Thursday, November 13, 2014

Most annoying things to say to a new mom

Who does he/she look like?  
My baby was just born. Please let me enjoy her for a moment before you start picking apart every physical aspect of her trying to determine exactly where each part came from. My baby is beautiful and unique regardless. She may have characteristics that are similar to us or her siblings but she is her own person. It's not like she isn't going to look completely different in one month and as the years go on.

Are you getting enough sleep? Is he/she sleeping through the night yet?
Again, my child was just born so no I'm not getting "enough" sleep.  *grits teeth* No, not sleeping through the night yet. Have you ever had a baby?! They eat every 3-4 hours if not more leaving it impossible to sleep through the night, especially when breastfeeding.

If there is anything you need let me know. Do you need anything for the baby?
Instead of saying this offer what you are willing to do for the new mom. No one is going to say, "Yes, I would like you to come watch my older kids so I can nap with the baby." Or "Please, come over and cook for me." It's so nice when someone says offers certain things that they want to do for you. I'm the last person to ask for help so unless someone comes right out and says, "Hey! I'm bringing over dinner so you don't have to cook." I won't ask for it. So be a great friend and tell the new mom what you are willing to do for them. They will appreciate it more than you know.

Are you going to have another one?
Probably not the best thing to ask when a mom isn't getting sleep. I don't understand why so many people ask this question immediately after labor and delivery. Almost like saying, "this ones out on to the next!" At least for me the answer is almost always no. That is until my baby is sleeping through the night and I get baby fever.

Your baby is TINY/HUGE!
It's the equivalent to calling me fat or skinny. Maybe it's just my hormones but I find it rude.

Is he/she a good baby?
Is it possible to have a "bad" baby? Do you honestly think that crying all of the time makes a baby naughty or bad? Are "bad babies" the ones who, the moment they are born, make a conscious decision to make their parents lives miserable? I don't think so.

Did you want a boy/girl?
It's a little late. Pretty sure I didn't have a choice either way.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why This Momma Likes Twitter

I created a twitter account 4 years ago. It was to get points on some survey of some sort, I don't really remember and never took it very seriously. My account was never used and it just sat there. Then one day a couple months ago I got my first Iphone, (I know, it took me awhile). One of the free apps was twitter so I downloaded it. Only a small handful of people that I know in real life have a twitter account. That left me with no one to really "follow" besides celebrities.
I have 235 friends on facebook all of whom I know personally or they are distant cousins of my husbands. All of my posts are updates on our family, pictures of our daily adventures and sometimes the occasional article that I find interesting. I learned early to watch carefully what I post because it is seen by family/friends. An innocent rant can start discussions with people I don't feel like discussing with or drama with those who I'd rather not argue with. So I've kept to the basics. I cannot tell you how many times I've written out a facebook status only to delete it because it contained too much. Which is why I've found that twitter is perfect for me. 
After exploring twitter for a few days I discovered that there are moms just like me on it. Everyday moms. Moms who tweet about the struggles of parenting, the humor in raising children, their happy moments, simple rants about life and more. I've seen it used as an outlet for some, a platform almost. It gives these everyday moms like myself a voice and introduces us to other moms who we may have never had "met" otherwise. It's pretty cool. 
I love that I can post things about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, potty problems, kid issues or whatever. I even told the twitter world that I was in labor before anyone else and tweeted my way to the hospital. I've found support on twitter that I just can't find with facebook friends. Sometimes a simple notification that someone "favorited" my tweet shows me that someone out there gets what I'm going through. 
 There are twitter moms that I find hilarious, brilliant, entertaining and insightful. (and dads too, don't forget the twitter dads!) It's a place where you could spend hours scrolling through tweets everyday. Personally, it's my entertainment when I'm up breastfeeding in the middle of the night and need some light reading. Will I stay on twitter forever? Probably not, but for now I'm enjoying having somewhere to share things that I wouldn't share on my facebook. :)

Are you on twitter? Here's the link to mine: Freestyle Mom

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What to do for a friend who has just had a baby

I'm writing this after having three kids. These are the things that people did for our family that helped tremendously. Things that were priceless and more helpful that any gift of money, baby clothes or keepsakes. I highly recommend these things in place of or along side of baby gifts. Simply saying, "If you need anything let me know" to a new mom doesn't really do much. Personally I'm always too proud to ask for help or for little things. Here are just a few ideas of nice things to do for someone who has just had a baby.

