Showing posts with label 1st Baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1st Baby. Show all posts

Guilt-Free Breastfeeding: Advice From A Mom Of Five

I partnered with/received compensation from Babywise.Life to write this post.  Even though this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

First I should probably clarify for new readers that I'm a mom of four on the outside and one in the oven, who I plan on nursing despite my difficult beginnings with breastfeeding!

I was never an obsessive breastfeeding advocate before I had a baby, but before Wyatt was born I knew I wanted to try to breastfeed him for a year.  I was pregnant with him seven years ago, and maybe this is the case with new mothers now as well, but I felt like the pressure to breastfeed was at the highest it had ever been.  There were plenty of studies about the benefits of breastfeeding, and I heard them all.  I felt that if I was really going to do the best for my baby, I had to try to make it to a year.  That’s what good new mothers did.

Wyatt was born at 37 weeks after an induction from pre-eclampsia, and all the nurses were surprised about how quickly he caught on to nursing.  They expected small babies to have a tougher time, but we didn’t seem to have any problems.  I left the hospital proud of my baby, and proud of myself that everything had gone so smoothly.

That didn’t last long.  

About a week after I brought him home from the hospital, we started having problems.  And by problems, I mean that I would cry out in pain every time he latched.  I couldn’t figure out what went wrong!  I talked to my doctor and lactation consultants, I read online great articles about breastfeeding trouble-shooting and about what a proper latch looks like.  But every time he went to eat, I ended up with tears streaming down my cheeks.

On top of that, I developed mastitis, which took a little time to be properly diagnosed.  I remember a few days being laid out on the couch with a fever and a hard knot in my chest, knowing I needed to nurse more often to try to get it out, but crying when I thought about it because I knew it was going to hurt so badly.

All this lasted about a month, and I started to almost resent when Wyatt would get hungry and want to eat.  Even though it wasn’t great for our relationship, I’d suck it up anyway, and scream in pain, and cry a little.  Finally someone told me something that I will never forget (even though I forget who exactly told me this amidst this painful newborn phase).  

Someone told me that your bond with your baby is more important than whether you breastfeed or not.

That little bit of advice meant so much to me - because someone had finally given me permission to let breastfeeding go if I needed to.   Someone had finally acknowledged that there are more important things in motherhood than whether I breastfed or not.

That advice helped me to take my doctor’s advice when she suggested I stop nursing on the affected side and just pump until there was some improvement.  That advice gave me permission to not breastfeed because I felt I had to, but only if I wanted to.

It was the most freeing thing I could have heard at that time in my motherhood journey, because it made me realize that breastfeeding is not what makes a person a good mother.  The love and care you have for your baby, and the bond that forms with or without breastfeeding, is what makes you a good mother.

I did end up finally healing and I nursed Wyatt until six months old.  Even with future troubles with my supply and nursing a baby with a food sensitivity (Gwen), nursing has been a such a sweet time with all my babies.  But it’s been sweeter yet knowing I breastfed my babies because I wanted to, and not because I was obligated to.  I am most proud today not of how long (or not long) I breastfed, but that it was a guilt-free journey.

So if I were to give advice to a brand-new mom today about breastfeeding, it would be that: Breastfeed because you want to, not because you have to.  Know that if everything doesn’t go as planned, you can fight through it and still have a successful breastfeeding story - or you can decide to let it go for the sake of reducing the stress on your bond, and that is a good choice too.  Your bond with your baby is not dependent on how successful you are at breastfeeding.  Loving your baby, and caring for their needs as best you can, until someday they don’t need you anymore - that’s what makes you a good mother.  Regardless of how this part of your motherhood story goes, it’s only one brief part, and not anywhere close to the most important.

Big Boy Room Ramblings

How was everyone's Labor Day weekend?  We didn't go on any trips or anything, but Derek had a long weekend too, so we pretty much just hung out and goofed off as a family.  It was lovely.

I'm having a hard time catching back up on blog posts since my little break two weeks ago, and the long weekend did not help, so today I'm just going to ramble.  Okay?  Okay.

This week I started looking at bedding for Wyatt's "big boy room".  We obviously aren't going to need the toddler bed for Gwen for a while, but I think Wyatt is ready to move to a big bed, and I want to get started on it.  So I went to my favorite place to shop - Amazon! - and looked for some bedding ideas.

At first I was thinking I might just do the duvet thing for Wyatt when we move him to the big bed, but then I spotted this quilt:

I love the idea of doing a car theme for Wyatt's room, because Wyatt loves cars right now.  I also think this bedding will grow with him nicely. I even found these other items that I think would look so fun in his room:
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Cute, right?

