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Food Life Organic

The Pursuit of Organic / 2

Food. It’s the fourth love of my life (behind Jesus, my husband and my kid, of course). I don’t know what it is that fascinates me about food. Maybe it’s because food is the one thing we all share in common. I mean, everyone has to eat so we might as well talk about what we’re eating, right?! It wasn’t until I was married and in my own house that I found my love of cooking. I always tell Tyler that if I could have a do-over and pick a new profession, I’d go to culinary school. So, I’m serious when I say I really, really love food.

I’ve always had an interest in organic products but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized I should make a serious switch. Long story short, Cache is borderline lactose intolerant so I’ve had to give up most dairy (some things with dairy affect him, others do not). Sometimes I would slip up and put dairy in my coffee not realizing what I had just done. When it was time for his next diaper change, I would notice a bloody streak in his stool from what I ate earlier, which leads me to my next point: I saw this short video on Facebook about a family who made the switch from non-organic food to organic food. To show the massive impact it had on their diets, they took “before” and “after” urine samples. The “before” urine samples were filled with insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, etc. The “after” urine samples were completely clean. If my intake of small amounts of dairy affected him that bad, what were the non-organic foods and unhealthy snacking doing to him, too?!

Disclaimer: I’d be lying if I said all of these snacks were organic. Some aren’t. I’m working on that. My biggest interest at the moment is slowly making the switch over to organic while also eating healthy snacks along the way. This is a work in progress – always!

Here’s what I’m eating this week:

 


 

Snacks:

Nutiva O’Coconut: These are really good! They’re like little raw coconut domes. Perfect if you’ve got a sweet tooth.

Brown Rice Cakes: I love to put organic peanut butter and bananas on these for an afternoon snack. I like them!

Late July Organic Sea Salt and Lime Chips: Really tasty and crunchy. Now all I need is some salsa!

Go Raw Choco Chunk Coconut Chips: Super chewy and delicious clusters of chocolate coconut. Can you tell I like coconut?

Dang Coconut Chips: Probably my favorite snack of all time. They melt in your mouth! Yum.

Baking/Cooking:

Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar: I use this in my morning coffee and it’s the only sugar I really like.

Thrive Organic Coconut Milk: I made vegetable curry the other day and used this for the first time. Total win, win! I will be recording.

Thrive Organic Cacao Powder: I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!

Simply Organic Vanilla Extract: I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!

Lunch:

Miso Cups: OH EM GEE. These things just saved my lunch. It’s amazing how quickly you can make a cup of miso soup and how delicious it tastes. It’s a powder that you pour into 8 oz of hot water and PRESTO: Miso in a bowl. It even has tofu and green chard pieces in it. Will be recording a hundred more packs.

Yum Butter Peanut Butter: I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!

Wild Pink Salmon: I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!

Crofter’s Organic Raspberry Jam: I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!

Food Life Organic

The Pursuit of Organic / 1

I recently posted an article on my Facebook page about how toxic Johnson and Johnson products are for babies:

“A Missouri jury recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 Million to the family of Jacqueline Fox, whose death by ovarian cancer was linked to her daily use of talcum-based Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. Johnson & Johnson knew about the cancer link but failed to warn consumers.”

I’m sorry, what was that last part? They knew about the cancer link but failed to let us moms know? As a new mom who’s still learning the ins-and-outs of parenthood, this article broke my heart and left me floored! Not only does Johnson and Johnson constantly claim that it’s “a family company”, leading every consumer to believe that they use their products on their own families, but we’ve been bathing Cache in their body wash (and used the baby powder on him once) and I feel so defeated. Like every mother, I want the best for my child, and I hate that companies lead us to believe they’re the best when they’re really not. I’m to blame, though. Had I known how to read a product label and had interest in safer products, it wouldn’t have been in my house. But I’m not going to sit here and pout. I’m going to do something about it!

