Baby · Food · Health · Organization

Breastfeeding & Pumping

Breastfeeding can be such a daunting thing to so many people and pressure to do so is everywhere. Weather you choose to or not is totally up to you! It was a goal of mine to breastfeed and I was very nervous if I would be successful.

I am happy to say I am. It was not easy and I had to push through pain, bleeding. blisters, blebs, clogged ducts, mastitis and more. What women can do is amazing. In the hospital my baby only wanted to latch to one side, so yes I am lopsided, after working with a lactation consultant we determined that using a guard worked beast. She latched right away and I used it from then on (both sides). I really think this also helped with adding in the bottle because she was already used to the texture and it wasn’t a new or shocking change.

After my milk came in and I was about 6 weeks postpartum I started pumping to build up my stash for daycare while I was back to work. It started out slow and not much came out. I was so upset but just like with breastfeeding you have to push through. Your body is learning something new and it takes time to adapt. Not long after pumping on a regular schedule was I able to fill the bottles in 12 minutes or less.

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I would pump the opposite side while she ate. This saved time and allowed me to build my stash while not adding in another time commitment during the day. While I work I pump 3 times to keep the supply going because she is still exclusively breastfeeding with some table food.

How I freeze and Store

  1. I pump and then pour it into the storage bags, I do not have a bag preference all have worked just fine for me. I fill each bag up to the full 6 ounces. I do this because it takes up less space, saves bags and is easy to thaw and use knowing they are all the same. I don’t have to pick and choose what I need.
  2. I seal and re-seal the bag several times and lay it flat in the freezer.
  3. Once the milk is frozen I stand the bag up in a storage bin. I place them in order in the bin with the oldest up front and each new one behind.
  4. I keep each filled bin in our freezer in the garage. (I honestly don’t know what I would do if we didn’t have the extra freezer)
  5. I only keep one bin in the freezer in our kitchen. This is the bin of oldest milk and what I use to thaw and feed her with when she needs a bottle.

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This has been what has worked best for us and kept things organized and moving for use.

Baby · McKinney · Texas Life

Maternity Leave

I want to talk about my Maternity leave. It has been over since the end of February but I am just now finding time. Time is something that is very rare now a days 🙂

I felt like it flew by! Everyday was a new learning curve and trying to figure each other out. We had 3 major holidays during this time as well.

We came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day. My amazing family was here and prepared a traditional meal, which is my favorite thing! It was definitely an experience. I hadn’t eaten in days, recovering from a c-section and had a tiny baby. It was the first time I ate using my left hand and holding my babe in the other. I was not so good at it, now I am expert level! Little things like that people don’t tell you to practice. lol

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I know she will never remember her first Christmas but I wanted to make it an experience anyway! We still put up our tree and did minimal decorating, mostly because she never napped so putting up decorations was not entertaining to her. She LOVED looking at the lights on the tree. We also participated in the local holiday activities by going on walks or driving through neighborhoods looking at lights. It was a great way to learn how to get out of the house and adjust to having a baby with us. While we didn’t go and see Santa my husband obliged my crazy and dressed up in a Santa suite for photos on Christmas Day!

Most days were spent feeding, changing diapers, doing laundry and trying to remember to go to the bathroom and eat myself. Before I knew it, it would be dark out! I miss this time so much. 12 weeks is just not enough to learn each other!

After our pediatrician gave us the all clear I looked up the story times at the libraries and kids places near by. This was a great way for us to get out and interact with other people. She loved the music and colors. I also loved getting this one on one time where I wasn’t in our living room. It was a wonderful way to learn the local kids/baby places and all they have to offer. I now have a list of places for when she is older to participate for other fun activities. We also started the Read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten at the Allen Public Library. So fun and a great way to spend time together.

My husband also surprised us with our first family vacation, I will talk about this in another post.

Important Things to make sure you do during this time

  1. Get A copy of the Birth Certificate
  2. Add baby to insurance plans
  3. CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK THESE
  4. Add baby as a beneficiary on any accounts you would like
  5. Start a file for their important paperwork

I mention this stuff because I spent a lot of time making calls and ensuring this was all done, because several things take multiple calls or submitals of paperwork and you don’t wan’t anything to be missing.

I envy every mom who had more time with their little one and I am thankful for the time I had. Being a Full Time Working Mom is HARD WORK, physically and emotionally. Judgement needs to stop for everyone and the comments people have made to me are shocking and none of their business. You do what works for you!

Baby · Fertility · Health · Products · Review

Baby Products

Here is a list of the baby products we use and love!

