Hi Everyone! It’s hard to believe that on this Wednesday my little Jax will be one month old! Where did the time go? It has been the craziest and most amazing 4 weeks of my life. It has been a whirlwind learning how to navigate this crazy new life being a new mom. Having two older sisters who are wonderful mothers in my life, I have been fortunate enough to receive so much help and great advice along the way. I am sure my sister Katie is thrilled with my constant texts and calls asking her if every sound and movement Jax is making is okay. C’mon you can’t blame me! That’s the advantage of having a sister who is a pediatrician right?! Don’t worry, Alison is by no means getting a break from my annoying ways. My dog, Newman decided to eat a dryer sheet two nights ago so there were plenty of hysterical phone calls being thrown her way too!
Anyways…I have learned so much over the past month, and I wanted to find a way to incorporate all this new info into a new blog for you all. I thought this could be a great platform to share some great tips and advice I’ve either received or learned in my first month of being a new mom. From c-section tips to what baby items I can’t live without, I am going to try and hit as many topics as possible.
Before I dive in to my tips I wanted to briefly share my son’s birth story. While I was pregnant, I found out pretty early on that Jax was breach. To be honest, most women would be thrilled at the thought of a planned c-section- no labor pains and you get to keep some important body parts intact haha! Well I was terrified. I spent many nights staying up in bed thinking about that scary white room that is the OR. Since I am a huge planner, the one positive in all of this was that I had everything organized and set for that specific day. Well of course, Jax had other plans in mind. Two days before my planned c-section, my water broke at 8:30pm. We rushed over to the hospital and within 3 hours my little man was born. It was probably better that it happened in that way because I had no time to think about what was happening. I was much calmer during the operation than I had imagined. I was picturing myself going through hysterical breakdowns and panic attacks throughout the whole thing. I managed to put everything aside and just focus on getting him out safely. Prior to my surgery, one of the big questions I had asked everyone about their c-sections was what was it going to feel like? Did the spinal hurt? I can say that for me the spinal didn’t hurt at all. I think more than anything it’s just really scary. I felt anxious not being able to see them administer the shot behind me. Your husband isn’t allowed in the room so you are with a bunch of people you don’t know. The next big question I had was what does the actual incisions feel like? I felt zero pain. But I did feel a ton of tugging and pulling. It was a weird sensation. I remember asking the Doctor every 2 minutes if are we done yet! And my arms were shaking so badly I didn’t even get to hold my little nugget until hours later. Once I saw that little boy, I could barely remember the c-section or how badly my face itched from the morphine. All I could focus on was this amazing baby my husband and I had created. Everyone feels differently after they have their first child. Some say the love doesn’t come right away. Others will say it’s an instant connection. For me, he changed my whole life in a minute. I truly felt like a better person when he came into this world.
New Mommy Survival Guide
-Make sure to pack a cozy throw blanket in your hospital bag. My sister Alison had actually brought me one as a gift while I was in the hospital. The hospital blankets are not so great so don’t rely on them. That blanket kept me warm and comfortable for days! This is the one she got me.
-Take all the hospital goodies home with you. Not only did I take all the items that the nurses brought in to my room, but I asked them for more before I left. One really nice nurse even gave me a huge bag filled with stuff to bring home! Those mesh underwear they give to you…take as many as you can get. I wore them for the entire week after I got home. Big hospital undies = gold!
-Don’t be offended by the lactation consultants. I am certain after speaking with one of the consults for the first time, I cried and felt horrible about myself. Take advantage of their knowledge and use their services as much as you can! But please take my advice- how you decide to feed your child is entirely up to you. They will give you the tools you need and help you through the first few days of breastfeeding. If you want to keep your baby in the nursery for a few hours during the night so you can get some sleep, do it. Don’t let anyone make you feel badly. Do what’s best for you and your baby. Period.
First Month Tips
-I learned that newborns have strange and erratic breathing. I was terrified for the first 5 days. As time went on, I started to get more familiar with the sounds he was making. I was told by my dad and my sister that this is completely normal. He may sound like a shrieking dinosaur but at least that’s okay! Another piece of info that I didn’t know is that babies only breathe through their nose for the first few months. I found that rather interesting.
-You can read a million books before you have your baby, but you can’t plan for everything. For me this was hard because I am the ultimate planner. Most of the things I said I would do with him I didn’t. Take it day by day and try not to get frustrated when things don’t go your way. I am still working on that.
-For about two weeks Jax’s back was getting soaked. At first I thought maybe he was sweating? I couldn’t figure out why he was getting so wet. Well apparently if you have boy, you need to push their wee wee downwards when putting on their diaper. This way the pee doesn’t shoot up and out of the diaper. Well that pretty much solved that problem haha!
-Jax was having a difficult time latching on to my nipple. I didn’t really know this product existed but when I tried it out it worked perfectly for us. It’s called a contact nipple shield by Medela. I was really struggling with him not latching on properly. I still wanted to experience that special bonding with him and this product allowed us to do so. I also think the nipple shield drastically helped reduce the pain initial breastfeeding can cause. So many people had warned me about how badly it would hurt…for me it didn’t. I still use the shield to this day with him. Do what works best for you. I can’t say that enough.
-As for sleeping…I haven’t experienced much of that yet. When friends and family come over…I take a nap! Take full advantage. And to no surprise, Jax has been having a hard time sleeping too. He definitely has his days and nights mixed up. My husband and I try something new every night with him. We will keep working on it until something clicks and we find our rhythm. And I am finally learning that there are no right or wrong answers. Keep trying and eventually something will work for your family.
Top 5 Cannot Live Without Items (Each month I will add 5 more items that I love!)
Rock and Play (Jax slept in this for 2.5 weeks before we transferred him to the crib. He loves it because it vibrates and keeps his body in a tight inclined position. It’s also very easy to transport when you go over to grammy and grandpa’s house.)
Dr Browns Bottle Warmer (I have two! One for downstairs and one for upstairs in his nursery. I had the Avent bottle warmer but I returned it and got this one. It’s so simple to use and warms his bottle in no time. I also have a mini fridge upstairs in his nursery. When I need to give him a bottle in the middle of the night, I have everything I need at my fingertips.)
Infant Sleeper Seat (There are a few different brands that make these infant sleeper seats. These are great for during the day naps when you don’t want them to be stimulated.)
Swaddle Me (I never could get the hang of making my own swaddle with a baby blanket. These are really easy to put on. They also have a tiny little hole on the backside so you can check if the diaper is wet without taking the whole swaddle off.)
2nd changing table (This has been a savior for me. Since I live in a townhouse with two floors, I didn’t want to be trekking back and forth to his nursery all day long. So I got this inexpensive changing table and filled it with all of my daily necessities.)
Hope all of this advice helped some of you new moms! Can’t wait to share more with you next month.