A message for the non-moms

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As much as I hate admitting it, I’m often consumed with thoughts about how friggin’ hard motherhood is. If you accompany me on one of my rare kid free nights out, I’m likely telling you about how I haven’t felt rested in three years and how much I miss going out to dinner or leaving town with my husband at a moment’s notice and how I’m so sick of wiping asses and can we please have a sick free home for just one stinkin’ month? Or maybe if I could please just go to the bathroom without an audience…

The truth is, I’m in the thick of one of the most challenging stages of life and if I’m not careful, my sheer state of exhaustion will make it difficult for me to do anything other than mourn my life before kids when I’m out with you. But I want to tell you that I do actually have a lot of wonderful moments (like the one in the picture above) I just don’t share them with you as often as I share how much I need a bottle of wine to myself because my kids are turning me into a major cray cray. When I’m with you, I remember how it felt to be rested and free to do whatever I feel like doing (within reason).

When I’m talking to you about my life, I feel this weird sense of responsibility to share how insanely challenging it can be – like I don’t want you to feel duped once you pop a kid out and become entrenched in motherhood. I share how parenthood can push you to the brink of insanity, but what I neglect to share is that through all the insanity and frustration is the most perfect little face staring back at you. I grew these tiny humans in my body and they are the perfect blend of me and the love of my life. Does it get better than that? My heart is bursting with a sort of unconditional love you’ve never felt before. And to be clear, this love is there regardless of DNA; this crazy love comes with raising a child.

Every single time I look at my boys; whether it’s watching them laugh, cry, fall, accomplish something they’re proud of, learn something new, taste chocolate ice cream for the first time, throw up all over me or my car, have an assplosion diaper, tell me they love me, throw a massive tantrum, cry for seemingly no reason, give me hugs and kisses, fall blissfully asleep as soon as I take them in my arms (this list could go on forever, but you get the idea) – literally every single moment I have with these boys, whether beautiful or ugly, my heart is consumed with unconditional love and doting eyes and it feels amazing. There is just no other love in this world than the love parents have for their children. This love is like a drug and if it were taken away from me, I’d have serious withdrawals and a massive hole in my heart.

So, no matter how much I bitch about needing a break or how many times I tell you I’m jealous of your freedom, know that if I had the choice to go back and have my babies again, I’d do it over and over and over without hesitation. This crazy love I have for my babies has made me a better person; I’m wiser, more patient and have a bigger capacity to love. Yes, parenting little humans is really hard sometimes, but the rewards FAR outweigh the struggles.

Sincerely,

A mom of two boys under 3

10 Tips to Avoid the “Baby Blues”

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In my eighth week of being a mom to two boys, I’ve been reflecting on how much smoother this postpartum period has gone in comparison to my first.

I was truly traumatized after giving birth to Porter (you can read more on my first birth experience if you’re curious). My OB literally thinks I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. During the immediate months after I gave birth, I would wake up in complete hysterics. I had sudden flashbacks of lying on that table, unable to communicate while they were cutting into me. I didn’t want to be touched and would subconsciously and sometimes consciously push Ryan away when he tried to hug me (his love language happens to be physical touch, so that was just great). It was pretty bad. I would obviously be a horrible candidate to fight in a war.

On the other side of the spectrum, this planned C-section was a complete breeze. Aside from having major abdominal surgery, I felt good physically AND mentally. But I don’t think that’s the only reason I’m doing better this time. During the past 2.5 years as a mom, I’ve learned a few things about myself. I now know what I need to do to keep myself out of crazy town…for the most part haha ;).postpartum-depression

But really, my mommy meltdowns have been much fewer this go around and I’m able to objectively identify what I need in order to regain my sanity. This is what works FOR ME. This is not a solution for everyone, but I do think it might be helpful to anyone suffering from a little case of the baby blues. Not to confuse this with PPD. If you think you have PPD, get off my blog and call your doctor.

