Thursday, March 29, 2018

My Favorite Baby Carriers

Baby wearing is my number one mom trick.  It's the only way I get anything done these days- Ralphie isn't a fan of being set down, and Ophelia isn't a fan of sitting still, so there we go.  I also feel like one of the reasons my connection is so strong with my kids is because of baby wearing.  More snuggling and closeness is never a bad thing- maybe we're helping to raise a generation of more connected and loving humans. 

That being said! My hands down favorite carrier is this one (it's also available here and here).  I got this one new with Ralph and wish I'd had it two years ago!  It's amazing- Ralph has basically spent the majority of his short life in here.  It fits from newborn on up, no insert needed, and I can wear Ralph or Ophelia in it comfortably.  There is no velcro, and babies can face forwards or backwards.  I also recently discovered I can nurse in it!  

My other favorite is this one.   This is what we used with Ophelia, and I still like it a lot.  It's also a little more budget friendly!  

I also recommend a soft wrap for those first squishy days-I love this one and this one.  And a ring sling is nice and portable to have in your bag to throw on.  I personally am more comfortable with a ring sling once they can hold their heads up, but I know a a lot of people like them for the newborn stage too. 

Happy baby wearing!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Ralphie's Homebirth Story

I've been procrastinating writing Ralph's birth story a bit- I'm not sure if anyone is really interested, and it was so quick there isn't much of a story.  But as I sit here with him sleeping and cooing on my chest, I think I'd like to have a place where it is written down, so here goes!

I've received a few questions about homebirth -this article is a great place to start reading more about the safety and reasons behind birthing at home.  After a women in medicine course I took in college I became completely obsessed with how (badly) we birth in America- I actually did my senior thesis paper on the subject, so basically you could say I paid a lot of college tuition to decide how I wanted to have babies.  I had Ophelia at a birth center, a happy medium/compromise with my husband,  but he was very much on board with doing it at home the second time around.  If you are interested in learning more about homebirth, the documentary The Business of Being Born is a great gateway drug to the topic.

SO.  Back to Ralphie.  I woke up Friday, March 2nd around six am, which is suppppper early for me, with contractions and knew something was going on.  I was two days "overdue" and so ready for him to be here and just over being pregnant.  I left Ophelia asleep in bed, went downstairs to tell Ian.  He was full of jokes, as usual, and as I was having an already painful contraction took a Snapchat of himself with me moaning in the background announcing that I was going to be a great single mother.  He is a charmer.  We texted our midwife that something was brewing and since she knew I had fast labors she said she would check in soon.  Ian also kept calling my mom, they were deciding if she should go to work and leave when things picked up, or just skip work and come now.  I kept telling her to go to work, he desperately wanted her here.  Ophelia woke up, so my mom came over to hang with her.  My dad also came over at some point, and the three of them hung out in the kitchen eating and painting, while intermittently coming out and watching me.  When I would make an exceptionally loud/unpleasant noise, my mom and Ophelia would shout "GO MAMA, GO MAMA, GO MAMA!" my yelling and being in pain didn't seem to upset Ophelia at all.  (As a side note, we did a lot of prepping Ophelia about birth,  the videos by this birth videographer on YouTube were a huge help, we watched them seriously all the time,  she went to every midwife appointment with me, and we play "birth" basically everyday.  This child will have no questions on how babies are born).

Our amazing midwives came over around 9:30, and said they didn't want to make me feel like a "watched pot" so they'd just hang out upstairs and get the pool ready.  I start to lose track of time around here, but after awhile of walking around with contractions, including a quick walk down the block,  I decided to try getting in the tub.  Unfortunately, just like with Ophelia's birth, I hated it, and got out.  My contractions are just so fast and intense I need counter pressure, so having Ian squeeze my hips was essential.  It started getting way too intense for me, actually, at this point.  We were in the bathroom, and I felt like puking, I was shaking, and I probably would have had him at this point if I pushed through.  Instead, I ran and laid down on Ophelia's floor and things slowed down a bit.  I moved to laying down in our bed, and started grunting during contractions, had some bloody show, and then my water burst all over Ian and both midwives.  With Ophelia, my water broke just before her head came out, but I think I had one contraction in between with Ralph.  Then his head was coming through, and of course it felt like my butt was going to split in half.  Why do we never remember this?! It feels like it is in your butt! Ian was crying and saying "My boy!  My boy!  There's my boy!" and there he was.  He was born at 12:25 in the afternoon.

