coming out of the fog

HebrewDawn: coming out of the fog

My daughter is just about to turn nine months old, which means she will be out as long as she was in. As we hit this milestone I finally feel like I’m coming out of the proverbial new mom fog. If you’re in the midst of the fog you might know what I’m talking about. If your past it, I’m almost certain you know what I’m talking about. Whether we’re in it or past it, we all eventually come out of the fog.

As a mom, it is always an adjustment to embrace your new found identity. You had this baby that spent nine months growing inside of you, but now it is learning to live outside of you. You spent months adjusting your growing belly and now you must recalibrate and learn to provide for this little person all the time. 

Not only are you learning caregiving skills, but you also have this new identity called motherhood to embrace. You’ve gone from being your own person, and now your some little person’s whole world. If you already have older children, you’re learning how to share yourself with all the little people vying for your attention. No matter how many children you have, it’s always an adjustment to accept the new you.

When you have a baby, they’re always worried about you having postpartum depression. No one talks about this fog you’re living in. With so many things changing in your body, your life, identity, etc. you spend your days with your mind spinning. I am here to share something with you that I’ve heard from almost every mom; adjusting to this new identity as a mother is a challenge for everyone. I’ve also heard from almost every mom that we do make it out of the fog and see our world clearly once more. The way we see our life and world may be different than before, but it is now filled with lots of love and joy. 

yours in motherhood,

C

HebrewDawn: coming out of the fog

The end of pregnancy questions

HebrewDawn: The end of pregnancy questions

First off, I want to say sorry this isn’t a more uplifting post, but I’m going to be honest about current and recent sentiments. I have been very quiet on HebrewDawn for much of my pregnancy, and I’m not completely certain as to why. Perhaps I just wanted to process my thoughts on this pregnancy and becoming a mom to two on my own before writing them. Moving forward I do plan to open up and share more about how life and motherhood is going with the transition  from one girl to two, including all the ups and downs.

On to current feelings….

A little over a year ago I wrote this post for a few of my friends who were near or drawing near to their due dates, and here I find myself in their shoes.  I’m days from my due date, and I’ve only hit my “over it” moment last week. Luckily, this was not as early as with my first, AND  frankly I’m quite proud that I made it to 38 weeks and 2 days before hitting that point this time.

HebrewDawn: the end of pregnancy questions
Now that I’m at the “over it” point of my pregnancy, the well meaning questions from every friend, family member, co-worker, and stranger off the street is driving me CRAZY. So here are my favorite questions, and how I wish I could respond:

How are you feeling? Tired of being pregnant and uncomfortable from the necessary body changes for labor to begin. Other than that I’m great, because this discomfort means I get to meet my baby soon!

How much longer do you have? No way of knowing as due dates are just an estimate! I’m “due” in a few days, but babies arrive anywhere between 39.5 and 41.5 weeks. Also, there are no plans to induce me unless we’re creeping up on 42 weeks. God, please don’t let that happen!

Do you know what you’re going to have? A human baby. At our 20 week ultrasound they said it’s a girl, and I’m praying it’s right. It would be really awkward to dress a baby boy in a little sister outfit.

You’re not going to go into labor right here are you? I could, but it doesn’t really matter. Labor takes quiet a bit of time to progress before a baby comes out. Last I checked babies don’t just fall out.

Are you still working? Yes, because there’s always work for me to get done. Oh, and there’s no reason to waste my maternity leave before the baby arrives.

Is the baby here yet? Not yet, and hopefully my little one will be here VERY soon. Just remember that as excited as you are for this baby to arrive, my husband, daughter, and I are the most excited and we are anxiously waiting for labor to start.

Will you tell me when the baby arrives? Yes! BUT those that need to know first (people present in the delivery room or taking care of my daughter, my boss) will be notified when I go into labor. Everyone else will find out after the baby is born, most likely via social media.

What are you doing while you wait?
I’m going to try and smile nicely to anyone asking one of these well meaning questions.

