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Thank You! + Recent Eats

Wow, you guys. I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support and kind words that you shared on my last post sharing some of the mom struggles I’m having right now. It means so much to me to know I’m clearly not alone in this, and I know that many other women will read those comments and know that they are not alone, either. This mom stuff is so hard and the best thing we can do is to be honest about it, support each other, and share advice and encouragement – so thank you! Riese says thank you, too, because all your support really helped to turn things around yesterday for her mommy. :)

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Things are looking up on all fronts over here.

First, we had a better night last night, so having gotten 5 hours of sleep vs. 1 hour of sleep like the night before makes everything feel WAYYY more manageable. Second, we got a great lead on a nanny thanks to one of my blog readers who saw yesterday’s post – what luck! We interviewed her last night and really liked her, so she is actually here right now babysitting as a (paid, obviously) trial run. I don’t think she can start for a few weeks, but that may be a blessing in disguise because we kind of need to figure out these feeding issues first anyway so I’m not spending all day (just some of the day, lol) breastfeeding, and we are lucky my mom can fill in in the meantime so I can continue to get some work done and start slowly meeting my AnneTheRD nutrition clients (just ongoing clients, not new ones yet) again. (A couple of you asked if I would consider just staying home with Riese – unfortunately DC is so expensive that we definitely need my income to keep living here, so no work is not an option at all… plus, I enjoy my work and want to keep it up, although I’m feeling fortunate I’ll have the flexibility to hopefully compress my schedule a bit so I can still spend time with Riese on weekdays.)

The third thing that is looking up is that I have a lactation consultant coming to our house for a private session on Thursday! Many of you suggested looking for a tongue/lip tie to see if that’s causing the shallow latch, and she said she is able to check for that, and we will also do a weighted feed to see how much Riese is getting at once, etc. I’m hoping it will help us to figure out a plan moving forward – either way, it will be nice to have a professional check things out and share some advice/thoughts because I clearly have no idea what I’m doing, and neither does Riese. ;) I’m also going to ask her about a nipple shield, which a bunch of you recommended as well!

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

Anyway! My mom was over yesterday all day long which was incredibly helpful both logistically and emotionally. On the food front, I was glad we had a ton of leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup (that Matt and I made in the instant pot on Sunday evening… stay tuned for the recipe, I’ll share it next Tuesday!) on hand so my mom and I had something to eat for lunch! So good.

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Another really good meal I wanted to share with you that we ate last week for dinner was this Sheet Pan Chicken Sausage with Fennel and Apples that Matt’s mom made us while she was here! It was soooo good… another recipe from Southern Living. I’m going to have to start looking at their website more because the two recipes Matt’s mom made us last week from Southern Living were both really good!

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I always forget how good fennel is – I need to cook with it more often. We had the dish with some roasted potatoes and salads on the side – not the best looking photo since it was dark out, but it hit the spot.

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I’m going to look around online for a couple recipes to try this week – I thought we had ordered a Blue Apron to come but turns out I spaced and skipped this week without meaning to… whoops! Oh well. I’m really into sheet pan recipes right now – any recommendations/faves to share? (My Sheet Pan Asian Salmon is always a fave, but we’ve had that a lot lately… time to mix it up.)

And… that’s all I have for you guys today! I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post that moving forward (both now and once we have childcare) I’m planning to have Wednesdays as my day off from work where I spend the day with Riese. So that means that I’ll no longer be posting on the blog on Wednesdays moving forward. I know you guys will understand! So I will see you back here on Thursday. :) Thank you again for your support!

Comments

  1. 1

    Glad things are working out. It’s hard, but sometimes with breastfeeding on demand the baby does want to eat all day. Talk to your LC about cluster feeding. It may seem like it lasts forever, but babies only really do this for a few months. They don’t get on feeding schedules until the breastfeeding routine is well established.

