May 15, 2017

Bringing Home Baby #2

Hi loves,

Continuing in the theme of the last post, in today's post  I’ll be taking about my experiences during those crucial first few weeks of bringing baby#2 home and share some of the things I experienced and found helpful along the way.

Here goes, my experience bringing home baby #2

Things seems to have happened quite the opposite way with both kids, so don’t expect things to go the same as I did the first time.

Recovery time and the whole process I feel was much faster and more pleasant than the first time. I suppose you can credit that to not having a tear or hemorrhage this time around although baby was over 2lbs bigger.

Having help vs No help: First time around, one of my sisters flew in right away as soon as baby arrived, so we were leaving the hospital with an extra pair of hands. This time around, it was just the two of us, hubby and I plus a toddle to care for. Being that recovery went much better and Emmanuel is quite possibly the best baby on the planet, I didn't fell not having that extra hands. Hubby helped in ways he could and as much as he could especially with Eliana.  In short, as scary as it seemed going into it that we weren’t going to have any extra help right away, I think we made it work and we did just fine.

Crib vs Bed: Right from day one, Eliana slept in her crib and never on the bed with us as a baby. Granted the crib was in our room, till we moved and then we moved her to her room. Let just say quite the opposite happened this time. Although Emmanuel has a bassinet in our room, there are more days than I can count at the beginning where he ended up in bed with us. Why, it is convenient for nursing. Eliana was bottle feed so we took turns getting up to feed her. This time, the sole responsibility is on me and that’s just what works best to keep my sanity.

Breast feeding vs Pumping: Whether pumping or nursing or trying to nurse, those first couples of weeks are always a pain. My nursing experience with Eliana was terrible. From her not latching properly, to being in a constant state of engorgement and then realizing I’ll have to inclusively pump; lets’ just say it wasn’t a smooth sail the first time around. I wrote more about my experience in a previous post.  This time around, the boy latched on like he was born to be feed. Although, incorrectly the first few time, but was very quickly corrected and he got it! Nursing is bliss and a wonderful experience. I’m glad I am able to have the privilege. This might sound bad because that would mean it is something I didn’t get to experience with my first, but I truly believe there is a special connection in nursing that you just don’t get when bottle feeding. 
Also, unlike the last time where I used nipple cream for pretty much the entirety of my failed nursing and pumping experience because of one issue after the other, I stopped used the cream right about 3 weeks this time because there was just no need for it.

First Bath Home – Traditional (palm oil and all) vs. Normal bath: Thank God we had friends around us that acted as family and we could call family at the time we had Eliana. With that comes the traditional first bath at home complete with palm oil, a whole lot of shaking and throwing and bending. This time, no one was around to do all that so I gave him his first bath. There was no palm oil, shaking, bending or throwing. This is not to discount one vs the other just at the end of the day, it is all about what makes you and the people around you happy. I don’t think it makes a difference either way.

Tips /Advice

Trust you gut. You've done this before.
Try to get some time for yourself to just be. It can get overwhelming at first. 

Second time around is easier in the sense that you’ve done it before, you know what to do for the most part. Some new things might pop up. For example having a girl first and then a boy (new stuff to pay attention to especially during that first two weeks to make sure all is healing right). 

Your capacity to love grows even bigger than you think is possible.

Take it one day at time and before you know it, you'll be a pro at juggling two kids. Just kidding. Everyday is a balancing act in itself and a learning experience.

Enjoy having both kids by spending time with each one. You obviously have to make a conscious effort to get alone with the first. 

At the end of it all. Do the essentials and what is important to you and your family and leave the rest till later.

Enjoy being a mom of two.

Planning one more post to wrap up this mommy-ing series.

If you guys have any specific topic you'll like me to share my experience about, or questions in general,  leave a comment on message me.


Xx
Christiana

May 11, 2017

Flash Back - First Time Mom

Hi Loves!

In today's post, we'll be going back in time. Reason explained below.  I am sharing  some of my views as written over three years ago  about my experience being a  mom for the first time . 

