For Those Who Still Wait

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Waiting can be a form of suffering.  Waiting for a diagnosis, for someone to come home from duty, waiting to be married, waiting for something you’re praying and hoping for every moment.  It can be one of God’s greatest tools for shaping our character to be like His.  It’s a vulnerable place.  For me it was waiting for a 2nd pregnancy.  I won’t begin to say that I truly ‘suffered’ in our 6 months of praying and waiting.  But I will say that the Lord taught me so many things and I have such a deeper compassion for the disappointed.  Then the good news, we were pregnant!  Told our families, couldn’t have been happier.  Why did I ever get so impatient or worry???  God had answered our prayers, His promises are true!  And then, the unthinkable.  A month later I was staring at an empty ultrasound screen where days before there was life, now emptiness.  We had lost our baby.  I had written this post originally right after we found out about the pregnancy.  My waiting was over.  I could share all that I learned now that it was.  But then I felt compelled to share some of my journal during this process, even after the loss.  Not when things were sunshine and roses.  But in the middle. Talking about it is both hard and healing.

I have good days and bad days.  This has been a devastating loss, one of the biggest in my life.  But life goes on, sometimes that hurts because I don’t want it to, I’ll never be the same after it all, and sometimes I’m so thankful it does.  There’s still a reason to get up every morning, God is still faithful, unmovable.  New mercies every day.  He already gave me everything, He doesn’t owe me anything.  I’ll probably write more about this loss as time and prayer bring clarity but for now, this is what I know.

If you are suffering, or waiting for answers, or both, this is for you.  If you aren’t, you will soon.  I’m right there with you.  Here it is…

So many times I wished away the waiting, in our instant society we’ve lost the value of waiting.  If it’s not right away, something is wrong.  And I personally am a planner who is very goal oriented. Much of my life, I’ve decided I wanted something and went after it.  But this was out of my control.  Your true character comes out when someone tells you no or you don’t get what you want.  My 21 month old son, scratches and hits and throws his binky when things don’t go his way.  I get jealous, competitive, feel sorry for myself, impatient.  But God in His graciousness draws me to Himself.

Because “God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you.” (My Utmost for His Highest)

He didn’t give me what I wanted, when I wanted.  Because He wanted me to want Him more.  “Think of the last thing you prayed about – were you devoted to your desire or to God? Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. “ (My Utmost for His Highest)  My motives and my heart needed to be adjusted, the Lord needed to be my first love, not even my children or desire for children given to me by Him.  Prayer is not just presenting a request and hoping for an answer, it is to know God.

I’m learning that life is so much less about me and more about God’s purposes. What have we lost in an instant society? Anticipation, surprise, patience, discipline, and delayed gratification resulting in maturity and a deeper appreciation for things.

“ And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character and proven character produces hope. This hope will NOT disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Romans 5:3-5

I had to learn to be content and to trust.

“Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?” Matt 6:27

Worry is the antithesis of joy, it robs you of peace, takes away precious time and energy, it is a statement of distrust.

“It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives.” (My Utmost for His Highest)

“I wait for Yahweh; I wait and put my hope in His Word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning – more than watchmen for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with Him is redemption in abundance.” Psalm 130:5-7

Contentment can be in regards to material possessions and also in regards to present circumstances. Propriety, modesty, and contentment are not valued in our culture, it’s all about newer, bigger better. Advertisers succeed if they make us discontent. Contentment can’t be given, it’s a choice. It comes from humility and is the opposite of entitlement. However, it is not settling for less than God’s best or being apathetic.

Perseverance > Endurance > Character > Hope

The end result is Hope!

“Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions…It means a confident alert expectation that God will do what He said He will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it His way and in His time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling Him both how and when to do it.” (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson)

Even knowing all these truths, waiting is still HARD and not very FUN!  Focus on God’s goodness to you, what has He already done?  And get to know His character.

“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is compassionate…Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you…How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done for me? I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of Yahweh.” Psalm 116

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity. Happy is the person who trusts in You, Lord of hosts.” Psalm 84:11-12

And know that He is answering you, “Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer, He had the unlimited certainty of knowing that prayer is always answered…God answers prayers in the best way – not just sometimes but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want it may now always immediately follow.” (My Utmost for His Highest)

I am doing my fair share of sowing, and you may be too, but don’t forget His Word and His promises.

“Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.”

