Life with 2 littles

Seriously, where has the time gone? Time has definitely been going by fast since Korinne was born, and this little girl is keeping us on our toes!

It has been 5 weeks since our little Kor has joined our family, and our new life with two little girls so far is not what I expected.

To be honest, I was terrified to bring another little human into our lives. I thought it was going to be hard, I thought I was really going to lose my shit. But I do have to admit, I do have my good and bad mom days. But it’s really not that difficult, just very busy and very exciting.

Experiencing having a newborn again is amazing. Kor fits right in to our family, like she belongs here, it’s hard to imagine life with out her now.

Seeing Jo and Kor interact with each other makes me so proud as a mom!

Jovie sometimes is very jealous, but she is learning to be more gentle, caring, and helpful. I try to involve Jo with everything I am doing so she doesn’t feel left out, and that has been helping her also to be more of a caring big sister.

Kor loves staring at Jo as she talks, dances, and runs around the house, Kor even smiles at Jo more than she smiles at me. Kor is such a good baby. We’re so happy we get to see these two girls grow together, and relive childhood again through their eyes.

I have been stealing so many kisses and cuddles with Kor, I’ve kind of been smothering her lol. I know she is going to grow up fast just like Jovie did. Just looking at this 5 week old nugget always reminds me so much of the days when Jo was a baby, and I missed Jo as a baby so much! It is crazy that I’m now reliving those memories of Jo because of Kor, and it is amazing! I have learned to cherish every moment with my two girls.

Jack is such a good girl daddy. We always discuss about positively guiding them and being there for them as parents, so they can be the best they can be and have bright futures. We talk about teaching them to drive, encouraging them to take school serious, and think about how to deal with those rebellious teenager years they might put us through lol. He also reminds them of no dating until 30 lol.

As some of you know, Jack is a very busy man. This guy never settles for anything, and is always finding ways to improve/challenge himself. But when he comes home, it is all about the girls. Those three hang out in the evenings while I cook, clean, do errands, or just have some me time. These girls have an amazing dad. He’s very quick to love and spoil these girls and give them nothing but the best!

As for me, everyday I am so grateful for my little family. I have been taking it easy these past 5-6 weeks, but I am starting the Kayla Itsines BBG program this Monday!!! So I have been planning my meals, making sure I have the right workout clothes and shoes, getting the home gym ready, and figuring out the best time to workout with my two girls around their schedule. I’ll post more details about it later, or share more on my Insta (that I have been neglecting lol).

So there you have it, life with our two little girls is pretty busy but absolutely exciting. I feel so lucky.

Thank you all for reading! xoxo

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Korinne’s Birth Story 

As I “try” to type, I am holding her, looking at her dark grey eyes and tiny little hands in awe, she is just so so precious! I cannot believe she is already here. And I don’t know why, but I was so nervous to meet her. She is absolute perfection! Pure magic.

Korinne Noelle decided to make her debut 5 days past her due date, on Saturday March 18th at 9:28pm, weighing 7lbs 13oz, and 20 inches long! She is now 17 days old and that kind of makes me sad, I want her to stay tiny forever.

I wanted to avoid an induction as much as possible since it is a lengthy and a pain in the ass process, but I knew if Korinne didn’t come out in time, I would have to get induced at 41 weeks. So I did everything we can to start labor naturally, but nothing was working! I really thought this baby just didn’t want to come out, and that I was just going to get induced.

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Okay, let me get to the story.

Two days before my induction, on Saturday March 18, I woke up at around 5am with menstrual like cramping, they were coming in waves at about every 10 minutes. I had a feeling labor was imminent, but I didn’t think anything of it, so I just fell back asleep.

Woke up a few hours later at 8am, and felt small painless contractions. Definitely not the usual Braxton Hick contractions I have been feeling, these were actual contractions that were starting.

I downloaded a contraction tracker app on my phone to track the contractions. I laid in bed tracking them for about 1 hour, and they were coming every 9-11 minutes. I got so excited that maybe today may be the day! And I was praying that they would come stronger and closer together (I know, crazy huh?) I was hoping that it wasn’t a false alarm or that they wouldn’t disappear on me.

It is now 11am and I told Jack that I was experiencing contractions. And he kind of freaked out. I kid you not, he rushed to shower, he got dressed in 1 minute, and packed his stuff so fast! Ready to leave for the hospital lol! I told him that we still have time, maybe hours until the baby comes and to calm his butt down lol. We weren’t leaving until these contractions were 5-6 minutes apart. So I took my time to shower and got ready (while Jack waited).

About an hour later, while I was trying to do my makeup, my contractions were getting uncomfortable. What’s weird is they were coming every 2-3 minutes. I thought to myself, “why are they so close together?” I assumed things were progressing fast. So I quickly finished to get ready, and we were off to the hospital at around 2:45pm.

We did grab some food on the way…McDonalds! I have the worst cravings for their chicken nuggets lol. I ate a tiny bit because I wouldn’t know when my next meal would be or how long I will be in labor for.

By now my contractions were back to being more separated, coming every 5-6 minutes, and I couldn’t talk through them, they were getting pretty strong. But as long as I focused on my breathing, they were bearable. I kept telling Jack to slow down while driving because every bump on the road made the contractions that much harder to breath through.

We finally got to the hospital at 3:30pm. The nurse checked me and I was almost 4 cm dilated. The nurse was even impressed with my breathing and how calm I was, but that eventually didn’t last lol.

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During the next couple of hours, I relaxed in bed, watched tv, and walked around the hallways for a bit while pausing with every contraction that hit. The contractions were getting stronger, and getting painful.

