Don’t Mind the Mess

Hi friends! Since my last update, I celebrated my birthday. My last birthday in my twenties and by far the best one yet with my two favorite boys. Last year on my birthday, we were just a few weeks away from welcoming Jaxon into the world. It’s amazing how our lives have changed. I can’t imagine my life without this little bean!  Did any of you have a “Bucket List” of some sort that you wanted to accomplish before you turned 30?  Let me know if you did or do! Find me on Instagram: @simplydonebyallie and leave a comment!

Here in Minnesota,  it’s 3 degrees outside. Yes, you read that right, 3 degrees. I find myself unable to change out of my pajamas, put down my coffee, or get off the floor where I’m playing with Jax.  I was thinking last night as I very tiredly began to clean up our living room floor  how amazing it is that in just one day my semi-clean home can look like a tornado ran through here.  But then I stopped myself and realized that all of the toys on the living room floor mean that I got to spend the day playing with my son. We built block towers and knocked them down & pulling out all of his musical instruments, beating on the drums till his little heart was content. So even at the end of the night when I see more toys on the floor than any actual visible floor, I will be thankful. So if you come over in the coming days, don’t mind the mess.

We were also able to donate another 246 ounces! I know these usually get their own update, but it kind of ties in, because we were able to donate on my birthday!
Here’s hoping my supply doesn’t keep dipping & we can reach our GOAL!

246 Ounces

Our total donations to date is:

4,672.5 Ounces

That means we have:

5,327.5 Ounces

left to go!

-Allie

 

Three Hundred & Fifty-Four

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! We rang in the new year as a family at some of our friend’s house.

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Fifty nine bags filled with six ounces of breastmilk each found their way to one of our dearest friends. Baby G, aka Jaxon’s future girlfriend, has received milk before but was in need of more, so her mama reached out to me. The best part was when I received a text from her husband asking if I meant to give them “all this milk”. To be completely honest, my supply has dipped and I’ve been nervous to continue to donate, but if I’m able to keep pumping and able to donate here and there, I will. I’ve put this N U M B E R on donating and I’m trying my hardest to find a balance of achieving this goal and also having a comfortable amount for Jaxon if my supply goes away.

Jaxon turned one month on January 2nd and I can hardly believe he’ll be O N E ! It was my goal to make it to one year, which I honestly didn’t think I’d reach in the beginning with how hard breastfeeding was, so the fact that it’s less than a month away I’m so grateful. I’ll continue this journey as long as long as my body allows, or as long as Jaxon doesn’t bite me with all his incoming teeth!
To all the moms who have felt discouraged nursing or pumping, who have cried when their baby latched on, to the mom’s who have felt their supply dip… you are a champion.
To all you moms who have been able to formula feed your little ones, washing out all the bottles, buying the countless cans of formula so your little one is well-fed… you are a champion.

354 Ounces

Our total donations to date is:

4,426.5 Ounces

That means we have:

5,573.5 Ounces

left to go!

-Allie

Three Hundred & Ninety Nine

This is another update where I was able to donate to two different mamas.   The first one is someone I’ve known for years. She just had her second beautiful baby girl.  With her first, nursing was never an issue. Her supply was great and she never had to worry. This time around has been a little slower of a process. I think sometimes it’s discouraging as a mom to not be able to do something that your body was created to do. When I first had Jaxon and we had to supplement with formula for a few days while my supply came in, I was devastated.  I’m sure I’ve shared before, but I had mentally prepared myself leading up to his birth that if I was unable to produce breast milk, I would be OK with doing formula as long as he was fed, that was all that mattered.  And I wholeheartedly believe that fed is best. But there was something inside me that felt like a failure for not being able to produce for him in the beginning.  At the time, I didn’t know anything about donor milk so we supplemented for 2 days with Jax. T W O  D A Y S.  That’s all it took to make this brand new mom feel like a failure. But at the end of the day, my son was fed. He was healthy. And that made this new mama happy!  

Mama # two was somebody on the Facebook page.  And funny enough a friend of mine messaged me after I had connected with her to tell me that she had met this mama on Black Friday in a shopping aisle and the two talked & somehow my girlfriend told her to connect with me! She told her that I’ve been a milk donor for others. And we were able to connect with one another!

