Baby #2 – Pregnancy Update Week 23

I am a teacher and school starts next week!

I am also 6 months pregnant. Funny tidbit, when last school year started I was 8 months pregnant.

I am moving from 2nd grade to 4th grade! I am very excited to get to work with the bigger kiddos but switching classrooms while being the mama of a 10 month old and pregnant has been challenging.

My update this week is short and sweet because I have so much to do to make sure week 1 is a success. The way the year begins is the way the year will end.

Pregnancy Update Week 23:

  • I ate TWO cans of sardines this week. They are super nutritious and honestly, did not taste as bad in my mouth as they did in my head. I should have started eating this superfood sooner. Some other fish have a lot of health benefits too, but I favor sardines because they are already cooked!
  • My belly feels BIG. My belly grew a lot this last week and is officially limiting what I can do. I’m working on an art project to hang above our bed and my belly started protested to all the time I spent working on the floor bent over.
  • Also, my calves and feet are started to swell when I sit for longer than an hour. Something I discovered at a teacher training this week. I will remind myself to constantly move and constantly rest. A delicate balance.
  • Baby In the Belly has been moving so much this week. I think it’s because I’ve been to a lot of teacher trainings where I have to just sit and listen so I’m not moving around as much to rock baby to sleep.
  • Baby Outside of the Belly has finally gotten a second toof and has the cutest sounding laugh I’ve ever heard. I will do just about anything to make that baby laugh.

Bump Photo at 23 Weeks 

 

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Orange Room Progress: Closet Organization

My orange room was not baby friendly. Naturally Declan was drawn to the orange room. I knew immediately after watching him venture over to the bookshelf full of scrapbooking and sewing materials that I needed to put everything in the closet. I already had the white bookshelf and we got the black shelving from Costco for $20. Super pleased with how it turned out. Now Declan can come into my orange room with me and explore it somewhat safety. I still have some baby-proofing to go. Babies will just find anything they aren’t supposed to!

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Baby #2 Pregnancy Update – Week 22

 

Due Date:  December 1st

Size of Baby:  Grapefruit. I always have Dillon guess and he says the fruits/veggies don’t line up. I have to agree. Last week baby was a carrot and this week a grapefruit?? Hmm…

Gender: Waiting to find out until the big day.

Eating/Craving: Pears! I used to make homemade pearsauce, like applesauce but just pears, and when we were grocery shopping I smelt the pears and proceeded to buy 10. I would say with this pregnancy pears were the first thing so far that I. Had. To. Have. 

Mama Physically:
No real complaints. Sometimes extra sleepy. Pregnancy has been kind to me. I’m still able to move around with Declan and don’t feel any major physical restrictions yet.  I’m loving how I’ve finally started to gain some weight, about 5-7 pounds depending on the time of day.

Mama Emotionally:
I am thinking about how this baby will look and act. I’m really interested to see how Declan and this baby will be different. I’ve really only been around Declan, so everything I know about babies is just true to him. For instance, he does not like stuffed animal toys very much. He prefers spatulas or spoons or remotes or whatever is hard. He has one stuffed animal he favors sometimes and it makes my heart melt when he carries it around with him. But he usually just carries a big plastic spoon. I wonder if new baby will be the same or if all of Delcan’s soft toys will get some playtime finally!

The second pregnancy is different because…
I’m already a mom. Dillon’s already a dad. When this baby arrives, we will know how to change his/her diaper. Dillon won’t be surprised by the meconium. We will  know how to put the baby to sleep. We know about cluster feeding and just how often a newborn eats and sleeps and poops. We aren’t baby experts, but we are no longer newbies. I’m not watching youtube videos on how to swaddle a baby. Dillon won’t have to figure out how to install the baby’s carseat. I’m not looking up other mamas’ lists of What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag or what items are Must-Haves for a Newborn.

I am already a mom, and God willing, all the mommy tools I have in my belt will come in handy. I don’t want to get over confident since baby could live life way differently than Declan.

What’s New With Baby #1?  Declan – 9 months old
Declan is officially sleeping in his bedroom in his crib! I loved bedsharing with him in the beginning months and for a month or so he has been sleeping in his pack n’play or crib, but still in our bedroom. This week we moved the crib into his bedroom. He naps in his bedroom and he sleeps in his bedroom. This is major because for the first 8 months he was in our bed in our bedroom.

