Honoring Cade

Yesterday, March 13th was Cade’s 2nd bday! His birth feels like a lifetime ago and like yesterday all at the same time.   This year wasn’t necessarily easier like I thought it would be.  Having Berkley this year did definitely take the edge off but as a family we still could barely bring ourselves to talk about “it”.  The baby, the situation, etc.  It’s too much to think about for me so I block it out.

On his birthday I try to MAKE myself think about it.  So I went through some old pictures- pictures that I can’t look at on a normal day.  We have videos of him that I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to watch again.  I watched them over and over and looked at pictures of him 24/7 in the weeks after he passed but then it got to be too much. And I put them away and I really never get them out.   The other week I pulled out his photo book and was flipping through it with Berkley. When I got to his actual delivery – I couldn’t turn the page and put the book back.  It was in chronological order so could only handle the pregnancy pictures and the pictures of me with my big-ole belly in the hospital. For the families out there that have years of memories stored away, I can’t imagine what that is like. Maybe it would have been different if he was healthy.

It ended up being a good day with family.  Kelly (my SIL) is the most creative person ever so made me the box below- thinking we could put his hospital blankets, etc. in it. I think that’s a great idea.  Jan (my MIL) brought balloons over to do a balloon release which was really special.  It’s times like these that I am grateful we moved back to KC. I’m anxious to get past Tuesday which is the anniversary of his death.  March 15th- AKA the worst day of my life.  IMG_8525

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...And every time I am sad, I just look at this sweet face

 

Berkley Ann’s First 6 Months

This baby girl. This crisp but beautiful night. Thank you to Alison Moore Photography for so many great pictures- these are just a few of my favorites!  Berkley is 7 months old now, but I want to take a second to talk about our first 6 months.
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Berkley,

I cannot believe you are almost 7 months old! All of the sudden you are looking more like a little girl and you are closer to being 1 years old than you are to being a newborn. This is so bittersweet as we have so much to look forwards to, but at the same time, you have been the most snuggly, cute newborn and I have loved every second of figuring out how to be a mom the past 6 months.  Before time gets away from us I want to dedicate this post to you and talk about what has happened since your birthday.View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1Your birth was easy- thank you for that 🙂 Once you were here, my life got better.  It’s actually funny because I think I slept better once you were born. All of the anxious nights I had waiting for you were no longer a part of me since I had you officially in my arms.   I was on cloud 9 for the first few weeks. I had this crazy amount of energy and felt like I was bouncing while I walked around with you.  It was so surreal. I cooked & cleaned & felt invincible (for all of those thinking I am crazy- just keep reading).  We were so careful as we gave you your first bath.  I think there were like 4 people involved in that task 🙂 You actually slept great too when you came home from the hospital. There were a few nights you slept like 7 hours at night! It probably wasn’t good for mom’s milk supply but I didn’t really think about that at the time.   Dad got to stay home for about 2 weeks with us before heading back to work and both of your grandmas & grandpas and all of your aunts took turns coming out to see you. We took daily walks with Tyson up to the dog park and watched every episode of “The Office”.  We had TONS of visitors! Everyone was so anxious to meet you.  The amount of clothes you received as gifts was crazy- I could have dressed triplets with your wardrobe.

View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1About 1 month into your life, mom hit a wall.  GMa had come into Denver to see you and that day I felt like I was going to pass out multiple times.  I think that adrenaline rush that I had going strong for 4 weeks finally came to an end and reality set in.  Getting up every few hours at night is actually hard after so many weeks on end! GMa timed her visit right which gave me the opportunity to take some naps and catch up on rest.  It was MUCH needed.  Your first trip was at 6 weeks old.  We drove back to Kansas City for Aunt Kayley’s bachelorette party at the Lake of the Ozarks & you went to cousin Julie’s wedding.  You were a champ on the drive- thank goodness because as I am writing this post you have made the drive from either Denver to KC or KC to Denver 5 times so far!

