When I was pregnant with Hudson, I felt like I had a vague idea as to what to expect postpartum, or really just a lot of preconceived notions about what "postpartum life" would be like.
I had some sort of idea about how my life was going to change, but I was very intentional about making sure the baby fit into our life, and not the other way around.
I knew I would be tired, pretty busy, but there was no way I could of ever prepared myself for exactly what life was going to be like. I knew my body was going to be a little different than it was before pregnancy. I knew that postpartum depression was a possibility and I knew breastfeeding was hard for some.
Reflecting back now as we are quickly approaching Hudsons first birthday (I can't believe it) I realize how clueless I really was going into the whole parenting thing. The truth is: having a baby is really one of the most incredible blessings that life has to offer, it's fun, exciting, beautiful and truly has provided me with the most happiness in the world. I feel blessed to have Hudson in our life, to have had the opportunity to birth him and to have the privilege to raise him.
Here is another truth: having a baby changes everything.
In amazing, blessed, difficult and challenging ways.
Anything that you assume about parenthood before having a child will be flipped around and turned upside down. What you thought your baby will like, will in reality be the opposite. I am certain that you will reflect back on what you thought postpartum life would be life and just laugh, like I do. The reality is, how could we have known right? We only set the best of intentions.
Hudson is a miraculous little boy. He is a wonderful sleeper and has been since day one. But the truth is even with a baby who is a wonderful sleeper, those first six-eight weeks they need to either wake or be woken up to eat. So you are still not getting anymore than 3 hours of sleep at most, at a time. And when Hudson got the okay from the pediatrician to let him sleep longer, Mama still needed to wake up every three hours and pump so my breasts didn't get engorged.
You will experience a level of exhaustion that you did not know was possible.
He was very easy to nurse, but he wanted to nurse 24/7 😊. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY can prepare you for what life is like when nursing your little babe. Despite how time consuming and challenging it can be at times, I would never have changed my decision to nurse Hudson and I still intend to nurse our next baby. That being said, cluster feeding is no joke. I can remember days on end, nights on end even weeks on end where 4 o'clock would come around and it was time for Hudson to eat and he would stay on my breasts for nearly 8 to even 10 hours. I didn't see the dinner table most nights during that time because I was on the couch nursing him.
Your body will change, and it will in more ways than one. But that is OK. You may have stretch marks, and you will have some loose skin for a little while. You may decide that those tiny itty bitty bikinis that you once rocked no longer make you feel comfortable. Again, that is OK. You will still look six months pregnant for a few days (or weeks) after you have your baby because your uterus takes time to return to its normal size, but things will go back to the way they were. Every woman's body is so unique and so different, with this incredible capability to grow another human being inside. To create this beautiful life inside our bodies... Really think about that... it is SUCH a gift. Dealing with a little extra skin, or a stretch mark here or there is such a small sacrifice for the beautiful beings we bring into this world.
Your emotions will be all over the place and I am not saying that you will have postpartum depression, but you will feel overwhelming feelings of happiness, sadness, isolation, being overwhelmed and everything in between. It's ok to not feel ok. But if you do sense that you have some postpartum depression, that is OKtoo, and it is so important that you talk to someone about it and get some help. It's ok to need help.
You are about to experience a love that you have never imagined before. You will be absolutely consumed by and in love with your baby. Your life will change to accommodate that child. And yes, you’ll find ways to fit the baby into your word, but more likely you’ll find yourself navigating this strange new terrain for the first time WITH your baby. You will create a new world together. It is such a beautiful experience.
Postpartum life is full of a love that is so overwhelming and beautiful that you will not remember how you ever existed before it. It’s full of late nights, rocking your baby and forming a bond that can never be broken. It’s about going through a transformation, becoming a new person. You are a MOTHER. It’s going through an incredible, wonderful metamorphosis, and looking back a year later and thinking, THIS is who I was meant to be. It’s about learning so much about yourself and about what really matters in life.
It is about feeling incredibly accomplished when you cook a meal, finish the laundry or get out for a walk with your baby. It is about bursting at the seams with excitement every time your little human accomplishes another amazing milestone. The joy that I get from Hudsons amazing little accomplishments outweighs any joy I have ever felt before. His first smile, his first foods, his first steps, his first word...
Those newborn days are hard, and you will feel like you are in a fog. But let me tell you mama, that fog will clear and before you know it your baby will grow more and more independent by the day. You will sleep again. You can do this Mama. You are not alone.
You are embarking on life's most beautiful journey, motherhood. Embrace each and every little moment, and know that time has a way of picking up speed, and you don't want to miss a moment.