I was a tad heartbroken to see him sleeping in his own room, but then I remembered, I’ll have another baby sleeping in my room in about 4 months, so not too sad about it.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do differently is…
I would love to announce the birth of our baby to the neighbors by putting out pink or blue balloons in the front yard by the street. I’ve seen other houses with balloons out front and I really want to do that this time, too. I probably won’t see the neighbors for at least a week or so after baby is born, but I’d love to still include them in the celebration.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do the same is…
While at the hospital, stock up on as many postpartum feminine care products as possible. I asked the nurses last time for extra pads, extra mesh underwear, extra witch hazel pads, extra numbing spray, and anything else they would give me. They were super accommodating and it was such a relief to not need to make a trip to Target.

A tough mommyhood moment this week:
Looking up daycares. Declan has never been to a daycare before. He’s barely even been babysat. Summer is almost over and that means teachers must return to work.  The thought of him in daycare makes me cry. Which I know is part first time mommy and part pregnancy hormones.

How noticeable is a 10 month old amongst a group of 4th graders???

Big sigh. I know we have been spoiled and Declan has been spoiled to get these 10 months together. But I can’t stop thinking about how much attention he gets from us and how I sing to him and rock him to sleep for his naps. And how he has a super awesome set schedule with eating and independent play and exercise play and naps and outdoor time and man, oh man. His little world is just going to turn upside down.

Right now Dillon is still able to stay home with him for a few weeks, but I know daycare is inevitable with two working parents.

I know daycare won’t be as bad as I’m envisioning it. All I can see are the possible negatives. I am blinded by thoughts of other kiddos germy spit on all the toys and the kids poking each other in the face and the older 2 year old kiddos being obsessed with babies and trying to carry him. I picture him at nap time just standing in a pack n’play crying his heart out searching for me or his daddy and not understanding why we aren’t there with him.

Oh man. I think this will be my hardest parenting move yet. Learning to let go.

I know there are positives to daycare, too. He will probably love it. But my mommy heart is just sad about it all. Even as I write this I am crying. It is going to be tough when I have to drop him off for daycare.

A sweet mommyhood moment this week:
With Declan now in his own room, sleeping from roughly 6:30 PM to 5:30 AM, Dillon and I have gotten some time to ourselves. We have been sharing a bedroom and bed with a baby for over 8 months! We had forgotten what it was like to be able to talk in bed, read in bed with a light on, and not tiptoe around everywhere. We even moved our toothbrushes back to our master bathroom because we don’t have to worry the sound will wake the baby! Reclaiming our bedroom has been really great for mommy and daddy. Haha, although there still is a baby in bed with us… getting bigger and claiming more territory every day.

How I did with #PregnancyGoals Last Week

  • Eat fish.
  • Sort through Declan’s old clothes
  • Drink raspberry leaf tea daily
  • Continue 30 minute morning walks

#PregnancyGoals for next week:

  • Drink raspberry leaf tea daily
  • Continue looking up baby names
  • Pray for baby – this is a lifetime goal and reminder to seek God for help with this baby
  • Pretend I’m on Amazing Race and eat lots of sardines quickly

Bump Photo at 22 Weeks

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Orange Room Progress: Paint It White

My orange room, as I call it, was designed to be my ultimate creative area. To sew, to write, to create. The color orange is supposed to spark creativity. It’s bright and happy. So I painted all the walls in the room orange. Orange is bright. Painting the whole room orange was a big error. The orange room did not spark creativity. The orange room was hard to breathe in. It was so so bright. I was James. You know, in the peach. It was not good.

But it took me a while to step back, let go of some pride, and admit that yes, it was a (rather obvious) mistake. I stood my ground for so long because I remember Dillon and others questioning my decorating brilliance, but they were right. It was too orange. Way too orange. So I took down the very few decorations I had added because I knew I had to change something. The room just felt awful to be inside of. 

I have major decorating anxiety so I am proud of myself for trying something bold. And thankfully, I have learned from my mistake. Paint isn’t permanent. It may seem like an obvious decorating mistake, but I had to paint an entire room orange to realize it’s just overkill. So I went back to Home Depot to find the right shade of white. I thought if I painted one wall white then the room would mellow out.

