Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Breastfeeding Story



In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness month I thought I'd share my breastfeeding journey so far. It’s 3am as I sit here typing this post and I’m hooked up to my pump chugging water. So, yes I would say breastfeeding/ pumping is hard work. I’m actually finding it way more challenging than labor and delivery and that’s saying a lot seeing as I had a third degree tear.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my babe. I did my research and there are just so many benefits to breastfeeding and I obviously want what’s best for my little guy. But gosh, you hear it’s hard and you think how hard can it be?! It’s natural. People have been doing it for ages. Well, it’s REALLY hard and painful. I don’t care what they tell you, it does hurt for a while (use coconut oil and get some good nipple cream- it will save you).

We didn’t get off to the best start breastfeeding due to Beau having to be in the NICU. While at the hospital, I had to wake up every 3 hours and go feed him. Once I was done feeding him, I would go back to my room and pump for 20 minutes. It was a whole lot of work and left me getting no sleep. During my stay, I used a nipple shield that was given to me by a nurse and despite using the shield my nipples cracked and bled. However, the lactation consultant on staff said our latch was great, so I just continued doing what we were doing.

Once I got home, my milk came in and boy did it come in. I was EXTREMELY engorged from all the pumping. My boobs were solid rocks. My advice- pump less, hot showers, and warm compresses. Feeding was still excruciating not to mention baby wasn’t putting on the pounds. Knowing that all my hard work was not chunky up my little man was so discouraging.

Well, two lactation visits later come to find out Beau had a tongue and lip tie that was preventing him from sucking properly and causing pain and poor weight gain. We did a quick procedure to have both corrected, since they can also cause speech and dental problems. I was hopeful that everything would be smooth sailing from there. Immediately after the procedure, Beau latched great and I felt no pain! I thought we were in the clear!

This is what my fridge looks like!

Unfortunately, a couple days later I realized he was still not gaining weight. As in, he was feeding for an hour and only taking half an ounce. Over came the lactation consultant again. She thought he did not like the milk flow that it was too strong for him and he was unsure about everything that had happened to him. She suggested I pump and bottle-feed him until he is ready to breastfeed again. So, that’s what I’m doing- just following his lead. He gets most of his feeds from a bottle and I try latching him sometimes when he is calm and in the mood. He’s not the greatest bottle feeder either, but we are working out it. It’s not ideal, but at the end of the day I want a happy baby that is gaining weight. I’m just going to do what works for him and hopefully we will figure this out together!


Monday, August 11, 2014

First Month Baby Favorites


Before having a baby, I spent hours on my registry and looking up reviews on every product, but it turns out Beau could careless about most things. Now, that Baby Beau is just over a month old, I figured it's time we share out first month favorites.



Halo Sleepsack Swaddle: Beau cannot sleep without these. We now have three on rotation. They keep him nice and cozy and he isn’t able to startle himself awake. These are the best; trust me, we tried other brands.

Boon Lawn: Gosh, we have lots of pump and bottle parts to clean. This drying rack is a lifesaver for letting things air-dry and keeping them all in one place. Plus, it looks good too!

4moms Mamaroo: I would get nothing done without this thing! So I have to admit, Beau sleeps in it most nights and during naps. He likes being more upright and the motion. Yes, it’s going to be hard to break the habit later, but mama needs some sleep to be able to take care of baby. I love that I can control the speed and the motion. I almost didn’t buy this, but boy am I glad I shelled out the money!

Carter’s Classic White Onesies: There is nothing sweeter than a baby in a crisp white onesie. These are easy to put on and easy on the wallet, so stock up. Perfect for my little summer baby. We are saving the cute clothes for later- right now we go through multiple changes a day!


 Aden+Anais SwaddleBlankets: Yes, these are on everyone’s must have list and for good reason. We don’t even use them as swaddles anymore! They are perfect as a sun cover, germ cover, wiping up spit up, and so much more. We always have a few handy. Plus, they just get softer with each wash.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beau's Birth Story



July 1st
We went to the doctor hoping to hear that I had made some progress since last week. Sadly, I was still only 1cm dilated and 60% effaced, so nothing had changed. I knew it was stupid to be upset, because Beau’s due date was still two weeks away, but I was super disappointed. I had been rocking on my birth ball for days and walking lots. I was sure that things would be picking up. My doctor also mentioned she would be on call at the hospital tomorrow and then not again until July 9th. So if I wanted my doctor to deliver my baby, those dates were my two options. We tentatively set an induction date for July 9th. Although, I was crossing my fingers that my body would go into labor soon on its own.

July 2nd
I did lots of walking and rocking on the birth ball. But felt no real progress.