BUT I cannot promise that I won’t respond in a snarky fashion to the questions, that I won’t ignore phone calls, and that I’ll respond to every text message sent to me.

I do promise that I am going to relax as best I can and enjoy these final moments of being a family of three.

 

 

 

 

More Baby Registry Must Haves

https://stocksnap.io/photo/5Z8QJ8SIHD

Welcome back! Today I’m covering more of our baby registry favorites! You can read part one of my baby registry must haves here, where I share our nursery and on the go favorites. Figuring out all the things you need can be overwhelming, but I hope in sharing what’s worked for us that it will help you! Below I’ve tried to list quantities, to give you an idea of how much you’ll really need. Keep in mind babies do not need layer upon layer of clothing and blankets, dress them how you will be comfortable. I do list having multiples of certain items only because accidents happen, and it’s always nice to have a backup. Happy shopping registering!

 

Diaper Bag

 

This little thing should have been shared last week, so I’m sorry for leaving it off. This bag serves so many purposes, goes some many places, and deserves more attention than it usually gets. Think of a diaper bag like a good purse, go for the good quality bag! From my personal use, I highly recommend the Skip Hop diaper bags. Note of caution, many stores carry skip hop in store, but it tends to be the cheaper ones ($30 price range), not the well made ones ($55+). We have this diaper bag in a different pattern, which is well thought out storage pockets and amenities. One great  feature of the bag are the small straps that connect to the main strap for hooking to the stroller. These keep it from taking up needed room in your stroller basket or hitting you in the legs. I will add that as our daughter grew, we realized a larger bag can be nice to have too. Reason being that her clothes took up more room, she needed more things for entertainment and cloth diapers take up more room than disposables. We later bought this bag in black from Land’s End. This bag has great storage pockets and is great for longer days out. I Unfortunately it they have discontinued it, but I really hope they bring it back with an added long strap. In the end we still love her Skip Hop the most, because we can wear it like a cross body bag, and attach it more easily to the stroller.

 

Clothing

 

I firmly believe it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. Register for the things you need, because people will buy you lots of cute outfits, so don’t feel like you have register for the cute things unless there something you just have to have. Register for items in all sizes from newborn to 12 months. People are great about buying for you items in those early sizes, but seem to forget that these sweet little loves grow rather quickly.

  • 4 Gowns – are perfect for the newborn stage whether you have a boy or a girl. They make diaper changes so much easier keeping you from having to deal with all those snaps, especially at night.
  • 8-10 Zip-up Sleep & Plays – are essential when you’re not leaving them in a plain onesie or dressing them up in something cute for going out.
  • 3-4 Short-Sleeve White Onesies – are great alone or layard if the weather is cold. This is another great option for getting a variety of sizes in one set..
  • 3-4 Long-Sleeve White Onesies – are great alone, especially when swaddled. Also great when paired with pants or leggings.
  • 2-4 Comfy Cozy Pants – are great when babies aren’t getting all swaddled up and perfect for when they’re on the move. Jeans are cute, but aren’t necessary until they’re much bigger.
  • 2-4 Leggings – for my little girl, I have loved leggings in all sizes. Easy to put on and they match almost anything. I almost always have at least two pairs in black with some other colors mixed in. I discovered Carter’s leggings late in the game, but they’re not a fast favorite for their quality and length.
  • 4-5 Packs of Baby Hangers – I have found it’s nice to have plenty off hangers. I like having the next couple sizes in the closet to see what we have and what we still need to get.
  • Hats – I didn’t register for any, and I’m glad for that. The best hat will be the one(s) the hospital gives you. I don’t know why, but they just work and stay on soooo much better. I never used the others ones gives to us unless it was the thick winter style for going out somewhere.
  • LOTS of Socks – babies are masters at getting these bad boys off ALL THE TIME. Make sure to have at 10-12 socks in each size, because you’ll always be on the hunt for a pair or a lost sock.
  • Laundry Detergent – to save you money, you don’t have to use the specialty baby laundry detergent if you buy free and clear of most any brands. We have been using free and clear for quite some time for my husband and we learned  it’s perfectly fine for babies. Plus the free and clear is a lot cheaper than specialty stuff.

