Pregnancy

2nd Trimester to Do

Congratulations! You made it through the first trimester. A lot of people refer this to the honeymoon phase of being pregnant. A lot of women feel more energized than they did last trimester and hopefully your nausea is a bit better than the previous months as well. Whether or not you consider this the easier months, here is a list of things you should be looking at doing during the upcoming weeks.

Prepare for doctor visits

I religiously checked what each and every doctor visit would be like. I don’t like doctors and I like being prepared. You’ll be seeing your doctor roughly every four weeks. For the most part they’re all pretty standard. You’ll get weighed, blood pressure checked, and you’ll be able to talk to your doctor about any concerns. This trimester you’ll be taking the glucose test, so be prepared for that around weeks 24-28. Short version is that you’ll drink a sugary drink, they test your blood, and it will help determine if you have gestational diabetes. There’s a possibility of having to take this twice. One is short (about an hour), the other is three hours.

Decide if you want to know sex

This trimester you’ll get to discover the sex of the baby if you want to. You can opt to not know, have the doctor write it down so you can have a gender reveal party, or you can just find out when you’re getting the ultrasound.

Think about maternity/paternity leave

Will both parents be taking time off once the baby arrives? Some workplaces offer paternity/family leave for expecting parents. Figure out if this is offered, how long it is, if it’s paid/unpaid, and if this is something you’ll be able to take advantage of.

Mom, you get to find out how long your maternity leave is. If you’re newer at your job and FMLA doesn’t apply for you, then figure out how long you’re able to take leave for. Will you be returning to work or will you be staying home with baby?

Finances

Take a good look at your finances and cut back on things you don’t really need. Also, see if you can start saving any more money. Having a baby can definitely put a strain on your finances, but you can do it. This would be a good time to also decide if your family can afford either parent not going back to work.

Baby registry/showers

Decide whether you want to have a baby shower. If so, work on getting that planned out or find a helpful friend who would love to plan it for you (or at least help). Either way, I would make at least one baby registry. There are a lot of cool goodies/freebies you can get for creating registries. Amazon was my go to, the goodies were nice, and honestly it’s just so convenient. When people ask what you need you can direct them to your registry. Another tip, see which of your friends/family has had kids, odds are they have some things that they can give you.

Find/continue prenatal exercises

Keep up the pregnancy safe exercise! It is so good for you. If you take a class then you get the opportunity to meet and connect with people going through the same things you are. It can also keep you motivated to go. However, if a class isn’t for you, you can always find some pregnancy safe exercises online and do them right at home. Just make sure you get some movement in.

Drink water

This is very important through every single trimester. I still recommend getting a big water bottle and taking it with you wherever you go.

Adult time

Some people go with a babymoon, AKA a special holiday for you and your significant other. If this is your first baby, then you might want to take advantage of the last time you’ll be getting some peace and quiet. If this isn’t your first kid, you probably really want to take advantage of this one, just make sure you get someone to watch your other kids.
Even if you don’t think you’ll need one, I recommend doing something, even if it’s just dinner and a movie. It will be the last dinner and movie you’ll have for a while without either worrying about a babysitter and how your baby is doing or without a baby joining you for date night.

Maternity clothes

Get some comfy clothes for you! My main goal while pregnant was comfort. I didn’t care what I looked like as long as I felt good. However, there were times when I was bummed I didn’t have clothes other than yoga pants. So, while I don’t think you should feel obligated to dress up and look nice all the time, you may want to get a couple of cute, flattering clothes as well.

Begin preparing pets and/or other kids

Don’t forget that this is going to be a transition for your other kids (yes, the furry ones as well). Talk to your human kids (if you have them) to try and help them with the transition to getting a new brother or sister. If you have pets, mix up your schedule a bit from day to day and getting them used to walking while you push a stroller. They’re your babies too, so try to make this easier for them as well.

There you have it, some of my second trimester things you should be doing. While you’re busy getting everything prepared try to take some time to enjoy where you are. Being pregnant can be overwhelming at times, so make sure you find some good and remember that too.

Let me know what you think and I will see you next time!

Advertisements
Postpartum and Beyond

My Hospital Stay Regret

Around nine in the morning on August 29, 2019, my husband, brand new baby, and I were transferred into our hospital room. A short while later my parents arrived. My husband’s mother wasn’t able to visit (I delivered sooner than expected). I adore my mother-in-law, but it was nice not to seem put together for another person.

