thoughts & feelings finishing my pumping journey: real + raw motherhood.

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If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you probably didn’t see my short post about finishing my pumping journey. Although this post won’t be relatable to many, I thought it was important to document my thoughts and feelings.

I exclusively pumped for 1 year and 4 months. My journey ended last month & I couldn’t be more relieved and thrilled. If you don’t know what exclusively pumping is… I used a breast pump to get my milk, and would bottle feed Eloise. She never nursed directly from my breasts. Why? Because it just didn’t work out that way.

A little background: when I was pregnant, I never gave breastfeeding much thought… other than knowing I would breastfeed Eloise. I had NO idea how hard breastfeeding was, ha. I had NO idea what was in store for me!

After Eloise was born- November 30, 2018… our breastfeeding journey “began”. I had problems from the very beginning. I had no fucking clue what I was doing! It came so unnatural to me- looking back. Which is fine, because these are things that you learn! I saw a breastfeeding consultant in the hospital, and she was nice, but Ellie just wasn’t getting a good latch. After leaving the hospital, I was on my own! I had a manual pump, because I was producing so much milk! My milk supply was never the issue, it was her latch. Well, to make a long story short, I was in SO MUCH PAIN with each feeding… not to be TMI but my nipples were just torn up. I was bleeding, and crying of the pain with each feeding. I was so frustrated, exhausted, and I felt like a total failure. Defeated.

I really only “nursed” Eloise from my boobs less than two weeks, really. I just couldn’t take it anymore, things weren’t getting better. I ended up getting mastitis (OUCH- google it). The hospital issued me an amazing breast pump- and my pumping journey began!

I swear, this journey has been all trial & error. I have had to learn my body, and know when I was “empty” so that I wouldn’t have mastitis again. It was many many hours of being tied to that pump! Early mornings, and late nights. In the beginning, I was pumping every 3 hours. Constant! As Eloise got older, my body adjusted and at the end tail of my journey I could go up to 6-7 hours without pumping. There was a time when I got a huge abscess on my boob, but I pumped through that. It was the most painful experience (worst than mastitis, in my opinion) and I almost quit! But I didn’t.

I sure will NOT miss taking my pump (and it’s parts) EVERYWHERE! If we wanted to have a fun day out, my pump would always come along. I’ve pumped in my car a million times, I’ve pumped at airports, in public restrooms, etc. It was a hassle, for sure.

I don’t mean this post to come off like I’m whining… but being an exclusive pumper is no joke. I HATED IT! It’s a TON of work! But I did it! I surpassed my goal of ONE YEAR! I’m beyond proud of myself and all the sacrifices I’ve made for my daughter.

This post is for all the mamas out there, who’ve felt defeated like I did! Being a mother is the hardest job EVER! If you breastfeed, exclusively pump, have to supplement, or completely have your baby on formula- YOU ARE AMAZING. Every mom’s situation is different. Every mother’s experience and journey is different. No one is better than the other. I think mother’s don’t get enough credit!

If I’m able to have another little bundle of joy, maybe my next journey will be different! At least I know what to expect & know what I’m in for! haha. Being a first time mother is SOOOOO overwhelming! But man- I’m so lucky to have a great partner by my side. All those late nights I’d have to get up to pump, Dexter was by my side bottle-feeding Eloise. I couldn’t have done it without such a patient, loving, & present partner.

I DID IT! YAY!

 

ELOISE TURNS ONE: BIRTHDAY TRIP TO COLORADO!

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HAPPY DECEMBER! I cannot believe we are in the last month of 2019… are you ready for 2020? I am really looking forward to the New Year!

Eloise had her FIRST birthday on November 30th & I truly cannot believe we hit this milestone! Instead of having a big birthday party- Dex and I decided to take a family road-trip to Colorado and rent a nice Airbnb. My two sisters and their partners also came! From where we live, it took around 15 hours to drive to Carbondale, CO (which is super close to Aspen). The drive there we made a pit-stop in Utah at Arches National Park. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen! Huge rock formations, it made me feel like we were in Star Wars land or something. haha!

 

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We got to explore Snowmass & Aspen for one day and it started snowing like crazy! I was so excited to see snowy mountains, people skiing and snowboarding. Aspen is a gorgeous place and I would definitely go back.

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It was so nice to spend quality time with my family, and just celebrate Ellie turning ONE! I swear it’s the weirdest feeling having a one year old. I feel like I just gave birth to her, how did time fly by so fast? It’s beyond bittersweet!

