Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Hotlist - Newborn edition

Babies require a lot of . . . crap. I felt like I needed every kind of equipment, every type of swaddling blanket, because you never know. After trying different things, I now know what works for me and what doesn't. Here are my favorites:

Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper
I have a nice wooden modern looking cradle that matches the furniture in our bedroom. However, this things got such amazing reviews that I had to register for it. Sawyer sleeps in this every night. It's supposed to be great for babies with reflux. Even though Sawyer doesn't have reflux, I like that it keeps him somewhat upright, reducing the chance of him spitting up. It folds up and is light and portable so we can move it around the house and take it with us places, rather than packing up the bulky pack-n-play.

Britax B-Agile travel system
I dreaded getting a stroller because they all seem so bulky and cumbersome. The goal was to find a stroller that was light, easy to fold up, and looked cute. This is very similar to the Babyjogger Citiy Mini, which is extremely popular. What won me over about the Britax was 1) the price and 2) the fact that it's compatible with Britax carseats (you need to buy a $60 adapter kit with the City Mini). It steers so well, I love it.

Dr. Brown Bottles

I went with the Dr. Brown bottles because I already knew how to use them since my sister in law used them with her kids. Some people don't like them because of all the parts you have to clean, but it hasn't been a big deal for me. They are supposed to be one of the best bottles for reducing gas and fussiness and they seem to work for us.

Moby Wrap

I work from home so I need to be able to keep the baby happy and still be hands-free. It takes some trial and error to figure out how to put this thing on, but once you do it's great. There are a bunch of different ways you can hold your baby in it. This picture shows the particular hold that we like to use.

Fisher Price Snugabunny Swing

It's big, it's ugly, it place creepy church music. It has a damn canopy for god's sake. But it's magical and we can put the baby in here for a little while why we get some stuff done. 

Halo Sleep Sack

We've tried several different swaddles and this is our favorite. It's easy to use and miraculously, I can change his diaper at night without unswaddling him (it unzips from the bottom up). He sleeps soundly without flailing his arms around and waking himself up. He also looks like a little burrito in it, so bonus.

Monday, November 26, 2012

One Month

We have one month under our belts. It's completely amazing and unbelievable that Sawyer didn't exist outside my body a little over a month ago. He's our whole world now. I'm working on my birth story now, but i'm not sure if I'll share it or not. It is so deeply personal. 

Motherhood has been everything and nothing like I expected. I expected the constant cycle of bottles, diapers and naps. What I didn't expect was how much I would enjoy it. What I also didn't expect was for this all-consuming love to hit me so hard. I'm so much happier than I expected to be. I had a rough pregnancy, emotions-wise, and I spent a lot of time absolutely terrified of motherhood, scared that I wouldn't be able to bond with the baby, worried I would hate my new role and miss my old life. I didn't realize that it was absolutely out of control. I didn't really have to worry about how to become a mother, because it just happens without your consent. And I didn't have to worry about loving my baby, because no matter how hard I could have tried not to, because there is no way that I couldn't. 

That's not to say that it hasn't been challenging at times. The first few weeks were hard, really hard. It's not really the lack of sleep that was hard, but just getting used to a new sleep pattern. Sawyer was up every 2-3 hours at night to eat, and I could never really get into deep sleep. I also experience the baby blues, which most women do. It's crazy because you can actually feel the hormones rushing in and out of your body. I would burst into tears dozens of times per day, and it was totally out of my control. I would say through my sobs, "I have no idea why I'm crying right now, I'm not even sad!" The baby blues combined with complete exhaustion eventually did me in, and I was scared that PPD was starting to set in. I expected this though, and saw my doctor right away. He put me on a new med, Frank let me get a few nights of uninterrupted sleep (we're formula feeding so this was possible) and within two days things were significantly easier.

I feel like I've really found my footing now. I can change a poopy diaper with just one wipe, dodge a stream of pee, swaddle with one hand. I'm also not stressed out very much at all. This is largely to the credit of Sawyer, who is a dream baby. Everyone comments about how calm and happy he is all the time. I (always the pessimist) expected an extremely fussy difficult baby. What I got was a baby who only cries to let us know he's hungry or needs a diaper, can spend an hour laying on a blanket just looking around. We can take him shopping with us without worrying about a meltdown. I know his temperment could change overnight, but right now I'm enjoying this content baby. He has really helped ease us into this transition.

My physical recovery has gone quicker than I imagined as well. Labor was incredibly quick and easy (well, after the epi!) and since he was so small, I didn't tear too much. Within a week, I had cabin fever and was able to get out to do some shopping. I've lost 20 pounds but have another 20 to do, and it's holding on for dear life. 

They say having a baby changes everything. Everything it has changed has been for the better. Of course it's not as easy to run out the door to run a quick errand, and we can't decide last minute to go on a trip, but much of our life remains the same. Because of our awesome family, we have still been able to go on dates, see friends, be grownups. And we don't just talk about the baby, we still talk about everything we did before him. Our relationship is stronger because of this amazing person we made together.

What has changed is me. I have found a confidence that I didn't have before. Being pregnant and giving birth has changed me for the better. I grew and gave life to a human, a perfect human. I can do anything. I have also experienced a range of emotions that I didn't even know existed. I understand people who choose not to have kids, and sometimes I even wondered if I wanted them. But I feel like for me personally, my life experience would never have been this full without this baby. It truly is a miracle.

Sunday, November 18, 2012