My New Friends at Lactation Link

Monday, November 28, 2016

nursing friendly tops, audrey and olive, lactation link

Today's post has a cute outfit but that's about it when it comes to fashion. What it's really about is a new mom problem that has taken up way more time, effort and thought then I had ever imagined. So excuse me while I veer away from fashion and shopping to tell you a little about my breastfeeding experience and a super helpful solution for all you struggling mamas out there.

Here I was always thinking that breast feeding would be this easy natural process. Little did I know it was going to be so much more complicated and involved. Today, I'm three weeks in and I think the thing that keeps me sane and persistent is the confidence and encouragement my friends at Lactation Link have provided!

I'm definitely a planner by nature. So when I was pregnant, I tried my best to arm myself with as much knowledge as I could, because when it comes to this particular topic, no matter how much knowledge you have you never really can prepare for how it's going to go.

I attended one of Lactation Link's classes, where I learned things I never really thought about. The class was intimate, maybe 8-10 pregnant women, as well as a few of the members of the Lactation Link team. Lindsey, a certified lactation specialist and registered nurse, taught the class and took the time (over three hours!!) to answer every question we had. I also had the chance to chat with Kristin who is part of the team and a mother of five, so that in and of itself pretty much makes her an expert! I also found out that Lactation Link's specialists make in-home and in-hospital visits. They took our due dates down in the class so we could give a loose idea of when a consult may be needed. It was such an open and relaxed experience and I left knowing I had a support team if needed. That was a huge relief.

When the moment of truth arrived, Athena was nursing like a champ when we were in the hospital and I thought this might be easy enough after all. But once we went home she was put on the Bilirubin lights to treat her jaundice and all of a sudden she decided to quit latching. This pretty much broke my heart and was the source of many tears until I sent a text message to Lactation Link where they quickly scheduled a time to come over to our house and help assess the situation.

Kristen came to our home and helped us figure out what the problem was. And while Athena was still not latching, Kristen assured me that since she has done it so well once before she could do it again! What a relief!

She gave us lots of suggestions that we are still using today and quite honestly, every day still comes with new problems. But now I have solutions to help me cope instead of fall apart and quit. Really, I think the lack of support some women have is what leads them to quit. It really is an experience that can wear on you, hurt your feelings (which seems so silly considering the person that hurts your feelings is a tiny helpless baby) and generally just make you feel like a failure, leading to quitting all together.

I'm so glad I had all the support I did from Lactation Link and know that I still have it now. I love knowing that I can send an email to Kristen and give her an update on the situation and she responds quickly with encouragement and kindness.

If you are saying to yourself that this is all great for me, since I live in Utah where Lactation Link is located, but you don't, fear not! There is still lots to offer from Lactation Link no matter where you live. They offer video/ email/ phone consults where ever you may live!! They also offer a collection of online video classes, which I used as well while I was still pregnant, that contained 3 videos that prepare you for all the ups and downs of nursing. Also their Instagram feed is full of great help since it features open question strands with solid medical advice from the Lactation Link team who truly know their stuff.

So if you are a new mama or just preparing for the roller coaster ride that is breastfeeding and you need someone to have your back in the nursing game, Lactation Link has got you covered!

And if you are looking for a brand to literally have you covered, Audrey and Olive is my new favorite shop for nursing wear. Their pieces remind me of a cross between Free People and Zara only all nursing and maternity friendly. Quite honestly, it would even work for ladies who just really dig the comfy flowy vibe which has become my favorite since pregnancy. Right now the entire site is on sale till the end of today so check it out quick!

nursing friendly tops, audrey and olive, lactation link
Top: Audrey and Olive c/o // Jeans: Topshop // Hat: Urban Outfitters (similar) // Shoes: Coach

Athena's blanket: Target

nursing friendly tops, audrey and olive, lactation link

nursing friendly tops, audrey and olive, lactation link

An Unexpected Birth Story

Friday, November 25, 2016

All along I was kind of against the whole idea of a birth plan. From what I know about giving birth, it happens how it wants to and does not follow the plan you make. I'm so glad that was my mindset, because nothing really went as I imagined it would when our sweet girl was born.

On Thursday, November 3rd, I was scheduled to go in to see my doctor for a simple blood pressure check. Throughout the pregnancy it had been just a touch high a few times and they wanted to keep an eye on it, especially the closer I got to my due date of November 7th.

