Year One

My husband reminded me today that our son will be a year old in one week.  I have to say this has been the fastest year of my life.  I literally feel like we brought him home from the hospital yesterday, yet I cannot imagine life before him.

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I’m a little sad I won’t have a “baby” baby anymore, but he’ll always be my baby right?  I have to remind myself that I love the stage he’s in now.  As adorable as a newborn is, having a tiny baby was terrifying for me.  Plus my hormones were all over the place, I was recovering from delivery, and I didn’t really “know” him yet.  Now I get smiles and snuggles and it’s the best thing in the world.  I know what he likes and doesn’t like, and I also can anticipate I’ll get a decent night’s sleep every evening.

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Since I have so many friends that are either pregnant or have newborns I thought I’d make a post about some new mom do’s and don’ts…you know now that I’m such a “seasoned” mother.

Don’t feel bad about changing your mind.

I had so many rules in place before Soy Bean was born.  He was never going to have a pacifier or a bottle, he wasn’t going to start solids until six months, and so on.  Well I went against so many of these “rules” and it all worked out for the best.  Plus, I can’t imagine life without a pacifier, especially in those early months.

Do ask for help.

Other moms are your best resource here.  They’ve been there.  Whether it’s your mom or other mom friends they are going to know what you need help with.  Husbands might need a little more guidance here…just tell them what to do…

Don’t lie to your doctor (or yourself).

This is one of my biggest regrets.  Honestly, we don’t do enough for new moms when it comes to healthcare.  When you’re pregnant everyone is looking out for you and the baby.  Once the baby is born, all the attention is off of you.  After Soy Bean and I left the hospital I had a visit with my doctor two days later to check my incision and then saw him six weeks later.  At my six week appointment I was given a survey to screen for postpartum depression.  I scored rather high on it, but when I was asked about it I dismissed the results.  I said I was feeling better and I attributed my high score to being tired and having a new baby at home.  Months later I found myself sitting at my desk at work considering driving myself to the ER because I have dealing with such crushing anxiety and depression.  Instead I called my doctor and they saw me as soon as I could get in.  Since then I’ve been receiving treatment for postpartum anxiety and OCD and honestly, when I talk to other mothers about this I realize I am in good company.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of, don’t lie to yourself and get help.

Do have a date night.

Marriage certainly changes after you have a baby.  While my relationship with my husband has always involved a child, life with a baby is quite different.  It’s important to make time for you as a couple.  I know there’s a lot of guilt about going out without your baby but it’s important to have time with your spouse.  My husband and I are lucky to have parents who babysit for us.  We’ve had a few date nights and even a night away!  Anytime you can make for the two of you is sacred when you have a little one.  Even if it’s just dinner on the deck after the baby is asleep.  Having an adult conversation while eating with both hands free is pretty refreshing!

Don’t be afraid to take the baby outside.

My PPA probably did not help with this, but I used to be terrified to drive with the baby in the car and take him into a store.  Now it’s one of my favorite things to do.  Soy Bean and I love Target!  If you stay home all day you’ll develop some major cabin fever.  I encourage moms to get out there, plus once you get used to taking the baby out it does get easier.

Do go shopping for yourself.

Most likely, unless you’re very lucky, your pre baby clothes are not going to fit for awhile and who wants to wear maternity clothes after you’ve had a baby?  (Well except for the jeans, God I love my maternity jeans) Go shopping, get some comfortable outfits that make you feel good.  Chances are it’s going to take awhile for you to feel like yourself again (I’m still working on it for sure), but having a new outfit can really lift your spirits.  Get your nails done while you’re at it, because that beautiful pregnancy hair is going to start falling out and you’ll need the distraction.

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Well I hope I didn’t scare anyone away from having kids.  It’s been the most amazing experience so far.  My husband and I marvel at Soy Bean and can’t believe we actually made him.  It’s amazing to watch him grow and see his personality shine.  Year one has been an experience for sure!

Soy Bean Updates: January

I cannot believe how big my little boy is getting!

He’s everything I’ve hoped for in a baby.  He’s sweet, he’s chill, he likes every food I’ve fed him.  He’s basically the perfect baby.  My parents even say he’s much more enjoyable than when I was a baby…

Our boy is now 7 months old.  He’s rolling back to stomach and stomach to back and doesn’t seem too motivated to crawl yet.  He’s pretty round so I guess it must be easier to roll…

I’m in the process of switching out his 6 month clothes for 9 month clothes (mom cry).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby boy with so many outfit options, I’m a bit jealous.

I have to say I’m really enjoying this stage with the baby.  I’m not as afraid of breaking him anymore and I’m much more confident in my parenting abilities.  I also know him so much better.  I know what he likes and doesn’t like.  I know what comforts him.  I know what to expect roughly every day. I enjoy playing with him and listening to him laugh.  It’s the best.