I was wrong. The room still glowed. The orange seemed to just get reflected off the white. So I repainted two walls white. Well, I painted one wall white. The room got neglected for a few weeks, I found out I was pregnant, so then I asked Dillon to paint the other wall because the fumes and smells were too much for this pregnant lady. #hallelujahforhusbands

With two walls back to white, the room no longer glowed! The orange is beautiful and my craft room is finally coming together. I can breathe again in the room.

Stay tuned for more orange room progress! Take a look back at other orange room posts here and here.

Do you have decorating anxiety? Have you ever made a big mistake in decorating? 

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Baby #2 Pregnancy Update – Week 21

Due Date:  December 1st

Size of Baby: Carrot

Gender: We are going to be surprised. I was reading my medical updates on the hospital app and thought I accidentally found out the gender! My whole body got hot and I panicked because I did not want to find out through a phone app. Turns out I misread the chart and it was just Declan’s gender. Oops!

Eating/Craving:  Soy sauce, popcorn. Whatever is salty. Salty over sweet for sure. I can barely stomach sweets right now, with the exception of cookies and fruit. With my other pregnancy I also had an aversion to sugar. After Declan was born I went crazy with milkshakes, but each time I try to eat one while pregnant, I’m just not interested.

Mama Physically:
Sleepy. I’ve been taking or wanting to take naps nearly every day. There’s a strong afternoon slump arising. I’ve also gained 4 pounds this week! I’ve only gained 6 pounds total for the pregnancy so far, so the weight gain and sleepiness must be connected.

Mama Emotionally:
Happy and thankful. Sadly, summer is almost over and I don’t want to spend the rest of summer anything but happy and thankful for this time home with Dillon and Declan. People give teachers kudos for working with 20-30 kids all day, but I have to give kudos to people who have jobs that never have a finish line except retirement.

The second pregnancy is different because…
I have only made two green smoothies. With Declan’s pregnancy, I had a green smoothie every single morning. I think I overdid it and am just not ready for them again. I’ve been steaming spinach to get my leafy greens and if I do make a smoothie, I make it with mostly all tropical fruits. Dillon’s not a fan of green smoothies, but if I make it taste like Jamba Juice he is all for it.

What’s New With Baby #1?  Declan – 9 months old
He had to go to baby jail. 🙁 Before having a baby I was not a fan of baby gates. They seemed like a waste of money and inconvenient for the parents. How naive of me. They are amazing and keep baby safe. And mommy and daddy don’t have to constantly go pick him up before he reaches Mattie’s food and water dishes. His baby gate keeps him out of the kitchen and inside our open living room.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do differently is…

Make freezer meals. All the lists said to make freezer meals, but I just didn’t want to bother with my last pregnancy. As a result, we had a lot of snacks and takeout when Declan was born. I would love to have a good stash of frozen meals ready to go when this baby is born. Dillon is normally the main chef at this house, and I really don’t want him tied to the kitchen when his energy would be better spent taking care of Declan, taking care of mommy, and snuggling up with the newborn.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do the same is…

With Declan, I was able to have a unmedicated, intervention-free, natural hospital birth. It was everything I could have imagined and I would love to delivery the next baby in mostly the same way. There are a few things I would like to try differently, but my goal this time is also for a natural delivery if everything lines up.

A tough mommyhood moment this week:
I am officially done breastfeeding Declan at 9 months. I really wanted to go a year or longer breastfeeding him, but my milk stopped coming in strong when I got pregnant and has been gradually decreasing each month. It was a tough transition to only formula, but my body has switched gears to pregnancy and if the milk won’t come, the milk won’t come. I tried some lactation cookies and a few other tricks, but I had to accept that my breastfeeding journey with Declan is over. Or at least on hold until my milk comes back with the new baby.

A sweet mommyhood moment this week:
Nighttime cuddles before bed. Right before I put Declan down for his bedtime, I sing him one or two short lullabies. For the past week or so he has been sinking his face into my body, snuggling up as close as he can get. I know it’s because he doesn’t want to me to put him down for bedtime, but I love feeling him snuggle up against me, even for those few quick moments. He used to snuggle me all the time when he was younger, but he has the world to explore now! I treasure any small snuggles he gives.

