Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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Tips for Nursing in Public

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I always giggle a little inside when I think of how many public places I’ve had my breasts out. Immature? Sure, but hilarious to me nonetheless. I was always shy about my body growing up, and if younger me would have known what I was doing now, she’s turn red and hide in her room blasting Nirvana.

With this mothering thing there comes choices and priorities you intend to keep come hell or high water Breastfeeding is one for me. When I first started traveling outside of the house with my first born, I’d take a bottle of breast milk with me to avoid what I thought would be a mortifying and stressful experience. I would think “How would I even do that? Just whip it out? Where? When? EVERYONE WOULD BE LOOKING!” The day I forgot my “just-in-case bottle” I got over this. If you are breastfeeding but fear or worry about doing it in public, here are some tips that helped me to comfortably nurse in any public place.

1.  Know the law

In Pennsylvania, we can breastfeed “in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding,” according the Pennsylvania Freedom to Breastfeed Act. A great resource for learning the federal and state laws for breastfeeding and pumping at work is www.breastfeedinglaw.com. Most states have laws that say anywhere mothers and children are permitted, breastfeeding is also permitted. Booya! If it makes you feel better, have a copy of the law with you. I figure if I say the words “it’s the law” people will usually leave me alone and walk away. People are afraid of laws!

2.  Cover yourself

Sure, the law says I don’t have to, but I sure feel better when I know I’m not “educating” small children from the bench at the grocery store. Yes, you can tell me it’s natural and there’s nothing to hide, but it’s just better for me and everyone around if I cover myself. Plus, not everyone feels that way. Get yourself one of those cleverly named “hooter hiders” or something similar or just a nice big piece of fabric like a swaddle or receiving blanket. I’ve grown very fond of my receiving blanket/nursing tank combo. The receiving blanket is soft and “grabs” to my clothes and the nursing tank covers my back and squishy belly while I’m nursing.

3.Location, location, location

When I was at Walmart the other day, Reagan got hungry. I knew their photo center in the back of the store had a bench so I high-tailed it back there and fed her. It turned out there was a lot of traffic back there. I didn’t know there was an entrance to the employees’ lounge and public bathrooms. However, I could have cared less. (Why didn’t I go in a fitting room? Well, I didn’t think of that until now, smarty pants!) In addition to knowing some goods spots at places you go frequently, you should also know that there is ALWAYS a place to go. However, never, ever, EVER nurse in a bathroom unless it has a specific area for you to do so. I did it once at the beginning, and I will NEVER do it again. There’s no reason for it (and it’s gross). Go to your car if you have to, but never, EVER nurse in a bathroom. PLEASE!
   
4.Keep the other kid(s) busy

No mom wants to run after her other children with her boob hanging out when they go rogue while she’s nursing. Have snacks and/or activities on hand to keep them occupied or pop-a-squat in a non-busy location with some room for them to run free while you can still maintain visual contact. If all else fails, make them sit next to you and threaten their lives and all they value if they move.

5.Act as you always do while nursing

It doesn’t matter where you are, nursing is something very special between you and baby, in my opinion. Talk to your baby, hold his/her hand, pat his/her bum – do what you do and enjoy it.

6.Take as long as it takes

It’s sooooooooooooo easy to rush it when you’re in public. You know how that ends, though – with a still hungry, crying baby two minutes later.

7.Be confident!

As we’ve discussed, you’re not doing anything wrong. When people walk past, don’t lower your head in shame or embarrassment, look them in the eye and smile! Sometimes they smile back (women). Sometimes they look at the floor and pick up the pace (men). Sometimes they turn around and go the opposite direction (teenagers). Whatever!

 
What are some tips that have helped you nursing mothers feed your babies in public?

 

 

 

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Admit You're Not Perfect but Still Fantastic

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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"Sorry, I was hiding in the shower…"

Yep, that’s what I texted to my friend who was looking for me while I was hiding from my responsibilities. Having two kids ain’t no joke, ya’ll. I knew I could handle it, and I’m handling it – as long as I get those 15 (OK 30) minutes in the shower.

I told myself that this year I’d blog the truth. I have before, but I’ve admittedly left out some things (most of my feelings) fearing the comments that would come back. However, one of the many reasons for this blog is to help other parents. Who am I helping if tell everyone when I’m struggling or hiding in the shower? This whole parenting thing isn’t 100 percent perfect. No one has it perfect. NO ONE! I know I’m a good mother, and so are you (except if you’re a dad. Then, you’re a good dad!)! I know I’m not a bad mother, and neither are you (no bad dads either)! I’m speaking the truth. I wrote previously about how we should admit our faults, our mistakes, and our "duh!" moments. It helps us all so much.

So, I hide in the shower -- every day. I’m not crying in there or anything. I’m getting clean, listening to my music (possibly dancing and singing), and I can’t hear a damn thing outside of that bathroom. No crying, no "mommy, mommy, mommy," no "where’s this" or "where’s that," no barking from the dog, no me trying to figure out how to divide myself equally in half for both kids and figure out how to still show my husband I love him. For those minutes, I’m me just taking a shower. No, I can’t help with the baby or get Lincoln a snack. I’M TAKING A SHOWER!

We talk about nights out with the girls or date night. The shower is my “girls night out.” It’s just short, daily, and alone (you dirty birds!).

Do you have an “unusual” escape?


ErinHillErin Hill is mom to Lincoln, born in January 2010, and Reagan, born in November 2013. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through the second time around while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer and co-founder and writer for SlimSavers.com in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.

 

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She's Getting Nothin' For Christmas

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Like a lot of kids, next week my kids will come down the steps to see what Santa brought them.

