Postpartum

Why is my hair falling out??

Real talk – did you know that gorgeous hair you had while pregnant comes with a price? After you have your baby, your body is like, “hahahaha, you thought you had nice hair?? JUST KIDDING!” And then your hair starts falling out.

I had heard about postpartum hair loss (which is caused by your hormones going back to normal levels), but I was 3 months in and I still didn’t have anything happening out of the ordinary, so I thought I was safe. I have been blessed with pretty nice, thick hair, so I wasn’t anticipating any weird hair stuff after having Finn. And then it happened. Around 4 months postpartum, my hair started falling out like crazy. As in, handfuls in the shower crazy. It’s disgusting and scary. I became convinced that I would look like I had a receding hairline or bald patches at the end of this whole thing. (This can happen, I guess, but most women won’t have hair loss to that extreme.)

This insane hair loss kept happening for weeks, but it did finally stop. However, how all that hair is regrowing at the same time, leading to a fun halo of fuzz around my hairline. Since I am lazy and wear my hair up a lot of the time, I’m pretty self-conscious about it, but as my stylist said, “at least that means it’s growing in!”

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So load up on bobby pins and hairspray and brace yourself, the hair loss is coming…but you’ll survive it.

~Kristin

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Postpartum

The Life of a Working Mom

The last couple weeks have been… demanding, to say the least, for Kristin and I. Like many of you out there, August and the first few weeks of September are the busiest work weeks of our calendar year. So I thought this week, the post would highlight some not-so-foreign feelings we working moms have. Holding my shit together during these times has developed a whole new meaning.

Continue reading “The Life of a Working Mom”

Dad Stuff

The Bedtime Conundrum

This week, we have a very special guest post! Zach, Karen’s husband, has written an excellent tidbit on his experimentation in getting Ellie down for bed at night. He has become quite the bedtime expert in their household. We hope that you find some applicable insight. Enjoy! 

Continue reading “The Bedtime Conundrum”

Postpartum

Family leave is important!

This past week, General Mills was all over the news in the Twin Cities. Not for a cool new cereal, but because they overhauled their family leave policies to better support their employees. Instead of 3 months maternity and 2 week parental leave, now General Mills employees are eligible for 18-20 weeks of paid maternity leave for a birth mother and 12 weeks paid leave for partners and adoptive parents…how amazing is that?? This news, along with the fact that it’s Labor Day weekend, got us thinking about parental leave policies in general and why they are so important. Continue reading “Family leave is important!”

Breastfeeding, Postpartum, Pregnancy

Moms Like Tech Too!

Isn’t it crazy how quickly technology can change? Kristin found a couple really interesting articles about new tech for breastfeeding and pumping and we thought it would be fun to write about new tech out there and what’s on the horizon. Not going to lie, we’re pretty envious of what is new and coming soon! We do not endorse any of these products and cannot speak to their effectiveness. We just found them interesting and want to share. 🙂

Pregnancy

Reliefband

Nausea/morning sickness got you down? Hate the taste of ginger? We’ve been seeing an uptick of these nausea relief bands. I am super curious if they work, because it could make a huge difference for so many pregnant mom’s early (and for some poor souls majority) pregnancies. (Photo from Reliefband’s website)

BabyBuds

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Ok, this one is lost on me. I’d heard of playing music for baby in-utero… but this just feels too far for me. If anyone has tried this and believes it had a positive impact, I really want to know. All I can think of is the game my siblings and I played as kids, attempting to have a conversation under water while at the pool. Did any of you do this growing up? How well did it work for you? (Photo from BabyBuds’ website)

Breastfeeding/Postpartum

Nanit Baby Sleep System

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This is no regular video baby monitor. Nanit mounts above the crib to show you a bird’s eye view of your lil’ babe. It tracks baby’s movements and gives you insights into theisleep habits, giving your average sleep and wake times and rating how well they are sleeping. This information is then used to give you tips on how to improve their (and your!) sleep for future nights. (Photo from Nanit’s website)

Willow Wearable Breast Pump

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Confession: we both are jealous of anyone who owns this. A breast pump that is truly wireless and cordless? Game-changer!! Instead of using bottles, the Willow pumps directly into self-sealing storage bags, so you can just take them out and pop them in the fridge or freezer without having to worry about spilling a drop of that milk you work so hard for. The pump comes with one unit per breast, and you can pump one at a time (how cool if you need/want to pump while baby is nursing on the other side) or simultaneously. PLUS it hooks up to your phone via Bluetooth and will tell you how much you’ve pumped! Seriously amazing. (photo from Willow’s website)

Yoomi Self-warming Bottles

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Unless you get a magic baby who will take cold bottles, you’ll probably need to try to figure out how to warm them up when your baby is hungry. Enter Yoomi, who made a self-warming bottle!! The warming part is “charged” in your microwave, then is ready to go whenever you need it, which is perfect for those on-the-go feedings. (Photo from Yoomi’s website)

What amazing tech did we miss? Let us know!