1. Don’t slack on your hygiene

Take a shower Every. Single. Day. Seriously ladies, don’t skip taking a shower just because you’re a mom. You’ll feel better if you just give yourself a quick wash. I’m not saying you need to wash your hair/shave your legs every single time, but at least rinse yourself and do a quick soapy wipe down. With that being said, don’t go too long between hair washes and leg shaves. It will boost your mood to have clean hair (even if you let air dry) and smooth legs. Put on some yummy smelling lotion afterwards.

2. Put on your make-up and WEAR LIPSTICK

Again, I’m only talking about what works for me put on some lipstickhere. There’s actually some science behind the psychological benefits of wearing lipstick. I’m like Speedy Gonzoles doing my make-up these days and I’m usually interrupted midway through, but I always make the effort to do it and I always feel better afterwards.

3. Get dressed

Even if you want to wear leggings. Don’t wear your spit-up leggings if you can; try to keep a clean pair on hand even if that means you need to buy a few more. And pair it with a cute top/shoes/jewelry.

4. Do your laundry 

Even if you don’t have time to put it away. During this newborn phase, you’ll often find piles of clean clothes throughout my house.But isn’t that better than piles of dirty ones?

5. Get out of the house

I cannot stress this enough! Sometimes I cringe at the idea of loading up all the baby crap, coordinating feedings/diaper changes/snacks/ etc. in order to leave, but I ALWAYS feel better when I get out of the house. It’s so very important.

6. Make plans

After I had my first, I sort of became a hermit for a while. I was having a hard time and my solution to isolate myself wasn’t helping. Sometimes you might hesitate to make plans because you aren’t sure how your day will go. Will the baby be fussy? Will you be extra tired from a bad night sleep? Will your toddler be testy? Who cares? All of those things will still be your reality whether you sit at home and feel depressed, or get out and see your friends. I’ve found that Porter’s behavior actually improves when we go out and have play dates.

7. Stay hydrated

There’s research suggesting that dehydration actually affects your mood. So get yourself a CamelBak, Hydroflask or whatever and stay hydrated.

8. Drink coffee (if you’re used to drinking coffee)

This is a no brainer, folks. Caffeine is your friend. I often have an afternoon cup to get me through to bedtime. Hopefully that habit will end once Preston starts sleeping through the night.

9. Take time to yourself

This one is the most important, but hardest one to do. I still struggle with mom guilt when I tell Ryan I need to leave the house BY MYSELF. What is it with motherhood that makes you feel guilty when you do things for yourself? But it’s sooooo important. It will make you a better mom and wife.

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You all knew this was coming. If you’re not a wine drinker, you should be. It’s a mood booster for me after a day of twonager melt downs and newborn crying. Obviously if you don’t drink, just disregard this one.

 

Photo credits:

Family photo — Hilary Blair Photography

Postpartum woman — http://borgenproject.org/postpartum-depression-abroad/

 

 

Prepping for the second kid

 

“One is none, two is ten.” My mom always used to say that and frankly, this terrifies me. In ten short weeks, I’ll be a mom of two and I’m not quite sure how the hell I’m going to pull this off. I know it’s possible – I see people do it. One of my best friends just had her third! I know it’s not a big deal to society to have two kids. But in our house, I feel like it’s going to shake us into utter insanity.

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Maybe I should provide some background so I don’t sound like I need therapy. I mean, I probably do, but wine is cheaper so I go that route when I’m not knocked up.

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Our transition to one kid was NOT EASY. I know some people have a smooth transition into parenthood, but that was not us; it sucked us into long term survival mode.

Not to compare, but I’m going to compare. Some babies are easy going and start sleeping through the night at three to four months (some even earlier). These same kids might even be relatively well during their first and second years of life. These babies probably don’t have GERD, chronic ear infections, or weird autoimmune issues that pop up. They also probably don’t want to nurse every 30-45 minutes and are willing to be put down, or at least “worn” in a baby carrier. These parents are often fooled into thinking ALL babies are easy and might even judge other parents for having a hard time – I begrudgingly wish all the judger parents will have terrors for second children.

