Name: Nicole Reilly
Number of kids and ages: Two kids, 23 months and 3.5
The most surprising thing about being a first-time mom is as much as you intellectually know your world is going to change once that baby arrives, you don't fully understand it until that baby is there. I thought I would never want to be a stay at home mom. I loved my job as a teacher and was dedicated to my career so my plan was to return after my maternity leave. I completely respected people who made the choice to stay home but I just didn't see that as something I wanted for myself. I completely surprised myself when my maternity leave came to an end and I was supposed to return to work, but I knew in my heart that I couldn't. At least not yet. It surprised me how quickly my priorities, goals, and dreams changed. It made me reevaluate what I wanted and I did a lot of thinking about that which eventually led me to founding Dear Hayden.
My expectation vs. experience breastfeeding was I had some friends who really struggled to breastfeed and had a lot of pain associated with it so I was expecting to have a similar experience. I was incredibly fortunate that both of my breastfeeding journeys were relatively smooth and pain-free. The most challenging aspect of breastfeeding for me was feeling like I was on a 3 hour timer. I knew that every 3 hours I needed to either nurse or pump regardless of what I was doing and that definitely weighed on me. I will say that I was sad both times at the end of my breastfeeding experience because it was such an incredible bonding experience. I wish I had known about the Lunnie nursing bra when I was nursing. I must have bought 15 different nursing bras and none of them excited me!