The Smith Project

patience

Learning to slow down

Life, The Smith ProjectAndrea Smith

I know 2016 was difficult for a lot of people and for some it wasn't so much. But to all I lift up my glass of water and say cheers to 2017 and good bye 2016 :-) 

At first I would of been one of those people that said 2016 was the worse, and yes 2016 was not the greatest year for me, but now looking back, the Lord was in every single moment, in every single breath, in every single thing that I did or did not do. He was everywhere, and for most of last year I chose not to believe in that. I chose to lean on my own strength, to put myself above my family, my friends, and God. You know what happened? I crashed. Hard. I had a seizure, in October, my weight and eating habits were terrible, my emotional state was in disarray, and I was very seriously going to walk away from my marriage, my family, my business, my life, and from the Lord. So yes, last year was a very hard year for me on every single level.

But you know what, after I had my seizure, I actually began to see things clearly. I thought at first and maybe it's still true that I had the seizure because of the devil, because of the constant warfare over my life, and that might have played a part in it, but when I looked at the bigger picture, and when the doctor told me I couldn't drive for six months, I had the biggest weight lift off of me. I was glad I couldn't drive! I was glad that I had to stay home with my son and look him in the face and be his mom! It was like the Lord was telling me STOP! Just stop Andrea! You are literally killing yourself and you are allowing the enemy the drive that knife a little deeper, you are allowing him to push you a little harder.

I saw a picture of myself in that moment me at the fork in the road. Which path will you choose I heard, and what I saw was path that looked nice but at the very end it changed into death. Then I saw the other path that didn't look to awesome either lol, it was narrow and baron, but somehow I knew deep in my heart that fruit would come forth if I chose that path. I took a deep breath, reached out my hand to no one at the time, but then looked up and there He was, waiting and smiling at me, and I chose the road less traveled. 

So the past couple of months the Lord has taught me a few things. To slow the heck down, take a deep breath, and be in the moment; yet look toward the future for He has good things in store for me then I can ever imagine. I just need to trust that He knows what He's doing. That I am not missing anything, everything in His timing is the best timing. 

5 Ways to Breast with Success

Motherhood, Pregnancy, FamilyAndrea SmithComment

Breastfeeding. Women have been using their boobies to feed their children for thousands of years. But what people lack to tell you is how freaking hard it is!

You've probably heard that babies naturally latch onto your breast when they lay your baby on your chest for the first time. Ya that's like the 1% buddy! I don't know a single person who has had an easy, breezy, beautiful Covergirl breastfeeding experience. All of you who have. I seriously give you mad props. I am truly happy that you didn't have to experience hardship when it came to breastfeeding.

But for the 99.9% of women I know who have had cracked nipples. mastisis, yeast infections, thrush, lip/tongue ties, teeth biting off nipples. You know, #thestruggleisreal

Don't get me wrong I do enjoy and appriecate the fact that my body can produce milk for my baby and give him all the vitamins and nutrients he needs. But if you are a first time mom or soon will be, please please please find a breastfeeding support group. Find friends or family that know how to breastfeed and ask for help. Having these two things are so important and critical for you to have a successful breastfeeding experience.

So here are some tips to have a good experience while breastfeeding. Whether you're a working mom or stay at home mommy, you can do it and don't give up! It's hard but you've got this ;-)

1.) Find a local breastfeeding support group

I can't emphasize enough how much this saved my life. When you are home on maternity leave and you are struggling at the house, you really need encouragement and support from others. My friend (who was pregnant at the same time as me) told me about this breastfeeding support group that the hospital does on specific days. I went and it was so encouraging to me that I wasn't alone in the struggle, and even better was seeing moms who had older babies than mine that were still having issues. As your baby grows and changes so does breastfeeding, there's different stages that you go through that I didn't know about.

2.) Nursing bras

Dude. You need to invest in some serious nursing bras. Yes I know they are expensive but you will not regret it. Plus you can always give it a shot for like a week or so and if it's not working out for you make your husband take it back! Duh! Some of the brands that seem to be super popular and also that I like wearing are the following...Bravado, Motherhood Maternity, Target, Walmart. Try a bunch of different ones and see what works for you. If you tend to leak a lot I would recommend getting a few day time bras and then getting a nighttime bra from like Target.

3.) Disposable nursing pads vs. Clothe

Honestly I use both. The best disposable nursing pads I've found are Johnson and Johnson. They are comfortable, stay in place and soak up a lot of milk if you get engorged and are leaking like a fountain. Clothe I use during the day which keeps me fairly dry and the disposable I use at night. They work great for me and you should try both to see which is most comfortable and conveint for you.

4.) Be patient and give grace

Patience is not one of my strong giftings. I struggle with it everyday to not be critical of others and of myself. I tend to have high expectations for myself and project that unto others. So regardless of what people have said about the baby naturally latching unto your breast which is true in some but rare cases, your baby has no idea what it's doing. Just like you have no idea what you're doing with this creature you just made for the past 9 months. You must, must, must give your baby grace and just as importantly give yourself grace. You just delivered a baby, your life will now be forever changed with screams, cries, hugs and laughter forever. The times when you get super frustrated with yourself or your baby, take a deep breath and try again. If you are still struggling to get your baby to latch or whatever, ask your spouse (if they are there) to take the baby for a minute. Put a binky in there mouth or your finger and they will quiet down for a minute for you to gather your thoughts and calm down.

5.) Spouse support

Your spouse can't breastfeed your baby but he can help you with the baby. You can pump and have dad feed the baby while you go take a nap. When the baby is screaming and you are about to lose your cool he can stick he's finger in the baby's mouth and they will suck on that for awhile for comfort. He can encourage you or if you need to vent you can ask him to listen to you and hold you while you cry it out with how hard it's going. Your spouse can do a lot more than you think. Trust me. All the above I've been through it. I seriously would have given up if my husband didn't encourage me, comfort me or support me with breastfeeding. Even though it's primarliry a mom and child experience, your spouse can and should be very involved with the process. Our nightly routine is Jared gets Liam ready for bed while I get ready for bed and he gets me water, gets me my iPad (I like to play games on it or Pinterest everything) hands me the baby as I get situate for our last feeding of the night and we're good to go. This process has been so helpful after a long day of work and taking care of everyone else, he takes care of the baby and helps me out even for a few mins.

Again you can do this! It's hard but you will be so happy you stuck with it. I promise you. I don't know a mom who has ever regretted breastfeeding her baby. #gohardorgohome