Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Being a Mama..so far

I normally like to stick to house stuff on the blog, but want to share a little of our family life too. We'll be back to regularly scheduled house stuff tomorrow. And back to posting once or more a week too!

If I would have had time, I would have posted this BEFORE Mother's Day. But one of the things I've learned in the 3 short months of being a mom is that things no longer are on my schedule. Someone else runs the show now and his name is Benjamin.

photo credit AB Photography

I've learned so much already and love every day with this kid. He's adorable even when he's mad. I still have a weepy melt-y heart when he smiles and giggles. I can't explain how much I love this sweet baby.

We get millions questions from friends and family, so I thought I'd cover the basics here for those in blogland interested in how we are doing too.

HIS BIRTH:
Let's skip the birth story...I will spare you the real details of his birth--here's the short version:
Went to sleep Friday night at 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant and really crabby about it.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m. because my back hurt. Outside we were having a lovely Illinois snowstorm. I quickly realized as the back pain was getting really intense...it was labor pain. Adam loaded up the car and called our parents. Then my water broke. We made it to the hospital in the snow and ice...with not much time to spare. Ben was born at 6:37 a.m.
Thank god we have a Jeep, not sure we'd have made it into town with any other vehicle. The on call doctor apparently does not have a Jeep, because she could not make it to the birth.
Everything happened so quickly. I was not prepared for such an intense and fast arrival. There was not even time for the 'you won't feel a thing' drugs I heard so much about!


SLEEP:
He's a fabulous sleeper. I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying that out loud!
I was prepared for many many sleepless nights with this kid. But he started sleeping through the night at just 3 weeks old. I'm sure he will go through a time when this is not the case, but we're enjoying it while it lasts! We are lucky. But it's not all luck.
I believe we can give ourselves an itty bitty bit of credit too. I believe in a routine.  Kiddo gets a bath at 8 p.m. every night, swaddled, and fed...then put to sleep. Routine is the key. When we didn't do this, we would notice a big difference in his sleeping.  Now, he will still wake up here and there for a late night feeding. But I'd say 9/10 nights he sleeps from 8:30pm-6:30am. 
Routine. Routine and a good sound machine. The keys to getting a good night sleep in my house!

Baptism weekend.
EATING:
I chose to nurse Ben. It was hard at first. It was painful. It was stressful. It still is sometimes. We are both learning and teaching each other. Our hospital is wonderful and sends a nurse to your home shortly after you give birth to help with breastfeeding and baby care. 
For the first month and a half he was nursing every two hours during the day. It was exhausting and stressful. I felt like I never had a break. After awhile we got the hang of it and figured each other out. Now he only eats 6 times a day, and almost on a pretty good schedule. Again, routine makes life easier on everybody in our house.

PUMPING: 
I hate it. I hate finding time to pump. I've had to sneak away from family get-togethers and parties to pump. I've pumped while driving. I've pumped in a parking lot. I've pumped while everyone else is sleeping and I only want to sleep. It stinks. Scheduling pumping time is a pita. However, it's paying off. I have a small supply of freezer stash. This will ensure I get much needed time away from baby.  I will need to figure out an entire new pumping routine when I go back to work (next week!).


GEAR:
I love my Boba wrap. I used this thing several times a day in the first two months. Now we only use it a few times a week since there is less sleeping and more playing and awake time. But I will for sure take it with me while we are on the go this summer. Ben loves being close to me in it and usually snuggles up and naps. I was nervous about learning how to tie it up safely but it's SO simple. A quick Youtube search and you are ready to baby wear!
We also have a BabyBjorn, but haven't use it yet. We purchased it used off a local parent site so we didn't get an instruction booklet with it and it came all buckled weird. We just have to take the time to get it all buckled correctly and we will try it. Any tips on the BabyBjorn are appreciated!
If you are an expecting mom get yourself a Sound Machine. This is one item I did not register for but Adam's cousin Laura gifted to us. She swears by it and now I do too. It's great to cover up noise when Ben is asleep. He goes to bed at 8:30 every night, but we don't. He can't hear us if we are watching a movie, or putting away dishes. We don't feel like we need to tiptoe around when baby is asleep.

Me & Ben & BobaWrap

Adam giving Scout a pep talk on Ben's first day home.

BABY & SCOUT:
We weren't really too worried about Scout & Ben. We've seen Scout play with our nephews, or with our friends' kids, and he loves them. They jump on him and pull his tail, and snuggle him and Scout smiles away and runs around with them the entire time. We knew Ben and him would be fast friends. My mom on the other hand was sure Scout was going to "bite the baby's butt" and Scout would be banished to their house to live. Sorry mom. I think she secretly wanted Scout to just ever so lightly nibble Ben's bum because they miss having a dog at their house.

When we brought Ben home from the hospital Scouty was curious and interested. Naturally he wanted to give Ben a sniff several times a day. Only once we saw him put his nose inside the bassinet though. Mostly he'd just peek and sniff. Now he sits by us every day while I nurse Ben, and I know they we be best buddies as soon as Ben is on the move.  Scout surprisingly respects Ben's toys. We only have to tell Scout 'NO' once each time a new toy comes out.  We're pretty impressed with his manners. However, I do have to say when Ben is upset and having a crying fit Scout quickly excuses himself to the other room. He's not much help.

Proud big brother Scout.  | photo credit AB Photography
DIAPERS:
Boy do we go through these things like crazy. Much less now than when he was just a tiny newborn. But they still aren't cheap! My advice to expecting mamas: sign up for Amazon mom. Diapers shipped to your door--the last thing you want to do with your precious 2 hours of free time between feedings and away from baby is to schlep to Walmart.
So far our favorite brands are Luvs and Target Up & Up brand. Blowouts contained 99% of the time versus those higher priced Pampers.

In all, I love being Ben's mama. It's weird sometimes to think 'I'm a MOM.' My friends even agreed with me this weekend. I'm the first one in this group of friends to have a kiddo. Yep, it is weird.
But, it's also so wonderful.


Did I miss anything? What else do you want to know? I've got all kinds of expert new mom wisdom now. Hah, I kid I kid.
I go back to work on Monday. Any tips for me? I already know this one...no mascara!

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