11 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding

What I wish I had known about breastfeeding before I had my baby

11 Things I wish I had known about breastfeeding. Must read before baby's birth!

Now that we’re four months into our breastfeeding journey I feel like things have fallen into a nice routine for baby Leo and me. He’s got the concept down and when he’s hungry he happily chomps away at the milk bar. I love glancing down at him and knowing my body actually makes all that he needs to grow. The whole concept is still mind-boggling and just amazing to me.

However, breastfeeding wasn’t all roses and butterflies from the get-go for us, though, and in hindsight there were a few things I wish I would have known beforehand. Our nursing story starts a little different than most families’ but keep reading as these tips should be super useful for any new mom.

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On Becoming A Mom

On Becoming A Mom

OMG I am a Mom! I’ve become that person that a wee little one relies on for nourishment, safety, cuddles, and guidance as he figures out the world we live in. No pressure. No seriously, the thought is just a tiny bit overwhelming still, even after being on the job for almost 3 months. But so far the kid has survived our parenting so we’ll call that a success (knock on wood).

Leo joined our family on a summery day in July after 23 hours of labor (but I’ll spare you the details) and then had to stay in the NICU for 5 days. That was completely unexpected as he was full term and all the ultrasounds had indicated we’d have a perfectly healthy boy. Needless to say, after the exhaustion of labor and birth with no sleep and then the worry about our boy and the hustle and bustle of the hospital I felt more like a zombie than ever before. I know everybody tells you that you’ll worry for the rest of your life as a mother but I surely did not expect that much worrying right from the beginning.

Anyone will tell you the NICU is a tremendously emotional experience and they are spot on. Thankfully the NICU staff was awesome and our son hated his breathing aids and was determined to get rid of them pretty quickly. He pulled the tubes out of his nose and no one noticed as his oxygen and breathing values didn’t set off any alarms. So as the days went by we received much positive news and he was finally discharged with a clean bill of health. Hoorah! We truly feel lucky and blessed as we know all too well that not every NICU story has a happy ending.

Not loving this breathing apparatus

I SHOVE MY C-PAP OUT BECAUSE I HATE IT
That navy strap is supposed to be under his chin and the clear tube in both nostrils. Leo had shoved it half out because he clearly didn’t like it.

Then our crazy first month at home started. I can’t say enough how lucky we were to have saved up enough dineros for Husband to take off six whole weeks from work! Between taking care of baby boy, washing breast milk pump parts and bottles, keeping the dog alive, my postpartum recovery (which no one ever tells you about that part of having a baby, so, surprise!!), personal hygiene and eating our days were pretty busy and exhausting.

But, I’m happy to report things have gotten a ton better! Leo now pretty much sleeps through the night and nurses well. Almost every day he learns something new and it is so fun to watch and help him figure things out. It absolutely melts my heart when he smiles at me and I am completely in love.

Smiling happy baby!

And… he just woke up from a nap. So leave me a nice comment to read while I go deal with some poop….

 

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The Waiting Game

The waiting game before baby arrives

The waiting game before baby arrivesAs I’m nearing the end of my fairly uneventful (knock on wood!!) pregnancy we are now playing the waiting game. I’m considered full term (wooohooooo!) this weekend and so our little guy could make his appearance any time in the next days or weeks. For me the uncertainty is driving me just a tiny bit insane although of course I do feel that baby knows best and he’ll pick his birthday when he’s ready to continue growing outside of me.

This past week we’ve finally completed his nursery. After having false labor way too early back in May and worrying that our son could arrive sooner rather than later (which he hasn’t – yay!) I got really antsy to finish baby-related stuff. You can imagine how happy I was when after a manufacturer’s delay the comfy glider chair was finally ready for us to pick-up. Phew!

LIttle Castle Sera glider finally arrived!

All of baby’s clothes, bibs, blankets, burp clothes, sleep sacks, swaddle blankets, carriers, diapers, changing pad covers and whatever other random baby gear has been washed. You’re picking up on what I’m putting down here? There is a ton of baby stuff in our house now and that even with us trying to be somewhat minimalistic about the baby item explosion everywhere. I suppose that is just something we’ll have to learn to accept as we transition into parenthood: Our house will be our son’s house just as much as ours. So it won’t just be husband’s golf putter, Alfi-Dog’s tennis balls or whatever book I’m reading that create tripping hazards. From baby swing to play mat to bottles to toys, I’m just a tiny bit anxious about all that stuff and the little space we have in our home but I am making peace with it.

Moving along in the preparations, we’ve installed the car seat base in my car, packed our hospital bags (with probably way too much…), finished all our birth and parenting classes (I was only half joking when I said that birth class was one of our few hobbies these days…), had a wonderful baby shower, and finished reading almost all of the pregnancy and birth books I ever wanted to read (and then some).

So ya, we’re just waiting here for things to get started. It is super surreal to think we could have a baby in as quickly as one or two days (or 4 weeks). Probably not something that will feel real until a few days after his arrival. In any case, we’re as ready as we’ll ever be for this new adventure and are so very excited to meet our little guy!

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Free Hydrate and Fruits Printable for My New Erin Condren Planner

Free printable to keep track of water, fruit and vegetable intake as well as read, craft & exercise tracker.

Ever since quitting my day job and doing freelance work I’ve been heavily using a paper planner to keep track of important dates, appointments and my to do list. There’s something so satisfying to draw that check mark with a pen after completing something. I admit I’ve on occasion added something to my to do list after getting it done just to document it. 😀

My beloved Day Designer planner ran from July to June and it’s been getting tough for me not to write down planned visits etc after July. Previously I had mostly used my planner for business but I’m thinking with our baby boy arriving this summer I’ll want some extra space for family notes. Pediatrician appointments anyone?! Not to mention the countless prenatal appointments and nesting to dos that are just getting to be more frequent.

Keeping track of good daily habits in my Erin Condren Plannter

The solution was the Erin Condren Life Planner. I had marveled at them in the past but with an electronic work calendar I had been hesitant about getting one. This month I finally did and I love it! If you’re in the market for one, here’s a $10 off referral promo code for you and me! Yay! What fun to choose and personalize your cover and pick out your favorite inside layout! I was super excited when it arrived, not gonna lie. #dork

Love my new planner! :D

Anyhow, one of the things I really like about the Erin Condren planner is all the space it gives me to plan not only my freelance work, the day in general and my personal to do list but also a spot where I can track my daily water and fruit/veggie intake. My goal is to eat five different fruits and vegetables a day and drink at least seven 12oz glasses. I’m also trying to make more time in my days for reading, crafting and exercising before the anticipated drowning in diapers, feedings, and up all nighters (ermagerrrrrrd!). To help me reach my goals I’ve designed these little tracker stickers that I thought you may also enjoy. I simply print them on regular paper, cut them on the gray lines with scissors and glue them in but you could also print them on a sheet of sticker paper. This set of hydration, fruit and vegetable tracker printables matches the Erin Condren June color scheme. Since there was some free space with the way the weeks fall I added a little rectangular watercolor sticker that I used to decorate the first day of summer. 🙂

Free hydration, fruit, vegetable, reading, crafting and exercising tracker

Free for personal use! Yay! Click the image to download!

Cheers,
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