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.

35/52, 36/52 - Campfire and Snack Time

35/52 - Campfire

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36/52 - Snack Time 

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Happy weekend!

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.

32/52 - Mom And Me and FMKC LinkUp

The theme for this week's linkup is Mom and Me!  So basically any posts with pictures of you and your kiddos will qualify.  I decided to cheat a little and use these pictures for my Project 52 pictures for the week and for the From My Kid's Closet linkup!  Clever of me, no?

I haven't had any good pictures taken with me and the kiddos in a while, so I had Derek take some new ones on Sunday!

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Shirt: Target

Pants: I want to say Kohl's.

Shoes: Gift from my mom.  I like them because they look like Converse, but I think she got them from Walmart, which is a-okay with me!  No way I would pay full price for real Converse shoes when Wyatt will outgrow them in a couple months.

Hat:  Gymboree.  Wyatt loves wearing his hat lately, I think because it looks just like the hats his dad wears!


Dress and Bloomers: Children's Place on clearance last year!  I found out we were having a girl and I wanted to get something for her.

Bow: Target.

And we went sans shoes because I didn't have any that matched.  Shoes is on the list of things to buy for Gwen's fall wardrobe.


Dress: Target.  I bought this maxi dress at the beginning of the summer, because I loved that it had sleeves, and the top part is loose enough that it's nursing friendly!

Shoes (that you can't see): I didn't get a picture of the shoes.  But they were neon coral sandals, and they cost me $8 at Forever 21!  I think that's pretty good for shoes.

Earrings (that you can barely see): Tiny little spikes from Forever 21.

Wow, and would you believe it that Wyatt's outfit was the most complicated this week?  That's what happens when Gwen and I wear dresses, I guess.  Nice and simple!


Okay, go ahead and review the guidelines here and link up your posts below!

Also, a quick announcement - both Allison's and my schedules for the fall are looking pretty crazy, so we decided to put the linkup on hold for now.  It will most likely be back in a few months.  Thanks to everyone who has participated so far, and be sure to follow Allison's blog for future news about the linkup (and you should follow her anyway, because her blog is amazing)!


31/52 - When They Aren't Looking

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27-29/52 - Funny, Blondies, Water

27/52 - Funny Faces

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They crack me up sometimes.

28/52 - Blondies

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They both looked so blonde in these pictures!  I think Gwen's hair is getting lighter, and Wyatt's is getting darker.

29/52 - Water Babies

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We had a good time swimming with Ashley this past week!  Gwen wasn't a big fan of the water, but Wyatt had fun!

24/52 - Rough Day

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It's not always sunshine and roses around here.  But I wouldn't trade one day, not even the bad ones.

23/52 - My Little Thai Babies

A friend of mine teaches at a Christian school in Thailand.  She comes home each summer, and the last two summers she brought these little Thai outfits for my babies.  I was so happy Wyatt still fit in his, so we had a little photo shoot with my Thai-dressed kiddos!  I think the photos turned out really cute. 

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Stories About My Boy


I'm not doing month updates about Wyatt anymore, but he's been changing so much in the past couple months!  He's had a speech explosion, and we can have little conversations now, and he does cute things all the time - I'm loving this age!  I just wanted to write down a few of the things that I don't want to forget about this time in our lives.


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Wyatt is so into cars right now, and when he talks about his "carses" is cracks me up!  I think he got the plural of "carses" from "horses".  He loves both.


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My sweet blog friend, Melanie, sent us a package a couple months ago with headbands she made for Gwen and foam letters spelling out Wyatt's name for the bathtub!  He loves them, and it's been a great way to teach him the letters in his name.  He quickly learned to name all of them and put them in the correct order on the bathtub wall.


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When we started teaching Wyatt animal noises we taught him the noise a moose makes (kind of a grunting sound), but what we didn't teach him was the sound a deer makes . . . yet somehow he figured it out.  Now when he sees the deer in our neighborhood he says a "meh, meh" noise like he's trying to do a deer call - I'm thinking maybe he got it from a hunting show?  I don't know.  You can tell he's a mountain boy.