Nights have been a little bit of an adventure…The hubby and I made a goal of creating new and positive routines to improve our lives for 2018.  I have to say, we’ve been doing a pretty good job so far and it’s been easy to implement.  We have a routine of feeding SB dinner, giving him a bath, lathering him up with lotion, then reading a book with a bottle, then finally and hopefully bed.  Daddy does the final put down, because honestly, the baby goes to bed better with him.  I sneak down stairs and clean up from that bath and then ideally Mom and Dad get a little alone time.

Some nights this works perfectly, and others well not so much.  Our son has quite a set of lungs and he does not quit.  He’s been getting better about going down, but now he’s been waking up soaking wet.  I’ve tried over night diapers and diaper pads, but nothing really seems to work.  Poor kid.  I think my next step is to buy the next size up diaper and see how that works.

Overall, everything has been good.  Soy Bean is quite the eater these days and we are no longer worried about his slow weight gain.  He’s loved every food he’s tried, even green beans.  I hope he never becomes a picky eater!

We’re looking forward to more babbling, crawling, and trying peanut butter soon!

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Sophie and a 3 month old Soy Bean.

How’s Mom doing?

I am doing ok.  I have days I really really miss my baby.  I never thought I would like to be a stay at home mom, but there are some days I really wish that I could be home with him.  I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but I do miss my boy.

We joined a gym (along with 80% of the rest of America) this month, so that’s been a new addition to our routines.  My husband goes in the mornings and makes it back in time to have coffee with me before work.  I’ve been trying to go right after work before I pick up the baby.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything athletic, it’s certainly an adjustment.

I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in my weight loss progress, not that I’ve been trying too hard, but I thought it would be easier.  I miss feeling like I used to and I miss my old clothes.  I literally have three pairs of pants I wear to work.  I bought some tights to wear with a stretchy skirt I bought, but haven’t been brave enough to wear it.  I’m hoping with a new exercise routine and warmer weather around the corner I’ll feel better soon.

 

Checking In

I’ve been meaning to write every weekend for the last two months.  It’s insane how difficult it can be to do with a new baby and house.  Soy Bean is a relativity easy baby too, but still it’s hard to fit things in.  I thought I would just catch up on a few things…

Me: I’ve been hanging in there.  Going back to work was extremely difficult.  I’m so fortunate that I’m leaving the baby with my parents, but still I want to stay home and snuggle all day.  I think one of the most difficult parts about being a mom is finding balance.  I have a career I love but I also want to be with my son as much as I can.  On the other hand, I would probably go crazy if I was home with him all day every day.

Our routine has been pretty successful so far.  I wake up at 4:45, shower, get dressed, nurse, and then sit down and have a cup of coffee with my husband.  We load Soy Bean into the car and drive to my parents’ house which is thankfully only 6 minutes away!

After school we don’t really have much of a routine yet.  When I first went back to work I put a lot of pressure on myself to get everything done by 8 pm.  Not going to happen!  Everyday looks different for us so we have to go with the flow of things.  I also know that if I don’t get to sleep until midnight (which has happened a few times) I will survive.  Thank goodness for coffee!

Coffee and stretchy pants that looks like dress pants have been my savior this fall.  When I planned on breastfeeding I figured all my baby weight would melt off.  Well, I’m apparently not one of those women.  I’ve been about the same size (semi effortlessly) for the majority of my adult life, so I feel like I’m in an odd place when my clothes don’t fit right and I have to think twice about what I’m eating.  I’m also amazed I still have hair, postpartum hair loss is not joke.  Yikes.  Once I hit three month my hair started to shed like crazy.

So I’m heavier than usual and losing my hair.  Not fun.  Walking has been a good escape for me to help me feel better.  I love going on adventures with my dog, for a 10 year old dog she has some great stamina.  We’ve been enjoying living on the south shore and checking out new places.  I’ve been fortunate to have some fantastic fall (spring?) weather too.

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House:  We’re getting there with the house.  It’s easy to forget how expensive moving can be.  We had to purchase a washer/dryer, fridge, curtains, rugs etc.  It adds up fast!  We’ve been enjoying owning our own home though, and not sharing walls.  We have a few project to complete before we really feel settled.  Our neighborhood is full of couples in their 30’s with young kids (and usually a dog or too) and we are looking forward to getting to know our neighbors.   Everyday I come home from work and appreciate where I live.

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Soy Bean: SB is such a sweet baby, we really lucked out.  He’s always been a really good sleeper, once he’s down, he’s down 98% of the time.  He’s a peanut though, and we actually have another weight check for him this week.  Sigh.  His doctor recommended starting him on solid foods, which I was hesitant about but once we tried he loved it.  I’ve actually been looking forward to him eating solid food, but  I didn’t think we would be starting until December.