How I did with #PregnancyGoals Last Week

  • Eat any kind of fish.
  • Sort through Declan’s old clothes
  • Think about how I want to do Declan’s baby book
  • Sort through my closet

#PregnancyGoals for next week:

  • Eat fish. I do take cod liver oil pills, but I need some healthy fish in my diet.
  • Sort through Declan’s old clothes
  • Drink raspberry leaf tea daily
  • Continue 30 minute morning walks

Bump Photo at 21 Weeks

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My Magical Week Due Date

This baby’s due date is December 1st. I previously wrote about Declan’s haunted due date, and well, this baby’s due date is not haunted, but it is significant. December 1st is significant because it falls in the days transitioning from Thanksgiving to December. That week is hands down my favorite week of the year for about a thousand different, legit reasons. It’s a truly magical week.

It’s the week where Christmas is officially coming.

It’s the week where no cooking takes place because the fridge is full of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers.

It’s the week to have pumpkin pie for breakfast.

Perhaps that week we go Christmas tree hunting and the house begins to smell like Christmas. Perhaps we turn on the fireplace and hang up the Christmas stockings while drinking a cup of hot chocolate in a big red mug.

It’s the week radio stations start to play Christmas music. Shoppers find great deals on Black Friday. The neighbors are outside hanging up their Christmas lights and the neighborhood begins to light up at night in celebration of Jesus’ Birthday.

It’s the week people get into the holiday spirit. It’s no longer weird to see Christmas decorations at every store. Christmas cards start arriving in the mail. It’s the week I’ll bring out all the Christmas books and read How The Grinch Stole Christmas to Declan at bedtime, who will of course be wearing some type of holiday pajamas.

When I first did the google search for a due date calculator and December popped up, I was a bit unsure. December is already a busy month. But God knows exactly what he is doing. I absolutely adored having a Fall baby last year and now I get a little Winter baby! Next year Spring baby?? Just kidding, that’s not mathematically possible.

I am overjoyed to add into this magical week the due date of our next baby.

How great would it be if the hospital is decorated for Christmas!?

When was your baby’s due date? Was there something significant to you about that date? 

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Baby #2 Pregnancy Update – Week 20

Due Date:  December 1st   – let it snow, let it snow, let it snow 

Size of Baby: Banana

Gender: Don’t know. We are waiting again but I’m more anxious to find out this time…

Eating/Craving:  Pineapples. Cantaloupe. Strawberries. Watermelon. Peaches. Bananas. Mangos. Just give me all the fruit.

Mama Physically:
Barely even feel pregnant. Praise! Still doing 30 minute walks most mornings and about once or twice a week going swimming. I’m normally not a napper, but this last week I have been enjoying a few long afternoon summer naps.

Mama Emotionally:
Up and down this week. One thing that really helped me emotionally was to go maternity clothes shopping. One might think since I just had a baby 9 months ago that I am all stocked up on maternity clothes. Well I am not. With Declan I bought as few maternity clothes as possible, mostly dresses, and they got worn and washed and worn and washed and worn and washed until they should just get tossed. I did not feel pretty or happy in them. So we went out to the mall as a family, Declan’s first trip to the mall because we hardly buy clothes, and I had so much fun in Motherhood Maternity. I loved it all. I left with a a shirt, a pair of jeans, and a dress. I also got a few regular tank tops from Old Navy one size up that will last most of my pregnancy. Aaannd I ordered a few things online from Motherhood Maternity that they didn’t have the color/size I wanted in the store.

Maternity clothes are expensive. But like all my clothes, these will get worn and washed a bunch. This was some great retail therapy for this pregnancy. And I want to be purposeful to enjoy this pregnancy.

The second pregnancy is different because…
No one tells me to get a lot of rest or take it easy. With the first pregnancy, it seemed as though people were always advising me to get lots of rest and sleep when I’m tired and just relax. Now it’s like I’m a pro or something and don’t need to rest. For the first pregnancy I remember putting “rest” on my to-do list. Hah, and I was on summer vacation or maternity leave so it wasn’t like I wasn’t pretty much resting all day long anyhow…

What’s New With Baby #1?  Declan – 9 months old
Declan has one giant tooth. He has had just one giant tooth for about a month and no real signs that he is planning on growing another one anytime soon. That giant one on the bottom just keeps growing. It’s really cute. We call it his toof. 