 

Bathing

 

Now that you have baby dressed, you also have to keep them clean! Through trial and error, plus sensitive baby skin, we slowly figured out the best items.

  • 4 Towels – People will give you an obscene amount of towels. I’m not sure why people feel the need to do this, but I guess they just think you will have a really stinky/dirty baby. We were gifted the swaddle design ones and they were definitely our favorite. They’re super soft and really absorbent. I wish they made an adult towel!
  • Washcloths – Like towels, people like to give you a lot of washcloths, but not as much as towels. For bathtime our favorite are still the swaddle design ones, but for mealtime basic baby washcloths or regular washcloths work just as well.
  • Baby wash – The mustela two-in-one was what we used the most. Through my sister-in-law we learned that the Dove sensitive bar soap is great too. Those two products are all we used on our little one.
  • Lotion – we didn’t use lotion at first as some say it’s not recommended to use lotion on them as itty bitties. Our friend and pediatrician recommended using vaseline if there were any really dry spots. Once our daughter got older we started using this Aveeno baby lotion.
  • Tub – These are nice to have, but don’t feel like you have to get the most expensive one out there. We didn’t use this one, but definitely wish we had. I’ve heard GREAT things.

 

Blankets

 

  • 4-5 Swaddle Blankets – we registered for ones similar to these, but were gifted these. Both are great, but I dare say the later may be my favorites. The reason being is they have the best card that comes with them and attached tag that shows you how to do a perfect swaddle. Even with all my experience with babies, I was/still am the worst at swaddling. With that helpful tag, I could swaddle almost as well as my husband.
  • Receiving blankets – Not a major fan and we really didn’t use ours at all. I used one a couple times to help with tummy time (rolled up and stuck under Hana’s chest/arms), but I could have easily done it with my swaddle blankets by Aiden + Anais (which I LOVE…well almost as much as my swaddle designs swaddle blankets!!).
  • 2 Velcro Swaddles – I highly recommend the Halo Sleepsack Swaddles and would suggest getting two of these in newborn and small. We tried these, but my daughter could always bust out of them. The great thing about the Halo ones, is that they are easy to securely swaddle your little one for a restful night of sleep. Plus, when junebug gets bigger, they can be used as wearable blanket not just a swaddle. I’m all for multi-use items!
  • 2 Sleep Sacks – I recommend getting two in every single size. Our daughter stayed in these until she moved out of her crib. These are great for making sure they stay warm year round. The added bonus is they can’t climb out of the crib when wearing it too!

 

Breast/Bottle Feeding

r. Brow

 

