5 Minute Makeup: Mom Approved!

I love looking back at my naive, pregnant self and laughing. I’ve always loved makeup but never been huge on spending a lot of time actually doing my makeup. I would say pre-birth my makeup routine probably took me 7 minutes. I always said that since I didn’t have much of a routine as is, I’d doubt I’d change anything once Raelee arrived. Oh how I was mistaken. Even those 2 extra minutes are such a big deal!

Moms don’t just want quick, they NEED quick. Quick and effective. So I’m here to explain how to make yourself look like you got a full night’s sleep in just 5 quick minutes. Disclaimer: Some of these products are posted through Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase through the link I will get a small commission.

Step 1: Primer 

In complete transparency, half the time I skip this step and just moisturize. However, when I actually do it I love using the Too Faced Hangover primer. It’s the perfect amount of hydrating!

 

Step 2: Concealer

The Tarte Shape Tape concealer is life changing. Seriously. I apply just a SMALL amount in a triangle shape below my eye and using a dampened Real Techniques beauty sponge will bounce it in to my skin, around my under eye and eye lid. This eliminates my dark circles as well as evens out the colors around my eyes. My eyelids are naturally darker than the rest of my skin so for an even look i like to put my concealer on my eyelids as well. I know not everybody does!

Step 3: Setting Powder

Nobody likes creases. After I finish blending in my concealer I will take a Real Techniques brush and my NYX pressed setting powder and just quickly set the concealer under my eye and on my eyelid to prevent my concealer from creasing.

 

Step 4: Eyebrow Pencil

I never do too much for my eyebrows. I just take an eyebrow pencil like the Anastasia brow wiz or even the drugstore version and quickly fill in my eyebrows and blend it in with the spooly brush attached.

 

Step 5: Eyeliner

Like the primer, I only do this about half the time. If I’m feeling like I want to look a little more put together I will take a liquid liner and just line right above my upper lash line. No cat eyes or anything fancy because that would take me way too long considering I’d never get it to look how I want it to. Just a simple line that allows my eyelashes to appear thicker! I definitely do not do this everyday.

Step 6: Mascara

The 6th and final step of my routine is mascara! I love the L’oreal Voluminous Mascara. Personally I like it even better than Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. I love trying new products.  I can never buy the same thing twice because I just love trying new things and there are so many different products and brands out there! This mascara however, I’ve been using for years. It’s such good quality with a drug store price of about $6!

There you have it! My 5 minute makeup routine, mommy approved! Sometimes I’ll throw on some bronzer and blush for a quick contour but for everyday life this is my go to! I like to think I at least look somewhat put together with it! If I don’t, Josh is lying to me 😉

Swimming Lessons with a 9 Month Old!

New thing I learned this week: My daughter may be part guppy, although she isn’t too graceful in the water just yet. Raelee started swimming lessons this last week at just ninth months old and I honestly cannot express enough how FUN it was!

I was scared. Okay actually maybe straight up petrified the hours leading up to her first class. Dramatic, I know, but I was actually having a bit of an anxiety attack before I went to pick her up. I was SO STRESSED, anticipating her screaming at the top of her lungs for the whole pool to hear the second I got her in the water. We know she loves water; she loves splashing in the bathtub and the hottub, which is one of the reasons we signed her up for lessons. The thing is, bathtubs and hottubs have something in common that pools typically do not, warm water. I was so worried that she was going to freak out at the cooler water.

My anxiety was at a full peak as I was changing her into her swimsuit in the locker room (apparently there is a family changing room I desperately need to find). That’s when her screams came in full force. Women kept walking by me with the all knowing look in their eyes, you could tell they felt badly. I know, I know, I’m talking about my baby screaming. How could this possibly be a positive experience? Just wait! Once I got her changed and was holding her she immediately calmed. We walked out of the locker room into the pool area and this girl put on a SHOW! Everyone loved her, they thought she was so precious, which they’re not wrong. She was just being so sweet, smiling at everyone and reaching out to say “Hello!”

When it was time to get into the water my nerves came back, but after I dipped my foot in I calmed instantly. The water was the perfect temperature. It was no means hottub temp but it also wasn’t cold. Raelee immediately leaned forward because she was wanting to touch it. As soon as we got into the pool the splashing commenced. She was having such a blast splashing the water with the biggest smile on her face. It was hysterical when she would splash her own face because she’d get this look of confusion, then just proceed with what she was doing.

Raelee was clearly the youngest in the class at 9 months old but where we go you can start your littles as young as 6 months. The oldest for this parent/child class is 4 years so you can get an idea of the age range. I think most of the kiddos were probably 2-3. The first thing we did in the pool was sing a welcome song! Part of the song involved splashing because, of course it did. Rae I think had more fun with that than any of the other kids!

