Lilah And Lou

My love Hate Elationship with Breastfeeding

After labor and my epidural wore off I felt like I was hit by a bus, my butthole hurt like hell from pushing so hard I had acquired internal hemorrhoids. I had a second degree tear from the delivery but was still on a high from this whole process. Isn’t the female body incredible, even though my body was physically exhausted I kept finding the strength to care for my daughter which leads me to the topic of breastfeeding. Now you see in these videos about babies just bobbing their way onto your boob and tada! Easy as pie. Well maybe for some moms out there but for me that is NOTHING like how it happened. See I had inverted flat nipples, which I have been self conscious about my WHOLE life. I didn’t feel like a women because my boobs looked different and I didn’t even know if I could breastfeed because of it! but let me tell you, YOU CAN! it will take a lot of effort but if you keep trying it will work. 

 Ok so back to my story… In the hospital the lactation consultant shows you ways for the baby to latch and since my nipples didn’t stick out it was a little tougher to get the babies mouth on my breast. I felt really overwhelmed but mostly emotional, I more than anything wanted to breastfeed it was one of the things I really looked forward to as a mom. The lactation consultant helped me use techniques to help the baby latch but nothing seemed to work. I even purchased these nipple extractor things from ameba to help evert my nipples for a better latch, which worked a little, but mind you when you have inverted nipples they have to extract out because there is a lot of tissue keeping them inverted so the process can be extremely painful! But I did not want to give up! I extracted colostrum manually and spoon fed Delilah just to make sure she was getting what she needed. I was becoming neurotic, I was putting so much pressure on myself about breastfeeding for me it was the only way I was determined. As days went by the lactation consultant kept trying to help me create a good latch. She finally suggested a nipple shield which I highly recommend! Since I didn’t have nipples like everyone else these helped create a “fake” nipple until my nipples extracted enough for the baby to latch on without it. It wasn’t the end of my breastfeeding troubles but it certainly helped for the time being.

Once we left the hospital, my milk finally came in. From that point on I would use the nipple shield to nurse her as well as pump and bottle feed her. It seemed to work for a week or so until  the nipple shield became more of a struggle than a blessing she wouldn’t nurse without it so breastfeeding anywhere but home was nearly impossible, I had to constantly have a clean one and disinfect it after every use and if my boob was not completely dry it would slide all over the place.I felt so alone i didn’t know anyone going through the same thing, all i wished for was normal nipples! I finally met with the hospital lactation consultant to help me wean Delilah off the nipple shield because I didn’t want her getting to use to it! I felt like I was going insane anything I would read would tell me to do one thing or try something else, I became super nerotic as a new mom that is so hard, I already have no idea what the hell I am doing and just trying to survive then on top of it I was having the hardest time just trying to understand this whole breastfeeding thing.   After 4 weeks of trying to get Delilah to latch without the nipple shield my nipples started to protrude out due to the shield as well as pumping and she began to latch on her own! 

 In my video diary I share some of my journey with breastfeeding throughout Delilah’s life. There were may times I would cry feeling very alone because I would be locked in a room just nursing all day and night and other times I would cry because she would be on a nursing strike and not take my breast at all. So what I’m trying to say is my breastfeeding journey ebbed and flowed some days I hated it and others I loved it. 

The past 10 months have been anything but easy but I am happy to say I am still breastfeeding Delilah as well as supplementing and I wouldn’t change it for the world! There are many times wanted to give up but the moments we have shared through nursing and the bond we have built is something I will cherish the rest of my life! I also want to reiterate this is what worked for me and Delilah. Everyone is different and you should do what works for you!

My Body Post Baby

When I was in college I was a “model”. You see my whole career was concentrated on my weight and figure. If I gained an inch or lb is was a matter of not getting a job and it was my only source of income so in order to pay my rent I had to work.  For me I have always been self conscious about my weight whether I was modeling or not having a good figure and taking care of my body meant a lot to me.

When I got pregnant I gained 50lbs, it was really hard for me to see my body change so drastically.  All of my friends swore to me that I could eat whatever I wanted and if I breastfed I would loose it all so fast and be even skinnier than before.  Well thats great in theory but these girls didn’t know I was Italian, and let me tell you after eating carbs everyday that 50lbs did NOT come right off. In fact it took almost 11 months to lose even part of it and I still have 7 lbs to lose before I am even back to my weight pre baby. 

With a baby it has been such a hard adjustment for me to find time to work out, but with Delilah getting heavier and more active I noticed by not being physically fit I am constantly exhausted and running on caffeine to keep me awake during the day.  My back hurt almost every second and the extra skin and weight from the pregnancy continued to stay on my body. I was unhappy not with just the way I looked but the way I felt and I was ready to make a change. 

   I had a girlfriend who was attending a bootcamp class which offered childcare so I decided to wake up and go! If I could take the time for myself to go to meetings, have a mentor and work on a program to help my mental health, than I could commit to a 30 day program 2x a week in order to help my physical health.

Today was my first day at FIIT mama bootcamp and I could not be prouder of myself. I was so hesitant to even walk into the door but once that hour was up I felt so energized to make it through the rest of the day with my little one. I am super excited to bring all of you along on this journey or spiritual and physical recovery while being a new mom! 

