B’Fing Accidents

It’s Thursday, so that means it is time for the Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop! This week’s topic is “Whoops! Breastfeeding Accidents”.

I really wish I had a funny story to share with you, or ask for a shoulder to cry on…but I don’t think I have any crazy accident story to share! You’re really going to make me think on this one, huh?

Since I can’t think, I want to tell you about one of my “must haves” to (hopefully) keep me from an accident (and I promise to share if it is funny). Gotta start by saying this post isn’t sponsored, I am just thankful that I don’t have anything else to write about thanks to this great product. I love my Bamboobies, which are super soft, organic milk pads. They are my go to, and they’ve never let me down. Check them out!

Other than that, I’ve racked my brain and didn’t come up with an accident. Knocking on wood now, but so far so good.

Work and Nursing

It’s Thursday, so that means it is time for the Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop! This week’s topic is “Breastfeeding While Back at Work”.

Following the birth of A, there was no question I was going back to work. I was a single mom and had no other choice but to work and raise her. I was so worried about what I was going to do about pumping when I went back. During my “getting my foot in the door” phase of teaching, I did a maternity leave for a BF’ing mama. Lucky her, she had a private office where she could pump; however, not all teachers are so lucky. Sadly, I got my worries up for nothing since A and I did not successfully stick to nursing.

When I got pregnant with E, Mr. Burgher had been a stay at home dad for a few months, and we had no plans to change. That meant that I would be going back to work, but I have to be a little honest here, I LOVE working, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. . . until I had to think about what I was going to do if E took to nursing. And took to nursing he did!

Before I went on leave, I made sure to cover my bases with my boss and HR manager so that I would have somewhere private (not the bathroom) to do what I needed to pump twice a day when I returned. I highly recommend this to any mama who is even considering it–it really helped with my anxiety about returning to work.

When I got back, the immediate solution was that I would have access to locked offices, but that meant that I was going to have to do creative scheduling or ask someone to leave their office. While I was pretty comfortable with the arrangement, I was starting to internally worry that it was going to get old and more difficult as the months wore on.

Then one day, my boss had an announcement to make. Our VP was working on creating a Wellness Room in our building where I would have a private place to pump! Of course, the room would be locked with no windows, have a chair and table, and be able to schedule in Outlook. The room is also open for others to use for medical use. While it still needs the final furniture and an “in use” door hanger, I feel pretty blessed to have such a great arrangement at work. I get to go in the room twice a day, continue to work, and nourish my baby.

Sure, there are days when I get incredibly busy and don’t always meet my schedule. There was the time when I had to ask someone to leave the room because I had it scheduled, but I have otherwise never had any other issues. It is a great private space. Carrying my pump in and out of work isn’t always the most fun, but knowing that I am providing liquid gold for E is the best feeling.

Of course, there is guilt that I am not home with the kids and it is not always easy. But the smile on E’s face when I walk through the door, pick him up, and bond with him is priceless. I not only provide money and food for my kids, but love that can never be replaced. Quite worth the not so easy moments.

For you mamas who are considering BF’ing and working, I highly recommend it. For me, it was necessary that I had a clean space with a table, chair (comfy is preferred), good pump (I have the Medela Pump in Style), PumpEase, accessory wipes (the Wellness Room doesn’t have a sink), a burp cloth (I love that I can “smell” E if I am having issues), a towel, and a picture of E. Just because I advocate BF’ing while back at work, I am also not going to tell you that formula is evil, so don’t feel bad if you need to supplement. Baby is going to love you, no matter what route you pick. This was just the perfect route for me.

Oh, PS! If you haven’t read it yet, you have to listen to my story about pumping while on a work trip. Good times.

Tears

It’s Thursday, so that means it is time for the Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop! This week’s topic is “Breastfeeding and PPD”.

I am not going to lie and tell you that being a new mom is all unicorns and rainbows. (See my post This Mommy Thing to hear about one of my toughest times.) I’ve had many days and nights when all I wanted to do was sit and cry. . .but you’d better believe that Mr. E was what would cheer me up. There have been moments when I would nurse him and let the tears stream down my cheeks for absolutely no reason at all. I can’t tell you why, I just felt like I needed to! But on the flip side, I knew that I had to buck up and do what I needed to do for my kids.

