6 Months of Motherhood

Six tiresome, strenuous, hectic, unshowered, vomit covered months.
Six happy, cuddly, exciting, wonderful, extraordinary months.
Motherhood so far, for me, has been the most beautiful roller coaster.
I remember our first days home like they were yesterday. My husband took a week off work to spend with our newborn son. We spent our days watching him sleep, laughing at the huge meconium poos he had, inspecting his little hands and toes. He was magnificent. His little eyes, so sweet and innocent just staring back at us. At night we couldn’t sleep because of all the “what ifs” racing through our heads, so we purchased a co-sleeper so we could swaddle and place him between us in our bed. Between two failed hearing tests (which he finally passed on the third), painful breasts from both of us learning the bond of breastfeeding, to us as a family adjusting to our new norm; we thought we finally had this parenting thing down.
By 7 weeks our son was thriving and exceeding growth standards, but our new issue came about which was blood in his stool. Per his pediatricians recommendation, I went dairy/soy free for 3 weeks with no improvement. I took my son back to the pediatrician to see a new Doctor who then pushed formula as our next step, I gladly declined as I knew that wasn’t my only option and I wasn’t going to give up. I then decided on my own to eliminate more foods- those of the top 8 allergens. Once again, no improvement. I started what they call in the breastfeeding world a “TED” or “total elimination diet” consisting of only organic free range ground turkey, some $15 bottle of olive oil, sweet potatoes, zucchini, rice and pears. At this point I was losing a lot of weight and fast. My son wasn’t improving and I seemed to be accomplishing nothing.
Over the next 5 weeks or so I did non stop research. I would wake in my sleep just to Google any thoughts that came into my head. I came across something called a foremilk/hind milk imbalance or “lactose overload” which is when the mother has an oversupply of breast milk. Babies have very small immature guts that are very sensitive to lactose. A typical woman produces about 0.5oz of the watery, sugary, lactosey type milk that quenches the babies thirst which is called foremilk. The remaining intake is the fattier, calorie dense hindmilk.
I decided to do a little experiment. I pumped for two sessions on the same breast. I started until I got 2 oz, and then continued again in a separate container for another 2 oz and let the two containers sit in the fridge overnight. The first two ounces had close to ZERO fat in it and the second two ounces had a very tiny amount. That in itself showed that my son was getting ATLEAST 3 oz of foremilk (or so since you can’t measure a breast full.)
We met with a Lactation Consultant the next day and after giving her all of the information of our trials and errors over the past weeks, she determined the lactose overload was our culprit and gave us ways to work with it and improve my sons intestinal issues.
**Side note: If you are having similar issues and want to continue breastfeeding I HIGHLY recommend seeing an IBCLC as most pediatricians are not knowledgeable in that field.**
His third, fourth, fifth month were pretty average. Our friends took our families to the zoo, he took his first flight back to my hometown of Las Vegas, he met his Uncles and Aunts, saw all of his Grandparents, had tons of play dates with his best friend and went on MANY trips to Target with Mama. We battled teething, growth spurts and some sleep regressions that surprisingly weren’t THAT bad in the grand scheme of things.
Here we are now, his half birthday just two days ago. We now live in Utah (which is a post for another day). He just sprouted his first tooth and has another cutting through. He crawls, sits up and entertains himself. He reaches his arms up when he wants to be picked up, nurses in weird/ upside down positions and loves to cuddle. His eyes light up when he sees his Dad and they love doing silly things together.
Long story short, we made it through the first six months of parenthood.
Life itself has many highs and lows. Motherhood is no different- you just may experience those things more often or in just the blink of an eye. Every day is a new adventure and not all are good or shareable memories, but the good will always triumph the bad. I promise you that no matter what you are going through you will always take a step back and end your days with love, happiness and lots of PATIENCE.

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