Sleep, Eat, or Shower: Choose One – The First Month with a Newborn

I knew the first few months having a baby would be life-changing. I just didn’t realize how much; aka: you can shower, sleep, or eat, but you only have time for one, choose wisely. Needless to say, we didn’t have the easiest start to our little family, but we’re powering through.

Bennett was born with sever jaundice. He was born early (37 weeks). We (Bennett and I) have different blood types so his slightly underdeveloped liver had an extra difficult time processing my red blood cells. This led to him being “under the lights” for the first few days of his life. We also had to stay in the hospital longer.


The combination of the jaundice treatment (being away from me), a not great terrible nurse who advised me to “wait a long while” before trying to breastfeed for the first time, and his being born early, resulted in nursing challenges. I ended up seeing many lactation specialists, five to be exact. Who, all determined, I was producing hardly any colostrum and then later, I didn’t produce enough milk. Weight tests before and after feedings determined I was only making about half of what Bennett needed. So, all the lactation specialists and pediatricians advised us to supplement with formula. We needed to get the calories in so he could process the red blood cells and get the bilirubin levels down.

The next couple weeks were spent with daily trips to the doctors to get blood work done for his bilirubin tests and weight checks to see if he was gaining. Bad news for both, for a solid week. Bennett ended up losing almost a pound and his levels did not go down like we hoped. Not being able to produce the food my baby needed made me feel like such a failure. Breastfeeding was something I was passionate about. Eventually (after a lot of formula), we got his bilirubin numbers down (at about 2.5 weeks) and then finally at three weeks old, he passed his birth weight.

Despite everything, I haven’t given up on breastfeeding. It’s a long, hard, and tiring road, but I’m trying. I have modified my six month goal, to a one month goal. Then, I’ll continue to set manageable goals to keep my sanity. The feeding plan is as follows:

  • Breastfeed on demand (usually every 1.5 hours but can be up to three hours) this of course includes waking him up throughout the night. I was not prepared for that. At the beginning, he was nursing for 45 minutes to an hour. Around week three, we cut that time to an average of 36 minutes per session.
  • After breastfeeding, supplement with formula if he is still showing hunger cues and doesn’t seem satisfied. He never is satisfied after nursing. The supplementation started at one ounce, but has increased as he is getting older and growing.
  • After breastfeeding, I pump. Pumping started with 30 minutes after every nursing session. Then we cut it to 20 minutes after every daytime nursing. [I was dying with the previous schedule]. Then, after my body still wasn’t improving, the lactation specialists reduced the pumping to 10 minutes. I know they thought I would give up completely if I kept up with the previous schedules.

So, yes, that is a lot. The whole process takes about 1.5 hours. Yep, by the time I finish the feeding, it is time to get going on another feeding. All day, every day.

Feeding baby via syringe
Feeding via the syringe
At almost one month, we started with a bottle

2016 Year in Review

Baby bump, Hokies, and our new car. That sounds about right for 2016

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2016 was clearly all about the baby bump.

Jimmy

Jimmy continued his health and fitness commitment: playing lacrosse at least twice a week, going to the gym almost daily, and using the 5×5 weight lifting program. He went hunting a few times and got one deer. He continued growing the National Harbor branch of his company as the Geotechnical Department Manager.

Ingrid

Honestly, I don’t remember what I did pre-pregnancy. I know I continued pure barre. I chopped my hair off. I’m sure there were lots of brunches and wine nights with my friends. Then, positive pregnancy test and my whole world changed 🙂 Oh, in June I went to Smith Mountain Lake for our annual Girls Wine Weekend trip. Obviously I was drinking all the seltzers and none of the wine, but didn’t matter, I had a blast! I was spoiled at an amazing baby shower in October. I turned 30 in November.

Decided to chop my hair off 💇 my head feels like it's floating 🎈

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We (Ingrid & Jimmy)

January 2016 – we had an amazing time enjoying the Blizzard of 2016 when it snowed for basically a day straight.

Always the first ones out ❄️❄️❄️ #blizzard2016 #7am #snow #hour19 #kaigotstuck

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Snow dog #KaiRacine #blizzard2016 #kaigotstuck

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When your husband braves 2 feet of snow to smoke some pork shoulder 😍 #smoker #blizzard2016 #manly

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February – we went to the boat show in Annapolis.

