Trading in Blow Outs for Ball Pits

Before becoming a mommy, I definitely liked to indulge in some beautification. I got regular hair cuts, enjoyed the occasional blowout, always had my nails and toes well manicured. Heck, I even lasered the hair off of my face (which turned out to be a waste of money when pregnancy helped me revert back to the little chinchilla that I am. THANK YOU SO MUCH pregnancy hormones).

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People Who Say They Sleep Like a Baby...Probably Don't Have One

I used to party. Like go out, stay out until the wee hours, and then wake up the next day and function off of what I though was very little sleep. But let me tell you all something – I had never felt sleep deprivation the way I felt it once I became a mom. Here’s the thing, my husband and I have a WHOLE lot in common... except when it comes to our sleep habits.

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And on the 7th Day, God Made Swings (a love letter to Fisher Price)

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Dear Mattel-
I love you.
Like a lot.

You don’t know how badly I needed you. You don’t know how badly WE needed you.

You see, our baby and us- we had a great start to this journey. Sweet little Charlotte came home from the hospital and like a typical newborn, she was sooo sleepy. She slept in our arms, on the boppy pillow, in her bassinet. I mean this child was basically a narcoleptic. But boy that did not last. At about 8 weeks Charlotte decided that napping during the day was NOT COOL. And on top of that she suffered from really bad gas (I’m sure she will be thrilled about this post when she is older). Because of the gas, the over tiredness etc, what some refer to as a “witching hour” turned into witching days.....on end.

There’s truly nothing like taking your 800th lap around your apartment while your baby and you stare into each other’s eyes while both of you cry together. “Cry” is understatement. At times, we both wailed...in perfect harmony, like the psychotic choir from hell.

Here’s the thing- when I registered for my baby shower, I was appalled at the amount of stuff Buy Buy Baby recommended I scan. I mean, I thought I was completely stocked up when I noticed the little icon on the registry said I was only 37% complete. Did I really need a wipe warmer, a shush machine and a swing? For God sakes, they even suggested I buy a pad for my knees that is to be used “when giving your child a bath.” Hahah - “giving your child a bath?” Is that why they’re calling it these day. I know FOR SURE  that the “bath” knee pad was invented by a man.

Well, it turns out that my baby is a diva and only likes her booty to be touched with warm wipes, so one week in and I sent my husband to buy a wipe warmer.

Just weeks later I laughed when my mother in law gifted us the Shusher machine that basically does he “shhhh shhhh” for you. One night after my jaw was hurting from shhhhhhh’ing and after accepting the fact that with all this shhhhing I was going to need a lot of juviderm to correct the wrinkles around my lips, I finally popped some batteries in the little machine and let it do it’s job. Let me tell you something, there’s a reason that bad boy has 5 stars on amazon and it’s because it’s awesome. Thanks MIL!

This brings us to the swing. Oh lord. Thank you sweet Jesus. The only reason I’m able to even write this post is because Charlotte is sleeping soundly in her swing.

For those of you city slickers, you know what it’s like to live in a small apartment. I registered for a bjorn bouncer and not a swing. I had read some babies hate the swing anyways and I figured it was unnecessary. My god! I was wrong. The swing is necessary. The swing is the difference between showering once a day or once every 10 days. The swing is the difference between a home cooked meal and seamless delivery. The swing is the difference between a clean home and a place that looked like a bomb hit it. Hell, this swing may be the only way Charlotte will ever get a sibling 😂

I would have never discovered the power of the swing had it not been for my mom who every day coaxed me into biting the bullet and buying one.
My moms friend had a swing that her grandchildren had grown out of and so she let my parents set it up in their home to borrow for a while. Charlotte would take the best naps at my parents house but I convinced myself if the was because she felt peace in the suburbs. NOT true. She was taking great naps because she was in her swing. And like usual, my mom was right. AGAIN.

So on the very next Friday, as Charlotte and I cried to each other (she cried because of gas and I cried because she cried) my husband called me to tell me he was leaving work. “Babe, need me to pick anything up on my way home” he generously offered as he always does. I’m sure the last thing he expected was me telling him not to come home unless he had a swing in his hand. He must have sensed the desperation in my voice because within an hour, my husband, my dear angel of a husband, walked into the apartment carrying that Fisher Price swing.

I nearly dropped Charlotte on the floor to quickly assemble that bad boy. And 30 minutes later, while she hung out calmly in her swing, my husband and I ate dinner together, AT THE SAME TIME, for the first time in two months.

So if your registering for baby items, or curious about what you need, you can forego the “bath” knee pads (sorry gentleman) but DO NOT. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. FOREGO THE SWING.

Mattel, I love you. So does Charlotte. So does my husband. And so do my future children.

Xoxo
Nicole
 

Got Milk?

Call me Bessie because I feel like a freakin cow.

my life now......

my life now......

Liquid gold they say. It’s the most natural thing you can do they say. Breast is best they say. Well all I have to say is that all of this is bullshit. And I can say this because I am breastfeeding....sometimes.

During my pregnancy I always assumed I would breastfeed. I didn’t even buy formula to have in the house. I purchased a pump, stocked up on nipple cream, and even bought storage bags for what I expected to be an abundance of milk seeping out of my utters. Little did I know at the time, that breastfeeding would be one of the biggest challenges of my first weeks home with Charlotte.

