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Zara’s Birth Story

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Zara is one month old today! Can't believe it's been a month! Time has gone by so fast!

I woke up around 11:30pm with contractions and started timing them for an hour. They were close enough together and felt strong enough that I felt like we should go in. I'm so afraid of my labors going too fast for me to have time for an epidural so I wasn't wasting any time. I woke up Trev and told him it's time and to call his mom. My mother in law came over and Trev was taking forever to come downstairs.. I was like where is this guy I'm having a baby!! haha I went to the car and Trev's mom had to go get Trev to tell him to get his bum in the car!! Sure enough he came down fully dressed.. looking as good as always.. It's the middle of the night and I'm in my pj's and look like a total bum. We were dying laughing on the car ride to the hospital. We get to the hospital and I was dilated to a 3. They wanted to watch me for 40 mins and if I dilated more they'd keep me. 15 mins went by and I was dying!! In my head I was thinking there's no way I'm going anywhere and I need an epidural stat!! The nurse came in and asked my pain level, in my head I thought a 9 and she said a 10 was getting my armed ripped off.. so I didn't want to be a wimp, I said a 4 hahah worst idea ever!! She checked me and I was at a 6, I started throwing up and jumped to an 8 in just a few minutes. I got a whole new respect for women that go natural!! Holy cow seriously you women are my hero's!

My second hero of the night was the guy that gave me the epidural, I was a happy camper after that. I pushed for probably two minutes and our sweet girl came to us.

It's the most amazing feeling holding my babies for the first time. I don't know how there can be so much love for one thing. My first thought was how different she looked than Aniston and I couldn't believe how small she was, 5lb 7oz. It's such an incredible thing bringing babies to this world and such a privilege we get as women. She is the sweetest thing. The whole labor - delivery was 4 hrs. Aniston was 5hrs so it was slightly faster this second time.

It's been a whole month and it's been amazing. She eats and sleeps so well and Aniston has gotten much better with her. We've kept ourselves very busy!

2018 Trend: Layering

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I feel like now is a good time of year to talk about how hot layering is. This trend makes the winter to spring transition so much easier because it allows seasonal pieces to be worn all year long. I'm seeing a lot of this in designer lines, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite ways to accomplish this look!3302c Overalls, jumpers, and pinafores are all over the place right now and I love how a sweater underneath can make them cold-weather-friendly without hiding any of the cute details. 3009 & 3011 & 3020 i Sweaters on sweaters or thermals seems like it could get heavy, but if you pair the right textures and weights, they can make for a fun twist on some everyday pieces. 2831 & 2678 b This is one of my favorite looks. Reminds me of something you'd see on Rachel from Friends circa 1994. Again, this neutral dress is obviously perfect for spring or summer, but when paired with the right top underneath, it looks amazing in the colder seasons as well. Xx
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Boosting Milk Supply

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^^two weeks of pumping934A8425

To Start!

I'm not an expert or lactation specialist or know exactly what I'm talking about, I'm just sharing my own experiences and tips that I have found useful to hopefully help some of you amazing mama's out there. I got tons of questions so sorry if this is a longer post. If you need any breastfeeding help, I'm a huge fan of a lactation specialists, (to be honest I'm not the type to typically get outside help like this but I'm so glad I did with my first baby) I went to Lindsey, she is an angel and is such a huge support! She has online courses or could help you one on one over the phone or come to your home if you're local to Utah. I would say if it's your first baby, find a specialist. I think I would have given up or had a really hard time my first go around if I didn't have Lindsey.

BF History

I nursed Aniston until a year. Nursing was so so hard for us at first, I would say it took us 3 months to get it somewhat down.  The first two weeks are the hardest so don't give up and know it gets easier! Both my breasts are inverted and it was super hard for us to get a good latch so we used a guard for three months! Saved our lives. Many people might tell you not to use a guard but I think you just have to do what works for you.  I bled, I hurt, I should have used my lactation specialist more during the time I needed help but I was so busy with work that I didn't call her. Despite how hard it was I was very grateful I could nurse.  I didn't have a ton of back stock milk like I do this time around. I feel like I had enough for her to eat and when she started skipping night feedings I'd have extra to pump in the mornings for back stock.

Where I'm at 2 weeks into BF/Pumping:  Zara is two weeks and some days. My milk came in on day 4. I started pumping 2 days after Zara was born so before my milk even came in. I did that to tell my body to make milk.  I pumped out barely any colostrum at first, (colostrum is a yellowy color). Barely anything came out but I kept doing it, I pumped for probably 5-10 minutes after I fed Zara, (every two hours) Day 3 I had a ton of colostrum, I pumped it all out when I felt like my chest would fill up. For the first few days that my milk came in I'd pump every three hrs after i nursed and if I felt my chest fill up before the 3 hr mark I'd pump it out.