July 3rd
I woke up at 3:30am feeling like something was different. I went to the bathroom and peed for what seems to be a really, really long time. Then, I noticed I was kind of leaking. I wasn’t sure if it was my bladder or the infamous water breaking. I changed my underwear and hopped back in bed and decided to wait it out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sleep at all. I kept having horrible back pain. So obviously, I started a load of laundry and took a quick shower, because that’s how I roll. I told hubby to keep sleeping, because I wasn’t sure what was going on. At 7am, I decided we should walk the dogs to see if that would help things progress and if it was the real thing then at least the dogs would be walked. Around 8am, my back pain was really bad, but no “contractions”. I decided to call my doctor and ask if I could come in when they opened at 9am. I rocked on my birth ball and ate some oatmeal while I waited for the office to open. When I finally got to the doctor office at 9am, my back pain was significantly worse, but still no contractions that wrapped around my belly. The physician assistant checked me and let out a whoop- I was already 4cm dilated and she could see a head of hair! She told  us to go straight to the hospital. It looked like this baby was coming today!


The whole drive to the hospital I was in shock that I was really in active labor! I couldn’t believe it was the real thing. It was not as bad or dramatic as I imagined it. It only took us about 20 minutes to get to the hospital and check in was super easy. I was ushered into my labor room and given a gown to change into around 10:30am. The doctor on call checked me and said I was definitely 4cm and could have an epidural whenever I wanted or could labor naturally for as long as I wanted. I decided to walk the halls to see if I could get things to progress further on their own. I was afraid the epidural would stall my labor and then I would need Pitocin or a C-section. I walked for an hour or two and then was checked again and had progress to 5cm. I still wasn’t having contractions in my belly, only my back. It felt like the most incredibly horrible back cramps. I could barely move when they came, which were about every 2 minutes. When I got to 6cm, I knew I had to conserve my energy in case I was in labor all night and opted for the epidural.  I was terrified of the epidural, but barely felt a thing. Just a sharp pinch and within 5-10 minutes I felt nothing.  The nurse estimated that I would progress about a cm an hour. But surprise, surprise within about an hour, I was already at 10cm and ready to push.

So around 3pm, I started pushing.  The doctor and nurse both said I was a great pusher. However, after two hours of pushing with my hubby and the nurse I had barely made any progress. We could little guy’s head but he was having trouble getting under my pubic bone. I was so incredible tired and felt like I couldn’t go on. I was worried that I would use all my energy and then have a C-section. Unfortunately, during all the pushing I had a fever. So no matter what happened, my baby would have to go to the NICU and be put on antibiotics for 48 hours. I would also have to be on antibiotics as well. So we called in the doctor and talked about my options. She said that my pubic bone was prominent and that’s why I was having troubles. I could keep pushing, try a vacuum, or opt for a C-section. I knew I couldn’t keep pushing and was terrified of the recovery from a C-section, but didn’t really want to risk any complications with a vacuum delivery. However, the doctor was confident that the vacuum would work without any problems, so I put my trust in her.

Within 5 minutes, ten people had entered the room to assist with the delivery. I was so in the zone that I didn’t care that now twelve people would be seeing all of me! On my next contract, my doctor told me to push while she vacuumed. After just two quick pushes, we welcomed Beau Anthony Nelson into the world at 5:21pm. At that moment, love was redefined for me. He tipped the scale at 6lbs 13oz and 19 ¾ inches long. He was immediately placed on my chest for skin to skin time. I couldn’t stop myself from crying tears of joy and relief. I had done it. My baby was here and healthy (9s on his Apgar scores).


Of course, labor and delivery didn’t go exactly as I imagined it. My baby had to spend two days in the NICU. However, if I look at the bright side of it, he got the best personalized attention on the first two days on his life. I think in the end, everything worked out just fine. I can confidently say I had a great birth experience and a happy healthy baby, which really is the most important thing!

And if stuck around and read this whole thing- WOW! Thanks for sharing in my experience.



Saturday, August 2, 2014

Life Lately: Baby Edition

It's crazy how much my life has changed in just 4 short weeks. It's a cycle of watching this guy eat, play, sleep, and poop. And I wouldn't have it any other way. It's so incredibly hard and so rewarding. Don't I sound so cliche?! But it's true. Everyone tells you how hard it is, but you cannot really fathom it until you're living it. I've never been more unsure of myself. I fewel like I question my every decision, because I just want the best for my sweet boy. I'm hoping that's natural and I'll get more confident along the way. 

