Throwback to 9 Weeks A Madre

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Happy ‘throwback thursday’ here today with a post that is from exactly two years ago. Looking at this picture my boy looks like a pet monkey, I can’t beleive it.

I wrote this post at ‘9 weeks a madre‘. The theme of the post is really focused on schedule and having a family routine which is a theme I have been thinking about a lot these past few weeks. We have totally gotten into a routine these days. I won’t bore you with the details but its kind of mind numbing at some points during the week. Weekends definitely are a time when we mix things up and break the routine which is really refreshing. Continue reading “Throwback to 9 Weeks A Madre”

#throwback to 7 weeks a madre

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Hi! Felt like today was a great day for a #throwbackthursday post. Since Mo is turning two this month, on the 23rd, I wanted to step back and share a post about the early days. This post titled ‘7 weeks a madre’ is all about the ups and mostly downs of breastfeeding (cracked & infected nipples), sleep deprivation, post-partum workouts & the silly sweetness of having a newborn.

Looking back at photos from this time Mike and I both look super sleepy and our baby boy looks like a little rag doll- skinny, floppy and very small. I am trying to remember things that I did not write about back then or maybe glossed over. Continue reading “#throwback to 7 weeks a madre”

11 weeks a madre

Welcome to 11 weeks a madre! The photo above is from a walk we took last night around our neighborhood- hallelujah for daylights savings time!!! After looking at the photo I have to smirk and think that it doesn’t get much more Portland than this pic: birkenstocks, public display of nursing all while standing on a hand painted blossoming lotus in the middle of the street. What year is this!?!

We have ironed out a pretty good schedule thus far and I am quite pleased. Mo is going to bed 10/11PM and sleeping six to seven hours straight per night now and has been doing so for well over a week so, fingers crossed, it only gets better from here!

But I do have one issue. By the time my boy is stirring come 4 or 5AM my breasts are full. I know the practical answer it to wake up and pump but those hours of sleep are really helping me keep a smile on my face come daytime. So once he feeds early in the morning it goes pretty quick since the supply is so good. I figure what I am doing is not the best for my supply but it is really good for my sanity- the extra hours of sleep that is. Maybe in the coming weeks I will start to pump in the middle of the night and see how that goes.

Other updates include:

  • Mo is drooling a lot. His bibdanas are coming in really handy.
  • Eye contact is a big deal in our house. Mo loves sitting in a lap and staring at a friendly face. Smiling, mimicking and drooling.
  • The weather has been beautiful. I am really getting to marvel at the season and the changes that come with this time of year which I am feeling really grateful for.
  • I have been going to spin class At Burncycle the last few weeks and excited to continue going a couple times a week through the rest of my leave. I enjoy the dedicated time to myself and find a different challenge than my typical workouts. Major bonus being the positivity and inspiration that oozes from the class and instructors.

Finally, after 11 weeks maternity leave has me getting restless at home and anxious to get back to work. Taking any and all suggestions on how to enjoy my last few weeks and take advantage of this time with my boy.

xx Ly

birth story

A few friends have asked that I share our birth story. I have also heard from other women that it is worth writing down the memories I have, while I still have them, even though they most likely have been slipping away already. It is a long one, here goes…

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On Sunday, December 21st, we had a little dinner party with friends from work. It was an unseasonably warm night and after dinner we took a stroll down Peacock Lane, a popular street in our area that gets decked out for Christmas. It was about 11:30pm when I got into bed after everyone left. I remember feeling a really tense and strong movement from the baby. I assumed that he was running out of space and that’s why the kick felt so hard and slow. I got up to go to the bathroom and when I wiped I noticed some blood on the toilet paper but I didn’t really think anything of it. I returned to bed and throughout the course of the night I got up to go to the bathroom. Each time I was left with the blood on the toilet paper. No blood dripping out of me and no mess in my undies, just smears of it on the toilet paper.

When I finally awoke the next morning around 8:30, I didn’t remember the baby moving at all throughout the night so I drank some juice and laid down on my side hoping that the sugar would make the baby move.  I then called my doctor to give them my updates and determine what was going on. The on-call nurse asked if I had felt the baby move- since drinking the juice I had. I learned that the discharge meant I was in early labor but without my water breaking yet there was really no reason to come in. The nurse preceded to tell me that early labor can last anywhere from one day to one week.  With this info, I went about my day.

