breast feeding

That Was a Hard Day

Well, my maternity leave is over.

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Last Friday was my first day back in the office. All week I was dreading it. I was anxious, I was sad, I had nightmares several nights about pumping at work. I bawled my eyes out for a few days leading up to. I snuggled Logan until he was like “mom, give it a rest!” I just couldn’t believe our time was up. πŸ™

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Friday came. My alarm on my phone didn’t go off for some reason but thankfully I had a built in alarm clock for 6am — Logan! But it was not a good start to the day. Nothing seemed to be going right but I finally got out of the door and made it to work on time. Carrying a crap ton of stuff.

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A coworker left me a card and a little gift that was really sweet. Everyone was really supportive and understanding. I was able to hold it together (for the most part) and honestly I was so busy it was a good distraction and the only time I started to feel sad was when I was pumping and had quiet time to myself. Michael sent me a photo:

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I thought heΒ looked sad. Then he sent me another photo:

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All better! Back to his sweet self.

So in a lot of ways it was easy to be back in the office. I was busy enough, but not overwhelmed, and could be distracted. It was nice to be working again and using my brain for something other than baby talk and changing diapers πŸ™‚ — as much as I love doing that with Logan. Just knowing myself, I know that being home full time wouldn’t be best for me. As much as I want it to be.

When I first talked to my boss about maternity leave and options she brought up the idea of working from home part time and working in the office part time. She told me a story about someone she worked with years ago at a different office who came back from maternity leave and cried in her office all day for a week and then finally just packed her shit up and left, no notice, just quit. She couldn’t handle it. I remember hearing this story (when I was 8.5 months pregnant) feeling awful for that woman and then thinking that while I’d be sad, I didn’t think that would be me…

Fast forward to last week. Crying for a week! Instead of relishing every single second with Logan during our last week home I kept focusing on the sadness. And I got it. I understood what my boss was telling me.

My boss has been amazing in her support for family bonding, for breastfeeding, everything. These are issues that she feels strongly about and I am so grateful for that.

So the downside to work? Pumping at work kind of sucks. I was in a room that unfortunately didn’t lock and twice people attempted to come in. Then my boss saved the day and told me to use her office when I needed to pump. It really is a stressful, anxiety-inducing thing to be pumping at work (at least for me). I felt really vulnerable and not having a truly private room stressed me out! But, using my boss’s office I was able to pump the rest of the day with no issues.

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I was able to drink a lot of water throughout the day. I pumped three times while at work. I didn’t eat enough and was really hungry but too busy to eat. That’s not good, I need to work on that!

Despite the rocky start to the day, it was actually okay and I did alright. I remember my job!! It was like a muscle memory thing. Once I started doing it again it all came back to me and I was able to do it without thinking about it. So that’s good. I got everything ready for working from home and (crossing my fingers that technology works at home) am ready to get started!

Friday afternoon I got a little surprise delivery:

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Flowers delivered to my office from Michael! It was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful and it really made my day (and made me tear up a little bit at the thoughtfulness). It was so wonderful!

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I was supposed to be off work at 4:30 but stayed late to get my laptop up and running (it took all day unfortunately). I raced home, anxious and excited to see my little guy! And kiss my other guy. πŸ™‚

I asked Logan if he forgot about me and if he missed me and he giggled. We nursed and I smothered him in kisses and then Michael made the evening even better than it already could be and got take out sushi!!

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Love me some spicy tuna! I’ve been craving sushi lately, too. Opened a bottle of wine and I cuddled with my little guy. So all in all, it was a pretty good day, despite the bumps in the road and the heartache of leaving Logan all day for the first time.

I feel prepared to go back to the office. I think it will be okay. I’m almost looking forward to it in a weird way. Having a schedule, structure and routine is basically my entire life. πŸ™‚ So going forward I will be in the office two days a week and home three days a week for the summer. Michael will be working from home those two days, so that’s awesome. I feel so incredibly lucky and fortunate that we have this opportunity for our family!

My Favorite Baby Items

If you are expecting a baby and starting to put together your registry, or if there’s someone in your life expecting a baby I wanted to share a few of the things we use A LOT for our little guy. Some of these things are convenience items that make life a little easier and some of these things have just been plain lifesavers.

When I was building our registry I read a ton of websites–every “must have list” for baby registries I could find. A lot of the stuff seemed unnecessary and I didn’t register for a ton of stuff, mostly practical things I thought we’d really need. I found some gems and then people gave us things I never thought we’d need or want that turned out to be great, too. It’s helpful when someone shares something that helped them out a lot. So this post is just a few things that I’ve really liked so far.