Psalm 126:5-6

 

 

Possible Side-effects of Motherhood

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Don’t you think Motherhood should come with a warning label? Caution!  Contents may provide extreme lack of sleep, changes in body structure, confusion, weight gain, weight loss, weepiness, hysterical laughter, colds and flus, an inability to stop taking photographs, and joy and love that you’ve never known before.  If you’re a mom then you may have experienced one or all of these side-effects, if you are a mom to be, well then have fun reading and rubbing your sweet tummy😉

Today was a long day.  Elijah is teething (I think), when in doubt just blame it on teething.  I’m pretty sure its a perpetual thing until about age 5.  One of those days where I tried everything to get him to sleep tonight and finally I sang to him, rocked him and put him in the crib.  He commenced screaming and I set a timer so I would know how long he had been crying and started to eat something.  Do not attempt to mother on an empty stomach, very dangerous!  Anyways, after 2 minutes he finally went to sleep.  It got me to thinking about all the things we think we will never do until we become a mom.  Like I said I would not use a pacifier.  My child would self-soothe and be able to fall asleep without any comfort objects.  Now I bless the person who invented binkys at 3 am when he falls right back asleep.  Or how I was only going to feed him homemade organic food.  He loves ice cream, oops.  But it’s not just about all the things you thought you would never do.

As I reflect on the last 14 months, and even as I read my last blog post, I can see how much being a mom has changed me.  I mean for one, I cry at EVERYTHING.  We watched ‘The Giver’ the other night and I almost had a panic attack every time the baby cried or was in danger, for real. Physically I’m different, I finished breast feeding and the good side effect was that I’m 10 lbs lighter than before I got pregnant, the bad news is, so are the girls :{  Deflated balloons.  But I digress…

But it’s more than surface things.  Unexpectedly I’m more sure of myself.  I know what my baby needs and when I don’t, I pray for wisdom and God gives it to me.  I know what my priorities are, my relationship with God, my husband, and my baby.  It’s so crystal clear.  I used to spend so much time wondering about what I was going to “do with my life”, what big things I was going to accomplish for God, grandiose dreams.  And I don’t think that was bad.  Sometimes I laugh though because so much of my time is spent cleaning up bodily fluids.  But I know I’m right where I need to be.  All the things I want to accomplish, dreams, places I want to travel, they will be there.  A little one in my home, he wont’ always be.

I can do anything after an unmedicated childbirth, the newborn days (I liken them to being in a war, blood, sweat, tears, puke, messed pants, no sleep, etc.) 13 months of breastfeeding, pneumonia, molars, growth spurts, you name it.  Sometimes I’m surprised by how selfish I am, wanting to surf facebook rather than sit down and play with my child.  And sometimes I’m surprised at how much love I have in my heart and how I can always change one more diaper, get up one more time, wipe one more runny nose, pick up one more block, wash one more onesie.

I’m learning to let go.  Not just of my child as he grows up, but of expectations that I will be a perfect parent, that my house will be spotless, that every day will start out with exercising, a gourmet breakfast and worship music, that my child will exceed every milestone and be better than everyone elses baby.  It’s ok to leave things undone, to nap when the house is messy, to not answer the door.  It’s ok to stop comparing your body to models and you kids to your friends’ children.  Do the things you need to do to be a great wife and a happy mommy.  Sometimes reading a book just for fun, or an hour of uninterrupted browsing in Ulta (dangerous) is actually more ‘productive’ than cleaning the floor, again.

I think what I’m trying to say is that in the midst of falling more in love with my little one, I’ve come to love myself more too.  Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said ‘Whoever loses his life will find it’.  There’s so much beauty and meaning in laying your life down for someone else. Sometimes I think it’s actually more heroic to lay your life down moment by moment rather than in some single instance of grandeur and fanfare.  So you know what, I’m awesome!  I’m a great mom and I love my baby unconditionally.  And so are you!  And so do you🙂  Remind yourself of it and do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest.  And what a beautiful harvest it will be.

 

My child does NOT sleep through the night

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Are there support groups for this?  T-shirts?  Seriously!  Elijah is 11 months old and it has been months, MONTHS, people, since he slept all the way through the night.

Interestingly enough something so simple and yet so out of my control, has become a big part of my life. I’ve read the books and the articles on sleep training, I’ve tried nursing + bottle, binkys, warmer pj’s, cooler pj’s, lots of solids before bed, less solids before bed (so no poops to wake the wee one and mommy), nighttime diapers (what a cruel marketing scheme preying on sleep deprived parents to make a few extra bucks, shame, shame!), the cry it out method, sending in the husband method.  Mombies are real.  I is one (although contrary to the official definition I do not drink coffee or wine). I have come to greatly appreciate make-up, although it’s October, so maybe the walking dead look is in right now?  I don’t know how, but I’m pretty sure I could get from our room to the crib, pick him up and get in the rocker without opening my eyes.  My neck is permanently creased from the drooping head and my ambitions for the day ahead go from 21 super productive tasks to #1 – NAP.

