What I Learned With a Newborn

a newborn’s first day home from the hospital

(My newborn on her first day home.)

Awe, the bliss of coming home with a newborn baby. No more hospital smell. No more being interrupted every 15 minutes to get a blood pressure reading or to take the baby back to the nursery for a check-up. YOU’RE FINALLY HOME! You can sleep in your own bed! But, wait, what is sleep with a newborn? Here are 10 other things I learned with a newborn:

1. Being Tired is All Consuming

When you’re tired, everything is harder, EVERYTHING. If you start crying in the middle of the night because you cannot snap up your baby’s pajamas because WHERE IS THAT OTHER SNAP?! You are not alone. You are tired! If the peanut butter container is just too hard to open, and you start to cry because you JUST WANT TO MAKE A SANDWICH, don’t feel bad. You are tired!

2. Newborn’s Poop is Crazy

For being so teeny, a newborn’s poop is ridiculously powerful. That poop can go up their back. Up their front. Out the sides of their diaper. And, it is surprisingly LOUD.

3. Netflix Will Feel Like a Friend

Those late-night feeding sessions can feel particularly lonely. Once you find a show to watch during those late nights, it will make it all the more easier. Thank heavens for Tammy Taylor and Lorelei Gilmore.

4. Chocolate Is Comforting

For those particularly long days, chocolate just has a way of making things a little better. I am referring to chocolate in any form too. Those chocolate chips intended for baking purposes? Those will do just fine!

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The Panorama Blood Test: Angie’s Guide Weeks 5-­8

I’m lumping these weeks together because they all kind of just run together anyway. This early in my pregnancy I still wasn’t having many symptoms and was feeling pretty good. But I learned about the coolest new prenatal genetic testing that I’ve been telling pretty much everyone I’ve ever met about because I think it’s so freaking amazing!

This stuff is groundbreaking. Like, a real game-changer. Okay enough build-up, here it is!

…And maybe by now, you’re heard of it and this is old news, but I still think it’s really cool and worth getting out there so it becomes commonplace.

Okay, you’re probably going crazy right now, here it is!

It’s called the Panorama Blood Test. Essentially doctors, researchers, scientists, (whoever) figured out that when a woman is pregnant, the fetus’ DNA can be extracted from the mother’s blood. That means that a simple blood test is all that’s required to test for genetic defects and even the baby’s gender. No more sticking a huge needle through the amniotic sac, which threatens the baby’s life and isn’t even very accurate. In my book, the less-invasive the test, the better. That kind of seems to be the trend in medicine these days, to find alternatives for the more invasive tests that are just as effective if not more. I’m sure more people would be screened for diseases if the tests weren’t so intimidating.

With this test, you can find out the gender of your baby at 9 weeks. 9 WEEKS! For me, that was the appeal of having this test done. Since we were moving across the country, I wanted to know the gender of this baby ASAP so I could either plan to pack and move all of my girl stuff or sell/give it away to make the move lighter and start saving for baby boy stuff.

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8 Ways to Help Your Husband Feel Like a Dad

The title of “Dad” is one of the best to have (right alongside “Mom,” of course). As you prepare for the arrival of your little one and even in the first months of your baby’s life, there are things you can do to help your husband feel like a dad, easing the transition for him into this new role and allowing him to bond with baby.

  1. Download a baby development app on his phone. Dad will love knowing that at 13 weeks in utero, the baby is the size of a peach, or that at 27 weeks, the baby is now sleeping in regular intervals. Having an app on his phone (or tablet) will give Dad the chance to see baby’s development, day by day and week by week. In fact, there is even an app, “Who’s Your Daddy,” developed just for first-time dads. It’s available for $2.99 in the iTunes Store.

Some other popular pregnancy and baby tracker apps include:

  1. Make your baby shower a couples’. Sometimes, baby showers are thought of as “no man’s land,” a girls-only function. But, baby showers don’t have to be limited to just Mom and her friends or family members—make it a couples’ shower, and invite both Mom and Dad’s friends. Other dads in attendance will offer their words of advice (and maybe even share some “war” stories of their time in the trenches of poopy diapers and spit up). This will help Dad feel more involved while allowing him to build a “tribe” of other dads.
  1. Register and plan the babys nursery together. One thing that I didn’t expect in my first pregnancy was how much my husband wanted to be a part of planning the nursery. I started planning it on my own, and then he expressed interest in being involved. I was so excited! It was fun doing it all together, including creating our registry. We had some good laughs assembling the crib together and trying out some new baby products.
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Pregnancy Scares: Angie’s Guide Week 25

This was the worst week yet – I had a pretty bad scare on Friday.

I’ve slowly been accumulating household items and furnishings that we couldn’t take on our move. We have the basics and pretty much everything we need but things like a pasta strainer, a closet light, etc. didn’t quite make the move so we started a list of these miscellaneous things.

But I left something very important off that list.

Bathroom mats.

It was terrible. We had just returned from a fun trip to a park that had beautiful lakes and a nature center. I got eaten alive by mosquitos and felt pretty gross. We got home and my husband and daughter went outside to play with our dog, so I decided to take the opportunity to shower without a little person shoving her tiny hands under the door and yelling “YOU DONE, MAMA? YOU NAKED, MAMA? YOU WANNA WEAR A SHIRT, MAMA?”

I don’t normally bring my phone into the bathroom with me because I have a bad track record with breaking phones, but I’m sure glad I did this day. After my shower, I opened the curtain and grabbed my towel, dried myself off for the most part and stepped out of the tub. My foot immediately slipped out from under me and I lost my balance. I scrambled to grab anything I could to ease the landing as I fell to the floor, but there wasn’t anything to break the fall. I like to think I have pretty good reflexes and am a quick thinker in situations like this, but there really wasn’t much I could do even as my mind raced and my eyes searched for something to break my fall or prevent any bad positions. It was the longest, most terrifying fall of my life.  I just kept thinking “oh no, I’m going to hurt the baby… I’m going to detach my placenta… I’m going to go into early labor… I hope there’s not any blood.”

(Isn’t amazing how those adrenaline-filled moments really only last a few split seconds, but so many thoughts can go through your head? Have you had any moments like that?)

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