I’ve heard that it’s easy to drop a habit when it’s for the health of your children. I couldn’t agree more. Example: I’ve been biting my nails since I was five. When I became pregnant, I stopped biting my nails – cold turkey – to avoid getting sick and weakening my immune system. I can even say the same for my diet! Cache is sensitive to cows milk, so I have given up most dairy and I eat at least one plant based meal a day.

So, we have officially made the organic + toxic-free switch at The Weir House, and while it’s going to take research and time to get it right, I look forward to blogging about all of my organic and toxic-free finds!

To start, I have gutted my entire bathroom. When I say the entire bathroom, I mean every.last.product. I had a friend recommend the Think Dirty app that allows you to scan products around your house and rates them. The app provides you with the knowledge to choose the safest and cleanest beauty + personal products for your family by rating the scanned products on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most toxic. I ended up filling two grocery sacks full of shampoo, lotion, hair spray, anything and everything that rated over a 5. Just look at my product ratings below: I was deep in a toxic hole and didn’t even know it. When I started scanning, I couldn’t believe my eyes – everything in my bathroom was a rating of 9, and that “coconut” shampoo that I thought was so “healthy” was a 10! A 10! That’s the worst it can get, folks! All of these products contain high levels of carcinogens, developmental and reproductive toxicity and allergies. Were these toxins entering my breastmilk and transferring to my baby? I’m sure of it!

 

 

After I chunked those items in the trash (some were still full and new!) I started to do my research. Days of scouring sites, following new instagram accounts and brushing up on my label knowledge led to making a list of products I would be switching out. Luckily, I found most of them in one place: Thrive Market. Beware! Thrive Market is addicting, and I’ve since become a Thrive Market junkie. It’s like Whole Foods meets Costco and it’s a great place to purchase organic products.

With that being said, below are my recent purchases (mostly found on Thrive Market) to replace what I currently had. I’m aware that I’m barely skimming the surface on thousands of amazig products out there (beauty counter, norwex, acure, zoe organics, etc. I’ve heard it all!) I’m also aware that some of these products may not be organic, but if they rate a 4 or less on my app and the label checks out, I’m doing better than I was. As of right now, my goal is to replace the current (read: terrible) products I own while continuing to do my research on new products that are just as good, if not better.

If you have recommendations, comment below! I plan to try everything out there. This is just the start!




Hair Care:

The Seaweed Bath Company Shampoo + Conditioner : So far, I love it. The conditioner truly conditions my hair and leaves it soft and the shampoo is great, too. I will be purchasing again!

For Baby:

Tubby Todd Baby Body Wash : When Cache was born, he had a bad bout of baby acne for a few weeks. I remember wondering if it would ever go away! And it eventually did. But if I eat something that doesn’t sit well with him, his face will break out. Knowing that his skin is so sensitive, I wanted to pick a really skin-friendly product for his body wash. I tossed the Johnson and Johnson and chose Tubby Todd. I love that I can use ONE product for Cache’s hair + body. It smelled great and was gentle on the skin. Thanks to my friend, Bianca, for the recommendation!

Seventh Generation Baby Wipes : No chemical smell, which is always a win-win. The wipes have a salty/ play-dough scent. I like them, and they get the job done!

Kiss My Face Sunscreen : Seriously, this sunscreen is GOOD. We live at the beach, so if there’s one thing I should have in my repertoire, it’s picking out good sunscreen. This stuff had ZERO scent. I’m used to putting on sunscreen and it smelling like chemicals, but this one was totally different. It was also thick and white, so I could see where I was putting it on Cache’s face. I recommend this sunscreen!

Oral Care:

Dr Bronners Toothpaste : I know what you’re thinking: cinnamon toothpaste? Ick! But it’s NOT ICK! I actually liked it. This was kind of an impulse purchase on Thrive Market, because I read the comments and people really seemed fond of it. I can see why. It’s not a strong cinnamon taste, and the cinnamon doesn’t linger in your mouth after.

