I'm no stranger to motherhood, that's for sure. But this time around is so different. We don't get to sit on the sidelines while someone else takes care of our bebe. It's been such a fun and wild ride so far. Arya has already taught us so much as parents but also, ourselves. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true! You really do learn so much within that first month. She has started to develop such a personality already, and is such a momma/daddy's girl. I think she only likes me because I have the goods and when she cries, she gets those goods LOL.
I'll be honest, the one thing that I have struggled with are my emotions. They said postpartum hormones were intense, but man, they weren't lying. I'm just so overwhelmed with joy that I don't know what to do with it. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments. Actually, a lot of them. Craig works nights so half the week is just me and her, and it's a lot to handle on your own. Single parents, kudos to you. That's all i'll say. When she cries, I question what i'm doing wrong to make her cry, but then I take a step back and realize SHE'S A BABY. She cries when she's hungry, tired, pants filled, and everything a baby should be crying about. I'm not doing anything wrong, in fact, I would like to think I'm doing it all right. I pat myself on the back because as soon as she was born, I went into mom mode. Well, maybe a few hours later because my ass couldn't move or feel my legs. We got lucky with a pretty good baby though. I honestly can't complain. You have to have a lot of patience and I think once your baby is born, that just gets added onto your plate without thinking. It's not something I've fully had before, that's always been Craig. And he is so freaking amazing with her. I got lucky with that too. I love watching him be a dad, it's just so cute.
But enough bragging about me little one. I really came on her here for a purpose. I wanted to share the things that have worked for us and the things that haven't. Whether that be products, or just the way we do things. I know I have a lot of new moms, and soon to be moms who follow me, so i'm trying to be as helpful as possible.
First and foremost, something I just learned and thought it was amazing. If you have an HSA/FSA card through your employer/insurance, Amazon does accept those for certain products relating to your baby and breastfeeding. So if you need something, just search through the FSA/HSA shop! So simple!
So we are currently exclusively breastfeeding and it is going so well. With Jaxton, I only pumped, so the actual breastfeeding journey is all new to me. Arya latched as soon as they put her on me and she's been great ever since. I will say, It can hurt if they're not latching properly. So seek out a lactation consultant if you need help. Lanolin Cream will be your best friend. In the hospital, my nipples did bleed, and it helped heal it up right away. It's safe for you and baby. One thing I like to do, is while Arya is feeding on one side, i'll pump on the opposite. I wanted to have a freezer stash for the time that she does have someone else watch her. We recently just started feeding her bottles on the nights Craig is home to help out. Then I just pump and go back to sleep. It's really helped me get some rest and Craig enjoys feeding her too, at least I think he does. I use the Spectra S2 pump, and I prefer it over my Medela pump I had with Jaxton. It's much quieter and I feel like the suction is so much stronger and less painful. The only thing, I wish I would have went with the S1 because it's battery operated or able to be plugged in, so it would have been nice to have that option, but overall I'm happy with my choice. And insurance paid for it, so look into that as well. I think another must for breastfeeding is the Haakaa. It's a game changer. It's just a silicone cup that you attach to catch your letdown. If you don't want to pump, or you're on the go, this is perfect for you!
Let's talk sleep. I like to talk about it because still at 7 weeks, we aren't really getting any. It's to the point where I lay on my side and let her nurse. That's just how we sleep. I know, I know. It's not safe, but it's what works for us right now. Every baby is different, and i'm no expert, so I can't tell you what is the best way. We do have the Halo Bassinest and she seemed to like it at first, but has reflux. She doesn't really like to lay on her back, but she loves her side. We've tried to put her in the Boppy Lounger and she doesn't really like that either. We did just order a SnuggleMe, so we'll see how that goes. Motherhood is all about survival, so you and your family do what's best for you, that's my advice.
People are going to offer it, so accept the help when they do. I have a hard time doing that still, because I feel guilty if I do. But I have to be able to get work done, otherwise my business will crumble and so will this house. Another thing people have told me which I still don't do, is sleep when the baby sleeps. I can attest to this. You'll be exhausted if you don't. So just do it. Your house can wait. The a laundry can wait. If you're not at 100%, how can you expect to take care of a baby? If you're significant other is there to help, let them take some of the shifts. That's something that can be established before the baby even gets here. It'll make things so much easier and less exhausting.
The last thing I wanted to talk about is postpartum emotions. I touched a little on the subject at the beginning, but I want to be real. IT IS OKAY TO CRY. No one is expecting you to be superwoman. This is easier said than done, I know. You're going to have all these different emotions running through your body and if you're a first time mom, then you are going into all this blind. Especially when you aren't getting much sleep, you are both physically and emotionally tired. Call someone to sit with the baby for a minute so you can have a breather. Have your partner take them so you can take a walk, or even a shower. If you feel like it's getting to be too much, talk to someone. No one knows about your struggles unless you speak up.
I'll add some more links below to things we have tried, liked, and are currently using. In no way am I affiliated with any of the links provided in the blog, just a momma trying to help out!
MamaRoo - our is an older version because it was given to us, but works just the same. Something I can put her in while she naps so I can get some things done.
Moby Wrap - life changing. It's so nice to be hands free and she usually sleeps while in it.
Nursing Pads - these are my favorite. Great price for the quantity you get.
Nursing Bras - these are so nice because there is no underwire. They're super comfortable and come in many colors!
Play Mat - This mat is super soft. We do tummy time on it and she loves to just lay and stare at the little toys attached.
Diaper Caddy - we keep this in our living room packed full of diapers, wipes, etc. It's nice to have something out there for quick changes. We have one in our bedroom too.
Sanitizer - we bought a huge jug to keep around the house for visitors when they come over.
Long Sleeve Onesies - I love having a lot of these on hand because they're cheap and good to throw in the diaper bag. And they have the foldable sleeves so you don't always have to have on mittens. Babies nails grow so quick and they're like razor blades!
If I think of anything else as we go, i'll add it! But that's it for now. I hope this was helpful to any first time moms or soon to be!