Sleep Routine at 4 days old!?

Yup! You heard it right! Mama and daddy were not having this no-sleep sporadic schedule stuff! (and Scarlett definitely wasn’t either!)

Scarlett watching her Hooman

It is no secret that having a baby turns your life upside down-this is probably the one thing that EVERYONE tells you while pregnant… Your body changes, mood swings, your mental and physical health experiences things it had never before, and this whole human depends on you for their every move. You are their life, and your heart now tells you… THEY ARE YOUR LIFE.

While in the hospital, the whole “no sleep” thing hits you like a truck. The nurses check on baby every few hours and then they come in and check on you every other few hours. People come in to do tests, give info, etc. WHAT IS SLEEP?! I promise it will be better at home- as long as you try to make it different.

I have always been a “follow the schedule” and I am a very organized person so we knew that the baby would be on a sleep schedule at some point in his life. I didn’t know it would start on day 4 of my little ones life- but here we are and we are so happy for it!

Now, do not feel guilty and think that this is selfish. Children need their sleep. They need routines and structure. Children need stability and something they can feel in control of. Developmentally, they need sleep. Brain/cognitive development, physical growth, and so much more! This is not selfish. Whether you need this night time to take a breather, watch some TV, read, do your hobby, talk to your significant other, call a friend, etc. YOU NEED THIS. Ernie and I take this time to settle down together, watch a movie, snuggle Scarlett, reflect on the crazy happenings in our life, and we simply just get a moment together. Just like they say “happy wife, happy life” I believe the same is true for mamas (and dads). You can not be a good, happy, healthy mom if you aren’t making good, happy, healthy choices for yourself (your family.)

Please do your research and learn about safe independent sleep training/learning. Read up on it and read it again! It’s a lot of information at first (I highly recommend researching while you’re pregnant) and you’ll decide what methods, schedules, tactics, etc. fit best for your family before actually implementing it and doing it.

I’m not going to talk about HOW to get started or advise you of anything because I am NOT qualified or experienced enough for that… BUT… I will tell you what works for Elijah as a newborn and what we’ve been doing for almost 2 weeks.

First, we decided what was most important to us through all of this. A schedule, he sleeps as long as he needs, he must be full, and there is no such thing as spoiling newborns.

We let his brain do what it needs to do just like with eating, so we don’t cap him to 1 hour naps… however we do cap him at 3 hour day naps because then he simply doesn’t have enough wake time to sleep longer at night.

I picked 8AM wake and 8PM sleep… HOWEVER, bedtime starts at 7PM.

8AM he wakes to food, changes for the day, stays awake and we play.

Following his natural wake times, (we had to observe his sleep cues etc. the first few days & these will change as he grows) we put him in his bed before he becomes tired and cranky- this way he falls asleep on his own and he isn’t dependent on eating, being rocked, etc. So since he is usually awake for an hour and 15 or an hour and a half, he goes to his bed at the one hour mark.

This cycle continues for the rest of the day.

Eli must be awake by 6 PM (only time we’ll wake him from his natural sleep.) He eats and gets nice and full, plays, talks, or just hangs out with us for a little bit.

7PM/730PM is the start to his bed time and before becoming tired we do, Bath, Jammies, Read Books, and then into his bed he goes.
Again, he falls asleep on his own because he is not over tired, he is happy and content.

He wakes 3x at night
11pm, 2am, and 5am. During the night, the lights stay off at all times. We have a night light that gives off just enough light for us to see. When he wakes, we feed him 1/2 of his bottle, change his diaper if needed (BM or very full pee) , feed the other 1/2 of his bottle, ensure his swaddle is cozy & tight, & then put him back in bed to go to sleep.

Our boxing baby who LOVES his hands out in fists! lol- some naps, I let them stay out.

I truly believe him knowing that the swaddle & his bed mean “sleep” has helped TREMENDOUSLY! There is no sleeping in the mamaroo (unless maybe for a day nap and someone came to visit him) and only occasionally do we let him sleep in our arms… he’s a baby and we want all the snuggles but it is so important to us that he knows what his bed means- this is the foundation to a wonderful sleep schedule for ALL of us, forever!

Although our sleep life seems perfect right now, we are expecting regression as he grows. And with time and milestones he will change and we will adjust. It is important to remember that raising children in general, NOT just sleep training, is a winding road.. nothing is a straight shot. We do use a Paci and he does amazing with knowing that he needs it to calm down or he refuses it because it isn’t necessary. He doesn’t get to just walk around with it for no reason (no offense to children that do this- I just refuse.) We will also transition out of the swaddle in the next few weeks- they cannot use them when starting to roll over. Right now, newborns love it because they have been safe and squished for 9 months… it’s all they know.

Mamas, remember… you will NEVER be the best mom. You can be the best employee, best teacher, best cook, etc. But you will not ever be the best mother.