Tom’s Toothpaste : This isn’t the worst toothpaste, but it’s also not my favorite. It has a weird aftertaste that I didn’t love. My favorite toothpaste so far is a brand called Jason at Wholefoods. My husband prefers the Dr Bronners Cinnamon toothpaste (linked above) but I like a spearmint taste in my mouth so Jason is a win for me!

For Bath:

The Seaweed Bath Company Body Wash : The smell of this body wash is intoxicating in the best way. It smells like the massage oil you get when you get a professional massage, minty and fresh. I really love this. Probably my second favorite purchase behind the bar of soap.

The Seaweed Bath Company  Detox Bath : This was interesting. I didn’t know that seaweed smells fishy (…makes sense) so this Detox Bath smells a little like salty fish. They give you a porous bag to put the seaweed in and the directions say to run it under the faucet as your bath is filling up, so that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t hate it! It’s just different.

The Seaweed Bath Company Cellulite Soap : Probably one of my favorite products in this whole pile up. Immediately after I got out of the shower, I added 2 more bars to my cart. It’s got a great texture and feels like a body scrub on your skin, but in a bar form. I really, really like this. UPDATE: I still love this soap but after one use, it got really goopy in the shower and every time I pick it up I feel like i’m holding mud. I remind myself that if this is what it means to buy natural, I’m ok with it!

Makeup:

EO Makeup Wipes – drier than your average makeup wipes. One swoop over my eyes and my eye makeup was gone!

Coco Kind Moisture Stick : I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!

Body Care:

Herban Cowboy Mens Deodorant : I got my husband two types of deodorant because 1. he’s a big time sweater and 2. he’s really picky about his deodorant. I actually thought he would hate both, and I’d have to hunt down more organic deodorant. To my surprise, he loved this one. It’s got a manly scent and even better – it’s aluminum free! He did say, “I can’t believe I’m wearing a deodorant called ‘Herban Cowboy’.” Hahah.

Toms of Maine Mens Deodorant : He hasn’t tried this one yet but it smells like lemongrass or something. Not as manly of a scent.

Nourish Organic Women’s Deodorant : This is not my favorite deodorant. The smell is great but after a few uses, the deodorant became textured and bumpy and it’s kind of painful to apply. It doesn’t glide on like normal deodorant. I don’t know if it’s the beeswax inside of it or what!? I will be looking for another kind.

Skin Care:

Nourish Organic Face Lotion : This is not my favorite face lotion. It smells like citrus meets rubber. Not a very appetizing smell for your face. I will be looking for another kind.

Nourish Organic Face Cleanser : This stuff is really milky. I was in the shower reading the ingredients and as I was about to pour it on my rag, it was guzzling out of the nozzle. I liked it, though! And I do remember thinking that my face felt soft when I got out of the shower.

Dr Bronners Unscented Shaving Soap : I haven’t tried this yet. Check back!

Cleaning:

Dr Bronners Pump Soap : this stuff felt sticky when I first washed my hands with it, but boy does the lavender smell good. My husband used it after dinner and said, “I like this soap!” so I guess it’s a winner?! UPDATE: I really like this hand soap and plan on purchasing more!

Life

Post Partum: Week 4 & 5 + One Month Old!

My baby is ONE MONTH OLD! My goodness. How did we get here?

Cache, you are one month. I love seeing your little beedy eyes blink in the dark at 3 AM; I love that you smack your lips when you’ve finished a bottle; how you smile at your stuffed moose before falling asleep in your crib; your gummy, toothless grin; that you go into a trance during bath time; how you can go from a smile to a frown when you’re dreaming; I love hearing your little grunts during breastfeeding sessions; how you study the world around you with intention; and that you have no issue letting me know about every.single.wet.diaper. Happy one month on Earth!

I finally feel like ME this week. I’ve started back cooking, going for walks and getting out of the house. It’s nice to do something familiar again! Since the baby, my whole life has been turned upside down: sleep is different; eating is different; my body feels different; my schedule is different. It’s nice to slowly find those old habits that make you feel sane again.

