Sunday, August 25, 2013

All things Jude.

Jude has started saying a couple two-word combos. "Daddy go" and "thank you." It is our favorite! He kicks a ball, he wrestles, he throws and catches balls, he loves to hold both our hands and we'll fly him up or down the stairs, he does much better riding in the car now. He's been waking up around 6:15 every morning and its been a battle trying to figure out what he wants to eat. He goes to bed really well with Dan or I and has weaned AMAZINGLY and shows no desire to nurse. He's also been taking 2-3 hour naps every day!!! He says bye to everyone and everything at the right time and waves. He is still great at giving kisses and hugs and will squeeze us so tight. He always points at Dan and says "daddy" at random times. He recognizes the car beep when Dan locks it and gets soo excited and just starts screaming "Daddy!!! Daddy!!! Daddy!!!" Whenever he sees us, whether we've been apart for an hour or one minute, he proclaims the most whole-hearted, high-pitched and enthusiastic "HIiiiii!" That I know he got from me because thats how I always greet him! He likes to "go!!" anywhere and is my best little companion. We discovered some plantain chips at Marshalls that he can have and he loves them! I can tell he's feeling feeling more settled here and will play on his own and just lets me rest.

Right now he is bouncing and rocking to "The Calculation" by Regina Spektor and just melting my heart as usual. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Took a bath. Clean diaper. Dinner. Ice Cream. Brush teeth. Nursery Rhymes. Prayers.

Now time to cuddle with Mommy for our nightly routine. He lays on my arm and nurses. We look at each other and just know the love between us is so incredibly perfect. He knows I am always there. I am always there.

He gets a little restless… left side, then right, then left, then right. Tired. Eyes closing. My eyes close. A few minutes pass. We walk into the bathroom where his crib is and I rock him in my arms as he continues to nurse. His right arm starts to relax, then his whole body.

Ten minutes later. Ready for sleep. Gently lay him down in his crib. Cover him with his special crotched white blankie Grammy made. Quietly walk out. Close door behind me.

And that's it. It’s over. My eyes feel tingly and my heart feels thick. My head is hurting and a distraught look has made its way permanently onto my forlorn face from worry.

It was our last time nursing. We were trying to wean for months. We knew we had to if we ever wanted to get his Eosinophilic Esophagitis controlled. It had been such a painful emotional road for me to accept this fact. Nursing was our thing. I couldn’t imagine life without it nor did I want to. I thought I would nurse him until he was three if he wanted to. But I knew he had to stop. I wanted it to be natural. I wanted he and I to both feel ready. I had felt so far from that. Why did it have to come at such a hard time? We were moving and living in and out of hotels and friend’s houses and everything was unfamiliar, and we’re supposed to wean him too? It seemed more than I could even bear to think about.

A little miracle came our way and we were able to spend a week with an old friend from high school and her family. She happened to have a son Jude’s age and seeing him was heaven-sent, I know. He is very independent, not nursing, and the thought came to me that nursing may be holding Jude back in a way. He was growing up and I had to let him. I had planned on getting settled into our new apartment (which was taking weeks longer than we thought it would) to lessen the shock of it all. The thought occurred to me one day while at Kara’s that maybe I should wean him before we move into our new apartment. He wouldn’t associate nursing with the new apartment at all. He would just realize it was something of the past and we don’t do that here. He would be back with his own crib and his Poppy Bear and all his old things and those comforts would help distract him from the loss of nursing. This thought seemed far too cruel so I pushed it to the back of my mind.

Days later, our move-in date was approaching. I had Dan put him to bed to see how he would do. I left the apartment distraught and worried, as my usual lately. I tried to think of someone I could call who may be able to give me some advice. My dear friend, Kelsey, came to mind. I called her and we had a talk, that again was undoubtedly heaven-sent. We concluded that my earlier idea may just be best. He had been showing me different signs that he was “ready.” I could not deny the signs. I knew Heavenly Father was helping me be able to let go and helping Jude tell me in his own way, “Mom, I’m ready. I’ll be fine.” Mid-conversation I received a text from Dan saying he went to bed easily, did not cry, and was perfectly happy. I knew what we had to do. Two days until we moved, one more day to nurse.

I had Dan put him down for his nap the next day to see how he’d do. Again, he did great. He was very content and did not cry or seem to long for me. I knew I wanted to nurse him one more time and then we would be ready.

… …

Fast forward to today. It was his first time going to sleep with me, without nursing. I was so nervous. Every time I have tried to do this in the past he quickly becomes livid wanting to nurse. Not this time. We read a story. He laid on me. I rocked him. He went to sleep. Not once did he show a desire to or try to nurse. A miracle. Truly a miracle in my own life. I can not count the number of desperate prayers I have plead for this to go naturally and not be hard on Jude. They were answered. I am so incredibly grateful. I know he will be fine. I know we will still be just as close and cuddle just as much. I know he was ready to move on and finally, I was too.

Last night after many tears and a headache and a face sore from crying, I had a Klondike bar. The deal was sealed. I could never nurse him again because I had eaten what he couldn’t have. It was bitter sweet, but mostly bitter.

Nursing didn't come easy to us. Starting out with jaundice, he couldn't nurse at all for over a month. We pumped and bottle fed and tried and tried and he finally starting nursing again. We worked at it and worked at it. We had to use the shield and the breast friend and every other assistive device that exists. We tried everything and anything and goodness, it wasn't easy... but it was worth it! It soon became our favorite thing to do. Whether bedtime, naptime, middle of the night, wake up time, break time, hungry, bored, hurt, whatever. It was always there and we always loved it. We have nursed in every place you can imagine; I should have kept track. He has always loved nursing, with a passion beyond all reckoning. It has brought me so much pride and contentment and satisfaction to be able to nurse him and provide him with nutrition, especially when he began to have difficulty growing. I love my baby and I am so grateful I have been able to nurse him for a year and eight months. I will always look back on the thousands of tender moments I have had nursing my sweet child with the most wonderful and fond memories.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another update on the little guy [good news!!]

