Tag Archives: breastfeeding

second time around.

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Lately I’ve been doing a lot of comparing of this pregnancy to my first one.  Probably because now that I’m in the homestretch of this one, I’m realizing how much… less… I’ve done and thought about this time around.

During my first pregnancy, I felt like I was treated (and acted) like a fragile vessel on a magical baby-growing journey.  Pampering, downtime and rest were encouraged.  Everything was new and exciting and a little bit scary, and I had nothing but time to dwell on every little thing that happened.  This time around, I feel like I peed on a stick and then had 3 minutes to celebrate before I had to figure out what to make my toddler for dinner. (Mamas of 2+ kiddos, I salute you.)  It’s not that it’s not as exciting, it truly is, I just haven’t actually had the time to spend focusing on the magical journey that I’m on because I’ve been, you know, busy taking care of my first magical journey.  The good news the second time around is that I have experience on my side, so there’s been way less “IS THIS NORMAL” googling and way more acceptance of what the eff is happening to my body.

So anyways, here are a few examples of the differences I’ve noticed between the two magical journeys I’ve had the immense pleasure of being on…

First pregnancy:  (at 14 weeks along) Look at my teeny tiny baby bump! I must now parade myself belly-first through public places… hoping someone will notice my baby growing skills.
Second pregnancy:  (at 2 weeks along) Holy crap I’m showing already!?! Or is this just residual baby weight from the first time around?  Probably a combo of both.

First pregnancy: Take cute bumpdate photos biweekly.
Second pregnancy: Take 3 total bumpdate photos, which coincide with the only 3 days during my pregnancy where both my hair and makeup are done at the same time.

First pregnancy:  Terrified of labor, but I cannot wait to take my baby home to bask in postpartum bliss!!
Second pregnancy:  Labor shmabor. How am I going to handle postpartum hormones AND 2 small humans?!

First pregnancy: I can’t wait to breastfeed my new baby. What a bonding experience!
Second pregnancy: Nightly pep-talks to psych myself up for breastfeeding/pumping/latching/acid reflux/ouchie nipples.

First pregnancy:  ::reads all the baby books:: I’ve got this ALL figured out. I know exactly what kind of mother I want to be. I know exactly how I’m going to care for, raise and discipline my child.  It can’t be that hard.
Second pregnancy:  ::buys a case of wine:: Let’s just like, try to survive, shall we?

First pregnancy: Research every baby product for hours. Register for every baby product under the sun.
Second pregnancy:  ::buys a case of baby wipes::  K, I’m ready.

First pregnancy: The baby is 13 weeks, 5 days, 6 hours and 47 minutes and is the size of a papaya! The lungs are forming, nerve cells are multiplying, and synapses are forming in the brain.
Second pregnancy: I think I’m in the second trimester? I know I’m due in the fall. Wait, maybe the winter? Definitely this year.

First pregnancy: No caffeine. No soft cheese. No deli meat. etc. etc. etc.
Second pregnancy: “Make it a venti, please.”

First pregnancy: Take a 7-week birth class, prepare a detailed birth plan, curate a birth playlist.
Second pregnancy: Birth plan = try not to crap myself, have baby.

First pregnancy: Shop regularly for cute maternity clothes.
Second pregnancy:  ::adjusts sweatpants::

First pregnancy: Fill out baby book every week, keep an organized file folder of every sonogram and Dr visit report.
Second pregnancy: Accidentally use sonogram as coffee coaster.

First pregnancy: Babymoon! 3 baby showers! Pregnancy photoshoot!
Second pregnancy: High-five myself whenever I get to pee in peace.

***

Anyway, all that said… I have absolutely loved both pregnancies equally, but I do think that this time I’m much more excited about the after. That’s when the real fun starts, am I right?  Shout out to both of my babies who made this post possible.

PS pumping can suck it.

 


feeding your baby.

crosbyeatsHello my loves! I’ve been MIA for so long… I know!  And I’m working on a blog post that chronicles the adventures we’ve been on the past few weeks…  but before that, real quick, I wanted to put together a post about something that’s been on my mind.