Your children are changing every day and just because you’ve had other children and/or experiences- it doesn’t mean anything… they are all different and each one will throw you off. When you think you’ve mastered a skill or feel excited that potty training is finally working or teething is over- the next thing comes up and you will feel like a failure again.

Mama, celebrate the small wins and embrace them while they’re here! The next thing is coming, it will be tough, but you will be amazing! Just go with it.

You got this mama! -and daddy!! 🤍

Postpartum- Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me This!?

Squeezing this whole human out was a breeze! Lol yeah right… it was a lot of work and tiring but it was 100% worth every stitch, stretch mark, and tear shed.

YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN.

Nope, don’t even try to be. It’s not worth it.

I have to admit, I was pretty shocked and disappointed that no one told me about this part. Every single woman who has given birth that talked to me, asked about breastfeeding, how many children we want, told me how good or bad their children were, and my favorite: your life is going to change forever! – HA! duh…. Anyway- out of everything I heard, nothing was important to me except- I wish someone had mentioned this part. These 4-5 weeks were the worst of my life (physically and emotionally) and I am putting this out there in hopes that any woman will read it and at least be prepared for birth & postpartum to some extent. It can be way easier, and it can be worse… but at least you read it here first!

  • Slow your roll! Listen to the doctor when they say slow down. After 6 hours, they made me get up and attempt standing and peeing. I could stand and I (had to remember how) peed a little bit but I had the epidural done TWICE! So my legs had absolutely no function during birth and afterward. I needed rest. Upon getting home, I was go go go and I really should’ve just sat and not moved!- it’s just not me though and that was a hard mental breakthrough and conversation with myself. I needed to stop and just slow down.
  • Do not sneeze! I REPEAT, do not do it. Don’t laugh, don’t cough, and don’t sneeze. You really use your muscles down there & that’s something you don’t know until YOU KNOW. Lol! The pain was more excruciating than giving birth (because there was no more epidural, lol) and I will probably never do any of these things to my full potential ever again (that’s just what the pain tells me right now, lol!)

In the hospital, they provided mesh underwear, huge thick pads, witch hazel pads, a numbing/non-itch spray, and a water squirt bottle.

You can ask them for as many ice packs as you want, when ever you want… they stop offering because…what is work!? lol… They used baby diapers, cut them open, put ice inside, and then closed them up…. Magic! No mess ice packs.

  • Cleaning the lady bits! I also preferred switching between warm water and cold water in the cleansing bottle. You can’t wipe with toilet paper/wipes for about 2 weeks or so, so rinsing is the way to go. The warm water was a lot more soothing and it actually helps in healing (they tell you you can do warm Sit Baths for this purpose.)
  • Comfy lady items! I brought my own “Women’s depends” that were black and tighter fitting on me… I used them with pad/panty liners (depending on your bleeding and your flow) and it was more functional for me because the pads they gave me are HUGE… lol I didn’t need that much padding and it made me very uncomfortable. I have always been a tampon gal and I literally cannot any more with these pads! (crying emoji)

Don’t invest in other products before getting to the hospital, but DO ask the nurses for more products before leaving the hospital. I ended up not using the numbing spray anymore because I felt like it irritated me more than it helped. I also didn’t use the witch hazel pads for very long. My body is healing itself… ibuprofen and warm water is all I need. The only thing I did buy were some cheap regular underwear from Walmart so that I could comfortably wear the pads.

  • Tighten it up! Everyone will throw “girdle” or “faja” at you! Okay, first, yes you’ll want to use them but IT HURTS. Be nice to your body. I started using the pregnancy belly band and used it backwards for support and to get used to the “squeeze” feeling. I transitioned to a regular tight girdle after about a week. I also used my tighter high waisted leggings and that helped. However, be careful and simply portion control. While pregnant, I’d have a few bites and be too stuffed- all of a sudden there was space in my belly and I was able to eat TOO much and I was like, woah… I need to stop! Haha
  • My pee system! Everyone tells you to practice keegles throughout your pregnancy but no one informs you what life is like after birth. You basically have to learn to pee all over again. There is so much pain and you get concerned about the stitches that you just don’t want to ‘push’ and squeeze too hard. I literally had a mental block and would have to tell myself to let it out and relax. So do as many exercises as you want while pregnant- that baby coming out is still going to mess you up. I believe the keegles are more important AFTER birth, lol! You can also ask your doctor for pelvic floor therapy. They’ll refer you to someone. This is important for many reasons but mine is for the fact that I have no postpartum birth control and if I get pregnant, I want to be strong enough to hold another baby.
  • Clean up on isle wtf! I am blessed that I didn’t bleed afterward as much as I have heard from others. My poor husband was walking down the hall in the hospital and happened to see a lady PP with blood everywhere/in the bathroom. It can happen and it’s okay. For home, I made sure to have paper towels and baby wipes on hand in every bathroom. After a shower, use a paper towel, not your regular towel, while you get your pad and underwear on. I also use these and wipes to clean up after I use the restroom. I can’t wipe as normal (like I stated previously) but you can dry up and clean what you can.
  • USE A MIRROR! Check it out, mama! See what you’re up against!! How amazing is everything that your body just did but also, don’t you want to know what’s happening? I had awful tearing and PP has been a B!*#%. I didn’t know what was what down there and why certain spots hurt SO badly. Standing up is so hard to do and walking has been a challenge.
  • We meet again… I did not breastfeed Eli so my favorite visitor of every month came slamming through the door like the police! Just when I thought that my birth bleeding was over and I could take a rest from blood and messes, BAM, hello period. This period came about 5 weeks postpartum and was the heaviest and nastiest one of my life. Bleeding through so quickly, messes on my postpartum undies, what am I? 11 years old again!? It was a hot mess and sort of scary at first.

