Archive | MATERNITY

Real Talk – Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has become a hot topic, and today we are doing some real talk on it.  As a mother you hear many different opinions on many different things but breastfeeding is always one of them.  Every mama has their own experience and way of doing things and Leah and I are perfect examples of that.  We each have had completely different experiences with breastfeeding and we wanted to share them with you.

 The funny thing is, we both have felt pressured or ridiculed for our experiences.  This is something that moms face day in and day out.  Leah and I wanted to share our own experience and say that no matter what you do, as long as you’re trying your best, you’re doing ok!  Us moms need to stick together and support each other because let’s face it, our job isn’t easy and it’s probably the most scrutinized.

So here are each of our stories and some great breastfeeding products we recommend along the way!  We’d love to keep this conversation going and hear what you have to say on the subject and your experience.

Photos of Jacquelyn by Megan Welker


Jacquelyn

I remember being pregnant with Court and being nervous if I would be able to breastfeed.  I already felt the pressure then with my first baby on the way.  My friends had varied experiences and I remember thinking, I just want to try and get to 6 months!  That was my goal!!  Some of my friends had to supplement and I had a few friends of friends who nursed for a really long time. At the time I thought, ok, that’s weird…  I remember another friend saying “if they can ask for it, then you’ve gotta stop”, haha…  Little did I know how my breastfeeding experience would go.

– Jacquelyn is wearing a nursing sweater by BOOB

When I had Court I found that I sort of had a gift for this breastfeeding thing!  I produced A LOT of milk, like a lot a lot!!  I was able to pump and store a good amount of milk, and was even able to donate it to a friend who couldn’t nurse her baby and to my local hospital.  But best of all, I was able to nurse Court and feed him without having to supplement.  Court grew and grew, and I still find it amazing that he was completely nourished by me!

Another fun fact… I loved to breastfeed!  That was something I had always heard mixed feelings on from other friends.  But I personally loved it.  It was my special time with my baby and the time I felt the most connected with him.  When we had company over I loved sneaking away for some quiet time with Court.  And the way your baby touches your face while you breastfeed them, is there really anything better?!

– Jacquelyn’ favorite nursing bra is by Bravado Designs and you can find it here

Time passed and I surpassed my 6 month goal.  Then a year hit, my doctor was so proud of me for continuing to breastfeed for that long.  I thought I would stop then, but Court still wanted to nurse!  Who was I to deny my son this amazing super food if I had the capability to give it to him?  I’ll be honest, it wasn’t always easy.  As many of you know breastfeeding can be hard and it’s a selfless act.  We give up our bodies for 9 long months being pregnant and continue to do so when we breastfeed.  But in a completely selfish way, I still loved having this connection so we kept it up.

– Jacquelyn is using a nursing pillow cover by Woolf with Me

I breastfed Court till I became pregnant with Cruz.  So for 21 long months I fed that little guy and don’t regret it one bit.  There were good times; like how he barely ever got sick and still hardly ever gets sick which I credit to breastfeeding and our amazing bonding time.  And there were bad times; don’t get me started on the biting phase, and weaning wasn’t easy and broke my heart.  My dad even joked sometimes “are you going to be breastfeeding him at his high school graduation” haha!

Speaking of the jokes, I heard a lot different opinions about my breastfeeding… Some positive but a lot negative.  Luckily I can say that I’m the type of person that doesn’t really care what others think… Don’t get me wrong, I definitely can be sensitive, but in this case I was so confident in my decision that it didn’t matter.  But I did get my fair share of eye rolls and looks of complete shock.  Lots of jokes were made about it from family, friends and strangers.

But in the end I’m really proud of myself for nursing Court that long.  Yes, he was almost 2, and yes he could ask for it, yes he would even pick which boob he wanted, but in my heart and my mind he needed it.

