And for the Mother…

And here’s a separate list for the mothers. Sorry, dudes. This (again) is not a post for you. Because there’s a good bit of things you’ll need post-baby, too. But first, some advice: Don’t expect to “pop back” like those stupid facebook Moms make it look like. (Also, this is the only time I’ve ever really disliked Princess Kate… for making it seem like a walk in the park to DELIVER A TINY HUMAN.) It takes time. Your body must heal, you need to adjust, and it took 9 months for your body to grow a human. Give yourself a little grace to lose the baby weight and start feeling good again. And just a baseline, I’m at 11 weeks now and with walking almost every day (no serious exercise), I can fit into my pre-pregnancy “comfortable pants”. The skinny jeans are still out of reach.

You’re going to want these things before the baby comes, because basically… you’re going to need them immediately one day, and don’t want to run out to the store to get them. Because “running out” to the store= high stress and freak out and OMGICAN’THANDLEIT.

Nursing Tanks– You’re going to want at least 4 of these (they get messy sometimes). Don’t bother buying a Nursing Bra beforehand… because it’s basically not going to fit. You’re going to grow and change in ways that you didn’t think humanly possible, and for the first 4-6 weeks, these nursing tanks allow for that.

Nursing Pads– Again, things get messy sometimes.

**Side note- I had some STUPID HARD feeding issues from weeks 6-8. Two rounds of Mastitis, and one plugged duct. And it was because of a couple things: overdoing it, wearing the wrong bra, and a tongue tie.

On Overdoing it: I figured… I’m a mom! I can do this! Back to my old self! So I strapped Brooks in to my Ergo and did yardwork for 4 hours. STUPID. Mastitis is one way your body will tell you to CHILL OUT.

Wearing the wrong bra: After I was cleared by the doc at 6 weeks, I was ready to go! T25 (A shorter version of Insanity.)! Lose that Baby Weight! So I drug out the old bras, put a second one on just for extra support and NOPE. They were WAY too small, not supportive, and just a bad idea. Plugged Duct there, which is ATROCIOUS.

Tongue Tie: Brooks was born with a *slight* tongue tie, which they told us about in the hospital. I wasn’t worried about it, and didn’t think any more of it. And the more that buddy grew, the more aggressive he got with his eating. AKA, the more my bits got torn to shreds. Instead of sucking like most babies do, he was overcompensating and essentially chewing. I went to see a lactation specialist at my pediatrician’s office, and she immediately diagnosed it. They clipped his tongue that day, and he immediately started eating differently, thus emptying the milk-holder each time.

Okay, back to it. At week 6, I went to a lactation store, got appropriately sized, and purchased a few actual nursing bras. (And I got rid of the two that I bought beforehand.) Here’s the link to the store in nearby Chesapeake.

Once you get sized, buy yourself some new dang undergarments. I bought this as an Everyday Bra, and La Isla was recommended to me for workout gear… and they work just fine, thankyouverymuch. (This will be the only time I ever post on my undergarments. IT’S ALL FOR THE PEOPLE.)

So in the time that my bits were torn to shreds, I used this balm EVERY TIME. It’s got some natural soothing junk in it, and you don’t have to wash it off before you feed the little one.

There are things called “Soothies Gel Pads” which are little saucer things that give some extra relief… I personally wasn’t a fan, and you have to rinse off before you feed. Some people swear by them and love them.

At the other end of the spectrum (ahem), I used this Balm RELIGIOUSLY for a few weeks. I don’t think I need to go into more detail.

PANTS. Basically, you’re a completely different person than you were pre-baby. But your body is still trying to get back to it’s used-to-be shape. But you’re still wearing maternity pants. By the third or fourth week of that nonsense, it’s time to start feeling like a human again. I ordered a pair of these these pants, which are stretchy, but still feel like real jeans. And they’ll shrink to fit your body as you shrink. I’d totally buy another pair, too. But, for the love, don’t tuck your shirt in like the model does.

Also, you’re going to want to get a few shirts that are flowy and give you some extra room in the midsection.

