Augmentin: 1 Owen: 0

In case you weren’t aware, Owen had a pretty intense (at least in my book) allergic reaction at the beginning of this week. Nothing life threatening or anything, but it was definitely scary for me! I wanted to write a detailed account of it for two reasons: 1) I know many of you have been following my updates on Facebook and have been praying for him, and 2) by having a written account of the experience, accompanied by pictures, maybe it will help in the future in case this kind of thing happens again with Owen or any other possible future kids.

It all started two Saturdays ago (Jan. 23) when Owen began crying and screaming in a very pain-filled way. They say that parents will learn the different cries of their children and this is definitely true – Owen has a specific cry for being in pain. We decided to take him to his pediatrician’s After Hours doctor thinking it may be an ear infection. When the doctor looked his right ear, her first words were, “Ooh. That’s a bad one.” She wasn’t able to see in the left ear because of some wax build-up, but she said that if he has an ear infection in his left ear also, the antibiotic would fix that side too. She prescribed him with Amoxicillin, which he took for his first ear infection a few months ago. We left the doctor, picked up the medicine, and headed home.

The following Tuesday (Jan. 26), Owen was being fussy and he didn’t seem to be getting better. We were going to continue to wait it out until the screaming started once again. Greg went to Wesley worship and I took Owen to the After Hours to get it looked at again. When I got there, the doctor (a different one than the first time) was able to see in both ears and that the infections were still pretty bad. She then prescribed him Augmentin (another kind of antibiotic) that would hopefully help heal his ears quicker.

Fast forward to Saturday night (Jan. 30). My family was in town because Owen was going to be baptized the next day. That evening, when I was getting Owen ready for bed after his bath, I noticed his skin was a little broken out under his left arm. Greg and I figured it must have gotten rubbed or something at some point during the day and gotten irritated so we didn’t worry about it.

Over the past few weeks, Owen has been waking up in the middle of the night wanting to eat. So he woke up at 1:30am on Sunday morning (Jan. 31) and I fed him then put him back down for bed. He woke up again at 3:15am and when I got him out of his crib, I noticed his right ear looked funny. I thought maybe he had slept on it weird and it was just folded over but when I touched it, it was completely swollen. I turned on the light and noticed that his skin was broken out more than just under his arm at this point. I showed Greg and he said it was an allergic reaction. He stayed up with Owen to keep him occupied while I went to WalMart to get infant Benadryl. On the way, I called his pediatrician’s 24-hour nurse call center and talked to poor Wendy who was unlucky enough to be on duty. She was extremely kind and helpful, even though I can tell I woke her up. She gave me the correct dosage amount for his age, as well as told me to bring Owen in to the After Hours that day. I got the Benadryl and we gave him a dose before being put back down to sleep.

Here’s Owen on Sunday morning at 3:30am.

 

After I had woken back up and gotten ready for church, I went to feed Owen and get him ready and it seemed like the Benadryl had done nothing in terms of making the reaction die down. Owen’s ears were still as swollen as ever and at this point, the back of his neck was swollen as well. Owen, however, was acting completely normal and didn’t seem to be in any discomfort at all! He laughed and squealed just like normal! Because of his behavior and the fact that he didn’t seem to be having trouble breathing or swallowing, we continued with our plans for his baptism that morning at church and lunch with family afterwards, planning to take him to the doctor after lunch.

This is Owen Sunday morning around 8:30am before church.

Owen was a complete trooper during the baptism. Like I said, he never seemed to feel bad – just look kind of rough – but the Benadryl did make him quite tired and when he would fight the sleep, he got cranky.

Poor baby Owen and his swollen ears.

After lunch, Greg and I took him straight to the doctor. He was acting as happy as can be, loving to take pictures and squeal in the doctor’s office. He even grabbed the paper on the patient’s bench with his feet and brought it up to his face. Crazy boy. The doctor confirmed that it was an allergic reaction and instructed us to stop giving him the antibiotic for the ear infection. Greg is allergic to penicillin and because the Augmentin is a derivative of penicillin, the logical explanation is that that is what he is allergic to so she said they would put in his chart that he is allergic to penicillin. She said his ears didn’t look bad so once we figured out this allergy, we would figure out another antibiotic if he needed it. She told us to give him 3mL of Benadryl every 5 hours. She told us that we probably wouldn’t see much of a difference by the next day (Monday), but if we don’t see improvement by Tuesday, we should bring him back in.

