A day in Annapolis

9:15 AM

Somehow this weekend we ended up all alone in DC. All of our family was out of town so it was just the three of us. We usually look forward to having some babysitters when we're in town but we more than made up for it by sleeping in, napping and just generally sleeping any chance we got. To say it was glorious is an understatement. We were beyond lazy and it felt so good! No family obligations, nowhere to be and nothing to do (other than secure some food every now and then). 
On Sunday afternoon however, we decided to take a little impromptu trip to Annapolis. We hadn't been there in years and with the temperatures hovering around 75 it seemed like the perfect opportunity for enjoying some time by the water. 
Our first stop, of course, was St. John's College. Papa bear received his master's there and we had our wedding reception there almost five years ago! This place is so dear to our hearts. The campus is stunning and we've had many a picnic by the docks and boat house. We went down there and took in the serene landscape - sparkling water, perfectly curated lawns surrounding colorful little boats and docks. It brought us back to our wedding day and our days as young newlyweds - memories that seem both so close and lightyears away. I love places like this, that have so much meaning for you and are sort of landmarks for your life. Places where you go "gosh we've come so far..." And as always we had the whole place to ourselves, nothing but the sounds of our voices and the water gently washing over the pebbles...
After indulging adequately in our sentimentality we headed into old town. The streets were buzzing and the docks were teeming with people. We finagled our stroller through the crowds in order to get quite literally the best lemonade in all the land from Uncle Bob's Fudge Kitchen (their claim and rightfully so) and ice cream from Kilwins. It was well worth it. Once we had the ice cream and lemonade we disappeared down a side street into the quiet. We took in the lovely homes, proudly waving their American flags. We located a bench a couple blocks away from Main Street and happily sat down to devour the ice cream and let Birdie take a little nap. I sat there and wished that every day this summer could be just like this - perfectly warm, with a slight breeze and dry. But alas it's looking like this summer will be no different from every DC summer - unbearably hot, sticky and horrifically humid. 
...
Now because this is real life and not a movie I will regale you with the rest of the events of the day exactly as they unfolded. I suppose some days are just too perfect so life feels like it must throw a little yuck your way to keep you humble. So... a few moments after we strapped Birdie into her car seat and headed out of old town she began to cry and flail her arms around. We figured she was tired and would nod off once we were on the main road. Just as we were about to make the turn we heard a terrible sound from the backseat and we looked backed to discover that our sweet girl had just projectile vomited over EVERYTHING. I couldn't believe a tiny human could produce so much vomit. We instantly pulled over (luckily we happened to be near a 7Eleven and papa bear ran in to buy some paper towels) and I rushed over to get her out of her car seat. I've never seen her look so sad and it absolutely broke my heart. I stripped her of her clothes and as luck would have it I had just bought some towels at Anthropologie and could wrap her up in them (everything else was drenched). After cleaning her up and the car we drove to Target so that I could get her some clothes (I know, I should have known better and had an outfit stashed in the car for these type of moments). Once we parked she ended up vomiting again. This time we were both VERY concerned. While there I called my parents and we tried to figure out what could have been the culprit. We finally decided that it had to be the baby water I bought in desperation at CVS the night before that had added fluoride  I normally buy Gerber baby water but they didn't have any so I figured it can't be that bad. Turns out it is. And after doing some more research once we got home we discovered it's even worse than what we thought. I am still livid over the fact that this is marketed to babies when it's dangerous even for adults!
So there you have it! I wasn't going to talk about the fact that I've been formula feeding V since she was 4 1/2 months because most of you will think I'm a bad person (which is fine really, most of the time I think I'm a bad person so you know...) but I just couldn't not share about the dangers of fluoride in case I can save anyone else the horrors of watching your baby projectile vomit. Especially since this was the first thing that has ever made V sick. It's appalling to me that something like this can be legally sold and marketed for young children. You don't even want to know what the repercussions are for giving it to your child over a long period of time...
And there it is, in case you thought it's all flowers and fairy dust over here. Thankfully she's all better now but there really is nothing worse than a sick baby. I said a prayer that night for all the parents of sick babies as I can't even image how difficult and heartbreaking it must be. 

P.S. In case you don't think I should be sent to hell and want to know more about our experience with formula leave me a note or shoot me an email! I'd be more than happy to share!

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17 notes

  1. Never feel bad for how you choose to feed your baby, because you are her mother and you know what is best for both of you! As for breastfeeding, making it until 4 and a 1/2 months is wonderful!

    And the fluoride?! Oh my gosh! I would write the company a letter explaining your experience. It's important for them to know.

