Wednesday, March 25, 2015

XO VoxBox Review

I am finally getting around to posting my Voxbox review. Don't know what a Voxbox is?  It is a box of goodies that Influenster sends out to lucky members to review.   was chosen for the XO VoxBox which contained some hair products, laundry products, dental care products and coupons for many other items. Today I am here to tell you what I liked and disliked.

* I received the products complimentary to test and review, but all opinions are my own.
I would have to say this was a pretty diverse box of goodies. There was even a coupon for lingerie and a service that sends you lingerie every month for $25, but I opted out of it as I don't really have the funds to get new lingerie every month. Not that I wouldn't want it because I would.

Colgate Optic White Toothbrush with Built-in Whitening Pen and Toothpaste - Like (most of it)
The first time I used the toothbrush I thought it was a bit too hard, but after the second time, I actually really like it. You can put the whitening pen in the bottom of the toothbrush for easy convenience or stability. I also liked the toothpaste. It hasn't made my teeth tingle like other whitening toothpastes do. But I wasn't as big of a fan of the whitening pen. I used it twice, but it made my teeth tingle too much.

Tide Pods with Febreze - Love
I love the Tide Pods. I have used at least half of the bag already. I love the scent of my clothes after washing with the pods and they feel really clean. You simply add the pod to the bottom of you washing machine, add your clothes on top and set your washing machine to run. Super easy and convenient. I would definitely buy these.

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream - Like
I put this in my diaper bag since I am constantly washing my hands and need some lotion when I am on the go. I like how it makes my hands feel. The smell is ok, but I am more partial to non-scents right now.

John Frieda Beach Blonde Collection Shampoo and Conditioner and Sea Salt Spray - Like
I haven't used the sea salt spray as I have been getting up super early to shower and don't really have the opportunity to use the spray yet, but I have used the shampoo and conditioner. I love the scent (mint) of this. It is supposed to be for damaged hair and as I have color treated hair this is nice.

John Frieda Luxirous Volume 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment - Like so far
I have only used this once as it is a 7 day volume treatment (as it says in the title). I liked how it felt on my hair and how it easily washed out. Just use it after your normal shampoo and conditioner, leave in for 3 to 5 minutes and wash out. I am not sure if it makes my hair that much more volumized as my hair is pretty thick right now, but I want to use it more times before I can make a fair review on it. So far I am liking it.

Not pictured - coupons - just ok
I like getting coupons for products and stores I like, but I am not as likely to use them if I have never shopped the store before. I don't know the sizing and fit of items and since I am still post pregnancy sizing, it is hard for me to invest in new clothes where I don't know the product/store very well. But don't get me wrong, I did some window shopping and could use some stuff for work, but otherwise not my favorite VoxBox item.

Want to get a VoxBox of your own? Join now here.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Case of Mastitis

Mastitis and Breast Abscess.  Two things a breastfeeding/pumping mom never wants to hear or experience.  And this momma had both.

It all started on Friday, February 27th.  I started to feel a lump in my right breast.  As the day progressed it got red and hot to the touch.  I just left it be and started my weekend of breastfeeding. 

See we rented a scale from our local lactation place at the hospital for the weekend.  We wanted to see how much milk the girls were getting with each breastfeeding session and see if we wanted to continue down the road of breastfeeding or pumping.  The girls got various amounts of breast milk that weekend.  Sometimes they got enough (around 80 mils) and other times they barely got any in a 20 minute session (around 24 mils).  Those times where they barely got any milk, I would have to pump and supplement feed them.  This was a long process and not to mention, my breast hurt every time I pumped or they fed.

By Saturday night, I couldn't bare it anymore, so I took to good ole google and looked up my symptoms.  Most said mastitis, clogged milk duct or abscess.  They recommended to keep pumping and breastfeeding, but also massage.  The massaging killed me.  It made my breast hurt more than it did before the massage.  I started taking ibuprofen and just dealing with it.

Monday rolls around and we have to take the scale back to the lactation connection.  I asked them to take a look at my breast, but there wasn't a nurse there.  One girl took a look and said go to my OB ASAP.  Then a nurse came in and she told me I have mastitis and I need antibiotics from my OB.  So I called them, they filled a prescription and off I went.

I took the antibiotics as directed and continued to pump.  I was so over the breastfeeding because the girls needed supplementing every time.  By Wednesday, I was starting to feel better and I felt the lump getting smaller.  Good news.  But by Thursday night, it seemed worse.

This whole time I was taking ibuprofen, pumping and just dealing with it.  Friday, March 6th, I got my hair done and it was amazing.  I had a few hours away from the girls while my mom watched them and I got to do something for myself.  But on the drive home, I could barely stand the seatbelt on my breast.  When I got home, I asked my mom what she thought.  She said go to the doctor, and so I did.

But I had to see a midwife as my doctor had already left the office.  She said I had a very bad case of mastitis and I needed to go to the ER.  I contemplated going or not because I hate going to the hospital and it couldn't be that bad.  But in the end I went.  And after being seen by the nurse (after check in) she told me it was really bad, to move my car to valet and they would move me to first for triage.  Cue tears, calls to my mom and dad and panic.

I didn't want to bug my husband who was golfing until I knew more.  Well it turns out I had a major breast abscess and they were considering surgery.  So I called my husband, left him messages and waited.  My dad showed up to keep me company and support me.  We kept my mom in the loop since she was watching the girls.  Finally my husband called and we told him the news and that I would keep him posted.  Well he left golf after hole 9 (I still feel bad that he had to leave) even before my dad and I could tell him to stay and finish since I had my dad there.