It was the Monday before Christmas and I had some last-minute shopping and errands to take care of.  I went to lunch, stopped by my mother’s house, did some shopping at the mall and for myself at Nordstrom and then finally came home around 6 p.m. Mike was meeting up with my cousin Joaquin to watch the Blazer game and I decided to stay home and rest after what I figured was just a bad case of cramps all day. Throughout the day, I did feel cramps every so often. I started to pay attention when they were hitting me every hour. I remember being in the car on the way to the mall and taking note of the time. It was 3pm. Then in the fitting room at Nordstrom I had another episode of said cramps right at 4pm. I was not in tune or smart enough to realize that these were contractions- I was 12 days out from my due date. Everyone had told me that I looked like I was 7 months pregnant, not 9, so I figured that this baby would be coming late.

I started to take note and record my contractions at around 7pm to see if they were progressing and if there was a pattern to them. Then around 8pm I sent Mike a text with my status, at this point contractions were five minutes apart or so. I was still not expecting these to be contractions and was sure it was all just false alarms. I was googling like crazy and referencing the handouts from our birthing class trying to make sense of my state.  When Mike got home around 9pm and I made him go for a walk with me. I had read that this could slow down the contractions in the event it was a false alarm. It did not really work.

Around 11pm, they were starting to become closer together and painful. I would lose my breath, squirm and then freeze my body to make myself feel better. Mike was in denial that we could be having this baby already while I was thinking it might actually be happening. We called the hospital to get their advice, they told us we could come in but did not tell us we had to. My water after all had not broken yet and without that indicator it was still likely that it was not the real deal. Mike suggested we try to go to bed and rest. I tried but had to get up every few minutes to get myself through a contraction. Finally at 12:30am, I told Mike I wanted to go to the hospital. We were both anxious but concerned that all of this had been a false alarm. The main takeaway we got from our birthing class was that too often first-time parents get to the hospital thinking they are in labor only to get sent home. We had too much pride for that to happen to us, on the drive over we joked about how embarrassed & what a disappointment it would be if they sent us home.

We arrived at the hospital at 1am. After checking in at the front desk, they brought a wheelchair for me to be rolled up to labor and delivery. I didn’t think, and still don’t think, I needed a wheelchair and asked if I had to use it. They said I had to. Once up on the fifth floor they checked us in and our nurse checked my cervix. She told me I was two centimeters, which I had been the week prior at my check up, so I figured they would tell us to go home. But then she told me that the baby was fully effaced and that we would be staying until we deliver, phew!

About 30 minutes later I was already at eight centimeters and they called in the anesthesiologist to get my IV in and have me prepped for my epidural. After receiving the epidural, we chilled out- for real. The contractions became much easier to handle, I could feel the pressure of my stomach contracting but no pain. At around 3am the doctor arrived. She checked me out and then decided at 3:30am that I should start pushing. I remember after my first push being frustrated that nothing seemed to be happening. I asked the nurse and doctor to coach me better. I did not like not knowing how to perform. After what I remember as five minutes of pushing, but was accurately 35 minutes, Mario Joaquin arrived at 4:05am on Tuesday December 23rd, 2014.

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By the time he arrived, we realized that we had not told anyone we were even at the hospital. We certainly hadn’t expected him to come eleven days early. Mike quickly texted my mom. After admiring him in the early morning hours, we did our best to rest and sleep but by 8am I was back up for the day, excited to share our news with our family and friends.

Soon after giving birth and sharing our story I learned that this was a very quick birth. We are lucky we made it to the hospital and that our boy arrived safe and sound. We brought him home on Christmas Eve and celebrated his arrival at our annual Christmas Eve dinner at my aunt & uncle’s house surrounded by family. You can read more about that here.
xx Ly

seven weeks a madre

7 weeks a madre


On Tuesday we hit seven weeks with Mo. Breastfeeding is a million times better and I am so thankful. His thrush has also cleared up so we are doing really good. I am anxious to see what he weighs at his next appointment. He is starting to get little rolls and definitely is bulking up. Lots of his newborn clothes no longer fit and we are definitely in the 0-3 months territory so that means he can start wearing the clothes that we have been gifted and that I bought him early on. I am quite jealous that the guy pretty much gets a new wardrobe every month or so!

Mo has begun to smile but is overall still pretty serious and most often has an inquisitive look on his face or furrowed eyebrows concentrating on looking and figuring something out. When he does smile it is most often first thing when he is up for the day. I hear him rustling next to me in bed and look over. He takes a big yawn and then gives a grin. I wish I could say that he smiles right at me, but no. He is usually looking up at the ceiling making a smile.

