Monday, July 24, 2017

Nursing Must Haves

I've been meaning to put some posts together of things that have saved me during this transition into first time parent. I love reading these from other moms so I hope you enjoy!!

We are a little over 3 months into our nursing journey and I'm so thankful - if you would have asked me on day 6 if I enjoyed it I probably would have broke down in tears. It is a crazy big adjustment, see also PAINFUL, I never thought my nipples would heal!! I'd obviously never done it before and then sleep deprived trying to feed this little human who is also new at it while stressing that they aren't getting enough, or that the latch isn't right and ohhh and the cluster feeding ... wow seems like ages ago! So, new moms, I promise it gets better.

Here are some things that I've found helpful:

// Lanolin or some type of nipple ointment // For the first couple weeks I was making sure this was being applied after every feeding and it helped soothe but I think just putting breast milk on and letting it dry was what healed my nipples the best - that and Quinn and I finally figuring each other out!

// Timer App // I got the app Baby Tracker and it has a timer so you can keep track of each side and then it reminds you what side to start on next - suuuuper helpful!

// Nursing Bra // This sounds like a no brainer but I almost forgot to get one. I currently have a cheap one from zulily but am looking at the new one that ThirdLove just came out with. I've heard a lot about this company lately (hello 1/2 cup sizes), and just look how comfy this bra looks!! *ThirdLove is giving my readers 10% off of the new collection, just use code TLJLY10 

// Nursing Tanks // I've always been someone who wears a cami under my shirts and let's face it those aren't nursing friendly at all. I have some perfect nursing ones now from Target

// Snacks // Some of my favorite easy little snacks for keeping my body in milk-making mode are KIND bars, Peanut Butter on anything and everything, oatmeal energy balls and cheese sticks. To be honest, eating is one of the things I find hardest - I'm just not used to eating this much!!

// Boppy Pillow // This was helpful when she was smaller and so awkward to hold, plus it allowed a little more hands free nursing

// Nursing pads // I use the Lansinoh brand and also have the reusable bamboobies

// Nursing Cover // For nursing in public without giving everyone a show. I have one from Copper Pearl that I also use as a carseat cover, and that is handy then it is always with us

// Mom Dresses // With going back to work I needed some more nursing friendly clothes. I have a few wrap dresses that are nice and easy to pull down. I also just found these dresses with a hidden side zipper from Roolee and that is a nice feature!

// Patience // As I mentioned earlier this didn't come easily for me. I was so stressed because she was a sleepy eater so I worried that she wasn't getting enough or that the latch was wrong. Then she was spitting up blood that ended up being from my raw nipples *sorry for that graphic* but when your 7 day old is spitting up blood you freak out a little and I'm thankful it was just from that!! Our hospital has a great lactation staff and we visited them a few times, their reassurance and help was so nice and I left there always wishing I could fit their fancy scale in my diaper bag!!

I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting and more that I'll learn along the way but this is my short little list so far. What are your must haves??

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Quinn : Month 3

t h r e e m o n t h s
Quinn this was a busy month, you got your two month shots on June 12th and took them like a champ. By now you probably weigh over 12 lbs (you were 11lbs and 23in at your appointment) 
We stayed at the lake a few times and you are so good at traveling and sleeping new places!! Celebrated Dad's first Father's Day and you gifted him a long nap 💙 We did a lot of baby wearing and I had a hard time watching you grow up knowing I went back to work July 5 - but you (and I) survived your first three days of daycare so now we will learn a new routine. You seem to be learning every day are slowly outgrowing your swaddle and managed to army crawl and roll (kick) to your stomach on July 4 and you Love to stand, with assistance of course!! Tonight we are making you sleep in your room for the first time and I am going to miss you so much!! You are seriously so fun right now your dad and I just love to interact with you - his favorite is to blow on you and watch your reaction and I love to do 'so big' and watch you get a HUGE grin. 

Loves: car rides, making faces with mom & dad, her DockATot, silent laughing (haven't quite got the sound part down), being worn, watching baseball on TV, her tongue 

Hates: same as last month (being gassy, waiting to eat, being overtired, getting her nose cleaned out)

Nicknames: baby girl, little gremlin, Quinnie, chunky chicken, miss Q, munchkin, girlfriend 

Skills: kicking, grabbing at items & sticking them in her mouth, army crawl/scooting, rolling from stomach to back, standing (with help)

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Quinn : Month 2

t w o m o n t h s: 
Quinn you are already growing up waaaaay too fast. You weigh a little over 10 lbs and are starting to get the best little personality. At 7.5 weeks we started on a different schedule adding in a little sleep training - you're a rockstar with it and have been napping and sleeping at night (only getting up once) like a champ. We went to the lake for the first time, celebrated our first Mother's Day, you got baptized and Mom had her first night out this month - you were a perfect little angel for Dad! You are growing out of your clothes even though I'm still trying to cram you in some newborn stuff because I'm in denial. The last couple weeks you've been spitting up pretty good, getting that gas out (plus you may like to overeat) you especially like to get the grandpas all dirty 😆 and maaaaan can you destroy a diaper!! We couldn't be more in love with you and are in a constant struggle of wanting you to stay little and yet love watching you grow!! 

