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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lessons from a Month of Mommy-hood

Our baby girl is five weeks old already! I cannot believe how fast time has passed! Seems like just yesterday I was trying to determine if the cramps I felt were real contractions or not!!

Even though I've only been a mom for a little over a month, there are already many lessons I've learned that I want to write down so I remember them for the next baby we have!

In a month of Mommy-hood I've learned:

  • To breastfeed a LOT while in the hospital! I don't think I fed her near as much as I could have, which would have helped establish my supply I believe. 
  • To pump starting immediately to build up a "freezer supply" of breastmilk. I wish, wish, wish I had done this from the beginning!!
  • To use the "natural ways" to increase breastmilk right away & have those items on hand before the baby is born. 
  • To get involved with a La Leche group before birth!!
  • To take a "natural birthing" class and a breastfeeding class (and/or meet with a lactation consultant).
  • To eat better (starting during pregnancy) and drink a LOT more than normal!
  • To use cocoa/shea butter from the beginning of pregnancy. To note, I am not ashamed or embarrassed by my stretch marks--they are a symbol of the child I carried and grew to love even before she was born!
  • To have more than one or two newborn size outfits. Our little girl was (and still is) tiny, and while this might not be everyone's case, I only had a couple onesies that fit her when she came home. 
  • To have a can of formula and a couple bottles with slow-flow nipples on hand just in case breastfeeding doesn't work out before you're ready to introduce bottles.
  • To have a couple different brands/types of pacifiers on hand. Baby didn't like the ones we'd been given, so we had to buy a different type for her. 
  • That, while it may cause nipple confusion in some babies, sometimes a pacifier can calm not only the baby, but the parents as well. 
  • To have witch hazel, pads, liners, and "adult" wipes on hand for the aftermath of birth!
  • That the pads and mesh panties the hospital has are lifesavers those first few days!
  • That Motrin and stool softeners are your best friends in the days after birth!
  • To linger in that first shower after feels soooo amazingly good!!
  • To not end up on your back during labor. The pressure and pain increased significantly when laying down. I believe if I had been able to get up and walk around a bit more towards the end, that I would not have been in so much pain.
  • To not let the doctors and nurses insist on the "purple pushing" way...(pushing while holding your breath and they count to decreases oxygen to you and baby).
  • To make sure that the doctor on call has a chance to view our birth plan before delivery takes place. The doctor on call was great, but wasn't aware of our birth plan (I don't believe) and a few things I wanted didn't happen.
  • That you can never have too many burp cloths, diapers, or wipes!
  • That doubles of everything are a-okay...especially if you have a 2 story house!!
  • That a sound machine or soft music can be your best friend at nap and bedtime!
  • SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS!! (I still have not mastered this!!)
  • To act like its no big deal when people flip out because you went through all of labor and delivery with NO pain meds!
  • To not allow your household to be deathly quiet when baby is sleeping. We have made sure that baby has been exposed to all sorts of sounds when awake and asleep. This child will sleep through most anything once she's truly asleep...or asleep in our arms!! 
  • That my baby girl is worth everything bit of pain I went through!

I'm certain there are so many more things that I will find to add to this list as life with baby rolls on!! I am so excited to be a Mom and am loving everything about it...except for the sleepless nights!! There is nothing like it in the world!!