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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.
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! 🙂
Y’all. The end is near, and I can’t believe (even after 9 months) that this baby will probably be here next Thursday! It’s so surreal, and I don’t think I’ll fully process it until I’m holding him in my arms. I really can’t wait to see who he looks like! We waited too late for the 4D sonogram photos, so we have zero clue. Lol! Baby B has been receiving great reports at my weekly doctor appointments, and he’s moving around like crazy! I’m sure he’s running low on room and ready to make his grand entrance! 🙂
What has been the hardest part of the third trimester?
The end of this pregnancy has definitely been the hardest and most exhausting! If I overextend myself, my lower back hurts SO bad. It feels like it could give out at any moment! Luckily, that has only happened 2 or 3 times. I know my limits at this point, and I’m enjoying doing the bare minimum! Haha.
Have you dilated at all or had any contractions yet?
The doctor checked me on Tuesday, and I was 1cm dilated! I don’t think I’ve had any contractions yet. I told my doctor I wasn’t sure, and she said then I probably hadn’t since they tend to be very uncomfortable! Lol. The bottom of my stomach has felt tight, though. Especially after I’ve been sitting down!
What are you doing to prepare for labor?
I have actually been trying a few things to prepare my body, and I will let y’all know if I think it helped post birth! I have been taking Pink Stork Labor Prep Supplements and drinking their Labor Prep Tea. They sent me some products to try at the beginning of my pregnancy, and then I ordered these from Amazon! The reviews convinced me to try, especially the Labor Prep Tea! I usually drink a cup each night before bed.
Without going into too much detail, I’ve also been doing perineal massages with coconut oil. I’m kind of cringing that I’m admitting this but anything to help prevent tearing! If you don’t know what that is, Google at your own risk! Hahah.
What are you doing to prevent swelling and stretch marks?
When I first noticed my feet and legs swelling, I did get a little worried, but my doctor said all my vitals looked great! It’s very normal and common at this point in pregnancy. I’m just glad I wasn’t swollen the entire 9 months! There’s really nothing I’m doing to prevent it besides propping my feet up because it’s inevitable until I give birth.
As far as stretch marks go, I have been religiously applying Bio-Oil to my stomach since I was like 18 weeks pregnant! However, I’ve always heard that stretch marks are hereditary, so I think that plays a factor too. My mom never had them with me or my brother!
Are you nervous to give birth?
Oh. I am TERRIFIED to give birth. And that’s still an understatement! Sometimes, I even make myself feel slightly ill thinking about it. As much as I would like to be fully sedated and just wake up to the baby, I’m going to try my hardest to deliver normally! (Unless my doctor advises me differently) Even though I’m so scared, I know at the end of the day that God made women to have children and that he’ll be by my side the entire time! I have been praying real hard for peace! 🙂
Favorite pregnancy self tanner?
My favorite self tanner that I’ve continuously been using is THIS brand! Obviously I’m no medical expert, so check with your doctor!
Why are you being induced?
Since I had thyroid issues at the beginning of my pregnancy, my doctor wants to induce me at 39 weeks! I think it has to do with the baby’s size as well. He has been measuring a week early, and I’m pretty small. The longer I wait, the harder he’ll be to birth because he’ll only continue to grow!
What’s in your hospital bag?
I already have you covered! 🙂 My hospital bag packing list is linked HERE for y’all!
Have you done anything to prepare for baby like birthing classes?
The hospital I’m delivering at offers free child birth classes, so I virtually tuned in to the April sessions! I think they were pretty helpful and made me feel slightly more prepared. I’ve also been reading Moms On Call and plan to follow that once we adjust to having a newborn! People have told me that you can read all the books and do all the things, but it will never prepare you 100%! Motherly instincts will kick in, though. At least I hope so! Lol.
What are you most excited about after you have baby?
This is a great question! I’m probably most excited to have a glass of wine or fruity cocktail, wear jeans and shorts again, and have normal sized ankles at the end of the day with minimal back pain! Hahaha. Oh and I can’t wait to start taking my CBD drops again!
How are you planning to do your maternity leave?
Since I’m a one woman show at the moment, I’m not exactly sure how “maternity leave” will look or if it will even be classified as that! Haha. Don’t get me wrong, I plan on taking it easy the first few days/weeks because I’m aware life as I know it will be drastically changing, but I want to continue posting and sharing. Even though this is my full-time job, I also just freaking love my platform, and I find joy in working every day!
Any symptoms in the third trimester that have been different from the others?
For me, the third trimester has been the hardest! I was even more tired these last few weeks than the first trimester. My lower back has also been aching at night if I don’t sit down and rest during the day! The baby is usually super active around bedtime, and my stomach will feel really tight. I’m pretty sure those are Braxton Hicks contractions because they don’t hurt just uncomfortable!
UPDATE: Now that I’m on the other side, I can confirm I overpacked BIG time! However, I would do it again because you just never know what you’ll need. Every hospital is also different, but mine had basically everything thank goodness! I’m going to put an * by the items I actually used. I’ll share more of Baker’s birth story soon, but my recovery went very smoothly so that’s another reason I didn’t need a lot!
Even though there are already so many blog posts on this topic, I still wanted to share what I’m specifically packing in my hospital bag! I will gladly update y’all on what I actually use once the baby has arrived, but every hospital is different. Some might provide more than others, so it doesn’t hurt to be extra prepared! I will always prefer to be over packed than under packed, and that’s exactly what my hospital bag will be. Lol! As a first-time mom, you never know how your experience will compare to others, and I want to feel as comfortable and ready as possible. If that means bringing too much to the hospital, who freaking cares! Don’t let anyone make you feel stupid about it! 🙂
2 Coming Home Outfits (1 for backup) *USED 1 outfit
Extra Long Charger Cord *USED
Laptop + Charger (For Netflix/Hulu)
Makeup + Makeup Mirror *USED
Toiletries (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Dry Shampoo, Lip Balm, Hair Brush, etc) *USED
Barefoot Dreams Blanket *USED
2 Pillows (Me + Bo) *USED
2 Towels (Me + Bo) *USED
Prenatal Vitamins + Medicine *USED
Robe + UGG Slippers *USED
3 Button Down Nightgowns *USED
Frida Mom Postpartum Kit (I doubt I’ll use it until I get home but JUST in case)
Hatch (Sound Machine + Nightlight) *USED
Snack Baskets for Nurses *USED
Diaper Bag *USED
2 Coming Home Outfits (1 for backup) *USED
Crochet Blanket *USED
2 Baby Gowns + Hats *USED
2 Swaddles *USED 1 Swaddle
Pacifier + Clip *USED
Birth Announcement Sign *USED
Door Hanger Sign *USED
Car Seat (Already Installed) *USED
If anyone’s bag is being packed while we’re walking out the door, it’s 100% Bo’s! Lol. I’m sure he’ll just grab his toiletries and lounge clothes. The only thing I’m making sure he has is a decent shirt and probably khaki shorts for some photos with baby. Other than that, he travels pretty light! 🙂
Is there anything I missed that is a must to pack? If so, please drop a comment! I’ll also link my nursery decor inspiration blog post HERE!