Today in class, we’ll be learning…

I have got to get better at this. I haven’t posted in forever! D’s practically off to college now! πŸ™‚ Just kidding. Eww…that’s a sad thought.

This girl is amazing. She changes a little every day. It’s a very fun adventure! We are exhausted though…some days more than others. D is growing so much. She’s been a very good eater…I say she likes good food as much as her mommy & daddy do! She was 11 lbs, 3 oz at her 6 week checkup. And very long too-23 inches! She’s going to catch up to her cousin Gracie, who’s 5 months older than her, very soon!

Here are some things I’ve learned over the past few months:
-Labor is inevitable. Don’t fear it-it means you’ll see your baby soon!!!
-Once in labor, the head coming out is inevitable too. Again, it’ll be over soon and you’ll see your baby soon!
-My body knew what it was doing far more than I did, and I was very prepared. Natural instincts aren’t just in your head, they’re built in to your body. πŸ™‚ You can see this in a newborn baby as well.
-I was incredibly blessed to have a short labor for my very first kid. I partially credit that to Evening Primrose oil! I definitely recommend that!
-If God brings me to this stage in my life, He’s going to walk me through it as well. He’s not going to leave me hangin’.
-Try out all the different brands of diapers. What works for one baby might not work for another. Same for wipes. They’re surprisingly different.
-Sam’s Club has very cheap dipes & wipes…and they deliver very quickly to your house!
-It’s harder to leave the house with a little one in tow, but it can be done! I don’t leave the house nearly as much as I used to. Now, I have to think about having more than enough diapers, some wipes, a burp rag, extra clothes for her and me, extra nursing pads for me Β just in case…and “in case” happens more than you’d think), a paci, and a blanket in the diaper bag. Then figure out when she’s going to be eating…which is harder when she’s going through a growth spurt with no notice (shouldn’t she mark this on the calendar?!)…have everything ready to go (including myself…and Keith sometimes), feed her, burp her, change her, and then quickly put her in the car seat with her blankets and hat, and jet out the door! This was much more difficult the first few times. It’s still difficult at times, but we can do it! πŸ™‚
-Those huge purses work perfectly as diaper bags…Thank you, Bath & Body Works! πŸ™‚ I have no idea if they’re still in style. I really don’t pay attention when styles change by the season.
-Don’t stress out about the baby…she’s going to eat when she’s hungry, and she’ll let you know if something’s wrong. Babies get bumps all over them. It’s usually baby acne and there’s nothing you can do. They hold their breath and turn bright red when they’re trying to poop. They make explosive sounds…and then you find out why.
-Sometimes I don’t know where to start after the explosive poops. I’m learning to use less wipes, but sometimes it just feels like I’m just rubbing it around and not cleaning.
-Back is best, but if you have a wedge, side-back can be best. My girl needed a frenulotomy (the band under the tongue clipped) so she could get her tongue out there to eat, and I didn’t realize it till about 4 weeks, so she sucked in a lot of air at first and was very gassy. Side-back helped her to get out the bubbles.
-Nipple shields are amazing, but unless you have to, you don’t want to use them forever.
-Ask questions to people with babies in the store, your mom, sisters, friends, doctors, etc. No question is stupid…almost. πŸ™‚ But I asked those when I was pregnant so I could blame pregnancy-brain. πŸ˜‰
-You might feel super excited, but cry every day. Buy some kleenex…toilet paper gets old fast. πŸ™‚ If you feel depressed, get help, talk to friends, tell someone. Postpartum depression is totally normal and just about everyone wants to help!
-There are consignment sales for maternity clothes and kids clothes. I found one while I was pregnant called Kids EveryWear. It was awesome! It’s here twice a year and I’m going back next week!
-There’s no point in spending more money than you have to. Pregnancy is a short time for clothes-life and so are the stages your little one will go through. D was out of Newborn clothes by about 4 weeks. Not because she’s huge in the belly area, but because she’s so long! Now, she only fits some of the 0-3 month clothes, and she’s not even 8 weeks yet!
-On the same note, borrow things and buy used…craigslist is also a good website for that. Sound machine, monitor, rocker/glider, etc. Be careful about buying used cribs and car seats, but for most other things, you’re only going to use them for a little while, so why spend all that money? You’re going to need it for diapers later. πŸ™‚
-You really can’t do much at the very beginning…no cooking, cleaning…not even the huge pile of laundry that’s accumulating. My mom and husband were a humongous help with that! Find somebody to help you out! Also, we had some great help with meals from our friends and we LOVED it! Also, realize things aren’t going to look like they used to around your house. That’s ok. Let there be a mess if you need to. πŸ™‚ My mom might disagree, but I think it’ll get done eventually during one of those super-energy-I-just-had-coffee spurts.
-Don’t move around the time you’re having a baby. I now believe there should be about a month or two cushion on either side of the due date. πŸ™‚
-Coffee is awesome. It messes with D if I have more than one mug, or if I have it after morning or early afternoon.
-Don’t expect the baby to get on a schedule right away, but you can try. I’ve heard all kinds of views on scheduling. “You can’t expect your little baby to be on YOUR time.” “You will have no time if you don’t work on a schedule.” And so on and so on. I take bits and pieces of each style. Happiest Baby on the Block, Babywise, and most recently, Attachment Parenting have been the places we’ve looked for help on sleep, schedule, etc. I’ll be totally honest…I watched a DVD on HBotB, read a bunch of blog posts on Chronicles of a Babywise Mom (along with answers from my sisters), and read the bullet points in the Attachment Parenting book (a lot of APΒ seems to be Keith’s & my “common-sense” style parenting). What works for others might not work for you…try some different things if you need to.
-We’re pretty laid back with our very first kid. I think that scares people sometimes. πŸ™‚ I love it. I no longer feel like I can’t do this, though I felt that way before D arrived. One day shortly after she was born, I just said, “No worries,” and was done with it. I can’t control everything. I can’t fix everything. I can’t prevent everything. But like I said before, God’s got my back. He’s not going to leave me stranded with this baby in my arms and a huge question/exclamation mark above my head. What will be, will be. God is in control, not me.

For me, being a mom is the best “job” I could ever have. I’ve never known what I wanted to “be,” except “a mommy.” I’m incredibly happy, though I have my sad days and up & down days. I’m in love with this beautiful little girl. She’s the most amazing little person. She looks like Keith and me…about 50-50 each and some days more one than the other. She acts like us too, in her own little D way. I feel so privileged to be able to teach her things, to witness her smiles and laughs and “Mem’s.” I pray I’ll be a great teacher, a great friend, a great adventure guide, a great mom.