1) Bring a meal for the family. Ask the family if they mind if you bring over a meal. Drop it off or bring it when you come for a visit. Whether it's a pizza, frozen lasagna, something homemade...whatever. I cannot tell you how helpful and grateful we are for those friends and family members who brought us food or came and cooked for our family the first couple weeks home. Even if you stop by on the way over to visit and pick up healthy snacks for a breast feeding mom. Or stop at the grocery store and pick up things that they like/need.

2)A gift basket with:

  • baby tylenol
  • gripe water
  • baby orajel
  • diapers (in size 1 or bigger, babies grow fast)
  • baby wipes (unscented)
  • breast pads (if mother is breastfeeding)
  • baby soap
  • baby lotion
  • burp rags 
  • healthy granola bars
  • gift cards
  • baby bottle cleaning wand
These are some of the things that I found useful or needed and forgot.

3) If the family has other children:

  • If you are close with the family and they have other children offer to take them out for the day or overnight. Or even just swing by and take them to the park for an hour. Recently a friend took my oldest daughter out for a couple hours during the day while my son was at school. It was AMAZING and so helpful. I was able to get so much done and it was a nice break. 
  • When you go over to visit the new baby bring something special for the older siblings. Whether it's a puzzle, coloring book, special snack or a fun game. We've had people visit who brought simple little things and then sat with our older two kids to play. My husband and I were so exhausted that week and felt like we had been neglecting our older two kids a little bit. Having visitors pay attention to and play with them was so nice. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Life with 3 kids, the first three weeks home....

We brought our littlest addition home 3 weeks ago. Our family is now 5 members strong. (plus our dog Dakota) I'm not going to lie and I'm going to tell it like it is. The last three weeks have been the hardest and most stressful of my entire adult life.

They let us come home from the hospital after just about 24 hours. I was excited to be able to get some sleep without having nurses coming in every few hours. My uterine contractions were pretty intense and painful so I was given some pain medication to take home. The nurses told me that uterine contraction pain can get worse with each pregnancy. Luckily, my parents stayed at our house for a few days to help out with our 4 and 2 year old. That was so helpful and gave me plenty of time to sleep. It was a great first weekend home. We had some visitors and so much extra help. Friends of ours even brought dinner over one night so no one had to cook, that was one of the greatest gifts we could ever receive. (I highly recommend doing that for a friend/family member) Our new baby only woke twice every night to eat. It was wonderful.
Reality hit me hard when my parents went home and my husband went back to work. I was left on my own to discover being a stay at home mom to 3 kids. It wasn't so much the baby that was difficult to get used to. It was everything. It was getting my older kids to understand that when the baby cries mommy has to tend to the baby. When mommy is breastfeeding she can't jump up to get them more milk or open the cabinets for a snack immediately when asked. The older kids reacted by crying and whining. A lot. Maybe they thought that if they were like baby that daddy and mommy would rush to meet their needs as well. It started to become utter and pure chaos in our home. I was exhausted, my husband was exhausted and our oldest two kids were feeling neglected. Everyone was emotional. There was a lot of yelling and crying. It was such a blessing when we'd have visitors because they would cook for us and give our older kids attention. I was far too worn out to play with them, so it was great.

