My Favorite Nursing Tops

February 26, 2016

Finding nursing wear I liked was a challenge when I had Erin. Honestly, nursing wear isn't all that appealing/attractive and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it either. But, when you're exclusively breastfeeding (which can mean anywhere between 8-12 feedings in a day), it really helps to wear attire that accommodates properly.
1. The Naked Nursing Tank. I only discovered this recently (wish I knew about it before). It's pretty genius. When I had Erin, I only wore non-nursing attire so I'd always be flashing my midriff every time I was out breastfeeding. The nursing covers aren't too big so it doesn't cover everything, i.e., your back. I never liked regular nursing tanks because I didn't feel it had enough support. This naked tank top fixed all of that for me. I don't have to spend tons of money on different nursing tops but instead am able to wear all my regular non-nursing attire with my fav/comfy nursing bras. I also don't have the problem of exposing any of my body parts. Seriously, my favorite purchase.

2. Nursing T-shirts. I wanted to invest in nursing specific t-shirts for night time/pajama purposes. I wanted something light, loose and comfortable, but also with easy access. These old navy tops were perfect. They weren't too pricey and they're super comfortable as well.

3. Button down shirts. I have a ton of button down shirts: chambray, plaid, checkered..and so on. It's a staple in my wardrobe and it works out perfectly for nursing purposes. These shirts make nursing easy because you just need to unbutton a few buttons and you're ready to go. No exposing your midriff/back or anything.

Ava and I have our share of difficulties breastfeeding, but we are finally starting to get in a nice rhythm. The difficulties/challenges are different from what I experienced with Erin. Erin had a better latch but was a slow eater and comfort nurser. Sometimes I'd be nursing for hours straight. Ava is much faster, but she takes forever to latch on and things get quite messy. She's still little and my overactive letdown is not any fun for her so she gets quite squirmy while eating. I'm hoping things get easier as she gets bigger. I'm glad I'm getting the opportunity to breastfeed again even though it gets tiring and difficult. Ava is so dependent on me for food, but I love that I get to spend lots of bonding time with my little babe. Oh, and all the constant feedings have brought me back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Score! Here's to another year of wearing a bra 24/7! =)

Erin likes to nurse her bunny too. 

Currently - Transition to 2 kids

February 18, 2016

It's been a month now since we brought Ava home and became a family of four. I remember the first month with Erin was the hardest for me. This time around was no different, but knowing what to expect made things a little easier. However, adding a toddler in the mix did make things a little challenging. Breastfeeding was just as challenging this second time around, with all the engorgement, clogged milk ducts and whatnot. My milk came in faster this time around though which was helpful. No jaundice for Ava because she was getting plenty of breast milk from the get-go.

Erin seems to be adjusting well to her new role as big sister. Phew! She's always asking to see Ava, but unfortunately, Ava does a lot of sleeping right now so she's not much fun. Erin always wants to be involved in all the things we do for/with Ava (she'll get quite possessive/demanding sometimes as well). She'll stand there while I change Ava's diaper and while I nurse. She's always giving Ava kisses/hugs and comments on how little her body parts are. Erin has been a great big sister thus far! She seems to understand that Ava needs to be with mom a lot right now so she's been spending lots of good quality time with daddy. The only down side to all this is that Erin seems to be just a tad bit more sensitive. She'll cry more easily now when she doesn't get what she wants. There is a lot more "No" from her as well. Not sure if its because of the new addition to the family, terrible twos, or both, but hey, no complaints here. I just hope her positive sisterly behavior continues and won't start to head down hill in the coming months. Crossing my fingers.

My mornings are a little more hectic because I have two kids to myself now. Some days both kids are crying and I'm running around like a crazy person trying to get everyone ready and out the door on time (it'll probably get more chaotic once I start work). We're still sending Erin to daycare while I'm on maternity leave. Once I drop Erin off in the morning, it's just me and Ava so things get more manageable. Ava eats and sleeps better than Erin did at this age. Ava was already sleeping in 3-4 hour increments just a few days after being born. I think her long naps have helped with the transition to two kids. I'm not feeling so overwhelmed because I'm getting lots of long breaks throughout the day.

The lack of sleep at night during the first few weeks were quite challenging, but my tiredness is starting to feel normal now so I'm feeling more energetic as each day passes. At night, Ava is sleeping in a bassinet in our room. But most nights I actually put her in Erin's room and Erin ends up in our room. I forget how noisy newborns are and I actually don't get any sleep when Ava is in the room with us. I wake up to every little sound so I actually prefer having her in another room.

At 1 month Ava is still doing a lot of eating, sleeping, pooping and hiccuping. She's a squirmy little babe, but she's pretty mellow. She's on somewhat of a schedule now (minus growth spurt days). Here's what a typical day for Ava looks like right now:

6:30 am - Wake up and Eat
7:30 am - Take Erin to Daycare
8:00-8:30 am - Eat
8:30-10:30 am - Sleep
10:30-12:00 pm - Eat and play
12:00-2:30 pm - Sleep
2:30-4:00 pm - Eat and play
4:00-6:30 pm - Sleep
7:30-9:00 pm - Eat and Play
9:00-12:00 am - Sleep
12:00-12:30 am - Eat
12:30-4:00 am - Sleep
4:00-4:30 am - Eat
4:30-6:30 am - Sleep

We've survived the first month, hooray!

My Birth Story - Ava Riley Kim

February 1, 2016

I was hoping I'd go into labor naturally, but just like with my first pregnancy, fluid levels were decreasing faster than what my doctor wanted, so an induction was insisted. My EDD for Ava was January 23, 2016. My induction was scheduled for January 17, 2016.

We checked into the hospital around 10:00 pm on Sunday, January 17. It took a good 1.5 hours to get all the paperwork done and me hooked up and ready. Around 11:30 pm, the nurse checked to see if I was having contractions at all and apparently I was. They were only about 7 minutes apart so my doctor said to give me pitocin anyway. By midnight, I was getting my pitocin and I was trying to get some rest. My contractions were gradually getting more painful, but it was tolerable. By 4:00 am, the pain was increasing, but I resisted any drugs. By 5:30 am, I insisted they check how far along I was and the nurse told me I was already at 8 cm. I was relieved because I was almost there! She told me then that I had to decide if I wanted the epidural. It was now or never. I said no. The pain was awful. All of this was new to me because I got the epidural with my first pregnancy. It seriously felt like I had to poop real bad and my insides were being torn apart. By 6:30 am, my doctor had arrived and broke my water. Once that happened, I was ready to push. There are really no words to truly describe the pain I felt when it came down to the pushing. I see now that the epidural is actually beneficial for the pushing portion of labor. The contractions were manageable/bearable, but the pushing was terribly painful. I'm not a very loud person, but lets just say I got unnaturally loud during this part and it definitely surprised Ken. Lots of burning and tearing and just lots of unpleasantness. So with all that pain, I knew I wanted the baby out asap. Ava was out in 3 pushes and entered the world at 7:00 am on January 18, 2016.

I did tear, but not as badly as I did with Erin. I'd say the recovery this time around was easier than my recovery after having Erin. I'm sure not having the epidural had something to do with it. I was less swollen and less achy and was up walking around right away. This was definitely an experience I will always remember. Props to all the mamas who have un-medicated births continuously! I'm not sure I'll be doing that again if I were to have a third. Hah. I'd say I got lucky Ava was a tiny baby.

Ava Riley Kim
6 pounds 2 ounces
18.5 inches


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