I bought two books that helped immensely…

The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood. This helped me realize that pretty much everything that was happening was completely normal. And it talks you through a few things in a way that’s not condescending.

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Around week 7-8, my brain was completely fried. I was getting about 6-7 hours of [interrupted] sleep, sleeping on the couch, sleeping in a chair in his nursery… just bad. This basically helped us realize we were attempting to make Tiny Human into the baby we wanted (I’m a cool parent! I can take my infant anywhere! He adapts to anything!), rather than the baby he is (one that needs to nap in a peaceful place, for an uninterrupted amount of time). I started writing down his daily activities and noticed his patterns… and adjusted my schedule to fit that. Now, he’s getting the hang of sleeping for longer periods at night (not completely there yet), and Mom is getting some relief. I could talk way more about this book, but basically… it’s awesome. A gentler way of teaching your baby to put himself to sleep.

Again, feel free to add to the list if you have suggestions! I’ll add more items as I think of them-

Ten weeks of Baby-Ness.

I have a lot of friends that are pregnant and/ or have just given birth. Like, a lot. One of my girlfriends asked me specifically to create a list of Baby things I need/ use on the reg. Sorry to all those folks who were looking for a new method of staining your deck. Today is not your day. :) Also, these are Amazon affiliate links. Also, I’ll most likely be updating this list as I remember other things. And feel free to add to the list!

Baby Holders

Baby Swing– we use this daily. Some babies love them, some hate them. Brooks naps in his every day, and is therefore, my saving grace. And in the first few weeks of almost no sleep (for me), he spent one night sleeping in it. And that saved my sanity… in my opinion, whatever you can do or use to get tiny human to sleep, USE THAT. At least for the first few weeks.

Baby Cradle– we used this SOLID for the first four weeks of his life. He slept in it next to our bed for the first two weeks, and then would nap in it after that. (He doesn’t so much like it now, but it was totally worth it for those first few weeks.)

Crib/ Sleeping

Crib Sheet – get at least 3… spit up happens.

Waterproof Fitted Crib Pad – probably should have at least two of these, for the same reason as above. (This goes under the sheet, to protect the mattress.)

HALO SleepSack – We tried a few different versions of swaddles, and this one is the only kind that could keep our little houdini’s arms locked down tight. This is the kind our hospital used, too.

aden + anais Swaddle Blankets– These basically go in the category of “we use them all the time.” When he was tiny, we actually used these to swaddle him (until he learned he could bust out of them)… now, we use these as a light blanket when he’s in the car seat or around the house.

Baby Monitor – I’ve heard the video monitors tend to break after a short time, and with our small house, we don’t really find the video thing necessary. This one works just fine for us, and can reach out into our yard.

Changing Table

Changing Pad – We got a basic one. I’m not sure why others cost more, actually..?

Changing Pad Cover – Should get at least 3 of these. Nothing fancy.

Changing Pad Liners– These lay on top of the sheet, and are super easy to just toss in the wash after a messy diaper- we got two packs of these (total of 6), and it seems to be the perfect amount.

Something we found to be super helpful- when you first buy diaper wipes, get a hard case and then just refill it. We started off using the soft packs of wipes, but those were hard to get wipes out of… and in the middle of the night, you want to make things as easy as possible for yourself.

Cloth Diapers

BumGenius Cloth Diaper– We made the decision to use cloth diapers, for a couple of reasons. They seem to keep the tiny human bum a little bit fresher, thus reducing the amount of diaper rash; they can end up being less expensive to use (in the long run); less waste, etc etc etc. We have three different varieties of diapers, and by far prefer these. They absorb more than the other diapers, and launder/ dry much faster than the other two diaper brands we have.

Disposable diapers! – We actually use disposables also. For whatever reason, these work best for nighttime and allow the little dude to sleep in longer stretches. I don’t care what the reasoning is behind this… as long as he’s sleeping, that makes his mother very happy.

Diaper Pail – This is for our reusable cloth diapers. When we use disposables, we have a small trashcan lined with grocery bags. This means we take the trash out fairly often, keeping our house from smelling like infant diaper. (And it gets bad. Just FYI.) Also, don’t go cheap on this. You want something that’s going to keep the scent locked in tight.

