My husband really appreciates this one. It’s easy for my to get skin to skin time with my tiny babe because she is pretty consistently attached to my boobs. For him it has to be a little bit more intentional. It is the middle of winter though and it’s not the most comfortable to be shirtless around the house, or stuck under a blanket. The Pocket gave him the chance to have some snuggle and bonding time while keeping baby secure and warm.
LIFE SAVER. For the first three nights my daughter was home we cycled through swaddles to see which one would be the ticket to us getting the most sleep. Most of them had entirely too much fabric that would bunch up around her face even when it was on the tightest option. She was only 6lbs 13.5oz so on the smaller side you could say. The Swaddler is stretch fabric that allowed me to swaddler her tight but, still had enough give to the fabric for her to move her arms around inside. Hello three hour newborn sleep stretches!
Car Seat Cover/Nursing Cover
It’s literally freezing in Wisconsin right now. Having the car seat covered is not an option it is a necessity! Most of the covers I have had in the past just drape over the seat and can blow open, the stretchy Nuroo cover stretches over the car seat and stays secure. Also, I can pull it off the cover her while nursing, or to cover her while transporting her outside while she is inside her sling.
I have to say Nuroo really seems to have nailed it in the newborn department. Good quality products, beautiful gender neutral patterns, simple and clean designs. They are putting out some must have essentials for surviving those newborn days. Check them out here.
*I was given Nuroo products complimentary for my honest review.*
Coffee and amazon prime: How we survived our first week at home with two kids.
She needs a sibling they said, you’ll be great they said.
Fast forward to the end of a pregnancy, that I swore would never ever end, and then diving in and conquering life with two children. I never saw myself having more than two, we have said time and time again this second baby girl completes our family. MARK MY WORDS, the incubator is closed. There is a reason people use the phrase “we don’t want to be out numbered.”
My birth experience this time was actually even smoother than the first time. Which I personally feel was well deserved because the last three weeks of my pregnancy were like sme sick game of “real or false labor.” More on that in “Sex and Pineapples: A Birth Story.” But, any who, a human existed my body, for the second, and LAST TIME, and here we all are. Living, breathing, and somehow surviving, hell, you might even say thriving.
My husband brought my very confused eldest daughter to the hospital. To meet her sister, to get out of the house, to see me, and to save his sanity. It was terrible, it was wonderful, it was real fuckin life y’all. Being stuck in the house with a two year old who doesn’t get why mommy is at the doctor with that baby for two days is a hell of a task. He was exhausted. Being in a hospital with a newborn, boobie crazed, energy sucker, also not the easiest of tasks. Especially when my rock, the keeper of my sanity, is at home, with a tiny dictator.
This is the longest time I had ever slept away from my husband and first born. Ever. It was a strange thing. Not that I had much time to think about exactly how strange it was because I had a little love to focus on. 100% of my time and energy to her, for the last time little did she know.
So, I birth this person. They send me home. I should be a pro by now right?
I read something once that said something about giving birth being like getting into a car accident, and taking care of another person who was also in the accident. To this is say, yes. You technically have both experienced a “trauma” my body had been torn, tattered, stretched to its limits, bleeding, leaking and now I am tasked to take care of this small person who was BORN. Like what the fuck, she was born, how tragic is that? She was shoved from her cozy little sack of security and nourishment and her she is looking at me.
It’s fucking hard. It’s harder when you know what’s coming. Bracing yourself for the pain of the latch (in the beginning anyway). Preparing yourself for the process of healing, again. Friends, when you know they crash is coming and you tense up instead of letting your body react naturally, it can get messy. Yes, the knowing helps, but it doesn’t make it any “easier.”
My husband stayed home the first week, thank the Lord in heaven. He was on toddler detail, and me? You can just call me Bessy. To insure my supply was off to a good start, I just basically have a tiny little boss baby that tells me when and where to lift my top and I listen. And it works, guys, it’s worth it. You should check out my stash. Anyways. It’s tough because it takes a lot of energy AND it takes understanding from the other people around. Enter: my two year old, who I had been off with giving my undivided attention to for 8 days leading up to baby sisters entrance into the world because, well, false labor an emotional break down.
She doesn’t get it, it’s hard. She can see this little person is not going anywhere and she gets milk from momma. “Mommas like a cow” according to my husband, which resulted in said two year old trotting around the living room yelling “moooooooo Momma, Momma’s got the milk!” So, she totally has a grasp on that.