At the doctor’s office around 2pm on Sunday.

I did what the doctor told us and even created a medicine tracking chart to keep track of when to give him the Benadryl, on top of the Motrin/Tylenol circuit I was giving him for the two front bottom teeth that conveniently decided to spring up during this time. When I woke up on Monday morning (Feb. 1) and went in to feed Owen, it was clear that the swelling in his ears and the back of his neck had gone down an incredible amount, BUT now the swelling seemed to move to his face and the rash had spread! His eyes (and face in general, really) were puffy. Even his belly was swollen – his belly button was nothing more than a slit. I called the nurse and explained our whole situation and that I understood that we can’t expect for him to be better after only a day but that it seems like there is new swelling and the rash had spread. The nurse called me back and set up an appointment for us to see Owen’s normal pediatrician (as opposed to the After Hours doctors) for that afternoon.

Owen’s swollen face on Monday around 10:20am.

By the time Owen and I got to the doctor, his rash had gotten even worse and his face was even puffier. Still, Owen remained in great spirits and playful. He’s such a trooper. Dr. Smith came in and looked him over and explained that it seems like Owen is in a second stage of an allergic reaction with the rash and swelling as bad as it is. He prescribed him with an oral steroid for him to take once a day for the next 5 days that would take the place of the Benadryl. He explained that sometimes it can take up to 10 days for the visible effects of an allergic reaction to go away completely and that sometimes as the rash is going away it can look like bruising. Great. So my kid is going to look like I beat him. At least he won’t look like a leopard, right?

Playing with our toys at the doctor on Monday at 2:30pm.

I gave Owen his first dosage of the steroid on Monday afternoon as soon as we got home from the doctor/CVS. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that we could tell a difference in the swelling and rash by that evening. By the next morning (Tuesday, Feb. 2), all swelling was completely gone and the rash was only faint bruising. The bruising was not nearly as dramatic as I had prepared for in my mind so that was good.

Silly boy on Tuesday morning around 8:20am.

All of this brings me to today: Wednesday (Feb. 3). He has now taken 3 of his 5 doses of steroids and will finish up on Friday. He looks COMPLETELY back to normal now. Absolutely no swelling and no rash or bruising. It’s amazing. Obviously he’ll still take his last two doses of the steroids, but it’s great to know how well they’re working!

This entire experience has been frightening as a first-time parent, even though we never hit the life-threatening part of an allergy! Owen never had trouble breathing or swallowing and never seemed to be in any discomfort or pain. I am SO very thankful for that. But it’s been so scary. We had very little sleep between Saturday and Sunday so our whole house slept in late on Monday. I would have let Owen sleep longer than I did, but I couldn’t help but worry about him not being able to breathe so I went ahead and got him up for the day.

I am so very thankful for everyone who has offered encouragement to us over the past several days and who has checked in to see how Owen is doing. Even more though, I am SO thankful beyond words for Primary Pediatrics. First off, Owen’s pediatrician, Dr. Smith, is fantastic. He is so knowledgable and calm and takes his time to answer my questions. Second, Primary Pediatrics has an After Hours program that’s open until 11pm, staffed with doctors and nurses. I think we may have seen the After Hours doctors almost as much as we have seen his actual pediatrician and we have never been let down or felt like we were getting second-hand doctors. Third, the 24-hour children’s call center is amazing. Poor Wendy answered my call at 3:30am with so much grace and love and handled this panicked Mama so well. I am so grateful for this staff of doctors and their care and support.

Here’s to a better next few days! Praise Jesus for doctors and steroids!

Owen’s Half-Birthday!

I know I say this every month, but I cannot believe baby boy is 6 months. That’s halfway to his first birthday! Holy moly. It’s insane. He’s growing up SO fast. I never fully understood the nostalgia that parents would talk about when their kids grow up, but now I do. I definitely do.

