Reason #245 Why Having A Baby Girl Rocks

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Confession: I am obsessed with buying baby clothes. I can’t stop. And this is insanity because I’m not a shopper. Not for myself or for anyone else. I cringe at the thought of going to a mall or outlet. But shopping for a baby girl? It’s like a different kind of experience. Everything looks better in itty bitty sizes. Elle has received soooo many clothes from friends and family members so I really shouldn’t be buying anything. But I can’t help myself. Between consignment stores and strollin’ sites like Alex and Alexa, I just can’t stop drooling over baby clothes.

And designer baby clothes? ZOMGGGG! My bank account isn’t stacked enough to be droppin’ pennies on Roberto Cavalli dresses, but hey looking at these pretty dresses is free. Seriously.

Brace yourself for the cuteness…

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This Torres Candy Stripe Prom Dress ($131.50) would be adorableeeee on Baby Elle. And I know I’m supposed to be anti-pink but I can’t take this cuteness. Can’t take it.

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I’ve dubbed Elle Belle as a baby hippie and so this Catimini Floral Print Romper Dress ($75.50) is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Steep in price, yes? But precious and darling for Spring? Oooooh yes.

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But how cute is this Monnalisa Pink Panther onesie ($22.48)? I didn’t even know the Pink Panther was such a cute little kitty. Ha!

Fellow mommies, grandmas, aunts and godmamas, are you too a wee bit addicted to buying baby clothes? Oh! And to my gals with baby boys, admit it – baby boy stuff just isn’t nearly as cute, uh? :cool:

 

*This is a sponsored post. All thoughts are my own but I was paid to place a link in this blog post.

(photo source)

Beauty in Mommyhood – Elle Is 2 Months Old!

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Okay, it’s official. My child is growing up. Yes, it’s great that she’s growing and thriving but I really enjoy her sweet cuddly newborn-y self. Elle G. is a really good baby. She doesn’t cry too much; mostly when we have stupidly missed her hunger and tired cues. But other than that, she does a great job at not driving us nuts with constant crying.

And when she does cry and I can’t figure out why I’m all like, “Elle, you’re being such a crybaby.” And she gives me this look like, “Ma, do you want to make it better or shall I turn it up a notch?”

I’m starting to spot her little personality. She’s hilarious and has a wacky sense of humor just like me! She does this new thing where she’ll open her mouth to receive the pacifier and then spit it right out. And then she’ll whine just for you to put the paci in her mouth to start the cycle all over again. It cracks me up. She’s also starting to  babble. We are chit-chatting allll the time.

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She’s a smiley baby too. Sing a song or talk in a high-pitched voice and Elle Belle will smile at you. It’s the sweetest little smile. She’s still sleeping through the night and only wakes up once or twice to get a bottle. And then she’s out again.

Honestly, I can’t complain about much because Elle is such a good baby. She only has few meltdowns and that’s when I’ve eaten things that haven’t agreed with her. Which includes the following: dairy, curry, spicy food, sweet potatoes and beans.

Many of you have asked how breastfeeding is going and um, yeah no. I am an exclusive pumper – this means that I am a mother who only expresses breast milk for her baby. Elle will nurse a bit using a nipple shield but quite frankly, the pain I get from that (think cracked nips) and confusion in trying to figure how much she’s getting is just not worth it. She’s latched a few times but usually ends up screaming minutes later. I have no idea why.

So yes. I spend approximately 19 hours a week total and pump about 250 oz worth of breast milk. Since she’s been born, I’ve expressed over 21 gallons of breast milk. Insane? Yes. Remind me to write a post about the up’s and down’s of being an exclusive pumper. I would have loved to nurse her directly but hey, I’m doing the best I can. I have small goals for when I will continue to pump. I want to last for at least 3 months, and then 6 months and then 9 months and then a year. Truthfully, I’ll throw myself a party if I can last 6 months. I will buy myself a diamond tennis bracelet if I can last a year. Pumping is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. Ever. Childbirth is 10x easier. Yuuuup.

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That’s Elle hangin’ with her Gam. Yes, Grandma Clumps’ name is Gammy. Hilarious, uh?

How am I two months postpartum? Starving! All I want to do is eat. And I do. I have recently joined Weight Watchers and I’m becoming more active with taking walks with Elle. My goal is to loose a good 10 lbs in the next few months. I’m pretty sure it’s feasible but when I tell y’all I am hungry, I mean starving…allllll the time.