399 Ounces!

Our total donations to date is:

4,072.5 Ounces

That means we have:

5,927.5 Ounces

left to go!

-Allie

Seven Hundred and Sixty-Seven and a Half

I’m so excited to share this update with you guys! But first I’ve had a few people ask me how I decide how much to donate & how much I have left in the freezer for us! I typically fill up a grocery bag with the freezer gallon bags that are full of 6 oz packaged milk. The bags vary from 66-90 ounces depending on how they’ve frozen and how motivated I am to play tetris trying to fit them into the freezer bags. And to be completely transparent, I’ve been slowing down a little bit due to feeling like my supply was dipping a little bit. As much as I want to continue to donate and hit our goal of 10,000 ounces I always like to have the bottom of the deep freezer chest to have a least one layer of bags if not two! After these donations, we are down to one layer, so I will probably be waiting to make another donation till I can build back up our supply. I’m really excited because I just ordered some products from Legendairy Milk to promote milk production and nutrients! (The things that I’m excited about now ha!) I ordered Cash Cow, Liquid Gold, and Pump Princess! I’ll keep you guys updated on how that goes!

Okay! Now onto our 10,000 ounce update!! It was two donations and the first was in the amount of 318 ounces went to a local mom who was so so gracious with me! We had been in and out of Urgent Care with baby Jax with a high fever (104.5 degrees! Scary as a first time mama and unsure of what to do!) We were supposed to meet this mama and due to a serious lack of sleep, I asked her if we could reschedule the pick up date. She said she completely understood & was able to pick up the milk a week later! I love all these mama’s who I’m able to meet through this journey! I also finally dipped into our freezer stash for personal use! After Jaxon’s fever came down, he had a rash all over his chest and back, creeping up his neck and down his legs. And even though it didn’t seem to bother him, I decided to give him a milk bath! I’m so amazed at what this stuff can do!!

This next mama I’ve shared with you all before and you guys I’m SO excited to share with you this update! Do you remember my first huge donation of 950 ounces to a couple adopting a little baby in Arizona? Well, they are home now with their beautiful little girl!! Mama Heather reached out to me and let me know they were running a little low & asked if I would be willing to continue to donate to them which of course, I said yes! She said hopefully she’ll only need me to donate until May, because SHE’S PREGNANT!! I’m not kidding when I say that I teared up when I saw her post this update on Facebook. An adorable picture of on Halloween of their sweet little girl wearing a onesie that said “Big Sister”. Oh be still my heart, cue the tears. You guys, I’m so thankful to have made this connection with Heather! It truly felt like I was seeing an old friend announce her pregnancy! I’m so so thankful that I’m able to continue to donate 449.5 ounces to this amazing family!!

767.5 Ounces!

Our total donations to date is:

3,673.5 Ounces

That means we have:

6,326.5 Ounces

left to go!

-Allie

Five Hundred & Twenty-Two

I’ve been waiting to post this update, mostly because I love sharing about the mom’s and little ones who are receiving my breastmilk, but first and foremost want to always respect them and their stories as well as their privacy. Every recipient I’ve shared so far has given me the OK to share their stories.
This donation was to a mom who suffers from Postpartum Depression and due to the medications she’s been put on, she’s opted to use donor milk. Let’s talk about this for a minute. First of all, I am by no means an expert on this topic. I had a few days of the baby blues, but haven’t experienced postpartum depression.
Did you know that according to the CDC 11-20% of women experience PPD symptoms? That means of the 4 million live births that occur each year 600,000 of them develop postpartum depression. More than 40% of PPD cases go undiagnosed. Knowing these statistics & not having experienced postpartum depression myself, just a few days of the baby blues, all I can really say is… REACH OUT. Reach out to your friend who just had a baby whether it be her first or her fifth. Let her know that you’re there for her if she ever needs to talk or get out of the house. Don’t be judgmental. Dealing with postpartum depression is not a CHOICE. And any added judgment isn’t going to help her heal. To all you mama’s out there who have cried in the shower, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I remember one night early on I found myself in the shower, crying. I was tired. I was emotional. I was still a little uncomfortable having just given birth. I felt like everything I was doing was wrong. I questioned everything I did wondering if it was right. Thankfully, I have an amazing partner who picks me up when I’m feeling down and a wonderful #momtribe who has always offered words of wisdom and encouragement.
Wow. All this just so share with you all another wonderful donation was made to an amazing mama and little one. I’m so encouraged by her strength to speak out about her battle with depression after baby.

