How has it already been a week since I had our baby?! I feel like time is going by way too quickly. I've had a ton of help from both my mom and dad, along with the hubs of course, which has made the postpartum recovery a lot more bearable. Pushing out an almost 9 pound baby is no joke y'all! I thankfully was given a lot of advice from my mom and other moms on great postpartum must haves and here is a list of things I have incorporated into my daily routine.
I wore this shirt from Shop Pink Blush on repeat during my pregnancy, and nothing has changed since being postpartum! Comfy, loose clothing is essential. You are still losing the baby weight and probably don't even want to try on your regular clothes yet. I love having a transitional top like this because it doesn't even look maternity and it hides my stomach as I am working towards my normal body again. Don't pack away your maternity clothes just yet, get as much use out of them as you can!
I literally don't leave the house anymore without this Jasemet cover. I am either wearing it, or I have it packed in the diaper bag for the carseat. It's a multi purpose cover acting as a nursing, car seat, shopping cart, and highchair cover. And when you don't need it you can just wear it as a scarf! I am new to nursing obviously, but if you follow me on Instagram you'll know it's been a struggle of a journey to get there. I love having this cover because I can comfortably nurse her wherever we are, which has had to happen. (I even used to cover while I pumped in the car ha ha!) Seriously I can't say enough great things about this, you can buy yours here!
For the pumping mamas, buy yourself a pumping bra ASAP. Holding the bottles up for 20 minutes is no fun, so save your sanity at 3 am and buy a bra that holds them up for you. This allows me to drink my water, play on my phone, and yes even blog! I look forward to my pumping sessions now because it's like my new me time. My hubby got this one on amazon and I know there is a lot of different styles and colors.
I apply nipple cream after each time I feed or pump, and I also apply it to my pumping funnel to act as a lubricant ( a tip from my lactation consultant!). I was given the medela in the hospital, but use the Lansinoh more often. When I run out, I'll probably switch back to the Medela because I feel it melts faster and feels more relieving.
These gel nursing pads I alternate throughout the day, because they can be heated up or frozen. I'll usually put them in the freezer at night and put them on sometime in the morning time to help relieve some pain. Then throughout the day I'll pop them in the microwave and wear them, or attach them to the outside of my pumping funnels to help with let down and it feels good to have the warmth around too! These are available at Target, but I'm sure you can find them anywhere. Seriously these are a game changer if you don't have time for a quick hot shower or applying a warm washcloth!
And last but not least, another essential for the girls! I wear these nursing pads all day every day in my bra, and were a huge help when my milk was coming in too. I like these because they are soft, I just put them inside my bra and you wouldn't even know! No leaking, no problem ha ha. It also comes in a handy mesh bag to keep them in when washing which is super helpful as well.
I hope this helps you first time mamas, because like I said I was given a lot of advice from other mamas and found it super helpful to hear what they used after baby! It didn't occur to me just how much my every day routine would change when she got here, so having these little things incorporated make the days run a whole lot smoother. I would love to hear what your postpartum essentials are below, I am sure there are some things out there that could be a game changer too!
Savannah Rachel entered the world on August 29th at 4:58 am. She weighed 8 pounds 13.5 ounces and was 21 inches long.
Monday, August 28th, we went in for my 40 week doctor's appointment. I was overdue by 2 days and my midwife was very surprised because she was sure I would go into labor that previous week. With Hurricane Harvey, my husband's unit had a high possibility of leaving to go help (perks of being a medevac unit). It kicked us into high gear and we talked to the midwife about possibly inducing, because there was no way we wanted him to miss the birth of our first baby if we could help it! She immediately understood and went to go see when we could get scheduled in. She came back and said "tonight?" and we took it.