  My Biggest Tips:

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  1. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!! Some studies say that drinking water doesn't effect your supply but I feel like it totally does. Maybe it's a mental thing but I notice when I don't drink water my supply is lower. I am usually so so bad at drinking water, I've found I drink more with a straw and drink way more if I have a certain water bottle. I love this one bc it's as big as those hospital ones they give you but it looks way better to take with me places. HERE I try to drink 2-3 of these a day.

2. Oatmeal!! This I feel like is a big one for me and I'm not a huge oatmeal fan but I love the natures path variety pack from costco. It's so yummy and the perfect amount of flavor and feels healthy. Adding oatmeal to your smoothies is another great option if you aren't a big oatmeal person.

3. Pump!! So this is not with everyone but typically what happens when your milk comes in is your body makes a certain amount, if your baby needs more milk than what your body is supplying, baby will keep sucking and this tells your body to make more. If your body is making more than what baby needs it will start making less each feeding until it's the right amount for baby. The first week is crucial when it comes to your milk bc your body is trying to figure out how much baby needs and regulating.  This is why I pump.. in hopes that by pumping, and creating that "more sucking" that it's telling my body to make more. The easiest time to boost your milk supply is in the first two weeks but it's totally doable later on too.

4. Nipulation: meaning Nip stimulation. I made this word up.. haha and I'll refer to this in my schedule and it's a big one so pay attention!!:) If you are out running errands or your baby skips a feeding and you can't pump it's so important to tell your body to still make milk so go to a private place, bathroom or somewhere someones not watching and stimulate your breasts so that your body still knows to make milk right then. I do this over my clothes. I just pinch my nips or rub them for 10 seconds until I feel my milk let down. It might sound weird but do it. You only need to do one side to bring your milk in for both sides. I do this at home even. I feed Zara about every 3 hrs and do this around the 2 hour mark/2.5 just to stimulate my milk supply and tell my body to make a bit more.

  Favorite products:

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Pump:  Medela-HERE  I use the Medela, to be honest the only real reason I picked this particular one was bc it was the nicest one that my insurance offered. Call your insurance a month before your due date, most people's insurance covers a pump! It does have lots of great reviews as well! I go on amazon to read reviews.. haha. One thing with the Medela that I wish I knew the first go around is there's different sizes of horns.. read more here, and you can purchase them on amazon (Link above)

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Let there be milk:  Okay people swear by this!! They say it doubles or triples their milk supply in 48 hours. read the reviews to see if it's something you'd want to try. I've ordered this but haven't tried it yet, I'll let you know how it goes for me. Its always sold out so get it while you can! Find it HERE

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Lily PadzHERE I love these bc I don't have to wear a bra at night. And 1 pair is all you need! You don't have to buy a bunch.

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Catcher: HERE I didn't have this my first go around and I got it just to catch what I leaked on the other side while I nursed but what I've been doing is suctioning this to my other breast and it self expresses milk out. By the time Zara is done nursing I have expressed 1.5-2 oz in this catcher and I don't have to pump as long. I usually only pump for 5 mins after. And this is way more gentle than pumping. If its sectioned/ squeezed on right you don't have to hold it.

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Storage Bags: HERE I love these, the seal on them is great and there's a place you can write the date and time. I just sharpie mine on the back however.

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Nursing Dress: HERE This was a must for me. I wear a ton of dresses in the summer and to church and I'd have to strip down every time I nursed.

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Nursing Cover: HERE I have a few of these and love them! It's a carseat cover, nursing cover and grocery cart cover. I keep one in my car, house and at work haha.


Understanding pumping supply: If you can get 2 ounces per breast (and this is in between a feeding not before or after) that is awesome!! If it's 1 ounce per breast after a feeding that is awesome! If someone pumps more than this, 4-8 ounces they have a very high milk supply.

Do I nurse as well: Yes! Zara nurses on one side per feeding and I pump the other. I always offer the second  side but she is usually full off of one. So I pump and stock up on the rest.

When should you pump: I'd say if you're trying to boost your supply, anytime you feel your milk drop and however often you're feeding your baby, nurse and then pump after.

Mental Game: I feel like so much of it is mental. If I'm worried about my milk supply or thinking of my supply I feel like it goes down. If I'm thinking about work or something stressful while I'm pumping I notice I all of a sudden stop pumping out milk. It's so crazy. Watch a show, read a book, work on work things, catch up on emails, (I like to read a book with Aniston or work on work stuff) anything that keeps your mind preoccupied and not thinking about how much is coming out and how much you're pumping.

Milk Supply Dropping Round 8 Months: Most babies are eating more solids around this time and drinking less milk so naturally your milk supply will drop.

