What you Didn’t Expect, when you were Expecting

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Here’s the truth: You can read every pregnancy/labor & delivery book out there, and there will STILL be something that surprises you or catches you off-guard. Guaranteed.

Bringing a child into the world is a mix of beautiful, unbelievable, and disgusting. So, here are just a few of the things that I wish someone would have prepared me for (not necessarily all that will happen to you, but that definitely could happen!):

  1. Nosebleeds. Most women know about the nausea, headaches, sore boobs, etc. (the more well-known side-effects of growing a human.) What people won’t tell you is that other things can also happen that are pretty out-of-the-ordinary: Nosebleeds. Floaters in your eyes. Spots and skin tags. Tailbone pain. Round-ligament pain. Tender gums (and restrictions at the dentist. Most require you to have written and signed consent from your OB before performing any procedures, including routine cleanings.)
  2. Old Wives Tales: Most aren’t true. One that is, however, is the concept of heartburn meaning your child will have hair. So, try not to take too much stock in most old-wives tales, but this one is a good one to pay attention to.
  3. You won’t have as many ultrasounds as you want. Most often, your insurance will pay for two. Unless you have an unusual circumstance around your pregnancy, you’ll likely only see your little one on the screen twice.
  4. Hunger, and Lack of Hunger: Pregnancy is often portrayed the same way, all the time. Women that have insane appetites, and binge on whatever craving they have that day. Sometimes this is true, but not always. Some women are sick for so long that the idea of food is the farthest thing from their minds. In fact, some women struggle to keep on the needed weight for pregnancy. For these women, medication is often required so that you can continue to have a healthy pregnancy.
  5. Not all testing is required. Some OBs will try to convince you that all testing is mandatory, but often this isn’t the case. Do your research and decide what is best for you. I did all the testing of my own volition, but some parents would prefer to avoid some of these tests.
  6. You may not have the same OB your entire pregnancy. I was shocked to find that most clinics have OBs on a rotation, so you may see a different doctor every time. It makes sense; doctors are busy people. But, it was important to me to have the same OB my entire pregnancy and at the birth of my child. I spent a significant amount of time trying to find a clinic that allowed this, and was thrilled when I finally did. If this is important to you, be prepared to do some digging to find the right obstetrician for you.
  7. Most doctors will not let you go past 41 weeks. Most of us want to wait for our babies to come on their own, but a great many doctors will absolutely put their foot down. Why? There are some risks, which you can read about here.
  8. When you’re ready to deliver: be prepared to be examined by 10 or more nurses, a handful of doctors, and possibly some medical students. If this isn’t what you want, make sure you talk to your hospital in advance.
  9. Labor and Delivery might not be what you expected, in a variety of ways. If you’re like me, I expected to have the cinema-style birthing experience where the actress has her water break, and baby arrives in a dramatic scene within a few hours. More often, your water will leak all day, and all through your labor, you’ll spend hours bored, in pain, eating popsicles and watching reruns of Friends.
  10. If you have an epidural, you’ll likely have a catheter at some point. Some hospitals keep them in, others just use them periodically. Most often, too much is going on for you to even care.uventet1.png
  11. Be prepared to be unprepared. You can plan for nine months how your labor is going to happen, but most often you’ll have to do what your doctor or midwife thinks is best. If this means a cesarean, episiotomy, etc., sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And sometimes, like with my labor and delivery, things can get complicated QUICKLY. Ask your nurses and doctors to explain fully what is happening instead of tip-toeing around you. My son was both face-up, and had the umbilical cord tightly wrapped around his neck. This meant that I had a positioning specialist, internal monitors, and saline injected back into my uterus. I wish I had known more about things that can go wrong in L&D, though I think many people might want the opposite: to not know at all, and not worry about it (I’m just not that person.)
  12. enhanced-buzz-7951-1440537069-6Things like the “husband stitch” still exist. Sex after childbirth is usually fairly unpleasant the first few times for most people. This will make it worse, so ensure that you have a doctor that doesn’t practice this.
  13. Post-partum. OH post-partum. It can be a crazy ride, that’s for sure. If anything, know what to expect. Knowing now to care for yourself both physically and mentally are crucial to both your well-being and your child’s. Know the signs of post-partum depression and don’t be afraid to talk about it and ask for help. Accept help. Also, know that post-partum pain and bleeding can last a decently long time. Be prepared for it so that you aren’t trying to run to the store last-minute toting a newborn with you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. What shocked you about your own pregnancy and labor & delivery?