It was a bit like an 'oh my gosh is this really happening' moment at the thought of having our baby so soon and having a date on it. She checked me and I was 3 cm dilated which was one more than last week, but still 50% effaced. We went home and called my mom so she could book her flight. It was such a relief to have it all planned, and we were to come back at 8 pm that day. I rested throughout the day, ate my last meals, and took a short bath thinking this is the last time I am going to spend with this bump. It was bittersweet, but I was so ready for her to be here!
We drove back to the hospital, with our bags that had been packed for about a month now in tow, and checked in with the hospital to make sure that time was still good. They told us we could come in at 7 which worked out perfectly because that's about when we were going to arrive anyways. We went straight to the labor and delivery floor, carrying all of our bags and a pillow. I was so nervous and just soaking everything in. We got to a room and my mom arrived not too long after. The plan was to rest some and we got the IV started and baby monitor put on. At around 10 everything was ready and they could start the pitocin to begin the contractions. My nurse Mary was the most amazing gift ever and I'll forever remember how sweet and helpful she was. But, she did mentally prepare us to be here for 2-3 days because inductions can sometimes take that long.
The pitocin acted quickly and I started feeling contractions like I've never felt before. She would bump it up a level every 30 minutes and we just had to wait until they were consistently 2-3 minutes apart before the doctor would come in to break my water. I tried to sleep during all of this, but sleeping while having contractions isn't very doable! I was at 4 cm dilated which was a good sign, but with how much pain I was in, I was feeling like it was more than that. Mary came back in just to check on baby's heartbeat because the dang monitor kept sliding around and it was hard to get a read on the contractions as well. My mom stepped out into the hall at this same time, and James was asleep on the couch bed. All of a sudden I felt a pop and a release of fluid, and I said "Mary... I think my water just broke." She was a little shocked, but checked the fluid with a strip and confirmed it did break and helped me out of bed to clean up because I was still wearing the clothes I came in. We changed me into a robe and I got back in bed still waiting for the contractions to pick up.
I got out of bed when I could to get on the exercise ball they provided me and just did breathing through every contraction. I am pretty proud of myself to not even cry one time, because I am such a huge baby! Some were labored breathing and were just so painful I couldn't take a huge breath in. James started rubbing my back and all of a sudden a huge gush came and my full water broke at midnight. There was a huge puddle and they had to help me off this ball so I wouldn't slip, it was probably pretty comical! I got back into bed and I was at 6 cm dilated and I tried to rest until they could come in to give me my epidural. I was scared of getting it too early, but at this point I didn't want to wait any longer because I didn't want to miss out on getting it. Mary had me sit on the side of the bed and prop my feet up on James' thighs. I was hunched over on him when the man came in and didn't even want to look up at him to see what he was bringing in. I breathed through it and had a contraction both while he was putting the numbing needle in, and again when inserting the part that stung really badly. It was such a weird feeling and just felt like a big dull, achy pressure in my back. I had to stay in bed from now on so they inserted a catheter. The doctor came in and checked me and I was at 8 cm dilated now and they were ready to get things going soon. This next part is pretty hazy because I was so out of it, sleeping and having people come in and out. But I guess Sav's heartbeat was dropping so they put me on oxygen to help. They started gathering around more and soon I was at 10 cm and the doctor came back in and told me we were going to practice pushing.
My mom came over to my left, and J on my right, and they both grabbed my legs and she had me grab underneath my thighs. She told me to take a deep breath in and push when I felt my next contraction. I said "ok now" and began to push. I felt so much pain, but it wasn't how I was expecting. I could feel some pressure down there and soon I was told they could see her hair and that just encouraged me to push more. J was right next to me encouraging me and telling me to breathe and push. He was the only person I was listening to and could hear, so I am so thankful he did that. The doctor told me her head was coming out, but when I would push I would stop some and she would go back in. I didn't realize, so I just focused on pushing and breathing and soon her entire head was out! I am so shocked it didn't really hurt, the part that was the weirdest was her shoulders or midsection. Within 6 minutes of pushing, my baby girl was here and put on my chest!
