Family of Three

July 31, 2015

I love love love these photos that Katie Oblinger captured of our family of three. Lucy was just three weeks old when we took these. I was almost worried I was too late and she wouldn’t look like a “newborn” at three weeks. But now I can’t get over how tiny and different she looks! I’m so glad to have these photos to document our first few weeks together.

Katie Oblinger Photography

Lucy is growing and changing every day and I’m so glad to have these photos to look back on. We cuddled up in our room for these photos because the light is so great – and Lucy’s nursery is not quite done yet. We’re allllmost there! I guess that’s what happens when your baby arrives three weeks early?

Katie Oblinger Photography Katie Oblinger Photography

continue reading

Happy Naptime

July 24, 2015

This post is sponsored by Munchkin.

We’ve been working on a mini-schedule for Lucy the past few weeks, simply encouraging the natural nurse and nap pattern that she’s naturally fallen into. As of almost 7 weeks, (7 weeks?!) Lucy naps really well in the mornings, pretty well mid-day and the afternoons are a gamble.

Munchkin Latch Pacifier 1

There a few essentials we have to have at 7 weeks to make a nap a good one: a tight swaddle, some background noise and a great lightweight pacifier. We’ve finally found a couple of swaddles that work well for us, Lucy’s flexible with the background noise, (a noisy kitchen, lullabies or white noise will do) and the pacifier is my favorite part. It’s fascinating, and so satisfying, to watch Lucy’s gurgles and groans fade away when she find comfort in that newborn sucking reflex with her favorite Munchkin pacifier. These cute pink and orange Munchkin pacis were designed with pediatric dentists and moms, with a goal of developing a lightweight, comfortable pacifier. When Lucy’s happily suckling away, Allen and I slowly back away and high five that she’s content and napping… for now!

Munchkin Latch Pacifier 3

And Mama has her own agenda for Lucy naps! I know everything says nap when the baby naps, but I was only able to do that the first few weeks when my own Mama made me. :) Now, during Lucy’s good morning nap, I usually do whatever is the most important task of that day. Whether it’s cleaning the kitchen, making sure a few loads of laundry or ironing get done, watering the plants or taking a few photos for the blog. The afternoons are Lucy & Mama’s snuggle time. (Let’s be honest, I could snuggle my girl all day.) Since her naps are less consistent and she’s usually more fussy in the afternoons, I love to have her nap on my chest. Plus, the Munchkin pacis are lightweight and easy to pop in her mouth one-handed. Plus, the cute heart shape makes them fit just right under her nose and propped between my chest and her chubby cheek. She sleeps really well snuggled up on my chest with a soft blanket and paci. And I can’t get enough of those sleepy snuggles. And she smells so delightful! I usually make a cup of tea (one-handed!) and have a snack (usually fig newtons) and we both have a little down time. It’s a sweet snuggle time, I know she loves it just as much as I do.

Munchkin Latch Pacifier 2

And don’t be fooled with all this talk of snuggles, Lucy’s got a set of lungs on her and she’s not afraid to use them! Evening fussy hour is a normal occurrence and we always bust out the pacifiers again – along with every bounce movement and silly “shhh” sound we can think of. It’s hard in the moment (or hour…) but it always passes. And usually, our trusty Munchkin pacifier is to thank for that. :) Luckily, there are three different nipple shapes that grow with baby, specific to the shape of baby mouths at 0+ months, 3+ months, and 6+ months. I think we’ll be depending on our Munchkin pacis for a while. :)

Munchkin Latch Pacifier

Breastfeeding Tips for Baby’s First Weeks

July 23, 2015

Breastfeeding my daughter was one of the things I looked forward to most when I was pregnant. Of course, I was a little nervous it wouldn’t be a smooth transition or it would hurt, but I envisioned my daughter and I nursing and snuggling and bonding and hoped and prayed we’d have success. I’m so pleased that we’ve had a great experience breastfeeding so far (Lucy is almost 7 weeks old!) so I wanted to share a few tips & tricks that I’ve found helpful.