The rest of the class we went over just some brief, simple, water safety skills such as floating on your back, blowing bubbles, hanging on the wall, and paddling. With Raelee being as little as she is, I attempted some of these things but mostly was just focused on getting her acclimated to the water. Her teachers were totally ok with that. The classes are quick, only 30 minutes, so it was over before we knew it! To finish off class the lifeguard and the teacher took a water mat and created a makeshift waterslide for the kiddos to use. Rae went on it, was confused by it, but still did it and then we splashed around for a few more minutes before getting out.

Once Rae was changed into her normal clothes and was put in the car, she knocked OUT. Then when bed time came she proceeded to sleep through the night without waking up at all. The only other time I’ve seen her this tired was her first week of daycare. For the next few weeks we will be going twice a week on Mondays, and Wednesdays (weather permitting). We’re already so excited for the next class. It was just so nice to break up our routine a little bit and actually go do an activity and bond with her outside of the house! If you’re thinking about putting your baby in swimming lessons I HIGHLY recommend doing so. It’s such a blast! And for the mamas that are worried their baby may cry, they might and it’s totally okay if they do! The teachers expect it more than they don’t! Raelee got fussy a couple times but never truly cried. I did notice other kids getting upset at times though and the teachers just kept telling them how good of a job they were doing and encouraging them! They’re kids, they get upset. It’s okay. Absolutely don’t let the fear of that deter you from signing up because it is SO worth it! If anything, the nap that will happen afterwards makes it more than worth it ;).

Our Birth Story: What a C- Section is REALLY Like, Breech, ECV & More

Hi Mamas and Mamas to be!
For those of you that don’t already know I gave birth to Raelee via Cesarean Section on May 7th, 2018. Fortunately, this was not an emergency procedure, however due to Rae being breech it was necessary. Breech means that instead of Raelee’s heading being down in the birth canal, it was actually up in my ribs. She was in the Frank breech position, so not only was her head up in my ribs but so were her feet, little contortionist. Although possible, it is not recommended, or safe to give birth this way.

We learned that Raelee flipped breech, yes flipped as she was previously head down, at our 36 week appointment. This actually did not come as a surprise to me as the day prior it felt like she was practicing gymnastics inside my belly and I could’ve sworn that I felt her head up near my ribs. I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t initially terrified at the idea of having a C-section. I was pretty emotional that whole day, but with Josh’s help I calmed down and once I came to terms with it I truly felt fine. Honestly, Raelee flipping breech was a blessing for me. For the majority of the third trimester I was suffering from pretty severe pubic pain that was categorized as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. In other words, my pubic bone was separating more than it was supposed to be and my ligament was tearing away from the bone. It was excruciatingly painful, I could barely walk. When Raelee flipped breech she alleviated a lot of the pain that I was feeling by taking pressure off the area. I like to joke that she knew I needed it.

Following the discovery of the flip my midwife gave me a website that I’ll link here that had a ton of different exercises that could potentially help Rae flip back to a head down position. However, knowing that the exercises weren’t a guaranteed fix we scheduled my C-Section for May 7, 2018 (39 weeks gestation). We also scheduled an External Cephalic Version for the following week (37 weeks gestation). An ECV is when the doctor manually attempts to flip the baby. Yep, they lay you down on an table, inject some uterine relaxer intravenously that makes your heart feel like it’s racing 100mph, cover your belly in ultrasound gel and go at it. They use massage techniques in attempt to get the baby to flip over and I promise you it’s probably even more uncomfortable than you’re imagining and only about 50% effective. The ECV didn’t work for us. Raelee flipped transverse (sideways) on two separate occasions, as two doctors attempted. Both attempts she flipped back to breech when the docs went to adjust their hands. At that point they said it wasn’t worth it to continue, and I was okay with that as it was incredibly painful. I’m happy I did it as I at least tried to do everything I could to avoid a c-section but at the same time I probably would never do it again. Between all of the risks, the pain, and the level of effectiveness, I just don’t find it worth it. Let me know if you’d like a more in depth look at my experience!

Due to the failed ECV, a C-section was inevitable. Sunday May 6th, 2018 I went in for pre-op. Basically they took some blood, gave me instructions about what I could or could not wear/do, how to clean the incision site and told me not to eat or drink after midnight and sent me home! To be completely honest with you, our last night as two is a bit of a blur to me. I don’t remember what we ate for dinner, or what we watched on TV that night. I do remember showering though, and that’s when I broke down. I completely cried my eyes out and to this day I’m not even entirely sure what I was crying about. I pulled myself together and got out and when I was drying off Josh asked if I needed anything. That’s when I asked him for a hug and broke down all over again. I think it was part fear of the surgery as I hadn’t truly grasped what was about to be happening to me. I also think it was part fear of everything changing, I was about to be a mom! Josh was so sweet about it all, he just hugged and comforted me and reassured me that everything would be okay. We attempted to go to bed early and tried to get some sleep that night as it was our last night to get sleep, but we both were too excited. It felt like Christmas Eve but even better! At 4:30am I had to wake up and call the hospital to verify what time I was to come in, and by 6am we were all checked in.

