Sunday, March 11, 2018

16 months strong

DISCLAIMER: In no way am I saying breastfeeding is better for everyone, fed is best! 

Let’s talk breastfeeding, when I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed, heck prior to even getting pregnant I knew I wanted to do this. So when the time was right I got my prescription and got everything in place for a breast pump. I got the spectra s2 pump and the kindii twist system. I thought I was ready to go, that my body was going to do what it needed to do to continue supporting my babies. Isn’t that funny after knowing my body has a mind of its own with the whole fertility thing I had this silly thought that my body figured it all out. 

True to nature we had a rocky start to say the least. The twins were born early and ended up in the nicu. I was on all kinds of medicine due to my condition. So I didn’t get to start pumping or getting them to latch until the next day. Mind you when babies are born early your body needs time to realize it’s time to start making the “milkies” (nobody tells you this part until after the fact). You first have what’s call colostrum (liquid gold), this is actually the most potent milk and is really amazing for babies first few days. I assumed that my body would automatically make enough for not only one baby but two (there I go assuming again). Boy was I wrong, thank god they were on donor milk for the first few days so I could build up a tiny stash for them, or so I thought. 

We latched them every feeding before giving them what I managed to pump for them in hopes of them stimulating my supply to kick in and make more. There came the time that I had dreaded. I wasn’t keeping up to their needs and they had to be supplemented with formula, this was devastating and my first thought at giving up. My next came when neither of them liked my left side, to this day my left is my slacker. With supplementing them with formula there was two scenarios, either my supply would come in and we could take them off of it completely or the would have to be supplemented the whole time. I found an amazing product, Milky Mama Treats, and within a month of using them not only did my supply come in 10 fold but I was able to completely take them off of supplemental formula. 

While breastfeeding is not for everyone, and that is completely ok, for me it was something I felt so strongly and determined to do. I am grateful that we are now 16 months strong. I was determined to donate milk since the twins where given donor milk while in the NICU. I am so pleased to say that I was able to donate over 200oz to two different families in need.  This is something I am extremely proud and humbled by. Someone was selfless and donated to help my babies so it made me feel so amazing to be able to give back and help others. Not only that in the milk bath photoshoot we did to document this amazing journey, I was able to have my milk mixed in the bath. I am now on the hunt for the perfect breastmilk jewelry (if you have had pieces made please let me know your recommendations), I am excited to be able to have something made from my milk that will last a lifetime.  This whole experience is something that I am extremely grateful for as well as proud of.  I was able to nourish my children for 8 months in the womb and now another 16 while being earth side. The bond that I have made with these two will be my most precious gift. 

Photography credit: Jenny Murphy Photography 
Flower Crowns: Made By Mae

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

High Functioning Depression

High Functioning Depression doesn’t look like depression at all. In fact, you might not know that someone with this condition is depressed. Depressed people sleep a lot and are unmotivated. They are hopeless and don’t want to see friends and family. This is the exact opposite of someone with High Functioning Depression. The workaholic, the honors student and the champion gymnast are examples of people who have High Functioning Depression. They are overachievers and often seem like perfectionists. On the surface they seem to be highly successful and motivated individuals, but inside they are hurting. They are suffering but you would never suspect this to be the case. That’s because depression doesn’t look the same on each person. Depression is like a piece of clothing; it may look one way on one person and totally different on another person. Remember that even though your friend or loved one seems like they’re super busy and productive that doesn’t mean that they’re happy necessarily. They could be avoiding their problems and diverting themselves by overworking or excessively exercising. None of us want to feel hopeless. It’s important to learn the symptoms of High Functioning Depression. That way you can be mindful of them for yourself and others around you. Do you find yourself overworking to avoid your feelings? Does this sound like you or someone that you know? Read more about High Functioning Depression here.

Infographic credit:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Postpartum Depression or Just Overwhelmed?

Motherhood is hard enough without having to deal with postpartum depression. Everything that makes being a mother so wonderful can also make it the most stressful and difficult job on the planet. And, for those of you who say motherhood is not a job, you are probably not a mother. Women with postpartum depression have the usual feelings of soreness and tiredness of just having a baby plus feelings of extreme anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, sadness, and even suicidal thoughts. But, how do you know whether you have postpartum depression or are just stressed out from the usual new mother activities and hormonal fluctuations?
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Up to 20% of new mothers experience postpartum depression. That is approximately 900,000 women in the United States every year. According to the American Psychological Association, about one out of every seven women experience postpartum depression at some point in their lives. There are serious differences between postpartum depression and normal stress or anxiety. Some of the most common symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and being overwhelmed
  • Bouts of aggression or crying for no apparent reason
  • Sleeping less or more than usual, unable to stay asleep
  • Extreme fatigue or no energy at all
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Loss of interest in things that you usually enjoy
  • Vague aches, pains, and digestive disturbances
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Avoiding people or public places
  • Inability to bond with your baby
  • Afraid to be alone with your baby
  • Thinking you are not a good mother
  • Periods of rage or anger for no reason
  • Not wanting to care for your baby
  • Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby

Get Some Help
You do not have to face this alone. Talk to someone right away even if it is a stranger. Some women feel so guilty about feeling this way that they are unable to talk to anyone about it. However, you should not feel guilty since this is not your fault. Postpartum depression is usually caused by an imbalance in your hormones or chemical imbalance in the brain. It is a common occurrence that often goes overlooked unless something tragic happens. Do not wait until something horrible happens. Talk to someone now to get the help you need. If you do not want to talk to someone you know, you can speak to a professional online who can help you. Online therapy is easy, very affordable, and you do not even need to leave your home. You can talk to someone today and do not even need an appointment. 

If you or someone you love has thoughts of suicide or harming someone else, you can call the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at 1-888-333-2377 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Long Time

Wow its been a while since the last time I blogged. I decided to take a step back and focus on the twins.  A lot has happened in that time.

So our son was diagnosed with torticollis and required PT. Basically what happened is he ran out of room and was unable to move his head and neck a lot so his muscles in his neck and trunk were not strong.  We had pt once a week for about 7 months. Boy was that a long 7 months. There were times where we all thought he wasn't getting better, then one day it all clicked and everything fell into place.

In September our daughter had a seizure out of nowhere. It was single handedly the scariest moments of my life!!!!! She was rushed to the hospital for monitoring. Ultimately it was determined to be a fluke. She hasn't had one since and we are so beyond grateful that it hasn't happened again.

Brand Rep
Since I am now a SAHM and the twins are so beyond adorable, I decided to get the into brand repping. What is brand repping? Well we are on teams for small shops/handmade shops, we help them promote their business by taking pictures of the twins in their items and help spread their name on all social media fronts. I will start doing reviews and posts about brands we rep for. We are currently on 5 teams at the moment.

We went on our first family vacation. We went to Disney World.  We had an amazing time.  It was also the twins' first time on an air plane and they did amazing. We are lucky enough to be able to have Military rates for Disney, making our trip affordable. We got the military rate rooms (they have select number of rooms at each resort for the military rate, so book fast), we stayed at All Star Movies. It's one of the value resorts, but don't let that fool you it was really nice, the cast members were all so amazing. We also were able to get the Salute The Troops Hopper Tickets, these are multi-day passes at a very discounted price. If we weren't able to get these there would have been no way that this vacation would have been affordable for us. We also purchased Disney gift cards, we used these for anything we wanted to buy while there, this made it so we knew what we were spending as well as not using our credit cards. Lets face it things add up and you don't realize until its too late so we wanted to be able to spend freely and not have to worry.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Finding yourself

I've been gone for awhile and a lot has happen...... which kind of leads me to the topic of this post. 

Something happens when a women becomes a mother, I don't know how or why, or hell I don't even know when it happens but it happens. You loose yourself. Your no longer (insert name here), you are now so and so's mother. Everything you do, everything you are is no longer for you. The things you enjoyed prior to becoming a mother you tell yourself that you will get back into it, once they nap, once they get on a schedule, once everyone goes to bed. But let's be honest that never happens. When they are napping you find yourself trying to catch up on house work, when you finally get them on a schedule you now have more things around the house that needs to be done, when everyone goes to bed so do you. It's a never ending cycle. 

I have found this even more of a struggle for myself as prior to having the twins I had a job, hell I've had a job since I was 15, that's half my life!!! Now all of the sudden not only am a mother I am a stay at home mom. As much as I love it, I also want to scream inside as I have lost my identity. It's taken me 5 months to get it back, I still don't fully have it back, it's going to be a slow process. 

I closed my Etsy shop down to be able to focus on the twins for a bit and I will admit it's been closed down for far too long now, it was never meant to be closed this long but like I said you loose yourself. I have slowly been getting back into my studio (when the twins allow it). And let me just say when I get into my makers zone it's amazing, I never grow old of that feeling. 

Don't get me wrong I love every minute of being a mom, it's just why does this mostly only happen to women?  Don't we deserve to have an identity to ourselves? Why are we the ones that are expected to give up everything about ourselves?  

Guys you need to help your women!!! You need to encourage and help them get back into what they loved doing. Loosing your identity is hard!! Support them, make them not feel bad for taking 5minutes to ourselves.