Long time no talk, and I am sorry… I had huge aspirations that I would be able to maintain 2-3 blogs a week with a newborn, and that was just CRAZY talk. So on that note… I wanted to share what I have learned in the last 15 weeks about being a mom and life with a newborn.
I have learned SO much in the last 15 weeks. Life with a newborn can be hectic, sleepless and crazy, but is by far the MOST rewarding thing I could ever, EVER imagine. I am hoping that this post will help any new mothers out there get through those first three months with a bit more ease and assurance.
1) Breast feeding is by far the number one hardest thing I have ever tried to do in my entire life. If you decide that you want to breast feed your baby, bottle feed with your breast milk or use formula, this choice is yours and yours alone. Always remember that a fed baby is a happy/healthy baby. This decision needs to be yours, and yours only. I decided to breast feed Hudson, and I still am, so I am going to speak to breast feeding right now.
You will get discouraged. You will be in pain at some point or another. I dealt with milk coming in to fast and engorgement, which led to mastitis (hello 105 degree fever = dying). You will have moments where you cant get your baby to latch and you want to cry. You will have weeks where you feel like the only thing you can get done is feed your baby, 24/7. BUT, you will make small progress day by day and it will get better. I am here to PROMISE you that it gets better. Hudson and I are 15 weeks into breastfeeding and we can basically do it anywhere, any position, in the middle of the night with no lights on or in the back seat of a crammed Tacoma.
You will want to focus on getting the correct latch early on. That is what is most important. I can’t recommend enough talking with a lactation consultant while you are at the hospital. I had a few LC help me during my stay at the hospital and it was HUGE. After we got home, I went back to speak with the same LC at the hospital a few times to make sure we were on track. It was super helpful.
2) Sleeping is a thing of the past. And those words are coming from a VERY fortunate mama who has a baby that has slept through the night since we got home. (Except I had to wake him to feed every 3 hours for the first 8 weeks) I honestly think he slept so well because he is a big baby, 9 lbs. 9 oz. at birth. But, regardless I am here to tell you that sleeping a sound 8 hours at night is a thing of the past. So just own it. Get ready for it and certainly sleep while you can! Even when I was given the go ahead to let Hudson sleep through the night, I needed to get up to pump milk in order to avoid engorgement. If I am not up pumping, I am still half sleeping as I always have an ear listening for the little guy. I think its just mothers instinct.
3) Schedules are a lifesaver! I have to say, I found that introducing a schedule as soon as I could was a huge help. I had people tell me that you couldn’t possibly get a newborn on a schedule and I am here to tell you that, that is not the case. Sure, there is going to be fluctuations due to cluster feeding and growth spurts, but you can still get a good “idea” of a schedule down. Hudson is now soooo on schedule that my Husband and Mother laugh at how regimented he is (just like his mother ;-))
Here is a quick overview at what our schedule looks like…
7 am Wake & feed
7:30-8:30 am Play
8:30 am Nap time
10 am He wakes up and I feed him
10:30- 12 pm Play
2:30-3 pm Hudson wakes up and I feed him
5pm Last nap, this one I keep short - 45mins (some days he doesnt take this nap)
7:30 Bath time followed by 3-5 minute infant massage
8 pm Bottle and book
8:30pm Bed time
4) Exercising! Getting out of the house can seem like SUCH a task , but I have to tell you… if you can get into a routine of bundling the baby up and going for an afternoon walk, or doing a 30 minute workout during the baby’s nap time in the morning, it will make you feel so much better. Being a mom is HARD work. You are taking care of every one elses needs all the time and it is easy to lose sight of yourself and your needs. When I got cleared to exercise (at 6 weeks) I was still dealing with post partum sciatic pain, so I really didn’t get a chance to start exercising till 10 weeks or so. I started with walks and working my way up to running and 30 minute weight circuits where I do a lot of plyometrics and light weight, high reps. That’s just what feels good for my body, and I refuse to do anything that doesn’t make me feel good at this point in time.
5) You are blessed. This is such a total gift. Before I became a mom, I never knew how life changing it would really be. It is such an incredible blessing and I am thankful for Hudson every single day. To wake up to his precious smile and go to sleep with the sounds of his tiny snores, I am so blessed and so are you! Don’t lose sight of that. The laundry might be piling up and the house may be a mess, but honestly… in the realm of what is REALLY important, you have Gods' greatest gift in your arms and you are totally blessed.
Hudson at Three Months!
Oh what a joy motherhood has been and continues to get better and better each day. Hudson is such a love. At three months he loves to babble and laugh, he smiles quite often and he is eating like a champ! He loves to listen to music and go for runs with mommy. He is also having such a fun time with his big brother, Hawkins, and enjoys when Hawkins reads and sings to him.
