Friday, December 31, 2010

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da -- Happy New Year!

"In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home, With a couple of kids running in the yard, Of Desmond and Molly Jones ... Happy ever after in the market place ... Molly lets the children lend a hand ... Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face ... And in the evening she's a singer with the band ... Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah! ... Lala how the life goes on ... Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah! ... Lala how the life goes on."

I know I haven't blogged in a while but hopefully this video will recap the past few months! We have had such an amazing year and I am so thankful for all the gifts God has blessed us with in 2010! Here's to an amazing 2011! (I'll try to do better at updating in this next year!)

2010 from Martin Downey on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Take Good Care of My Baby (or Jude @ 12 weeks)

"Take good care of my baby, be just as kind as you can be!"
-- Take Good Care of My Baby, The Beatles

So, after 12 wonderful weeks home with my baby I went back to work on Monday. Boy! Was that hard! After finishing college and all that good stuff I didn't think I would ever want to be a stay at home Mom, but really I think I could do it. Too bad our budget would never allow that, so I'll just keep plugging away (thankfully I enjoy my job so it's not totally bad!)

I've got a great schedule that seems to be working out, I will get to spend Fridays with Jude so that's pretty amazing. I'm also able to leave for lunch and visit him at the babysitters (which is a GREAT friend of mine who is doing a wonderful job with him). This works out well because I, at least, get to nurse him once during the day so that keeps him and my supply happy. I know that I couldn't be more lucky with this arrangement and I realize that it's a blessing. But to do this I am pulling 10 hour days at work (with the lunch break) which makes me very tired. It also means that I have to be UP at 5 a.m., which I am not that much of a morning person! It also means that Jude has to get up early too, which means he sleeps more at night which is good, but also bad because I'm not getting to spend very much play time with him. I'm hoping that having the Fridays with him will make up for that though.

I am tired though! I hope that my body will get used to this new routine and I will be able to handle it as the weeks go on. But the good news is I have a few vacations coming up so those will be fun to anticipate and look forward to.

Development wise, Jude is doing really really well! He is growing stronger and stronger, he likes tummy time most of the time and is ALREADY trying to get up on his knees, way too soon if you ask me! He also enjoys staring at himself in the mirror, and playing with his Daddy. He busts the biggest smiles now and any day now I know he will be laughing (he's trying really hard!) He also squeals and coos when playing (which you might have seen on the video!) On the breastfeeding front things have been going very well. We have finally gotten all that under control and though I still count it as one of the hardest things I've ever had to figure out how to do, I'm glad that I did! We have a doctor's appointment next week and as always I'm nervous about his weight. But, I know it will be all right!

As for me I've been trying to get some of this pregnancy weight off (and pre-pregnancy weight!) and have been doing Weight Watchers. I love the WW plan because it has a special plan for nursing mothers. I've lost about 5 lbs, not too shabby but I need to get off much much more!

On the picture front there are some July photos here, but nothing too recent. I'll get on taking some more photos in the next few weeks and posting. Also our friend Rose is going to do family photos for us soon, so I'm REALLY looking forward to that!

My Little Sleeping Angel!

One of our first smiles (July 27, 2010)

In his fourth of July gear!

Jude LOVES his playgym!
He also loves playing "patty-cake" with Daddy

And looking at himself in mirrors! :)

Another playgym, I love to watch him stare down the rocket and then hit it!

My pretty blue-eyed boy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Little Child" (Jude on and his Play Gym)

"Little child, little child, little child won't you dance with me!" -- "Little Child," The Beatles

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lady Madonna (On Breastfeeding)

"Lady Madonna, baby at your breast, Wonders how you manage to feed the rest!" -- The Beatles

This is one of those posts that if you aren't into TMI, I'd stop reading now. It's all about breastfeeding and the ups and downs that come along with it. First all, I don't care what the La Leache league says, breastfeeding is hard (not that they don't acknowledge that, it's just you don't hear it enough). Now, there may be women out there who had it easy but for Jude and I it has been one thing after another. However, I REALLY wanted to breastfeed my kid so even though it's not easy I've been working really hard to make it happen. I don't even know where to begin. But I somehow wanted to blog about this because it's been such a huge deal for us to get through (and we aren't through it all yet!).