So far he’s had rice cereal, avocado, sweet potato, banana, apple and butternut squash.  I made my first batch of homemade baby food this weekend and froze it for future use.  My goal is to make as much of my own baby food as I can.  I invested in some ice cube trays with lids so I can freeze baby-size portions whenever I make batches.

The Impressionable Vegan:  Well we’ve been eating, I promise.  I go though weeks where I meal prep, and some that I don’t.  It’s been hard to find that groove while balancing work, baby, and house.  I have a few hacks I want to share as well as some good fall recipes.  I’m also experiencing some major Trader Joe’s withdrawal (the closest one is about a half hour away!

Well that’s all for now.  I have a baby and a dog staring at me…they probably want something!

He’s Here!

So let’s see, I have an almost eight week old which means I’ve been wanting to write a post for about oh let’s say eight weeks!

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Subway subs at 10 pm…sure why not?

As well as I tried to prepare for motherhood, I don’t think I could have ever have grasped the complete fog that encompasses your life when you bring a new baby home.  Days of the week and times of day are completely irrelevant.  We no longer have breakfast, lunch and dinner just (easy) meals at various times of day.

Breastfeeding is hard, like really hard.

Nothing will shoot down your confidence more than being the food source for another human and being told they’re not gaining enough weight.  I think I cried after the baby’s first four doctor’s appointments/weight checks.  The conclusion was he’s a lazy baby and likes to fall asleep when he’s eating. I figured he must be full if he’s asleep.  I’ve learned a few tricks to keep him awake and perk him up but it’s still not easy.  Between the physical demands on your body, pumping, figuring out outfits you can nurse in etc. is a job.  I give props to moms that do this for any amount of time.

80% of what I read in baby books has gone out the window.

Being on bed rest a month before the baby was born allowed me plenty of time to read up on motherhood.  I made a list of all the do’s and don’t’s I felt were important for my baby.  Well let’s just say most of that has been a wash already, and it’s all ok.  Every book I read said to avoid bottles for the first six weeks of life if you plan on nursing.  If a baby has a bottle he will apparently never want to nurse again.  Well my boy had a bottle in the hospital (and believe it or not I cried) and he’s absolutely fine nursing.  It also allows me some freedom to have my husband feed the baby as well as have a date night (well a few hours out more like it).  I was also dead set against giving our baby a pacifier.  Again, he’ll never nurse if he has a pacifier.  Our first night back from the hospital was a nightmare, and I felt that if we used a pacifier it might have alleviated some of our problems.  I of course had to ask our pediatrician and she gave us the green light to use one.  Again he’s fine and he’s been a wonderful sleeper!

I needed more help than I anticipated.  

Don’t get me started about paternity leave.  Dads need way more than five days home with the baby.  Three days of my husband’s paternity leave were spent at the hospital, so I only had two days home with him before he went back to work.  I’m so thankful my mom was able to come and help me.  I had to have a C section so I not only was recovering from major surgery but was also taking care of a tiny human as well.  Without help it would have been impossible for me to take the baby to his appointments or even shower and eat.

Terror out weighed joy at first.  

The baby blues are very real, and I’m finally starting to feel more like myself.  I never could have anticipated the amount of love I experience when I first saw my son.  However, at first that love I felt manifested itself into pure anxiety after we left the hospital.  I questioned my abilities to be a good mom and worried about anything and everything that could possibility happen to him.  Add hormones on top of that and I was terrified.  I would literally cry when the sun started to go down because night time seemed so scary.   I felt so guilty that I was experiencing this joyful life event with a beautiful healthy baby but yet I felt the way I did.

Getting out of the house is complicated but worth it.  

Between bed rest and recovering after delivery I felt pretty isolated.  About a week after the baby was born my husband dropped me off at Trader Joe’s and I had never imaged I could feel so happy picking out lettuce.  We’ve pushed ourselves to do things with the baby whether it’s a walk outside or a trip to see friends.  Knowing I can take him out and he can go places has helped me so much mentally.  Of course he comes with a lot of accessories but still worth it!

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Sophie feeling a little isolated like her mom.

Even the most insignificant tasks are complicated.

I feel pretty impressed by the fact my toe nails are painted.  I don’t remember when I painted them but they’re done!  With a baby the simplest things are really accomplishments!  Taking a shower, making a meal, blowdrying my hair… I make a to do lists for myself every days and I’m lucky if I get to half of what I want/need to do even if my list is just to pay a bill, go for a walk with Sophie and do some laundry.  Having a newborn has tested my time management skills for sure.

Trader Joe is new BFF.

