what I'm using the 2nd time around: newborn edition

Here are some of the things we are using again, and new things we've picked up and liked.

For some reason with Shepherd I never really swaddled him.  I never got the hang of using a blanket...I wasn't good at getting it tight and he always got out of it.  We used the SwaddleMe blanket but when he was really young (I'm thinking he was a few weeks old) I put him down to sleep in the SwaddleMe and he rolled over to his belly.  I freaked out and after that never swaddled him again. That could be why I think Major is a better sleeper than Shepherd was...he stays swaddled.  
Anyway, for nighttime sleep we use the Miracle Blanket.  At first it was a little annoying to get him in, but after a few times I got the hang of it and it doesn't take too long.  Its also nice because to change his diaper, I don't have to completely get him unwrapped.  His arms stay put and there is a little pouch for his legs I just get him out of.  I love it!
We also use the SwaddleMe blankets that we had with Shepherd, but these are easier to escape from so I usually only use them if the Miracle Blanket is dirty.

I did a lot of research about what would be best for Major to sleep in and decided on this.  I hesitated a bit because it was more expensive than other bassinet type options, but I am so happy with it.  It is the height of most beds...our bed is on risers so its a little shorter, but not a big deal at all.  Its on wheels so I can easily move it.  One side lowers so he is right next to me.  When he is older we can raise the side and it will be like a pack and play.  In the middle of the night I can easily reach over to give him his paci, or just soothe him.  I'm sure every parent has had the experience of the child that wakes up as soon as you take your hand off of them.  Since he's right next to me I can just reach over and hold on to him and go back to sleep!  I'm happy knowing he is safely in his own space without the risks of actually sleeping in my bed, but still get the benefits of sleeping right next to my baby. 

Solly Baby Wrap

Its lightweight and pretty!  So far we've only used it on walks and a few times around the house when I needed to get stuff done but Major wanted to be held.  I anticipate using it more when the weather warms up and we get out of the house more often.  I had the Moby wrap with Shepherd and did not like it at all.  The fabric was heavier so we both got hot, and it was super bulky on my body.  

I have yet to make a final conclusion on whether this works, but I was willing to try anything to get back to pre-pregnancy weight/body as soon as possible.  I can tell I'm at least losing inches because the belly bandit is getting looser...whether or not its because of the belly bandit or just my body coming back I don't know.  I ordered a Medium because thats what size was suggested going by my 8 month pregnant size, but I kind of wish I'd ordered a Small since its already getting loose.

If you don't need to save a big stash of frozen breastmilk, and you don't have to go back to work, I'd recommend a hand held pump over an electric pump.  They are cheaper and I think less time consuming.  Yes an electric pump might pump faster, but when you take into account the setting up and plugging in and cleaning parts I don't think its worth it.  An electric pump may also be able to express more, because you can pump both breasts at the same time, but I'm not worried about that.  
I actually got this pump for "free" (I'm sure I was charged on the hospital bill) when I had Shepherd from the Lactation Consultant at the hospital.
I also have the Medela Pump in Style Advanced that I used when I was working, and it was great if anyone is trying to decide which electric one to get.  Before I had Shepherd I obsessed over which breast pump to buy.  They are so expensive and I was worried I'd spend a bunch of money and it wouldn't work.  The PISA was great and seems to be a very popular choice.


Joey's stepdad handmade a beautiful cradle that Joey's brother, and our nephew both slept in and probably others, I'm not sure!  We used it for Shepherd and again for Major.  This time I have it in the living room for Major to nap in during the day while we're playing in the living room. 

My boys love the Snug a Bunny!  It was the only thing Shepherd would sleep in for the first 5ish months of his life...although that might have had something to do with me not swaddling him, ever ;)  I like that it vibrates and Major will sit in it and take naps in it.

Shep and Major both prefer these over other pacifiers.

This is definitely my favorite nursing top, especially to just wear around the house.  It has enough support, its loose around the stomach, the straps are adjustable...I bought 3!  Honestly this entire post was motivated because I didn't want to forget about these shirts the next time, so I wanted it saved where to buy them.  I bought them at Walmart, but I just randomly came across them and they weren't very well stocked.  I'm not sure every Walmart carries them.

I also want to say that as a first time mom, Shepherd only wore Pampers.  Thats what they used at the hospital and I didn't even want to try anything else!  Well my cousin had to do an experiment for school to see which diapers held the most pee, so she had a bunch of leftover newborn diapers and gave them to me.  (In case you were wondering, Luvs was the winner!)  So with Major, I decided to try other brands just to see.  My conclusion...Pampers are still the best!  Huggies are my least favorite.  My cousin was right...Luvs do actually hold the most pee...but who wants to go that long without changing your newborn's diaper?  Now for Shepherd, we usually use Target brand.  I still prefer Pampers at his size, but Target brand works just as well and are SO MUCH CHEAPER.  

Am I missing any essentials??

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Everyday 2014

February 20:
Shepherd has been wanting to play outside every day, so even though its freezing, I usually bundle him up for a short play time when Daddy gets home.  This is his face when we make him come back in.

February 21:
Shep likes to get in Major's crib with him.  Melts my heart.

February 22:
Saturday night I sat in this chair for about 3 hours like this.  I have to soak it up while I can!

February 23:
Major is 1 month old!  I am back at my monthly chair pictures and I had to have him pose in the same onesie Shep wore for his one month pictures.

February 24:
Expect lots of pictures like this.  Shep is such a lover.

February 25:
Stopping for a hug, then back to playing.