  • 10-20 Burp Cloths – many folks use these, which work great for everyday use and are just what we used too. Our favorite “nice” burp cloths were these that were gift to us. People like to make and gift the cute styles, but the swaddle design ones worked the best in our experience.
  • 8-10 Everyday Bibs – Having bibs that do not have the waterproof liner are almost a complete waste of time. Once your little one starts drooling, or if they spit-up a lot, the bib won’t do much without the waterproof liner.When you’re in the store, you’ll be able to feel the liner, and that’s the type you’ll want..
  • 4-6 Nursing Tanks – You can’t forget to take care of yourself too! After coming home from the hospital and then pumping at work, these were the best. They’re great for pairing with another shirt and a cardigan for nursing on the go. If I was wearing that set-up, I didn’t feel exposed at all. I wore these and these all the time.
  • Breast Milk Storage Bags – You will need LOTS of these if you’re planning to pump. Tip I learned from a few people when freezing milk – lay bags flat in the freezer with as much air removed from the bag as possible. This way they take up less room to store and can be stacked and stored easier.
  • LOTS of Nursing Pads. I used these by Lansinoh the whole  time I was nursing. I then tried to use the Target brand because they’re less expensive and that wasn’t the best decision. Turns out the Lansinoh stick better! As for the reusable kind, they’re a good idea in theory, but they’re not as absorbent. I wished they worked better, because I generally prefer usable over disposable. After I leaked through them onto my clothes multiple times, I was done.
  • 2 Containers of Nipple Cream – This is a necessity from day one in the hospital. I used the lansinoh brand at first, but realized I liked the medela brand better. Then l I discovered this best nipple cream known to mama. Start using nipple cream from day one and don’t wait until it hurts. Also, it’s great to have a thing of cream with you on the go and wherever you primarily nurse/pump.
  • 2-4 Bottle Brushes – Over time we have learned that we are big fans of the Oxo Tot products. They work great, are well made, and have you in mind as a parent.
  • Dishwasher Basket – This is an essential in our house! This is great for easily washing bottle parts, pacifiers, sippy cups and miscellaneous small things. We have this one, but honestly wish I registered for this one since it’s bigger..
  • 8 Bottles – I’m a huge fan of the Dr. Brown’s bottles and know MANY families found that these work best. I would only get the 8 ounce bottles, as you can always put less but you can’t more in the 4 ounce bottles. Unfortunately for me, my daughter was not a fan of the Dr. B bottles. I think it may be because we opted for the glass, and she wanted to hold the bottle herself. She preferred the Medela bottles from my breastpump. So just know you may have to test things out to figure out what works for your baby, but Dr. Brown’s is usually a great place to start.

 

Big Kid Feeding

 

The day will come around 6 months that your baby no longer needs just breast milk or formula. You’ve not hit the stage of having a baby in the early of stages of being their way to being a big kid!

  • Baby Led Weaning Book – I plan to write more about our experience with Baby Led Weaning, but I cannot recommend it enough. No need to buy or make baby food, but helping your baby learn to eat real food from the beginning. Our daughter has been a great eater, and we attribute this largely to BLW. With doing this, many of the baby items are not necessary.
  • Space Saver High Chair – This is great because it can fit on any chair, and takes up a lot less space than a standard high chair. Great thing about this too is that it serves as a booster seat once you no longer need the tray. Plus, it’s easy to take with you if you need it for dinner at the home of family or friends.
  • 2 Bibs – The Baby Bjorn soft bib is hands down our favorite. Paired with our DIY towel bib, these two catch any food messes.
  • 2 Training Plates – great for when your little one is mastering the art of using a fork and spoon.
  • 2 Snack Cups – after trying these, we discovered the Oxo Tot snack cup and it revolutionized snack time on the go. The top screws on so your little one doesn’t pull the top off and has a handle making it easy to hold. AND it has a lid to prevent messes while in your diaper bag.
  • 3-4 Utensil Sets – We loved these Skip Hop Zootensils because the handle was the perfect size for our daughter to hold and have a good grip.
  • 4-6 Straw Cups – We have this one and this one. The first is our favorite because it’s free of plastic, but the later is a close second because it doesn’t leak. We started with sippy cups but wish we skipped them all together. Using a straw is a life skill, but sippy cups useage isn’t really necessary.

 

Diapering

  • Diapers – You’ll have to figure out what works best for you and your little one, but add them to your registry. We love using cloth diapers, but I understand if you prefer disposables. As far as brands go, I found the target brand diapers to be pretty good the first weeks home from the hospital until we switched to cloth.. They’re comparable to the pampers swaddlers and a LOT cheaper. When w needed to use disposables later on (traveling or battling a yeast infection) we used the seventh generation or the Honest Company because our daughter was allergic to everything else that wasn’t all cotton.
  • 2-3 Changing Pad Covers – Any brand should work. My mother in law made ours, so I can’t give you a link to what we have.

 

I hope you found this list helpful. I’ll be back Wednesday to share the last of my registry favorites, such as the nice to have items and the items we didn’t know we needed. Next Monday, I’ll share some of my important items and ways to care for the postpartum and breastfeeding mama.