I’m relatively close with my parents and I’m thankful that they were able to meet their grandbaby pretty much immediately, but looking back at it now, I think I would actually skip out on having visitors at the hospital. I would’ve really liked to use that time to be with my husband and Little P.

Overall, the number of visitors we had was pretty low. My parents and there was a family friend that stopped by. My parents stopped by multiple times throughout the day. The family friend came unannounced with my dad, which I didn’t appreciate, but that’s beside the point.

Every time people came to visit it felt like everything stopped and the focus went to them. I was exhausted, my husband was exhausted, and everyone just wanted to see and hold the baby. At that point, your baby needs to eat every two hours and (if you’re like me) then whenever your changing diapers it’s frustrating and difficult. You’re learning your baby and figuring out how to be a mom. My point here is, you’re not getting a lot of sleep and having visitors takes away time that you could be trying to nap.

I had a natural birth, so we only stayed in the hospital for about 24 hours, not including the whole birth process. I would probably feel differently if we had the C-Section as planned. We would’ve been in the hospital for three to four days. That’s a much longer time to be there. There’s more time to recover (as there should be) and a few friendly faces would be a welcome sight after a surgery like that.

For my circumstances though, I would’ve like to take everything in with my brand new little family and dealt with the greetings and celebrating once we were at home and comfortable. So, for my next baby (if there is a next baby), I think I will ask visitors to please wait until we’ve left the hospital to say their hellos.

So, what do you think? Are you all for the hospital visitors after a birth or do you want your space as well? I’m also curious if you’d be upset at not being invited to come to visit in the hospital.

Postpartum and Beyond

Help Me Help You

How You and Your Partner Can Stay Partners

When you first bring Baby home from the hospital you may think that there will be no problems between you and your partner. You’ll probably think that you have a strong relationship and that everything will just fall into place. If you’re lucky enough that everything works out then I’m so happy for you. For me and my husband it took a bit of figuring out. A few months into Little P’s life I realized that not only did I need some extra support, but so did my husband.

Since I’ve finally come to that realization, I wanted to compile a list of things that you can use to help you and your partner continue to help and support each other at least throughout Baby’s early months.

1. Talk to Each Other

It’s my favorite piece of advice.
Take time out of both of your days and once Baby is asleep talk to each other. Try to keep it to adult stuff, weather, politics, how you’re doing, whatever. You’re still people even though you have a baby now. It’s okay to spend some time in your day talking about something other than how many poopy diapers you had to change.
If you need to you can also add in a day where you talk about things that are bugging you (more specifically about what the other person does or how to raise Baby). Maybe you need more help doing laundry or what have you, bring it up during that time.

2. Have a Specific Daddy Day or Mommy Day

If one of you works, the one who stays at home probably feels like they need to do a lot of the childcare stuff. Maybe you both work and one partner is still picking up more of the childcare stuff.
It’s very important that both of you gets a complete day to themselves to just relax. If only one parent works, then choose a day (or even a few hours) that is completely up to the working parent to take care of the baby. This gives the one who stays at home a chance to be by themselves (trust me, you will need at least a little bit of time).
If you both work, then give each of yourselves a day. Maybe one parent takes Saturday and the other takes Sunday.

The main thing is that you’ll both know your roles on that day. One of you will get a bunch of time learning your baby and the other will be able to relax for a little bit.
Plus if you’re both home, you will both get to help each other if needed.
The goal is to get a break, not to completely abandon your partner on this day!

3. Get a Safe Word

When you are completely overwhelmed while taking care of Baby, figure out how to tell your partner. Obviously with a newborn, you can very easily just say something along the lines of “Take it, I can’t do it”, but if you have a child who can understand a little more, that’s a rude thing to say.
Get a phrase that you can say to your partner to let them know that you are at the end of your rope and you need them to step in and take over while you collect yourself.

4. Neither of You Can Do It All

You are both here to help each other. Try not to get caught up in keeping score or assuming your partner can handle whatever they’re dealing with.
Maybe you’re better at figuring out why Baby is crying, maybe they’re better at getting Baby to sleep. Offer help to each other! If you see your partner is struggling, then ask them if they need help. You’re both going through this together, don’t just leave your partner struggling because you assume they can do it.

5. Show Each Other Affection

If you’re staying at home with Baby all day I know it can get exhausting being in constant physical contact with someone.
(Don’t think so now? Just wait, your time may be coming.)
Maybe at the end of the day, you just don’t feel like being touched. That isn’t fair to your partner, or to yourself.

