WE NEED TO TALK…

Before I get into sharing about some amazing products that I couldn’t raise my children without…I need to start by talking about a few things.
about real mom stuff…
stuff that most of us mothers don’t want to talk about.
and although it’s hard…I am hoping by sharing it will help others as well.
Being a Labor and Delivery nurse AND helping numerous mothers learn to breast feed has really prepared me to be a champion breast feeder with both my children!
I breast fed Reagan until she was 8 months old and (once I got the hang of it) I loved it.
From day one Baylor was a phenomenal eater…
from my supply of milk to his perfect latch…there really wasn’t anything that could stop me…
until I came home and reality set in…
and last Monday morning at 4 am I breast fed my precious son for the last time.
I feel like I handled the adjustment of having a newborn and toddler pretty well…I learned very quickly that the dishes wouldn’t always be done and the bed wouldn’t get made everyday and honestly I was OK with that…until my husband came home.
I’m not sure why but I would literally release all my tension from the day on him.
I was so patient with my kids that maybe the stress would simply build up and he was the easiest target. 
I literally got stressed, frustrated and upset at everything he would say or do.
I felt like we were roommates and he wasn’t doing his part!
There was no affection…just simply negative feelings…and honestly it tore me apart…I would lay in bed and search for an answer to my attitude towards him.
The worst part was when I was upset or annoyed I would try to tell myself to relax or calm down and I honestly couldn’t.
All I wanted to do was love my husband but I felt as if there was a wall constantly between us that just kept getting bigger.
One night he sent me a text that read, “We need to have a talk when I get home…I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”
Bless his heart…he tried so hard to deal with my craziness.
He was patient at first…then it started to wear on him…I knew I needed to do something fast!
Exercising would help but once I got home it was a battle again…
I thought back to when I had had Reagan to try and remember if I felt this way…and the light just came on…
I remembered so clearly once I stopped breast feeding I felt myself again…but that wasn’t the answer I wanted…I didn’t want to stop…I treasured the moments when I could sit down and hold my baby and look into his eyes as we bonded.
All I wanted was to breast fed my baby until he was 1. 
But I knew deep down I was feeling this way because my hormones were so off balance.
I knew I could turn to medication and although I truly feel that it benefits some people greatly…I didn’t feel like it was the solution for me…
I knew I didn’t have postpartum depression but I also knew that I wasn’t myself.
I knew if I could get my hormones regulated I would be OK.
 (estrogen and progesterone are extremely low and prolactin is high while breast feeding)
I am very much an advocate of breast feeding and I absolutely think it is best for your baby and I think that is why this was such a difficult decision for me. 
I pondered, prayed and counseled with my husband for 3 weeks before I decided that it was time to stop. A couple weeks before I stopped I pumped for one feeding to store the milk for when I went back to work. I gave Baylor a bottle of formula and was amazed at how easily he took it and how he didn’t mind the formula at all.
I felt as if that was a sign for me…a sign that he would be OK if I didn’t breast feed him.
And I knew he would be and I would be mentally healthier as well.
After one week of cold turkey torture I am starting to feel like myself again!
NUK products have really helped me with that.
Before I had decided to stop breast feeding the amazing Jen the representative for NUK contacted me to do a review of some recently new products…
and although I only fed Baylor for 2 months…I have breast AND bottle fed both babies…complete with pumping after going back to work so I was thrilled to review her products.
 When I received the package it eased my mind knowing that Baylor would be using products that were so ‘breast’ friendly he would hardly know the difference.
I had used NUK pacifiers on Reagan and I knew that it was what I wanted to use on Baylor as well.
I should say this first…I do not claim to be a ‘professional’ nor do I ‘know all’ about pacifiers this is simply my opinion and observation since I have worked almost 4 years in the ‘baby’ field.
Do the pacifiers below look familiar?
These are the pacifiers they give to you in the hospital if you ask for one…and to be frank…I have NEVER liked them.
Often times when mothers breast feed they are worried about giving their child a pacifier because they feel it would cause nipple confusion…and to be honest with you…I can see how these pacifiers could do so.
I mean let’s talk the facts…
first of all the nipple is too long for newborns mouths…often times I try and give these to babies and they gag on them because it’s such a long nipple.
Also this pacifier doesn’t shape to the mouth very easily which can cause the babies to be confused at what is going in their mouths…
Oh and let’s not mention how horrible this pacifier can be on your babies teeth…it gives no room for the teeth to grow.
