We had a baby!
We’ve survived 2 months now and I thought I’d talk about some of the basic/non-fussy things we’ve found useful. I definitely want to make sure I say that I understand everyone and every experience is different, and I just want to write this for anyone out there that’s like us, and doesn’t know jack sh*t about having a baby. Keep in mind while reading, who this is coming from…
- a first time mom
- someone who doesn’t like “stuff”
- someone who didn’t read any books or blogs (I didn’t want to fall down the rabbit hole of the internet)
- someone who was gifted things from experienced mamas
- and someone who promised herself to let common sense guide the way (I also promised myself I’d take a shower and put on make-up everyday. I didn’t even do that before I was pregnant. Haha.)
Here’s my very abbreviated and TMI birth story (the faint-hearted and uninterested should look away).
She was born at Palmetto Health Parkridge in Columbia, SC and I HIGHLY recommend that place. The facility is like a spa, it was super quiet, and my nurses were the shittttttttt! I took all the drugs and had the best experience I could have imagined. They rolled a mirror up and I saw the whole thing happen, while Brandon held one leg and my mom held the other. I pushed for 2 hours, but the time flew by. CrossFit prepared me physically and mentally like nothing else could have. The first thing that came out of my mouth when she came out was, “Is she normal?!?! Is she okay?!?!” I asked to see my placenta and holy shit, that thing was incredible. I wanted to pat my body on the back for what it had accomplished. Having her in my arms for the first time felt completely surreal, but she felt like a stranger. It wasn’t quite that instant love that I had expected and that everyone says. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to take care of her, but I feel more bonded to her weeks later than I did at the hospital. I tore, but didn’t feel it or the stitches because I was completely numb from the belly button down. I had the most terrifyingly swollen who-ha (amongst other things), I felt like I was having another baby and ripping my body in half when I went to the bathroom for the first time (and continued to feel that way for about the first week). Breastfeeding was so incredibly painful for the first 3 weeks (I could barely handle taking a shower), and was especially frustrating before my milk came in (about 3 days) because I felt like I was starving my baby. But I stuck with it, and it’s totally fine now.
Anddddd it’s all worth it…hahaha. Seriously though, it is. I’m 30 years old and I’m glad I had her at this age. I really appreciate how quickly time goes by and I know I can better appreciate each day I have with her, and each little milestone she reaches. I feel lucky I get to be a part of watching her grow up.
I prepared myself for the possibility of the ‘baby blues’, but I took her to the gym with me to hang out at 2 weeks because I was starting to feel cooped up and disconnected. I started working out again at 3 weeks post. We go to the gym 3-4 times a week, and I think having a place to “go” and working out has definitely kept any depression or sadness out of my head. We have always been homebodies, but I could definitely see how you’d feel trapped with a new baby. It’s tough to go anywhere without fearing your baby is going to spontaneously combust. And of course, everywhere you go, you now tote along another human. It’s weird.
The baby weight has not been “falling off” with breastfeeding, as I was so joyously expecting, and my body definitely looks different…and jiggly. It’s hard to not feel like I’m being ridiculously vain talking about losing weight and my body image when my body just birthed a perfectly healthy, and happy baby. I feel very lucky. But it’s also hard to look at yourself in the mirror and see such a big change. I know I just need to work hard in the gym, eat right, and be patient. I just wanted to write this in case anyone else was experiencing a complete standstill on the scale and needed someone to commiserate with, because I certainly feel like I’m in the minority.
One last tidbit, I would definitely recommend starting a baby registry at Target because FREE STUFF. I got an awesome swag bag with free Starbucks drink coupons, an Avent bottle, diapers, wipes, diaper cream, a pacifier, vitamins, and tons of coupons.
Because I didn’t venture out into the world for 2 weeks, here are some things you might consider stocking up on pre-baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding…
- Dermoplast because it keeps the downstairs parts cool, slightly numb, and moisturized. I used this for about 3 weeks.
