Friday, September 23, 2016

The 4th Trimester

Being a mom is great.  I absolutely love being a parent.  This morning Clara and I sat on the couch while she smiled at me over and over and I just cried.  It's the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. 
And I know you're waiting for the "but"  so here it comes:
But recovering from pregnancy and child birth is so hard.  Before pregnancy I was a size 1.  I didn't have a single stretch mark.  I had never weighed more than 110 lbs.  You can imagine that when I stepped on the scale at 4 weeks postpartum I was a little bit discouraged to see 138.  
I've had a lot a people say things like "I don't feel bad for you"  or "OMG you're tiny! Pregnancy didn't affect your body at all."   And really, that isn't fair for them to say.  Pregnancy takes over your body and it has made it something I don't recognize.  I try to put clothes I wore before pregnancy and I can't get my thighs in them.  I try putting on maternity clothes and I'm drowning.  It's that 4th trimester in between that causes me disappointment every morning when I get dressed. 
Now that I'm just over 5 weeks postpartum I'm going to start exercising again.  In my due date group on Facebook one of the admins started a work out challenge and it started today.  I started today with my squats.  We're using this challenge from Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans
We're also doing a planking challenge.  This one isn't exactly the same, but it's similar to what we'll be doing and it's from the same bloggers at Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. The great thing about planks is they're great for women who are recovering from pregnancy.  It's easier on your recovering abs.
Planksgiving: Do Planks, Give Thanks w/the Sisterhood #shrinkingjeans #planksgiving #exercise #fitness

We're doing another ab challenge as well, however I'm waiting for the go-ahead from my OB before I start that one.

I'll be sharing some exercise videos on my Facebook page each week along with progress photos.  Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

8 Must-Haves For the New Mom

*This post contains affiliate links.  I use all of the products linked and I swear by them!*
When you become a mom, the world changes.  Okay, so maybe the whole world doesn't change, but a lot of things do. 

The other day I had some errands to run.  In order to run those errands I had to feed the baby till she was asleep so I could shower.  I had to dress myself.  I had to dress my baby.  I had to make sure her diaper bag had all the essentials. I had to make Corey lunch and get out the door before 12:30.  

All I wanted to eat for lunch was a teriyaki place near Walmart.  In order to go inside I'd have to take the baby out of the car, lug her inside for all of 6 minutes while I ordered and waited for my food. Then I'd have to lug her out with my food in hand, forgetting about a drink because I just didn't have enough hands for that.  

So I decided to go home and eat a bag of cookies and left over spaghetti instead.  Life as I knew it is over and a new one as begun.  But lucky for me, I've found a few things that make my life a lot easier.  

1// Munchkin Bottle Drying Rack
When I was registering for things, I didn't really think I needed a separate drying rack for bottles. When my counter was taken over by bottles and pump parts to where they wouldn't fit on my regular drying rack with the dishes.  I  bought mine last week and it has already made my kitchen cleaner.  

2// Boppy Nursing Pillow
I thought this would be a totally overrated mommy novelty.  I was promptly proven wrong.  My Boppy is a complete life saver when it comes to night time feedings or when Clara is feeling fussy and doesn't want me to put her down.  The Boppy gives my arms a rest.  

3// Pack 'n Play
These aren't new.  My mom used one when we were growing up, but they've changed a little since I was born. they have bassinets, changing tables, nappers, and the bottom comes up so you don't kill your back reaching in the pick up the baby.  I use mine literally every day during naps and I love it. 

4// Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags
This is another thing I didn't buy prior to having Clara.  I didn't know I'd need it.  But it's already been a live saver.  When I want to go out with Corey I can take some milk out of the freezer and my baby can benefit from breast milk without me being there and when I go back to work  we can continue feeding Clara breast milk.  

5// Chicco Bravo Stroller 
My stroller rocks.  I got it extremely on sale at Babies 'R' Us and had no idea what to expect, but in the last month, it's got us through 2 grocery trips, multiple walks, the State Fair, and other trips to the outside world for mommy's sanity.  It's easy to fold up and my car seat pops right onto it.  I am so glad this was the stroller I found on sale.  
6// Aquaphor Baby Diaper Rash Cream
I got this cream as a sample at my pediatricians office.  I noticed baby girls bum was a little red so I put some of this on.  It was gone literally the next day, so of course I bought more.  That sample system works...