– Jacquelyn is wearing a nursing tank and leggings by BOOB

When I became pregnant with Cruz I again worried, would it be as easy this time?  Would Cruz latch quickly and feed as well?  Would I produce as much?  Did Court suck me dry?  Haha… Lots of questions popped into my mind.  Luckily we haven’t had any hiccups and Cruz is nursing well and my milk is still coming in strong again.  Ultimately I did what worked for me and what was best for my situation.  I have no judgements if someone can’t nurse as long or can’t nurse at all!  Everyone has to do what is best for them, their family and their baby.

Breastfeeding is such a personal part of being a mom and it’s such a short part of it too.  Why set judgement or have stress on something that in the long run only defines such a short time of your journey as a mom?  My advice is to see how it goes and make any adjustments as needed but don’t stress yourself out over not having enough or having too much.  As long as you give that baby love and nourish them however you need to it will all work out!


Leah Carriger

When I first got prego with my first Edie back in 2011, I knew I wanted to breastfeed…hands down that’s what was happening.  I never really thought about the struggles that came with it for some reason.  She was born almost 6 weeks early and that’s when the ball dropped on me.  Her birth was traumatic and very stressful.  I had her at 10:15 in the evening and was so sick after I had her.  I remember them wheeling me back up to my room and her staying in her little incubator down in the NICU.  The next thing I remember is waking up in my room and telling my hubby we needed to go down so I could breastfeed her!!  I was frantic.  When I got down there the nurses had already fed her formula and I was upset that they didn’t ask me first. I get it… there was a lot going on and at the moment they were doing what was best for her, but again, it wasn’t part of the plan.  I nursed her as much as could the next 10 days, but it was so difficult because she was in the NICU and I had to pump, which was also depressing.  I could see the amount of milk I was producing and it was such a little amount.  Now I look back I think about how hard I was on myself.  I was a brand new mom, learning it all for the very first time and super stressed that my new little babe was in the NICU.  Stressed I wasn’t producing enough milk for her, and pumping never helped the situation.  After about 2 months of what seemed like killing myself over it, breast feeding her for so long and then supplementing because she was still hungry, I literally felt like I was feeding her 24/7!!  I finally threw in the towel, and after I did I felt so much better.  I was harboring so much guilt for not being able to feed her, I felt like I failed.  But I finally felt like it was ok…I was still a good mommy and I was doing the best I could.

– Leah’s pajamas are by BOOB

Fast forward to my second and It was a little better since I knew what I was getting into, although I still had high hopes for myself.  A similar situation happened with Isla and she had to be in the NICU as well, but only for 3 days. This time around I was a little better prepared with the pumping and making sure I woke up every 3 hours to make a trip down to the NICU so I could feed her.  This time I also got a lactation nurse, which was a good refresher.  Then we got home and that night she wouldn’t stop screaming.  My husband suggested that she was probably hungry and I didn’t even think about that because I had been feeding her a lot!  But sure enough, I made her a bottle and she calmed down.  Cue the mom guilt again, but this time it wasn’t as intense.  I was still determined to go longer than I did with Edie.  I was definitely more relaxed and not as hard on myself.

– Leah’s nursing essential is this nursing tank by Bravado Designs you can layer under anything –

Then my experience with this little guy was different because fortunately he didn’t have to be in the NICU and it made a world of difference having him in my room with me.  He nursed for the first four days and we bonded perfectly.  On the 4th day though, the nurse suggested I give him formula because he was losing so much weight.  It was definitely disheartening, but it was ok.  Supplementing was all I knew.  I was still going to breastfeed him as much as I could and I was ok with that and so was he.

– Leah is wearing leggings by BOOB

For me it wasn’t so much the judgement, as it was me being hard on myself.  I couldn’t help it at first.  I needed to experience the struggle for me to be able to look back and see the bigger picture.  I did the best that I could and I was proud of myself.  I still bonded beautifully with each of my littles even though it was more through bottle feeding than breastfeeding.

My advise it just to relax.  It’s so hard when you have a baby and the pressure is intense, but just slow down and take in the moment of the miracle that was just created.  That is by far one of the best things life can offer.

