Top 10 Things I Look Forward Now That I’m Done Nursing

There are so many things I will miss now that Poppy is done nursing.  The little sounds, the content breathing, the tiny hands and feet resting against you.  But since Poppy weaned herself a few weeks ago, I can’t bring myself to focus on everything I will miss.  Instead, I will write about everything I look forward to, now that I am heading into this next mama phase.  

So here are my top 10 things I look forward to now that I’m not nursing.  

  1. Wearing overalls.  Seriously, I bought the cutest overalls last year and I never get to wear them.  When I bought them I thought they would be so easy to nurse in, just unclip, toss over my shoulder, lift up my shirt.  But I was so wrong.  It was always a jumble of thick heavy cloth getting tied up under my nursing cover, and an all out battle trying to put everything back together when she was done.madewell overalls 
  2. A quicker bedtime.  Let’s face it, at the end of the day we’re all exhausted.  And although I loved my 30-45 minutes of quiet nursing time with Poppy before bed, it will be nice to put her to bed faster and have more time with the big kids before they go to sleep. bedtime stories 
  3. No more nursing bras.  Hurray!  No more clips, snaps, or hooks.  Just pretty little bras that don’t look lumpy under clothes and don’t require assembly before wearing.  free people bra
  4. No more pumping.  Ever.  Look, it’s really lovely to breastfeed if it comes easily to you and your baby.  But no one, NO ONE likes pumping.  The sound, the pulling, the cleaning, the sanitizing.  Peace out!
  5. Not being tied to a feeding schedule.  Now when we are out and about during the day, I don’t need to worry about finding a quiet spot to nurse her,  or ducking out to the hot car so she’s not too distracted, or running behind because she’s taking her sweet time.  Now I can just mix up a quick cup of milk and we can be on our way.  
  6. My boobs not being on display.  I loved my nursing cover, it was great and so helpful.  But let’s be honest, 12 months into nursing your third baby, I really wasn’t concerned with flashing a few people here and there.  It will be nice to have them under wraps again.  
  7. Not feeling hungry and thirsty all day long.  I could eat a massive box full of food from In and Out, top with off with a milkshake, and be ready to order a large pizza an hour later.  I was withering away and starving all day long.  I’m looking forward to gaining a few pounds for myself and just eating for one.  
  8. Someone else being able to soothe her when she’s upset.  I am no longer her one and only, her be all end all.  So many people love her and are ready to scoop her up but there was always this epic cure all that nothing else could compete with.  Now, consoling from her loving Daddy, or Mimi, or Auntie will be appreciated in a new way.  
  9. Getting serious about my skin care.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of using organic products and it’s always a good idea to pay attention to what goes on and in your body.  However, my face just looks tired and at this point might need a little chemical help.
  10. Watching our baby move into a new stage of independence.  Poppy is becoming more talkative and expressive every day.  And seeing her personality shine in a new way fills my heart with so much joy.  No longer will she rely on me for everything, now she has her big brother and sister to watch and learn from, and the rest of the world to inspire her.  Now we move past the stage of sweet little moments of eye contact and into a stage of handholding, conscious hugs and kisses, and real words that can say I love you. natural light

Styling Your Family Photo Shoot

We officially booked our family photos and I am beyond excited!  We haven’t had anyone take a photo of us since Poppy was born.  Unless you count the super grainy iPhone selfies I try to grab with my kids on a daily basis, and I don’t.   But now our shoot date is set!  Woohoo! Now I need to decide what everyone is going to wear.  My clients often ask for advice on how to style their family, here are some tips I always like to share.

