little bits & pieces

Just call me "Moo" || A Breastfeeding Diary

Sunday, October 18, 2015
Hello ladies! Time to talk about my boobs! Breastfeeding, for me, has become my favorite part and the hardest part of motherhood. I wouldn't trade anything for the bond/feeling I get as she rubs my side with one little hand while clawing at my boob with the other. However, being at your babies beck and call takes a toll on me emotionally and physically as well. I never thought it would be so difficult since all I ever heard was how difficult latching was and so with Peyton latching instantly I thought it was all down hill from there!

First off, for you soon to be mommies...biggest mistake I made right off the bat was to not put my nipple balm (I ended up loving Honest) on my nipples in between every feeding from Day 1. I didn't think 3 days would make a difference but MANNN did it! Makes sense too if you think about all those long makeout sessions you had when you were younger...those chapped red lips were no joke after...I mean...whaaaaaa?! haha. Anyway, I took the breastfeeding classes (which I HIGHLY recommend) so I knew cracked and bleeding nipples were not ever suppose to happen...well it did. I thought it would take a lot more than just 3 days to do that to my nips...boy was I wrong! So ladies...lube up! Both luckily and unluckily I was forced to take a break from breastfeeding due to her need to be under the bili-light and in a day they healed (I mixed my breast milk with the nipple balm and applied). I hope I can prevent at least 1 mommy from this!

Now to the even more fun stuff, my second and third mistake. When she was born she latched right away and fed a lot, however I gave her the paci on day 2 sometimes because I knew she wouldn't get nipple confusion since she was so good at feeding. Well problem is that when babies are born they have a strong urge to suck for a reason!! Even though they really can't eat a lot because their stomach is a marble, you want them to nurse and suck so that it brings your milk faster and with more of a full flow to get the bilirubin out! 

The second mistake kinda created this third mistake. When my milk first came in at about day 3 or 4, Peyton was nursing non stop (with the paci here and there) and I knew as long as she was doing that I wouldn't need to worry about mastitis or anything else. Now in my breastfeeding class they said that your milk production adjusts to the babies wants...which is true. However, by day 5 my boobs were super engorged, hot (like they had a fever) and hard. I figured this just meant the I had a lot of milk and it was time for Peyton to nurse. This is not the case, for me because Peyton was high risk jaundice she wasn't sucking properly and not getting enough milk out, which was in turn not draining my breast properly. Luckily while she was under the lights I was advised to pump every hour and a half, first so Peyton didn't need as much formula and second because to them it was obvious that I was close to getting an infection (Mastitis) if I didn't. After half a day of doing this I felt SOOO much better, no more hot boobs and they actually started feeling deflated lol. I also figured out that due to me not properly draining my breasts, as well as not having her on the boob on demand (using a paci), I wasn't producing as much milk as they should have.

Once we got home I started a regime of pumping every three hours and nursing her on demand, which was every hour basically. It hasn't gotten me a ton of supply but it's enough to make 6-10oz a day on top of feeding her 24/7. She's my little piggy. In the second month I started slowing down on the pumping to twice a night ( when she wakes up at 2:30 and 6am) and pumping maybe twice during the day as well and my supply has managed to stay...luckily. Regardless, just for fun I decided to make lactation cookies to see what it did, I feel like a chipmunk storing as much as possible for winter haha. It's just so fascinating!! Coming into week 7 and 8 I feel like every things getting better, less sensitive, more of a regime and it's easier to handle, so hang in there!

Lastly, Another issue I have been dealing with, on top of breastfeeding, is major carpal tunnel (which I didn't know was actually NORMAL for pregnancy and after pregnancy!). For those who don't know what it feels like, it's like your whole hand, even forearm, have crazy frostbite. At first I thought I just was going numb due to poor blood circulation (her head laying on my arm or sleeping wrong) so I would shake my hands and roll my wrists, eventually it would pass but not because of anything I did. A week or so later my thumb, pointer, middle and half of my ring finger went so numb that I couldn't lift Pey up in the night or mornings. I would cry/panic because it hurt and felt like my fingers were just going to fall off! This made me realize that it wasn't normal so of course I turn to google for medical advice lol. After looking it up and self diagnosising, I decided to get referred to a specialist from the doctor because I can't handle it anymore! I'm currently wearing braces, which help a ton, on both my wrists at night (because that's really the only time it hurts unbearably) but they don't make it easy to function. I can't get the surgery because of the recovery time and cast so my next thing would be steroid shots, did I mention I have trigger finger too?? Ugh I'm falling apart. The shots are safe for breastfeeding and are only a temporary solution but I need to do something. I'm currently looking into DoTerra for aid as well but too scared to test it out cuz that means no brace and possible pain! Hopefully by my next update I'll have had a solution. Reading up on it,  I KNOW it was started from my labor. I specifically remember pulling back sooo hard on my legs that after each set of pushing I would have to roll my wrists from the strain. From there it just got worse from the new positions I was putting my wrists through with holding the baby.