- Pads of varying absorbency (because you will bleed for days/weeks)
- Nursing pads for leaking nips, I’ve tried Johnson & Johnson, and would prefer them, but they have a weird nipple shape that pokes out of your shirt (who wants to look like they’re nippin’?)
- Lanolin to help heal the nips
- Seamless nursing tank top (because it’s so easy–a bra and a shirt in one)
- I’ve tried many Target nursing bras, and this is my favorite (hello seamless!)
- Snacks! and drinks! (I am always thirsty)
We wrap her up in a swaddle (which can also be used as a wearable blanket), turn on the rocker (you can turn it on with your toe which is most excellent when we’ve got both hands wrapped around the booboo) and she’s pretty much lights out. She sleeps from about 9 p.m. until around 3 to 5 a.m. Believe me, I feel freaking lucky.
Clothes and Diapering
E v e r y o n e told us not to buy newborn size clothes or diapers, so we didn’t. And guess what? We needed them. Even at 8lbs, she was swimming in size 1 diapers (hello explosions) and 0-3 month clothes. Most newborn clothes say up to 7lbs, but she was still able to wear them up to 10lbs.
As far as diapers, I’m definitely using disposable diapers. The only big thing for me is to look for diapers with the ‘moisture indicator’, so you know the diaper is dirty and you don’t have to stick your whole face inside the thing. At this point, most brands seem to be similar to me. I’m using Amazon diaper wipes (Seems pretty odd that Amazon makes diaper wipes), most are priced similarly, and they’re fine. Don’t really notice a big difference with those either, except we had some Huggies ones that tore apart when we pulled them out of their container and that was annoying.
There are a bunch of different types of clothes for babies with pros and cons. Who knew. We love Gerber Onesies, and we’ve found that gowns (the ones with cinched bottoms) are so easy to handle during nighttime and early morning nappy changes because you don’t have to spend what feels like 45 minutes trying to properly snap and align the buttons of footed onesies (the ones that have snaps all the way down the chest, and around the diaper and legs). If you can find the ones with little hand covers, that’s super awesome for face scratchers. You also definitely need socks (which can double as hand mittens). I haven’t really found any that stay on.
Don’t Waste Your Money
There are so many super adorable outfits and shoes…soooooo. hard. to. resist, so I bought a bunch of $20-$35 onesies, pants, and whatnots from Baby Gap. She has already grown out of all of it. I learned a good lesson, and I will not do that again. Gerber onesies, Target, and anything on sale are the only things I’ll spring for.
I bought a Boppy pillow, but don’t really use it. I just prop her up on it every so often. Since I have such a flexible schedule, I’m only using a manual breast pump. I keep toying with the idea of getting an electric one. I supplement her with formula every so often (gasp, right?), and she doesn’t have any issues switching between the bottle and the boob. Seems like no one talks about or uses formula. If she’s hungry, and I can’t supply enough food for her, I’m using formula. I don’t feel guilty about it, even though it sure does seem everyone wants you to.
I made a lot of food for the freezer about a month before she was born, and I’m really, really, really happy I did. Brandon has definitely been helping with cooking, but sometimes we don’t have anything in the fridge, and going to the grocery store feels like getting ready for a 3 day expedition into the wilderness. I’d also highly recommend stocking your pantry with snacks. It was hard to get out of bed for the first few weeks and having some stuff you could just grab and consume was really nice. Here’s what’s in the freezer…
- Apples, chicken sausage, and sweet potatoes roasted with maple syrup and rosemary
- BBQ mini meatloaves with rosemary roasted potatoes
- Beef stew
- Chicken, broccoli, rice meatballs
- Pulled pork tenderloin with sauerkraut
- Orzo with puttanesca, beef, and feta
- 10 minute chicken verde soup
- 2 Frittatas – I do not recommend this, as I ended up throwing it all away. The air pockets in the fritatta were filled with ice, so when I thawed out the slices they were watery and inedible.