522 ounces!

Our total donations to date is:

2,906 Ounces

That means we have:

7,094 Ounces

left to go!

Until next time!
-Allie

Athena’s Mommy

Since having Jaxon I’ve fallen in love with hearing other women’s adventures with their labor and deliveries. I shared a little bit about this mama, whose little one received donor milk, but I asked her if she wanted to share her story and she said yes! So I’m excited to share it with you all!  Out of respect to her, we’ll call her mama J! Let me also say before I share with you her story, I was so amazed as I read her story. If you haven’t read my labor & delivery story, go ahead and check that out, but this is why I love hearing other women’s stories. I read mama J’s story and think “How?! You are a warrior!!” So here is her amazing story she sent me to share with you all!! 

“I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Athena at Health Foundations Birth Center. I had 4 days of prodromal labor, which was really manageable EXCEPT all the pain in my hips. We found out after she was born that her hands were by her face, pressing into my hips. Unlike contractions that eventually gave me a break, the hip pain would subside after a contraction, but verrrrry slowly so I rarely got big breaks from them. That to me was the hardest part. I had started my contractions on a Saturday, got checked out on a Monday (I was past my due date, so I had a non-stress test this day) and I was 1.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. So I was thinking, I'm going to have this baby probably by Tuesday morning! Monday night the contractions came closer together (although not less than 5 min apart) so we called my doula to give my husband and break and much needed sleep.

Because of the pain in my hips, I could only get rest either on the toilet or face down (downward dog style) in a mountain of pillows. Every time I tried to lay down, a contraction would come and I would shoot up with pain in my hips. So fun. lol Throughout the night I got pockets of sleep. Then Tuesday morning came and I continued my walks, bouncing on my yoga ball, dancing, sex, rocking in baby's room, inversions on the stool, EVERYTHING and still couldn't get under 5 minutes. By Tuesday night I was exhausted, and while I didn't want an epidural, I was willing to go get one because of how tired I was. Throughout this whole time, I could eat and drink a good amount, so I had that going for me. My husband, knowing how much I didn't like hospitals and needles, suggested we get checked out by the midwife, because if I knew I was at least making progress, I could continue on. So we hopped in the car, threw on my Hypnobirthing CD....which kinda helped for the 1 hour long car ride. We got to Health Foundations around 9pm Tuesday night. The midwife checked me out and said I was 90% effaced and 3 cm dilated. ONLY 3!!!! After I delivered, she told me, I was only at a 2, but she didn't want to see me depressed, so she bumped it up a little. I'm glad she did, because had she told me the truth, I would have given up right then and there. We asked if there was anything more we could do for relief or to help the labor along faster. We were given a recipe for a labor inducting smoothie. It in was champagne, apricot nectar, castor oil and almond butter. IT WAS DISGUSTING. But it worked! This smoothie basically makes your body decide between having a baby or now dealing with irritable bowels (from the castor oil). And it usually always chooses baby.

We decided to drive to Little Canada, where my in laws live, instead of driving the hour back. This was because the midwife said I should start seeing progress within a couple of hours. I drank the smoothie around midnight and what only felt like 10 minutes (it was actually 2 hours) I couldn't labor anymore. I had met my maker and yelled for my husband. I pleaded with him to take me to the hospital, cried because I thought he wasn't listening to me, etc. It turns out, when this was happening, it was 2 am (2 hours later after drinking the smoothie) and he was timing my contractions and they were now 2.5-3 minutes apart. I had no idea - all I knew was that I was in a lot of pain, exhausted and I wasn't getting a break ever. He didn't tell me they were close - only that we should go get checked by the midwife and if I wasn't progressing he would take me to the hospital now.