I find my heart rate going up when I try to figure out WHY he keeps waking up.  Is it something I’m doing? Is it something I’m not doing?  Does he have gas?  Are his sheets too scratchy?  Is he actually hungry or just comfort nursing?  How much milk is he actually getting?  How long should I let him cry?  What time is it? What day is it?  Why I am so mad while I”m trying to feel for the binky in his sheets?  Why does his diaper always leak?  Is this the 3rd or 4th time I’ve gotten up?  Am I a bad mom?  Why is it so easy to have the negative things our children do automatically be a statement about our worth and performance as a mom?

Maybe he’s just a baby with a very energetic temperament who loves people and would rather have his mommy come in the room and spend a few minutes with him so that he can go back to sleep for a few hours.  And when I do stumble into the nursery (can we talk about the wall of fruity poop smell that hits you like a ton of bricks?) and pick him up and he stops crying, maybe that’s actually a victory instead of a failure.  Because he knows that he’s safe and he’s loved and that someone is there to take care of his needs.  I’ve told him since he was little “mommy will always feed you” and night after night, I’m fulfilling that promise.  Now, when I said that, I didn’t envision that months down the road I’d still be feeding him 1-2 times a night, but then again, I promised.  Babies who are unloved and uncared for will actually stop crying because they’ve learned that no one will be there.  Let that be an encouragement to all of us mom’s when we feel like we can’t get up one more time, when just one night of sleep would renew us in ways that we couldn’t begin to explain, when you’re lying there in bed, holding your breath and praying that God will help your little one go back to sleep.

I was reminded recently that those little crying, needy, smelly, messy, noisy, disruptive little kids, are blessings.  He’s my blessing.  He wants to remind me that I’m blessed multiple times a night and I will be reminded.  I do find myself cherishing those sweet night time moments where he’s back asleep in my arms and all is still.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that one day I will look back on those moments in my creaky rocker with fondness, when the memories of sheer exhaustion have faded, and what’s left is a longing for the simplicity of the relationship between mother and infant.

I’m blessed because I’m not losing sleep wondering if he will survive the night, wondering if I’ll ever be able to have a baby, wondering if he’s going to make good choices, grieving, or any number of reasons you could be losing sleep.  I’m just doing what God made me to do and someday he will sleep through the night.  I have faith!!!  Can I hear an AMEN?!  And that day, I will cry because I miss him needing me. Because every day after the first day, they need you a little less.  He was never really mine, he’s always been God’s and He just saw fit to loan him to me for a few short years.  And isn’t that the dance of motherhood?  Learning to let go and embrace all at the same time.  We pack up the newborn clothes with a twinge of sadness, but then we laugh at the toddler antics and anticipate baby’s first word. We get up every day to live for someone other than ourselves.  You think you’re selfless until you have a child, and then you become more selfless than you could ever imaging yourself being and yet glaringly selfish more often than you would like to admit.

I will keep trying to help him sleep through the night and I will also schedule naps into my day.  I will try to remind my frustrated self that “this too shall pass” and there will be new challenges, so to praise God that His mercies are new every morning.  The sorrow may last for the night but the joy comes in the morning. And I have to say, there’s no greater joy than that toothy grin and little arms reaching for you as the sun comes up and you get to begin again.

 

What The Welch’s Are Having For Dinner

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Wondering what to make for dinner? Here’s what we’re having this week!  I’m always looking for new recipes, I try to make at least one new one every week.  So I thought I would share the meals we are having this week and what I’m doing to make them more healthy and more delicious🙂 Click on the photos for the links!

Grilled Chicken Bruchetta

a7cd107a2b6d263e9b4612b9e5178504We just got Eddy’s new grill (Father’s Day gift) set up so we are going to try this one out!

Italian Chopped Salad

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I made this last week and it is delicious!  And super healthy too.

Tortellini with Pesto & Snap Peas

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Turkey Cream Cheese Sandwich

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Fetuccine Alfredo

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This is our cheat meal for the week!  Yum!  I’m going to use brown rice pasta, and add minced garlic, broccoli, and shredded chicken.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating!

