Shower shouts- January 21, 2013
This weekend I went to the baby shower of a first-time mom. Amber is a girl I grew up with and one of my sister’s best friends. (See picture below. That’s Amber.) Julie is my little sister, but Kristen and Amber made up their gruesome threesome. I feel like the other two are sort of “little sisters” too.
Amber had a mountain of gifts, thoughtfully wrapped and checked off her registry. Many other young mothers, me included, talked about different gifts. You know, how no Americans knew who Sophie was 5 years ago, unless you had a baby in the last 5 years. Now like, OMG everyone’s baby LOVES them!
I sat there with my two-year-old but I found my mind running. I wanted to shout out, “Oooh! Let me tell you how to best use that!” or “I used that this one time when…” I chatted with the mom-to-be about childcare and other things, but I wanted to say more. I found myself bubbling up with advice that I had to consciously bottle up at the shower. I didn’t want to be like, “I know it all because a person came out of my birth canal and I kept it alive for two years!” No one likes that woman. Then I thought, “Oh that’s right. I have a blog. I can write whatever I want to there.”
So here it is. For all the Amber’s out there with your big bellies and glowing faces. My advice. Take it or leave it. I give it with love.
- Get a really good breast pump. DO NOT cheap out on a breast pump. It pays for itself as much as you use it. Oh! It pays for itself anyway. For working mothers, breast pumps are now tax deductible. Go ahead and warn your husband they are like $300. But, save the receipt! Again, TAX DEDUCTIBLE! I did not rent one from the hospital because of this. I had the Medela one that looks like a purse. It was great.
- Get a hands-free pumping bra. Looks hilarious, but extremely handy. You’re welcome Bessie, now hook on up to that there pump and get yourself milked! That’s a good girl!
- Get on a waiting list for a day-care NOW! If you’re not already on one by your baby shower, you may be screwed. Sorry. It’s true. We were on five and only one could take us when I needed to go back to work. Oh, it’s $150 to just get your name on the list at each one. No, it’s not refundable.
- Wrap up those Dr. Brown’s bottles and take them back to the store. They are a gigantic pain in the ass. You will spend the next year of your life with a tiny bristle brush washing those stupid parts. I’m not convinced they are any better than any other bottle and now I will have to use them for the next kid because I have about 25 of the damn things.
- Take the Brest Friend pillow to the hospital. For me, it is the greatest breastfeeding invention of all time. When I was shopping for Amber I saw the new Born Free pillow and got very excited. It looks really great too and may have some features the Brest Friend pillow doesn’t have.
- You may have to buy more than one nursing pillow. I had a Boppy at the hospital. A friend brought me a Brest Friend. Boom! That worked. Find the one that works. For me, the Brest Friend worked when she was little, but the Boppy was better when she was older. Like I said, the Born Free looks phenomenal. You’ll have to adjust as you get more comfortable with nursing and your baby grows.
- Find a pediatrician. We toured ours before the baby was born. I didn’t know it, but having a lactation consultant at the pediatrician’s office was WONDERFUL for those newborn visits. Yep, I whipped out my boobs for the nurse at the peds office. I needed advice and I knew she could give it. Be weary of peds offices that don’t have them and be weary of peds offices that pump out formula samples. Formula is fine, but advice that helps you keep nursing is even better. You CAN do it. It’s just hard at first.
- Buy a boxes of unscented maxi pads before you go into labor. No one tells you you’re going to have a heavy period for 6 weeks after the baby is born and you can’t wear tampons. Use unscented. Trust me. You’ll thank me later. Use the big ice pack ones they send you home from the hospital with while you’re still sore. But, you’ll run out and be with 8 extended family members who came to see the baby and you be all like, “Ah! Someone go to the store!”
- Get your FMLA and maternity leave stuff lined up. I was in a panic because we got a new HR rep at my old job when I was 8.5 months pregnant. Fortunately, I got some of the necessary paperwork earlier. MAKE SURE you know how much time you’re taking off and what’s paid and what’s unpaid. My husband and my daughter were on my insurance so right after she came home from the hospital I had to get on the phone and make sure she was covered.
- Fill out paperwork for the cord blood banking now. I totally didn’t and have no cord blood saved. Not the end of the world, but it would be nice to have.
- Take everything from the bassinet at the hospital. Diapers, wipes, everything. It’s yours. You paid for it with insurance. Ask for two bulb syringes and two squirt bottles. Get the nurse to grab you extra ice pack pads and that numbing spray to take home too.
- It’s okay to cry a lot. You will. You’ll cry at every freakin’ commercial with a baby, or when your mom leaves after staying with you that first week. You’ll suddenly be afraid that EVERYTHING will harm the baby. Ugh. It’s a little rough sometimes. You’ll get it together, but you cry a lot in the first few weeks.
- This is awesome. It’s great. Not all the time. Sometimes it’s really hard, but it’s also amazing.
Phew! That’s all I got today. I may have to do a Part 2 of one of these posts. Okay, other moms, what did I miss? What did you wish you had known?
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