Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Growing up, I always knew that when I had children I would breastfeed.  My mother often talked about how she breastfed me until I was 2!  So it was a little of a no-brainer that's what I would do.  When I was pregnant with Lily, we hired a doula (to help with natural childbirth), and attended a birthing class but it never occurred to me to attend a breastfeeding class.  Breastfeeding is so natural, I'll instinctively know what to do, right?!?  Wrong!

When Lily was born, the nurses at the hospital were attentive and helpful in getting her to latch on.  She attached, she's sucking - everything seems to be working.  Flash forward a few days, and I've got a screaming baby in my arms at all hours of the day and night.  She would latch on for a second and pop off, repeatedly.  The emotions swept over me and I was sobbing and feeling like a horrible mother and that I would never be able to do this!  I called the hospital's lactation consultant, but they were on vacation (as they had been during our hospital stay).  During a postpartum visit from our Doula, she suggested that I get some nipple shields.  I have relatively flat nipples, and Lily was getting a very poor latch now that my milk had come down.  My poor baby girl, whom I had been constantly breastfeeding was starving!  Zach quickly ran out and picked up the shields and we began using them immediately.  It took a few tries before Lily and I both got the hang of the shields.  But once she did, she was a rockstar at nursing!

The shields worked amazingly...but breastfeeding was feeling like more of a task than a bonding experience for us.  We co-slept and when Lily would wake to nurse, I (or the hubs) would have to roll out of bed, sterlize the shield and get it to fit on properly before I could feed her.  It was exhausting.  I began to think that I would never be able to nurse her without the assistance of the shield.

I starting reading up and discovered a lot of literature that the shield should only be used for a short time.... here we were going on our 2nd month with the shield.  I started trying to wean her off the shield and onto the breast directly, starting her on the shield and then slipping it off once she had got it flowing.  It wasn't working.  The second I slipped the shield off, she wouldn't be able to reattach or rather, wouldn't attach.  She had gotten use to how easy it was the suckle on the shield rather than directly on the nipple.  I tried, but often got discouraged so I would just resort back to the shield.  I didn't want my baby to go hungry.  After about a week, I decided to suck it up and be firm about getting her to nurse without the shield.  I had to be patient with her, but kept trying to put her directly on the breast.  I ended up having to remove the shield altogether in order to get her to latch on.  It took a lot of patience for both us, but eventually she learned how to latch directly onto mommy.

Once we had eliminated the shield, breastfeeding became the beautiful experience I imagined it would be.  Being able to feed my baby without any assistance was amazing and empowering.  It wasn't easy, and I completely understand why a lot of women do not breastfeed or stop breastfeeding after the first month.

We have been breastfeeding exclusively now for 10 months.  I fully intend to breastfeed until Lily is 2, just like my mom did with me.  I may or may not decide to continue beyond the 2 year mark (to be honest, some days I think I could give it up anytime).  The demand that breastfeeding requires is exhausting, even without any difficulties.  But the bond that it provides for Lily and I, is something so special for both of us.

I'd like to add, that while I chose to breastfeed, I recognize that many mothers decide not to or simply aren't able to.  I completely respect every woman's choice and am in no way judgemental of those who do not breastfeed.  I simply wanted to share my own experiences with breastfeeding, in hopes that it might help another mother out there.

Monday, July 15, 2013

10 months


My sweet baby girl is 10 months old.  When did that happen?!?!  These past 10 months have been the most challenging and rewarding of my life and the most full my heart has ever felt!  I am a mama to a sweet, smiley little girl!  I look back at pictures of her as a newborn, my eyes swell as my heart explodes.  I cannot believe how fast time flies! It was just yesterday that I was laying in a hospital bed with a sweet newborn nestled asleep on my chest!

At 10 months Lily has quite the personality.  She is a very curious and adventurous soul.  She crawls away from mommy without hesitation to explore the world around her.  She is very social and hardly ever shy to flash anyone who makes eye contact with her a contagious smile!  She loves books, turning the pages and studying the images.

We are going through blueberries, strawberries and avocados like crazy over here!  Lily loves to eat and continues to show her curious nature by trying everything, everything!  Peas seem to be the one and only food that she will not devour!  She even liked the smoked salmon daddy gave her while mommy wasn't looking!

Our home is full of babbling and squeals!  Lily says mama and dada all the time now.  She is eager to start walking on her own.  She furniture surfs and lets go to take about 10-15 steps on her own (with the proudest smile on her face).

Lily is very loving.  She's a great cuddlier and gives the sweetest (wettest) open-mouthed kisses ever!!!  She loves playing chase with her daddy, and squeals nearly every time he looks her way!

Flipping through the countless pictures we've taken over the past 10 months, I cannot believe that she's ours. I love her beyond my own comprehension.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Adjusting to life as a stay at home mom

Truth be told, the life of a stay at home parent is more challenging than I expected!!!  I feel as if I have treated the past 8+ months that I have been home as more of a sabbatical - That I'll be returning to work any day now, so I shouldn't get too settled into any sort of routine.  And while I do intend to return to work outside of the home at some point in the future, it certainly is not going to be tomorrow, next month or possibly even next year! So I've been working on trying to shift my mindset towards, 'This is my work now'.  My work consists of being the master of chaos, if you will!  From managing our home, maintaining a healthy diet, raising a happy thriving baby girl, and nurturing my family.

