39 Weeks + I have a favor to ask of you…

39 Weeks.  Yep.  Pretty thrilled about that.

*I’m ready for all of the snuggling, sleepless nights, sleeping on my stomach, figuring newborn life out with Andrew, loving all food again and most importantly—> to MEET HER.  I just keep thinking about that feeling I had when the doctor first placed Brooke on my chest and it makes me want to burst into tears because I am so excited to feel that feeling again.

*The other day I started feeling uncomfortable sitting on a stool while eating my first few bowls of cereal so I took it to the couch to finish things off.  I realized that my stomach makes the perfect food holder so that is exciting right now.

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*This picture was actually from last Thursday:)  34 miles last week!  And this week so far I have hit about 16 miles and they have all felt really good… probably the best so far of this pregnancy.  We even did a mile at the indoor track under 9 minutes and I felt like I was flying.  I’m really happy that I’ve had some special ‘run happy’ moments before taking a big break followed by slowly getting into running shape again.

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*My outdoor runs are coming to an end and most of my miles are on the treadmill which is fabulous because I’m within 4 steps of a restroom now which is perfect!

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*The internet is telling me that she should is a bit over 7 lbs now and around 20 inches long.

*I am sleeping really well!  I get up to pee or eat and then fall right back asleep.  If all of pregnancy felt as good as it does now I’d probably want 10 more children… I kid, but I’ve felt really lucky to feel so good this close to the end because I definitely wasn’t feeling like this for a long time:)

*I went to my chiropractor (Dr. Bennett) last week and he showed me some exercises to do in a few weeks to build up some strength before I start running again.  I didn’t do ANY strength training exercises specifically meant for coming back to running again after having a baby with Brooke and I’m excited to do things in the right order (for me) this time around.  It is going to help me get to those goals up ahead, it’s just going to take more time, patience (uh-oh) and planning.  I’ll make sure to share every move with you that I’m doing to get things strong again before I start running.

*”There is no more room for me to put my head on your lap” and “you smell just like chick-fil-a” are both direct quotes from Brooke this last week:)  Maybe I always smell like fried chicken (I can’t even stand the idea of eating chick-fil-a right now) or maybe it is just pregnancy.  Not sure but she is ready to have a little more room to put her head on my lap during church so I can scratch her back.

*I’ve learned something new about myself—> I don’t have even a tiny amount of patience;).  I’m really trying to learn how to be patient but it isn’t easy ha.

*These Braxton-Hicks make me breathless and I sure have had a bunch of them the last few days.

*My friend recommended getting this little lamp (that you just touch to turn on and adjust + it is rechargeable) for middle of the night feedings!

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*I somehow managed to shave my legs which I’m still proud about.  It wasn’t easy but I did it.

*Still having a lot of aversions (with some things that I’m telling you below that sound SO good) but here is Andrew’s current way of figuring out where we should eat.

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*Hot chocolate is still a big part of my life and so were these many donuts we had the other night.  They melted right in your mouth.

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*Salmon has been a really big craving lately.  Chicken is okay, red meat is off the table for my taste buds and fish sounds amazing.  This was a piece of salmon cooked in butter that Andrew made for me at 11 pm the other night.  Nothing sounded better than this.

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*You probably can’t see what the clock says in the below picture but it is somewhere around 3 a.m.  I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to eat and it usually includes strawberries and a bowl of cereal.  It usually wakes up Andrew (he hears EVERYTHING) and he comes out and finds me just having a meal in the middle of the night and we both start laughing.  I’m sure this ritual will continue during breastfeeding months!

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*We have a doctor’s appointment today and both kids are coming with us.  They still giggle so hard every time they hear her heart beat.  I just want to know what is going on in their little brains whenever they think about her and what is up ahead for our family.

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I have a special request for today (I know, I pretty much ask something of you each day but let’s just pretend this one is even more special).  Before big races I’ve asked for any tips that you have for race day (which have always helped me so much).  Before getting married I LOVED hearing from you on any marriage tips that you have learned over the years.  I’ve asked you for about a billion tips over here on the baby blog about everything from what to pack to breastfeeding and I just have one more thing to ask….

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST TIP (or tipS if you are feeling extra generous today;) for labor/delivery, the beginning of breastfeeding, emotions and for the first few weeks of having a newborn!  I love reading these things… it could be anything from something you learned from your mom to any quotes that you loved during this time to something that hit you one day when you were trying to figure out newborn life.   It just feels like the last time I did this was a different lifetime and I’m feeling a little nervous at times about it all so PLEASE share a tip that helped you in the beginning!  This will be a great resource for other mama’s reading too!

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145 comments

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I have no tips for labor. Its too unpredictable. I had it built up in my mind how it would go and well nothing went as I thought it would. As for breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You always hear the stories about how easy it is for some women. But the reality is for most women its not that easy. There can be supply issues, latch issues, hormone issues, etc. Lactation consultants are amazing and your hospital should have one on staff. Request to talk to her before you leave even if you aren’t having issues, you may just want to have her contact info for the future. Don’t let anyone mom shame you! You know what is best for your baby, go with your gut.

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My biggest tip is to relax and don’t listen too much to what you read/ hear about everything parenting related. No one has the bond you will with your daughter- no one knows what is right EXCEPT for the two of you. Somehow I managed to listen to this advice with my 9 month old daughter and I’m so glad I did. We did exactly what worked for us and not what we thought we should be doing. I’m specifically thinking about breastfeeding when I write this but thought it could apply to everything:)

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Just be kind to yourself. All the issues are so easy to get caught up in and become worried or self judgmental or scared you are doing it wrong…but just chill. You will figure it out as you go along and find what works best for you and your baby and your family. I have 4 kids and each transition was so different but when I backed off and just didn’t let myself get too worked up over everything, slowly it all worked out. Good luck! What an exciting time for your family!!!

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I have breastfed all three of my kiddos; with my daughter for a year and with my twins for 9 months. The biggest advice I can give you is breastfeeding is hard, no matter if you’ve done it before and especially in the beginning! Be patient with it and yourself. Secondly, it’s ok if it doesn’t pan out, whether it’s a tongue tie, or whether you just don’t like it, don’t be ashamed to call it quits, do what’s best for you and the baby!

Good luck and many blessings in delivery! Can’t wait to see your new angel!

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I have no tips because I’m only a college student! You look beautiful. I’m so happy for your cute family! I have to ask… where did you get those donuts? I’m in UT and need to find them!

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Thank you Courtney!!! You are so nice! They are from the Springville Art City Donuts truck… PURE HEAVEN. Get some asap!

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I have no tips for pregnancy but your photos are precious and I’m glad everything has been feeling good. I know you will be such a great mom to your new child Janae…as you already are! :-)

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DITTO DITTO DITTO. You are an amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing mother Janae and will be to this precious angel as well. All is going to be OK and Andrew and your family will be right there by your side supporting you and loving you every step of the way.

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Thank you x a million Donna, I really appreciate what you said. It means a lot to me!

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Count out loud through your contractions, helps you know when the end is and focus on breathing through it. Embrace the bathtub, its magic. Breastfeed takes practice for both you, but once it clicks it gets easier, and don’t be hard on yourself if you need help, that’s why they make it. Bringing home a new baby with other babies in the house can be busy, we had a present from the baby waiting for her big sister and vice versus when our youngest was born, they are 3 and 5 and still carry those stuffies around. Congratulations on your new addition, hope everything goes smoothly.

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I hope you share your strength workouts that help build up before running! (I’m due in March and would love any and all advice!) As I’m pregnant with my fourth I can definitely see how things improved for us during each newborn stage. My first was a very hard delivery and there were some pretty serious complications for me after, it was a rough and long recovery. And we had no idea what we were doing. I’m not the best at communicating so that’s one thing I’ve really gotten better at. I tell My hubs what I’m feeling and what I need and ask him to help me. With my third I was like “when you come home I need to nap with the baby for at least an hour” and he knew and was prepared and super supportive. If I need something I can’t hope he’ll know, I have to talk to him. I’ve also noticed that when we date everything is better. We really try to do one date a week, it’s our lifeline. And having a new born is no exception, I never feel like going out but we make sure to go be alone, usually we drive to Dairy Queen and get blizzards and then drive somewhere pretty and talk and eat, usually one of our moms is staying with us so I feed the baby and then we try to get an hour of uninterrupted talking. I think the biggest thing is trying to support each other and find joy in the journey.

