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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sick baby essentials

The month of November hasn't been great for little Ford. He had a nasty cold from October 30th-November 12th and has been battling another one since last Saturday (so has mama but in babyland, who cares about me right?!). We went to the doctor yesterday to check to see if little man had an ear infection but all is well, thank God. Ford is so happy, smiley, chatting, and sweet during the day but once nighttime rolls around the poor guy gags on mucus and cannot breathe. Nights are rough on all of us. Since we've been through the ringer the past few weeks, I thought I'd share a few things that helped us get through.

Sick baby essentials

Sick baby essentials by ruthiehart1 on Polyvore

Nose Frida- I shared this as one of my newborn essentials and I can't give it enough praise! The bulb the hospital gives you basically does nothing whereas the Frida gets up into their sinuses to clear out all the junk that is stopping them up. I asked Jon last night if it would work on me haha. Buy one now!

Vicks Humidifier- this helps break up the congestion in Ford's nose and chest and we use it every night. Along with this, we've been putting him in hot, steamy showers with dad in the mornings and that really helps (and he loves them!). 

Thermometer- my doctor told me that taking a baby's temp under the arm reads low and in the ear and forehead reads high so the only way to get a true reading is up the bottom. Luckily Ford hasn't run a fever during his cold spells but I told myself if under the arm was high, I'd do  rectal test. Poor babies!

Saline drops- babies under the age of 6 months can't really take medication (other than infant Tylenol but since he never ran a fever it wouldn't do anything for him) but saline is really great for clearing him out. Right before bed and throughout the night if he wakes up, I will Frida his nose clean then do 2 drops of saline and he immediately sounds better. Make sure it is the infant kind. 

Comfy jammies (for baby and mama!)- since Friday, the only time Ford left the house was yesterday for his doctor appointment and a quick lunch with me and his mimi. It is too risky for a sick baby to be out in this cold weather, you never know who hasn't had their tDap or flu shot. I've changed Ford in and out of lots of pairs of warm footie pajamas for cuddles by the fire. Which leads me to my next item..

Netflix- over the weekend NOTHING is on TV so I reverted to watching pilots of a few new shows on Netflix. Jon and I also rented The Internship and watched a lot of football over the weekend. I'm normally a go-go-go person, even with a baby, but I've actually been enjoying the time at home with Jon and Ford. 

Luckily Jon doesn't have to travel this week (and is off tomorrow and Friday) so he's been so gracious to let me sleep in the mornings Ford is up a lot.  Ford is sleeping on me in the ergo as I type this and I don't mind one bit. I think he's also going through a leap and growth spurt (The Wonder Weeks) so he is extra clingy/cuddly. Savoring these moments because they will be gone before I know it! 

Daddy even got some ergo time. 
(Anyone elses husbands barely fit with the ergo? Jon has some huge shoulders and can't really wear the straps properly...I don't see him being able to wear Ford much longer)

All bundled up for the doctor. Oh and Ford weighed 16lbs2oz!

Napping in our bed. Another thing about a congested baby is laying flat will just congest them more. Our doctor recommended raising the mattress or even letting him sleep in the swing or carseat.

Love that dad works from home! 

Baller beanie from uncle James!

We got gas logs installed last month and since it's been cold, we've pretty much had a fire going all day. I'm slowly putting up the Christmas decorations and we hope to tackle the tree later this week. For now, it's back to the couch! Ford is gonna kick this cold in the butt so he is ready for his first Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Mamas- what remedies/products do you use for your sick littles?

Monday, November 25, 2013

What we're up to

I've ventured outside the house a total of 1 time since Friday night and planned to stay cooped up inside today too. My weather app shows snow flurries but all I see is cold rain and white clouds outside my window. We've had the fire blazing for basically 3 days straight, shutting it off at night, and I've changed from one pair of jammies to the next. Ford and I are battling nasty colds (yes he has another one!) but luckily I'm on the ups today. 

Here's what we've been up to lately....

Back porch games and cuddles last week (temps were in the 80s!). Our deck was built the week Ford was born and we just got an outdoor sectional and grill, I've been meaning to take pictures to show y'all but now it's too cold and rainy :). 

Ford was the 7th wheel at dinner Friday night, sweet boy slept most of the time and wore his jammies out! I love being able to carry him on my hip these days.

