A 4-week-old picture of my son, Dean.
A 4-week-old picture of my son, Dean.
I’m tired of denying that I don’t love television. I will admit that I need to limit my intake as it’s easy to get overly consumed by the flickering beast, but now that I’m breastfeeding a 2-month-old, it’s a super convenient way to make the time fly by and keep me entertained.
My weekly lineup has definitely changed now that my son is in the house. While Top Chef and Project Runway were my old favorites, right now I can’t get enough of:
Quints By Surprise
Man, this show restores my faith in motherhood. Anytime I feel overwhelmed I watch the Jones Family corral 5 infants and 1 child on a daily basis. If they can do it, my one little boy isn’t going to break me, acid-reflux or no acid-reflux. The family, unlike Jon and Kate plus 8 (remember them?), seem super happy and the parents seem in love despite their challenges. I love that the mom, Casey, is continually taking photos of the children, regardless if she’s getting smiles or all hell is breaking loose. The kids are full of spunk and have incredibly unique personalities. If they lived in my area I wouldn’t hesitate volunteering to help out! Unfortunately the show has been off the air for a couple of years and you can’t buy the past seasons, so I am patiently recording all of the episodes on my DVR. I’ve even read their old blog.
19 Kids & Counting
My family and friends look at me and say, “Seriously?! You watch that show?” Yup. I’m not religious, nor do I wish to have a small army of children, but I think in their own way they are an awesome family. Michelle really is the epitome of a mom. Have you listened to her speak? Her voice is so soothing it has lulled me to sleep. And again, I think to myself, if they can raise nearly twenty well-behaved, friendly children, maybe I have half a shot with my boy.
It took me a few repeat tries to get hooked on this show, but now I’m all in. Probably because it’s closer to reality than other family-based sitcoms out there. I’ve become fairly attached to the characters… especially in the most recent season when two of them deal with a difficult newborn. (Obviously you see a pattern, I like TV shows that resemble my own life!) The show’s one downfall is that there is a bit too much arguing – I’ve had to mute it at times – but isn’t that what families do? I’m live far from any relatives, so these guys are my stand-ins. And the show is still on the air! Yay for new episodes.
I registered for a lot of well-known baby goodies. Most of them I used and many of them I’m still using… But none of them were supremely essential. I learned via trial and error what I really needed after my pregnancy and newborn had overtaken our home, my sanity, and our family’s precious sleep. P.S. – No, I am not getting paid a cent for these endorsements.
Here are 5 things that have been amazing in helping our family cope with the crazy shift our new lives have taken:
1. The Snoogle
God bless this inventive body pillow. It’s huge and pretty much quarantines me away from the hubby in our queen-size bed, but during the aches of pregnancy I wrapped myself around it for a super comfy sleep, and during the early baby days it propped me up well, allowing me to hold my son in my arms comfortably during breastfeeding. It also looks like it works wonders for c-section support, but I cannot personally attest to that. I bought a soft, jersey grey slip-cover for extra coziness during the winter months.
These disposable wonders have been huge laundry savers! I live in an apartment without a washer/dryer in my unit and during the sleepless newborn weeks, trekking down to the laundry room was not an easy feat. Put an underpad over the changing table, and voila!, and it’s a baby-bum-blowout saver!
Newborns are like well-formed blobs of jello. In the beginning, changing diapers and outfits is tricky and the best tool to help? A zip-up onesie. Forget over-the-head bodysuits and anything with snaps… slip on one of these beauties and zip it all the way up to their neck! In the beginning my husband refused to put our son in anything else. We love these so much I just ordered a handful of these in size 3M.
4. Cloth Diapers (A.K.A Burp cloths)
We are a disposable diaper family for these first difficult months. Sorry. (see #2 above) We only use these for burps and spit up. They are cheap and do the job well. Enough said.
5. A Boppy
Yes, this magic pillow is great for nursing, but it’s even better as a neck pillow! Again, think about those sleepless few weeks – this wonder of an invention saved my neck some serious pain. And these days it assists the little one’s pesky burps and actually makes his tummy time more enjoyable. Technically, I actually did register for it as a nursing aide, but I love it even more for its alternate use.
If you have any other amazing newborn essentials to share, please do!
Correction: My baby’s doctor was wrong.
You’re only pumping an ounce of breastmilk per session? That’s not enough! You need to supplement.
So supplement I did. But only 2-4 ounces per day. That’s not what she had in mind, I know, but I was skeptical of her advice, especially since he had gained weight, even if only the bare minimum. But everywhere I read, and everyone I talked to, said that pumping is absolutely not an indicator of how much milk your baby is getting during feeding. And they were right. How else would my baby boy pack on 11 ounces in 7 days… (with only a tiny supplement)?
I never believed a doctor that I chose could be misinformed, but indeed she was. And that’s disheartening, because I trust her with my baby’s life. If I could change doctors, I would, but that’s not an option right now. It’s a good thing that this is a relatively minor error on her part, after all, she was likely schooled in formula feeding, not lactation. However I now know, from experience, that I can trust my body to support my baby’s nutritional needs, and that’s really comforting.
Is breastfeeding throwing you for a loop? I found this site extremely helpful, along with a few others it links to: http://kellymom.com/category/bf/
But they don’t tell you why the first two weeks are so difficult for mom. (Or maybe I never listened?) And they don’t tell you that anywhere from 2 weeks – 3 months is the actual amount of time it takes to get acclimated to the tiny human. But I will.
The First Two Weeks Post-Partum:
– Breastfeeding is the main time-suck. It’s painful at first (and that will continue if you don’t get it right) and it’s confusing. Is your baby eating enough? Are you producing enough? Are you eating the right foods? You have to feed your offspring how often?!
– Crying is as uncomfortable for the parents as it is for the kid. Seriously, it’s hormonally uncomfortable! You will have to figure out why they’re crying (through trial and error) and then, half of the them, realize they are probably crying for no reason.
– You are going to get all types of baby advice from absolutely everyone, including Google, and it will all conflict so you’ll be hella confused.
– Your body is going to hurt. Unmedicated, medicated, c-section, vaginal delivery. Don’t expect to be just a little sore. Six days postpartum my body felt like it had been hit by a mack truck. At first I was like, “What? Labor was hard but I’m healed. It’s not that bad, I’m a trooper!” Hahaha… then I started getting woozy at Target and feeling my nether-regions ache on a daily basis. My back killed me from neck to butt and I became delirious from lack of sleep. It simply took six days for the adrenaline to go away and the pain to set in.
I’ve officially made it to week 5. But it took me 2 weeks to finish this post, because my son will only sleep in human arms. And when he’s not sleeping, he’s eating, and guess where that takes place?
It’s a good thing he’s cute because I may have given him back. 😉
I blog about goals and minimalism. Mum of three.
Type A mommy and journalist
My crazy, pregnant, new momma life... In a nutshell!