    • 2

      Riese does a lot of cluster feeding at night… especially the past week it’s ramped back up again. So tough! Not sure if it’s because she isn’t getting enough or just because she’s having a growth spurt and would cluster feed either way… so hard to tell! Really hoping the LC can help me at least to know if this is normal or a feeding issue!

  2. 3

    I’m so glad you feel better today and so glad you have maybe found a nanny! Yay! It seems like Eatingwell.com has some recipes made just for two people. I love their recipes!

  3. 4

    I’ve been meaning to comment on your posts for a while to let you know how much I appreciate your honesty about the struggles of motherhood! Having a newborn is so, so hard and reading blog posts where people made it sound like everything was perfect and they didn’t even mind the lack of sleep sometimes felt like I slap in the face when I was struggling so much with all of the changes and adjusting to life as a mom. Our home visit from a lactation consultant was life changing and I really hope it’s helpful for you too! I’m really looking forward to reading more about you and Riese and I can promise that things get easier and more fun :)

    • 5

      Thank you so much, Amy! This is such a wonderful time but such a challenging one, too, and it’s so important to share both sides of that, I think!

  4. 6

    Hi!!! Your Mom rocks and glad you found a trial nanny! Riese misses me, I can tell in the pics – let’s get together for a walking date!

  5. 8

    Sleep and support – two magical s words that can do so much for someone.

    For sheet pan – I love baking cod topped with pesto on top of string beans and/or zucchini. I also usually make my pesto with spinach and/or arugula plus a bit of basil and sub out the pine nuts for walnuts. I’ve also tossed shrimp with the pesto and then baked it with veggies, so yummy and flavorful.

  6. 10
    Erin Miller says:

    Try skinnytaste.com for sheetpan recipes. She has several tasty ones that my family loves. Balsamic Chicken and Italian chicken are 2 of our favorites.

  7. 12

    I also wanted to thank you for sharing about the challenges of new motherhood. I struggled so much to make sure my son was eating enough and ended up working with lactation consultant after my son wasn’t gaining enough weight. I put myself on a (looking back) crazy schedule of nursing, pumping right after, and then feeding my son the milk I just pumped (this was recommended by my lactation consultant). It was exhausting, especially in the middle of the night, but we will do anything for our babies! Things got much better as he got bigger and stronger – he was able to exclusively nurse after about a month of that – but I still remember how stressful it was to make sure he got enough food. Good luck with everything – it will get better!

  8. 13

    I know you said you have an LC coming and that’s awesome! I just wanted to add, if she says there’s no tongue/lip tie, but you feel something in your gut, don’t be afraid to reach out to your local La Leche League for a recommendation for a IBCLC in your area that is really good at diagnosing ties. I only say this because my son had an obvious tongue tie AND a posterior tie and the posterior tie wasn’t diagnosed until I saw our FOURTH consultant at six months old (missed by pediatrician and the other three previously). I hope you can get all the feeding issues sorted out / I know how stressful it feels!

    • 14

      I work with children with feeding difficulties. Tongue ties, especially posterior and lip ties, are very frequently missed. Pediatricians unfortunately don’t often get much training in this area and I often see infants and toddlers referred to us for feeding difficulties “picky eating” and it turns out they have undiagnosed ties. Moms often report having difficulty or not being able to breastfeed or slow weight gain as infants. It may take more than one practitioner to get the correct diagnosis. Good for you for being proactive in seeking out support. It can make a huge difference to get support early on! This site has a basic overview of ties http://www.agesandstages.net/blog.php?id=44

  9. 16

    That sheet pan meal looks amazing! I need to pick up a fennel bulb soon – I love the flavor but haven’t cooked with it in a long time! I’m so glad that you have an appointment and already a nanny completing a trial with you guys! Sleep truly can make all the difference in how I view a situation. Too little, and I fall to pieces, but with the right amount of sleep, I can face quite a bit. :) Rachael posted these two recipes that sound awesome that we’re wanting to try. https://www.rachaelhartleynutrition.com/blog/southwestern-breakfast-hash
    https://www.rachaelhartleynutrition.com/blog/one-dish-baked-spinach-parmesan-sorghum-risotto
    Have a great day!

