Warning 

I’ve been using Enfamil infant formula since my son was three months old. I wish I could have breastfed him longer but for reasons beyond my control I wasn’t able to. We’ve never had any issues with the formula until this weekend. 
While scooping the formula to prepare a bottle my husband noticed a LIVE worm in the powdered formula. I’m beyond angry and disgusted. 
After doing a quick google search I found this isn’t the first time this has happened. How can you trust a formula to feed your child if there are multiple reports of worms and bugs found inside the packaging? 
I know with 100% certainty it was not contaminated in my home and the box was unopened and not damaged when I recently purchased it. 
I followed up with with Enfamil customer service which advised sending it in to investigate. I also alerted the FDA. I would hope the production and packaging process is closely inspected to prevent this from ever happening again. I hope this batch is recalled but I’m sharing this to alert other parents in case this issue isn’t addressed. 
Please share with other parents. I’m disgusted. I’m never using an Enfamil product again.

Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day

A lot of us know this date. October 15th is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. It’s a day where we should feel open to share our stories, where we lean on others for support, and where we raise awareness to help diminish the stigma that unfortunately is tied to pregnancy and infant loss.

March 2013 I experienced a miscarriage. It was unexpected and devastating. We spent two more years after that trying to conceive before our son was born in May 2016. I’ve shared my story of miscarriage on my blog but I’ve always left out one part of the story. In the moment it confused me but as time goes on I look back on my experience and I’m angry. 

It was a Sunday afternoon and I just wasn’t feeling right. I couldn’t tell if my stomach was upset or if that feeling of dread in my abdomen was actually real. Should I call my doctor? After a few hours of trying to convince myself I just had a stomach ache I finally called my doctor. She scheduled an ultrasound to check my pregnancy first thing Monday morning. I naively thought if I got checked out everything would be ok. 

As the evening grew later, I started spotting. It started to sink in that everything was not going to be ok. I sat in the shower just holding my stomach and holding onto the last hopes of our baby. 

I realized I needed to call into work and tell my boss I wouldn’t be in on Monday. I have never called off sick before from my job because I knew it was just easier to go in. At the time I was working for a private preschool. We didn’t have subs and it affected the strict student teacher ratio when someone called off. 

So I called my boss, let’s call her J, and told her I wasn’t able to come in the next day.

J: Why, are you sick?

Me: Yes

J: You don’t sound sick.

Me: I called my doctor and she wants me to come in tomorrow. I can bring a doctor’s note to excuse my sick day.

J: What’s wrong?

Me: I’d rather not say.

J: Why?

Me: It’s personal.

After this back and forth exchange I bluntly said I would not be in so make whatever accommodations needed. My boss never got to know any of the staff on a personal level so I didn’t feel comfortable confiding in her. I also could not even speak the words, “I might be having a miscarriage.” I didn’t want to say it out loud, like if I don’t say those words it would stop it from happening,

At my doctor’s appointment an ultrasound confirmed that I was miscarrying. Besides feeling emotionally devastated, by this point I was in a lot of physical pain too. While this was going on my boss continued to call my phone and leave messages that they needed me in the afternoon if I could come in. 

Reluctantly I went into work. Three hours after being told our baby was gone. Looking back, I should have stood my ground and said no. But I really needed my paycheck (teaching jobs were hard to come by in my area at the time) and now especially I needed my health insurance.

So I went into the preschool after lunch. The kids nap and then slowly start heading home. I could just sit and try to not think about what was pressing on my mind. I asked my boss if we could go into the office to talk. I decided to tell her what I just experienced.

Her initial response was pity. She was sorry I was dealing with this. And then our conversation took an odd turn. 

She told me that her sister in law had a hysterical pregnancy once. Her body was physically displaying pregnancy and she wasn’t getting her period. But when she had tests done she wasn’t pregnant. She said she ended up having a D&C to end this phenomenon. 

And then she asked, “Are you sure you were really pregnant?”

Needless to say, I moved on from that job as quickly as I could. I was astounded at the ignorance and insensitivity in my workplace after experiencing pregnancy loss.

Not only was I working a pretty physically demanding job while heavily bleeding, popping Tylenol like candy, but I was also insulted by questioning if what I was experiencing was even real. 

I’m sharing my story for other women. Stand up for yourself when it comes to your health, physical and emotional. I’m not going to let the ignorance of others shake me to my core anymore. I’m going to share my experience to educate those who need to support women experiencing pregnancy loss. 1 in 4 women experience pregnancy loss. It is time to drop the stigma and simply take care of one another. 

Lean in? 

I recently finished Sheryl Sandberg’s feminist manifesto Lean In. Ever since I started my maternity leave I’ve been feeling guilty about not working. I’ve had a job since I was 16 years old and being at home has been difficult for me. My husband recently called me a “stay at home mom” and my jaw hit the floor. I responded, “I’m not a stay at home mom…. I’m just on leave.” So I thought reading this book would give me a bit of perspective and advice on how to balance my career aspirations with a new baby. After finishing the book I was left feeling more conflicted than ever. 

First, I can not relate to Sandberg. She has more resources than I could ever dream of. I can’t commute via private jet, hire personal nannies, or even afford a basic daycare! My job doesn’t come with a large salary and never will.

Second, I have a hard time justifying choosing my career over time with my child. I don’t make much #teacherprobs and most of my paycheck would go to daycare costs. Also, being a head start teacher I’m literally paid to nurture and teach other people’s young children. So why would I get paid to do this while I’m paying someone else to nurture and teach my child? I can’t justify this decision. 

I’m not against working moms. I often find myself browsing job postings. I miss working! Being a teacher was such a large part of my identity. I think it’s a unique field where it’s not just a job. Especially teaching inner city, I feel like there’s a hole where I left and I’m not sure if other teachers are willing to fill that space. 