Hope you got something out of this personal post… As parents we are all trying to do our best and none of us want to feel stressed or judged at such a special time.  Breastfeeding or feeding your baby can be amazing no matter what.  We wish all of you mamas and mamas to be the best experience that is perfect for you.

xx

Jacquelyn

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By on January 16, 2017 in BABY SPOTLIGHT, MATERNITY, PREGNANCY, REAL TALK

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Baby Spotlight – James Fox

Being a new mom – and we mean a BRAND new mom – in the hospital can be full of all kinds of emotions.  You are completely exhausted yet you have this insane amount of joy and excitement within you.  It’s a feeling truly like no other!  But for some new moms there are other circumstances that arise that make you feel helpless, like having your child in the NICU or struggling with breast-feeding.  All of us Beijos ladies have been through different experiences, we’ve had all of the above!  Something we can all agree on is that during this extremely emotional time the last thing you want to feel is uncomfortable and lucky us Karla, the owner of James Fox feels the same way.  James Fox is an amazing company that creates beautiful gowns for new mamas to wear in the delivery room and beyond.  They are comfortable, accessible for baby and come in a variety of beautiful prints we know you will love!  They are also kind enough to offer our readers 20% off your purchase with the code Beijospreggers , even if you aren’t pregnant your self, they make for excellent baby shower gifts as well!

Photos by Megan Welker

unspecified Leah and I were lucky enough to test them out with our new babes in the hospital and we couldn’t help but feel that much better in them… I mean those regular hospital gowns can seriously suck it after we put these on! Haha…  Even the nurses at our hospital were in awe of how amazing these gowns were, they loved them!  Plus, a portion of your purchase goes towards providing “mama kits” to expectant mothers in need.

Leah is wearing 003 in blue with her little Henry Grant…

Here’s what Leah had to say about her James Fox experience…

I was super excited to wear my James Fox gown at the hospital when we welcomed our son Henry a couple weeks back.  Mainly because I didn’t have to wear the unflattering gown the hospital provides.  When I put it on my nurse and doctor were so impressed, haha. They were telling me how stylish I looked, which made me feel good since we all know how we feel right after we just have a baby.  I love the print, and the fabric and how easy it was to feed him.  I even wore it the first couple weeks I was home with him.  So easy to throw on after showering, you can jump right into cuddling your new baby, which is the best part! Plus not a lot of my clothes fit me just yet, and with having to keep the area of my incision from my c-section free, the James Fox gown was really the perfect item to have on hand!

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Here’s what Jacquelyn had to say about her James Fox experience…

Being at the hospital with your brand new babe is such an experience!  During my time with Cruz I went from being beyond nauseous due to the anesthesia and extremely tired from the anti-nausea medicine, then suffering from pain with my c-seciton incision.  But I also went through the emotions of indescribable joy being with my new little guy and wanting to cuddle him every chance I got!  I was so grateful to have my James Fox gown with me, not only is the material super comfy but it’s easily accessible for me to feed Cruz when I need to and anything else I need to do while in the hospital.  It made me feel comfortable when I was feeling ill and helped Cruz feel comfy as well with it’s soft material for our cuddle sessions.  Plus, the prints are much cuter than those old hospital gowns and perfect for the photos you want to take to capture those first few days of you and your new baby.  You don’t always feel or look your best right after giving birth, but it’s half the battle by dressing cute and luckily James Fox does just that!

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Jacquelyn

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By on September 7, 2016 in BABY SPOTLIGHT, MATERNITY, PREGNANCY, VENDORS WE LOVE

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Beijos Maternity Session – The Kazas Family

Wow, what a year this has been so far!  I found out I was pregnant right before Christmas of 2015, so 2016 has been all about planning for baby #2, and he will be here in 10 short days!!  Well that’s if everything goes as planned, haha!  This pregnancy has been somewhat of a whirlwind; being pregnant with your second is so very different from being pregnant with your first.  You don’t have as much time as you did before to prepare or to really grasp everything that is happening and changing.  When I was pregnant with Court I would send my family a weekly photo of what fruit or vegetable the baby was along with a photo of my growing belly, no time for that this go around!  I was too busy chasing after a wild 2 year old!!  That’s why it was so important for us as a family to take the time for a maternity session with our favorite photographer friend, Megan Welker, and capture our family now before we turn into a family of four!!

meganwelker-kazas-132 Our maternity session is also featured on Inspired By This today!!