We arrived back at Health Foundations around 2:30am on Wednesday morning. I got taken to the backroom (which was weird to me becasue I was checked in the front room, the first time around.) Turns out my husband called the midwives and they were certain I was in active labor and could stay. The midwife said I was an 8! I yelled "Praise Jesus!" and cried. I was so relieved I could stay and I was close. So in two hours, I went from 2cm-8cm dilated. They got their fabulous tub ready for me, while I labored on the bed for another 45-60 minutes. I had a little nitrous oxide to give me a little break before pushing. I started to push not longer after that and about 30 minutes later, out came baby girl at 4:23am!! I had a fantastic water birth and wanted to buy that tub when it was done.

When pushing out my placenta, the cord broke, so I had to go back on the bed, got some more nitrous oxide because they had to manually use their fingers to find the remaining cord and help pull it out. It wasn't painful because of the gas, but it was a little scary. My midwife and nurse were FANTASTIC and kept me calm the whole time.

After our 6 hours of observation, we had to transfer to Children's in Saint Paul because of Athena's high breathing rate. Because my active labor and pushing stage were so short, she didn't get squeezed enough in the birth canal. The squeezing helps the longs clear out amniotic fluid and when she was born, she still had some in her lungs causing her body to work a little harder to clear it out. However, the observation at Children's ended up being 3 days long because of all the tests, 48 hours of antibiotics they gave her (because they thought she swallowed birth water, when they found out how I delivered) and then her glucose levels were really low, because my supply hadn't come in yet. It wasn't the best experience and exactly why I wanted to avoid hospitals to begin with, BUT baby girl was happy and healthy when we left.

This led us to find out that I wasn't producing enough milk for her. We had to supplement with formula and a small supply of donor milk that Health Foundations gave us. The lactation consultant diagnosed me with IGT or insufficent glandular tissue. Basically - I don't have a lot of milk ducts/glands to produce the necessary supply. After tons of research, talking to other moms, etc. I also believe I have a slow refill. So in the 3 hours mom's have to "resupply" and get anywhere from 4+ ounces. I'm lucky to get 1.5-2.5 oz. Basically, each day I produce between 8-10 oz for my baby, which is roughly a third of her daily needs. I'm on all sorts of vitamin supplements, pump like crazy, used an SNS feeder, and all the other tricks. But I truly believe my diet is what caused the issues. A bad diet and family history of diabetes can be a marker/step towards Insulin Resistance (IR) and I showed a lot of the markers for this. IR can cause hormone irregulation in puberty and pregnancy - the two times you're supposed to have major breast growth. I hardly had any - I'm talking barely fill an A cup breast growth. I just thought that was how I was built - small chested, but it could have been because of IR, causing my IGT. So then when you're breastfeeding the IR blocks the prolactin in your body from making the supply you need.

Now the only bummer with IGT is you only get diagnosed after everything else doesn't work or you get an ultrasound of your breast tissue. So it's hard to catch beforehand. Because of my lack of supply, I reached out to friends on FB and was led to some amazing FB groups. One is a support group for women with IGT/Low Supply. The others were Breastfeeding groups where you can offer/request breastmilk. This has been a GOD SEND and answer to prayer. I have found some amazing women that have given me hundreds and hundreds of breastmilk. I have only ever needed to give my baby formula a handful of times because of this gift.

I know that formula isn't "bad" but we all know the amazing benefits and immune properties of breastmilk. And I wanted her to be on it for as long as possible. Our goal is to make it 1 year! And I'm positive we can do this. I continue to pump, take supplements, etc because of two reasons.

1) I didn't go through that birth and breastfeeding journey, to just give up now.

2) Any amount I can give her is not only less donor milk I need to find, but also milk that is designed for her and specifically made by me.

I'm one of the lucky ones. There are some women who don't have any supply. But regardless - when you're a mom and have your heart set on breastfeeding, to then find out you're inadequate in that department. It's HEARTBREAKING. I cried for days thinking about it, seeing other women complain that the only made 5oz a pumping session instead of their normal 8+, and just feeling like I was failing as a mom. This is one of the things that women's bodies are supposed to do - feed their kids. That's the whole reason we have breasts!