February 26:
When I nurse Major, I usually let Shepherd watch youtube videos so that he will stay close to us and not go turn the house upside down.  (You know, the usual...Mickey Mouse...Macklemore ;) This day he just reached his sweet little arm behind him to hold on to his brother while he watched his show.
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pet peeves.

A few of my pet peeves:

1. People who stand in the doorway to smoke.  This is so rude.  You're outside anyway, why don't you walk away from the entrance so that everyone doesn't have to inhale your secondhand smoke.  Ugh then it is blowing back into the store.  This makes me so angry.

2. Speaking of store entrances.  People who go in the "out" and out the "in."  There are certain rules of society we should all just stick to!

3. People who ask questions, usually on facebook, that they could easily just google.  "What's the temp outside?" "What time does the library close?" Look it up!

4. Speaking of Facebook, it is so annoying to me when people share articles/pictures of something that no one wants to see. For example, animals that have been beaten, children that are malnourished, etc. It's not that those things are not sad to me and I get people may be trying to bring awareness to something. It's that I'm just innocently scrolling through my newsfeed and have to see some disturbing image when I'm not expecting it. It's so annoying!

Just thought I'd get those off my chest ;)
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VBAC recovery vs. C-section

I cannot really emphasize how much better the recovery was from a vaginal birth.  The difference between the C-section delivery and vaginal delivery was night and day.  
After holding Major for about an hour after the delivery, I couldn't believe it when they said I could get up and go to the bathroom.  With the C-section I was stuck in bed for a whole day.  Since I didn't have an epidural, I didn't have to deal with an IV or catheter, which that in itself was amazing!
When I took a shower I was able to do it on my own and it was relaxing!  With the C-section I literally had to have my mom practically in the shower with me because I just was in so much pain...not relaxing.

Also, if anyone is interested in TMI, I am not lying when I say that my vagina did not hurt.  Like, at all.    I even had a 2nd degree tear and it did not hurt.  I think I only used 2 or 3 of those ice packs they give you at the hospital, and only while we were there.  I have no idea why it didn't hurt, but I'm not complaining.  I think I read somewhere, or maybe someone suggested this, but it could have been because I didn't have an epidural so I knew when to push.  I've heard when you have an epidural, the doctor is usually telling you when to push.  So maybe that was the difference, I don't know.

Now, the worst thing that happened to me, was I broke my tailbone pushing Major out.  And I'll be honest it has hurt so bad at times that I questioned if any of it was worth it.  Its just really disappointing that a month later I'm still having such bad pain in my tailbone, when if it wasn't for that I would have pretty much no issues.  I think it was worth it, but that just tells you how much it hurts.  There is no treatment for it, other than pain medication.  But after 2 weeks of Lortab, I just completely quit taking it even though it still hurts because I was worried about it passing through to Major.
Apparently its not uncommon to break your tailbone in childbirth.  That was news to me.  After googling it, I immediately got light headed and almost passed out from the results.  My midwife told me it takes about 6 months to heal, but everyone I've talked to who has broken their tailbone has said that it really never fully heals.  Awesome.  I've also heard its a possibility to re-break it with future children.  Someone please tell me this isn't true.

Regardless of all of that, I would do it the same way again in a heartbeat.  I won't have an epidural with our future children.  (That was one of my motivators when deciding if I wanted an epidural this time...it seemed no one who had done it without pain meds regretted it.)
However, I do hope that future labors go much quicker than Major's.  The hardest part of it all was that I was doing it on absolutely no sleep.  I think if I had been well rested the pushing would have gone much quicker.

One thing I've taken from this.  Trust your body.  I know exactly when I broke my tailbone.  I heard it pop.  OMG yuck!  Joey heard it too.  It was the very first push, and I wasn't ready.  I wasn't ready in my head to push, I don't remember really feeling a big urge, and I believe thats why my tailbone broke.  Maybe it would have broken no matter what, his position, yadda yadda.  I'm not a doctor, people, I just talk.  In hindsight, the one thing I would change is in the delivery room, I would have quietly gone into my own head and kind of centered myself, and followed my instincts.  Women's bodies are made for making and delivering babies.  I'm sure if I had taken any natural birth classes something like that probably would have been taught.  But anyway, theres that.

Here is Shep coming to meet his little brother for the first time!  

I love this picture of all of my men together for the first time:

Ready to take our baby home!

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Shepherd's Snow Day

Shepherd got to experience his first time playing in the snow a few weekends ago.  He was so cute in his snowsuit.  He hated it inside, but as soon as we let him loose outside he forgot that and was too interested in icicles to remember his discomfort ;)

Now he begs to put on his snowsuit and for us to take him outside. 
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1 Month with Major

The first month has flown by.  
I didn't want to admit this out loud before he was born...but when I was pregnant with Major I was a little nervous.  I didn't know how I could love anyone as much as I love Shepherd.  Having Shepherd was unlike any love I'd ever known, so duplicating it seemed hard to grasp.
My parents always told me that "love multiplies, it doesn't divide."
They were right.  I am just as in love with Major as I was with Shepherd.  I'm thankful that both Joey and I grew up in families where neither of our parents ever played favorites.

Major so far has a very easy-going, mellow personality.  Nothing really gets him too worked up.  Not even his brother trying to sit on him/suffocate him with kisses/"bonk" his nose.
I'm so happy we have two so close in age.  I think he and Shepherd will have so much fun together.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Major's first month.  I realize a lot of these have already been shared on the blog...but its my blog so I do what I want! ;)

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