Bringing Up Baby – Weeks 2 & 3

Biggest Surprise: Dreading Going Back to School

I have mentioned before that I am a bit of a workaholic. So I was not expecting to feel so not ready to go back to school after taking two weeks off. As week two went by I was dreading going back more and more.  I guess it’s because I am very proud of lots of things that I have accomplished, but I have never done anything as wonderful as making Baby M.  And the thought of leaving her was really hard – especially after she had been right there with me 24/7 for 43 weeks!  Luckily, I am happy to report that the dread was worse than the actual going back.   And I guess that is my biggest surprise for week 3.  I am very lucky that I only have to leave for a couple of hours at a time to go to class – and there are only 2 days of the week when I have more than one class a day.  This means I don’t have to deal with the same pumping challenges or being away for long stretches that full-time working moms have to deal with.  I still don’t like leaving her, but short time periods definitely make it easier.

Biggest Challenge: Will Got Sick 😦

When baby girl was 10 days old, Will woke up and said, “My throat feels a little scratchy, I’m not sure if I should hold her this morning.” And unfortunately he felt worse from there. It wasn’t strep or anything – just a standard upper respiratory virus – but definitely not anything you want around a new mom or baby. Luckily, my mom was still in town and so baby girl and I moved in with mom for almost a week and quarantined Will at home with the dogs. It was the right thing to do. It allowed Will to get some rest and get well, and it kept Lil’ M and I from getting sick. But it was hard on Will to not hold his baby for a week (he said he felt guilty for sleeping and not being able to help) and it was hard on us because we missed him.

Best Baby Care Item: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

I downloaded this album from iTunes for my phone and it is one of the best baby calming tools that we have now.  She loves classical music, especially classical music with strings.  We also got a few classical CDs for her and a CD player (which was surprisingly hard to find – guess they are going the way of the tape player lol), but the Vivaldi is her favorite.  It is really handy to have it on my phone so we can play it anywhere.

Best Mommy Care Item: Coconut Oil

Nursing gets easier everyday, but sore nipples are part of life now.  I have found that coconut oil is the easiest and best relief.  I like it even better than the gel pads that you put in the fridge. It’s naturally anti-microbial and anti-fungal and all that good stuff.  And it’s safe for baby without washing before the next feeding, so need to wash or wipe it off before nursing again. Anything that can take one less step at this point is a good thing 🙂

Favorite Memory: Sleeping In My Arms and Hugging Me Back

I love watching her sleep in my arms – still her favorite place to sleep.  We have finally gotten her to sleep in the Mamma Roo and the swing some, but boy does she love to be held. It is fine by me though.  I could just watch her sleep and snuggle her for hours.  My favorite week three memory was the first time she hugged me back.  She had just finished eating and I put her on my shoulder to burp and instead of her normal arms flopped out she reached around and grabbed the back of my shoulder with her little right hand.  Ohhh – just made me melt 🙂

Other Thoughts to Share: 

Have a Post-Partum Plan

It is so important to have help in the first few weeks and it is much easier to ask for help before you need it.  We have had lots of help from family and friends – from my mom helping around the house last week and helping babysit this week while I went back to school to our friend from the gym bringing us casserole for dinner one night to my friend from school bringing me lunch to my aunt and my cousin who are coming next week for a few days to help out – and I am so grateful.  It is hard to know exactly what you will need, but it will help to give it some thought before baby arrives.  Here is a great worksheet that our doula helped us find.  I highly recommend it.

Baby Week 2
Week 2
IMG_3160
Week 3

Who Does Baby M Look Like?

Hi Friends!

Happy Valentine’s Day.  Let’s play a game 🙂 Here are baby pics of me and Will.  Who do you think little Miss M looks like?  This poll will be open for a week.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

XOXO,

M

Baby Will
Baby Will
Baby Meredith
Baby Meredith
Lil' M
Lil’ M

Bringing Up Baby – Week 1

I mentioned in my very first post that one of my original ideas for this blog was an online baby book – so now that baby girl is here I think it is only fitting that I start posting about my sweet little one.  I have really enjoyed writing my Weekly Recipe Roundup posts, so I think I am going to try a weekly baby post.  I want this weekly post to help me capture and share memories, but I also hope it will be helpful to any new moms or moms-to-be out there who might be looking for an additional perspective to add to their bag of tricks.  So without further ado:

Bringing Up Baby Week 1

Biggest Surprise: So in Love

I knew that I would love my baby of course, but I just had no idea how much I would love her.  Will and I have both been puppy parents for a while now and we love our fur babies and feel a huge sense of responsibility for them.  But it is nothing in comparison to how we feel about Baby M.  I really can’t put it into words, but we are just completely smitten and can’t believe how perfect she is.  I can sit for hours just watching her sleep in my arms.  On my more hormonal days I just start crying because I am overcome with how much I love her.  And then I start laughing at myself for being such a baby.