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By 6pm the contractions came hard. It is very difficult to describe them. They felt like really bad menstrual cramps, lower back pain, felt like you were going to have diarrhea, it’s hard to breath like your lungs are being squeezed, stomach tightening, jitters, and lots of pressure to push…Imagine feeling this every few minutes.

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I was trying to go as long as I can without an epidural, but I just couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I kept telling Jack, “I can’t do this, I cannot!” I was in tears, hysterically crying, begging for an epidural! My body felt cold and I was starting to get the shakes, I was trying not to freak out.

The anesthesiologists took about 30 minutes to come, which I couldn’t help it but was so angry about! Those 30 minutes felt like forever! So by 6:30pm I was 7cm dilated and got the epidural. The epidural numb my left side more than my right side, but I was okay on pain relief. I also used the lowest amount of pain relief from the epidural so I wouldn’t strain too much while pushing.

By 7:30pm, I felt a warm pop! So I asked Jack to check if my water broke. He looked under my blanket and yelled, “OH!! OH! YUP! YOUR WATER BROKE!” Lol. He said it was a lot of fluid, all over the bed. Jack also had myself and the nurse laughing throughout my whole labor, he’s so funny. But one thing that wasn’t funny to me: he was so into the Warriors basketball game when it was almost time for me to push, I had to tell him to close the laptop!!! 🙂

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We rested some more. Then finally at around 9:20pm, my Dr came in and said I was ready to push. I couldn’t believe we were about to meet our second little girl. After pushing for only a few minutes, Korinne Noelle was born at 9:28pm.

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Korinne started crying right away, a beautiful cry, and I looked at Jack and smiled. Jack video recorded that moment and I just LOVE watching it, I love listening to her first cry. We were so happy, so in love!

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They cleaned her up and gave her to me for skin to skin, and she latched on to me amazingly. She is so prefect, and so beautiful. She was having heart murmurs, but the pediatric cardiologists said her heart regulated itself, so no worries. We are happy to have created two healthy beautiful girls. Getting to experience labor and delivery again for the second time is truly a blessing.

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We also picked her name last minute. We literally agreed on her name the day before. We went through so many names, it’s not even funny, very stressful. But we love the name we chose for her.

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I got a small 2nd degree tear, but other than that, I couldn’t be more happy with my labor and delivery experience. And I couldn’t wait for her big sister Jovie to meet her.

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The labor and delivery experience was just half of my hospital stay, I still had a minor surgery procedure to go through. I planned with my Dr to get my tubes tide after delivery, but after talking with my Dr, some friends, and doing research…I decided last minute that I wanted to get my tubes completely removed. So the next morning, at 9am, went through the 30 minute procedure (absolutely terrified but survived), spent 2 hrs in recovery, then back in my room with Jack and Korinne.

It’s a bittersweet decision, but when you know you are done, you just know. We got discharged a few hours later, not even 24 hrs in the hospital. A very quick hospital stay and we were on our way home to enjoy our family of four.

The recovery from surgery was worst than postpartum recovery. Jack had to help me in and out of bed for 4 days. The first week I was in a lot of pain, felt like I got hit by a train, but in the second week, I overall felt pretty good.

Jovie is back home and loves her, “baby sister!” Korinne even got Jo a gift basket full of books, candy, and a Minnie Mouse shirt (just so Jovie wouldn’t feel too jealous or left out). We had a house full of family visiting this past weekend, I am back to my usual routine (was getting so sick of ordering take out every night, gag!) and taking care of two kids is really not hard…busy, but not difficult.

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And we are LOVING having a newborn in the house. She brings us so much more joy, we laugh more, we are all just so happy with this little nugget. And she is such a good sleeper and eater. Jacks been so helpful, I’m not sleep deprived, it’s just been overall amazing! It’s true when they say second babies are easier, you are like an expert. Jo has been so helpful with her too. FullSizeRender 17

Jack went back to work this week which is a bummer, but I got a hold of things with these two girls while he is gone.

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Hope you all enjoyed reading Korinne’s birth story and my labor experience.

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Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Third Trimester Update (week 38.3)

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My last and final pregnancy update.

It is 11pm here in California, the house is quiet, I am sitting in my living room in my pink robe, eating a cup o noodle with extra hot sauce and lime…(oh cravings).

I finally got a chance to sit down and blog for a bit. Jack and I have been super busy with life. But now that things are falling into place, and Jovie is settled with her grandparents until baby arrives, I get to have some me time. The calm before the storm.

My due date is March 13, but I have a feeling this baby will arrive sooner. As I write this, I am feeling minor contractions…uncomfortable, but a good sign. I had a Drs appointment today, and my body is officially making progress, I am 1 cm dilated (woo hoo)!

Here you can read my First Trimester Update and Second Trimester Update.

Ultrasound Update:

In my last update, I mentioned that my Dr had noticed some minor concerns with my 20 week ultrasound scan. One of them being that my uterus was lower than usual, and another being that baby jelly bean had some fluid in her kidney. I was a emotional mess after hearing these things from my Dr, I felt like my mind was going to explode. He reassured to me that they were very minor, that they may go away on its own, and it’s really nothing to worry about. But how can you not worry about your unborn child after hearing things like this when you are pregnant and hormonal!

I had a follow up ultrasound scan 8 weeks later to see if these minor issues had resolved itself or if it had gotten worse (can you imagine waiting 8 weeks?) But I did get good news! My uterus was fine, and baby jelly beans kidneys were normal. I was so relieved! I sighed, “oh thank you lord Jesus!” I was so thankful. That was a scary experience that I am happy to leave behind me.

How I am feeling:

For the most part, I feel great. Just very fatigued and limited mobility.

