It would be a total and complete lie if I told you I had this mom thing down or that I wake up and am able to put makeup on, do my hair, and look good. Most days consist of me covered in throw up, dancing around the house with Maverick, and keeping him happy and myself fed while he is napping. I am enjoying it so much though and learning at least 5 new things a day. Eat or nap when he naps, do everything fast, do squats while you rock him to sleep to get the blood flowing, just to name a few! Of course right when I think I have it down, everything changes and he shows me a whole new side of himself that I get to learn about and adjust to!
It is a honest to God miracle what are bodies are capable of doing and what we are made to do. Carrying and delivering a baby is in my opinion the craziest and coolest thing our bodies are designed to do. It amazes me every day when I look at our little boy, what my body went through to give him to us, what a miracle it is. I'm totally blown away by it all, from how babies are made, to how they come into the world, and everything in between, the whole process fascinates me.
My birth story isn't exactly what I had planned it to be, but I wouldn't have it any other way now that I look back. Maverick arrived 7 weeks ago and I'm still recovering from my C-section. Today feels like the first day since I had him that I could possibly take a gentle yoga class.
I planned on a vaginal birth with an epidural. After pushing for almost 4 hours and being in labor for almost 24 hours I had to have a C-section because I developed a fever and he was just too big and wouldn't come out. I struggled a lot in that moment when our doctor came back in the room and told me I needed a c-section. I felt like I failed and was devastated. I cried really hard and had all sorts of "poor me" thoughts but then I remembered how many woman have done this before me and that some woman actually schedule them! After my operation, when they handed him to me for the fist time and I held him, all those feelings were gone and I never thought about having it any other way ever again.
The recovery however has been longer than I would have hoped and a bit tougher than I had imagined. I have had moments of depression from hormonal imbalance and have become a bit of a helicopter mom which I'm hoping I get through soon. I don't want to be a helicopter mother. I have a constant feeling of a deep need to protect him at all times and I'm struggling with a little bit of a control issue. For the most part, I'm feeling really good about motherhood and loving every single moment, even the late night feedings. I know he won't be this size forever and I don't want to miss any special moments with him so I'm embracing the hard times and soaking it all in because it won't be forever. and I know I will look back and wish I had these times again with him as he gets older.
I have been doing a ton of research when he sleeps and finding things that have been really helping me to recover and feel less pain and make my life easier so I'm still able to hold Maverick through recovering and give him all the attention he needs and more! The doctor advised me not to exercise for 6-8 weeks and not to pick anything up heavier than Maverick, I will admit, that has been hard and I have been a bit naughty and doing more than I probably should around the house.
Here are some of the things that have really helped me and the items I don't think my husband and I could live without.
I just discovered these about two weeks ago and wish I had sooner. The C-Pany has saved my life and been keeping me more sane. I sleep in them and I wear them all day. There is a thicker piece of material that lays across the incision and helps to keep pressure on the incision. I have found since I started wearing these, my pain has subsided. They also pull all the way up the waist to help slim your tummy.
Now that I'm healing up a bit, I have found a lot of comfort when I wear my postpartum recovery belt. My friend Kristen Graham who just had a baby a month before me suggested this one. I had tried a few and liked this one the best. It has three pieces so you can support different parts of your body at different times or all at once. I find it helps my posture and my back aches less when I wear it. It is intense but I'm finding I'm using the tummy one during the day and it is helping me a lot and shrinking my stomach quicker and I'm still eating a ton! I read not to diet while breastfeeding because it will not be of any help to the milk flow so the recovery belt and breastfeeding are what I'm relying on for now.
I have been grabbing my 5 pound weights as much as I can to keep my arms toned and use to holding the little guy all day!! As if holding a baby all day isn't enough right? Well, I'm finding that I'm using only certain parts of my arms and new mussels I didn't know I had, but the other parts are getting weaker from not exercising. When I get him down for a nap and have the energy, I will use these bad boys to do a little toning and strengthening each day. Buy the Weights HERE
I won't get too into this next idea but I highly suggest looking into encapsulating your placenta. I did it through Bosom Buddy Nashville. They were our Doulas and the most incredible woman to work with. I couldn't have done this whole process without them. I feel a huge difference in my mood swings and crying spells when I take them. I have tried to stop them just to see if it works and realized quick I need to keep taking them. I am a very firm believer in this process. Also, it you are in the Nashville area and looking into hiring a Doula, I would refer these woman over and over again. Our experience with them has been incredible. We worked with Leslie and Ashley and they feel like family to me now. I'm forever grateful for them and the help they gave us throughout the last 5 weeks. I credit them for how easy breastfeeding was and every question I had throughout the last 7 weeks they have been able to answer for me.
