Nighttime Routine

Disclaimer: this post will be extremely boring if you're not a mom. Hell, it's probably boring for most moms too. But I love reading about other people's routine, so I thought I'd share our typical bedtime routine.

I've always been really terrible about keeping a routine with the kids. With anything really. Our days are always sporadic and there's really no schedule, but I try to keep things somewhat consistent when it comes to bedtime. I used to think that a "bedtime routine" meant every single night a bath, 3 books, 2 songs, rocking for exactly 7 minutes, a forehead kiss, and a chicken dance. Then I realized all Miller really needs is a dark room and he knows its time to sleep. Ha! 

I don't give him a bath every day because he's always had a bit of eczema and the bath water tends to irritate it, so on most nights I just change him into pajamas (in his room) and rock him for as long as he will lay still, then lay him down. Voilà! I can post about what I did to sleep train, but I'm definitely not an expert because Navy still throws a tantrum just about every night before bed...... I would recommend the Baby Wise book (you can find it on Amazon) to start!

On nights that he gets messy eating dinner or if we have time to kill before bedtime or if its just been a while since he's had a bath, this is the scene:

I don't have a baby soap I swear by, but this brand is natural, smells good and doesn't irritate his eczema. Love their huge jug of bubble bath too! Let me know your favorite natural baby soaps in the comments!

These 4moms spout covers are really great for when your baby is little. It has a temperature gauge and will light up green when you're in a safe range, but beeps and blinks red when it gets too hot!

After bath, we go to his room and I will diffuse a some oils in his diffuser. Usually just lavender and citrus oils (orange, lemon, grapefruit). If he has a cold or is stuffy I will do lavender with a drop or two of peppermint, cypress, tea tree, or eucalyptus. I don't usually do any topical oils, but if I do its just a drop or two of lavender diluted in his lotion. I don't have a favorite oil brand, I usually just grab some from Whole Foods. If any of you have a Young Living discount, let a mama know.

I love these SpaRoom diffusers. They're only like $25 on Amazon. Score!

I love these SpaRoom diffusers. They're only like $25 on Amazon. Score!

This CeraVe ointment is the only thing I tried that helped with Miller's dry, flaky skin!

Since I don't have an Instagram husband, I don't have any cute little action shots of me rubbing lotion on my baby. I just have shots of him trying to escape getting dressed because let's be real, bedtime is rarely anything more than chasing a little greased monkey around trying to wrangle them into pajamas that are probably a size too small. 

HA HA! When you're so tired you can't even hold your big ole head up any longer.

Post-Partum Necessities

After posting my baby must-haves for the first 6 months, I had a few people say that they would appreciate a postpartum must-haves list! Hopefully you've already read up on the first couple weeks after baby, otherwise this list may shock you. For anyone who is not currently expecting, this will most likely be TMI. I am actually a little surprised by the number of women (pregnant or not) who have little to no knowledge of female anatomy and the reproductive system. Prepare to be enlightened! 

For starters, (especially for first time moms) you will need lots and lots of sanitary pads. For the first few days to a week, I found it helpful to wear mesh underwear + a heavy pad. Not the most environmentally friendly approach, but I did not want extra laundry or to ruin any more underwear. Plus it adds a extra layer of protection. I used this combo:

Like, soooo cute, right? LOL.

If you are delivering in the hospital, they will supply you with some of this stuff and other things like peri bottles (heaven sent). If you're having a home birth, your midwife should supply you with a list of basic necessities which is the basic guideline I'm following. I also need to mention that I have been very fortunate thus far to have had very easy recoveries, so my true must-have list may be shorter than everything I'm listing. For example, I had zero tears with either baby, so I didn't require the same perineum care that others may need. However, even without tears, there will always be soreness and the next items help with that! 

You guys, that spray? Hands down best postpartum purchase! After using the restroom, you spray it on your poor sore swollen lady bits and its seriously so soothing. They even went as far as to invert the sprayer so that it can be easily used upside down! 