While at the hospital, the nurses asked me if I was okay with giving Charlotte some formula. This was a trick question. First of all my insides were cut open, I felt like a truck hit me, and the last thing I felt like doing was shoving my boob into this screaming baby’s mouth. Second of all I had blood sugar issues and as a result, Charlotte needed to be monitored closely and pricked often for sugar testing. Thinking nothing of this - I told the nurses I was fine with supplementing with formula. BIG MISTAKE. This baby looked little but she was a BEAST when it came to her food and she quickly got used to the fast flowing nipple in the hospital. 

As a result, she was NOT HAVING IT when I put her on the breast and she sucked for an eternity ending up with essentially nothing. My Russian nurse was trying to help me to show me positioning so that we could get this breastfeeding journey on its way.  The first thing she did,  was take a look at my nipple and say - “if she can’t latch on to those I don’t know what to tell you.” Should I have been offended that she was talking $**t about my massive nipples, or should I be proud that in the nipple game, I was freakin number one. Either way, there was no time to waste because before I knew it this tiny blonde Russian was manhandling my breast and shoving it down my baby’s throat. Who said breastfeeding was calming and beautiful? THEY LIED.

On my last day in the hospital I decided to attend the breastfeeding course with the lactation consultant. She described colostrum and explained how fatty and wonderful it was and that because of the contents, the baby didn’t need more than a teaspoon. She then handed me a teaspoon, and showed me how to squeeze gooey colostrum out of my giant nipple to feed to the baby. It was like I was a baker, except this wasn’t fun, and there were no cookies in the end, just a half empty teaspoon with what they kept calling liquid gold. In their defense, Charlotte did eat that stuff like it was going to give her wings.

The nurse also told me that in order to stimulate the production of milk that I should start pumping so they brought me a pump to use in my room. I quickly set up it, attached the flanges to my breasts and pumped for 20 minutes. I was a cow hooked up to an electronic machine. I was a shitty cow though because NOTHING CAME OUT.

I kept reading about breastfeeding. I mean, I read, I read and I read some more. And everywhere said to keep putting the baby on the breast. They also say don’t supplement but I was not going to be in the business of having my baby scream all day so i did supplement with formula and honestly I don’t regret it.... that much. I kept putting Charlotte on the breast and she would start by crying. It was like giving a fat kid a carrot. I’m allowed to say this because I was once the fat kid. And then the cries would turn to a SCREAM. It was as though I was trying to poison her with my boob. I was devastated. MAYBE my milk was rotten (haha) Would i ever be able to breast feed OR was it just not meant to be?

I continued to pump around the clock (every 2 hours) to stimulate milk supply and by day 10 my milk came in. HALLELUJAH THIS COW IS BACK. Once my milk came in Charlotte did better on the breast but would still get pissed.  BUT I WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. Had I not been so dead set on trying to breast feed, I would have thrown in the towel a lot earlier, but if you read my post on Charlotte’s birth well then you know I like a challenge. NYU does this latch hour course with a lactation consultant and so i decided to go. This was no easy fete as the class was a cab ride away. Thank god for my mom who decided to drive us down there and attend the class with me- that class was the best thing we did on this journey.

When we got to the class, we met Rachel another new mom. And boy did I need Rachel that day. Rachel came in and right away had diarrhea of the mouth “my baby wont sleep, he is constantly hungry, I have no idea what I am doing or if he is getting enough.” Rachel made me feel better because I realized it I was not as alone as I felt.

Now, my mom is basically my best friend, so she of course stayed for the class, and I of course had no qualms about whipping my boob out in front of her. The instructor walks in and says okay everyone start breastfeeding and then I will come around and adjust you and your baby.

“Start breastfeeding?” Are you kidding? I sheepishly stood up  and said ummmmm we are not exactly breastfeeding. We are trying but we are failing.I think Charlotte understood this conversation and thought to herself, “I’m gonna show you mom,”because she literally made me look bad.

I put Charlotte on my breast and she started to feed as though she had been breast feeding exclusively for the last 2.5 weeks. While I was so proud of my showoff, I was also annoyed because I knew that the minute we got home she would stop latching and the lactation consultant wouldn’t be there to help. BUT at the very least, the course gave me hope. For all new moms out there who are thinking of breastfeeding- go see an IBCLC and do it ASAP.  My mom (charlotte’s GiGi) was also super proud of Charlotte because as Charlotte sucked away as though my boob was leaking chocolate syrup, she whipped out her phone and took a video. She then proceeded to text the video to my husband who accidentally opened the video in a meeting, unaware that the video was of his baby sucking away on his wife’s breast (sorry babe, and sorry to the others in that meeting that may have had to witness that).

Charlotte is now 11 weeks. Let’s just say this has NOT been easy. She has good days where she takes the breast, and other days where she outright rejects it. I keep offering it to her and also pump around the clock so she can have breast milk in a bottle. Is this lifestyle for everyone? Definitely not and I COMPLETELY understand why. But, at this point I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel, so if it means pumping in the middle of the night when the baby is fast asleep, pumping in cars and hauling my pump everywhere I go, so be it. 

To all you breastfeeding mamas who are successful or who have at least tried, I applaud you! And to those who it didn’t work out for, I applaud you for trying. And to those that didn’t even try because they decided it wasn’t for them, I applaud you too! The choice is yours and you should know that a fed baby is a happy baby. Don’t listen to those crazy people who shame you because of your choices.  I can guarantee you that by the time your baby is in school, no one will be asking whether he or she was breastfed or not. So do you! 

With that, I must now go pump to empty these utters. Moooooooooo!