This mamas lid was about to blow… plus energy bars recipe

I’m 3 weeks postpartum and man it’s been a doozy! First, baby freaked out the pediatrician because of the amount of weight lost in the first 24 hours, which led to long nights of pumping and syringe feedings. Then, my little brother visited and my husband got sick. Shortly after baby got sick, which I blame on syringe feeding and then I got sick!

I feel like when a momma strictly breastfeeds we are expected to have the baby attached to our hip for the first few months because they eat so frequently. Yesterday was a nightmare though and I am now thinking differently.

My help didn’t show up two days in a row and with my cold, I felt like a garbage truck took a dump on me and ran me over multiple times on top of being exhausted. I planned on taking a bath and nap once my help got here, but since that didn’t happen I got to hang out with a sick, but happy sleeping baby and a tantruming, violent toddler.

Other than the few days that we were syringe feeding the baby, I have been up every 45minutes to 3 hours nursing, burping, changing diapers, and then possibly nursing and burping again before I fell back asleep. Which is fine because my husband is back at work and he needs sleep and he helps with our toddler.

My husband tends to stay up until 10-11pm so I decided to hand over the baby and toddler, while I went to bed at 630 last night. I had a bath before we ate dinner and then I fed baby and went to bed. I woke up about an hour later to go to the bathroom and shortly after baby was hungry. I fed him and when I tried to set him down next to me to sleep he woke up shortly after. Usually we cuddle but I sweated out from my cold that I didn’t want him to get too warm. So hubby took baby again and dealt with irritable toddler until 1130 when he was ready to nurse again.

WOW! I feel like a million bucks compared to the day before! I’m still sick, but I’m not emotional and exhausted.

From here on I’m going to hand off baby to my husband so I can get more sleep for a while. Just because I breastfeed doesn’t and should mean I have to sacrifice so much sleep. I have a wonderful husband that will help. I just need to ask. Also, since nursing is going so well, I was told that we can start bottle feeding at 4 weeks, which is next week! This means I can get around one night feeding for a longer stretch of sleep than I’m used to! No more 2 or 3 hour stretch! I might be able to get a 4 or 5 hours in a row if I go to sleep early enough!

Energy Bars
1 c gluten free rolled oats
1/3 c coconut pecan butter (see below)
1/2 c cacao nibs
1/2 c ground flax seed
1/3 cup honey or brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of salt

Mix everything together and press into 8×8 glass dish. Place in refrigerator until set. Cut into desired size squares. Store in fridge.

For coconut pecan butter place 1/2 c shredded coconut into food processor. Run on high until smooth consistency. You’ll have to scrap the sides a few times. Next add 1 cup pecans and run until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed.IMG_0702

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The Beauty of Breastfeeding

My first baby nursed like a champ shortly after her delivery. I was stoked at how easy it came to us! Then a few days in, the pain I experienced was awful! Thankfully, I was able to get help right away and my midwife and doula noticed that the latch wasn’t quite right and that she wasn’t opening her mouth wide enough before latching on so she was actually sliding the nipple into her mouth which was causing the horrible pain and sores. After that was determined, we had an amazing nursing experience. My goal was to nurse until she was ready to be done, also called baby-led weaning. There are so many benefits for nursing past the first year and I was determined to be that mama for my daughter.

After about 2 years, I was getting to the point where I was done, or so I thought. I tried to encourage weaning and realized I wasn’t really done yet. I got very emotional every time my little wanted to nurse and I tried to explain she could have something else to drink. She didn’t like this response and it caused her to become very emotional which just made it harder for me to be okay with quitting. That didn’t last long before she was back to nursing randomly throughout the day for short periods of time, by this time we had long said good-bye to night nursing so that was a plus. Mornings were the regular times to nurse and soon, just about 3 months later, she stopped asking for it. I was a little sad, but definitely ready then. A few months after, she again asked for nursing and I explained to her that it was all gone. Thankfully, she was old enough to comprehend this and was a little bummed, but understood.