~ Kristin & Karen

Postpartum, Pregnancy

Yoga: For Preparation and Recovery

During my pregnancy, I religiously went to yoga every Thursday night. It became such an important part of my routine, that most nights of the week you could find me on my yoga mat before bed.  Alright… I know what you’re thinking, “Karen, I had no idea how hippy dippy you are!”. Yeah, I sort of can be. I really stand by the fact that yoga helped my pregnancy, labor, and recovery a ton. Yoga became my routine postpartum as well. My body felt like it went through a woodchipper, as you can relate with if you’ve ever given birth. I’ve mentioned that I had some pretty significant hip pain during my third trimester that continued after giving birth. I am definitely not an expert or a yogi, but I do think it worth it to share some of the information I found most helpful from my prenatal and postpartum yoga classes.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga just feels good. Your body is tired and sore a lot and the moves prenatal yoga instructors have you do stretch out those sore joints. Most importantly, prenatal yoga has you do a lot of hip exercises. My yoga instructor is also a doula and had a ton of great recommendations for moves during different points of labor. Below are just a few moves I found very helpful during my pregnancy. As with anything, be very careful about your form and consider going to a prenatal yoga class so a trained instructor can assist with appropriate form.

Postpartum Yoga

If you could pick any food to describe how your body felt after having a baby, what would you say? I’d say a big bowl of chocolate pudding. My body pretty much melted into my favorite corner of the couch and I was certain when removed from that spot, I would leave part of my body behind. Needless to say, the last thing I wanted to be doing was yoga and stretches with a bunch of people… outside of my house. A few months postpartum my yoga instructor began a new postpartum class and I hesitantly joined. This, along with rigorous physical therapy, really helped my hip recover. It’s now about 90%, but leaps and bounds from where it was. Here are a few moves to help the postpartum mom’s body that I recommend – in general, not just for hip issues. These moves can help with diastasis recti recovery as well. I had some separation and found these moves to be beneficial.  

I hope this post was helpful and interesting to you. I am a big advocate for yoga, but really if you can try to stay active in anyway while pregnant, I am a strong believer it has a positive impact on your labor and recovery.

Namaste, ladies.

~Karen

 

Postpartum, Pregnancy

Special Edition: Our First Guest Post!

Today is a very special day. It’s Kristin’s birthday! To make this day even more special, Kristin’s mom, Maureen, has kindly agreed to write a special guest post for today (I only cried a little bit reading this). Happy Birthday Kristin! 

My Baby Has a Baby!

I am blogging today to celebrate Kristin’s first birthday as a Mom!  Thirty-three years ago, August 14th Kristin made me a mom, and it changed my life.

img_0190-e1534210156694.jpgLiving and working in Manhattan, Don and I got the news that I was pregnant.  We were blessed with a “surprise” pregnancy and we needed to nail down the changes that will take place in our lives.  We both had demanding jobs and lived in a four-floor walkup, neither conducive to becoming parents. The amount of decisions and commitments needed to consider was daunting.  Stay in the city? Daycare? Schools? Yup, schools. Most women I knew enrolled their child in a preschool as soon as they got pregnant. That’s pressure!

Our lease was up in May, three months prior to meeting this new person, and we need to make a change.  We decided to move to New Jersey. This was to be a “two-fer”, getting a place closer to my family and my sister was going be her nanny! SCORE!

IMG_0165The day we met Kristin was an amazingly beautiful “beach” day on the Jersey Shore.  I was overdue and thought a day at the ocean would do me wonders. I got in my car, stopped at my parents’ home, grab a beach chair, and schlepped all my stuff to the ocean.  I parked myself near the lifeguard, just in case. After a while I started to feel a bit crampy, nothing much but I couldn’t get comfortable. I decided to leave the beach to go home and nap.  Dropping the beach chair at my Mom’s she said, “How are you?” I said I was good, but I needed to go home and take it easy. She said I looked tired and to let her know when I got home. Don called, from work in Manhattan, around 5p and asked how I felt.  I told him I was just fine and not to rush home. Oh, and I added that I was cramping… just a bit. He said he was leaving immediately and by the time he got home 1-1 ½ hours later I was in labor. My Jersey Girl arrived at 8lbs 9 oz, full head of hair and in great health.  Let motherhood begin.

