Hi lovelies! Typically, I post two times on Thursday, once about #minimagpie, and once about something else, but I didn’t get around to it this week, so today will have to do as a (delayed) update on #minimagpie. Hopefully we’ll be back on sched next week.
I promise I will get to sharing details of #minimagpie’s birth, but I have been too emotional to write about it. I’ve sat down (er, remained reclined…I am doing minimal moving these days except when necessary, thanks to the c-section) multiple times to try to capture the experience but have become so overwhelmed with joy, exhaustion, new mom nerves, and all of the warm and fuzzy feelings that have accompanied all of the tender care my parents, siblings, friends, and ESPECIALLY Mr. Magpie have been showing me that I can’t get through a few sentences without shedding some major tears. Also, holy hormones. WOW. More on this in a future post–and I’m not proud of it–but there have been multiple meltdowns in the past week and a half that I would like to attribute to a confluence of pain medication, exhaustion, and hormones, including an epic one when I thought I’d quadrupled the dosage of Vitamin D I was supposed to give minimagpie and literally lost it. Just broke down into sobs thinking I’d poisoned her and wondering how I could have been so careless.
Then I realized I’d actually given her the correct amount.
Luckily, my mom was sitting by my side on the couch and she set things right–reassuring me, as she did multiple times during her weeklong stay–that I was doing a good job (an overstatement, but a welcome sentiment nonetheless) and gently reminding me not to sweat the small stuff.
And also, she eventually just laughed. What a gift! It was a great moment of release to laugh at myself in the midst of such an intense emotional time.
I could write many, many posts on the wisdom she passed along to me last week, but one of them that replays in my mind over and over is: “Jennifer, babies cry. They cry and cry. Sometimes because they want something and sometimes for no good reason.”
I could also write many, many posts on the outrageous solicitude, patience, and love Mr. Magpie has shown me the past ten days. I literally cannot write any more about this right now because my eyes are welling up just thinking about it. He is my everything. Thank you for this life, my love.
At any rate, I am feeling so loved and cared after, and am at the same time consumed with loving and caring after mini, that I need to store up all of the emotional strength I can garner for those two preoccupations first. But I will eventually share more!
And, here is a sneak peek of me with my new best bud:
OMG. I am biased, but she is SOMETHING.
SO, today, onto a lighter, adjacent topic: what to wear while nursing.
A slight preamble first. Please tune out if you’re not in the mood for details about nursing. Things are ’bout to get REAL.
UM, so, nursing is a whole thing and, as many nurses told me over my stay in the hospital, it’s a learned process for both mother and baby and involves quite a bit of tinkering, or at least it has for me. My milk never fully came in (or, maybe, has not yet??!?! — she says hopefully) so I have been in this slightly maddening process of nursing as much as I can, then passing mini off to Mr. Magpie to be “topped off” with formula from a bottle, then pumping with a terrifying “hospital grade” breast pump. My mom and I had a good laugh about me being strapped to an “industrial grade” machine. Also, I’ve whined about this in the past, but I’m using this scary hands-free breast pump bra and my mom about died laughing when I first put it on and told her I was basically a milk cow. But, you need one if if you don’t want to sit there holding the two pump things in each hand and doing nothing for 15 minutes at a time. Which, believe me, you don’t, especially when time feels very precious. I can’t wait for my Ollie Gray bra to arrive — it is genius. I hate having to switch out of my clothes to switch into the hands-free bra every time I need to pump. What a pain.
Anyway, we’ll work it out and it’s fine and I’ll probably end up needing to use more formula than anything else, which initially made me a little upset, but my mom, per usual, set things straight, reminding me that so many healthy babies are raised on formula, and that I was trying all the possible avenues I could to breastfeed but that it may not work, and that it wasn’t my fault. (And I really am. I am eating these “boobie bars,” drinking mother’s milk tea, doubling up on oats, and even taking fenugreek pills. But the body does what the body wants.)
And also, in the words of a dear and encouraging friend (thank you, S.!!): the slogan should not be “breast is best” (i.e., breastfeeding is the best way to go — though it is) but “fed is best.” Trying to keep that mantra top of mind. Because at the end of the day, the goal is a healthy, growing, well-fed babe.
So, with that in mind, I’ve had the last ten days or so to adapt to a life dominated by breastfeeding and pumping and have accordingly had a lot of time to think about the most efficient but non-hideous things to wear while doing it. (Hint: pickings are ultra slim. Like, paper thin. Like, tracing paper thin.)
