• The First Week: Thoughts, Ramblings & Advice for New Moms

    June 17, 2014

    Hi, guys! Thank you for all of your amazing comments on Friday’s post. You guys are sweetest and it was so nice sharing our little bundle of joy with all of you!

    The past week has been an awesome whirlwind of firsts for our family. We’re still getting our feet wet and trying to figure things out, but Mal and I are very much enjoying our time as new parents with baby Q. He really is such a blessing and we love him so, so, so much.

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    I’m still working through my thoughts about labor and delivery and writing Q’s birth story, but I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging about my experience, so I created this post, which is just a topline account of my time in the hospital as well as some random thoughts and ramblings about life with a newborn and some advice for new moms—a lot of which originally came from you guys and, boy, were you soooo right!

    Thoughts from the hospital 

    • God bless labor and delivery nurses! I truly can’t get over the nursing staff at the hospital. They were absolutely amazing throughout my entire experience from coaching me through nearly 3 hours of pushing to answering all of our rookie parent questions. They were so great, and I seriously wanted to hug them all.
    • I’m glad my birth plan was simply to have a healthy baby. I didn’t really have any expectations going into labor and delivery, which made the whole process (overall) relatively laid-back and stress-free. Of course, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies (that ish hurts!!), but I’m really happy with my experience.
    • Labor is nothing like running a marathon. Over the years, a number of women have told me that labor is kind of like running a marathon. Now that I have experienced both, I have to say, they are nothing alike, except that they are both exciting in the beginning and suck a whole lot right before you cross the finish line.
    • I hardly used anything that I packed for the hospital. I lived in a hospital gown for the first 24 hours and then wore sweat pants and nursing tanks for the rest of my time in the hospital, so I barely used anything that I packed. Mal and I didn’t drink champagne (neither of us were interested in booze), we didn’t dress Q in his going home outfit (he was happy in the one from the hospital), and I didn’t eat the GU that I packed during labor (I wasn’t interested in food then).
    • The mesh undies weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be. The ones at my hospital were actually kind of like boy shorts and pretty comfy!

    Advice from the hospital 

    • Ask the nurses any and everything you think of. It’s your chance to get awesome advice from people who know what they are doing. The nurses, especially the ones who are moms themselves, are loaded with newborn and lifestyle wisdom. Don’t be afraid to ask “dumb” questions either. They’ve heard it all before!
    • Take notes. This probably sounds kind of dorky, but jotting down tips and advice for later was really helpful. Mal and I received so much great information in the hospital, but being sleep deprived and all, I’m not sure we would have remembered as much of it if we hadn’t written it down.
    • Take advantage of all the resources at the hospital. They’re right at your fingertips, so be sure to use them (i.e. breast feeding classes, lactation consultations, etc.).
    • Don’t feel badly about sending your baby to the nursery for a few hours so you can get some sleep. Initially, I didn’t want to part with Q at all, but my sister suggested that we take advantage of the nursery and staff, so Mal and I could get as much sleep as possible and it was definitely worth it!

    Things you guys were so right about

    • The second your baby is born, life as you know it instantly changes, but it’s so much better than I ever could have imagined.
    • Witch hazel pads and ice packs… wow, you guys were right. And thank goodness for them!
    • The first shower and first meal after labor and delivery are the greatest things ever. Actually, all showers are pretty amazing nowadays.
    • You can function surprisingly well on very little sleep. True that.

    Thoughts (and a little advice) from the first week

    • Surprisingly, Mal and I aren’t nearly as neurotic as I thought we’d be with a newborn, especially considering how we act with Murphy. One of the nurses in the hospital actually commented about how calm and laid-back we seemed. I think a lot of our attitude comes from really working together as a team and not getting upset at or blaming each other when things get hard.
    • Breastfeeding really is a full-time job. It’s definitely time-consuming, but I really love spending all of that quality time with Q. He’s so sweet and snuggley.
    • Tag-team the first diaper “explosions” with your partner. It makes life so much easier: faster clean up and lots of laughs!
    • Apparently, sitting in the backseat of the car with your newborn on the way home from the hospital is totally normal and a lot of first-time moms do it (according to the nurses at the hospital), so I’ve been riding with Q while Mal drives us around, taxi-style.
    • If you have a boy, definitely get some Pee-pee Teepees. Q and I have already had a number of pee mishaps! Haha!
    • Enjoy the snuggles.
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    { 95 comments… read them below or add one }

    Katy @ HaveYouHurd June 17, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I love this. My baby boy just turned 1 so I have been reminiscing on his days as a new born BIG TIME lately and I am loving reading these posts. Keep ‘em coming!