But, I found myself expecting her to be more mature, like she was just gonna grown up because she was a big sister now. Because she looks so big and grown up next to this fresh baby. Because she KNOWS what she should and shouldn’t do. She KNOWS how to behave. Yea, you can go ahead and laugh now. Wtf, right? She’s two guys, she doesn’t know anything. She knows she wants momma and daddy’s attention and she doesn’t care about this little creature that used to live inside mommy (creepy) and now lives here. She has actually said “what’s a baby doing here?” more than once.
When she decided to spike a fever the day before my husband went back to work I’m like, touché, you did it. He stayed home for two more days so we could keep them separate because everyone knows, the number one rule for babies in the first month is, no fever.
There we were, still all four of us cozy AF in our Tosa ranch, no escape from each other because it’s the middle of a Wisconsin winter. Jesus help us. Plus, the number one thing I hate doing, telling the big girl no, because of the little. “Don’t touch the baby. Don’t come too close to the baby. You’re sick stay away from the baby.” Why was Jesus testing me? Why Satan?
Anyways, we survived, we ordered literally everything from Amazon Prime, and at least two pots of coffee were brewed a day. COFFEE all the coffee! And a service that you can order almost anything from and it will show up on your doorstep two hours later. What a time to be alive...
The rest of the week I was home with the girls. Literally doing what ever it took to survive.
Dancing with my two year old with a baby latched to my body.
Holding the newborn for the entirety of my toddlers nap because naps are the essence of survival.
Accepting the food that everyone sent graciously.
Denying visitors when it felt like too much, or my toddler spikes a fever and we are on quarantine.
JUST SURVIVE SOMEHOW!
Sleep is not a thing, sleep is something you used to do, in your old life, like wearing heels and taking shots, just accept this.
Also, don't feel bad about it. We all have our own ways of adjusting and you have to do what is right for you unapologetically.
I still feel like I need to work on having time that’s just for the big one, but everyone is relatively clean and fed and happy. Tandem naps have happened, I don’t even want to type that because I feel like I am jinxing it. I feel like I am getting back to myself and honestly, I’m just super fucking pumped to not be pregnant. Lord.
Days will be long. They will be hard. There will be swearing, and caffeine and alcohol consumption. But, this absolutely beautiful mess of a blessed life. Damn is it worth it.
P.S. This blog totally had the potential to be called Starbucks and Amazon Prime, but neither of us had the money or motivation for twice a day Starbucks runs, bless y'all that leave your house for ovepriced coffee and return home with it everyday.
There comes a point in every pregnancy where you get out your favorite pen, a fresh piece of paper, and you draft that eviction notice to your sweet baby to be. You have had enough. You want to meet them. You NEED this stage of motherhood to be over.
Each pregnancy I hit this particular point of “doneness” at different moments. The first time around it was a Wednesday. The morning of my 39 week appointment. I had taken the previous day off and tried to encourage my sweet first born to be to come earth side. Walked miles in, out, and around the boutiques on North Ave. with my mom and our good family friend, who is basically a surrogate aunt. Ate tacos with Habenero Crema at Bel Air Cantina. Got ice cream and spicy chocolate truffles from Indulgence. Bought a cute, flowy, postpartum, outfit for an event I was going to when baby was going to be just 6 weeks old. The owner of said boutique who saw misery written all over my face encouraged me to stop at the nearest convenient store, snag some castor oil and never look back.
But, I didn’t, I got home from my adventure, put up my feet, and waited. The next morning was THAT Wednesday. My husband and I got up from bed, well he got up. I maneuvered to the edge of the bed, swung my feet to the floor, looked at the ground and sobbed. Hard. I couldn’t do this another day (I thought at the time), if the doctor didn’t tell me I had progression and would be in labor soon at that appointment I would just die (I thought). This was 6 days before my due date, I was 3cm and 90% at my appointment that day and had and bouncing baby girl in my arms the next day after a relatively easy, uncomplicated 12 hour labor. The second time will be even easier right?
Well, let’s roll the footage on pregnancy number two. I felt especially ripe and ready to serve up baby girls papers at about 38 weeks. I had enough of the jokes and the games. More than one false labor, a baby so low her arms were basically hanging out, no water had "broken", cramps and contractions daily, all mucus looked "plug like". Enough already. I was a “wifely duty” performing, pineapple eating, mall walking, zoo walking, base board cleaning, spicy food consuming, crazed pregnant lady who cried pretty much every day. I was convinced she would literally never be born. I was April the giraffe, she was me. This baby was not in any rush. Until she was...