This week is World Breastfeeding Week.  Which is a week and cause that I applaud, respect, and support more than anything.  I was a 100% breastfeeding mama for almost 8 months of Crosby’s life.  I worked really hard for it.  I cried, laughed, scheduled, bled, pumped, smiled, hurt, cursed, and adored breastfeeding.  I loved it and I hated it.  And I did it for as long as my body would allow me to.  Which was approximately 7  months and 20 days, at which point, my milk peaced out.  For no other reason than my body was just done producing milk.  We’d had a relatively tough time with BF from the get go, and at the end Crosby preferred bottles more than my tator tots/I wasn’t responding to pumping as well/I struggled a lot with it blah blah blah.  The bottom line is, I did it for as long I could.  At which point we started supplementing with formula, and eventually moved on to formula only.  Which was an emotionally tough transition, for me.  I definitely had moments when I felt like I was failing Crosby by not being able to give him what he needed.  But you know what I came to realize?  Crosby is happy and healthy.  And I have formula to thank for that.

So yah… breastfeeding is amazing, but I guess formula is pretty cool, too.

Listen though, loud and clear.  I am so supportive and encouraging of anyone and everyone that can breastfeed.  But everyone’s journey with it is different.  I did it for 7.7825 months, or whatever.  Some women do it for 2 months, some women 5 years, some women… never.  And you know what?  It’s all ok.  We should all be proud of what we do for our babies.

I think the thing that struck me the most this week, World Breastfeeding Week, beyond the pride for my fellow BF mamas who give so much of themselves for their littles, is that we formula-feeding mamas deserve some loving too.  Not any more or any less, but we do deserve the same amount of support and love.

So this post goes out to ALL the mamas, breastfeeding, formula-feeding, whatever!  We are all doing the best we can for our little people.  We all deserve the recognition for what it takes to raise a tiny human.  So great job, ladies, gentleman, boobies, and bottles.  You’re all rockstars.

 

 


real talk: my advice for expectant mamas.

shawnnathompson_advice_4Almost every Tuesday since Crosby was born, he and I have gone to a baby + parent group at the hospital I delivered at. (I still don’t know if I can technically say I “delivered” Crosby, since I had a c-section.  “Delivered” seems so… vaginal. Can someone research that and let me know? I’m too lazy to. Kthxbai.)  We really love going to class.  Me: for the adult interaction with people who are going through the same shenanigans that I am.  Crosby: for the overhead lighting.  The kid loves a good 60-watt soft tone lightbulb.

Anyhoo, yesterday at class we got to talking about advice.  Specifically, advice we’d give to expectant moms, now that all of us have been at this parent thing for a few months. A lot of the answers people came up with were regarding how the expectations before having a baby don’t really match up to the reality.  Whether it’s breastfeeding or sleeping or just the pure exhaustion of keeping a little human alive.  Which was all legit and true.  Because honestly, what you imagine life will be like with a baby is kind of hogwash compared to the actual reality of having a baby.

Well so anyways.  I thought about this topic for a while after class and tried to remember what surprised me the most after having a baby.  I thought about what advice I would have loved to hear.  And what I came up with, what my most important piece of advice to any new mom would be, is:

Do not be surprised if you feel like a fucking insane person for a while after you have your baby.  

Let me explain.  Right after Crosby was born and through the first week of his life, I was ecstatic.  Like :: this is amazing!  my baby is amazing!  breastfeeding is amazing!  I am amazing!  no sleep is amazing! I look amazing!  I feel amazing! :: type of situation.  I was on cloud 9.  I was also on a whole truckload of pain killers. (C-section.)

Week two hit, and I went off my pain meds.  Breastfeeding did not continue to be amazing.  My adrenaline was gone, and I started to get exhausted.  And then the feelings hit.  So.many.FEELINGS.  Feelings that burst out of my eyes in the form of tears at least 10 times per day.  Anything could set me off, and everything did.  It was overwhelming.  But even though there were so many emotions, I couldn’t quite pinpoint the source of my internal mayhem.  I kept saying to Casey, “I don’t know why I’m crying?!”  He was as supportive as a guy could possibly be, but there was only so much he could do or say.  It was all in my head. I felt overwhelmed and numb at the same time.  I felt lonely.  I wondered if I’d ever feel like myself again.  During this time, I felt like I was failing Crosby.  I felt insanely guilty that I had a healthy, amazing little guy right in front of me, yet I was lost in a sea of emotions.  What was wrong with me.