  10. 18

    Hi Anne! I read both yesterday’s and today’s blog post and let me just say that I can relate to what you wrote so well! When we had my daughter, we struggled with finding someone to watch her, we finally found someone only to have them cancel on us two days before I was set to go back to work. I was of course a huge emotional mess. One of my very best friends suggested her mom to us so we explored that option – she was amazing! Our daughter is now 2.5 and is now in preschool but our nanny is still very much a part of our lives – things worked out for the best! I also was able to re-evaluate my work schedule and switched to working 4 days a week and that was also an amazing change – I feel like it is the perfect balance for me. I get to go out and enjoy some time “away” with other adults and I also get to have some quality time with my daughter. Whatever you do end up doing will be the perfect decision for you and your family I am sure :) Trust your instincts! As far as the breastfeeding goes, oh man did I ever cry buckets of tears over that too! It is soooo hard – physically and emotionally! Right around 6 months my daughter refused to nurse, she did not want to and I just felt like I was doing something wrong. I was told a whole host of things such as I changed the nipple size on her bottle too soon, I am giving her too many bottles, if I didn’t have her on a schedule then she would nurse better, on and on the comments came in and guilt ensued. I felt like I was failing in some way – finally I decided to stop breastfeeding all together and it ended up being the best decision for me and my family {that is not to say it is the best decision for you at all, just sharing my story}. I felt more emotionally “free”, if that makes sense. I was able to bond better with my daughter because of it because I wasn’t so stressed out and worried that she was going to nurse and/or getting enough.
    Anyway, all that to say – whatever you decide to do, whatever happens will all work out for the best. Don’t waste too much time worrying, instead spend that time snuggling that precious Riese :)

    Ok, enough rambling – enjoy your day!

  11. 19

    I have a daughter who is about a week older than Riese and after having every breastfeeding issue possible, we switched to formula. I had total mom guilt but it is working out so much better for everyone, including my baby! It’s hard feeling like you need permission to do things a certain way to raise your child, but give yourself a little grace to make the decision that is best for your family. Every baby- and mom- is different!

    • 20

      I also formula fed both of my babies (9 & 3 yrs old). It just turns out I’m not a good milk producer. Once we switched to formula, everyone was much happier in our home. A healthy (& fed) baby is what’s important and people achieve that in different ways.

  12. 22

    That chicken sausage with fennel and apples meal looks so amazing! Yum! I love sheet pan recipes (I never knew there was a title for the category, nor websites with a ton of recipes – def. going to check out the link a commenter above shared!). I used to make I guess what could be called a sheet pan meal with celery, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes, with a ton of cinnamon, coconut oil, cumin, and Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning. It’s been so long since I’ve made that!

  13. 23
    Melissa Caulfield says:

    Yay Yay Yay! Keeping you in prayer!

  14. 24

    Cluster feeding is totally normal. My baby lost over 10% of his weight in hospital after c section due to tongue tie. Got it clipped at 1 week old. Breastfeeding was HARD til about week 6. We had latch issues, used a nipple shield, my nipples needed 2 weeks to heal at one point so I was exlucively pumping. I kept putting him to breast and voila he got it. One day, when he was about 2 weeks old, I noticed that I spent 6 hours total breastfeeding. Some of our feeds were 45-60min long. Totally normal. He didn’t gain weight fast and pediatrician was watching it. He got a coughing virus from 3months old to 5montjs old so we thought maybe he was expelling energy and losing weight. Finally at 6months he was diagnosed with cows milk protein intolerance sonwe started to fortify my pumped milk with formula to up the calories so he could gain weight while I eliminated dairy from my diet.

