"There is no heartbeat." Those words have echoed in my ears over and over again. I'll never forget that terrible day; how I waited for an ultrasound to confirm my doctor's fears... how I then drove to my husband's office and we cried together in the parking lot. Loss never looked this real before to me. Death never hit me so hard.
"It'll be fun," they said. "Have a baby!" they said. So you did. Now you find yourself, not unlike the vast majority of new mamas, just weeks or months after the most excruciatingly difficult physical experience you've ever encountered, LITERALLY going insane. No, it's not just you... but yes, you are insane. Welcome to postpartum!
Contrary to popular advertisers’ opinions, there are many, MANY baby products you can absolutely do without! This list, however, is not one of them. As a first-time mom, I was the ultimate sucker for a good commercial. I bought the Boogie Wipes (fantastic but not necessary), the wipe-warmer (my husband literally laughed me out of the room on that one), and the most expensive diapers…. for the first two weeks. Then I got smart and realized there must be a better way to be a good mom besides stocking up on every product that’s suggested on the registry website. There are, however, some major life-savers that I wish I had known about before I needed them! Now that I know, I keep these products in stock CONSTANTLY. I’m telling you, a few of them have literally changed our lives!
If you would have told me 10 years ago that today I would have 4 kids, I would have laughed at you. What would have amused me, even more, would be to hear how we have struggled to sleep train every. single. one of them. I thought with number one I had it all figured out when I stumbled upon a way to get her to sleep on demand at 3 months. Nope. Thing 2 came around and blew that theory right out of the water. Then what worked on 2 didn't work on 3, and so on. I don't have schedules for you, a great revelation of how many months your baby should co-sleep, the best sleep sack (although I could recommend my favorite if you asked!), or how long is too long to 'cry it out'. They may still be sleeping in your bed by the time they're 4. BUT! I do have one little simple trick that may just get that baby to SLEEP, regardless of where they are. The answer? Music. Too easy? Maybe, but it might just change your life.
The first week of your baby's life is perhaps the most amazing and awe-inspiring as you watch them slowing begin to awaken to the world they have arrived in. But let's be real - those first 7 days are perhaps the most intimidating, terrifying and ultimately the hardest you've ever experienced to date! And instead of getting easier things tend to get harder, at least for a time. Although my husband and I both came from big families and had lots of experience with babies, when we brought our firstborn home from the hospital, many nights I would begin crying as the sun went down, so dreading the long night ahead. True story. And, no matter what you do or don't do, transitioning into life with a newborn is as painful as growing a limb. Or so I can imagine.
I attended a wedding this weekend. It was beautiful. The ceremony was short but so very sweet, colors were superb, and the coordination discreet but obviously working like a well-oiled machine. I love weddings. The Bride glowed in the way all brides should: the gleam of health and happiness, the beauty of a woman in love. She and her sweet bridesmaids around her shone with the vitality, excitement and beauty that is common to all of us in that time of life. As I watched with a smile I found within myself that quiet little tinge of something I didn't think I liked. It wasn't jealousy - no, nothing nearly that ugly. But it was a nagging, consistent, chiding voice that continued to question me right through the days following the celebration: Are you still enough?
There is a growing trend in the mommy community that has gained considerable momentum in the past few years: the cake smash. This phenomenon has grown from letting a 1-year-old eat a piece of cake to spending enormous amounts of money on a cake for the baby to destroy, and a photographer to document the destruction. Don't get me wrong... I am a HUGE cake-smash fan! But there's got to be a way for us budget-loving-mama's to have our cake and eat it too.