Sure, I’d heard about baby blues and of course I was aware that that was a possibility.  But to this day I don’t think that that’s what it was.  I mean, maybe a little… but not to the fullest extent.  I know women who have truly experienced post-partum depression and I can see the struggle and the heartache it can bring.  But for me, I think it was a mixture of coming off of a junkie-sized amount of medication and just being over-freaking-whelmed.  I remember talking to my best friend around day 9 (she’s a mama of two) and asking her if it was normal that I couldn’t stop crying.  She reassured me that yes, it was “normal” but it wouldn’t last forever.  She also reminded me of what my body had gone through and that my life had just changed in the craziest way possible and that I just needed time to adjust to that. She also told me that the feelings of guilt that I was having were feelings I’d get to know pretty well as time went on.  And she was so right.  The mom guilt struggle is real.  #TMGSIR. (<—- can we make that a thing?  Yes?  No?  Maybe so?)

Luckily (?) the peak of my rollercoaster only lasted about a week-ish.  I didn’t really talk to many people about it other than a few friends, my mom and Casey.  But since then, I’ve heard many other women talk about having similar experiences.  And I keep wondering why, if so many other people go through these same emotions, why don’t people talk about it more?  Why do we expect new parents to be nothing but elated?  I mean, yes it’s exciting and you will be elated!  But also?  Having a baby is INSANE.  And what’s even more insane is to expect yourself to be shitting rainbows and barfing unicorns because you just brought a life into the world.  I mean.  YOU JUST BROUGHT A LIFE INTO THE WORLD.  Via your ladyparts and/or a hole in your abdomen.  Right?!?!  Insane.  In the membrane.

So to recap.  My advice to any expectant mom out there: be prepared to be a hot fucking mess.  Or not.  But maybe.  Maybe your mess will be minimal, like just a little candy wrapper.  Maybe your mess will be big, like Britney Spears circa hair shave of 2007.  Regardless of the extent of your emotional rollercoaster, it’s all okay.  And it will get better.  New moms?  You are doing a GREAT JOB.  But please do not be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling.  With your husband or partner, your friends, your mom, James Blunt, Pinot Noir, Sleepless in Seattle, or even just your regular doctor.  Or me!  Hi!  And I repeat, it WILL get better.  You are not alone.

That’s all I got.  Well, that and be prepared to lose all your damn hair. Post-partum hair loss is real. #PPHLIR (<—– can we make that a thing too?  and all post pictures of our receding hairlines? No?)

And on that note, here are a few more pictures of me without makeup.  Because real life.

shawnnathompson_advice_3shawnnathompson_advice_2

Any pearls of wisdom y’all would like to share?  I’d love to hear.

 


the story of our week. it’s a real page-turner…

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_4
It’s Friday!  Thank the gods… because we’ve had a really bipolar week this week.  Not, like emotionally.  Just, in general.  Here, let me explain it in an absurd amount of detail for you.  Because I know your weekend plans include reading this blog post.  Right?  Right???  Hello?…

Okay here we go.  Crosby and I had a great day on Monday.  He was cute and sweet and did the perfect rotation of eat, burp, sleep, poop, repeat.  His naps were long and chill enough that I was able to get SO much stuff done around the house.  I cleaned, I made tons of calls and answered a bunch of emails.  I finally got my sweaters out of storage and then I attempted to pack up my maternity clothes but let’s be honest I’ll be wearing a lot of that junk for the next few months rest of my life.  I also made a nice dinner and DESSERT.  What?!  We played and I showered him with kisses and the whole day was glorious and I was all, hey I got this mom thing down! Give me three more babies! 

Then Tuesday came along and Crosby was all, I gave you Monday, today is MINE!   And then he proceeded to scream all.day.long.  We had plans to run errands and meet up with some mom/baby friends.  But Crabbysby was not having any of it.  Poor guy screamed nonstop, and I couldn’t figure out why.  He even threw in a blowout and peed all over me, just to top it off.  He cried, I cried, it was probably our hardest day yet.

