Friday, May 13, 2016

New Born Product Favorites + Post Partum Updates

Good morning! So it turns out I haven't gotten better at managing my time with a new born yet. I find since I am home all day right now, we are using the house so much more which has created a lot more housework for me. Every time it seems I have a minute to type something up, I think to myself nah, I'm just gonna snuggle with this sweet little baby. But today he is sleeping, and all of my housework is done, so here I am!



Before I jump into our favorite newborn products, an update on post partum recovery. Overall, I feel fantastic. I've been able to be really kind to myself while I navigate this post partum body which is unfamiliar to me. This has been surprising to me because historically that's not my style. To be kind to myself when I'm not 100% happy with my body.

1st Date Night!

Each day that passes I feel more and more like "me" again. I haven't been released to work out just yet. I do go on walks, like Sunday stroll kind of walks, and I try to watch what I'm eating. I'm not drinking enough water and I know it. I've tried to eat somewhat balanced and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. Well this morning I weighed myself and I am within one pound of pre-pregnant weight. That said, it looks a whole lot different on the way down than it did on the way up. Last summer I was doing a lot of lifting, and obviously my work outs became less and less intense over my pregnancy. My body composition is completely different. I did put on some weight prior to my pregnancy. Because vacation and pina coladas.  Monday, I have my 6 week follow up with the doc, and I'm praying for the all clear. I miss being active! I'm participating in a weight loss challenge with my run group that starts Monday and I could not be more excited to get cracking on my blank slate body!

Newborn product favorites, must of these are pretty common knowledge but since I knew diddly I'm going to share my basics.

1. The Rock N Play: Rafe has loved is Rock N Play from the day we got home from the hospital. It's been a life saver. He's taking a little nap in it right now as I type of this post. It's light weight and follows me from room to room.

2. The Summer Infant Snuzzler. I'm so glad a friend told me to buy this prior to Rafe's birth. Without the car seat insert, Rafe would have absolutely floated in his car seat. The tight fit provided the support he needs to be comfortable in the car.  It's already become too tight and I had to remove the bottom portion, but at under 12 dollars, it's well worth the purchase.

 *he had plenty of breathing room between his mouth in that blanket. It's just the angle of this picture*

Homeward Bound


3. Water Proof Changing Pad Liners. Absolutely genius. I would be washing changing pad covers all day long without them. 





4. Comfort & Harmony Portable Swing- Rafe loves this swing and we love this swing because it's so easy to bring from room to room! I can carry the baby and the swing no problems. Love it.

We love swinging!!!!

5 Gripe Water- I don't want to get too much into what and how we are feeding Rafe because everyone has an opinion on how babies should be fed, but I can't in good conscience not recommend Gripe water to other new Moms. You find out what you're really made of when your baby is crying, in obvious discomfort and you are at a loss as to how to fix it for them. No Bueno. Our pediatrician recommended Gripe Water. Game Changer! Happy Baby , Happy Mom and Dad!


Next up on the blog, getting back into fitness! If I get the all clear from the doctor Monday, crossing all crossables, I'm getting right back into running Monday. I literally find myself fantasizing about a run. Craziness Step One:  Going out for a little 5k. Gonna try my hardest and see how long it takes me. Step two, spend the next 6 weeks trying to improve upon that time. Starting all over is definitely intimidating, but also exciting! There aren't many times in life when you get a true blank slate, and I've got one now!

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Monday, April 25, 2016

What's in a Name: Rafe Harrell Noel

Life with a newborn: Day 23. I think the baby knows we will say How High every time he says jump.

I said box jumps lady!



I can now refill the keurig using my right foot, with my eyes closed, while bouncing the baby, and singing whatever free style lullaby comes out of my mouth. I have't slept through the night since April 1st and I know it will be a long time before I'm afforded such luxuries again. Truly never been happier :) 


Rafe really is such a great baby but like all new babies he doesn't sleep for long periods of time. But now that I'm not pregnant I can have all of the caffeine and I need it.



I get so excited by a little gassy grin and I'm counting down the days until he intentionally smiles at me. 23 days ago I found myself looking up a steep learning curve and I feel like we are making big progress. The biggest thing I'm struggling with today right now, is managing my time. Lawd day it gets away from me. I started this blog post at 8:00am. One day at a time!



When it came to choosing Rafe's name, I knew pretty early on we were in for a big challenge when Nick said I want him to have a name that no one I have ever met has had before. My reaction was, so like you want to make something up?