Porter gave us a hell of an introduction to parenthood, but the sleep deprivation was the most challenging part. It wasn’t that he was still waking up to feed, it was several wakings per night from pain because he had chronic double ear infections from about four months to eight and a half months, before we finally resorted to ear tubes. So the wakings were more dramatic than just a nursing session – he was upset, often had a fever and suffered from chronic diarrhea from the antibiotics.

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Just before his surgery

But even after the tubes surgery, he still got ear infections! The difference was that the tubes relieved the pressure/pain and the infections were finally treatable. We would routinely go into the ENT to have his ear’s cleaned out, which was traumatizing because he had to be held down wearing a straight jacket and would stare at me with horror as he sobbed. Hello mom guilt.

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Our happy boy a few days after surgery

We just had a rough time. We wondered how the hell people have more than one kid.

Then suddenly, Porter’s illnesses stopped (aside from the common cold, etc.), the ear infections became less and less frequent, we were consistently sleeping through the night, the GERD was a thing of the past and we felt like we could breath.

Then baby fever started to kick in, and bam, we conceived.

We went from, “holy shit how do people have more than one kid” to “I sort of get now how people have more than one kid” to “let’s have another kid” to “we’re due in March with our second kid” in a very short timeframe.

 

So here we are, preparing for baby number two, hoping and praying we get a little lucky this second time around. Would love a relatively painless c-section, no GERD, no constant illnesses, no chronic ear issues, a baby that likes to be worn, a baby that lets us sleep longer than three hour stretches sooner than eight and a half months.

Porter, we love you and wouldn’t change anything about you. You made us stronger as a family and you’ve grown to be the sweetest most loving two year old boy ever. I predict you will be a gentile giant – a big boy with a big heart. But I can say with 100 percent certainty that we just don’t have it in us to have another you ever again. So please, baby Preston, cut your parents some slack and be jackpot baby.

If you have any good baby vibes to send our way, please do. We need them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porter’s Birth Story

Mitchell-67 I’ve avoided recounting this story in my head from start to finish as best I could for the past two years. But as my impending due date moves closer and closer, thinking about my first and only experience giving birth seems to be unavoidable. Fair warning, this is not a beautiful birth story. I had flashbacks and woke up in complete hysterics for months after bringing Porter into this world.

A little background – Porter was measuring large, particularly his head, and large babies run in my family (birth weight is genetic I hear) so I wasn’t exactly confident I wouldn’t need a c-section. Actually, I was pretty certain I would end up with one – call it mother’s intuition? My husband is 6’5” and I’m not exactly a small human. But your birth canal is only so big right? How can you fit a giant head through there? I was told that some women are able to vaginally deliver twelve pound babies and that it really just depends on your genes and the shape of your birth canal. Since my mother had two c-sections because of her larger than average babies, why would I be any different?

Due to his size, I was given the option to induce at 39.5 weeks. I showered, blow dried my hair, curled it, had my nails done, brought the hospital bag – I was ready to have Porter. I got to the hospital for my induction, and the nurses were shocked at how little I was dilated, just two centimeters and my cervix was very hard – basically showing no signs of being ready to give birth. They cautioned me against doing the induction, saying that it would almost certainly be an extremely long labor and end in a c-section because Pitocin can only do so much. They told me that if your body and the baby aren’t ready, Pitocin cannot do the job on its own. I agonized over this decision because my gut was telling me that if I wait another week, he’s going to be too large for me to deliver. Ultimately, I chose to wait it out for the sake of Porter. If he wasn’t ready, I certainly wasn’t going to evict him.

Fast forward into week 41. I was doing the dishes in the morning and felt what could have been amniotic fluid running down my leg. It wasn’t a big gush of my “water breaking,” but I learned in my birthing class that even just a leak means you have 24 hours or so before being susceptible to infection. I told Ryan I think my water might be leaking, but maybe I’m just peeing on myself. I really wasn’t sure. For anyone reading this that hasn’t had a baby, that actually happens. When you’re THAT pregnant, you can literally pee on yourself and not really know. I called labor and delivery and they advised me to come in so they can check the fluid.