I had a three-month maternity leave, Don went back to work in Manhattan, and Kristin and I settled into a new routine.  Mostly sleeping when she slept. I was breastfeeding and she was a hungry bugger. I experienced my first obstacle, cracked nipples.  Ouch! Never anticipated that! The internet was not around, and all “Mom” information came from books, your mother, or close friends/family.  I bought MANY books. One of my favorite authors was by T. Berry Brazelton, kind of the Mr. Rogers of pediatricians, he wrote Infants and Mothers and Touchpoints.  (For Kristin’s birthday I’m sending her an electronic copy of Infants and Mothers circa 1983. ☺ )

My biggest fear in becoming a mother was how to communicate with a newborn.  Would we bond? How would I be able to understand and anticipate her needs? Would she be able to feel loved and secure?  What kind of woman would I become? Could I put her needs ahead of my own and Don’s? What happens when I go back to work? And probably a million more!

These questions seemed to come up and be answered as needed.  She felt perfect in my arms. I was fortunate to have the time to bond, understand she was “out of sorts”, become enveloped in her laughter, know the difference between hungry and “hangry”, go through the conflicting feelings of returning to work, and just sink into the new “family”.

IMG_4809I now get to be part of her beginnings of motherhood.  I watch Kristin and Kris navigate parenthood with excitement, enthusiasm, anticipation, dedication, joy and love.  I see them create a home and family. I’m excited to watch as they create their own rhythm and schedules and I am touched to think that both the Hummel and Kvam family values and customs will continue on with the next generation. The holidays and traditions she has had over the years will mean even more to her now that she’ll get to share them with her child.  I have the joy of getting to know my grandchild, be his Nana and watch him develop into the Finn that he will be.

It was my JOY to have Kristin changed my life, and now I celebrate as Finn changes hers.

Happy Birthday Kristin.

Love and Lollies,

Mom

Maureen Kvam, aka: Kristin’s proud Mom.

Postpartum, Pregnancy

Our Favorite Parenting TV Shows

Hellllloooooooo! This week we are going to share some of our favorite mom/parenting TV shows (in no certain order). It’s fascinating how relatable fictional TV is to the plight of becoming a new parent. Sometimes the the mental escape from reality is much needed, and the only thing that can fill it is a 30 minute episode of Bob’s Burgers. What are your favorite parenting TV shows? If you say Keeping Up With the Kardashians you should seriously reflect on what constitutes “parenting” – no judging here though (as we discretely throw shade your way). Just kidding… you would be shocked to know the amount of hours spent watching trashy TV at our house. Yikes.

The Letdown

Ever drive your kid around at all hours of the night and finally get baby to fall asleep, only to have some jerk tap on your window? Moms, you’re gonna relate with this show!

Shameless

Having a particularly crappy parenting day? You will immediately feel better about your parenting skills after watching Frank being Father of the Year.

Bob’s Burgers

Need a good laugh? Bob’s Burgers will certainly do that for you. As Bob put it so well, “I love you, but you’re all terrible”.

Life in Pieces

Whether you are a parent of preteens or are brand new to the parenting gig, you will definitely find something to relate with in this show. Jen and Greg highlight the emotional nuances many of us new parents feel.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Mama Ru will keep you on your toes with every new season as she brings in a new barrage of girls. With each episode, she reminds us that “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you going to love somebody else?”. Could not have said it better Ru.

Honorable Mentions:

Big Little Lies

Transparent

Jane the Virgin

SMILF

Parenthood

Game of Thrones (I am only mentioning because Zach told me to)

Happy binging!

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Pregnancy

Cravings

This week, Karen and Kristin discuss their experiences with cravings. Most people will tell you that cravings are just this cute little part of their pregnancy that they and all their gal-pals chuckled about as they sip their tea, pinky finger up. Ha. It actually looked more like this (sorry Kris and Zach):

giphy Continue reading “Cravings”

Breastfeeding, Postpartum

Traveling for Work While Breastfeeding a.k.a. Guess what? You have a bunch more crap to lug around in the airport

A few weeks ago I took my first work trip to attend a conference in Portland, Oregon. I was excited and then instantly anxious. Why? I’m still breastfeeding so I need to pump around every 3 hours when I’m away from my son. PLUS, this would be the first time I would be away from Finn overnight so…anxiety. (Now, of course, he would be with my husband so obviously he would be fine and happy to get solo dad time but it was still weird to think about!) This post is focusing on the logistics of pumping while traveling but we’re writing one addressing being away from baby overnight for the first time later! Continue reading “Traveling for Work While Breastfeeding a.k.a. Guess what? You have a bunch more crap to lug around in the airport”