With Baby #2, something I’ll do differently is…
I will start pumping and building up a freezer stash of milk as soon as possible. I waited with Declan to start pumping until about 15 weeks or maybe even later, I can’t really remember. Sometime near when I had to return to work. I waited a while because I was fearful of the breast pump and just didn’t want to bother with it. I felt my breasts were already working really hard and didn’t need any overtime. My milk supply was the highest in the beginning months so I really should have taken the time to store up a good freezer stash of breastmilk while I had it coming in.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do the same is…
We are going to wait to find out the gender. The hardest part about waiting for the gender is picking two names. Name choosing is not as much fun being pregnant as it was when it was just hypothetical. It’s easy to name babies that aren’t real. It’s another to have the pressure of narrowing down names to just one. I was talking with a pregnant friend the other day (she’s having twin boys) and she talked about how her husband and her will wait to meet the babies before assigning the names to each one. I’m loving that idea and thinking maybe Dillon and I can come up with two names for each gender and wait to meet baby before choosing.

But I’m having trouble just coming up with one, so hmm…. oh boy… or girl..

A tough mommyhood moment this week:
We had a tough family moment this week. But that’s all I’d like to say for now about it besides that I am trusting God with the unknown and leaning on His peace.

A sweet mommyhood moment this week:
I got a lot of compliments on Declan this week. His hair. His toof. His smile. His happy personality. Sweet comments about my baby just makes me feel like I can do this motherhood gig.

How I did with #PregnancyGoals Last Week

  • Eat sardines. They are mega packed with nutrients.  – Failed It –  They are icky… I will try again next week…
  • Eat a vegetable with every meal. –Nailed it! – I almost always have veggies with lunch and dinner, even if it’s just cucumbers (…pickles) but breakfast was more of a challenge. Last week for breakfast to get veggies in, I just steamed two cups of spinach and called it good. Takes 5 minutes or less to steam spinach. Bonus being spinach doesn’t need to be cut and it was all prewashed. 
  • Find a new glider. Nailed it! – I ordered one off of Amazon and it’s painted white with light pink cushions. If I have a girl, then it fits. If I have a boy — then this mommy needs something pink in her life! I can only take so much superhero and boy stuff. 
  • Make sure Dillon doesn’t get sneaky during the big ultrasound next week(!) and figure out the gender.. Nailed it! – We are clueless.

#PregnancyGoals for next week:

  • Eat any kind of fish.
  • Sort through Declan’s old clothes – keep what I like – donate the rest
  • Think about how I want to do Declan’s baby book – I better get to it or I’ll have two to do
  • Sort through my closet – make an easy to get to maternity section

Bump Photo at 20 Weeks

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Baby #2 Pregnancy Update – Week 19

Due Date:  December 1st! A little turkey or a Christmas baby!

Size of Baby:  heirloom tomato

Gender: We haven’t had the big ultrasound yet, but we were surprised with the first baby and are going to wait again.

Eating/Craving:  Eating lots of eggs. Lots of fruit. Lots of chicken and beef. Not eating enough veggies or fish.

Mama Physically:
I’m doing great overall. My energy is usually good until about 8 at night. I’m up early each morning going on a 20-40 minute walk with Declan and Mattie. Most of the time I don’t even feel pregnant. I’m reminded there’s a baby growing in there when I move too quickly and get small cramps, which I understand to just be round ligament pains. I also sometimes need a break if I’ve been picking up or carrying Declan too much. A bummer because I love holding my baby boy.

Mama Emotionally:
Doing better now that we took pregnancy photos and made the official announcement. This pregnancy has been overshadowed for a while now, and it made me sad to realize it’s almost half over and we haven’t celebrated this baby yet with our family and friends. Taking pregnancy announcement photos helped my mama heart feel happy.

The second pregnancy is different because…
I keep forgetting that I am pregnant! It slips my mind. Of course, I never completely forget — I’m just not as focused on being pregnant. I’m way more focused on being a mommy. Which is one reason I’m doing these pregnancy updates, I want to enjoy this pregnancy before it’s over.