Owen’s 6-month check-up went great! He’s gaining weight (now 16 pounds – a pound and a half more than last month), making him a bit closer to the 50th percentile! His length has plateaued a bit, staying the same at 26.5 inches from last month. The doctor said that he could end up being around mine and Greg’s height, but maybe a little taller since I’m on taller than average for a female.

Spitting up has decreased significantly – ALMOST completely gone. Almost. He’s doing a great job overall with baby food. He definitely has his favorites (sweet potatoes, bananas, and mixed vegetables) and his not so favorites (peas and garden vegetables). He seems to be getting picky with certain foods – liking them one day and refusing them the next. That part can be frustrating, but I love watching him enjoy food! He loves to eat food off our plates!

We’ve recently started giving him a bath in the tub with a bath sponge rather than the baby bathtub over the kitchen sink and he LOVES it! My mom had started doing it before we did and he seemed to like sitting in the water so when he wanted to keep sitting up in the bathtub, I decided to try it myself since he can sit up pretty well!

When we put Owen on his stomach, he rolls over back on to his back, which makes learning to crawl rather difficult. Ha! He refuses to stay on his stomach and laughs when he rolls back over. Punk. :)

The week before Christmas, we went with my family to Six Flags to ride some rides and see the Christmas lights. Owen LOVED the lights! He did pretty well overall until he got SO tired that he got fussy, but bouncing and singing from CeCe (my mom) put him right to sleep!

This kid had all sorts of fun at Christmas! We spent Christmas Eve with Greg’s family, Christmas Day at home, and the day after Christmas with my family. This was very different from our typically travel-heavy holiday, but it was exactly what we needed! Owen got plenty spoiled by family on his first Christmas.

I got a jogging stroller for Christmas so we’ve gone on quite a few family runs! I push the stroller and Greg holds Lucy’s leash. It’s a personal goal of mine to run my first 5K in March. I’ve never been a runner so I’m trying to get there! I’ve always been athletic so my exercise has come from the sports I played – softball and volleyball – rather than something that is a lifestyle exercise like running. I got quite a bit of athletic/running gear for Christmas (including this new stroller and a fitbit) so hopefully this will go well! Owen loves going on family runs!

Family

Family time!

Here’s to month 6!

My New Perspective on Christmas

With Christmas coming up this week, it’s been very easy for me to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Buying presents, wrapping presents, figuring out family Christmas plans. We’re in the season of Advent, which means it’s the “waiting time” to prepare for the birth of Jesus. But I think too often we jump straight ahead to Christmas Day and the craziness of the holiday. We’re not good at waiting and the only preparation we do is what I mentioned earlier: buying gifts and getting our house ready for guests. Preparing for Jesus doesn’t really happen, does it? Maybe we read the Christmas story in Luke on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but does it go beyond that. Besides, what does it mean to prepare for Jesus’ birth anyways?

For me, this preparation has been a lot of reflection on the story of Jesus’ birth, particularly focusing on Mary in the story. This Christmas is unlike any other I have ever experienced because this time I’m a parent. I’m relating a lot to Mary, much more than I ever have before. So I want to spend some time focusing on Mary. Of course, Jesus is the main character in the Christmas story. But I think Mary deserves our attention as well.

1. Mary’s Pregnancy. I can’t imagine being a 13-year-old girl and being told that I was pregnant. Much less with the fact that I had nothing to do with it! She played no role in this and did not ask for it. She was engaged to be married, but the marriage had not yet begun. Can you imagine the whispering and the rumors that would have gone on and spread behind Mary’s back as an unwed pregnant teenager? For some of you, you may not have to imagine – this was your reality. And I’m sorry for the terrible people who have judged you. It hurts my heart. The same as it does for Mary. I’m sure in her mind, she was screaming at those people: “I didn’t do anything! I’m still a virgin!” That’s what I would have done.