Normally, if I drop something on the ground, my sweet Jovie would come running to help mama pick it up. I don’t even ask her, she just knows and is very helpful like that. But now that she is not here for a couple of weeks, I just leave it and wait for Jack to pick it up, ha!

This fatigue is something else, I really could sleep all day! But other than that, no hunger pains, no heart burn, no morning sickness, I am getting a lot of rest, blood pressure is good, nothing too crazy with my health. Since my health is good, I am just waiting for baby to naturally come whenever she is ready. I DO NOT want to get induced! *fingers crossed* Induction is such a pain, here is Jovie’s Birth Story to read about my induction due to preeclampsia.

Weight Gain:

I have gained a total of 52 pounds! I was hoping since this is my second pregnancy, that I wouldn’t gain as much. But who am I kidding, each pregnancy is unpredictable, and I love to eat! I really enjoyed myself this pregnancy, but I am ready to get back into Paleo and hit our gym with my two girls.

Baby Name:

We have yet to decide on a name. We are between two names. So I think our plan here is to wait and see our little girl for the first time, and decide which name fits her best! This will be exciting.

Final Thoughts Before Our Lives Change Again Forever:

I asked Jack if he is nervous to experience this labor and delivery scene with me one more time (the first time I wasn’t very friendly). But he doesn’t seem too concern, more impatient if anything. He is one very busy and impatient man I tell you. Always on top of his grind non-stop.

One day, we were comparing newborn diapers to Jovie’s size 5 diapers, and we just couldn’t stop laughing at how tiny the newborn diapers are. We just can’t believe we are going to have another little nugget in this house again, we are so excited!

I am not so nervous about giving birth. But it still blows my mind that I am pregnant. Like, is this for real? Is this real life? And I still cant believe that I am about to give birth again for the second time! This pregnancy seriously just flew by.

I sometimes look at my belly in the mirror and think to myself, life works in mysterious ways. I remember having this conversation with Jack about when it would be a good time to start for another baby, then one week later, I find out I am 6 weeks pregnant! Definite shocker, but we couldn’t be more happy.

I also think about my sweet Jovie, about how this will affect her, how she will react to this new change. I know she is still too young to understand exactly what is going on. But I keep telling myself that she is so blessed to be gaining a sister, a built in forever best friend. The plan was never to make Jo an only child, we wanted her to have a sibling. At the end of the day, family is everything. So that makes us very happy that they will have each other. At two years apart, she is going to make a great big sister. Our goal is to raise two strong, smart, and independent girls to conquer this world.

Now, I am more so preparing for postpartum recovering. Baby has everything she needs, and I need to make sure I have everything I need, so I don’t end up a emotional mess like the first time. Postpartum recovery is tough.

Hospital bags are packed, carseat is ready, and we are as ready as can be to have this baby. xoxo

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Pregnancy Fatigue

pfGrowing a tiny human is exhausting!

Pregnancy fatigue is currently my struggle in life right now. It is the one thing I can count on, not only in the first trimester, but also in the third (35 weeks).

Last night, I could barely cook dinner. I just wanted to lay on the couch and not move an ounce of my body. My lovely husband Jack offered to go out to grab take out, but I just couldn’t let him. I told him, “wait until baby comes, I am going to have you grab dinner every night.” So I pushed through the fatigue to cook for my family.

But in pregnancy, the fatigue is inevitable, thats for sure. With your hormone levels changing, and baby is now putting on lots of weight, I find myself beat! It is a struggle.

So here are some things that I find helped with my fatigue that I wanted to share:

More iron

I talked to my doctor about my fatigue and iron levels, and he approved an additional iron tablet. So that helped. Baby is stealing all of my nutrients!

Make better food choices

Choose high energy foods like: salmon, meat, oatmeal, apples, bananas, eggs, leafy greens, iron fortified cereal, nuts, and beans. Good thing I have been craving lots of these lately.

Don’t skip meals

I noticed when I skip or take too long to eat, my energy plummets and I am finding myself eating the first thing I can get my hands on, which is a no no. And I reach for the bad stuff! Keep track of your meals, it will help with avoiding crap and keep low energy at bay.

Get more rest

Sometimes, this may not be possible for every mama out there, but do whatever you can to get an extra nap in. It’s not going to make the fatigue go away, but it will help for the moment. Naps are always good, I don’t know anyone who hates naps ♡ Do whatever you gotta do!

5 more weeks (more or less) until this baby girl makes her world debut, and I am counting down the weeks because I am starting to feel very pregnant! 9 months is too long lol.

Thanks ya’ll for reading as always. Good luck to any mamas out there dealing with pregnancy fatigue! Please like, share, or repin. See you all next time! xoxo

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Exclusively Pumping for 1 year: My experience + tips & tricks

pinphoto1Ah, exclusively pumping…if you’ve done it, you know it’s not easy, but it is possible! I wasn’t planning on exclusively pumping with Jo when she was born, it kind of just happened by accident. I honestly didn’t know pumping full time was even an option! I didn’t find much info on this topic either, so I created this post, to help any mamas out there struggling with breastfeeding/pumping, plus shared my experience at the end of this post.

That first month is always tough, baby has to eat every 3 hours, and you have to keep up with pumping at the same rate to keep your supply up to baby’s rate. I was a walking zombie that first month, so sleep deprived! It is not going to be easy at first, but it does get better.

My typical pumping schedule for that first month (0-1 month) looked like this:

  • Pumped every 3 hours round the clock (15 min each breast)
  • 8 pumping sessions a day
  • Baby ate 2-3 oz bottles 8 times a day

At first, your supply will be colostrum, a thick yellowy liquid full of amazing nutrients for baby! It will also start out in a tiny amount, but thats okay! A teaspoon of colostrum is highly concentrated. But keep pumping like usual and your milk supply should come in in 2-3 days.