 

10 Things I’m loving on Pinterest

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I LOVE Pinterest.  I resisted joining for so long but now I’m a huge fan, I use it for ideas and inspiration and yes, time wasting😉 Here are some pins I’m loving right now.

Super Cute DIY Centerpieces – as a bonus make crockpot chili and then use the cans!

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Killer Treadmill Workout – not sure what a Brazilian Butt is but I think I want one.  This workout is no joke, and for someone who gets bored on a treadmill, it mixes it up every few min!

6cd87e7a6329890a48bb272727c583b7I’m loving free printables and think these kitchen ones are adorable!7734661b15e9cb068b35e6c3ec44efb0

If the piano we were just given wasn’t such a nice shiny black, I would totally do this!

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Totally doing a Winter Onederland party for Elijah’s birthday in November.  No one steal my idea.  Wait…it would have to be my idea.  2195a3ddc74ccec077c6ef41bc171706

 

How to make tissue pom-poms.  I have used this tutorial and they turned out cute!6f8bfc21de7189e3eb4c62cdb6268daaI love mint green and right now it’s everywhere!  Here’s a fun palette with a muted shade of mint.

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This chopped Greek salad is delicious and so good for you! Definitely add feta and maybe about half a can of garbanzo beans instead of a whole.

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Olive Garden Gnocchi Soup.  YUM!  I’ve made this many times and it is delicious.

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Best cupcakes EVER!  And they have fruit in them so they are healthy. *crickets*

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Just keep pinning, just keep pinning, just keep pinning, pinning, pinning!🙂  Enjoy!

6 Things I learned from my Kitchen Cabinets

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Operation Cabinet Transformation commenced last weekend and I had lots of time to think while I was scrubbing, deglossing, painting and top-coating all the doors, drawers and frames in our bathroom and kitchen!  The kit we used was Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformation and it got me thinking about lessons in transformation.  Here were some things I observed while knee deep in this DIY project and a couple before and after photos for fun!

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1) There is a point of no return.

If you want to change, there comes a point where you have to step out in faith knowing you will never be the same, whether for better or worse.  I realized this when I pulled all the cabinet doors off and started deglossing them.  I wasn’t sure what the end result was but I knew they would never be the same.  It was both terrifying and exciting ha ha!

2) Transformation is extremely messy.

Things definitely get worse before they get better.  Our house was littered with rags, chemicals, paint brushes, and all the stuff we had to take out of our cabinets and drawers.  For about a week it was pretty chaotic and messy.  It certainly made me appreciate our usually orderly home.  But I knew that it was all part of the process.

3) If you want to change you might have to dig up some old dirt

Before we could even start on changing the cabinets, we had to deal with what was already there.  Years of dirt, grease, grime and water damage had left them in a less than desirable state.  However, I wasn’t even really aware of what all was there until I rolled up my sleeves and started scrubbing.  Holes needed to be filled before we could continue, much like I think past wounds from relationships need to be healed before you start a new one.

4) There are no short cuts to transformation.

It took a long time.  And we even had awesome friends who spent the whole weekend helping us.  There was no way around the fact that if we wanted to change the entire look of our kitchen, and not have it look like Elijah did it, than we needed to do it the right way, following all the steps and directions.

5) There is no substitute for time.

As much as our culture (and myself included) value efficiency, there is no substitute for time.  No matter how quickly we got the paint on, we still had to let it dry for 2-3 hours for the next coat. We want transformation in an instant, and yet if we want transformation that lasts, it needs to happen over time.  Letting it sink in to our souls.

6) It’s worth it!

Wow!  I love the finished product, it has changed the entire look and feel of our kitchen, has updated our home and added value as well.  Plus I love knowing how clean and shiny everything is. Not to mention, I was able to do some organizing as well.  I also feel more motivated to keep the kitchen clean because I have ownership of those cabinets.  Those are my babies!  I scoured every square inch and then watched them being transformed before my very eyes.  Much like sometimes I swear Elijah is literally growing up as I watch him.  I think that’s part of the powerful bond between parents and child.  When you have been there since there first breath and seen them every day since, well how could you not be invested?  Overall it was a great project but I am happy to say it’s done.  Well almost…I think true transformation is never really finished.  Since by nature of it’s definition it is a process!