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    1. Lauren thank you so much!! Your words mean the world to me! xo

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  2. Thanks for your honesty about formula feeding V.
    I have been formula-feeding my daughter pretty much since birth (she is 5months) and I'm saddened by the judgement passed on moms who choose (or need) to feed their babies formula. I'm further saddened by the fact that you felt ashamed or embarrassed to admit doing so.
    I won't use this comment as a platform to illustrate the reasons why I didn't BF my daughter, but I will say that she is healthy (knock on wood), thriving, happy, and loved.
    I don't feel like a bad person or a bad mom for using formula...I truly hope you are able to make peace with it and ease up on yourself.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with baby water...we are able to make bottles with the tap water in our home, but I wondered about using nursery water when traveling this summer (if the water near us isn't potable or safe for babies).

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    1. Kim thank you so much for your kindness and support, it means so much to me. It's so nice to know that I am not alone. xo

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  3. Oh poor baby! I never even knew there was such a thing as "baby water." I've just been giving Lucy the same stuff that we drink that comes out of the fridge.

    Never EVER feel bad about how you feed your baby as long as she is getting the nutrients she needs and she's still growing/developing as normal. Everyone has their reasons/needs for using formula and shouldn't be judged. Heck, in my family, breastfeeding is the anomaly. I think I'm the only one to ever do it.

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    1. Aww! Thanks darling!! I soooo appreciate this!! xo

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  4. Isn't it awful that we as mothers are often made to feel terrible for something like giving formula instead of breast milk? It feels as though it's some sort of competition when it should never be. I was full of guilt when I returned to work and had a few days where because of stress/not enough time I was not able to pump enough to meet her needs and had to go out and buy formula. I literally lost sleep over it. But then I realized, she is getting the nutrition she needs, she is thriving and stress isn't going to let me get back on track. I've chosen to keep pumping and keep breastfeeding but that guilt and shame I felt as I purchased formula for the "just in case" moments is something I'll never forget. I even tried to hide it in my cupboard! There should be no shame in switching to formula or using it from the get go. We all make our choices for what is right for us and our babies and we should not let the opinion of others get in the way.

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    1. Ahhh so much of what you said here resonated with me. Thank you for saying everything you did and for your kindness and support. It means so much to me! xo

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  5. What a beautiful weekend (minus the sad, sick baby!! how awful for you all!) I just wanted to comment and say, I formula fed both my boys and although I pumped for a few months and bottle fed some break milk, my boys were mostly formula fed and there's not an ounce of shame. It's what was best given our situation (my oldest has special needs/I didn't produce a lot of milk etc...) but I was just as appalled as you to find out about the water stuff!! I can't believe that is even available for anyone to consume, let alone babies! So glad your little one is doing better and so glad you shared because I think more people should know.

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet support Jodi! It's really nice to hear about other people's experiences, it definitely takes the shame and loneliness out of it. xo

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  6. I love Annapolis and you took wonderful pictures. I am not a mom but as a caregiver of many children I know there is no one way to raise a child. You have to do whats best for you in order to do whats best for her. Thank you so much for sharing! (www.blairsays.com)

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  7. darling girl,

    go easy on yourself!!!!!! i have 4 boys, 14-6. you can't possibly do, know, be everything. the best thing you can do is enjoy that baby girl and it seems like you are excelling at that.

    xo

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    1. Aww! Thank you SO MUCH for this!! :) xo

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  8. I've been following you since you were pregnant...I was due only a couple weeks after you - my son was born December 19! This is my first comment...to say thank you for writing about the formula and that you have NO reason to feel guilty, but I understand exactly how you feel. Breastfeeding almost broke my heart. Due to a medical condition, I only ever had about half a supply, and my son was extremely frustrated at the breast, so I've been exclusively pumping and formula feeding since he was born. He's almost 5 1/2 months now and I'm weaning from the pump and happier than I have ever been...now I have time to actually *enjoy* him. When he was a newborn, I was obsessed with making more milk and feeling guilty because I had read so many negative things about formula online (combine that with my postpartum depression and I was a total mess for awhile). I really regret that I didn't take it easier on myself. Of course, that's what I got for reading tons of blogs that made breastfeeding sound so perfect and easy. In reality, it's not for most women. All of my real life mama friends have struggled with breastfeeding, and many of them have used formula and their babies are all smart, healthy and pretty much perfect.

    If your decision has made you a happier mama, then you should never regret it, as that's what your beautiful girl needs the most. And 4 1/2 months is awesome. Be proud of yourself! :)

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    1. Oh my gosh SO much of what you said was true for me too. Thank you for sharing and saying everything you did. It feels so wonderful to support each other with something that is so difficult and often divisive. I will really cherish your words! And yay for December babies!! :) xoxo

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  9. Oh, bless your heart. Seriously. First time mama hood is hard enough as it is. I know how you feel. I had such a hard time breastfeeding. My daughter and I made it to 9 months and now my son and I are just at 3 months but realistically probably not going to make it as long. Its a heartbreaking experience in many ways and I think because as mamas we want that one magic bullet that will ensure a lifetime of health and happiness for our babies...no one wants to give ''second best''.

    I am sorting through the sadness and guilt right along with you.

    Big hugs. YOU are the only mama that little girl has & you are her entire world, no matter what!

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