We did do something really productive this weekend... took our Christmas pictures! I was bummed the weather forced our pictures inside but Jennifer Stamps did an amazing job and I cannot wait to see the rest!

I ran to the store to grab some last minute ingredients for our mini Thanksgiving meal that night and the boys stayed home and took selfies...

Since the first year we met, Jon and I have celebrated "Thursgiving" the Thursday before Thanksgiving. We whip up our own little Thanksgiving meal and spend the night counting our blessings and sharing what we are thankful for. We switched it up to Saturday this year and decided we may move it to May next year so we can enjoy all the Thanksgiving goodness in the middle of the year!

Soaking up these precious moments where Ford is sound asleep in my arms knowing that he won't be a baby forever. Before I had him I planned on being super scheduled and regimented with naps, sleeping, etc but now that he is here, we go with the flow. Babies don't keep and I want these moments will be forever etched in my mind. 

It was exactly a year ago yesterday that we found out we were pregnant! I was feeling nostalgic remembering coming into the living room seeing Jon on a stool whistling Christmas music while hanging ornaments on the tree and I shoved the test toward him and started crying tears of joy. What a full year it has been and I can't believe this holiday season I will be celebrating with my son!!! Last Thanksgiving (2 days before we found out we were expecting) I remember silently hoping that we'd be holding a tiny baby the next year. Well, Ford isn't so tiny but the Lord has blessed us indeed! As we head into Thanksgiving week I can't help but to feel abundantly blessed and eternally grateful for the intangible gifts in my life. Jesus Christ on the cross, my loving husband, Ford Nehemiah and the ability to stay home with him, stubborn little Ernie, my supportive family, a circle of friends that I consider family, my loyal blog readers. I'm sending love to each and every one of you today, this week, and through the holiday season. 

Happy Monday friends, I remember how awesome the week of Thanksgiving is during college or in the working world...laid back and extra time off. Enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

How we cloth diaper

A couple of months ago I shared our plans for cloth diapering once our baby boy was here and big enough. Well... we are about 6 weeks into our cloth diapering venture and absolutely loving it so I thought I would share how it is going, my wash routine, etc.

Nothing cuter than a cloth diapered booty

After researching the different kinds of CDs, I knew right away that pocket diapers were for us. Especially with a boy, I love the option of doubling up on inserts at nighttime or whenever I perceive he will be a heavy wetter. We have 24 Bum Genius 4.0 one size snap pocket diapers. Most CD mamas have a variety of styles, brands, etc but the OCD in me wanted every diaper to be the same so we have 6 of 4 different gender neutral colors. For all things cloth diapering, I order from Other supplies we have: 2 Kissaluvs diaper pail liners, 2 Itzy Ritzy wet bags, a Bum Genius diaper sprayer (that we don't use yet), and a diaper pail. Oh and coconut oil! I bought a giant tub of it at Costco for super cheap and don't imagine I will go through it all EVER. Since you can't use traditional diaper cream on CD booties, coconut oil is a CD safe and natural alternative. I scooped some into a smaller container and keep it at his changing table. 

Ford is 100% cloth diapered all day, every day. I love it. To be honest, the days leading up to when we started (I wanted to wait until A. he was big enough for the diaps and B. he wasn't going through 12 diapers a day), I thought "What the heck did I get myself into?! I don't wanna cloth!". I was terrified. Looking back I'm not really sure why I was so scared but cloth diapering is a piece of cake. The first weekend we started, we stayed home most of the time just to be cautious. We weren't really sure what we were doing and an explosion is easier to clean at home than out and about! And it took all of 2 days for me to be Team Cloth! We did use disposables when we traveled to Dallas and Ohio, it's just easier than packing bulky diapers and washing away from home. I was SO ready to get back to cloth since Ford kept leaking out of the disposables. *To prep our diapers we washed only once and have had no issues. 

So our routine. Ford goes through about 5-7 diapers a day and I wash every 3rd day with about 2-3 diapers to spare. Y'all.... the washing is so easy! I hate when I hear people say "oh cloth diapering doesn't save time or money because of the washing." It is so easy to keep up with and we haven't noticed an uptick in our bills. 1 extra load in the washing machine every 3 days, that's cake. And I hang dry so there is no added electricity there. Since Ford is exclusively breastfed, there is no need for me to rinse his poopie diapers. Potty diapers are easy. Unsnap and throw into the diaper pail. Poop is basically the same but with added wiping and I usually smear coconut oil on his tush just for preventive care. As gross as it may seem, I take off the soiled diaper, fold it, and put it right into the diaper pail. The only semi yucky thing about dealing with the poop is on wash day I remove all the inserts from my diapers and that can smell a little funky. Breastmilk poop doesn't stink per se, it just has a different smell. 