I had planned to work up until my due date because I am in the service industry and you can’t plan to just work until you have a baby I had to choose a date, and of course there is no point being off with no baby right? Wrong! When you see the little threads of your sanity separating it’s time to pull the plug. My body ached, reason and patience were not in my vocabulary, and neither was sleep. I called it. My last day of work was 39 weeks on the dot. 4 pm central standard time, the white flag was flying high my friends.
Forty weeks came and went. I cried. Then 40 weeks and 2 whole days, full days, she made sure. I woke up with roaring contractions just after midnight. Of course this wasn’t labor, I was the eternal pregnant woman. So whatever, pee, poop, back to bed. Wait why am I up pooping again? Why am I still having contractions? Fine, I’ll time the contractions. For an hour and a half, ok two hours just incase she is up to her old tricks. Ok, I’ll wake up my husband. God, I’m so thirsty, maybe I’ll just rest here at this counter too while I have this contraction, and have a little water. Hm that was only five minutes from the last one, same for the last 30 minutes. Fine. We will call my mom to stay with the toddler. Fine I’ll go to the hospital! But, if these contractions slow down on the way don’t think I won’t make my husband turn around the car.
Let me say this before we get to the nitty gritty blood and guts of it all. I have a high pain tolerance. When we checked into the hospital and I am visibly a big ass 40 week pregnant lady, the two nervous men working the night shift did offer me a wheel chair, but quickly realized I was just fine for the time being. They were less ok at the sight of me than I was at this point to be honest. The nurse told me later on, when I was well into active labor, she thought she would for sure be sending me home based on my outward behavior when she was doing my initial check. Continuing on. By
3 am I am hooked up to every monitor, IV flowing, checked and deemed to be 5cm and 50%, dressed for the big dance, and invited to stay and have a child. One epidural on tap PLEASE. I had my husband film them placing it because I’m a crazy person. It’s cool, it’s crazy, it’s ecstasy. Pictocin flow is a go. OB is going to come break my water around 11, so I rest. I press that little magic button a few times, and hot tip if they give you peanut shaped exercise ball to open your cervix go for it.
11 am comes a goes, broth, water, apple juice, I’m so hydrated my pee is like clear in the cathedar bag. The nurse thinks my contractions look weird so wants to “check me to be safe” while we wait for the doc to come to my beside wielding that water bag breaking crotchet hook. I wouldn’t call the look she had panicked but, somewhere in that ball park.
“You’re complete (10cm, 100%), and I can feel hair. She [the doctor] needs to get over here now.”
Lucky for us her office is attached to the hospital. The nurse and her trainee start buzzing around the room, sterile setup, counting things, blah, blah, blah. They get the bed adjusted and in swings my main lady looking primed for the water popping, and baby catching. She has the hook, she digs, nothing. She also makes a remark about feeling hair, checks beneath me to see if the bed is wet with amniotic fluid, no dice. It’s gone. I can’t tell you exactly what she said but it was definitely a report that there was in fact no water to break and there “may be Niagara Falls coming behind the baby.” Mystery unsolved, it's go time.
“Let’s do a practice push and then I will scrub in.” Looking back I just picture my daughter hearing this a laughing like “oh sure, please take your time”. I pushed, my doctor immediately flew off of her stool to scrub in, spun into her gown while telling the newbie nurse how to close it as she snapped into gloves. I pushed twice more on the next two consecutive contractions and I was staring down, through tears, at my beautiful baby. Doc arrived at 12:45pm, baby arrived at 1:13pm.
Holy shit. Also, no water. Still missing. I have an APB out on that amniotic fluid. And, inquiring minds, in the weeks of BS and false labor, I never had a gush in the bathroom, I never had “leaking,” as far as we all know it was there at my appointment the Monday prior, then gone.
We were and are both healthy, no fevers, no meconium in the non existent water. Blessed. Three pushes was my reward for the misery, for sure it was only fair. My tiny baby was really here.
I am back living in that space where you are like, so filled with joy, but still in recovery and say never, ever again. But, I do mean it this time. We are done. We are so happy. We are so much wiser this time around, and more laid back, we aren't outnumbered.
All I know is, one thing everyone said was true, all pregnancies do end, what a wild end this one had, can’t wait to see what her personality is like.
Stay tuned for an updated, aftermath post, and what it has been like our first two weeks with two, two and under. Happy Holidays!
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.