I am totally guilty, like every other first time mom, of overpacking my hospital bag when I went in to deliver Henry. Some lessons we just need to learn for ourselves the hard way.. ya know? I read the countless blog posts, Pinterest infographics & app articles about what to bring, but for some reason thought I’d have way more time on my hands and be in the right frame of mind in the hospital to do leisurely activities like read a novel and accomplish work on my laptop (I’m LOL’ing at myself!). So, with some seasoned experience, I have just packed my bag for round TWO and am here to share what you actually need when you’re finally ready to meet your baby!
Motherhood is full of “oh no!” and “aha!” moments. You can do as much research as your brain can possibly endure while you’re pregnant, but experience is the best teacher when it comes to your new job title of “mama.” I spent countless hours reading books and blogs trying to prepare for parenthood. Somehow, these fifteen items slipped through the cracks of all my studying:
1. Not much will go as planned
I am a planner to the max. I had TONS of plans for our little family. And you know what? Sometimes, plans don’t work out and that’s okay! Did I plan to have a reflux babe? Nope. Am I makin’ it work? ‘Sho nuff am!
2. Bonding can take time
For some of us, that instant “this baby completes me” feeling takes time. I didn’t expect that but I’m glad to know it’s not abnormal. Now, I’m obsessed with that little squish of mine!
3. You might become addicted to buying baby clothes
Sorry, hubs! But really, I’m not.
4. Mom guilt is real
Ohh this is just TOO TRUE and that struggle is SO real. Guilt over every decision. I’ve learned to just LET IT GO & breathe.
5. Leaving baby with anyone will be harder than you think
Cabin fever is legit as a new mama. You pretty much can’t leave the confines of your house or the pediatrician’s office for weeks on end (feels like forever, doesn’t it?). But when you finally get the chance to break free and leave the house alone.. you’ll just worry about the baby instead.
6. You’ll learn to trust your instincts
When I was pregnant, I felt like I had to learn EVERYTHING before he came home with us novice amateur parents. In the end, I found that it really just comes to you. Soon enough, you can change a diaper in under a minute, in your lap, in the backseat of the car. Trust yourself, you’ve got this.
7. Your house will be taken over
Say buh-bye to your clean modern living space! Our home has turned into ‘Baby Wonderland.” And of course, you’ll always have WAY more than you need.
8. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out..
WRONG! Once you dare think to yourself “alright, I’ve got this,” something will change and you won’t have it. Keep calm & move on. On Henry’s 3rd month birthday he decided to become intolerant to my breastmilk. We’re workin’ on it, one dairy-free/soy-free meal & GI visit at a time.
9. You’ll NEED your mom tribe
Find your mom tribe & you will be forever grateful. From support to experience, they’ve got your back!
10. Leaving the house will take forever
This used to be because you had to apply your makeup with precision and tame every single flyaway that sprouted from your head. Not anymore! Now it’s because your baby decided to ‘dirty’ his diaper as you were walking out the door or you had to turn around because you forgot the stroller.. or the pacifier.. or your sanity.
11. Your hormones will go so CRAY
I wasn’t prepared for the hormonal shit storm that was about to hit me so hard a week or so after delivery. Wine.. just wine.
12. You’ll appreciate a solo trip to run an errand like never before
Once you get over that guilt of leaving your baby, it will turn into true appreciation for not having to worry about a possible baby meltdown in the middle of Target. Trust.
13. Maternity leave is NOT a vacation
There is no time to read for leisure, perfect your gourmet chef skills or learn a new language. Momming is a full time job those first few months (and really forever)!
14. Everyone will see your boobs
If you’re breastfeeding or pumping, just get used to it. The housekeeper, your in-laws, possibly the pool guy..
15. Your body MAY hold onto an extra few pounds if you’re nursing
When I started to shed all the “baby weight,” I couldn’t figure out why I hit a 5lb. plateau that just wouldn’t go away no matter how much I was exercising and eating healthy. After talking to some other moms and doing my research, I found that it’s pretty normal for our bodies to hold on to a couple of pounds until you’re done nursing.