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Pumping Bra

I raved about this thing in a previous post but I can’t stress enough just how helpful it was and how much I wish I had had this bra from the beginning! For any new moms I know this is going to be the item I buy them as a gift. So helpful!

Woodland Tales Musical Mobile

When I was working on Logan’s nursery theme (woodland creatures and foxes), I found a lot of mobiles that I LOVED–especially on etsy. But they were insanely expensive. Then I found this one on Amazon and it was around $45. It turned out to be one of the best things we bought because he LOVES this thing. He is so fascinated by the mobile and will talk to the creatures. It’s so cute. It also calms him down if he’s fussy. It’s been a great thing.

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Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

A friend got this for me for my baby shower and it’s been a fantastic help with feeding the baby. It helps a lot with positioning, whether I’m breastfeeding or giving him a bottle. It saves my arms and back from straining to hold him for long periods of time and it’s really comfortable. Plus there’s a little pocket in the front to hold things–bottles, burp rags, etc.

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Dr. Brown’s Bottles

Go to any baby chat group/website and there is much debate on what the best bottle is for a baby. I don’t know if this is the “Best” but I like it so far. I have three different kinds of bottles and the Dr. Brown’s came recommended by the Lactation Consultants we saw and I noticed that they seemed better for Logan’s tummy. The other bottles I had were a little too fast and I think it was giving him gas and making him spit up. But the Dr. Brown’s bottles are really slow and it takes Logan awhile to finish drinking from it. Supposedly these bottles help with gas and colic. So far I’m a fan but I haven’t tried everything out there.

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Swaddle Me Infant WrapΒ 

Whomever invented these things is BRILLIANT! When we got home from the hospital we tried to swaddle Logan with the blankets we had but we never had the right touch. He’d always manage to break free and no matter how hard we tried to get it right, it never worked. A friend gave us two of these Swaddle Me wraps that she used for her daughter and they were seriously the best things ever. We use them at night and it helps put the baby to sleep and keep him asleep. I notice that on nights that I didn’t use the swaddle he’d flail around, struggle to fall asleep and then he’d wake himself up repeatedly during the night flailing around. But with the Swaddle Me wraps he zonks out. The nice thing about these babies? They are velcro. Basically fool proof!

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Update: at 7 weeks he literally grew out of the sack overnight. One day it fit–the next day not so much! We have since bought the next size up!

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Wraps

There are a lot of baby wraps out there and it’s hard to figure out what is the “best one”. What I’ve discovered reading blogs and chat boards is that wraps and baby carriers are very personal and what works for one person may not work for another. Like many baby things, you don’t know if your baby will like it until you give it a try. And sometimes “the best ___ in the world” is not something your baby likes.

A coworker gave me a hand-me-down Moby WrapΒ that they never used. I have to admit, I was bit baffled by it. I tried watching Youtube videos and it looked easy enough but when you have a fussy baby struggling with a wrap that is like 10 steps is frustrating.

A friend gifted us a Baby K’Tan wrap. This one was much better than the Moby Wrap. It was less steps and after a few times practicing it was easier to use. The one downside, I don’t feel quite comfortable using this outside. It’s perfect for inside the house when I’m trying to do something (like work on the computer) and he’s fussy and just wants to be held. I just don’t feel like it’s secure enough to go for walks or something using it.

That brings me to the Ergo, with the newborn insert. It is SO simple to use and definitely feels more secure than the Baby K’Tan. I feel more comfortable using this one on walks and soon I will use it hiking. Β I love that it’s basically a few snaps and you’re done. You don’t have to watch Youtube videos and practice using it like other options out there. You just slip it on and buckle it. Love this one! This is the newborn insert:

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Rock and Play Sleeper

Michael’s mom got us this for our baby shower and it’s been so fabulous. We use it as his bassinet and he sleeps next to me at night. I like that it’s at a slight angle. The best part? It vibrates! I know that that has helped Logan fall asleep and stay asleep at night. It’s wonderful! The downside is that at two months he’s growing out of it. But it’s been a great baby item that we were so grateful to have in those early weeks.

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We got so many great things from our friends. Logan was definitely spoiled in that department. πŸ™‚

I hope some of these recommendations help new moms out there trying to navigate those massive “must buy” lists. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Do you have any recommendations for baby items that actually were “must have”?

 

This post has Amazon affiliate links.