I have generally been horrified by the maternity and nursing fashion options on offer, as I grouchily bemoaned under pick no. 1 here. But, I’ve discovered what works well for me–by which I mean, what has been both functionally useful and nominally attractive at the same time. Below, my top picks:
Pick 1: The Nursing Nightgown
I’m not normally a nightgown kinda gal. I much prefer a pair of jams, as you may have gathered from my insta over the past few months (ahem, here, here, and here). (And P.S. — these $59 lovelies are among my favorite recent purchases.) But recovering from a c-section has transformed me into a nightgown lover. So comfortable not to have anything touching the incision, and, especially in the first few days after the procedure, not to have to mess around with pulling up and down a pair of pants. I ordered this Gap nightgown in two prints ($39) and love it. So soft, so forgiving, and so convenient. Also, the prints are super cute. I also ordered this nightgown from Belabumbum ($66) because I have loved their nursing bras and have not been disappointed. Super soft and semi-attractive. Finally, I have been living in my Claridge + King oversized shirt ($180), which I actually ordered years and years ago for my wedding and have monogrammed with my wedding date on the cuff. It’s the perfect nursing gear because you can easily unbutton it and it’s cute to look at. (Also, it’s a very Tom-Cruise-in-Risky-Business kind of look, which I dig.)
Pick No 2: The Nursing Bra
OK, so when I’m not wearing the hideous pumping bra contraption (which, I’ll be honest, is not SO bad — it at least serves its purpose well and is thoughtfully designed in the sense that you can adjust its size pretty easily), I am living in these Belabumbum nursing bras ($44 each). I ordered one in both black and pink and love love love them. So soft and comfortable, but still pretty and feminine. If I continue this nursing routine, I may snag a few other styles of theirs, like this “Ruby” one (on sale for $31). I like that these can make me feel like a woman instead of a frumpy milkmaid.
For total comfort, I also love (!) the Majamas nursing bra ($33) — more of a pull-down style instead of a snap-down siutaiton. So comfortable but still provides some support and I like the low bust-line, personally. I typically save this for nighttime so at least during the day I feel elegant in the lace-trimmed Belabumbum style above. (Thanks, C., for the suggestion!)
Pick No. 3: The Daytime Look
For daytime, I’ve been living in button-down tops (oversized oxfords, denim boyfriend shirts, etc. — that are easy to unbutton and nurse from and that run long and loose to cover things up), like this J. Crew denim popover (on sale for $54 –I also loveeee this gingham popover, because — you know, GINGHAM!) with my David Lerner full-panel maternity leggings. You pretty much look 6-months pregnant when you leave the hospital. I’m now down to probably what I looked like at 3-months pregnant (?) and am preparing to make the switch to normal leggings soon, but they’ve GOT to be high-waist because I’m still not ready to have anything low-rise interfering with my incision! A friend who just recently went through a c-section recommended these high-rise leggings by Lysse ($59) as the perfect “transitional” pant, so I’m on board.
And, I top it all off with my Gucci mules ($595). A little basic, but functional.
Pick No. 4: The Nursing Tank
The other look I’m rocking is leggings with a nursing tank and a heavy cardigan over top. Though it wasn’t in my initial round-up of nursing tanks (see pick no. 1), this Gap style is my absolute favorite ($22). A sweet girlfriend of mine gifted it to me in a little “post-delivery survival kit” and thank God she did. First, it’s super soft. Second, it pulls down (no snaps involved, which just feels easier). Third, I don’t know what I was thinking, only picking nursing tops that are super compression-oriented. Gap’s is soft and flowy and it covers a whole manner of sins. Trust me, the last thing you want immediately after a c-section is something pressing on your skin. Barf. Fourth, I love the length — slightly lower than your hips. I was so encouraged by the fit and style, I also bought their similarly-designed crossover top — super simple, super boring, but I figure with black leggings, some great shoes, and some good jewelry, I’ll be halfway decent.
+I can’t speak highly enough of this balm for the whole nursing process. Organic, healthy for baby, you don’t need to wipe it off before nursing, and it soothes.
+Obvious, but you need these if you’re nursing, or you’ll have to change tops like 53 times over the course of the day.
+Obsessed with these burping cloths ($22 for 2) that fit around the nook of your neck. They’re super thick and absorbent and, like all Aden + Anais products, they come in the cutest patterns. (P.S. — I got a handful of their similarly designed burp cloths from the “Ideal” diffusion line by the makers of Aden + Anais, but they are not nearly as absorbent. So, I say splurge on the real deal.)
+It took me awhile to start using my nursing pillow because I was so worried about having anything pressing on my abdomen, but I just started using my pillow (I have pillow covers from IvieBaby that are GORGEOUS! — I have this pattern and this pattern) and love it.
PS — I did add some new, non-nursing finds to Le Shop!