I realize that Jude and I had some upsets at the beginning, he lost weight, we had to do formula for a while, then he didn't gain enough still and then I had to do MORE formula and each time I was on the urge of just quitting. But, I was still making BM so I didn't want to stop because I felt like, "If I'm making it, he should be getting it." I've had long talks with my doctor, I've cried to my husband, and I spent $150 on a Lactation Consultant to reteach me how to breastfeed my kid. Can I say that it's worth it? I don't know yet.

People are SO passionate about breastfeeding. Last weekend I took Jude out with us to Macaroni Grill and went to change him in the bathroom. As I was wiping my kid's butt some random woman comes up to me and asks if I'm breastfeeding. This is when I was doing formula with Jude because we were still working on weight gain and so I said, "We are working on it." Then this random woman, without knowing jack about my situation informs me that "You should breastfeed, even if it hurts." Okay, problem #1 with this statement -- Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. If it hurts you are doing something wrong. Problem #2 with this statement -- Who the hell are you to tell me what to do with my child? Are you my pediatrician, are you his mother? If I want to give my kid formula then that's my decision, and really none of your business what I do. Even though I am pro breastfeeding I would NEVER inform a random stranger what they should do with their kid. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It was almost enough to make me NOT try breastfeeding again after I got the go-ahead from my doctor to do so.

Here's something else about breastfeeding. It's time consuming. Let me tell you, making a bottle is so much easier for several reasons. Reason #1 -- it takes two minutes to make a bottle, for me to breastfeed it's a big production, I have to get the boppy ready, I need to get the nipple shield (which helps me breastfeed Jude because my breasts are a bit "inefficient"), I have to get Jude positioned just right and then constantly keep him awake to get him to nurse for 30 minutes on each side. With a bottle he can have it down in about 15 minutes (3 ozs no less, with me it takes almost an hour to get 2 ozs in him!) Reason #2 -- You know how much your kid is eating. Because I am so paranoid about Jude's intake I worry about how much he eats when bf-ing. Currently I have rented a scale from my lactation consultant that I can weigh him before and after so that I can be sure he's had enough. But, I have to give that scale back tomorrow and I'm a bit nervous about it because I'm SO scared he will lose weight again. I don't trust my instincts as much when it comes to nursing, so the bottle calms my nerves a bit. Reason #3 -- Pumping is time consuming too. Not only do you have to nurse but afterwards it's good to pump for 10 minutes, or if I chose to give Jude a bottle of expressed milk, I have to pump to make up for the lack of nursing session and keep my supply up.

Now, I don't want to discourage anyone out there to not breastfeed. I'm still doing it even though it overwhelms me because I feel like it's the right thing to do for my kid. However, I don't think people are completely honest about the challenges of breastfeeding when you read about it in books and on the internet. Everyone makes it seem like everything will just come naturally and you and your kid will be totally satisfied. This IS not the case for everyone. I think it's good for people to know that breastfeeding can come with all kinds of problems. Problems they don't tell you about in the books, problems they don't talk about on the internet unless you REALLY search for it. However, I have found one place of support, This site has been amazing on resources for breastfeeding and all the problems that can come along.

I know this is a decision that is deeply personal with each mother and breast or bottle, every kid is going to grow up just fine! I think sometimes we forget that when reading all this stuff and talking to others. I'm not going to judge anyone for not breastfeeding their kid. And, I'm going to be jealous of those mothers that breastfeeding came easy to, trust me it doesn't work like that for everyone! I wanted to breastfeed, and with A LOT of work, I have been able to do so. But, did I give my kid 2 ozs of formula last night because he was fussy and I was stressed and scared? YES! Am I ashamed of that decision? NO! If anything, with this blog post I just want people to feel supported if they are struggling with breastfeeding and to let them know that you are not alone! I have felt so alone in this process because there were very few people who understood what I was going through. Thankfully I have a core group of friends that I was able to share these feelings with and knew it was a "no judgment zone!" I needed that and I thank them for reading my weepy e-mails and listening to me cry over the phone! My husband has been super supportive, even though I think he feels going to formula would be easier, he understands this is important to me so he has worked really hard to support me.

So, there's my rant about breastfeeding. I'm going for it! It's not easy, and I'm not even sure at this point if I can tell you if it's worth it or not. But, it's what feels right for us right now ... who knows what tomorrow will bring! :)

Now some photos from the past few weeks!

Bath time!