The hunger that comes after labor and throughout breastfeeding? It is ruthless. I am hungry constantly. When I first came home from the hospital, I didn’t even taste my food. It was like I couldn’t eat fast enough! Unfortunately, the hunger has stuck around for as long as I’ve been breastfeeding. Just the other day, I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich …while making my LUNCH.

Are you hearing the words that are coming out of my mouth?!

My husband looked at me and said, “Wow…you’re hungry.”

I don’t know who was more surprised: Tyler because I was eating two lunches, or me because he acted as if this was something new.

And the baby isn’t the only thing waking me up at 3 AM! In the dead middle of the night, I actually had an aching pit in my stomach, so I made my way to the pantry and ate a protein bar. Tyler woke up from the sound of my chewing.

I.am.a.savage.

Let’s just say our grocery bill is our biggest expense at the moment. Hehe.

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I love this babe of mine. Just look at those toes! But man did he do a number on my body. I realized the other day that I hadn’t taken one photo with the baby because of how unattractive I feel. There are so many stretch marks, dark scars and crepe like skin. Even my belly button is a crater. I used to have a small belly button, but after toting around a big belly, it has stretched out.

Do you know the celebrity stories where the actress had a baby a week ago, and she’s rocking a flat stomach on the red carpet? I can’t even fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans 4 weeks in (fyi: don’t read the mom forums where everyone talks about how they fit into their jeans a week later…total fail on my part). I think the biggest surprise has been that none of my bathing suits even fit my bust! I’ve gone from a B cup to a C cup, and it looks as if I’m going to need all new swimsuits for this summer!!

As of right now, I’m 15 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m waiting to visit my OBGYN at my 6 week appointment before I begin working out. As soon as I get the green light, I plan to bust it! I can’t wait to begin exercising again. I have such a strong desire to get outside and RUN FORREST RUN.

On another note, my baby is already getting so big! I’ve been told that he’ll start to physically change on a weekly basis, and it’s so true. We’re already seeing him grow right before our eyes. He’s getting delicious baby rolls and his cheeks are super chubby. I love it so much.

We live in a 2-story house with a master bedroom on the first floor. Cache has been in a bassinet in our bedroom for the past 5 weeks. Just this week, we decided to sleep in the guest bedroom on the second floor and put him in his crib in the nursery. *Enter lots of sobbing* When he was in our room, I was waking up constantly from his shuffling, so Tyler suggested moving him out of our room so I wouldn’t wake at every peep. The “Moms on Call” book mentions that babies can smell their parents from a room away. They suggest the baby sleep in his own room, so we’re finally weaning him from his bassinet next to my bed.

BOO HOO.

It’s so hard to watch them grow and take these leaps, but I feel like more sleep will give me more energy throughout the day to be an even better mom.

For his first night spent upstairs (and ours!), we made sure to create a flawless system so that nights run smoothly like: putting a night light next to his changing table in the nursery so that we could see diaper changes; bringing our robes and slippers upstairs for middle of the night feedings and changes; bringing my pump upstairs and putting it in the bathroom; filling a canteen of water in case we got thirsty; bringing the baby monitor into our room, etc.

We’ve even begun taking shifts! Tyler starts back work next week, and we agreed that I would do middle of the night changes/feedings so that he could get some sound sleep, which means I have the 12:30 AM and 2:30 AM shifts. Tyler has the 5 AM and 7 AM shifts. We found that it worked really well for us! I think I see sound sleep in my future!

This week, we’ve received 3 hospital bills in the mail, and OH MY STARS it’s far more than we thought it would be. It’s enough to pay for a gently used car. I cannot believe how expensive having a baby is! Hospital bills are an effective birth control method, let me tell you.

Life

Post Partum: Week 2 & 3

I would love to say that raising a baby gets easier on week 2&3, but unfortunately it’s been just as hard (if not harder!) than week 1 for us. I think part of it is the lack of sleep is catching up with us in addition to experiencing new struggles. Tyler and I have jokingly admitted to each other that we’ve often forgotten what day of the week it is, which is why i’ve combined these two weeks because all of the events are literally starting to run together!