When deciding where to do our maternity session I wanted it to be a place that was obviously beautiful but also meaningful to our family… I was a little opposed to shooting at the beach because well, it’s been done, but it’s such an influential place for my family it just made sense.  We live about a half mile from the beach, and it may not be for long as we are looking to move to a bigger house soon, but we spend tons of time at the beach.  My husband and I love the beach.  We would always go when we were dating, then as newlyweds, soon after we were bringing our dog Dolly there consistently and now our son Court!  A week doesn’t go by where we aren’t down there enjoying each other and running wild in the sand.  So why not do our photos at the beach?!  Especially when the beach is as pretty as this one and we are lucky enough to have a friend like Megan Welker as a photographer to capture it all.

meganwelker-kazas-108 meganwelker-kazas-111 meganwelker-kazas-131 meganwelker-kazas-89 meganwelker-kazas-92 meganwelker-kazas-103 meganwelker-kazas-118 We decided to go to Crystal Cove State park which isn’t too far from us and offers both pretty landscape shots and the beach, best out of both worlds!  I’m a bit obsessed with cactus like everyone else right now, so we had fun posing in front of the prettiest prickly pear plant and then moved down to the ocean.  During most of the shots of me by myself Court was digging like crazy in the sand loving life!  It was the perfect little outing to play and celebrate our final days as a family of 3 in the anticipation of being 4 very soon.  I’ve gotten a bit sentimental lately thinking that our alone time with Court is coming to an end but I know it is just going to get better for us!  We can’t wait to welcome our next son Cruz John to the family.

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Dear Court,
You are amazing, being your mom has fulfilled me in ways I never knew!  You are bright and happy, determined and strong, outgoing and silly, and the most loving little person I know.  This year has shown me what a great person you will be and what an amazing big brother as well.  You are always the first to ask “You ok Mommy?” when you think something is wrong, you offer to kiss any “owie” anyone may have and you also love to see your brother (Mommy’s tummy) and have your hand on it every chance you get.  You love hard and are passionate, just like your Mom and Dad, and I’m so happy that is something you have taken from us.  I am so proud of how much you have grown and learned and I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for you and what you have in store for the world.  These next few months may be hard for you, and for me, but I know you will grow from being a big brother and it will make you into an even more amazing person than you are now.  I love you with all of my heart!

meganwelker-kazas-77 Dear Cruz,
I already love you so much, I can’t wait for you to be a part of our wild and crazy family… If you are as wild out here as you seem in my belly then I know you will fit right in!  You have a big family waiting for you to show you love and to support and cherish you.  Your big brother has so much to show you and teach you, along with your Daddy and your Mommy.  We are excited to meet you, even though I already feel like you are with us.  This world is big but we will always hold your hand and show you the way if you need us to, and we will always be there to shower you with kisses and love.  Thank you for giving me such an amazing gift and being such a trooper in this pregnancy, you have mommy’s heart forever!

meganwelker-kazas-37 Dear Nate,
Thank you for everything you do for our family and for being such an amazing role model for our two boys to follow.  This year you have worked so hard and so much to make sure you will be everything to our sons and more.  I am so lucky to have a husband as amazing as you and our sons are so lucky to have a father who shows them so much love, patience, compassion and belief.  Being a dad isn’t easy, especially when you have to spend time away for work, but know that nothing you do goes unappreciated or unnoticed and that we love you more than words.
meganwelker-kazas-125 meganwelker-kazas-138 Can’t wait to share photos of our new addition when he arrives!!  It’s been an amazing ride so far, can’t wait to see what two wild boys have in store for me!

xx

Jacquelyn

Style Sources:
Jacquelyn’s Dress – Auguste
Nate & Court’s Shirts – J Crew

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By on August 12, 2016 in FAMILY, LIFESTYLE, MATERNITY

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Beijos Maternity Session

We are so excited to welcome our son Henry Grant in 8 short days!!  Let me tell you… it’s been a busy time in the Carriger house.  We are still adjusting to adding our little firecracker Isla to our family, who just turned 14 months last week!  She is all over the place, exploring every corner possible.  We have known this time would come for months now, it’s gone by pretty fast and now it’s here!! We are anticipating crazy, but hey we are used to it…so we’ll see how it goes.