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I felt like i took tons of pics and those are great but take videos too! Just little clips of her doing “boring”’stuff like sleeping or just looking at you. They change so much and their little sounds change a lot too. Wish i would have taken more videos in the beginning and esp hospital because you think you’ll always remember funny quirks but you won’t! Good luck and enjoy it all! Xo

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I’ve got a 14 week old (my first), so I’m still figuring this all out myself. My advice would be if you need help, ask for it. Be it from Andrew, your mom, a lactation consultant, whatever. I sometimes expect people to read my mind, and it was important for me to speak up and ask for what I specifically needed. It’s still important now!

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CONGRATS JESSICA on your new little 14 week old. Thank you for your tip… I need to remember that because I forget to ASK (even though everyone wants to help)! Thank you and I hope you have a great day!

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I am SO excited for you! :)

Now, I am not a mother yet, BUT, I did see this on another blog and wanted to share it in case you haven’t seen this (I bookmarked it for when the day arrives for me ;)…at the bottom of this blog post, Kylie included a “Well Mom Checklist” which I thought was genius — things to check in with yourself about to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Here is the post (http://immaeatthat.com/2017/11/30/postpartum-so-far/) — checklist is towards the bottom of the post.

I can’t wait to pop on here one day and read that she’s arrived!!! <3

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When I got nervous about giving birth (3 kids and it never got less nerve-wracking) I just tried to remind myself that millions of women have done it and I could too, and I focused on the big reward at the end — a wonderful new addition to the family! And also, regarding both birth and breastfeeding, just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s easy. La Leche League was a huge help to me throughout my time of breastfeeding. Get over the hump of those first difficult weeks (6-8 weeks for both mom and baby to learn about each other, because every baby is different!) with some support and advice and it all gets so much easier. Wishing you all well!

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For both kids after the first week or so of holding them in order to get any sleep…we did the “cry it out” method. Basically we made sure they weren’t hungry/wet/uncomfortable, and then played them down with the mobile going with music and let them put themselves to sleep at night and during middle if the night feedings. Best thing ever! Seriously they only cried for a few minutes the first 2 nights, then they were happy as can be! Best of luck to you guys!!

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My favorite quote in regards to parenthood is this one, from a doula:

“Be gentle on yourself while you cultivate your parenting muscle, and make room for mistakes. No two mothers are going to move through this journey the same way, and that’s a good thing, because your baby needs that special magic that only you can bring. ”

I read about your breastfeeding struggles with Brooke and it was the EXACT same thing I went through with my daughter this summer; weak latch, too sleepy to eat, had to exclusively pump, supply dried up within four months. It was absolutely heartbreaking for me and I don’t want any mom to feel this cloud of failure over their heads while they are trying to snuggle and love their newborn. YOU will know what is best for her! Once I realized that, it made motherhood so much easier and gave me time to be PRESENT with my daughter instead of fretting over milk supply.

Best wishes to you guys!

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A dear friend told me the week before I had my first of two daughters (now 17 & 14) “Remember that everything looms larger at night.” Meaning, a crying baby during the day feels much less overwhelming than that same baby who cries at night when the rest of the house is buttoned up and quiet. It’s still the same crying baby! I couldn’t always remember this in the moment but it usually made me feel slightly less stressed out when my girls chose not to go to sleep :)

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I’ve been a mom for four weeks now (9 month & 4 weeks if you count pregnancy!) and here’s my advice so far.
1. Treasure every second. It goes so fast and I’d rather spend the time cuddling my baby boy than worrying about laundry. Who cares if you wear the same leggings two days in a row?
2. Speak up-this goes for everything. At the hospital, advocate for yourself if something doesn’t seem right. If you’re not ready for visitors, say so (this is something I learned for next time). And if you need Andrew to do something, tell him. Apparently husbands aren’t mind readers.
3. Stay off baby forums, comments on baby Facebook posts, etc. I already have enough anxiety and reading about so many scary (but rare) things that can happen doesn’t do any good.
You’re getting so close! I’m can’t wait for the announcement and to find out her name!

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When I brought my daughter home 41 yrs ago (yikes I’m OLD) I was so scared !! My Grand-Mother came to the rescue when my baby wasn’t sleeping well during the night, Grand-ma stayed with me one night and watched my routine which included a very small night light (were talking plug in the wall thing That small) being turned on once I had the baby in bed….when my baby would wake up to be fed or changed going back to sleep most times were a NO Go…GrandMa looked right at me and said ‘then turn the light Off silly’! Guess what…it Worked!
Other than that she always told me babies don’t come with manuals…you’ll be fine.

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My biggest tip for labor is you don’t have to be a hero – if you want drugs or an epidural, go for it. Everyone is different and what works for others might not work for you. Obviously the most important thing is a healthy baby and a healthy, happy mom!
As for breastfeeding – which is supposed to be so ‘natural;’ for many moms and babies it does NOT come naturally. Extra sleepy babies get lazy – try to be patient and certainly ask for help if you need/want it. I remember crying when I left the hospital because I didn’t want to leave the lactation consultant behind. Thankfully she didn’t mind if I called her and I know sometimes they even make house calls so if you need that, go for it.
You got this, Janae – I have no doubt!
Best wishes for your beautiful family!

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Have Andrew give you a priesthood blessing. I’ve been induced with all my kids and the night before we went in to have our last, I asked my husband for a blessing. It was the most beautiful blessing and moment for us…just me, him and our unborn baby girl. We were both sobbing by the time he was done and it is a moment I will never forget. ❤️ I’m so excited for you!! There is a six year gap between my first and second (very similar situation as yours) and I could not wait to hold a newborn again…my newborn. There’s nothing quite like it. Good luck to you Janae…I hope you have an easy, quick labor. Sending contractions your way ?

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I had my first baby about 3 weeks ago so we have been deep in the trial and error period over here :) my only advice is follow what you want to do and not what the internet tells you to do! I thought I wanted a drug free birth and the second contractions hit hard I was yelling for the epidural and it was a miracle!! My daughter was facing sunny side up and I ended up pushing for four hours- no way could I have done it without.

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You are allowed to feel however you feel. And bring your own socks and hairbrush.

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Oh I really love that… thank you Katie!

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You’re on the upswing of a learning curve. Life is a series of learning curves. Within each day we have several tracks we’re on with learning curves and we are at different points on about each curve. We don’t usually think consciously about it. Aren’t all the learning curves working together? Likely. #learningcurve

Patience is a good trait to come to mind especially at the beginning of a new learning curve. Just like learning curves work together, traits work together also. Is patience with self and others strengthened by forgiveness, including forgiving ourselves? Likely. There are other companion traits and it’s likely they are in your conscious or subconscious right now. #trait

There’s something about 40×40. It’s likely 40×40 applies to patience and forgiveness – daily at the beginning of a learning curve. #40×40

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It is so much easier the second time around! Trust yourself! For labor I read and found it helpful to make sure you relax your jaw. Also if you make any noise while in labor to try and keep it low- it sounds odd but was helpful! Try not to fight the contractions but rather focus on opening and releasing. Breast feeding did not work for me either time (both had posterior tongue ties which I got fixed and didn’t help) so I ended up pumping. Just be kind to yourself- and remember fed is best! Be sure to make time for you and Brooke to have special one on one time together. It can be something small and silly but I think it helps them a lot! Good luck!

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I’m 17 days in with my baby girl!

Labor: check out the podcast called the Birth Hour. This really empowered me to advocate for myself. Nothing can prepare you for labor but I loved the stories. Knowledge is power!

BF: I got help from the LCs at the hospital. I felt way more confident leaving there and my milk came in the afternoon we settled at home! I’m still learning but baby girl is a champ! We have a free BF support group and I’ve been going to that to get extra support as needed, meet other moms and weigh her.

Coming home: the first two nights were rough. It got better after that but now she’s in the middle of the 2/3 week growth spurt and back to sleepless nights. Hopefully it will turn around again soon.

Hospital bag: I packed a ton of stuff and never used it. Chapstick, a going home outfit and a nice robe for a family photo. Everything else the hospital gave me to use. Oh I did like my own toiletries. The shower the next morning was wonderful.