Cache has had a tough time this week with a lot of crying – more-so than last week. Sometimes, we’re up at all hours of the night finding ways to relieve him. Other nights aren’t as bad. We didn’t seem to have a problem with this during week 1, so this was a little frazzling for us! We ended up texting our parent-friends about our situation assuming he had gas, and our friends so kindly dropped of Gripe Water and Windi The Gasspasser for us. We haven’t tried the Gripe Water yet, but we are new fans of Windi! If you have a baby struggling with gas, I would highly recommend ordering a box (they are disposable and you don’t reuse them). Lubricate the stick on the end for easy insertion, and you’ll hear air come out of the other end if baby is gassy. Beware: using these made our baby poop e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. during the process, and we were cleaning up poop for 20 minutes after (on doors, baseboards, floors, walls…you get the drill)! It’s best to put a paper towel on the end of the Windi!

We got Cache’s social security card in the mail this week. Our man is officially on the map! (FYI: you don’t have to sign the card. You can leave it blank and store it in a safe place until he can sign it. I made the mistake of signing my name on his card so I might have to ask for a new one, but I also read that doing this doesn’t invalidate the card).

One positive thing that has happened for us this week is that Cache is not feeding as often as week 1. Like I said in my week 1 blog post, breastfeeding during the Colostrum phase is SO difficult. It’s hard to see how much the baby is eating, and I feel like it takes more work for the baby to get the colostrum out. When the milk phase kicks in, there are signs he’s getting enough milk: you’ll see the milk filling up the outer edges of his mouth, he’ll take big gulps and pause to breathe, you can look at his diaper output and your breasts become extremely soft after feeds. During week 1, we were feeding every 2 hours. Now, we’re feeding every 3 hours, or 3 feedings a night (12 AM, 3 AM, 6 AM).

Cache’s umbilical cord fell off on Day 10 of this week. It makes diaper changes not as difficult which is nice. Before, we had to fold down the diaper so that it didn’t cover the belly button. Now, we can put his diapers on like regular diapers!

I have no problem admitting that I’ve grown frustrated with the baby this week. A lot of people talked us out of giving him a pacifier to avoid nipple confusion. After our pediatrician gave us the go ahead, we decided to introduce him to one to give my nipple a break! He is not really a fan of pacifiers and prefers to use the breast for soothing. My pediatrician said this is because babies know the difference between skin and plastic. With pacifiers, he spits them out (definitely zero nipple confusion). Because of this, I’m forced to use my nipple to soothe him throughout the day, sometimes every hour. If I don’t, I have no doubt that he’d cry until I caved! It’s been tiring. However, we did find a paci that he somewhat likes. We started with a Soothie and that was a no-go. We ran to Target to find another option and found the Nuk. As of right now, he prefers that over the Soothie. Don’t hesitate to try out different pacifiers for your baby. All babies are different!

Another frustration this week is that it takes sooooooooo much patience to change his diaper throughout the night. He’s a squirmer/kicker and absolutely loathes diaper changes, so putting a diaper on him at 2 AM is not my idea of a good time.

Our second pediatrician appointment was this week. Our homework from our first pediatric visit was to begin tummy time, give him Vitamin D drops, and get him back up to his birth weight. As a breastfeeding mom, you can’t help but feel responsible for his weight loss even though it’s common in the first week. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to this appointment for fear that he’d be at the same weight, and I’d have to switch to formula. When they placed him on the scale, the numbers jumped to 8 pounds, 9 ounces. WE DID IT! He gained 1 pound and 6 ounces from the last visit! I was beaming. This was music to my ears!!!