On day 3, I remove the inserts from my diapers and throw everything into the washer. We have this washing machine if you are interested, we love it! It is so easy to use and huge. I pour about 2 tbsp of Purex Free and Clear detergent into the slot and set up my wash cycle. I'm gonna pause for a sec and say that after tons of research on cloth diaper safe detergent, I found that Purex Free and Clear is 100% safe and SO cheap! Many people use detergents made by the diaper companies that are incredibly expensive but Purex is so darn cheap. I believe you can use some sort of Tide Powder but you have to be VERY careful about dyes, additives, brighteners, etc. Back to my wash cycle. I program the cycle to start with a cold rinse followed by a HOT wash and an extra rinse and spin at the end. This cycle seems to be working really well for us and we haven't run into any stink issues yet. Luckily stripping diapers is pretty easy if we ever have barnyard smells. And believe it or not, my washer does NOT smell either! The whole cycle takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes and once done, I hang dry my diapers and inserts outside on our deck. 

My laundry helper

One thing I was worried about was poop stain on diapers because let's face it, babies can poop like crazy! I was discouraged after my first wash when my poop diapers were stained. If you are a CD mama or considering it, I highly recommend joining The Cloth Diaper Compendium on Facebook. It is such a great resource and full of awesome information. I was told that sunning my diapers would magically remove the stains and what do you know... it worked! Even dried poop stains are GONE with a little sunshine. In fact, I haven't had a good day of sun my past few wash days so I've hung dried inside and earlier this week put them in the sun and boom. Stains gone. Once my diapers and inserts are dry, I usually stuff while playing with my little man and that takes about 5 minutes. 

I was initially really nervous about changing cloth diapers out and about but it is pretty much the same as changing a disposable except I carry a wet bag with me for dirties. The wet bag locks in any liquid or smells and I empty the diapers into my pail right when I get home. One thing I am currently weary about is having to spray my diapers once Ford starts solids but hey, we will cross that bridge when we get there!

Honestly I am so glad we decided to cloth Mr. Ford and will definitely be cloth diapering future babies. Not a day goes by where I don't think, "Hey! I've saved $15 in diapers this week." Yes the initial investment is high but cloth diapering pays for itself very quickly and continues to pay for itself for years to come. If you have an older baby in sposies and are considering cloth diapering, my sweet friend Teressa wrote an awesome and informative post titled, "Is it too late to start cloth diapering?". And my fellow new mommy Kaitlyn wrote a great post this week explaining the different kinds of cloth diapers and the pros/cons of each. One thing I will say is if you are considering cloth, your husband HAS to be on board. Men (and women too!) have a hard time getting over the 'dealing with poop' aspect of CDing and it's not something you want to force your spouse to do when you're already dealing with caring for a new little one.

If I forgot anything, feel free to ask any questions in the comments! Make sure your email address is attached so I can respond!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2 Ingredient Chocolate Brownies

Similar to the delicious Diet Coke brownies I posted, these brownies are just as yummy and just as easy! The secret ingredient? Pumpkin! I didn't want to put pumpkin in the title because people are weird about it but honestly, you can't taste anything more than ooey gooey chocolate in these

1 19.5oz box brownie mix (I used low fat to make them even healthier)
1 15oz can pumpkin 

1. Mix together
2. Pour into a greased baking dish (I have done both 9x13 and 8x8 and I like using the smaller pan for thicker brownies)
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Use your best judgement here...if they are still too gooey, cook longer.
4. Let cool and eat right away or top with icing and enjoy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ford's Dedication

Yesterday Ford was dedicated to the Austin Stone Community Church. Jon and I brought Ford before our church and promised to raise him up in the love and care of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In our faith, we believe in believers baptism, instead of infant baptism. We pray that one day in the future, Ford will ask Jesus into his heart and accept Him as his savior, on his own and participate in an immersion baptism. Jon and I took a class and formulated family goals, commitments and rhythms that will help us lead Ford in His walk with the Lord. We are blessed with such a supportive family, church family, and friends to encourage, love, and with our family. It was such a beautiful and special celebration!

“Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:4-7

My mom had her wedding dress made into a dedication/Christening gown for her grandbabies so we got some pictures of Ford wearing it looking like a little prince!

Church took a lot out of Ford because he slept during the first few hours of his celebration party! We had friends and family over to our house for lunch and if you can believe it, we were sweating on our patio because it was 88 degrees!

Yes my baby was in a diaper outside in the middle of November...and he was still sweating!

From the second we announced our pregnancy, Ford has received so much love and so many prayers from all of you and we couldn't feel more blessed, thank you!

Friday, November 15, 2013

My 0-3 Month Essentials

Ford is 3 months old and officially out of the newborn stage.  It's crazy how quickly babies grow out of not only clothing and diapers but baby products too. I think back to how much crap stuff we had around the house that we didn't use during those first few weeks and wanted to share what products worked for me. I was also thinking earlier this week how my nightstand has evolved from nipple cream, pain meds, and the TV remote for late night feedings to just my cell phone and a burp rag.

Fisher Price Rock and play- we originally didn't get one of these and my neighbor assured me I'd love having it around the house for an extra "station" for baby and now I can't imagine life without it! Ford slept in the bassinet for the first few days but was super congested which is normal for a newborn so he started sleeping in the Rock and Play and is an awesome sleeper. The R&P is so lightweight and can fold up so easy making it the perfect thing to take on the road, take to my parents, or even move to the kitchen for Ford to hang out in while I cook. They are really affordable too!

Medela hands free pumping bra (not pictured)- I shared this in my breastfeeding essentials post and I still use it everyday. I can't imagine having to hold my pump on my boobs, hands free is the way to go. 

Graco Duo Connect Swing- I know there are tons of swings out there but this one is awesome because it doubles as a bouncer. The chair part of the swing can be removed and becomes a bouncer which cuts down on a house full of giant baby products!

Nose Frida- I actually just got this a few weeks ago but wish I would have gotten it sooner. The bulbs they give you at the hospital just don't work as well. I bought my NF at Babies R Us with a $5 off coupon so it was only $10...worth every penny!

Ergo- don't be scared of the price tag because it will be the best investment you make as a parent. This carrier is ergonomically good for babies legs unlike the Bjorn and other forward facing carriers. I also hear that those carriers are the worst on your back and even with a big baby, my back never hurts carrying him in it for a couple of hours. I also love that I will be able to wear him in it until he is 30+ pounds (at the rate he is growing, that may only be a year!). I do want to mention that the newborn insert was so bulky and didn't work for us. Maybe if he was born in the winter but it was too hot and because he was so big, just felt awkward. I first wore him at 2 weeks without the insert and he did fine. The ergo makes grocery shopping, prepping dinner, and even doing chores SO easy.

Summer SwaddleMe swaddles- Ford is no longer swaddled but these were a lifesaver. Instead of having to learn to fold receiving blankets, these were easy to pop him in and Velcro which he rarely broke out of. He wore the SwaddlePods when he was a newborn then went to the traditional swaddles until he was no longer swaddled.

Britax B Agile travel system- my sister had her daughter a year before me and did lots of research and testing when it came to baby strollers so naturally I got exactly what she did. We LOVE the Britax B Agile system because the stroller is incredibly lightweight, easy to fold up, and requires no adapters for the carseat. I'm not a runner but I can't imagine having a bulky BOB stroller for everyday use and I already know I want the double version when baby #2 comes along.

Dr Browns Bottles- Ford is exclusively breast fed but we've started doing 1 pumped bottle a day and absolutely love Dr Browns bottles. Yes there are more parts than your average bottle but they are known to cut down on air intake, colic, and spit up. The maintenance is really easy and they work great for us. 

Infantino Playmat- we started using this playmat after about 2-3 weeks. The colors and sounds were great for Ford to focus and learn and now he loves batting at his toys! 

Flashlight iPhone app (not pictured)- perfect for late night nursing sessions where you want to keep the lights low and relax

 What were your newborn essentials for the first 3 months?

