Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Breastfeeding Experience

Yes, I said I wouldn't post anything else until after my son's birthday, but I read an article this morning that inspired me to write about my own experience. You can read Why I'm Glad Someone Told Me To Stop Breastfeeding In Public here.

I have always been pretty modest. Other than low cut t-shirts, I've always been uncomfortable with changing in the locker rooms before gym or even just being in the same room as one of my friends while we changed.  For some reason, I never thought that would affect my ability to breastfeed my child, until the time came to do it.

It started while we were IN the hospital. Although I never had anyone tell me to stop breastfeeding, I was SO self conscious about showing ANY part of my body, and it started us out on a path to failure. I'm sorry, I know the nurses and staff in the hospital are only there to help you and to make you feel comfortable, but they actually did the opposite for me. Someone was walking into my room every hour...they would knock and announce themselves but not really give you time to acknowledge them or to answer whether it was okay to come in...and it was more than just the nurses and doctors. It was also the maintenance staff, professionals who worked in the building to talk to you about paperwork and birth certificates, etc. Between them and constant visiting family, it's not the ideal environment to be setting a foundation for nursing for a new mom. Each time someone came in, it interrupted our already frustrating, exhausting nursing sessions.

When we got home, my breast pump would become my best friend. Instead of attempting to nurse in public or at family gatherings (I knew being as uncomfortable as I was around family, there was no way I was going to do it in a restaurant), I supplemented with formula or previously pumped breast milk in a bottle and then I would pump as soon as I was able to. I also was pressured into allowing family to feed him, which then I would pump first and then put it in a bottle for them to feed it to him. And then my supply began to drop off. I went from being able to pump an additional 8-12 oz after our first morning feeding to only one nursing session per day before I got so frustrated that it was starting to hinder how I felt about being a mother. So I stopped.

I could have stuck it out and "tried" harder, but with every unsuccessful thing I tried, it only brought me down farther and stressed me out more. So I sacrificed something that I so desperately wanted to be able to do for my son to save my relationship with him. I didn't want to look back at the first few months with him and think about frustration, but wanted to cherish every moment with him, which I couldn't do while being so stressed out. I somewhat successfully nursed for two months before my supply dropped and spent a month trying everything I read or heard to increase it.

I guess in sharing this about me, I hope to prevent someone else from experiencing this. It was very heartbreaking for me when I stopped because I felt like I couldn't even provide my child with the basics. So this is my advice if you are planning to breastfeed for a significant amount of time:

  1. Before you have your baby, research your rights as a mother to breastfeed in public just in case anyone ever does ask you to stop or move. 
  2. Become comfortable with the idea that it IS okay to nurse in public, regardless of what anyone thinks or says. However, you may want to wait to go out in public until you and baby have become a little more comfortable with the latch on and let down process, because if you're nervous, it's only going to make that process more difficult.
  3. Take advantage of the lactation consultant in the hospital, EVEN if you aren't having any issues during your stay. Ask them about the most common issues they deal with and what they suggest if they don't already give you a packet answering those FAQs. When you're home, you can give them a call or you can contact your local La Leche League.
  4. IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW THINKS YOU HAVE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. Now that I can look back, I am VERY sure that I had PPD, but I never talked to anyone about it and I was miserable.
  5. You DO NOT have to let anyone, family or not, feed your baby. Don't feel pressured. I do recommend letting dad bottle feed a couple of times during the first week to bond, although that's not the only way he can bond with baby.
  6. If you aren't able to successfully nurse, don't feel like a bad mother. Sometimes circumstances are just out of our control.
  7. As long as you are there for your child, you are a great mother. No matter whether you breastfeed or formula-feed. That has nothing to do with it. :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Making Strides

If you didn't notice your browser redirecting you, you can now get here by typing! It may not be as exciting for you, but this is a huge deal for me. :)

I won't be posting again until next week because this Saturday is my son's first birthday and Sunday is his party! Here's a photo from his 1 year session yesterday:

I made all of the decorations and the invitations for his dinosaur themed party by myself with a digital scrapbooking kit, photoshop, and a printer. I'll have to update with pictures sometime next week. I'm totally in love with them. :)

And I will leave you with this scrapbook page:

1 year ago from this coming Saturday, I met the little boy that would become my life! He gets so much more amazing everyday and I only hope that I can convey how immensely I love him throughout his life. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Pattern in My Craftsy Shop!

My striped slouch pattern is now for sale on Craftsy for $1.50! Get it here.

Trying Something New

So, I've been digital scrapbooking, and I've been looking and playing with different ways to make my own digital elements. These definitely aren't the greatest since I'm very new at this, but I thought I would share these with everyone else, and if anyone's interested, I can share the videos I used and show how I made the staple and button since I did those myself.

You can download them here. Includes a button, staple, gem, flower, and 2 ribbons. The flower is the only element with a drop shadow included. I would love to see how you use these on your pages if you choose to share. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Searching For Blog Tutorials

New feature on the site! Since I'm hoping to get some recipes and patterns posted soon, I've added a pin it button to all my images. All you have to do is mouseover the image you'd like to pin, the button will pop up, and all you have to do is click to bring up the pinterest options. :)

If you'd like to add this to your blog as well, I used this tutorial over at Kevin and Amanda's blog.

There is still SO much left for me to learn about blog design. Right now, I'm trying to mess with my pages so you have the option to view all my recipes on one page, patterns on one, etc, so if there are any tutorials that you've used or seen, feel free to leave me the link and it will be greatly appreciated! :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Forever And A Day... how long it's been since I've updated. I keep thinking every day, "I need to do something on the blog today" and then I don't get to it, and now it's been almost 4 months. Holy cow.

You may have noticed the new blog theme, inspired by SPRING! :)
I made the background and header myself using The Cutest Blog on the Block's background tutorial and digital scrapbooking elements from Pixel Scrapper's Birds and the Bees blog train (This link takes you to the forum where all of the designers linked their creations, so in order for it to take you to the correct page, you must first register or log in to Pixel Scrapper's main website).

So, I've been working on some pretty cute things lately and thought I would share some of my favorites. :)

These are a couple of stitch markers I made for my cousin. I've recently been playing with clay a little bit.

Flower headband.
This is still for sale in my shop on Etsy.
Pattern for the flower is here.
Pattern for the headband is here.

Striped hat photography prop (before weaving all ends).
Pattern is mine and will be released sometime in the next couple of months.
The color choices were the photographer's but I fell in LOVE with this while making it!
Frog hat.
This is also my pattern that will be released hopefully sometime soon.
I thought this thing was just SO darn cute!
Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket.
Pattern from Attic 24's Neat Ripple Pattern starting with 73 chains.
This is my latest finished project. I couldn't STOP working on this blanket. I started it at about 5 pm, worked on it a few hours that night, and finished the edging at about 4 pm the next day. It worked up SO fast! I think I only spent like 5 or 6 hours on it (not including weaving in all the crazy ends!).

I've also been working on getting my photography business started back up again and I got a Canon Rebel t2i to play with. Here's some of my favorite pictures I've taken in the last few weeks:

And finally, last thing (I promise!), a new scrapbook page that I'd like to show off. :)

I've only done a 9 month update before this, so I'm hoping to catch up on all the others. Aiden turns ONE in only TWELVE days so I need to get going on his baby book! 

NOW...let's hope that I remember to get my butt back on here within the next few days! I'm hoping to get a couple of my patterns tested this week and I have lots of Easter photos to edit, so I'll probably make it on here for SOME sort of update. :)


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