We headed to the hospital, but this time, we didn’t bring the hospital bags. I showered, but I didn’t wash my hair. I really thought it was probably just pee and that we were just playing it safe by going in. When we pulled into the parking structure, I joked, “what if we literally have our baby today.”

The nurses even thought it was probably just pee. Much to everyone’s surprise, the test proved that it was in fact, amniotic fluid. I was admitted.

Once I was hooked up to the monitor and settled in, my parents arrived and Ryan went home to grab our hospital bags. The nurses said I was actually starting to contract on my own. I thought it was funny because they didn’t really hurt. For the first time in my whole pregnancy, I thought maybe I was going to have an easier time than I’d thought. How comical in retrospect.

I wasn’t progressing on my own, and since my water had been leaking, there was a time limit on how long they would let me labor on my own because of the risk of infection. They advised me to take Pitocin, so I did and the contractions got longer, more frequent and much more intense. Ryan returned, my parents went into the waiting room (per my request) and I asked for an epidural. I think I was around five centimeters. My timeframe was pretty messed up at this point in terms of how long I had been there. I do remember that AN HOUR LATER, the anesthesiologist arrived to give me my epidural. Folks, learn from my mistake. If you plan on having epidural, request it before you need it. Also, Pitocin really does make your contractions more painful.

Now it was just a waiting game. I was in significantly less pain, although not numb like I thought I would feel. I still felt the contractions, but they were more bearable.  They told me to try and rest.

That night I attempted to try and take naps, but it just wasn’t possible with the contractions and the nurses constantly checking on me and often forcing me to change positions. To add to my discomfort, the belly strap that monitors the fetal heartbeat I found to be extremely annoying. It hurt and the strap was itchy. My dilation was checked a handful of times. I wasn’t progressing very quickly. Then suddenly, I was at nine centimeters and it was almost time to push. At this point, I hadn’t even met the doctor that was on call yet. I asked the nurses to get her so I could at least meet her. Is that unreasonable? I had asked to meet her hours before, but she never came in. She finally showed up and seemed extremely annoyed that I had bothered her. I smiled and said it was nice to meet you and she sort of forced more of a smirk than a smile and said, “hi, you’re in good hands.” That’s about it. Then she left.

Finally, after 34 hours of hard labor, it was time to push. I started crying and before you judge, I had been up for two days at this point, not to mention I had barely slept in a week from the discomfort of being 41 weeks pregnant. I cried because I was both relieved and scared.

Pushing felt surprisingly good at first…like a relief. Even though I had an epidural, I could still feel the pushing. I pushed for two hours, but Porter just wouldn’t come down. He wasn’t even down far enough for them to pull him out using a vacuum. I asked if I’m doing something wrong. I started feeling like a failure. Why won’t he come down? “Keep pushing,” the nurses said. “I am pushing!” I yelled.  Straight out of a movie. Why are you telling me to push when I’m clearly in the midst of a push? I had been pushing with all my ability for two hours with a splitting headache and no sleep. I mean seriously please shut up. (Apparently I get irritable I get after this long of shear misery).

(I found out later he was also not in the ideal position, but yes, his 100 percentile head just wasn’t going to fit through my birth canal).

Then suddenly, his heart rate dropped and continued to drop to a dangerous level. “Bethany, we’re going to need to prep you for an emergency c-section because the baby is in distress.” I fucking knew it. I looked at Ryan and literally said those very words. I knew this was going to happen.

This is where things start getting fuzzy. While they were prepping the OR, I started experiencing an insane amount of sharp pains in my lower back. Despite my epidural, I was in so much pain I can’t even put it into words. I literally started yelling. I’ve never been in so much pain to where all I could do was yell. I remember thinking that I just couldn’t continue in this kind of pain and I wanted to be knocked out. The nurse stuck her hand up my lady parts and was able to move Porter off my sciatic nerve.