It took a lot of encouragement, prayer and coming to a place of peace and assurance to get where I am mentally at today. I was so stressed out, that I was losing out on precious time with my baby. I couldn't enjoy feeding her like I wanted to and I didn't want to be that type of mom. So I embraced bottle feeding and continue to comfort nurse and feed her whatever I can make. Knowing that she's happy and healthy is all that matters to me. And  to know that she's thriving on donor milk is an amazing feeling. That women would go through the trouble to pump and give that away freely - the kindness doesn't go unnoticed. I wish I could do the same and there's a possibility with subsequent pregnancies, I could get a better supply/more milk ducks, so who knows what the future holds.

But it's an incredible gift to be on the receiving end of donor milk. To know that there are other mama's who will sacrifice time, resources, sleep and the emotional toll of giving away milk that you worked hard for, in order for your baby to be healthy and fed. It has brought me to tears many times. And now I can even joke that my baby will have a wide array of tastebuds and food preferences because of all the different milk she's been able to have.

If there are any mommas who are on the fence of donating their milk - I say do it! You have a wonderful gift and there are many more mom's out there like me, who are desperate for donor milk. And if you're on the fence of asking for milk, do it! Because you'll find some pretty awesome moms who are here to support you and your journey. This was the first time I really realized what it means of the phrase, "It takes a village."

Three Hundred and Thirty

We’re adding another three hundred and thirty to our donation count! I had the opportunity to meet an amazing mom of a sweet little six week old baby girl. While we chatted, she shared with me a little bit about her labor & delivery; her WATER BIRTH!! You guys, let me just stop right here and say... while having a baby with an epidural is no picnic, you mamas who have done it with no epidural, water birth, etc.. you guys are truly MVP’s in my book. And while I whole heartedly applaud you, I can say without a shadow of doubt, I could never. I’m quite certain I can say with the most confidence that I know my limitations & even what I can push myself to outside of my limitations, something having Jaxon has taught me. But had I not had an epidural, I think my labor & delivery story would be VERY different. (Which by the way, I can’t wait to share that story with you!) I think something inside me changed when I became a mama. I always enjoyed hearing my friends labor and delivery stories, but now having gone through it, I LOVE hearing everyone’s different experiences.

This amazing mama, Jessica, said she has even made an almost 2 hour drive (one way) to pick up milk for her little one. I love meeting all these local moms who are working so hard to pick up breastmilk for their little ones! Keep it up and thank you for inspiring me! And while Jessica said she’s able to pump enough for one bottle daily, I love that this mama is being proactive and getting herself a little stash of milk for her baby girl!

330 ounces!

Our total donations to date is:

2,384 Ounces

That means we have:

7,616 Ounces

left to go!

Thanks for following along on this journey!
-Allie

Product Reviews

Creative title, huh? Did it catch your attention? Great! Now here come some of my opinions on a few products we’ve been sent!! So here we go!

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First up is these Milkful Gourmet Lactation Bars. It’s no secret I’m pretty vocal about breastfeeding & pumping so naturally, I’m always on the hunt for healthy products that promote healthy lactation. There are no preservatives added and are full of natural ingredients that can help boost your milk supply. Full of 4-5 grams of fiber and 5-6 grams of protein these are perfect for me on the days that I work!
Ordering is made easy, which I love. You can order 6 bars, 15 bars, or have a monthly subscription. You can choose your favorite bars or get an even mixture of the three flavors they offer. And these, my friends, are yum. The three flavors you can choose from (in order of my favorite to least favorite) are: Maple Walnut, Blueberry Almond Coconut, and Chocolate Banana Nut. The Maple Nut and the Blueberry Almond Coconut were a little sweeter than the Chocolate Banana Nut and overall just had better flavor in my opinion. Will DEFINITELY be ordering more of my favorite, the Maple Walnut.
So the real question… have I noticed a difference in production or in my supply? I have been pairing this with the next product Earth Mama Organics Milkmaid Tea and I’ve noticed the fat content in my milk has increased. **Mama’s, that layer that builds up on the top of your bottles in the fridge? That’s a layer of fat! It helps keep baby feeling fuller! It’s recommended that you don’t shake the bottle, but rather swirl under warm water to mix this with the rest of the milk.** As far as production, I’m nursing Jax and freezing anywhere from 24-32 oz. on top of that per day. I’ve always had an oversupply, but I’m really thankful for these two products paired together to help me maintain my supply!
USE PROMO CODE: “allie_oliver” and get 20% off!