I immediately start crying and just look down at this perfect little baby I made. There will never be words to describe that feeling, it's so overwhelming and I felt so much love for her; more than I had before. I held her while they stitched me up and I just remember seeing a lot of blood and felt some pain, but I didn't care because my baby was here. They let her stay on me for skin to skin for a good while, before the pediatrics team came in to clean her off more and get her measurements. J got to hold her for the first time after that and the way he looked at her was just so beautiful to me. Mary told me later and throughout the clean up process how this doesn't just happen. With me being a first time mom and this being an induction, a labor that quick isn't normal. She was telling everyone who came in and out, she was just in so much shock! Every fifteen minutes, Mary had to come in and press down on my stomach which was so painful but when you are holding your new baby in your arms, nothing else matters.
Everything settled down and we were assigned a room that we would be staying in. Mary's shift ended and a new nurse came to take over. We were getting ready to help me up so I could use the bathroom and she was called out so she had to leave suddenly. We waited almost an hour, and thankfully a pediatric nurse came in to check on Savannah, and I asked her to get the nurse back. lol She was a very scatterbrained nurse, but I was ready to go and get into our room. I was wheel chaired up there and we immediately ordered breakfast. We hadn't ate since about 6 the night before, so we were pretty much starving. I don't want to make this post too long with going into the post delivery portion, but it has been rough. I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for this most beautiful gift and to have been chosen to be her mother. Baby Savannah is so loved and there will be many more updates to come.
Thank you all for the congrats and well wishes!
(And special thanks to my mom for being my photographer even though I wasn't the nicest at some moments!)
I am 10 days away from my due date, and I am a whole ball of emotions. I am excited, scared, ready, nervous, overjoyed all in one. Creating and carrying life these past 9 months has been the biggest blessing I could have ever been able to experience. I have loved pregnancy, but I know I am going to love motherhood even more.
I have dreamed of becoming a mother for years now. If you read my first post about us trying to conceive, you'll know that we prayed for this journey for a bit now. We put off trying for a year until we were stable financially, then it took us an entire year to earn the title of parents. Now that the time has come, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect time for this calling. I feel like that waiting time taught me so much patience, but also gratitude for every little ache and pain I experience.
This pregnancy I've been extremely blessed. Not just because of the little pregnancy symptoms, but because of the blessings that accompanied. My husband and I are closer than ever and seeing his excitement over our little girl fills my heart like no other. I can't wait to see him develop in his role as a father and I know for certain S is in for a lifetime of love and being cherished.
But, I'll be the first to admit I am absolutely terrified. I feel so under qualified to be a mom and I am sure a lot of moms felt the same way with their first. I want to make sure she always feels loved, important, and safe. Parenting doesn't just stop at taking care of their basic needs, but for when she goes off to school and faces her first bully, will I be able to guide her correctly? For when she falls and hurts herself, will I be able to be strong enough for the both of us and help her? For when she experiences her first heartbreak, will she come to me and seek comfort and guidance?
As a mother, I already feel so protective of her and just want to protect her from the world and all the negative things in it. But, also as her mother I hope that I can raise her to be able to protect herself and steer away from the apostate.
These last 10 days before her due date are going to be a true test of patience, but also allow me to prepare some more. I have had a feeling she will come early, but at this point I am fully assuming she is just going to stay in here forever. I've experienced more intense contractions, but nothing consistent or strong enough that made me feel like this was it. I am scared for labor but just thinking about the aftermath eases my nerves and I am just so ready to hold our baby girl.
Thank you all for joining me on my journey to motherhood. I know many blessings are to come and I can't wait to share the next chapter with you all! I have nested, rested, and I am ready to bring this new life into the world. I am ready to take on motherhood because I know I have an amazing community of both family & friends who I can turn to for guidance.
The nursery is done! This has been a long time coming, especially with us having to hold off until we moved into our new home. Let me tell you, putting together a nursery at 8 months pregnant is not recommended. My husband, mom, and in laws are given full credit for putting this nursery together.