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During labor I thought about my mother, my grandmothers, their mothers, and the long line of women that came before. Childbirth is something I share with them all, even though my life is so different from theirs. Childbirth connects me to my foremothers and to women all around the world. It gave me strength to think of us all laboring together. Neither of my deliveries went as I expected, but I loved them both.

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Labor…I second the keep your voice low thing if you make noise/moan (which sounds weird!). My labor and delivery nurse BFF told me it’s because it helps keep tension out of your muscles, including your cervix! And nothing wrong with an epidural!

Breastfeeding…I loved my lactation consultant, she was amazing!! Having a book on a kindle is a nice way to pass the time feeding at night!

You will do great!! Can’t wait to hear her name!

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If labor is moving slow, ask for a peanut ball. Basically a huge exercise ball in the shape of a peanut to put between your legs. I went from a 4 to a 10 in 30 minutes with that thing!!

If you want your kids to see the first bath, Utah valley will do it in your room so you can all watch and be a part.

Take pictures of of you in the hospital. Not necessarily labor pictures if that’s not your thing, but pictures before you leave the hospital with baby and kids and you and Andrew. My husband never thinks about taking pictures and I never asked with my second baby and I’m so sad I didn’t. I ended up asking my sister to take pictures my last night because I remembered how sad I was that we didn’t with my second.

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I’m a L&D nurse and those peanut balls are amazing. We have some on our unit.

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YES! I wish I would have known about them with my first two, but so glad I had it with #3

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Sleep when your baby sleeps. Forget the house, forget the laundry, and go to bed. I think moms can fall into a place of feeling that we need to be productive– and there is a time for that!– and take advantage of baby’s quiet times to get stuff done. Instead, take that time to do the most important work that you can while baby is sleeping: rest, heal, and recharge. SO excited to meet your littlest girl.

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Hydrate! I went in for my induction dehydrated from a cold and they couldn’t find a vein for the i.v! Took 3 miserable times and it ended up on top of my wrist is the worst spot. Also speak up! The minute my daughter was born I insisted they took it out. I was over being in pain from it!

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For breastfeeding. Drink drink drink! If you get after birth pains while you nurse…have someone massage your feet while you breastfeed. Works wonders!

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Okay, that is SUCH a great idea. Andrew is game and said he will do this for me! Thank you Judi!!!

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In regards to labor – if you’re full term don’t assume you’ve peed your pants – it’s probably your water breaking and don’t assume you’re having gas pains – you’re probably contracting!
In regards to breastfeeding – take it one feed at a time. It’s painful at first but it get’s better. Find a safe nipple balm and use it! Don’t use cabbage – it’ll dry you up! Pump when full or express w/ a hot washcloth. Remain patient with your body – it knows what to do. When she’s feeding a lot- just relax and let her. She is naturally increasing your milk supply. She’s not implying she’s not getting enough food. Just roll with it.
Everything with a newborn get’s better over time. Just breathe.

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If breastfeeding is a struggle in the beginning, just know it will get better. I had really good and REALLY bad days of feeding for my baby’s first 3 weeks. She would be crying, I would be crying…it was a mess. Then, at the 4th week, we finally understood each other and everything clicked. Now, she lives on my boob and my husband and I laugh about the wrestling matches we would endure just a few weeks ago. Just like running, don’t quit just because it’s hard.

And if people offer to babysit Brooke/Knox, make meals, unload your dishwasher, walk your dog, etc, let them!

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All I want is salmon cooked in butter with a side of mini donuts! Can’t believe you’re at week 39… she’ll be here any day now! Sending you hugs and all the positive thoughts!

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One thing that my husband and doula told be during my first labor when I said I couldn’t do it anymore was “you’re doing it!!!” I’m not sure why but this really helped me! I’m hoping for the same this time around! I’m currently 30 weeks with my second!!

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One thing that my husband and doula told be during my first labor when I said I couldn’t do it anymore was “you’re doing it!!!” I’m not sure why but this really helped me! I’m hoping for the same this time around! I’m currently 30 weeks with my second!!

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Definitely go to a lactation support group. Hopefully your hospital offers one. Breastfeeding was so difficuly for me in the first 8 weeks, and I found it so helpful to learn. I dont think I would have made it past 4 weeks if I hadnt attended.

I also experienced baby blues/postpartum adjustment disorder. Almost everyone I know who had a baby felt sad for a few days or weeks while your hormones level out, but if it lasts a while or seems extreme please ask for more support from Andrew, your family, or a licensed professional. I let mine go on too long and honestly we all suffered, until accepted what was going on wasnt normal and found someone to talk to.

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You will be fine!! With my son I was so miserable afterwards both physically and emotionally. I had my daughter in February and it’s been sooo much easier! You’ve done this before and your living situation is so much better now, just enjoy the whole experience and best of luck!!!

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My only advice is have something special set up for Brooke and Knox every day and GET THEM OUT OF THE HOUSE (with others, of course). I felt so so guilty about not spending as much time with my oldest when my youngest was born. It was an exciting but very stressful and confusing time for her and I had so much guilt. I even took her to get a donut the day after we got home and I could hardly walk. Don’t do that. Get them out of the house with your sister or someone fun so you and Andrew can soak up that sweet new baby goodness guilt free. :)

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Is her name potentially Jandy? (Janae + Andrew) I didn’t check the other guesses.

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All your love of hot chocolate has me looking at this Hot Chocolate 15k here in charlotte (https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/charlotte)

My advice for everything, but especially for labor, breastfeeding, recovery, life – don’t have expectations (good or bad). Don’t expect that the child will be perfect or that the things will go wonderfully (or terribly), don’t envision all these things on how it will be, who she will be, what you’ll do. Feel okay going in blind and whatever you get or however it works out will be just right because there is no alternative vision. This might be harder because you’ve been through it all once before, but going is saying that whatever happens, happens and that’s just right worked really well for me. Whether you have a c-section or not, or you breastfeed or not, or recovery is slow or not – it’s all just right for you because it’s just the way it was meant to be all along.

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Hi Janae,
I have a 4.5 month old and want to share my tips/what worked for me. Labor: it will be painful, but it is temporary and you will reach the finish line! Just like you talked about in a prior post- you have endured lots of pain to reach the ultimate goal, whether that be the end of a race or a baby. I will say my epidural saved me :) Breastfeeding: Do not leave the hospital until you meet with the lactation consultant! Ask your nurse to send her if she doesn’t already come by your room. Let her watch you nurse baby. She will make sure the latch is correct and have LOTS of pointers. Make sure you have lots of easy to eat food and thirst quenching drinks in your house….I’m sure you already remember from Brooke but there were days I was absolutely ravenous at the beginning of breastfeeding. I was also insanely thirsty all the time. One last tip: welcome all help. Have your mom come over after you nurse so you can take a nap for a couple hours. Welcome meals that visitors/friends may bring over. The last thing you will have time for is cooking. I’ll be thinking about you in the days to come!! Have a great night!!!

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During labor:just take one contraction at a time. Don’t even think about the fact that you will have another one (this kept me from panicking during 3 unmedicated labors haha).
During the newborn stage: don’t plan on sleeping at night. This sounds crazy but I found that if I planned on being awake I was much more grateful when I did sleep vs. planning to sleep and being frustrated that I was awake. Another thing that helped was having a new show that I could binge during all those lonely nighttime hours.
As far as breastfeeding goes, those first six weeks, eat and drink more than you think you need, and nurse on demand. You and baby are both going through a lot and feeding whenever baby wants to eat is crucial for establishing that milk supply!

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Just enjoy it, it slips by so fast. Enjoy the snuggles, the lazy mornings, the big sister wanting to help. It all goes so quickly. And trust your instincts, God gave her you and no one else. You’re meant for her, and she’s meant for you. Enjoy. I’m so excited for you! I love Labor, the new breastfeeding journey and all those hours of baby snuggles!

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Someone suggested the book Moms on Call to me when i was pregnant with my third, and I found it enormously helpful in remembering the basics you seem to forget between kids… month-by-month general feeding/sleeping schedules, etc. It’s very concise and easy to read- really great tips. And for breastfeeding, the best thing I did was, after the first week or two, feed just on one side in the first morning feeding (whenever you’re going to be up for the day) and would pump the other side. That both keeps your supply up and also gives you breast milk for another person to introduce a bottle or to store for longer term. Just set me up to have some “freedom” from being needed for every single feeding (to take my big kids out without the baby, go out with husband or friends and leave baby with a parent or sitter, etc). Also- remember that this really is a gift to your big kids. Their lives are going to change and they may have challenges of not being catered to as much- I reminded myself often that this was a great lesson in character building! The sibling relationships have been one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced. Good luck!