Show yourself and your body love. Say you can’t do it and ask others for help… Drink water and take your prenatals… When you think your head is going to explode, breathe… Clean/tidy up as you go or it will pile up and make it 10x harder to be motivated to do anything at all… Mama, you got this. This has been the hardest time (of my life) from day one of pregnancy but lean on your loved ones, and do not worry about the people who don’t make an effort to support you and all these big changes.

Love your new body, mama. These 2 are my world.

I am SO grateful for family and friends who have visited us, sent a Venmo treat, brought us food, and just genuinely care about our new experience and want to be involved. THIS has been the most eye opening time of our lives because we truly value our future relationships and the people involved with Elijah (and Scarlett.) I am learning to be a mom, love my body, take care of my body, and whole heartedly giving Elijah my everything. To my husband, you are my rock and I am blessed, I love you!

Get prepared, mama! Everyones story is different. You got this!

Learn to Love Other People’s Love

This is something that has been heavy on my mind lately. I saw a post that said, “have a child and you’ll see who your real ‘people’ are.” Which, I agree with… but I also don’t think that people have to go through such drastic measures to decide if people are good for them or not… just saying…

Continue reading “Learn to Love Other People’s Love”

I strongly dislike being pregnant.

Eeeeekkk! Why would you say that?

Well… because I don’t.

The last 6 months have been an absolute blessing. We found out we were pregnant in February and Elijah would be here in October.

I am now about 8 weeks away and I am READY.

No one tells you about the TRUE adventure of pregnancy. And they should- so start talking ladies!

If you don’t like “personal” things… stop reading now. Haha! Because here is the real content you love…

My back hurts, my feet ache, I’m hungry, I’m nauseous, I can’t breathe, I can’t freaking bend over, each boob is the size of the child inside me & things are looking crazy on this body! Lastly, I’m pretty sure there is a fish inside me.

Pregnant sciatica is a thing. It happens and there’s nothing you can do about it. I see a chiropractor and get massages- no help. Okay, probably a little bit… but there just isn’t much to it. I’ve heard it goes away after pregnancy so please pray for me! Ice, 10 minutes a day and some yoga in the AM, PM, or both!

Your feet swell. Order new shoes before it happens- because it will happen. I elevate them and soak them in hot water but sausage is the new style.

I am very hungry all the time and I can’t eat as much as I used to- hello, there’s no room. I have also been very cautious because I don’t want to gain a bunch of unnecessary weight. However, I get too hungry and then it becomes nausea, so there is a fine middle and it takes some adjusting time to figure it out.

Take the stairs. I literally can’t breathe sometimes and things like singing a few songs at the top of my lungs, hurts… but do it- safely. I have also refused to take the elevator, it’s the little things I suppose.

I used to think pregnant women exaggerated when bending over and I A M S O S O R R Y! Like, I’m squishing his head if I bend that way… so full sumo squat it is. And watch the knees because mama cannot pop lock and drop it anymore so good luck on the way up.

Boobs… I swear they get bigger every day but they have also changed in color & nipple size- WILD! There is also leakage… colostrum decides to ruin your jammies when ever it wants and there is nothing you can do about it.

I have been lucky thus far to not get too many stretch marks and my skin is very good at healing them after anyway- we’ll see what’s in store over the next few weeks… but my armpits are SO dark and it’s so strange. I’ve never had hair on my stomach and it’s probably looking like Elijahs head of hair at this point! And my vag is clearly getting ready for a 10 cm departure because it is just getting strange down there. Oh! And don’t let me forget the other leakage… it just happens, especially as I’m getting closer to my due date. A little scary at first because you wonder whether it’s your water slowly leaking etc. but, it is normal.

What does he feel like?? A fish.

I’ll get a foot, a hip, an elbow, and probably a head butt… it is painful when he barely fits in there! It’s stretching my skin every time he does it. I imagine the feeling when a fish is inside a small bag and your on your way home to put it in a tank… yeah.. lol! However, this means he’s okay.

