Six Months of Breastfeeding (2.0)

6 Months of Breastfeeding

Technically I could call this post “almost eight months of breastfeeding” because, you know, second baby…but let’s pretend I wrote this two months ago just like I did the first time around.

The thing about breastfeeding for the second time is that you actually know what you are doing from the get-go. I get that all babies are different, and Parker and Mia are no exception, but I learned from my rookie mistakes and have had a much smoother experience this time.

I thought Parker was a good nurser, but Mia has been an even better one since day 1. Her latch was perfect from the start, and she is nowhere near as distracted as he was (even at almost eight months). She took longer to get used to bottles, but now she takes them like a pro when I’m at work.

My body has also gotten much better at feeding, for which I am so grateful. I had some supply issues with Parker a few months in, and I dealt with plugged ducts on a weekly basis. This time around, I can count on one hand the number of plugged ducts I’ve had, and my supply has been great. Having both experiences has helped me to really appreciate the smooth sailing with Mia — especially since life is busier and more demanding now.

Baby's First Food

We introduced Mia to solid foods at a little over six months, and so far, she’s not a huge fan. If she’s anything like her brother, she may not come around for a while longer, which is okay. I’m not going to sweat it like I did with Parker, because now I know that eventually she’ll enjoy eating food and for now, she gets everything she needs from breastmilk.

I’m planning to continue nursing at least through Mia’s first birthday, if not longer. Parker self-weaned at 15 months, on the same day I found out I was pregnant. Since I’m pretty sure there are no more babies in my future, I won’t mind going even longer with Mia.

We don’t have much downtime other than when she’s nursing, so it’s wonderful to have quiet moments built into our day. The bittersweet thing about the second baby is that now I know how fleeting this time is, and every second I spend snuggling and rocking her is so precious.

Mia’s Newborn Photos

Mia's Newborn Photo Shoot

At just 5 days old, Mia was the perfect model for her newborn photo shoot — she slept the entire time! Our photographer, Tara Long, took advantage of her sleepiness by using lots of different fun props and even taking the shoot outside. I couldn’t believe that despite all the outfit and prop changes, Mia didn’t wake up until the very end.

Mia's Newborn Photo Shoot

There was a videographer there filming a promo video for Tara’s website, which turned out so beautiful (and not just because Mia’s sweet face is in it!). You can check it out here. Now on to the GORGEOUS photos of our tiny baby.

Parker & Mia

Rachel & Mia

Zach & Mia

Mia in a Flower Pot

Mia in a Bonnet

Mia's Newborn Shoot

Mia in a Balloon

Mia's Newborn Shoot

Mia in a Pram

Mia's Newborn Shoot

I can’t get over how stunning these photos are. There are over 100 of them, and they are all equally as beautiful. The hard part is deciding which ones to have printed. I do know that there will be a giant canvas of the first one (Parker and Mia together) hanging in our house. I’m pretty sure that’s my favorite photo of all time.

Things are Getting Real

Parker Loves the Snoogle Pillow

Before I talk about just how real things are actually getting, I have to wonder why in the world I waited until week 35 to get out my Snoogle pregnancy pillow? It was a nighttime necessity from the beginning of my 2nd trimester on when I was pregnant with Parker.

It took our trip to Denver, where my newly postpartum sister-in-law so kindly left her Snoogle in the guest room, to remind me how amazing it is. As you can see from the photo, I’m not the only one in this house enjoying it :)

Anyway, on to the reality that I’m going to have a baby in a few weeks. People keep asking me if I’m getting excited, and the truth is, I haven’t really even had time to process it yet. Life has been so full and busy between keeping up with Parker and everything I have going on at work that the thought of a newborn in my arms rarely crosses my mind.

Does that sound terrible? I’m kind of hoping that’s a normal second-time mom thing.

But a couple things happened today that served as a BIG reminder of what’s to come. First was a meeting with Janet, my wonderful doula (who was the main reason Parker’s birth was such an amazing experience).

Talking to Janet about the labor and delivery process and figuring out my birth plan, which I haven’t really even thought about up until now, was a heaping dose of reality — in a good way. Of course I’m nervous, but staying positive was key the first time around and I plan to do the same this time.

And then tonight when I returned home from work, the furniture was all put together in the nursery. It’s been sitting in boxes in our garage for a couple weeks, but now I officially have two cribs in my house. Craziness. I have a feeling the nesting bug will hit me this weekend since I can finally start decorating baby girl’s room.

At this point in my first pregnancy, the nursery was completely finished, my hospital bag was packed, the house was completely organized, and I was already starting to wrap up loose ends at work. Of course, back then I also had time for naps and pedicures.

I’ll be back soon (although, no promises) with a recap of 3rd trimester so far. Until then, feel free to enjoy the pregnancy archives, most of which was written in my B.C. (before child) days.

Sissy’s Room

Baby Girl's Pink Nursery

Every time we go upstairs, Parker asks the same thing: “Sissy’s room?”

Actually it sounds more like “issy’s room” but we know what he means. It’s the room with the pink walls, his old glider, and a little side table — and literally nothing else. For some reason, this is Parker’s favorite room in the whole house, and we can get him to go upstairs without complaint (even for diaper changes and naptime) because of it.

The other day, I watched Parker climb into the glider and hold the “it’s a girl” teddy bear while he rocked back and forth, singing the ABCs to himself. The sun was streaming in through the windows and I got the feeling this was one of those defining moments I would look back on fondly in 30 years, recalling the best days of my life.

It doesn’t get much cheesier than this, but I’m going to write it anyway: my heart nearly bursts with happiness when I think about Parker and his “issy” and the relationship that they will have, being so close in age.

He loves her so much already; the frequent belly kisses and smiles when we talk about the baby make that quite apparent. But I can’t wait to introduce them for the first time and watch them grow up together.

“Up?”

Holding Parker

Ever since Parker learned the meaning of the word, it’s been his go-to. When I come to his crib in the morning, when he sees any familiar person, when he wants to sit in his high chair, when he doesn’t feel like standing…you get the point.

The past few weeks have been particularly exhausting, so of course, Parker has been more needy than usual. Some days I feel like I barely set him down, because if I do, he starts crying. Then he’ll give me those puppy dog eyes, hold out his arms, and say in his cute little voice, “Up?”.

Yeah, he’s got me wrapped around his tiny finger.

I’m pretty sure this recent clinginess has something to do with the two teeth Parker is cutting, and I will gladly take extra snuggles (and bigger biceps) over lost sleep.

Parker's growing up

Speaking of “up”, that is exactly how Parker is growing. 16 months as of last week. His personality has blossomed so much over the last couple of months, and he is much fun to be with. He has the best sense of humor — he is figuring out how he can make us laugh and becoming quite the ham.

Parker in his chair

I’m working more hours during the week this year, so the time that I have with Parker is more valuable than ever. Which is exactly why I give in every time I hear that little “up”, even if it means wearing him in the Ergo while I vacuum the entire house. And sometimes, if I’m really lucky, I get extra snuggles as a reward for indulging him.

Snuggles with Parker