Going Dairy Free

>> Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I have always heard that no two children are the same. My two special snowflakes do seem to have some key similarities, though. For example, they were almost born at exactly the same gestational age. They both look more like my husband than they look like me. And it seems that they both suffer from the dreaded reflux as infants.

I took Eloise to the doctor yesterday because we're seen the kicking of the legs, the arching of the back, the spitting up, and the screaming. We tried to wait it out. A good number of babies spit. A good number of babies are fussy. But then the choking started. We cannot put her down even half an hour after eating. We've seen it all before.

Last night was particularly rough with the reflux. Though our pediatrician wanted us to start with probiotics (which we'll do as well), we are also picking up a prescription for the same medication that helped Ada. I was conflicted about using medicine on such a small babe all those years ago. But once she was on it, it was like night and day. Seriously.


The other thing I'm considering is going dairy free. I've read way too much to remember where I saw (maybe Kelly Mom?) that dairy is the only proven food that often gives breastfed babies reflux. I didn't cut anything out with Ada, but I figure it might be worth a try with Eloise. And as I type that, visions of delicious burrata and gelato are dancing in my head.

Have you gone dairy free for a similar reason?

Did it work?

I was vegan for several years during college. I keep thinking "no sweat!" but then I consider that a large portion of my diet is made up of dairy products these days. Large part. Ugh.

Some of my favorite foods include:
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Block cheeses
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Etc.
At the same time, I haven't consumed a glass of good 'ole cow's milk in years. I don't normally do butter (though I baked a cake the other day using real buttercream frosting). I mean, yeah. There are also tons of great substitutes these days. Heck -- Ben + Jerry's makes an incredible non-dairy dessert.

So, yeah. I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for going dairy free. I know it might take 2-3 weeks to see any difference, at which point I may wait a week and slowly try to introduce foods again to see if it is an effort worth continuing. We might even try chiropractic adjustment because I have friends who swear by that. Anything to ease the pain (for her . . . and us, quite honestly!).

Update on the beach post, by the way. That basement apartment I was so excited about? I found the same listing on AirBnb and in the fine print it said "no infants under age 2" -- grrr! But I totally get it. I wouldn't want to stay with a screaming baby on vacation either. I am still trying to investigate a few spots, but it's hard not being able to stay for an entire week to find something solid and affordable. Looks like we'll be taking a PA vacation instead.

Thanks for all your words of wisdom!


7 Week Old at the Beach?

>> Tuesday, July 12, 2016

To go or not to go . . . that is the question.

Truth: We don't have scads of money just waiting around to use on a vacation. But we're tired, people. Tired of the same old scenery. I'm particularly tired since I've woken up in our house and spent the bulk of my days/nights here basically every day since last August (yay for coaching taking up all weekends!). I mean, I am thankful, too. Thankful to have a nice place to live and food to eat and all that jazz.

I just crave that feeling of "Ahhhhhh -- vacation!" and I'm looking for it anywhere I can get it before the next year of sports madness begins. (Yes. This is a first-world problem.)

I started scoping out nearby lake spots for a quickie weekend vacation. Most are booked up at this point and require more than just a couple days stay to reserve. Then we thought we'd go to my parents' place for a "vacation" of sorts in my hometown while they're away in Maine. That idea is still on the table. But then yesterday my fingers wandered over to VRBO and I was looking up rentals in Cape May -- aka our favorite place on Earth. All I could find was a lonely basement apartment. It's actually remotely affordable and looks clean enough (recently renovated) to get the job done. And it would allow us to stay only 5 nights, which is all we have since Stephen has a summer class he's taking.



Stephen is less than enthused about the idea of vacationing with a (at that point) 7-almost-8-week old. Do you guys think it's crazy? I'm not so sure. We're having to wean Ada off her naps before school starts in September. So -- in a way -- this trip would be unencumbered. We'd be free to explore around whenever it made sense without having to stop back for the mid-day rest. And did I mention I want to do this trip, in part, especially for her? She's had such a rough time since the baby came home and the ocean is her favorite thing ever. I'd be like a special thing to do before she's off to kindergarten all day.

Yeah, our expectations would need to be adjusted. Yeah, we'd have to change the hours we'd spend on the beach. Yeah, there will be blood, er, I mean crying. At night. In the day. In the hours in between. But it'd be the same old stuff we're dealing with now . . . with the ocean as the backdrop. With the breeze wafting by and sand getting into any and all crevasses. With the sweet, er, pungent smell of sea soaking into our t-shirts. All the goodness that could carry us through till next summer rolls around.