I believe the next thing that happened was the resident anesthesiologist increased the nerve block on my epidural. The time came and I was wheeled into the OR.

My memory of all of this is so foggy and I don’t know if it was from the lack of sleep, or my mind’s way of blocking out bad memories. I remember being moved onto the operating table and being afraid they were going to drop me. After all, I had gained 55 lbs during my pregnancy and I felt like a whale.

There seemed to be a sea of people in the room. I remember seeing a large group of Asian people staring at me. I later found out that it was a group of medical students from China observing my surgery. This ended up being a big problem.

I remember feeling claustrophobic with the curtain just above my neck. I don’t get squeamish about blood, so I would have been more comfortable seeing them cut me open than having a curtain that close to my face blocking my view of everything.

Then I remember feeling pain. I don’t know when it was in the procedure, but it was towards the beginning. The resident anesthesiologist, Jennifer, gave me something, but instead of blocking the pain, I felt more dazed and out of it. The attending anesthesiologist was MIA. I continued to feel pain, Jennifer was gone and it took Ryan a while to find her. She was busy over with the students from China, sharing all of her knowledge with them, ignoring her patient. She came back and said “sweetie, you are just feeling pressure.” “No, I’m feeling sharp pains,” I said. She gave me more of a drug that is similar to valium I just can’t remember the name. This continued throughout the entire procedure and it became harder and harder for me to talk. By the time Porter was born, I was barely lucid. If hearing him cry for the first time wasn’t such a momentous moment of my life, I likely wouldn’t remember it. They handed him to me not knowing how much I had been drugged. Again, Jennifer was gone. I could barely hold up my arms. “I’m going to drop him!” I mumbled to Ryan as best I could. I couldn’t speak very well at this point because of the drugs Jennifer kept giving me. Ryan grabbed him and asked the pediatric nurse to take him because I couldn’t hold him. She obviously had no idea what was going on because she said in a rude tone “I thought she wanted skin to skin. Fine, I’ll take him.” Ryan went with Porter and I was left there alone because Jennifer was still off talking to the group of students.  I remember tears starting to flow out, but I was too drugged to start full on crying. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I continued to feel excruciatingly sharp pains while also smelling my burning skin as they cauterized me. And that’s when I started passing out, then waking up, then passing out again, on and on. I started just praying that this hell would be over soon. I’m literally crying as I write this. It was such a horrible experience.

The surgery was over, the sharp pains stopped, I started regaining lucidity. I was in shock though. My focus and attention wasn’t on what had just happened to me, it was on getting to my baby and husband. I was reunited in the recovery room and immediately shifted gears into taking care of my boy. Nursing became my new focus and I blocked out everything else. My parents and Ryan’s parents came to see him. He was the focus, not me.

It wasn’t until the next day, in my more permanent recovery room, that my mom started asking me questions about my procedure. The more she asked, the more I was flooded with memories. I started sharing and it all just spilled out. I started crying, she started crying. The nurse, Debbie, overheard and asked if she had my permission to report this to her superior because as Debbie put it, “this is not right.” I agreed. I guess it went up the chain and suddenly the head of the UC Davis department of anesthesia was at my bedside, asking me to recount everything that happened. I told her, she started tearing up. She apologized and assured me that was not the way things should have gone and that she would be handling the situation with Jennifer.

I felt relieved to hear that my experience was unusually horrific because I had of course blamed myself. I thought perhaps I was just a major pansy, but I guess you’re not supposed to feel that kind of pain during your procedure and if you are, apparently the protocol is to put the patient out completely, not to continue to give them drugs that alter their state of mind. And apparently the anesthesiologist isn’t supposed to argue with you when you say you’re in pain, and they’re not supposed to leave your side. Also, the attending anesthesiologist is supposed to be present.