"I'm thinking ..."
Jude's first visit to Home Depot

Landon (Annie A's little one, and Jude)

Chillin' on the Boppy.

My boys hanging out for tummy time.

More tummy time!

Of course! :)

I love hugs!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Watching Rainbows

So, it's been about a year since I changed the domain name of this blog and it's time to change it again! The blog is going to go more about parenting and Jude and all that fun stuff so I wanted to do something a little more in that direction. So, the blog has a new name and domain ( If you are using google reader you shouldn't have to update your reader if you had the blog subscribed as If you read from Facebook you shouldn't have to do anything.

One of the things I would like to do is use a Beatles song for each post. Most of you know we are huge Beatles fans, and I plan to at least if it involves Jude, to have a Beatles song as the name of the post -- including this one. Here is a rare recording of the Beatles song "Watching Rainbows."

Hope you enjoy the new blog! : ) 

A Day in a Life -- Photo Shoot

Before Mom went home we had her help us do a quick photo shoot with Jude. Overall we took 125 photos, these are the ones I liked the best.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's been a Hard Day's Night

So, where to begin for the past week? It's been craziness to be sure. Jude is such a good little baby he hardly ever cries and I am so blessed to have such a mild-mannered kid. But, the last few days have been a bit trying for us anyway. You see Jude got a bad case of jaundice and we didn't realize it until Tuesday because of the holiday on Monday. I know that a lot of babies get jaundice but it hit me really hard because his main problem was that he wasn't getting enough calories from my breastmilk so he was really concentrated with bilirubin (a natural chemical that is broken down by the liver, but babies livers aren't strong enough yet and so they can get jaundice if too much is in their bodies). We had a whirlwind of a few days of feeding him breastmilk every two hours and when that didn't work because he was still losing weight we moved to formula every two hours. Most of the time doctors make you put the baby in the hospital or have you place the baby in sunlight, but Jude's problem was more with eating, he HAD to gain weight! He was really weak and of course I felt horrible because I didn't figure out that breastfeeding him wasn't giving him enough fat and calories to make him gain weight. As of Thursday he had gained back some weight (but still not to his birth weight, he's close though) and last night we were told we can give him formula and then breastmilk that I had been pumping the last few days. The whole experience was heartbreaking and we got very little sleep. I had a little breakdown on Wednesday night (probably from lack of sleep and the stress of it all) and basically Mom and Martin forced me to go to sleep. I literally had to cry myself to sleep because I was so worried. However, he's doing amazingly better and will be going back to the doctor on Monday. I hate that I have to wait a day and a half to get his next test results, I wish doctor's offices were open on the weekend!

I can tell Jude is feeling much better though because we can get him to eat more now without having to force it down his throat! I'm doing much better because I see that my boy is growing healthy and strong again! Mom goes home to Arkansas today and I can't even say how blessed we have had to have her help! I don't think I could have gotten through the last few days without her here pushing me and helping me! I've got some really big shoes to fill when it comes to being a Mama.
In other news yesterday (June 4, 2010) marked the dating anniversary of Martin and I! We have been a couple for 9 years now! It's amazing to see how the time flies! When we started out we would have never thought that 9 years later we would have a sweet little baby boy, but I tell you what, I couldn't imagine my life any other way! It's been an amazing 9 years with the love of my life, and I can't wait for 70 or so more years! :)
So that's it for now. Martin and I have been trying to get a photo a day of Jude but we missed one the day that he was the sickest because it was not (obviously) our top priority. We have already gotten back into the habit so I have photos to show off!

I wanted to start early on story-time. Jude loved hearing his Daddy's voice read to him!

Jude is really going to miss his Memaw when she goes home!

Jude's first visit to Pure Magic, the best ice cream on Earth! I can't wait until he gets to try some himself!

Sawyer is still getting to know Jude.

Wooooo Piiiiiiiggggg Sooooooooie!

This outfit came from Jude's Grammy (Martin's Mom). It was the first outfit bought for him!

I'm neurotic and try to theme Jude all day, so if he starts in outerspace wear, he ends in it. Here's his rocket ship pajamas!

Today's theme? Dinosaurs. : ) Martin and Jude love to snuggle together, it's too sweet!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hey Jude!

Jude is finally here! I have SO much to say and so many pictures to share! But, I'll try to not ramble on too much and just give you the facts about my little perfect little boy!

