New Parent Advice

With my first pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with excitement at first. Then I started to almost dread the actual birth that had an impending date that kept creeping closer and closer with each passing day. The majority of people told me horrifying stories and another group of ladies told me wonderful birth stories. I had no idea what to expect! Not just with the birth but I wondered how I would manage life with a baby. It was all so unknown to me.

Well here I am, expecting baby number 2!!! And already, I have found much more peace with this pregnancy. I guess knowing what to expect really takes a lot of fear and worry away! Here are a few things I wish I could go back in time and tell myself when I was scared and pregnant with my first baby. I hope anyone who is in that same boat can find this helpful, educational and encouraging!

Trust Your Body

I’ve said it in a previous post, but I want to say it again, we were made to do this! In our world today, we don’t give our Creator enough credit or trust. He specifically designed women to bring life into the world. It is a beautiful process that usually needs no medical intervention!

When I went to the hospital in labor, I told the nurses I was not wanting an epidural. One of them told me,

“You don’t want an epidural? Oh hunny, would you go into an open heart surgery without getting anesthesia? It is only going to get worse and you are going to wish you had it as soon as your water breaks.”

At the time, I didn’t know how to reply to this woman but I was very glad to hear her shift ended shortly after and I did not end up getting an epidural. Child birth is natural… open heart surgery is not. That is just not something you tell a new scared mom at 7 or 8 cm dilated. She put fear in me and fear causes extra pain.

Don’t let other people’s bad experiences or stories scare you into thinking you cannot handle it. You have an unimaginable strength in you that you have never met before but I promise you, it is there and you will feel on top of the world afterwards.

Researching possible side effects of having an epidural might even help you realize that you might not want to go down that route, unless absolutely necessary. Educate yourself and make your own choices for your birth plan. Having a child is hard work and painful but it is NOT an unbearable pain!

You Won’t Regret Getting a Doula

Weather you plan on having your baby in a hospital, in a birthing center or at home, these wonderful women are just there to answer your questions, prepare, and serve you before, during and after labor. They are birthing experts! My doula knew just how to apply counter pressure to my lower back to help ease the pain of my contactions. She came over to our apartment at 4am and was by my side until a couple hours after my baby was in my arms, around 4pm. She even came to check in on me a few days later and helped with all of my nursing questions. My husband was super apart of helping me every step of the way but he is still only a guy and was just as new to all of this as me. We chose to hire a professional, it was worth every penny and also the biggest reason I did not end up getting an epidural!!

Car Shopping

Thinking of upgrading to a bigger/safer car for your growing family? Word of advice… sooner rather than later is definitely better for this. It is not fun to shop for cars when you are super pregnant. And if you wait as long as we did, you might even start having contractions in the finance office, I’ll save that story for another day! But definitely don’t wait until you have your newborn baby to car shop… some things are just easier to do without kids!

Start saving now!

It’s never too early to start saving for your child’s future. Check out OwnX to create a free account to start saving in physical silver and gold for you and your children. With low minimum purchases of only $25, this is an easy way to help secure and pass on your wealth in uncertain economic times.

OWNx.com

Meal Prepping

I wish I would have known about this before our little nugget was born. We were blessed to have some amazing church friends deliver meals for the first two weeks or so but after that I still didn’t have the energy or time to shop and cook! With no family nearby and a husband that is not a cook, we found ourselves getting a lot of takeout. I have now learned of a couple options that can help get a healthy dinner on the table without much thought or energy.

Here a few links to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Crockpot meals, quick lunches, and frozen breakfast options will help you so much when you join the mommy club! The experts say it will stay good in your freezer for up to three months! Not sure what to do while you wait for your due date? Start prepping freezer meals!

Another option is using a fresh meal prep delivery service. My favorite has been HelloFresh. You will get a box of several thought out meals delivered to your door with fresh meat and produce. It comes with the recipes and all of the ingredients you need measured out and ready to cook. These fresh meals are seriously delicious and they are husband friendly with step by step directions. (If you use my referral code BR5QSF you will get $40 off your first box!) Doesn’t get much better than that!

Diaper Delivery Service

I’m a big fan of Honest Diapers! My poor baby suffered from severe diaper rashes from every other brand we tried until these! On top of that, it saves time and money to order in bulk online! I’m always down for cutting out unnecessary trips to the store with my little one. This online company will send you a month’s supply of diapers and wipes right to your doorstep! It really is amazing, not to mention the diapers are super stylish! (If you click on the link above you will save money on your first order!) 

Enjoy that Uncomfortable Pregnancy Sleep!

Sleep is sleep. Soon you will not be getting much sleep at all. Stock up on as much as you can get now and don’t feel bad about it! 🙂

Your Heart is About to Grow

You will soon find yourself taking pictures of every single moment of your baby’s life. Why? Because they are freaking adorable! The whole world might not agree but in your mind they are the most amazing creations. Your heart is about to expand and stretch in ways you never knew were possible! Get ready for it!

Find other people to talk to and surround yourself with who are uplifting and encouraging to you and have been in your shoes! Being a parent is full of uncertainties and uncharted territories. Don’t be scared. Embrace each step of the way and enjoy the journey!

 

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Joys of Motherhood

You know that scream in horror movies when the girl is getting chased or killed? That is what I awoke to this morning, shouting and screaming coming from my daughter’s room! Usually she wakes up happy as can be and plays in her crib with her dollies. So naturally this came as a surprise. There was no time to check the baby-cam with a scream like this! I flung the covers off of me and literally sprinted to her room. I’m still not sure what all the fuss was about but she was safe!

Isn’t it incredible how we continually love our children after all they put us through? After all the late nights and early mornings. After all the accidents they’ve made. From little spit-ups to full-on vomiting on you! Leaving poopy blowouts in your bed and trashing your house while you are in the midst of cleaning it. The screaming, kicking, scratching, and yanking of hair. They can be stinky, sticky, sweaty little critters.

