Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Traditions

Our Holiday tradition involves Christmas ornaments. It started with my grandparents getting me and my siblings our baby's first Christmas ornaments. Every year each of us picked out our own Christmas ornament. By the time we were 18, we each had a good amount of Christmas ornaments to put on our own tree. We've continued the tradition with our children. Our 6 year old daughter now has 6 ornaments that she will be able to put on her Christmas tree when she grows up. Grandma bought her the baby's first Christmas ornament and will be doing the same for her baby brother. I hope that my daughter and my son carry this tradition on with their families as well.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Things I've Learned in the First Month

I've already had one child, so I didn't think I had that much to learn. Boy, was I wrong! In the first month I have learned:

- C-sections are no fun. Avoid them if you can. I couldn't, unfortunately. Make sure you take really good care of your incision. You can't scrub it, but you can run warm, soapy water over it to keep it clean. Even if you just hop in the shower to clean your incision, showering every day is a nice way to unwind and feel a little more refreshed or relax you before you go to bed.

- Take it slow. Don't overdo it the first couple of weeks. Stay home and off your feet when you can. If you have to go out, don't be out all day. Just go out for a couple hours at a time or you will be exhausted and hurting.

-Some babies can make a lot of noise when they're sleeping. That does not mean that they need you to pick them up or feed them. They're just making noises. You'll learn after a while the noises that can be ignored and the ones that mean he needs you.

- It's ok to cry. It's ok to feel a little overwhelmed. Just don't keep it bottled up. Share it with someone. One night about 2 weeks in, I was ready to quit breastfeeding. He was having trouble latching and I just couldn't stand it. I told my husband how I was feeling, he came over and tried to help me get him to latch (which we finally were able to do) and he told me it's going to be hard sometimes but it's better for the baby. Since then, things have been so much better.

- If you have another kid, they will be jealous. They will also love the new baby so very much. Don't fret too much about it. My daughter keeps saying, "You love the baby more than me." I do special things to show her that I do love her just as much. Something that helped was an idea I saw on Pinterest. It's a "Mommy and Me" notebook. Each day, I write a note to her about something. Usually it's something I'm proud of her for like doing well in school or helping me take care of her brother. She then writes something back to me. It's been a good way for her to get out her feelings about the new baby too.

- If you start to feel disconnected from your husband, do things to connect. Cuddle, hold hands, just because you can't be intimate in the classical sense of the word doesn't mean you should lose that loving connection. Spend time together as much as you can and cherish every moment.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Birth Story

Every child's birth is different. My first child, my daughter, had a relatively easy birth. I had to go on bed rest for about 3 weeks, but once she was ready, she was ready and it went very smoothly. My second, my son, was not as easy. His birth story is one of the reasons I am counting my blessings today.

The labor lasted about 22 hours before the doctor realized that he was not going to be born the "natural way". During this 22 hours, the contractions were pretty painful, the epidural caused me to puke my guts out, and my blood pressure dropped so low I almost crashed. Ultimately, we discovered that his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, and this was why his heart rate dropped every time I would have a strong contraction. He had to be delivered via c-section.

Why do I tell this story? Having such a struggle with my son's birth has helped me see just what a blessing he is and what a blessing my life is as well. I very well could have lost my own life if it had not been for excellent nurses. My son very well could have lost his life if the nurses and doctors had missed the signs of distress. It's tough taking care of a newborn. You lose a lot of sleep and feel pretty isolated, but the blessing of having him here, knowing what could have happened, makes it all worthwhile.