-Katie

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Bella Materna Nursing Bra {Product Review}

I’m a breastfeeding mom for the second time now, and I still struggle with finding an appropriately fitting bra that is comfortable. I would say the majority of the time I end up wearing nursing camisoles with the built in bra, but I know this isn’t what is best. Recently, BurritoBuzz connected with Bella Materna, and I was able to try out one of their nursing bras of my choice. I decided on a Smooth Wirefree Nursing Bra. I’ve never been a fan of wires, so this one sounded perfect. I only looked briefly at other options through their website and this specific bra received 5 stars, which further sold me. Here’s my verdict . . .

 

The PROS

  1. Comfortable – So far, I’ve worn this bra to work (I work full-time as an RN and I’m always on my feet and moving), around the house, out running errands for a few hours, to bed, and even to do a small work out. Throughout every activity this bra was never uncomfortable.
  2. Bella Materna advertises this specific bra as having “spacer fabric cups for nursing pad coverage and a flexible fit.” I found this point to be true. I wore my fabric nursing pads in the bra and still found it to fit appropriately and comfortably. The nursing pads also stayed in place well within the bra.
  3. I found the bra to be sized appropriately. I find it hard to decide what size to buy once you start breastfeeding and your milk comes in; luckily I guessed right with this bra with the help of the sizing chart found on the website. I feel like the fabric and coverage allow for some flexibility so the bra still fit well when my breasts were fuller in the morning versus the evenings when they are less full.
  4. The bra is easy on the eyes. It was offered in two colors online, Rose and Black. I opted for the black. I think its difficult to find a nursing bra that looks “normal,” and this bra did that for me. The bra has a “vintage” look which I also liked.
  5. The clips on either side of the cup/strap are easily undone with one hand for nursing, but not too easily that they came undone on their own. I’m often wishing I had more hands when I’m getting ready to start breastfeeding my little guy, so I appreciated that I could undo the bra using one hand. This way I’m ready to go quickly when baby is hungry.
  6. I did not take advantage of this feature, but on the website, Bella Materna advertises, “Add the Racerback Accessory . . . turns any bra into a racerback bra!” I think this is an awesome idea and something unique to nursing bras especially. So definitely check this out if you’re interested!

 

The CONS

  1. I’m cheap. I thought this bra was overpriced for what it was. I have never been one to spend much on undergarments though, so others may not agree. I know it is difficult to find a good fitting nursing bra with the perks of it being a nursing bra, but I thought $78 bucks was pretty steep. My nursing camisoles from Motherhood Maternity are often on sale and at $24.98, a no brainer in my eyes.
  2. Although very comfortable, breathable, and flexibly fitting, I thought the fabric was too thin. I know most nursing mommas can relate to the firmer nipples we get with breastfeeding. I felt that they were still noticeable with the bra and a nursing pad because of the thin fabric.

 

Overall, I give the Bella Materna Smooth Wirefree Nursing Bra 4 stars. It met my needs in the areas of comfort, quality, ease of use, and appearance. I just found it pricey and the fabric too thin. If you are interested in finding good quality nursing bras, I would recommend atleast looking into Bella Materna, because they had other options on their site and the bra I sampled was of good quality. This company also offers a variety of other products for Mommas out there – loungewear, breast pads, and even breast pumps.  Right now, their website is offering a 10% discount on your first purchase by just entering your e-mail address and also Free Shipping in the U.S. Check them out!

 

-Megan

 

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Becoming Mother: Book Review

As I sit here with my 10 month old son, who is currently whining non-stop due to a sinus infection, I think back to my days before being a mother. Did they exist? I barely remember them now. Though, that wasn’t always the case. While pregnant I just went through the motions. Once my tiny human arrived into the world I was in a total state of shock by how suddenly and immensely my life had changed. I thought about my days before being a mother frequently, and sometimes lustfully. Longing for days of quiet, missing the boredom that I used to complain of.