On the home front Mike had his first business trip last week. Weds- Saturday. I leaned on my family a lot and spent most of my time up the street with them- thanks fam! Mike and his business partner work from our house most days so it is really noticeable when he is out to meetings or on business travel. We now have Mike back with us all week before he heads out on another shoot next week. It is hard on me to have him gone, not having another sleepy person at home to commiserate with or the extra hand with bottles and diapers. Not to mention the fact that I am jealous of his travel schedule, he has Kenya on deck. Mo and I are looking to tag along to LA in March for a shoot they are scheduling. Looking forward to seeing friends in LaLaLand and spending sometime in the warm weather.

The dreamfeeding is something we are still working on, as is just defining a solid schedule. I have not determined what will work best for us but like the idea of him going down to bed on the later end so he can let me sleep in. We are not consistent with any schedule quite yet. Maybe while Mike is out on his next shoot Mo and I can work on nailing a schedule down.

I am on my third week of working out post partum. Mostly doing short runs and sometimes 15 minute NTC ‘get focused’ workouts. On Tuesday I went into the doctor for another check up and after being weighed learned that I had lost one pound since my last appt three weeks back. That was disappointing. I am only 10 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight and honestly lost most of the weight right after birth and then quickly with breast feeding. I attribute my minimal weight gain during pregnancy to my commitment to working out throughout the entire pregnancy. I actually ran up one of the steepest streets in Portland 12 hours before my first contraction. But now post partum I think I need to get more serious and diverse with my workouts. Looking forward to getting back to spinning soon and committing to that at least weekly for a good workout. I probably have to work on eating healthier and more balanced meals but will focus on working out initially cause that is what comes more naturally to me.

I am now rounding the corner on thinking this guy is pretty damn cute. Fresh outta the oven newborns have never really been my thing. But now that this guy is getting more expressive and beginning to show his little personality I am feeling the pride in being his madre. He is feeling more and more like my own little friend. I know this must sound bizarre to most, but It was not love at first sight. It was responsibility at first sight. He had my care and affection from the beginning but lately I am falling in love with the guy. My favorite thing ever is sleeping with him. Knowing he is safe, happy and fed in my arms with Mike beside us is pretty sweet.

That is all I have got at seven weeks.

xx Ly

5 weeks a madre

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Yesterday marked five weeks as a madre. I had been looking forward to going out for drinks last night with my girls, including Emi who has been in town the past week to meet Mo and spend some quality time with us. It has been great- she left this morning back to Brooklyn and we miss her already!!!

My plans were derailed as I began running a fever and got the sads while pumping with so much pain, after a quick consultation I learned that this was all likely due to a breast infection. The sore and raw nipples as well as the clogged ducts have all been adding to my discomfort and frustration with breastfeeding and the breast infection can be to blame for this. I have a new slew of treatments from my doc and am hopeful that things start to improve. Fortunately my girls understood and met up at our house to console, comfort and support me, with wine in hand! It was just what I needed. I still had (and have) the sore breasts but my spirits have definitely been lifted by them. THX Emi, Luella & Ash!!!

In other less graphic news Mike and I are getting more comfortable each and every day with our new companion. Initially I felt like he was not even really my baby- he had just arrive and yes I had been carrying him but I did not have a supernatural or spiritual connection to him that you hear some mothers profess. I felt a duty to care and comfort him but nothing magical. As I am watching him grow and change I am feeling more responsible and proud of him and myself. He is spending more time awake these days and makes the most handsome and cute expressions.

Like I said Mike is getting more and more confident taking care of this guy and my favorite thing is seeing these two guys together.

We are finally growing out of newborn size clothes getting closer and closer to 10 lbs (whoop! whoop!) My excitement to get new outfits into rotation is kind of embarrassing.

Mo’s favorite song these days is Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, it is on the spotify list that I play for him and you can tell the dude likes to jam.

thanks for reading!

xx Ly

few of my favorite things

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After three weeks and a couple days as a Madre I have already found just a few items that are making life with a newborn that much easier for me. Without further ado these are a few of my favorite things.

1) HANNA SOCKS: If you haven’t heard already, Hanna socks are the absolute best. In either fun prints or solid colors they are super cozy and soft. But more importantly they stay on your babies feet. I don’t know if their design is patented but it darn well should be. The socks feature an extra elastic cinch right at the ankle so they don’t fall off of the babies feet between outfit swaps or diaper changes. Don’t waste your time with any other socks for your infant, especially if they’re born in the colder months.

2) SOLLYBABY WRAP: I was so excited to use this as soon as we got home from the hospital. I tried it on with Mo within 30 minutes of walking in the door. I love how cozy he is in it. And how happy we both are to be hanging out together and that I get to be hands-free. I have both the gray stripe and the navy shibori print. I use it when walking around the house, doing emails, writing blog posts or out on walks with him bundled up below my jacket. I let him fall asleep in it or sometimes he is just wide-eyed looking at everything around us. It is probably my favorite baby purchase.