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten my roots as a vegan blogger, we are just in survival mode over here.  Between the nausea of pregnancy and having a baby I haven’t put in too much time in the kitchen but I’m getting back into it.  Stay tuned…

 

First Parenting Lesson

It’s been a crazy last few weeks here.

If you know me you know I’m a planner.  I’m attached to my calendar, I make to do lists, I love knowing what to expect and what to prepare for.

However, sometimes life throws you a curveball.  I like to think my unborn child is already teaching me a valuable lesson.

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful pregnancy.  Besides the 18 weeks of morning sickness, I’ve felt pretty great.  My back doesn’t hurt, I sleep well, I haven’t gained that much weight while eating anything and everything I want, I could go on and on.  Health-wise every test has been perfect.  I planned on working up until June 9th which was the Friday before Soy Bean’s due date.  I was going to have everything set for the kids, all my meetings and IEP’s done, and I was going to use my remaining sick time for maternity leave.  Everything was planned out perfectly.

At 33 weeks I had a routine ultrasound.  Everything looked good except the baby’s amniotic fluid was a little low, it was within the normal range but on the lower end.  I was told to drink more fluids and come back for another ultrasound in about a week.  I wasn’t too concerned, drank my water and planned on everything being fine like it had always been at every other appointment.

At 35 weeks I went back for another ultrasound.  I might be the only mom that’s sick of ultrasounds by the way.  Soy Bean is frank breech (taking after his Mom), meaning he is head up and his feet are in front of his head.  It looks super uncomfortable and I haven’t seen a good shot of his adorable little face in so long because his feet are in the way.

I had my ultrasound and went in to see the doctor after.  He asked me if I was still working, and as soon as I replied yes he told me I was done and that I needed to be on bed rest.  Once he said “bed rest”, I don’t remember much after that.  I felt great (huge but great), everything had been going so well, how could I possibly have to go on bed rest?

Thankfully, my mother-in-law came to the appointment with me and he sat down with the both of us.  He reassured me that the baby was not in distress, but he needed to be closely monitored, I needed to go into the hospital several times a week for non-stress tests and have weekly ultrasounds to measure the baby’s amniotic fluid.

He scheduled me to have a level two ultrasound the following day to take a closer look at the fluid levels, depending on how that went we could be having the baby the day after.  That was of course when I really felt a sense of how serious everything was.  I could have never imagined having a baby at 35 weeks.  I have had friends who delivered healthy babies earlier than that and took them home from the hospital days later, but still hearing statistics about lung development and survival scared me.

We have been so lucky ever since.  While Soy Bean’s amniotic fluid levels are still low, he has been doing great.  The nurses always comment on how active he is during the non stress tests and he’s been perfectly on point with his growth.  His bladder and kidneys look good, which was a concern with the low fluid.

It’s been hard for me being out of the game early, but I’ve been so fortunate with everyone being so supportive and helpful at my job.  My husband has been an amazing help with cleaning, packing for our move, setting up everything we need for the baby, and cooking for his very hungry wife.  Our friends and families have supported us with visits, drives to appointments, meals, text messages, phone calls, groceries, and so much more.  I am forever grateful.

When everything happened my doctor said he hoped to get us to 36 weeks and I am 38 weeks today!  As long as everything continues to go well this week it looks like we will be welcoming Soy Bean either 6/5 or 6/7.  He’s certainly taught me so much these last few weeks and I’m sure he will have LOTS to teach me very soon. ❤

 

 

Checking In…

I can’t believe I survived March (without wine I might add).  In Teacher World March is one of the longest months of the year.  No vacations, no days off (though we did manage to sneak in a snow day), grades closing, and for some reason tons of meeting for us special ed teachers.

I also can’t believe I’m finally in my third trimester.  I’ll be 30 weeks tomorrow and I can hardly believe it.  10 or so more weeks until I get to meet Soy Bean.  It’s so exciting/terrifying!

Knock on wood, I’ve been pretty lucky with this pregnancy.  I’ve been feeling great besides occasionally getting dizzy, at tiny bit of heartburn and sometimes having trouble getting up from the couch (it’s not a pretty sight).  I haven’t had any random strangers try to touch my stomach and no one has preached to me about drinking caffeine.  I’ve been lucky enough to have my mom take me clothes shopping and have found some nice deals myself.  My sister-in-law advised me when I was first pregnant that I should make an investment in some good maternity clothes.  I have to say I totally agree. When you enjoy what you’re wearing it can make your day, especially when your body is changing daily.

Now back to food.  I was scrolling though the pictures of my phone I realize my husband and I have hit up some great vegan places since the last time I posted so I guess I have plenty to write about.  Date nights will be few and far between once this baby comes so we are taking advantage now 🙂