About a week after we came home from the hospital my husband's job stopped having work for him. He has been working and training as an HVAC installer for the past year. Secretly, I was excited that he would be home with me to help with the kids. There was also that fear of, "How are we going to pay our bills? Our mortgage is due soon, how are we going to pay it?" After 2 weeks passed with no work we made the decision for him to look for work in the same field elsewhere. It was scary because he'd only been at the job for a year and we weren't sure if that was enough time or experience to get offered another job. Still, we had to try. So he sat down and wrote a resume. Then I looked over and proof read it. The next day he went out and applied at a few different HVAC shops. Almost immediately he started getting call backs. It was amazing. He went for his first interview the next day and was offered a position on the spot. The new job started today, so I'm back to wrangling the kids by myself. We are just thankful that the job hunt only lasted a day and not weeks.

Our older two kids love and adore their baby sister. They love laying down on the floor watching her, holding her and talking to her. I don't think our problem is jealousy because they don't seem to be mad at the baby. They seem to be mad at my husband and I when we can't tend to their needs immediately. I think that even with my husband home full-time it was frustrating. I felt like getting ready to leave the house everyone was running around in circles trying to figure out their place. Newborns need so much stuff it's insane. As a family we just need to figure out a routine that works for us, and that is going to take time. I'm hoping that it gets a little easier everyday. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Birth Story

It was 2 days until my due date. I woke up, looked at my phone and saw that my mom had tried calling me three times. That wasn't normal for her. Usually she calls once and waits for me to call her back. Immediately I knew that something was wrong. I called her back, bracing myself for bad news. As soon as I heard her voice I knew. My grandma had passed away in the early morning hours. We were half expecting it, but it was still devastating. I thanked my mom for telling me, told her that I loved her and hung up the phone. Still laying down in bed, with my kids waking up beside me I burst into tears. Memories of my grandma from my childhood ran through my head and I sobbed almost uncontrollably for a few minutes. My son asked me what was wrong and I explained to him that his great grandma was now in heaven and that mommy was a little sad. He ran to the bathroom and grabbed me some toilet paper to dry my tears. Both of my kids came in for a cuddle.
Throughout the day I had my moments where I broke down in tears. My grandma lived a happy, full life but it was still hard knowing that she was gone. I had talked to her on the phone a few weeks before and she had sounded so worn out, so tired. I had told her that I was praying for her and that I loved her. After we hung up I wrote her a letter, again telling her that I loved her and adding a picture of my oldest in his t-ball uniform.
My husband came home later that day and after we put the kids to bed I went into the shower, turned in on and sank to the floor crying again. When I came out my husband was there and we talked and cuddled until midnight. As we were talking I was having mini painless contractions. I kept telling him that I didn't want to go to sleep because I had a feeling that it was going to happen, that I was going to have the baby. He was exhausted so he went to bed. I tried to sleep but I kept tossing and turning because the baby was pushing down hard on my cervix and it hurt. It felt like she was trying to claw her way out.
Then at 1:51 am (sept 19 2014) I both heard and felt a pop in my lower abdomen. I immediately jumped up and rushed the the bathroom. I took off my shorts/underwear and began leaking all over the floor. I quickly texted my neighbor friend that I thought that my water had broken. Luckily she woke up when I texted. Then I attempted to wake up my husband, I don't think that he truly believed me. Finally, he woke up and got the kids in the car to take down the street to the neighbors. It was 2:25am when we dropped the kids off. I had my first painful contraction in the neighbors driveway. I yelled for my husband to hurry up. The hospital was a 10 minute drive away. I had 3 more contractions on the way to the hospital. In between contractions I called to let them know we were coming. I ended up having to hand the phone to my husband so he could tell them. I was in too much pain to talk.
My husband dropped me off at the door and quickly parked the car. I hobbled inside. When someone noticed me I mustered out, "I need help, I'm having a baby." A nurse rushed over with a wheelchair and just as I was about to sit down another contraction came on. I couldn't sit and had to wait until it passed. My husband ran in at that moment. I was able to sit in the wheelchair and my husband started pushing it towards the elevator to the labor and delivery floor. I had another contraction in the elevator.
Once we got to the labor and delivery floor we had to press a button to be buzzed inside. The doors opened and the nurse calmly asked my husband to wheel me to the front desk. As she started asking me a series of questions I had yet another contraction. I yelled out, "I'm sorry but this baby is coming, I can't concentrate on your questions. I think I have to poop!" After that contraction ended I was wheeled into a room, handed a gown and directed to the bathroom to put it on. I had another contraction while in the bathroom and I didn't want to come out. As I was walking to the bed another contraction came on. I told the nurse that I couldn't lay down, that I needed to be up. She explained that she needed to check to see how dilated I was. I somehow managed to lay down so that she could check me. I was dilated to a 7. I begged for pain medicine.
The nurse left the room to get another nurse and some pain medicine. When she came back I was having another contraction. The other nurse was in the corner of the room doing something, I don't know what. The first nurse struggled to put an IV in me because I was wriggling around the bed trying to work through a contraction. She got the IV in, pushed the pain med in and walked over to the other nurse. That's when I yelled out. "THE BABY IS COMING, I NEED TO PUSH, I NEED TO PUSH!" The nurses yelled back not to push, that I wasn't ready. I reached down and felt the head and tried to gently push the baby back in. I was scared. My husband yelled, "I SEE THE HEAD!!"
Both nurses, shocked, rushed over just in time to catch the baby. My beautiful baby girl was born at 2:58am on September 19th. The doctor arrived about 20 minutes later, just in time to deliver the placenta.
My labor/delivery from start to finish was roughly one hour. I am beyond blessed because God knows  I don't tolerate pain very well. My baby girl weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. I had no tearing/ripping.
We are so blessed to have a healthy little girl to add to our family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4 days until my due date