Some of the next items are slightly less "necessary", but I think thats objective because I needed them! I included some top picks for nursing wear. I lived in these leggings! 

Okay, you don't specifically need a Kate Spade tumbler.. BUT if you have a super cute cup, you're more like to drink more water, right? Thats my logic at least. 

If you still have prenatal vitamins leftover make sure that you continue taking them. If you are out, you can purchase some more tailored to postpartum needs like these. I feel certain that I am forgetting things, but I am going to go ahead and post this and I will add more if I remember! 

In addition to these items, you will also want a few things that I mentioned in the 0-6 month necessities. Including a breast pump and nipple pads. You can find that post here:

Must Haves: 0-6 months

I sometimes get asked my recommendations or opinion on baby items, so as Miller passes his half birthday, I thought it was the perfect time to compile my list of must haves for the first 6 months! I will also break my list into two parts for the true must haves and then things that just really make life a little easier! Leave a comment if any of these are on your must-have list too! (I am not listing the obvious necessities likes crib and/or bassinet, carseat, stroller... let me know if you'd like a separate post about my favorite brands for those items!)

1. Swaddles (my personal favorite is the Ollie World swaddle, but its a little pricey and these are great too!) Swaddling is a really easy way to help your baby sleep in the first few weeks/months. It really does make a huge difference! This is another great option- my babies just preferred a super tight swaddle. 

2. Pacifiers: I loved wubbanubs when Miller was small because they didn't tumble straight to the floor every time it fell from his mouth. They're also great in the car because the animal part just sits on their tummy so that the pacy is right by their mouth. I love the natursutten pacifiers because they are all natural rubber, but Miller never took to them. 

3. Ring Sling: I swear by Sakura Bloom slings. I love the variety of color and fabric choices and they also have amazing customer service! 

4. Swing/Bouncer: Miller wasn't ever super content in a swing, but its important to have a safe place to put them down in order to at least shower, cook, eat, etc. Depending on your price range, the 4moms mamaroo and rockaroo are great choices (Miller preferred the rockaroo!), but to be honest most babies are just as happy or even more so with a simple swing like this one. (this is a great item to look for at garage sales!!)

5. Sound Machine: This is what I use for Miller. I also have this one in Navy's room and for traveling. I used this a lot in the car, too.

6. Breast-pump: Even if you're planning to breastfeed exclusively, you will really need at least a hand pump to ease engorgement in the early days (trust me). This electric pump is amazing (and quiet!)

7. Nursing necessities: nipples pads-I used these this time around and loved them! nursing bra- to be honest I never found any I absolutely loved but these are nice for sleeping and I have heard great things about this brand. Nursing tanks/shirts/dresses- here are a few options: asos has a lot of super cute maternity and nursing clothes! I have this dress and it is so flattering! This is a great tank. 

 

Extras:

1. Dockatot: This little positioning pillow has blown up on social media recently and for good reason! I specifically loved it as a safe place for Miller to sleep in our bed. I kept it in between me and Justin in our bed and I was able to keep him right next to me where I could neurotically check his breathing any time I wanted without having to get up and look in the bassinet or having the fear of Justin rolling over on him or a blanket getting pulled up over him in the night. It also aided in transitioning him to his crib since he was already used to sleeping in it (their website says they aren't for use in cribs, but I think thats just for liability reasons)

2.  Bassinet: We had this super cute moses basket (I loved that the basket itself was portable) We also have a rock n play which was great for extra fussy nights when he wanted the rocking motion all. night. long. Thanks technology! 

3. Carry cot: I actually didn't end up getting one :'( but I always wished I had! This is one of my favorites.

4. Knotted gowns: These are super convenient to keep baby in at home during the first few weeks of endless diaper changes! 

 

It is very possible that I am forgetting things, but I will edit this post as I remember! I went ahead and included several nursing related items, but let me know if you'd like a more in-depth post that includes postpartum must haves! 

 

 

Miller's Birth Story

I've been meaning to write up Miller's birth story for his baby book, but haven't gotten around to it and since I know some people love reading birth stories (at least I do) I figured I would just write it here! 