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For me, I had to be up on my hands and knees during my contractions. The pain wasn’t as intense as lying on my back. Another tip that my grandma gave me and I used for both my boys who had colic, is to put their stomach against yours while standing up and rocking them. You have such a beautiful family and can’t wait to meet the new little one! And to know her name! ?

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My oldest is 14 now … I remember daydreaming about having someone come clean my toilets for me. If I had it to do over again, I would have planned to have a cleaning service for the first several weeks of her life. Congratulations to you two!!!

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I read this one to Andrew last night… GREAT TIP… I’ll be doing this! Thank you Amy and I hope your day is a great one!

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You are allowed to be as crazy, stressed, anxious, tired, and/or emotional as you are feeling and Andrew HAS to pretend like you are the most perfect princess on the planet. Honestly, that was the best thing my partner did. No matter how insane I was, he just looked at me and pretended I was perfect. I realllllly needed that in those first few weeks (months!) because I was so hard on myself and convinced everything meant the world was going to end. We had a really difficult time breastfeeding (had to stop and exclusively pump and dropper feed her for 2 weeks so my nipples could heal) and that was sooooo rough. I’m really glad that I breastfed, but if I ever have another I will introduce formula much earlier for my sanity. For some reason in my head I thought that if I exclusively breastfed I was going to win a medal or something… FYI, you don’t! I would also say take more videos- I always take photos, but I wish I had more videos of my babe when she was tiny :)

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One of my co-workers just had her first baby. She is using nipple shields when breastfeeding and has had no pain, bleeding or soreness. I don’t think they had those when I had my son almost 14 years ago. They sound very helpful to allow pain-free breastfeeding. Have you heard of them?

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Hi Janae,
I had trouble breastfeeding all four of mine, but I tried with each one – low supply due to some milk duct/breast tissue issues. First off, I loved having a lactation consultant that I could call with questions. We had one that came to our house two or three times, and it was beyond helpful. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Keep baby on your chest skin to skin and feed on demand those first few weeks until your supply is established and y’all have a good routine going. This was so hard for me as I felt like I always needed to be up doing stuff, but let it go. If anyone offers help, take it. Let others take care of you and just cuddle and feed your baby. I miss those newborn snuggles so much – even the ones at 3 AM. As much as I wanted breastfeeding to work, all of my babies ended up on formula. It wasn’t my first choice, but I’m so grateful that there was an alternative available and that I was able to feed them. Just remember, any amount of breast milk your baby gets is awesome, especially the colostrum those first few days. She’ll be here so soon!!! So happy and excited for you guys.

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The best parenting advice I’ve ever received was from my mom. She told me “a baby has never been a baby before”. Your baby will be learning right along with you. You will both make mistakes, you will both learn from them, and you will get stronger and smarter together, as a team. I feel this statement really is true of life though. We have never been through tomorrow so learn and grow with the people you choose to surround yourself with.

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WOW, I’ve never heard that before Susan. It is perfect. I will definitely remember this one. Thank you!

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You are going to be just fine. I am 9wks post partum
with my 3rd. Labor is different for everyone and so sacred. One thing that really helped me was making a Spotify playlist of calming songs. It helped ease my anxiety in the hospital and now I listen to it with the baby! Breastfeeding is always the hardest those first two weeks. Lansinoh makes these gel soothing pads that are a lifesaver for preventing cracked nipples, get them! Fish oil supplements really seem to help with my post partum mood balance (baby blues, so common), I take them three times a day. Most of all just give yourself grace and trust your own mama instincts, you know your baby better than anyone.

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I always threw up at transition and that’s got me to a 10 both times. So if you throw up just think about how much closer you’re getting to meeting her!
I found malt (as in chocolate malts) was good for increasing my milk supply and cabbage leaves in my bra totally helped with being too full toward the beginning.

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my daughter was almost 4 when we finally had our little boy (had two still births in between). she and i were such a little team and i was so worried that she would feel like she wasn’t as important anymore and i just never felt like i could make enough time for both of them! and i feel like this will be your biggest struggle too….since i “know” you and all. ;) but please hear me….LET THAT GO. brooke and knox KNOW how loved and important they are. even if they pout every now and then, they KNOW your love for them hasn’t changed. in a few months, you’ll have a routine down and life will be totally normal again, a new normal yes but a familiar normal also. you’ve got this momma!

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Kimmie, thank you so much for sharing your experience… it means the world to me. I have totally been worried about this (you DO know me) and it was so reassuring to read what you said about letting that go and that the kids know our love won’t change for them. Thank you, just what I needed to read! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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My best tip is to trust yourself. Books are great, crowdsourcing is great, but ultimately you are the person who knows your baby better than anybody else.

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I love this Vanessa, thank you for sharing. It was just what I needed to read. I hope you have a beautiful week!

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I’m glad! It was something I so needed to hear after I had my first baby. Things went a lot smoother for us after I started trusting my instincts. I know this isn’t your first, but I figured it couldn’t hurt :)

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Hi Janae!

I have no tips for you, but I can say it is easy for me to tell parents who tolerate vs love their kids. Both you and Andrew clearly love your kids, instill discipline, and can hardly wait for your baby to arrive.

Know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and I am hoping your delivery is smooth!

Margaret

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Wow, thank you so much Margaret. This means the world to us. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers… we really appreciate you. I hope you have a beautiful day!

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I am new to your blog but I am just so inspired by you! I’m bookmarking this for the next time I’m pregnant. ?

The best advice I got for breastfeeding a newborn was to spend some time during each session just falling in love. Just a moment to be present and savor the smell and softness of your darling. Not only is it a small way to find mindfulness during the hazy crazy days of having a wee nursling, but it also encourages letdown and stimulates milk production.

So excited for you!

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Where do I start? ;)
– eat before you go to the hospital. Most places only allow ice chips during labor which is fine if it’s short. However, I’ve had patients in labor for over 24 hours and most times they hadn’t eaten for many hours prior to coming to the hospital.
– there is no right or wrong way to have a baby. There is a lot of pressure for moms to do things certain ways but a healthy mom and a healthy baby is the goal – no matter how that happens.
-If you’re lucky enough to have a nursery in your hospital it’s ok to let them take care of baby so you and Andrew can get some rest, especially if it’s a long labor.
– it’s okay to refuse to visitors. I’ve seen people with loose relationships (i.e. the boyfriend of the cousin of the patient’s husband or the co-worker of the husband) or at bizarre times (2 am with toddlers in tow) to visit a mom who just gave birth (our labor and delivery unit does not have set visiting hours). The only people who should be visiting you in the hospital are people you have expressly invited at specific times. If you don’t feel comfortable refusing visitors, let your nurse be the “bad” guy.
– Finally, the first few hours after she is born are incredibly important for bonding. Skin to skin for an hour after birth is the recommendation and helps regulate baby’s temp and with breastfeeding. It’s really hard to do with a room full of people. As excited as everyone is to meet your new arrival I would encourage you to reserve that time for your immediate family. As soon as people come into the room they are going to want to hold her, take pictures, etc and that interferes with skin to skin contact.
Best of luck to your family. I am ridiculously excited for all of you!

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YES… I remember being STARVING at the hospital while in labor with Brooke. Thank you for the reminder (I totally forgot about that)… I will be fueling up. Seriously, all of these tips were just what I needed. Thank you for taking the time to tell me them. Thank you. I hope you have a beautiful day!

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So funny because this was the first thing I thought of when I read the question. I am ALWAYS hungry, but I remember not wanting to eat much all day long when I was in labor. As soon as he was born I was beyond starving. My nurse was great and brought me something (I specifically remember that it was a plain turkey sandwich, because I was so hungry that it tasted like one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten). It was like 1:00 a.m. and nothing was open – so my tip would really be to bring something to eat to the hospital for after you deliver, especially if you happen to deliver in the middle of the night!

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Just be in the moment and feel however you feel. It all goes by so very fast.

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Your choices are good and right for you and family. Whatever your do is enough.