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Now onto Earth Mama Organics! This company literally has everything! Products to aid during pregnancy & postpartum. Products for mom & for baby. And of course, my favorite subject Breastfeeding! I’ve been drinking 1-2 cups of the 100% Organic Milkmaid Tea which is for AFTER baby is born, not to be taken during pregnancy. Though, they do have a handful of teas that you can take that are formulated for pregnancy! As previously stated in this post, have noticed my supply has maintained if not increased a little daily. With nursing AND pumping, being able to freeze away 24-32 extra ounces as well as still feed my little man, I’m glad these products are helping me maintain my supply!
I received three boxes of tea, each have 16 individual bags of tea inside. This tea is caffeine free, so I usually drink one cup in the morning and one before bed. Now being a religious coffee drinker, I’m not opposed to tea. I’m not in LOVE with the taste of this tea, but I do think it has a good balance of not being too sweet & too earthy.
The other product they so generously sent was their Organic Nipple Butter and I WILL be purchasing this! I’ve tried other creams, but this one is hands down the best I’ve tried. Now, not to be too personal, but I’ve been fortunate enough to not have any cracking or rawness in this area, but sore. When I used the Nipple Butter, I felt immediate relief. And, added bonus, you don’t have to wipe it off before baby nurses! Nothing else to say about this, except it is totally worth it!

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Alright, onto product number three. And how freaking cute are these moccasins? Sweet N Swag sent us their Moxfords in Princeton- Brown and I’m obsessed. There are four styles to choose from and an abundance of colors. Why I love them? They STAY ON JAX’S FEET! I’ll admit, they were a little tough to get on, but my kid has chubby feet so that could be why. They didn’t seem to bother him one bit, either! They’re perfect for this Minnesota Fall we’re about to step into!

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Last, but certainly not least is actually a product we purchased. The spoon & fork from Grab Ease. I had seen a fellow mom on Instagram using these with her son. I LOVE that these utensils have a choke protection shield and they’re the perfect size for Jaxon to grab in his little hands. As a family who is practicing Baby Led Weaning, it was important that to us that he have utensils that he can maneuver. And he’s doing great with them! Definitely worth looking into as you start to introduce solids to your little one!

That’s all for now, friends!
-Allie

Mom-ing is hard!

I recently had a friend share a post on Facebook and the first line read “mom-ing is hard”. That’s not to say mom-ing isn’t wonderful and amazing and the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but... mom-ing IS hard. It is wonderfully, amazingly and the best kind of hard. I find myself constantly wondering and worrying if what we are doing with Jaxon is okay. From where and how he sleeps at night to his nap times during the day to purees vs. baby led weaning, I think all mom’s just want to do right by their babe. And personally, I think the wondering and the worrying makes you a pretty top notch mom and you’re doing great. 

From the moment we found out we were pregnant to when we found out what we were having to my water breaking at home, I feel like there’s the “expectation” version that we all share and post about on social media and then the “reality” version. You know the pictures I’m talking about, the side by side funny pictures where the mom’s making dinner for her family with her hair and make up perfect while her kids play nicely in the background (EXPECTATION). And then there’s me over here stirring dinner on the stove, bouncing baby on my hip because he’s tired and doesn’t want to be set down and oop, he spit up all over me because I was bouncing too much. No make up, hair in the same bun I slept in the night before. (REALITY). Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my every day life, but it’s fairly accurate. 