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Last weekend our cousin Claire came to visit all the way from Seattle and it was an absolute blast! I call her my cousin because we are indeed related but it in a funny way. We still haven't figured out our relational title but her grandma is my great grandma's cousin. Anyone know what that makes us? Anyway, both of my sisters came in town to hang with us and we had an absolute blast showing her around Austin, loving on the babies, eating Mexican food, and totally vegging out. I made it a point to bring my nice camera out and about with us but of course it stayed in the car and everything was captured via Instagram

Mt Bonnell in Austin, TX

Ford loves his auntie Claire!

Cori and Embry also came in town so of course we got lots of adorable pictures of the cousins. Search the hashtag #EmbryandFord on instagram to follow these cuties!

One of my favorite pictures...

What a ham! His aunts sure do make him happy

Jon and I have now put Seattle on our to visit list!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ford 3 months

I think I will say this every month but holy cow! Ford is a quarter of a year! I feel like 3 months is a huge milestone because after 12 weeks you no longer use weeks to give your babies age but months. Jon and I feel like Ford is no longer a newborn but a little boy. He's so aware of his surroundings and having "fun" rather than just being a little blob. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I hated the newborn stage but we are absolutely loving life with him! I had my first "omg he is growing up and I want time to stop" moment last week. He's smiling, giving a few giggles when we blow raspberries on his tummy or tickle him, and doing lots of talking. He's getting really sturdy and is almost ready to be held on my hip without head support. We've tried the Bumbo a few times and plan on getting his highchair out soon (it reclines). I love that he can hold his head up in his baby bath and I don't have to worry about it flopping around. We have a happy and sweet boy on our hands!

Mr. Expressive Eyebrows

Weight: 14lb 15oz (taken at doctor on 11/5)

Height: 23.5 inches (attempted at home)

Doctor appointment: unfortunately Ford had his first non well check appointment this month (11/5) after fighting a nasty cold. He's actually still finishing it up because they can last 2 weeks but we ruled out an ear infection at the appointment. He is super stuffy and congested so we've been snot sucking with the nose frida, putting him in the shower for steam, and using a humidifier. Seeing your baby sick is the WORST.

Nicknames: Mister, Mr. Ford, Milky, Kick Kick, Boo

Eating: as you can tell from pictures and his weight, Ford doesn't miss a meal. He nurses every 3-4 hours during the day and we give him about 6 oz of a pumped breast milk bottle a few times a week (picky boy MUST have it scalding hot). He nurses right before bed then usually once in the middle of the night where he is basically sleeping and goes right back to sleep. The past week he's become a distracted nurser during the day and pops off to look around, smile, watch TV, etc. 

Sleeping: a sore subject the past few days. Ford had been sleeping really great before he got this nasty cold. He goes to bed about 8pm (funny how once you start a routine, he starts rubbing his eyes and is ready for bed at 8) and had been sleeping 8-10 hour stretches, quick nurse, then 2-3 hours more. The poor guy can't breathe at night with this cold so we are up a few times to clear his nose and nurse to help it clear up. He is no longer swaddled at night, we kind of stopped cold turkey when we were in Ohio this month, not because he rolled over but because at night I could sometimes hear him getting frustrated in his swaddles and all I had to do was unvelcro them and he was happy. He sleeps in either a long sleeved onesie or footies (depending on the weather) and a sleep sack. He sleeps in our bathroom in the Rock and Play and once he kicks this congestion we plan on moving him to a flat surface, hopefully his crib, in his own room. He's getting a lot better at naps during the day. He naps about 1-2 hours in the morning and about 2 in the afternoon and has gotten good about sleeping in his carseat and staying asleep if we are on the go. When we are home, I mandate naps and put him down awake which he isn't a huge fan of. He is such a fighter of sleep and will fuss but fall asleep pretty quick. 

Diapers: we started cloth right when he turned 2 months and love it! We did a week of disposables while traveling and couldn't wait to get back to cloth. He was in Pampers size 1 during our travels but wears Bum Genius 4.0 one size pocket diapers. I was super nervous to start, worrying about the washing routine but it is really easy to do and maintain. I love his big cloth booty. 