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Just what I needed to read/hear. Thank you Adreann… your comment gave me a lot of relief. Thank you.

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Don’t underestimate emotional roller-coster you will experience after your sweet baby girl is born! Looking back, after my baby girl was born, I didn’t really realize how crazy my feelings/emotions were, and I should have been more patient with myself. Its so hard when you are trying to figure out breastfeeding and a new baby and everything else, and then also feel a bit crazy, but just remember that you are doing your best and everything will work out just fine :) you are already such an amazing mama and just take it one day at a time.

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Biggest tip: keep talking to your husband and express your fears and crazy thoughts. Breast feeding can be so hard. You know that. If it works, great, if not, great. Get the baby fed. But talk to your husband. Being a new mom, even though it’s the absolute best, is so dang hard! When you’re emotions go haywire, just let them know. Emotions are supposed to go haywire. That’s what makes women such great caregivers!

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I just gave birth to my third baby (first girl!!) six days ago so I’d say it’s pretty fresh on my mind… I had all natural labors. This was probably my most intense and I think the most important thing for me each time was to take it one contraction at a time and focus on completely relaxing every part of my body – usually leaning on my husband for support. And hum!! Deep breaths in, slowly release as you hum deeply. That got me through! My first comment after this birth was that childbirth is totally harder than running a marathon! But worth it.
For nursing, skin to skin and nurse on demand no matter how frequent it feels at first. Ask for the LC in hospital to come evaluate latch etc while you’re there even if you don’t think you’re having issues. Extra encouragement will only help you! Let others help with the big kids and let baby be your priority. It’s tough with big siblings and all the emotions everyone has, but ultimately that early period is just so critical and short and baby needs mommy most. This is our last baby so I’m taking this advice hardcore and parking myself and baby on the couch a lot! Soak it up!
And for siblings, my boys are 5 and 3. The oldest begs to hold his baby sister and will sit for 30 minutes with her so I try to let him as often as possible – their bond is so sweet already. And siblings can help by fetching stuff you need, refilling your water etc. This time has been challenging but also very special!
I am so excited for you! I pray you have a smooth labor and delivery and that your family enjoys every minute of the special time to follow. ❤️

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I know this is said over and over but just enjoy every little moment. As you know from Brooke they grow up all too fast and even when you’re super emotional and dealing with hormones and everything feels out of whack, try to just enjoy the snuggles and the love because you will miss it one day!

I am sure you are SO ready for her to be here!! Did you make it this far in your pregnancy with Brooke? I had my daughter at 37 weeks, 4 days so I never made it to the later weeks and I never had any crazy anxiety wondering when she would come. I keep checking the blog a few times every day for updates that you’re in labor :-) I hope it’s soon for you!! I am sending you a big hug <3

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For Labor: Just think every contraction is one you NEVER have to experience again! That contraction is done….you did it! you conquered that one, and you never have to feel that ONE again;) Also look at each contraction as one step (or mile;) closer to holding your little girl.

For postpartum and Breast feeding: Get all the help and support you need for BOTH. Do not wait till you hit rock bottom to ask for help…..ask when it’s just a little hard;) And be so, so, so kind to yourself. My hormones are TERRIBLE for the first few months after having a baby…..that’s when I feel not myself. I wish I would have asked for more help.

Hold that baby girl and let her sleep on you as much as you want! Remember by about 4 months old they don’t just lay on you like a lump anymore, they put their head up and try to look around etc…..enjoy those first few months and soak them up! Do not feel guilty about stiff not getting done. The important stuff will get done, everything else can wait. We all know babies don’t keep:(

I am getting SO EXCITED for you all Janae!!!!!!

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Keep your water bottle right next to where you’ll be breastfeeding. I was so thirsty (and hungry) every time I nursed!

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I loved journaling when my daughter was first born. There were so many intense emotions I wanted to capture how I was feeling. Re-reading the entries just brings me back; so sweet and special!!

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Tips for labour – I was told before my first to ‘stick with the contraction’, I didn’t understand this at all at the time but I do now and it hugely helped me through two labours/deliveries. Contractions go up and back down, don’t tense up and quicken you’re breathing, stay relaxed and keep your breathing as slow as you can. When you’re walking in early labour, try to stretch out your torso as much as you can (like, overextend and lean back to add length to your front), another tip I was given (both of these by a woman who has attended hundreds of births) and for whatever reason, it makes a contraction feel so much better.

For postpartum and breastfeeding – Ask. for. help. Ask for recos from friends now for lactation consultants and have those numbers ready if needed after the baby comes. If breastfeeding is painful, get help immediately, don’t wait for it ‘to sort out’. Nurse on demand OR every 2-3 hours at least for the first 6 weeks to establish milk supply (even if baby can go longer, in the first 6 weeks you’re setting up long term supply – as you empty your breasts you increase the number of prolactin receptors in your breasts – more receptors = more milk. After 6 weeks breastfeeding is established and you can let baby sleep as long as they’d like). Also, google the ‘breast crawl’ and see what amazing little instincts newborns have when it comes to latching. As for newborn life – it’s so hard but you’ll be okay. You have lots of support around you, just make use of it. :)

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I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding my first and a much better time with the second. The things I did differently that worked for me were to just feed him constantly in the first three days, even if he’d just eaten and I was sure there wasn’t anything in there. Any time he fussed I fed him and I never let him go more than two hours without eating even if it meant waking him up (zzzzzz). The other things that helped were drinking 100oz of water a day (really hard and didn’t always do it but I tried) and eating more high fat foods (I craved more postpartum than during pregnancy, specifically avocados, nuts, red meat, and dairy). I started running about 4 weeks PP with both kids and that worked out okay for me.

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Hi sweet friend.
1. Everything is unfolding exactly as it should.
2. The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. (Keep yourself on your priority list)
3. God hand picked you to be her mother. You are already perfect for her being exactly who you already are!

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I love everything about what you said. Thank you Erica. All three things were just what I needed to remember!

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I’m kind of bad at this because (1) I had a c-section and (2) my preemies wouldn’t latch, but one thing that helped me is to do whatever you can that allows the baby to sleep well. Happy baby means happy you. I read all the sleep books while pregnant and highly suggest Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. He had schedules in there and I’m not sure how it works but it did. It changes as they get older and it always worked. Every time they weren’t sleeping well, I switched the schedule and BAM, it worked. People are always surprised that mine go to bed so early (not really early, its the recommended time for their age), but they are great sleepers! Also, what does that say about me that I thought that light was initially a cupcake? I’m off sugar right now until Christmas and as you can see, I am doing VERY well. LOL! Have a great one, Janae! And don’t be nervous! You’ll do great! I’ll keep you in prayer though and pray that God grants you peace.

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I would say don’t feel pressured. Don’t feel pressured to breast feed if it’s not working. Don’t feel pressured to keep your house clean all the time. Everybody has advice about what worked for them, and it won’t necessarily work for you. Go with what feels right. :)

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My little girl is three months old today, so I feel like we’re almost in the same boat. The thing I have found the most helpful is the saying “everything is a phase.” I repeat this to myself during the hard times like the sleepless nights or the times she’s crying and I can’t seem to find the right thing to comfort her (usually it’s gas)(baby tears break your heart!). I also repeat this to myself during little moments here and there to remind myself to stay present. I want to remember every silly face, every little baby coo, and every little smile. Best of luck with your labor and delivery. I can’t wait to follow your journey with a newborn on the blog!

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I made a Pinterest board about childbirth. Great quotations about your mind and body and baby being ready. It was great for me to read and find comfort and strength becasue they told me my baby was a giant which had me a bit anxious. They were right but it was a great and easy labor and delivery.

Your baby’s birth will go exactly as it should. Just as your body knows how to blink and breath and grow that baby, it knows how to birth her. Welcome the contractions that bring your baby to you.

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The best advice I received when having my second child was if both kids need you, attend to the older one first. The baby won’t remember, but the big siblings sure do. It’s a new balancing act, but I wish you luck!

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Don’t be afraid to ask for help!! And provide yourself tons of grace – breastfeeding is really hard in the beginning and add lack of sleep and you might feel like you’re going a little crazy. Take it moment by moment. Good luck!!

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BIGGEST TIP which was a life changer for me…drum roll….start squeezing your milk out in the shower NOW so that when she comes it’s ready to flow. My body didn’t want to work or produce much for my first kiddo and I got this tip before my second and my 2nd came out ready to eat and my body filled up her sweet belly on day 1!

