Advice for First Time Moms

Penny and Mommy Moby_resize

I’ve learned a lot from my first pregnancy and raising a baby girl.

As a first time mom myself, I also know how annoying it can be to get a constant stream of advice from well-meaning friends, relatives, and anyone who passes you in the grocery store. This is what I’ve learned from being a mom – I hope you take something away from it, but you certainly don’t have to!

  • Don’t beat yourself up about a little clutter. When Penny was a newborn, I had a choice between getting housework done and napping. Choose the snooze! The housework can wait! I made the mistake of trying to keep up with all of the laundry, cleaning, organizing, etc that was so easy when I had the opportunity for a full night’s sleep. With a newborn, you are focused completely on your little bundle when he/she is awake (and often when he/she is asleep too!) Instead of trying to get everything done when your baby naps, take a nap yourself. It’s a big change going from 7-8 hours straight of sleep a night to maybe 3 hour chunks. Rest yourself so you can enjoy the newborn time with your little one.
  • Invest in a white noise machine. My husband and I learned this little tip from The Happiest Baby on the Block, a book and DVD that my friend who had also recently had a baby turned us on to. According to Dr. Karp, the author and a practicing pediatrician, babies relax better when the environment they spent 9 months in is simulated outside the womb. There is constant, and fairly loud, noise (a muffled, rushing/whooshing noise) that a white noise machine does a good job of approximating. Once we bought one of these little beauties, my little girl woke up less often during a nap and slept for longer stretches.
  • Learn to wrap your little burrito (or find a wrap that does it for you). Also from The Happiest Baby on the Block, Dr. Karp emphasizes swaddling to help your newborn sleep well. In the womb your baby is snuggled tightly, but once outside, they miss the feeling of being enveloped. We tried over and over again to perfect our swaddling technique, but to no avail, we are pathetic swaddlers. Fortunately, we found some products that achieve the same effect without the sweat and frustration. Our favorites were: SwaddleMe, Woombie, and the Miracle Blanket (we used this one when she got really good at getting those little arms free).
  • Let people help you. Friends and family want cuddle time with your adorable little bundle. If you’re comfortable with it, let them babysit while you take a nap or run an errand. This was extremely hard for me (mainly because I wanted to spend every second with Penny) but you’ll be a better mom if you are well-rested and your baby will get some time to bond with those that will be important in his or her life.
  • Take care of yourself. With a new baby at home, it’s so easy to forget to take time for yourself to make sure you stay healthy physically and mentally. Eat well and eat healthy. Not only will this help you lose some of the pregnancy weight, but if you’re breastfeeding, you have to keep your body fueled and strong (not that you don’t need to do this if you aren’t breastfeeding, but it’s especially important if you are so baby gets nutrient-rich milk). Take walks or do light stretches to ease back into an exercise routine. Don’t overdo it right out of the hospital. Birth takes it out of you, so make sure you’re ready before you get back in the gym. And finally, don’t forget to take a shower! This seems crazy, maybe, but there was many a time I was so wrapped up in taking care of Penny that I forgot to do the same for myself.

These are some of the most important things I learned after my daughter was born. I’m going to do my best to remember them when our new little one is born (although, with a toddler at home at the same time, I’m sure I’ll have to amend/revise them a little. For all of you new mommies and new mommies to-be out there, you’re going to find your own way to care for your baby and your new family, they right way is what works for you. Above all, enjoy it. 

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There’s the Heartbeat!

I had my doctor’s appointment today to confirm a heartbeat and little baby didn’t disappoint! It’s always a little nerve wracking to not know for sure how everything is progressing. In a weird way it can be comforting to have morning sickness; you know that your body is still working on growing that little baby.  I loved seeing that little flicker! He or she is growing and doing well, just a little gummy bear in my belly.

I filmed the ultrasound on my iPhone for Chris, since he wasn’t able to come to this appointment (he was at home with Penny since we haven’t told our family yet and it would be a little hard to explain a doctor’s appointment that we both have to go to…) He’ll get to come next time!

