I Finally Feel Like a Mom

  overallsvday1   

Nearly five months on the job and I finally feel like a mom.

At the end of my pregnancy I was bombarded with a lot of advice and opinions from experienced moms. Mostly they were warning me how hard the first few weeks of motherhood were going to be. “Nightmare”, “despair”, “survival”, and “crazy” were words that were all loosely thrown around.

I felt like I was being hit with negativity from all angles when all I wanted to do was float on my cloud of pre birth euphoria. I had waited my whole life to be a mom and was so excited to share my life with a cuddly little newborn. I knew it was going to be hard work and that there were going to be sleepless nights and challenging learning curves but I was so angry about all the negative words I was receiving from other moms. “How dare they ruin such a special time for me?” I thought as I rubbed my pregnant belly, daydreaming in my soon to be born son’s nursery. 

Oh how naive I was. I wish I could go back and hug that version of myself. 

It’s true, the first few weeks, even months, are all about survival. On the days that I wasn’t asking doctor google a ridiculous amount of questions (you don’t want to know how much time I spent looking at articles and images about newborn poop) I was trying to figure out how to let myself rest and recover or to find a way to not cry as much. The internet and the books place a huge importance on a routine for you and the baby. I could only laugh. The only “routine” Wyatt and I had was to feed him when he was hungry. 

On the good days I felt like I was playing pretend. Ryan and I would sit together on the couch at night, taking turns holding Wyatt, and saying “I can’t believe he’s actually here!”. Motherhood still didn’t feel like reality. It felt like I was being tested and that the baby could be taken away at any moment and we’d return to our “normal” lives. The days were long and the nights were even longer. I had zero clue what I was doing and felt like such a failure when Wyatt would scream and cry and nothing I did could help him and all I wanted to do was sleep. 

But it got easier. We’ve slowly been finding ways to make a routine and trying to stick to it. We’ve formed a bond – a beautiful bond between Wyatt and I and a fresh new bond between Ryan and I. I’ve learned to pick up on Wyatt’s cues and he’s learning more ways to express himself. Some days are still long, but most go by too quickly. We are slowly learning to live our new “normal”. 

There were many times in the first few months where I didn’t think I can, but now I know, I can do this. I can be a mother. The type of mother I’ve always esteemed to be. 

At least for today. I’m sure tomorrow Wyatt will do something entirely new and throw me off my game. But today. Today I’m good. 

overallsvday2

My 6 Couldn’t Live Without Newborn Essentials

wyattweek1.13

The first few days (or weeks) with a newborn baby are all about survival. As a first time mom I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Learning to take care of a newborn on very little sleep is hard. Add in trying to recover from a c-section and it’s brutally hard. So I thought a list of my 6 essential newborn essentials would be helpful for some other soon to be first time moms out there.

The biggest essential when taking care of a newborn is physical support. After Ryan went back to work with Wyatt was 7 days old I could not have gotten by without my mom’s help. If she didn’t come to spend every day with us I probably would have never gotten out of bed, let alone showered.

Newborns don’t need much. Give them loving arms to rest in and a boob or bottle to feed from and they can be happy little humans. Yet, there is a huge consumer market out there for baby products. Before Wyatt’s arrival I spent too much time analyzing, cost comparing, and researching baby products. After three months as a new mom, here are my 6 newborn baby products that were essential to surviving that first month:

The Arm’s Reach Arc Mini Co-Sleeper

armsreachcosleeper

On his first night home from the hospital we attempted to put Wyatt to sleep in his Fisher Price Rock n Play. And although we love the Rock n Play as a place for him to hang out during the day, it just wasn’t cutting it has a safe place for him to sleep. We both barely got any sleep that night because we were so paranoid that he was going to roll over and suffocate himself on the sides of the Rock N Play. The next day, Ryan went out and bought this Co-Sleeper bassinet. It’s amazing! It attaches to your bed and sits almost flush up against your mattress, making your baby believe you are co-sleeping when you technically aren’t. 

At three-months, Wyatt is still sleeping soundly in his bassinet. I love that I can reach over and soothe him and pull him toward me for his middle of the night feedings. This was especially a winner while I was recovery from my c-section and getting out of bed was still torture. I can’t recommend this product enough. 

 

Love To Swaddle Up, Original

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This is the only swaddle that Wyatt would sleep in. Once you get over how silly and cute the baby looks in it, you realize how effective it truly is. We tried various other swaddle wraps but our little Houdini always managed to wiggle himself out of them. He proved night after night that he HAD to have his hands UP in order to sleep. After more sleepless nights spent googling “Why won’t my baby sleep” I came across this swaddle that allows baby’s hand to be in the up position while sleeping. Genius! 

Boppy Newborn Lounger

 

boppy newbon lounger

I must admit, when I was first encouraged to put this on my baby registry I thought it was a glorified pillow and would be a useless product taking up space in my already crowded house. But it has proven to be essential. It’s molded to fit a tiny newborn’s body and is perfect to place next to you on the couch or on the floor. Yes, newborns like to be held 99% of the time, but you can’t hold a baby ALL of the time. When you need a little rest or, god forbid, use the bathroom, this pillow comes in handy.

I had a tough c-section recovery and had a hard time getting up from the floor or even off the couch for weeks, making it hard to play with my baby on the floor. This helped to keep my baby near and give him the space to stretch out and kick while I could be right next to him still. 

Sassy Floor Mirror

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Newborns are only awake for about a total of 2 hours a day. And even then, their attention spans last about a minute or two, so there is really no need to throw a bunch of toys in a newborns face. But we found this big floor mirror to be a big winner. Wyatt got a kick out of studying his reflection in the mirror. I like that it stands up on its own and that the mirror shows a true reflection and isn’t all crazy distorted like some of the other baby mirrors out there. This was the one toy that always caught his attention. 

Target’s Nursing Camis

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I lived in these camis for the first few weeks. They are so comfortable and are easy to layer and are a nice long length. I now wear them under cardigans and sweatshirts for easy boob access at work for pumping and feeding. I stocked up when Target offered a buy one get one 50% off sale. 

iBaby Feed Timer Phone App

ibaby-feed

I would be so lost without this app on my phone. I’ve been using is since the third day of Wyatt’s life. I downloaded a few other free apps first but they were confusing to use and not that helpful. iBaby Feed costs $4.95 but is so simple to understand and learn how to use. I track which boob he feeds on and for how long and get notifications to when and which side he is due to feed on next. It gives you a log from day one and analyses feed lengths. You can also track bottle feeds, pumping sessions, and sleep schedules. If you have more than one child, you can insert multiple child’s data in one app and even share data across multiple phones with various care givers. Very essential!

There you have it! The six items I’d be lost without during Wyatt’s first month, and still use!

What about you? What are your newborn baby essentials?