Sweet Sixteen

I'm really trying to blog more. With a total of 6 girls between my husband and I, I'm not sure why I haven't blogged on each of their birthdays. Live & Learn! So much of my own experiences as a mother has helped me in my career. 

Karley, my now 16 (wow, I'm getting old!) is the reason I'm a Lactation Consultant. She was a NICU baby and was NPO (nothing by mouth) for awhile. I pumped religiously in the mothers pumping area at Sharp Mary Birch. I remember everyone being divided by curtains. I was already discharged yet still pumping drops while I could hear everyones milk splashing into bottles. I was exhausted, emotional, confused and frustrated with most of our NICU stay. I had Hayley, my then 2.5 year old at home needing her mom just as much as her sister. We lived about 45 minutes away from the hospital. I made the difficult decision to stay home in the evenings. Depressed was an understatement when it came to pumping alone throughout the middle of the night. I can see where a postpartum doula could have been a huge asset for me.

Soon my milk came in and I proudly brought bags and bags of little bottles filled with yellow transitional milk. Karley was cleared to start eating and while she did great with a bottle she wouldn't latch onto my breast. My first while I had to help perfect her latch loved nursing from the second she was born. What was I doing wrong? I called in back up requesting an LC. She ended up seeing our "neighbor" first who celebrated his 16th birthday yesterday. His mom and I were Doula partners a few years later in San Diego! You never know who you will meet even when life isn't going as planned. My LC was sweet but very busy, she handed me a shield and showed us how to supplement at the breast. That worked... occasionally. By 3 weeks Karley was completely off bottles. It was hard work for both her and I. Months later when I was in my Lactation Educator course at UCSD I realized she had/has a tongue tie. Breastfeeding was established and we were both happy so I left it be. At 16 she has no problems with it. She's unique with her heart shaped tongue! 

Karley has always been petite, she was "term" at 37 weeks, now considered near term. We've dealt with some Failure to Thrive diagnosis's in her early years. She has shown me to look at the baby/child not the charts or books. She's always been proportionate, active and reaching all her milestones. Her spunking attitude makes up for her size, with now two of her younger sisters (12 & 14) taller than her. I have no doubts her baby sister who is 6, is shortly behind them. She is an amazing dancer who loves yoga and just made her high school cheer squad. She loves music unless its country! She's driving with her permit but I know she'll be getting her license soon. I'm so proud of the young woman she's becoming! 

Oh and statistics were on my side when it came to her birth. My second labor was drastically shorter than my first!