I also want to note something for all the other moms out there who worry there is no way they could love a second child like their first.  My entire pregnancy, while I loved seeing him on ultrasounds, and feeling him move,  I KNEW there was no way I would ever love him like I love Ophelia.  I had all these secret thoughts that I would always love her more, but I would have to work hard my entire life not to show that or play favorites.  I felt guilty thinking that, but felt like it would definitely be the truth and I would just never tell.  And then of course, like everyone says, the second he came out and was laying on my chest I was just head over heels in love with him.  It wasn't like I loved Ophelia any less, or my heart divided the love, it just doubled and I loved them both so entirely and immensely.  So if you are afraid to have a second child out of loyalty to your first, know that the love will just grow.

The rest of the day was awesome.  I was on a total natural childbirth high, and everyone I loved was around me.  We were at home, so we were able to just hang out with our new family member and lay around all afternoon.  We ordered take out for dinner, and cozied up in our bed.

We are so happy you are here,  Ralphie Boy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Budget Friendly Finds: Pretty Spring Shoes Under $50

Dreaming of spring and pretty shoes- these are on my wishlist!
click the pictures to shop!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Easter Basket Ideas

I've never been super into Easter as a holiday, but like everything else, once you have kids it's all is so much fun. And why is it that kids love egg shaped things so much??  Egg shaker maracas are one of Ophelia's favorite things. We also recommend  these Easter baskets, which are similar to the Pottery Barn ones, but way less expensive! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dressing for Postpartum

I wanted to update my dressing for postpartum guide that I wrote awhile ago- now that I am in the thick of it!  Baby Ralphie is here, sleeping on my chest and I am rocking my Depends and sporting some HUGE boobs.  I plan to share his (amazingly fast) birth story in another post.  

The first couple weeks postpartum are probably the craziest time I have ever gone through. I cried about 17 times a day, both when I was happy and when I was sad. Your body is recovering from the biggest task of it's life, your hormones are a roller coaster ride, and your heart might burst with love for this new creature in your arms.  Looking cute ( and um, basic hygiene) pretty much falls to the wayside.  Luckily, I stumbled upon a pretty basic method to looking somewhat presentable post babe!  Nursing tank + leggings + cardigan will have you covered for visitors, your first visit to the pediatrician, and eventually venturing off the couch.  

You'll become burning hot every couple minutes and whip it off, but having it on, or just nearby, will make you feel so much cozier (and helps cover up the cold, floppy belly/arms/flesh you aren't used to seeing). I just ordered this one , and I've worn this (budget friendly!) cardi daily.  
click the pictures to shop some more!
 Leggings that hold all your wobbly bits in place are good, and cozy joggers for laying on the couch are the best.  I'm basically living in these right now.  

click the pictures to shop some more!
N U R S I N G   T A N K S

The most essential.  I've been soaking through them like, hourly, so get a bunch!  I switch back and forth between these and these.  
click the pictures to shop some more!
AND the most important things you need! 
1.  A supportive spouse or mom (in my case, both!) who will cook for you, bring you water, and take over the laundry/dishes/cleaning duties.  Your only job is to lay around, nurse nurse nurse, and get to know your babe!  If you don't have one of these, a postpartum doula might be up your alley.  
2.  Good, nourishing food
3.  Lots and lots of water
4.  Grace and patience with yourself.  You will take a normal shower again someday!

PS: Some of my other favorite postpartum posts:
Five Ways to Help A New Mom
Things I'm Buying for Postpartum Ahead of Time

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Nursing Friendly Tops for Spring

Ruffle top // Grey wrap sweater // Tie front top (comes in a bunch of prints and colors!) 

Right now I'm ignoring the fact that I'm overdue and as big as a whale and dreaming of pretty spring tops.  These ones are all nursing friendly as a bonus!