Saturday, November 29, 2014

My favorite newborn items

Newborn Favorites

1. SkipHop Pronto Changing Station: As a new mommy this changing station is a life saver. We have used this almost every time we have gone out as an easy place to change diapers. It fits easily in my diaper bag and has pockets that fit several diapers and wipes in them. You can use this as a little clutch if you don't want to take your entire diaper bag with you somewhere as well.

2. Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle: I'm an okay swaddler, but I'll admit I'm not the best at it. This Halo Sleep Sack is the easiest of all the swaddles I've tried so far. It zips up so it's easy to change a diaper in the middle of the night and it keeps baby swaddled and cozy overnight.

3. Diaper Genie: Even though the diapers don't smell bad quite yet, the Diaper Genie is a must have. It condenses all the diapers and when the dirty diapers do start to smell I'll be even happier to have this!

4. Boppy and cover: When I was registering I debated what to register for when it came to nursing needs. Do you need the My  Breast Friend and the Boppy? My answer is no you don't. The Boppy has been perfect for nursing and also for holding a sleeping baby.

5. Nighty Night Owl Sound Machine: I had originally put a plain old white noise machine on my registry, but my sister in law got me this and I'm glad she did. Not only is it adorable, it has a sensor and very relaxing sounds that will play when your baby vocalizes. It also has a velcro strap that can be put on the railings of your baby's crib. We use this every day!

6. Nursing Scarf: I always wondered what I would do as far as nursing goes. I did not want one of those huge covers that looked like a tent. I wanted something simple, something comfortable and something light weight. Let me just say that buying these nursing scarves was one of the best things I did. I bought two different ones, one plain gray and one with a pattern and with all our frequent visitors it has become a staple item in my wardrobe. Aiden doesn't mind when I cover him with it because it is light weight and I can wear it out as a scarf and no one would ever know it has a dual purpose. I highly recommend these nursing scarves from Three Four Designs!

7. Aden+Anais Burpy Bib: These bibs are wonderful. They are a great material and I love the ones that snap. You can use them as a bib or a burp cloth which is especially nice for a baby like mine that like to spit up frequently. I snap these burpy bibs on him if he hasn't burped to save an outfit here and there.

8. Fisher Price My Little SnugaMonkey Rock 'n Play Sleeper: I can't say enough about this product. Aiden sleeps in this at all his nap times and for bed. It is cozy, easy to fold up and can fit anywhere. I have him sleep right by my bed so if he stirs in the middle of the night I can usually rock him back to sleep with one hand from bed so he and I both get to stay in bed a little longer. The Rock 'n Play Sleeper also has a vibrate feature which Aiden loves and it is slightly reclined so if he falls asleep after a feeding he won't spit up in his bed.

Another item I wish I had known about before registering is the brand new Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. It is basically co-sleeping in a safe way for Mom and baby. Here is a video of the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper in action. This truly looks like a dream. Have any of you heard of this or gotten it yet??

You can follow Halo products like the Sleep Sack or the Bassinest on social media here:

*I did receive a complimentary Halo Sleep Sack for my review, but all opinions are my own.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Aiden {The first 3 weeks}

I truly can't believe my little buddy is 3 weeks old today. I feel like I blinked and time was gone.  I have learned so much in these last few weeks. I've learned I'm stronger and more patient than I thought. I've learned that I had way more love to give than I ever thought possible. I've learned that being a Mom is amazing. I've learned that being a Mom is hard work. I've learned more about my boobs, poop, umbilical cords, pumping and sterilizing than I ever imagined. And I'm loving this new chapter of my life.

Since this time is going way too fast and I want to remember everything that my baby boy does. I made a list of Aiden's likes and dislikes throughout his first 3 weeks of life for me to look back on someday. He's already changed so much. <Insert emotional, sappy Mom tears here.>
Week 1 was a memorable one because both Drew and I had no idea what we were doing, but we were in it together. It all started when we tried to strap Aiden in his car seat in the hospital parking lot and realized we had no idea how to adjust the straps. We laugh now, but holy cow talk about being humbled. You can read as many books as you want, but you will never be prepared to actually bring a little human being home and know exactly how to take care of them. Lots of prayers were said, tears were cried and laughs were had, but we survived and learned our lives were not even close to being complete without this little guy in them.

Aiden's Likes// Milk, Having his head shampooed by Daddy, Fleece footed PJ's, Giggling in his sleep, Being swaddled. Aiden's Dislikes// Tummy time, Daddy's cold hands, Diaper changes, Baths.
Week 2 was a big learning curve. Drew went back to work and I bawled my eyes out. Thankfully my Mom took a few half days from work and came over every morning to bring me Starbucks, fix my breakfast and hold Aiden while I showered. I am forever grateful for amazing family living close by! We had our 1 week check up meaning I had to leave the house on time, figure out the car seat on my own and figure out what the heck to put in the diaper bag. Aiden gained lots of weight this week making me a proud mama (yay for a successful week of breast feeding!)

