It is such a relief once breastfeeding becomes “easy”. I guess a better word would be relaxed. Baby has become more efficient and I have become more comfortable. These days there isn’t much pain and leaking is minimal. Things are good.
At 4 months I had to go back to work, which meant that baby would go to daycare and I would pump in my office. The first two days were difficult for her, but since then she has been totally fine. I had trouble pumping enough for her in the beginning, but with a little patience and more frequent pumping sessions I was able to send her with enough milk without having to do any extra pumping outside of work. Thankfully, my experiences with pumping at work have been wonderful. I have my own office and I’m able to just close and lock my door when I need to. Also, there are other women here who have been in the same situation and so everyone is very understanding and supportive.
However, during that month we found out that baby seems to have a cows milk protein allergy. It was causing her to have a lot of mucus and sometimes blood in her diaper. The doctor asked me to put her on a special formula for a week, but to continue pumping. I guess the doctor felt that the formula would give us a faster answer, but it broke my heart to hear those words. Anyways, I listened to his advice and after two days passed and neither of us had slept very much, I gave up and I put her back to my chest. (A week before that I had stopped having any dairy myself. The doctor had told me to cut back, but I decided it would be easier for me to just avoid it as much as I could.) It took us three to four weeks, but we saw improvement. I have continued to avoid dairy and breastfeed and I’m happy with my decision to do that. I’m also grateful that the pediatrician was supportive of my decision as well. Continue reading →
I never really had a second thought about breastfeeding during my pregnancy. However, I was not 100% sure that I would be physically able. I just kept reading and as much as I read, the most support I felt. I didn’t really know how difficult it would be, but I felt prepared to face any challenges that might come my way.
I remember thinking about it a soon as my baby was put in my arms. I remember the first time that I put her to my chest and she latched, even though very briefly. I felt relieved.
Not long after I started having worries: is she getting enough milk? am I doing this right? is she latched correctly? am I holding her the best way?
The lactation consultant at the hospital was not much help, if I’m being honest. The only tip I really took away from speaking with her was that I could try to wake my baby by tickling her feet. One of my nurses on the other hand saw my concern and brought me a pump to use. She said at the least using it will help stimulate milk production and if any milk is expressed I could try feeding it to the baby if I was worried about how much she was getting while nursing. I think she was right, in that it did help me product milk and it also put my mind at ease, but I think that the shields of the hospital pump made my nipples sore and possibly even bruised.
I continued to try to nurse baby while at the hospital. I used lanolin constantly as my nipples were very tender. My right even had a purple bruise. I’m not sure if it was from baby or the pump. I left the hospital unsure, but hopeful.
﷽ Everyone talks about the struggles of pregnancy. No one even begins to mention what it feels like after giving birth…especially once you go home. I’m not even going to go into detail about the sudden responsibility of caring for … Continue reading →
*Warning – this post is about my experiences while trying to conceive.
*You’ll find hyperlinks within the text that connect you to helpful websites.
Before I begin I would like to say thanks be to God for everything and every situation. الحمدلله على كل شيء الحمدلله على كل حال ِEverything happens (or doesn’t happen) at exactly the right time based on God’s plan.
Y and I had waited a long while for the paperwork to come through making our marriage legal here in the Kingdom. By the time everything finally happened both of us were more than ready for our family to grow and so our TTC (trying to conceive) journey began.
It was August 2015 and we were in Ha’il just after our wedding celebration with the family. While driving around the city in the car I looked at Y and said, “I want to ask you something.” He smiled at me as he usually does when I say something like that and replied, “What is it?” I’m not sure if I thought there was a chance he might say no or if I just felt more comfortable shyly bringing up the topic as a question instead of a request. “Can we start trying to have a baby?”
I was nervous about the whole thing. I was afraid that for some reason I would not be able to get pregnant. I had been on the birth control pill from the time I was 16 or 17 (for severe menstrual cramps) until I was 22. That September (2013) I started feeling very strange about the chemicals that I had been putting into my body for so long and decided to start praying Istikhara (prayer done while seeking God’s guidance) in order to make the decision to continue or to stop using them. After a few days of prayer and a couple of dreams I made the decision to stop taking the pill and to use other methods of birth control. This led me to start researching fertility awareness methods.
My first cycle off of the pill made me remember why I had started taking it in the first place. The cramps came on slowly and before I knew it I was on the sofa in the fetal position moaning and groaning while I waited for the Advil I had taken to kick in. It took me a few months, but I finally figured out how to deal with the pain and carry on with life.
Because I bought a yard and a half of the super soft pink material for the backing of my triangle quilt I had quite a bit of material leftover. After finishing the two bandana bibs I decided to make a little zippered sleep suit from that same soft material.
I put the Carter’s sleep suit inside-out onto the pink plush material and cut two rectangles the same size as the suit. I then traced along the arm holes on each side of the suit and cut the rectangles to match. To make the rounded shape for the neck on the front of the suit, I folded the front rectangle in half and cut the corner from one end so that both sides would would be even. With that rectangle still folded I cut down the fold to make two even pieces for either side of the zipper.
I bought a 22″ pink polyester zipper for the center front of the suit. I sewed the zipper face down onto the plush side of one of the front panels. I did the same with the other panel.
I folded and pinned the neckline and the armholes so that I could add a topstitch to stop the material from fraying.
I then placed the front and back panels plush sides facing each other and pinned them together. I stitched the shoulders together and then from under one armpit to the other. I tied off my ends and cut any excess material from the borders.
To finish the piece I used some scrap white binding around the neckline. I did this the same way that I did the binding on the quilt. The only difference is that I did spend some time folding the binding over to create a sort of ( v ) shape where the zipper starts.
I also followed this tutorial from Coconut Love to make little fabric flowers as decorations for the bibs. These are super simple to make and look absolutely adorable.
To make these bandana bibs I used leftover triangles and backing material from the quilt that I made.
I used the pattern cutout 2 layers from the triangles and 2 layers from the plush material. I lay them pattern/plush layer facing each other and stitched around leaving a small space open to turn the piece right side out. I top stitched around the bib to close the opening and to flatten it out a bit. I then stitched lines following the triangles as I did on the quilt.
I used the last of the cut triangles from the quilt fabric to make some little flowers. I traced some small circles onto the fabric, cut them out and then stitched them according to the tutorial above. I made 6 of them – 3 for each bib. I attached them to the bibs using a hand needle and some thread.
To finish the bibs I used some permanent adhesive velcro ovals for fabric. It’s the first time that I’ve used these and I fell in love. They are so easy! You just peel them off, stick them on and you’re done.
EXTRA: When I finished the two bibs I still had a few triangle pieces left and I decided to make a few more flowers.I also found a tutorial/pattern for felt bows. I still had some white felt left over from the hooded baby towel that I made and so I used some of that. I found some elastic cord at Walmart ($1 each). I bought a while and a gray. I cut the cord down to 12″ and stitched the ends together. I attached the patterned fabric flowers to the white cord and the white felt bow to the gray cord. This was a super simple and cute way to use up my leftover fabric and create something extra to go along with the quilt and bibs.