#MomLife

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4 months in to this mothering thing I feel like I’ve learned a ton and yet I realize that I will never stop learning as long as Elijah is growing and changing.  I’ve found the joy in simple things like being showered and in clean clothes before noon, a brand new box of our favorite brand of diapers (Huggies Snugglers), getting to the gym even if it is only half as much as before, and fitting into pre-preggo pants.  I’ve also experienced exhaustion that is hard to describe, frustration when baby’s crying is going on the 3rd or 4th hour, the pain of watching your little one get shots, and the realization that some things about my body will never be the same.

My adventures in breast feeding have culminated in an awesome nursing relationship that I absolutely love.  But it was not without it’s challenges.  Such as the dreaded nipple shield, painful latches, staggering amounts of spit up, etc.  Not to mention some days I feel like a milk cow when it’s nurse, put baby down for a nap, pump, repeat 6 times a day.  But there is something very gratifying and pretty amazing about nourishing your little one with something so good for them given to them with lots of love and snuggles!

Parenting is harder than it looks though.  Just getting somewhere on time, clothed in my right mind and with a baby that is not screaming feels like an accomplishment.  Seriously the first few times I got to church on time I felt like I deserved an award.  I used to think that women who got epidurals were just not tough enough, but man after feeling everything during childbirth, I don’t blame them!  Or for those women who choose to feed their babies formula so that someone else can get up in the middle of the night and feed baby for the umpteenth time so they can sleep, I get it.  I’m also learning that you have to resist the urge to use the dreaded phrase “bad mom”.  So many of the decisions in parenting are not black and white, right or wrong, you have to find what works best for you and what makes baby happiest.  Even though everyone will feel at liberty to share their opinion, at the end of the day, you are YOUR babies one and only mommy. Which is an incredible responsibility and amazing privilege.  I often feel so lucky that I get to be sweet Elijah’s mom.

As a new mom I am learning to have confidence that I know my baby best and to trust my God-given maternal instincts.  No matter how good the doctor, nurse, lactation consultant, etc. there is no replacement for the hours I’ve spent with my little one.  Not to mention he was literally a part of me.

The other thing I’ve learned is that at least for me, that crazy bond and all the mommy feelings have been a process for me.  Sure I felt a lot of emotions when I held Elijah in the hospital, but I also felt a lot of physical discomfort too.  So I don’t necessarily think the first time I ever held him was the best.  Plus, that’s a lot of pressure.  I think every time you take a moment to gaze at the little miracle in your arms, you bond even further.

Well before I get too mushy🙂  Here are some practical things I recommend for new moms!

-Sleep when the baby sleeps, but don’t feel guilty if you do dishes or clean the house sometimes too.🙂  I do wish I would’ve rested more the first week.  I think I would’ve had an easier recovery (it’s still in process unfortunately).  I only stayed in the hospital one night so I do wish I would’ve stayed in bed a home a little longer.  But I also would feel guilty for cleaning up around the house or cooking a simple meal when the baby was asleep, like I should be sleeping.  So just make sure you have a good balance.

-Postpartum Recovery Must-Haves: Granny panties (steal some more pairs of those giant mesh things from the hospital so you don’t ruin your cute ones).  Plus they are awesome for holding padcicles.  Frozen diapers are the best for putting down there.  Also, I didn’t know this but Preparation H hemorrhoid cream makes wipes!  They help for hemorrhoids but the witch hazel in them is also good for the birth area too.  The glorious numbing spray they give you in the hospital, send your hubby out for another can as soon as you get home, you don’t want to run out. Take the stool softeners.  I was worried about having the runs but let me tell you, you want to take them.  You will not get the runs.  Get a bigger rinse bottle than the one they give you in the hospital, it runs out before you are done peeing, no bueno.  Bring loose clothes to the hospital, don’t even think about bringing any post-partum jeans with you.

Nursing/Pumping Essentials: A double electric pump, like Medela-In-Style, worth the money!  It’s so easy to use, quick and discreet.  One thing I learned, a higher setting does not necessarily mean faster or more more milk, it just means ouch. Try to set it to as close to how hard your baby sucks.  I started pumping a few days after Elijah was born and tried to pump right after I would nurse.  I would barely get anything.  So I would recommend waiting until 30 min after you nurse or until the baby goes down for a nap.  There is a sweet spot where you get the most milk and don’t “run out” or have a really slow flow when your baby gets hungry.  Drink tons of water every time you nurse and pump!  You will probably feel super thirsty anyways but it helps your supply.