I'm still trying to get into the mama groove- hence the blog silence. Literally, my free time is divided into 1.5 hour chucks of time while the little guy naps. Each time his nap rolls around I have to the difficult decision on what I'm going to do with my spare time- housework, work, nap, shower, or take the dogs for a walk. And let me tell you- nap never wins. I just have too much to get done. I'm awake more hours in the day then I've ever been before, yet there still is not enough time in the day to get everything done. Crazy how that works out! 
I'm trying to get us on more of a "routine" and I mean routine in a very loose since of the word, because really baby makes the rules right now. So I'm hoping that will help me to feel more like myself, but I'm not counting on it. I'm living a new normal now. Everyone says it takes  a few months to really feel like you go it down (and then everything changes again). Well, we've got 4 weeks under our belt. It's crazy how the days seem so long, but yet time passes so quickly. I can't believe that a month ago I was bouncing on my yoga ball trying to get the little guy to come out. And now I can't imagine life without him. My mom and aunt are going to watch Beau for a little bit tonight night, so the hubby and I can go to our friends' going away party. It will be my first time away from him and I'm super nervous and excited at the same time. The array of emotions I feel these days is shocking. I never knew I could experience some many at once. 

If you haven't already, check out this post by Emily Fleming. It pretty sums up all my emotions right now and it's beautifully written. 

I'm working on Beau's birth story, so hopefully I can get that done soon. I was a huge birth story reader when I was preggo, so I think it's important I share mine! Plus, I really want to make sure I get everything down so I don't forget anything. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Obsessed: Baby Bag by Lily Jade

Since becoming a new mom, life has been pretty crazy. There is no such thing as a normal day anymore. Timing is all messed up. And let me be honest, not everything gets done. Not even close. Laundry piles up,  dogs aren't walked, and floors aren't mopped. Each day I have to really prioritize what I'm going to get done, since I only have about 1.5 hour chunks of time between the baby sleeping and feeding. And don't even get me started on all the things I've learned to do with just one hand. Thus, I'm all about anything that will make my life a little easier. 

Enter the Lily Jade Baby Bag. This thing is a game changer. I have a confession to make, I'm obsessed with my Lily Jade Baby Bag. No it's not a diaper bag, per se, but it makes any bag into a diaper bag. It's so much easier then pulling everything out of one bag and then putting into another. Likewise, I can easily just grab the bag and go. I shove it in the stroller when we go for walks, because you never know what you might need. I can easily tell my husband to grab it. And I've started to keep it packed in the car, so it's there and ready to go! 



I love that it has a million different compartments and zips up nicely. I can easily toss it in a beach bag that doesn't have a zipper and not worry about anything falling out. Everything has it's own special spot making things super organized (which is great because right now everything else in my life is pretty out of sorts!). I'm easily able to fit both my stuff and Beau's necessities in the bag with room to spare. I have the medium size Baby Bag and it fits all that I need. They also have a larger size, which would be great for twins or multiple kids. 
 
All the Lily Jade designer diaper bags come with their own Baby Bag (or you can just buy the Baby Bag). The bags are the perfect mix of stylish and functional. Not to mention they are reasonable priced. I'm all about the diaper bag, not screaming Hey I'm a MOM! I would totally rock a Lily Jade bag on a date night, sans Beau. Yes, they are that cute. Heck, even if I didn't have a kid they are awesome. This one is my fave. Or maybe this one




And FYI- Lily Jade is in the midst of a HUGE sale! So I'd highly recommend you go scoop up a bag for yourself. Trust me, it's a purchase you won't regret- unlike that weird vibrating co-sleeper you thought would be a great idea (tell me I'm not alone here!?). 


 This review is based strictly on my opinion.  No compensation other than the Baby Bag was received for this review.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The First 10 Days: New Mommyhood

Gosh, I really wish I had the energy to write an awesome post. But sleep deprivation is in full-force. No joke- this parenting thing is the hardest work. It's totally a lifestyle adjustment. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But it is a complete change. My reason for being has been altered. I see the world differently now. I do things differently now. You don't think you will, but it happens. I would do anything for this sweet babe of mine and I've only known him for a short time.Now for the cute baby pictures and more wordy posts to come when I'm a little more functional. 






Funny thing, it appear Beau is always sleeping in this pictures. Oh how deceiving. He sleeps for an hour or two here and there, but it's never enough. And I haven't figured out the whole resting while baby does- I just have so much to do! Laundry, work, dogs, pumping, cleaning, remembering to eat myself. I'm up for hours and feel like I never have enough time. I'm hoping I get the hang of this soon or at least figure out something that works for me!

And now for a quick PSA- my fave diaper bag company is have a HUGE SUMMER SALE. Go check out Lily Jade. I think their bags are the perfect blend of functional and stylish. I'm majorly lusting over this Sarah Grace Bag in Gold. Perfection!




Monday, July 7, 2014

Our BABY is HERE

Our sweet boy, Beau Anthony Nelson, was born on Thursday, July 3rd at 5:21pm. 6lbs 13oz 19.75 inches. More pictures and details to come in the coming days/ weeks. Right now I'm busy snuggling my little love bug and taking care of myself. No one could possibly explain how hard labor, delivery, and breastfeeding are- yet totally amazing and so worth it! Hope everyone had an amazing 4th of July weekend. I know I did!