Lincoln will see his gifts set around the tree (while I hope he remember he said he wanted each and every one of them at some point). Reagan will see...nothing for her. (OK. Not "nothing." I did buy her an elephant that pops balls out of its trunk because it was a SUPER deal, but she won't know what the heck it is or be interested in it.)

Ooooo that sounds harsh.

She's a newborn (a month old now!). After re-purposing everything we possible could from when Linc was a baby for her, buying what (little) we needed, and acquiring massive amounts of clothing from friends, she just doesn't need anything under the tree. She won't know it! I promise!

I think I've mentioned before that with Christmas presents I'm more of a quality over quantity type of person. I also think the receiver should get something you wanted to give them. Whether that be something they asked for or something they needed, it should be for them! I'm famous for not buying people gifts because there's nothing I wanted to get them. Trust me, I do try to find something, but, sorry, I just can't buy someone something that I "just grabbed." I can't! I don't want anyone to do that for me either. So, I'm not going to pile up new toys under the tree for Reagan when I'd really just be doing it for show or because I was supposed to (I hate "supposed to").

For Lincoln's sake -- so he doesn't think Santa forgot his baby sister -- I'll put some of his baby toys that she'll enjoy later in her stocking. That'll be fun!

I do feel a bit guilty (SHOCKER!), but I think I'm thinking clearly on this one. I mean, I gave her life a month ago. Isn't that good enough for this year? Plus, look at that picture. She didn't even wake up to tell Santa what she wanted!

Did you have a newborn at Christmas? Did you get him or her gifts to "unwrap"?

To those of you that celebrate it...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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Is it OK They Play Alone? (Sure it is...right?)

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I have a problem leaving my kids alone to entertain themselves. When I see my son playing by himself or my daughter (who is now almost four weeks old) awake in her crib when I thought she was sleeping, I kind of freak out. Seriously, freak out. Am I nuts? (Don’t answer that!)

The funny this is I’m perfectly happy to be alone and do things alone. I always have been. However, when I see someone eating alone or the kids playing alone, I get so sad.

It’s probably good for them to do things alone, right? It probably builds some kind of things in their brains and social (maybe anti-social?) skills. Maybe it helps with self-esteem? I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s OK and necessary. Also, with two kids now, it's pretty much inevitable this is going to happen.

BUT IT DRIVES ME CRAZY! I always they’re lonely or something.

OK. I’m nuts.

Do your kids play alone? Does it ever bother you like it does me? (Someone please say yes!) How can I not feel guilty?

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Welcoming Reagan Bea: A Birth Story

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Two weeks ago, I was told I’d have my baby girl via caesarian section on Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m. at 39 weeks. Very nice! I like things planned. I pushed the fact that she could come earlier to the back of my mind and kept on planning, preparing and dreaming for Nov. 18.

The day came (and she hadn’t) so things worked out, but this time around was very different than my scheduled induction and eventual c-section with Lincoln. I didn’t have to wait around all day for the inevitable (I told the doctor she was wasting everyone’s time inducing me with Linc.). There were no lengthy speeches of “this is what we’re going to do now…” It was more “this is it” and “here we go.” I wasn’t in labor, which made it a nicer experience and a WAY better time getting that needle in my back. (That, by the way, is smaller and delivers a different medicine than an epidural.)

They did all the prep work, got me into one of those sexy gowns and shower caps, and all the people responsible for baby and me making it through to the other side visited and got my autograph. After my doctor and I goofed around for a bit, and they put my husband in a green outfit that made him look like a hot doctor, we were ready to roll. Er, walk. I walked into the OR where they delivered my “spinal,” asked me a bunch of questions (I can’t remember), told me a bunch of stuff (I can’t remember), and started just before bringing in my husband.

I was warned the procedure may take longer than my last one (I don’t remember how long that one took) because of scar tissue from my appendectomy in September, but my doctor peeked over the curtain to tell me everything “looked beautiful in there.” Whatever scar tissue I had was not in the location they wanted to go. While they worked, the doctor and her assistant talked about Thanksgiving plans and family like they were out to lunch, which made me laugh and tell them they should be focusing more on me. I was kidding. It was really a nice time. My husband and I talked, and I listed to the doctors talk. It was way more chill than the first time.

I arrived at the hospital at 11:30 a.m., the OR was ready for me at 1:30 p.m. (my scheduled time), and baby girl was born at 2:04 p.m. to a crowd that called her “chunky” and an “aggressive crier.” (She sounded like a duck!) The final weigh in was 9 lbs, 2 oz, with a length of 21 inches, which made me tear up. I wanted another big baby and, after all we’d been through and with only a total weight gain of 19 lbs, I got her! I like me a big baby! They gave her to my husband and I was immediately surprised by how she looked EXACTLY like Lincoln when he was born.

We were wheeled into recovery where I got my bonding time (because we requested no visitors until the next day), started breast feeding, and regained feeling in my legs. They took me up to what would be my room for the next three nights, and Adam left to go get big brother from school. He had the very important job of naming his sister (from a list of suggestions, of course).

When he arrived, baby was crying and Linc looked terrified. He was probably half scared his sister was crying and half scared because mom was once again in the hospital hooked up to stuff. He quickly named her Reagan. Her middle name, Bea, is Adam’s great aunt’s name.

They boys hung out for a while, and Lincoln didn’t want to hold his sister at all (which was OK. He’ll have plenty of time.). Adam took Linc to Linc’s “girlfriend’s” house where our dear, dear friends would keep him until I was released on Thursday.

My recovery is going great and Reagan is so super cute!! Any fears I had were (as usual) were unfounded and things were smooth for our first night at home.

It’s very weird to have another kid, but while we were watching TV last night and my husband was cuddling with Linc and I was cuddling with Reagan, I realized we needed two kids. One of us (usually him) was always left out during cuddle time.

Thank you all at Pittsburgh Mom for your help and advice during my pregnancy.

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