I am becoming so much more confident in motherhood. I can leave the house with her and not be so…afraid. It’s tough living in a city without many family members to help with a newborn. I feel like it’s just Esposo and me most times and when he’s working around the clock, well, it’s just me. And taking care of a newborn plus a blog is anything but easy. But…I’ve been doing it. So yeah, Elle isn’t the only one growing and I’m really happy about that. :cool:

We’re in the process of finding a nanny or home daycare for Elle and I can’t stop crying over it. I can’t work from home, I can’t quit my job and how I’ll put her in someone else’s care at such a young age is beyond me. But I have to do it. It’s just soooooo hard. Any tips, working moms?

Elle Stats:

Weight - 10 lbs
Biggest Accomplishment - Discovering that chocolate gives Elle insane gas. Prior to this, we would endure a few nights of insane crying and tummy troubles. We tried different bottles but nope, I was the problem.
Favorite Toy – Elle got a swing that she adores. We love it too as it is great at getting her to sleep.
Biggest Hurdle – Elle and I were sick with a cold for like a week and it was baaaad. But we got over it.

 

Elle Gets Dolled Up

This work from home life with a newborn is somethin’ else, y’all. How do women do it and not go stir crazy? On the other hand, if you think stay at home moms don’t do anything all day, I challenge you to be one for a day. No lie. It is the hardest job I have ever done. Getting up and going to work is waaaaaay easier.

But if I did that, I wouldn’t have the chance to do silly things like put Elle in tutu onesies and put huge bows on her head just for fun. Baby girl clothes are the best!! Moms with boys, do you all have this much fun dressing them up? Probably not, uh? I’ve seen the boy section at stores. Trucks, superheroes, animals and cargo. That’s it. Lame.

But the baby girl clothing world has endless options…

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And lemme tell you, I never wanted my kids to be attached to the binky (aka pacifier) but some babies have a natural desire to suck. And they find it soothing. Plus, sometimes no paci results in this…

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So now which one would you choose? Yeah. I try not let her suck on it allllll the time. Pacifiers are useful but they are so unsightly and get in the way of a baby’s cuteness. And teeth. Y’all know it’s true.

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Elle’s having an up and down week.

Ups:

-She met her paternal grandparents and great-grandma!
-She’s 9 lbs! 5 lbs at birth and she’s gaining weight beautifully.
-She got a new swing that she absolutely adores.
-Baby acne is clearing up.
-We discovered that coconut oil heals and prevents diaper rashes.

Downs:
-She caught Esposo’s cold. Baby’s 1st cold. It’s miserable for all involved.
-She had tummy issues thanks to me and my love affair with sweet potatoes.
-Cradle cap is here. Coconut oil to the rescue!
-Elle’s thighs aren’t thick enough for her cloth diapers. Booooo.

How do I have a 7-week old? Wasn’t I JUST pregnant? Oh, and in other good news – my child still looks like a girl even when she wears blue.

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Yep. It’s the important things in life. :cool: Send us well wishes. Today Elle and I have an appointment with a pediatric oral motor specialist. This is our last professional attempt to try and get Elle to breastfeed directly. If it doesn’t work, I will continue to pump but only for a limited time (more about that later). If it does work, I’ll be elated and it means I’ll be able to get sleep. I’ve still only been running off of 2-3 hours a day. Whoooooooa.

Baby Question of the Week:

If you have or had a daughter, would you get her ears pierced as a baby?


-My Answer: I am so getting Elle’s ears pierced at 3 months. She won’t remember the pain and if she grows up to hate the earrings in her ears (so unlikely), she can just remove them. It’s all cosmetic and unnecessary but it’s also one of those traditional things in my family. What say you?

Send Baby Elle get well wishes!

 

Beauty in Mommyhood – Elle Is 1 Month Old!

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Wow. My little baby girl is already a month old. I’m all kinds of emotional about it. I’m so excited that she’s growing and thriving and becoming even more amazing each day. But I’m sad because well, she’s almost a big girl. Kind of.