March – We took a spring break to the Penthouse to use up Jimmy’s “use it or lose it” leave. We also got to go celebrate our wonderful friends’ Keli & Mike’s at their wedding. Congratulations Keli & Mike!

Starting our spring break #beachfishing #jimmyfishes

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Morning mimosas #beachtrip #surfsidesc

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April – April started rougher. A HUGE tree fell on the house my grandmother owned that Kurt and Kate were currently living in. But then, we got to go celebrate another wonderful couple and see their engagement at the spring game in Blacksburg 🙂 Congratulations Meredith & Ryan!

May – We went to the Outer Banks with friends.

June – We found out we’re having a Baby!

We told my family about Baby at the Cottage. We went to Massachusetts to visit Jimmy’s family. We also told Jimmy’s parents, his sister, and his extended family about Baby this trip.

July – We went on our annual beach trip to SC.

August – We told my extended family about Baby at a house warming party Kurt & Kate threw.

September – We found out we’re having a son. We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.

We went to Blacksburg for Homecoming weekend.

Homecoming weekend Blacksburg 2016

October – we went apple picking.

Looking to 2017

Obviously 2017 is Baby year. So, we’ll mainly work on becoming first time parents this year. We also want to do the following:

  • Ingrid: lose the baby weight! (I’m already obsessing just because I want to feel and look like me again, and I want to fit in my cute clothes that I miss).
  • Trips: Penthouse, Blacksburg for a game (and bring Baby), Richmond for Meredith & Ryan’s wedding, Atlanta for Petey & Danielle’s wedding, lots of Cottage trips – Baby has his own crib & changing table there
  • Jimmy – wants to continue lacrosse & shooting, possibly join a hunting “lease”

 

28 Weeks

I’m officially in the third trimester! In less than three months, I will have a baby boy. This is so exciting and terrifying at the same time. I’m basically ready, see my check-list, but there are a lot of unknowns with becoming a first-time mom. I’m mainly excited though. I’m also completely torn with wanting him to “keep cooking” for 12 more weeks and be born tomorrow (because I want to meet him so badly!)

Monday I was exhausted (why in the world did I move out of Baby’s room again??) and struggled all day through work. But then, I felt Baby have the hiccups for the first time – it was adorable! I think he’s had them before while I’ve been sleeping because I wake up a lot when I let out a single hiccup (not a burp, this is a clear hiccup). Not sure if him having them could ever make me have them, but I like to think he’s sharing.

Monday afternoon I got a call the SUV we transferred to Dulles Carmax arrived and was ready for us to go check it out. So, Monday night, Jimmy and I headed over to test drive the car. We loved it and ending up buying it! #CarForBaby. It’s a 2014 Chevrolet Traverse that only had 20,000 miles on it and looked brand new. It has all the safety features I wanted: side airbags, backup camera, Bluetooth. It also has a tow hitch, seats 8, and has a full roof rack.

Wednesday afternoon I got an email saying my new iPhone 7+ was delivered! It wasn’t even supposed to ship until 11/30 so I’m very excited! This was my 30th birthday present to myself (although I told Jimmy it was from him so he didn’t have to get me anything when I was getting myself a big gift). I am a little nervous about the big size, but I NEED that camera. I know I’m going to be taking 80000000000000000000 pictures of Baby Racine so I want the best camera possible on my phone. Unfortunately the store that had my phone was “unexpectedly closed due to a down system” so I couldn’t get my phone until Friday.

The rest of the weekend, I cleaned and watched Gilmore Girls. Jimmy hunted and got his first deer of the season on Saturday morning! I was so happy because that meant he could come meet me, Meredith, Ryan, and a couple of their friends at Open Road in Merrifield to watch the Tech/UVA game.

On Sunday, Jimmy and I headed to BabiesRUs to try to pick out a glider. Conclusion: I like all the gliders and all gliders are too expensive. I give up.

Questionnaire:

How far along? 28 Weeks

How big is baby? 14.8″ & 2.2 lbs; the size of a large eggplant

Maternity clothes? Absolutely.