With all that being said, we are all just doing the best we can for our little babes and THAT’S MORE THAN ENOUGH. Mamahood is amazing, scary, and exciting – embrace every emotion and savor every minute. Most importantly, everything is temporary. The good and the bad.
Henry Jax Ginzler // October 24th, 2016 // 8 lbs. 11 oz & 22 inches long
I’ve gone back and forth many times about sharing our Henry Jax’s birth story (obviously – it’s been six weeks!). It’s something that of course is very personal to me and our families. At the same time, however, I remember reading other women’s birth stories while I was pregnant and feeling more at ease afterwards. Birth is truly a miracle. It’s scary, strenuous, exciting and beautiful all at once. The unknown is always terrifying and thrilling and since each birth is an ‘unknown’ per se, you never know what to expect ultimately.
The Friday before my due date, I had my weekly OB appointment. At that point, I was over being pregnant. I was swollen, tired and just downright uncomfortable. Not to mention I had about two shirts left that fit me and was about to move on to my husband’s closet. During my appointment, my doctor informed me I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced – which was great.. but still could’ve meant that I would be pregnant for another week or so. She asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes and I happily obliged. She said if I didn’t go into labor on my own over the weekend, she could induce me on Sunday night. I really wanted my doctor to deliver Henry (I’ve been seeing her for years), and in a group practice it’s whoever is on call that will deliver your baby. My doctor was on call Sunday night and then not again for another two weeks. Since I was just about 40 weeks at that point and really didn’t want to go too far past my due date, I decided to go with it.
Right after I left, it hit me. I called my husband in (happy) tears that we would finally be meeting our baby boy so soon and it was officially our last weekend as a party of two. We went out with friends that weekend, had our last date night alone for awhile, and tried EVERYTHING (our parents read this so I won’t expand on what ‘everything’ means ha!) to go into labor naturally. Of course, I didn’t go into labor. I overanalyzed every little feeling wondering if it could be a contraction or whatnot (which I’ve learned since then, you’ll KNOW if it’s a contraction). The only progression I had that weekend was losing my mucous plug – which is gross FYI. So, at 8pm on Sunday night, we drove to the hospital to begin my induction.
After getting checked into our labor room, getting settled, and seeing my doctor, she decided to break my water rather than start me on Pitocin to see if I could labor to 10cm on my own. There was meconium in my water, so we already knew right off the bat that Henry would be see by a perinatologist before I could hold him. VERY soon after breaking my water (which isn’t painful at all) the contractions began. I tried walking down the halls to keep progressing, but after two laps I couldn’t do it any longer. At that point, I asked for an epidural because the pain was unbearable for me (I was 5cm dilated). Contractions are zero fun and the epidural was truly a lifesaver. The procedure was easy and painless and I realized I had been worried about that for nothing. Afterwards, I didn’t feel a single other contraction for the rest of my labor.
What seemed like forever later, around 12-13 hours and on Henry’s actual due date, I finally progressed to 10cm all on my own. However, my contractions weren’t strong enough to push Henry’s head far enough into my pelvis to be able to begin pushing and he wasn’t in an ideal position, so my doctor wanted to give me a smidge of Pitocin and try switching up my position in bed to see it that would help get him moving. More time went by and my team decided it was time to try pushing. Let me tell you, pushing ain’t easy! The position for pushing a baby out is like doing a crunch on steroids and super taxing mentally and physically.
Needless to say, Henry wasn’t budging after an hour of pushing. At this point, my OB informed me that his heart rate was dropping with each push, and she couldn’t foresee him coming out anytime soon. We had to make a tough decision. Keep trying with a lot of risks or head into surgery for an emergency c-section. I never planned on or wanted a c-section. I never even read the part of all the baby books that talked about c-sections. It was never ever part of my “birth plan.” But, like everything else in life, you can plan all you want but that doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll get. So, we headed into the OR after 15 hours of labor.
