remember to point it down

Posted by Shannon Marie
Along with all the other brand new experiences that come with the brand new experience of birthing a child come these little tidbits that no one ever bothers to inform you about pre-child bearing. It's learning these little tidbits that make the days and weeks (and onto years, I'm sure) that much more exciting (read: frustratingly necessary and seemingly bearable while possibly annoying).

For all you new or expecting Mamas, enjoy. It may be something you already knew or are just learning, but either way hopefully it'll give you a much needed giggle.
  1. The sounds: How on Earth is it possible that such (g)astronomical sounds can come from such a teensy person? And how on Earth is it possible that every single person I know with children has failed to mention this little (only not little at all) piece of information. Not sure what I'm talking about just yet? Just wait!
  2. The sleep deprivation: Ok, no new parent expects to get much sleep. I wasn't naive to this fact, but I was naive to the fact that not only would it be so strange to adjust to sleeping in 1-2 hour increments (3 on a really really lucky night when Husband is being particularly super sweet and snuggling little guy the whole time just so Mama can sleep -- it's only happened once...), but that it would be so difficult to fall asleep when it's the only thing that I want to do and my sweet son is alas sleeping soundly (soundly as in making so many sounds I can hardly sleep and then start to think about how soon it is until I must wake again and then Oh, Oh, it's time and I yet again forgot/was unable/tried (sort of) to actually sleep when he was sleeping). These kids are no joke! And neither is breastfeeding and whew I'm glad I got that out! And no one explains that no matter how sleep deprived you are, as soon as that sweet baby hits your arm hungry and knowing you are the only one that can satisfy him, you immediately forget how sleep deprived you are. It's just you and him -- and whatever junk is on television or your iPhone at 1, 3, 5, and 7am.
  3. Holy thirstiness: I seem to remember something about this during our ALL day hospital class (which I promptly forgot as soon as the chocolate covered cherry pie that I rewarded myself with after said all day class hit my mouth) and I know that the BrestFriend breastfeeding pillow comes with a pocket for bottled water for a reason, but golly gee, who could have imagined that breastfeeding would leave your body thinking you had just run a marathon 8-12 times over each (and every) day! Parched is an understatement.
  4. Boys pee (a lot) (and out of their diapers) (a lot): I'm sure girls pee just as much. At least that would tend to be logically appropriate. However, little girls, as we all know, don't have the "gear" that little boys do. Said gear, which to my surprise has now created a lovely "treatment" above/below/around the wall above/below/around the changing station. And the curtains, but we'll blame that on Husband. He was being paricularly brave while changing Harper (read: haha look at this, he's naked and cute and naked and um, honey he's peeing -- all over you -- and the curtains). Which brings me to my next point...
  5. Point it down: So, we all reasonably expect that if we diaper correctly it will catch all of what it is supposed to. Not so. Not so. That is if you have a boy. During that all day hospital class, one of the things I actually did take away with me was the advice to always point it down. The nurse reminisced about her son consistently wetting through nearly every outfit she placed him in as he was actually peeing out of his diaper. Got it. Point it down. Not so fast. Remember #2? Well, let's just say my Husband and I's brains don't quite fire like they used to. And as logical and easy as it should be to remember such a simple idea is well, not logical or easy when you can no longer remember what day it is. Let's just say 3.5 weeks in, it's still absoulutely hilarious and simultaneously the most unfunny thing in the world when our little man wets an entire outfit because we can't manage to remember to "point it down". Maybe I'll post a sign above the changing station -- but laminate it first, because we all know what's going to happen next time we change the little guy.


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life changes

Posted by Shannon Marie

To say that life can change in an instant would be an innumerable understatement. Let's start with the old adage "you'll just know when it's time." Labor has apparently gotten a rap for being, well, laborious. So much so that us lady folk are conditioned to think that our bodies will tell us when our little bundle is about ready to enter the world (even in those very early stages). I certainly had an inkling -- lots of Braxton Hicks contractions in the days leading up, some painful and regular enough to prompt an 11pm call to the doctor 2 nights before the real deal. But to say that I definitively knew would be another, well, overstatement. Truthfully, I didn't. The stories lady friends and family share lead you to believe that your contractions will at some point feel like every other woman's -- mine absolutely didn't. I'm not sure if I was being overly cautious (let's just say the idea of "thinking" you are in labor only to go to the hospital and be sent home is more than a nightmare in the making -- for me at least) or if I was in denial that even though I had been thinking he was coming, I could have actually been correct in my prediction and not just hopeful. Either way you slice it, I was indeed in labor and the only two people (one person, one furry person, errr dog) that had any clue were Husband and Stella. Waking up in the middle of a contraction isn't exactly how you picture labor beginning, but hello body, it's nice to know you have a mind of your own. Over the next hour, Husband began slowly packing things up -- the hospital bag was packed (except toiletries), so he was calmly walking around asking me what I still needed, wanted to wear, etc., all the while stopping every 6-7 minutes to help me up from where I lay on my side in the bed to lean on him through each contraction. After about an hour (and contractions that were getting no closer together mind you and no stronger), Husband had already started the car to warm it up, and I had managed to waddle around enough to put on some respectable clothing -- I kid -- it was sweatpants, no socks (in the beginning of January) and the only shoes that I could squeeze my feet into (and trust me when I say that gold Nine West flats aren't terrible flattering with sweatpants). Alas, I was still in shock or denial and not totally convinced we were having a baby. But, Husband, he knew, and thank goodness for it.

Going into labor at 1am certainly has its perks. No traffic! Easy parking at the hospital! On the way my contractions jumped from 7 minutes apart to 4 in what seemed like no time. On a side note, my math brain never quite grasped that when they said contractions should be 5 minutes apart for about an hour before going to the hospital that they could a) change so quickly and b) not be 5 minutes apart on the dot, but rather 5-7 or some variation, and you could still be in labor! Sheesh. That's one tidbit to retain for next time around.
I'll spare the details of the next 11 hours and fastforward to 12:52pm, when that precious little baby landed on my chest. All 6 pounds 7 ounces and 19.5 inches of him. He was (and still is) perfection. I think that's a right of passage that every new Mama just know her little one is perfect, but he truly was.

Fastforward another two weeks and here are some things I want to make absolute sure I never forget:

  1. That first cry
  2. The gorgeous, silky smooth, hair (once washed)
  3. The handsome navy blue eyes
  4. The baby smell
  5. That first hour, just Husband, Harper, and I
  6. The squeaks, oh the squeaks
  7. The sleepy, dreamy, twitchy grins
  8. The finger grasp
  9. The way Husband looks at him
  10. The way Husband looks at me

Harper, we are still in awe of the joy you have brought us and cannot wait to see what the future holds!


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