Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Questions Answered, Part 1

Here are the answers to a ton of questions I've gotten in the past few weeks, and just haven't had time to answer! I had to make this a two part blog post because I had so many questions...so if your's isn't here today, check back tomorrow!  And if you have any more questions, comment on this post and I'll include it tomorrow too.

Let me just preface these by saying that I am DEFINITELY not an expert on this...some days I don't think I have a clue what I'm doing!  but I'll share what I've learned so far!

Question: Did you buy the book (for Moms on Call), or are you doing their online class for infants??

I actually bought the online class first, when I was pregnant.  We watched it a couple of times then just to get an idea, and watched it a few more times right when we were starting to use it (when she was about 2 weeks old).  I'll also pull it up some if I have a question about part of it and just watch that part, so it's been nice having it still!  It gives you a set amount of time to watch it (6 months maybe?).

Once I was so impressed with the online class, I went and bought the book too.  I'll be honest - if you're just buying the book to see what the sleep routine is about, the online class covers it pretty well already.  You'll find out a couple more things in the book, but they're basically the same.  But, the book has a lot of information about just random things you need to know to take care of a baby - how to bathe, how to swaddle, what to do if they're sick - it's a lot of info that I really didn't know!  So I would recommend it, especially to a first-time mom.

Question: How do you store her headbands/bows?

I've got the bows organized, but I'm still working on the headbands. :)  Her bows hang on this...I made it when I was pregnant.  I found the idea on Pinterest!

 It's just a canvas with ribbon attached to the back...you can decorate it however you'd like.

But headbands are currently just in a drawer with the rest of her little accessory things (like bibs, hats, etc.).  I need a way to organize those, I just haven't had a chance.  I've seen this thing in Pinterest that uses an old oatmeal can, and you wrap them around that...it was really cute!

Question: Can you talk about your C section and recovery?  Any tips, what you wish you knew, etc?

Well obviously my c-section wasn't planned, so I didn't even think to research it beforehand.  I wish I had now - that's one recommendation I have - if you're pregnant, go on and find out the basics of it, because there's always a chance you'll have to have one!

The actual c-section was not bad at all...seriously.  Just a lot of pressure and tugging.  They make sure you don't feel a thing!  Going through contractions was a WHOLE lot worse than the c-section.  Now I don't know what the recovery is like for a regular birth, but that's probably the hard part of a c-section - the recovery.  It takes a long time.  You feel like you've been hit by a truck for a week or two, then there's just a whole lot of soreness after (I'm four weeks out and still sore, off and on).  So another recommendation I have - take it easy!  I thought I'd be back up and going a week or two after, and that wasn't a good idea.  I would try to clean house or do my regular things, and be SO sore the day after.  So just listen to your body, and don't push it, because it won't help you recover faster.

A couple of other random things I didn't know: you will be numb around your incision site.  I had no clue, and thought there was something wrong, but it's completely normal!  Once again, a month out, and I'm still numb some - I read of some women still being numb for months and months.  Another random thing: I was much more sore on one side, and almost felt like I had dislocated my pelvic bone.  My doctor said that's normal too, because that was the side she was standing on when she delivered Emma Ramey.  Makes sense now, I just didn't think of that!

Question: Can you also talk about what it's been like post-partum physically in terms of continuing to wear maternity clothes, etc?

Ok - I'll warn you - you WILL look pregnant for a week or two after, unless you're one of those freak women that I don't like. :)  Kidding...sort of.

Just be prepared for it.  You're definitely not as big afterwards, but I'd say I looked 5-6 months pregnant for at least a week.  It goes down gradually for probably about 3 weeks.  Then you get to see what you're really working with. :)

I was very lucky not to gain a ton of weight when I was pregnant.  I craved fruit and veggies mostly, which I'm very thankful for!  But there's still some "leftovers" to get rid of.  Breastfeeding is supposed to help with that, and here in a few weeks, I'm hoping I feel well enough to start exercising again. But, as of right now, I'm still wearing maternity pants...I could probably wear regular ones, but I'm having to be very careful with my incision - it's still really sensitive, and the band on the maternity pants helps.  And I'm at home so much right now, so I'm pretty much staying in t-shirts.  The non-maternity shirts are still a little snug, so definitely plan on wearing maternity for at least a few weeks after!

Question: I want to breastfeed and went to a breastfeeding class, and the lactation consultant said that my milk will dry up if I don't at least pump every 3 hours during the night - which sort of defeats the purpose of having baby sleep through the night, right? I feel like I'm missing something - how does everyone manage to have their baby sleep through the night (and mom sleep through the night) without losing their milk supply?

I'll speak from my experience (which is all of a month's worth, so once again, don't take this as gospel).  For the first couple of weeks, we were feeding on demand, and waking her up to eat at least every 3 hours during the night if she didn't wake up on her own.  That first couple of weeks, from what I've learned, is really important to establishing your supply.  So not only is it good for the baby to eat every 3 hours during that time, but it's good for you too!

Emma Ramey has basically been sleeping through the night since two weeks, with the exception of one feeding in the middle of the night.  So I pretty much go from 9pm to 2:30am, then from 2:30 to about 6:30 or 7 during the night.  So, give or take an hour, I'm going about 5 hours during the night without feeding her, and I've had very little problem with my supply.  I make sure she eats at least every 3 hours during the day (sometimes more often, depending on her), which helps make sure she eats enough and that I have enough for her.  But by following that schedule, I've had no problems!  I have noticed that if she doesn't eat a lot at one feeding, and I don't pump to make up for it, it will affect my supply.

Your body just kind of learns how much you need to take care of the baby.  Don't skip feedings, but don't stress too much about staying perfectly by a clock either!  The baby, for the most part, knows what it needs, and your body will respond to that.

Question: I LOVE double names, and knew it was Emma Ramey, but just assumed you'd call her Emma. Will she - and was she always going to be - Emma Ramey? 

We hope it will be a double name!  Emma Ramey has been my girl name for years.  I don't think I originally intended on it being a double name, but the name Emma has gotten SO popular, and we wanted something a little different.  So it just kind of became a double name.  We hope it sticks - we don't want to be those annoying parents that shove the double name down your throat either though!  We're just going to let it kind of happen...but if y'all wanted to keep calling her Emma Ramey, we'd appreciate it. :)

Question: Is there anything you wished you knew? Either about recovery or the transition to motherhood?

HA - yes!  I could write a book on what I wish I had known this time two months ago.  Motherhood is a VERY educating experience.  I honestly think most of it you have to learn by trial and error - you can read all of the baby books in the world, but actually living it and figuring it out is much more educating.  That being said, I wish I had read more of the baby books! :)  I think I just figured it would kind of come to me, and it did for the most part, but there are things I just didn't know...like how much a baby should sleep, how much they should eat, etc.  I feel like this is a terrible answer to this question, but I could seriously spend all day telling you what I wished I had known. :)