I do love that they are BPA free, made of silicone and just one piece which is safe and helps keep germs away.
Which brings me to my first pacifier up for review!
The NUK Soft Orthostar Advanced Pacifier
This is the NUMBER 1 pacifier I would recommend for newborns…breast feeding or not! 
It’s simple, small, flexible…even the shield is shaped and light weight to provide more comfort for your baby.
And the BEST thing about them…
as you can see from the picture below they mimic the mothers breast…so even those breast feeding can rest easy knowing that if you give your babe a pacifier they will still latch onto your breast with ease.
OH…and the SECOND best thing about them…
they all have a unique orthodontic nipple that helps promote healthy oral development. They also allow for greater tongue movement and strengthening of jaw muscles which promotes speech development.
Baylor LOVES the whole line of NUK pacifiers!
He’s even rocking the fun girl decorated one…just for the photo of course.
Baylor’s loved his NUK pacifiers ever since he was born…he has always taken them with ease even with breastfeeding and it’s calming for me to know that he has something to soothe himself with.
NUK also has a great line of Air Venting System bottles that also mimic the natural shape of mom’s nipple.
(the air venting system helps reduce colic and promote better digestion) 
Baylor ‘latched’ onto this bottle with ease.
Even if you are solely breast feeding…if you were to pump this bottle would allow your babe to take a bottle easier.
The nipple is ‘pre-shaped’ to the form that your nipple goes to once the babe has latched.
Did someone say easy transition sippy cup?
With it’s soft spout its designed to be gentle on gums and help ease the transition from a bottle to a sippy cup.
 ORAL CARE is a must!
I don’t know of ANY OTHER company out there that is committed to oral health and development like NUK is.
Not only do their bottles promote oral health but they have products for when your child has started to teeth.
If only I had this brush with Reagan!
She got her first 2 teeth when she was 3 MONTHS OLD. I would rub a clean wash cloth around her gums to try and clean them…it would have been so much easier and I’m sure a better alternative to use this…and I’m sure it feels great on their gums when their cutting teeth!
 AND I saved the best for last…
The NUK single electric breast pump!
If I know one thing…it’s pumps.
I pumped with Reagan when I went back to work full time.
I have a Medela pump and I LOVE it…but man was it expensive…
For an affordable price you can get a hand pump that really works!
The suction was strong…it was easy to handle…easy to assemble and light weight.
I SO WISH I had had this when I ran the Ragnar Relay when Reagan was 3 months…it would have been nice to use something more small and discrete since I had to pump in a van full of runners!
 I think it’s safe to say that NUK truly has eased this hard transition that I have decided to make with my baby.
I am so grateful that there are products out there that I can feel safe for my babies to use.
Ultimately all I want is for my baby to be healthy and feel love and connected to his parents.
I truly am healthier and happier now that I have decided the best solution for me and my family.
 Although I don’t breast feed anymore I am blessed that I can feel a connection with him by simple holding him and feeling him close to me. 
I am grateful that my husband was able to help me through my ‘crazy hormone stage’ and support me in our decision.
He has and will always be my rock…he’s pretty much the best husband ever.
There’s so much pressure out there for moms to raise their baby like this or feed them like that and although it’s great to take advice you ultimately have to do what’s best for you and your family…even if it’s not the norm…trust me…there is no norm!
We are all just trying to get through this guessing game called motherhood.
If there’s a mother out there who says she got all the answers…she’s lying.
 Life is wonderful but that doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be hard.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be days when you feel like you can’t keep up or do enough…
but that’s OK because with the good comes the bad…and on those days…it’s the slobbery kisses and chubby thighs that get you through!
I mean no one ever said it would be easy right? Just remember the things that give you the most fulfillment are the things that you’ve had to work the hardest for.
And motherhood is on the top of that list…thank goodness for nap time, date night, gym time and Disney movies because after we get our break no matter how long or short we gear up for another round of tickle fights, tantrums and tummy aches. 
And us mothers wouldn’t want it any other way!
I hope if there are new moms out there that are struggling and feel like they can’t quite do it…that YOU know that you can!
We mothers are beyond blessed to have those little special spirits in our homes.
Thank goodness for their forgiving hearts and loving ways.
They don’t expect us to be perfect…all we can do is try!
And we can all do that!
XOXO
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