Supplementing if your milk hasn't come in?: I've heard this is bad for your milk supply, I don't know the right answer but I didn't do this with either of my babies. I had a nurse recommend it but I've heard it can hurt your milk supply.

Pumping and nothing coming out: Make sure you are hitting the let down button on your pump until you feel your let down and then hit it again to go to the regular speed. Make sure you've drank a lot of water and your first few days of pumping not a lot may come out but stick with it! You won't pump a ton or anything at first, at the begining you are just telling your body "make more next time"

BF- how do I know if my baby is getting enough/how much milk do I have? I asked myself this for a long time my first go around, I thought my milk supply was running out but I pumped and sure enough I had the right amount of ounces my baby needed. If you aren't sure, pump and you can see exactly how much your body is making. Feel your breast when you are done pumping and compare it to how your breast feels after BF to know if baby is emptying it.  If you feel like your baby didn't empty it but is done nursing. Pump the rest and stock up! If baby is gaining weight and growing properly, they are getting enough! If baby spits up a lot after feedings and continue to spit up minutes later that usually means they've had too much.

If you are going back to work: Pump every time your baby would nurse. Every 2 to 3 hrs. Even if its just for 2-5 mins.

If BF didn't go well your first time- don't think it will be the same your second time! My second time has been way easier!

My current pumping schedule: 

If you can pump on the other side while you nurse  or use the catcher I tagged above, that is a great time saver!! And I would go off of your baby's schedule not mine exactly, this is based on what Zara needs and your baby may be different, the biggest thing is to pump after feedings

8am nurse/ pump the rest (I usually get 3oz total after Zara nurses)
10am Nipulation
11am Nurse/ Pump (I usually get 2oz- 3oz total)
12:30am Nipulation
2pm Nurse/pump (2oz- 3oz total)
5pm nurse/pump the rest (2oz- 3oz total)
7:30 nurse while giving aniston a bath
8pm I put Aniston to bed and then pump
9:30pm nurse
11pm Nurse/Pump (4oz)
5am nurse  (I'm usually super full so I have to pump at this time, I usually get 8oz bc Zara won't feed)

Note this is at the end of two weeks and I only pump for about 5-15 mins. Also!! Some of you might think I'm a naughty mom but Zara will not wake up at night to nurse.. I've tried everything so you'll notice in my schedule there's not a ton of nursing at night. (I know it's really important to feed every 3hrs but she is back to her birth weight and cluster feeds right before bed )

I hope I answered most of your questions! You mom's are amazing! Do what you can for your milk supply but don't beat yourself up if it's not where you want it to be or if you can't bf at all. Your baby will still love you just as much! And you are still just as good of a mom!

Finding Balance

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Me: Dress-(Shop Stevie)// Shoes-(Steve Madden)

A: Top-(Shop Stevie)//Pants-(Shop Stevie) // Shoes- (Old Navy)

Zara: Bow-(Nordstrom)// Blanket- (Shop Stevie)// Carseat, Nursing Cover-(Shop Stevie)

Stroller: (Nordstrom)

My sweet Zara is already a week!! She is the sweetest little thing and such a good baby! It's been such a great week. Lots of high's and a few low's but here's a glance into what our week looked like!

First of all there's no maternity leave.. Trev and I aren't good at resting and with being business owners we don't really have a choice:) When Aniston was born I jumped back into work the day I came home from the hospital. We had swim product that we needed to get up so Trev cracked the whip and got me back to work:) It was a super busy time for us in our business and I remember being so overwhelmed with all there was to do and feeling like I wasn't able to do everything I needed to. I remember crying while I was nursing and Trev telling me "Steph it's okay if not everything is done. The most important thing you are doing right now is being a mom. Do that and then just work your way down your to do list, if you get 5 out of the 10 things done it's okay, you are figuring it all out and doing a good job." I had to remind myself that a few times this week:)

This week with my girls: Bringing home Zara. What a special moment this always is bringing a new baby home for the first time. We stayed in the hospital for 24hrs and picked up Aniston from my in-law's in the morning. We were all 4 in the car and I looked in the back seat and started to cry. It was so crazy thinking this is our family now, it's us 4, FOUR!! Crazy! My main feelings were just feeling so blessed. I missed Aniston a lot while we were in the hospital, I felt like we were cheating on her or something.. silly but true. So I was excited to be out of the hospital and home. Aniston was not jazzed about the whole baby coming home with us. The first hour home she cried while I held her.. it broke my heart to see her so sad and experiencing those emotions. She couldn't even look at Zara. It's kinda funny now, Trev and I didn't think she'd react like that, we should have been more prepared. My life saver has been my Solley Wrap. I feel like I can do all my stuff while still holding my baby and having that bonding time. Most of my bathroom trips I've had Zara wrapped around me and Aniston on my lap.. no privacy haha. Aniston has gotten better everyday but has wanted my attention. She wants to be held while I nurse and so there's been hard moments for her but we've been able to find lots of quiet time just her and I to play together. The TV has been on more.. it just is what it is for a few days. Usually I just let Aniston watch one show a day.. that went out the window real fast this week. I think she's watched at least three. But we're just figuring it all out! Zara luckily sleeps so well at night and nursing is going better this time than the first so there's a lot to be grateful for in that area.

