Latch Issues/How to notice them and what to do about them.

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I had my first baby at 19. I knew very little about breastfeeding and honestly had no interest in it. I didn’t have a support system, and I think that’s super important. Breastfeeding isn’t always natural in every sense. It isn’t always easy.

When I had my second daughter, I wanted to stick with it. I spoke with a LC at the hospital, I joined multiple breastfeeding groups, and spoke with our pediatrician. I was nervous about everything, but I read that cluster feeding was normal in the early stages so I assumed that my bleeding nipples were because of this.

Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt. It took my pumping 2 ounces of bloody tinged milk to realize there was a problem. I was ready to give up. I dreaded feeding my baby because I knew it was going to hurt.

In my case, her latch was an easy fix and I just had to open her mouth a little more. Fixing your baby’s latch is so important. An improper latch not only hurts, but can lead to clogged ducts (which also hurt 🤢). My number one advice is to make sure that your baby’s mouth covers the majority of your areola and that the latch is not too shallow. If the latch is still painful, check for lip/tongue ties.

The first three months of your breastfeeding journey, your production is still a bit wishy washy and changing. Fixing latch issues from the beginning will create a much easier time. Don’t give up. It does get easier once you work out the kinks.

Dont get discouraged if you don’t realize that you have a latch issue right away. I’ve been told “you will know if it isn’t right”, but if you are new to breastfeeding, you don’t always know.

One thing that really helped me was holding my baby in a football position. Different positions may work better for you but this worked best for me in the beginning.

If you have any questions, email me or drop a comment below. I’m happy to help!

Less Stuff, More Vacations

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IMG_4380I’m going to be real for a second. The only thing that gets me through the work week is planning my next vacation. Yeah, I enjoy helping people and all that good stuff, but at the end of the day, I just want to be exploring new adventures with my three little girls. I feel important at work, I think it’s pretty cool that I get to call myself a “scientist” and I worked hard to get there. Even still, nothing will ever be as important as being “mommy”.

For the longest time, being busy defined me. I was a full time student, full time photographer, and made it through school with two babies. I often think about what I missed out on, but I know that many of the memories that we have now wouldn’t mean near as much without that struggle. I often thought of the time when I would be able to “buy them anything they asked for in the store”. Man, that was a silly thought. I’m thankful for it because it kept me motivated, but flash forward to now, my kids won’t care that I couldn’t buy them an impractical gift when they were two years old. They will care that I existed in their lives.

I hope that when my children look back at their childhood, they don’t remember me handing them a toy in an effort to distract them. I hope they don’t associate me with presents or “stuff”. I hope they look past all the clutter and remember the time we spent together because that’s really all that matters.

Blind Bags. I never thought that I would work all week to spend $3 on a toy I know my daughter will never look at again once she opens it. But, life is kinda like that, huh? You live for surprises, adventures, and what’s behind the next door. Maybe the reason kids enjoy watching other kids open these silly little bags is because they enjoy seeing the excitement of someone else. I’ll gladly work to spend $3 for that.

At some point that $3 toy becomes a $30 toy, and by the time it becomes a $300 toy, our excitement seems to fade. I never want to see that look in my child’s eye, when life isn’t near as exciting as it once was.

Thats why instead of more stuff, I want more vacations. I want more time together. There will never be enough time together. I’ll never wake up and feel like we spent too much time together. I’ll never stop wishing that I could keep them the age they are now, and watch them grow up at the same time. It doesn’t even make any sense how much I love them, but little in life does.

My oldest is 6, and we talk about her day, her friends, her teachers, and she often reminds me (in great detail) of every trip we have ever been on. She brings up the little things, like going to pick apples or a trip to the zoo. She rarely reminds me of the time in the store when I let her get a toy. Because that isn’t what’s important. Last Christmas she received a princess carriage, a swing set, and tons of other toys. She doesn’t remind me of all the little gifts she got. Neither one of us remember at this point, but she asks when we will ride in a princess carriage and look at Christmas lights again. She’s asked when we will pick out a tree and if she can help me decorate it. But the “stuff”, it doesn’t matter. It’s just clutter in her mind of memories.

Give your kids something that matters. Love them. Spend time with them. Don’t hand them “stuff” and expect them to find their true potential on their own. They are only little once. Soak up those baby snuggles, and big kid hugs. Listen when they tell you about their day. They will remember the time you spent together far longer than a distraction. Less Stuff, More Vacations.

 

Why Does my Baby Hate Target?