3) AMERICAN APPAREL CLUTCH: I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the right diaper bag for our family. The one I wanted was far more than I wanted to spend. And with our baby arriving 11 days early I didn’t really have the time to properly find a replacement. So instead I have been using a large, about 8.5 x 11 inches big, clutch from American Apparel. I keep wipes a change of clothes and diapers in the clutch and throw it in whatever handbag I’m using at the time or sometimes even just carry it as a clutch when out for a quick trip. So far, so good. It’s working great and I like how easy and practical it is.

4) BIBDANAS: These seem to be a recent phenomenon and pretty trendy for hip little babies. We were gifted quite a few at our various showers. As I understand it they are intended to be used once little babies begin to drool like crazy. But I’ve been using them as our little guy has begun to burp and spit up and also because they provide kind of a nice little cuddle to his tiny neck and exposed chest in his onesies. Their operating more like little scarves or handkerchiefs than bibs. Plus how could I say no it’s a little boy fashion accessories.

5) FRENCHIE DOG PILLOW: We got this at a local baby shop this week. I love it & hope Mo grows fond of it too. Currently the little doggie resides in the corner of Mo’s crib and I have noticed him making eye contact with the cute little face. Apparently babies love looking at faces, even puppy faces! After a little research I learned that the designer Kara Burke does custom pillows of your own pet! One of those might be in our future!

Any other infant favorites from you guys?

xx Ly

Three weeks a Madre

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Today Mario is three weeks old. Which obviously means that Mike and I have been parents truly, round-the-clock, taking care of him outside the womb for three weeks. So many people have said that the days of a newborn seem very long but at the same time very short. I don’t really have this feeling. Maybe it feels like it’s been a month which it already almost has. But it all seems quite manageable really. There have only been a couple moments where my hormones have taken over and I cried for no good reason or got frustrated with Mike for a small issue. Fortunately for our relationship he is understanding and I’m beginning to learn how to be apologetic (haha).

I’m trying to think through what I’ve learned or what has changed maybe since Mario came into our lives. The one truth that I want to record is that I feel like my admiration and love for Mike has grown. And I know that his for me has as well. I think we are both somewhat surprised at how well we feel we are adjusting to having this new person in our lives and in our bed. But also impressed with witnessing the natural ease of each other acting as his parents.

Mario so far seems to be an easy baby. He is very alert when he is awake but also a very good sleeper when he is sleeping. Nursing has gotten so much better. I think I need to do a post all about nursing soon… It’s such a hot topic.

He still only fits into his newborn clothes and fortunately at a few days old we went to Hanna Andersson and picked up a few cute items in NB size for him. We had practically zero NB items when we brought him home.

Those are my thoughts this morning on my third week as a Madre.

xx Ly

wehadababyitsaboy!

making la madre blog


When I started this blog I wanted to write and share about the experiences I was beginning to go through that were inevitably things that were turning me into a mother. As I write this it is Saturday December 27th 2014 at 4:26am (breast feeding) and have been a mother now for four full days. Mario Joaquín was born just after four AM on Tuesday December 23rd automatically crowning me a madre and Mike a starry eyed new father. We are all fortunate to report that his arrival was quick and uncomplicated. He weighed in at six pounds, five ounces, twenty inches long. We came home Christmas Eve mid day from the hospital and spent a short time at home before putting ourselves together for my aunt’s annual Christmas Eve dinner party.

Once we arrived, we confidently walked into her foyer placing Mo, snuggled in his car seat, in the center of the room as we discarded our coats to the coat closet. Soon enough a quiet curious group, which quickly turned into a swarm, had begun to form around him cooing and smiling as they gazed upon him. It was truly like a contemporary portrayal of Baby Jesus in his manger with the wise men, animals and magi adoring him. And like that we introduced Mario to the 30 or so family members that we celebrated Christmas Eve with.

I suddenly had tears in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks as I was congratulated by hugs, kisses and well wishes from aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a bit of a culture shock spending 36 hours under house arrest in our hospital room. I was unprepared for the jolt of emotion I felt and the outpouring of enthusiasm that everyone had to welcome us as a family of three.

Mo napped for the whole dinner and into the evening allowing us to spend time with family, enjoy the meal and to adjust and reflect on our first day in the real world with him.

More details and thoughts on my first days of motherhood coming up in the next week or so. And tomorrow some photos of my he baby room!