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On our way back home, the drive was KILLER. We decided to stop back in Utah and visit Zion National Park. I’m so glad we did! Another gorgeous National Park with beautiful rocks, deer, and red cliffs. I’d love to explore more national parks in the future. But the rest of the drive home was brutal… I think driving 6 hours in a car is my limit!

 

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year with the kiddos. We are having Christmas dinner at home, and I cannot wait for all the delicious food. Talk to you guys later!

xo

ELOISE IS SEVEN MONTHS OLD!

 

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I’m SO late! Eloise turned 7 months old (June 30th) & she is actually turning 8 months old tomorrow! We’ve been so busy over here (and I haven’t been in the blogging mood lately). I managed to take some cute 7 month pictures, but as you can see- Eloise was sleeping the entire time.

As much as Eloise is growing, not much has changed (as far as milestones). She still loves my milk, enjoys playing with her toys, and being outdoors. She is such a good girl on car rides, and we love taking her to the pool!

She is still not a huge fan of baby food, but we are working on it… even if she takes a spoonful or two, that is fine! Her favorite show is still Sesame Street, but I sneak some Peppa Pig here and there! I also love reading to her, I have a ton of baby books for her! My favorite place to get baby books from is TJ Maxx or Barnes & Noble. Elle still naps 2-3 times a day, and sleeps through the night. No teeth yet… I’m certain one will pop through soon enough!

 

 

 

 

 

Since this post was so late, expect her 8 month update in a few days! This blogger rut, has me so uninspired and not in the mood to write. Hopefully that goes away, because I do enjoy writing and sharing our life. I really wish we were going on vacation this year… only small weekend getaways are planned (I’ll post about those). Anyway, happy Monday!

xo

ELOISE IS THREE MONTHS OLD!

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These months are flying by, and I love watching Ellie grow every single day. This stage is beginning to excite me more & more. Eloise is cooing & smiling a lot more. She shrieks with excitement, loves to look at mommy & daddy, is very good at tummy time (but won’t roll over yet), and will have long conversations with herself. It seems like her little personality is already developing and I cannot believe how interactive she is already! She has given us a few chuckles, but no belly-laughs… yet. I cannot wait for that!

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Ellie likes to touch my face, watch Sesame Street with daddy, and does so amazing in the car! She had her second road trip to visit family in Southern California, and got to hang out with her auntie, uncle, and cousin Addie! Eloise also went to Griffith Park for the first time (somewhere I went all the time as a child), went to her first brewery, and more park visits with her puppy sister, Lola.

Elle is 12 lbs, fits in size 1 diapers, but will be transitioning in size 2 very soon! She still fits in 0-3 mo. clothing, but I have a feeling she’ll be fitting in 3-6 mo. in a few weeks. 🙁 She’s growing so quickly! She celebrated her first Valentine’s Day, and daddy’s 32nd birthday!

Here are some pictures of my girl:

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Can’t wait to see what March brings!

POSTPARTUM & NEWBORN MUST-HAVES.

HAPPY FEBRUARY! It’s been a little over two months since I’ve given birth to Eloise and I thought it would be helpful to share with you my postpartum & newborn must haves! There are so many products out there to choose from, that it can be a little overwhelming.

POSTPARTUM MUST-HAVES:

Get yourself some good vitamins! Your body needs to replenish itself and get the needed vitamins and nutrients, especially if you’re breastfeeding/pumping. My little sister got me these vitamins from Whole Foods & I love them. Side note: I have read some reviews of people having a decrease in their milk supply- but it hasn’t happened to me. So just be aware of that!

Right after giving birth? Get perineal spray! Your lady bits will thank you. Although I had a really GOOD recovery (mind you, I didn’t tear at ALL), some others have a harder time healing- so I highly recommend this perineal spray. I used mine for about a 3-4 weeks & didn’t need it anymore. Some things I love about this brand? It doesn’t have any parabens or artificial fragrance + made with organic herbs.

Next up: NIPPLE CREAM! The first two weeks of trying to breastfeed I had cracked nipples. No joke, they were so messed up & I was in SO MUCH PAIN. This organic nipple butter did wonders! It healed my nipples right up (also, I had to stop breastfeeding to help the healing process, but that’s for another blog post altogether!) This is the same Earth Mama brand that I love.

Something that I’m using every single day- breast pads. You don’t need to get any specific brand, as I think Target’s breast pads work great! Leaking is so annoying!

NEWBORN MUST-HAVES:

There had been many times where Ellie was gassy/uncomfortable & gas drops were such an important part of helping her feel better. We got her these gas drops (you can get from Target or Walmart) & they worked wonders! I highly recommend gas drops or gripe water to relieve them of any discomfort! A screaming baby is NOT fun to deal with 🙁

Next up: infant probiotics. Not everyone will agree with this, but I think giving your baby probiotics is important. It’s good for their digestive system & gut. This particular brand I linked is from Amazon, but I buy mine from Whole Foods. Ellie got really bad baby acne when she was 2-3 weeks old, and I really think this contributed to help clear it up.