I think at about 7:45-8am-ish they took me back to the OR. I’m going to be blunt, it was terrifying. The room was so bright and sterile and what sticks out the most is it was COLD. I was really anxious as I’m scared of needles and Josh wasn’t allowed to be in the room with me for the spinal tap. My midwife (who was actually supposed to be off as she’d been there all night) stayed with me as support and talked me through it. I sat on the table, trying with everything I had to remain still and not shiver as they gave me the spinal. I remember it hurting pretty intensely initially, like a burn, but the pain only lasted seconds. Then I felt warmth, and that was one of the most pleasant feelings. The warmth started in my legs and radiated up my whole body and eventually I wasn’t cold at all. They helped to lay me down as I was losing feeling in my legs and then we waited. I couldn’t tell you how long we waited for. The anesthesiologist took a popsicle stick and rubbed it across my ribs and asked if I could feel it, I could. They inverted me to allow the numbing medication to move further up my body. They brushed the popsicle stick against me again and asked if I could feel it, I told them I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be feeling or not feeling. I was terrified of saying I was numb when I actually wasn’t. The anesthesiologist then proceeded to snap the stick in half, she brushed the sharp edge against my cheek and then against my ribs and asked if they felt the same. They didn’t. I could feel the sharpness on my cheek but just pressure on my ribs. They brought Josh into the room at this point and then they began. During the surgery I started to feel really nauseated. I was fortunate that my anesthesiologist warned me that this may happen and told me to speak up if it did. She gave me anti-nausea meds multiple times during the procedure. I was happy she warned me because I’ve since talked with women who ended up vomiting during their surgery due to not saying anything. Or more likely due to not knowing to say anything.

C-sections feel weird. There is really no other way to put it. You’re lying awake on a table with only a thin sheet guarding you from your wide open abdomen and yet not only do you not feel pain, you’re not even thinking about it. I could feel them moving me around, I felt pressure for sure, but nothing hurt. I’ll never forget when the doctor said the words “We’ve hit uterine wall!” meaning I was minutes away from meeting my baby girl.  They then told me I was about to feel a lot of pressure, in my own words it felt like an elephant sitting on my belly and at 8:33am Raelee entered this world. My first words were that of many other mom’s in my position before me.. “Is she okay?” She was. I’ve never loved the sound of a cry more than I did in that moment. Josh cut the cord, they cleaned her up as she not only peed coming out of the womb but projectile pooped too. Then they handed her to me and we were inseparable. Josh and I were so in awe of this little human we created. I cried. We were so happy. Some hospitals have dad take baby into the recovery room while mom is stitched up but they didn’t do that with us and I was so grateful. Once I was holding her they didn’t take her away. We were wheeled back into the recovery room together. My parents greeted us in the hallway, meeting their first grand baby for the first time. My dad told us they knew exactly when she was born because the sound of a bell ringing came over the hospital intercom followed with “Baby girl arriving.” I still get chills when I hear that at the hospital, as if it’s Rae all over again.

All in all, I can say with complete honesty that although my pregnancy wasn’t the easiest, I don’t think my birth experience could have gone any smoother. Recovering from a c-section is by no means a cake walk but I know that I could’ve had it so much worse. Josh and I have talked about what I’ll do with baby number two and honestly, I don’t know. Am I curious about having a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section)? Sure! But at the same time I’m not sure the risks of a VBAC outweigh what I already know a C-section to be. I could also easily see myself picking to have a repeat C-section. I guess we just won’t know until it happens!

Daily Routine With an 8 Month Old!

 

Hi Mamas!

I wanted to give you a look into our Monday through Friday “daily routine” with Rae being in daycare, Josh being in the Navy, and me working full time!

3:30am: Because of how early Josh typically has to get to work his day will normally start at around 3:30am (because he’s insane) so that he can make it to the gym before work and so that it doesn’t cut in to time we could be spending as a family.

5:30am-6am: Monday through Friday I try to get up around 5:30am, but if we’re being completely honest, I typically will press snooze until 6 unless Rae wakes up earlier wanting to eat. When this happens, I will feed her and then put her back down asleep so that I can get ready without having to worry about her.

6:50am: Rae and I are headed out the door to daycare!

Raelee’s Daycare schedule is changing every day! But on average her routine will look like this….

7:05am: Drop off!

8:00am Breakfast given by her daycare! This is new actually as we just recently gave the “okay” to feed her real food, other than pureés! Her breakfast is typically like yogurt and a fruit, or a similar combo.

9:00am: This could be a nap time, her nap schedule semi varies and she’s not a very good napper so when she does nap it’s usually for a max of 30ish minutes.

10:00am: She’ll get her first bottle. Typically they will try to give her a bottle every 3ish hours or so!