    Clusterfeeding is normal. If she’s hungry she’s hungry. We did weighted feeds at Lactation consultant and he was taking in an appropriate amount of milk so it wasn’t a transfer issue. There were many evenings after he started daycare at 3months that I would feed every 30mins from the time i got home from work, til he went to bed.

    You’ll get theoigu this. Daycare at 3montjs was nice because it helped us establish more of a feeding routine during the day etc etc. I fed on demand when he was with me though.

  15. 25

    Totally meant to comment yesterday but caring for the 14 month old took priority! Your post on feeding really hit home. When my son was 12 weeks old, I had a similar experience! I remember leaving the appointment in tears, feeling like the worst mother in the world. But, we got the issues sorted out- slightly different to yours in that my son was feeding well (had a tongue tie but was fixed quite early on) but had very little interest in feeding- so feeding on demand wasn’t working! I had to essentially schedule feeds. He gained but still not quite as much as they wanted but they later realised that he is extremely active, so stopped worrying too much. Anyway, all this to say you will get through this! Motherhood is so tough in that first year- just when you think you got it under control, something going else creeps in….but just wait- it is about to get so fun. You are doing great, mama!

  16. 27

    The newborn days are tough and breastfeeding can be a real kick in the pants. We struggled quite a bit with my now 10 month old in the beginning. No one really seems to talk about how hard it can be to get breastfeeding established but so many mamas have a hard time in the beginning. I hope the LC is helpful for you! Damn Delicious has amazing sheet pan meals!! They are in regular rotation at our house!

    If you haven’t seen it already the Wonder Weeks app is worth checking out. It gives you a timeline of when baby is going through major “leaps” in mental development which I have found to be a lifesaver for my sanity. Sometimes you will have a rough time and won’t have an explanation for it but I’ve found some of our really tough days (poor sleep, cluster feeding, general fussiness) are right around a major milestone. Just nice to know there may be a reason behind some of the really hard days!!

    • 28

      Ditto the Wonder Weeks book/app! My daughter just made her last “leap” and it has been spot on throughout her first eighteen months. Every time we were scratching are heads about why she was cranky when the obvious (hunger, teething, diaper) weren’t an issue, it turned out she was just going through a leap. With breastfeeding, it is THE HARDEST thing I have ever done, physically and emotionally. Nothing even compares. It is so hard to all of the sudden be responsible for feeding another human being and have your world revolve around it. And breastfeeding or not, this phase is just plain tough. Hang it there! Sounds like you are taking advantage of the right resources and I’m sure things will get on track. You are doing great and so is your babe!

      • 29

        YES I love that app! So helpful to know she’s just going to be more fussy vs. it being anything we are doing wrong. And thank you for the kind words <3

    • 30

      LOVE wonder weeks… so helpful!!

  17. 31
    Jessica Campbell says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I had so many struggles with breast feeding and it was just too tough and emotional. I ended up switching to pumping, which in hindsight I kind of regret, but in the moment is was deliriously tired and so stressed that it was the right decision. Remember it’s still early and you can always try out different things and see how it works. I remember by the time the lactation consultant came I was just a puddle of tears. She was great and so helpful.

  18. 33

    Hi Anne,
    So glad that things are working out. Amazing how one day can make all the difference! Of course you should do whatever is best for you and Riese but I did want to chime in to say I used a nipple shield for the first 4-5 weeks after my baby was born and I had to work hard to wean her off of it. It made the feedings so slow and I was always trying to track it down versus just popping her on when she was hungry. If you can get away with not using one, which you have for awhile now, I would caution against it. I was SO happy when she finally stopped needing it, it was such a big moment on our breastfeeding journey. Again, of course so whatever works for you but just wanted to share my experience! Wishing you the best.

  19. 35

    Good luck with the lactation consultant! We met with one after birth, and she was so incredibly helpful! Regarding sheet pan ideas, I recommend a cookbook, “Sheetpan Suppers,” by Molly Gilbert. She has a bunch of creative ideas, and the ones I’ve tried have been delicious!