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It never fails. Every single time we go to Target, my happy toddler turns into a monster. I really don’t beat my children, but you’d never believe me if you saw us in Target. I must be the worst mom in the world to think that any child would enjoy strolling around with a slushie and popcorn. It used to embarrass me, but now it’s just a way of life.

I see people post on Facebook about how they would never let their child act “that way”. I must have missed that portion of the parent handbook where I can flip her psycho switch off, because I am no longer the boss when we walk through the doors of Target. I use Clicklist religiously, I take snacks everywhere we go, and I wait until my kids are asleep to leave for any trip. But can you just give me 30 minutes to stroll through Target aimlessly without sounding like a dying cat?!

No, I don’t really NEED anything at Target, but I gave birth to you. I’ve sacrificed a lot for your happiness, but Target will not be one of them. Nope.

I’ve had many bright ideas of how to make Target a “fun trip” but if you’re mad that I’m buying you a swimming pool, I don’t know how to help you, my friend.

Our last trip to Target resulting in you throwing one of your shoes out of the basket and mommy failing to find it. You laughed while I panicked,  but jokes on you. They sell shoes at Target.

5 Reasons Why Oversupply is Nothing to be Jealous of

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I have been through struggling to make enough milk with my second daughter (first that I breastfed for an extended period of time) and struggling to STOP making so much with my third baby. I have been that mom that WISHED for an oversupply, thinking that it would be so much better than making too much. Let me tell you, you do not want an oversupply.

When I got pregnant with my second baby, I wasn’t supposed to be able to have any more children. I was in school full time, working full time, and stressed beyond belief when I found out that I was pregnant. I scheduled an induction date during a time where I was out of school, and returned to school 6 days after giving birth. I wanted any chance I could to bond with her, so among that and other reasons I decided that I HAD to stick with breastfeeding. There were times I chose to pump instead of eat because I only had time to do one. So, I get it. It’s stressful spending all your free time milking yourself like a cow.

Flash forward to my third baby, I expected the same issues. I thought nothing of pumping to relieve engorgement when my milk came in because no matter how many people told me differently, I thought oversupply would be like this magical milk fountain and could never cause any issues. WRONG.

  1. It’s Expensive. I go through a crazy amount of storage bags a week. I don’t do the exact math for fear of losing my sanity but I definitely store at least 50 bags of milk a week. We recently bought a deep freezer that is almost full because even after donating to four other local moms, I still could fill my swimming pool with milk. But what can I do with over 1000 ounces of breast milk? I have to buy bags to clean/sterilize my pump parts. I have spent money going to the doctor to try and decrease the amount of times I’ve had mastitis. I’ve ruined my favorite shirts by leaking through them. The list goes on and on, but you get it. I spend money on storing milk that my baby will likeley never drink.
  2. It’s Stressful. I was super happy to donate milk to other moms, and I still am. But the same stress that goes along with making enough milk for your own baby somehow turned into making enough for 5 babies. I still felt like I wasn’t enough if I made less during a pumping session even though I was making way more than enough. I work night shift and stay up with my kids during the day. I don’t get very much sleep as it is, but on my nights off, I have to wake up to pump or I will get mastitis. So now we’re at I’m stressed, exhausted, and sick all while my baby is sleeping through the night.
  3. My life revolves around nursing and pumping. This one kind of speaks for itself but I can’t just give my baby a bottle even though I have plenty of milk to spare because I will get mastitis. I can’t skip a pumping session without becoming extremely engorged. I’ve literally had to pull over on the side of the road and squeeze my boob until enough milk squirted out of my human water gun that I could function again. And you can’t complain about it because people make comments like “that’s like complaining about having too much money”. No, it’s nothing like that. I get that breast is best but too much breast milk won’t put my kids through college or pay for the Bahamas.
  4. Mastitis. I would rather deliver 15 babies in a row than ever have mastitis again. And that’s all I have to say about that.
  5. People don’t understand. They don’t understand why you’re constantly milking yourself, or why you need to take a break when you have plenty of milk already. They don’t understand that pumping is NOT a break. And they most certainly don’t understand that for the next year, you have to plan your life in 2 hour intervals. Oversupply comes with all the same problems as pumping in general plus worrying about engorgement and mastitis ALL the TIME. Why can’t you just give her a bottle? You have plenty of milk. Yeah, you’ve never had mastitis before. It feels like death.

As much as I love my baby, I’m ready for the milk factory to shut down. I feel less than human sometimes. Moooooooooooo.