Sleep: was better so I moved back to Jimmy & my room – that was a terrible idea that resulted in terrible terrible sleep, so I moved back to Baby’s room. I’m not sure if it’s the memory foam topper or not waking up every time Jimmy breathed or moved, but I’m sleeping way better in Mini Moose’s room. I will stay there.

Best moment this week: 1) Thanksgiving, 2) Getting our new car, 3) getting my new iPhone

Movement: I love baby kicks. I also love this kid so so much: he sleeps when I sleep. I’ve only been woken up by kicking a couple of times. Bless you sweet child, mommy needs all the sleep I can get before you are born.

Food Cravings: pumpkin bran muffins

Food Aversions: the tacos I made Tuesday night 🙁

Gender: Baby’s a boy!
it's a boy confetti

Labor Signs: nope. Stay that way for at least 2 months please.

Pregnancy Symptoms: oh my goodness with the back aches; I even started prenatal yoga hoping to help alleviate these pains.

Belly Button in or out? Flat

What I miss: nothing – it was a glorious week

What I am looking forward to: decorating for Christmas

Upcoming appointments/events: 7 month OB & glucose screening 11/30

Weekly Wisdom: being pregnant around the holidays is not good for weight gain

Milestones: we started the 3rd trimester!

Bump Picture:

28 weeks pregnant

2015 In Review

24309514106_89e32b9bc6_bLooking back on 2015 seems like a blur. I feel like I wrote our 2014 post two days ago. Time is crazy. Anyways, I’ll summarize 2015 as water, woods, and surgeries.

Jimmy

Jimmy took up hunting this year. He also got a compound bow to use hunting (woods). He got two deer this winter, success, so we’ll be enjoying venison chili throughout this year.

Jimmy continued his skeet shooting league. He was captain this year. He also joined two lacross leagues, which he loves.

Jimmy is still working as the Geotechnical Department Manager at the National Harbor office, which he loves.

Ingrid

In 2015, I finished my first half marathon! In well under the time I predicted. And I did not walk once – that was my main goal, well that and not just give up and lay on the side of the road.

Speaking of health, I discovered a new love affair with Pure Barre. I was a ballet dancer for oh, 10 years of my life, so this workout brings back all of the memories. It’s hard. It’s fun. It makes me so happy! And, it’s a fantastic workout. Jimmy was the best and got me classes for Christmas (it’s sadly, very expensive:( )

I took a wonderful girls trip to Smith Mountain Lake with some of my best college friends.

In the most exciting news, I got lasik! I absolutely love it! In the most painful news, I got my wisdom teeth out in December (all four and two were impacted) and that was brutal. (two surgeries there)

We (Ingrid & Jimmy)

We spent almost every Spring & Summer weekend in Southern Maryland (woods & water). We helped my parents work on the new property throughout the Spring and then enjoyed boating, fishing, bow shooting (Jimmy), swimming, and family time throughout the summer. It is Kai’s favorite place in the world so we go as often as we can. It’s all about the dog amiright?

We went to the Outer Banks for a Memorial Day trip with a bunch of friends, that was a blast. Jimmy really enjoyed surf fishing. (water)

We went to the Penthouse twice, once with Ted & Lauren, and once with Kurt & Kate. (more water). We’re so thankful to have that property in the family.

We saw Cinderella during a wonderful night out with Jimmy’s parents and sister Katie for my birthday – thank you!

We went to our 6th Vintage Virginia wine festival.

We celebrated our third anniversary.

We went to Blacksburg for a football game with some great friends. In true Bburg fashion, it was cold and rainy the whole time, but man, it was wonderful to be back!

Finally, we hosted a fun New Years Eve party for our friends to close out the year.

Looking ahead to 2016.

I am copying and pasting from my 2014 (and sadly 2015) posts because, well, we very much failed on accomplishing any of our goals. Whoops. I’ll write a little commentary on if we completed anything or not.

From 2014 & 2015 posts:

“This is also a challenge because you never really know where life is going to go, but I do see some things happening.