    After I gave birth to Henry, I INHALED 20 chicken McNuggets in like 2 minutes. My mother in law and mom still talk about it. Also, I still ride in the back seat with Henry. Probably not necessary, but at this point it’s habit haha.

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    Rachel @ Blonde with a Chanse June 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I too lived in my hospital gown, but I couldn’t bring myself to send my baby girl to the nursery. I just didn’t want to stop looking at her! Needless to say I got NO sleeping the hospital ha. It was my own fault though. I also didn’t mind the mesh panties, and I felt like they worked pretty dang good! Breastfeeding was amazing for me from the beginning, and I felt soooo blessed, BUT it is most definitely a full time job ha! My baby girl is 4 months old and she still eats about every 2 to 3 hours during the day :) And aren’t those snuggles the best?!?! You’re doing great mama!!!

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    Melanie June 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    My daughter is almost three and if she gets her way my husband still drives us taxi-style. Sometimes she does to choose him to ride in the back and I drive. Congrats on your new addition.

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    Cortney June 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Amen to the breastfeeding!!! I loved it but it was a full-time job! My kiddo ate every two hours and often times by the time we finished up, we were at it again!

    I could NOT get enough to drink. DH’s job was to keep my Bubba Jug (56oz) filled up with ice water at all times. I went through many refills everyday!

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    Tina June 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Exactly! Q eats every 2-3 hours, and I can’t get enough water in me!

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    Bobbie June 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    @Tina: It makes you SOOOOOO thirsty and eventually SOOOOOO hungry!
    lol

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    Laura P June 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Congrats on the beginning of a wonderful new life as parents!
    I even had to nurse a couple of times from the backseat, that’s a challenge. Makes for a funny story now though.
    The snuggles are the best. I miss that so very much I still get some snuggles but it’s just not the same!
    My two are middle schoolers. I’m not the most organized and I never did get around to filling out baby books etc. but one thing I’ve done every year or just about on their birthdays is retell to them their birth stories. As they get older they like it more and ask more questions, so we get to relive some memories.

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    Lisa R June 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

    This is so great to read as I am 8 days from my due date! Thank you for these posts & congratulations on your sweet baby :)

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    Brittany (a healthy slice of life) June 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Sounds like you are doing so wonderful mama- way to go!

    With my first I had an entire birth plan printed out and none of it went according to plan. With my second (now 1 month old!), I wanted to go with the flow and the whole labor and delivery was such a smoother process.

    I also used almost nothing I packed in my hospital bag- haha!

    I’m so glad q is here happy and healthy- congrats!!

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    Court June 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Congrats! And I think that most of my first time mom friends rode home in the back seat with the babies with the exception to this being the one who had twins and the only reason she didn’t was that as she put it, “My still pregnant sized ass wouldn’t fig comfortably.”

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    Tina June 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Haha!

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    Kristen @ Vitamin K Girl June 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Great advice! I will bookmark this page for the future:)

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    Laura June 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Congrats! I’m definitely loving hearing about all this, as tomorrow I’ll be 34 weeks with my first, so my own delivery is getting super close.

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    Lauren June 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Not a mom myself (yet), but I love this post. So sweet, genuine, and helpful. I’ll bookmark it for posterity, for sure!

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    Katherine June 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Congratulations!! Its so nice to read this post to prepare for my first baby– due in 8 weeks. I have been reading your blog for YEARS– probably 6 or 7?? And I am so so excited for you! I especially love your comments about working as a team and not blaming each other when things go wrong. Kudos to you and Mal for being so good about that!

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    Emily @ Life on Food June 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I love this quick run down of posts. Makes me feel good about the potential for me and my husband down the road.