But then I saw this bedding.  Wyatt also likes trucks, but what I really like is how colorful this bedding is.  I could pretty much put it in any color room and it would look great.  This would be good since we may end up moving Wyatt upstairs into the current spare bedroom - which is yellow.  And I think this construction site bedding would look great with the yellow walls, and still look really boyish.

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I also really like this next bedding, because I have a soft spot for dinosaurs for little boys.  Unfortunately it only comes in a twin size, and the bed we have for Wyatt is a full size bed.

So really, it's between the first two bedding sets.  I'm leaning toward the construction site one because I feel like the colors will work better and be more versatile, but looking at the car bedding and decorations again has me torn because that would be really cute too!  I don't know.  I'll have to ask Derek what he thinks.

I'm trying to think about what to do for a nightstand, because the bed we have for Wyatt is also a really tall bed . . . I might have to go hunting in some Goodwills and see if I can find something that I can paint.  I like the idea of painting a nightstand or dresser dark blue for his room.

And then I want to get one of these cubby-style bookshelves from Ikea (like this one only turned on it's side).  Wyatt has way too many books to fit on that little ledge in his room anymore, and this would give me a place to store books, a place to display his piggy bank and other decorations, and I could also add colorful baskets to store little toys.
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And of course I'll need these too, or some variation thereof.  



Maybe Derek can make Wyatt a step stool, because they are expensive!  This was one of the most reasonably priced ones I found and it was still forty bucks.

Also, I'm not really sure which color of wood I'm going with for the furniture yet, so I'm just showing the natural wood color for now - don't get hung up on that.

Those are my thoughts about Wyatt's room.  And it took so long to ramble about that, I'm about rambled out.  

Oh!  One more thing!  I took an Influence Network class about being a worship leader in your family, and the teacher was basically saying to just be intentional about sharing with your kids about Jesus and God's love. It really got my creative juices flowing on how to infuse more about Jesus into Wyatt's daily life.  

One of the things I was thinking of is that I want to find more Bible-based movies, and I ran across "Auto-B-Good" movies.  They have a faith-based series, and I totally want to order one for Wyatt!  I haven't watched them yet, but they look like they might be good.  Maybe a Christmas present?

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When did you/are you planning on moving your toddler to a "big" bed?  Anything I'm not thinking of for a "big boy room"?  Biblical movie suggestions for kids?  I'm all ears.  Or eyes.  Whatever.

On Transitioning To A Toddler Bed

 I've gotten quite a few questions over the last few months about how we went about transferring Wyatt from his crib to his toddler bed - so even though it's been a while since we switched over, I thought I'd give my two cents on the topic here for those of you who are planning on making the big switch soon!  

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Step One: Find a bed.

We got Wyatt a toddler bed, because we already have a full-size bed that he'll use eventually, and I wanted a transition piece that would fit in the same room as the crib (since Wyatt and Gwen share a room).  I think it's a good idea to start them low to the ground in the beginning, whether that means getting a toddler bed or just putting a mattress on the floor.  I also think, for us anyway, it was a good idea to have something with some kind of rail - Wyatt is a wild sleeper.  He always ended up sleeping all over his crib, so I wanted a toddler bed with a little rail to still give him the sense of some kind of boundary.  If we had done a mattress or full-size bed, I would have bought one of those guard rails for the same reason - I've got to rein my crazy sleeper in.

Step Two:  Start with naptime.

I picked a start day, and we tried it at naptime first.  I thought it would be better to make the change at naptime for a few days, so he could get used to it in the daylight, and at a time when it would be easier for me if he hated it.  If we had started with nighttime right away, I might have just lost a bunch of sleep, and that's no fun for anyone, so naptime it was.

Step Three: Stick with the routine.

I tried to keep his routine and environment pretty much the same as it was in the crib.  So we put the same sheets on his toddler bed, moved all his normal covers over to his toddler bed, and I put him down with his favorite blanket and stuffed animals, the same as I would in his crib.  I think all those familiar items made it feel more normal.  When we put him back in the crib at night, I used other blankets, because I wanted the toddler bed to become the new normal.

Step Four: Try it at night.

Wyatt did fine when we tried putting him in the bed at night, I guess because we gave him a few days to get used to it with nap time.  We got a nice, full night of sleep that night!  I was surprised and felt lucky that it went so smoothly.

Step Five:  Know that they will fall out of bed.