My next product for baby is a game changer. I heard about this product from my sister, and once I used this product for just 3 days, it made Eloise’s skin perfect! Like I mentioned above, Eloise got baby acne, and once I started her on probiotics it started to get better! But once I put on Tubby Todd All Over Ointment, it went away completely! I love this stuff & can’t rave more about it! You can literally use it everywhere: for cradle cap, diaper rashes, baby acne, rough patches, cuts & scrapes, etc. I HIGHLY recommend! 5/5 stars.

These items are my top picks & I hope at least one person can find these helpful/useful. Of course there are other items like the mamaroo, snuggle me organic infant lounger, a really good pump (I use this Medela one that I got through my insurance), bottles (if you’re exclusively pumping/giving formula- I love these ones!), and lastly a nice baby carrier (this one is so easy to use & inexpensive!).

I hope you all have an amazing month ahead! Valentine’s day is right around the corner… would you all like to see what I’m getting my daughter for her 1st Valentine’s Day? I could do a fun “gift” idea post!

xo

*** All reviews/thoughts are my own. This is not a sponsored post, I bought all items with my own money.

ELOISE IS TWO MONTHS OLD!

I’ve been so busy being a new mom, blogging has taken the backseat. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance my time! Since Eloise is still so small, she isn’t on a set “schedule” yet, so she sleeps when she sleeps! I try and get housework done, eat or catch up on some of my favorite shows when I have some downtime .

Anyhow, Eloise is officially TWO MONTHS OLD! Holy moly. She’s 10lbs 6oz, and is getting her first set of shots tomorrow! I’m so not looking forward to my baby girl crying & being in pain! It’s going to be the saddest thing ever.

Ellie went on her first road trip to Southern California & did amazing! I’m so proud of her! She didn’t cry at all, and slept most of the way. She met her great-grandma for the first time, and it was so special. I am so grateful that my grandma is around for this chapter in my life.

Ellie also got to spend time with her cousin, Adelaide! I love seeing my niece. She is 5 months old, and is smiling so much. She reaches and grabs for Eloise, and it’s the cutest thing ever. I can’t believe our babies are growing up so fast!

Here are some pictures of Eloise Audrey Colette:

It’s been a fun and tiring month, and we just love watching this little girl grow! I have to say, I’m looking forward to seeing her smile more & hopefully laugh very soon!

ELOISE IS ONE MONTH OLD!

As of the 30th, Eloise is officially 1 month old! As I sit and type this, I cannot believe how quickly this month has flown by. I won’t lie and say this month has been rainbows and sunshine… because it hasn’t. This month has been extremely hard, exhausting, and at times frustrating.

My biggest struggle this month has been breastfeeding. Not only was I in so much pain because her latch wasn’t good, but I developed mastitis and needed to get on antibiotics. It is FINALLY getting better, and I’m able to breastfeed Eloise more. Thank goodness. Breastfeeding is NO joke, and I always thought it was something that was going to come easy and natural… that isn’t the case at all. I’m glad I didn’t give up, and I was able to get help from my lactation consultant and have endless support from Dexter.

Eloise is gaining weight perfectly, and is a healthy girl. She is 8lbs 12oz. Eloise loves to sleep, loves to be held by her daddy, and loves drinking her milk. She is small (that’s why I call her my fairy girl) but she is feisty & so strong. She has amazing neck strength, and can hold her head up by herself. We are so in love with this little girl— she is going to be a daddy’s girl for sure. I’m pretty much chopped liver over here, and I GAVE BIRTH TO HER! HA!

I’m looking forward to watching her grow, and making memories as a family. The first month was HARD, and exhausting! But I wouldn’t have done it without having such an amazing partner. Dexter has been the one to get up with Eloise, while I’m pumping every 3 hours. Dex will let me sleep in a few more hours, and makes sure I’m eating. Having Dexter be on baby bonding leave has been truly incredible! I will be so sad when he has to go back to work.

ONE MONTH HIGHLIGHTS: Ellie has gone to Target, the park, and on her first long car ride to Marshall & Bodega Bay. She celebrated her first holiday- CHRISTMAS! Eloise has been to three restaurants with us already (and did SO GOOD)! She still fits in Newborn clothing.

I can’t wait to see what milestones month two brings! I hope you all have a Happy New Year! I’m so excited for 2019!