2. Jesus’ Birth. Right before Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph were on their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem to participate in the census. Because Joseph’s hometown was Bethlehem, he needed to return to the city so he traveled, with his pregnant wife. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is 111 kilometers – almost 69 miles. I cannot even imagine having to make that trek while pregnant. Heck, forget the pregnancy – I can’t imagine making that trip not pregnant! No thank you.

Then when they arrive to Bethlehem, no one will make space for Joseph and Mary, even while Mary is in labor! Talk about terrible customer service. They are left with only one option – a stable, surrounded by livestock. I know many women who choose to have a natural childbirth (I am not one of those women – thank the Lord for drugs), like Mary. Many of these women also choose to have a home birth and possibly with the assistance of a doula or a midwife for support and guidance. Unfortunately, Mary didn’t have this option. She wasn’t in a familiar, comfortable environment. No bed. No pillow. Her support system – and her doctor, for that matter – was her fiance. Man. That would be tough.

Jesus was born a baby. A fragile baby who cannot fend for himself. He couldn’t hold his head up. He relied on his mother for nourishment. He needed his diaper changed. When Owen was born, I was terrified that I was going to break this delicate human and terrified that he relied on Greg and me for everything.  Jesus made himself vulnerable and showed his trust in Mary to take care of him.

3. Raising Jesus. I can’t imagine the amount of stress I would put myself through in raising the Son of God, the Messiah. Talk about pressure to do things “right”! Any time he fell and scraped his knee, I would think that I had failed God in protecting his Son, even though I know that’s just what kids do. Remember that time, Mary and Joseph left the city to go back home and didn’t realize they had left Jesus at the temple?! Oh my word. Talk about feeling like a failure – I mean, how do I forget a kid and not realize it until I’m already on my way?!

The fact is that I already put an immense amount of (unnecessary) pressure on myself with Owen. I worry that I don’t to him enough or that he’s exposed to too much technology and TV for a 5-month-old. Maybe it’s my fault that he’s so attached to me. Am I even doing anything right? I sometimes feel like I’m not enough of a grown-up to take care of a child and be his guidance and caretaker. Mary was roughly 13-years-old. I’m sure she had her doubts and concerns too. And she had the added pressure of knowing that this was the one who would deliver God’s people and the Savior they had been waiting for. Man. I couldn’t do it.

I also wonder if Mary knew exactly what was in store for her son. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary, Did You Know?” Take a few minutes to read through it.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby you kissed the face of God?

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great I Am.

I get chills every time I hear it. Mary’s baby boy – that vulnerable, fragile baby – had so much ahead of him. He would perform miracles, restore life, and bring about salvation.

“Did you know…when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?”
When I hold Owen, I wonder what kind of man he will become. What he will do, what (and who) he will love. I pray that I raise him to love Jesus and to love others. To fight for justice for everyone and to preach Jesus with his actions. But I have no idea. It brings me to tears nearly every time.

4. Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. This is hard to talk about. I know I’m getting ahead of myself with already mentioning his death and resurrection when liturgically, he hasn’t even been born yet. But in discussion of Mary, I think it needs to be brought up. Not mentioned in the song “Mary, Did You Know?” is whether Mary knew that Jesus would innocently die a criminal’s death on the cross. Essentially, Jesus was born so that he could die. For us. It wasn’t fair. I’ve looked back at the Scriptures and no where in the discussion between Mary and the angel Gabriel is it mentioned that Jesus would die. That she would see her 30-something-year-old son be murdered when she was only in her mid-40s. No parent wants to experience their child’s death. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. Parents should outlive their children. She didn’t sign up for this part, especially. Even the thought of experiencing the loss of Owen breaks my heart and brings me to tears. Heck, the thought of him being upset over not making a sports team or being turned down for a date brings me to tears. I never want my boy to experience pain – although I know it’s inevitable. I can’t imagine Mary’s pain, her anger, over what happened to her firstborn. She stayed at Jesus’ feet. So would I. I would sleep at the foot of the cross to never leave Owen’s side.

