Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Favorite Things of March: New Mom & Baby Edition + Links to Buy

Miracle Blanket - Swaddle. Swaddle. Swaddle for sound sleep!

Dr. Brown’s Bottles - Baby seems to like these best + prevent swallowing air

Gerber Smooth (probiotic) + Vitamin D - I drop in bottle prior to nighttime feeding

Bouncer - Inexpensive & allows momma to work/shower while baby relaxes

Honest Diapers - Great coverage and no chemical smell like other brands

Diaper Bag - Love this! Lots of room and compartments for easy-to-grab wipes, changing pad, and even has an insulated pouch for bottles

Projector + White Noise - Projects multiple images and has quite a few different noise options to help Lawson sleep. We’ve been set on the ‘Beach Wave’ option for weeks!

Boba Wrap/Baby Bjorn - Boba wrap is great because it gives the baby that “in the womb” feel and keep him/her skin on skin. The Baby Bjorn is great, too, and is a snap to put on. I like using it during the warm weather, so you and baby aren’t sweating on one another.

Bottle Warmer - Although our son doesn’t mind his bottle milk being cold straight from the refrigerator, we do use this warmer from time to time. It’s easy as pie to use and it gets the job done for the inexpensive price. 

When you're wanting to go hands-free and multitask while you pump! I ordered this from Amazon (Size Med) and it has been such a great help to be able to work on my computer while also pumping meals for my baby. One day I even pumped while getting ready doing my hair and makeup. Hands-free is the way to be ;)

Friday, March 11, 2016

My Top 10 Necessities for Postpartum Recovery

Stool Softener + Tuck Wipes - A two for one on my list. Two essentials that will make your life a dream if you have them. A living nightmare if you don’t. For whatever reason, giving birth causes things to get a little backed up when comes to going numero dos in the bathroom. In addition to things being backed up, it can be extremely daunting and/or painful to have that initial numero dos if you had a delivery that required stitches. Take it from me, start using both of these items ASAP!

Sitz Bath - God’s gift to postpartum women! Easy to find at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Will help soothe any problems you may have related to what I was talking about above!

Dermoblast - You will most likely be introduced to this in the hospital and will probably be given a can to go home with. I also purchased a couple of my own to have as back up. It was amazing in relieving pain and itching that is associated with stitches and soreness. Get the blue can, NOT the red! The red is an anti-bacterial that I can imagine doesn’t feel all that great when sprayed on your delicates.

Perineal Irrigation Bottle - You probably have already figured out that going to the bathroom for the first couple of weeks is going be a big feat. But if you didn’t already realize it, it’s also going to be next to impossible to make use of toilet paper in the ways you usually would. This little plastic bottle will step in and be a life saver in the absence of TP. Just fill with warm water and have it ready to go for every bathroom trip. It will help clean and soothe.

Adult Diapers - Ok, it sounds weird calling them adult diapers, but that’s I lovingly referred to them as and it stuck! Some women may choose to wear pads, but I opted for a comfortable full-coverage option like these. This was one of those things that no one ever told me about having a baby. That for weeks and possibly even months following delivery, your body goes through a "shedding" process of bleeding to get rid itself of all the extra blood and tissue it needed to nourish your baby during pregnancy. You can't use tampons, so whatever you use, make sure it's comfortable and gives you great coverage.
Elastic Pants - Do I really need to give you a reason to wear comfy pants? You will want to wear pants that aren’t tight around your waist (especially if you are recovering from a C-section), but also ones that are easy to maneuver. You will be taking lots of trips to the potty and to change your sanitary pads/diapers.

Lightweight Pajamas - Due to all the hormones raging through your body that are trying to adjust and regulate back to normal levels, you may experience some excessive perspiration. I did! Especially when I slept. I thought I was pre-menopausal with all the crazy hot flashes and night sweats I was experiencing, but apparently this is extremely common among postpartum women. So, I adjusted my sleeping environment (turned down the AC, slept with a fan in the room) and traded out my flannel pajamas for lightweight cotton shorts and tank top. As precaution, I also slept with a towel under me for the first couple of weeks.
Lanolin - For your girls that may experience a little irritation and chapping from all the frequent feedings from your little babe, as well as pumping sessions. It is safe to use while breastfeeding and can be purchased at your local grocery store or online via Amazon Prime

Coffee - If you don’t already love it, you will. And you are going to need more of it than you think. I could not have imagined surviving the first two weeks home with a newborn without some sort of caffeine. 

