There are many things to write about, but I’ll start by letting you know some observations and lessons we’ve learned over the past few months…
- A baby changes EVERYTHING. Ok, that one is a given.
- There are no words to express the love you feel from the moment you meet your baby. Nursing her, rocking her…just holding her is the most special thing ever. Another aspect of this love is that it is completely unconditional.
- Joe is my best friend. Ok, I knew that one already. But having your spouse willing to help and encourage you is unbelievably important. Joe has supported me through all of my breastfeeding nightmares and has held me through many breakdowns.
- What you think is a busy life can actually get busier.
- Help is good. The first couple weeks our parents helped out a lot by being here to do whatever we needed, whether it was to make delicious meals (thank you, Mama Buck) or hold Hannah through the night so we could sleep (thank you, Mama). Hannah is blessed to have wonderful grandparents who love her SOOOO much.
- I appreciate my mom more.
- Hannah started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks. We are not “lucky” as people suggest. We trained her to do this. We were diligent, without being anal, in organizing her daytime routine.
- When it comes to laundry, cleaning the house, or going through mail and inboxes…you just have to L.I.G. (as Mama Buck says) – Let It Go – sometimes. I like to think that I’m capable of taking care of a baby, two dogs, and keeping the house spotless and laundry baskets empty…but many days, that’s just NOT the case.
- The Happiest Baby on the Block is a God-send. We also refer to On Becoming Baby Wise a lot. That being said…
- It is not the end of the world if we move off schedule for a day – or even two! It’s also not the end of the world if thank you notes don’t get delivered within a week. (I have about 30 that need to be written, like, yesterday.)
- Coffee is a sleep-deprived mom’s best friend.
- Yoga can make me feel like a new person.
- Sometimes it’s 4pm before I get out of my pajamas.
- There is nothing like having other moms to talk to. I have a group of girls on a Facebook thread that seriously have helped me keep my sanity (or helped me get it back, rather). I also have two awesome new moms right here in Jesup that I love being with – Allison (aka Austin’s mom) and Hillary (aka Addie’s mom).
- Tears are ok. This parenting thing is hard work.
- Breast feeding is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Period. Joe and I are amazed that nobody ever told us this and we vow to never let one of our friends have a baby and not shed some light on this topic. I’ve overcome hurdles from latching, to engorgement, to supply issues, to cracked nipples and clogged ducts. However, I know that I’m doing what’s best for Hannah and it’s worth it. I heard “It gets easier.” and “Once you get through the first 2-3 weeks it’s great.” a million times. It DOES get easier, however the time it takes to get to this point is not so predictable. It has taken Hannah almost 4 months to fully “get” the whole nursing thing.
- Hands-free breast pumps are life-savers. I know this because I used a regular electric one for 2 months when I was pumping several times a day – not accomplishing anything and being helpless to re-insert the pacifier to a volatile baby.
- You really do go through that many diapers.
- Hand sanitizer is wonderful. Though after lots of hand and bottle washing, lotion is critical too! Joe’s finger tips are permanently raw.
- The BOB stroller is awesome. I love to take Hannah for walks. She likes it too.
- There are several things that we consider absolute must-haves. Among them: swaddle blankets, side-snap t-shirts (We put her in one of those every single night before we swaddle her. They don’t have to go over her head which is nice.), Diaper Genie, pacifier clip, Dr. Brown’s bottle brush, pads to put on top of the changing table (or you’ll change the cover every other day)…and a good swing (ours is the Fisher Price cradle swing) and infant seat.
The past 4 months have been crazy. It’s been full of challenges, no doubt, but it’s been so fun. The most important lesson I learned came in the form a car accident. I learned how precious life is. How everything can change in an instant. Joe and I are so blessed that we were ok, but even more blessed that Hannah was ok. It was so scary for those few seconds to not know… We are still praising God.
I have made a new year’s resolution to write more. I journal almost every day, but I’d like to do a better job of updating our blog. Stay posted!