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My advice is to listen to everyone’s advice, then do what is right for you & your baby. Don’t be afraid of formula or feel like you have failed at breastfeeding if you have to supplement. This was something that I wished I would have known & done with my first two. My third daughter was so premature that they supplemented my breast milk with formula in the NICU (for the extra calories).

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Get. The. Epidural. :)

Real talk:
2:30 AM alone in the living room with a crying baby, running on little sleep can be a dark place. It is totally normal to have moments of “what in the hell did I get myself into?” Everyone thinks this, and if they say they don’t…they are lying. It is ok to think these things! You are not a bad mom for wanting to “walk away” for a few minutes and hide in the bathroom. Or ball your eyes out in the shower for absolutely no reason! All sooo soo normal!

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Post birth tips-take it easy on yourself, let people help you (and ask for help when you need it), concentrate on the baby and your other family members and let everything else go. This is a special time and your body just did a hard thing. Rest, enjoy it and be easy on yourself and others.
Please don’t feel like you need to post in the days following the birth. Give yourself the space and freedom to take time off.
Your hormones will be crazy. Just give in to them and let them ride out. Reducing your stress and keeping your day as easy as possible will help. It sounds cliché but try not to get too stressed out about breastfeeding. Your body knows what to do and stressing about it is counterproductive. If you need BF support, find it, but try not to get too stressed if you feel your milk is delayed coming in or is not enough. Give your body some time and trust it to do its new job. You got this!

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I’m so excited to virtually meet this baby!
Bringing a baby home to a house that already has kids can be fun but also HARD!
I just had my fifth a few months ago and the best thing I did was to stay in the hospital as long as I could.
I went home with several of my other kids the day after having them, because my doctor said I could. Going back to real life was hard, super hard, both physically and hormonally for me. So this time, with my last, I told my husband not to expect me home until the last possible minute (he doesn’t stay overnight in the hospital with me because there needs to be one coherent parent around, he just visits a lot during the day). Having people bring me meals and help with my baby in the hospital was good. But having a whole extra day with just me and her was amazing. So amazing. I didn’t have to worry about my other kids and I could spend hours skin to skin with her without any little interruptions.

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Helpful mantras for tough moments: “Babies be babies” and “this too shall pass.” So happy for you guys and best of luck!

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Lean into the pain, welcome the pain. It’s exquisite if felt this way. Just as in a race, when you embrace the pain, it shifts. Anything you accept fully, with every cell of your body, becomes an incredible experience. To resist is futile, in any case! I resisted the pain (in retrospect with number 1) and it was really hard. With number 2, I opened to the pain and embraced it and it was overall an incredible and far easier process, and I was able to have a natural childbirth (number 1 was an epidural). Embrace the pain! You know all about this already! XOXO

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I relate to the low patience issue.
My #1 is this:
It IS OK to put your baby down and walk away.
When we are tired and frustrated, those feelings transfer and it’s nearly impossible to sooth a cranky baby when you feel that way. It is perfectly acceptable (and beneficial) to put your baby down somewhere safe and walk away for a few minutes.
You’ll do great. :)

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I think with labor and delivery, the plan is to have no plan. What? Crazy talk. I’m a planner, but with labor and delivery anything can happen and you need to be open to everything. This was so hard for me ahead of time; however, when I was in the moment, I could choose what I wanted. Did I want an epidural? “Not yet” and then, “yes, now please”. Did I want a c-section, no. Did I need one? No. Would I have accepted one if I needed to? Yes. No plan makes it so much easier to go with the flow. Also, as a runner, I felt like I could tolerate more pain (or maybe that’s just me). I knew my body could do incredible things and childbirth was something I could totally do.

Breastfeeding is a whole other topic (or should I say journey?). Again, you need to be open. There may be a chance that it doesn’t work. And that’s okay – always do what’s best for baby. Forget social pressures. If you need to switch to formula – do it. If you don’t need to switch, that’s awesome too! I drank a ton of mother’s milk tea (like three times a day) and ate a lot of foods that assisted with milk product (oats, almonds, etc.). Relaxing is key – it makes the milk flow better. And remember, it takes time for both of you to find your groove. Finally, if you need a lactation consultant – hire one. Heck, if you need a sleep consultant when its time to sleep train – hire one! (Oh and from a sleep obsessed mommy – don’t stress about sleep the first three months – enjoy the cuddles and snuggles as they are fleeting. I developed a strong routine to signal night vs. day, but in no way would I recommend training until the baby is older. )

Good luck and enjoy the ride (again!). I think you’ll find you remember more than you think!

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The best advice I can give about breast feeding is be patient with both yourself and your little one. Also nipple cream is a God send use it. Everyday I wonder when I go to read your post if today will be the day you announce her arrival. Sending thoughts of a wonderful labor and delivery your way.

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My biggest tip would be to have some pre-made formula on hand for the first few days. With my little one my milk didn’t come in until three days after birth and the colostrum wasn’t enough for my baby boy. He ended up losing more weight than I would have liked (which he very quickly gained back- we’ve got a big, healthy and happy boy now) but as a first time mama I didn’t even think that my breastmilk might not be enough. I wish I had known to have some with me, it breaks my heart to think he was hungry. Sometimes its not “breast is best” it’s whatever works best for mama and baby. Chances are if you have formula on hand you won’t need it!

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Don’t ever feel like you have anything to prove. Maybe it’s my competitive nature, but with my first I felt like I had to prove that I could handle a baby without a lot of help. With my second, I felt like I had to prove I could handle two kids with no problem. So silly. If I could turn back time I would have just enjoyed every moment, taken any help available, and set no benchmarks for myself. Just enjoy it. That’s all. (And FYI my babies are now 21 and 16. Time flies. Measure time in moments, not with the clock!!!)

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When our second son was born I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding which made it difficult for me to bond with him (we were both crying all the time)! I had pumped with the first little guy… THE WHOLE TIME and really-really wanted breastfeeding to work the second time around. It was really hard and confusing not to instantly bond with my sweet boy who I had been impatiently expecting!! So many people told me not to give up and it would only take a few weeks (They were right!) I got help when I needed and asked every mother available for tips. I gave myself one month to figure it out and if he started losing weight or we just couldn’t get it by then I would stop. By the end of the third week, we were both rocking it!! Once all the stress was over, that time with him was so precious and the love instantly and profoundly attacked me :)

Having a baby with little ones already at home is a whole new process. Give yourself time to figure it out. Remeber that the baby sleeps so much in the beginning and will provide you with plenty of time to snuggle the older kids. I found it helpful to have an activity bucket for my older guy that he could only play with/use while I was busy with the baby. A lot of people say take care of the older ones first and I agree. When a baby is crying it feels so overwhelming and stressful and you want to instantly make them happy, but if you always drop what you’re doing with the older kids it can lead to some resentment and competition (I learned this the hard way). It is ok to spend a second letting the kids know they are important before checking on the baby. Also, give them a job to do when you have to take care of your sweet new girl. Maybe it could be one of their jobs to always get you a new diaper or pick out a new shirt for the baby etc. and play up how helpful they are being.

Sooo, my advice is to not be afraid to ask for help and if things are difficult, be kind to yourself. Lack of sleep, crazy hormones, the stress of life changing are all a part of the game, don’t force yourself into a preconceived box of what being a mom to a newborn should be. It’s ok to do it your way and figure it out as you go.

Good luck you will do amazing (I absolutely know it! – you are one of the most mentally strong people I ‘know’, you have been through hard times before, these little issues will be a piece of cake)… and if you don’t, that’s ok too, we (and your awesome family) will all be here for you until you figure it out.

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I think one of my biggest tips for breastfeeding is be patient! I have a 5 month old and we struggled for the first week or so but we FINALLY both got the hang of it and are still successfully breastfeeding. I would also suggest having multiple size breast pump shields/cups (whatever you call them). I was so engorged once my milk first came in (2 days later) and the baby was still struggling to latch so i had to pump but the 2 sizes that came with the pump were too small so my aunt, grandma and my poor grandpa who were visiting ran out one night to find me the right size. Total lifesavers!! I would make sure to have some breast cream on hand and maybe a frozen bag of peas or something in the freezer b/c they will be sore but it doesn’t last too long and totally worth it. I can’t wait to see your little one <3 Fingers crossed for any day now!!