I know folx are like, “Come on, B. She’s only a month old.” But I feel like I was just pregnant yesterday. I never understand why parents got so weepy over their kids going to kindergarten but yeah, now I get it. Speaking of ‘Dumb Things Those Who Aren’t Parents Say’, I was that non-parent that talked a lot of trash about what I WOULDN’T do when I had kids. I’d say stuff like…

“I would never co-sleep. That’s so unsafe.”
“Breastfeeding is the ONLY option for me. I will never give my baby formula.”
“I’m letting my baby cry it out. Otherwise they’ll get spoiled if I ALWAYS pick them up.”

Lies. Lies. Lies.

I proudly co-sleep. Due to latching issues, I had to give Elle formula three times. And I have yet to let her ‘cry it out’. Parenthood does turn you into a different person. I’ve been caught staring at her while she sleeps. Because I just don’t understand what I’ve done in this life to get granted the opportunity to be her mommy. Why did God select me?

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The first few weeks after her birth were emotional and rough. It’s true what people say – you really do get used to being sleep deprived. Elle is a great baby in that she actually sleeps through the night. She wakes up to eat and goes right back to sleep. However, she seems to only really want to go back to sleep while laying on someone’s chest. Which I wouldn’t mind if it weren’t so uncomfortable to me. Neither Esposo and I sleep well with her sleeping on our chests but we succumb to it because some sleep is better than no sleep. And Elle the Belle is a cranky something sleeping in her cradle.

My Mom and sister’s help the first 2 weeks were invaluable. And so were the love and support from my friends. I tried so hard to do everything by myself but it was impossible. I NEEDED the help.

Physically, after a week or so I felt just fine. Due to Elle being born early, we had to do a lot of running around with her to and from doctor’s appointments. My body had no choice but to bounce back quickly. My appetite is out of control. I am foreverrrrr starving and snacking around the clock.

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Breastfeeding is not going well. I feel like I’m on an episode of True Life: You Thought Breastfeeding Was Going To Be Easy. I should have known better. There’s a reason why there are so many support groups for breastfeeding women. It IS that difficult. A baby doesn’t always just latch on a boob and go to town. There are so many situations that make it difficult for mom and baby. In Elle’s case, the lactation consultant said she may have some oral motor issues. Latching her brings tears to my eyes but I try daily because I am confident that one day she will do it. I’m going to a La Leche League meeting soon and have joined several “Exclusive Pumpers” groups because you soooo need support during a time like this. In the meantime, I’ve been pumping every 2 hours (every 3 hours at night) to ensure that I have enough milk to feed Elle via bottle. It’s exhausting.

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Pumping and bottle preparation is time consuming. I have to pump, prepare the bottle, clean pumping equipment, feed baby and repeat. And I’m screwed if she’s starving WHILE I’m pumping because then I have to feed her while I pump. And if I leave the house, I HAVE to be back within 2 hours or else my boobs become engorged and painful. Everyday I want to quit but my dedication to giving Elle the BEST is what keeps me going. How this will work when I have to go back to work is beyond me. I’ve been freezing my expressed milk so that she can continue to have my milk even when I can’t pump as much. The breastfeeding thing put me in a depressive hole for weeks. I felt like a horrible mother for not being able to do it and I hated that it couldn’t be easier for me. Each day gets better. I wish I would have done more research about breastfeeding during my pregnancy. I just knew I wouldn’t have any problems and had I been more informed, I would not have been so stressed out. But you can’t have it all, right? I had a great pregnancy and great labor and delivery. To be honest, I would have traded a longer labor for an easier breastfeeding experience but ah well…

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So yeah, we’re truckin’ along. I am not looking forward to going back to work. Work from home mom? Um yeah. Would love to. At least for a year. It’s isn’t an option for us so having to drop her off at daycare is going to kill my soul. But let’s stick with the important things. Elle is healthy, happy , adorable and she’s got so many people that adore her. Esposo and I are doing the best we can as first time parents and we couldn’t be more happier to have her in our lives.

Elle Stats:

Weight - Around 7 lbs
Cool Tricks - Opens mouth wide when you kiss her chin, holds head, attempts to hold bottle, smiles/laughs while sleeping.
Favorite Spots - On Mommy or Daddy’s chest, in a baby carrier, her Boppy and bouncy chair.

Elle’s Birth Story

[NOTE: I omitted a lot of the squeamish parts of labor and delivery but if you have any particular questions, I am so okay with answering them in the comments. Like, did I really encapsulate my placenta? Sure did!]

