Family of Four
“Where do you get your energy?”
“How do you incorporate pumping and giving bottles when you breastfeed?”
“Does Alice take a pacifier?”
All questions I am going to answer for you in this blog post.
But first, can I just tell you how much I am LOVING being a mom to two? Sure, there are chaotic and overwhelming days, but overall, the transition to two has been a lot smoother than I thought for us.
When we first got home from the hospital, we had a couple of instances where Vivienne woke up crying in the middle of the night and completely tested our patience. We didn’t know if it was the fact that she’s a toddler and going through developmental changes or because she just became a big sister. Regardless, we didn’t know how to handle it and reacted in frustration and ways we were not proud of. A couple days later, JJ and Vivienne went to San Diego to visit family and I hung back in Phoenix with Alice. This was the first time I felt those baby blues, but it was because Vivienne would be traveling with JJ for two days. After arriving to San Diego safely and having the best time with her cousin Birdie, I realized that I needed to relax, heal, and soak in the alone time I had with Alice. So, we did. We barely moved from the couch. I watched more TV those two days then I did the entire year and enjoyed ALL the baby snuggles. I loved every second of it and felt all of us were rejuvenated after that trip. Since then, every day has gotten better and better. Vivienne has her moments, and sometimes still takes the pacifier to put in her own mouth, but she is loving Alice and adjusting really well to the change.
Nothing has changed as far as the time I spend with Vivienne. We still read, dance, sing, color, hang in her playroom, and give the same attention we did before Alice was here. Sometimes I’ll give JJ a bottle to feed Alice, sometimes I’ll nurse Alice on the playroom floor, or have JJ color Poppy for the 10thtime. It doesn’t need to be perfect but I feel we all are on the same page with helping each other. Vivienne helps me change Alice’s diaper, where she uses a stool to stand next to us and has finally stopped taking 10 wipes out of the dispenser to throw everywhere. Try to tell yourself that everything you may not like is a phase and they are just doing it because it too is new to them. I try to talk to Vivienne about everything and anything and make sure she knows we are a team and no one has been replaced.
So, to answer some of your immediate questions.
Where do you get your energy? I’m naturally a morning person and truly love tasks and getting things accomplished in my life. Being busy is what fuels me, whether that be work, motherhood, etc. As mentioned earlier on my IG Story… I do certain things not because I have to but because I want to and make a priority for it in my day.
How do you incorporate pumping and giving bottles when you breastfeed? I don’t really have an incorporation, but I have made an effort to pump in the morning and evening before bed and perhaps once or so in between during the day depending on how my boobs feel. We were told by a pediatrican to introduce a bottle after two weeks so she can start to get used to being fed by other people. She immediately latched and breastfed as well as took a bottle with no issue. Vivienne was not the case. It took her a certain bottle and many tries to get her to take a bottle. Since Alice often fall asleep while breastfeeding, I’ve been giving her a bottle of breastmilk during some feedings in the morning and 10pm. Breastfeeding during the day and in the middle of the night.
Where are your pajamas from? Paper Label Sleep
Does Alice take a pacifier? Alice does and doesn’t. She takes it for a short time and then spits it out but we offer it when she gets fussy and doesn’t seem to need a diaper change or feeding for soothing. I do not offer it at night.
Do you drink coffee/wine while breastfeeding? Do you think people will judge you? I do, in moderation. I also think there will be judgmental people no matter what you do- but yes, im sure people will… but it doesn’t bother me.
What is the current nightly routine for sleep? I give Alice her last feeding at 10pm and put her in a swaddle, with sound machine, in a bassinet next to our bed.She is in a routine of waking every 3-4 hours, so twice at night and will typically fall back asleep pretty well when shes done eating and re-swaddled. She is still in the newborn stage so perhaps I’m just getting my hopes up. Ha!
What pump do you have? I have a few right now. Medela freestyle, Spectra s2, and willow pump. The willow pump was recently sent to me to try out, but I won’t lie, I’ve received some not great reviews on supply issues after using it so I am a little hesitant to use it. I ordered the Spectra S2 through my insurance as a backup for my freestyle incase anything happens to it. I am still trying to figure out if I can use this one with a strapless bra.
Have you tried the Willow Pump yet? I haven’t. I truthfully haven’t looked too deep into this one yet, especially after hearing some reviews, one being from a friend. I will keep you posted.
How is V coping with little sister around? Is she jealous? V is at the almost 2-year old stage as it is, but I think she is coping really well with her sister. She doesn’t seem to be jealous or have any aggression toward her but taking it day by day.
Do you recommend having a professional photographer in your birth room? Honestly, if you can get over someone else being in the room with you – DO IT! I absolutely love the photos that came from it. I highly suggest at least having someone come a day or two later at the hospital and getting some raw images from your time spent there. We did this with both girls and I just LOVE these photos.
What is the peanut reference in your blog? Google peanut ball for labor. You put it in-between your legs and it helps you dilate.
