As my son is almost 9 months old, I can already see that he will be walking soon. There are so many different types of walkers out there. I personally prefer wooden toys when I can, so when I found this wooden walker on Amazon, I was thrilled! It is slightly difficult to assemble but once I was done with it, I was in love with the outcome. My son is still getting used to it but little by little I see him using it more.
When I first started my journey with breast feeding, as in my other post, it did not turn out how I had planned and from starting off with exclusively breast feeding I started exclusively pumping.
In the beginning of my pumping days I started with a Spectra pump provided by the hospital I gave birth in. I must say I really did like it, other than the fact that pumping in general made me feel like a milk making machine or some sort of cow being milked. The Spectra was really easy to use and had minimal buttons to press, and included a little light so that you can see what you are doing in the dark, if you pump during the night.
If you know that you are pumping, definitely do some investing in a durable, rechargeable, portable pump. Pumping gets easier if you know you can travel with it and not worry about finding an outlet.
Two great options for that would be an Elvie pump and a Willow pump. Both are expensive but with the time you will be spending pumping, it makes it worth it. They fit snuggling right into your maternity bra and suction onto your breasts when turned on. If I had known about these pumps earlier, I could have saved on so much headaches, stress, and anxiety from the pressure of being home or finding a place to pump. Both come at around the same price, one pump for around $280 or double pumps for $500. The willow I believe only sells as a double.
I personally have the older version of the Willow Pump, the Willow 1.0 but right now they have a 2.0 that is out. With the 2.0 you can either pump straight into the bags that you can purchase from them, making it easier to pump and store during travel, or you can pump straight into the container and dump into a storage bag of your choice or bottle. The Willow 1.0 can only pump into their spill proof storage bags. From the research that I have done, a lot of people say that it is silent but from owning one I will say that you can hear it but it is definitely quieter than a normal pump.
Both the Willow and Elvie pumps connect to an app that keeps track of all your pumping sessions as well as the ounces pumped, whether the right breast or from the left breast and also stops pumping automatically once the bags or containers are filled. Both pumps are very easy to put together and also simple to clean.
My sister-in-law has the double Elvie pumps and she loves it as well. Being a new mom and knowing that she would be pumping, she got two right away to double pump and save on time. This also allows her to be able to pump while she is making dinner for her husband or is out on the road visiting friends or family, or if she is running late to an appointment, she can pump on the road, which I have also personally done. To be able to pump in the car is amazing and relieving.
They try to advertise them as being silent and unnoticeable but from my experience, they are not as silent as some say and you can notice them because they make your breasts look like they doubled in size. So, I would not be out at a restaurant with them in my bra but if that works for you then go right ahead! I just found it easy to go places as I could easily pump in the car every few hours or in any bathroom en route.
I got my portable Willow pumps too late, when my son was 7 months because I was so tired of dealing with pumping only at home or carrying around the big pump and trying to find an outlet wherever I went.
For my next pregnancy I will be investing in the Willow 2.0 to not have to deal with what I dealt with during the beginning few months of my pumping journey. I am choosing the Willow 2.0 because it can pump straight into the storage bags or the container made for it, giving me more options. If straight into their storage bags then there is less to clean as well. Although you need to keep buying their specific storage bags.
So, all you mothers, invest in your happiness! Because these pumps definitely make a difference. They have in mine and they will in yours too! And no I am not sponsored by them, just writing this from experience and hoping I can save some of you from doing the mistake that I did and got them too late.
Final Pros and Cons of Willow Pump
Easy to store
Can pump into storage bags
Can pump into container
Easy to clean
Better suction than Elvie
Can pump anywhere anytime
Not completely silent
Can only use their specific storage bags to pump into
Suction is less than Spectra or Medela
Final Pros and Cons of Elvie Pump
Easy to store
Pumps into container
Easy to clean
Quieter than the Willow
Can pump anywhere anytime
Can slightly hear it
Has a light on when in use that you can see through your shirt
Skip Hop Explore makes for a wonderful gift for your little as well as helps strengthen their leg muscles for when they are ready to walk. My little boy could not be happier with it and uses it every single day. Will link it in the side bar, just click on it and you will be rerouted to the exact page on Amazon! Grab it while it is on sale for $45 off!!
Breastfeeding. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? You just feed the baby with your boob. Well, as easy as it sounds, it couldn’t be any farther from the truth. My breastfeeding journey did start off easy, and I thought I had lucked out or that secretly I was a pro and had breastfeeding all down to the core, as my little newborn come out latching perfectly, making me one proud mama.
I had taken a breastfeeding class prior to my giving birth and was confident that everything was going to go well. Little did I know that I would soon become educated and experienced when it comes to milk ducts getting clogged, Mastitis, as well as breast abscesses. Yes, it did go that far for me and yes as horrible as it sounds, it was so much worse.