Your baby will also go through something called growth spurts, meaning baby will eat more frequently. I would try to establish a little stash of stored milk, it’s always good to have a little extra on hand.

Also, have a reliable pumping station dedicated to your pumping sessions. Some things you’ll need for your pumping station:

My typical pumping schedule for 2-12 months looked like this:

  • Pumped every 4 hours round the clock
  • 6 pumping sessions a day
  • 2 -6 month old baby ate 4-5 oz bottles 6 times a day
  • 6-9 month old baby ate 5-6 oz bottles 4 times a day
  • 9-12 month old baby ate 8 oz bottle 3 times a day

Yup, thats right, for the rest of the year my schedule didn’t change much. I was so use to it, it worked for me, it worked for us! And I had a hefty stash growing in my freezer.

By this time, your supply will grow and baby will eat higher volumes of breastmilk. I was a full-time stay at home mom so I got use to getting up once or twice a night to pump to keep my supply up. But if you notice your supply decreasing, this article I found on how to increase your supply can help.

One pet peeve I had about pumping was the endless dishes! Washing pumping parts and bottles all day long was exhausting! My husband’s least favorite part as well haha. But I learned some tricks to make it easier:

  • Reuse your pumping parts a few times before washing! After I was done pumping, I wiped the nipple shields and put the pumping parts in a ziplock bag and sticked it in the fridge until next use. Saved me so much time on washing dishes! I just washed them once at the end of each day.
  • Also, if you have a dish washer. There are Dishwasher baskets to hold all your little pumping and bottle parts in place so you can wash with ease. Only down side about this is you would need extra parts just incase you didn’t decided to turn on the dish washer that day (we use our dish washer every 2 days).

Do and don’ts about breastmilk:

  • Frozen milk can be left in the freezer for 6-12 months.
  • Thawed milk can be in the fridge up to 24 hrs.
  • Never refreeze milk.
  • Don’t shake bottles of breastmilk, rather STIR! Shaking will create bubbles and leave your baby gassy.
  • Don’t microwave bottles! Use a bottle warmer or hold it under warm running water for 5 minutes.

Finally, my favorite bottles were the Dr Browns bottles, they are amazing!

My experience:

When Jo was born Feb 12th, 2015, I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. I did not invest in any bottles or electric pump, I just thought, how hard can it be? I was a stay at home mom, so figured, I can do this. But let me tell you, it is difficult! My nipples were flat, Jo was not latching, then my nipples became cracked/sore, I seen a lactation consultant numerous times, I was in pain from just giving birth, my neck/back was in so much pain no matter what position I tried to nurse her, and I ended up in the emergency room with Mastitis. It was just miserable that first 2 weeks, but I did not want to quit, I was determined! I did not want to give up.

So I was fed up and needed to do something, I looked at Jack, all sleep deprived and stressed out, and told him to just go to Target, and to buy a Electric Breast Pump. He got back home, and I hooked it up right away to use it. It felt right, it felt a lot easier, and not painful at all. When I gave Jo her first bottle of that tiny 1 oz of milk, she was happy! So it became the new normal for us, I ended up exclusively pumping her for 1 year and 2 days and I have no regrets!

Oh the places I pumped in: airplanes, airport bathrooms, Disneyland, in a moving car during road trips, in closets, hotel rooms, restaurants, the list goes on. But you get use to it.

Sometimes I do wish I could have breastfed her exclusively, but I had to think about mama’s health as well. So in the end, it worked well for us. Mamas don’t feel beat if you cannot breastfeed, everyone is different, every situation is different, do what works best for you and focus on your health as well.

I am due in a couple months with our 2nd girl, and I am going to try to breastfeed her directly, but exclusively pumping is an option that I now know of.

And finally, reach out for support if you are still struggling. There are lots of helpful resources out there, or you can just shoot me an email.

Thank you for ready, please like and share, see you all on my next post! xoxo

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5 Things I Would Tell My First Time Mommy Self

image-2Of course, I had my own idea of what kind of parent I wanted to be. But let me tell you, becoming a parent is so unpredictable. I am no where near the kind of parent I thought I would be. So, I created a list of 5 things I would tell my first time mommy self. And if your going to be a first time mommy too, I hope this post can help you as well!

  1. Accept each advice from other mommies with a grain of salt: I know it can be somewhat difficult, I rolled my eyes a lot at other people’s advice lol. There are tons of ways to parent and raise a child, but take in each advice. You never know, you may end up saying, “wow, she was right.”
  2. Don’t ignore your health: Be selfish with your health. Caring for a newborn can be mentally and physically draining! I was so sleep deprived, and ended up sick in the ER with mastitis. My Dr yelled at me to take it easy, and I am so thankful my Dr told it to me straight up. I felt so much better about getting the rest I needed and ignored cooking and housework for about a month. Don’t worry about anything else, pretend you are stuck in bed, paralyzed, and only care for yourself and for baby for as long as you can.
  3. Don’t judge other moms: Don’t compare yourself either, comparing is crap! Whether you are a stay at home mom, a working mom, a breast feeding mom, formula feeding mom, a bed sharing mom, who cares! Fuck the labels. I know before I had Jo, I for sure judged other moms. yeah, I can admit it. I even judged my own mom, like, “why would you take my baby sister to the movies when she was a newborn” Yeah, I did it. But truth is, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO BE A MOM. I have realized that every single person is different, everyone has their own preferences, their own reasons of why they did it. But deep down, we are all losing our shit! Oh, you had a beer in your 9 month of pregnancy? Cool. Oh, you leave your children at grandmas house every weekend? Thats cool too. Everyone is different, let these mommies be!
  4. Get help: Don’t deny help, swallow your pride and just accept it. Don’t be afraid to ask for it either. People are willing to help because they know having a baby is not easy. When Jo was first born, I tried to do everything myself. But caring for a new baby without any help was so difficult. This time, when baby girl is due in march 2017, I have family coming to stay, and Jo will be taken care of. This time around will be different, I will accept any help I can.
  5. Embrace what’s happening: Being a first time mommy is a learning process, don’t take it too serious. Things will change last minute that will be out of your control, so embrace it! It’s okay to cancel plans, be a hot mess, or want to stay home for dinner. Be true to yourself. You just had a baby and sometimes life can be unpredictable.

