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the mommyhood memos: breaking all the blogging rules: 100 things for my 100th post {pregnancy, birth, and being a first-time mom}

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

breaking all the blogging rules: 100 things for my 100th post {pregnancy, birth, and being a first-time mom}

I make no apologies that this will be a long list post. I was going to write about 100 things I’ve learned about blogging, but then I came across Mel at Adventuroo last week and she’s already done it. Not only has she already done it, but it’s far superior to what I could hope to do… So, I deleted that draft and changed gears.

Instead I want to share 100 things I’ve learned in the last year about pregnancy, birth, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, caring for a baby, and being a first-time-mom. I'm sure this post will be far too long to have many readers or get many comments. But I don't care. It's my blog and I can do what I want.

Should I have broken this into a few posts? Most definitely. (Problogger would be appalled.)

But then again, it wouldn’t be 100 for my 100th now would it?

About pregnancy:

1.                 Don’t worry about timing your baby “just right”. Most people take a few months to get pregnant anyway.

2.                 Forget #1 and do everything possible to not be in your third trimester in the middle of summer.

3.                 Your pregnant elephant ankles will return to normal. Just hang in there.

4.                 Take more naps. Don’t wait for the baby to be born so you can “nap when the baby naps”… He might not be a good napper.

5.                 Ask your husband’s employer if he can take an extra week of paternity leave if you end up having an unplanned c-section.

6.                 You have no idea about your capacity to burp and fart until you’re into your second trimester. Just you wait.

7.                 Don’t feel guilty if the gender of the baby on the ultra sound isn’t what you were expecting. It’s normal and will pass. (And you will be so happy about your little boy or girl that you'll forget about it anyway.)

8.                 Wear fitted clothes – your bump is beautiful and you look cuter without extra frump.

9.                 Don’t buy maternity clothes if you can get around it. Just buy a belly band or button extender and wear your normal clothes.

10.            If you do buy anything, buy long tank tops that you can layer under other “normal” shirts. Or better yet, buy nursing tank tops (You will live in them during those first few postpartum months, whether you are layering over them or not.)

11.            Take heart, your shoes will fit again someday.

12.            Enjoy that beautiful skin. Unfortunately it doesn’t last.

13.            Enjoy that hair. You will soon be shedding it in copious amounts.

14.            Save receipts because you really don’t need that bottle sanitizer.

15.            Use your birthday money on yourself, silly girl. That little baby will get more presents than you know what to do with.

16.            Get educated about giving birth. The more you know, the more you will be empowered and the less scared you will be.

17.            Have some understanding about c-sections and recovery… just case.

18.            It really is reasonable to let the lady with small children move to the front of the line. Start now – you reap what you sow.

19.            Read differing parenting philosophy books and then decide for yourself what’s best for you and your family.

20.            In light of #19, be prepared to change your mind later if you need to.

About labor and giving birth:

21.            If you want to speed up labor once your contractions have begun, use a breast pump. Oh. My. Goodness.

22.            Have a birth plan but know that it’s just a plan, not a prophecy. It will look different.

23.            Having your waters break is not a one-off gush… it continues for hours into labor. Don’t be alarmed when you have to walk around with a towel between your legs for the rest of the day.

24.            Watching So You Think You Can Dance between contractions provides good distraction, but don’t get mad when they forget to pause it while you hunch over in excruciating pain every few minutes.

25.            Giving birth is messy. What? You know that? Ok then, remember it.

26.            Remember that sometimes your midwife needs encouragement too, especially when things go wrong.

27.            Make sure your husband knows how to quickly and efficiently find the ice machine.

28.            Labor is hard work, but you were totally made for it. Go for it.

About postpartum recovery:

29.            If you wake up drenched in sweat a week or two after giving birth, get excited about it. You’re sweating off those extra baby fluid pounds.

30.            Deal with your disappointment about things that went wrong with the birth and don’t let it steal the joy of birth from you.

31.            You are going to feel so overwhelmed with love – don’t try to harness it, just soak in it.

32.            Who cares about getting your tiny baby on a schedule from day one? Just snuggle, snuggle, snuggle and let him sleep on your chest as much as your little heart desires.

33.            Yes, the world really does want to see a bajillion photos of your baby on facebook – load ‘em up. (You’ll never feel so popular as when you’re the mom of an incredibly good-looking brand-new baby.)

34.            Tell hubs to stock up on Draino because at around four months post-partum you will begin to shed ungodly amounts of hair.

35.            Your c-section scar will still be numb six months after the surgery, and it will sometimes still feel itchy. Just deal with it and know it's now a badge of honor.

About breastfeeding:

36.            Breastfeeding will come easily and natural to you, so you have nothing to be nervous about, and just ignore all those horror stories.