This ALL means that he is okay in there, and that is the greatest blessing and biggest thing we can ask for. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be fun. And it is okay to feel any feelings that you’re feeling. YOU ARE NOT BEING JUDGED. Pregnancy is hard. When I truly began feeling this way, a little part of me felt guilty. I thought, ‘there are people who never get to feel this and I’m over here complaining…’ but my feelings are valid too. They are 2 completely separate things and I don’t have any less of a right to feel strongly about how I feel.

Do Ernie and I want more kids after this? Yes. Will it happen? I have no clue. If it does, will I enjoy it? Probably not, but at least I’ll know what to expect. We pray that Elijah arrives healthy & in one beautiful piece. I also pray that when it comes time for a second, everything works out as intended.

Lastly, I wish ALL the mamas out there healthy pregnancies, deliveries, and mental stability. I wish all the women who don’t experience this process and want to, positivity and miracles in other capacities. And to all the women who don’t choose to go through this process, I hear you, and respect you.

I support you all and I appreciate the support I have. ❤️

Are you having twins?

The ONE question that every pregnant person loves to hear! NOT!

Okay, let’s get real everyone. It is not something we want to hear, ever. It is no different than asking someone if they are pregnant just because they look pregnant-yeah oops.

I was 10 weeks and felt HUGE

My story: One of my first symptoms, besides Scarlett being very attached and needy, was being bloated. My entire life, I was able to push my belly out as far as I could and I’d look 6 months pregnant- it was a cool fun skill I had 😉 BUT my stomach naturally did this as soon as I became pregnant. How cute, she’s pregnant- OH MY GOSH, BUT SHE LOOKS TOO PREGNANT!

Listen, us mamas don’t get to control what our body is doing (I wish we did.) It is going through changes that we didn’t ever even imagine. And when I say that our body does what it wants when it wants, I mean it.

Your comment of “you’ve got to be more far along” or “is it twins?” or “is there more than one in there?” may seem like a small and even endearing comment, but it is not necessary.

No Betty, I am pretty sure I was ovulating on the days I was supposed to be, and I am pretty sure we did the deed on the day I remember. Thank you for your unsolicited comments but Betty, you can sit this one out.

My mental health takes precendents and is just as important as my physical health. The comments and rude conversations about what I do and do not eat only contribute to more pain and more mental drainage. The hormones, the anxiety, depression, and all around energy it takes to make this baby, is all so draining.

Before becoming pregnant I thought, it would be fun, my belly just grows, and the 9-10 months go by in a jiffy! Wrong! It has been fun because I am growing Elijah inside me and my husband and family are all thrilled for October to come. But let’s say, it has not been fun because every waking and sleeping minute, I am thinking: should he be moving, did I just hop a little too hoppy, ouch- that hurt my side- is that normal? is his brain developing normal? did all his fingers grow? Will he be okay!?!?!? Will I be okay!? My belly is growing, which means he is growing… but so are my boobs, so are the obnoxious pimples on my back (what is this crap), my butt and hips are growing, my hair is growing and looks awful, and my muscles- they just are not growing- lo! Also, these months are taking forever (even though I also think they are going by so fast) and I cannot wait to hold this little guy in my arms. However, this end result is very hard to always picture when you have all of the previous worries in your head too. -see, draining isn’t it? Also, telling a pregnant person, “don’t think like that, you just have to think positive,” is also very very bad advice and does not help.

I was getting this response a lot and one day I told someone what was going through my head before a doctors appointment and this mama responded with, “get used to it. it never goes away.” and this blunt and simple advice made me feel better and will stick with me forever. She didn’t just leave it at that, she did say that she always worried about that through all 4 pregnancies and just because they are outside of you, doesn’t mean it stops. She said, it actually gets worse because you can’t be with them 24/7 to make sure they are okay. And this was the most relieved I had felt in months. I didn’t feel alone or crazy, or like the negative nilly I was being made out to be.

9 weeks and my bump looked the same at 19 weeks!

It is crazy to me that the women who have been pregnant, are the very first ones to comment or are a big factor to these issues. Betty, we do not all have the same story/process and you may never know what mine is like just because you had 7 kids. Each child is different, even if the woman is the same! We are in different places of our lives, our bodies can handle different things, and our minds are in different spaces. It is not fair to make a mama feel bad when you could’ve easily helped them feel better about themselves.

So how? I’d say you can start with just asking about the baby moving or our registries, or what we’re most excited for. A good conversation topic is our husband feeling/hearing the baby or how the other kids have reacted to the new baby. Ask if mama has been feeling okay, and when she tells you that she hasn’t, just go with it! Let’s make a more conscientious decision to leave rude pregnant-shaming comments at the door.