How would I describe my first year as a mother? Transformative. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I have changed more in one year than in my 29 years before. No book, TV show, blog post or anything in between could have prepared me for what this first year has taught me. A piece of my heart now lives outside of my body. My capacity to love has deepened to a level I didn’t know existed…and that makes me feel both completely exposed and vulnerable, and yet confident and fearless. This new love is fragile because it’s so pure, and yet it has provided a new sense of purpose that feels solid and sound. It’s as if I’d been floating before but now I’m grounded, running full force ahead, living for someone and something other than myself. In one year, my mind, soul and body have transformed into another self that existed within me…that self being, “mom.” Learning who you are as a mother is a completely new side that doesn’t exist until you become one. It’s something to be felt, learned and grown into…with lots of unexpected hills and valleys along the way.
For basically four years of my life, I will have been pregnant or nursing…counting this pregnancy and upcoming postpartum life, too. That is a lot of time nourishing a baby – whether inside or outside of my body! I remember when I found out I was pregnant with baby number two and I was in the full swing of nursing Jude (he was nine months old at the time – we ended up switching to formula when he was 10.5 months). Suddenly, my body needed to sustain keeping two babies thriving…while also keeping myself healthy!
I say it time and time again, women truly are real life superheroes…just look at what our bodies can do! But while eating my greens and keeping up with my water intake is great (and sleeping well…and getting daily exercise…the list goes on and on), right now it’s essential for me to take a prenatal vitamin with key nutrients for both baby and me.
Since becoming a mom, there is nothing more important to me than spending quality time with my baby. I juggle being a full time mama and a full time blogger – so I will take every free moment I get to soak up cuddles, hugs and kisses with my sweet boy. With so much going on in my brain at all times (“don’t forget to email that brand back!” or “we’re almost out of diaper wipes” or “oops, I forgot to pump before his next meal!”), checking things off my to-do list so that I can be totally present with Jude is top priority these days.
Okay so I am clearly delayed in getting this post up! BUT lots of this stuff is still fantastic, even with Jude turning five months tomorrow (omg WHERE has the time gone?!). But for those of you with lil babes around this age, I hope you find these things super helpful! As of right now, the only thing on this list we’re currently no longer using is the #1, the Ollie Swaddle (now that Jude can roll over, our swaddling days are done!). Everything else is still high up on Jude’s list of favorites. Let’s get to it!
My how time flies! Our little guy is already four months old! Actually…as I write this, he’s 4.5 months old now (ah!). We’ve been busy bees over here with Jude. He’s rolling over, discovered his hands (and he would tell you they’re delicious), has graduated from the Solly wrap and we’re not onto our Ergo carrier (…and my back is thanking me for this haha), and he’s got a new sleep routine! As for me, motherhood has gotten significantly better than since I last wrote about it (in this post) – the baby blues are long gone (though I still have my cry-from-stress moments at times…Jude continues to hate the car…!), I’m more confident in living by my “mother’s intuition” and have been embracing that voice in my head and feeling in my gut, and overall just feel like I’m “out of the fog” so-to-speak as our new normal has set in and is here to stay – and it’s been so much fun!
Last week I asked my Instagram readers what questions they’d like for me to answer about motherhood, postpartum, and our journey with Jude over the last 4-months…so here we go!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about putting together an outfit when you know you’ll be nursing your baby, it’s this: BUTTONS! They’re my secret weapon when it comes to shopping for nursing-friendly tops and dresses that make you feel GOOD. (…Because as my fellow mamas know, wearing workout gear on repeat can often be the norm…even when there’s no workout on the agenda!). Grab your favorite pair of high rise denim, some boyfriend shorts (comfort is key!) or even your maternity jeans – whatever bottoms you feel comfortable wearing, and pair with any of these cute tops. Whip out some classic sneakers or summer sandals for the dresses! Sharing more of my nursing secrets below…
SHOP MY NURSING FRIENDLY FAVORITES
Ohh ya know, pregnancy just casually did a number on my body for nine months…and nine weeks postpartum, I am finally in a solid fitness routine to get my body back in shape! I realize I may never look like I used to pre-baby, but I am certainly ready to feel strong and build my endurance back up again. I put on 40lbs while pregnant with Jude and I’ve still got about 10lbs to shed to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (…and to fit into my old wardrobe haha! …Let’s be honest, that’s a major motivator right there…!). Our postpartum bodies are pretty fragile, so I’ve slowly been getting into my fitness rhythm – here’s what I’m doing (…and what I’m wearing, too!)…
SHOP MORE TRAINING MUST-HAVES
A big thank you to Lululemon for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.
Hello from one proud (and tired) mama! I decided to take February and March off for maternity leave (…as you may have noticed it’s been quiet around here lately), so personal posts like this one and Jude’s birth story have been really fun to write without any work projects weighing on me. I have been so lucky to devote 100% of myself to caring for Jude and soaking up every fleeting moment…and suddenly, here we are at SIX weeks old! I intended to write a “one month update” but ya know, I’ve learned motherhood (especially for a new mom) is all-consuming and when I do find an hour to myself here and there, I choose a bubble bath or a walk around the block instead of time on my computer. Oh right, and sleep, too. Sleep comes before everything these days, ha!
I have gotten out my computer countless times to write this post…but I always get too emotional to actually complete it. After three weeks with our precious Jude (…and as he is sound asleep beside me), I’m excited to write out all the details of this insanely wild, beautiful, otherworldly experience. At five days over my due date, Jude Patrick made his debut on Sunday, February 17th at 4:09am. I get chills and tear up just thinking about the moment we finally got to meet the little guy who’d been growing inside my belly…what a little personality was already formed and we didn’t even know it! I had read books, watched videos, listened to friends and family share their own birth stories…but nothing could have prepared me for such a life changing moment.