Is there anything you would share with first time mommies that is not on this list? Thanks for reading! Please like and share, thanks for your support! xoxo

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Postpartum Recovery Must Haves + My Honest Experience (2017)

image-1As promised in my Newborn Must Haves post, I created a list of postpartum must haves, what to expect, and my experience.

As a first time mommy in 2015, I was so impatient, and so excited to give birth! I couldn’t stop thinking about it and couldn’t wait for my little jelly bean to make her debut into the world. I was so excited that I didn’t even think about the after math of delivering.

I thought I would just heal in a few weeks (yeah, no big deal right), then I will be back to my normal self again, get back into my gym routine again, and back to my normal life again in no time. But boy was I WRONG! Took me about 7 – 8 months to feel like my normal self, took me that long to workout again, and took that long to mentally and physically feel like I have everything under control again.

Below is a list of items that will benefit you tremendously during postpartum recovery after giving birth:

  1. Disposable mesh panties: Truth is, you will be bleeding A LOT after giving birth. The hospital most likely will be nice enough to give you a few mesh panties to take home. But if not, have a few on hand at home, at least for 1-2 weeks for the heavier days, so you don’t ruin any of your nice panties at home.
  2. Menstrual pads: The hospital may give you a few pads to take home as well, but they will be ginormous! Like from your belly button to your butt crack lol. Yeah super big ones! But bleeding will slow down so have a variety of pads available at home, from super heavy to panty liners. I bled for about 5 weeks!
  3. Puppy Pads: This item is kind of a funny one to me because when I went to bed, I was scared to bleed through my bed linens, so I thought, “PUPPY PADS!” I had some in my bathroom already and they helped a lot. But the funny part was I noticed other moms did the same thing! It is better to be safe than sorry, I slept on puppy pads for the first few days.
  4. Perineal Bottle: Or Perri bottle. My nurse gave me a perri bottle to take home after giving birth, and she stated to fill it with warm water + a tiny bit of baby wash, and after every time you use the bathroom, squirt the water to flush your self and dab with toilet paper but DO NOT WIPE!!!! Especially if you’ve got stitches, only dab the toilet paper! I suffered 2nd degree tear so this was helpful to keep that area clean down there.
  5. Stool softeners: Using the bathroom after giving birth is not going to be fun, it’s rather going to be hell. My Dr recommended I start taking these stool softeners before I gave birth, but I never did. I was all “anti medication blah blah blah” during pregnancy, but I wish I took them. Going #2 is going to make you strain and you don’t want to put any more strain on your bottom especially after just having a baby! This brings me to my next item!
  6. Hemorrhoid medicated pads: I remember having the most awful painful hemorrhoids after giving birth. So bad, that I was in tears everyday! During labor, I pushed for about one hour and put so much strain on my body that I was just all messed up down there. If your one of the lucky ones struggling with hemorrhoids, put these medicated pads on your menstrual pads or use them to wipe your bum. These pads give a cool minty like feel to calm those huge angry hemorrhoids.
  7. Dermoplast: A MUST have! Use this to take any discomfort away. This is a pain relieving spray for pain, itch, and cuts. And if you’ve had stitches, this is a must! Your hospital may give you one to have, but have one in your home just in case. This stuff is amazing!
  8. Ibuprofen: Your Dr will most likely prescribe you with a stronger dose of Ibuprofen than available in stores. Take it for pain relief! This also helped with the pain of breastfeeding for the first time.
  9. Comfy robe + Slippers: After birth, I was a complete hot mess of a mom. You’ll probably still be wearing maternity clothes as well. But to make myself feel a bit better, I had a cute and comfy robe to wear. It makes all the difference when your home all day catering to a newborn!
  10. Postpartum belly band: This is optional, I didn’t use one after my first pregnancy, but I plan on doing so this time. Especially since I will be getting surgery right after I give birth (I’ll talk more about what kind of surgery after it’s been performed). Your organs will take time to shrink back into place so this will help.
  11. Get help if you need it: Try not to be super mom and feel like you have everything under control. It’s ok to slow down and accept help! You just had a baby! I was so stressed out and emotional that a home cooked meal by a neighbor made all the difference, it really does! There is support out there, don’t deny the help. It’s ok to ask for help too. You think labor and delivery is tough, wait till after you give birth!

Have a basket of these items in your bathroom or on your toilet for convenience.

My Postpartum experience:

Your hormones are all out of wack trying to get back to your normal self after giving birth, and if your breastfeeding too that can affect it as well. I got a second degree tear and had to get stitches. I ended up in the ER with Mastitis at 2 weeks PP because I tried to get back to my normal life too quickly, not getting the rest I needed. I even got a horrible reaction (probably from the medication from getting induced) after 4 weeks of giving birth. My whole body broke out into hives, huge itchy hives the size of pancakes! It lasted about a few weeks, and I could barely carry my newborn, it was painful. I honestly thought they would never go away, I thought my life was over lol. At 6 months PP my beautiful long hair was falling out by the chunks, I had to cut it super short, I was devastated. I was a emotional mess, I cried a lot! I cried everyday in the shower. I was sleep deprived, tired, and exhausted. When my friends and family asked me how I was doing, I just cried! I was super happy to be a mommy but my emotions were a huge mess. Sure on social media I was on top of the world, a happy first time mommy, but behind closed doors, I was struggling with PP recovery. It is hard!