To the Hospital:
Here we are, our little family before Jude, on Wednesday morning May 26. I was nervous going in but I knew that by the end of the day our little boy would be here and so it calmed my nerves a little bit. We ended up getting to the hospital a little late because I was moving so slow, but thankfully they still let us in! : )

Hospital Time:
So, here I am after we got all checked in. They would only allow Martin back in the room with me so he took this shot, my last pregnant belly shot with Jude. Having a scheduled c-section still doesn't prepare you for how scary it all is. At least when you go into "labor" there isn't time to really think about the "What ifs" but sitting there I was nervous and scared and afraid of everything that could go wrong in a c-section. They did come in to do a ultrasound and he was still breech, so everything was a go. My doctor was running late too, so they pushed the c-section back to 12:30, even more time to worry. However, at 12 they brought Martin his scrubs and we got ready to go back to the room.

The Birth:

They don't allow anyone in the OR during the spinal block so it was just me and my nurse (side note: our two nurses were Joan (my mom's name) and Kay (Martin's mom's name), weird right?) and the anesthesiologist (Dr. Stoner, no lie) and the assistant (Kim). Kim actually administered the block and I was super nervous. I tried not to cry from the nerves but I couldn't help it, however it was more nerves than pain because honestly the thing didn't hurt at all. Very similar to the feeling you get from a tattoo. The first prick hurts then it just goes numb. After the block they began to get me ready for the surgery. I couldn't feel anything, so that was really good. I was scared the block wouldn't work and they would have to put me to sleep. So, even though I had wanted a natural birth and wanted to feel everything, in this instance I was relieved! Once they had be all draped and ready to go my doctor came in. I was a bit annoyed that country music was playing on radio, though on the radio at first was Garth Brook's "Unanswered Prayers" so that was kind of sweet. Dr. M got started right away and they went to get Martin. I told Kim to make sure Martin didn't see anything when he came in so when he came in the door she was great, she looked at him and said "EYES ON ME." Martin made it up by me and didn't see anything that could have made my poor husband pass out! I vaguely remember that the song on the radio right BEFORE Jude was born was some Toby Keith song and I remember thinking ... "God, please don't let the first thing my son hears when he comes into the world be Toby Keith!" Thankfully, that song went off right before we heard Jude's cry and that was such music to my ears that I didn't even pay attention to what was on next!

They took Jude over to be cleaned up and Martin followed. This part I didn't like very much because it seemed like forever before I could touch him! I really wanted to at least touch him before they did all the testing and stuff, but it just didn't happen and I'm okay with that because I knew he was healthy. They weighed him and did his measurements (7 lbs, 19 inches) and I swear I heard his APGAR Score at 9.9. After that they let Martin bring Jude over to me and I was able to kiss him and touch his cheek. He was so perfect, though the thing I kept noticing while they cleaned him us was "Man, he has really big feet!" The good news for the grandparents was that the OR had a viewing room that they could only see the baby and my face, so Mom and Martin's parents got to see Jude about the same time I did!

After letting me touch the baby and we took a few pictures (thanks to Kim again) the nursery nurse had Martin carry Jude back to the recovery room to wait on me. Dr. M said a few things to me saying it went good and then the nurses worked on getting me ready to head to recovery. Martin said that while he was waiting the nurse just left him and Jude alone for 15 minutes and they just snuggled, he said Jude didn't cry once.

Once I got back to recovery I was finally able to hold Jude. I waited like 3 minutes then I asked if I could try breastfeeding. Joan the nurse said, "Don't be such an overacheiver," apparently she doesn't know me very well. :)

We were in recovery with Jude for about an hour and a half then they moved us to our room. It was still another hour before they allowed the grandparents to come back but during that time it was all Martin, Jude and me. I was amazed at how hands off the nursing staff actually was, but more on that in a minute. Finally the grandparents got to come back and meet Jude for the first time.

I can't tell you how amazing it was to finally get to hold my little boy, it made all the waiting so worth it!