A week into my breast feeding journey I had a home nurse visit, which was optional, just to check in and make sure I was adjusting well with the baby and if I had any questions, as well as weigh the baby and such. I was never thinking too much about how my breasts were feeling until she started asking me questions, did my breasts feel okay, have I noticed any tenderness, soreness, any spots warm to the touch, etc. Which in turn had me answering that everything seemed to be going good.. That is until she left and I started seeing and feeling all the symptoms that she was describing. The symptoms for a clogged milk duct.
Once I realized that I had a clogged milk duct, I freaked out. I called my breastfeeding mentor and completely broke down over the phone, telling her how scared I was. A great way to get rid of a clogged milk duct is to apply a warm compression to the area while massaging it. That is if your little one can’t suck it out. You are still supposed to feed from that breast, because nothing can suck better than your baby. But aside from that, definitely apply a warm compression and massage the area with your thumb, putting pressure outwards as if you are pushing the milk out. That’s what cleared my first clogged milk duct.. As well as the second.
Now when it came to my third clogged milk duct, I must say I did not take it as serious as I should have. And what made it worse was that it was in the same spot as one of my previous clogged milk ducts. My third clogged milk duct developed into Mastitis.
Mastitis occurs when the clogged milk duct becomes infected. You start to get fevers and the pain increases. Once I got Mastitis, I was given antibiotics by my OB. Which I took for several days. The antibiotics did not work and I then was referred to a lactation consultant and prescribed a different antibiotic. At this point my mastitis had already developed into a breast abscess.
I was once again seen by my OB who confirmed I now had a breast abscess, and boy was it painful. I had been going through misery for about a month at this point, getting adapted to my fevers and the pain in my breast. And at the same time I hated looking at myself and seeing this huge lump just bulging out the side of my breast.
I was referred to a surgeon at the nearby hospital and scheduled for them to drain my breast abscess with a needle. Ouch! Relief flooded my body as I was finally going to get rid of this lump of pain. Or so I thought. That same night my breast abscess returned and just as big. The next day I sluggishly dragged myself to the emergency room, for I was exhausted mentally from having to deal with this for so long. I was again scheduled for surgery then and there but this time the surgeon was to make an incision and I was going under anesthesia.
That night I was going to drop breast feeding all together, for fear of having this all happen again. For the sake of my son, I stuck to giving him my milk, for I knew that was what was best for him. Through all the aches and pains and even to the last string, a mom will always be a mom, and will always stay strong for the sake of her children.
When you hear the words “stay at home mom,” what comes to mind? With the majority, I feel as if those words have a stigma attached to them. Many may think that stay at home moms do not work as hard as the moms that go back to work, they’re lazy, etc. Being a stay at home mom now, I would have to completely disagree with that statement and say we work just as hard.
I never knew being a stay at home mom could be so tough. Between the cooking and cleaning, watching my son, going grocery shopping, putting him down for naps, doing the laundry, and trying to keep my sanity, I have had many days where I would just break down. I could not do it all. And having to accept the fact that I couldn’t always do it all was also difficult. I started to get sad and lonely. I loved my baby, and still do but finding time for myself was very difficult. Between my son’s nap times, I had to choose between finishing my cup of coffee, which was already cold by then, or doing the dishes or picking up his toys or catching up on laundry, or finally showering.
Sounds gross, I know! But as a stay at home mom with a child under one, taking a shower is no longer those prolonged moments where the warm water trickles down your skin as you soak in the steam. Showering is a one second thing while keeping an ear out if your baby starts to cry. I used to love long showers, as they were my moments of solitude, but now have become more of a chore for me, as I turn the water off every couple minutes to hear if my son is crying, while my husband is out working. Either that or I need to take one at night when I am already tired and exhausted from running around nonstop all day. I crave a bath.
As a stay at home mom, I have had many times where I felt isolated from the world, finding it hard to go out because of my newborn’s schedule. You start to feel social isolation from only talking baby talk and start to crave a mature conversation. Recently now, I have started to miss my job where I worked as an office manager at a chiropractor’s office. But, I know my importance being a stay at home mom, and how some working mothers wish they could spend more time with their children. I need to treasure this opportunity. Or somehow find a balance between the two.
I have started to miss my life of luxury where I could go wherever, whenever, for however long I wanted to. I wouldn’t change having my son, but it’s hard to keep from longing some “freedom.”
I have had times where I would resent my husband for being able to go to work as I imagined him laughing it up with his coworkers while installing floors. Little did I know that he had his own worries, providing for our family.
I will never regret being a stay at home mom due to the relationship and bond I am able to create with my son, but to the world out there that thinks we’re having a time of our lives soaking up the sun with our children, think again.
Nonetheless, I miss having no limitations. Now I just need to find other ways to find some time for myself and prioritize my own sanity over the dishes or the couple of toys scattered on the living room floor. The first few months are the hardest, as I also ran into some complications while breast feeding, which I have shared in another post.