37.            Breastfeeding will be one of the sweetest things you will ever do.

38.            Breastfeeding will sometimes feel like one of the most annoying things you ever do.

39.            Breastfeeding might sometimes feel like a competition with some inanimate object while you vie for your baby’s focus and attention.

40.            Breastfeeding will sometimes feel like one of the most time-consuming things you ever do. Hang in there, it changes before you know it.

41.            Breastfeeding will be one of the wisest things you do for your baby... for many reasons.

42.            Breastfeeding is the one thing only you can do with (and for) your baby. Remember to appreciate it.

About caring for your baby:

43.            If you keep your baby awake too long, he will never go to sleep easily. Don’t overestimate how much awake time a newborn can handle between naptimes.

44.            Don’t worry about changing your baby every time he spits up. You already have too much laundry to do.

45.            Never judge your baby’s clothes by the numbers on the tag. If you think that cutest-ever outfit for your baby is too big to pull out, do it anyway. It’s easier than you know to miss the “right size” window.

46.            When traveling on an airplane, don’t only pack a spare set of clothes for your baby – pack a spare shirt for yourself too.

47.            Use the TV to your advantage when cutting your baby’s fingernails.

48.            Don’t wake your sleeping baby unless you absolutely have too. Feeding schedules, shmeeding schedules. Let the baby sleep.

49.            When your baby is a newborn, take extra care to burp him after a feed. It’s worth the extra few minutes to avoid gassy baby melt-downs.

50.            If your baby is having a melt-down, drop everything and walk outside. It really does work every time.

51.            Four months is not too early to begin teething. If in doubt, just keep sticking your finger in there to check.

52.            Decide on a lullaby song for your baby so that every time you sing it they know to expect that it’s naptime/bedtime. (Just make sure that you like it, or make your own up.)

53.            Just because your baby sleeps through the night consistently at a few weeks old doesn’t mean they will continue as he gets older and hungrier. Just know that in advance.

54.            Traveling with babies is fun and adventurous and you often get to jump to the front of the line. Take advantage.

55.            Leave the diaper bag in the car unless you really, really need it. You have enough to carry around.

56.            Don’t wait too long to introduce the bottle – you under estimate just how much you baby really does love your boobs.

57.            There will be some diaper blowouts that are not worth trying to clean up outside of the bathtub.  We're talking a right, *hot mess*. That goes for both you and baby.

58.            Don’t be legalistic about waiting to start solids until six months old. Your baby will be so much happier if you start a bit earlier.

59.            It’s okay to pull your baby into bed with you sometimes when you’re just too tired to get up yet. Do what you want.

60.            There will be lots of times when the baby is crying and you don’t know why. That’s ok, babies cry. Just do your best.

61.            When introducing solids to your baby, strip him down to a diaper and bib, roll up your sleeves and put on goggles.

62.            Be prepared when you’re encouraging your child to learn to crawl. There’s no turning back.

About being a mom:

63.            Never judge a parent that is bribing their baby with food… there will be times when you end up doing it too.

64.            Be prepared for spontaneous mommy-tears when you have love-saturated-heart moments. (And don’t rush them – they are precious.)

65.            Although you already thought you were a responsible driver, you will start to drive even slower and even more cautiously. Just sayin.

66.            Congratulations, you will now forever be known as “so-and-so’s” mom.

67.            You will be tempted to spend more time making sure your baby looks cute than making sure you do. Keep it real, woman.

68.            Diaper bags are for carrying important things, like snacks for mommy.

69.            Your baby will sleep through the night sometimes… and when he does you will have insomnia.

70.            Even though you think you won’t be one of “those” parents who wants to buy their kid everything, you will come home with a big ridiculous Baby Einstein exersaucer. (And he will absolutely love it.)

71.            Be prepared to go through baby’s clothes every 3-4 weeks and pack up the too-small ones and pull out the bigger ones. (And be aware that you might get a little teary on occasion about how fast it's all going.)

72.            Even though it feels like a lot of work to think ahead and make double portions, it’s worth the effort to have homemade meals to pull out of the freezer instead of frozen pizzas on those nights. (Although frozen pizzas work too.)

73.            Write milestones down on a calendar if you’re not into doing a baby book – it’s a lot easier than scrolling back through all your facebook status updates to remember when baby learned new tricks.

74.            Make sure to regularly go through your photo files and delete 30% of the millions of photos you’re taking of sweet baby. (They really are more similar than you think.)

75.            Plan for “quick errands” to take twice as long as they used to.

76.            There will days when you want to return to work just so you can have a break.

77.            Being a stay-at-home-mom is the only job in the world that doesn’t come with coffee breaks, lunch breaks, weekends, holidays, or sick days. And there’s nothing you can do about it except to learn to roll with it.