And it's not a big deal.  Wyatt didn't fall out during naptime, but he fell out when we started the toddler bed at night.  This is where it comes in handy to start them low to the ground - then it's not far to fall.  He cried, not because he was hurt but because he was startled - I went in there, rocked him for a minute, and put him back down, and he was fine.  It happened a few times.  It happened once again the other day.  It just happens.

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(This photo was taken when I was still pregnant with Gwendolyn, if you couldn't tell by the big 'ole belly.)

And that's all I've got!  Now, let me just say, Wyatt transitioned to his toddler bed super-easily - I was expecting a battle with the first attempt, but he just went straight to sleep.  For trouble-shooting, you might have to consult someone else!  We were blessed it all went so smoothly and he transitioned quickly, because we needed to get the crib ready for Gwen - and Wyatt was perfectly happy in his toddler bed.  We'll see if the transition goes as well for Gwen in a couple years!

2012 In Instagram Photos

So a lot of you may have heard about Instagram's new policies, where some vague language made it sound as if they are changing their terms of use to allow themselves to sell photos that are posted to Instagram.  They put out a statement saying that's not, in fact, what the new terms are meant to say, but it still makes me a bit jumpy about using it - so I figure the least I'll do is delete some of the photos I've uploaded to Instagram in the last year.

However, as I was looking through them, I realized how many memories I have tied to the photos I've posted there!  And I didn't want to completely lose them, so I'm going to share them on here instead.  Thankfully I wasn't an overly heavy Instagram user anyway, so there were only about 80 photos total -  I'll just split it up into a few posts and share over the next week or two, before New Year's!


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December 31, 2011 - Relaxing in my new pajamas on New Year's Eve!


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January 1, 2012 - Took down the Christmas decorations today - and that's Monk on the TV, in case you were wondering.


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January 1, 2012 - When Derek saw me wearing this shirt he stopped mid-sentence and said "Oh, that's pretty". #Wehaveawinner


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January 2, 2012 - W grabbed George out of the basket earlier and started having a conversation with him.  My baby is so cute.


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January 7, 2012 - Just finished celebrating Derek's birthday at this place, with our family and friends!


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January 8, 2012 - Love his little underpants (cloth diaper) peeking over his pants.  Only babies can pull that off!


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January 10, 2012 - New makeup is so exciting to me. :-)


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January 11, 2012 - Cute dogs, curled up together and napping on the couch. 


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January 12, 2012 - W and I are ready for bed - him in stripes, me in polka dots (you can barely see my PJ's in the bottom corner). :-)


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January 24, 2012 - My little man looks so grown up, standing like that!


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January 30, 2012 - Yes, that's my laptop on the toilet.  I'm watching my scary movie while I take a bath.  Probably not the best idea.


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February 22, 2012 - This is us today.  My poor boy.


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March 6, 2012 - Here's the messy before - with that painter's tape already falling down (grrr!).


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 March 7, 2012 - This closet seems so much bigger and more organized now (trust me, you should have seen it before).


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March 7, 2012 - Stored a little bit of old paint with the color infer in mason jars - works perfectly!


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April 10, 2012 - Pretty new nail polish!  "A Cut Above" from Essie.


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May 30, 2012 - Had to stop and get some mineral water and a Snickers, just because it sounded so good!


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June 5, 2012 - I infused my water with strawberry and mint, and it turned out so good . . .


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June 13, 2012 - To do today . . .


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June 13, 2012 - It turned out so pretty . . .


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June 13, 2012 - Cheesecake, mmmm.


More coming another day . . .

The Kid's Room Reveal

When we found out we were pregnant we decided that we were going to have Wyatt and the new baby share a room.  We have two bedrooms downstairs in our house - our bedroom and the nursery.  I feel like Wyatt is still pretty little to be upstairs by himself (I just don't want him that far away from me), so we tossed around different options and decided it would be best to just have the kiddos share a room until Wyatt is a little bigger.

Since we found out we're having a baby girl, we repainted and the room is basically split into Wyatt's side and her side.  I'm finally getting around to sharing a few pictures!  So here it is - the kid's room!


Little Sister's Side

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Big Brother's Side

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The Whole Room

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(Some sort of name art will probably go on that back wall above her crib once we know what her name is, along with a few more wall flowers maybe . . .)

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(Right now we just have Wyatt's name meaning hanging above the dresser, I'll add a frame with her name after she comes!)


And that's it!  I wasn't sure how I was going to do a room for both a boy and a girl, but I like the way it turned out.  It'll be nice to have both my babies close to me at night for a couple more years!

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