The surgery itself was relatively quick (even though it didn’t feel like it in the moment) and the team working with me was incredible. The anesthesiologist was amazing and always checking to make sure I was feeling ok (since he was up by my head). My husband was able to stay with me the entire time and he watched the entire procedure. Henry was a big baby and literally stuck in my pelvis (I have a small frame!) – that was scary. Hearing what was going on with the doctor, midwife and nurse trying to push him back through my pelvis brought me to tears, again. I was nervous, scared and terrified. I hated not being able to see or control what was happening. After what felt like ages (but was really only minutes), I heard a baby’s cry and knew everything was okay. Henry Jax, our beautiful and healthy baby boy, was finally with us and that’s all that mattered right then. My husband went to be with Henry right away and was able to cut the cord while I was being sewn up. Afterwards, they brought Henry to me to hold and I just couldn’t believe we made him and that he was ours! After a few minutes, I began shaking uncontrollably from the anesthesia (ugh!) and had to give him back until I was in the recovery room.
Once in the recovery room, I was reunited with my little man and able to snuggle him, begin the breastfeeding journey (more on that later), and spend some one-on-one time with my hubby and newest family member. After an hour or so, we introduced Henry to his grandparents and two proud aunts. Parenthood has been quite the journey so far with lots of ups and downs (more on that later too). We’re so thankful and happy to be Henry’s parents and can’t wait to watch him grow!
Stay tuned for more on my motherhood journey..
With just a few weeks to go until our due date, I thought now would be a great time to share all of my favorite essentials that I’ve loved using & prepping during my countdown to Baby Ginz! I did a lot of research along the way – through mama friends, my Instagram mama community, and by reading reputable websites (like The Bump) and books. There are SO many lists out there for what you “need” during pregnancy and childbirth but I really tried to use common sense when it came to what I products I felt were necessary to have throughout these last almost ten months and in preparation for a newborn.
1. One of my best mama friends, Emi, bought me the Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter when I first told her I was expecting and I’ve been using it ever since! The butter has a really thick lotion-like texture and I use it generously every morning. At night, I follow it up with the same brand’s Tummy Oil. So far, no stretch marks – woohoo! I know, I know – stretch marks are typically genetic but anything I can do to help, right?!
2. You know you’re in nesting mode when you get excited about filling your diaper bag! It took me a LONG time to figure out what diaper bag I wanted and I knew I had to get something that my husband wouldn’t mind toting around too. A few of my friends recommended the bags from Pottery Barn Kids and this lucky lady received the most perfect one at her baby shower. It’s almost packed and ready to go! (Thanks again, Emi!)
3. The Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics tea has helped me throughout every stage of pregnancy. In the beginning, I was gifted a variety box that included four different teas for morning sickness, heartburn, calmness & one specifically for the third trimester. I’ve given up caffeine during my pregnancy, so these have been a lifesaver (that and Starbucks decaf)! Currently I’m drinking the third trimester tea to prepare my body for labor. Any day now!
4. I had seen the Solly Baby Wrap all over Instagram even before I was pregnant – and knew I HAD to have it when the time came. I’m all for ‘baby wearing’ and can’t wait to put Baby Ginz in his wrap all snuggled up. I wanted to practice with the dog.. but my husband nixed that idea! Ugh.
5. I absolutely adore my mama community on Instagram and all the guidance they’ve given me in the short time I’ve known them. I came across the Raspberriez brand through them and it was love at first sight when I saw their baby boat shoes! Every Florida baby needs boat shoes, right?! The brand is made up of a mom & daughter duo and they homemake every single pair themselves. They also have the cutest little booties! Washing & organizing little baby clothes, shoes and socks has definitely been a favorite past time lately. It’s definitely a relaxing way to prepare for baby.
6. I jokingly call my Snoogle pregnancy pillow the “third person” in the bed because when it’s tucked under the covers when the bed is made, it totally looks like there’s someone hiding in the bed. Sleeping has been ‘complicated’ and the Snoogle has been my saving grace. The pillow is fashioned in a very long “C” shape so it wraps around your body and can be used in several different positions and configurations. Hubs doesn’t know it yet, but I might keep using it after the baby is born!
7. After reading up on all the harmful implications of BPA (Bisphenol A) in plastic and how it can harm our babies, I switched to reusable water bottles early on in pregnancy. I love the Swell bottles not only because they’re beautiful, but they keep my water or tea hot or cold for the entire day! It was a seriously hot summer here in South Florida, and having ice cold water always on hand (even after accidentally leaving the bottle in the car) was everything.