A Day in the Life of Hudson and Mama
7:00 am: Hudson and I wake up for the day. Every morning at 7 am his eyes flutter open and our days begin with smiles. I feed him right when he wakes up.
7:30am – 8:30 am: Playtime
10:00am: Wake & Feed
(Playtime) Go for a walk with the dogs, read books
1:00pm: Wake & Feed
(Playtime) Afternoon run with Mama usually!
4:00pm: Wake & Feed
5:30- 6:15pm: A short nap if he wants it
7:30 pm Bath
8:00pm Story and Eat
Hudson is currently sleeping from 8:30 pm til about 5:00 am , we do a quick feeding at 5:00am and snooze again til 7am. Its been like this now for the last month and we really seem to be thriving with a consistent schedule.
Q & A: Your Questions Answered
What are you using for sunscreen?
Hudson is too young for sunscreen at this point, but when the time comes I will use Beautycounter mineral sunscreen for babies. I am also looking into a few other mineral sunscreen brands that I may try after I am certain the ingredients are safe.
Are you sleep training?
Hudson has been a very “easy” baby, but I also have not had any other point of reference to refer too. We didn’t really need to do much “sleep training” per se. We have been able to just kinda develop a routine, play with the times in which we wanted to put him down, and we walk out of the room. So far… that’s the extent of “training.”
Are you back to work?
Fortunately, I am back to work on a very part-time basis. My career affords me the opportunity to work from home for the most part, and I go out and work in the field a few days a week for a couple hours, which I think is great for both Mommy and baby. As far as child care goes, Hudson is either with Mommy or Daddy. We are very fortunate.
Fisher price Kick & Play Piano Gym
Sophie the Giraffe
Nat and Jules Book with Sound, Barnyard Friends
Babiator Baby Sunglasses
Baby Rattle Ball
My life is so beautiful. My life is a total blessing. My life is busy, hectic, and often focused on meeting the needs of others. I am a mom. Like many of you, we work full-time to boot. I wake up every morning 40-minutes before everyone else so that I can shower, dress, get breakfast ready and have a conversation with my husband before Hudson wakes and I turn on “mommy” mode. When at work, I focus on the needs of my clients. I educate and fill their minds with knowledge on how to lead healthier, happier lives. When work is done, its time to circle back with family, clean up the house and prepare dinner. Before you know it we are off to sleep to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. My life is so beautiful. My life is a total blessing. My life feels like it is often not about me. I am your typical woman in so many ways, feeling stretched thin, but no matter how crazy life may get, I do not let my own needs and wants disappear from my daily agenda. I consider self-care, no matter how small, to be as necessary to my health as the nourishing foods I eat and daily exercise.
Finding time to take care of yourself is an absolute must, mama. Self-care is really a non-negotiable. As moms (working outside the home or not) our lives revolve around meeting the needs of others day in and day out. New to motherhood and I already understand the endless demands, rewards, sacrifices, sleepless nights and countless unscheduled interruptions and mostimportantly, what a beautiful gift it is to be a mom. Seriously, I don’t think there is anything better in this world than waking up every morning to my little boys smile and kisses, it is the best. Being a mom is my most important full-time job, and my favorite, but it can be draining. And we I am drained, I cannot be the best wife, mom, friend and coach I can be. Finding time to recharge and celebrate who I am as an individual
SELF-CARE WILL MAKE YOU A HAPPIER INDIVIDUAL, WIFE, & MOTHER.
Time spent caring for yourself should be considered as an investment in your long-term health. Before Hudson was born, I had an idea of what motherhood would be like, but I didn’t understand what motherhood would actually be like. Now I understand and cant stress enough to my fellow mamas, moms-to-be and moms-who-will-be how important it is to take care of yourself, and that means something different for everyone. What I can tell you though is that it needs to be a daily practice.
Keeping it real, you may need to fight for this time to invest in yourself and make others understand why it is important to you. Your boss, kids, partner or other family members may not understand why it is so vital that you take 30 minutes to yourself to read your favorite book, or why you take the time every few weeks to get your hair done. They may not understand that these needs go far beyond wanting to look pretty. That is where it is crucial for you to stand up for your needs and believe that you are worth that sacred time of recharging. You deserve the same level of care that you spend most of your day ensuring everyone else has. Love yourself! When you make your self-care routine a priority in your crazy, hectic life, something amazing happens. You become the very best version of you. Yea, its true. You will be able to laugh with your kiddos rather than snap, and kiss your significant other rather than bark at them. You will smile more. You will enjoy the days more.