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I feared a lot throughout my pregnancy. It was ridiculous, really. I am naturally a very anxious person and pregnancy only heightened that for me. My decision to go with a midwife instead of an OB/GYN didn’t help the situation either. The midwifery philosophy means trusting the woman’s body to do what it needs to do to nurture baby in-utero without much intervention. While some women may get ultrasounds at every prenatal appointment, I had one at 20 weeks. I was in the dark throughout most of my pregnancy. Instead of trusting my body, I questioned if everything was okay. If she didn’t move, I’d freak out. If she moved too much, I’d freak out. I was in panic mode 24/7. The crazy thing is, the only time I really trusted my body was when I was going through labor.

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My water broke when I was polishing my nails. But of course, right? I flew out of the beauty room to Esposo. My pants were to my ankles and I was running back and forth like some maniac. We decided to call the midwife and they recommended that I come in ASAP so they could test me to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. I just knew I was wasting my time. Because obviouslyyyyy, my water didn’t break. I just peed on myself. That’s it.

But we hopped in the car and drove the midwife and within 20 minutes I had my legs spread all open for the world to see.

“You’re having a baby today.” said the midwife.

I tossed myself in Denial River again.

“Wait, wha?…no. No. Like..not today. How do you know? Is this real life?”

We were told to go back home so that I could labor there and to come back in 4 hours. I tested positive for Group B Strep and had to have an antibiotic. Which also ruled me out of that glorified water birth that I wanted. Womp. We got home and I threw myself in the nook of the sofa and then labored on my labor ball. Esposo kept glancing at me and was steadily asking me if I needed anything. He was so calm. So so calm. I was fine. I couldn’t understand why people said labor was sooo hard. If these were contractions (mind you, that hadn’t started yet), I was doing amaziiiing.

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10 minutes later I was on the floor on all fours moaning and groaning. I’d go from the floor to rolling on my yoga ball. The contractions were in, ladies and gentlemen. And those mofos hurt. The only respite I got was the few minutes between contractions. Those minutes were glorious. I timed my contractions. 3-4 minutes apart. I got so uncomfortable that I crawled up to the bed. The contractions got worse. And worse. And worse. I hummed throughout them. I focused on my breathing. I got that from reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. That book spoke to my hippie soul. It is chock full of birth stories where the women were having babies in cabins and in the woods and all of that craziness. That’s so me. I’d have a baby in a cabin. Yep.

Esposo began packing up the car. He told me I should try to eat something before we left. Good idea. Each step I took killed me. I winced in pain. I continued to hum. Being upright was the worst. I somehow made it to the car and we took the 15 minute trek to the birthing center. Each bump made me want to hurl. I kept timing my contractions. 2 minutes apart and there weren’t many breaks in between.

We made it to the birthing center and they got us settled in the room. The midwife checked me and I was already 5 centimeters dilated. This baby was coming. And I was dying. My Mom was nowhere to be found because earlier that day she told me that she had gotten dreadfully ill and that I simply couldn’t have the baby today. How could my Mom not be there through this? My doula was on her way but I just knew she wouldn’t make it either.

In my head I was cursing up a storm. Out of my mouth, all I could do was hum and say, “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouuuuuuch.” Over and over again. The sweet nurse brought me ice cold water.

“I’m going to throw up.” I told her.

She brought me a pan and I threw up. I knew I was probably going through transition and that shortly after barfing, the pain would only intensify. I tried to stay calm. I asked Esposo to rub my back.

“Get off of me.” I tell him seconds later.

I was loosing it. The pain was out of control. Now that I look back at it, the contractions were painful but manageable. I suffered from painful menstrual cramps my entire life and so my pain tolerance is pretty up there. The real pain came from the perineal massage that my midwife gave me during those contractions. I wanted to kick her in her chin each time she told me to relax as she tried to massage the nether regions. I knew that she was only doing this to help prevent me from tearing but I was an animal at that point. I just wanted that baby out and I didn’t want anyone touching me.

If you’re not familiar with childbirth, when a baby is ready to come out, you push as if you have to take a poop. It’s the weirdest feeling because not only are you dealing with the pressure from baby bearing down, but you’ve also got those contractions kicking. It’s hard to focus and stay calm but I pushed and pushed and pushed and Baby Elle was born into the world at 5: 27pm. I was in active labor for 5 hours and I pushed for 17 minutes. My labor went so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to rip my shirt and bra off.