Diaper Pail Liner, Avocado – This lines the Diaper pail, and gets tossed in the wash right along with the diapers. We have two, but could easily use three.

Wet Bag – We take a wet bag with us when we go on short trips and toss the soiled cloth diaper in these. (Also, we put soiled onesies in it. That happens, too.)

Burt’s Bees Diaper Ointment, 3 Ounces– When we do have diaper rash, we used this stuff and it works just great. It smells like Noxema.

Diaper Sprayer – We bought one of these, but haven’t installed it yet. This will be used once tiny human gets bigger and has a different type of poo.

Nursery Fresheners– These smell great (like lavender!) and absorb odors. The only problem is that you have to use all five at once (?!).

Feeding/ Soothing

Boppy Pillow– This props the baby up during feeding time. Also, it’s nice to use when you’re just hanging out with the little person and could use some extra arm support. Grandparents really love this.

Pacifiers– for the first couple of weeks, he used the pacifier from the hospital… then he decided these were much better. Also, we have three of these. Your life is basically over if you can’t find one within arms reach when dude is workin himself up and ready to explode.

Cloth Diaper/ Spit up Rag– I thought my mother was ridiculous for buying three packages of these. NOPE. Mother knows best. These are scattered throughout our house and get used all the time.

Pump – I just got the free one that insurance provides. FYI, it’s not recommended to use until after two weeks, when your body should have adjusted to the amount of milk your baby needs. If you use it before then, your body gets accustomed to over-producing. And that’s not cool.

Bottles– We have two different versions of bottles, and this is our favorite.

Bottle Brush– necessary to clean aforementioned item.

Bottle Drying Rack– we use this on the reg.

Dishwasher Basket– same here.

Travel/ Transport

Britax B-Agile Travel System– My Brother in Law researched stroller/ car seat combos and decided this was the best. And he has a PhD, so he’s smart and therefore this is the best.

Ergobaby Baby Carrier – Little buddy loves snuggle time, so this is just great. I can walk with him and the three dogs using this. Also, I never bought the infant insert- just used a rolled up blanket under him for a few weeks until he got big enough to sit properly in it.

Diaper Bag– This bag is great. We can fit everything we need in it. Annnnd I just realized that carrying a purse is just an added piece of mess, so this is my new purse. Might as well look decent, right?

Back Seat Mirror – This is fun to be able to see tiny human’s face while you drive. Also, it helps you locate the elusive pacifier when he’s freaking out and needs to calm down.


Bath Sponge– Nothing fancy and works great. We used this in the sink for the first couple of weeks, and now use it in the tub.

Bath Kneeler – saves your knees while bathing tiny human. (Not necessary, but fun.)

Hooded Towel – these also might not be absolutely necessary, but are really freaking cute.

Burt’s Bees Shampoo and Wash– smells fantastic.

Burt’s Bees Calming Lotion – again, smells fantastic and helps calm buddy down for bedtime.

Bathtub Grippy Dots– One of these in the pack says “hot” when the water is too warm. But you could also just touch the water to determine whether or not it’s too warm. Not completely necessary right now.

Keeping Buddy Happy

Forehead Thermometer– we’ve used this about a million times. On little buddy, and on the rest of us.

NoseFrida Snotsucker – We used this the other day and it’s AWESOME when tiny human gets congested. Concept is gross, but no snot will ever actually get sucked into your body when you use this. Promise.

Infants Gas Relief Drops – we use these all the time. They help calm tiny human’s belly down and thus, him. You want to have these before you actually need them.


Rattle Socks – He thinks these are awesome.

Baby Mittens – We use these when he swings… his little handsies get chilled. Other people use these so babies don’t scratch their faces when they’re tiny.

Hats – Necessary for winter, silly.

We discovered that Onesies that Zip all the way up are WAY EASIER than the stupid snap-button ones. But they’re a little harder to find…


Activity Mat– I thought this was actually going to be kind of ridiculous, but tiny human loves it. He may be vain, but he especially loves the mirror. BUT CAN YOU BLAME HIM?