So how do you find your new identity?? The answer is actually simple but achieving it is not as simple.  You just have to find time for yourself. Do the things you love to do. Once you become a mother some of the things you enjoyed to do prior may not be what you enjoy now and thats fine. It's going to be trial and error when it comes to these things. But trust me you need to do it for your sanity. Remember a happy and healthy mama in turn helps make babies happy and healthy.  Once you start making time for yourself and doing the things you enjoy you will start to feel so much better about yourself. As comfortable as leggings are and as easy as putting your hair up in that mom bun do you really want that to be your everyday look?? Put those jeans on, let your hair down have a little fun!! I myself am still struggling with this part as LuLaRoe is so comfy!!!!!!But at least I feel comfy and confident in a lot of my LLR (I have more than just leggings lol). 

So as I start to find my new identity I have learned I still love to blog and be in my craft studio. I am hoping to open my easy shop back up in the next few weeks. This is going to be hard as the twins love keeping me on my toes with their schedules. I also plan to blog at least twice a week from here on out. 

What are some things that have helped you find your new identity??

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Milky Mama Brand Ambassador

Earlier in the week we were selected to be a brand ambassador for an amazing lactation treat company, Milky Mama. We are so excited to be apart of this company. 

This next part is about the company and it's straight from their website:

Milky Mama was created by Krystal Nicole Duhaney, a Registered Nurse and breastfeeding mommy of two. After having her second child and returning to work, Krystal struggled with her milk supply and realized that there were very few resources for breastfeeding mothers in the same predicament. She knew then that she had to come up with a solution that would help to increase her milk supply!

Using her knowledge as a Registered Nurse and love for baking, Duhaney developed a milk-making cookie recipe and fell in love with the results. This lactation cookies dramatically increased her supply. Soon after, she decided that she could not keep her discovery a secret and had to share this with other mothers who were going through a similar situation. So, in November of 2015, Milky Mama was born.

Today, Milky Mama's product line includes All-Natural cookies, brownies (which are Krystal’s favorite), emergency brownies,  lactation oatmeal, tropical iced tea, lactation lemonade, and lactation smoothie mix. 

Along with offering tasty treats and beverages, Milky Mama has also generated a following of women who help support each other and other women on their journey. “It was also important for me to create a village of support, because I needed it and I craved it. Having the extra support is so vital. It is heartwarming and a huge passion of mine to give breastfeeding support. I receive so many responses from customers sharing their experience and because they eat my treats they are going strong with lactation. It’s so amazing what a little extra support can do.” Milky Mama facilitates weekly Facebook chats and a lactation support group.

I love that this company not only has amazing treats but also has lactation support. They don't see their customers as a number, they see them as a warrior providing for their babies..... you don't see many companies doing this. 

So we have decided a few times a week over the next 30 days we will introduce a product as well as a breastfeeding/pumping tip for all you milky mamas out there. 

Emergency Brownies
These brownies are so yummy!!! They are to give you that extra boost when you are stressed or your supply has tanked for whatever reason. 

Power Pumping 
For those pumping mamas that are struggling, I suggest power pumping. My left is my slacker and with the help of doing this it is starting to catch up to the right. We still have a ways to go. 

I pump and nurse. Please don't get down on yourself when you feel like you aren't doing as well as other mamas. Any breast milk is awesome no matter how much. You are a warrior and you are doing awesome mama!!!

If you would like to try Milka Mama click here and you will get 10% off your order. 



Monday, November 21, 2016

5 Must Haves for Twin Parents

*These are my 5 must haves right now with our twins.*


1. Fisher Price Rock n Plays. Our twins are rollers so this is a safe option for us right now. Plus they can be in the room with us and once we transfer them to their nursery they hopefully will already be used to sleeping separately since they each have their own cribs. 

2. Hands free pumping/nursing tank. I love this tank top. When I'm not nursing, I'm pumping and having this tank frees up my hands to actually do things like eat (since we all know being a new mom eating is last on our list). 

3. Wubbanub. Due to being in the NICU our babies are paci babies. The NICU gives them pacis when they are taking tests or anything to help keep the crying to a minimum. And of course our babies don't like just any pacies right now, they like the jelly type. 

4. Baby Swing. These things are a staple in our house. Both babies love the swings and it helps us be able to be semi productive. 

5. Contours Options Tandem Stroller. Let's face it having twins means you now have to have the tuna boat of strollers. My biggest advice is to go to the store and play with the strollers and find the one that works for you. I loved this one because it is light weight compared to some of the other twin strollers. It's also easier to maneuver.