What’s New With Baby #1?  -Declan – 9 months old 
Baby boy has learned how to clap! I say to him, “Yay!!!”, and he claps away happily, so pleased with himself. Sometimes he gets so excited about his newly learned skill that he starts clapping at 3 AM! Not yay. We are loving the clapping but are working on figuring out the 3 AM wake up party.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do differently is…
Not use as many snap onesies and pajamas, especially for bedtime. Snaps get confusing during a middle of the night diaper change. I’m going for gowns or zippers with this baby.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do the same is…
Let the baby take naps on me. There’s not much as sweet as having a newborn sleep on you. I don’t think it is a bad habit. This new baby will get to sleep on me as much as possible.

A tough mommyhood moment this week:
Our barely-a-year-old glider rocker chair died.

After Declan was born, we were gifted the glider after it had been used by another mommy for about 5 months. To be fair, it probably got some damage done to it in all the moving it had during its little life. The glider has been slowly breaking the past couple weeks and finally got so bad this week it became too dangerous to even sit in.

The arms had swung open, broken apart, and fell to the ground. The back fell backwards and stayed there. When I tried to stick the arms back on to rebuild the structure, the little dowels just broke off. Super frustrating. I rely on that glider to help me put Declan down for his naps, so it was a hot mess of an afternoon when it died. Because, of course, it died on a day where mommy was tired and Declan had already taken two super short naps and really needed a good long one.

The glider is currently in two pieces in our bedroom. Dillon saw how upset I got about it and kicked it in half to make me laugh.

I’m going to have two babies in the house and I could sure use a new one.

A sweet mommyhood moment this week:
Sharing our pregnancy announcement photos on Instagram and Facebook and getting so much love and encouragement sent our way.

#PregnancyGoals for next week: 

  • Eat sardines. They are mega packed with nutrients.
  • Eat a vegetable with every meal.
  • Find a new glider.
  • Make sure Dillon doesn’t get sneaky during the big ultrasound next week(!) and figure out the gender..

Bump Photo at 19 Weeks

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Declan’s Big Promotion!

Declan is going to be a big brother!

And these sweet little babies will be just 14 short months apart.

I found out I was pregnant when Declan was only 6 months old. Definitely a surprise baby to us, but not a surprise baby to God. This pregnancy is led by confidence in knowing God has a plan for my family that’s way better than anything I could come up with.

 

                          I can just tell this is gonna be good. Hard at times, yes. But hard doesn’t have to mean bad.

 

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Postpartum Haze Helpers

The postpartum haze months were the sweetest months of my life. Sweetest, not easiest. Postpartum can get rough.

Because of past family history and the caution of a few friends, I wanted to do my best to ward off postpartum depression. I’m in no way saying I felt completely blissful the whole time, but when I started to get lost in overwhelm, I was able to shut it down and absorb every last beautiful drop of goodness from the newborn/postpartum period.

In no particular order, these are a few key things that helped me remain calm, focused, and enjoy the very early days of mommyhood.

1.  An Incredibly Short To-Do List

Declan’s doctor told me on his 3rd day check up, “Your only job is to feed the baby and rest. No cooking. No cleaning. Just feed the baby. And rest.”

And you better bet I took that to heart. I may have added poop (it’s a big accomplishment after giving birth), eat, and drink a lot of water to my list, but I did not let myself get caught up in anything other than figuring out breastfeeding and letting my (champion!) body start to recover from not only birthing a baby, but also growing one. My body did an outstanding job and deserved some much needed rest.

The whole time I was resting luxuriously, I kept having a thought in the back of my mind that’s a tad scary… how do mamas rest like this if they already have another kiddo? Better enjoy it to the fullest now!

2.  The County Songs, “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins and “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” by Darius Rucker

These two songs stuck out in my head after giving birth. It hurt my heart to know how quickly Declan will grow up and how I’ll blink and his baby stage will be over, so I wanted to intentionally soak in as much as I could and not wish time away.  I did not want to miss the newborn smells and newborn snuggles getting caught up with frustrations.

I had heard from every parent ever how quickly the baby stages change. And mamas, it does fly by. So enjoy each part.

