My Journey... In the Land Of Breastfeeding

I've been on the fence about sharing my breastfeeding journey for so long, been so worried that people would judge me... but in honor of World Breastfeeding Week I thought now would be a good time to finally share my journey and my story of how it all began and how it ended and some of the in-between... so here goes...
Before Bella was born I had already decided I was going to breastfeed, well really I decided long before we were even expecting her! And though I hadn't really done a whole lot of research into the subject I knew I wanted to breastfeed because it was the healthier more natural option for our child, and I knew I wanted to go at least 6 months to a year.
And from more research I done while I was pregnant and everything I heard in the breastfeeding class I took a few days before I gave birth I knew it was essential to get her on the breast as soon as possible!
Well, it didn't exactly happen that way... first off, I'm sometimes too nice of a person and always worried about hurting others feelings and being I was a first time mom I was also a bit timid as well... I wanted to breastfeed her as soon as she was born but of course the nurses insisted they had to weigh and measure her, etc, while I got sewn up (which took less than 5 mins) so under the warmer she went, all the while as soon as my stiches were in I was nearly begging them to give her to me and they claimed she needed to stay warm before she ate. I now realize that was completely not the right way to go about things. What she really needed was mommy's wam colostrum in her tummy to warm her up and get her little body working. Can you believe she was almost an hour old before they gave her back to me?! That is one of the first and most major things I would change if I could do over. I would not have asked when I could have her back, I would told them to give her to me!
Once I finally had her back in my arms  to try and feed her I was completely on my own. No lactation consultant,  no nurse trying to help, nothing. I thought breastfeeding would be easy and maybe it would have been easier if I had been able to give it a try as soon as she was born but it was a complete wake up call... I sat there in the hospital bed frustrated and nearly in tears, trying to get her to latch on all the while she wasn't the least bit interested. I felt clumsy and was afraid I was going to smother her, she had a small mouth and I just couldn't seem to get it in her mouth right, or get her to open her mouth.
They had waited just until the window of opportunity for the most successful breastfeeding was closing to give her back to me. Just a little while before she was so alert and awake but when I got her back she was getting so sleepy.
Once my nurse finally came back in the room she suggested the "wonderful" nipple shield. Which helped alot, but in the end it caused nipple confusion and we ended up using it for almost 3 months before she finally would nurse without it!
I struggled with breastfeeding my first few days in the hospital and I thankfully had the guidance of a few wonderful nurses (one who is a lactation consultant was extremely helpful). Up until the night before I went home every feeding turned into tears,  I felt she wasn't getting enough to eat and I was afraid I was going to suffocate her. And on top of all that, she wasn't very interested and just wanted to sleep!
But if you know me at all, you know that I don't give up easily, when I go for something I don't give up. After so much frustration and tears I finally had my whole family pray about it and I myself prayed about it even more than I already had been... And then something wonderful happened!  Something just "clicked" and she got it! That first successful nursing session is something I will never forget! I was so happy and thankful, all my prayers, patience and determination paid off!
And don't get me wrong, it still wasn't easy, once we got home she still had a time or two it seemed she "forgot" how to nurse but we worked through it and I didn't have too many problems for awhile other than the usual cracked/bleeding/sore nipples that occurred in the first week or so...
I LOVED breastfeeding! After she started breastfeeding good and I started reading more and more into the subject and right then and there I decided I wanted and would breastfeed her for as long as she wanted! Even if it was several years!
But a few months into breastfeeding I noticed a significant reduction in my milk supply. I first started drinking alot of water, so much that it made me sick at my stomach but after talking to my lactation consultant I realized I didn't have to make myself sick with my water intake.
So I then started taking fenugreek. That helped some after a few days but then after taking it a couple weeks it toasted off again and didn't do anything anymore.
So then comes the first time I had to supplement, I cried so hard and I felt like a terrible person and an even more awful mother. I was ashamed that my body couldn't provide enough nourishment for my baby. But I couldn't let her go hungry and cry from hunger, so formula it was.
We were fine for awhile, only supplementing usually 1 bottle a day, but then it got worse so I tried pumping. The most I ever got (both sides combined, after her sleeping the whole night and me being completely engorged) was 4 ounces. And if I pumped more than a couple times a week it just made my nipples so sore I could hardly breastfeed!
After realizing that pumping just wasn't for me I then tried mothers milk plus capsules that a friend so sweetly shared with me. But just like the fenugreek, it helped only for a very short time before it didn't anymore. My milk supply just kept going down and down till she didn't even want to nurse but once or twice a day and then as a pacifier to fall asleep. We were pretty much supplementing full time buu then and I was more ashamed than ever, I felt that I was a failure and that if I told people I would be looked down upon. I tried to hide the fact that she drank formula for quite some time and to be honest have only just in the past couple months felt comfortable enough with it to be open about it.
I was able to breastfeed her for almost 6 months and though looking back there are some things I wish could have done differently I am so thankful I was blessed enough to be able to breastfeed for half a year. I wish I wouldn't have felt so ashamed that I had to supplement, and I wish it wouldn't have taken me so long to feel that I wasn't a bad mom or less of a woman just because I wasn't able to breastfeed for as long as I'd have liked. And yes I still get sad once in awhile that I wasn't able to breastfeed as long as I wanted... but I don't feel ashamed anymore. I have all the wonderful memories of the beautiful times we breastfeed, how she always used to fall asleep afterwards, it was our cuddle times throughout the day, we'd fall asleep together after she nursed and I will forever treasure those memories.
It took me awhile to swallow my pride and also to realize not only that I breastfed for as long as my body would allow for that time but also that its really not about whether you breastfeed or whether you formula feed... its about making sure your baby is fed and has the right nutrients and isn't going hungry and that you love your baby and that's really all that matters!
So Happy World Breastfeeding week to anyone who is breastfeeding or has ever breastfed, Happy Formula Feeding week to the formula feeding moms and Happy Feed Our Babies week to us all!


