I looked at and analyzed with fellow TTC women on the internet was beyond silly. So much so that when I took a test on DPO 7/8 and saw a faint shadow, I knew it was positive. I had so many negative tests, that my eyes clued in on the fact that this one was different. I have read so many COVID tests and Strep tests at work, that my eyes are trained to see the faintest lines. I didn’t even tell Yung until days later when the line really got dark, and was so relieved when my HCG levels were also climbing. That happiness was short lived when my nausea and vomiting kicked in the first week of November. I have undiagnosed hyperemesis gravidarum and had it with both pregnancies. With Jack, I lost so much weight in the beginning. With Ellie, food made the discomfort subside, so everything I ate came back up, but I didn’t lose a whole lot. I begged my mom to come help us, and she stayed with us for the month of December. It was the first time I saw her in person since early 2020.
Here we are in 2022!!!!!! I’m a little confused how we are in the last few months of the year, but alas, that is life. I spent most of 2022 pregnant! I transferred care from my OB/GYN to a midwife at a birthing center, and I am SO happy that I did. That was one of the best decisions of my life. That’s a little dramatic to put it that way, but I know it was where I was supposed to be. We visited my family in Lake Charles and took another trip to Galveston.
Ellie in true 2nd child form hasn’t had a lot of facetime on the blog and no updates during my pregnancy. My pregnancy after the sickness passed, was pretty good. I felt like I got big very fast, so honestly, that slowed me down a lot very early on. Ellie has been a dream baby. It’s only natural to compare your children, and we can already tell that they are very different. Ellie is very cuddly and has been from day 1. We worked very hard on our breastfeeding journey, and I am so happy to say that we are doing it! I exclusively pumped for 13 months with Jack, and at the time, gave myself zero credit for it. I don’t know why we do that to ourselves as moms. I acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but it completely sucked the life out of me and took the joy out the process. It never seemed like I made enough milk. I took so many supplements and ate so many lactation cookies. I remember feeling so sad and worried when my last few bags of frozen milk were defrosted, and it also seemed like my supply was diminishing. I felt a pit in my stomach each time we used formula. I pumped in the morning before leaving for work at 6:30am, and I would pump 3 times at work in between seeing patients, and I don’t even know how many times after that. How insane was that schedule? It’s not just the pumping, but the prep work, storing, and cleaning afterwards. I I never said too much about it or talked about how hard it was because I thought if I said anything, well meaning people (Whether it was my husband or friends or family) would suggest formula. That would be the solution right? There are situations in life where I am not looking for an easier way out. It is therapeutic to at least say “this is hard, and I am tired,” but that doesn’t mean I want to give up. I’m not good at putting myself before others, so I would do the same thing for Ellie if I had to.
With Ellie, it was hard from day 1, but I was determined to give it a better shot. It was painful this time just like it was last time, and I honestly did not look forward to nursing sessions in the first few weeks because of the pain. I feel like the first time, I didn’t know my resources, I didn’t know I could get a second opinion from a different lactation consultant, and Jack had a severe tongue tie. I was out of my mind stressed that I developed shingles during the first week of Jack’s life, which I’m sure did not help milk supply or anything like that. This time, it took 2 lactation visits, body work, chiropractic care, and lots of practice before it all came together. My lactation consultant made in home visits and she was helpful in a way that I have never experienced before. I have major PTSD from pumping the first time, that each week, I made it a goal to start pumping, and to this day, I still haven’t. I have been using the Hakaa and have a hearty stash in the freezer already.
Ellie is 14 weeks, and she is already doing too much. When she was first born, she was a sleepy little thing. She would sometimes take 3 two hour naps during the day, but at night, she had her party hat on. I held her a lot in the beginning to sleep, but somewhere around 5 weeks, discovered side lying nursing, and started co sleeping with her. I think I would have started earlier, but it was too painful at the time. So Ellie sleeps right next to me and I honestly am savoring every minute of it. Having been trained in the hospital for so long, I was always taught that cosleeping is unsafe, and we would always have to ask the parents to put their babies in the hospital cribs to sleep. I get it. The babies could fall, and accidents could happen. In the clinic, cosleeping was always a screening question–again–a safety issue. When I heard of friends doing it, I always thought “that is not for me,” and it wasn’t….until now it is. I know this won’t be forever, and we will eventually teach Ellie how to sleep independently in her crib like we did for Jack, but for the time being, I am going to enjoy these days.
But back to her milestones—she started rolling from back for front consistently this week, which I am emotional about. Poor Yung has to deal with all of my post partum/really just everyday emotions. When Ellie was 3 weeks old, she legit rolled from tummy to back which I know is easier and gravity helps, but she’s always been interested in rolling and using her muscles. She smiles big when you read certain books to her, but we haven’t heard any laughs out of her yet. She is sometimes quiet and observant, but other times, she is a talker. Jack is a sweet big brother and so far, seems to like Ellie, but hasn’t gotten too physically close to her.
This concludes my very random post with a myriad of thoughts that are placed here in no real form or fashion with very poor transitions. I hope everyone has the best weekend with lots of hugs and fun! XOXO