In light of mother's day coming up, I'll be sharing this and one or two more posts all about mommy-ing 
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I believe I've mentioned on here before how I tend to be cautious about what I post. I was randomly going through my draft post and reading what I have in there. I think it’s safe to say my draft had almost become a journal on its own. Although the whole blog itself is, I surprise myself sometimes with the content I have jotted down in my draft, sometimes with details others not. These are obviously things I thought was worth sharing at the time I was writing it but later decided maybe it is best if I keep this to myself.

 With that, I found quite a few pregnancy and motherhood related posts I had at some point drafted but for one reason or the other stayed in there. I do think I know the reason for that, at least for ones related to this topic.  I felt since it was my first time at this motherhood thing, I didn't have much to share as I was still learning along the way myself.  Since I’m now on baby #2, those little tricks I used during my first pregnancy and beyond and just everything I learnt along the way still proves useful today and I' have put majority of them to use again.
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Today I’ll be talking about my experience in the early weeks of bringing home baby as a new and first time mom.  My pregnancy generally was easy breezy, thank God. Towards the end as due date got closer, I was a little worried, or should I say scared about delivery, mostly because of the pain and a lots of unknown. I knew I was going to get an epidural to help with the pain but everything else was up in the air. Thankfully that part was easy breezy also from beginning to end. You can read Eliana’s birth story here. So after breezing through pregnancy and delivery, I guess I was expecting to breeze through recovery as well. While some of the things I experienced were minuet, in the grand scheme of things at the time it seemed like a big deal.  

The body changes.  Speaking honestly, I was a little bit insecure about my body after birth. It was just a weird stage for me.  Mostly my boobs and belly. I later realized this feeling was all due to the emotional highs and lows and imbalance the body was going through. As I came to this realization, I quickly learned it wasn’t anything to fuss over.

Now let’s talk about PUP. I had on onset of it while pregnancy but very minor case. My doctor said it will get worse before it gets better and it’s only common in first pregnancy. To my surprise, it cleared up as quickly as it came.  I thought lucky me. Well, looks like it was just waiting to rear its head after delivery. Then, it came full blown out. I knew what it was immediately because I remembered what it looked like.  I have to say the day after it came back right before I went to the doctor for some relief medication must have been the hardest all. I just felt overwhelmed and sleep deprived as I was up all night scratching myself like mad person or trying not to.  I literally just burst out in tears because I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I needed to release all that emotional roller coaster going on inside.

I had laceration coupled with hemorrhoids and that did not make for a happy mama either. With that fear in mind, I overdid it on laxatives /stole soother and prune juice and that didn’t go well either.  It just seems like it was never ending jumping from one hoop to the other.

Things started getting better about 2 weeks after. PUP was gone, sleep was a little better, stitches were burning less and everything was returning to a “new” normal.  

Advice:

Rest. I was full of energy right after delivery. I was up and about doing things like I didn’t just push a baby out of my body. This was the case for about 3 days after delivery. By the third day, It was like someone ran me over with a car.

Accept help. It’s hard for me to let go and be in a position where I have to depend on someone to do things for me. I’ll rather get up and do it myself. But boy, after that big drain of energy, I quickly learnt at least for that period how to accept and request help. My sister was with us for 2 weeks and as her stay was drawing close to an end, I wished she could stay longer.

Post Partum depression is real. While I didn’t experience it on a grand scale, I felt the onset. Mostly before of all I was dealing with. The body changes, which didn't bother me at all during pregnancy but  became a different story after.  The hyper-lactation (read my breastfeeding story here),  PUP, lack of sleep and a host of other things can easily get overwhelming to deal with especially going through it for the first time.

Talk to someone. While I quickly recognized what was going on with the grace of God and "snapped" out of it / cried it out . It might not be that easy for someone else. It might linger longer and translate into something bigger.  The fact that I knew everything before this state had gone perfectly definitely helped. The fact that I had a good support system also helped a great deal.

Till next time.

Xx
Christiana

May 5, 2017

Transition Period

Good morning Loves!
Pardon the silence on here. I’ve been trying to figure out my new routine since going back to work. Still in trial and error phase to some extent in figuring out what works and what doesn’t as far as how to better distribute and manage my time between wifely duties, mommy duties, work duties business duties, and all other stuff.