Little Goose’ Wonderful Day

Recently I wrote a short children's story and though this is a little different than what I usually share on my blog Bella seemed to enjoy it very much and I wanted to share so all your little's could enjoy it as well!

 Little Goose woke up bright and early, just as the sun was rising over the hills.
Little Goose got up and waddled into her parents room, “Mommy! Daddy! Can we go swimming?”
Not yet Little Goose” Mommy Goose said, “we have to eat breakfast first”!
Little Goose followed Mommy Goose into the kitchen and watched as she made breakfast while Daddy Goose got ready for work. “Can I help?” Little Goose asked.
“Of Course!” Mommy Goose replied as she handed her plates to set the table with.
Mommy Goose was making a fruit salad, “would you like to help carry breakfast to the table Little Goose?”
“Yes Mommy! I love helping you!”
Little Goose carried the fruit salad to the table oh so carefully and watched Mommy Goose serve it as Daddy Goose waddled into the kitchen and sat down.
“1 scoop for Little Goose, 2 scoops for Mommy Goose and 3 scoops for Daddy Goose!”
“Something smells good” Daddy Goose said, “Little Goose, will you please bless our food before we eat?”
“God, Please bless this food and keep us all safe today, thank you, amen!”
“Very Good Little Goose!” Mommy Goose said, “we are very proud of you!”
The fruit salad was delicious! Little Goose especially like the bananas!
After they were finished eating and everyone helped clean the table and do the dishes, Mommy Goose and Little Goose kissed Daddy Goose and seen him off to work.
“Stay safe Daddy Goose! We love you!” they cried as Daddy Goose waddled off down the road to work.
“Can we go swimming now?” Little Goose asked.
“Not yet Little Goose, what do we always do after we eat?”
"Brush our beaks!” Little Goose shouted!
“That's right!” Little Goose’ Mommy praised!
Little Goose brushed her beak till it sparkled and shined, then made her bed, and cleaned her floor!
“What are you doing Little Goose?” Her Mommy asked.
“I brushed my beak, and decided to make my bed and my toys were on the floor so I decided to put them away”.
Mommy Goose was so proud of her Little Goose! “Little Goose, I am so proud of you! Doing helpful things without even being told means you’re growing up! Would you like to go swimming now?”
Little Goose jumped for joy! She’d been wanting to go swimming all day! “Hurray!” Little Goose shouted! “We get to go swimming!”.
Little Goose and Mommy Goose made sure to put sun-block on before heading out so their feathers wouldn’t get burnt in the bright, bright sun and waddled down to the pond.
They splashed and swam and swam and splashed some more! They had so much fun!
After a few hours they waddled back home, Little Goose took a bath while Mommy Goose made dinner and Daddy Goose waddled through the door from a busy day at work.
After Little Goose was finished washing herself she carefully got out of the bath, dried her feathers off, put her pajamas on and waddled into the kitchen.
She helped Mommy Goose set the table again and after a wonderful dinner of yellow corn, helped Mommy and Daddy Goose dry the dishes.
“Little Goose, Since you’ve been such a good Little Goose today, why don’t you go brush your beak and play with your toys till bedtime” Daddy Goose said.
Little Goose waddled to her room and had such a fun time playing with all her toys!
“Little Goose, It looks like you’re having so much fun! Can we play with you?” Daddy and Mommy Goose asked as they peaked into her room.
“I Love when you play with me!” Little Goose said.
They all played with Little Goose’ toys on her floor together, till little Goose started yawning... and yawning... and yawning...
“I think its past a Little Goose’ bedtime!” said Mommy Goose.
Mommy and Daddy Goose helped Little Goose put her toys away, tucked her into her bed and gave her a goodnight kiss as she drifted off to sleep.
“Goodnight our Little Goose, We love you”.
The End.