Finding time for self-care in your busy life isn’t exactly simple or clear cut. Therefor, it is something that you have to plan for. Take time to plan and book yourself a mani/pedi or spa day. Self-care can also be as simple as getting up 20 minutes earlier and adding some sort of movement/exercise into your morning routine. Maybe you use that time to take a longer shower, dress and apply some make-up. Maybe self-care is doing a facemask and sipping a glass of wine. Maybe its 15 minutes where you can hide out in your room and do as you please, maybe read a book, scroll through Instagram, go for a walk, whatever you want. Just 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to yourself. New to self-care practices? Start small by just scheduling 15 minutes to yourself in your day.
Being a mother is such a beautiful gift, but it is easy to lose yourself in the juggling act and forget that you are important! So take the time you need for you… and be that happy mama, for everyones sake.
Share with me your go-to favorite self-care routines! New to self-care? Share with me what changes you are going to start tomorrow in order to take care of yourself.
Never in a million years could I have ever truly understood what it would be like to be a “Mom.” I always knew I wanted kids, it was just something I knew from a very early age, but I never really knew what motherhood looked like until the day that Hudson was born and I held him in my arms in those first few moments of life outside utero. That day was quite the adventure in and of itself, and if you missed that post, you can read all about Hudson’s birth story here.
As I sit down to write the much requested, “a day in the life”/schedule post, I can’t even remember what it was like to not be a “Mom.” Life is so funny like that, isn’t it?
Hudson has hit the one-month mile marker, and while time does go quickly, I feel fortunate to have soaked up every moment we have shared together as Mother and Son. You know its funny, before I had Hudson, I thought moms truly spoke another language- Nose Fridas, Pack N’ Plays, Sophie the giraffe, cluster feeding… what? Who? I need what?!
Hudson is certainly not lacking in the personality category, he makes being his Mama so, so fun. He is already rockin’ and rollin’ on our Baby Einstein Play Mat. He absolutely adores bath time and he loves when we read to him… (Moms personal favorite is, Giraffes Can’t Dance). His smile is contagious and we have gotten a laugh or two from him as well! So fun!
Before I get into a day in our life, I just want to be clear that while we are getting into a groove and a schedule that works well for us, we certainly have days that don’t go according to plan (hello motherhood) and I also understand that schedules are not for everyone, but personally, we thrive off of some sort of consistency in our day to day lives. So, if you’re a mama who doesn’t love schedules, there is no pressure here, I am just sharing what is working well for us so far.
A Day in the Life of Hudson and Mama
7:00 am: Hudson wakes up for the day. Sometimes I have to wake him up, but often he wakes up on his own right around this time. I feed him at this time. I have been waking myself up around 6:20 am so that I can have a few moments to get myself together (somewhat) before our day begins.
8:30- 10: Hudson typically falls asleep for his first nap of the day!
10:00: If he doesn’t wake up on his own, I wake him up and feed. Usually after this feeding he is ready to play, so if its nice we will go for a walk.
11:30 – 1:00pm: Second nap of day. This is usually the time when I will try to get some work done, or I will take a nap with Hudson if I am feeling like I need it!
1:00pm: Time to eat again! I will wake him up, feed him and then we usually play. Seeing a pattern here? ;)
3:00: Feed him again. He may or may not have fallen asleep between the last feeding and this one, it’s been different depending on the day and how well he has been sleeping.
3:30- 5:00: Last nap of the day
5:00-8:00: Hudson usually wakes up around five o’clock pretty hungry. Days that we are cluster feeding, it usually starts around this time. So that means that Hudson and mom get really comfortable on the couch and feed for the next five hours or so. But, if it’s a “normal” evening, I will feed Hudson, have bath time and read him a story or two.
8:00: We face time our big brother, Hawkins, I feed Hudson and off to bed her goes for the night.
12 am: Hudson usually wakes for his first night feeding. I do this one in our room and keep the lights very dim. He wakes, we change him and I will feed him, putting him right back down to bed when we are done.
4am: Hudson wakes to be fed. Again, wake, change, feed, and he will go back down til 7am when we start our day all over again! J
Things We Have Found Essential
1: Sleep sheep and/or white noise maker: This is just essential. We use both often and sometimes at the same time.
2: Sleepsack – Ever since Hudson was born he really didn't enjoy being swaddled, because he wanted his arms available so he can self soothe if he wants with his fingers. Because of this, we have found that he really likes to be wrapped in his sleepsack like this one, the Halo sleepsack has been awesome! Sleeveless one is our favorite.
3:Ergo baby carrier: This mama is usually trying to multi-task, and this carrier has allowed me to do so. I can get work done on my computer, vacuum and walk the pups without worrying about Hudson with this hands free carrier!
4: Fisher Price Rock N' Glide Soother: This thing is amazing! Hudson loves to take his naps during the day in this soother. It has several speeds, several different sounds and the bed vibrates if you want. It also has a few fun toys hanging that Hudson loves to look at and focus on.