Just to add to my negative experience, I was told by the on-call resident anesthesiologist (not Jennifer) that I need to stop taking Norco and take only Ibuprofen just one day after my surgery. I was in tons of pain and the only drug that worked was Norco, so I couldn’t understand why he was urging me to stop taking Norco so soon. I insisted he write me a prescription so I could continue to take it at home until my pain levels decreased and even then, he only wrote me enough for two additional days. I found out later that my chart had indicated I was “medically indigent,” as in uninsured, which wasn’t true. Nurse Debbie told us that medically indigent patients are often treated differently in relation to pain meds because it’s common for them to have some sort of addiction problem (this is a whole separate issue in my opinion). Debbie knew the hell I was in and helped me discharge a day early. She was an angel in my hellish fire pit of a birth experience.

The most important part of this story is that Porter came out healthy and thriving. He nursed like a champ, ate often and is the greatest joy and blessing of my life. My experience is noted all over my chart and I’ve been assure this WILL NOT happen again. I have a new OB (not that my OB was even the issue) but I love her and she is sympathetic to my story and has even spoken to the attending anesthesiologist that was on staff the day of Porter’s birth. She actually remembers my case because she was in the OR for a short time, but had to leave before the surgery started. She later heard about what had gone on and was horrified. She has agreed to schedule a meeting with me and other members of the anesthesia team to go over my anesthesia plan. As one can imagine, I have some anxiety about doing all of this again in March.

Due to my experience, I’ve made the decision to go with a scheduled c-section. Baby number two is already measuring large and I have no intention of reliving my birth experience for a second time. A scheduled c-section gives me more control and thus eases my anxiety slightly, so let’s all just support each other rather than criticize. Sound good? xo

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Photo cred: Ashlee Gadd Photography

baby stuff attitude adjustment

B631Before Porter was born, I was what you might call a baby minimalist (aside from my fancy pants Bugaboo stroller). I felt that the baby industry was just an explosion of revenue streams luring pregnant mothers to register for and purchase items they don’t really need. I brought that attitude with me to Buy Buy Baby when I registered, where I had a full-on melt down in the bottle isle. B629BOOM – I nailed the cliche pregnant lady. But seriously though – I just couldn’t understand why there were so many darn bottles and nipples to choose from! I remember telling my mom how another mother told me just to wait and see what kind of bottle Porter liked – I chuckled and said, “Porter will like whichever bottle I decide to feed him in.” HA! Oh man was I misguided in my way of thinking…if only I had even the slightest clue what Porter would be like. 

Pre-Porter Attitude

I’ll just register for the Avent bottles. I’m sure they’ll be fine – the twins used that brand (my niece and nephew) and it worked for them. Plus, they don’t have all those annoying parts like the Dr. Brown’s bottles.

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Porter initially took the Avent bottle, but after one week decided he hated it. Porter was not one of those babies that ate every two hours during the day – try every hour or sometimes every 45 minutes during a growth spurt. I felt like a boob slave and was desperate for him to take a bottle so that I could get some relief. I ended up buying four different types of bottles – can you guess which one he liked best? Yep! The Dr. Brown’s bottles with “all those annoying parts.”

Pre-Porter Attitude

I’m definitely going to breastfeed, I just need to make sure Porter can get a good latch early on. Once the latch is established, breastfeeding will be easy.

Reality

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I got really lucky and Porter latched very successfully 30 minutes after my c-section. I never had any latching problems with him. However, I was severely misguided in my projected “ease” of breastfeeding once I got a good latch. Like I mentioned previously, Porter was a BIG eater. During those beginning weeks, I spent an unhealthy amount of time nursing on the couch watching TV. Thank heavens for On Demand. Nursing is a major commitment that caused emotional challenges I didn’t expect. Porter is six months old now and loves solids, so I think the most challenging nursing days are likely behind me. But wow – breastfeeding was far from “easy” for me during those beginning months.

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Pre-Porter Attitude

Why are there so many types of bassinets? Here, this one looks fine. I’ll register for that.

Reality

I ended up with a reflux baby, so Porter HATED being laid flat and still doesn’t like it to this day. Not long after being home, I caved and bought a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper.