What I am trying to get at here is, don’t ignore the idea of prepping for postpartum recovery! It is something you have to prep for…because the recovery is painful, lengthy, and very unpredictable. Take care of your health.

Something I will tell myself after having my second baby in March of 2017, “Slow down, take your time, seek help if you need it, you just had a baby!”

Thanks for reading! Hope this has helped you! xoxo

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What you really need for a Newborn (2017)

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When I had my first baby Jo in Feb of 2015, I had no idea what I needed for a newborn. Friends and family gave their helpful advice, but I was still so overwhelmed, and I didn’t even know where to begin. I did lots of research, TONS! Google ended up being my best friend, but in the end, I over prepared and ended up buying things that I didn’t even use, not once!

There were plenty of things I bought that Jo didn’t really need until she was about 6 months also (like a crib, crib mattress, crib bedding, and high chair). These things your baby won’t need right away. I don’t want you first time mommies to make the same mistakes I did, so I put together a list of items I definitely would have on hand before baby is born.

This list may seem like a lot. But I kid you not, this is a minimal version of newborn necessities to have before baby is born!

Newborn items you and baby will need:

  • baby wash cloths: I wouldn’t use any wash cloths, make sure they are for babies because the material is a lot softer for baby’s fragile skin.
  • Circo lamb baby towel: I got this towel as a gift at my baby shower and Jo still uses it! I just love it and it’s super cute!
  • Baby bath: Loved this bath for newborns up to 6 months (then you have to upgrade to a bigger tub). This one comes in both blue and pink!
  • Purex baby detergent: I really love the Purex baby detergent, it’s VERY inexpensive and works just as well as any other brand. I would stock up on baby detergent and keep a bottle in the kitchen as well. Lots of times, I found myself hand washing bibs and onesies from blow outs, yuck!
  • Cool Mist Humidifier: This is a product we didn’t even know we needed until after Jo was born. She was born in the middle of winter, and we were cooped up in the house. She was having a hard time breathing and was always stuffed up. This helped tremendously, especially at night time.
  • Target baby Wipes: When Jo was first born, I was all about the name brand baby wipes, but honestly, they all work the same. I wish I would have just saved the money and went with a cheaper brand. Target brand wipes works just as well and is a lot cheaper.
  • Up and Up Target Diapers: Another item I wish I could have saved money on. I only bought the name brand diapers, but Target brand works just as fine.
  • Aveeno Baby wash + shampoo: I really like the Aveeno brand baby wash + baby shampoo combo. But any brand is fine as well.
  • Aveeno baby lotion: baby lotion for a newborn is super important! Keep that babies skin away from dryness.
  • Target diaper rash cream: I got this diaper rash cream as a baby shower gift and loved it! Jo barely struggled with diaper rashes, so I haven’t tried any other brand, but this one worked well for us.
  • Changing table: A well organized changing table is a must! With the diapers, products, and laundry, you’ll want something with extra storage. I liked this one from Amazon.
  • Summer infant changing pad: This Summer infant contour changing pad is amazing, I didn’t use a cover for it either for easy cleaning.
  • Diaper genie + Refills: I was told this is a must, so I bought it. But honestly, I am on the fence about this one. We also just had small garbage bags to use for disposing dirty diapers and threw it away at the end of the day, and that worked well for us as well. But whatever works for you, I would try it out, it’s inexpensive, especially if you want to eliminate the smell. 🙂
  • Newborn onesies 5 pk: Jo lived in these plain ole white onesies during the day. Her dressier baby clothes were only wore when going out, and we barely went out unless it was for a Dr’s appointment lol. I would probably buy a couple packs of these to have in Newborn and 0-3 size. Blow outs and messes will happen so it’s always good to have extra.
  • Sleepers with zippers!: I cannot stress how amazing these were at night time. I can’t imaging changing diapers in the middle of the night half asleep while the baby is wearing button sleepers, I probably would have lost my mind! The zipper ones are the way to go!
  • Hats: Newborns love to be snuggly warm 🙂
  • Boba wrap baby carrier: Another item I didn’t buy until after Jo was born but realized I needed, a baby carrier! Jo had her moments where she only wanted to be held, and I had things to do. So carrying her in a baby carrier while cleaning and getting things done around the house was beneficial. Just don’t baby wear while cooking! Yikes!
  • Stroller + car seat system: When looking for a baby stroller and carseat system, make sure it also has the carseat base for the car.
  • Carseat cover: I really like this poncho from Milk Maid Goods on Etsy! It doubles as a carseat cover and a nursing cover! Amazing!
  • Britax carseat mirror: I got this car seat mirror as a baby shower gift and loved it.
  • warm heavier blanket for outings: Just incase it’s chilly out.
  • Diaper bag: Any diaper bag is fine, I bought this one from Mat & Nat and enjoyed it.
  • Changing pad Clutch: I would say this is a must! So many times I had to change Jo’s diaper on the go and had too many items in one hand and a baby on the other. A clutch is the way to go to stay organized!
  • Bibs: Definitely have lots of bibs on hand. Jo still uses her bibs after 2 years.
  • Burp cloths: You will be burping baby a lot, so these are a must.
  • Swaddle blankets: These were a life saver during Jo’s naps and bed time. Whenever she had her moments of discomfort and fussiness, and good tight swaddle just did the trick! She loved being swaddled up until she was about 6 months old.
  • Auto Rock and play: Jo lived in her Fisher Price Rock and Play during her first 6 months of life. I carried it to the bathroom when I needed to shower, carried it to the kitchen when I needed to cook, then at bed time I had it right next to me as we slept. I highly recommend it.
  • Rocking chair or glider: I loved my glider, I basically lived in it during the day. You’ll definitely need a comfy zone for feeding a baby 8 times a day and pumping.
  • Nursing pillow: a regular pillow worked for me, but I know lots of mommies who loved the Boppy pillow.
  • Play mat for tummy time: Jo didn’t really use her play mat until she was about 1 month old, but it is a must for tummy time. Find one with a tummy time pillow and overhead toys for baby.
  • Nose frida: I didn’t know this existed until we needed something to suction Jo’s nose after she suffered her first cold. This is definitely a must have!
  • Saline nose drops: We probably used these on Jo daily, it works well to flush out any boogies.
  • Gripe water: We loved using Little Remedies Gripe Water whenever Jo was suffering from hiccups or colic. This product works very well.
  • Infant tylenol: As much as you are a helicopter mom with your child, babies will still get colds or fevers. This was good to have on hand.
  • Vitamin D drops: Daily dose of vitamin D is mandatory for that first year of life.
  • Thermometer: Always good to have, I like the digital ones, great for the whole family!
  • Nail clippers + emery boards: Newborns nails can get sharp. I noticed I barely used the emery boards, but the nail clippers I used weekly. I like this set from Babies r us.
  • Baby mittens: A good item to have for that first month of life, even though Jo still found ways to scratch herself during her baths lol.
  • Baby brush + comb: You probably won’t need this right away if your baby is born with barely any hair. But Jo was born with a FULL head of hair (now I know why I suffered the worst heartburn during that pregnancy lol).
  • Pacifiers: Start out with a couple of pacifiers first to see if baby will like it or not, sometimes the hospital will give you some. Jo hated hers so she never used them (waste of money on us), but you never know, your baby may love them and it may be your life saver item.
  • Pacifier clips: If your baby enjoys the pacifiers, pacifier clips will be helpful to prevent them from falling to the ground and getting dirty.