I feel like our natural impulse should be to run from such things! Yet, we don’t. We stick around and we hover over them with delight because they are part of us. The joys that come with parenthood over compensates for the bad days and temper-tantrums.

The love for my child grows and is awakened in me daily during our little moments together; when her tiny fingers dance across my face as I hold her in my arms. When nobody but me can make her tears go away. Her tiny smiles and belly-laughs. When she finally masters something that she has been working on for weeks and when she looks deep into my eyes and calls me, “mama.” These are moments I live for and cherish.

Since becoming a mom, I have learned a whole new kind of love- the kind of love that is messy and hard sometimes, but yet, completely irresistible and patient. God feels the same way about us! He knows our weaknesses and sees us on all of our bad days. And thankfully, He still patiently loves, pursues, and will constantly forgive us because He adores each and every one of us no matter how messy and repulsive our lives can be.

Oh, being a mom (for just shy of 10 months) has been so eye-opening for me! The messy and hard times are difficult in the moment but they make the best stories and are fun to look back on and laugh! The joyful moments would not be as joyful without all the stinky, sticky, sweaty ones. We must take each moment for what it is and love our children like crazy!

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How life changes after baby

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I always wanted to have kids. I find their joy to be contagious.

The day I found out I was having a little girl, my heart raced with excitement as I realized that she would be my very own, unlike all the other kids I babysat. I imagined what she would be like. I looked forward to watching her grow into a little lady and to the days I would teach her to do things. Little did I expect how much she would teach me or just exactly how much I would grow in this first year alone.

Before being a mom I was… different.

Slowly taking my time to get ready to go anywhere, now give me 10 minutes and I can look presentable. I can take showers in record time and can cook dinner while cleaning up, feeding and entertaining a baby.

I never appreciated how incredible my body is until having my girl! Nor did I know how strong I actually am, until I was giving birth to her. Having a natural childbirth rocked my world! I never strived for this… if you would have asked me at 6 months pregnant; I was completely on board for the drugs plan. However, I was so blessed to have heard incredible birth stories and to have my doula and husband encouraging me in this plan, to just trust my body and the way God designed it to bring life into the world. And I did!

Then came breastfeeding. That was a new type of pain, at first, but with patience, persistence, and encouragement, we stuck it out and are proudly still going strong. How amazing is it that; we were created to have all we need to sustain a baby’s life, it is proven to be the healthiest thing on earth for them, and it’s conveniently inside of us? Ladies…We. Were. Made. To. Do. This. Before being pregnant, this had never even crossed my mind.

Before my world changer was born, I got 10 solid, uninterrupted, hours of sleep a night and I loved every second of it. I don’t wish to scare those who haven’t become mothers yet but it is definitely much less now. Although, I am tired most days (sometimes under my eyes will show you) my body is still stronger than I knew, with help from napping throughout the day.

One more amazing thing about the body, it bounces back! I was in shock at how nursing, eating healthy, a little exercise, and this amazing thing called a faja made my belly look like it never even housed a baby for 9 long, mostly summer, months!

I was more selfish of my time. Now, my whole day revolves around another person. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed at night (wait, there’s no sleeping through the night anymore!) has to do with her mood and her schedule. She has taught me to be a servant. I always have to put my needs second to this tiny human and sometimes that is hard, but well worth it.

Before being a mom, I only saw problems in the world and thought about how I was affected. Now, I can’t help but think about how all of these problems will be effecting my child’s generation, now and in years to come. My heart breaks over things that have not even happened yet but that I know are coming for our country, that once was so strong.

Before I was a mom I had little expectations of what was coming my way. The little girl I was growing in my belly seemed to be pretty chill. She was healthy but hardly moved, to the point of worry! I tried everything to get her to kick some days and hardly anything worked. That all changed the day she was born. Life was simpler before this girl was added to the mix. People ask me all the time, “She seems so happy, was she an easy baby?” Without a second thought, I say, “No!”

We were blessed with a beautiful colicky baby. For the first three months of her life, she projectile vomited on every piece of furniture and shirt of mine in the house. She was that baby who didn’t enjoy being swaddled and would escape the swaddle before I could lay her down. Did you know they even make Velcro swaddle blankets for those crazy babies, like mine? I felt like I was putting her in a tiny straight jacket. However, those still could not contain this tiny baby! She is and always has been a free spirit.

There were never little cries or whimpers… she has an ear-piercing scream and didn’t show much interest in binkies. For the first 8 months she would scream every time we changed her outfit or diaper. She never wanted to be held like a baby, cradled in your arms, because she liked to sit up. A lot of times she would scream just to scream. I realized the only way to stop the screaming was to go outside. Literally, I would stand two inches outside the door and she would transform into a happy baby again… I would turn around to go in and as soon as one foot was through the door the screaming was back.

Of course, I know this is not normal! She was one tough baby. As one year is closely approaching, I realize that life has gotten easier. She is walking around playing by herself during the day, she is singing to music, and babbling away. She is such an active, happy girl and gets overjoyed when she sees her daddy walk through the door in the evening. She became a thumb sucker, finally, and cries less and less. I love seeing her personality form into such a fun little independent lady. By the way, her name is Eva. Eva is from the Latin name Eve which means “life” and she is already living up to her name quite nicely!

Unbeknownst to her, she has taught me so much and forced me to grow! Before her, I was not quite who I am today. I was still me but much less. Being a mom has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. I have encountered the amazing things my body was designed to do. Sometimes I thought I was on the verge of breaking but thankfully God never gives us more than we can handle. Here’s to (almost) one year down, and many more to go!!

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