 

5 Reasons you Should Never Agree to be Room Mom

Mom Life, Uncategorized

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Last year my daughter was in kindergarten at a small private school. I cried dropping her off on the first day, and most days after that. When I was asked to be room mom, I didn’t hesitate to say YES YES YES!! I’ll have relationships with other moms, I’ll get to be involved, I can trick people into thinking I’m a stay at home super mom, steal some of the Capri suns I brought for class parties…It will be great, or so I thought.

Here are five reasons why you should never be Room Mom:

  1. Other moms are perfectly fine with you doing everything yourself. I didn’t understand the reality of dropping your kid off and going to the gym, but apparently it’s the most important thing in the world. So while other moms were at the gym losing their baby weight, I was stuffing my face with cosmic brownies at the class party
  2. Other moms don’t want to be friends with the Room Mom. If you think you will build long lasting friendships, that will result in play dates for your precious angel, think again. No one cares that you spent 3 hours making Oreo Balls and Reindeer Food with a cute little tag after working all night at the hospital the night before. No one. You get placed into a “those moms” category.
  3. Women can be judgemental as hell. They don’t actually want to be the ones making the Oreo balls, but I can garuantee you they will judge yours. I once had a mom loudly proclaim that she would gladly donate money to the next party because “she works” (after we just finished having a conversation about how we both worked night shift). Well, good for you honey, that didn’t sound hateful at all.
  4. Being room mom will help your party planning skills, thus giving you the false impression that you should now have parties for everything. If you already have a problem with the Target clearance section, being Room Mom is not for you. I’m pretty sure I have an entire closet in my house dedicated to storing items I thought I would use for parties. When someone needs to borrow ANYTHING, I have it. I plan on having a birthday party for both my dogs, and half birthdays for all three kids in the near future, because, why not? I can whip up a party in 15 minutes flat at this point.
  5. Last but certainly not least, You will spend an unreasonable amount of time on the phone with parents who have THE BEST excuses for why they can’t attend a single school event. I get it, you work. I, myself, have a job and I’m here. Oh, you have another child? Hmmm. Me too, I have two under two actually. Still here. Maybe I just don’t get it, but I thought when you chose to reproduce, you also decided that your child MATTERS. I understand not being present all the time but these tiny humans are still humans. They notice when you aren’t there. So, if you feel like nothing is more important that your sweet little shit head, being Room Mom is not for you.

Mom Groups

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I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a “mom hater”. Not really, but I would pretty much rather be run over by a bus than be added to another mom group. For the most part, I feel like I’m a pretty good mom. My kids are fed, clothed, and half the time they even get to school and Parent’s Day Out on time. We may be pulling a Fast and the Furious, my six month old may or may not be clothed, and I may have used profanity on the drive to my daughter’s Christian Academy but it still counts. That is, I felt like I was a decent mom until I was added to mom groups on facebook.

Who came up with Mom Groups? It sounds like a good idea, right? A way to connect with other like minded people and schedule play dates. WRONG. Mom Groups were created by Satan himself as a platform to judge other moms on basically everything while saying phrases like “Do your thing, mama, it’s your baby.” If you look up the definition of “mom group” in the dictionary, there’s an actual photo of Hell. If you’re a working mom, you’re a shit mom. If you’re a stay at home mom, you have no life goals. Give me a break.

I once saw a post where a mom was mad as hell that the doctor didn’t call to explain why her daughter’s Potassium levels were on the “lower side of normal”. 1) Because they are STILL NORMAL. 2) Are you seriously telling me right now that you WANT something to be wrong with your child?….To make matters worse, the comments were from other moms who apparently have a medical degree insisting that something is wrong with her child and she should sue the hospital. As a Medical Laboratory Scientist who works with these values for a living, I felt the need to comment (which I RARELY do) to let this poor mama know that her child was not going to have a heart attack because of Potassium values that were within range.

Guess what happened to my comment? It got DELETED. I’m still a little bitter. Thankfully, though, I’m still part of other mom groups my facebook friends have so graciously added me to where I get read about women’s sex lives and make a list of the people my daughters will never have a play date with.

In case you are still curious as to if you should become a member of a mom group, I will spare you the trouble. Other post examples include but are not limited to: “My child’s temperature is 98.6, and she feels okay but she looks like she may cough…Should I call an ambulance”…”My child is two weeks old…Is it okay to give her chocolate milk?”…”I took my child to the doctor and he said it was Strep Throat but I don’t trust his advice even though I chose him as my pediatrician so I’m going to ask this group of 16 year olds for advice instead.” Still want to join? “Do your thing, mama, it’s your baby.”

Photo of my daughter in a unicorn costume has no relevance and no unicorns were harmed in the creation of this blog post