Breastfeeding must haves:

  • Nursing cover: This is the same cover as the link above for the carseat cover. These Milk Maid Goods covers are so cute and versatile.
  • Nipple cream: I enjoyed the Earth Mama Angel Baby natural nipple cream and used it daily, I went through about 3 containers that first year of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing bra: Don’t skimp on a good nursing bra! I used some high end ones and low end cheap ones, but the cheaper ones were a waste. These ones from Target were amazing.

Pumping must haves:

  • Medela breast pump + pumping parts: As a first time mom, I wanted to save money and try to exclusively breastfeed, but I found that my breast were so engorge after that first week of giving birth that I needed to pump the milk out since Jo wasn’t eating that much anyways. So we ended up buying a electric breast pump about a week after I gave birth and I wish I would have bought it sooner. A manual breast pump will sort of work as well but not everyday, you’ll end up developing carpal tunnel lol. I even had a big stash of milk growing in the freezer, it was amazing!
  • Lansinoh storage bags: I LOVE these Lansinoh milk storage bags, they are a good size and easy to use. Don’t waste your time or money on those tiny Medela storage bags (Sorry Medela).
  • Dr Brown’s bottles: Probably the best bottles I have used, I love the filtration system, such a game changer. Jo’s feedings were a breeze and I noticed Jo wasn’t as gassy after her feedings too. The only thing about these bottles though they are a pain to clean, but I would use them again and again.
  • Munchkin bottle sponge: I have no complaints about the Munchkin bottle cleaner, I repurchased it twice already. I just used regular dish soap as well.
  • Munchkin bottle warmer: Compact and easy to travel with as well. Used it daily to warm up bottles and baby food too..
  • Munchkin drying rack: Definitely useful, used it daily.

Formula feeding must haves:

Some extras that helped me:

  • I kept a journal by my bed to keep track of feeding times, but there are apps for that as well. I like the Baby Tracker App.
  • Also, find a good playlist to have as background noise (I liked Baby Einsteins on Pandora Radio)
  • Finally, a good working camera with lots of storage. I took about 1,000 photos of Jo by the time she was one month old.

Our second baby girl will be here in a few weeks (March 2017), and this was a good refresher of what I actually need to have on hand. I hope this post was helpful for you as it was for me!

Of course having all of these things will help you tremendously, but one of the most important things I’ve learned is to take care of mommy too! (I’ve learned the hard way). I put my baby and husband before myself and ended up super exhausted, stressed out, and ended up in the ER sick with mastitis. So please mommies, please take care of yourselves and get as much rest with baby too.

My next blog post will be my must haves for that difficult postpartum recovery us mommies tend to not really talk about after having a baby. But lets face it; it takes months, even up to a year, to feel like your normal self again after giving birth 🙂

Thanks for reading! Is there any newborn must haves that you realized you needed that is not on the list? Let me know! xoxo

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Update: Second Trimester + Bump

fullsizeoutput_1f35Hello baby bump!

I know I’ve been pretty quiet about this pregnancy so far. I guess since this is my second pregnancy, I’m in that “been there done that” mood. As of last week, I am excited to share that I have finally reached the final stretch of this pregnancy, I am officially in the third trimester! Goodbye second trimester!

Here is my first trimester update if you haven’t read it yet: First Trimester Update

fullsizeoutput_1f3cAs you all know, we are expecting a little baby girl 🙂 And I must say, this pregnancy is going by extremely fast. I barely have any symptoms so I don’t really feel like I am pregnant at all. I am really enjoying this easy peasy pregnancy.