  1. Start with a general mood that you want to capture.  Consider colors that coordinate and compliment each other that convey your vision.  Don’t focus on “matching” everyone’s colors, or it can come across as too forced and posed.  Some ideas that would work are fun/bright/modern,  light/airy/natural, or cozy/neutral/warm.  Ours will likely be a relaxed California casual, because that’s basically what we are.  Which brings me to my text tip:
  2. Let everyone be themselves.  This doesn’t mean you have to let your kid wear a bright red spiderman t-shirt if you really don’t want that printed and framed for all of eternity.  But it is nice to capture everyone as they are at that point in time, and that means letting their personalities come through in their clothes.   Right now my daughter really loves wearing twirly dresses, and she will be her most happy in a twirly dress.  There’s no point in me trying to fight her on that one.  If your kids (or your spouse) are likely to put up a fight, get them involved in the decision.  I like to give two or three choices, any of which I would be happy with, and let them decide.  It makes getting ready on the day of the shoot much easier.  And if they change their mind last minute, fine.  As long as they change their mind to one of your other pre approved options.  And if it all just falls apart that day and you just can’t win, then be prepared to accept whatever they want to wear.  You really just want everyone to be having a fun day together, and fighting over clothing choice is not the best way to start.
  3. Make sure everyone is comfortable.  Your photographer may ask you to sit, stand, cuddle, run around, put the kids on your shoulders, or swing them around.  Once you are shooting you don’t want to have to think about your clothing.  If someone’s outfit requires a shirt tucked in just so, it might not be the best choice.  Make sure shirts and dresses are not cut too low, even when you are holding your kids or leaning forward to be closer to them.
  4. Be prepared.  Give yourself time to find pieces you love.  Your shoot day should be about spending time with your family, not about one last quick trip to the store for the perfect hair bow.  Try to set yourself up for a calm, relaxed mood.  And the only way to do that if you have young kids is to have things ready before the day arrives.

Here’s a peek at some ideas for our family shoot:

family photo shoot outfits

Sources:

mom: Doen Prem Dress

dad: Buck Mason jeans, JCrew shirt

brother: Spritely Kids Henley, Levis jeans

little sister: Mabo Elsie Dress, Young Soles shoes, Free Babes hair bow

baby sister: Soon Ploom Oona Romper, Mabo Cotton Lap Tee, Briar Handmade Bonnet, Freshly Picked Moccasins

Milestones

It’s taken me over two weeks to write this post, because I haven’t been ready to admit to myself that it actually happened.  But it did.  Poppy decided she no longer wanted to breastfeed.  My last baby, my “I don’t ever want a bottle I only want mama,” tiny Poppy seed.  It started when she was sick with a stuffy nose and a fever.  She just woke up one day and didn’t want to nurse.  Throughout that first day I tried to offer it to her, but she just turned her head and cried.  She had learned to drink formula from a straw cup and it seemed to be easier for her while she was sick, so I let it go.  But when she didn’t nurse before bed that night I was really worried, not to mention extremely uncomfortable.  I spoke to my lactation specialist (who is so brilliant and kind and if you ever need help definitely call her).  In a panicked text I wrote, “I think Poppy is weaning herself!!  Do 11 month old babies actually do this?? “  She calmed me down, told me to pump, and said it’s just because she’s sick.  And to keep offering it for a few days, she would probably come back.  So I drove to Target and bought a hand pump (I had very dramatically thrown out my pump accessories just a week before, thinking there wouldn’t be a need for them now that she could drink formula from a straw cup whenever I was away from her).  A few days went by and she still wasn’t having it.  She grabbed her straw cup of milk and drank it like a big kid, with this incredibly proud, smug look on her face.  After a couple days of trying, I just knew she was done.  My last baby, our final warm, cuddly, quiet nursing session already gone and I didn’t even know it had been our last.  I’m sure in the long run this is a much easier way to transition into this next phase. I will never wonder if I was doing it for the wrong reason or if she was ready.  It was her choice, she was ready.  Even if I wasn’t.  This seems to be the way milestones happen with your last baby.  Pride and excitement mixed with a deep sadness that your little baby is not so little anymore.  Maybe that’s what parenting will always be.  Working towards the future while clinging to the present.

This photo was taken during our last nap time nursing session.  Although at the time it was just a moment of peace that I wanted to capture, now I know it was so much more.

Breastfeeding Photo

 

Poppy’s romper is from Rylee and Cru

Love Your Mother TShirt from The Bee and The Fox

Denim Skirt from JCrew

**For any breastfeeding support, contact Amy Broder at www.feedingwithoutfrenzy.com She’s a lifesaver!

 

 

Holiday Mini Sessions

holiday shoot mini sessions

Fall is officially here!  Time for pumpkin spice lattes and photo shoots!   Here are the details for my 2016 Mini Sessions.  Mini sessions are quick, easy, in and out photo shoots.  Perfect for holiday cards, maternity photos, engagement photos, or just a quick shoot for your little ones.

When: Saturday October 22nd

Where: My favorite park in Los Angeles (Glendale actually), lots of beautiful trees, bridges, cute little pathways, and plenty of easy parking

Cost: $200 for 30 minutes and 30 digital images

Booking: Email me at emily@younglovestory.com to choose a time slot

*Head over to my Instagram @younglovestroy for details on how to win a free session!