Enjoy waking up every hour to nurse your baby. Enjoy every crazy loud newborn fart and messy diaper that follows. Enjoy the newborn cries. Enjoy your baby falling asleep on you. Enjoy the overwhelm. Because it won’t be like this for long. And you’re gonna miss it.

3. My Husband

I get teary eyed just thinking back to how in awe I was of Dillon. He has always been like a rock for me. But this was different. After giving birth I was so physically broken I relied on his support to even stand, to walk, to sit back down.  I had no idea what to expect after giving birth, but I didn’t think I’d need help standing up out of bed. So while I had one baby to take care of, Dillon had two babies that needed constant, delicate, and comforting care.

He did anything and everything possible to help me stay true and focused to my short to-do list. And through it all, he just kept telling me how beautiful I was.

4. A Giant Water Container With A Straw

The hospital knows what’s up because they gifted me with the perfect water bottle. Nursing gets a mama mighty thirsty. The straw was key because when my hands were full, Dillon could just lift the water bottle up for me to sip on. (Yes, I got super spoiled…)

 5. Snacks

Nursing also makes a mama super hungry. I had a ton of salami, cheese, and crackers. Mandarins were also in season so each week we hit up the farmer’s market and I bought two full bags of those yummy little oranges. Snacks should be super easy for mama to prepare and no cooking involved was key for me.

 6. Comfy Clothes

Clothes that were extremely comfortable, breastfeeding friendly, and pretty enough to not feel the need to change when people came by to meet baby.

7. Sister’s Help

My sister stayed with us the second week after Declan was born. Dillon had to go back to work by then, and I was just not ready to be alone. She helped by taking Mattie on walks, driving to get food, doing baby’s laundry, or just by filling my water bottle up while I nursed Declan. Any little task that would help me stay resting she would be willing to do. She helped me take newborn photos and send out birth annoucements. She even helped me with the comfy clothes by going out to Target for me and getting me a few outfits that fit all three requirements.

Something else that really helped having my sister stay was that since she’s my sister, I had no problem breastfeeding in front of her or talking about my postpartum body issues or asking her to do random tasks like get me a stool softener pill. She could so easily read my mood and knew when I needed a nap or a milkshake or to laugh or to cry. She was also aware that sometimes Dillon and I needed to catch up after he got off work and was really respectful of giving us some time.

Once my husband had to return to work, having someone close by that I felt extremely comfortable with was so helpful.

8. Boppy Pillow

I loved my nursing pillow and I still use it. Declan is 8 months old.

9. Bathroom Goodies From The Hospital

I had read some advice from other bloggers about what to do while at the hospital giving birth and a few mentioned stocking up on all the postpartum supplies from the hospital. I made sure to ask the nurses for extra of everything. Everything meaning witch hazel pads, numbing spray, the biggest pads I have ever seen in my life, stretching mesh underwear, and peri bottles.

10. God’s Strength and Peace

I rely day by day on God’s supernatural strength to keep me going. Mine can only take me so far.

11.  Cell Phone

With a newborn attached to me almost constantly, I sometimes only had one hand available and still wanted to check in with the blogs I follow, work e-mail,  regular e-mail, Instagram, or just check The Bump to read about my baby each week. Oh, and of course, text people a ton of Declan photos.

12. Ugly Betty – A Comfort TV Show

Once my husband was back at work and my sister had to go back to her life, I was all alone with a tiny baby. I was still on the couch most of the day feeding or holding the baby while he slept, and it could get lonely. So I rewatched the entire Ugly Betty series. I had already seen that show at least two times so it felt like having familiar people around. Since I knew everything going on in the show, it didn’t matter if I dozed off with Declan in my arms to catch up on much needed sleep.

I would have liked to be a new mommy who reads while she is nursing, but I was super sleepy and not at all in the mood to attempt to read.

13. Paper Plates and Canned Vegetables

I was kind of a food snob for a few years and refused to eat canned vegetables or use paper plates. I don’t think I ate canned vegetables before Declan was born for at least five years. And I always thought paper plates were a waste of money, since it wasn’t that hard to wash a plate.

But having a baby changed things, as they say. We weren’t on our cooking game, so we ended up throwing away a ton of fresh vegetables that didn’t get cooked in time and then having no vegetables to eat at meal time. Canned veggies stay good for a scary amount of time, so while they aren’t ideal, canned veggies are better than no veggies. Frozen would be good, too.