Having said all this I came to some pointers below!

My little 8 week piggie, (and I should NOT be doing that angle with my wrist lol oops)

So my advice/ tid-bits:

- Use nipple balm right from the very start and with a proper latch you should be fine (cracked or bleeding nipples is NOT normal...get help from a lactation specialist to see if your baby is latching properly)

- You must drain your breast to help prevent infection and insure you get a proper milk supply. If they do get hard or hot...start pumping the opposite boob they are feeding on and then switch because the baby can get more milk out then the pump. I was told in my class that the baby should switch sides in the same feeding and then back to the original boob if possible. The milk towards the end of the feedings are more fatty and nutrient oriented ;)

- Feed on command!! The baby needs to suck and it will get your milk going, try to do this instead of a paci in the beginning. That's why they say no paci for the first 6 weeks! 

- Its ok if you don't feel your milk "let down" and they don't have to be hard to signal you have milk and need to pump or feed.

- When you pump you don't need it on high suction the whole time, it's best to vary it especially because you will start to develop a blood blister if you stick on high!

- One thing I've learned too is that if they get super fidgety while on the boob, they either need to burp, poop/fart or they are getting frustrated with the slow flow (which means you need to increase your milk supply or switch up your pumping if it's taking away from them). 

- If you are pumping and storing your milk, the lanisoh bags are so much better because they freeze flat, versus the medela storage bags. They are also more accurate with oz.

- Food to increase supply: Besides lots of water (I use coconut water), Oatmeal has worked for me, as well as lactation cookies. Others are carrots, ginger, spinach, salmon and hummus.
- If your bubbies are engorged and won't let down, try taking a hot shower and letting the water run on them (they told me not to do this in the hospital) my lactation specialist said if you just do it for a little or put warm compresses for 5-10min ONLY when your engorged, it will help release the milk. Don't be surprised if your a leaky faucet when you get out! haha

- Be careful of how much pressure you put on your wrists during labor and how you hold your child as well! Use your forearms instead for support and don't grab your legs with your hands to pull them back!
- TMI: Don't be surprised if for the first month to month and a half you have to gently pat your nips dry out of the shower...they get BEYOND sensitive. Holy moly!

- TMI: Last but not least...the most awkward feeling you will ever have in your life is when your baby flickers their tongue while feeding....blahhhhh. I had to ask my doctor and she said their tongue just gets strained...ha. Well you mommies out there know what I'm talking about and you soon to be mommies will approach this weird feeling soon enough! *insert spooky cackle*

All in all I love breastfeeding but it is SOOOOOOOOOOO much more work than I thought it would be, so I have great respect for the EP (exclusively pumping) ladies! It will bring you to tears some nights because that won't be enough or they seem to not want it, don't give up! If you need a source to go to for questions KellyMom is a great site to get information and great advice!

I hope I could help someone!!! Just one person! These are all my experiences and I am no expert, i'm still learning myself! Especially when it comes to eating right so they don't get upset tummies...I had no idea there was more restrictions after birth on food! Anyway, I would love to hear any TMI's or tid-bits others have learned so don't be shy to comment!

Happy Thursday!

The "Pey" Times || Two Months

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Tuesday Tuesday....really wish I could go back in time today. Two months in and everyone was right, it has gotten a smidgen easier but is going by way too fast. Her sleeping patterns are starting to get more consistent and I'm starting to figure out what her movements and cries mean. Her little (vocal) personality is starting to come through and since she learned to coo, she's not afraid to tell us what she's feeling. We call her little foot (Land Before Time Reference) because she sounds like a little dinosaur rawr-ing at you if you aren't paying attention! Ya it's cute now but I'm dreading the day she learns the word "No" already!

Those knuckle dimples have me like....ahhh!!

I love mommy....or her boobs anyway lol
At the beginning of this new month she was starting to have her nights of restlessness and nothing I did would calm her down. I knew she didn't have colic because she wasn't screaming it was more "rawr-ing" and crying spurts. In these times I learned a cycle of things to do and eventually one would calm her (usually the boob). I would start with the boob and sometimes I would have to force it (because she acts like she can't latch since she's worked up) until she finally takes it and calms down. If that doesn't work than a quick burp check, diaper check, a figure eight bounce n' swing dance followed by a gas pump (pushing her legs up to her belly repeatedly. If none of that worked the first time then I just continue to do the pattern until she falls asleep, this usually take an hour or so. I can't imagine having a colicky baby (still crossing my fingers) because when your already sleep deprived and just trying to do your best, this little hour of crying was enough to make me cry!

Recently we've discovered her love for this vibrating chair that is a removable part of her pack n play. She now sleeps in it for the majority of the night! Such a blessing and I should've known since Rod loved being put on top of the dryer as an infant and she's practically his twin!


