I still wake up every morning wanting to pinch myself! I can’t believe I got married in October 2014 and here I am a little over a year later with a 2 ½ month old. Viv was born just a few days before our first wedding anniversary. My husband and I had planned a romantic getaway to celebrate our first year, but little did we know that Viv was going to be our gift!
I stopped taking birth control in early December, just a few months after we were married, and figured it would take us a while to conceive. Around mid-January, I felt so tired that I was literally going to bed at 6:00 pm every night. I figured it was my intense work schedule! One day, I woke my husband early in the morning demanding biscuits!! Not just any biscuits, but from Cracker Barrel! We drove 35 minutes to satisfy my craving! My husband said to me out of the blue, “I think you’re pregnant,” while I was stuffing myself with biscuits. Apparently I yelled at him and gave an excuse that I just really craved them, but I thought about his comment all day and night! The following morning, before he woke up, I took a test. YES! I looked at the test stick intensely for several minutes waiting for the second line to disappear. Nope. It did not.
Who was the first person I called while in the bathroom? My sister! She is my confidante and best friend. She assured me that pregnancy tests rarely give false positives. While we did want a baby, I didn’t expect it was going to be this soon. I literally had to say F$%* out loud!
As the weeks went by, I started to feel all the symptoms you read about online. However, we decided to wait until Valentine’s day to tell immediate family. Little did I know that my father-in-law would post our announcement via Facebook a few hours later and tag me on top of that. Gotta love social media!! Within several hours, the post had about 200 likes… and there went our announcement to friends and relatives.
My pregnancy was a breeze compared to what I read about in blogs and from experiences other family members shared with me. I had no morning sickness or even felt bloated. I did however crave Chipotle and ice chips like crazy! Towards the end of my pregnancy, Viv decided she didn’t want to come out, so I eventually had to be induced. No one really tells you about the pain of giving birth, but it sure makes you not want to have kids for a while!
The first two weeks postpartum were extremely difficult for me. It was nothing like I had imagined. The pain from giving birth lingered for a while and I was only sleeping roughly 2-3 hours max each night. I had difficulty breastfeeding as well. Viv was latching on properly, but more for comfort than for feeding! She would latch on for an hour or so and gave me an hour break in between. After 2 weeks of that, I had to stop or else I would have gone mad! A lactation consultant recommended exclusively pumping. I was hesitant at first, but knew it would give me peace of mind knowing how much more milk Viv would be getting at every feeding. I used the Medela Pump in Style for several weeks, but felt like a milking cow due to the noise level. I was also waking up my husband constantly at night. My sister recommended renting a hospital-grade pump. At first I didn’t feel the need to rent one, especially since my husband and I decided I would pump for only 3 months. The price of $84 a month scared me as well. However, considering the cost of formula, we figured it would be worth every penny and this helped us reach an answer. It was the best decision I could have made! It’s been worth the cost and labor of washing all the bottles and parts every night. The machine is so silent and I’m able to pump much more in a short period of time. That means more time spent with Viv!
After a good solid month and a half, I was eventually able to get into a routine of pumping, feeding, and taking care of Viv. I also finally felt like a human being again as well.
Although Viv is only 2 ½ months old, I’ve grown so much as a mother and continue to be amazed at each one of her milestones! Over the next few months, I’m looking forward to sharing all the great baby gear, books, and other baby-related things I find here on the blog.
Right now, for Viv’s daily exercises, I use an app called Baby Sparks. It helps me know which activities are appropriate for each developmental stage. The app gives me suggestions for gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, speech, sensory, self care, and social-emotional exercises. Each activity comes with a video and a small description with its objective and materials (if any). Currently, the recommended daily activities are as follows:
- Speech- Read to your baby, talk to your baby, and imitate baby sounds.
- Sensory- Move toy, rattle, recognize the human face, and find the sound source.
- Gross motor- Movement and equilibrium, scratch sheets, and improving grip.
- Cognitive- Recognize other people.
- Self Care- Hold the bottle.
- Social- Exploring mom’s face.
Another resource that has helped keep my sanity is a book called, The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year by Dawn Dais. Yes, it may sound silly, but this book has been a blessing! My sister, of course, gave it to me as a gift a few weeks before Viv was born and it has been a lifesaver on those days where I wanted to put myself down or give up on pumping or just thought I wasn’t doing enough. The author gives hilarious anecdotes and tips from other mothers out there!
GiGi Eats says
Aw! Happy Birthday baby!!
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
Oh my gosh, Viv is SO cute. Enjoy every second with her, Monica.
Ashley @irishred02 says
Adorable baby! Welcome to the blogging world 🙂
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Rebecca Bryant says
First congrats on your new little angel. she is a beautiful baby. Also congrats on journey journey into motherhood it will be the hardest job ever but the most rewarding. As for baby gear everything has changed so much since my son was a baby but for us the one baby gear I couldn’t live without was our baby bath tub lounge. It literally was this lounge chair you put in the tub laid baby on it and it kept them upright and safe from drowning in tub.