Final thoughts. I’m thankful for the salvation I receive through Christ and I try to live my life in service and worship to God. I hope that I can be an example of God’s love to Owen and anyone I come in contact with. But during this season, I am especially thankful for the sacrifice Mary endured as well. No part of her journey with Jesus would have been easy. But she surrendered herself as the Lord’s servant and I hope my life reflects the same.

New Month = New Obstacles + New Rejoices

Man. This kid is growing so fast! He’s already 5 months! I have learned that trial and error never stops. It seems as though we figure out a solution to some sort of “problem” and then either 1) the solution no longer works so we need a new one, or 2) there’s a new problem. During the dreaded month 3, I felt like we lived at his pediatrician’s office and that I was on the phone with them more than anyone else. This month, I think I only called once – a question about baby food, I think – and we didn’t go in until yesterday when he needed to be weighed for me to report back to the pediatric GI! So, health wise – we’ve been awesome! AND he even rolled over for the first time a few days ago! Which means mobility may be around the corner. Which means nothing is safe.

Owen 5 months

Our 5-month-old!

Speaking of his measurements, our guy is now 14.5 pounds (1 pound more than last month) and 26.5 inches (same as last month)! Our pediatrician still stands by not being concerned about his weight at all because he has been constantly gaining weight. Now if we can just get the GI on board. ;)

Several weeks ago, Owen had started taking a 4ish-hour nap each afternoon. It was AWESOME. Greg and I are quite confident that Owen’s going to be introverted because we’re pretty sure that he’s not sleeping the whole time and that he just wants some alone time. Ha! Unfortunately, it seems to have come to an end. The past few days, he has slept an hour or two in his morning nap and then an hour in the afternoon and that’s really it. It’s making this mama exhausted again, but I’m chugging on along pretty OK!

Owen smiling

I can’t get enough of this big, open-mouth smile!

Oh man does this boy have some separation anxiety. He is a Mama’s Boy FOR SURE at the moment. It started out with him getting upset just when he could see me while being held by someone else. If he couldn’t see me, no big deal. Well. Now it seems like even if I’m completely gone – like leaving him in the church nursery – he won’t be content. Once he is handed back to me, he immediately stops and then smiles and laughs at the people around us – the people who just listened to him cry forever.

While this can certainly be frustrating if I need to get something done while someone holds him, I have to admit that it makes my heart swell. He has started to reach his arms out to me or lean his body toward me when someone else has him. Last week, Greg’s parents kept him while we went on an anniversary date night (more on that later!) and he cried the whole time. When we got home, he was crying in his crib and as soon as I leaned over the crib and he saw me, his arms shot up, begging me to pick him up. It’s precious. And if I’m completely honest…I love it. He knows his Mama. :)

His spitting-up has decreased in both quantity and frequency! Whoohoo! It still happens every day, but not as much and not quite like a waterfall every time. It’s probably partially due to the fact that he’s getting older, but we’ve also started feeding him solids – baby food!

Owen spit bubbles

Spit bubbles!

This kid LOVES some baby food. So far, we’ve tried sweet potatoes, apples, and bananas. He’s a big fan of all those so I’m hoping we don’t have too picky of an eater on our hands! He gets so excited to eat the food, which looks like feet kicking and arms flailing, with hands guiding my hand to his mouth. I laugh every single time. He gets SO upset when all the food is gone. Ha!

Owen baby food

Devouring some bananas!

Owen chew on cup

He wants to chew on everything, Probably a combo of teething and just wanting to eat everything!

Christmas is coming! It’s hard to believe. Just last Christmas, Greg and I took pictures for our social media baby announcement! Ahh! We took Owen to see Santa and I was fully expecting a screaming meltdown – mostly because of this whole separation anxiety business. But he didn’t! He sat there – confused – long enough for us to get a picture and that was good enough for me!

We have discovered that Owen seems to really like Thomas the Tank Engine. One day our cable wasn’t working so we couldn’t get Disney Junior on so I put in a Thomas DVD, thinking it would never work because I found it boring as a kid. WELL. Owen squealed the whole time! Needless to say, Thomas is our go-to and he’ll be getting a Thomas toy for Christmas.

Owen Santa

Santa! Owen knows him! And there were no tears!