Who here has taken a vacation with a 2-month-old (or thereabouts) baby? We have absolutely no experience. We did take a 7-month-old baby for three nights to a hippie music festival. Camping, no less. So, I mean -- it's GOT to be easier than that? Or what if it rains and we're stuck in a basement apartment the whole time? My inner pessimist is coming out. Gah...

Please tell me the good, bad, ugly. (And anything we might not be considering.)

Please make this decision for me!

Should we just dive in?


Body After Baby // Week 3

>> Thursday, July 7, 2016

You guys said you wanted to hear more about the postpartum period, both with adjusting to life with two kids and with regard to recovery. So, today I'm going to write about my recovery so far (Eloise is 3 weeks old as of yesterday), as well as some of the differences from the first time around.

You always hear that all pregnancies are different. And I've learned that this statement totally applies to recoveries as well. When I had Ada, I felt so much pain after birth. My tailbone hurt. My tear stung. I had issues with urine leakage. I generally felt blah and spent a great deal of time on the couch. I did start running (too) soon after giving birth (within a couple weeks), and I know I shouldn't have because I was still bleeding (which increased and turned bright red with activity), having a lot of pelvic pain and, yeah, leaking. Still, the exercise gave me something normal to grasp onto, so I kept it up.

This time around, I don't feel like I just have a baby. I feel, well, surprisingly normal despite carrying a little extra weight. I am thanking my lucky stars for it, too. I think two pushes versus two plus hours of pushing may be to credit for some of it. I did have tearing just as significant as I did with Ada, but it didn't/doesn't hurt and is healing well. I also stopped bleeding during week two. Instead of wanting to spend days on the couch, I've been itching to get out and about thanks to the summer weather. Movement feels good and even therapeutic.

As far as stats go, I gained a total of 24 pounds in my pregnancy, topping off at 162. Here are a couple photos from two weeks postpartum.

I lost 16 in the week or so after giving birth. I have only lost another one since. I am at 145 pounds right now. My goal is to eventually get back to 135 pounds, which is where I seem to stick after kids. Before kids I was more like 125, but I find this weight takes a ton of diet and exercise, more than I'm willing to do at this stage of life. I know it could take a while to get back to a goal weight, especially since nursing isn't some magic weight loss cure for me. I held on to 8 pounds while nursing Ada for 17 months.

I don't have any diet plans right now. I am loosely tracking what I eat, mostly to keep a log of how much protein I'm getting in each day. (I'm trying to consume at least 65 grams per day.) I struggle getting enough, so I write down what I ate and -- next to it -- I write the grams of protein. I am also trying to keep an eye on my sugar intake. I'm not limiting myself, but I have a sweet tooth that can go easily out of control. Eloise also tends to nurse right during my meals, which makes me want to grab a quick cookie instead of waiting to make a good lunch with eggs, greens, and whole grains.

I am also back exercising with no pain or incontinence issues. I know it's like TMI to keep writing that -- yes -- I leaked after Ada's birth. But it's just a reality of the postpartum period that few people talk about. This time around I haven't had any urine mishaps. My bleeding has stopped and hasn't increased with activity. And I don't have any pelvic pain. It's kind of incredible.

I know very well that my body is still healing, though, so here's a rundown of what I've been doing.

  • I am sticking to slow two to three mile jogs about every other day. After Ada, despite all the issues I was having, I pushed myself to go farther and farther and didn't rest between sessions. I also wanted to get back to my paces ASAP. This time around, I don't even take a watch, but I estimate I'm running 10 minute miles. I go slow and walk whenever I feel like I just don't want to push. I also make sure to do a little walking before/after the jogging to warm up and cool down.
  • I have done some Barre workouts. These feel amazing to stretch and strengthen my body. Again, I don't do anything that's over 30 minutes, and I don't do more than one type of workout per day. 
  • I am also thinking of starting a yoga challenge (on YouTube) and trying to get in at least 10 minutes of stretching and relaxation each day.
  • Other days, like today, I just do gentle walking. I have no races on the calendar or other reason to be in any kind of mode where I NEED to do exercise all the time.
  • If at any point, I do get pain or other signs I need to step back, I will. But my midwife said to go ahead and do what feels good as it feels good.

That's how recovery is going. At least at week three. I won't be updating every single week like I did the last time around. So, maybe look for another one of these posts around week 6. I would like to run a 5K in late August. Not for time, obviously, but it's a Women's Distance Festival that I try to participate in every year. I suppose that's my current fitness goal. I look forward to updating you on how it's going!

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