First Night/Day 1:
The first night was pretty tough, I'm not going to lie. Even though we had already tried breastfeeding, Jude was having a hard time with it because he had so much mucus left in his system from the c-section. We had a great lactation consultant that kept checking on us and a great nurse who literally burped my kid for 30 minutes trying to get all that stuff out of him. The nursing staff was pretty hands off when it came to checking on us though once we finally got Jude eating. So from the hours of 2-6 a.m. was really overwhelming because Martin and I were so tired! However, by the time the sun came up I was already feeling better about the night and Jude was sleeping like a log! I think for me, it was just hard because I couldn't get up and help Martin. I'm comfortable with babies and have helped take care of newborns before, but this was Martin's first time! I have to say, my husband is simply amazing! He did an outstanding job and he was rewarded by getting to go home and sleep a few hours and my Mom stayed for Day 2/Night at the hospital.

Day 2/Second Night:Either Jude was in a great mood and feeling so much better or my mom is the baby whisperer (I'm leaning toward the second) because night two was so freakin' easy. Jude only woke up to eat or be changed and mom snuggled him while I let the pain killers do their job and got some much needed sleep. By the time Martin got to the hospital the next day I was up and had talked my doctor into letting me go home! Jude had his circumcision too and was looking really good.

Going Home:

Well, we got Jude in his carseat, the one that I had just had inspected and knew that he was perfectly safe in as we drove away and was feeling good. Martin asked me if I wanted to take Osceola Parkway or 192. At first I said 192 because there is this wicked bumpy bridge on Osceola Parkway and I thought it might hurt but then I thought ... "Ugh, tourist on 192, I don't want some stupid tourist to run into us looking for Disney World," so we went Osceola Parkway. Jude was asleep and was doing very good in the car and we were just about home when some jerk decides to rear-end us at a yield sign, literally 10 minutes from the house! Of course I jump out of the car like a maniac, ready to KILL this man who wasn't watching where he was going! Mom was sitting in the backseat with Jude and she said his carseat didn't even move! There was no damage to the cars, no one was hurt but I still wanted to call 911 and an ambulance. Everyone talked me out of it, though I STILL would like the guy to have gotten a ticket for bumping us. Of course, I was freaking out beyond belief, I couldn't stop crying, I was so worried that Jude would have some internal injury that we wouldn't know about, but really Martin assured me that we went over speedbumps in the car harder than they guy bumped us. Mom was more worried about me because I had just jumped out of a car when I could hardly move! That's what adrenaline will do for you I guess! The upside to the whole thing was that it apparently got my "mama" hormones going because as soon as we got home and Jude nursed I realized that my milk had fully come in! So, I guess God just wanted to speed things up for me so my little guy could get a good meal! : )
Once we got home we introduced Jude and Sawyer (the pup). To tell you the truth it was the cutest thing ever! Sawyer set up like Jude was some sort of treat and he has been a really good dog! I was worried about how he would react but he's actually pretty protective and he pretty much wants to be anywhere the baby is except at night ... at night my dog wants his beauty rest!

Day 3-4:

I've gone on and on here, but there was so much to tell (and still more I left out!) However, the last few days at home have been really good! Jude is a pretty easy baby to take care of and besides one night where he was really really gassy and once again my Mom saved the day and kept him calm. I don't know what I'm going to do when she goes home, she's been amazing! However, I don't feel too bad because I know this will be the only bonding time she's going to get with him until September so even though I feel a little guilty that she lets me sleep and she doesn't mind holding him I know that it's also really good for Jude because he will remember his Memaw when he goes home. Also Martin's parents were here and they got to spend some time with Jude too. They left on Saturday but will be back in three weeks with Jude's aunt to spend more time with him!

Today:Jude got dressed up in his Razorback gear and as for me, I feel really good. I haven't had to take too much pain killers and I'm so thankful for that. I am up and around and we even ventured out to Wal-mart (just my mom and I) and then today Jude Martin and I went to the Publix down the street to get stuff for a birthday breakfast and dinner for my mom (Today is a very special birthday for her, but I won't say her age ... but let me just say my mom is STILL very young!) I feel so amazingly blessed. Jude is an easy baby. He has a slight bit of jaundice in one eye so we have been sitting him by a window and letting him get some sunlight. We will take him for his newborn check-up tomorrow and look forward to enjoying the rest of the week of Martin being off work. Martin will begin working from home beginning next week and Mom goes home on Saturday. I'm looking forward to spending this time with my family, it's so special!
So, that's it. If you are still there after that incredibly LONG post I applaud you -- either it was really interesting or you just love me enough to read it all! Either way, stay tuned. I'll try to post pictures at least once a week of Jude, and update you on anything major that happens along the way! Here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure. : )