Luckily I had happy hour plans with friends that night so I was able to pass the babe off to papa Casey and take a little sanity break.  And drown my sorrows in a brewski.  And have adult conversations!  That didn’t revolve around breastmilk!  It was lovely.  Obviously though I’m a little rusty at HH because I didn’t realize until the next day that I had completely forgotten to pay my bill and left my credit card at the bar.  That’s how fried my brain was.  If you’re wondering, the ultimate walk of shame entails walking into a bar the next day, to pay your tab from the night before that only has ONE beer on it, with your baby in tow.  Sheesh.

Moving on to Wednesday!  I had a doctor appointment scheduled for that morning and I was having an anxiety attack, assuming that Crosby was going to be a total cry-fest the whole time.  But he must have popped a Tylenol PM when I wasn’t looking because he slept through my entire appointment, plus a lunch date in the ‘burbs with papa.  I kept thinking he was going to wake up at any moment… but he just kept sleeping. (Don’t worry I neurotically checked to make sure he was breathing every 3 seconds)  So I took advantage and ran a few more errands.  We were finally heading home and the little buddy was still snoozing so I thought I’d push my luck one last time and hit the drive-thru at Starbucks.  Big mistake.  As soon as I placed my order, he started crying.  And of course there were 5 cars ahead of me.  And of course there was no way to just duck out of this drive-thru line other than to wait for everyone in front of me.  At one point I had my car in park and half of my body was in the backseat trying to comfort him.  I think the people ahead of me must have ordered the most difficult and complex coffees ever because we were in that stupid line for what felt like 7 forevers.  It reminded me of one time a bunch of years ago when Casey and I waited in the drive-thru at Taco John’s for 30 solid minutes.  It was ridiculous, but you do what you gotta do for potato oles. ShyaknowhatImean?  Anytaco, we raced home after Starbucks and after I finally calmed him down, the rest of the day was great.  That night we went to the food carts for dinner and Crosby again slept the whole time. Which got me to thinking that maybe we just need to be out and about doing stuff all day in order for him to sleep/be chill.  Cool with me, but could someone please buy us a second car and give me spending money to be able to go and do stuff everyday?  That’d be great thanks.

On Thursday Crosby ate approximately every 10 minutes.  Or so it seemed.  I think our longest stretch between feedings was an hour and a half…. eeps!  I felt like a human keg.  I basically walked around all day without my shirt on, with a baby strapped to my boob.  Remind me to show this post (and this paragraph in particular) to Crosby when he’s old enough to be thoroughly embarrassed by it.  Love you Crosbybooboo!

Cut to today.  Today has been lovely so far!  My sweet little Crosby did crap in the baby tub, but he hasn’t really cried much so I’ll count my blessings.  Or pick my battles.  Whatever.  He’s napping now so I’m furiously typing out this post while trying to eat lunch so please excuse any typos or run on sentences or words that I might have made up… Oh, you’re saying that happens in every post?  Well thne, nevermind and we’ll move on to the next paragraph because blerg.

And that my friends, is our atrociously exciting week, in a nut shell.  Now aren’t you glad you stopped by?

To send you off, here are a few pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch and corn maze last weekend. (I took my last post about enjoying fall seriously.)  It was so much fun!  Even though I have no actual pictures of Crosby from the day.  I had visions of getting a cute picture with him laying in a pile of pumpkins or whatever.  But he was sleeping so peacefully in his Ergo, I didn’t dare wake him up.  How do all the fancy mom instagrammers do it?

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_8Hey look, a corn maize!…

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_5Please excuse Casey’s look of bewilderment, he was CORNfused.  Heh heh. Heh…. Sorry.

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_9And when the wind blows hard and the sky is black, ducks fly together!  (Name that movie)

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_7Just… bein a stalker.  Get it?  Corn… stalk… stalker? ?? Please don’t leave me.

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_6Isn’t that the cutest little balding head you ever did see?? Heart eyes.

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_2“Hey, how about that orange one over there?” (Casey Thompson, pumpkin patch 2014.)