Loves: stroller walks, car rides, making faces with mom & dad, her swing, reading Old McDonald, baths, her hands, being swaddled
Hates: being gassy, waiting to eat, being overtired, getting her nose cleaned out
Nicknames: baby girl, little gremlin, Quinnie, sweet pea, miss Q, 
Skills: kicking, smiling, lifting her head and look around, taking a bottle for dad, making poop soup 😂


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Quinn : Month 1

As I'm attempting to fill up Quinn's baby book I realize I also want her monthly recaps here and not just on Instagram or in her book so bear with me as I play catch up with some posts on the blog - and bonus for you if you don't follow me on IG!!

And all the sudden we have a 1 month old!! We are getting the hang of breastfeeding and she took her first bottle like a champ last night. 
o n e m o n t h ...
Loves: eating, mom & dad's voices, bath time, car rides
Hates: waiting to eat, being left alone, getting out of the bath
Nicknames: Sweet Pea, Lil Miss
Skills: cuddling and being adorable 

The first two weeks at home with you were a total blur. Your dad and I felt like we were playing house right away but by week 3 we were getting in the groove and you felt like ours! You love napping on our chests or being held, as soon as we put you down you let us know you aren't happy. Sleeping during the night would not be possible if you weren't swaddled and we LOVE the SwaddleMe brand because we can never get the blankets tight enough for your liking. You had your first tractor ride on May 4th and slept right through it, you sure love that carseat! We love you and adore your little personality that is starting to show as you get more alert.


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Quinn James : Birth Story

I always want to remember how our first born came into this world. Here is the story of meeting our sweet girl for the first time.

40 weeks + 1 day. Friday April 7, 2017.
My water broke around 9pm. Steve and I were sitting in our living room watching TV and I felt a small contraction then thought I peed my pants a little (oh the joys of pregnancy). So I went to the bathroom and thought my water broke instead but I wasn't totally convinced. I went back to watching TV and got up a little while later and as soon as I stood up I had the gush, in true movie-like water breaking fashion that I was told didn't happen very often. I was so excited and Steve was in the kitchen at the time so I had to show him that it was indeed time, he told me to stop leaking all over the house and get in the bathroom 😆

I knew I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible and since we live an hour from the hospital the plan was to leave when contractions were about 5 minutes apart.

We knew it was going to be a long night so we both wanted to try and get a little sleep, I really wasn't having contractions yet so Steve and I both went to bed.

40 weeks + 2 days. Saturday April 8, 2017.
I woke up around 12am to more gushing and noticeable contractions. At 12:30 I woke Steve up and said we better get ready to go as the contractions were getting closer together.

We were on the road at 1am. It was a nice drive to Fargo, I had my eyes closed most of the trip just breathing through contractions and listening to the book Supernatural Childbirth.

Got to the hospital a little after 2. We were taken to the birthing floor and I got checked for the first time in the whole pregnancy and was 3.5-4 cm  dilated. We got moved into our room and I changed out of that hospital gown pretty fast, seriously those things are annoying. I was way more comfortable in a sports bra and granny panties!

I spent the next few hours walking around the room, breathing through contractions and using Steve or the sink counter to support me during them. Sometime during these few hours between 2 and 4 I was laying on the bed and yelled for Steve to get me the garbage - I threw up twice and then felt fine, it totally came out of nowhere. I was checked again at 4am and was only at a 4; I felt like it would be a long day at that rate.

I had tested positive for Group B Strep so the nurses started my IV of antibiotics, and of course they had to stick me 4 or 5 times before they switched arms and then got it right away. I don't remember getting out of bed again, I labored on my side and then had them bring the birthing ball and I laid on that in the bed. Steve was great, making sure I was drinking water, and keeping the back of my neck cool with a washcloth. They checked me again at 6am and I was at a 6.

Everything you read and hear about labor, say that transition is the most difficult part and I honestly don't remember it being any more difficult other than the contractions were just closer together. By 8am I was at 10cm and our midwife said it was time to push.

Our birth photographer got there just in time for me to start pushing. I started pushing while I still had the birthing ball under me and then ended up in a squatting position. I was using Steve and a nurse on the sides of me to grab onto when it was time to push, eventually they brought in the bar that attached to the bed and that seemed easier for me.

Between contractions and pushing there was a point where I needed oxygen to help the baby, it wasn't something the medical professionals made a big deal about so if there was something really wrong they didn't let on and that kept me super calm to be able to just focus on deep breathing. I was thankful to not be in any pain and just kept praying and trusting God.

I couldn't tell you how many times I pushed but before I knew it one of the nurses was asking if I'd like a mirror to see our baby crowning. This was a relief because at one point I asked if the baby was going back up after each time I relaxed and wasn't actively pushing - haha they said that wasn't how it worked, phew, good to know!!
So I felt the baby crowning and could see all the beautiful dark hair in the mirror, our midwife said she hoped it was a girl with all that hair because it would be a waste on a boy!!

Two more good pushes, one for the head, one for the shoulders and our baby arrived at 9:04am. Steve announced it was a girl, they put her on my chest and the rest of the day is a blur - she was here and that was all that seemed to matter!!

Now I have to talk a little about our birth plan. I wanted a natural birth and not to be all macho I just had a big fear of not feeling my legs if something didn't work with the epidural. A few weeks before my due date I had a dear friend recommend Supernatural Childbirth and I couldn't be more grateful. This book and ideology was just what I needed. I had been praying to God regularly for the health of this baby but never did I think to pray for a painless birth. So I started to talk to God about how this birth would look and I had such a peace about it. I am so proud of myself and my body and beyond grateful that He gave us this wonderful experience that resulted in our beautiful Quinn James!

Above Photos by Lindsay Kaye Photography

7 lbs 12 oz 20 in

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