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!!
♥ What’s your Name?
♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a photographer, designer, illustrator and food blogger living and working in Chicago.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
Parker, age 2
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
One of my favorite rituals is on Friday afternoons when leaving work, I stop by this fancy wine and cheese shop on my way to the train. I pick the wine first; whatever looks appealing and then have them suggest a fancy cheese to go with. Once bed time rolls around, about 7:00 pm, I go hide from everyone with wine and cheese platter. I use that time to work on my website, watch tv or work on a craft project.
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
I didn’t ready any baby books, but I was constantly reading blogs while pregnant. Everything from mommy blogs with personal experiences to more scientific articles about development to birthing coach and doula blogs. It was very calming to arm myself with all the information and perspectives I could, it made me feel very prepared. As far as best blog? I love http://dashandbella.
blogspot.com. It’s part food blog, part mom-blog, written by Phyllis Grant. She offers really beautiful and emotional glimpses into her experience of motherhood and I have teared up more than once reading her blog. She is currently writing a book and I am very much looking forward to that.
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?
I love baby wearing! It makes things SO much easier, from walking around the house to shopping in the store, grocery shopping specifically. I had an infant one that lasted until my son was a year, and then I bought a stronger, bigger one that served until he was almost two. They do take some getting used to, as far as learning, tie them comfortably. The first couple time I left the house with one, I would watch a youtube video (they make tutorials on all the styles) in the parking lot to jog my memory.
♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
Take it easy! my birth was a c-section, and I felt good when I got home so I was up and moving and going with no issues on the first day. I started to relax on the pain killers that I was prescribed too. Day two, I felt like I had been hit by a bus! I hadn’t been overlapping my pain killers, so that pain set back in and my whole body was just exhausted. I ended up taking most of the next couple days to rest, either in bed or the couch and just hold my baby.
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?
I read everything I could, all the blogs and was constantly googling my questions. My doctor assigned a nurse to me who I saw regularly to answer questions and walk me through each stage. I took the birthing classes, which in hindsight were costly (my insurance did not cover them) and ate up a whole weekend, without teaching me anything I didn’t already know. However, it was nice to bring my partner, because then he got the information and perspective on how to assist me, what to do and look for and how to prepare. So, not a total loss. I did feel very well prepared.
♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
1. “You’re going to crash, and that is ok, just be ready for it.” My mom told me this a few days before my delivery. What she meant was between the emotions and hormones, you’re going to crash emotionally. You’ll come down off this new baby high at a certain point and it’s like the wind just get’s sucked out of your sails. It could be your new found sense of responsibility, body issues, breastfeeding, — I mean there are a million variables. Just be prepared and know it’s normal and it’s totally ok. Give yourself some time and breathing room, and TALK TO SOMEONE. For me, it came on day two after we came home. I was on the couch with my sleeping son on my chest, breathing him in. All of a sudden, a thought came to me. “He is never going to be this small again. He’s growing every day. He is changing every day. Absorb all of this, lock this into your memory, you won’t get this back.” It was crushing to me! I handed the baby off to me mom (my parents were staying with us) and stood in the hot shower and cried. I think I took three cry-showers that day! That night, I laid in bed and told my partner everything, and cried it out some more. That was my “crash”. The next day, I felt much better and more stable emotionally. I told my mom about this and she again assured me that it was normal, your hormones are all over the place! But, if that kind of sadness continues, then it’s time to seek help from your doctor because that can easily become a much more serious problem.
2. “They grow up so fast” EVERYONE will tell you this, all the time. And it is completely true. This is where my first point ties in because I head this from everyone throughout my pregnancy. And you won’t know how true this is until you watch it happen. So the advice here it, enjoy each stage, even the tough ones because they won’t last very long. And take lots of pictures.
3. Have a plan, but be prepared to let it go. You can plan all you want, but things happen, life happens. Everyone has very strict, specific visions of themselves and their children, but be prepared to go with the flow and let life change you a little.
♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?
Hearing my son say “momma” for the first time and every time. It still melts my heart.
♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
My plan was to have a natural birth. That did not pan out. I was HUGE when I was pregnant, and I am a small person. I was a whole week past my due date and my doctor sent me for an ultrasound. It was determined that my child was estimated at 9-13 pounds and that could be dangerous to deliver. I had gestational diabetes, so I was high risk. My doctor suggested I do a c-section. I was not thrilled, but after discussing it (his concern was that I would labor and labor and it would stress the baby and turn into an emergency c-section situation) I agreed and scheduled it. Not at all what I had planned, I was terrified.
While I was extremely nervous, my doctor, the nurses and the anesthesiologist that worked with me were all wonderful. They talked me through the entire process. A cold operating room was made worse with the epidural and made my whole body turn icy and shiver; the nurse wrapped me in heated blankets to make me comfortable. I had horrible waves of nausea during the procedure, mostly from anxiety, that the anesthesiologist talked me through. Once my baby was out, they showed him to me and I immediately burst into tears. They wrapped him and handed him off to his father, who was there with me to hold while they finished my procedure.
I had a lot of concerns not having a natural birth but it turned into a good experience and was the right decision. I was 2 weeks overdue with no signs of dilation, dropping or labor. When the doctor delivered my son, he found that his umbilical cord was wrapped around his leg and he was unable to move into position. He was, however, not 9-13 pounds, he was a more reasonable 8 3/4 pounds. So again, no matter how much you prepare (Think about that final ultrasound! They got his weight wrong and couldn’t see his umbilical cord!) you’re going to get some curveballs.
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!
The most wonderful, hardest thing you will ever experience!!
To hear more from Kelly be sure to visit her blog City Supper Club and follow her on Facebook.
If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too!