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Chocolate milk is his favorite drink right now, and his favorite snack is "chocolate toast".  He will often dig the nutella and bread out of the cupboard and bring them to me, asking for "chokah toest" (think Canadian accent).


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We went to the park several weeks ago as a family, and there was this cute little girl there - she was three years old, but a little shorter than Wyatt.  She kept following Wyatt all around the park, trying to get him to play with her.  At one point Wyatt was standing there and she came up and started talking at him - he just gave his shy smile, pursed his lips, grabbed her hand, and started walking with her toward the slide mid-sentence.  It made Derek and me laugh!


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When we're driving in the car Wyatt calls out things that he sees.  A couple months ago he spotted some flowers while I was driving and kept saying "Look, Mom, flowers!" until I looked and said he was right!  Now he does that with everything - tractors, trees, deer, birds, trains.  Each time he does it he acts like it's the coolest thing he's ever seen, and he will insistently point it out like he doesn't want me to miss it!  


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I think it's cute how he always wants to point the flowers out to me.  We were in a parking lot one day and he looked around and couldn't find any, so he says "Where'd the flowers go?"  We also drove by my uncle's memorial the other day after my family had put some flowers up.  Wyatt spotted them and pointed them out to my mom and me, and then as we drove away he waved and called out "Bye bye flowers!"  It was sweet.


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Derek and Wyatt ran to the store a couple weeks ago, and they went through a car wash.  We don't go through car washes that often, and it scared Wyatt - he started crying and Derek was trying to comfort him.  When the doors opened as the car wash was ending, Derek said "Look, we're all clean now," and then he asked Wyatt if the car wash was scary.  Wyatt said "That was scary," and then all the way home he kept saying "Scary, scary.  All clean!  Scary . . ." over and over again - poor little guy couldn't stop talking about it!  Now we have to be careful when we say the word "scary" because if Wyatt hears he will look around and try to figure out what we're talking about.


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Lately Wyatt keeps calling out to things.  If he sees a horse, or bird, or deer, or anything like that he'll say "Come horse!  Come here horse!" while slapping his hand against the side of his leg.  He's been paying attention when Derek calls the dogs.


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Wyatt really loves Winnie the Pooh (aka: Pooh Bear, aka: Pooh Pooh Bear) right now, and we were watching an episode the other day before his nap.  Tigger had the hiccups, and Wyatt kept laughing and hiccuping and hopping all over the room.  He copied every single thing Tigger did in the entire show.  I think we know who his favorite character is!


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Wyatt loves listening to his Donut Man CD, and he knows the words to all his Bible songs!  I love that the truth is soaking into his little heart even at this young age.  The other day Derek and I were singing one of his songs (because they are abnormally catchy and get stuck in our heads), and when we paused Wyatt started singing the next line!  His favorite song right now is the "angel song" (All Night, All Day).  He requests it every night before he goes to sleep, and it's adorable when he tries to sing along.


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For "I love you", Wyatt says "La, loo".  It's the cutest thing ever.  Derek took Wyatt with him to run errands the other day while Gwen and I stayed home.  Derek says when they pulled out of the driveway Wyatt called out "La-loo, Mama, bye bye, la-loo!" and kept waving and blowing kisses!  It melted my heart, and made me feel loved.


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The other day I got home from a baby shower, and Wyatt came up to the door as I was coming in and said "Is that mom?", then "Hi mom" when he saw me.  Later Derek called him to go upstairs and he came over and knocked on my door and said "Comin' Mom?" before he went upstairs.  


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Lately if I've been running around, doing too much around the house during the day, Wyatt will come over to me and say "Sit with me?", and he isn't satisfied until I sit down on the couch and cuddle with him for a few minutes.  How can I say no to that?  I love that he reminds me to slow down when I need to.


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He just has the cutest little personality, and I'm loving this age!  He says and does the sweetest things, and I just love the little person he's becoming.  He's already seeming more and more like a little boy and less like a toddler, but I don't want to forget all the sweet things he does right now.  I don't want to forget these precious days with my boy.

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