Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This Is Really Happening. Seeking Your First-Time Mommy Advice!

By now, you know that over the last few months, everything around here has been all pregnancy, excitement and Baby G. This is such a special time in our life. Preparing to welcome our first child into our world and our home. It's practically overwhelming most days. I'm learning new things every week about pregnancy, the growth of a baby in the womb, and the changes my body is going through. And, on top of that, I constantly have this pit of terror/elation running around with me. I am beyond excited to finally meet our little man, lay my eyes on his face for the first time, and finally see the beautiful miracle that God has blessed us with. But, some days, I am practically terrified. What will labor be like? Everyone keeps telling me how much our lives are about to change - will I even remember the blissful parts of our life before kids in a few short months?

This was all brought on this morning when I rolled over in bed (for the hundredth time) to try and ease the pain that was taking over in my left hip. It was just about 6Am and I knew B's alarm would be ringing shortly. I felt more awake than tired, which is normal for me most mornings, so I grabbed my phone and starting browsing through my favorite apps. One of my first stops was my 'What To Expect' app. Commonplace for me throughout each week of this pregnancy. I love seeing how much he is growing, and comparing his size to another piece found in the local produce aisle.

I am constantly updating B with little facts that I learn about what myself or Baby G are going through. As far as I know, he enjoys hearing about it, and if he's growing tired of all my 'facts' he sure doesn't show it. 

So, this morning, like many others, I showed him the home screen on my app. We both marveled at the fact that G is now the size of a cucumber and could be close to 15 inches long! Truly amazing.

It was then that B said 'only 13 more weeks until we finally get to meet Gavin!' Right then and there, my heart about burst. This is really happening. All of the dreaming, the praying, the planning and purchasing of baby clothes and furniture has brought us down the road that is leading us to our son. Even typing that right now, I sit here in amazement. Fully of joy and curiosity about what the next chapter of our life will be like.

This is my long winded intro into asking for your advice. The advice of other Mom's out there that have been in my shoes before. You have been there. Preparing your heart, your home, your pets and your relationship for your first baby. What are the best pieces of advice you ever received? What are the worst? Anything absolutely horrifying or overwhelming you want to share with me? You know, the good stuff that they say 'no one ever tells you.'

Maybe you don't have any 'words of wisdom' leaping out of your head, but you have a few items that you absolutely could not have LIVED without during those first few weeks after you brought your newborn home for the first time. I have been picking the brains of all my close friends with kids trying to make sure that I'm doing my best to prepare our home for G's arrival. Swaddles, swings, breast pumps, nursing tanks. What might I be forgetting? 

All advice is truly appreciated!


Jessica said...

Breast feeding is easily the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm not saying that to discourage you if that's the route you choose. I just wish someone had told me something other than BFing rainbows and butterflies. I know it's worth it but MAN ALIVE its alot of work!

Stephanie said...

I agree with Jessica. BFing is HARD work. If that's the route you've chosen, and you need help, seek it! I was too shy and embarrassed to ask, and we had such problems. I'm convinced my son wasn't getting enough to eat. Also, get involved in a local mommy group or playgroup. It may take a while for you to feel up to getting out of the house, but you have to in order to maintain your sanity, trust me. You're not going to sleep well for the first few weeks or months, but try to rest (if not nap) when the baby does. I know you're going to be worried about laundry or cleaning, or all the other things that are "so important" but sleeping and resting is 100 times more important than vacuuming your living room. The best investment I made with my first is a Moby wrap, which allowed me to wear him while I did all the cleaning and such (while he was awake). Bonus: it soothes colicky or fussy babies to be near to you. Another tidbit: go for a walk around the neighborhood at least once a day. The fresh air will help you and baby, and it'll be so great to not feel locked into your home.

Sorry for the novel! Just wish someone had told me these things when my little boy was first born. All things I plan to do differently when number 2 gets here soon.

Rachel said...

Have confidence in yourself as a mother. There will be times (okay, MOST of the time) when you feel like you have no clue what you are doing, but you know more than you think you do. Remember that YOU are YOUR baby's expert - only you (and dad, too, of course). You are the one that has his best interest at heart and you know what he needs! You are his advocate.

Don't be afraid to do things you swore you wouldn't - we all live and learn. We didn't want to cosleep, but after Connor had meningitis at 2 months and REFUSED to lay down anywhere except our bed - we didn't bat an eye at putting him right between us. He's a little over 2.5 and he's been sleeping in his crib since about 6 months. will ALWAYS work out in the end!

Also, ask for help when you need it. This was the hardest thing for me because I wanted to do everything myself. But it's okay to ask for help, you will feel so refreshed and you will be a better mommy after the shortest of breaks!

Val @ It's Always Sunny in Somerville said...

I wish I had been prepared for the BFing woes as well. My suggestion is to see a lactation consultant outside of the hospital if you have any troubles or doubts.

Also, what works for one doesn't always work for another. If you find that baby G can sleep in the swing (safely secured) and let you get a couple hours rest, go for it! If he likes the crib, great! It's all about survival the first few months. Everyone is happier and more patient with a few hours sleep.

Jessica said...

Oh and follow @nancyholtzman on Twitter. She is a baby expert. Start following her now - I have learned more from her (and her company, Isis Parenting) than any book, class, or even our pediatrician.

Rachel said...

Trust your gut! Once you are a mom, you will know. Trust me :)

Ashley said...

If you can, have your mom, husband, or a friend home with you for a while after you have the baby. Stress is just as bad on you and the baby as anything else but it's something most people don't think about. Happy laid back mom = happy laid back baby and it will make everything that much easier. Sleep, feeding, etc. it's all so much smoother when you have a happy mom and baby :)

Amanda @ everyday b and b said...