The constant attention needed by your child, the never ending chores piling up, errands needing to be ran, there is definitely enough to keep you 'busy' - but is it fulfilling?  Having worked in a corporate desk job for many years, my days were very structured and while not always fulfilling, I enjoyed relishing in progress made!  The day to day tasks required of a stay at home parent aren't necessarily filled with moments of progress.  Sure there is the laundry that was piled on the bathroom floor, which is now clean and folded and put away.  But this type of 'progress' doesn't equate to accomplishments, which I suppose is more of the frustration I have been feeling lately.  Don't misunderstand, I am fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with my daughter and there is nothing more I would rather do - but I have to admit that I am having a difficult time finding myself through this change.

I originally started this post over a month or so ago.  We were in the midst of trying to figure out a schedule for Lily.  Being that I am at home with her all the time, we were doing more of a child lead schedule.  When she was hungry, I feed her and when she seemed sleepy we went to sleep.  We were co-sleeping and just really letting her run the show!  In the span of a month or two, we have now established more of a schedule for Lily and really, for me too!  We have a set nap and bedtimes, and she's sleeping in her own crib.  All a post for another time.  But the goal was to get us on a schedule, which we have!  Yay!  Getting her on a schedule allows me to spend some time doing some things that help keep me sane and fulfilled!  Like working out and doing some arts and crafty stuffs!

Getting Lily on a schedule has really gone a long way to help me settle into this whole stay at home mom thing!  Not to say there aren't days that are better than others!  But I'm right where I want to be right now!

 I love this kid!!!

Editing myself

I haven't blogged in a while.  And even when I do, I use little words.  Mostly because I am too self conscious when I am writing this blog.  I think I have forgotten why I originally started this whole venture into blogging.  I figured it would help me document the small and large moments in my life.  Something that I, and possibly my children look back on.  The idea that moments are fleeting but once documented, that somehow those moments are given life!   I kept a journal as a kid, and I find that I actually put pen to paper so little these days.  But I am usually always connected, connected to my smartphone, to social media.   But lately, I either don't write or I write and don't post it.  I suppose I too judgmental of myself, and scared of being judged by others.  My writing is at best, scattered thoughts.  I don't use the proper punctuation, and am the queen of run on sentences.  So, I have to ask myself, is this really about my writing?  Or is about telling my story!  The blogs that I enjoy the most, read like a conversation with a friend telling me about whats happening in their life at the moment, and what's on their mind.  And for me, I want this blog to be a conversation with myself.  A dialogue with me about my life!  Something that, sure, I hope other's enjoy and identify with.  But mostly, I want someday to read this girl's blog and truly feel that I get a sense of who she was/ is!  So, if you're out there... I hope you enjoy it!  And if you don't, just pass on by.  Either way, this isn't for you - it's for me.    

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dear Lily

Dear Lily,

You are 8 months old today!  I cannot believe how fast time is going!  There are moments when I just want time to stand still, these are the sweet moments I want to last a lifetime.  The days you would fall asleep on my chest and lay there for hours!  You are a precious, sweet soul.  You are becoming very curious and you are constantly watching your dad and seeing what he is up to!  You love to snuggle, and I've gotten a few open-mouth-tongue-out kisses from you!  You love to listen to music, whether on the radio or mommy's singing!  You love to bounce and crawl.  You are standing up now and starting to furniture surf.  You have the proudest look on your face when you pull yourself up and stumble over to us!  I can tell that you are thinking a lot!  You study things and often let out a grunt or squeal when something catches your attention.  You are my sweet, curious girl!  I cannot wait to see what you learn and become in the next 8 months!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

(Almost) Complete Nursery

I thought it might be time to show some pics of the (almost) complete nursery... since Lily's been 'occupying' it for 6 months now!
Entry into Lily's room 
(We still need to get a plate for the light switch)
Mirror - Ikea
Bookshelves - Handmade by Grandpa
Virgo Wall Plate - picked up at TMSP flea market
Rug - Ikea

Shelving - Ikea
Crib - Hand me down

Dresser/ Changing Table - picked up at 'Just Between Friends' Consignment sale
Curtains - Ikea
Leaf Canopy - Ikea

Beautiful Baby - Handmade ;-)

Lily @ 6 months

...weight 19 lbs 8 oz.  Lily is 95% on weight
...height 26 1/2 inches.  She's currently in the 80% on height
...Lily is still wearing a few of her 6 month clothes, but mostly wearing 9 & 12 month! appt,  her 9 month checkup and NO shots!  Yay!

Eating......Lily is still breastfeeding, and I pump and give her the occasional bottle!!!  She started eating solids on February 2nd, so she's been on solids for a little over a month now.  Her first food was sweet potatoes, followed by green beans and pears.   She has since tried sweet peas, apples, avocado and rice cereal!  She is a great eater.  She has enjoyed and eaten everything we have given her!  She loves to eat!!!


...Lily is still co-sleeping with us!  We go to bed between 9-10 and she nurses to sleep and wakes around 8:30-9am.  She wakes about 2-3 times a night to nurse and quickly falls back to sleep!  We are started to work on sleep training and transitioning her to her crib in her own room!

...Lily is very active!  She sits up easily now.  She will lunge forward onto her tummy whenever anything catches her interest.  She rolls over, lifts up on her arms and changes directions but has not quite figured out how to get up on her knees yet!  She loves playing with her toys.  She chooses toys to play with, is able to transfer them from hand to gand to mouth!!! Ha!  Everything goes in the mouth!  She loves her merry muscles bouncer!  She loves dolls with faces and often atudies them and looks into their eyes!  She LOVES music and singing!  We sign and sing Itsy Bitsy spider and she loves it!  Lily is always a happy smiley girl!  She is very social and loves to be talked to!  She blows rasberries now and sounds syllables like Ba Ba Ba, Ma ma ma.