They did some blood work, put in an ivy, gave me awesome pain meds and we waited for an ultrasound.  My husband showed up and we waited while tons of doctors checked my abscess out.  Finally we went to pre-op for an ultrasound.  But the surgeon checked out my abscess and said he didn't even need an ultrasound to see how bad and deep the infection was really bad.  Like the worst case he had ever seen and he deals with breast stuff all.the.time.

So I had surgery.  And I had to be put under since it was that bad.  Normally, a local anesthetic is given and you are awake, but he said this would be way too painful.  So I had a thirty minute surgery to cut open my abscess and clean out the pus and infection.  Plus an irrigation of the wound.  So crazy and finally out of pain.

I was pretty bummed to hear that I would be staying overnight since I needed a heavy course of antibiotics and they wanted to monitor me.  I went over 24 hours without seeing my babies.  Heartbreaking, but knowing my mom took care of them all day (until 10 pm) and then my husband was with them made it better.

I have been recovering since then.  My husband has to change my bandages twice a day because I have an open wound on my chest.  See you can't stitch it up as it needs to drain and heal from the inside out.  And you can't put a drain in it either because it breeds infection.  So I have an open wound covered in bandages.  The first dressing change at the hospital was the worst.  My pain killers hadn't kicked in yet and as a result there was screams, whimpers and moans.  So painful and gross.  But as the days go on, it gets better.  And I know to take pain killers before changing the dressing.  The open air and the tender broken nerves are too much to handle without pain killers.

But the good news is, it is healing.  I had my post-op check up last Wednesday and things were looking good.  And today I have another post-op appointment.  Hopefully it closes soon.  It definitely has gotten shallow and smaller, but still open.

Lesson learned.  Go to the doctor early on and get it fixed sooner.  I was part of the 1% who get an abscess from mastitis, so it doesn't happen that often, but mastitis does.

And that is why I have barely been on here.  I have been on pain killers, trying to recover and helping my mother-in-law and husband take care of our babies.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone as it is quite painful.  I even considered stopping pumping all together, but I want to go as long as I can.  So I grin and bare it.  Plus it is a lot less painful now than when I had the abscess.  At least the wound is on the side of my breast and not by the nipple.  But I can tell you it has really affected my milk supply.  It went way down!  I am trying to get it back up, and continuing to pump every 3 hours.  I am also trying mothers milk tea, oatmeal and beer.  Let's hope it gets back up to normal before we go through our entire freezer stash of milk.  We are down a bin and a half.  So sad to see it go that fast.

For more information on mastitis, click here.  And for additional information on breast abscesses, click here.
Monday, March 16, 2015

2 Month Update

I know I am way late on this two month update on the girls, but that is because I had a bad case of mastitis and a breast abscess, so please forgive me.   The girls turned two months on February 28th or March 1st since their birthday is the 29th and there was no 29th in February.

So without further ado...the girls two month update.

nicknames: Avery: Avery Girl, Avey, Turkette  Sutton: Sutton Muffin, Suttey, Turkette

weight: As of March 2nd (the last time I weighed the girls using the lactation's scale) the girls were doing amazing on weight gain.  Sutton weighed 6 pounds 12.5 ounces and Avery weighed 7 pounds 4.8 ounces.  I am guessing they are both over 8 pounds since it is the 16th already.

sleep: This literally changes daily.  One day, the girls will sleep 5 hours (like last night) and then the next one baby is keeping this momma up between the 11:30 pm and 3:30 am feeding.  We have implemented a new schedule where we put the girls in their halo sleepsacks after their 8 pm feeding and put them in their cribs until their 11:30 pm feeding.  So far it has been working and we usually only have to go into their room a few times right after we put them down.  We are working on transitioning to their cribs full time.  Just trying to cut out the 3:30 am feeding and stretch it to 5 am.

Side note, did any of you moms use rice cereal in their bottles at their night time feeding to help them sleep longer?  And if so, at what age did you start it?
eats: The girls love their milk and love it every 3 hours during the day.  Don't mess with their schedule otherwise you will have screaming babies.  I was trying breastfeeding for a whole weekend and that weekend I developed my massive breast abscess so we have decided to only breastfeed in public or when necessary.  This momma is still recovering.  More on that tomorrow.

loves: They love their pacis.  #PaciLife  They also love being cuddled, starting to love bath time, eating, looking around and exploring, grasping moms hair and anything else they can get their hands on.

dislikes: I would say bath time is still a love hate because one bath they love it and the next they cry some of it.  They also hate being naked and diaper changes.

The girls have changed so much from month one (right after we brought them home from the NICU) to month two.  They are starting to show their personalities more and smile a ton.  Oh it melts my heart when they smile.  I can't believe I only have 5 more weeks at home with them (as of today and not at 2 months).  Time flies.  It really needs to slow down so I can savor every last baby second.
Avery laughing and smiling
Mommy loves you girls more than anything!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Minor Leave

So sorry I haven't posted in awhile.  But I have good reason.  Mastitis and breast abscess. Two things no breastfeeding/pumping mommy wants to hear.

I had planned a 2 month baby update with photos and all, but that has yet to be written. I also planned my Influenster VoxBox reveal. Again that has not been written. A weekend update, a day in the life of a mommy during maternity leave and so on. But none of those have been written because I have been in pain. Lots of pain. Pain that I ignored. And now I'm laid up at home on pain killers. Not ideal.

But my mother in law has been here helping with the girls, so I plan to write a few posts tomorrow while I have some down time.  So get ready for all the lovely details of mastitis and how it progressed into an abscess.  Plus some cuteness from my baby girls and hopefully a review of some awesome products I received.

Stay tuned...