Our pediatrician warned us at our first appointment that the new-parents-giddiness would wear off and sleep deprivation would hit us soon. This appointment was total proof. We were completely drained, and she could totally tell! During our first visit, we didn’t have a lot of questions. This second visit came with a whole notepad of concerns. It’s so funny how in just one week, you begin to experience new problems that come with parenting. We asked her questions about eye drainage, rashes, spit up, bath time and if he could go to the beach with us if we dressed him appropriately (SPF 50 rash guard, hat, etc.) It was really helpful to express our concerns to her so that we could rest easy at night. During this visit, they also measured him and put together a growth chart. This growth chart helps track his progress and also puts him into percentiles, for example: his head size is in the 90th percentile, which means the size of his head is above average. Before he was even born, we knew he would have a large head (like his dad 😉 )

I began pumping this week. I actually enjoy it. It gives Tyler time to feed Cache (which he loves doing) and gives me a break. If I choose not to breastfeed him at his feeding times (6 AM, 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, 6 PM, 9 PM, 12 AM, 3 AM, and so on and so forth), I’ll pump instead. I was able to get in a 3 hour nap the other day because of pumping! It was so, so nice. I also had a crack in my left nipple, and pumping has allowed me to give it time to heal. Breastfeeding this week has been pain free and so enjoyable – thanks, Medela!

Week 2 and 3 mainly comes down to one giant issue: Cache seemed colicky. I read that a colicky baby cries more than 3 hours out of the day, and Cache definitely fit that criteria! But after a lot of research and taking mental notes on what upset him and what didn’t, we realized this wasn’t because of gas. I’m truly embarrassed to say it, but we weren’t putting him on any type of schedule. We were feeding him on demand, and if he wanted to fall asleep in his rocker or during tummy time in the middle of the living room, we let him. We didn’t have a nap routine, and I think this was messing him up. We finally resorted to Moms on Call, a book (and an app) that help provide a schedule for your baby based on his age. I love the app because it notifies you when it’s time to feed him. It also maps out his nap times based on his age.

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Since sticking to a schedule, he’s been WAY less fussy! Seriously though – I’m SO embarrassed that we didn’t know babies needed designated nap times and more importantly, nap spaces! We had our night time routine down to a science… but during the day, we didn’t know that he should be swaddled, white noise, crib, etc. I’ll be honest when I say that we literally have no idea what we’re doing and we’re learning as we go. There is no parenting manual! You just have to trust your gut, research, ask advice and figure out what works best for your baby’s personality.

All in all, this week was a hard week. A really hard week. A “why do people think this is fun” week. It came with a lot of learning, grace and patience. If I have any advice for my expectant mama friends, it’s this: ASK FOR HELP. It really does take a village to raise a kid. Tyler’s family came into town and stayed with us for 2 nights, and it literally couldn’t have been better timing. I NEEDED them: for a lending ear; for advice; for down time while they watched the baby. Tyler and I actually got out of the house this week for “date night” (we went down the street to a cupcakery), and although our date only lasted for about 45 minutes because we were so exhausted, it was so worth it and gave us a moment of silence to talk about life and make sure the other was doing OK.

Life

Post Partum: Week 1

What a life changing week it has been!  We were discharged at noon on Thursday after a 2 night hospital stay. We were so antsy to get home just because a typical hospital stay involves laying in bed all day and constantly being checked by a million different nurses. After labor, you don’t feel like walking around and you’re pretty much bed ridden until you’re dismissed. Going home meant we could sleep in our own bed, eat our own food and relax in a familiar space with no interruption. FYI: I left the hospital 15 pounds lighter than I came!

After we signed a million hospital papers, we dressed baby in his homecoming outfit – a pale Easter yellow onesie and matching monogrammed bib. Tyler had the car ready to go at the front of the hospital. We packed up baby in his carseat, and I sat in the back oohing and ahhing over cheeks and toes and that newborn baby smell. I can’t believe we get to finally take him home!