Owen sitting

All he wants for Christmas is his thumb and a rag.

As Owen has gotten older, he is obviously becoming more and more aware of his surroundings. With this, he is really loving Lucy! He squeals at her and his face lights up when he sees her. He loves to rub her fur (hair?) and “hug” her. We’re still careful when they’re close together to make sure that if Lucy seems annoyed, we separate them. So far, we haven’t had to do that! Lucy is such a trooper with him. I can’t wait to see him grow up with Lucy and see them grow into best friends.

Owen Lucy

Lucy is such a trooper.

Last – but certainly not least – Greg and me. Our church does monthly Parents’ Night Out where they will keep your kids for 2.5 hours while the parents go do whatever they want for that time. We’ve LOVED this and we look forward to it every month! It has been so great to get out – just the two of us – and have miniature adventures and dinners together. I have always known that it’s important for parents to continue their own relationship when kids come into play, but now I fully understand the importance. With everything we have going on, if we didn’t make the time for just us, it wouldn’t happen. Our schedules would revolve around other things instead of continuing to build our relationship and our marriage.

Greg is the absolute perfect partner in all of this journey. He is SO patient with me – even when I get crazy and emotional and dramatic. He loves Owen so much and I love watching the two of them interact. I’m SO very thankful for where we are in life right now and am trying to take it all in, moment by moment.

Greg and Alaina

Date Night: Macon Mayham hockey game!

We survived month 3…

Yay for 4-month-old Owen!

Owen 4 months

Baby boy at 4 months!

Man. Month 3 was rough. For the first time, I felt like the crazy new mom who calls and visits the doctor’s office a thousand times for what turned out to be nothing to be concerned with. First, it was an ear infection. We scheduled a follow-up appointment for two weeks later for the ear infection, but we went back to the doctor the following Monday and again on Tuesday because Owen was screaming in pain and we couldn’t figure out what was going on. Our guess was that he was having bad side effects from his ear infection medicine, but it turns out his acid reflux was just acting up terribly. This acid reflux has been kicking our butt. Majorly. Anyways, when we went back for the follow-up for his ear infection, the doctor and nurse gave us the name for a pediatric gastroenterologist to get Owen checked over. When we went to the GI, the doctor was concerned about his weight being so low for his age and gave us some tips for helping that. Long story short…Owen’s acid reflux is awful.

Owen 4 month doctor

Even at the doctor, this guy is smiling and laughing!

The good news is that both the GI and our pediatrician said that 3-4 months is kind of the climax for acid reflux so hopefully we’re on the downward slope of this. The Prilosec seems to be doing its job because Owen doesn’t seem to be in any pain…just spitting up a ridiculous amount.

Acid reflux hasn’t been our only issue. Randomly, Owen developed a rash of sorts when I woke him up one morning. It would only last up to an hour and would disappear but would come back each time we put him down for a nap or for the night. Turns out, he was having a reaction to the Dreft baby laundry detergent! What?! So we changed that. Whew.

Mama and Owen faces

Staying home with this guy is the biggest blessing

More good news is that his 4-month checkup went great! Our guy is 26.5 inches long and weighed 13.5 pounds! The pediatrician isn’t concerned at all about his weight and said that all GIs seem to want babies to be above the 50th percentile, but the fact is that not all babies will be. That was super encouraging because he has always seemed healthy so it was really affirming to hear it.

Four months means adding solids, as we feel ready! We’ve done this once so far – we put rice cereal in a bottle. He seemed confused by it and man… I didn’t realize solids were going to make us all miserable, making him constipated. Ugh. We’ve had a rough few days and started giving him apple juice and all of a sudden, he’s good! Whoohoo!

Owen stomach

He is getting SO strong!

With all of this going on, I am extremely thankful for our doctor’s office. They have an after-hours on evenings and weekends that have been such a relief as a parent, especially a new parent who has no idea what she’s doing. The staff is amazing – the nurses, the techs, the doctors. We’ve been to the after-hours twice now and have called about issues and been given an appointment on the same day. Not even to mention the thousands of times I’ve called to ask a question about everything under the sun.