The name Rafe first came up as a suggestion around week 18? It was a pretty early suggestion that Nick made. He pulled it out of thin air. We were riding around in the car one day and Nick said, What about Rafe? 

My reaction was, I like it, but I'm not ready to commit to it. I wanted to explore a whole bunch of names and it turns out there are a lot that I like. I knew I wanted our boy to have something different but not did they make that up? different, and I felt like I had a lot of research to do. No matter how many names I suggested, we kept circling back to Rafe. I knew it was a done deal when that's how we started referring to him in conversation.

Turns out Rafe is a bit of a family name on my side. I had a great great uncle named Rafe. It's a popular name in the UK aka how the British pronounce Ralph. The most common frame of reference we have been using is that it is also Ben Affleck's character's name in the movie Pearl Harbor, however our Rafe was not named after this character. Really we just liked the name. Pronounced "Rayf" it means "God has Healed". The meaning of his name moved me in a deeply personal way. I liked that the name sounded appropriate for a boy and just as fitting for a successful man.

Rafe's middle name is a family name and a tribute to my maternal Grandfather who was a huge positive influence on my life. It also honors our family as a whole and felt sweet and sentimental. 

When we choose this name, we knew the reviews would be mixed. You can tell immediately who likes the name and who doesn't which isn't offensive to us. We own our decisions :) Naming someone ain't easy!

Later this week, if I can manage my time, newborn product favorites! This list is surprisingly short and inexpensive. 

Disclaimer: any previous attempt I ever made at proofreading is now out of the window. 

Happy Monday!!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Third Trimester Pregnancy Favorites

Thank you all so very much for all the warm well wishes and support we have received since welcoming baby Rafe!! I can't believe I am already 16 days into this Mom thing. Overall, I'd say it's been a pretty smooth transition. Nick went back to work Monday morning, and I thought I would cry, but I was OK with starting a new normal. I'm thankful for the two weeks of "bubble" time we had together. 


 Week three, Rafe and I are enjoying spending time with my Mom, his Lovely.



 Mom took off work this week to help me out. Moms are the best. The first day Mom let me sleep while she watched the baby and she cooked lunch and swept my floors. I am oh so spoiled and oh so thankful. 

The last two weeks have been a whirl wind but more on that later this week. I want wrap up the pregnancy series I started. On the real, I am so happy the pregnant part is over. I didn't care much for the pregnant part, but I LOVE the Mom part :) 


The third trimester, especially the end, just crawled on by. I was stressed trying to wrap up projects at the office before the baby came and I couldn't release that stress in a fashion that I ordinarily would. I felt like a human time bomb the last few weeks,It sucked but it was so so worth it. That said, I maintain the first trimester is the worst part of being pregnant. In the third you know you get to meet your baby soon so it makes the waiting easier.

What I used to get by in the third trimester:

1. Fitness! The further my pregnancy progressed, the more restricted I felt by my body. However, maintaining my routine really helped me both physically and mentally. Everything became more challenging but I continued to keep moving even if it was just a walk on the treadmill and some light weights. I did this routine from PB fingers several times a week towards the end alternating the "cardio". I really think the exercise I did helped me in delivery and recovery. More on that later.

2. Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter. I was on a twice a day belly butter routine there at the end and this paid off big time. My skin felt so tight and itchy, the belly butter was a real soother. I used the belly butter through out my pregnancy. However the last trimester I used it by far the most and with increasing frequency.


3. Maternity Dresses from Zuilly. Lawd Day I loved Zuilly dresses there at the end. So comfortable. So affordable. I felt like I looked nice even when I didn't feel so nice.




4. The To Do list. I made a to do list so long anytime I had frustrating wait time, I starting knocking something else off the list. Staying busy made waiting bearable. 

5. COLACE: I started with Colace the last month and I am so so so so (can not put enough emphasis on the importance of the Colace) thankful that I did. I'm still taking it. You can buy this over the counter. It will be your bestest friend. You're welcome



Housekeeping!



All Pregnancy Posts Here- I'm working on getting organized. Hang with me nah

Upcoming on the blog: New Born product favorites, all of the items we have found to be most useful! 

What's in a name: Rafe Harrell Noel. We've had so many questions about how Rafe's name came to be, and how to pronounce that name,this deserves its own post. 


