Life Now At 36


I just recently celebrated my 36th birthday, on Good Friday actually. I woke up to Ry singing me Happy Birthday as our little baby girl laughed at her daddy and cuddled in my arms. We enjoyed a slow morning at home as the day started with gray skies and a thunderstorm. By lunch time the sun had came out and we went to the Country Club Plaza to do a little shopping and have a late lunch. Magnolia was a complete angel and slept in her bassinet off and on throughout the day. I was able to comfortably nurse her in our booth at the restaurant before we left to visit the botanical garden. My birthday was perfect and I feel so grateful to be a new mommy this year. I seriously look up and say "Thank You God" every single day. My husband and daughter are my everything and spending the whole day with the both of them, just enjoying the simple things in life, was really the best birthday ever. I picked out my birthday gift this year and it has seriously made my new mommy life so much easier! I got this purse + diaper bag combo by Fawn Design and this Kate Spade wallet



I shared this post, My Postpartum Story, several weeks ago. Now that life is much better and I can finally say I got this mommy thing down, I thought I needed to do a new post with notes and thoughts about the things that I've learned along the way.


Breastfeeding hurt at first, really bad. Magnolia nursed around the clock. Giving up on breastfeeding was never an option for me, no matter how bad it hurt in the beginning or how many hours of sleep I lost, going to formula never once crossed my mind. I can now say how incredibly grateful I am for sticking with it. It took dedication and determination. I knew there was an alternative option, formula, but for me it wasn't something I was willing to do. Now, I can actually say that breastfeeding my girl feels amazing. The pain is gone and I get to soak up the joy of our close bond. We find it relaxing and I can't imagine any other way to feel as close to her now that she is no longer inside of me. The way that Magnolia nursed in the beginning, around the clock also known as cluster nursing, was actually quite beneficial. I googled the crap out of the topic in the dark tired hours of the night. Trying to make sense of her constant and desperate need to nurse. Her feedings were mother nature's way of building up my milk supply! She also did it to comfort the pain she was experiencing due to the silent acid reflux that I'll write more about in an upcoming post. Milk supply is a common topic when women talk about breastfeeding. I found two things to be crucial for my milk supply - water and oatmeal. I drink water all day and night. I'd advise any new mom that she needs to get a big tumbler to carry her water around everywhere she goes, and it needs to be kept on the nightstand at night. If I was ever concerned about my milk supply I'd eat oatmeal and sure enough I'd fill up a bottle during my morning pumping session. Speaking of pumping, I pump only once a day, each morning after Magnolia goes down for her morning cat nap. She's only taken a bottle one time, when I went to my six week postpartum check-up. I'm not sure we'll ever use our freezer stash because she's with me all the time, but we have it in case we need it. I started pumping in the mornings because I felt that some mornings I'd wake up really full, and Magnolia didn't necessarily empty me out all the way and I liked to start the day fresh & empty. I haven't really followed any breastfeeding "rules" I've pretty much just done what instinctively feels right for my body. If I could go back in time I'd use Lanolin cream from the very beginning instead of the nipple butter that I thought would be better. Vitamins are important, I need enough for Magnolia and me. I'm taking these, which are specifically formulated for lactation. Watching YouTube videos before I gave birth gave me confidence at the hospital before her first latch. I still use a Boppy pillow at home during the day, at night I nurse in bed and we just use lots of blankets. I don't wear a bra at home. I thought I'd have to wear one all the time, but now I just wear one when I'm going somewhere. I usually leak at night, but it's not a big deal. My thoughts on nursing in public (1) don't worry about what people think (2) remember your baby is hungry and has the right to eat just like anyone else (3) get creative with finding places to nurse because privacy is nice (4) get a cover, I love the Milk Snob covers (5) nurse in your car before you go in somewhere or before you head home. 

New moms are going to be told to sleep when the baby sleeps. I found that to be the most frustrating advice. I tried to sleep when Magnolia was sleeping, and in the beginning her sleep lasted just long enough for me to fall asleep. I'd be woke up by her crying just as soon as I'd fall into a nice deep sleep. It was so incredibly hard to wake up after being up for hours and going days without sleep. I have absolutely no advice on how to deal with the sleep deprivation. For me it was easier to just accept the fact that I wasn't going to sleep just because the sun was going down. All I can say is that something will change, and you will sleep again. I don't even remember when I started to sleep again, but I do and it's amazing. I actually wake Magnolia up now to nurse. People think I'm crazy for waking her up in the middle of the night, but it's what works for us. I wake her up after about five hours of sleep to nurse and she's always hungry. I find it's better to nurse her while she's half asleep then to wait for her to wake up. It's so much easier to get her back to sleep so that we can get a few more hours of sleep before the morning sunrise. We are very much in-sync now. Many times I'll wake up, go to the bathroom, look at the clock and see that it's been about five hours and I'll just lay in bed for about five minutes and she'll start moving around and then I'll get her out of the bassinet. It's our thing!


Weight loss, that's another postpartum hot topic. I still have fifteen pounds to lose, actually it's probably more like 13-14 now because I was happy to see the number went down a little when I weighed myself yesterday morning. I thought it'd come off faster since I'm breastfeeding, (I made the time expectation up in my head). I think I read it should all be off by the time she's six months old, so I'm half way there. I've heard that breastfeeding makes a woman crazy hungry, but I can't say my appetite is much different than it was before I got pregnant. I do try to eat a protein bar each morning, whereas I used to be a breakfast skipper. I haven't been working out or anything, although I am way more active now that I am sleeping at night again. We'll probably start walking once our Kansas City weather can figure out what season we are in. I think being 36 years old and struggling to have a baby has made me really appreciate my body image, regardless of the fact that I'm carrying around 15 more pounds this summer. I look at my body with gratitude and thankfully feel very confident in my skin regardless of the number on the scale. My body grew a beautiful baby girl and that thought always outweighs the stress of losing the baby weight. It'll come off with a healthy diet!


Physically I feel amazing. I haven't had to deal with endometriosis pain since before my surgery in November of 2015! I pray every single night that the endometriosis is gone and that my body is healed. The surgery, then pregnancy, and now breastfeeding, are all factors that have kept it away. I really hope that medical advances are made and that my nieces and Magnolia never have to deal with the pain and heartache of endometriosis. 


Ryan and I get asked often if we're going to have more babies. The answer is YES. We talk and pray about it often. I have no idea how our next baby will arrive, but Magnolia will certainly have a sibling or two or three. My sisters and brother are my best friends in this world, and it's very important to us that Magnolia grows up with a brother(s) or sister(s). If I had it my way we'd have ten kids! We don't have any embryos in the freezer and our journey to Magnolia was a tough one, but faith got us to her, and our faith has only grown stronger. 







It's hard to believe our baby girl will be three months old tomorrow! I'm trying so hard to cherish every single moment of this newborn stage as I can see her changing right before my eyes, and time is truly going by so very fast. Everyone told us it would and it's true. I'm going to write about her next. She's taught me a lot already!

Until then, with love xo
Wen

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