Clothing: mostly 3-6 month clothes but depends on the brand. I feel like every week I am retiring more and more clothing that he grows out (especially since cloth diapers are so big) but we just put away all his 0-3 month jammies. He has a lot of shortalls and collared onesies and he is in 6-9 month for chunkamonk! He definitely isn't your "1 more layer than mom and dad" baby because he is always hot and sweaty! Sometimes he fusses so I will strip him down to his diaper and he is a happy camper. 

Social: such a social and talkative boy! The mornings are the best and he just chats chats chats. He's started noticing mommy and daddy from across the room it is SO cute. I was at lunch with friends and he was about 10 feet from me in someone's lap and he was just staring at me and smiling. He is so easy to make smile, what a joy! He has lots of baby friends that we see every week but hasn't really noticed them yet, I bet that will be soon. 

New this month: he is so into his hands lately. He sucks on them which makes us believe he is in early teething but also loves grasping onto his toys (mini Sophie, rattles) and is so proud of himself. He can see farther distances and definitely recognizes me and Jon. No longer swaddled. Makes a new shrieking noise and little giggles. 

Likes: loves loves loves his bath, mini Sophie giraffe, his kitty cat lovey, mornings in bed with mom and dad, watching the colors on TV, just being in his diaper

Dislikes: being hot, being in his carseat awake

Mama: doing really great (besides not getting much sleep with my sick boy). Physically I feel good and have started slowly adding workouts into my routine. I am having so much fun being a mama and feel like we have our heads above water. I am comfortable taking Ford out and about with me and 100% comfortable nursing in public haha. We joined MOPS at a church nearby and have our first meeting this week! I stay busy with my blog, weekly bible study, and playdates so I'm definitely getting that adult interaction.  

Daddy: I feel like I'll say this every month but Jon is such a fantastic daddy to our little man. Ford totally recognizes him and gives lots of smiles when he sees his pops. I can tell Jon really misses Ford (and me I hope!) when he travels and comments on how much he grows in a matter of days. Jon has been incredibly helpful with rough nights with Ford and I am so thankful for that. We found out this month that Jon qualified for the president's council trip for hitting his quota at work and we will be leaving Ford for 4 days in February to go to Costa Rica!! So proud of him!!

Fun things we did: 
  • Went to Dallas to visit Cori and Embry and went to Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum, Halloween storytime at the library, and lots of fun lunch dates with mimi
  • Celebrated Ford's first Halloween with a fun BBQ with lots of babies (Ford was a garden gnome) and then handing out candy on the 31st as a skeleton.
  • Flew on his 8th flight to Cleveland Ohio to see his "abuela" get married. Ford got to meet lots of his dad's family including his great grandpa Hart which was very special.
  • Mimi babysat Ford a few times for mama to run errands or get away with dad
  • Our cousin Claire came this past weekend to love on Ford, pictures to come!
What we're looking forward to:
  • Our first MOPS meeting this Friday
  • Ford is getting dedicated at our church next week and we are really looking forward to celebrating this precious time
  • Family pictures on the 23rd with Jennifer Stamps!
  • Ford's first Thanksgiving...we will celebrate at my mom's with the whole family. Last year we found out we were pregnant the Saturday after Thanksgiving (11/24) as we were putting up our Christmas tree and can't wait to put up the tree this year and remember that special day. 


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Postpartum...what they don't tell you...

For the past 13 weeks, I've told so many people, "oh man it's so much different than you think" with "it" being childbirth and the weeks following. Man I though Jon and I were super prepared before Ford was experience babysitting and nannying, reading a million books, taking a breastfeeding class... and boom! We had Ford and chaos ensued. Changing diapers, swaddling, and all that good stuff was a piece of cake. Easy peasy. But today I wanted to share the nitty gritty of what people don't talk about postpartum. 

Gosh so many words and thoughts are racing through my mind I don't even know where to being. Let's start with childbirth being the most painful thing I've ever been through. Ford's birth was not at all what I ever imagined and it was incredibly traumatic. It took me a few weeks not to cry when I told people about it, not because I was disappointed at ALL but because it was so scary and painful. Childbirth isn't painful for everyone but for me, it was awful and I don't want to sugar coat it. I am so glad we induced and really hate those people who stand up on their soapbox saying how induction is the worst. Everyone has a story that the Lord has already written and ours included induction that ended in a C section. Pitocin kicked my ass and I wasn't able to have an epidural because of low blood platelets. I do not recommend Pitocin unless you are certain you can have an epidural (which I never ever would have imagined that I couldn't). And Stadol... stay away from that crazy drug! I don't want to get too deep into my birth story since today's post focuses on postpartum but I did want to preface with that. I am happy to answer any questions about Ford's birth, I know God gave us the story to share and I am happy to do so!