  20. 37

    I am glad things are feeling better. You are doing great! I love this sheet pan dinner with Gouda and appplw stuffed chicken and sweet potatoes https://www.rachelcooks.com/2016/03/07/apple-gouda-stuffed-chicken-breasts-smoky-roasted-sweet-potatoes/

  21. 39

    I’m a new mom as well (4 month old) and certainly don’t have all (any…lol) of the answers but it’s encouraging to read about all the ways you’re being both true to yourself while also reaching out for help. I’m certain the LC will provide the support you need – but as a little aside – in the beginning, my husband always did the sporadic bottle feeds just because he couldn’t otherwise feed her and we wanted him to have that bonding time. When I started having bumps in the road with breastfeeding and we had to supplement breastfeeds with bottles afterwards, it helped me emotionally to be the one doing the bottle feeding. It never occurred to us at first – my husband just automatically did it because that was his thing – and I recall watching her suck down the entire bottle with my husband and losing myself in a puddle of tears because I felt like such a failure and so removed from what had been something special between my daughter and me. Including myself in the bottle feeding somehow helped me “reclaim” it – it made it seem less like the alternative, lesser choice that somehow represented my inadequacy (the mind games we play with ourselves!) and made it more approachable. I still got to look in her eyes, share that time with her, and see her suckle from a different perspective (less painful one, too!) and learned to appreciate its role in the process. Anyways, I’m sure the three of you will figure out what works best for everyone and glad you already have sought the support you need.
    ps I’m in Arlington as well so perhaps we’ll cross baby paths one day!

  22. 43

    Glad to hear things are less stressful! You will figure it all out. :)

    I did a random sheet pan dinner last night that was super easy and turned out really well using a lot of winter veg I had on hand: acorn squash, parsnips, carrots, onion, and mushrooms tossed with OO/salt/garlic and roasted with an assortment of sausages on top, then drizzled with pesto before serving.

  23. 45

    Yeah for taking Wednesday’s as a mom day! On top of all the other benefits, scheduling doctors appointments will be easier because you’ll know that day is open. Hope the new nanny works out!

  24. 47
    Michelle Barry says:

    This is my all time favorite sheet pan recipe, it’s a must try! WE use breasts instead of thighs, boil the carrots quickly before (so they better absorb the flavor), add sun dried tomatoes, and serve with rice or quinoa. It’s a staple meal in our house! https://www.skinnytaste.com/balsamic-chicken-with-roasted/

  25. 49

    Great news that you’re feeling better, that you have a nanny lead, and that you got the lactation appointment!! All good stuff!! :)
    So glad you have your Mom nearby to pop over for support :)

  26. 50

    Anne! Loving your honesty momming!!!

    My current favorite sheet pan dish is Smitten Kitchen’s Sheet Pan chicken tikka. So good!!! https://smittenkitchen.com/2016/04/sheet-pan-chicken-tikka/

  27. 53

    Hi Anne, everything you said in your last post totally hit the nail on the head in terms of being a new mom – it can be so hard, especially with breastfeeding difficulties. You are doing an amazing job though so keep it up! And the most important thing, like you said, is being grateful to have a baby, and a healthy one at that.

    One suggestion to consider that might have been mentioned already (I haven’t read all the comments) is a nipple shield. I had to use one because one of my nipples is apparently “short” and my LC recommended it, and it definitely worked! I especially went through a period even when my son was 6-8 weeks old where it took FOREVER to feed him. The nipple shield worked really well for us. I think some people are against them (kind of like pacifiers) but to each her own! We did not have to use it for more than a few weeks before he was able to latch better on his own. You can get them online or at your local hospital or breastfeeding store (if you’ve not been to the breastfeeding center in DC (now on 19th St. NW), you should go – it’s great!).

    Good luck with everything – Riese is lucky to have you as a mom.

  28. 55
    Roadrunner says:

    Very nice to hear that things are looking up! Thanks again for sharing so openly!

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