7// Rock 'N' Play
The rock and  I love it.  Clara sleeps better in her Rock 'N Play than anywhere else.  We put it in the kitchen while we eat or in the living room when we watch TV.  It has been prefect.  

8// Delta Glider
My glider was a gift from Corey's mom.  Best. Gift. Ever. There is nothing like sitting in my glider and staring down at my beautiful baby girl.  And sometimes daddy gets to use it too.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

We Survived a Month of Parenthood

Today Clara has been in our lives for 5 weeks.  I can't believe how fast the time is going.  We are so in love with our baby girl.  

Clara loves to make sleepy smiles at mom and dad. 

She enjoys staying up late and sleeping in late just like daddy and all the other newborns in the world.  
She hardly cries.  In fact, I think that mommy cries more than Clara does.  Being a mom has made me overly emotional.  I'll just look at her a little too long and tears fall.  

She likes to yawn and stretch and curl up on mom's chest to sleep, however I think her favorite pastime is pooping.  She seems to do that the most often. 

I can't wait till she gets bigger and reacts to Corey blowing raspberries on her belly or smiles back at us when we make silly faces, but I also want her to stay this tiny cuddly baby for her entire life. 

So far being a mom is a little rough, but it's also the best thing ever.  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What They Don't Tell You: Breast Feeding

**This post contains affiliate links.  If your purchase any products following these links I receive a small amount of commission.  I have linked only products that I currently use and swear by!**
Being a mom is hard. 
I absolutely love it with all my heart.  My baby completely lights up my life.  Every time I see her little face and her little feet and I hear her cry out when she's hungry I feel overwhelmed with emotion and happiness.
Before I was a mom myself, I learned a whole lot about motherhood from other mothers.  From mothers on the internet, from my own mom, from my Facebook group of moms, and from all the other moms in my life.  It was very helpful and when my baby came I felt prepared to be a mom. 

The one thing I was not prepared for at all was breastfeeding.  I knew that I wanted to do it, but I had no idea what kind of dedication it could require.  I think that for some people, it's completely natural.  Their baby latches on and eats like a champion.  In fact, maybe that's the norm.  But for me, breastfeeding has been the biggest challenge of motherhood.  

The Latch
I don't need to go into detail, but my little Clara had an extremely difficult time latching.  In the hospital I wanted to just burst into tears because I was having so much trouble just feeding my baby. I felt like a failure and I'd only just became a mother.  I felt guilty because feeding my baby should be natural, right?  Once we realized she just wasn't going to latch like she was suppose to, I got a Medela Nipple Shield.  That was a complete game changer, but still a challenge. 

The Pain
I swear no one tells you about these things before you have a baby.  They don't tell you that having a baby at your breast sort of feels like fire instead of a baby.  I recommend Palmers Nursing Butter to relieve the pain.  *Edit:  I'm not 2 months into my breast feeding journey and I have virtually no pain with feeding!*

The Leaking 
Have you ever woken up on the couch in a little puddle of milk? I use Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads and also LilyPadz Reusable Nursing Pads.  They do a pretty good job of preventing leakage serious embarrassment throughout the day. But sometimes your forget.  I drove all the way to work and realized I din't have any pads in.  I had to go to target first so that I could make it through the day.

The Pumping 
There's a science to pumping.  Which pump to use, ( I use Ameda Purely Yours) when to pump, how to increase supply, when to freeze your milk, how long the milk can stay out, where to store it in the freezer, manual pump or electric.  Waking up in the middle of the night to pump because I can't sleep.  
The Weight Gain
People say that breast feeding helps you lose weight.  Nope.  It does burn a ton of calories and it does help your uterus contract and get smaller, but it doesn't cause weight loss.  I've almost doubled my caloric intake, and I spend a good portion of my day just...sitting.  Nursing.

The Guilt
There are a lot of people out there who want to tell you and me and every momma out there how they should feed their child.  They make you feel like you're wrong if you don't do what's most natural and what's "best" for your baby.  And I feel their pressure every day. I work so hard to do what's best for me and for my child.  But it just feels like...guilt. 

For me, breastfeeding has truly been difficult.  It's still difficult.  I have a lower supply, I don't have a lot of time to pump at work, and Clara still requires a nipple shield for a easy and successful latch.  We supplement.  We cry.  We nurse. And we cry some more. 

What they don't tell you, is that your breastfeeding journey is not the same as your sister's or cousin's or bestfriend's sister's aunt.  Don't compare yourself.  Keep your chin up. Keep on nursing.  

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