When J and I first found out we were having a girl, we had no idea what to make her nursery theme. I had a plan for a boy, but was completely lost on a girl. We stopped by Buy Buy Baby as we often did in the early pregnancy, and J stopped in front of the nautical/whale themed nursery items and said this is it. I stopped with him and it just clicked. It was so perfect! It's not 'traditional' for a girl to a lot of people, but as a huge lover of blue and green, it seemed so fitting.
I am so happy with how everything turned out. She actually has a really big room, which makes me excited for her to grow into and probably eventually share with a younger sibling. My goal for the nursery was to not have it too themed, where the items could grow with her onto toddlerhood and beyond.
Caddy: ikea / whale hamper: gift
This caddy is stocked with diapers on top, the second rack holds extra pacifiers, car seat strap covers, and some small items, and the bottom is full of blankets. This is going to be super handy because I can just grab the diapers out of the open top! Also, this whale hamper is super adorable and a baby shower gift from my aunt and uncle, and it's right outside of her closet that is full to the brim.
Crib: Wayfair / Sheets: Babies R Us / Pillow: Amazon / Wallpaper: Lowe's / Blanket: gift / Curtains: Walmart
This may be my favorite corner ever! This sweet bassinet is from my mother in law and is so precious. I may end up moving it downstairs so she has something to lay in when I am in my office or in the tv area. This mermaid wall art was decoration from my baby shower my mom threw, and is so darling (and my favorite colors!).
All of these books are a hodpodge of gift from our baby shower, hand me downs from when I was a baby, and some my husband thrifted years ago for his future children. I can't wait for her book collection to grow even more throughout the years. I have a few trinkets from my childhood, one being a unicorn I got from my grandpa that is super special! I then have a cake tray that holds a soothing whale, our baby monitor (review coming very soon!), and her initial. The top shelf are stuffed animals and dolls and a sweet canvas of our gender announcement I got from our baby shower.
Bench: flea market / pillowcases: Amazon / toy bin: Target
This bench was a purchase I made in high school and has probably had a home in every single room of our house at one time or another! It is absolutely perfect for her nursery and matches the colors perfectly. Underneath I have stored all of her toys. I am going to do my best not to have a crazy abundance of toys, but I'm sure all parents say that!
Beach Wallart: Lowe's / Changing table: inlaws / Changing pad: Wayfair / Cover: Target / Mirror: thrifted
This changing table was actually supposed to be my inlaw's bathroom sink but things thankfully didn't work out! lol I picked it out with my mother in law, and when she didn't have a use for it they brought it over because I knew it would make the perfect changing table!
Above I have diaper wipes, bows, and a vase full of pacifiers. This mirror I've had in my room since high school and the color went perfect with the beachy vibe. This bucket was used for our baby shower, and it makes the perfect holder for rolled up diapers! I will eventually have my slider in the corner for when I'm feeding.
Now all we are missing is baby girl!! I am so ready for her to arrive. I am currently 36 weeks, so to think I only have 4 more weeks at the most before she is here... Just blows my mind. Thank you everyone for being patient as there was a bit of a gap between my blog posts lately.
I would LOVE to hear what nursery themes you have done, or what you plan to do!
I feel like nowadays, getting pregnant young is becoming less and less of the norm. I was wanted to be a mom early on in life, and was finally blessed with getting pregnant at 20 (now 21). I mention my age because the younger you are, the more common you are associated with being naive. BUT, I don't think any age would properly prepare you for the unknown world of pregnancy!
I have been super blessed with an "easy" pregnancy. I'm not at high risk, I never experienced morning sickness, and so far me and baby have been very healthy. I put easy in quotations, because even without those complications, these 8 months haven't gone without a hitch! I have learned A LOT about being pregnant and how much your body truly changes for 9 months. Here is what they don't tell you about pregnancy, so hopefully you don't go in as blind as I did!