My blood pressure was a little high when I went in, so they asked us if we would go across the street to the hospital to get monitored for a few hours, just to make sure everything was safe. At this point I'm telling Andrew to drop me off and go head in to work (he did not listen) and in my head I was wondering what I was going to pick up at Whole Foods on the way home since I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. 

A few hours later, after taking a nap on the monitoring bed, a nurse walked in and told me that my doctor decided she wanted to induce me. I think I just looked at her and said: "Today?" It was quite a surprise!

Like the crazy organizer I am, our hospital bags had been packed for weeks, but we didn't bring anything with us today. So just like that they whisked me off to a labor and delivery room and I sent Andrew back home (only a few minutes away) to go grab our bags and a few random other things.

While Andrew was gone they got me started on a drug called cytotec which they had me put in my gums between my lip and teeth. I had never heard of this before but they told me this would get things going. They also got me hooked up on an IV which was my first ever and hurt way more than I expected, especially since they had to do it twice!

Andrew returned and we basically hung out and tried to rest for about 6 hours.They even let me eat lunch and dinner! Once about 8pm rolled around they told me I was ready to get started on petocin. I t was so strange to never actually "go into labor" like I had imagined. I always assumed I'd be at home and then we would have to take a long and painful ride to the hospital but here I was, getting my epidural before I even felt a contraction. Also at this point I was thinking FINALLY this baby is cutting me a break. If you read any of my previous pregnancy posts you know I've been majorly sick this whole 40 weeks! Nausea and morning sickness all day, every day. I thought this was my easy delivery that I earned for a terrible pregnancy. But then it all started to change.

I was in labor throughout the night not really feeling any contractions and being quite numb but still pretty uncomfortable. around 7am they told me I was ready to start pushing. The doctor informed me that the baby was flipped face up but she thought she could get her to flip back. I really didn't want to have a C-section or have any other interventions so I just got it in my stubborn mind that I was going to push this baby out no matter what direction she was in as long as her heart was stable. Well after 5 hours of intense pushing we realized it was time for me to give in. Andrew had to be the voice of reason because after 5 hours, I was delirious with exhaustion. I don't know how he had the stamina to count out each push for that long either. And remember that nausea and sickness I had the last 40 weeks? Well it didn't let up through labor! They had to give me a shot of Zofran to stop me from gagging my way through pushing. Glamorous, right? 

They said she was stuck under my pelvic bone and that I had two options: c-section or forceps. Both I knew were going to come with some extra painful consequences and risks for the baby. We decided to let them use the forceps and literally in less than a minute she was out. It all happened so fast after that. I wish I could say I had some magical moment where I remember them putting her on my chest but all I remember was fear. I was so weak and out of it that I was afraid if they put her on me I would not have enough strength to hold her. I really don't remember much and from what Andrew told me, it was a pretty scary moment for him too.

At 11:51 a.m., 6 lbs 12 oz, 20.5 inches long, Athena Marie Welhouse officially arrived. 

A few hours after, and after some skin-to-skin, some shots, and some medical checks, the epidural started to wear off and they wanted to move me to a post delivery room. I had some terrible stomach pain that I was beginning to feel more and more. As they tried to get me to move to the wheelchair, I felt like something was terribly wrong with my epidural site. It felt like an electric numb spike was in my back and I was terrified to move. I seriously couldn't move an inch out of fear and was sobbing. They called the anesthesiologist to come remove everything that remained in my back. That was probably the most terrifying 5 mins of my life. 

The cherry on top of this horrific day came after they moved us to the post-delivery room, with a visit from the lactation consultant with the least empathy of anyone I encountered in my entire birth experience. She basically offered no helpful solutions to help me nurse with the serious amount of pain I was in. Like, "couldn't sit upright to nurse" kind of pain. She told me that I needed to decide if I was going to do this or not, breastfeeding that is, which at the moment after the morning I had, seemed next to impossible. Lucky for me and baby girl, my next two nurses were awesome, encouraging and patient! They helped me leave feeling confident. 

I stayed in recovery for two days. I think that is where I finally really got a chance to get to bond with my girl. We snuggled all day and I was totally in love. She's just the sweetest little thing and I could stare at her all day. Sure she hadn't cut me a single break since day one, but I still love the heck out of her.

Now that she's here, she's such a lovely little sweetheart. It doesn't even feel weird that she's here, it just feels right. We moved out here to Salt Lake City and built this life and home just for her and now she fits right in like it was meant to be.

The beginning of my induction. Luckily in no real pain but filled with A LOT of anxiety. 