78.            There will be days where you cry as much as your baby. This is normal. There will also be days when you cry more than your baby. This is also normal. 

79.            When your baby is going through a growth spurt, cut your to-list down to 25% and give yourself lots of grace when it comes to house work and errands. 

80.            You think hearing your baby say “mama” for the first time will melt your heart… It will, but know that it’s even more than that. It will also blow your mind and make you weak at the knees. (So basically it affects your whole body, it’s that good.)

81.            Different babies have different milestones at different times. Do your best not to compare.

82.            Weekly menu-planning has never been so important. I know it’s boring and not spontaneous, but it really does help.

83.            If you’re having one of those days where you feel discouraged because you’re getting nothing done, take 20 minutes to play with your baby without multi-tasking. It will instantly give you perspective.

84.            Take long moments to stare at your little wonder and drink in that baby goodness. They really do grow way too fast.

85.            Keep in mind that immunizations are harder for mommy than for baby.

86.            Find an on-line forum to join for encouragement and support.

87.            Your bookmarks bar will become overrun with parenting websites and forums… but save your other links too. After the first couple of months you’ll want them again.

88.            Always try to leave five minutes earlier than you need to. Then you will only be five minutes late to wherever you’re going (instead of ten) after you’ve changed the pooey diaper that inevitably happens when you’re walking out the door.

89.            Be prepared to wonder if you ever knew what love was before you had a child.

90.            Doing a load of laundry, folding it, and putting it away all within the same day will make you feel like wondermom. (Go ahead and congratulate yourself and tweet about it when you accomplish this.)

91.            Make feeding yourself as big a priority as feeding your baby. (That way everyone wins.)

92.            Don’t stress about baby-proofing. Your baby will help you when it’s time.

93.            Watching your husband be a daddy will make you fall in love with him even more. Relish it.

94.            Don’t wait too long before finding a mom’s group. It really is more fun than you’d expect.

95.            You might find yourself accidentally speaking in a higher pitch or saying things like “bye-bye” when talking to other adults. You’ll grow out of it as you get used to this gig, so just have fun making fun of yourself in the meantime.

96.            You will re-define “sleeping-in” to any time past 7:00am, and thankfully it will happen every once-and-a-while.

97.            Don’t put off buying a video baby monitor. Not only will it provide endless entertainment for your first few days of having it, but it will save you from playing the guessing game about naptimes.

98.            Be careful not to underestimate the small things. Starting your day with simple things like making the bed, having a shower, and eating breakfast will make the entire rest of your day better.

99.            Don’t get defensive when friends without children (especially single friends) ask you what you do all day at home. They honestly have no clue.

100.       Remember that you’re doing a great job. Being a mom brings out the best and the worst in you. Know that you are normal and try to learn from all of it.

And just for the record, there will be no second installment of this for my 200th post, though no doubt I have much more to learn.

Dear mommy-friends, what have I left out? {grin}

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adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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At July 28, 2010 at 6:49 PM , Anonymous Elle said...

I just found your site and I LOVE it. Lately I've been doubting my abilities as a mom to my 15 month old but this list shows me that I'm doing just fine. Thank You for that. :)

At July 28, 2010 at 9:14 PM , Blogger cooperl788 said...

This list cracked me up at some spots and had me tearing up at others. Mommyhood is such an awesome and challenging job, isn't it? Don't you wish babies came with their own manual? I liked your section on breastfeeding (though it WAS really hard and painful and unnatural for me in the first month). It's important that women know that they CAN do it, and their bodies were meant to do this. It will work with some time and effort. Great list, and congrats on the 100th post!

At July 28, 2010 at 10:37 PM , Blogger furygirl3132 said...

What a great post, thanks so much for sharing!
I am a new follower from Welcome Wednesday, so glad to have found your blog and I look forward to reading more. Hope you have a wonderful day!


At July 28, 2010 at 11:05 PM , Blogger KimD said...

Great Post! So true!

At July 28, 2010 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

when I was looking at the pictures of you while pregnant and then postpartum I puked a little in my mouth from jealousy. Then the picture of you with some sort of baby fluid running down your leg made me love you again. Fabulous post!

At July 29, 2010 at 12:01 AM , Blogger my shy thai said...

SO many good ones, all good ones! I especially relate to # 63, 64 and 67! :-)

At July 29, 2010 at 12:04 AM , Blogger Mandy said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this post! You were the cutest pregnant lady ever, and such a beautiful Mom. You put so much thought into this post. And don't worry about 'breaking blogger rules'- like you said, it's your blog you can do what you want. I never follow rules, I don't really care :-). I will totally link this post to all of my expecting friends, they will love it and find it so awesome and informative. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this!

At July 29, 2010 at 12:53 AM , Blogger Design It Chic said...