You can smell everything.
This can be a good and bad thing. I can sniff out if someone has chocolate (my newest craving thanks to pregnancy), but you can also smell if someone left rotten eggs in their trash or if something is a day expired. Your sense of smell is so heightened, and this can be a major downfall if you experience morning sickness!
I only ever experienced heartburn eating hot cheetos. But now, I experience it 25/7. No, that's not a typo. Be prepared and carry Tums in your purse at all times, I learned that the hard way.
You won't be able to sit, stand, or lay down.
Everything will now be super uncomfortable. Standing will make your feet swell, sitting down will make you feel super uncomfortable and like you can't breathe, and laying down will never be the same. Invest in an exercise ball as soon as you can and don't put off buying a body pillow of some sorts. Laying on your left side is your best bet, but even then it will sometimes fail you and you'll wonder why you weren't more thankful for your nights of solid sleep before pregnancy. It's totally normal to struggle getting up from your chair and having your husband push you out of bed.
Discomfort Down There.
Going along with getting up from a laying position, what they won't tell you is you might feel a sharp pain that feels like your lower half is going to just separate. Seriously, you may feel like your just going to split in half. But it's totally cool it's just your body getting ready to deliver a baby.
Remember those maternity clothes you invested in to last you your entire pregnancy? Yeah, those will stop fitting you at one point too. You will just get to the point of wearing your husband's shirts or being okay with showing some belly. I don't know who invented the maternity pants with the built in band, but I wish they would've taken into consideration that you already feel like a whale and don't need a spandex band constricting you even more. I highly recommend living in flowy dresses if weather permits.
Your Boobs Will Hurt.
Think the soreness starts when baby has been delivered? Oh, we are so wrong! You will feel sore, heavy, and sometimes leak way before your little bundle of joy arrives. Don't be under the impression it only happens when you begin breastfeeding, your body enjoys practicing your pain tolerance early on.
Before getting pregnant, I had never heard of "braxton hicks". Is he some country singer?! If only. It depends on how early you will start feeling this, but your belly will randomly become rock hard and sometimes it can be very uncomfortable and even painful. It can happen for a variety of reasons too, which makes this whole pregnancy/labor game more fun. It can come and go whenever it pleases, last however long, and will eventually lead into real contractions that involve heavier cramping and back pain.
Shaving is an Olympic Sport.
No one warned me that the days of shaving my legs would no longer be the same. You better trust your balance and feel confident in just feeling around, be comfortable with using a mirror, or get the courage to ask your husband for help. Or you can get smart and have someone wax it for you, since your hair will grow at rapid speed.
Everything Makes you Tired.
Walking from the car to your front door? Panting. Getting up to use the bathroom for the fourth time? Exhausting. Walking up and down your stairs more than once? Forget about it. Everything you took for granted before, will now make you so exhausted and you may or may not get out of breath from normal everyday activities.
Especially if you are blessed with short genes, driving will not be quite the task. Being able to reach the pedals and steering wheel with a huge belly between you? Better to save up for an uber now. You will learn to lean back in your seat and reach as far as you can.
Gassiness is the New Classiness.
You will have more gas than you would ever like to have and also sometimes have no control over it. Start practicing on blaming the dog now, because it will be bad. I was never told this, and found myself burping even after drinking water or eating normal foods.
Strangers Will Want to Touch the Belly.
Not only will they want to touch your belly, but they will ask how far along are you, when you are due, what gender is it, what's the baby's name, and what have your cravings been. They mean well, don't worry, but I definitely wasn't prepared to be bombarded with questions as I waddle around the grocery store.
This is just a short list of what I really didn't know about pregnancy.
What are some things you found out while adventuring into motherhood?
I'd love to hear your real, honest, and probably funny stories! Embrace your pregnancy and every little fun thing you learn along the way. This is such a special time, and sometimes you need to find the humor in the uncomfortable situations!