A Good Sense of Humor - An absolute must! From the moment you step into the hospital, prepare to humble yourself. People you’ve never met are going to be seeing places of your body that maybe you’ve never even seen. You are going to do things you’d never thought you’d do, and nurses are going to assist you with tasks you never thought you might need help with. Your husband will also be of great help during your birth and postpartum recovery. Hopefully he too has a good sense of humor. He’s going to be your best friend that can make runs to the grocery store for more pads, stool softener, and sitz bath supplies. Postpartum recovery is A BEAST. Just go into it with a sense of humor and I promise you’ll be fine. 

Funny but USEFUL Gifts from my Hubby

*My Biggest NO-NO* — Although you may be curious to check on things, for the love of God, try to avoid taking a mirror anywhere near DOWN THERE. Especially if you had any sort of tears/lacerations during the birthing process. Just don’t do it! Let the body do it’s thing! Of course, if you’re stubborn like me and you look anyway despite all of the advice not to, just know that things DO go back to the way they were. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself. At this point, I’m almost 6-weeks postpartum and everything “down under” looks 100% back to normal. But those first couple of weeks, just a tad scary and I would caution you to avoid mirrors at all costs because of it. Just want to save you from any added anxiety you may or may not experience after seeing the battle wounds. Hehe!

Good Luck, Girlfriend! Postpartum is tough, but your little angel makes it 1000% worth it. Yeah, a thousand percent. I said it :)

Friday, March 4, 2016

TRUE LIFE: Living with a Newborn

Living with a Newborn: It is both incredibly amazing and incredibly hard.

Incredibly Amazing: The little LIFE that you carried in your womb for 9 months and that you birthed into the world, is now safe and sound earth-side and is YOURS forever —— also incredibly amazing and could be another blog submission of its own is how stinkin’ CUTE they are — which, let’s be honest, is WHY they can get away with half the stunts they pull that make living with a newborn kinda sorta incredibly hard ;)

Incredibly Hard: That same little precious life now enjoys long bouts of crying for no reason, peeing on walls during diaper changes, and living like a vampire by sleeping during the day and wanting to party and stay up at night

Case in point — here is a typical day in our household that is shared by the following roommates:
Me, Hubby J, Two Labs Jackson and Bella, and then the star of the show, 3-Week-Old Lawson

7:00 AM - Lawson wakes and is ready to eat, Dogs are exhausted from a long night of wake ups and refuse to get out of bed - J getting up 

7:15 AM - Diaper Change, Clothes Change

7:30 AM - I attempt to pump while J gets ready for work and tends to Baby Law

8:00 AM - J has left for work and I am now solely in charge (Terrifying! What if I break him?)

8:15 AM - Baby in one hand, coffee in the other (maybe a couple of sips, if I’m lucky)

8:30 AM - Attempt to set Baby Law down as I try to make breakfast

8:32 AM - Baby Law caught on to my scheme and lets out a loud squeal - clearly not digging his swing!

8:33 - 8:45 AM Console and try to get Baby Law happy again

9:00 AM - Second and sometimes third attempt at breakfast (L is finally dozing off for a nap)

9:05 - 9:10 AM - Scarfing down breakfast (maybe a piece of toast - no time to make the the eggs) as fast as I can while I watch and wait for L to wake up at any moment

9:10 AM - Ahhhh, breakfast complete. L is sleeping. Time to get some chores done.

9:11 AM - “Yeah right, Mom” I imagine Baby Law thinking as he stirs from his slumber and reminds me that it’s time for his second breakfast. Chores can wait.

9:12 - 10 AM - Feeding, Diaper Change, Fresh pair of clothes, Singing, Rocking, Tummy time, Snuggles with Mom, and finally L drifts back to sleep

10 AM - 12 PM - An incredibly amazing 2 HOUR NAP (done by baby, not me)
Although this is when I should be sleeping, like a knucklehead I use this time to catch up on cleaning, laundry, work emails, etc -- Although lets not kid myself. I look at work emails and get distracted before I end up being able to reply to them. Must go wash the poop out of the baby blankets!