Also, the paper plates just became a nice, handy vacation away from dishes. Since my to-do list was really short, Dillon got stuck with all the dishes, normally a job I tend to. Paper plates freed him up to spend more time with mama and baby. Paper plates for the win!

14. Salt Lamp

We ended up bed-sharing with Declan. I had a bassinet next to the bed, that was the plan. But when I brought that tiny baby home, it just felt wrong to have him so far from me. 8 months later however… Anyway, with a newborn so close I felt too nervous to have the room completely dark. I had to feed him at least every two hours, if not every hour, and the salt lamp provided the perfect amount of quiet light. Eventually I got skilled enough to feed him in the dark, but at first I needed some light. It also is a dimmer lamp, so I could easily turn it higher if I needed to and didn’t have to have a bright shock of light from a normal lamp.

15. Quick Visits

I loved having people come over to show off my baby. But quick visits were key. As Declan and I got the hang of it, I got better at breastfeeding discreetly in front of people, but for the first few weeks I just needed privacy when feeding him. And breastfeeding under a blanket was really strange… and hot. And disappearing to feed him to a different room for forty minutes made me feel isolated and put under pressure to hurry the feeding up since everyone came over to see the baby. Quick visits were also key because Dillon and I were exhausted new parents and could only entertain for so long.

16. YouTube Sermons

Church was, and still is, a little more complicated with a baby. So it was really nice to have access to sermons from pastors I like on YouTube whenever I needed some truth talked at me.

17. Letting Bad Advice/Comments Go In One Ear and Out The Other…

Babies get people talking. Talking with advice. Talking with their experiences. Talking talking talking. Some harmful words are bound to slip out. Some unwanted, bad advice is bound to slip out. I know family and friends are well-meaning and wouldn’t purposely say things to upset me or steer me in the wrong direction, but I was really hormonal and running on little to no sleep, so I made sure to be selective with which bits of advice/comments I clung to and which I tossed aside quickly.

A lot of times when people were giving me unwanted advice, I would remind them as kindly as possible that I am a new mom and will need to figure some things out through experience, just like they did when they had a baby.

18. Pro-Breastfeeding Friends

I was also given a ton of terrible breastfeeding advice. When I was experiencing problems breastfeeding (major clogging issues around 2-3 months), people who weren’t really pro-breastfeeding were super quick to tell me things like, “you need to give the baby water and juice” or “you’ll never be able to make enough milk so start supplementing with formula” or “you could just stop breastfeeding, you’ll feel a lot of stress gone when you give it up.”  I believe well-meaning comments, but ones I didn’t agree with and needed to ignore.

Thankfully, I had a few friends I would text weekly about how Declan was eating and how breastfeeding was going. I could ask them for advice knowing they had been through it successfully. They encouraged me, made me laugh, and understood why breastfeeding was important for me to try and stick out.

Trust My Gut — I Needed To Do This More

This is one I didn’t do as much as I would have liked.

I second guessed myself a lot. Example — there were a few times where I could tell Declan was hungry, so I would tell whoever was holding him, “I need to feed him, I think he’s hungry.” And they would tell me, “no, I don’t think he is.” And it got super awkward because I didn’t want to demand my baby back… so I would just say, “Umm…okay…?”

Or the same situation but Declan was tired and needed a nap, but people kept wanting to play with him or make him smile… and then he would get crazy grumpy and it took much longer for Dillon or me to get him to sleep.

I did learn to be more vocal once I gained more confidence as a mom. I learned how to sweetly, but sternly say, “my baby is hungry. I need to feed him right now.” I learned how to read Declan’s mood and insist play time was over because it was now baby’s nap time. Being more assertive from the beginning would have taken away some uncomfortable stress.

Anyway, this list could honestly keep on growing because there are so many different ways to help a new mama make the most of  the beautiful but challenging postpartum days. Sunshine is another key ingredient for a happy postpartum. Baby wearing made me feel like supermom.

Overall, I got so much support and Declan got so much love.

That time was a true gift from God.  It was a very sweet, unlike any other.

Mamas, was there anything that helped you have an easier postpartum period? 

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