I also love this New Mama Bottom Spray I found thanks to my friend Jenn Brown! It kept me feeling fresh down below especially in the hospital right after the surgery!!! I'm not gonna lie, a shower did not sound fun to me while recovering in the hospital. Maybe this is TMI but I lived on diaper wipes and this spray for a few days. I'm still using the spray to freshen up during the day.
I have found it hard most mornings and some nights to take care of myself. I'm a big skin fanatic and never go a night without washing my face. If Maverick is awake and I'm not able to get a good wash in, Micellar Cleansing Water has been a savior for me. It gets all my makeup off and you don't have to wash after. This is the only product I have found that doesn't leave a residue or have a smell. It's super gentle and does not break me out. I wipe down with it morning and evening. It leaves my skin super clean & hydrated and it's dirt cheap. They also make wipes but I like the cleansing water better. The Micellar wipes would be a great option to bring to the hospital so you can clean your face in the hospital bed!!
Now enough about me! Here are my baby essentials that we could not live without.
Baby Must Haves
The DockAtot is a MUST. I am not kidding when I say this thing goes everywhere with us. We have two! Maverick is currently sleeping in it next to me while I type on the kitchen counter. I keep one in the car for when we go to visit friends too. Let me say I am not a safety expert but I have done my research. This is NOT a product that is listed as safe to let your child sleep next to you through the night. Co-sleeping is one of the leading causes of SIDS. I only use this during the day when I am able to check on my son. I use it on the couch while we watch TV, I put it on the kitchen counter when I'm cooking... far away from anything that could splash on him, I use it when I need a quick shower and leave him where I can see him, and when I am putting makeup on. He loves it. I have even brought it into the bathroom with me in those first days home when I didn't realize I could leave him alone for 3 minutes while I peed and he would live.
Although Maverick has a killer nursery set up with a crib that makes me want to sleep in it, we are keeping him next to us in his Halo Bassinet for now and that thing is genius. It swivels all over and can pull up onto the bed which is great for me after having had a c-section. He wasn't loving it at first so we added this little baby sleeper topper accessory and he sleeps like a log in it. He outgrew the topper this last week so I bought an additional Halo mattress and he is sleeping great in it now.
The Lalabu Soothe Shirt is my life savor. I swear the second Maverick slides into this thing, he is happy and so am I. I'm able to do stuff around the house while he is with me. I love that I can wear it out and throw a cute Kimono over it and I look like a half normal human. You can breast feed with this top on as well. You have to remove baby first, but the chest area pulls down for super easy access! I put this on when I'm going to shop at the mall, grocery store, or just for a stroll around the block. I have been using it while I put my makeup on or cleaning up the kitchen. I highly recommend them. They also make shirts for men! I got one for my husband the other day and it's awesome!!! Grab one HERE
If you are looking for a good sling wrap, I have tried several and the Maya sling wrap is by far my favorite for many reasons. I will start by saying it is the only sling I have tried that has built in padding in the shoulder. The padding is huge for me because if I have the sling on for longer than an hour my shoulder hurts but the Maya sling with padding doesn't hurt me at all. I will wear it for several hours at a time and my shoulder is fine. I also love that it has a large pocket on the bottom where you can keep a phone, diaper, keys, wipes and probably a lip gloss and energy bar if you wanted! They offer lots of different colors and the fabric on the Maya sling is softer than some of the others I have tried. The way I am wearing Maverick in the sling is not the "correct" way. I have found a few different ways to wear him and a few of them are probably not considered safe but I keep my hand on him and my eyes when he is in these positions just to be extra causious . Grab one HERE!
Last I wanted to add this little head pillow in the mix that I recently found that Maverick has been enjoying. (That is not Maverick in the picture) It's purpose is to help prevent babies from getting flat head. I find Maverick likes it whether he is laying on my legs or in his crib or on the couch, it sorta props him up a little bit and it's so soft and so cheap! I have tried a few flat head pillows and this is my favorite by far. It is the softest and least bulky! Buy the Anti Flat Head Pillow HERE