8. Acai bowls have been a constant staple item for me throughout my entire pregnancy. Luckily, they’re made with all natural and organic ingredients! My favorite comes from a local smoothie spot and I love how they layer acai, peanut butter, granola and fresh fruit for the perfect refreshing snack or breakfast. It was a LONG & HOT summer here in South Florida and I’d like to credit acai bowls for keeping me sane!
Some honorable mentions are my Athleta maternity yoga pants, my Pure Barre workouts that I was able to do before I moved and was told not to workout anymore – BOO! (HEY West Boca ladies, miss you!), and coconut water to keep me super hydrated.
Are there any items that you found as must-haves during your prep for baby? Feel free to share them in a comment below! XOXO.
I can’t tell if this pregnancy has flown by too quickly or dragged along too slowly, that’s a pretty weird feeling! What I do know, however, is that it has been a long hot summer here in South Florida and I’m ready for the (very) subtle shift of fall. As I type this, I’m exactly 34 weeks (WHAT?!) and starting to feel more ‘ready’ every single day. I haven’t talked about my pregnancy much, but figured now was a better time than ever to give a third trimester update for those interested!
How I’m Feeling:
Swollen! My ankles are not my best feature lately. After a brief and minor scare that left me dehydrated, I was made aware that I was having pretty strong & frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. That revelation lead my doctor to nix my Pure Barre workouts – boo! So other than feeling a little down about that, I’ve been feeling pretty good. I’m getting to the point where finding a comfortable position to lounge on the couch or sleep in is difficult, but I’m trucking along and nearing the finish line.
What I’m Missing:
Smoked fish dip has been on my mind constantly lately. You always want what you can’t have, right? All I dream about is a crunchy saltine cracker with a mound of fish dip and a slice of jalapeño on top. Who wants to volunteer to bring me some after I deliver?! I’ll also take a spicy tuna roll and a corned beef sandwich, please & thanks! I know the wine will have to wait a big longer, but it’ll be well worth the wait.
What I’m Excited For:
Besides the birth of Baby Ginz, the completion of the nursery! We just have a few more things to take care of and then it will be all set – can’t wait to share pictures. I never wanted a ‘typical’ blue boy’s nursery so we went with a gender neutral color palette of grays, taupe, ivory and mint green. I found these animal planters at Anthropologie and KNEW I needed them for the baby’s room and they fit in perfectly and gave us a ‘theme’ to work with. I’m in total nesting mode and will find myself just sitting in his room every now and then when I’m not busy washing his tiny onesies and socks!
What’s New With Baby G:
Baby Ginz (his name is top secret until he makes his debut!) is an active little guy and is measuring ahead in weight, although that’s just an estimate. He’s already head down and in position to make his way into the world, but of course we’re hoping he marinates for a few more weeks at least so that his lungs and nervous system are developed. Today, at 34 weeks, he’s about the size of a butternut squash. It’s so amazing and crazy that there’s a little human growing in my belly!
What I’m Craving:
This changes daily, but for the most part I can definitely say sugar! Dessert is always on my mind. Now that I can’t workout (besides walking), I’m trying to keep the indulgences to a minimum or make healthy swaps that feel more indulgent than they really are. I’ve been using some of Leah’s Plate’s recipes, like her Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and those help satisfy my sweet tooth without all the extra guilt! Plus, hubby likes them too.
After an amazing baby moon spent in NYC & The Hamptons and a beautiful baby shower thrown by my friends & family (post coming soon!), I’m looking forward to taking it easy until Baby Ginz arrives. Lots of date nights, dinners with friends, and nesting before the little guy gets here and changes our world forever. Any tips from the mamas out there?
SURPRISE! Pregnancy is by far the HARDEST secret to keep, EVER! Especially when your #1 hobby is wining & dining out with friends & fellow bloggers. Despite my new dietary restrictions, I think we did a pretty good job at keeping it under wraps until our big reveal. Thank you to my good friend Shaina, AKA Take a Bite Out of Boca, for encouraging me to write this post!