We have some house projects we want to complete:” (reflections on my 2014 list)

  • Fixing our side steps. The concrete’s been struggling since I was around 12 so we’re going to just replace it with a pressure treated wood step/landing/storage thing – this is clearly more Jimmy & my Dad’s plan – We did this!!!!!
  • Finishing painting. In 2012/2013 we painted the living room, dining room, master bedroom, kitchen, guest bedrooms (2) & Jimmy’s video game room. In 2014 2015 2016, we have the entryway, stairway, hallway, 3 bathrooms & basement and we’re done [whew] – didn’t do any of this.
  • Landscaping. There are plans for the backyard. I am vaguely aware of them. I have stated Sugar’s stones stay. That’s all I care about. – nope, not done. Actually not even started…
  • Building a slate patio in the backyard. – didn’t even start this either
  • Organization. As much as I hate to admit, I still have a couple of boxes of my things that don’t have a place in our home yet. I want to get everything organized and condensed as much as possible this year. – those boxes are still there. Things are a little better organized – our pantry and linen closet definitely – but still a ways to go on everything else.

Grade: D

New 2015 projects & goals: (let’s be ambitious and add to the list we didn’t accomplish last year, that’s totally the way to do this life planning thing, right?)

  • Helping restore/renovate Hotel California (new property addition to the Freemyer family – posts to come) – we did this!
  • Renovating our two bathrooms – nope, maybe not doing that and actually doing the kitchen (depending on if you talk to me or Jimmy)
  • I: Run in my first half marathon – did this!

Grade: B

Since it worked so well the last time, let’s add some more goals here.

  • Declutter. “Living clean in 2016.” I want to get rid of the clothes/crafts/stuff we don’t use any more and simplify and declutter our lives.
  • continue as many Pure Barre classes as possible

 

Trips for 2015:

  • Penthouse to enjoy the beach – did this twice, A for I&J
  • Hotel California to enjoy boating – did this all Spring & Summer, and some Fall actually, A for I&J
  • Colorado to visit Todd – nope, did not happen
  • Blacksburg for a Tech game – scheduled for October – yep, did this!

Grade: B+

Trips for 2016:

  • Penthouse to enjoy the beach
  • Hotel California to enjoy boating
  • Colorado to visit Todd
  • Boston for a Lombardo family reunion of sorts

Well, considering how successful we were in 2014 2015, I’m going to leave our projects, goals, and trips at that and see how we do.

2014 In Review

Looking back on 2014 is more challenging than on 2013 (did not see that one coming). But maybe that’s a good thing. We’re settling into our life together and finding comfort in our routines. Of course, there were some highlights. We also did a pretty good job of keeping up with our goal of being my physically active/fit.

Jimmy

Most importantly: Jimmy turned 30! We celebrated in a very “Jimmy way” starting with Jimmy and the guys going shooting. Then meeting up with some friends & family for lunch (and lots of beers) at Blackfin in Merrifield. Followed by a brief break and then heading to dinner at Ray’s the Steaks with the rest of the Racines. It was great.

Jimmy also discovered a new love for skeet shooting. He joined a shooting league through work and has really enjoyed learning this new skill.

Speaking of work, Jimmy got a promotion and is now the Geotechnical Department Manager at a new National Harbor office.

Jimmy also played in a lacrosse league this year. That is until a knee injury took him out of the game.

Ingrid

In 2014, I registered for my 1st half marathon and trained my butt off for that. And then injured my ankle so I couldn’t run in the race. But, I am already signed up for another one (it’s in a few weeks) so I’m going to complete this goal. Towards the end of the year, I got a new job that I’m enjoying a lot. I took a couple trips to Blacksburg.

We (Ingrid & Jimmy)

Looking ahead to 2015.

I am copying and pasting from my 2014 post because, well, we very much failed on accomplishing any of our goals. Whoops. I’ll write a little commentary on if we completed anything or not.

From 2014 post:

“This is also a challenge because you never really know where life is going to go, but I do see some things happening.

