Friday, June 20, 2014

New Mommy Survival Kit

So, now that I'm attempting to get back to blogging, I'm going to try and do some posts on the things that I learned in the early days of having a newborn.

Nothing can really prepare you for what it will be like when you come home from the hospital with a new baby.  Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, you are doing so around the clock.  If you are like I was, and have to throw pumping into that mix, then you will have scarcely a minute not devoted to the feeding or changing of your sweet bundle.  In those first few weeks, these were the items I found most essential to getting through each day.

Dry shampoo.  This was my best friend in the beginning.  I did make sure to find time to shower each day, and I was lucky enough that Ramona actually gave me the 15 or 20 minutes each day to do so.  However, while standing in the shower I would realize that I simply didn't always have the energy to go through the effort of lathering, washing, rinsing, conditioning, and then combing my hair.  I developed a routine of washing my hair every other day, and using dry shampoo on the in between day.  It seems like such a small thing, but it really made the whole day so much easier.

Leggings.  Prior to having a baby I was firmly in the "leggings are not pants" camp.  Now, as long as they aren't see through when you bend over, I fully understand and support wearing leggings as pants.  In those first few weeks they are amazing.  They have an elastic waist, which is great to accommodate your changing body.  They are comfortable, probably the most essential aspect.  You can dress them up with a cute long shirt and boots or flats if you find the motivation and energy to step out of the house, or you can toss on a comfy t-shirt and lounge while you tend your babe.
If you are pumping, and/or using bottles, then you need to do regular cleaning and sterilization.  I was introduced to these steam sterilizing bags through the NICU.  These are so easy, wash the parts toss them in the bag with some water and put in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Granted, as easy as this is you will likely feel too overwhelmed to even accomplish this task yourself, so enlist your partner with this task, it will help him/her feel useful.

Hydration is essential in the early weeks.  Especially if you are breast feeding or pumping.  You will actually discover that as soon as you start feeding or pumping, an intense feeling of thirst will suddenly come over you.  This is apparently a regular response to nursing, so be prepared and keep a water bottle or full glass of water next to you at all times.

The first weeks are hectic and exhausting, and you will likely look back a few months later to discover it's all a blur in your memory.  Every baby is different, so it's impossible to completely prepare ahead of time, but I think you will find these tips are likely to be helpful no matter what your new baby is like.

Do you have any other essential tips for new mothers?

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Oh me, oh my!  It has been an extremely long time since my last post, almost a year in fact!  A lot has happened since my last post.  I ended up experiencing a difficult pregnancy, almost delivering 11 weeks early, but thankfully in the end only delivering 6 weeks early.  Luckily my little girl is a strong trooper and only spent 9 days in the NICU.  Granted, those were the longest 9 days of my life.

Born 6 weeks early at 4lbs 7oz
Adjusting to life as a mom hasn't been easy.  I love my baby more than I can possibly express and being her mom is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.  However, I'm exhausted, and learning how to balance work and baby while maintaining my sanity hasn't been easy.  I'm still working everyday to find the right balance.

Her first week home
I've also been struggling with post partum depression since I returned to work.  While I am realizing I'm really one of those moms that does need work to fulfill myself, being away from my daughter hasn't been an easy adjustment for me.  I miss her during the day, and returning to work had a severely negative impact on my ability to breastfeed and even produce breast milk with pumping.  We made it 4 months feeding her only breast milk, and now at almost 7 months my ability to produce anything is really tapering off.  This was hard to accept at first, buying that first can of formula was a very emotional experience, but I now realize that my girl is growing and thriving and so it's ok that she is primarily formula fed now.

1 month old, also Christmas Eve
And, as if having a baby weren't change enough, my husband and I have decided that in the best interest of our family, it is time for us to pack up and move across the country to a city that we feel will provide Ramona with the most positive environment for growing up.  This is still in the works, so no full details yet, but each day we are getting closer to a definite moving date, a definite job situation, and a definite living situation.

4 Months Old
So yes, there have been numerous changes in the past year.  I miss this blog oh so much, and I really can't promise how frequently I will be able to post in the future, but I do hope to continue some posts.  Depending on how today goes there may even be a few additional posts coming (I'm currently taking care a sick baby in need of lots of sleep).  For those of you who have continued to come to this blog, thank you!  I know it can be frustrating when you find a blog you enjoy, and then suddenly the posts just stop coming.

6 Months Old