This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
Today’s answers come from a dear friend! I met her when i worked in Georgetown, ON and we clicked right away. Maybe because we’re both Latinas or maybe because she’s so outgoing and friendly. No matter the reason we have stayed in touch since I left and I have watched her share her story on Facebook and on her blog on her journey to being an amazing mom! Her little Zoey is so cute and I can’t wait for you to read her answers! Enjoy!
What’s your Name?
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am an outgoing, too confident for my own good, sassy, nerdy and outspoken Latina. By career, I am a digital marketing professional; and by passion, I am the creator and writer of A Style Soiree (a blog for the chic & stylish mama). Of course, though lots of love, I am a wife and mommy.
How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
I have 1 very energetic, sassy and smart little lady who is a year old (14 months in Mommy speak), and her name is Zoey.
How do you find your “me time”?
I achieve me time with the help of my husband. He hangs out with Zoey so that I can get away to take a nice long uninterrupted shower, go get my hair done, or out with my girl friends. Truth be told though, now that I’m back at work full time, I’d rather spend every second I can with Zoey when I’m not at work.
What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
I very recently finished reading “Boobin All Day Boobin All Night” by Meg Nagle , also known as “The Milk Meg”. I highly recommend it to all those interested in the gentle parenting approach, it has the BEST advice. I wrote a review of the book on my blog if you want to check it out 🙂
What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?
I decided to go with The Honest Company line of products for Zoey; and was very grateful for it as I discovered she had VERY sensitive skin soon after her birth. The life saver product they have is their “Healing Balm”. I use it for her diaper changes as a diaper cream; particularly since it’s oil base coats her skin so well that it keeps wetness away. She also suffered from baby ezcema as a newborn so that was a the very best product for spot treatment.
If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
“You’re doing better than you think; and no, you’re not alone”
I was very lucky that my husband was home with me during the first 4 months after Zoey’s birth. He was with me, right beside me, every step of the way; but sometimes I would get emotional and feel so lonely. Not many people talk about this, but it’s important to as I believe it takes away the stigma of postpartum depression or postpartum emotions. I was never alone and I was doing an amazing job! But I doubted myself sometimes because I was overwhelmed with something so big and so new; of course the crazy hormone levels during that time don’t help either. They don’t call it the 4th trimester for nothing!
How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?
I did A LOT of planning. I started pre-natal yoga at 3 months with the plan that I wanted a doula assisted natural birth. I did however have to acquire the help of an OBGYN, which I was VERY happy with, as I had serious complications early in the pregnancy. Throughout my pregnancy, my husband found himself living, breathing and eating, Babies R Us and Snuggle Bugz everything as I wanted to be SO prepared and have everything the baby could ever need. Like every parent, you want to give you baby more than you had, right? It just so happens, I was a spoiled child so I was taking this to a ridiculous next level. God bless his soul and all the patience he was given! He even came along with me to visit a doula and was so supportive with my super early weekend morning pre-natal yoga classes. All that changed when I was schedule for a c-section because of the size of my baby; having her naturally would have been too much of a risk to the both of us. The pre-natal yoga did help a LOT though, as I was able to relax and breathe perfectly through the prep for the c-section, mainly during the spinal block procedure.
What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
1) “Trust you instincts and follow your baby’s lead”
This is advice I found through The Milk Meg’s Facebook page after Zoey was born, and it has worked wonders. As a new mom, I thought I had to watch the clock and be on a schedule all the time, once I disregarded all that and went with what I thought my baby wanted/needed, it resulted in a happier baby and even more sleep for my husband and I. She’s a year now and I still follow this advice with other aspects of parenting.
2) “It’s okay to say no!”
Zoey was born right before Christmas and everyone wanted to see her and wanted us to go to their Christmas dinners. I love my family and I love my friends, but at the time I just wanted to be home with my husband and my baby; therefore it’s okay to say “no”.
3) “Things happen at the right time and place, when you’re ready for it”
It took many months to conceive Zoey, It didn’t happen right away, but we were as patient as we could be. We believe in God, and we left it up to him; “when the time is right it will happen” is what we would say. We didn’t follow any calendars to conceive or any plans, we let it be and we conceived when we least expected it so it was an incredible surprise.
What is your best memory so far of being a mom?
So cliche, but there are too many to pick just one! Zoey is walking now and she does this thing where she randomly walks up to me with her arms up in the arm with the biggest smile on her face so that we embrace and I give her a hug as I pick her up. When I do pick her up, she gives me the tightest hug right back. She may not say “I love you” yet, but I know that’s what she means. I want to engrave that image of her walking up to me in my mind forever.
Give us the short form version of your birth story.
At 36 weeks pregnant, my OBGYN measured me and discovered that I was measuring as if I was 40 weeks along. An ultrasound at 38 weeks revealed my baby was 9 pounds. We then discussed the option of a c-section as I wanted to avoid any risks involved with the size of my baby being born through the birth canal. My strict natural birth plan went out the window as I had to adjust for the safety of myself, and most importantly, my baby. This helped so much because not only were we safer, but this became a preview of how my parenting style plans would change too once Zoey arrived; I went from the idea of a very modern sleep training mom to a bed sharing mama.
We arrived at the hospital very early on December 3rd to my c-section appointment. Fast forward to the operating room, I had to go in there alone while my husband put on his fancy scrubs in another room. The nurse was an angel that was there with me as she was so supportive and kind. This was my very first surgery of any kind so she held me while they put in the spinal block, quickly after this they got me to lie down so it could take effect. Once everyone was in the operating room, OBGYN and husband included, they were set to begin the surgery. I looked up to the ceiling and noticed that the white reflective material of the ceiling allowed me to see the whole surgery as if it was a mirror. I watched the whole thing! I looked away for a few moments as it was weird to think of my abdomen open on the table while I just hung out there. I was looking out for the moment they broke my water; I read that it gushes out and then you can see your baby;s head and shortly after they pull the baby out. That is exactly what happened! My OBGYN and the nurses even sang Happy Birthday to her as they pulled her out. It was so memorable! A nurse had pre-warned me and told me that when she was born, she’d hold my baby on the left so that I could see her before they took her for examinations. My husband did not cut the cord, which he was very nervous about, since we had the blood cord of my baby banked so the doctor had to efficiently do that procedure. They brought Zoey over for me to see her all bundled up and I could not believe it! She was outside of me! My husband was able to take a picture of her and I, and then they were taken back to my hospital room. After this, I had to wait to be put back together, which took longer than I thought,but it was totally fine as my OBGYN turned out to be the greek god of stitches as I have the nicest scar I’ve ever seen. After this, I was taken to recovery and was VERY antsy to see Zoey; as I was mostly concerned about her skin-to-skin contact. The great thing was that the nurses had my husband take his shirt off and cuddle with her skin-to-skin while they waited for me; which was a great way for Zoey to have that first bond with her daddy.
Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!
Motherhood is cuddles, kisses and endless love. It is the ability to love someone more than you could have ever though you could love anyone or anything. It is sacrificing in a way you didn’t think you could ever sacrifice before, you don’t even think twice about it, because you’re no longer number 1, your child is (and that makes you happy). Motherhood is also realizing that you parents were right; their advice, their sacrifices, their love and their long lectures….they were right.
To hear more from Christie be sure to visit her blog A Style Soiree and follow her on Instagram!
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