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch_3Just another gourdinary day.  … I promise I’m done.

shawnnathompson_pumpkinpatch1And a family foto to take you out…

Happy weekend!


three weeks in.

shawnnathompson_threeweeks_3So we’re three weeks into our new normal and I’d like to think we have established somewhat of a routine, but mostly we’re still in survival mode.  As in, let’s just figure out how to get through the next 20 minutes and then we’ll go from there.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately… and isn’t it the strangest thing that you get pregnant, have a baby and then you are just supposed to know how to take care of it?  Other than your own experiences growing up and taking baby classes, there is no real training to be a parent.  I mean, you have to have more training to get your driver’s license than you do to have a baby.  Which doesn’t really seem right, right?  And these poor babies, they have no idea that we have no idea what we’re doing.  Maybe it’s a good thing they can’t remember these early years… otherwise their first memories would be their parents looking at each other and saying things like “is it supposed to be that color?” and “will his eyes stay crossed forever?”   But hey, you know what?  Our little man is healthy and cute and getting fatter everyday so I think we’re doing ok so far?

We’ve definitely had our fair share of ups and downs over the past few weeks.  Admittedly I was not prepared for how overwhelming everything would be.  And really, how can you possibly prepare yourself for having your world turn upside down in the blink of an eye?  Or the slice of scalpel.  (Too much?)  The first few weeks were overrun with aches and pains, exhaustion, love, anxiety, and of course, emotions.  DAMN the emotions!  I talked a little bit about that in this post, and will likely talk about it at some point again.  And again.  For today though, we’ll just say that all of the emotions?  I’ve had them.

But hey.  It’s true what they say.  Every day gets a little bit easier.  Every day we get a little more used to our new bedtime routines and 2am wake up calls.  We get a little more accustomed to knowing we may not get a shower today.  Or tomorrow.  (Wait, what’s a shower again?)  We’re getting better at not freaking out every time Crosby cries.  We know we’ll figure it out.  We’re getting really good at peeing while holding a baby.  We’re also getting used to having dishes pile up and being okay with it.  We’ll get to it.  We understand that our time isn’t just ours anymore and that this adorable little creature relies on us to be cool with that.   We know that it will and is getting easier every day.  Can I get an amen?

Lucky for us, Crosby is a pretty good baby.  (Knock on seventeen billion pieces of wood)  I mean, we think he’s a good baby.  We really have nothing to compare this to?  But I’d say that on a scale from 1 to Gary Busey, he’s a 4.  He mostly reserves his crying fits for when he’s got crap in his pants or needs to be fed.  And who can argue with that logic?  We hear ya kid.  But speaking of being fed, one of the biggest shocks to me has been the time and energy it takes to feed a baby.  And the challenges that come along with it.  Again, this is probably something I’ll talk about in more detail in the future, but for today I will just give a word of warning to any pregnant pals out there.  Prepare yourself for spending some long hours feeding your little love.  Buy a comfy rocking chair.  Stock up on magazines.  If you’re planning to or find yourself needing to pump, buy this adorable hands free tube top.  Get your lactation consultant on speed dial.  And most importantly, prepare yourself mentally for when your baby gets milk caught in their throat.  Not in a choking way, just in a gurgly YOU NEED TO CLEAR YOUR THROAT kind of way.  Because you know what?  Babies don’t know how to clear their throats.  So it will be up to you to keep your composure, no matter how much that raspy phlemy breathing squicks you out.

And cue the terrible quality iphone pictures of my cute baby!

shawnnathompson_threeweeks_1 shawnnathompson_threeweeksThese pictures above were taken on Crosby’s actual due date.  Also known as the day I dressed him up like Harry from Home Alone and let that leaf fly into his mouth.  Ya see it stuck in there?

shawnnathompson_threeweeks_7If he wasn’t mine, I’d kidnap him.

shawnnathompson_threeweeks_6“You have a baby!  In a BAR!”  Name that movie….shawnnathompson_threeweeks_5You know, I wouldn’t mind being fed wine this way….

shawnnathompson_threeweeks_4shawnnathompson_threeweeks_9Every morning at 9am we listen to Eminem and work on our white boy street cred.

shawnnathompson_threeweeks_10And then promptly at 10am we put on matching outfits and talk about how he’s never leaving me.

shawnnathompson_threeweeks_11And then my heart explodes.

God bless all the new mamas and papas out there.  You’re doin a great job.