Pampers

  • Pure
  • Pure Wipes
  • Swaddlers

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I have tried several brands and different types within the brands. I found some to be very hard and seemed no fun to be on such soft skin. Some just didn’t fit my baby. These are the ones that work great for us and I highly recommend giving them a try. We have minimal leaks and the pure wipes leave her skin soft and dry.

https://www.pampers.com/en-us

NanoBebe 

  • Breast milk bottles
  • Flexy Pacifiers
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • Nursing pads
  • Bottle Cooler

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This brand is amazing! Every product we have tried has been wonderful. I chose these bottles because they are specific for breast milk and allow the fat and water to stay mixed for better nutrition. The Flexi Pacifiers are soft and breathable they are the only ones my child will even entertain taking. The pads are so soft and absorbent I never notice feel wet or even feel them while wearing. They have additional products that we are waiting to get as well. #nanobebeambassador

https://www.nanobebe.com/ 

ExerSaucer

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This play bouncer is first off so cute with the animal theme, it is also gender neutral so great if you plan to have additional kids. It can grow for different heights and weight. Our daughter loves looking at the different animal faces and the seat is soft and easy to remove for cleaning. It is also easy to move from room to room.

https://www.evenflo.com/jumpers/61912186.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1Iv0BRDaARIsAGTWD1vprm6zItEpL8rLIs5es5WL3joxUBx20-UMeC03VYHPmWg_gdntNfcaAnu2EALw_wcB

Bumbo Seat

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I was skeptical about these but our girl loves her hand me down seat from her cousin. It has a tray which we will start using now that she is starting to grab and eat solids. The seat is soft and easy to clean and allows her to sit up and work on her ab muscles, while engaging in play and with the rest of the family.

http://www.bumbousa.com/product/floor-seat/

Maxi Cosi – Infant Car Seat

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I chose to get an infant only car seat to start because it offered many features I wanted but couldn’t get in the grow with me options. I love the awning that can go up and down, the easy to move straps for growth, and the amount of padding throughout. It is easy to carry and use as well as snap into our stroller. The ability to cover her was a big deal to me and the safety ratings are fabulous! I don’t like people seeing or coming to close at such a young age.

https://www.maxicosi.com/us-en/car-seats/infant-car-seats.html

Diono – Stroller

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This stroller is amazing. We chose black, gender neutral. It is easy to fold and travel with, light weight to carry, and looks great on a walk. There is plenty of room underneath for storage and you can get additional attachments for cup holders and such. I love that I can use the car seat or the bassinet. The bassinet converts into additional stages to grow with baby and toddler. Highly recommend.

https://www.diono.com/

Beauty Counter – Baby Wash & Lotion

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I love these natural chemical free options for baby girl. We use these for day time baths and skin care. They smell great and leave her skin soft and smooth.

https://www.beautycounter.com/

Johnson’s- Sleepy Time Bath Set

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I use this bath set for evening baths. The calming scent of Lavender does calm her and leave her skin soft and smooth.

https://www.johnsonsbaby.com/baby-products/johnsons-bedtime-baby-bath-wash?upcean=381371174737

These are the products I am loving for our baby and each child is different but if you try these let me know what you think!

 

Baby · Fertility · Health · McKinney · Texas Life

Welcome Savannah

If you follow along you know that I just welcomed my first child. I could not be more in love or happy with our miracle. After years of surgeries, medications, trial & error, we had a successful round of IVF that gave us this precious girl. So lets talk delivery…

Birth Plan, I didn’t have a written birth plan because to me that was silly. You nor your doctor have any clue what will happen. It’s so unknown and different every time. I did however have some things I hoped (really really hoped) would happen.

  1. Go into labor naturally
  2. Natural delivery with no pain medication
  3. Skin to Skin asap
  4. Leave the hospital in the required 48 hours
  5. Breastfeed

So yah….how many of those happened….ONE! Can you guess which one?

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I was induced because I had just zero movement or signs that labor would happen any time soon and with the complications I already had it was time to evict the baby. I was induced at 40 weeks plus 1 day.

After 18 hours of being induced there was very little progress at all, so they broke my water. Things did start to progress but after a several more hours I was just exhausted and not able to sleep and my anxiety had hit a point of no return. I was on the verge of a panic attack. So I agreed to an epidural which would allow me to rest and hopefully reduce the anxiety.