The parenting books that I had skimmed merely told me the motions that I was already going through. What to plan for in pregnancy and labor and delivery, how to care for my new baby, various milestones and expectations. Some of these books I could barely relate to, and quite frankly seemed like they were written by men who have obviously never been pregnant or dealt with labor and delivery or post-partum hormones.

51+8Ctf3yjL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI was thrilled when Sharon sent me her book, Becoming Mother. The title alone gave me comfort– and reassured me that being a mother is actually a process for most. I identified closely with Sharon’s journey into motherhood, including the discomforts of pregnancy and trying to stay active, to the disappointments of care in labor and delivery, and, as she puts it “Just the plain, messy truth of what it’s like for one to become two.”

Becoming Mother isn’t candy-coated. It’s the simple truth of her story of bringing her child into the world. In its rawest form, motherhood is full of decisions that can be questioned by both yourself and others. Sharon talks about various choices that she made, including natural childbirth and the empowerment that comes from it, to the necessity of formula-feeding and the judgement that she initially put upon herself (I myself formula fed, and identified so well with feeling like you have to justify your decision to others. The truth is, you don’t, and it’s not anyone else’s business.) What’s best for one mother, or baby, may not be best for another.

I admire her reflections in this book because she portrays her experience with all of the blemishes, mishaps, and frustrations that come with becoming a mother. We live in a generation where a perfect life can be contrived on Facebook through simple statuses and photos; we can eliminate the bad and only portray the good. When, in fact, motherhood is full of ups and downs. While I personally was SO in love with my new tiny human, I was exhausted, frustrated at my labor experience, and definitely suffering from some post baby blues and hormone imbalances. I was in a foreign land, from a life previously filled with only my own needs. It was hard to adjust at first, but here, nearly a year later with my son, we have found our new normal. He brings so much love an joy into our lives. It’s important for new moms to know that it gets easier.

Thank you to Sharon for an accurate portrayal of what it’s really like to become a mother. Your candid writing gave me comfort in knowing that there are others with stories just like mine. I highly recommend this read to any new mother or soon to be mother.

-Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

Parenting Advice: Guilty?

8cbae746b97a743e4ea5dd0d19b52680I’m a first-time parent, and if I wasn’t already sure of that before, having received parenting advice from virtually every individual I know with a child, I am definitely sure of it now.

The first few months after having a baby, especially your first baby, are overwhelming. My husband and I were together nearly 10 years before welcoming our son into the world. Though a very wanted, and awaited change to our lives, we found ourselves treading water. My thoughts were a jumbled mess, which were due to a nice combination of fatigue, hormones, and flat out doubt of my parenting-abilities.

I spent many nights reading, Googling endlessly for ways to do things. Was I swaddling correctly? Should my baby be drinking this much? Drinking this little? Why is he crying so much? Should he be making these wheezing noises? When does cradle cap end? If I could have a running list of things I typed into Google, it would certainly span the lengths of encyclopedias. And more likely than not, I’d laugh at some of those questions now as a more experienced, more comfortable new parent.

So let me tell all of you new parents: It gets easier. It’s hard to believe now, and I definitely rolled my eyes at a few forum posts similar to this one when I was in those first few “survival months”… which we will refer to as the “dark ages.”

So, being a new parent I wasn’t prepared for all of the VERY assertive new-parent-advice that I would receive. Let me explain. There is a difference between saying “oh, this is how I did it as a parent. Maybe try this way!” and saying “no, you’re doing this wrong. You need to do________.” Or, even better, when an individual tells you how they did it, and then gossips behind your back about how wrong you’re doing everything.

So recently I conducted a survey with numerous questions, ranging from birth, to feeding, to weaning, to sleeping, etc. Responses by those that participated were so varied. Some parents used a birth plan, some didn’t. Some had medicated births, some didn’t. (You get the point.) There was NO PATTERN. What worked for each parent was extremely different than what worked for the rest.

My last question on the survey was “Do you often get unwanted parenting advice?” I allowed the answers of “Yes” “No” and “No, it’s always welcomed.” I got a few that responded with the latter two, but the overwhelming majority replied with “Yes.” 

My point? I have several.

