December 1, 2014

Breast Feeding Journey

Even before I became pregnant, I already knew that I wanted to breast-feed my future children.  There are a multitude of benefits that come from breast-feeding not only to the infant but to the mother as well.  Breast feeding can reduce the risk for certain types of cancers for the mother, as well as helping mom to lose pregnancy weight.  Breast-feeding your baby can reduce the risk of SIDs, reduce the risk of ear infections, asthma, and can possibly even increase your child's intelligence.  Breast-feeding may also even protect your child from obesity, since breast-fed babies learn to stop eating once their appetite has been satiated.  The reasons that I mentioned are only a few of the many benefits of feeding your child at the breast.
After Quinn was born, I put her at my breast within one hour from her birth. She had a very strong suck, and for me it was very painful. I think that is the reason why I was unable to continue breast-feeding.  Quinn was only 5 pounds and 2 ounces when she was born at 37 weeks and four days.  We stayed three nights in the hospital, and during that time I continued to breast-feed her but she continued to lose weight during our hospital stay. She also developed jaundice.  At my nurse's suggestion, we began to supplement my feedings with prepared formula. We used to a syringe and my finger to give Quinn the milk. Because Quinn was so tiny, I decided that I would supplement her only while we were at the hospital. When we brought Quinn home, the stress of me being unable to tolerate the pain and my fear that she was losing weight while she was already tiny played a part in my giving into bottle feeding her with my breastmilk. After one day of feeding her by bottle she was hooked, and had a difficult time feeding from me. I was determined to have my child only be nourished by my breast milk, so I began to pump exclusively. I did this for one year and stopped at one year because I was pregnant with my son. Pumping exclusively comes with its own set of problems. You have to deal with double the work I think. You will have to spend time pumping and then afterwards feed your baby by bottle. You have to wash pump parts and bottles which you don't have to deal with when you were feeding just from the breast.
When I thought of breast-feeding, I saw images of a loving, nurturing, calm, and peaceful experience.  Everything that I've heard from coworker moms and seen from pro breastfeeding advertising has only portrayed the positives. No one ever tells you about the pain, the cracked and sore, bleeding nipples. Because of this, I though I was doing everything wrong, but after many stress filled nights and tears, and a lot of research online, I found I wasn't alone. For me, I think the pain of breast-feeding was worse than delivering the babies themselves. I like to describe the pain as intense, curl your toes, 10 out of ten pain. Because exclusive pumping was very time-consuming and difficult as a working mother, I decided to power through the pain and being nipples with my son, and am glad that I did. After a few weeks, I began to tolerate the pain, and even feel relief when he would empty my breast.In just a few weeks, I will return to working long hours as a nurse. My job makes it difficult to pump at scheduled times, I just pump when ever I have a chance, which is when I finish medicating my patients, before I chart my assessments or after, and during my downtime. Often I'd go several hours without pumping and leak!
The benefits of nurturing your child with your own breastmilk far outweighs the downfalls.  I don't think Quinn ever got sick more than once, except for a fever that may or may have not been associated with teething, and she is almost 2 years old.
I own three breast pumps, two electric and one manual. The Medela Pump in Style.  is portable, and is the one that I take with me to the hospital when I am working. The pump itself is pretty loud, and you can only adjust the intensity of the pumping. It's a good pump though and has lasted me through the one year of pumping for Quinn, and it is now being used for building my supply for Hugh when I return back to work.
 The Spectra Baby USA S1 Double/Single Pump is hospital grade and whisper quiet. It is also a portable and has a rechargeable battery, however, I find it too bulky to take to the hospital. This is pump I generally have at my bedside to use when I pump at home. You can adjust the speed and the rhythm of pumping with this unit. The pump begins in shallow mode which stimulates the body's letdown reflex and then goes into a deeper mode which mimics baby's sucking.  This pump makes me confident that I am expressing as much milk as I can from my breasts.
 Lastly, I own two of the Medela Harmony pump, which is a manual pump.  I find that using this pump is helpful especially when I'm engorged and need to remove a small amount of milk so that baby can latch.  It is also small enough to keep in a diaper bag for pumping on the go.Other items that I have found have contributed to my success at breast-feeding include:
1.  Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream to protect the skin of your nipples.  Lanolin comes from sheep's wool, so it is not vegetarian. The cream is thick and at first i found it difficult to spread on my skin, but if you use the directed pea sized amount between two fingers, the heat from your fingers softens the cream which makes it easier to spread.  I applied a thin layer before I nursed and after I nursed.  The cream helps to keep the skin soft and helps to ease the pain of cracked and sore nipples.
2. Motherlove

3. Bravado.
4. Basics Stella Maternity
5. BebeAu Lait
6.  Aden and Anais
Munchkin7. Rubbermaid Commercial Stainless Steel Refrigerator/Freezer Monitoring Thermometer
8. Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags

Lastly, some websites that I found were helpful La Leche League
Dr. Jack Newman

November 21, 2014

Another Year, Another Baby

Once again, it's been quite awhile since I have posted to this blog. Three months ago, we welcomed my second child, Hugh Oliver.  Like big sister, Quinn, he decided to come a little over 2 weeks earlier than my due date.  My maternity leave is flying by, and I should be back to work in less than a month, which is making me depressed!

Quinn is having a bit of a hard time adjusting to being a big sister since she is a baby herself. She is only 20 months older than her little brother. Tantrums are becoming a daily occurrence.  My husband and I have been making certain to make her feel just as important and loved as little Huey.

Quinn finally moved from her nursery into her big girl room. Before that happened, we needed to paint the larger third bedroom upstairs. The previous homeowners had painted the room lavender with an unattractive sponge painted accent wall.
Here she is enjoying an early nap in her big girl bed.

I recently just celebrated another birthday. The past couple of weeks I've been reuniting with old friends from high school and coworkers that I haven't seen in quite awhile since having my baby.

June 26, 2013

Disney Fun


This summer L and I decided that we would renew our Disneyland Deluxe Annual passes after going more than 2 years without them. Now that we have Quinn, we have already gone 3 times to walk around, eat overpriced yummy treats, and just enjoy the summer Disney atmosphere. Quinn still has yet to go on her first official ride (unless you count the tram from the parking structure to the park!). Above is a a family picture with Minnie Mouse and Quinnie Mouse holding hands. This was taken about 2 weeks ago during Quinn's second visit to Disneyland.

August 23, 2012

Nursery Inspiration

I occupy much of my day dreaming of what my little girl's nursery should look like.  I love the look of a romantic but crisp all white nursery, but at the same time I don't want it to be too fussy.  I like playful colors and whimsy too!

I picked up this bamboo mobile from Petit Collage when Gilt featured them a couple months ago.  Other items I have my eye on are the KC for Kerry Cassill Crib Sheet and Bumper Set and these darling bunny bookends.

I have already been feeling Quinn move for about a month now, but two nights ago while I was working I felt her move from the outside for the first time when I placed my hand on my belly.  Last night L felt it too. He was pretty excited about it.

August 13, 2012

i couldn't help myself


HauteLook has some really cute baby clothes this week.  I just couldn't hold myself back from buying a few things for my little girl.  I bought the items in the first three photos: A Paulina Quintana Dress, along with a Bib & Diaper Cover Set, and the cutest set of Cienta Linen Espadrilles.  Quinn is going to look so cute for basketball season.  Go Lakers!

August 12, 2012

the reveal

Yesterday, we found out the sex of the baby. The frosting inside the cupcakes from RSM Island Cupcakes was pink.


This is a test. <3