Proof that they did let me hold her and that I didn't drop her after she was born. This is the very first picture taken of us together.

I still can't get over her little muscular legs. No wonder her kicks hurt so bad. Just look at that thigh muscle! 

Since I coudn't get up after delivery, Andrew went with to watch her get her little foot prints taken.

Athena and Papa getting some cuddles in.

On our last night there, we let them give her a bath and I made it down to watch.

She screamed and cried when they washed her body but man did she become as calm as could be when they washed her hair. It's like a baby shampoo commercial! She was in heaven!

How Athena and I spent pretty much our whole time in the hospital.

I was lucky enough that one of my first nurses was also the one who released us! She was so sweet and took this picture of us on the way out. Do we look worn out or what?

As you may remember from my Instagram post, Andrew and I wanted to take her here right after she was born so we made a stop here for a quick picture. As you can see Andrew did this whole thing injured. He's in a walking boot with a stress fracture in his foot.

My Favorite Black Friday Sales

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Obviously my style is changing a bit with the arrival of a new baby. My body is not the same as it used to be nor are my fashion needs. In my mission to always bring you what is relevant (and my excitement to share it with you in hopes that you will find something new to love), I've compiled this list of sales for Black Friday!

I hope you are as excited as Athena is in the picture above.

Copper Pearl bibs: They make cute, functional bibs that make my little girl look stylish when she's spitting up. (Now that is a tough job to do.) Check out their discount codes in this Instagram post!

Audrey and Olive: Everything on this site is marked down and you can sign up for their newsletter and get a code for an EXTRA 20% off! Details here! I love all of these pieces for their edgy, non-boring maternity and post-baby style. They even show you how to style everything on the site in ways you wouldn't have thought of. Easy to wear for all women of all sizes and walks of life. I just ordered faux-leather leggings and a striped dress for under $50 with free shipping too!

Aritzia: Probably my favorite shop for the last 8 years! The quality never disappoints and even though prices are on the higher side, their pieces are just so classic that you will never need to get rid of them. Discounts marked on each item in the sale section. Pieces will sell out fast!

Gap: 50% off EVERYTHING with code TGIF50! I haven't really shopped at Gap in the last few years but in the last month, I've become a reborn fan. They carry some of the only pieces that are small + long enough for my long and lean baby, as well as some of the coziest pieces I've been lounging around the house in! This sleep tee and this fuzzy robe are topping the list!

Albion Fit: Locally based here in Utah. I was pretty pumped to finally wear these leggings for the first time post-baby yesterday. You know I've loved them since before I went to their retreat this past summer because their company does so much good in this world and has the cutest workout clothes! 20% off EVERYTHING with code STUFFED. Just get on their mailing list.

ASOS: They are my favorite online shop and my most favorite time suck! You can seriously spend hours looking through their endless inventory! 30% off sitewide today with code THANKFUL. I've had my eye on this cape and think I'll be scooping it up today!

H&M: 30% off your entire purchase for 24 hrs. I'm obsessed with these little footie pants for Athena because she is too tiny for any socks to fit her little feet. Also I'm loving their super soft nursing bras and need to stock up!

You Are Here! Welcome Baby Athena!

Push Play!
My final pregnant outfit post also comes with the best announcement. Here she is everyone! After many weeks of sickness and discomfort, Athena Marie Welhouse came into our lives on November 4th at 11:51AM weighing in at 6lbs 12oz! I still can't believe such a petite little girl came from me!

She is just the cutest sweetest baby around although I may be a little biased.

She is just over two weeks old now and we are having so much fun getting to know her. I hear from so many people that I need to try to enjoy her and that she will grow up so fast so that's why I've been kind of MIA over here. The blog can wait but Athena is growing every day which is why I chose to make her my priority. It's taken me until just now to figure out when to have time away from her to blog. Turns out that time is 2 am while she's asleep and I'm pumping! Multitasking y'all!

Since I am a little late to welcoming her over here on the blog, I want to remind you that you can always see lots of our daily life on my Instagram story and also on snapchat (username HOTPINKSTYLE). If you like baby snuggles, I suggest you start following, because we do a lot of that over there!

I am just about done writing her birth story; that will be my next post so stay tuned for that. Til then, here is an outfit from a few days before she was born and some sweet pictures of her I took from her first week.

black topshop nursing dress

black topshop nursing dress

black topshop nursing dress

black topshop nursing dress
Dress: Topshop nursing dress // Shoes: Adidas