Here’s hoping that our month 3 troubles are behind us so we’re ready to face the new set of speed bumps before us! This little guy is such a joy, even in the midst of him feeling bad and the spitting up. Life has forever changed and we’re so thankful.

Family photo shoot

Our little family!

Breastfeeding in Public: My Two Cents

Obviously, the older Owen gets, the more I feed him. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to exclusively breastfeed him without formula or supplements these three and a half months and I hope to be be able to continue for more months to come. During this time, I have found myself needing to feed him outside of home several times. I try to work around his schedule as much as possible but sometimes it’s just impossible. Because of this, I have a better understanding of the stigma of public breastfeeding. To be completely honest, I would have the same thoughts mentioned below. I never felt a repulsion of public breastfeeding or felt in inappropriate, to be clear. But I realize now that I have had to do it for three months how irritating these comments or suggestions are, despite the good intentions.

[Side note: there is a hilarious satirical video about this topic that I highly recommend watching. I’ll talk about many of the things mentioned in the video – and may have some of the same comments – but I want to add my own voice.]

Here are some common arguments against public breastfeeding and my thoughts.


1. Just bring a bottle.
In order to bring a bottle, we have to use a breast pump to get the milk. For me, the pumping itself is not painful or necessarily a headache. The problem comes with finding the time – or making the time – to pump. It can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to pump from start to finish. That may not seem like a long time, but in terms of what else you could be getting done, it is a good chunk of time. I could unload/load the dishwasher. Fold laundry. Vacuum. Work on a sermon for Wesley. REST (whatever that is).

On top of that, pumping with a 3 month old and a 95 pound, 3-year-old dog is difficult. Sure, I could pump while Owen is napping and I’m watching TV. Absolutely. But you’re kind of immobile while pumping because of the equipment. If Owen wakes up from a nap early and I have to get him, I can’t. If Lucy happens to grab something she’s not supposed to have, I can’t hunt her down to get it back. Or if I need to get to her at all, I can’t.

Finally, expressed (pumped) breastmilk is liquid gold. I never quite understood that expression for breastmilk until now. It takes works to get it and you don’t want any to go to waste. Honestly, I’d rather use these bottles when I am not with Owen – when he’s in the nursery, attending Wesley worship, or on the rare occasion that Greg and I can get away by ourselves. I’d really prefer not to use up that precious milk when I am present with him.


2. Just cover up.

Nursing covers are a complete pain in the behind. Owen has never really liked them because they make him hot with our body heat being trapped in the cover; it doesn’t help that we’re both hot natured. Even though he would get hot, for the most part he would cooperate and we were able to make it work.

The older he gets, however, the more mobile he gets and the more he squirms and flails. He LOVES to grab on to anything within his reach and moves around like a crazy person. Because of that, he grabs the cover and moves it around all the time. There’s no telling if the cover will stay in place. He could pull it up entirely, as much as I might try to keep covered. I mean, would you want to eat with a sheet over your head? Probably not.


3. It’s an intimate act – not public.
I partially agree with this argument. Breastfeeding is certainly an intimate bonding experience between mom and baby. When we’re at home, Owen and I go up into his room and sit in his glider while I feed him, even though I’m perfectly free to openly feed him in our house without covering. I prefer to spend that time with just the two of us.

However, being in public completely takes away the intimacy of breastfeeding. If I use a nursing cover, I’m all sorts of distracted with trying to hold him properly, making sure he’s eating, and making sure I stay covered up. In no way is intimacy possible when feeding in public, at least with the proposed solutions of a bottle or nursing cover. A bottle does not have the intimacy factor and the nursing cover creates more stress than intimacy.


4. It makes everyone uncomfortable. I don’t want my kids seeing it.
This one may irritate me the most. It’s OK for Victoria’s Secret to have giant ads of women in sexy lingerie in the store’s windows. Provocative magazines are sold at many convenience stores. Pornography exists. But it’s not OK for a mother to naturally feed a hungry baby. If you see a woman breastfeeding, you don’t have to look or watch. It is indeed possible to look away from images that make you uncomfortable. You’re an adult. You should have developed self-control by this point.