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    Annette@FitnessPerks June 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    This is awesome!! You nailed it :)

    I didn’t ride in the back with my baby, I am not sure why not? I too was super laid back the second she was born too–as is my husband. I think babies sense this, and tend to be more calm (at least that is what my mom says, haha). So I try not to stress about the little things. Sounds like you’ve got this mama thing down quickly! So happy for you & little Q! :)

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    Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork June 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Such a sweet post! So glad to hear you’re all doing well! My husband and I have been getting so much better at team work with certain stuff (I’m a notorious control freak and have found that letting go and asking, “what do you think?” go a LONG way for both of us) that it makes me hopeful that our experience will be like yours. Can’t wait to hear more and hope you enjoy some sleep in between the snuggling!

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    janetha June 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    great post! i am not too far behind you. so excited for you guys and your little fam! xoxo

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    Heather's looking glass June 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Great tips! I’m 25 weeks today but already thinking about the labor and delivery part!

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    Jessica June 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    The biggest surprise to me was the cluster feeding. We had been told about it but MAN! Our little man would camp out at the boob for hours at night while he cluster fed! Totally normal and good for your supply, but time consuming! I had my hubby just prep a ton of water for me and some snacks and just catch up on some of my shows! Haha. I’m almost 5 months in and the breastfeeding is still a full time job, but SO worth it!!! Congratulations!!!!

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    Lindsay @ lifting in lilly June 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I love this post! You seem genuinely happy and I love how honest you are!!! Can’t wait to hear more!

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    Sarah June 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Congrats! Our babies were born 3 days apart (our little girl was the 7th). Since I am a few days ahead of you…at 10 days postpartum I am feeling much better and healing really well. Little walks with the babe are much easier now and I’m feeling more like myself again. I hear you with the breastfeeding being a full-time job–wow. That discomfort/PAIN is also subsiding, if you are having any of that. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear about your birth story.

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    Alissa Jo June 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I am glad to read this post! I have followed you for a few years. I am very early in my pregnancy (have only announced to close family, and I guess your blog now, ha!) and I am really curious to see what your journey is like. I am also a Nurse Practitioner, but my focus is adults and geriatrics so I really feel quite clueless at times about babies! I am so excited to read about baby products you use and recommend. I find that a lot of pregnancy blogs I read have a lot of teen/young moms on them. No offense, but as a late 20 something professional I am looking for a different perspective. Are there any blogs you’d recommend? Thanks for sharing!

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    Rebecca@RunningFoodBaby June 17, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    haha – I totally rode in the backseat with Max!

    You are another one that said you could send your baby to the nursery to catch some Zzz’s – The hospital I gave birth at was all “once the baby is born, you are on your own” – they are good with making sure to remind you to feed the baby, but the babies NEVER leave the mother’s side at all during the hospital stay. If a test needs to be done (rare, as they come to you) – the mom or dad has to be there with you. There is a nursery that is more like a NICU – but only babies with complications go there. I don’t think I slept much at all the four days we were in the hospital.

    The first poo explosions are…interesting. I totally took pictures of the first giant “out of the diapers” one, haha

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    Katherine Baker June 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    lovely post! you’re so wise and inspiring. happy it’s going well. best wishes you you, mal, murph, and the new baby!

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    Theodora June 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I need to come meet him! :)

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    Tina June 18, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Yes, you do!! 😄

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    Lisa @ Exercise eat repeat June 18, 2014 at 4:42 am

    I am really enjoying hearing all about the adventure if Q. He is such a cuitie and your advice and experiance i am sure will help new mums. Congratulations to you both. Loving the baby posts.

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    Shelly June 19, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Congrats! He’s adorable! You can still do a lot with very very little sleep :) my little has shot the tee pee right off. It caught me so off guard!

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    Sarah June 19, 2014 at 6:12 am

    I loved reading this! I’m expecting my second in just a few weeks; it’s so wonderful to read a first-hand account from someone who JUST experienced labor and delivery.

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    Alyssa June 19, 2014 at 7:30 am

    This is awesome! I’m so happy for your guys!

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    truhali June 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Ha! I drove home from the hospital with all my new babies (once the day after giving birth) because my husband is not used to driving :-) Good luck with your new baby.

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    Amelia @Eating Made Easy June 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    You look lovely and what a cutie Q is :)

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    Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli June 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Aww, so glad to hear everything went well (of course!) and I look forward to hearing about the birth story if you end up sharing it. Most of all, I’m just glad Quinn is safe and healthy and you are too!

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