Since our family lives out of state, we had them stay at our house while we were in the hospital. They also stayed at the house for our first night home, and I’m so glad they did. I remember battling with the thought of wanting to have the house to ourselves, but it was so convenient and welcoming to have my parents and grandmother there. When we pulled into the garage, everyone came out to take baby and our luggage. My mom and grandmother had cleaned and organized things around the house and there was dinner on the stove – chicken and dumplings. Mmm! What made our homecoming even more special was that it was raining outside (my favorite kind of day). It was a chance to sit back and relax in my familiar chair and be tended to, because when you’re ladybits are stitched up and your back is in pain, being tended to is so nice!

The first night with baby was rough. Since we planned on him sleeping in our room for the first 6 months, we purchased a Graco Pack-N-Play bassinet, but we ran into issues with the firmness of the mattress. When we placed him on it, he started to roll and the pad seemed too soft. Since a soft pad could lead to a higher risk of SIDS, I was really uncomfortable with the thought of him sleeping on it. We ended up removing the bassinet part on top and putting him in the playpen part below where the pad became flatter and not as squishy.

That wasn’t the only issue we ran into. We were frustrated at why we were struggling to nail down a routine with him. How hard could it be? Feed him, change him, put him to bed. Piece of cake! But looking back now, I realize that we were still learning his sleeping habits and cries – was he hungry? How did his diaper look? Maybe he’s cold/hot? And when he cried, how would we soothe him? Swing him or lay him on his stomach? On top of it all, baby crying in the middle of the night while we’re disoriented and sleepy is tough! We probably got one to two hours of sleep during our first night.

On night 2 and every night after, it began getting easier. Tyler and I started communicating better and found our groove! Tyler was in charge of diaper changes, and I was in charge of breastfeeding (of course). We don’t have Cache on a schedule. Instead, we base our schedule off of his feeding cues, so a typical night would be : baby wakes us up at 10 PM, 12 AM, 2 AM, 4 AM, 6 AM, and so on and so forth. Tyler grabs him from the bassinet and changes his diaper (sometimes we tag team it). Then, he passes off the baby to me for feeding. On night 3, we found out that breastfeeding stimulated him to poop causing Tyler to make an unnecessary second diaper change, so we swapped our routine. Tyler would hand the baby to me first. Then, I would breastfeed. Lastly, we would change his diaper. He hates diaper changes more than anything in the world, so after a diaper change, Tyler would hand him back to me to rock or soothe back to sleep. Voila! It’s all about learning the baby’s likes and dislikes. Once you figure that out, you’re good to go!

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Physically this week: my body feels sore. I was expecting an achy vagina, but this is different – my entire body hurts. My back aches, and I walk around like the hunchback of Notre Dame. I read that your body is used to carrying heavy in the front and after birth, you’re having to build up different muscles again. Also, my nipples are blistered and bleeding. Breastfeeding is so painful in the first week. I cried lots of tears, but as the days go on, I can slowly feel them healing. I’ve also corrected his latch, so that helps too. Take care of your tatas! I really planned ahead with breast therapy by purchasing Neosporin (only put a small amount on your nipple after baby feeds), gel pads, lanolin creams, etc. It’s worth the investment. We met with a pediatrician in the hospital during our stay and she told us, “the first two weeks of breastfeeding are really, really difficult but if you can get through those first two weeks, it’s so worth it.” That stayed with me during all the painful nights. In my opinion, the colostrum phase is the hardest phase. My colostrum didn’t flow as freely as milk, and I remember wondering if he was getting enough to eat.

On day 3 of being home, my milk came in and it feels exactly as people describe: hard bricks!! I purchased gel packs that can be frozen or heated for soothing engorgement, and I’ve really liked these. I freeze them and it offers much relief. It’s also helpful if you massage your breasts, which they teach you in the hospital, but it’s painful sometimes. The lactation consultant taught me to play “piano keys” on my breasts to loosen up engorgement. I’ve noticed that whichever breast I choose to feed baby on gets softer after our session – a good way of knowing you’ve given your baby milk! One night, I decided to skip the left breast because it was so chapped and later it began leaking everywhere. Take it from me – if you don’t take turns for each breast, they will go crazy and leak. That milk has to have somewhere to go! Use the BabyTracker app to track diaper changes and feedings. It’s amazing!