Rebecca Bryant´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday #Movie #TheSecretLifeOfPets
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
Hardest. Job. Ever. But definitely the best 🙂
I had one of those bath lounge things. Great tip, Rebecca!
Susan Mary Malone says
Such a beautiful baby! And I always love stories about sisters 🙂
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy says
Welcome to parenthood…it is truly a journey like no other. Now that I am a gramma too….it even gets better!! Enjoy all the precious moments…she is a cutie!!
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Elizabeth O. says
What a beautiful gift! Congratulations to you and your husband. She’s so beautiful. It’s a tough ride but it sure is worth it!
Congrats on your beautiful, sweet baby! She is a doll. I would totally recommend a good activity mat. It is so fun to watch your little one learn to use her hands to bat at the toys over head.
Congrats on your new baby and your marriage. She’s adorable and you look radiant!
Congratulations on your first post and on your beautiful bundle of joy! What an incredible journey it will be! Looking forward to reading more.
Adriana Martin says
Babies bring so much happiness and blessings for the families. Congratulations!
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She is too cute and looks just like her father. Congratulations on the expansion of your family.
Congratulations on new baby . What a happy family thanks for sharing
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Viv looks like such a sweet baby i know you and monica will have so much fun with her
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Brandi H says
Very sweet story. The photos are amazing!
Congrats! My husband and I also got married Oct 2014, and also planned on a Oct 2015 trip. Surprise to us we found out we were having a honeymoon baby! I’m sitting here reading your article after waking up at 3 am to nurse my now almost 7 month old.
Viv is literally the cutest baby I have ever seen and that wedding photo is gorgeous. What is your dogs name he is so adorable!
I like that chalkboard idea next to the baby! What a great way to offer a lifetime keepsake for her and for you. 🙂
Amanda Love says
Congrats on everything. I’ve never been through labor although I have 4 kids so I really can’t say I feel your pain. However the 1 thing that really worked for me was a baby swing. I would put my daughter in it and let her swing and do what I had to do. Worked wonders.
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Claudette Esterine says
Congrats, welcome and nice to meet them both! All the best.
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April Grant says
Viv was so besutiful. You are a good mother for her i admire you, when my son was born its really hard
swell conditions says
Aw, what a precious little princess – congratulations!
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Awww, she’s so cute! I bet she’s a handful.
Melanie Edwards says
Congratulations! What a wonderful story. Welcome to the blogging world too!
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What a gorgeous little girl! Congrats. Nice to “meet” you and look forward to hearing more about you!
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Mardene Carr says
Congratulations on 2 very important milestones in your life
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Nicole Escat says
Such a lovely pics! Your baby is adorable, nice to meet your baby, looking forward to your new chapter as a mom.
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Liz Mays says
I think they make breast pumps a heck of a lot better now. I tried them way back when with my kids and it wasn’t pleasant. Your little peanut is precious!
First off, your wedding dress is absolutely stunning! Second, what a lovely one year anniversary present! She’s so adorable!
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Ana Fernandez says
Your story was so cutee! And your baby is the cutest ever!!
Your baby is adorable. Welcome to blogging and congrats on your first post.
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What a adorable baby. Congrats on your beautiful family.
Holly @ Woman Tribune says
I don’t blame you for waking up wanting to pinch yourself in the morning. You have reached some incredible milestones and I bet you’re just exhausted! I appreciate you being so open about the difficulty you had the first two weeks postpartum. Many women feel like they can’t be as honest about the not-so-great moments of motherhood as they are about the great moments. Thank you for your honesty, and owning your experiences.
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Carol Cassara says
Your photos of the baby are so cute! Well, it’s the baby that is really cute, right?
Carol Cassara´s last blog post ..Easy scallops recipe
Viv is adorable and way to push through and get in a routine! My babies are not babies anymore but I fully believe that the muslin swaddles and the rock n play pretty much saved my sanity the second time around
Life as a Convert says
Cloth diapers/wipes and a babywrap! Can’t go wrong with those items.
Heather Lawrence says
What a little cutie! I loved it when my kids were babies and to be totally honest with you I miss those days. Stock up on “boogie wipes” those are great for yucky noses and heaven knows babies get a yucky nose all the time!
K. Lee Banks says
Congratulations! What a beautiful baby!
Regarding useful baby items, I know my daughter appreciated having good quality baby monitors when her little girls were babies.
K. Lee Banks´s last blog post ..Believing and Resting in God – February 20 Inspiration
Shannon Gurnee says
That is so exciting! Congrats on the beautiful baby! I love the pictures you shared in your blog post. 🙂
Welcome to the mommie club and the blogosphere!
I remember my first pregnancy, I was tired all the time and in bed early. Took me 3 weeks before I realized that was a symptom of being pregnant and took a test!!
Marissa´s last blog post ..Five
Such a beautiful story! Congrats!
Such a cutie.