11:00am: Lunch from her daycare! Again, this is new. From what I’ve seen her lunches are along the lines of pasta, fajitas, etc. but in little bite sizes that are safe for her to eat! At the end of each week I highlight a food schedule for the following week to say what I do or don’t want her to have. It’s entirely transparent and I have complete control.

12/12:30pm: Another nap!

1pm: Bottle numero dos!

2:30pm: A snack from the daycare! This will be something along the lines of apple sauce and graham crackers, which we recently have found out are her favorite!

Any time I didn’t really list would be a play time! They sing a lot of songs, play games (as well as infants can play games), paint pictures and more! Then on occasion after her afternoon img_2493snack she will take another quick nap but a lot of times this doesn’t happen. She really doesn’t like missing out on things! So she will play and play until I pick her up! Her routine varies a little bit everyday so one thing I love about her daycare is the “daily sheet” they give me each day, pictured here. Every morning I fill out the top letting them know what time she was dropped off, what time I plan on picking her up and what time her last feed was so they know when her next feed should be! Her teachers will fill out the rest letting me know when she ate, what she ate, how much she ate, when and how long she napped for, and when each diaper change was as well as what kind of diaper it was. If she needs refills on wipes, diapers, or they have anything they don’t want to forget to tell us they will also put that on the bottom of the page! This makes it super easy for us to know what kind of day she had and I always look forward to reading it over.

7:30am-4pm: I’m at work, and pumping every 3 hours like clockwork to maintain my supply! If you need some tips about pumping/going back to work you totally need to check out my friend’s class! You can access it here! I personally think it contains awesome information and makes figuring out pumping so much easier. I WISH I’d known about it when I was going back to work!

4:30pm-5:30pm: I will pick up Rae anywhere between 4:30pm and 5:30pm all depending on whether or not I go to the gym! Josh and I are members at a gym that is right next to my work so a few days a week I try to go immediately after work for 30-45 minutes

Depending on whether or not I go to the gym, Raelee and I will typically get home about 20 minutes after I pick her up! I’ll continue this routine as if I skipped the gym 🙂

4:50pm: Rae and I will get home! If she’s asleep, I will try to put all my pumped milk and her leftover bottles in the fridge and let her sleep until she wakes up! Sometimes she takes a long nap, other times she wakes immediately walking through the front door. If she doesn’t stay sleeping I will immediately nurse her and put her down for a nap, or I will nurse her as soon as she wakes. Either way, this last nap of the day is crucial. If she doesn’t get it, she can be a nightmare by bed time! I’m not looking forward to cutting it out at all.

5:15-6:15ish: On a good day, this will be Raelee’s nap time! Hopefully Josh is home from work (he stands duty every 3 days, so every 3 days he isn’t home) and he and I… mostly he.. will begin to make dinner for us!

6:15-6:30ish: Rae will wake up and we will feed her some kind of pureé and play until bathtime!

7:30pm: Bath Time!

7:45pm: I will take Raelee and get her lotioned up, in her jammies, and nurse her to sleep!

Lately, she’s been waking up at least 3 times per night… You could say I’m one tired mama. We aren’t sure if it’s because of teeth or the 9 month sleep regression. Could quite possibly be both!

Once she’s down which is typically around 8:20-8:30pm, Josh and I will hangout and watch TV or chill until bed. We love 90 Day Fiancé, Ghost Adventures, and have recently started to watch House! What are your favorite shows to binge?!

Right before we go to bed though we always try to get ready for the next day, make sure all of our bags are packed, lunches are ready to go and bottles are ready made. This makes the following morning go much smoother and lets us both sleep for a bit longer.

9:30-10pm: Josh and I will typically go to bed! Wake up a few times throughout the night with Raelee and then start all over again the next day!

We live a pretty simple life Monday through Friday, but I love it and babies thrive on a routine so it works for us! Certainly, every day is different to an extent but this is just an overview of what a typical day would look like. Let me know if you’d like to see what our weekends are like!

 

To the Mama Sending Her Baby to Daycare… and Wishes She Didn’t Have to

Hi mama, this post is for you. You see, I’m right there with you, my baby girl goes to daycare Monday through Friday from 7am to 4:30pm and I wish so badly that didn’t have to be the case. In a perfect world, I’d be the one nursing her for lunch instead of her feeding through a bottle. I’d be putting her down for her afternoon nap, but unfortunately that just isn’t my reality, and that’s okay. Me working full time is a necessity, at least at this stage in our life; new marriage, new cars, soon to be house buyers and most importantly, a new baby. So despite our efforts trying to figure out how we would be able to manage me staying home, and tearful times due to not being able to find a solution, I’m working full time. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s easy to send her to daycare five days a week because it isn’t but I am here to tell you that it get’s easier and there are positives that can be taken away.