Thanks for reading! xx Ly

#followfriday Guest post

LIZ DENFELD MAKING LA MADRE BLOG


Today I want to introduce my friend Liz. She has been blogging for quite a few years and in April welcomed a super sweet little girl. She is still a newbie to parenting but has far more experience than I. So I asked Liz to share with me some advice for those first few weeks and months with a newborn and adjusting to motherhood. There is so much advice out there that I wanted to be sure to get some advice from someone who was as much like me as possible: we both work exciting and demanding jobs for the same company, live in the same city, are roughly the same age, have great personal style and put a high premium on going out to dinner & drinks!

Lots of good stuff in here, my personal favorites are #5, #8 & #9- a cookie!!!


Hi Making La Madre readers! I’m Liz, a relatively new mama to my 8-month-old daughter, Elodie. Lydia asked me to share some thoughts and tips on surviving those first weeks and months with your little one. I’m so glad she did! It’s been so fun reading along as Lydia explores this new life that awaits her. She’s in the home stretch now! I remember feeling exactly like she does now – moments of total excitement mixed with sheer panic. Completely normal. Most people fear the unknown – I know I did! But I’ve made it through eight months of motherhood and I’m happy to report that it’s pretty.freakin.awesome. Here are a few tips and tricks for surviving those first months home with your babe.

  1. It’s true what they say – you won’t be sleeping much those first few weeks. My advice is to forget the concept of “morning” and “night”. Just think of time as continuous, and then you won’t be as depressed when you’re going to bed (aka taking a 3 hour nap) at 7PM and up nursing at 3AM (instead of getting home from the bars…). This too shall pass.
  2. Shower and “get ready” every day (okay, most days). This will make you feel human and a whole lot happier.
  3. Take it easy for the first few weeks. There’s a lot of pressure for new mothers to be up and at ‘em not long after giving birth. Don’t give in to those pressures! Seriously. Lay in bed, cuddle your baby, RELAX. There will be plenty of time for getting out and about after the first month. Let people dote on you, bring you food, clean your house…
  4. Speaking of food. Don’t let anyone in your house without bringing a meal with them. Seriously.
  5. Before baby is born, go out to Trader Joe’s or New Seasons and stock up on your favorite snacks. Anything you can eat with one hand that isn’t just total junk. You’ll be so glad to have these healthy snacks around once dad goes back to work and you’re doing everything one-handed.
  6. Okay, this tip is going to sound a bit extravagant, but for me it was vital to my survival. Invest in a good coffee machine. For us, it was the Nespresso Vertuoline. Being able to whip myself up a latte whenever I wanted was not only necessary, but felt indulgent, too. I looked forward to it every morning (noon, and night…).
  7. Let your partner help. This wasn’t a big issue for me, but maybe it’s because I heard this piece of advice several times before Elodie was born. Let them change diapers, burp the baby, rock them to sleep, bathe them… The list goes on. It’s tough for some moms to let go and let their significant others do it their way, but your sanity depends on it. You can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all!
  8. Be kind to yourself. Of course I knew I wouldn’t be back in my pre-pregnancy jeans a week after E was born, but I will say that it was a lot harder for me to accept my post-partum body than I thought it would be. Things are squishy for a while, and it takes a bit for everything to move back into its place. Your clothes will fit different and that can make you feel weird (and maybe a little desperate). Just be patient and forgiving with yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight, but things will go back to normal!
  9. You really don’t realize just how fast an hour or two goes by until you have a newborn baby and they’re eating that often. You can easily come to the end of a day and feel like you’ve done nothing but feed your baby! That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but for me it was really important to find time at least once a day to do something for myself – take a bath, sit in a quiet room alone and read a few pages of a book or magazine, shop online, eat a cookie, whatever.
  10. Forget all the “rules” — the first three months (also known as the 4th Trimester) are all about survival mode. Hold your baby for every nap if you need (or want!) to, nurse him or her to sleep, give them a pacifier day one (or day two, like us). As a first time parent you are bombarded with advice and rules and you’re constantly questioning if you’re doing everything “right”. I’m here to tell you there is no right way to parent. Every baby is different, every situation is different. Trust your instincts (they will be there – you will hear them loud and clear) and don’t worry about anyone or anything else.

Most of all, just try to enjoy the tough but magical first weeks with your little one. I thought people were totally nuts when they looked at my two-week-old and said they missed the sleepless nights and newborn cries. Now I get it. It really is such a short period of time that passes quickly. Before you know it your little one will be eight months old, crawling all over the place, laughing and smiling! Life will be different, but it will be so very sweet.


Thanks so much Liz! Looking forward to more guest posts in the future from other friends and readers.

xx Ly