> Her vibrating chair from her Graco Pack n'Play Suite ( Thanks Nana!)
> Jungle activity mat
> Still loves those blinds
> Being held chest to chest (not cradled unless your feeding her!)
> Sleeping on her side
> Kicking her legs like a crazy person ;)
> Blow-outs (she's all smiles every time)
> Bath time
> Having her hair blow dried, go figure...mommy does too!
> Watching Elmo (I'm sure it's just the colors and high pitch voice)
> Trying to walk
> Heading butting your chest (ok maybe not but it happens so often!)
> The words goo and poo poo


> Laying on her back
> Still binkies
> Being tucked in (no more swaddling)

Feel Good Moments:

> When she finds her thumb for the first time at 5 weeks!
> When you make ridiculous sounds and she smiles at you on purpose (her first real smile being at 5 weeks)
> Being able to make it all the way down south (45 minutes) without a freakout, talk about a blessing
> Watching her sleep on her daddy's chest
> Even though it was pretty gross, her first blowout was also funny to me (If your on Snapchat you were lucky enough to see it!). It got all over me, her feet, clothes and her hands (which I frantically grabbed before she could put them in her mouth).
> Watching Rod try to change her "anything" haha. Diapers are a long process because he says he's making sure it's done right. Her clothes are an on going battle between which side is the front versus the back and how to get her clothes off without it getting stuck on her head!! haha. All things I feel like new dads do :)
> DANCING!! or kind of a fast moving "hump" is what miss Pey has been doing lately, it's absolutely hilarious. It's like she starts with a slow moving hump and than it gets out of control!! haha Ahmazing.

Looking forward to:

> Our first mini family vacay to Palm Springs in November for our 9 Year Anniversary...yes we're bringing the baby :)
> Taking her to see Santa Claus! She doesn't get scared by anything, so far, so it will be interesting to see her process the jolly man.
> Her two month shots to be over!! Seriously though...I'm gonna have a panic attack I think!
> For the Holidays!! Starting with Halloween...little missy has two costumes (one for a photo op of course, and 1 for the night of)

My loves...One of these days I'll post on the nursery
As we move forward into month three, I am anxious and nervous that it's going to go by faster and faster. This is the time I've been waiting for and I feel like this blog allows me to reminiscence and hold on to the special moments that have passed. I LOVE that my IG is full of fellow mommy bloggers now that are going through the same things or about too. I'm grateful for the friendships I've made and the laughs we have when reading or seeing a post we can relate to! I hope I can continue trying to offer advice from my own experience and have a laugh or two along the way!

PS...I'll be posting my breastfeeding journey in the next couple days so check back! Also, if you haven't already check out my interview on Hatched Baby for Mom Crush of the Month :)

Little Moments || September

Saturday, October 10, 2015

It's Saturday!! Which means absolutely nothing these days since I'm home with this little one. Coming up on two months a lot is changing and I have no choice but to change with her. She found her thumb! Well, for like 2 minutes and then maybe four times since then, still exciting! Anywho, here's some shots from this month...

Love my new dainty three heart necklace with Peytons birthdate, details on IG soon
Watching Daddy compete
Grandmas in love
Stroller: Bumbleride 
My little clip on Koala while looking for newborn supplies
Wrap: Solly Baby
How mommy TRIES to do some bloggin'

Brunch with a view at The Strand House
Not gonna lie, it got hot fast so I'm glad I brought the stroller just in case!
Baby Wrap: Solly Wrap
Hat: Target
and we've got THUMB!
That smile yummy

Without getting into it too much, the adjustment is never ending and challenging to balance. I would have never imagined the roller coaster of emotions that you really do go through but luckily, when it comes to Rod and I, we can handle it! I feel like there's three things you can do too see how strong your relationship is: move in together, travel together and have a baby!! Of course I would never do the latter just to see how strong we are but I can say we're doing good so far! This little nugget couldn't be more loved. Any advice for this next third month? I look forward to more movements and coo-ing, not too mention coooooler weather!! Ah!

Fall Essentials: Must Have Hats

Monday, October 5, 2015
Happy #FridayFinds! As many of you know or will find out, being a mommy has many wonderful aspects but having time for yourself isn't one of them. So you start learning to get yourself ready in 15 minutes and wash your hair the night before...etc. The trick I'm very fond of right now is throwing on a floppy hat or fedora to give the illusion that I have my ish together, whennnnnn I don't, barely remembered to put my shoes on this morning! Always fun times when I show up to Target and realize I either have to hippie it or go back and get my shoes lol. Anywho, these are a few of my favorites right now at all price points. :)

First Row:  Special Edition Wool Fedora- Zara // Brixton 'Messer' Fedora- Nordstrom // Merona Solid Fedora Hat- Target

Second Row: Merona Solid Panama Hat- Target // Magdalena Hat- Brixton // Rag & Bone Wide Brim Wool Fedora- Nordstrom

Third Row: Rag & Bone 'Abbott' Wool Fedora- Nordstrom // Janessa Leone 'Savoy' Hat- Nordstrom //  Faux Suede Fedora- Forever 21

Don't think I didn't snatch up a few of these beauties!! Hope you ladies enjoy the weekend... no winter for us here in California yet :(

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