One thing I have grateful for is having the opportunity to transition slowly from one phase to the other, so it is not a complete 360 at once.

When I returned to work, I was able to work from home for a bit. Then, I transition back to the office, thankfully my MIL came in to help so I don’t have to juggle getting two kids up and ready to daycare each morning. Very grateful for that help. I guess the last phase is going to be my true reality when grandma leaves, which is coming up soon. Transitioning into having to get two kids out of the house in the morning, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

What this stages of transition have allowed me to do if figure what works instead of been thrown into it all at once, so hopefully by the time the true reality rolls in, I have good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Some things that I’ve picked up or started doing to make life easier includes, picking out the kids and my outfit for the entire week during the weekend. That’s so I don’t have to deal with that every night after a long day or in some cases, in a rush in the morning when I’m really pressed for time and it’s just one less thing to do at night.
 Another thing is packing our lunch for the entire week during the weekend. Does that mean more time doing food prep and cooking during the weekend, yes, but it saves me a lot of headache driving home thinking what’s for dinner or lunch and saves time, not having to do it every night. With those two nightly tasks gone, I have more time to relax and spend with the kids after a long work day.

So, I finally enrolled Eliana in a gymnastic class which she loves, I recently discovered the day and time wasn’t working, it was at 5:30pm on Wednesdays so that meant rushing out of work to pick her up and in most cases getting to class late. That time and day worked when I was still home but once I returned to the office, it was a struggle to keep up with it.

I also joined a mom’s group called MOPS (Moms of Pre-schooler) at my church that I attend every other Thursday so that means every two weeks we are getting home really late two days in a roll.
That leaves both of us exhausted. Imagine if Emmanuel had to endure this as well. So I figured the Wednesday class wasn’t working. To change day and time for gymnastic meant we had to change center which was for the best anyways, so now we are enrolled in a Monday 6:00pm class at a different location. It is still a hard commitment managing this especially when Emmanuel comes into the picture but at least the long days are spaced out. 

Really love and appreciate that I get the time to figure things out as the true reality slowly sets in soon.

Have a great day!

Xx
Christiana

May 1, 2017

Emmanuel :: Four Months Letter


Hi my little buddy! 4 months has been good to you.

You absolutely love playing with your sister. When she's around or you hear her voice, you try so hard to get her attention and want her to engage with you. When you’re eating and she’s around, you become so distracted that at some point, you stop taking your food.

With that said, I can say you are learning from her also. Your voice is just as loud at your sister's when you're both playfully screaming at each other. The fact that sometimes I can’t tell who is screaming between the two of you worries me a bit. I mean you’re only 4 months and you’re just as loud as she is.
You are getting tall. At your last well visit, you were in the 64th percentile for height, not sure where that is coming from, but it sure isn’t me or you dad.  

You play with your hair when you get sleeper, apart from rubbing your eyes.
You're a pretty good sleeper when you sleep and you don’t like to be messed with. I mean, who likes to be disturbed when sleeping. You already know who’s disturbing you.

You are the happiest baby when you wake up in the morning. I mean, every single day, you wake up with a big grin on your face, mouth wide open as you open your eyes.
 
Going to sleep at night every once in a while you give us a piece of work. You refuse to go down gently as usual and just want to cry it out, very loudly. Nursing never helps in this case, in fact, it make you angrier. So, either a bottle if you have any need or space for food or good ole backing and rocking usually does the trick. But you keep everyone on their toes for a good amount of time.

You hate tummy time, but since you are sitting up by yourself anyway, we skip that all together.
I think you want to suck your fingers so bad but we won't let you. This is something you did on day one like I pro till I replaced it with a pacifier which you seem to be content with.

Now you just go for the full fist or all fingers in mouth sometimes choking yourself. I think it’s a way you’re soothing yourself with teething.

Yes, you’re teething already, because there’s no other way to explain all the drooling and wanting to eat your bibs, blankets and pretty much and clothing piece in sight. You’re not so into any rubbery chewing thing which I’ve tried. Not even your pacifier when the need arise, you just want some good ole cloth to chew on.