We have some house projects we want to complete:” (reflections on my 2014 list)

  • Fixing our side steps. The concrete’s been struggling since I was around 12 so we’re going to just replace it with a pressure treated wood step/landing/storage thing – this is clearly more Jimmy & my Dad’s plan – didn’t do this. Need to complete this year.
  • Finishing painting. In 2012/2013 we painted the living room, dining room, master bedroom, kitchen, guest bedrooms (2) & Jimmy’s video game room. In 2014 2015 we have the entryway, stairway, hallway, 3 bathrooms & basement and we’re done [whew] – again, didn’t do any of this.
  • Landscaping. There are plans for the backyard. I am vaguely aware of them. I have stated Sugar’s stones stay. That’s all I care about. – nope, not done. Actually not even started…
  • Building a slate patio in the backyard. – didn’t even start this either
  • Organization. As much as I hate to admit, I still have a couple of boxes of my things that don’t have a place in our home yet. I want to get everything organized and condensed as much as possible this year. – those boxes are still there. Things are a little better organized – our pantry and linen closet definitely – but still a ways to go on everything else.

Grade: F

New projects & goals: (let’s be ambitious and add to the list we didn’t accomplish last year, that’s totally the way to do this life planning thing, right?)

  • Helping restore/renovate Hotel California (new property addition to the Freemyer family – posts to come)
  • Renovating our two bathrooms
  • I: Run in my first half marathon

We have some trips we want to take: (reflecting on my 2014 list)

  • Boston to visit Ted & Lauren and Jimmy’s family – we did this! A for I&J
  • Penthouse to enjoy the beach – we did this! twice! A+ for I&J
  • Cottage – not really a trip trip but we want to go here more this summer. Kai just loves it here and so do we. – eh, not really, maybe one or two trips, so D?
  • Germany or Hawaii – clearly the details aren’t worked out on this one – this one did not happen
  • St. Louis to be in Ted & Lauren’s wedding – we did this! A for I&J

Grade: B-

Trips for 2015:

  • Penthouse to enjoy the beach
  • Hotel California to enjoy boating
  • Colorado to visit Todd
  • Blacksburg for a Tech game – scheduled for October

Well, considering how successful we were in 2014, I’m going to leave our projects, goals, and trips at that and see how we do.

6 Years Together

6 years ago today, I started dating Jimmy. This is my fun post to him. All about our story.

Jimmy and I met 6 years and 3 months ago on a spring break cruise.

We went on a week long cruise from Charleston, SC to Grand Cayman Island, Cozumel, and Key West.

We cruised on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Norwegian Majesty.” Now retired (I feel old).

Although we both went to Virginia Tech, we had never met. He was in grad school and I was an undergrad. He went on the cruise with his fraternity and I went with my sorority.

We happened to be assigned rooms that were two doors down from each other.

He walked past my room like:

And I was like:

And after that we were

188202_1002371030556_3892_n

Although we weren’t officially boyfriend and girlfriend until June 18.

Fast forward 4 years later when this happened

So we got married,
483500_10101333610096533_1967631527_n

Bought a house,

And got a dog (not in that order)
e-Kai

Although we celebrate our anniversary on our wedding anniversary now, none of this would have happened if not for that cruise and June 18.

Love you Jimmy!

2013 In Review

Looking back on 2013 in the Racine household is challenging. Probably because 2012 was such a big year for us. We got married, bought a house, lived in the same house for the first time, went on our honeymoon, Jimmy passed his Professional Engineer exam (HUGE deal), Kurt & Kate got engaged, lots of big moments. However, 2013 had its own highlights.

Jimmy:

Jimmy started the year playing inner tube water polo. Jimmy was selected to the Future Leaders program for his company, which meant he attended seminars once a month on being a manager and company leader. Jimmy got a new car [finally]. He got a Subaru Forrester and we couldn’t love it more. We went to Jimmy’s 10 year high school reunion, which was fun to meet his old friends and show off a bit 🙂 Most recently, Jimmy has taken up hunting. Duck & goose hunting specifically. He’s been twice and really enjoys being outside with this new sport.

Ingrid:

I traveled to Clemson, SC to see Kurt & Kate graduate. So bittersweet seeing them grow up, tear. The real big change in my life in 2013 was starting to coach high school cheerleading. This has been a big commitment but an extremely memorable one. It’s so great being able to teach these girls, help them through high school, and share my love for the sport. It’s ended up being 2-4 days a week so that’s what I did in 2013 ha.