Dropping Rae off on her first day was an extremely emotional experience. There were definitely tears shed and I spent my whole day wondering how she was doing. She did great! They took her class on a walk, and even had her finger painting at just four months old. The first time I saw her artwork my heart turned into a puddle, seriously it was the cutest thing ever! Josh and I both LOVE her teachers. We’re fortunate in that one of her teachers is actually a family friend, that I’ve known for years, but the rest of staff is seriously so nice too. Everyday at pickup they tell us all about her day, and any new things they’ve worked on. They picked up on her quirks and “tells” so quickly that I can drop her off fully knowing she is in amazing hands. Although, I do love being able to text her teacher whenever I find myself missing her extra. Photos are never far behind.

Another positive takeaway of her going to daycare is the socialization that she’s getting. In the beginning Raelee hated, and I mean absolutely LOATHED other babies. To be honest, it was comical. If another baby was even in her vicinity she’d freak. She’s now able to at the very least tolerate other babies. She still has her bubble, and absolutely does not want to be touched by other babies (I specify this because she’s fine with her teachers), but she’s at least now acclimated to being around other babies and that’s extremely important. The social skills she is learning now, she will use the rest of her life. She’s being taught at a young age not only about herself, and expectations that other’s have of her but also about empathy, picking up on when things are wrong with others, and more! She’s taken on a nurturing role at just six months old. There is a new baby in her class that has got to be just over two months old, if that. On his first day and now everyday, when we drop her off, she holds his hand and I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more precious (it might even give me baby fever, just kidding.. kinda). The interesting thing about her holding his hand is that on her first day at daycare an older baby did the same thing with her. I had mentioned previously that they took her on a walk, and she loved it, except for when they stopped moving and then she would fuss. At this point another baby stepped in and held her hand to comfort her and now she’s doing that same thing for another baby even younger. How awesome is that? I honestly don’t think she would’ve learned to do that had she not been in daycare.

Daycare has also facilitated us in creating a daily routine. Prior to being in daycare, Raelee was an awful napper. She’d straight up refuse. Now she takes about 3-4 naps a day and then goes down for bedtime relatively easy. She’s stimulated all day long and by the time she comes home to us she’s WIPED. As soon as we get home after pickup, we nurse and then she naps for a little. Once she wakes, she’ll eat a solid, we’ll play and then we’ll give her a bath and put her to bed (let me know if you’d be interested in a bed time routine post). An average night for us she’ll wake up once or twice to feed and then we’re waking her up at 6:30am to get ready to go to daycare. Weekends we all sleep in (if daddy isn’t having to work), then we play all weekend long!

Do I wish I could stay home with her? Absolutely! Given the option, I would 100% choose to stay home. Being a full time mom with a full time job is exhausting. Having to worry about work, and come home, and keep working at home is a tiring job that never ends and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to just be able to focus on home life. But that doesn’t mean I hate our current situation. I love my job. I love adult interaction. This at one point in time actually made me feel guilty so if you ever have mom guilt over the enjoyment of being around other adults and getting a break from the baby talk, you’re in good company. I love knowing that I’m helping to provide for our family and contributing to everything we have. I love knowing that even though I can’t be home with her, she’s okay. She’s learning and hitting milestones and developing all day long. Yes, it can hurt to feel you’re missing out but the excitement is still very much there when they accomplish something new! I love knowing that even though I’m not with her all day, she still loves me, and she still knows I’m her mama. She gets the biggest smile for ME when I come to pick her up. She reaches for ME. I actually have to sneak in the room now to get all of her bottles together and sign her out before she sees me because she’ll cry if she sees me and I’m not instantly holding her and I LOVE it. I love knowing that even though I work full time and I have to send my baby to daycare, I’m still a good mom, and you are too. You’re amazing for doing what you need to do to put your family in the best possible position. You’re amazing for putting your own personal feelings of longing to stay home aside to do what needs to get done. You’re incredible for working your butt off at work and then coming home and working your butt off there too. YOU are an AMAZING mama regardless of your baby being in daycare and your baby thinks so too!

Bringing Raelee Home

0431B537-A4A8-4CA7-AB4B-7FE732E4CCB6 I plan on doing a separate post about my birth story, for those who don’t already know, I had a Cesarean section. Fortunately, this was not an emergency procedure, it was planned. Raelee was breech and despite many efforts was just too stubborn to flip head down so C section was the best way to go.

My C-section occurred on Monday morning and I was discharged from the hospital that following Wednesday around lunch time. To be completely honest it was a little bitter sweet to be home. I was scared because here we are with this brand new human that ultimately we know nothing about and we are solely responsible for making sure she stays alive… that’s a lot of stress! But, at the same time it was such a relief to be home. My stay at the hospital was incredible, I truly don’t think it could have gone any better. That being said, staying in a hospital is exhausting. There are constantly doctors and medical staff coming in and out of the room at literally all hours of the day. Seriously, night time I was woken up every two hours to have my vitals checked or be given more medication. If it wasn’t medical staff coming in, it was people from the kitchen bringing in food. There actually was a point in time that I was finally getting quality sleep and my husband had to run interference with the people bringing me lunch to make sure they didn’t wake me up (he’s a saint). Once we were home, it was SO good to be home.