Love your 100 post:) I am now following you thanks to Welcome Wednesday!It would be nice if you could share back the love on my blog! Happy Wednesday!

At July 29, 2010 at 1:24 AM , Blogger The Planet Pink said...

Great list! You're right, there's more to come, but that's the great thing about motherhood - there's always something to learn!

At July 29, 2010 at 1:41 AM , Blogger Livy said...

I liked your list. I could relate to so many of those. It is crazy how much life changes once you have a baby. I mean I knew that before, but you can't really know until you experience it.

At July 29, 2010 at 2:06 AM , Blogger Kayla said...

Love this post! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the shout out! :)

At July 29, 2010 at 2:09 AM , Blogger Chelsea Pearl said...

I loved the list! And yes the list will grow and change as your baby does.
Isn't being a mommy so much fun!?

At July 29, 2010 at 2:22 AM , Blogger Jhen.Stark said...

Fan-freakin-tastic! Goodness, this was hilarious and spot on! As I was reading this, 10 names of expecting and new mommies went through my head so I must spread this on!!! THANK YOU!

At July 29, 2010 at 4:15 AM , Blogger Amy said...

hahaha! So true, so true... Great list, and congrats on your 100th post!

At July 29, 2010 at 5:24 AM , Blogger Jamee said...

Love this list even though I can only relate to #43 and beyond! But I must say that I smiled at #35 as I have a scar similar to a c-section scar from my hysterectomy and it completely freaked me out that it was numb! I even called the nurse in a panic and of course she just laughed! Congrats on your 100th post!

At July 29, 2010 at 5:29 AM , Anonymous Erica said...

My son is 10, and your list made me miss his babyhood so much more than I already do!

At July 29, 2010 at 5:42 AM , Anonymous Andrea said...

So cute. I love breaking the rules. And you did it with such style.

At July 29, 2010 at 3:43 PM , Blogger Amy said...

I loved this celebration of your 100th post! It was so informative, honest and funny. Awesome!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. Don't be a stranger!

At July 29, 2010 at 5:00 PM , Blogger Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! What a wonderful way to celebrate it and to celebrate your journey into motherhood! Awesome job:)

At July 29, 2010 at 11:22 PM , Anonymous Sus Obaika said...

Thats great, Adriel..I think you ll have your 200 points list when Baby no 2 is joining the family..I promise you!!! :)

At July 30, 2010 at 3:36 AM , Blogger Tori said...

Aww, I loved this post! So sweet. Makes me want to have a baby all over again :)

At July 30, 2010 at 12:07 PM , Anonymous Jill said...

You said it girl. The breastfeeding section is definitely near to my heart, since it didn't go so well for me. However, there is always the next child, right???? I hope it works out anyway.

Probably the biggest thing I've learned is that trying to put a dynamic person onto a rigid schedule is sometimes impossible to do and not to let it wreck your world when it doesn't go as planned. Thanks for sharing Adriel!

At July 30, 2010 at 12:50 PM , Blogger Natalie said...

Love, love, LOVE it!!! #8 is my favorite, and I wish I would've listened to that advice when pregnant with the twins. And that pic of the exploding poop? I wish I would've got a pic of that because it really is unbelievable disgusting every single time it happens!!

At July 30, 2010 at 9:39 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

I love it! This was just perfect for me today!

At July 30, 2010 at 11:22 PM , Blogger KLZ said...

This is a great list but I am distracted by the dress you are wearing in the first photo. May I please borrow it?

At July 31, 2010 at 2:11 AM , Blogger ohmygoddess said...

i absolutely love your list! funny, helpful, and cute!

At August 1, 2010 at 10:24 AM , Blogger Cameron said...

Seriously, oh my gosh. You are so awesome at making these lists!!! I sometimes have a hard time getting to 10 things in a list & you come up with 100!!! You're amazing. And I must say the one that I went, "Oh wow I totally agree" was the one about using the TV to your advantage when clipping their fingernails! Isn't that such a random one to really identify with?

And happy 100 posts!!!!

At August 27, 2010 at 7:27 AM , Blogger Liz said...

A friend of mine shared this on facebook and I have to say thank you for helping me to see the bigger picture about my L&D...and also to comment that for some women breastfeeding is NOT easy or natural and it's all you can do to stop yourself from breaking into tears because everyone says that it is :P I do agree that it is one of the wisest things you can do as a parent, though...and when BFing fails, breast pumps are the best invention ever :)

At January 23, 2011 at 6:24 PM , Blogger The Empress said...

This was so sweet.

You were as happy as I was, to be finally pregnant. I was finally pregnant at 35, and felt like it was a dream, I was so happy.

I can see the joy in your face. I was that way, too.

THank you for helping me remember.


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