  1. We’re all in this boat together. Sometimes this boat is a sinking ship. Sometimes we have to emit an SOS. Sometimes, we repair the leaks in our boat and keep on cruising. Don’t be critical of other moms just because your way isn’t their way.
  2. If you give advice: 1. Be kind. 2. Be understanding. 3. Don’t assume your way is best for all. 4. If someone is dropping hints that they don’t want advice, then stop.
  3. If you want advice: make sure you’re talking to individuals that won’t condemn you for your choices. Look for mothers that have had children recently. The hardest part of receiving advice from our own mothers and grandmothers is that it’s sometimes very outdated advice. (Some of it is great advice, don’t get me wrong– but some advice isn’t safe or medically advised.)
  4. If you’re a mom looking for solutions: there are other moms out there looking for the same solutions. Utilize forums and get a range of advice, it will help you to pick out the bad advice from the good. I’ve found Facebook groups to be particularly useful.
  5. If you’re a stranger, and you see a new parent out: generally, advice is not wanted. Instead offer encouragement. Being out in public with small children is already stressful enough, so try to be kind and understanding.

You’re doing great, parents. Google will be your best friend for a short time, but in a few months you’ll have this parenting thing mastered (it only took me 10 months, and I’m still learning every day.)

-Katie

 

Where are my abs?

warningI’ve struggled with my body most of my life, going back and forth between “I hate how I look” and “I’m so glad I have a functioning, healthy body.” Much of middle school and high school was marked with not eating enough and exercising too much. I was 5’7″ and weighing in around 102lbs for a while. I think it’s safe to say, I was not healthy. I could go days without eating a significant meal, and spent a lot of time dodging events with food. And in all honesty, my unhealthy eating stemmed from stress and body image combined. My parents had divorced, and everything I had known was just kind of… unknown. I can totally be the person that stress eats, but when I’m really stressed, I just physically can’t eat. I’m more than happy to say those days are long behind me. Give me a Chipotle bowl, and I’ll devour the entire thing. With chips.

It wasn’t until late high school that I really said “screw it” and learned to live a healthier life. Mostly healthy food, the occasional pizza and Taco Bell trip, a healthy amount of exercise. I’ve lived that life, contently, for 10+ years now. I’ve never had the urge to not eat, and I’ve been mostly happy with my body.

Until having a baby.

I was happy to be pregnant, considering Ryan and I had been off of birth control for nearly a year and a half before Lucas came around. I didn’t show much at all until around 5 months, which is likely somewhat due to my intense morning sickness for the first 5 months. I didn’t get a SINGLE stretch mark until 2 weeks before delivery. I really thought I was in the clear. HA. No.

So my post-baby body was extra-terrestrial to me, especially in those first few weeks after L&D. I still looked very much pregnant, and my stretch marks made me cry more than once.

The stress of having a baby kicked my brain into all-out stress mode. I barely ate. I gained 37lbs with Lucas, and lost all of it plus a little within a few short weeks. My fridge was filled with meals people had made for us, that I just had no interest in (other than the amazing scones that my grandma makes, which I could eat every meal of every day.) 

After my hormones settled down I was able to get back into a healthy eating schedule. (You have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your baby.)FotoFlexer_Photodfga

Even after all of this- losing the weight, feeling less hormonal, I still had some major body concerns. I fit into my old jeans, but not in the way I used to. My stretch marks had faded into almost nothing, thanks to Bio Oil, but they were still there. It took me months to get to the point of being comfortable again (and feeling attractive again!) It only happened with the help of a few sites: 4th Trimester Bodies & Love your Lines (You can find both on Instagram!) Both promote acceptance in a way that is so freeing and beautiful. I’d strongly recommend finding and following them.

I am BLESSED to have carried this tiny human to full term, and to have given birth to a healthy, amazing little boy. My stretch marks and my new body I wear proudly now. It took time and adjustment. But oh man guys, do you know how many people would love to be able to carry a baby? To have a healthy baby? It’s not something that should be taken for granted ever. So many would be thrilled to have a few stretch marks make a home on their abdomen.

So I look at my little boy sleeping now, and I can’t even tell you how much the stretch marks and new body size don’t matter. He and I are both healthy.

-Katie