This week with work: This is an overwhelming topic for me. My main job in life is being a mom and I have a company that demands a lot of my attention that has to keep going somehow so this is where I've had to find a balance and juggle my time the most. I feel like we finally found a good balance with Aniston, (took me a year and a half) and now here's baby number two and I feel like I'm trying to find that balance all over again. We've done a good job so far though and we're taking it a day at a time instead of deciding a set schedule or routine from the get go. The biggest thing I'm doing work wise right now is the designing of my styles. We get about 18 new styles a week  so you can imagine there's never time for rest. Trev's my second opinion on all my styles so I always like to have him around when I'm picking fabric and prints and altering samples and cuts. This week we did our usual thing but from home after we put the girls to bed. (I slowly put on all the samples, I'm still sore so I'm not back to my quick self yet) And made all the alterations we needed to. Spring is my favorite time for designing bc it's fresh fun colors and summery styles, we were finalizing those this week and I'm super excited with how they turned out so that made for a good week. I went to our usual weds management meeting while Aniston napped, I took Zara with me and by the time I got to my car I was in tears. I was in A LOT of pain weds and started to feel a little overwhelmed, and felt like how am I going to do all this. Luckily Trev caught me in the parking lot and followed me home and gave me a good pep talk:)  Thursday I was going to shoot our new product but I still felt so sore so that got put off until Friday. We are just trying to take it a day at a time.

This week with Trev: I grew up with my mom telling me repeatedly that my husband is my number one. Before my kids, before everything. I don't know if I've been to good at this this week. I've done a lot of asking him to grab things and do things and he's just been amazing catering to me and taking care of all of us while my body has healed. I've enjoyed our quiet moments together when our babies are asleep and enjoyed working with him on our work stuff. We of course made time to watch the bachelor and snack in bed and have had our us time to chat and be together so thats good.

My recovery this week: What an amazing thing it is that our bodies bare children. I know not everyone gets to experience that in this life and I'm so grateful I can. I felt really good the first few days, getting a lot of stuff done and moving around but then day 4 and 5 hit.. and I was in a lot of pain. I don't like needing help with things and I don't like not getting things done quickly and so when I was really hurting and felt like my body was holding me back I had to remind myself of what a special thing my body just did and that it's okay to just rest.. so Thursday I rested, moved slow, had a messy house and did all my work stuff that allowed me to sit down. Warm baths have been my best friend.. I take at least three a day. Nursing is going well. That was one of the things I was most excited for, I just think its amazing that our bodies do that and a special way we can bond with our babies.  The beginning of the week my chest was bleeding and in pain.. but it's gotten better! I should call my lactation specialist.. if she reads this she'll be mad at me haha. But if you're a first time mom talk to Lindsey, (find her here) She's amazing!! And such a great support. My milk came in and holly cow.. I feel like a cow. Lots of milk and lots of sopping wet clothes:)  It's a good problem to have though.

The high's of my week: Cuddling my two happy girls on the couch while listening to Trev play the piano. Taking a walk with Aniston while she pushed her baby in her little stroller. Seeing Aniston hold Zara (sister bonding, much needed this week) Seeing Aniston swaddle her panda bear and hold it and rock it. Getting back to work.

The low just so you all know we all have them: Thursday night's minor melt down.. Trev came home to me on the ground by our bed trying to nurse Zara while Aniston laying next to me screaming crying and wanting me to hold her (i should have just held her but I had held her for the last 40 mins and Zara really needed to eat) and me crying bc Aniston's crying, the house is a mess, I'm in pain, I took some hard punches to my spirit at work that day and just felt like I was getting beat up in every area that I've tried to do my best in. Trev is my saving grace. I don't know what I'd do without that sweet man.

That's my week in a nutshell. I hope all the mama's reading this just know that you are all doing a good job! Everyone's circumstances and situations are different and we just can't compare. If you nurse you nurse. If you do formula you do formula. If you have to go back to work you go back to work. If you need a nanny you need a nanny. Who cares what you're doing as long as you are giving those babies all your love and working hard to give them the best life you can. Do your best and feel good about being the amazing mom you are! We all have highs and lows. Focus on the highs and get out of the lows quick:) Love you all and thanks for all the love and support this week. I've gotten some sweet messages and comments and you don't know how much they mean and how much they keep me strong and motivated!