The first week was the hardest for many reasons. As I previously said, we got to come home on Wednesday. Wednesday night went pretty well, it was tiring but nothing that wasn’t bearable. I think the new parent adrenaline can be thanked for that. Raelee’s first appointment/weight check was the following morning. We went in to her appointment and everything was great. She was checking every checkmark she needed to be checking. The nurse we saw was also a Lactation Consultant so she gave me some tips on feeding as well. We go home and everyone is doing great! Raelee feeds like normal up until 7:30pm, that’s when things got truly difficult for the first time. I couldn’t get her to latch to save my life, she was screaming at me, turning bright red and then would just fall asleep.. this went on for hours. Finally at 2am, she’s crying, I’m crying and Josh is stressed beyond belief and so I ended up pumping a bottle for her to eat. Things got better, her next feed was at 5am-ish and she was able to nurse again but then when I tried again at 8am we were having issues. At this point, Josh calls the doctor. They immediately tell us we need to go to Urgent Care because a brand new baby should’ve never gone that long without eating. We get to the hospital and Urgent Care sends us up to Pediatrics. Once there, we learned that it was really good we came in because Raelee was on the verge of dehydration. She was sleeping so much because she wasn’t eating and because she was sleeping she wouldn’t eat. It was a vicious cycle that we fortunately caught early. We then went back to see the LC. This is when she informs me that Raelee was having problems latching because my milk had come in. Being a first time mother I didn’t realize that was what was happening but after being told it made so much sense. It explained Raelee’s inability to latch but also explain my massive discomfort, as well as why that discomfort decreased after pumping. The LC gave me a little plastic device called a “nipple shield” and from that point on nursing was a breeze! Essentially, I was too hard for Raelee to be able to establish a comfortable latch, which is why she was freaking out and screaming whenever she would try. During this whole time I felt so bad for Josh because at the end of the day he felt so helpless. On top of that, the amount of people at the hospital that stopped us to comment on how tired I looked and then proceeded to make comments to Josh about how he needed to let me sleep was ridiculous. He was legit attacked for something that was not his fault, but he took it like a champ.

Raelee not eating is probably the most stressful thing I’ve felt as a parent to date, and was easily the most difficult part of the first few weeks. The rest wasn’t exactly easy but personally I think it went how you would expect bringing home a brand new baby and recovering from major surgery would go. Again, and this is probably going to be a major theme here on my blog…Thank goodness for Josh because he was such a trooper having to take care of both the baby and me. I wasn’t able to change a diaper for probably the first four days! Also, because of healing, the bed just wasn’t working for me so the couch was the easiest place for us to sleep. The days and nights truly mix together because the longest stretch of sleep we could have was maybe 2-3 hours due to feedings. At one point, Josh would give her a bottle of expressed milk at her 2-3am feeding just to let me sleep more but that didn’t last long as she was wanting to nurse after the bottle anyway and it actually isn’t good for your supply to pump that early postpartum if you don’t have to. Basically we were functioning off naps for three weeks. As exhausting as this was, I have such fond memories of that time (probably my body’s way of tricking me into forgetting just how difficult it really was). We spent our days lounging, drinking coffee, and watching more Live PD than I care to admit (also, if you’ve never watched Live PD, I highly recommend). I truly cherish that bonding time we were all able to get, especially because Josh deployed 3.5 weeks after Rae was born.

Eventually we found our way back to the bedroom to sleep in the bed. That was an adjustment because at this point the routine we had gotten into completely changed as Josh was back to work. Because he needed sleep for work and to rest in preparation for the patrol and I could nap when the baby napped, Josh slept on the couch for the few days before he left. This made things easier because I wasn’t stressing about waking him up as she decided she wanted to comfort nurse at this time, but it was also harder because I did miss him even if he was just in another room.

20EB32E0-18CA-4BB7-A12F-935684C70EB2The morning Josh left is a hard memory, I’m honestly a little emotional even writing about it. Raelee wanted to comfort nurse the whole night so I hadn’t slept. I got her asleep as Josh was gathering up the last of his things and his buddy was on his way to pick him up. I asked Josh to put Raelee in her swing and then I sat on the bed watching him. Then we got the text that his friend was there. Josh wanted to pick up Raelee to hug her but he didn’t as I’d just gotten her to sleep for the first time all night and he didn’t want me to have to get her back down once he left ( I told him he could, he just didn’t want to do that to me). To this day, it still breaks my heart. So he kissed her goodbye, and ended up going back to her multiple times. Then was time for our “see you later.” I know I keep saying “this was hard, that was hard” but I truly just don’t have any other words. It sucked. I cried. Then he had to go. After he left I went back to bed for a few hours. Raelee and I spent one more night in our apartment and then we went and stayed with my parents for the duration of the patrol. I will forever be grateful to my parents for that extra support at the time. I’m not sure how I would’ve done it without them. Lucky for us it was a quick patrol. Josh was only gone for about a month and half and then he was home and has been home since. Eventually, I will get into what it was like when he was gone but for now I’ll just end this here. I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know what kinds of posts you like reading best!