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I was so worried about what labor (and the car ride to the hospital) would feel like with my first son, so I wanted to have music to take my mind off things. I used the same playlist I used for my last marathon and it totally helped during the car ride and contractions! As for advice with a newborn/breastfeeding, just take it a day at a time and know that each day will get a little better/easier (with obvious bumps along the way). Know that it is okay for your emotions to be ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE!!! And so much of that has to do with sleep — so once you can start getting sleep again (whenever that is ;)) you’ll feel more normal. And my favorite quote “the very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one”. GOOD LUCK!!!!

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I had someone clean the house one day a week for the first 6 weeks after having my first baby. It was awesome.

I was with the baby all day so it was kinda nice to hand him off in the evenings for a little while so I could take time to myself and take a hot bath.

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I breastfed my first two kids for 2.5 and 3.5 years and am now pregnant with my third. I have had natural deliveries and got trough them with the motto: “progress, not pain”. I refused to let the idea of what I was feeling as being a pain enter my head and just reframed all sensations as progress toward having my babies.

As for breastfeeding. In your heart, always come from a place of yes. Whether the baby has been nursing for an hour and then wants to nurse again right away (in the early days this can happen)…yes. If you are heading into the grocery store and you only have 30 minutes before you have to get Brooke from school…yes…just sit in the backseat and do it. You just have to always be willing to say yes when the child wants to nurse. And offer nursing as a first line of comfort over and over again because it’s usually what they need. So much “yes” in nursing! After a few moths it gets so much easier and natural. And after a year it is a gift! It’s super easy at that point and it becomes the best way to bond with a toddler. Napping/sleeping with your child while nursing is also so lovely and an easy way to get sleep for both of you.

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This verse gave me so much peace and strength during labor:

“For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.”

Wishing you all the best for a smooth labor and delivery, a healthy baby, and a blessed transition for your whole family.

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I would not use that cute little light during nighttime feedings. I wanted my babies to learn that night was a time of feeding but no socializing with mom! No lights, no talking, just nursing the baby and going back to sleep. I used disposable diapers at night and only changed them if they were soiled.

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That makes total sense… I didn’t even think of that! Thank you Polly!!!

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My favorite one is to always remember to smile when the Brooke and Knox enter the room. You will be tired, hungry, adjusting to a new life with baby and the simple act of smiling when you see the other two will assure them that they are still your ‘babies’ too and you’re happy to see them. You may not have time right that minute to get something, play with them, etc but just knowing you’re happy to see them helps them adjust and accept the changes also :)

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I just had my first baby almost 3 weeks ago! My labor went completely not as planned (I was all prepared to try for an unmedicated one and ended up having a csection 5 hours after getting to the hospital) so no helpful hints there but I did read something that helped me with breastfeeding a ton in the beginning. While your body is getting used to the baby latching and it hurts a ton (not due to an improper latch) take a deep breath and count to 20. By the time you get there the pain should be gone. This saved me the first week!!

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Two thoughts:
1.) TMI, but when the nipples are a bit tender in the first few weeks, take a little gentle cleanser (like your baby shampoo) and put a tiny amount in some warm water to make a soapy solution. Then put in small cups (shot glasses, tea cups, etc) and put over nipples to soak for 5-10min. It help prevents infections and is makes things feel so much better.
2.) One of my friends who had twins had the best idea (twin moms always know best). She created a journal that she wrote one line per day about baby/parenting. That’s it. Way easier to remember and lower stress than a full journal in the early days.

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I would recommend enjoying this time without a newborn. This is the last time you will have alone with Brooke- you will have a lifetime with the new baby. Good luck and hope you have an easy delivery, enjoy the new baby and let people do things for you if they offer ! You’re going to be great !

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My old boss gave me this tip about breastfeeding and it was spot on and helped me to push through…she told me that it’s awful in the beginning and very difficult and you’re going to want to throw in the towel…but just try to get to 2 weeks and then it will become MUCH easier. I was definitely ready to quit after a few days. Our daughter had a hard time latching and staying on and I would have to hold her in some uncomfortable positions, which led to my wrist being in awful pain. But then, she was right, things just started to click and it became a lot easier and more natural. Good luck!!

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Feel NO guilt about any thoughts/feelings/struggles you have after she is born – postpartum hormones can be insane and intense. Talk with Andrew, your mom, your sister, etc – be honest! (1 of my most joyful, life giving friends took her life 1.5 years ago after a secret battle with postpartum depression so this is near and dear in a painful way to my heart)
Can’t wait to see pictures and learn her name!!!!

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Deb, I am so beyond sorry about your loss. My heart aches for you and her family. Thank you for what you said. There is so much truth in the importance of being open and sharing what we are feeling when dealing with so many different hormones. Thank you.

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I usually don’t comment but had to add this tip. If you are feeling anxious about breastfeeding and/or are having difficulty or it’s not going as planned for any reason, do NOT search Google for help/advice. Sorry, perhaps it was just me, but I made the mistake of doing this, and it would have me bawling in tears Every. Single. Time. :-( As women, we sometimes put so much pressure on ourselves to get everything right or close to perfect, and unfortunately reading the comments and articles from my internet searches somehow only managed to make me feel a billion times worse. I would def. lean on lactation consultants or better yet, friends/family members who are supportive and have experience in this area, instead. Matter fact, perhaps ban Google for at least the first 2-4 weeks after giving birth. Lol. The hormones/emotions just can’t handle the abuse (speaking for myself from experience, there. Ha!).

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My biggest tip is don’t rush back to running (or any working out, for that matter). I thought I’d be super anxious about returning to running (I stopped at 34 weeks), but then I realized that running will always be there. I love it so much that I’m confident that it will be in my life, for the rest of my life. I also didn’t realize that it’s not just about when I’m ready to run again… it’s about when the baby is ready for that, too. I’m currently 4.5 weeks post partum, and though I plan on trying to get a few miles in at the six week point, if it doesn’t happen, it’s no big deal. It’s too cold for stroller runs and my baby doesn’t nap soundly in his swing yet, so having him nap next to the treadmill really isn’t an option. I also want to do everything I can to keep my milk flowing. So, I’ll be patient and wait until we’re both ready.
PS: If us first time moms can do it (and you were one not too recently!), then you will certainly be just fine. I wish you a speedy and pain free labor ;) and healthy and happy baby and mom!
Oh! And, I don’t know what Mer’s first name is (Meredith? haha) but that’s my guess for your baby’s first name.

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All 3 of my kids were different with breastfeeding: 1st was a dream, 2nd would get “lazy/sleepy” and I got mastitis from engorgement twice, 3rd was a “panicky” feeder who didn’t latch well at first. My advice is go to more than one lactation consultant if the first isn’t able to help with any specific issues. Some of mine in the hospital were actually mean and judgey about technique. Fortunately, I was referred to a center where I spent a couple of hours with my son (3rd) and they were very patient and thorough with both of us. I love the advice others have given that you and your new daughter will figure out each other, and trust that. All the best!

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Words of wisdom from my Mother & Grandmother ….. SLEEP when baby sleeps – the laundry, dishes & cleaning can wait! :)

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Ask for help. Society places so much pressure on us to be a certain way, to be strong, to have it under control, to make it look effortless, to lose all the baby weight overnight, to read everyone’s mind…you get the idea. Truthfully, we’re all learning together. Mothers have to stick together, to form their own family, to support each other, to be our own band. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, demand it if you have to! There’s no sense in being overwhelmed when there’s other able-bodied and willing to help people around you, but remember, they can’t read your mind either. Speak up, Sister!

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Every part of what you said is so true. Thank you Kelly, I can’t tell you how much this speaks to me. Thank you.

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Good advice that I read somewhere before my second arrived was: As long as you put your oldest first nothing will change; the baby can cry for a bit, but if you tell your oldest that they have to wait because of the baby, he or she will know where they stand. It was sometimes hard to remember this but I tried my best not to put my oldest second when possible.

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Thank you for telling me this Kristen. That makes TOTAL sense and I will be definitely doing this with the kids. Thank you and I hope you are having a beautiful day!

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I breastfed my son and am now 5 weeks in to nursing my newborn daughter. I think bf-ing is the hardest thing I have ever done physically because it is such an “around the clock” operation, but sometimes the hard things are what shape us the most.