Welcome, little one.

… Contractions had been coming for almost two hours, and it was time to wake Jonathan. I nudged him (with no response), then nudged him again and said “Jon… I think we need to start timing contractions.” He was instantly wide awake. A few days before, we had downloaded an app called “Full Term – Labor Contraction Timer” (you need it, if you’re expecting), and J started timing. After laying (writhing) in bed for about 30 minutes with consistent pains, we decided to start getting ready for the hospital.

J got up and changed pants three times. I washed my face and put makeup on. All the while, contractions got more consistent, stronger, and crazy-intense. What’s a contraction feel like, you ask? Well. While contracting, breathing becomes the single focus of your entire existence. Everything else in the entire world ceases to matter. By 4am, we knew it was time to start heading to the hospital. Our bag was fully packed, and I loaded my big old self into the car, questioning the entire time if it was really “time” to go meet our son. We made the round of calls – Moms, Dads, etc., and my parents were immediately in “go-mode”. They were close behind us.

I often wondered what the drive to the hospital would be like… if we would be racing through town, if we would quietly chat, or if we might pretend like it was just another normal drive through town. J remained calm and drove normally, I continued to breathe and time contractions. We arrived at the hospital, parked, and started our walk into the L&D ward. They told us at our tour what to do if we had to enter the hospital “after hours”… I was curious if the system would actually work. (It did.) In the 100-yard walk to the check in desk, we stopped four times so I could breathe through contractions.

We walked up to the front desk to check in, and I was at a loss at first… what does one say? “I’m here to give birth to a tiny human being”, or “Hi, just wanted to see if you need some coffee”, or perhaps “How’s it goin?!” ? But the nurses got the hint after I couldn’t answer a couple basic questions, due to contractions. J handled all the check in things. We headed to the triage room, where they establish whether or not you are in labor and decide if it is, indeed, time. After a quick round of more questions, they examined me and determined that I was over halfway there… We would be meeting our son that day. 2015-02-15 06.33.14

They officially checked us in at 5am, and wheeled me to the room that I would Labor in. As the contractions intensified and became closer together, I focused even harder. Going in to this whole childbirth thing, I decided I would like to go as long as I could naturally… the idea of an epidural freaked me out. But I also decided that I wasn’t going to count myself a failure if I decided to go ahead and get the drugs. Contractions were soon rightontop of each other, with little time to recover in between. My water still hadn’t broken. Brooks was coming.     2015-02-15 09.22.00

After stalling out at about halfway, I knew it was time for the epidural. I needed to be able to focus, push, and breathe, and that wasn’t going to happen au natural. After the epidural was administered, things immediately started happening. Within the hour, the doctor had broken my water, my body was fully ready, and Brooks had quickly descended lower in the birth canal. Mom and Dad left the room… it was time to push.

J was on one side, a nurse on the other, and one helping Brooks. After a solid hour of pushing, the Doctor knew that Brooks was stuck. Little buddy was trying his hardest to come meet us, and my body was holding him up. The Doctor knew our best option was to cut, allowing for Brooks to make his way out. Less than 15 minutes after that cut was made, I pushed my very hardest and was met with the strangest, most gratifying sensation. Our Son had entered the world.

Rather than congratulations and cheers, we were met with quiet determination, and a deafening silence. Brooks wasn’t crying, was barely breathing, and his coloring was off. One of the nurses called for the NEO staff, and in a rush, a team of people entered the room to help Brooks.

Jonathan and I clung to each other, clung to Jesus, and cried out to Him to help our son breathe. We waited so hard for him to make a sound — any sound — while the Doctors worked on him. My Doctor and Nurses reassured us that he would be okay. And between minutes Five and Ten, Brooks let us know with quiet squeaks that he was, indeed, going to be just fine. Those were undoubtedly the longest minutes of our lives, with the most urgent prayers we have ever prayed.

