Anywhere Chair | Circle Stacking Ring | Wooden Building Blocks | Soft Stacking Blocks | Jolly Jumper | Kitchen Sink Toy | Transition Sippy Cups (Stocking Stuffer) | Ball Pit | Interactive Activity Center
ONE: BabyBjorn Bouncer
I had no clue how much of a life saver this bouncer would be when I bought it months ago! We literally use it EVERY single day. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that will calm Baker down! I put it by the couch and lightly bounce it with my foot while I work on my computer. Literally doing it as I type! Hahah. It usually keeps him quiet for a while! SO worth the price tag in my opinion! And I paid full price!
TWO: Snuggle Me Lounger
The lounger is another product we use daily! I debated between this and the DockATot, but ended up with the Snuggle Me because I feel like the DockATot is overpriced. Plus, the Snuggle Me is a more snug fit for babies! I’ve heard that newborns have to grow into even the smaller DockATot.
THREE: Hushh Portable Sound Machine
This sound machine is SO necessary especially while you’re traveling! Even a few minutes down the road. I ran into HomeGoods last week and of course Baker started crying! I already had a cover on his carseat, so I stuck the sound machine inside. He calmed down almost immediately and fell asleep! It’s the baby whisperer. Lol!
These are the only bottles we use, and Baker has loved them from the beginning! Although we didn’t try any other brands, I had always heard amazing things about Dr. Brown’s bottles even before I was pregnant. They’re also easy to pick up at Walmart and Target if you don’t register for enough like me! 🙂
FIVE: Love To Dream Swaddle
I made the mistake of bringing a different swaddle to the hospital when Baker was born, and he hated having his arms pinned down! Once we were home, we tried the Love To Dream swaddle out, and we’ve never looked back. This swaddle has an arms up design that creates a more natural sleeping position for babies!
I told myself that Baker would be sleeping in his crib within a few weeks of being home from the hospital, but that hasn’t happened yet! Lol. We’re starting to sleep train soon, though. Until then, he will continue sleeping in the 4moms pack n play! Even if you already have a bassinet, it’s perfect for traveling too!
SEVEN: Owlet Smart Sock
Owlet is another brand that I have always heard wonderful things about! I knew it would be one of the first items on my baby registry. This device tracks your baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate while they sleep! It alerts you if anything drops below normal. This is an investment worth making in my opinion!
Let me just tell you how the Baby Brezza formula dispenser has been such a game changer! It’s basically a Keurig for babies, and it makes those late night (and early morning) feedings go a lot smoother. Especially if you’re exclusively bottle feeding like me!
Between the Owlet Smart Sock and the Newton Baby Mattress, I know I will actually be able to sleep and have some peace of mind when Baker transitions to his crib! This mattress is 100% breathable. If Baker rolls over on his stomach, he’ll be able to breath through the mattress, which is amazing.
UPPAbaby is known for having high quality products, and the Vista stroller is no exception! I love that Baker’s car seat (also UPPAbaby) easily snaps into it, and the stroller converts into two seats for the future! (Very distant future hahaha) The only downside is that it’s pretty heavy, but I still love it!
The days are long, but the years are short is the perfect phrase to describe the past 6 weeks! Even if it hasn’t actually been a year yet. Lol! I knew I had a lot of ground to cover about my postpartum experience, so I thought a Q + A would be the best way to touch on everything! I feel like y’all had some great questions, so I condensed them down to the most frequently asked. I apologize in advance if this post gets lengthy! Haha.
How are YOU feeling? Any “Baby Blues” after Baker?
Nothing can truly prepare you for a new baby! People can tell you their experience, but it’s different for everyone. Just like giving birth! I’ll get into that more later, though. And I promise I’m not glossing over anything when I say I’m feeling great overall! Yes, there are days when I’m exhausted and overwhelmed, but I try not to stay in that headspace. A couple of weeks ago, I felt like this because I had work deadlines and Baker wouldn’t sleep without me holding him! I cried on and off for a few hours, and then I remembered how everyone says these days don’t last long. Before I know it, Baker will be walking all over the place, and he won’t want his mama to hold him while he sleeps. Even though it’s challenging, I’m trying to soak in this newborn stage and cherish these precious moments!
I also know that having a solid support system has helped me tremendously! My mom usually comes every other weekend, so I can run errands and catch up on work. Bo has also been great about letting me leave for a couple of hours to get my nails done or go to an appointment! Sometimes I just need a break for my own mental sanity. I’m with Baker all day by myself since I work from home, so occasional human interaction is nice! I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be afraid to ask for help. Help will save you! 🙂
Do you feel back to normal physically?