My advise is to not stress about it one bit in the hospital, if your babe isn’t hungry, pump so your supply comes in on-time. When my daughter struggled with being sleepy and not waking to eat, I pumped and spoon fed it to her, I also let the nurses supplement with formula after I had done my thing. Once my supply came in, there was no need for formula anymore and we were “off and running”. I also remember thinking that so much changes day to day in those first couple weeks and to not get too discouraged, even if she struggles one day, it doesn’t mean she will the next. By the time we got home, I was much more relaxed and felt more comfortable working with him and her. Also, I wore a shield for those first few weeks/months. It makes it easier for them to latch and protects “the ladies”…all of that to say, 5 weeks in with her and it still is hard work, but it is also super convenient.

My other piece of advice is that you sort of have to let go of losing all the baby weight. Nursing does burn a ridiculous amount of calories, but it also requires you to have some body fat. With my son, I kept on about ten extra pounds and once I weaned him at 11 months, the weight and fat just melted off in a week.

And finally, those Gillian o’mallet tanks are fine for being around the house, but invest in the Cake Toffee nursing tanks. They are so much better and supportive…and even though expensive, it’s so nice to have “the girls” lifted up and in place when you are out and about.

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The most important thing for me to remember is that it is all temporary. The waiting, the labor, the sleepless nights, the struggles with breastfeeding, the attitudes from the big kids… All of it usually lasts no more than a couple of hours to a couple of weeks, so I had to remind myself of that when I was feeling anxious, sleep deprived, or overflowing with hormones. When things feel difficult, remember that it won’t always be so, and often from that you can find the patience and courage to embrace the stage you are in. Also, remembering that will help you treasure this beautiful stage of your life, and from that, things will feel less daunting.

Also, trust yourself. You know your body and baby better than anyone – even doctors!

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Such a wonderfully exciting time for you and your fam! As silly as this might sound, the best thing I did after my second daughter was born was regularly remind myself that each part was just a small chapter in the big story of life. This worked both ways – in the really precious moments it was a reminder to slow down and savor that sweet time, and in the really tough moments it reminded me that it was a phase that wouldn’t last forever. Also, grace upon grace upon grace, for yourself, your spouse, your kiddos, everything! It’s a tender time!

All the best to you as you enter these final days of pregnancy! You’ve got this, mama!

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Plan to see a lactation consultant (even if you see one in the hospital, make an appointment afterwards if you need it- you probably will). I got a lot of mixed messages from the hospital nurses related to breastfeeding and latch and when I got home I was completely lost. We saw an IBCLC on day five and it was a huge turning point for us. Besides helping correct our latch problems (we took pictures and video of a good latch during the appointment because it’s easy to forget once you get home), she also gave us some great advice about sleep and scheduling. Now at 6 weeks our daughter is sleeping 9-7 with just one wake up, and she’s right on the 50th percentile for growth.

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Here are my notes from that appointment in case they might be helpful:

During the day (~7am-10pm)
Nurse every two hours
Keep House bright and lively to stimulate day cycle
Hold baby as much as possible between nursing sessions to reach ‘cuddle quota’
Mama naps between feeds as much as possible

At night (~10pm-7am)
Let her wake to nurse
goal is one 3-5 hour sleep/night
Keep lights dim and house quiet
30 minutes skin to skin after nursing session before putting down to bring to deep sleep
Swaddle before laying down

Every nursing session
No bad latches allowed! Break suction and start over if she’s latched incorrectly
Follow : nurse to fill one side, diaper change, nurse to fill other side pattern (offer dessert)
Use compressions to allow more deep swallows

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I will say this time with Baby #2, I felt much more relaxed and in the moment. Just remember the sleepless nights won’t last forever and “this too shall pass”. Give yourself grace- the mom guilt felt hard in balancing both kids- and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You aren’t alone! Wishing you all the best in this new chapter!

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Be as open minded and calm as you can. Nothing happens as planned, but you are bringing a beautiful baby into this world and God has a plan for you and her. So breath a lot, and don’t get too stressed. Love you!

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Massaging your breast can really help with breastfeeding to clear blocked ducts and getting let down going.

But whatever it is you end up doing. There’s no right or wrong. Your baby isn’t going to remember anyways.

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I’m so excited for how close you are!! Love Andrew’s attitude to food for a pregnant lady too :) That touch light looks great for night feeds.

Any advice I have is also five years old!! But I read a book before having my little boy which talked about seeing the first few weeks as a nesting period to establish a breast-feeding bond (since I know you said you wanted to try that). Make sure that people give you time to do that, and have lots of skin to skin cuddles. I loved that snuggly time :) As to labour, I think any endurance athlete is in a great position because you’re used to the idea of committing to a long haul, and that things don’t always go as planned! I didn’t run so much then, but I’d been a rower, and I think that really helped me to stay calm and understand that plans might change as you went along. I just went into a zone – my other half didn’t have much to do except eat all the snacks and track down endless jugs of water for me! And finally, I’m sure you already know that mantra for when things are hard in the early weeks: ‘this will pass’ :) I had a lovely online group of new mum friends who all tried to post a ‘smile of the day’ every day – it was good for finding something to be happy about even if you’d had an exhausting day and didn’t feel like you were doing a good job (plus everyone else would remind you that you truly were doing a good job even if you couldn’t see it that day/hour/minute!)

I only have one child but my sister put together some little bags of activities for her son so that he had things to do while she was feeding her new one, without feeling him left out. He was much younger that Brookes and Knox though – I’m sure they’ll understand better. It sounds like they’re so excited :)

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SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS!!!!! Especially those first few weeks!! Babies don’t have schedules right away like we do so it was the BEST advise. I didn’t follow it for my first child :( I thought I’d get everything else done while my son slept……ugh I was TIRED!!!!! So I happily followed her advise for my next child and it made a HUGE difference!!;)

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Since I’m currently up nursing my two week old, here’s my best thing I’ve found. I feed him on one side, change his diaper, and then feed him on the other. My babies are tired nursers so this helps two fold. One, it helps wake him up so he’ll eat better, but it also helps when he’s done to make sure he goes back to sleep well right away (so changing him doesn’t wake him up and keep him up when I want nothing else but to go back to bed). Granted, sometimes they are poop machines and you have to change them again anyway, but MOST of the time this works wonders for me. Also, you can download baby sound machines on your phone for free. Sometimes i’ll Play one that does a box fan noise when I’m changing his diaper during the day when he’s particularly fussy. It seems to calm him down enough that we can make it through the change without too much crying. And don’t feel bad about never wanting to put her down (they grow too fast!). But also, utilize help. Big brother or sister can have some cuddle holding time while you make dinner and your hubby can have some good bonding time while you run to the store for an hour by yourself. And just be kind to yourself. So many hormones and big changes, you’ll do great mama!

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Make an appt with a lactation consultant within the first few days that you are home- even if things are going amazingly well. It’s still great to have an extra set of eyes. Also, be prepared for cluster feeding and know that it’s normal if the baby wants to eat, and eat and eat! Don’t stress yourself about getting the baby on a schedule. Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle- and know that you will be an amazing mom. All your kids truly need is love and it’s ok to cry.

I also encapsulated my placenta which I think helped with milk supply and hormone regulation.

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One more thing, don’t feel guilty about hiring babysitters to entertain the older ones.

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I’m SO excited for your growing family and can’t wait to (virtually) meet your new little gal! I was oddly surprised by the amount of stuff I forgot the second time around (or maybe I just blocked some of it out – ha!). My #1 tip for mamas with new babies is to accept help. I was stubborn and felt like I had to do everything, and was a hot mess. Bonus tip; give yourself grace. This sweet baby is already so loved, make sure to love and care for yourself too.

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I am 28 Weeks at the moment so I have no tips but I’ll be eagerly awaiting your tips from the other side!

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Too late for my tip.

But we figured out after baby #1 (and we had 3)….send that kid to the nursery. My wife had all 3 via C-section which is pretty hard on her, but it also meant a longer hospital stay. As you noted in your post delivery note, lots of people coming in and making noise. You’ll have that kid with you for the next 18 years, they’ll survive 2-3 nights in the nursery. No matter what the ‘room-in’ advocates say. (The nurses will bring the baby to you if they are hungry).

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