Breastfeeding Tips for Baby's First Weeks

Here are a few things I learned from experienced mama friends, lactation consultants and good ol’ Google over the first few weeks.

Try Different Positions: This was maybe the most important piece of advice our Lactation Consultants gave me in the hospital. Lucy didn’t latch well on the left side, so they suggested trying a different position, the football hold, on the left. It was great. The first month I always did cross-cradle hold on the right and football on the left. After a few weeks, Lucy was doing much better so we tried the cross-cradle hold on the left and it worked. Around one month, I discovered how awesome the regular cradle hold is (duh!) and suddenly had a much more comfortable position and a free hand. Hooray! Then at 5 weeks, I needed to nurse Lucy at the doctors office and I didn’t have my trusty Boppy… the terror! To my surprise, we did great. I positioned Lucy in a sitting up position, propped on my leg, in a cradle hold. It worked so well, I was free from the Boppy as a necessity. We haven’t looked back since!

Call the Lactation Center: This is most important tip #2. These knowledgeable ladies will be your best friends. We were really lucky that our hospital has a fabulous Lactation Center that you can call anytime for support. Let’s just say I called a lot. Have no shame ladies, breastfeeding is hard. Take all the support you can get and ask all the questions you have. Don’t feel silly, this is their job and they want nothing more than to help you be successful breastfeeding your baby. Put down your pride and pick up the phone. You and your baby will be better for it! I also read page after page of these great breastfeeding resources: La Leche League & Kelly Mom.

Growth Spurts: They’re hard! Lucy went through growth spurts around 3 weeks for 2 to 3 days and around 6 weeks for 4 to 5 days. #1. Let baby lead. Just give up whatever plans you thought you had for that day. Ha! Your baby needs you! Savor in the sleepy moments and power through some marathon nursing sessions with your favorite Netflix binge and yummy snacks. I treated myself to fig newtons & chocolate milk. :) #2. It will feel like you’re empty and you don’t have any milk left to give. You do! The more baby nurses, the more milk your body will make. When baby does finally sleep (and she will!) make some Mother’s Milk tea to keep yourself confident in your supply, stay hydrated and rest. And get back to that Netflix binge.

Wake Up: I eventually realized that Lucy was falling asleep before she was really satisfied and her post-nursing crying spurts weren’t gas or a tummy ache, she was trying to tell me she was still hungry. Silly, mommy! I keep Lucy awake by tickling her back, blowing on her face, laying her down beside me (that one wakes her up quickly!) and changing her diaper. The first few weeks when nursing sessions require so much gear and so much situating, there was no way I was getting up to change a diaper and then getting all situated again, but now it works like a charm.

Huge Boobs: I was really surprised at how large & engorged my breasts were when my milk came in. I didn’t know to expect such a surge in size – they were hard as a rock! For me it lasted 2 or 3 days, about 5 – 7 days after Lucy was born. It took a few days to figure it out, sometimes Lucy nursed on both sides, sometimes she nursed on one side, sometimes I’d be really engorged (like, huge!) on the opposite side and sometimes I would leak uncontrollably from one side while Lucy nursed on the other. Who knew… This is all normal! Our bodies have to figure out how much milk to make for our babies and I didn’t realize this is how they do it. Now, we’re pretty well regulated and I no longer get super, uncomfortably engorged or leak uncontrollably. Huzzah!

Breastfeeding Tips for Baby's First Weeks

I’m thankful that we’ve had a great start to our breastfeeding journey. I know it won’t always be easy and I’m sure we’ll struggle along the way, especially when I go back to work. Breastfeeding is hard. I know there are plenty of sensitivities around this topic and it doesn’t work for everyone. Whatever your breastfeeding journey, more power to ya, Mama.

Photos by Katie Oblinger Photography