My Favorite Baby Items

As Delilahs first birthday gets closer I have decided to share all of my favorite items that have saved me over the last year, as well as review some of the items I didn’t love. Raising a baby can be so hard and making sure you have all of the necessary jumpers, runners, play pens etc can help. There are so many products in the world of baby and I hope this list can help you narrow down what necessities you need and what you can do without.  What were your favorite items? What were your least favorite?

1.  Pampers Pure baby Wipes and Diapers

I have tried a ton of diapers and these are by far my favorite! They are so soft and Chlorine free which is great for babies with sensitive skin

2. Ergobaby

This product was the biggest lifesaver when Delilah was suffering from colic. I use this to this day whenever Delilah is feeling extra clingy and I need to get things done around the house

3. Magnetic ME

Genius Onesies that do not have any snaps just Magnets!

4. Dock a Tot

Even though I only used this for a few months, it was a lifesaver. The price tag is pretty hefty so finding a friend who can lend you one is my suggestion!

5. Jumper

WOW what would I do without this! When Delilah could hold her head up she was in this almost everyday all day because she was so happy in it and it gave me a chance to shower and actually get things done while knowing she was safe.

6. Honest Backpack

I use this everyday all day. It has so much space as well as an insulated zippered compartment for anything you want to keep cool or warm

7. Nuna Mixx Travel System

I love this whole system the only thing I didn’t like is the infant carseat did not have neck support so I had to buy one which was really annoying considering how pricey it was.

8. Nuna Rava

I call this the Cadillac of carseats! I wish they made one in my size. No joke this thing is incredible. Super easy to insert, light weight, and so easy to clean.

9. Graco Swing

This was the first real breakthrough when Delilah was born, I can still hear the songs in my head that it played as she took naps. I can not stress enough how incredible a swing is the first few months

10. Swaddle Up

The only thing that worked for Delilah. I probably tried 20 different swaddles and this one was the one she would finally sleep the longest in

11. Stokke High Chair

The idea of this high chair is great, and as much as I like it, if i had to again I probably would have purchased something else. This high chair is kind of a pain to clean and if you use the cushions you will end up having to wash them almost everyday.

12.  Beaba

I can not say enough amazing things about this! I use it EVERYDAY and yes I am not lying! I steam all of Delilahs food in here as well as use it to make my own salad dressings and sauces. This is probably one of my favorite items on this list and if you like to make your own food then this is a must for you.

13.  Baby Einsteins take along tunes

This toy is still Delilahs favorite! I do not leave the house without it.

14.  Teething Treats

These have been a huge life saver especially when Delilah is just fussy/hungry and wanting snack. They dissolve almost instantly so I don’t have to worry about her choaking on them.

15.  Safety First Walker

This walker is a great price point and so easy to use. I travel everywhere with this especially when we are going up to the mountains. It also has height adjustments and is great for kids like mine with extra long legs

16.   Little Nomad Play Mats

Amazing mats that are easy to use/clean and look super cute in a living room

17. Medela Pump in Style

I used this pump the first 7 months of Delilah’s life. I really liked how powerful it was but honestly pumping for me was always a hassle no matter which one I used. 

18. Skip and Hop Activity Center

This two in one table is really cool. I use to take this traveling because it was light weight and easy to use. At first it teaches your baby how to stand and later it doubles as a table with toys that lock around the side. 
Hopefully this was helpful for you new moms out there or moms to be! Enjoy your weekend

My Breastfeeding Conclusion

Ok! So first and foremost I have to apologize about the delay in writing a new post. I have been completely overwhelmed with work, daily life, etc and have not been taking enough time for self care so in order for me to do that I had to take a step away from blogging for a minute so I could breathe. Not to mention planning a first birthday party is much more overwhelming than I ever imagined. I literally was at my breaking point later last week and wanted to call the whole thing off. But as overwhelming as it is to have so many people confirm for her party, I also am reminded of how many people love Delilah and just want to celebrate with her, and for that I am grateful. 

    So back to why I even am writing this post in the first place. Well as Delilah’s first birthday is a week away I have finally finished my journey with breastfeeding. I can’t believe I am not going to nurse her anymore because the bond we have built over the last year has been magical.  As I reflect on the last year of breastfeeding I am reminded me of all of the struggles that forced me to become a better mom.  I am so proud of myself for committing as long as I did. 

     Now I’m sure your wondering how did I do it.. The weaning thing… So about 5 months ago I just stopped pumping all together I was getting sick of pumping at work and was just over it. That helped wean and shorten my supply a little. I also decided to start supplementing with formula. I only use goats milk formula because it is the only thing that works for Delilah. I would breastfeed her anytime I was at home and on the days I worked my nanny started giving her bottles. As the months went on I began giving Delilah more food per feeding with water and just bottles or boob with naps or bedtime.   The weaning thing just seemed to run its course. I stoped producing enough milk at bedtime and started giving her formula instead. Come to find out she began sleeping even longer which was amazing.

    My production got less and less and more bottles were given. I finally made the decision to stop completely the other day. It is such a hard choice to make and when I did I remember looking at Delilah and crying the whole time she nursed.  Mostly because I cant believe that my baby girl is going to be one. If only we could learn to slow down time…   

How long did you guys breastfeed? Was it hard to stop? I want to hear all about your own journeys about breastfeeding… Comment Below