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Monday, April 11, 2016

Introducing Rafe Harrell Noel

It's been one week and a day since our beautiful baby boy joined the world. The shortest, longest,best week of my life. Rafe Harrell Noel was born at 8:26am on Sunday, April 3, 2016. He weighed 8lbs even and was 20.75 inches long. He's beautiful and perfect and I love him so much I teared up just typing that sentence,


I've been planning to sit down and write up this post for a few days now. I decided today would be the day at about 7 am and not it's 1:20pm. New Mom Life :)

When my due date come Friday, April 1, 2016 and I was still pregnant, like most women who have ever been 40+ weeks pregnant, I was feeling so ready for the pregnant part to end, but I had no indicators there would be a baby soon. So I got up and got dressed, went to work, and decided to make the most of my last remaining "selfish" time. After work I got a mani and a pedi. I went to the gym. I cleaned my house. I kept busy. Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early to finish knocking off my before the baby comes to do list. This included a trip to Lowes, furniture shopping, Costco, cleaning the house, and cleaning out our yard. My Mom came over and helped me clean and plant flower beds while Nick cleared out leaves from the front and back yard. We have two big oak trees that are shedding right now and it's work to keep the yard looking nice. In short, we were really busy all day. I like being busy, it makes time tick faster. Through out the day I thought I had felt some of the braxton hicks contractions but I just ignored them and kept on going. I really thought I would be at the Doctor's office on Monday morning for my 40 week appointment doing and US and determining how long they would let me go over my due date.

At about 5:00pm I came inside and took a bath because 40 weeks pregnant and doing all the things made me tired. That's when I started to notice those braxtion hicks things I had been ignoring were getting closer together so I started timing them. I used the ap Full Term and it worked really well. 





Nick had just gotten done stacking 12 full drum bags of leaves when he came in the house and I told him about 7:00pm I thought we might have a baby soon.  Did I mention he had wanted to sleep in Saturday morning? Whoops :) My yard looks amazing

I was worried this wouldn't be the real deal, and I still wasn't convinced that I was in actual labor. I didn't want to go to the hospital prematurely and get sent home so we waited it out. At about 9:30pm Nick called the hospital and asked when we should come in. They told us to wait and hour and if things were still progressing, to come on in. We ended up waiting until; about 11:00pm. I felt comfortable at home so I wanted to stay there as long as possible. I went to the restroom and it was obvious there would be a baby very soon, so off to the hospital we went! 

I was scared and excited and experiencing about 1,000 emotions all at one time. Nick was nothing short of amazing and made me fall in love with him all over again. There is no way I could have done this without Nick. He made sure that all I had to worry about was managing these contractions. Check in at the hospital was super speedy. They had me in a gown and in a bed by 11:30pm and I was 4 cm. I had already decided I would be getting an epidural and by the time we got there, I was ready to get in the anesthesia line. At 1am I was 7cm.  I had the epidural aka miracle medicine and the pain relief was unreal. Like we turned on the TV and took a nap until I was at 9cm at about 6am.

Rafe's actual birth didn't go exactly as I had hoped it would in my head. My doctor was out of town, so someone I had never met or spoken to in my life delivered our baby. The nurses had shift change at 7am just as it was getting time to meet Rafe, and I had felt attached to the nurse we had at check in. Giving birth puts you in a vulnerable place. At 7am my water still hadn't broken on it's own so the doctor decided to help my labor along and broke my water. At 8am I started pushing and at 8:26 am our baby was born. My entire pregnancy I had been looking forward to that moment. When he was born and they handed him to me. 

I didn't get to hold Rafe right after his birth. They held him up so we could see him and then whisked him across the room. I didn't hear him cry, and Nick didn't get to cut the cord. There aren't words to describe the fear that I felt. How long were those moments? 30 seconds? 3 minutes? 10 minutes? I kept asking what's happening? Is he ok? Finally we heard him cry and someone said "Ok Dad! Come take pictures!" Nick looked at me and the joy and happiness I saw on his face told me that everything was OK. That's when the tears came. It was so surreal. And then there were 3!



Rafe had Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, and is totally fine now. All in all, his birth was text book, fast, and smooth. We are both doing really well now.


I am all consumed in being this little boy's mother. It's like the Earth started spinning in a different direction and the only thing that was important in my life was right there in that room with me. This has been without a doubt the best week of my life. Watching my husband become a Dad has been so fun to watch. He impresses me at every turn, and I feel so lucky to be his wife. I wasn't prepared for how much more I would love him too. My heart has grown in more ways than one. Rafe is such an easy happy little baby, and it's been a blur. I feel like the three of us are in this perfect little bubble together and I don't want this time to ever end. It's been incredibly special and I am basking in every single moment. Welcome Rafe, we love you more than you will ever know!




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