Now, I’m not saying you should force yourself to get into the mood, but take a few minutes to hug your partner or something similar. Hold their hand, snuggle up against each other, give each other a kiss. Just take a moment to remind each other that yes, you’re both tired, but you do still care for each other.
Saying I love you is great, but every once in a while, a hug really goes the extra mile in giving each other comfort.

6. Be Understanding

Don’t get mad that you can go a whole day without help from your partner and your partner always seems to need help with Baby. Don’t be upset that you go to work, come home, and the dishes still aren’t done.

You’re both going through things. You both have different tolerances for what they can handle with Baby or dealing with their work days. If something isn’t done, don’t just be angry with your partner. Ask if they can get to it now, or if they’d like you to take care of it.
Also, if your partner needs help with Baby, don’t be upset! You had to figure out Baby too, if you’re more in tune with what Baby needs then help your partner figure it out as well.

Just try to take a second to put yourselves in their shoes.

Thoughts

As long as you both are trying to do right by Baby and to each other, then you’re doing good. Try to cut each other some slack and really get your communication skills going. Don’t shut the other person out because you don’t want to make their day harder. If you’re having a tough time, tell your partner. Maybe they just needed to hear you were struggling to realize they needed to help out more.
You were partners before Baby and you can keep being partners with Baby!

So, let me know what you think.
Do you think I oversimplified things? Do you have tricks on how you and your partner stayed partners throughout Baby’s early years?
Let me know!

Postpartum and Beyond

Being Productive With Baby

i’d rather hang out with you, but these dishes aren’t gonna do themselves

The laundry isn’t done (all right, they’re clean, but you know you have to put them away now), your dishes are beginning to pile up, and there’s various clutter all throughout your house, but your baby doesn’t care about any of that. They want you to hold them and play with them. How can you say no to those big old loving eyes anyway?

Well, today we’re going to take a look at how you can still get all that tedious stuff down around your house when all your baby wants is to hang out.

1. Take Baby Along

Your options don’t have to be ignore baby and do work, or ignore work and take care of baby.
Make sure your baby is fed and changed before you start and then take baby along. My husband and I have both a Baby Bjorn and one of those wrap carriers. We have both because I thought I’d like the wrap carrier more, turns out I like the Bjorn better. Little P likes to look around now and I haven’t mastered a good way to hold her safely with the wrap.
The point here is, take baby with you. You’ll get work done and they’re so young they might actually have a good time doing some boring stuff with you.

2. Stand Up

If you need to get work done on the computer try to stand up with your baby. Little P got so bored just sitting around, so I held her so she could look over my shoulder and stood up while I worked. It’s a bit tiring on your feet, but baby was calm, I was getting work done, and I turned it into a work out so I was technically extra productive at this point.
Now, if your baby doesn’t really like when you’re standing, give sitting down a try. Rinse and repeat.

3. Work during Baby’s naps

I would do this during Little P’s longer naps in the afternoon. I picked things that wearing her would be a pain (think lots of bending, possible but annoying) and did those when she had her lunchtime nap.

4. Try to Break Up Your Tasks

Don’t leave everything to be done on one day. Do laundry one day, vacuuming another, etc. Also, you could try and do certain tasks while your significant other is around or on a day where someone else is watching your baby.
You don’t have to get everything done all at once! Do what you can and don’t overwork yourself.

5. Be Happy With What You Can Do

Did you manage to get those dishes done today? Celebrate that! It really can be hard having to watch Baby and having to clean up and making sure the house is looking decent. Be happy with some of the smaller things you can accomplish, as long as you’re getting something done don’t stress too hard about what you haven’t gotten to. The laundry will still be there tomorrow, and if I’m being honest with you, it took me days to fold laundry even when I didn’t have a baby.

some thoughts

Baby-wearing literally saved me. I work a lot on the computer and when Little P got more active, I couldn’t hold her and type at the same time. I need both my hands to type otherwise I just can’t work. So with computer work alone, baby wearing was my savior. The rest of the things I needed to get done I was generally able to do during her naps.

Another big thing, don’t get overly down on yourself if you can’t get to everything. If you can, try to do little bits of everything (fold a couple things of laundry, do a couple of dishes) throughout the day. You’ll still be making a dent in what you need to get done, you’re still being productive, it’s just adjusted for having to deal with both Baby and chores. But don’t beat yourself up! I got stuck in a rut because I felt I wasn’t doing anything throughout the day. I needed to remember that taking care of a person all day is doing something and that what I am able to do as far as chores is an accomplishment!