 

Two Years Ago…

Apologies in advance…this is a really long post. 

  
Two years ago today, our friend came over to drop off some congratulatory  Hardywood Gingerbread Stout to enjoy after our little girl arrived. Little did we know what the evening had in store for us. 

Around  7:00 pm contractions started AGAIN. Since it had been two weeks since the contractions had begun their tortuous cycle (starting, getting my our hopes up, stopping), neither Z or I believed I was in labor. We continued hanging out with our friend and trying to pass the time until I would be in labor. Just like I had been, I would began rocking on my yoga ball or moving around to ease discomfort and keep labor progressing (in case this was really labor). 

Before we all knew it, it was 8:30 pm and our friend had to leave to meet up with some other folks for the evening. Otherwise known as, hang out with other people who are not married and anxiously awaiting their daughter’s arrival boring. At this point contractions kept getting stronger…as I expected (and had dealt with for the last two weeks). 

Around 9:30 pm we decided to head to Z’s man cave for a change of scenery. Z graciously carried my giant yoga ball upstairs. Contractions kept doing their thing, and getting progressively closer together and longer. Throughout the evening Z would rub my back and put pressure on my low back to help with the discomfort, and I would rock around on my yoga ball. 

By 11:00 pm we were getting pretty confident that this was ACTUALLY LABOR. I told Z he should get a shower and some sleep. Who knew  long he’d be waiting around at the hospital, and it would be better to be clean and well rested. I kept moving around or rocking on my yoga ball, because I knew it was better to labor as long as I could at home. If I was to have a chance at the medication-free and low-intervention birth I wanted, less time at the hospital was key  

At 1:00 am I woke up Z because it was time to call the doctor! The contractions were FINALLY one minute long and five minutes apart for the last hour!  The doctor on call, we shall call her Dr. T, turned out to be my sister-in-law’s doctor!  We had joked that she would deliver our baby, because my doctor had delivered her baby 51 weeks prior!  Doctor T was excited for us and said she’d call the hospital to let them know they may see us soon. She did warn me that she might not be the doctor we’d see at the hospital as her shift ended at 6:00 am, but we’d be in great hands with the next doctor, whom we’ll call Dr. J.  Dr. T then instructed us to head to the hospital when we’re ready. What? When we’re ready?  How was I supposed to know that?  Dr. T assured me that I would know and wished me luck. After much assurance that I was fine and I wanted him to get the rest that I knew I could get, Z dozed off. 

4:30 am I woke up Z to go to the hospital. The contractions were getting much stronger and I knew that soon a 16 minute drive to the hospital would be miserable. Being able to move around REALLY helped with discomfort. We started packing up and called the moms to let them know it was go time. 

6:00 am we checked into the hospital and went up to our delivery room.  Definitely took us some time to get there as I would need to stop, breath, and rock through the contractions. Got checked in by the nurses, and found I was 6 cm dilated. Only four more to go!  

By 7:00 am my mom arrived, and I’m so glad that she did. Initially I thought I would only want it to be Z and I in the delivery room. Z was convinced it would be best to have my mom there, and boy was he right!

7:30 am I climbed into the hydrotherapy tub, which was AMAZING!!!  After 30 or 45 minutes we decided it was time to get me moving again. 

8:15 or 8:30 am I was robed up and ready for a walk around the halls. As soon as we walked out of the room I felt some water dribbling, which soon became a flood. MY WATER BROKE. My wonderful nurse and Dr. J checked me over and I was 8 cm dilated. Still had some progress to make before we were ready to push. 

From this point on things are somewhat of a blur. I fought listening to the nurse about trying different positions to help labor progress. I survived transition. Then I made it to 10 cm and 100 % effaced. 