View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1

View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 2 months, you weren’t gaining weight. You had dropped into the 1st percentile for weight and we had to start adding formula into your diet.  Mom had a VERY hard time with this but once we did it, you were so much happier and you became a pretty easy baby.   I was dreading going back to work and we decided that we really missed having our families around. In July, we made the decision to move back to Kansas City in early September.  We drove back to Kansas City, shopped for houses and you attended Kayley’s wedding.  You were still so tiny and it took forever to find a dress small enough to fit you!! Also, you hair had almost all fallen out by the wedding 🙂

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I ended up going back to work part time so I could spend some more time with you.  You were rolling over both ways by about 4 months and sleeping on and off through the night.

We moved to Kansas City when you were exactly 5 months old.  I bawled my eyes out.  It was so hard to leave our friends, the city we love, your birthplace, your brother’s birthplace and leave our future babies (who are in storage there).  But family first.  I want you to grow up around your grandparents.  View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1

You have turned into the most smiley, easy going baby.  You are ALWAYS on the move.  You have been active since you were in my belly. You love to be tossed around by us – I think you are going to be a roller coaster lover one day.  You have no fear of strangers and will go to anyone.  Every time I drop you at Nanny Lauren’s house I look back to see if there is any ounce of sadness there?! None that I can tell so far. You just love being around people!

We love you so much. You bring so much JOY into our lives.  We are so thankful for each day we get to spend with you, sweet girl.

 

 

 

 

On infant formula

Sadly, my milk supply still hasn’t increased even though I have been working my a** off.  I have been supplementing with formula or pumped milk since her 2 month doctor’s appointment and overall we have a very happy little girl that is gaining weight and finally has a thigh roll 🙂  This post is to share some knowledge over formula, what I give Berkley and our experience with it so far.

Prior to any milk supply problems I had read up on formula by chance. More out of curiosity than anything… but I am a researcher and I like to be informed.    To give you some background, my husband and I are pretty health-conscience.  We really care about what we eat & where it is sourced from.  We care about animal treatment and will pay more for food that we know is higher quality.  And we don’t trust the US food system all of the time. You can only watch so many documentaries to know that we have major issues in the US when it comes to our food.  So I am a skeptic to begin with.

The first article I read was a Food Babe article over formula.  The thing that bothered me about what I read was that it only compared organic US brands and there were still so many things “wrong” with the formula.  Synthetic preservatives, palm oil, etc.

From the Food Babe article:

“I will only cover organic formula, and I hope that readers will understand that while there are many problems in this segment of the organic industry, organic formula is still a far better choice than conventional formula, with its genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs), milk from cows that were likely treated with antibiotics or artificial growth hormones, and oils that were processed with the use of neurotoxic solvents like hexane.  Major ingredients in conventional formula are derived from crops that were sprayed with harmful pesticides and herbicides in the field and likely fumigated in storage.”

My head was spinning after going through this article.  But at this point, it didn’t even cross my mind that I would need to start giving Berkley formula sooner than later.  Fast forward to her 2 month appointment and the #milksupplyprobs that I shared and all of the sudden I needed to give B formula.  The first thing I did was order some Honest Company Organic Formula. Using the Food Babe article, I went through every single ingredient and decided it looked pretty good, all things considered.  I liked the fact that the first ingredient was actual organic milk vs. some sort of sugar product- which is the first ingredient on most formulas, sadly.

After ordering and trying this formula (Berkley took it just fine. I didn’t notice any tummy issues) I did even more research and came across this article on Gimmethegoodstuff which lead me to the discovery of Holle Infant formula out of Germany… which is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to formula in regards to quality & safety.  By this point, it was clear that I would be giving Berkley much more formula then planned, therefore, I have since then been ordering Holle through Little World Organics– Berkley loves it.  The biggest difference I have noticed in this formula is actually in her poos which are now very close to breastmilk poos even though she gets a good amount of formula per day (sorry Berkley for publicly blogging about your bowel movements).

I think as consumers often times we assume that the food we eat is safe if it is sold in the grocery stores. And you would assume that infant formula is especially safe & has the highest of quality standards.  Sadly that isn’t always true.  I know every mom just does they best they can do with the information they are given and it is overwhelming to literally put in the time and energy to research every-little-thing (and try to get some sleep!).    I felt compelled to spread the word, especially if you are using formula.  I know up until 2 months ago I was completely in the dark and it was just by-chance that I stumbled across these above articles.  Sharing is caring and I care a lot about you and your babies.  Maybe I will start a formula company one day 🙂

I promise my next post will be more fun!

xoxo,

Emily