For the most part, yes! I had a pretty easy recovery in the grand scheme of things, so I felt like everything was healed within a few weeks. I had minor cramps while my uterus was shrinking, and I’ll still feel occasional mild pressure in my stomach! Although it’s weird to see your body after having a baby, don’t lose hope that you can’t bounce back! Social media made me think I’d never be the same, but that’s not true. Just give yourself grace through the process! 🙂
What postpartum products helped the most with pain?
I HIGHLY recommend the FridaMom postpartum kit! It makes you feel much more like a human vs. what the hospital gives you. I did use all the hospital supplies during my stay, but then switched to FridaMom when I arrived home! The boy short underwear was amazing. I also ordered Tucks pads and Dermoplast from Amazon for backup, but I didn’t use either of them. Better to be over prepared than under prepared, though!
Why didn’t you breastfeed?
I touched on this on my Stories, but I just didn’t want to. And that answer should be good enough, but for some reason it’s not? I have never had the desire to, and social media only further solidified my decision after hearing the horror stories about mental exhaustion. I applaud the women who breastfeed because I hear it’s an amazing experience and bond with your baby, but it wasn’t for me. Let’s normalize NOT judging women who choose to bottle-feed simply because they don’t think it’s for them!
PS: My decision was much easier because no one pressured me to breastfeed! My mom actually bottle-fed my brother and I. I’m happy to report we have great immune systems and we did well in school! Lol.
How did you dry up your milk after birth?
My milk came in a few days after delivery, and it hurt SO bad! Haha. My boobs were hard as rocks and super sensitive. I immediately started wearing tight sports bras which seemed to help! I also didn’t let the water hit my chest in the shower or it could cause milk stimulation. Several people also mentioned Sudafed helps dry up breast milk and cabbage leaves! I didn’t try either of these, though.
What do you recommend packing for the hospital?
I’ll link my hospital bag packing list HERE! I updated it with what I actually used, but I encourage y’all to overpack if it makes you feel more comfortable. Every hospital is different, so why not be extra prepared?! Haha.
TMI but do you think the perineal massages worked?
Since I don’t have the experience of labor without them, I can’t totally say one way or the other! BUT I personally think they did. I was SO lucky and only had minor tears! My OB said I made delivery look easy, but that was thanks to my wonderful epidural! Thank you Jesus for modern medicine! Lol. Back to the perineal massages, I used coconut oil to do them and that helped a lot!
Hardest part of postpartum recovery?
Since I was fortunate to have minimal tearing with a vaginal delivery, postpartum recovery wasn’t bad for me! I think the hardest part was drying my milk up and then my hormones adjusting which made me extra emotional. And I’m already emotional on a normal day! Haha. Having my mom stay with us the first week truly made the difference, though!
Things you wish you did or bought sooner?
Unless your child is measuring off the charts, BUY newborn diapers and a few newborn gowns! Everyone will tell you that they outgrow them, and they do, but all Baker’s 0-3 months swallowed him. Hell, most still do! Haha. Baker was also in newborn diapers for a solid month! He could still probably fit in them if we had any left. Mittens are great, but babies fling them off quick. The KEY is gowns with built in mittens! No lie, Baker lived in those gowns the first few weeks. Also, our favorite bottles are Dr. Brown’s, so I should have registered solely for those! And I wish I would have purchased more mid calf baby socks because Baker kicked those things off within minutes.
Things you ended up not needing for Baker?
I personally think most swaddles except for Love To Dream brand are a huge waste of money. Especially the ones that pin the baby’s arms down! I know all kids are different, but Baker loves his arms up by his face. That’s why we use Love To Dream, and I ended up having to order more from Amazon! Honestly, you don’t need nearly as much as you think in the beginning. However, I totally understand being over prepared as I’ve stated numerous times! Lol. I’m going to share our most used baby products in my next blog post for further assistance!
Essentials for you during the first weeks of postpartum?
Off the top of my head- the FridaMom postpartum kit, Target nightgowns, lots of comfy lounge outfits and quick snacks/meals! Because you won’t have a lot of time to eat! Hahah.