Did you have a playlist in the hospital like you did with V? We actually filmed the birth, so we couldn’t have a playlist (or what we thought) during the birth.
Do you have Alice on a schedule? Not right now, other than making sure she is fed at least every 3 hours- if she doesn’t want to eat before. I don’t have set naps during the day right now as she is still pretty young.
How did you prepare for your 2nd birth with a toddler? We had an induced labor which meant we planned which day we were coming in to the hospital and was able to have our sitter available for Vivienne. I really don’t know what people do if they don’t have family or help close by.
What’s your typical day like? Right now, it’s a lot of diaper changes, cuddles, and the occasional nap. Yet, our mornings always start off together with coffee and breakfast and taking turns showering and getting ourselves together. Sometimes if the morning is crazy, I can’t get in the shower before JJ starts work. It happens. JJ works from our bedroom, Vivienne has her nanny from 9-12 and I try to dodge everyone before V’s nap at 12. Today, I wrote some of this blog post in Alice’s room, which was actually super convenient for me as it had all of Alice’s items for changing. After Vivienne’s nap, we spend time together or watch a movie before we make dinner and get ready for bed. Once Vivienne is down between 8-830pm, depending on how much she is fighting it, JJ and I watch a show or two before Alice’s last feeding at 10pm. Sometimes I fall asleep by 8pm, sometimes it’s the moment my head hits the pillow.
How is it managing a newborn and toddler? Easier days than others, but that’s life. It’s a little more difficult when JJ is doing something outside of the house and it’s just me with the girls. Night time is the hardest because I am trying to get V to bed and she watches me leave the room with Alice. But other than that, I get her to help me and come to the room when I need to change Alice, etc.
How do you have time to always look so put together and have your house so clean? I am def more not put together than put together, but I’ve prioritized my skin so I probably appear to look more presentable most days. My goal was to feel comfortable and confident in no makeup. I’m there. My house on the other hand… that’s just a personal choice. Toys are always being put away by nap time and at night. I’ll never wake up with toys all over the place, but that’s what keeps me feeling sane and calm. To each their own.
Are you exhausted? For the most part, no. I’m sleeping really well and are only woken twice at night by Alice so I lose probably an hour – hour and a half during the night to feed her. I do get a little tired in the evenings, so a nap should happen more often. There’s just not enough time in the day.
How has breastfeeding been this time around vs. with Vivienne? It’s been great. Alice latched at the hospital immediately and we’ve been going strong ever since. I think its. Combination of her and knowing what to do this time around. I highly recommend seeing a lactation consult if you can with your first baby. From the positioning to nipple cream, that made such a difference in my experience and have since taken it with me during this time too. If you are local to Arizona, see Stephanie at Modern Milk.
Are you following Taking Cara Babies class this time? I plan to, yes.
Where does Alice sleep? In your room or in her crib? Alice sleeps next to our bed in a play yard bassinet. We transitioned Vivienne to the crib at 4 months but can see us doing that sooner with Alice.
Favorite nursing bra brands? Boob design sent me some nursing bras with Vivienne and I’ve used them this time around too. They are very comfortable.
What has been the hardest adjustment with two? Dodging Vivienne in the house from 9-12 is the hardest. She gets really upset when she sees us and we can’t sit and play with her.
Current skincare routine? As of right now, I’ve been masking once or twice a week with the Problem Solver and exfoliating once a week with Clean Dirt. Every morning I wash my face with the Clarifying cleanser, tone with Jasmine Garden, and moisturize with both Kypris Antioxidant Dew and May Lindstrom Youth Dew. I’ll add in Blue Cocoon in for extra hydration when needed.
Does she cluster feed at night? She does, but I feel she cluster feeds all day to be honest.
How is the newborn stage different this time? I’ve appreciated it more because I know what’s to come and im now enjoying all the cuddles.
Emotional letting someone else feed Alice? Def not. Especially JJ. Help a mama out!
How are you in such good shape after having a baby? I am not in shape, by any means. I’ve just lost a lot of the baby weight quickly. I am a naturally thin person and didn’t gain a lot of weight in my pregnancies to begin with. But, I am excited to get back to the gym and actually get in physically good shape again.
Has V reverted back to wanting to be like a baby? Yes, she loves to lay in the dock a tot and put the pacifier in her mouth.
Has Alice had any colic? She doesn’t.
What car seat are you using this time around? We are using the NUNA PIPA again.
Favorite thing about Alice so far? Her sweet demeanor. I’m in love with her.
Did you have baby blues the second time around? I had major baby blues with Vivienne but actually never experienced it with Alice.
How do you like the dock a tot? I loved the dockatot with V and still love it now. It’s a great place to have during the day for naps, lounging, etc. She’s always in it when we are on the couch or in the playroom.
Are you still experiencing any postpartum symptoms? Nothing other than still wearing pads and bleeding some. This is the most annoying part, I feel. I’m so over the pads. I’m ready to get back into my old clothes and continue to feel great.