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My labor and delivery is considered speedy for a first time mom and quite frankly, after everything was said and done, I felt like I deserved an effing award. Soooo many people told me I was crazy for having a baby in a birthing center without the option of an epidural and pain meds. If I had to do it all over again, I would not have changed anything. Because Elle was considered small at 5 lbs, the birthing center recommended that we go to the hospital (uggghhhh) to have her fully examined. We were hesitant to do this because her Apgar scores were already high at a 9 and 10 and we just knew the hospital would give us a bunch of run around. And we were right. We spent hoursssss at the hospital. Just for them to tell us what we already knew. Our baby was healthy. Just small with a touch of jaundice. This detour to the hospital prevented Elle and I from really practicing her latch when it came to breastfeeding. It also resulted in two overwhelmed and fatigued first time parents who wanted nothing more than to just take their baby home.

So yes, while my labor and delivery was “perfect”, the events that followed were not. But it doesn’t matter. Baby Elle is here and she’s happy and healthy.

I always considered myself to be a strong woman, both physically and mentally. Giving birth to my daughter gave me a new badge of honor. I left that birthing center so so soooo proud of myself. Yes, I was terrified that my baby decided to come 3 weeks early and I was soooo sad that family members and friends couldn’t make it but the pride I had in myself trumped the sadness and fear that enveloped me during labor.

And not to sound like some superwoman, but pregnancy, labor and delivery are all easy compared to the struggle that came with breastfeeding and dealing with those postpartum hormones. THAT’S the part that people don’t tell you about. Stay tuned for more posts on life with baby. I know Clumps is a beauty blog but I think it’s important to normalize conversations like breastfeeding and the not so bubbly parts about being a first time mom. And if you could care less about that kind of stuff and would rather read about cosmetics, then hey, it’s all good too. I promise not to overload the blog with baby stuff. Maybe once a week or so. :wink:

Baby Clumps is here!

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…I mean, woooooow. I am just as shocked as you are. Elle came 3 weeks early and surprised us all.

By the way, it’s pronounced “El”. Not “El-ly”. Ellie is cute but you wouldn’t believe how many people have pronounced it that way. Which kinda sorta boggles my mind.

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I’m so in love with her. Everything she does amazes me. I’m pretty impressed with myself too. And Esposo. I’ll share her birth story in the coming weeks but there really isn’t much to say. Water broke. Active labor for 5 hours. Pushed for 17 minutes. Birthed a babe on January 7th…5 days after my birthday and in a comfortable birthing center.

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Baby girl was born only weighing 5 lbs so we’re working hard to get her to gain weight. She has to go to the pediatrician every other day or so. I’ve got a dream team of a midwife, doula, pediatrician and lactation consultant. And honestly, having the baby was the easy part. Breastfeeding is a whole ‘nother beast that is challenging but I am so dedicated to get down.

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I am beyond sleep deprived but whatever. Baby Clumps is here and she’s healthy and some kind of awesome. She’s so tiny but so strong. She motivates me. Life is even more amazing.

Posts will be slow around here but for good reason. :cool:

Baby Clumps has a cosmetics case!

Yes y’all. My child already has a cosmetic bag. And don’t go judging me. It’s not like I  will have her wearing lipgloss just yet. In fact, I’m  pretty old fashioned so even though her mommy is big into cosmetics, Baby Clumps probably won’t be allowed to wear anything until she’s in middle school. Maybe high school.

Except a lil’ nail polish here or there. :cool:

I’m in the process of packing my labor bag and Bean’s birthing center bag and just wanted to show off a bit of the goodies in her bag.

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As much as I don’t like the color, I’ve learned that I just can’t avoid pink when it comes to baby girl stuff. I’m dealing with it though because everything is so much cuter when it’s itty bitty. Since I’ll be giving birth at a birthing center, we have to bring all of the comforts of home. For baby skincare products, I’m obsessed with Shea Moisture Baby and Earth Mama Angel Baby. These will likely be the first two items that hit Bean’s skin shortly after her birth.

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Her little comb and brush…

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…although she may be a baldy. Which is adorable. And I’m not sure how soon I can go around brushing her tender scalp so we may not even use these.

Her nail clippers and filer…

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Because I hear that some newborns have super long nails. I don’t want Bean to accidentally scratching herself so we’re going to make sure those nails are cut low.

And that’s it! I’ll show off her coming home outfit soon. It’s getting soooo close, y’all. Eeeek!