My doctor adjusted my due date a little, so now we’re looking at March 11. This puts me right around my district’s Spring Break, so hopefully I’ll be able to stay on maternity leave through the rest of the school year – 5 whole months with little baby Simons and Penelope!

My next appointment will be in late August, and we’ll have one more ultrasound to check in on the baby. Yay!

6 Week Update

6 Weeks

What’s New With Mommy

Doctor’s Appointment:

We went to our first doctor’s appointment on Tuesday! We got to see little Baby Simons and we thought we might have seen a heartbeat, but we’re going back at 8 weeks to confirm. Doctor said everything looks good and that it’s not unusual not to see a heartbeat at this stage (especially since I ovulate later and, instead of a March 9th due date as indicated by LMP, Baby is more likely due March 13th).

The doctor talked a little bit about delivery (so soon?), saying he is more lenient about induction with second pregnancies. He is on-call during the week and the reasoning is he could induce me on a weekday and he would be the doctor there at delivery (I went into labor with Penny on Friday night and she was delivered by the on-call doctor on Saturday). One of the things I really wanted during my last pregnancy and that I want for this one is to do it as naturally as possible. I really want to labor at home for as long as possible. But I’ve decided I’m not going to put much thought into that yet. I just want to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I did my first!

Symptoms:

This week I’ve noticed a definite increase in nausea or morning sickness, and a little bit of fatigue (those three flights of stairs up to our apartment have started taking it out of me). I’ve been battling the morning sickness by eating small meals every couple hours and it seems to take the edge off…even though eating is often the last thing I feel like doing. I’m thinking about getting the Preggie Pop Drops (they helped last time around).

I’ve also been extremely moody. For example, while watching an episode of A Baby Story the other day I went from sobbing to giggling in the span of about 5 minutes. My husband, being the sensitive-type, took out his iPhone and filmed me.

Oh! And the saliva! Pregnancy can bring up all sorts of weird symptoms and this is definitely one of them! I’ve had a lot of extra saliva lately, which doesn’t help with the nausea, but other than that it doesn’t really interfere with the day to day.

Baby Bump:

I haven’t noticed a bump yet (although my husband says he thinks he might see something). What to Expect When You’re Expecting has a much prettier explanation…bowel distention (beautiful…) I don’t know if this is the case, but I find it hard to believe that I am already showing. Some says 2nd timers can show as early as 8 to 10 weeks. We shall see.

I’ve started the Belly Butter regime (I use Burt’s Bee’s Mama Bee Belly Butter – it’s AWESOME because it doesn’t really have a smell and it’s not greasy or too thick.) I didn’t get stretch marks last time, but I’m not about to chance it or chalk it all up to genetics this time around.

Weight Gain:

None so far. Still clocking in at 121.

Sleep:

Extremely vivid dreams! I usually only remember my dreams maybe once or twice a week, but man oh man…I wake up every morning remembering every detail of whatever crazy dream I had. It’s exhausting!

Cravings/Aversions:

I’ve really had no appetite to speak of. There have been moments that I’ve thought I might actually want something, but I make it and then…I change my mind. There has been one exception.

Yesterday I had my first real craving. I really had to have some thick slices of tomato on a turkey sandwich. Now…this may not seem that weird, but I’m not a huge tomato fan. I put them on sandwiches and burgers normally because I’m trying to squeeze in some veggies, but I don’t look forward to them. Not so yesterday. It was the tomato I wanted and the sandwich without it just wouldn’t have cut it. P.S. It was DELICIOUS!

What’s Up With Baby

Size:

Baby Simons is the size of a lentil or the head of a nail (about 1/4 of an inch).

Growth:

Little arms and legs are forming and Baby will start moving them around toward the end of this week. There are also dark spots where his or her eyes and nostrils will be. There are little indentations that will form the ear canals, and the heart is forming the different chambers and has started beating (looking forward to seeing that flicker at our 8 week ultrasound!) Lungs, intestines, pituitary gland, brain, muscles, and tissues are forming as well.  Basically, Baby is doing a whole lotta growing 🙂

Movement:

None that I can feel, but those little arm and leg buds are waving around like crazy!