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!
Hello, I’m Hannah! I married my high school sweetheart, though we met at church and he was from the country and I was from the city. God perfectly placed him in my life. We were married at 20, I had our first baby at 21, and now we are expecting our second baby in the Fall 2015. 3 things I like: sports, chai lattes, and fashion. 3 things I dislike: shopping, onions, and swimming pools.
How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
I have one little girl who is almost two, Annaliese. And then we are expecting our second child in late September 2015.
How do you find your “me time”?
I sneak it in while my little girl takes her nap during the day, since it is a 2 hour nap I am able to take care of me. Or if I am in the need for some “girl time” with my friends and I will plan a coffee date, shopping trip, or movie night for when my husband gets home from work. That way when my coffee date turns into a 4 hour coffee date, it doesn’t upset the schedule of my family.
What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
The What to Expect When You Are Expecting series, they have books for pregnancy and the first few years of your children’s life. I found them informative and useful.
What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?
I love our white noise machine, we found it at Shoppers Drug Mart around Christmas time (Annaliese was 2 months old at that point). It is small and compact and ran on batteries so I was able to throw it into the diaper bag if we were going to visit family. Since both my husband and my own families do not know how to control their volume while in the presence of a napping baby, it was super helpful to create a familiar setting for our little girl to nap in.
If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
Keep it simple and remember to pray when you’re overwhelmed. I remember the first week of having our new baby I would cry and cry when it was night time because I had this overwhelming fear of SIDS – even though we kept her bassinet clear, we didn’t smoke and we didn’t have any high risk factors that related to SIDS. Thankfully my husband understood my high emotions and we would pray to God for protection for our baby girl and for trust in Him.
How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?
I am a planner. And while I was pregnant I had a reception job that was very relaxed so I would go through the millions of articles on Pinterest and on parenting website. I educated myself pretty well with newborn information and I think it paid off very well.
What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
- Talk to your spouse about everything child related before you conceive and especially before you give birth. You both need to be on the same page about how you are going to raise your baby/child. Are you going to use sleep training? Are you going to use the cry method? Will you discipline your child with spanking when they grow older? Do they know that a woman does not do everything child related, that helping husbands make for happy wives?
- When thinking about your life as a mother/soon-to-be mother, don’t let the confinements of your ideal, perfect life ruin what you are going to have. Let God’s plan for you be the only plan. Let your plan go. It’s okay to dream of a life and plan, but don’t get stuck on it. Don’t feel ruined when you only wanted to have two children, but you suddenly got pregnant with a third. It seems silly to say but I have met a lot of women who would feel lost and destroyed if their plan didn’t become a reality. Motherhood is wonderful, let it take you places that you would have never gone before.
- If there is one thing that will make you feel normal after having a baby it is taking a shower. Do it once a day and you will be able to make it through that day. Makeup is optional. But showering is a necessity when your breasts are milk machines, your body is still an oven (even though there’s no bun in it), and you probably have spit up or poop somewhere on you. Just lay your baby down in a safe place like their crib or on the floor with some toys, and take a quick shower. You’ll be happy you did.
What is your best memory so far of being a mom?
Every year we go to a Christian Retreat in Central Alberta for a week. And this one particular year I went alone for the week with my husbands family while my husband worked for the week and would come down for the weekend. Annaliese was 7 months old. Each night we bathed her, it was part of her night time routine, but when we were at this retreat they only had showers in the rooms. I remember this one night we were both ready to get into the shower and I turned on the shower. The noise of the water coming out of the shower head must have startled her and she released her full bladder’s content on me (aka she peed on me). I was shock but had to laugh it off, what else could I do? I was alone, naked and freshly peed on with an equally naked baby on my hip. That’s life!
Give us the short form version of your birth story.
My birth story started when I got up at 11:30pm to go to the bathroom, I was one day overdue at that point. When I rolled out of our bed and stood up, my water broke on the floor. I stood there in disbelief thinking “Did I pee myself? There’s no way I peed myself, I have excellent bladder control!”. But when I realized what had happened I woke up my husband immediately. We cleaned up the mess and grabbed our hospital bag (which was already pre-packed). The Royal Alexander Hospital was literally across the street from our apartment building, so a quick skip and a hop and we were at the hospital. I was not having intense contractions at this point.
After we were registered, at midnight my cervix was checked and I was 4cm dilated so I had to stay in the hospital. Then the fun part started. My cervix was dilating very slowly, a centimetre every 3 or 4 hours. And by the time it was noon (I think), I was having intense contractions. Our birth plan was to have no drugs or epidural or c-section. We were going to do this birth natural. And I only wanted my husband in the room.
I hate needles so when I had to get an IV inserted into my arm, that may have been the most horrific part that I can remember. I remember not wanting my husband to touch me as I road out the contractions one after the other. And I would sometimes look over at him in between contractions and he would be on my iPhone playing Candy Crush, and then I would feel mad at him. But it was that was my own choice.
After a long time of slowly dilating and contracting, I was offered a shot of morphine. And I happily accepted. And once that wore off I was offered another drug, similar to morphine and again I happily accepted. One was added to my IV and the other was a shot in the butt. But I can’t remember which one was which.
At around 10pm they had the anesthesiologist come and talk to me because they were going to need to give me an epidural or prepare me for a c-section if I did not dilate quicker because our baby was becoming stressed in my womb. Just before the anesthesiologist came in, I was given one of the drugs from above and I was unable to keep my eyes open because it helped me relax in between the contractions. But I assured him I was awake and listening, just closing my eyes.
Then everything happened so quickly. After he left, a nurse came and checked my cervix I was at 9cm. Then it seemed pretty quick again because my doctor came and checked my cervix and I was at 10cm, and ready to push! I watched as the nurses set up the equipment and tools for the doctor to deliver. I was so used to riding out my contractions that when the doctor was ready and in position, she had to remind me that it was time to push because I was in a different mind set. It took 15 minutes of pushing for my baby girl to be born. It hurts, ladies. But it was the best part of the whole labour. Because it meant it was over. Annaliese was born at 11:34pm. It was a great surprise too because we had not found out the gender of our baby and I was so certain the baby would be a boy but when the doctor announced it was a girl it was the best surprise ever!
Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!
Motherhood is about changing your selfish ways into selfless ways. It will bring out the best and the worst of you but you will never feel a love and joy more powerful than being a mother to your children.
To hear more from Hannah be sure to visit her blog Honey & Betts and follow her on Instagram @honeyandbetts