Around 2:00 pm it was time to start pushing and I was EXHAUSTED. Through each contraction my nurse would hold one leg, Z would hold the other, and my mom would cheer me on and wipe my head with a cold cloth, and I would push with everything within me. After I was done pushing, I would collapse. The first time it happened, Z thought something was wrong and checked with the nurse. This cycle continued for the next 50 minutes. 

2:45 pm It was time for one final push. Dr. J wasn’t in the room yet to deliver the baby. Our nurse tried to coach me through breathing  to wait, but our little girl wasn’t  waiting.  

2:50 pm  Our nurse kept her cool, guided the baby out, unwrapped the cord from her neck, and VHP made her debut. First thing she did was stare up at her daddy and stole his heart. Next they laid her on my chest, and life has never been the same. 

  

 

Dear Expectant Mama

Dear Expectant Mama,

In case you weren’t aware or ready for YOUR pregnancy to be over, you are due to have your sweet baby any day or week now.  Every friend, family member,  co-worker, and stranger off the street would like to know when your little one will make their debut. 


Of all people, wouldn’t you love to know?! Close behind you would be your beloved partner who is living with you and dealing supporting you through this  (period of joyful expectation) waiting zone. In the meantime, I’m begging you… Please. Don’t. Kill. Them. 

Yes, you may respond in a snarky fashion to these questions. 

Yes, you may ignore the phone calls and texts. 

Yes, you should go enjoy a warm bath. Then call for help getting out.  

Lastly, your baby will be here soon. Though I know soon is not soon enough. Believe me, I sympathize!

On November 1, 2013 around 4:00 am I awoke from my last good night of sleep for awhile to contractions. Excitedly I thought that I was in labor (Iwas due on the 13th). I began tracking my contractions with a handy dandy app. They progressed to being a minute long and five minutes apart. This lasted for 15 minutes, which became 30 minutes, and then 45 minutes. You expectant ladies know what this means…I was close to hitting 5:1:1 and ready to call the doctor. Around 10:30 or 11:00 the contractions stopped!  Yup, stopped?! It was almost time to call the doctor and say I wasn’t coming for my 12:15 appointment, contractions aren’t suppose to stop!

At 12:15 I went for my 38 week appointment. My doctor and nurse were impressed that I was able to so easily track my contractions with my handy dandy app. Based on the data  provided and how things looked, they thought my sweet girl was about to make her debut. Just to be safe I scheduled my 39 week appointment, but we all were certain I wouldn’t need the appointment. 

On November 8, 2013 at 12:30 I was back at my doctor’s off…and not that excited. It had been a week of broken sleep and shattered hopes. I was STILL pregnant and continued getting to 45 or 50 minutes of my contractions being a minute long and five minutes apart only to have my contractions stop. My doctor and nurse were shocked to see me, but certain the end of pregnancy was near. To help move things along my doctor stripped my membranes and sent me on my way… to have a baby soon. 

On November 13, 2013 at 2:15 I arrived for my 40 week appointment… on my due date. At this point I was thoroughly done with being pregnant,tired of shattered hopes from the contractions stopping, and DONE with being asked if the baby had arrived. My doctor and nurse couldn’t believe I was still pregnant and plans needed to be made. By next week I would be 41 weeks and induction was a distinct possibility. Induction was NOT what I wanted to happen. BUT, we were hitting the period of time where it was getting dangerous for my sweet baby to stay all cozy in my uterus.  I wanted to let things progress naturally so that I could have the birth I wanted, but I wanted my daughter to be safe. We decided to strip my membranes AGAIN. Next week we’d figure out a plan. 

On November 14, 2013 I was done with the questions about the baby’s arrival. I was so done with not sleeping because of contractions. I was done with putting on a happy face for everyone else, no matter how well meaning they were trying to be. I sent the moms (my mom, stepmom, and mother-in-law) a text saying I had turned off Facebook. I was also no longer talking to anyone besides my husband or them until the baby arrived. I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t say anything mean and regrettable, but I did feel better. That night Z and I went for a nice walk and I was ready to wait this girl out.