There are only 4 days left until my due date. I was fine waiting for the baby's arrival until yesterday. With plenty of school work to do I wasn't trying to rush labor. Yesterday changed my mind completely.
Yesterday, all of a sudden I started having horribly painful contractions. For about an hour I locked myself in the bathroom wondering if I was in labor or getting sick. Rocking back and forth in pain I tried to stay calm. My oldest was at preschool and my youngest was in the hallway playing with our dog. The pain was so intense that I threw up. Quickly I texted my neighbor friend to please pick my son up from school because I was in a lot of pain and knew I wouldn't be able to drive. Then I ran to unlock the front door so that she could get in. The pain intensified and I jumped in the bathtub to run warm water over my stomach, anything for a little bit of relief. Soon my friend came in, got my kids in the car and rushed us all to the hospital. On the drive there we got caught behind a slow moving semi truck, which spiked my anxiety. She stopped at the front of the emergency room so that I could hop out while she parked the car with the kids. I hobbled uncomfortably inside. As soon as the ladies at the desk saw my face they jumped up. I mustered out, "I think I'm having a baby."
I was taken immediately to Labor and Delivery, changed into a gown and hooked up to monitors to watch my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. When they checked for dilation I was only at 1 cm. A little while later the pain was better so they allowed me to walk the halls. My parents came to help with the kids and a couple hours in they checked me again. I was disappointed to learn that I was still at 1 cm. My contractions were still coming, 3 about every 15 minutes so they allowed me to stay another 2 hours to see if my body was progressing. Unfortunately the final time the nurse checked for dilation I was still at only 1 cm. Still in pain and still contracting they sent me home but gave me a mild muscle relaxer to help me sleep through the night.
The medicine helped a little, but regardless I was awoken about every 30 minutes with pain. This morning I woke up in pain so I ran a warm bath. Throughout the day I was still contracting. I tried to nap, got some homework done and made some burritos to store in the freezer for after baby comes. I'm about to go to sleep now and the contractions are painless. I'm not going to lie. I'm frustrated and scared. Frustrated because I had all that pain and didn't dilate and scared for it all to happen again.
I guess I just have to keep my eye on the prize, my baby girl, and get some sleep. I never know what tomorrow brings, maybe tomorrow will be her birthday!