Pre-Porter Attitude

I’m going to just use cloth diapers. My mom used cloth when I was a baby, and the cloth diapers now-a-days are so much better than they were back then. The Bum Genius ones make it so easy. You pay a pretty penny for them now, but they’ll save you so much money in the long run – plus there’s the environment and all that.

Reality

I was so sure I’d be using cloth exclusively (besides being out and about in public) that I told my mom and aunt that I did NOT want a “diaper drawing” at my baby shower. Silly Beth. While cloth is something we continue to use fairly frequently, we are in no way exclusive to cloth. Porter is extra sensitive to being wet when he’s in his cloth diapers, so there are days when I just don’t feel like changing him every 20 minutes because he slightly peed his pants. Also, sometimes I don’t feel like dealing with the grossness of the cloth/poo situation. I use cloth when I feel like it, disposable when I don’t.

Pre-Porter Attitude

I don’t need a bottle warmer – that’s so unnecessary. I will just warm the milk in a bowl of hot water.

Reality

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Porter was SO temperamental about milk temperature when bottle fed. He’s more mellow about it now, but back when I NEEDED some bottle feeding relief, he was extremely picky. Also, there wasn’t really an efficient way to thaw milk without a bottle warmer. There were times when I wanted Ryan to give Porter a bottle, but we couldn’t because all of the stored milk was frozen. My pre-baby attitude would say, “then just plan better and make sure you put frozen bottles in the frig a day before so they’ll thaw.” But seriously – you won’t ever understand until you have a baby of your own, but “planning ahead” when you don’t get any sleep is just not realistic. We bought a Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer and it changed our lives.

Pre-Porter Attitude

I’m not going to register for the fancy baby carrier everyone raves about, the Ergo. The baby K’tan is just fine and it’s only $50.

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During those early months, Porter wanted to be on me constantly. There were days when Porter would only sleep on my chest and wanted to be held ALL. DAY. LONG. While there were moments when I embraced the cuddles and thought it was the sweetest thing in the world, there were other moments when I needed my sanity and hands to make food, do dishes and clean up the messy clutter in the house that accumulated since Porter’s birth – enter baby carrier.

Many moms would tell me to “just wear the baby.” Ok, but Porter HATED the baby K’tan. He would scream his head off every time I put IMG_1186him in that thing. I eventually caved and bought an Ergobaby carrier. While Porter still isn’t a huge fan of being worn, he definitely tolerates the Ergo best. Furthermore, it’s the best carrier for my aching back.

Pre-Porter Attitude

I’m getting all of my nephew Emory’s old clothes, so there’s really no need for me to buy anything. Between Emory’s old stuff and gifts from the shower, I’ll be good.

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Reality

There were clothes I didn’t realize I needed until after Porter was born. Namely, newborn size and 0-3 sleepers. It’s so important to have tons of sleepers that fit your baby during those early weeks. He basically lived in his sleepers when he was first born. I also realized that I just have a certain way I like to dress Porter, and hand me downs can’t always give you the style you want for your baby. I am sort of anti-baby clothes in that I like to dress Porter like he’s a little man – I hate stuff with ducks, doggy’s and other crap on them. Just give me a baby polo, a pair of jeans and we’re good. Porter now wears a combination of Emory’s old clothes and stuff I bought for him.

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Pre-Porter Attitude

I’m going to make all of Porter’s food using my food processor. (I wouldn’t even splurge for a Baby Bullet, or something like that.)

Reality

Porter doesn’t like what I make! I know, so rude. He likes the baby food I buy from the store, even though it’s just veges/fruit and water. I don’t really get it. I bought a baby cook book, so I might try this again. But for now, we’re buying his food.

The biggest lesson learned is that all babies are different. There’s no way to know everything that your baby wants/needs until AFTER you have him/her. My goal is to keep my little guy happy and I’m willing to do or buy whatever it takes (within reason) to make that happen. IMG_0388