So the C section. Ouch! Looking back as painful as it was and hard the recovery was, I will definitely have more for future children but we'll leave that for another post. The main thing post delivery that rocked my socks off was the bleeding. I believe the technical term is "lochia" but it should be changed to "the grossest, stinkiest, raunchiest 2 months of your life." TMI? You guys asked for this post! I knew it was coming but I never knew it would be this intense. There were times in the first few weeks where I thought at the end of the day I wouldn't have any blood left. Take your heaviest, worst period and multiply that by 10. Oh and it starts immediately after birth. Luckily the hospital supplies you with pads that are larger than your newborns diapers and these awesome mesh undies that are so darn comfortable. Having a C section inhibited me from doing much those first few days and I remember thinking "why the heck would anyone choose this job" referring to my awesome nurse changing my diaper and squirting my girl parts with a water bottle. Oh the squirt bottle! I am sure it is much more useful if you deliver vaginally because of the mess that happens down there but I can't speak to that (major bonus of a C section!). Just simply wiping with TP isn't enough for the post partum red aunt. The hospital supplies you with this little squirt bottle that I wanted to use probably 20 times a day just to feel clean. Shout out to my nurses and my mom for helping me with that one! One thing I can't say I loved about my nurses was the fact that they came in twice a day to press down on my uterus to feel where it was. I think this is standard for vaginal and Cs but owieeeeee. Since I was put fully under for my C, I had to stay in bed for 24 hours and I had these things that squeezed my legs every minute to prevent blood clots. They felt kind of like a leg massage and I remember hating when they got taken off because the uterus pounding hurt that much worse. The leg squeezing helped take the edge off. 

I was in the hospital for 5 days total and I accepted the fact that I was bleeding pretty bad but never thought it would last so darn long! It wasn't until 9-10 weeks that I felt comfortable not wearing a panty liner daily (the last 2 weeks was on and off spotting). You better believe I stocked up on the diaper like pads and mesh panties before leaving the hospital and I assumed my stash would last me. Ha! Wrong-o. I went through that stash in a weekend and was totally unprepared at home. I thought I'd catch a break since I had a C section and didn't have to deal with tearing, stitches, etc. but you get no handicap ladies. Boo. If you're pregnant, go to the feminine product aisle and grab the largest diaper pads you can find, and buy triple what you think you need. I never actually used adult diapers but I know women who did and said they were awesome. I would also recommend making padsicles before you give birth with the likelihood you will give birth vaginally. Again, I can't speak on that but look them up on Pinterest, supposedly your lady parts will thank you. 

To add to the lovely mess you are dealing with down there, let's just talk about your new not so womanly scent. I swear I could just step out of the shower and instantly smell myself and it wasn't pretty. It took a couple of weeks for me not to be incredibly grossed out in my own body purely from my scent. I think it was the mix of 105 degree Texas heat in August and my new hormones flowing like crazy but my smell was just off. Oh and breast feeding... talk about sweaty mess. Never did I ever appreciate showers more than those precious showers in the first few weeks of Ford's life!

Since I mentioned breastfeeding above, I did want to touch on that just a bit. Ford and I have a really great breastfeeding relationship and I am so so happy it is working for us. It is such a sweet and special bond we have and I really enjoy knowing how my body can nourish my sons body. God's work is really incredible, huh? Jon and I took a breastfeeding class 2 months before Ford was born and I am SO glad we did. I highly recommend pregnant mommies to take them WITH their husbands because anyone who has breastfed knows that it is basically a 4 person job in the beginning. One thing that I did not like about the class (and realized it after I started breastfeeding) is the fact they told us that it would NOT hurt. Yeah that's a load of crock!! No breastfeeding doesn't hurt me now but those first few weeks... yeah I remember praying that my milk would dry up because the pain was so intense. Again, I don't want to scare any mamas because breastfeeding is so wonderful but I remember feeling sad and discouraged that I must be doing something wrong because it hurt. I mean think about it, your poor nipples are getting sucked on every other hour for an hour at a time, a heck of a lot more stimulation than those babies have ever seen. You are learning, your baby is learning, it is definitely not for the weak at heart. But you have to stick it out. I remember hearing that 3 weeks was that magic week that the pain would be gone... and it's true! You and your baby fall into a routine, learn each other's bodies, and it is UH-MAYZING when you wake up one day and it doesn't hurt! My advice for mamas to be preparing to breastfeed is be aware that it may be a little uncomfortable. Don't give up! Give it time. Lanolin, ice packs, heat pads, your husband. Get your tool box ready. And nipple shields! Lactation consultants will scowl at you at the mention of them but I think they need to be offered to new moms at the hospital. When Ford was 3 weeks old my right nipple was so irritated that I cried at every latch. I ran to Target and grabbed a Medela Nipple Shield and it changed my life. It gave my cracked nipple time to heal and gave me my confidence back. Contrary to what lactation consultants will say, Ford went right back to my breast when I stopped using it. 