The bond that we had then and still have, I know was partly due to our nursing relationship. Being able to give your baby this amazing gift is so special. I am so grateful that I was able to do so and also, that I had the support and encouragement to keep going when the days weren’t so easy. Breastfeeding isn’t rainbows and butterflies all of the time, heck no part of parenting is. The point is, if nursing is something that you are determined to do, don’t give up when it gets hard! Get help right away if you’re feeling like things aren’t working well and if for some reason you can’t continue, don’t beat yourself up about it! Give yourself some grace and know that you did everything you could. Or if nursing was never something you wanted to do, that’s okay too. The big thing to remember is, you’re the mom and you need to do what is best for you and your baby. Critics and even close family and friends sometimes like to lend a “helping” ear/hand and say things that aren’t helpful and can lead to you not listening to your mama intuition, which can be traumatic. Find some people who will lift you up and help you with meeting your mama expectations and goals, not anyone else’s. If you need help finding someone or a group, please let me know! There are so many resources and groups forming on Facebook or Meet-up, I know that you can find your circle!

Then, our second baby was born (two weeks ago) and he weighed in at 5# 8oz. and wasn’t warm enough and had a hard time regulating his temperature. This caused him to lose 8 ounces in his first 24 hours Earth side. His pediatrician was concerned he would lose anymore weight because it could cause him to throw his sodium and sugar levels. If this happened it could cause seizures according to the doctor. So we were told to supplement with nasty formula and feed him by a tiny syringe until he started gaining weight. The next few nights were awful as I was pumping to feed him every three hours and my husband and I were taking shifts to feed him. It too him a week to gain 2 ounces, and man were we grateful to hear that I could start nursing him. I’m still not getting much sleep, but my little guy is getting exactly what he needs and I will get sleep eventually. It’s a sacrifice I’m happy to pay, especially since I know what bottle feeding looks like and it’s a lot more work. So we nurse on!

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The syringe that we used to feed baby for a few days  

My experience with my second baby has definitely made me grateful that I am able to nurse him. I had such an amazing and relatively easy nursing experience with my first kiddo so my heart goes out to mamas who planned on nursing and it just didn’t work out for some reason. Just know, there is hope if you are determined to nurse! Help is out there if you need it!

If for some reason, you’re having problems with nursing, please contact an IBCLC (International Breastfeeding Certified Lactation Consultant) if you’d like to continue your breastfeeding experience. Click here for other benefits of breastfeeding for mama and baby.

Not sure if breastfeeding is something you will do with your baby? Read some of the benefits below.

How amazing is breast milk for you and your baby? In breast milk, there are things called oligosaccharides which are within the milk which has a big job of feeding one type of bacteria located in the lower digestive tract. These bacteria are called lactobacillus bifidum. This is a probiotic that protects the baby from a myriad of infections and disease. It absolutely is amazing how amazing our bodies are able to support our babes. On top of that amazing benefit the baby’s saliva communicates with the mother during each nursing session which tells the mother’s body exactly what baby needs at that time of the feeding. These are two things that you can’t get from formula feeding.

My circle of loves is vast and strong

I’m continually surprised at all the love and support we receive from family and friends. I don’t know why this surprises me, but I am so grateful for each and everyone in my circle! Last weekend, my mom and sister organized a baby shower for me. I wasn’t expecting much since this is our second and last baby. We had such a great turn out and were spoiled with gifts for this little guy who is due in just a little less than two weeks. My husband is convinced that he will make his appearance on Labor Day, which I’m hoping doesn’t happen since our photographer/videographer, his mom, is supposed to be visiting friends across the state for the weekend.

At the baby shower, we did what is called a bead ceremony and a few games. The bead ceremony is when each guest brings a bead and a blessing or words of encouragement to help during labor. Traditionally, it’s a women only event, but I was lucky enough to have a few male friends there as well. After you collect all of the beads you can use them to make them into a bracelet or a necklace and use that as a focal point during birth. I decided I would wait to read the blessings/words of encouragement at the birth and leave them a surprise for now. My lovely sister, who was at my first birth of my daughter, told me hers and her mom told me hers as well, but the rest I’m leaving a surprise.

I’m not really nervous for the birth at all, I just thought having something different for a baby shower that my mom insisted on throwing for me would be fun. Having the special beads makes for a beautiful keepsake and it inspired my toddler to get creative and improve her eye-hand coordination by making a bracelet of her own.

Have you ever been to a bead ceremony? Or another non-traditional baby shower? Tell me your thoughts and experiences!