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One thing I didn’t do that I wish I had done was this week was meal prep. We were fortunate to have my family bring us lasagna and chicken and dumplings to freeze, but after those things were gone and I didn’t want to cook, we resorted to a lot of takeout, which is not a bad thing! It just would’ve been one less thing to worry about. I honestly thought I would be up for cooking but after suffering from back pain, I was not even going to attempt.

We did something really cool this week and that was ordering groceries through the Shipt app. Look it up in the app store and download it- it’s so cool! You can either choose between a monthly membership or an annual membership. Once you’ve picked your membership, it prompts you to type in your address and the app syncs that with your closest grocery store. From there, you make a grocery list and submit it where a member of Shipt will shop and deliver the groceries for you. It was amazing! We had a lot of things we needed this week like milk and fruit and breakfast foods. Neither of us felt like getting out of the house, so we submitted our list and a girl showed up at our house with a bag of groceries hours later! I’ll be doing this all month long. I highly, HIGHLY recommend.

We gave baby his first bath at our kitchen sink on the second night home. We have a Puj tub and really love it, but we were unable to use it this go around because his belly button needs to stay dry. We ended up just washing his hair and he was calm the entire time. I think he really liked it!

I also had my first shower on the second night home! I was worried about any soap burning my stitches below, but I couldn’t even tell! I had a sweet friend at work send me a lavender bath kit, so my shower was extra enjoyable with lavender soap and lotion. Spoil yourself and take it easy. You cannot fully take care of someone without taking care of yourself first! And FYI: you cannot take baths for 6 weeks after the hospital.  Your cervix is still opened and taking a bath could cause bacteria to get in it.

My bowel movement came on day 4 – WHAT A RELIEF. I’ve been taking Colace which is a stool softener recommended by the hospital. You definitely want to make sure you have something like this at home so you can use the bathroom without any pain. They did not give us any to take home since it doesn’t need a prescription and it’s over the counter. Get this ahead of time! All in all, the bowel movement wasn’t painful like I thought it would be. The Colace helped!

On day 6, my back pain went away. I woke up and did a few things around the house and noticed I wasn’t hunched over anymore. Truthfully, I think the back pain was one of the worst parts about post partum recovery, so I was extremely glad to see that my body was adapting to my new weight.

The hospital conveniently set up an appointment with our pediatrician this week, and we visited her on the last day of week 1. She checked everything on Cache from his circumcision to his heart rate, ears, and mouth and weight. When he was first born, he weighed in at 7.14 and at our appointment, he had lost weight and weighed in at 7.3. She said it was normal (but I felt a little defeated) and our goal is to get him back to his birth weight by next week’s visit. We were told to begin tummy time a few minutes a day to encourage him to begin lifting his head. She also mentioned giving him Vitamin D drops every day. Lastly, we were able to ask her any questions we had about breastfeeding, diaper changes, funny noises he makes, etc. I wasn’t excited about having to get out of the house for an appointment, but after all was said and done, it offered us relief to be able to talk to someone about all the eventful things that have taken place this week!

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The best purchases I’ve made to make this week easier? Sweat pants, paper plates and cups, a diaper genie, and a plush robe. I have found that our baby loves laying on the plush robe, and I’ll rock him in it when he’s cranky. It’s almost like magic, I promise you. It really relaxes him. The diaper genie makes it easy to dispose of the millions of diapers we’ve gone through this first week. Just look at how many diapers we disposed of!

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And sweatpants…well, I’ve never met a person who hates sweat pants. These three things I couldn’t imagine doing this week without!

We sent out baby announcements this week. Minted has some really cute options, including this one. We also got our stamps from them. I think they turned out so cute!

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Shoutout to Parasol diapers for giving us a set of the CUTEST DIAPERS EVER. We’ve been using their diapers and wipes and they’ve totally surpassed our expectations.