There are too many pictures I love from Baker’s newborn photoshoot, so I wanted to share my favorites here! In typical Kelsie fashion, I didn’t realize I was supposed to schedule these photos within the first two weeks of his birth. I already had my photographer lined up, but I forgot to touch base with her sooner! Lol. Luckily, she got us in around 3 weeks and the pictures turned out perfect! I knew I wanted them in his nursery, and I’m so glad I found someone to do them at our house! If you’re in the Madison/Jackson area, I definitely recommend Candace Smith! I swear she is the newborn whisperer 🙂
I have been so excited to sit down and write Baker’s birth story, especially while it’s still fresh on my mind! Looking back at previous blog posts, I think I really downplayed just how terrified I was to give birth to a baby. I would give myself major anxiety imagining everything that could possibly go wrong! The truth is that every single person has a different birth experience, so you absolutely cannot compare yourself to others. Anytime my mind went to this place, I prayed so hard for peace and strength! Regardless of what happened, I knew it would be worth it to finally meet my precious boy and I was right! 🙂
I went to my last appointment on Tuesday the 15th! My doctor decided she wanted me to check in at the hospital around midnight the following day to start the induction. It felt so surreal to know that I’d be meeting this little human after 9 long months (even though time really flew by)! At this point, I was only 1cm dilated, but my doctor felt really good about inducing me since my body had already started the process naturally. So I called Bo when I left and told him we’d be having a baby within 48 hours!
We finished packing our bags, and we headed to the hospital at 10pm Wednesday night! I’d be lying if I said the moment wasn’t a little bittersweet because life as we knew it was changing forever. It was no longer going to be just Bo and I, and that did make me a little sad! But on the other hand, our lives were about to change for the better!
After check in, they put us in the delivery room to get settled and start my IV! After a bad experience with an IV in my hand years ago, they put it in my arm. At first, I thought it wasn’t too bad until my vein rolled, and they had to stick me in my other arm! Needless to say, tears were shed. Keep in mind that I do have a pain tolerance of ZERO if you haven’t heard me mention this on Stories multiple times! Hahaha. I just knew things would only go downhill from here, but I was actually wrong! Thank goodness.
The nurses gave me a pill for my cervix before we went to sleep, and they monitored me throughout the night! Since they were in and out of my room all night checking our heart rates, Bo and I didn’t sleep too great. My doctor came in at 7:30am to break my water! I wanted to get my epidural before they did it, but they thought it was best for me to feel a few contractions to make sure my body was progressing properly. Breaking my water hurt SO bad! I mean I could do it again, but it wasn’t fun. Lol! And within 15 minutes, the contractions started!
If I thought breaking my water was painful, the contractions were another level! I requested my epidural immediately, but there was a wait since several others were delivering that day too. The hour I waited for my epidural was truly THE worst part of the day! I cried the entire time because breathing through it and relaxing wasn’t happening. The anesthesiologist showed up around 9am, and I would have taken anything to help the pain at this point! First, he gave me a smaller shot to numb the area which felt like a serious bee sting. Both that and the actual epidural needle did hurt, but IT WAS 1000% WORTH IT.
Once the epidural kicked in, it was literally smooth sailing! I couldn’t believe how pleasant labor was. Bo and I seriously napped the entire day while I was dilating! Hahah. I went from 2cm at 10am to 5cm at 12:30pm! By 2pm, I hit 7cm. When the nurse came to check me at 4:20, I was fully dilated! She told me she could see his hair. SO crazy! Lol. This made sense because I began feeling pressure down there, and I was worried the epidural started wearing off! Luckily, they bumped up my IV medicine, and I was ready to push at 4:25!
Even while I was pushing, I never felt any pain! There was pressure, but it didn’t compare to that hour of contractions I experienced earlier in the day. Lol! I only pushed for 25 or so minutes, and Baker popped out at 4:49. It still feels like a haze because it happened so fast! It was such a beautiful moment, and I truly couldn’t have asked for a better experience overall. I was also SO worried about tearing, but since I didn’t push long, it was pretty minimal!
Once they weighed and measured Baker (he was 6 pounds 15 ounces and 20.5 inches long), we did skin to skin for an hour post birth. I couldn’t get over how big and pretty his eyes were! He was super observant, checking out everything around him. This is pretty funny, but after Baker’s initial grand entrance and hearing that everything with him checked out, we immediately asked if his cone shaped head would correct itself! Hahaha. I forgot this happens to babies when they squeeze through the birth canal! I’m happy to report that his head has rounded out quiet nicely!
In all seriousness, nothing could have adequately prepared me for meeting my angel boy and seeing Bo hold him for the first time! It’s an indescribable moment that I will cherish forever. I already loved Bo so dang much, but somehow my love for him still doubled! My two boys. My entire heart! 🙂