NOON - Another feeding, another diaper change, and quite possibly another fussy baby.

12:45 - 1:30 PM - Outdoor Vitamin D time via stroller in the backyard - pausing to play fetch with my other two children (Jackson and Bella - our just as needy labrador children)

1:30 - 2:00 PM - Baby decides he’s over the backyard and is hungry again — feeding, diaper changing, playing the staring game with momma ensues (I love this part! long as he stays happy!)

2:00 - 3:00 PM - L is wide awake. Not interested in a nap right now. Not interested in being sat down in a bouncer, in a swing, or on his tummy. He just wants to be held and burped and stare at his mom. I oblige :)

3:00 PM - It’s time for ELLEN! Yes, the TV show. No matter what kind of day I’m having, this gal always makes me smile and somehow makes it better. Fortunately, Baby Law seems to have a mutual respect for this because he loves to snuggle up and sleep on my chest for the hour-long program

4:00 - 7:00 PM - During this time frame is when J gets home from work and gets his well-deserved Daddy & Baby time. It’s also the time where I get to sit down and pee without a baby monitor, or without being in a frantic rush because I hear a crying baby in another room. I also even sneak in a couple of minutes in a hot shower and jam some loud Destiny’s Child tunes. Better hurry though. Is that a crying baby I hear? Following my shower and another feeding for L, J and I take turns handing off the baby to do things like cook dinner, check the mail, play with the doggies, pick up the house, etc. I also try to fit in another pumping session before bed, as we well as a quick walk around the neighborhood with the whole family. Once dinner is devoured (one-handed mind you - because again little babes is always up from a nap at the EXACT MOMENT we get sat down to have a meal), we then try to start winding down the day with some adult conversation, an oatmeal bath for L, another feeding, diaper change, and pre-bed swaddle session.

8:00 - 10 PM - Lawson’s favorite time of the day to be fussy for no apparent reason. He has been nursed, been changed, been bathed, been loved on, been held, been snuggled, been bounced, been burped, been sang to, been hugged, been kissed, been prayed over, been kissed some more. The truth of the matter is, the kid just ISN’T tired at this time no matter what we try. And really, it’d be cool with me to stay up and party with him during this time if he was a chill little dude and wanted to catch up on Netflix with me. But no, these two hours are more often than not spent trying to console our loudly crying baby. Pacing the floors of our house with our two labs right on our heels making sure we aren’t harming him. Night owl, colic, or normal nighttime infant fussiness? Who knows. Who cares. It just breaks my heart when we can’t get our precious little person to stop crying for at times, what feels like hours on end.

11 PM - Okay, praise Jesus! Baby L is finally calm, content, swaddled and is laid down in his bassinet. Time for J and I to hurry and get to bed ourselves! Love you! Mean it! Goodnight!

1:00 - 1:45 AM - Baby Wakes, Feeding, Burp, Rock back to Sleep (J’s shift)
3:00 - 3:45 AM - Baby Wakes, Feeding, Burp, Rock back to Sleep (J’s shift)
5:00 - 5:45 AM - Baby Wakes, Feeding, Burp, Rock back to Sleep (My Shift)
NOTE: Not all feedings go smoothly as planned. Sometimes Lawson falls asleep mid-dining, or gets ultra fussy from gas filling up his tummy. So, some feedings to back down to sleep last about 45 minutes. But some last longer. Similarly, some nights Lawson goes longer between feeding sessions, and then other times, he wants to wake up every hour on the hour. Either way, I'm just happy as heck that I have the MOST AMAZING partner in all of this and helps me in every way he can.

7:00 AM — Time to wake up and start the day all over again!  Tired. Eyes Puffy. Hair a Mess. Breastmilk and Spit up all over PJs. Roll over and see the little angel face that makes every single moment of mommy-hood worth it.

There ya have it. An extremely generalized day for us. Some days are amazing and some days are incredibly hard. Some days I get through the day with all smiles, but then other days I break down and cry as often as my newborn. Regardless of how the day went, ALL DAYS are so appreciated. We are so in love with our little. We are so blessed to have him, hold him, and be his parents. I cannot imagine a more beautiful and precious little soul and I look so forward to being is momma and sharing a beautiful and precious little life with him.