Don’t be alarmed at how it looks when you pump.  It looks like your nipples are stretching so far that they will fall off, but you get used to it ha ha.  And the milk sometimes sprays.  Also there isn’t one “hole” where the milk comes out like a bottle, it’s more porous, that was kind of surprising to me too.  I have a money maker side, I get usually a couple more oz’s on my right size than my left and that is totally normal and very common.  Bring a nursing cover with you if you have to pump at work, it’s really hard to let down if you are freaking about about being walked in on the whole time.  I use uddercovers and love them.  I keep one in the diaper bag for nursing and one in my pump.  And always keep extra storage bags in your pump for when you forget the lids to your storage bottles, so you can avoid having to pour it in a regular water bottle and tote it hoe in your purse (true story).  Oh and there are these Medela wipes for your pump that are really handy if you don’t have access to a sink to rinse out the pump parts between sessions, you can also refrigerate the pump with the nipple shield between sessions so you don’t have to wash it all the time.  I found that the Medela special soap for breastmilk removal still leaves spots on the bottle.  I prefer a “baby” dish soap and hot water instead.

Another thing that was confusing to me is that Elijah would take a bottle of 5-6 oz but usually when I would pump, even if I missed a nursing session I would only get 3-4.  So to make a bottle, I would have to pump 2-3 times.  A lot of work!  I think babies take more from a bottle because it comes out faster and because those who are feeding them the bottle have them finish it since they can see it.  Just something to keep in mind when pumping bottles for being away from your little one.

For nursing, don’t be discouraged.  The first few weeks are so hard, and very painful (at least for me).  It felt very awkward just to get in position but now we are pro’s!  If you aren’t too sore in the hospital, try nursing in the rocker.  The bed is tricky, it’s hard to get sat up straight enough and to get the baby close enough to you.  The nursing consultants are ok but if they try to show you the football hold and it really doesn’t work for you, don’t feel bad.  I never got that one. And the side lying, works but gives me a kink in the neck and a dead arm ha ha.  A good nursing pillow is a huge help!  Make sure it’s not too tall/poofy.  The ones from nursingpillow.com are a good size.  When you get home make sure your rocker is super comfy.  You will spend a lot of time in there!  For the first 3 months Elijah took at least an hour to nurse every 2-3 hours, whew!  Get some good reading material, make lists on your phone for things you want to do when you are done, and have snacks handy.  I’m always super hungry mid nursing session or right after.  Oh and if your baby is anything like mine, actual burp cloths are a joke, we needed blankets for the spit up!

The fog.  You will be in somewhat of a fog the first oh, 6 weeks.  My mom told me to just survive and that was awesome advice. Don’t stress about sleep training or getting baby on a schedule, or don’t anything other than keeping that baby happy and well fed!  Label the dishes from meals that people bring over, because you won’t remember whose they are later.  Get an app like BabyCare so you can note when baby ate last and was changed last and what side you started on nursing.  When it’s 3 am and you don’t know what day it is, it is very handy to have that to refer to.  Also, my husband Eddy would refer to it when it was his turn to be on duty so he didn’t have to wake me up to ask when he ate last.

If you get frustrated or upset when your baby is crying in the middle of the night, don’t feel guilty.  Lack of sleep, pain, and not knowing what to do is enough to make anyone crazy.  It doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby, it just means you need back up🙂  Read some online articles to help you know you aren’t alone, text or message a mommy friend or your own mom, or wake your husband up to be with you for a few minutes.  And it is ok to put your baby down in the crib while he is crying so you can go pee😉

Shower, every day, even if you just get back in your sweats.  It really helps you feel like a human being rather than a milk cow that changes diapers! Plus all that post partum sweating (I would wake up drenched in sweat for weeks after delivery – good news was it helped me loose some water weight) and spit up needs to get rinsed off.  Oh and get a baby monitor that has a visual sound level reader.  Sometimes you need to just get away.  Put baby in the crib, even if he is upset, turn on the shower and close the door to drown it out (just for a few min).  You can plug the monitor in but turn the sound down.  I found that he would usually drift off to sleep while I was showering but I had peace of mind being able to look out and see on the monitor if he was still crying or not.  Having it in the bathroom with the volume on max, does NOT make for a relaxing shower or a mental break ha ha.  It just means you will probably leap out soaking wet and nurse him in nothing but a towel (true story).

Look at all this knowledge and these skills I didn’t have 4 months ago ha ha.  Things like contorting my body so that I don’t wake him up transferring him to the crib, or getting ready in 3 minutes flat, or stock piling our freezer with 5 oz bags of liquid gold.  I think it’s time to sign out for this mommy and get back to my cuddly little reason for this whole post.  I have so enjoyed the great joy and focus Elijah has brought to my life!