A Few Things I've Learned About... Home Improvement

Since moving a few months back I've learned a few things about home improvement/making your house a home... some learned the hard way... but always a few laughs along the way...
Less isn't more when home improvement is involved:
Always buy more than you think you need! I simply cannot stress this enough! When going into a project I'm extremely bad about buying just what I think I'll need and well, it never works out that way, I always end up needing more! Take floor tile for example... my kitchen is 9x9 and I thought for sure when I purchased the stick on floor tiles that 2 boxes of 25 (12x12 inch) tiles would work (funny thing, I thought I'd for sure have some left over too)... obviously I didn't measure... we had to go buy 2 more boxes! Haha, we ended up only using 3 and a half boxes but its always better to have more than you need than not have enough and end up making another trip to the store that could have been avoided in the first place... especially when it involves a 30 minute drive to the nearest target  because I thought 2 boxes of cafe lights would work for our sunroom (we needed 3). Lol.
Never buy a toilet seat online:
I know, I know, you're probably like "whaaaat?!", well we needed a new toilet seat because lets be honest,  who wants to sit on the same toilet seat that was on the toilet when you rent the  place (lol), I found a rather nice one on amazon for less than $12 (on sale) and don't get me wrong,  I love the toilet seat, but it just doesn't fit our toilet! I had a rather blonde moment when ordering and didn't think to remember that there are different shaped toilets, so now we have an oval toilet seat on a round toilet... lol. stop. laughing. now. haha.
Know your walls:
Before drilling holes/hammering nails all over your walls trying to hang things up, drill a hole in a more inconspicuous area and try hanging your item to see if your wall has enough enough thickness and support to hold the screw/nail AND whatever it is that you may be hanging.
Command Hooks are amazing:
Nuff said. Pricey but definitely worth the money! You can use them so many ways you never even thought of! I hung a shelf with them in our bathroom as well as using them for towel racks on the back of our bathroom door and I also put a large one on the back of one our dining room chairs and I store Bella's bibs on it! So handy!
Area rugs:
A nice area rug can completely change the look of a place! Can give such character and be so comfy and comfortable! We've purchased 3 large area rugs (dining room, living room and sunroom) and our place looks completely different! Purchasing area rugs though (especially large ones) can get extremely expensive! My advice: shop sales, use coupon codes, and don't buy another rug you don't like just because the rug you really like is too expensive! We purchased the rugs for our dining room and sunroom both at target, target has free shipping on any order over $50 and with both rugs we recieved $15 giftcards (a promo they were running at the time) which made them a decent price overall. The rug I found that I wanted for our living room almost $400 on Amazon! Just a little out of our price range for something that goes on the floor! I watched the price and it went down almost $100 one day but for some reason didn't purchase it and decided to wait till the next day, well, the next day it was even more expensive than it had been before so it was a no buy; But after hubby and I searched for a week trying to find a nice rug in our price range that we liked I finally found the exact same rug we had originally wanted, this time with overstock.com though and was just a little over $200, with free shipping AND a 10% off coupon for signing up for their emails! I would have liked to have had it a little sooner than we were able to find and purchase it, but it most definitely pays off to wait for sales and look around! :)
Hope you find these tips useful if you are a renter or new home owner!