As far as your kids seeing a woman breastfeeding, instead of acting like it is something bad, take the time to educate them. If you (or your wife) breastfed your kids, say something like: “That’s how Mom fed y’all!” If you (or your wife) didn’t breastfeed your kids, you can say something like: “That’s how some moms feed their kids before they can eat real food!” Use that time to help them understand. Because breastfeeding is a natural part of life and is not an inappropriate act.

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With all this said, I still try to cover up in public, but I think a huge part of that awkwardness I feel is because of the stigma on public breastfeeding. I’ve always been someone who cares too much about what other people think about me – something I’m working on – and that would keep me from even trying. Even when I use a nursing cover in a restaurant, I try to sit in a booth that is in the back corner away from as many people as possible for fear of the cover not staying. I would love for society to finally come to a consensus that breastfeeding is not sexual. It is the way that my son gets his nourishment and stays healthy. And I hope people can begin to realize that.

Three months in!

Owen is 3 months old today! Holy cow! We’ve tried to measure him and weigh him at home and our best guess is that he’s around 12.5 pounds and 25.5 inches long! The doctor is pretty sure he’s definitely going to be a buy guy – following my side of the family, especially my dad and brother.

Our happy, smiling guy

Our happy, smiling guy

He’s continued sleeping through the night! Whoohoo! In addition, he takes around 2-3 naps each day. He has developed his own schedule completely on his own and he is like clockwork. I know that if I feed him at 9am, around 10:45-11am he will be ready for a nap (his fussy “nap cry” is very specific), and then at 12noon, he’ll be ready to eat and we start the cycle again! I essentially live my life in 3 hour increments, but I’ll take it!

Owen started in the nursery at church shortly after he turned 2 months and he seems to be great in it! It always warms my heart when the nursery workers get excited when we enter the room and to walk in and see him sleeping in their arms! I can’t imagine a better group of volunteers to love on that little guy!

We were really wanting him to take the paci instead of sucking on his thumb, but we seem to have completely lost that battle. It’s certainly not the end of the world and we’re just grateful that he’s found some way of soothing himself and we’ll deal with breaking the thumb-sucking later.

Caught in the act! He's just so darn cute!

Caught! He’s just so darn cute!

He still highly prefers sitting on your lap looking out or on your shoulder looking forward or backward. He is SO aware of everything around him and super curious about everything! I try to describe the things around us (like trees, leaves, pictures, puppy, etc.). He LOVES to talk, squeal, and smile! He’s also loving lying on his back right now. We have full conversations when he’s lying on the changing table! He’s super interactive which is awesome!

I absolutely love staying home with Owen. He’s such a joy to me and I can’t imagine a day that isn’t filled with hanging out with him. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this because it’s what I’ve wanted since middle school. Working quarter time with Wesley was an awesome surprise because I also love my college students and I love watching them with Owen. They expect to see him every Tuesday night at worship and the Wesley guys expect him to be at Guys’ Lunch every week! They are tremendous with him.

One of our favorite things: the swing outside!

One of our favorite things: the patio swing outside!

Greg and I joke that Owen is truly my child. Every time someone talks to Owen while I’m holding him, he’ll smile big but then bury his face in my chest! He’s getting to be shy! I’m not necessarily shy, but I don’t always like attention. With this, he laughs and smiles a ton, but seems to be camera shy! As soon as I pull out my phone to take a picture of that smiling face, he stops and just stares at the camera. For every picture I have of him smiling, it took about 10 to get it! Ha! He just cracks me up constantly.

He just loves his Mama and Daddy. He is showing his recognition of us when we talk to him or he sees us. His face lights up! I love it!

Watching SpongeBob with Daddy!

Watching SpongeBob with Daddy!

I feel like I say this all the time, but we are so thankful. My heart is so full with him and we can’t imagine life without him. Lucy is so intrigued by him and just loves him. Owen is surrounded by people who love and care about him already! Full speed ahead!

Oh, Lucy.

Oh, Lucy.

I love our little family!

I love our little family!