One conversation with a friend. 

We have so much power to bless others lives and I was the recipient of those blessings One day a couple weeks ago. We get a feeling here or there to call an old friend and my dear, sweet friend from nursing school listened. I missed a call from her while I was in the doctors office getting our great news about Jude's change of plans. I listened when the doctor had to leave for a minute and was wiping tears off my cheek. It was the most heartfelt, sincere expressions of love that I soo needed!

After a little phone tag, we finally got ahold of each other. "It is usually throu others that your prayers are answered." We'll she was my angel this week. She does not know even in the slightest way how her words blessed me and strengthened me at a time when I was so down and needed it most. 

It is hard living so far away from friends and family and I am so grateful for the Internet and technology for that reason. Through my blog and Instagram and email and the phone, I have been blessed to receive so much support and strengthening words when I have been discouraged.

So thank you, sweet friend and friends. I love you!

So here's the update on Jude:

We don't have to do the elemental (formula only) diet right now. We may have to later. Our goal now is to get his EoE under control and we may be able to reach that goal without taking such drastic measures. Rowe have a list of his allergies so we are going to go 6-8 weeks strictly on that diet, then do another EGD and see if that works. If not, we'll either take out more foods or do the elemental diet. We can't technically start the 6-8 week trial until he's totally weaned so we know 100% sure what he's getting. That's the hard part. Weaning a 20 month old who loves nursing more than life itself is not easy. Weaning him while moving and staying in different hotels and friends houses and sleeping n the same room as him is even harder. Goodness, people do this all the time?!?

Any tips on weaning, anyone?! I've read "tips" and things but we are just still s t r u g g l i n g ! Nursing is pretty much the only way he's been put to sleep so he's really dependent on it. I know it will be easier once we move into our own place, but will it? Then it will just be he and I!

His current allergies are 

I DESPISE corn. either corn starch or corn syrup has infiltrated its way into everything. Corn is a dirty rotten scoundrel. He's been eating a lot of beans, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Grains are tough. Eating in general is tough, especially when you are moving all over and staying with friends and all our stuff is in storage. But enough of my complaining! We are in San Antonio, found a place to live, and already found great friends. I will update on that soon! Thank you for reading and caring!!! I love you all! :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Go Go Go San Antonio

I don't think I can neglect this little blog any more! I have so much to blog about but I need to just keep on blogging so I don't get even more behind. 

A lot going on around here! We have officially moved and are in San Antonio. Moving was so hard. I am going to miss so many people. My year in Boiling Springs will always stay so close to my heart. We made it through a lot of hard times during that year. We grew so much. We made friends that were truly heaven sent. We lived in a beautiful little home that was perfect for us; we enjoyed everything from the kitchen sink to yard work to our perfect neighbors who we quickly realized we're our soul mates!


Our goodbye to them was the hardest for me. Pictures to come once I can get them uploaded! They deserve a post all their own! We spent the next couple nights with our sweet friends the Hansens and had so much fun just relaxing. Oh, those kids together are just to die for!

Dan drove the car out and slept at rest stops and took breaks on beaches alpng the way. Jude and I barely made it through a day of travelling to Charlotte then to Houston then to San Antonio. a busy, tired toddler plus a mama with two heavy bags and no stroller or other form of child restraint was hard. adding nearly impossible to work with allergies in the mix made lunch time/trying to eat/not get peanut crumbs on us haitis. We survived an almoat three hour layover during nap time and after a long tantrum he finally fell asleep on the twenty-five minute flight and woke up even more angry. Dan was there to greet us and I immediately burst into tears of exhaustion. We stayed at the cheapest Extended Stay America the first two nights we were here ($33/night!, moldy tub included free of charge) and tonight we are splurging and using our credit card points to stay at a Quality Inn and Suites. livin large. :) The apartment search has been completely exhausting, overwhelming, and disappointing overall. We are trying to find that perfect place in a relatively good location that's reasonably priced and not a total dump. We have a list for tomorrow and we really have high hopes we will find something, sign a lease, and have a place to call home tomorrow night.

Today we really learned that Heavenly Father is the master planner of our lives. We chose a ward to attend today that we may be in depending on what apartments we end up in. We headed up to see the bishop after sacrament meeting to ask him if he could refer us to anyone who could give us some guidance on apartments/areas. I heard someone call my name on the way up the aisle, dismissed it as I thought there is no way they're calling this Rachael... Heard it again, looked over and saw one of my cute friends from high school... Kara (Robison) Martin! We hadn't seen each other since high school but seeing a new friend was just like, ahh, so nice. We caught up and she introduced us to a few other couples in Optometry School and before we knew it we were surrounded by friendly faces and warm smiles, extending any help they can give and just being so nice! Not to mention, Kara has an adorable little boy who is two days older than Jude! They had us over for dinner and it was like spending the evening with a group of good friends, not people who we had mostly just met! We couldn't feel more grateful to truly have a family anywhere we go, thanks to this amazing church we belong to. Its an indescribable feeling to have an instant connection and bond with people you just met because you know you share the same core values and life goals.

We are blessed! We are enjoying the king size bed here at the Quality Inn and Suites but will be more than happy to trade it in for an aero bed in a room of our very own, hopefully tomorrow night! :)