 

New Baby & Mama MUST HAVES

Everyone loves to tell you what you absolutely do and do not need for a baby and I’m here to do just that. okay not really, but here are the things I found that were life savers for me and maybe they’ll help you out too!

Disclaimer: I’m not sponsored for any of these items, I just love them and think you might too!

Also, if you’re reading this on your phone, please ignore the weird spacing, I’m still figuring out this whole blog thing! xx

For Your Mini:

Swaddle Me Swaddles

For those who don’t know, swaddling is HARD, unless you’re one of the few who are good at it, but for me it’s difficult; so difficult, that once we got home from the hospital we stopped swaddling entirely. BIG mistake. Newborns have a startle reflex. This means that very randomly their little arms and legs will jolt out. You know that feeling when you’re about to fall asleep and you think you’re falling? It’s like that. This reflex easily wakes them up, and if they’re awake, so are you mama. Swaddling keeps them feeling secure and stops that reflex from happening, which is why it’s so important. My favorite kind of swaddle for when they’re little is the Swaddle Me swaddle. They have a pouch for the legs and the upper portion is velcro, which means no more trying to get a blanket as tight as you can just to have your mini wiggle their way free. I was gifted these when she was 3 weeks old and that first night she slept for 6 uninterrupted hours. I felt like a new person when I woke up and was given a new found love for swaddling.

A Swing

Fisher Price Cradle 'n Swing Blush Safari I cannot express enough how much a swing is necessary. Raelee slept in her swing for literally the first month (long stretches are not recommended for sleep but since she was only sleeping 2 hours at a time it was okay). Beyond just sleeping though having a swing is incredibly useful. Although it took Rae a good amount of time to actually like being in it awake (try 2 months), now she LOVES it and that means mom loves it. The swing allows me to get stuff done without a fussing baby and also just gives me some time to myself when I need it (she’s happily swinging away as I’m writing this)  There are also SO many different kinds so there’s bound to be a swing that your baby will like the movement of.

Binkys

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature MODA Pacifiers 0-6m (2-pack) - image 1 of 10

Okay so I know pacifiers are controversial and blah blah blah, personally, with having a colicky baby, I love them. I love them to the point that we have them in every single room of our apartment. I’ll deal with weaning another day. The one thing with binks however, is that you have to find one that works for you. We started off using the Avent Soothies… I wanted her to want to use her little elephant WubbaNub so badly but that just wasn’t the case. She would take it if you held it in her mouth but if you let go, she’d let go. Next I tried Nuks, and she definitely took to Nuks better than Soothies but it still wasn’t working how I envisioned it would. You really had to sit with her and hold it in her mouth for awhile before she’d hold onto it herself. Then one day, while I was out with a mommy friend, Raelee was inconsolable. Nothing was working. My friend handed me a Tommee Tippee binky and Rae took to it IMMEDIATELY. If you read the packaging I believe it says something along the lines of there being like a 97 or 98% acceptance rate with babies? I can’t remember, but I do know I’m obsessed with them. What I also like about them, beyond the fact that they’re adorable, is that they’re symmetrical so you don’t have to worry about if you’re putting it in upside down (like when you’re in a car and can’t see what you’re doing). If you’re truly dead set on having a stuffed animal binky, Dr. Brown’s makes animals that you can attach to any pacifier… basically a DIY WubbaNub! Long story short, I know some babies just don’t take to pacifiers, but before you entirely give up, try a few kinds, they might surprise you!

Bibs

Baby Bandana Drool Bibs for Drooling and Teething 4 Pack Gift Set For Girls “Claire Set” by Copper PearlNow, I know this is something that not everyone deems a must have, especially with young babies that aren’t eating solids yet, but for my family we need them! Rae is a happy spitter and bibs save us from having to change her outfit 20 times a day. Seriously, this girl can’t go 5 minutes in an outfit without spitting up so we just throw a bib on her and we’re good to go! There are also so many cute kinds! I personally love the bandana style, so cute!

 

Gripe Water

Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water for Babies with Gas, Colic or Stomach Discomfort - 4oz - image 3 of 3Now gripe water, (not grape water, I was confused at first) is something that I wish I would’ve known about BEFORE Raelee was born. This is something I would recommend building a stock pile of. Basically, it’s water with a bunch of different herbs in it that are good for hiccups, upset tummy, colic, excessive fussiness, etc. I cannot explain how helpful this was to have with a colicky baby. It would help calm her down. There was a point in time that I was just keeping it in her system because she was so uncomfortable and unhappy otherwise but I didn’t even know that it existed for the first few weeks.