When I was pregnant with Navy, I knew I wanted a natural birth, but I wasn't quite comfortable with a home birth and there weren't any midwives allowed in our nearby hospitals (or covered on my insurance! 🙄). This time around I KNEW I wanted a home birth and lucky for me, Washington is very homebirth friendly!

Anyway.. on to the good part 😂

I went to bed April 14th being 2 days overdue and pretty bummed about it. I remember Justin coming to bed around midnight and cuddling me (which never happens) and I immediately had a strong contraction (oxytocin, people!!). I had one or two more before we both fell asleep. I woke up again around 4am with more strong contractions. I only had a few before I could no longer lay down during them. I sat up in bed through a few and then woke Justin around 6 to tell him this was the real deal. We were so excited! The contractions were 3-5 minutes apart from the very beginning which made me a little nervous so we went ahead and called my midwife and doula and had them head over while I put on a comfy nightgown and some makeup (LOL). My grandma was staying with us so she cooked breakfast while I worked through contractions. My midwives arrived around 8 or 9am and we all hung out around the kitchen island for a while and had breakfast while the birth tub was setup. During contractions I would just stop mid sentence, lean on whatever was nearby, and just empty my mind to nothing but my breathing. With Navy I studied hypnobabies and I used a lot of the same techniques this time around. 

At one point my midwife mentioned how she could feel the energy shift with every contraction. It was like time stopped for 30-60 seconds and then we just picked our conversation right back up. It also happened to be my birthday that day, so my phone was abnormally active ("happy birthday! Any baby?"). At some point I went upstairs to checkout the tub. I wanted to wait as long as I could before I got in so that I could really appreciate the comfort. I labored on my yoga ball for a bit and decided I wanted them to check my cervix. When she did, I was only 4cm, but there was some scar tissue that she massaged during the next contraction and I instantly opened to a 6.

I have no sense of time at this point so I can't tell you where we are in the timeline now. My guess would be around noon. Now is when I got into the tub and I stayed there for the rest of my labor. Up to this point my water was still intact and I hadn't noticed much a change in intensity of contractions. At some point an edible arrangement was delivered from my brother and SIL and it may have been the best thing I'd ever tasted 😂 

For a while, I leaned over the edge of the tub and surfed Instagram between contractions. Oh! I forgot to mention that navy swam around in the tub with her bath toys for a while haha! Once things started to intensify, I sent navy to watch cartoons and made Justin get in the tub with me. After a while I started to feel a lot of pain and pressure in my back (the WORST 😩). In my mind I felt as though I was yelling during contractions, but later everyone told me I was still really quiet! I started to feel shaky and nauseous between contractions so I knew I was in transition! Surprisingly, I still had 3 minutes between contractions at this point (usually they begin coming on top of each other during transition). I started to doze off between contractions, but it was very intense during them! I started changing positions with every contraction and I think that was because he had to corkscrew his way out (considering the amount of back labor I was having, I was surprised when he came out perfectly anterior). Right around the peak of intensity was when I first felt the urge to push. With Navy, pushing was such a relief (and quick!), but this time it was a LOT of pressure, crying, and moaning. 

The rest is something I haven't really shared with many people. 

When Miller came out he had the cord wrapped around his neck a few times and it was pretty tight. With only his head emerged, my midwife (student midwife actually) tried to unwrap the cord, but it was too tight. Once I pushed out the rest of his body, they were able to spin him around (under water) and get it all unwrapped. But when we pulled him up out of the water he was purple and limp and wasn't taking a breath. We all started to rub him and talk to him to kind of give him a little jolt. Meanwhile they went ahead and cut the cord (which I now realize was so that they could take him to resuscitate). It was probably only 10 seconds but it felt like an eternity before he finally let out a cry! They put him on my chest and voilà, we were all in love. 

Once we all got cleaned up, we got into bed, popped some champange and toasted to our birthdays and a perfect baby boy!💙