If you are baby-wearing while you’re doing chores you can turn it into a game. Sing a song, talk super extra about everything you’re doing. Maybe it’ll make it less boring for you and Baby will be into it. Make chores fun for them (and you) before they realize that chores are pretty awful.

Tell me

Let me know what you thought!
How do you keep productive with your baby throughout the day? Any other tips or suggestions that I haven’t included?

Postpartum and Beyond

Crying Fits

Please Stop Crying

Sometimes mom-ing (dad-ing, parenting) is hard.
Your baby has a new diaper, has eaten, and is in your arms. Why is it crying?! Him/her you mean, of course, not it. But seriously, what could be wrong? There’s no way they’re hungry, they don’t want the bottle (or boob). You’re not wasting another diaper, you just changed them. I swear I’ll hold you for the rest of my life if you please just stop screaming at me or at least tell me what I can do.
Well, mom (or dad) I wish I haven’t been there, but I have.  Here are some things you can try when your lovely child just won’t quit.

1. Remember to breathe

It seems obvious, but it needs to be said. Take a couple of deep breaths. I know the crying sucks (the baby, not you). But being all wound up isn’t going to help anything. I swear they know when we’re freaking out. Your baby will not calm down if you’re having a freak out while trying to comfort them. Control your breathing and you can control the situation. Now that we’ve regrouped, let’s move on.

2. Walk Around/Bounce/Rock/Hold still/Change Positions

Pick one and try it for a few minutes. Did that one work? Yes? Good, personally I would keep going for a few more minutes just to be safe. Let them fall asleep, attempt to put them down or if you’re not feeling brave enough for that, just get yourself sitting down.
If it did not work, try a different method. Rinse and repeat.
Also, it may help to change how you’re holding Baby.
I either cradle Baby or do the pressed up against shoulder thing (like you’re going to burp them). I couldn’t get Baby to calm down. I kept going back and forth with no luck. My husband comes in, puts Baby with her chest and belly on his forearm, like a little superhero, and silence.
My point here is, try something different, something weird. You’ve got a baby, sometimes they don’t make sense.

3. Let Someone Else Try

Continuing from my last tip: give Baby to someone else. You’re not a superhero (even if you are, you’re here so you obviously need some kind of help) and you can’t think of everything.
I never would’ve held the baby like that. It never even occurred to me, but it worked. Maybe it was the positioning that helped or maybe Baby was just tired of me. Let the other parent, Baby’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, close friends, whatever, have some quality baby time. I’m sure family and friends have been asking to see Baby anyway.

4. Sing/Silence

Try singing to Baby. It doesn’t have to be a real song or sound good. Think musicals. They’re always singing about what’s happening around them.
Singing not working? Being quiet would be the next thing to try. Maybe Baby is overwhelmed and that’s why they’re crying. Try slowing things down, making the area you’re in quieter (mute TV, no radio).

5. Dim the lights

Again, maybe Baby is overwhelmed. I’m sure it’s hard learning about life. There’s a lot going on for someone who was born such a short time ago. Make the room as relaxing as possible, maybe it’ll calm your nerves too. Dim the lights, hell, turn them all the way off if you want.
Is it daytime? Go into a closet if you have to. You can find a dark place somewhere, I promise.

6. Too hot/Too Cold

Is your baby wearing a bunch of clothes? Maybe they’re not wearing enough clothes? If it’s cooler in your house try removing an article of clothing that isn’t really necessary. Like socks. Maybe your baby is perfectly fine with everything but their feet aren’t comfortable.

7. Regroup

Nothing working? Maybe you don’t have anyone else to try and hand Baby too. That’s okay. Put Baby in a safe place (crib, bassinet, what have you), close door if possible, and walk away for a few minutes. Go back to step one, breathe. Now is the time to cry if you need to cry. Let it out for a couple minutes. As long as your positive Baby’s basic needs are being met you’re not being a bad person by giving yourself five.
Done crying? Never needed to cry? Go to a mirror, look yourself right in the eye and tell yourself that you’ve got this. You are confident. You are strong. What’s this baby’s problem? You don’t need to know, because you’re going to go back in there and make it all okay.
Now go on back to that baby and own being a parent. Maybe take some headphones with you this time, music might help you remain calm.

Notes

If your baby has colic I’m sorry and I’m not sure this will work for you.
You’re not a bad parent or person if you can’t get your baby to stop crying. Sometimes babies cry, they will stop crying again, I promise.

What are your tips and tricks for helping your baby calm down? What did you think of this list? Let me know!