Just because I had tears doesn’t mean I have or had PPD, but I know it is a real issue for some moms. I’ve had my days where I had to just “get away”. At those moments, the best thing for me was to back up and be honest with myself. But just a few minutes later, I yearn to get cozy with ‘Lil Man and find my purpose again.

Not to sound all info-mercial on you, but seriously, if you or someone you know is suffering from PPD, feel free to lend an ear, a head, or a heart. “Baby Blues” can hit anyone, no matter how happy they might be pre-baby.

I Wish I Would Have Known…

I chose to write this post as part of Life With Levi’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is “I Wish I Would Have Known”. Enjoy!

Before I became a mom, I knew that there were a lot of things about my life that would change. My evenings were spent reading books, magazines, blogs, and websites about pregnancy and motherhood. I would soak it in like a sponge, but I don’t know that I took more than 10% of it to heart. Now that I am a mom, I know that there are a lot of things that no book, magazine, blog, website, or other parent (or in some cases, non-parents ::ahem::) could have prepared me for. These are the things I wish I would have known…

There is no greater love than the love a mother/father has for their child. For me, I knew I was a mother the moment I found out I was pregnant, but I wasn’t a MOM until I heard Arianna take her first breath of life. Five months ago, I got to feel that joy again when Evan was born. From that moment, for each baby, all I wanted to do was hold them and love on them. Every day when I look at my babies, I feel that love wash over me again.

There is a good deal of guilt being a parent. About four and a half weeks into Arianna’s life, I had a mommy meltdown and I needed a break from her. The second I dropped her off with my friend for the night, I immediately wanted to turn around and get her back–why should I want to feel any joy without my baby? But I needed it. I was a single mom, taking care of my baby pretty much alone 24/7, and probably would have gone crazy if I didn’t take a little break, have dinner with my friends, and sleep in. Now, I feel guilty when my family drops me off at work because I am missing some of the “new” moments in their life. I feel guilty when I eat cheesy macaroni or buttered popcorn in front of lactose-intolerant A. Will the mommy guilt ever let up? Probably not, but I think it’s a good kind of guilt…it proves you are a good parent I guess.

There is a lot of pain involved in the first few days, but it goes away. Since I had an “emergency” c-section with Arianna and didn’t get to try VBAC with Evan (I met my scheduled date too soon), I can only talk about the pain of surgery regarding childbirth. That and weeks of contractions makes a body weak, tired, and battered. Anyways, the surgery, the adjustment to nursing, followed by odd body reactions–excretions that don’t need discussed, lead to the need for a lot of healing. I can’t tell you how quickly the pain goes away, but it does. But it is also painful, so I am not going to deny that truth.

How great baby wearing is when A was little. There is a great feeling when I wear Evan in our Moby Wrap–it reminds me of when I was pregnant and cradled him close. This is an amazing feeling, and I think that not enough people know how convenient it is to cuddle a baby close yet have two free hands (because when you wear a baby, you really SHOULD have two free hands, not having to support the baby all the time). I’ve been able to shop without a meltdown and walk without a stroller. I’ve found it also helps with those people who like to come up to babies and touch and coo. They still love to look at the baby and compliment how cool it looks to “wear” a baby–but there’s something about the baby being so close to their parent that keeps the touchie feelies at bay.

You have to be willing to laugh, and laugh a lot. There are a lot of opportunities to laugh as a parent, and you have to be ready to do it. Both of our kids give us so much to laugh about every day–attempts to roll over, grunts, singing silly songs, eating pints of blueberries without abandon–and we are thankful. It makes life worth living.

Be ready to get flack about your parenting choices, but remain strong. You, the parent, knows what is best for you and your children. Be it breastfeeding, diapering, discipline, education, childcare, religion, television, diet…there is going to be someone who has something to say about your choices. It’s important to have atleast one or two other people to turn to who understand your choices; however, you can’t expect everyone to agree with you. Keep your head up, and be proud to make your own decisions. It will make your child unique, and the world needs more of that.

And finally, Babies really do grow up fast!I can’t tell you how quickly the last two and a half years have flown by. Our daughter has gone from smiles and coos to talking in sentences, counting by twos, and trying to write her name. It feels like our son is doing everything his sister did at lightning pace. The whole “Cherish them, they grow up so quickly” sure is one piece of advice that I wish I really would have taken to heart. Sadly, there is nothing you can do about this one–they just keep growing (which is in itself a precious gift)!