I am just shy of 5 months into this whole "first time new mommy" gig and let me tell you, it is an experience unlike anything I've ever had before. The one thing I've learned is to just trust my gut and go with the flow. We do a lot of "trial and error" in our house with Adalyn. What people swore would work, she hated, go figure.

Breastfeeding was a challenge. She couldn't latch and we tried everything and finally I resorted to pumping and giving her a bottle because we weren't getting enough wet diapers. Oh, and yes you'll count pee and poopy diapers like it's your job those first few weeks.

I always swore while I was pregnant that she'd be in her crib by the time she was 2 months old. Well, I came to discover she sleeps in 45 minute blocks in her crib, but 4-5 hour blocks if she co-sleeps with me. And as a tired mommy, I chose the 4-5 hours since I went back to work when she was 12 weeks old. We have started weening her back into her crib at night and as much as everyone tells me to let her cry it out, I can't do it. It hurts me more than it does her I think! Again, whatever works for you, do it!

If you want, you can read her birth story here: and also browse some of my pregnancy posts (it feels like it was so much longer than 5 months ago!)

be forewarned, my epidural didn't even get a chance to work, so I was in a lot of pain. However, I'd do it 1736374 more times because that moment I saw her was worth it.

Enjoy your third trimester. It really does go by fast and it gets really uncomfortable. But you're so close to meeting your baby boy and that will for sure get you through it :) you'll be a fantastic mom!

loveyoulotslikejellytots said...

Hiya, I am 9 months into this new mummy thing and it is bloomin hard work! I have read your blog on and off having found you through I love you more than carrots. My mainadvice is to have an idea of what you want to do but dont panic if not everything goes to plan! I tried to keep laundry up to date and that was about as far as I got with housework. I also relied on a lot of takeaway food and ready meals as I kept forgetting to take food out of the freezer :-) Rely on your gut instinct and dont be afraid to ask for help. Also dont feel guilyyy if at any point you want to give Baby G away. My husband and I had been trying for 5 years to have our daughter and I had quite a few miscarrages so she was defo wanted. However the first 3 months there were times when I really wondered if we had made the right decision! Good luck and you will be great!! Aileen xx

Christy said...

I think it's important to be confident in your parenting. You will hear a TON of stories on what works best for everyone else, but once you find what works for you stick with it. As corny as it sounds, no two kids are alike & what works for one child may not work for another. You'll do great! : )

Katie said...

When people offer to help, take them up on it! Let them fold your laundry, bring over dinner, or hold the baby while you shower. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. And don't compare your baby/ yourself to other moms/babies.... you will drive yourself crazy. And like someone said, the first few weeks are survival mode so do what works & if you get into habits you don't can always change them!

Katie said...

Also, I sucked the nurses dry with all of my questions while at the hospital. I am sure I annoyed the lactation consultant, but I wanted to make sure I felt "ready" to go home with all my questions. They are there to help you, so do not be afraid to ask for help if you feel you need it!

Jessica said...

My best advice is to listen to yourself! Your mommy instinct knows best, in all ways. There are so many blogs and tweets and books... but you are the only one that knows what Gavin really needs. ;)

When you're second guessing your mommy instinct, follow @nancyholtzman on twitter -- Lactation Consultant and baby whisperer extraordinaire.

Lastly, my best piece of advice is to ask for NO VISITORS the first week that you're home with Gavin. In the hospital? Fine. Maybe your parents? Ok. But we had NON STOP guests for two weeks and I was trying to deal with a new baby and a c section recovery. NOT FUN.

End rant.

You'll do great mama. :)

Sarah | Nurse Loves Farmer said...

I haven't read the previous comments, but here goes:

- educate yourself about labor: take the classes, they are worth it to learn coping skills. Even if you know you want an epidural, you still need these skills in case it doesn't work or there isn't enough time. Also be aware of the possibility of a c-section

- if you want to breastfeed (I encourage you to!) just know it's the most rewarding experience, but it's a LOT of work and very hard, especially in the beginning - it's truly a full-time job

- only use zipper sleepers, trust me!

- start using a sound machine in baby's room from day 1

- when people offer help, take it - especially in the form of bringing over food!

- try to shower every day, it will make you feel human and get outside too - never underestimate the power of fresh air!

- sleep when baby sleeps - you can't do this when you have a 2nd baby as often as the first, so take advantage of it

- enjoy being pregnant...go out and do all the things before baby comes because those opportunities are few and far between, especially for the first few months after baby comes. Have lots of girl time, manis, pedis, whatever you like to do because your life will be VERY different when baby comes, in a very good way!

Andie said...

momsoncall is the greatest resource for getting baby on a schedule and having them sleep through the night.

and no matter what, don't let other people's opinions on parenting or judgements they make on others have any bearing on how YOU raise your child. As long as your child is loved, fed, and happy, you are the best expert for YOUR child. :)

Jillian said...

The honest confession? The one no one told me? BF'ing is hard. And don't feel ashamed if it doesn't go easily at first. I expected it to be rainbows & unicorns and it wasn't. It's ok to ask for help and it's ok to stop if it's not for you.

The one thing I would tell you - give yourself a little grace. It may not go according to plan, or baby G may not sleep great or maybe the house isn't clean and you are still in maternity pants after 4 weeks (I was!) ... It's ok. Just love on him and take a deep breath because I PROMISE those things won't matter In a week/a month/a year.

You'll be great momma!