Biggest Challenge: Sleeping

Baby M has the perfect temperament and sleeps great – as long as she is in someone’s arms lol.  She wants to be held all the time!  I love this, except that it makes sleeping darn near impossible.  Now that we are getting to the end of week 1, we are finally starting to have some luck with putting her in the MammaRoo and the infant car seat, but no luck at all with the bassinet yet.  The real lifesaver this first week is that my mom has come over to help me.  She comes from about 10 or 11pm to 4am and lets me sleep between feedings, and even just 4 hours a night has made a huge difference.  She also has been coming back in the afternoons and helping me from about noon until 5.  And the extra afternoon nap helps too.  Since Will is working, he wasn’t able to help with night duty until the weekend; so having mom here was huge.  This weekend we have been on our own and I think it is going reasonably well.  We’ll see how week two goes.

Best Baby Care Item: The Original Boppy Pillow
The Boppy has been a great tool and not just for nursing. It is great for dad too and helps prevent tight shoulders when we are spending so much time holding little M. To be honest, the Boppy was a little bit hard to use for nursing the first couple of days and actually got in the way. But after we started getting the hang of our best positions it has been great. And like I said, it has been great for everyone’s comfort during normal holding while sitting.

Best Mommy Care Item: Warm Buddy Warming Blanket
This was actually a surprise. My mother-in-law had given me this warming blanket as a gift a couple of years ago but I had only needed it once or twice before. However, when we got home from the hospital I was so surprised how sore my arms and shoulders were and I was looking for something to help. This has been awesome. It’s not as big as a full size blanket so it is easy to maneuver into different shapes. And you just pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to heat it up so there are no cords to worry about like with a heating pad. It has been great for sore muscles, but it was also really helpful when my milk first came in and I could use it to heat up my chest so I could pump when lil M wasn’t quite keeping up with production yet.

Favorite Memory: Baby Faces

She makes all kinds of funny faces already!  Will says it looks like she is taking her face for a test drive – trying out all kinds of looks.  I wish I could get pictures of all of them. Even her little scowls are the most precious thing ever!

Other Thoughts to Share: 

Breastfeeding
There have been many tough decisions to make since we found out that we were becoming parents, but breastfeeding has not been one of them. From the moment I found out we were pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. The actual execution of breastfeeding, however, has been a little more challenging. And this is after having read books and websites and articles in order to prepare. It is going well now, but the first couple of days were tough. Our biggest challenge was with positioning. To be totally honest, I had to sort of forget everything that I had read and that the lactation consultants had told me. When I was trying to “get it right” it was frustrating for both of us. When I finally let go and just tried to do what felt natural to me, she got the latch and everything else fell into place. Then we could go back and correct the positioning and worry about making my neck and wrist and all of that more comfortable. But what really helped us turn the corner was me letting go of doing it right and just doing what felt good for us.

Introducing the Dogs
We took the dogs to the kennel for a few days of boarding the day I went into labor. We had thought that we would pick them up the day we left the hospital, but we ended up waiting one more night and I think that was a really great decision. The first night at home with baby is a big enough change on its own without adding in extra variables. If there is enough interest I will do a whole post about how we introduced the dogs to baby girl. Just let me know in the comments.

Taking Care of You
Try to do one little thing every day to just take care of you. I never imagined that taking a hot shower and getting to shave my legs would be such a treat lol, but just that one little thing can make such a big difference! Other little treats I indulged in this week: drafting this blog post (I was missing getting to write), posting an announcement to Facebook, and meditating. Maybe next week I will get to bake something 😊

Week 1 with Baby M

She’s here!

Hello my lovely readers!

This is going to be a quick post but I wanted to share my wonderful news that baby girl arrived on Saturday evening, January 31 at 5:27pm, 7 lbs 7 oz.  We were in labor for 38 hours so I am still a little tired (ok a lot tired), but very happy and feeling blessed.  We came home from the hospital Monday evening, last night we picked up the fur babies from the kennel, and we are slowly adjusting to our new family life. Needless to say, Will and I are just head over heels in love with our little bundle of joy.  It will be a few weeks before I am posting recipe round-ups again, but I am hoping that I will have time for a few new post ideas that I have in mind 😉 Thank you all for your good wishes and support!!

XOXO, M

Welcome Home Baby M
Welcome Home Baby M