I’m back!

family photo shoot

I am so excited to be back in this space after a challenging couple of months.  The entire month of April was spent being more sick than I’ve ever been.  Like ever. It started out as an unidentified virus with crazy high fevers and utter exhaustion.  Every day for over a week I would wake up with a low but manageable fever, thinking today would be the day I would feel better.  Then right around 4PM I would crash.  Hard.  My fever would spike to 102/103, and I would feel  like I got hit by a truck.  Alex was out of town, so I was running the show solo, along with the help of some truly wonderful friends.  And some truly wonderful new iPhone apps like Postmates (delivery from any restaurant in town) and Instacart (grocery delivery).  I went to urgent care two separate times in two weeks, just wanting someone to give me some answers.  My virus turned into Bronchitis, which honestly seemed easier than the fever.  And when Alex came home I just stayed in bed as much as possible.  Nursing and napping with Poppy in my white linen cocoon.  After a week or so of this, my body started reacting in the worst ways to all the coughing.  Sore throat, achy muscles, and exhaustion to name a few.  But everywhere I read just said Bronchitis could last up to a month, and there is literally nothing that can medically help except rest.  Which is, of course, next to impossible when you are the mama to three young children.  So I fought on.  Alex left town again for a week, and I thought I might be feeling better.  Then my fever came back.  And I knew something was still really wrong.  I went to a new Doctor and gave him the whole rundown. I was nursing Poppy as he examined me, and practically begging him for some sort of help, some sort of answer.  And then he heard the rattling in my lungs.  They took a bunch of blood and whisked me to another clinic for a chest X-Ray.  An hour later he called, it was pneumonia and I needed to be on antibiotics immediately or I would have to be hospitalized.  So I packed the kids in the car and headed to the pharmacy.  This was a Friday night and Alex wasn’t due back until Sunday.  My parents couldn’t fly out in time to make it worth it to be here for just one day, so my friends swooped in.  And the kids and I pushed through.  We watched a lot of movies, ordered in all of our meals, and left the house a complete untouched mess.  It was survival mode.  I was terrified of what the antibiotics would do to Poppy so I googled, and called pediatricians and lactations specialists.  I didn’t want to mess with her tiny belly and I had heard enough about thrush to know I couldn’t possibly add that onto my laundry list of current dreadful symptoms.

The antibiotics kicked in over that weekend and I finally started feeling better.  By this point my cough was almost gone and my fever was going back down, I was just so tired.  For days.  Then the next week at Poppy’s 6 month appointment, we found out she dropped in the weight charts from the 25th percentile to the 8th percentile.  Our pediatrician knew I had pneumonia because I had talked to her about the side effects of the antibiotics before I started taking them.  But I don’t think any of us recognized the magnitude of how sick I really was and how much it must have affected my milk supply.  Poppy never seemed particularly hungry or fussy so I at the time I didn’t know what was happening, but clearly my body just wasn’t giving her enough.  So I called a lactation specialist who walked me through what our bodies had been going through and what we should do going forward.  So we have been spending the last month trying to get both of us back to normal.

In the midst of all of this, my computer hard drive was mechanically destroyed.  We took the drive to three different data recovery places, but everything was gone.  Luckily, I save all of my photos from my “real” camera on a separate drive.  But everything from my iPhone photo stream (literally thousands and thousands of photos, the every day stuff) that saved to my iPhoto was gone.  I know I know, I should have backed them up.  I should have had them on the cloud.  It was always on my to do list, it just never happened.  And in the back of my mind I sort of just thought if anything ever went wrong someone would be able to recover everything.  It was literally straight out of the Sex and The City episode where Carrie realizes she’s the only person who doesn’t back up her work.  I was sad Mac’d.  And I was devastated.

These last two months were the first time as a mother where I truly felt I hit my limit.  I have always been the type of person who feels invincible, who could do anything.  I’m always spinning a hundred plates but still eager to take on more.  But this time has made me realize that I can’t do everything.  I’ve learned to say no to things that I feel are pushing us all too far, and admit that I sometimes need help.  My kids were so loving and caring, always offering extra hugs or words of encouragement as we ran late into school day after day.  I will never forget hearing Adam say to Lake, “Mama’s just not feeling good today, I can help you with your shoes.”  It was like he grew up 2 years in 2 months.  And my friends who offered the kids rides every day, who would bring me coffee or feed me any time I saw them, or would come over to hold Poppy or fold a load of laundry.  I love them all dearly and I cannot wait to return the kindness when they need a few extra hands.

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family photo shoot los angeles

christy dawn dress