Gas Drops

Mylicon Infants' Dye Free Gas Relief 100 Doses - 1 fl oz - image 1 of 1Again, another item I wish I would’ve known about so I could start a stock pile. Sometimes babies get gassy and by sometimes, I mean like a whole freaking lot. We use gas drops often with Rae. Once again, Rae was quite a fussy baby for the first couple months and gas drops would help her to calm down when her tummy was bothering her. This girl’s gas is on ANOTHER LEVEL, and there are times you can tell that it’s really hurting her. These give her so much relief that there are times she’s a brand new baby after giving it to her.

Sit Me Up

Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat - Citrus Frog - image 1 of 14So this little device is actually new to the Eynon household but I’m already obsessed with it. Raelee loves sitting up like a big girl but she doesn’t quite have the core strength or balance to be able to do it yet, even though the head control is there. This seat allows her to sit up, assisted and be able to see everything that’s going on around her and she LOVES it. The little toys on the front were actually the first toys she was able to grab onto and play with herself. It’s clearly comfy too as we have caught her sleeping in it a few times now. I love the fact that it just gives me one more place to set her where I know that she’s safe, but where she’s happy and content. It’s also nice because it folds up to lay flat so it’s relatively easy to store.

For you, Mama:

Haakaa

Haakaa Breast Pump with Flower Stopper 100% Food Grade Silicone BPA PVC and Phthalate Free (3.5oz/100ml) (White)Okay, I know what you’re thinking… a what? For you breastfeeding mamas out there, this is a MUST. For those of you that don’t know, when you feed on one side, the other side leaks and this little device keeps you from losing that precious, leaking, liquid gold. It suctions to the side you’re not feeding with and not only catches the milk thats leaking but will actually pull out the milk and give you a letdown on that side. There are times that I have gotten more milk from the side I’m not feeding with than from the actual pump and it’s awesome because you don’t have to do anything other than what you’re already doing! The only thing I have found is that the ounce measurements aren’t exactly correct, they’re more an estimate and off by half an ounce to an ounce, but that isn’t a big deal.

Nursing Pillow

Another must have for you breastfeeding moms, at least in the beginning! A nursing pillow. Holding up a baby while feeding is a sure fire way to build up that arm strength but it also gets exhausting so a nursing pillow to prop up your arm is incredibly useful. I love the Feeding Friend Self Inflating Nursing Pillow. It’s great, the wedge shape makes it super comfy and the fact it’s self inflating makes it super practical. Yes, you read that right, self inflating. This pillow deflates and rolls up small enough to fit in your diaper bag and when you’re ready to use it you just take it out, twist the dial, and it inflates in seconds! It’s so nice as a new mom for feeding literally anywhere because of it’s deflating capabilities. Now that I’ve got the nursing thing down (well seem to, she could change her mind at any time) I find I don’t really need it anymore but for those first few months this pillow made feeding so much easier. Before, I was fighting with pillows trying to find the right position and with this pillow there is no fight, you can immediately get comfy and nurse!

Nipple Shield

Medela Contact Nipple Shield - 24mm - image 1 of 1Another weird one… but yes, a nipple shield. Breastfeeding is hard and never let anyone tell you different. Eventually I will tell my full story but for now I’ll stick to the basics. This little piece of plastic made feeding for the first month, not only possible, but easy. We had issues when we got home from the hospital and feeding which happens every two hours in those first few weeks was a time that my husband and I DREADED because it was such a fight. After a lactation consultant gave me this all of our problems went away and feeding became stress free. Basically, it just allows for the baby to latch on more easily. We no longer use it, but I will be forever grateful for it and will recommend one to anybody who’s having issues. Another perk is because of how wide it is, it helps train for a good latch once retired. Keep in mind I am no expert, this is just my personal experience. If you’re struggling to breastfeed I would highly recommend seeing an LC.

Pumping Bra

Medela Easy Expression Hands Free Pumping Bustier - image 2 of 2Okay, last breastfeeding/milk related item… for now at least. And another new addition to the Eynon household. Now, this bra is something I wish I had LONG ago, nursing bras are important too, but this bra is basically magic in mommy world. It allows you to pump without having to actually hold the pump up to you and I cannot express (pun not intended) how much easier and less of a pain pumping has become since having it simply because it allows me to use my hands and while I’m being milked.

 

Nose Frida 

Fridababy NoseFrida® Nasal Aspirator - image 2 of 3

A boogie sucker. The Fridababy Nose Frida is all the craze among mommies right now. Basically, it’s a contraption that allows you to suck boogies out of your little one’s nose. You simply stick the blue part into the end of their nostril and suck to your hearts desire on the red piece and out will come the mucus that’s causing your baby to be cranky because they can’t breathe. Is it disgusting? Absolutely. But, I promise you’ll deal with nastier things as a parent and the end result is so worth it.