My epidural process was honestly the worst part. I felt the CRNA wasn’t very compassionate and didn’t really listen to me at all. After an hour or so, with many tears shed by everyone in the room, it was finally placed. I was able to rest and then I started to realize hmm it’s no longer working. So by this time shift had changed and a new CRNA came in and had to switch medications. It was also to a point now where my water had been broken for 18 hours and that brings on additional risks.

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My doctor came in and I was fully dilated so lets start pushing. I pushed and pushed and this girl didn’t move. She must have been very happy inside. My doctor knew how much I did not want a c-section she she had held off the conversation for as long as possible. But here we were. She said I know you don’t want this but she is not going to come out this way. She was kind and said if you want to keep pushing we can go for another hour. I looked at my husband and he gave me the look that I knew we were going to have a c-section. The tears started flowing and I agreed.

I just kept saying I don’t want to do this.

Once in the room and my husband by my side, tears still flowing. We welcomed our gorgeous baby girl. Savannah, was 7lbs 14oz. There were some additional complications that I won’t get into and NICU was in the room so she went straight to them. She didn’t cry so I kept asking through the tears if she was ok. The CRNA wiped my tears and assured me she looked perfectly healthy and was doing well. My husband was with her and I finally heard the cry. Such relief. While I was still being tended to by the medical staff the NICU team brought her to me and laid her on my chest for skin to skin.

We were in the hospital for 5 days total and convinced them to let us go home early Thanksgiving morning to our house filled with family. I was in labor for 43 hours prior to the c-section. I will never forget seeing her face and knowing it was all worth it.

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This miracle I prayed for and fought for years to obtain finally happened and I am a new person.

My recommendation to anyone out there, don’t have a set plan! Have some goals knowing it could all change. Health & Safety of mom and baby are the priority.

So which of my goals happened…..breastfeeding! I have so far been able to breastfeed successfully and will share more in other posts.

Baby · Fitness · Health

Pregnancy Struggles

What I am about to share may not be popular or what I “should” say or feel but I don’t care. I can’t be the only one who has had these feelings. Through years of struggling to get pregnant, countless surgeries, and more mental pain then I can begin to explain this is one of the most amazing times in my life. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t come with it’s own set of struggles.

I have felt like due to this I wasn’t allowed to complain or have negative thoughts, my husband told me that wasn’t true, that after all of it I could complain all I wanted. I appreciate that since he gets the brunt of it. However I am still very self conscious.

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The weight gain has been something very difficult for me to handle. I absolutely love my belly and the way it is growing and changing. However it isn’t the only thing getting bigger! My legs have really grown and it’s just been hard for me to deal with. The number on the scale at each appointment gives me more anxiety and stress. The doctors say the number is just fine and I look great. That isn’t what this is about, I don’t need other people to tell me I look great. It’s about me and how I feel and unfortunately it’s been so hard for me and something I wasn’t ready for.

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I am very thankful to work from home during this because when I do leave the house, even if it’s just for a walk, I get very nervous and anxious about finding something to wear. I need something that is comfortable, fits, doesn’t make me look wide, keeps my bell covered, breathes and so much more. Looking in my closet is such a difficult experience. I normally just wear the same couple pairs of shorts and few tank tops or t shirts. When I do go out there are normally tears and about 100 outfit changes but I do still go out so that is a positive.

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This pregnancy is truly a miracle and feeling her move and grow is amazing. I am very thankful she is healthy and will be here so soon but until then I am having a hard time. I am dealing with it each day and trying my best to stay healthy and be confident in who I am. This is the journey I am on and it’s ok that I have hard days and that I feel this way. It’s also ok if you have been there too.

 

Baby · House

House Happenings

I have had this dresser since my first apartment out of college. I purchased it at Goodwill for $25.00. Perfect for the situation and fresh out of college life. Well now it hasn’t been used much and doesn’t match anything we have, but it has moved countless times and offers a great amount of storage. With baby on the way it was the perfect time to refinish it and save some money buying furniture.

I took one weekend to remove the hardware, sand the drawers and paint them. I haven’t ever done a piece of furniture before so I thought it was safe to try it out on the drawers, smaller surface to fix if I messed up. They turned out pretty great so the next weekend I did the dresser unit itself.

I cannot tell you enough how much I do not like sanding! I did it all by hand and ugh was it exhausting. BUT worth it in the end.

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Before

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After

After the painting was done I got new hardware to add some personality. The top round crystal pulls are from HomeGoods and are Rachel Roy brand, the silver long ones are from Lowe’s. I think they compliment each other and look great but not too flashy. The different colors in her room reflect in the crystals and it looks so sweet.

I could not be happier with how it turned out and saved some money we can use on other items for the baby!