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As we quickly approach baby FLO’s first birthday (!) I can’t help but to reflect on this journey into motherhood. The sleepless nights, the constant googling, the incredible highs and the scary lows. The most challenging yet satisfying road. So to celebrate my transition into motherhood, I thought I’d share a few things that now looking back, I would have done differently, and a few things I got right!
In those first few days and weeks it was incredibly hard to find my own voice and to listen to it. I felt a sense of panic all the time. Listened to everyone’s opinion, but my own. I did things nurses, pediatricians, family and friends suggested and ignored my intuition. No one was necessarily wrong, and it was certainly helpful and coming from the right place. But now, looking back, I wish that I trusted my own instincts more. But maybe that’s the learning curve of motherhood, and it takes a while to figure out you’re the CEO of this operation.
I read a few books, tons of blog posts and talked to friends that have had babies. But none of these things actually prepare you for the unique human you bring into the world. For how lost and helpless you feel when this little human cries, and you can’t decipher what they need.
The toughest part for me was breastfeeding. As a new mom, I wanted to breastfeed my baby, but it was quickly obvious that my milk wouldn’t be enough. I blamed myself, pumped around the clock, ate lactation cookies and swallowed fistfulls of herbal supplements—but nothing seem to work. My baby always seemed hungry, after I nursed. It was exhausting and frustrating for everyone. I was a stressed mom with a stressed baby.
I spent months desperately trying to get my supply up, instead of enjoying this time with my baby that I will never get back. Feedings were something I dreaded, and pumping took up all of my free time.
As soon as I started supplementing, everything changed. Instead of being stressed whether I had enough milk or whether I had time to pump, I started to enjoy the quiet moments and feedings. Baby FLO seemed to be happier too. Funny how a happy mom makes for a happy baby!
Plum Organics® Grow Well® infant formula had all the nutrients baby FLO needed, and none of the bad stuff, which helped with the mom guilt. The formula is organic, non-gmo and without any corn syrup. It also mirrors breast milk quite well, since its carbohydrates are from cow’s lactose only milk, from cows not treated with rBST (No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.)
Supplementing helped everyone. Baby FLO seemed to prefer to drink from the bottle, others could help feed the baby and I was no longer a slave to the pump. To be completely honest, I learned that I actually preferred bottle feeding to nursing because I could simply sit back and watch my baby’s face and enjoy this time, instead of constantly worrying about whether he is getting enough.
Now looking back, I would definitely tell myself to ease up, and supplement with Plum Organics formula, because it made me a better mom (and a better wife), and helped me enjoy my baby so much more. Plus, there is so many other challenges ahead, like the 10 month old sleep regression we have just entered.
One thing I’m most grateful for is that Mau and I figured everything out together. I wasn’t alone on this island of motherhood. I had a partner. To have someone else who can seamlessly step in and take care of the baby made things so much easier. I allowed myself #mombreaks, which helped me come back refreshed and happy to see my baby, and it made things a lot easier when Mau got his #dadbreaks too. It truly takes a village, and embracing that has really helped me step into motherhood, instead of trying to pretend I have it all under control.
Thank you to Plum Organics for partnering with Besos, Alina on this post. For more information on Plum Organics, visit their website and to receive $5 off Plum Organics formula, simply click on the coupon below to create an account with Safeway and/or Albertson’s.
What are some things that have made motherhood easier for you? I’d love to hear about any tricks you may have!