We (Jimmy & Ingrid):

  • In March we went to my childhood friend Sarah Cooper’s wedding in St. Johns. We were so thankful she chose this destination for our wedding because we got to go back to our honeymoon spot, amazing.
  • We played spring & summer flag football with our team of 4 years.
  • We went to the Gold Cup horse race for the first time.
  • We went to Vintage Virginia wine festival for the 4th year (possibly 5th, I’m losing track here).
  • We were lucky enough to go to a couple Nats games in sweet club level seats thanks to my work.
  • We went to the Eagles concert with my parents, Kurt & Kate at the Verizon Center.
  • We went on a wonderful vacation to the Penthouse in SC with our great friends Ted & Lauren. And then we had to say goodbye to them because they moved to Boston 🙁
  • We went to three weddings.
  • We hosted a Kentucky Derby themed couples shower for K&K.
  • We had our first anniversary.
  • We were in Kurt & Kate’s wedding – post to come once I get my camera back.
  • We ended out the year celebrating Christmas with both families, heading to Disneyland for the first ever Racine family trip, and then New Years.

Looking ahead to 2014.

This is also a challenge because you never really know where life is going to go but I do see some things happening.

We have some house projects we want to complete:

  • Fixing our side steps. The concrete’s been struggling since I was around 12 so we’re going to just replace it with a pressure treated wood step/landing/storage thing – this is clearly more Jimmy & my Dad’s plan
  • Finishing painting. In 2012/2013 we painted the living room, dining room, master bedroom, kitchen, guest bedrooms (2) & Jimmy’s video game room. In 2014 we have the entryway, stairway, hallway, 3 bathrooms & basement and we’re done [whew]
  • Landscaping. There are plans for the backyard. I am vaguely aware of them. I have stated Sugar’s stones stay. That’s all I care about.
  • Building a slate patio in the backyard.
  • Organization. As much as I hate to admit, I still have a couple of boxes of my things that don’t have a place in our home yet. I want to get everything organized and condensed as much as possible this year.

We have some trips we want to take:

  • Boston to visit Ted & Lauren and Jimmy’s family
  • Penthouse to enjoy the beach
  • Cottage – not really a trip trip but we want to go here more this summer. Kai just loves it here and so do we.
  • Germany or Hawaii – clearly the details aren’t worked out on this one
  • St. Louis to be in Ted & Lauren’s wedding

Other than that, I just hope for health and happiness for my family and friends. And let’s see what 2014 brings us all.

2, 4, 6, 8

So in my free time, I decided to become a high school cheerleading coach. You may or may not know, I cheered from the ages of 8 to 18 so I do love the sport. One of my very good friends is a high school English teacher. She told me the school needed a JV cheerleading coach. I applied that day. Interviewed that day. Accepted the next day and started the next week. #whirlwind.

I am 100% the luckiest person ever because I got an amazing co-coach so we are able to split the coaching responsibilities. As much as I love it, I don’t think I could be a sole coach and work 40 hours a week, take care of Jimmy & Kai, take care of our house, take care of me, exercise, and have a social life. It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of challenges, but I am very glad I decided to coach this year.

My team
My team
Vintage cheerleader me
Vintage cheerleader me
High school cheerleader me
High school cheerleader me

 

Happy Birthday to me

It’s my 26th birthday. My first birthday married. My first birthday in our home. It’s been great. As always I celebrated with champagne 🙂

Cheers

I also treated myself with a half day and an appointment at drybar. Drybar is a hair salon that specializes in and only does blowouts. They’re responsible for my beautiful hair in that picture.

Honeymoon

We are so lucky to have spent the last week in the beautiful Virgin Islands. It was amazing! We stayed beachfront on St. Thomas. The view from our balcony is probably my favorite ever. We also took a little adventure to St. John complete with a “dingy” rental in a storm. We had tropical drinks, good food, so much fun, and relaxation after the wedding. I’m already planning our next trip 🙂

Leaving for our honeymoon Mrs. Racine <3
Leaving for our honeymoon Mrs. Racine <3
The view from our room
The view from our room
cheers!
Tropical drinks
Tropical drinks
Real excited to get back to this guy though. Next time we take him with us