When we first decided to start trying we told ourselves that it may take time and not to get frustrated or stressed out over the process! (EXPECTATION). Two months later we were pregnant! (REALITY). Even when you’re trying to get pregnant, there’s a flood of emotions when you see those two pink lines. I suddenly worried about every thing I did & if it was okay for baby. 

When we did our gender reveal, I had told myself it doesn’t matter what we have, because we have a HEALTHY baby! But I allowed myself to start imagining decorating the nursery for a little girl & found a small business that made the cutest bows! (EXPECTATION) . And when my friend lit the smoke bomb and that blue smoke billowed it and up into the sky, I cried. Like turned into Chase and cried in front of 30+ friends. I remember Chase whispering to me “Just smile, it’s ok!” And the next morning eh asked me if I was disappointed we were having a boy. (REALITY). I wasn’t disappointed, I was surprised. I had truly thought it was a girl. And you guys... I am so glad we have our sweet boy. He is without a doubt the sweetest, chillest kid. This reality is far better than any expectation I could’ve had! 

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Our first week home from the hospital I imagined we’d sit in our bed as a new family & snuggle, drinking coffee and watching movies while the snow fell outside. (EXPECTATION). But really we had to get a bili blanket for Jax due to high jaundice levels and have at home nurses come and visit and get his little foot pricked and blood tested. And one week postpartum, I ended up in Urgent Care and then the ER with a kidney infection. (REALITY). 

I imagined sitting in our bed, or in the glider in his nursery nursing my little newborn baby boy, with a smile on my face as my body did this amazing thing and produced food for him. (EXPECTATION) . Trying to nurse Jaxon the first month or so was absolute hell.  I felt defeated. I had told myself when I was pregnant that even if I couldn’t nurse and had to pump and feed or even supplement with formula, it would be okay as long as baby was healthy! But the mental toll it took on me to not have a baby who latched well was overwhelming. Every time he would latch on, I’d cry. I’d curse in my mind and sometimes out loud. It was painful & I felt defeated. I’d pump and feed, but felt like a failure because I wasn’t truly “breastfeeding”. I’d try to get him to latch for 24 hours and take 48 hours off because I was in so much pain. (REALITY). I was determined. And one day, it clicked. I wasn’t doing anything different than I’d done before, it just clicked for him & he had a good latch. And he nursed well! 

I thought I’d make lots of purees for Jaxon to eat when we started introducing solids to him. Being in the kitchen blending up all sorts of concoctions for him to try. (EXPECTATION). Then I discovered BABY LED WEANING. And I’m 99% positive I’m not doing it correctly, but I’m doing a form of it that we are comfortable with! (REALITY). Essentially baby led weaning allows baby to self-feed and control consumption. There are moms giving their kids whole foods to break down, but I’m a chopper. I chop up whatever we are eating for dinner into very fine bits for him to eat. And while I’m on the subject of BLW, yes.. Jaxon eats exactly what we are eating (within reason). He’s had meat, spices, etc & has done VERY well with it all! Baby led weaning might not be for you and your family, but we are loving the results so far! 

 

These are all just examples of our Expectations/Realities. Set your expectations high, but be prepared for the realities of life with a little one. And be okay with them! Don't get discouraged if things don't go exactly as you imagined & every day isn't "Instagram worthy"!
I’m currently working on letting people’s opinions roll off my back. Because I’m just a new mom and Chase is a new dad and we are doing our best with our little boy. I'm reminding myself that not everyone may agree with the choices that we are making, like co-sleeping or baby led weaning. And I may not agree with how another parent raises their child, but this world is already full of negativity and judgment, I'm choosing to NOT judge other mama's and hope that if you're a mama bear you feel encouraged and supported as you read through our page! 

-Allie

Oh Yeah! I’m Supposed to be Wedding Planning!

I love writing about Jaxon and our journey to 10,000 ounces. I love sharing the mommy must have's I’ve found and I am 100% committed to being as open and honest about my motherhood experiences. But there's another huge portion of my life that I am so excited to share with all of you! And that is WEDDING PLANNING! So little by little I'll be sharing all of the exciting details and hopefully if you're a bride in Minnesota or even the surrounding states, you might find an amazing vendor through this! 