You also started eating solid. Started off with oatmeal baby cereal and then ventured into the other good stuff like pureed sweet potatoes, apple and bananas. I think you like sweet potatoes the best so far.

At 4 months, you are just one happy playful baby that loves to giggle a lot and also loves the people.  Seeing your sister or mommy or daddy after a long day brings even bigger smiles to your face.
Keep growing baby boy, but not too fast!

Love always, mommy.

Xx
Christiana

March 20, 2017

White Eyelet

Hi Loves!
Happy Monday and cheers to the first day of Spring! 

Stepped out with hubby for a day date for the first time since having Emmanuel. It definitely felt good being out alone without the babies. Almost forgot what that feels like. 
I opted for this beautiful eyelet top that I can't wait to wear over and over again and a pair of jeans for a casual afternoon. I think I'm finally putting my love for eyelets into action as I am slowly racking up quiet a few pieces with eyelet details. 
 Dressed the look up but still on a casual note by adding a pair of block heels. 

Top: Target
Jeans: Old
Bag: Nordstrom ( similar here & here)
Shoes: Target, old (try this here & here)

Xx
Christiana

March 16, 2017

Burgundy Stripes

Hi Loves!

Happy Friday!

Sharing this look from some few weeks ago.
I originally bought the skirt which is currently on sale here , then I saw the matching top which is also on sale here and thought, why not.
A crisp white shirt can add a touch of class to any outfit, so I opted for  one under this matching piece which is the perfect combination for weather. 
Looking forward to styling this set as separates and getting some summer wear out of the top.

Have a great weekend!

White Shirt: Express
Top: Asos
Skirt: Asos
Shoes: VS  



Xx
Christiana

Life Working From Home


 
Hi Loves!

Pardon the silence on here, still figuring life as I transition back to work.

So, I  mentioned in a previous post that I worked from home before physically returning to the office. It was definitely a different experience for me. I've had to work from home numerous times before for one reason or the other but never for this long.
Today, I'm sharing how it went down and what I took away from it.

First of all, what I quickly realized it that every single day is not going to go as planned or be the same, routine wise.  What I learned from that is to be able to adapt and welcome change and set reasonable timeline or deadline for work because sometimes, I just couldn't get everything done during regular business hours which meant working extended hours late at night.

At the beginning I would promise to have some things done by the end of the day which is 5pm if you’re in the office but I quickly realized that may not always be feasible.

For the most part our days starts out the same with loading both kids in the car and dropping Eliana off at daycare. Then I hurry back home with Emmanuel to get on my laptop to get started on work for the day.

From there on, it’s just the two of us until 5pm when I have to leave to pick up Eliana.
Some days are structured around the baby and his needs and others are structured around work and what needs to get done.

Somewhere in between and while working, I have to get Emmanuel showered, call into meetings, if any, nurse on demand, pretty much every 2.5 to 3 hours, pump, make something to eat and sometime towards the end of the day, think about/start dinner prep.

One other thing I learned is that it takes patient and honestly being good at multi-tasking to do this.
I remember my first conference call I led from home, everything that could go wrong did. I lost connection just a few minutes before the meeting so I had to reboot my computer, which meant I was scrambling to get back online and have everything set up and ready to go remotely with no time to spare. Thankfully presentation was all done, finished last minute. 

Some people were at the house fixing some minor stuff so they were making noise with their equipment’s in the background, bad planning on my part. Emmanuel woke up just at the beginning of the meeting hungry and was about to start crying. I thought he would sleep through it. The only way to avoid that was to nurse him.


So, in the end, I had my phone with headphones in my ear talking to a room full of people, construction background noise going on, and a baby latch on nursing while I was trying to talk and flip through slides of presentation. Not exactly how I had planned it, but we survived, barely.  

I don’t think it’s impossible to work from home with a baby, but my take away is that it definitely will not be based on a pre defined regular work hours of 8-5. There has to be some flexibility in there because it is impossible to pack a whole day's worth of work and juggling all these other stuff in the background in that pre-set time.


Overall, flexibility and setting reasonable deadline for projects and such when needed is the key!


Xx
Christiana

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