Last month we decided to meet our talented friend Megan Welker so she could document our little chaotic family for the last time before Henry comes at Thomas Riley Wilderness Park  in Coto de Caza.  This park is so beautiful.  I love the grass and the light over the hills.  Megan just captures it magically!!

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I love Isla’s expressions, she’s such a happy little one.  Edie has graduated from a threenager to a fournager and decides when she would like to smile, it’s not an automatic thing anymore..haha.

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Isla is such a silly little one, she’s definitely going to me the spunk in the fam, Edie is my serious, sensitive one in comparison.

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They love their daddy the spoiler…

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My favorite part about this park…this light!!!

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I love watching the relationship between these two grow everyday.  They already have their moments, but for the most part their love shines bright for each other. It’s the best thing to watch.

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This was about the time we need to wrap it up…Isla was being Cryla here, but you can’t tell because I was tickling her.

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We can’t wait to meet you baby boy…our Carriger family bookend.

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Xx Leah

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By on August 2, 2016 in BEIJINHOS, FAMILY, LIFESTYLE, MATERNITY

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Beijos Baby Boy Sprinkle for Jacquelyn & Cruz John

It’s a very exciting time over here with us Beijos gals, as a couple of us within the next month will add another sweet member to our growing families!!  With that, we have a couple special parties we threw for our very own and I’m happy to share Jacquelyn’s intimate sprinkle I threw for her with you today. Also make sure to check it out here on 100 Layercakelet!

All photos by the lovely Ala Cortez 

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We had it at the uber hip restaurant Social in Costa Mesa, which by the way has the yummiest food!!  It was one of our first times styling a party at a restaurant, and I have to say it was great!  The restaurant staff was amazing to work with, they were super accommodating and on board with any special touches we wanted for our Jacquelyn. lifestyle-babycruz-1023 lifestyle-babycruz-1022

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I went with this natural organic look for the theme, hitting on natural woods and plants, mostly ferns.  Jacquelyn’s favorite color is yellow, so we brought the pop of color in there with the flowers.  Here is the lovely invite by our gal pal Meghann Miniello.

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Now let’s focus on these table details…I wanted to do something different than the normal garland down the long table, so we did all these little clear and brown vintage glass vases with ferns, which really made a statement.  Meagan from MV Florals helped carry out the vision perfectly!

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The beautiful glassware, flatware and ahh hem…can I say amazing napkin detail by the lovely Hostess Haven.  She has one of the prettiest collections in the biz!! With the plain white plate, the napkin, menu and magnolia leaf place card, they were the perfect add ons to make the setting feel complete, unique and on theme.

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Let’s get this party started….

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Here’s a looksy at the sweets…love the detail on this cake by Beverly’s Bakery and we can’t forget about the yummy Sidecar Doughnuts

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Some more shots of the pretty mama.  Congrats Jacquelyn, I’m so excited to meet baby Cruz!  I can’t wait for you to experience adding baby #2 into the mix, and to see your love spread exponentially.  Especially watching big brother Court with his new baby brother, that’s just the best!! lifestyle-babycruz-1076

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Love you mucho Lady!!

Xx Leah

Photography: Love Ala / Venue: Social / Styling: Beijos Events / Flowers: MV Florals / Invites & Signage: Meghann Miniello Creative / Rentals: Hostess Haven / Cake: Beverly’s Best Bakery / Donuts: Sidecar Doughnuts

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By on July 21, 2016 in BABY SHOWER, BEIJOS PICKS, BRUNCH, CELEBRATIONS, LIFESTYLE, MATERNITY, STYLED BY BEIJOS

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