Aiden's Likes//Furrowing his brow (his worried face), Wearing woodland animal outfits, Soft blankets, Watching the shadows on the ceiling from the fan, Still loving Mom's milk. Aiden's Dislikes//Having to wait to be fed, Having his hands swaddled and not next to his face, Afternoon naps.
Week 3 was all me. You guys I have learned so much especially this week because I was all on my own. Just me and Aiden figuring things out. I started pumping and figured out a system for storing breast milk. (Thank you Dori for talking me through things!) I started learning how to manage my time with a needy newborn. Things like taking a shower, putting on make up and fixing myself meals all became much more difficult, but I'm starting to get the hang of a few things. I also started trying to implement a routine of feed, wake, sleep from the book BabyWise. It's been a good week, but it's been a hard week too. I've shed tears, but also pat myself on the back for the little victories we've had. I know motherhood is going to be just that...a mixture of tears of frustration and not feeling good enough mixed with the little triumphs each day brings as you do your very best to take care of the thing that is now the most important thing in your life.

Aiden's Likes// Car rides, Pompom hats, Having his hands by his face, Grunting when he poops, Pacifiers. Aiden's Dislikes//Neck exercises, Clothes that go over his head, Mittens

I'm thankful for a God I can rely on to sustain me in times of utter exhaustion and fatigue, who can give me peace when I don't know all the answers and wisdom in how to raise my sweet boy. I'm so thankful for our precious boy and all the joy he has already brought to our lives in these 3 short weeks!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Aiden's Birth Story {10.31.14}

As many of you know I was almost 2 weeks overdue with Aiden. Little buddy just didn't want to come out. So we had an induction scheduled for 3 AM Halloween morning. My husband's dream of having a Halloween baby came true. Since my induction was so early in the morning, that meant I couldn't eat anything that morning so we went out for a big dinner Thursday night and then went to bed knowing we would be parents the next day. It was such a surreal feeling!
Cracker Barrel, breakfast for dinner is where it's at!
We woke up around 1:30 AM, packed up the car and headed to the hospital in the dark. It was so surreal leaving our house just the 2 of us and knowing the next time we walked through the doors of our home, we would be a family of 3!

By the time we got to the hospital, filled out paper work and got me hooked up to Pitocin it was about 4AM. We probably should have tried to sleep before things got crazy, but we were too excited. Drew read me some Harry Potter, I ate a few popsicles, we listened to the sound of Aiden's heart beat on the monitor, we recorded a little video and then we waited for things to start happening.
 Around 6 AM I started to feel some little contractions. Nothing painful or major, but I was glad to get things started. They broke my water around 10:30 when I was around 5 centimeters dialted and then I really started to feel uncomfortable. My plan all along was to get an epidural, but I wanted to feel what contractions felt like before I got one. Once my water broke I got an epidural and then bliss. I wasn't completely numb and still had control of my legs, which is exactly how I wanted it.
Thumbs up for getting my epidural.
By Noon I was fully dialated and the nurse got the doctor (who came in wearing a witches hat, Happy Halloween!) I pushed a few times then they realized the lip of my cervix was still lingering so they wanted to wait a little longer before having me push anymore.

Then things at the hospital got crazy and my doctor had to do an emergency C-Section on another patient and deliver twins. Aiden's heart rate and mine were both still good so we just hung out anxiously awaiting when we would get to meet our little guy.

At 4 PM, the doctor came in again and said it was time to start pushing. I immediately started crying because the thought of meeting Aiden soon made me so incredibly happy. Drew held one leg and our amazing nurse, Tiffany held the other. I pushed for 2 hours and while I was incredibly exhausted I actually kind of enjoyed labor. Is that weird? The whole process was just a miracle. Did I enjoy throwing up and being so physically exhausted that I had to force myself to push? No. But knowing that every push was bringing my son closer to being in this world was an amazing feeling. Another amazing feeling? My epidural. Haha.
Our Nurse, Tiffany. She was incredible.
After pushing for another 30 minutes I was exhausted and Aiden was too. He was SO close to coming out on his own, but his heart rate started dropping and they wanted him out ASAP so out came the forceps. Drew and I were both forcep babies so I guess it's only fitting Aiden was too. I pushed once with the forceps and out he came kicking and screaming. The moment they laid him on my chest was the moment that my heart changed forever. This little guy was mine and I just let the tears spill out. I will never forget that moment. The happiness, the overwhelming gratitude, the just takes you over. Then you see your husband holding your baby and you just melt all over again.

After a few minutes they took Aiden to clean him up, weigh him, etc. and Drew took the camera and started taking pictures while I got stitched up (not fun). From the moment he was born he was an alert little fella, eyes open, checking everything out...he's already our little curious adventurer.
His little pouty lip. Too much cuteness.
We stayed in our delivery suite for another 2 hours, got our first visitors and then moved down to our room where I ate my first meal since our big dinner Thursday night. My request: a cheeseburger and milkshake. My mother in law came to the rescue with Five Guys and Graeters. Best meal of my life.
The rest of the night I just couldn't help, but stare at the little person we helped create. October 31st, 2014: The most memorable and happy day for our little family. Welcome to the world, Aiden Paul.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Being Aiden's Mom

I have officially been a Mom for 11 days now. Honestly this last week and a half has been the sweetest time of my entire life. The emotions you go through as a new mom are emotions I have never come close to experiencing. Aiden has filled our lives with so much joy already. I have never loved anything so much.
When I look at Aiden my whole heart just melts and most days I cry just looking at him, knowing he is mine. My body has done things that I never knew it could do and despite the pain you go through it is all worth it.
I have so much I want to write down, so many thoughts I want to capture, but all I can manage to do lately is hold my little guy and thank God for allowing him to be mine. I am so glad Aiden is finally here and I can't wait to share his birth story and some of the precious moments we have been sharing together as a new family of 3.

Holy moly, I am somebody's mom and it truly is the best thing in the world.