So much of my work and world is in the wedding industry. Every weekend I pack up my bag of curling irons and hairspray and I get to be a part of someone’s special day. But now, here I am, planning my own wedding and I have NO idea where to begin!

Step one: hire the best wedding planner, DONE! Thankfully, I’ve hired someone who in my personal opinion, is the BEST. Ashley & her team at Ashley Skeie Events (www.ashleyskeieevents.com). Not only is she a personal friend of mine, but one of the most talented and creative wedding & event planners I’ve gotten to work with. Ashley and I went to the same high school, played soccer and cheered together and I was even a bridesmaid in her beautiful wedding. She has always been a big part of my life. There was no doubt in my mind that when I got married, Ashley would help me plan! In fact, I would text her ideas before Chase even proposed. 

What was important to us when finding a Wedding Planner? 

  • Someone who hears our ideas & can translate them into a reality! Something Ashley does so well! I’ve given her numerous half-baked ideas & she has such amazing ideas where I find myself saying “yes! That’s exactly what I meant!” 
  • The right kind of inventory! Ashley has a basement full of goodies that I got to peek in on! With the package we did with her, we get to take full advantage of what she has! 
  • That brings me to packages & pricing! I asked Chase if we should just have Ashley and her team for the Day-Of and his response was, “Nope! I want her help with all of it.” Uhh, ok! Fine by me! Her packages include so much, but his reasoning for hiring her for the planning process was because he wants me to ENJOY the process of planning! 

So onto our next big decision: the photographer! I knew it was super important to make a decision about the photographer ASAP! Some of these photographers book out years in advance! Thankfully, being apart of this crazy, beautiful world of weddings, I’ve gotten to meet a handful of talented people; from make up artists to photographers & videographers, I’ve met some of the best in the Midwest. It was so important to me that Chase feel comfortable with who we hire, so when I asked him what he thought, to hear he had the same person in mind was a relief. Not only have I worked with her and seen her in action, she did Jaxon’s newborn photos! That’s right, folks: April of Sophisticated Grace Photography! (www.sophisticatedgracephoto.com).

What was I looking for in our wedding photographer? 

  • Obviously someone we both felt comfortable with. April did our newborn photos & Chase felt 100% comfortable with her! 
  • Someone who didn’t charge us an arm & a leg for 8 hours and no rights to the photos. April’s packages are so reasonably priced & she is all about telling a story!  She’s not just going to show up and do the bare minimum! She tells a story! 
  • Creative, creative, creative! April honestly takes some of the most stunning photos so we are hoping she can take two awkward people and take some beautiful pictures! ;) 

What's next? The dress!  I honestly had zero intentions of purchasing a dress, but when we went to The Posh Rack I honestly couldn't pass up the amazing price for this beautiful dress. I had gone in expecting to just try on dresses to see what kind of style I would like! The sales consultant, Bri, was so encouraging as I tried on these beautiful dresses four months post partum, not loving my body in these gowns. My cousin and maid of honor, Chloe, came with me and put dream baby Jax over here to sleep. So while he slept, I found a dress. My girlfriend and bridesmaid, Sara, came at the end, shocked I'd found one. I told her I was just as shocked, I didn't think I was going to make a purchase! 

So why the Posh Rack?

  • All of the inventory for off the rack pricing! Seriously, you guys, I had a budget I told our sales consultant and I purchased a dress for 50% less than that! 
  • So many options! Like I said, I went to just try on dresses and see what style I was looking for & they did not disappoint! 
  • That being said, I've told you guys over and over that I want to be totally transparent with you so I will say this: it is off the rack. I got to leave with a dress in hand. A dress that does not quite fit me. I see it as motivation to keep losing this baby weight, but the fact that it doesn't quite fit, I'll be honest, is discouraging. In the back of my mind I keep feeling like I should go and try on dresses that actually fit & see if I'm still 100% in love with this dress. So, if I do! I'll share that experience when it comes :)

And that, my dear friends, is where we are at with the wedding planning! There are other details we've decided, but c'mon, I've got to have a FEW surprises for our wedding :)

-Allie