So do I lean into my career? Right now the answer is no. After our experience trying to conceive I’m not sure if we will ever have another child. I’ve accepted that. That also means I need to cherish these little moments and soak up as much as I can of my son’s baby days. I have my whole life to work. My son will only be a baby for so long. I’m planning on returning to the classroom when my son starts preschool.

This is a very personal decision for every mom. I’m not advocating for one choice or another, just the choice that works for you. Right now, I’m leaning into my family.

To chart or not to chart

Besides our life returning back to normal, so has my uterus. I finally got my first cycle after pregnancy. 

There was something freeing in deleting my ovia fertility app from my phone. No more counting cycle days. No more ovulation tests. No more temperature taking. No more days past ovulation. NO MORE!

But with the return of Aunt Flo, the app has returned too. There are other period trackers out there but honestly I like the information and functions of ovia. It works for me. 

So I put in my data and then I saw the green dates highlighting my fertile window. My husband and I decided we would just live life without preventing pregnancy. We also aren’t planning on trying to conceive for a while if ever again. We’re moving forward under the guise of “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” 

My husband has recently started dropping hints that he wants our son to have a sibling. And I’m not going to lie to myself, so do I. But I don’t expect our unexplained infertility to dissapear. I’m scared where this desire will take us. 

At this point I really don’t want to take fertility drugs ever again. It was an experience I’d rather not have again. But I don’t think we’ll be able to get pregnant on our own.

So why chart? I want to see what my body is doing on its own. Do I ovulate on my own? Are my cycles regular? That label of “unexplained infertility” still bothers me.

It’s empowering as a woman to understand your own body and that’s the perspective I’m coming from this time. Not trying to conceive.

Finding my normal

The past few months have been hectic to say the least! But we’re finally unpacked and settled in our new home. And now it’s time to get back into normalcy (if there is such a thing with an infant).

I finally feel like my body belongs to myself again after fertility drugs, tests, procedures, pregnancy, and finally breastfeeding. Naturally after all of this my body isn’t what it used to be. Of course, I don’t expect a “bikini bod” (nor have I ever) but I’m ready to get my strength back. It’s funny, after the past two years I’m mentally and emotionally stronger than I’ve ever been! I’m ready to feel physically strong too.

At the same time, I feel selfish taking time for myself to work out. I know it’s completely rediculous! I’m a better mom when I just get 30 minutes to myself to sweat it out. 

So I’ve been running using the couch to 10K app. I’ve never completed a 10K and having an attainable goal makes running a little less awful in my opinion. I try to run when my husband is home with the baby or I load Walt up in the running stroller and take off in the neighborhood. I like that the app alternates running and walking and keeps track of time rather than distance. It’s my me time and surprisingly I look forward to running every day. 

I’ve also started going to a hot yoga studio near our new home. I feel very matronly among all the young (and very flexible) college girls but it’s a great workout. I wish they offered a mommy and me yoga class during the day because when my husband is flying I have no way to workout without my little one. 

When I just can’t get out of the house I put on a quick workout from YouTube. It’s surprising how much I can sweat working out without equipment in my living room during nap time! 

Posting about my fitness goals helps me stay more accountable and I love to share with my fellow bloggers so we can support each other! 

3 months

My baby boy is three months old! 

And in that time I have resigned from my job, my husband started flying for a new company, we sold our home, moved to a different state, and as of yesterday bought a new house. Whew! 

When Walt was one month old I was “solo parenting” for three weeks while my husband was at training for his new airplane. I was scared at first but I absolutely loved that time with him. My favorite time was just taking a nap holding Walt every afternoon. And after doing all the feedings, changes, and middle of the night needs I felt pretty confident as a new mom! 

After my husband came back home the move was on! We packed up and moved into an apartment while we searched for a house. We found a beautiful brick home on three acres outside of a small town. Growing up a military brat I never had a hometown. I’m excited to finally settle in, create our home, and raise our son in small town America. 

Walt has been fantastic throughout this process. He still sleeps through the night and has transitioned to formula well. We started physical therapy for torticollis. He has a tight neck muscle from his position in the womb but he’s already making great progress! 

Overall, life is good. 

Changes

I’ve often wrote about my husband and I’s sick joke of “doing things the hard way.” We laugh at our unfortunate circumstances that arise more often than not. It’s just how we do things. 

Well, the week of my due date my husband decided to apply for a new job. It was his dream job. I told him to go ahead and apply and we’ll see what happens. He ended up getting an interview later that week back in our home state of Ohio. He was nervous about driving three hours from where we currently live with me being 9 days overdue but I told him to go for it. This baby was never coming out! 

Turns out I started going into labor while he was in Ohio doing his interview. He was nervous enough so I didn’t want to freak him out by telling him this. When he was finished and driving home I called him to say, “drive faster!” We went to the hospital when he got home and Walt was born the next day. 

Two days later, as we settled into our first day at home with Walt, the company called and offered my husband a job. He accepted and now we have a month to sell our home, move states, buy a new home, and oh yeah figure out this parenting thing! It’s a whirlwind! 

My husband will also be gone for the month of June for training on his new airplane. That means solo parenting and trying to figure out where the little man and I’m going to live. Stressed doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel right now. (Coming off pregnancy hormones is NOTHING compared to fertility drugs…. Just sayin’)

So I’m trying to simplify and take everything one day at a time. I don’t want the stress to overshadow spending quality time with my little guy that we waited so long to meet. I’m really considering weaning him off breastmilk to make for a happier momma and more mobile baby as we begin the moving process. It’s a crazy time for our family but we wouldn’t have it any other way!