So here are some details on how my pregnancy has been going so far these past few months:

Due date: March 13, 2017

How far along? 28 weeks

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A big growing belly:

I feel like my belly has definitely popped out overnight, I look more pregnant at 6 months now than I did when I was 6 months pregnant with Jo (I guess it’s true the second pregnancy you tend to show more sooner).

Round ligament pain is still as painful as the first time. So the sneezing and laughing did hurt lol. And having to pick up a one year old constantly is not fun.

Although, I was excited to go through my old maternity clothes. I thought I would be bummed that my clothes wouldn’t fit my mid section anymore, but maternity clothes are so comfy! My favorite maternity wear are maternity leggings from Old Navy and Target and long oversized cardigans. This time around I am loving being pregnant and just embracing it.

No Cravings or Hunger Pains (yet):

I haven’t had any hunger pains or cravings which I am very happy about (knock on wood). With Jovie they were really bad, I craved so many specific kinds of foods, and ate two to three times throughout the night (it was torture). I think cravings are torture because if you have a certain craving, and have no way of getting it, it is the worst feeling in the world, almost like I just want to have a melt down (sounds silly i know). But this time, I just feel normal, and eating normal. But I have to admit, I have been indulging just because I can lol. I’m just enjoying myself and not worried about weight gain. Baby and I need to eat so I can worry about my weight after I give birth.

Sleep:

Pregnancy insomnia is real y’all! I would wake up around 3am WIDE AWAKE and try my hardest to go back to sleep, but I end up wide awake for at least 3 to 4 hours. So now when the insomnia hits, I try to take advantage of that time to be productive around the house or catch up on my favorite shows.

Also, charlie horses happen in my legs every night while I sleep. But I figured how to stretch my legs to get rid of them quickly (they are not fun).

But for the most part I am sleeping like my normal self. No extra pillows are needed…yet 🙂

Nausea and morning sickness:

Nausea and morning sickness are pretty much non-existent 🙂 I have been feeling amazing!

Cravings:

None really, but if I had to choose something I would say a good juicy cheeseburger with a side of fries.

Weight Gain:

Oh yes, I am embarrassed to say, during the second trimester I gained around 29 lbs!

Food Aversions:

One food I cannot stand is this Burmese pork ball soup that Jack’s mom shared with me. It is one of Jack and Jovie’s favorite too! It use to be one of my favorites, but now when I make it I need all the windows open and I have to quickly make enough to freeze so I don’t have to cook it for a while and just have Jack heat it up when he pleases (so I don’t have to suffer).

Another thing I am still having a hard time taking is my prenatal vitamins. They make me gag, and I always forget to take it since I forget I am pregnant as it is (see…easy pregnancy).

Energy:

My energy is lower than usual, I have been taking daily 2 hour naps with Jovie.

I do sometimes drink coffee, a coca cola, or a half a serving of Spark energy if I feel like I desperately need it. This pregnancy definitely has me feeling more lazy 🙂

Missing:

I guess I am missing my non pregnant self, I feel like pregnancy robs me of my beauty. My skin is bad, stretch marks are showing, and my face looks swollen. Maybe a nice cold beer or glass of wine too 🙂 But one good thing about this pregnancy is that it is going by extremely fast!!!

Movements:

This baby kicks so much and so hard!!! I feel like she is going to break my ribs! It is a sense a relief not having to count fetal kicks, because I am over here hoping she wouldn’t kick so much lol.

Heartburn:

No heartburn this time around so far thank you lord Jesus. With Jovie they were horrible, like my throat and chest were on fire every single day! It is probably one of my least favorite things about being pregnant, so I am happy that they haven’t attacked me this time around.

Baby Prepping?

No baby prepping, we are probably as prepared as can be. With Jovie I over prepared, but I guess that’s with most first time parents. After Jo was born, I realized I didn’t need certain things. But I am happy that I saved most of Jovie’s baby item necessities. But the only item I can think of that we need to start stocking up on is diapers.

*My word of advice to new mommies: Buy as you go, or buy if you need it, don’t buy just in case. I may make a blog post on things you actually need for a newborn*

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Concerns:

I do have another ultrasound scheduled for this week to see how things are going on inside my belly. My 20 week anatomy scan showed that my uterus is lower than usual and baby has some fluid in her kidney, so I am praying these things cleared up or I get more answers because right now I am just waiting. I’ll update more once I get more answers.

Also, we still haven’t agreed on a name yet. Baby girl will be here in less than 3 months and we have no names picked out. It is so difficult to pick a name and Jack and I have been really discussing about it a lot.

This is it for my second pregnancy update, I will do my third and final update beginning of march just before baby arrives! We are so excited for a new baby in the family.

Thank you all for stopping by, please comment any questions or advice below 🙂

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We’re having a……

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Yes! It’s a girl! We are having another girl, a little sister for Jo!

I’m not going to lie, we were secretly hoping for a boy. When the technician said girl, I looked at Jack with my hand on my forehead and screamed, “OMG another girl!!!!!!” After my surprised outburst the technician asked me if I was hoping boy haha. Whoops, was it that obvious?

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Yeah, I was totally surprised, we were both surprised. It’s amazing because this pregnancy is totally different from Jovie’s pregnancy, but that goes to show that no two pregnancies are the same.

We are beyond excited though, I am going to be a momma to two girls (oh gosh). Glad I kept all of Jovie’s baby clothes and baby stuff, we really are set to have this baby. Not much preparation needed, so this will be a breeze.

Now to pick a name, any suggestions?

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