I remember reading posts and hearing advice on what to bring to the hospital when you are packing your bags and people always recommended maternity clothes because you would look like you were about 6 months prego after. Okay  I was the size of a normal 9 month prego woman at 6 months so I definitely didn't look that big but your body is SO different. I wore dresses and maternity yoga pants those first few days to protect my incision and slowly added in maternity shorts when I needed to look presentable. My doctor told me to expect a belly until my uterus fully shrunk after 8 weeks but here I am 13 weeks postpartum and my uterus may be normal sized inside of me but the poochy belly is still there. I was able to start wearing some non maternity pants about 6 weeks postpartum and even though I am back at my pre pregnancy weight, my body is not the same... and I am okay with that. Stretch marks on my tummy remind me of my beautiful big (and late) baby and the extra skin around my midsection leave me in awe of the way my body was able to grow my son. God's work is pretty cool! I recently started working out and found out that my abs are literally spread apart still. Will be putting off those for a bit.

If you feel like I've already given TMI, you may not want to read any further because now we're gonna talk sex. I've never really talked about sex on my blog before but again... I wish I would have known what to expect postpartum in the intimacy department. To be honest, I was ready for lovin' within the first few days of giving birth. My hormones were surging and seeing Jon step so perfectly into fatherhood made me fall hard for my husband. My doctor told me I would most likely be cleared for sex 6 weeks after giving birth so we were counting down the days. I'm not going to give lots of details but again... wish I would have known that just because your doctor clears you for sex, doesn't mean your body is ready. I guess I assumed because I had a C section things would be easier but I didn't take into consideration that I had indeed gone through labor, dilated and my uterus was still shrinking. I remember being so so sad that things didn't pick up right where they left off, but your body needs time to heal. You are more than welcome to email me if you have further questions about postpartum sex. Never have I loved my husband more than after having a baby together. Knowing that God created sex to be fun and pleasurable for man and wife, but that a life is created! I know it will take time. 

I feel like lots of people DO talk about postpartum emotions but honestly even after reading blogs, books, and articles about it, I could never prepare until I experienced it. Parenthood is so much harder than I could have ever imagined but it is so much better. So much more rewarding, precious, and fulfilling. Those first few days I cried, I would think 99% of women do. Cried because I couldn't stand up straight and bear the pain of my incision, cried because I had to cover my nipples in the shower because the water pouring over them hurt like hell, and crying because I was so in love with my baby. Hormones. Those things are absolutely nuts. You think your hormones are raging during your time of the month? Just wait until you have a baby! Hormones coupled with pure exhaustion is the perfect cocktail for a sensitive heart and lots of tears. And that is okay! I love that this community totally embraces postpartum emotions. I did not suffer from PPD but love that my friends who do can so openly speak about it, own it, and share it. Motherhood is such a crazy unknown. You constantly question whether you are doing it right and whether you are doing enough so it's easy to get down on yourself but know that you are not alone. 

I hope that this post didn't discourage any mamas to be because that is the opposite of what I wanted it to do. I wish someone would have told me that it's OK to cry in the shower and that it's normal for you to walk around topless those first few weeks because it's just easier than taking off your shirt to feed every hour. I want my blog to be a place where you can come to get the real deal. Like I said a few times, I want to be an open book so please don't hesitate to ask me questions about my postpartum experience. I am more than happy to share, that is what this community is about.

This boy is WORTH it!

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