After he was stable, the NICU staff brought Brooks over to me to let me meet him before they took him to the NICU to stabilize him further. 2015-02-15 12.27.43

J followed closely, never letting him out of his sight. This was his very own little human. He facetimed me while I was in recovery, so I could see that our little one was, indeed, okay.2015-02-15 13.19.30

Four hours later, an X-Ray confirmed that Brooks’ lungs were clear, and he was fine. Because he descended in the birth canal so quickly, his little body didn’t have time to absorb the extra fluids that babies live in while in the womb, which caused fluid to remain in his lungs and keep him from breathing properly. Although he was determined to be okay, the NICU kept him overnight to be certain and monitor him.2015-02-15 14.22.36-1

Later, a conversation between J and I:

Me: Do you believe in Angels? Like, that they exist to help those that love Jesus?

J: Yes.

Me: Do you think they were in the delivery room with us, helping Brooks?

J: Absolutely.

At 11:33am, our tiny human entered the world at 7lb, 5 oz, and 20.5″ long. He is our beautiful miracle. 2015-02-16 12.15.08-1We are so entirely grateful to the Nurses and Doctors that helped little buddy enter the world. We are grateful for the time they have dedicated to learning, practicing, and honing their skills in order to safely deliver and help us raise our babies. 2015-03-02 08.36.44

The final day-

I had a couple of small(ish) goals to complete before the nugget arrived, one of which was to sell my old car. Okay, maybe that’s not a small goal, but a goal nonetheless. Backtrack– a few months after I graduated college in 2004, I had to quickly buy a new (to me) car… the transmission went out on my high school/ college car. And with that, Lola entered my life. I figured it was the perfect time in my life to have a convertible– no kids, single, living at the beach.

DSC04013Lola and I went on many an adventure… we drove clear across Virginia multiple times, VA>TX, TX>MI, MI>TX, TX>VA, and then some. I had her for nearly 10 years, and she was perfect for my single days. I put around 125,000 miles on her in that timeframe. kellydrivingBut as the Nugget’s arrival date neared, J and I realized that she would not be the most ideal baby-transport-car. And so, after much back and forth (seriously. we had a really hard time deciding on a car.) Ruby entered. Practical, reliable, and most importantly, she has four doors. Oh, and not a van.

2014-12-13 07.53.37We ultimately decided to sell Lola ourselves (car dealerships are sheisters when offering to buy your old car). Unfortunately, December is not the most ideal month to sell a convertible in Virginia Beach. Strange, I know. But we were patient (or rather, J was patient. I don’t usually mess with these kinds of things).

Valentine’s Day started like many Saturdays in our house… we made a quick trip to Costco, and then met up with a Photographer… at the last minute, we decided we needed to have the Heir photographed. We called up Tianna and invited her over to feel her out and so she could get a feel for the spaces in our home. She took a few test shots, and then was on her way.

BCGLifestyleMaternityPhotosT.Y.PhotographyVirginiaBeachMaternityPhotos-2After all that activity, I laid my large self down for a nap, while J met up with a lady from Craigslist. (Not the first time he met with a potential buyer for the car. Probably about the fifth time, actually.) A few minutes into the nap, he woke me up (!) to sign paperwork… he sold the car! Heyoooo.

We then made ourselves a nice steak dinner, set the table all romantically (with candles! And china!), and enjoyed what we knew would be our last Valentine’s Day dinner pre-children. After dinner, in true romantic fashion, we settled ourselves in front of the fireplace and I watched Lockup (THE BEST SHOW EVER)… J fell asleep around 9. By 10:30, I was ready for bed as well, and we migrated back to the bedroom. 2015-02-14 18.46.56At 12:45am, I woke up with a contraction. Not the first time I have woken up with a contraction, so I settled down and tried to go back to sleep. Throughout the end of my pregnancy, I’ve had many Braxton Hicks contractions, but this was different. Stronger. More intense. I got up, went to the bathroom, and tried to lay down again. (They say you should walk around and drink some water to determine whether or not a contraction is real. They will go away if they’re just faking it.) Falling back to sleep, however, was not to happen… contractions kept coming. Slowly at first, but they grew stronger and more consistent. By 2:30, it was time to wake up J. Game on.

To be continued…