I am a mom. I still can’t believe that I get to say those words.
In June 2017, I had a miscarriage. I was eight weeks pregnant, but the baby had stopped growing at six weeks. I knew from the very beginning of that pregnancy that something wasn’t right… I wasn’t able to feel the excitement of pregnancy because some part of me knew it wasn’t going to last. Gauge insisted that we share the news with our family — I hesitated because I knew, but to deprive him of that joy hurt my heart. He was elated. During those first six weeks and when I started having symptoms of a miscarriage, he encouraged me to remain hopeful. He told me that everything was going to be okay and that I needed to stay positive. I won’t lie, I had the most negative attitude because I didn’t want the pain to be more than I could handle when I did find out the bad news. I’m telling you, this mama heart just knew. I will never forget the first night I saw my husband sob. We were on our way home from the emergency room when he called to tell his parents the bad news and couldn’t even get the words out. My heart shattered. I clung to the side of the door and tears streamed down my face. As badly as I wanted to be strong for him in those moments, I couldn’t. Our hearts were broken. I felt like I failed my husband. We lost our first baby. Both of our parents lost their first grand baby. My brother lost his first niece/nephew. We held each other extra tight that night and just cried. The days to follow had a silence to them that I never want to hear again.
So, Kai is our sweetest little Rainbow Baby. What an incredible blessing it is to be his mama, finally. I used to wonder what it would be like if things had gone differently, but that wasn’t God’s plan. His plan was for us to be Kai’s parents and I am forever grateful.
When we found out we were pregnant for the second time, I felt different and I knew in my heart that it was okay to be excited. But for our own sake, we decided to wait on sharing the news. It’s hard enough to deal with loss on your own, but to share that with loved ones is even harder.
I tried to rid myself of all expectations because everyone’s experience during pregnancy and motherhood is unique. I figured that since I had such an incredible pregnancy that I couldn’t expect everything to go as smoothly as I transitioned into motherhood. I was right, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Being a mom is my favorite thing in the world.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I started shopping for our baby registry — I added, deleted, re-added, deleted, did ALL the research and wanted the inside scoop from all of my mom friends. I tried so hard to be reasonable, but it’s too easy to get carried away, especially when it’s your first baby. THAT’S OKAY. I figured that if there was anything we didn’t use, we would just save it for the next baby.
There isn’t anything we received from our registry that we haven’t used, minus a few toys that Kai will love when he’s a little bit older. When creating a registry I think it’s important to be smart, but it’s seriously the most fun thing… I was diligent in thinking about the necessities and things we wouldn’t want to have to buy for a while. I know it was a little stressful for us to think about having to add diapers and wipes and other baby necessities to our budget right away, but we didn’t have to. Kai never fit into his newborn diapers so I’m glad I went with my gut and only bought one small package of them and started registering for 1+. You will NEED diapers, wipes, baby soap & lotion, burp cloths, bibs, and extra onesies. It’s also a good idea to request for people to buy a variety of sizes if they choose to buy clothing (or diapers) — we have clothes for Kai that go up to 18 months & diapers up to size 3! I didn’t register for very many clothes though because I would personally rather shop for clothes on my own, but having extras is always good and frankly, it’s inevitable. We did our research when it came to baby monitors, strollers, car seats, etc. We ended up choosing the Nest monitor because it is multipurpose, the Baby Jogger City Mini GT Travel System (stroller+rear facing infant carseat) because it suits our lifestyle — hiking, jogging, errands, walks around the block, and it’s so light & easy for me to use when it’s just Kai & I. There were also a few items I didn’t add to our registry because we wanted to buy a few things too and make sure that we got everything we wanted. We bought our Dock-A-Tot, LOTS OF OUTFITS (mostly from Old Navy), our 4moms Playard (which I basically stole from Amazon and it was on my list of top 3 must haves), and I stocked up on specific diapers/wipes/lotions/body washes/shampoos when they were on Cartwheel at Target.
WHAT PEOPLE TOLD ME ABOUT HAVING A BABY THAT IS TRUE
- SLEEP TRAINING WILL SAVE YOU. We’ve had a tough time with it because of circumstances, but a routine is everything. Our night time routine is the most constant, so no matter what we don’t mess with it.
- Mom intuition is real. If you know, then you know. And no one knows better than mama!
- Baby wearing is magic! It is so special and so convenient. There are plenty of days when my to-do list is a mile long, but I have a baby who wants nothing to do with being put down. I wrap him up and he turns into the best little helper boy! 🙂
- Don’t blink.
WHAT PEOPLE TOLD ME ABOUT HAVING A BABY THAT IS FALSE
- “You’ll never get out of the house after the baby is born” — false. I make it a point to get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s just for a quick walk to the mailbox. Right now we have one car so it’s a little more difficult, but it does mama & baby good when we get some fresh air. And seriously, Kai loves the breeze — it’s the cutest thing.
- (I already knew this wasn’t true, but I wanted to share anyways) — Newborns on Instagram are not the newborns of real life. Instagram has created such a false perception of what motherhood actually looks like. I do see some mama’s keepin’ it real and I applaud each one of you, but so often I see babies who are perfectly swaddled and sleeping peacefully, wearing their dry outfits and perfectly placed bows; and the mom’s who have real clothes on and their make up done. LET ME TELL YOU. There are more blow-outs, spit ups, dirty clothes, crying, not sleeping, escaping the swaddle, laundry, and of course the extra baggage underneath mom eyes…oh, and the days where I don’t even get to brush my teeth until 4pm.
Motherhood is a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t always look beautiful. Seeing “real” mom life brings me so much joy, especially when I’m reminded that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a baby who still isn’t sleeping through the night or who has severe tummy trouble.
WHAT NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT HAVING A BABY THAT I WISH I WOULD’VE KNOWN
- You need bibs. A LOT of bibs. And you need a lot of onesies… we have an excessive amount of bibs and onesies and I still do one load of Kai’s laundry every.single.day.
- Having a baby is nothing but constant trial and error. I’m sure for some babies it isn’t, but for us it has been a little more complicated. In my last post I talked about our transition from breastfeeding to formula and I’ll say it again, it was one of those situations where the right choice wasn’t the easiest, but since we found the right formula and committed to the switch, all three of our lives have changed for the better. We’ve got ourselves the happiest little boy! We are still dealing with trial and error; it’s kind of a never ending thing. Kai has allergies, reflux, and he’s already started teething so those symptoms have clashed with his reflux and tummy issues (he gags & chokes and it is honestly the scariest thing I’ve ever seen every time it happens).
- The exhaustion is real. But so, so worth it. If I would’ve known how tired I would be I would’ve hibernated the entire 9 months just to get ahead.
You don’t even realize how much you love that baby until they’re in your arms for the first time. It is the most indescribable, overwhelming feeling in the whole wide world.
Friends, my biggest piece of advice is to enjoy every single moment. Put your phone away. Ignore the grumpy old man who is giving you a dirty look because your baby is having a public meltdown. Embrace all of it, because it won’t last for very long. I am thankful this has been my mindset from the beginning because it is seriously going way too fast and I wouldn’t forgive myself for missing a moment. I am holding onto every piece of this journey and watching this sweet boy grow; even Kai’s new thing where he has to sleep in between mama & daddy when he wakes up very early in the morning. It’s the sweetest. He’s the sweetest. Motherhood is the sweetest.