Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Entering Motherhood

Some honest reflections on first time motherhood.
You don't have time to do anything. At least in the beginning. If you do, I consider you superwoman. I'm starting this post on Wednesday and typing with one hand while holding the sleeping infant in the other. I consider this a great feat in the world of multitasking. However, the amount of time it took to type this paragraph probably disqualifies my post from being a "quick take".

If my beautiful girl ever becomes a terrifying teen, who says I don't love her after not letting her wear a mini skirt in public, I'll retort, "Oh darling, of course I love you. I breastfed you." You definitely don't breastfeed people you don't love...Oh, and I'd love to throw "The Baby Book", which is larger than the Bible, at the author who stated that breastfeeding is relaxing. Ok, I've heard it gets easier.
Enough cynicism (which really wasn't my intention). I really love being a mom. Even the sleep deprivation is worth every tiny, sleepy smile (I keep telling myself it's not gas- she's really just content), every little finger grab, and each stretch, coo, and gurgle. Even the crying really isn't that bad- because she stops when I pick her up, feed her, or snuggle on the couch, and I feel like she looks at me with such adoration.

Naptimes are worth a million dollars. However, you  have to choose to use them wisely. Best move is probably to go down for a nap yourself. Although, if all you're doing is lying there and thinking about the million other things you need to do, I've found it's better to just get them done. Or feed yourself. Food is good too.
I thought I'd have a lot of prayer time, but sometimes I find it hard to finish even a single Hail Mary before she poops, wants to be fed, or I just fall asleep. My sister told me it's ok, that just saying "help" is enough. God will still hear me and know what I need. I've since cried "help" frequently and urgently. It really is effective. 
A quick story about baby lotion. I first got some Aveeno Baby lotion because I was conned by the word "natural" on the bottle. Elena got a glob on her hand and instantly went for her mouth. I wiped it off in the nick of time before she started smacking her lips. Curious, I checked the bottle and was horrified by a big warning to call poison control if ingested. Isn't this stuff for a baby's BODY? They suck on everything, including themselves. I then got a Burts Bees lotion, which did not have fatal warnings all over, but found it didn't absorb very well. Finally decided to try coconut oil since everyone raves about it. They do for a reason! It's amazing and even works on cradle cap.
My final confession: I've had a ton of help through all this. Not only has my husband been amazing, but my mom stayed here for the first two weeks and now my sister is still with me. I'm a big wimp that I'm still finding adjusting kind of, well, difficult. I know it's all stemming from the lack of sleep, but gosh, I was able to deliver her without a bit of medication and I have cried more since being home than I did in the hospital. Actually I didn't even cry in the hospital... I just screamed. No screaming at home yet. I know it will all get easier, but I'm feeling a little daunted by being left alone. How do I feed myself? Will I ever take a shower again? These are the silly questions I ask myself when I've had two hours of sleep and feeling panicked. However, after receiving so many delicious meals from friends who almost each have at least two kids, my sister smiles and says, "See Rachel, there's hope!"

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

WIWS: Baby Edition

WIWS: Baby Edition

I haven't posted in a few weeks because I went and had a BABY!

Elena Marie was born on February 5th, 2014 and weighed 6lbs 10 oz. Labor was a total of six hours, and I only got to the hospital with an hour and a half to spare before she made her debut.

She is amazing and perfect and I have been overpopulating Facebook with lots of pictures.

She is also incredibly time consuming. She was two weeks this past Wednesday and my mom has been with me since day 2. I have no idea what I would do without her and Jeremy. Between breastfeeding, trying to rest, cleaning her up, and attempting to clean myself up, I have an hour here and there to either nap, read, or blog. Right now, I'm sacrificing nap time.

I finally got to mass last night! I had wanted to go earlier, but my mom talked me out of it since I was still hobbling around, and Jeremy wisely pointed at a wooden stool and said "If you can sit on that for an hour, then you can go to mass". The last two days, I have felt immensely better. Elena was perfect and slept through all of mass in her car seat. Of course, I was extremely distracted, and kept peeking at her to make sure she didn't wake up and was still breathing.

Here is our little family photo. I apologize for not having a full length outfit shot.

I felt pretty accomplished that I put on make-up.

Shirt: Express
Cardigan: New York and Company
Pants: Kohls (gray dress pants)
Shoes: Kohls (sparkly, silver flats)

Elena sported a red fleece dress with white leggings and really cute socks that looked like black ballet shoes with satin ribbons.

Next week's goal: put on jewelry.

Now go join up for more outfit posts at Fine Linen and Purple!