February 2018 Moms

With love from Feb17

Hello Feb18!  I’m here on behalf of the Feb17 BMB.  Around this time last year, the sweet ladies of Feb16 popped in to send us their advice, well wishes, and words of encouragement, and we thought we’d pass along the love to you.

We know that many of you are not FTMs, and that you might not need or want our advice.  We don’t claim to be experts. Not by any stretch of the imagination.  We, like you, are a bunch of moms at varying stages of the game, trying to do our best.  This time last year, we were exactly where you were: just past the exhaustion of a third-trimester holiday season, going to the doctor constantly, and feeling more uncomfortable by the minute.  

We’re sure you know that for us, it feels like a lifetime since last January.  We can’t believe we’re staring down smash cakes and first steps and even subsequent pregnancies!  But, of course, last January also feels like it was yesterday.  We remember the aches and the kicks; the excitement and the anxiety of late-stage pregnancy.  We miss it as much as we’re glad it’s over.  Such is motherhood, right?

We hope you’ll find some comfort or solidarity in the thoughts, encouragement, and advice we’ve collected.  But if you read no further, please know that we will be thinking about you and cheering you on from afar.  You’ve got this, mamas.

All our love, 



Feb17 on life with a newborn:

“Take time to appreciate the little moments. I’m sure you’ve heard people say that your baby will grow up in the blink of an eye, but it doesn’t feel like that in the first days and weeks and months. But they DO grow and change So. Fast. Every new phase has its challenges, and it’s important to take the time to really, truly appreciate this little person, even when you’re exhausted and feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ve got this!”

“Soak in as many moments as you can. And smell your newborn as often as possible! That fresh new baby smell goes away so quickly and I’d give anything just to get to experience it one more time.”

“Take each day as it comes, not everything will go how you plan & that’s ok. From the birth, to feeding, to how you will recover & feel about everyone & everything. Enjoy the newborn days.”

“It’s okay if having a newborn sucks and you hate it. Not all babies are easy, and not all new moms are designed to enjoy caring for one. For some of us, this transition is REALLY hard. Being mildly miserable sometimes —even way more than you expected— is nothing to be ashamed or frightened of. This shit is HARD. It will get easier and life will get good again.”

"People will tell you all the time to "enjoy this time" as you peer bleary eyed in a milk stained shirt bleeding into a bath-towel sized pad while a tiny creature screams in your ear for no reason. Please feel free not to enjoy that experience. I didn't find the newborn phase enjoyable and I don't miss it. I felt bad about it for a while, but I don't anymore. I love my kid more than anything but parenting became much more enjoyable once she got a few months older.”

“Newborn babies are kind of weird and if you don't know what to expect, you might be concerned over perfectly normal things. Bowlegged, cross-eyed and peeling skin all over the place... Babies don't always look exactly how you'd imagine.”

“The most important advice I have to any parent ever in the history of the world: never stop taking pictures and videos. The memories will become jumbled and you’ll forget when they reached each milestone or that silly thing they did with their right eye for two weeks straight. UNLESS! Unless you document the shit out of all of it. Do it!”

Feb17 on keeping a tiny human alive:

“Feel free to put away the baby books (especially related to sleep!) and follow your gut about what will work best for your kid. There is no magic formula to get a baby to sleep; there are tips and techniques that will work for some, but it's up to you to do what you feel is best and works for your family. And sometimes they just won't sleep and it's going to suck. And it's okay to be mad about it.”

“For some, breastfeeding is the hardest thing you will ever do. It took more of a mental toll on me than labor did. The first month is the hardest - you learning from baby and baby learning from you. Balance your pre-pregnancy expectations with your new reality. And don’t be afraid to supplement with formula as needed. Fed is best!”

“Breastfeeding isn't beautiful and peaceful in the beginning. It hurts, it's weird and it can take awhile to get the hang of. But if you want to, and if you can, hang in there. Find a breastfeeding support group. Go to a lactation consultant (the hospital usually has one that can see you after discharge. Your insurance can even cover it. I had no idea!) Once it works, it doesn't hurt, and you have an instant source of nutrition, comfort and magic with you.   BUT, formula is also fine. Feeding your baby any way you can is important. Any combination is fine, follow your doctor's advice, but also remember that you will know your baby better than anyone else.”

“Outcome is not necessarily directly correlated with effort when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and caring for a baby. You can do all the right things by the book and your body/baby/boobs may or may not cooperate. You can also luck into a great eater or sleeper or maybe you're one of those people jumping right back into her pre-pregnancy jeans. Though that can feel scary, it can also be freeing to know that some things just are and you'll manage them as they come. You will figure it out!”

Feb17 on still being a person:

“Eating/sleeping/generally taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of the baby.”

“Keep a basket of snacks at toddler arms reach for when you are stuck under a nursing/ sleeping newborn!”

“Make time for yourself and your relationships. You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

“If you are a "going back to work" mom it may be really hard at first, but it will, eventually get easier. For me it took several months, but it did happen. It's okay to cry, and it's okay to hate it. Never hesitate to delegate some of the "getting ready" tasks to your partner if you need to and you have that option. If not, ask a friend or other family member for help because it is so much to take on on your own."

“it’s also just fine if you love going back to work! Many people do, and that’s a good thing.”

“Maternity leave can be really hard. I didn't think I'd miss work as much as I did. I found that once I started getting out of the house regularly, even just taking quick walks around the neighborhood with the baby, I felt more like my normal self. Then, I was so excited to go back to work but still cried at daycare drop-off every day for the first few weeks. Conflicting emotions are to be expected.”

Feb17 on bodies and brains, which are weird:

“The postpartum hormone decrease hit me like a brick wall. I was not prepared to be even-keeled all through pregnancy just to become a bonafide hot mess once the baby was born. So take it easy emotionally too once your LO is here.  Wishing you all healthy pregnancies, hang in there!”

“Do not be concerned with all the hair you shed.”

“Your hair will eventually stop falling out.”

“Spinal headaches are a real side effect!”

“That first poop after baby hurts more than having the baby. Take the laxatives. Take them again. Drink water, and it gets much, much better after the first time. Also, hemorrhoids. You might get them. They may never go away completely, I am sorry to say.”

“The postpartum period can be so difficult not only physically, but mentally. Everyone’s experience is so unique and complex. But no matter what, don’t be afraid to get help if you need it! It doesn’t make you a bad mom, it doesn’t make you weak. It makes you strong to face your fears and get back on the right track. PPA/PPD can feel so isolating and getting relief can be so incredibly freeing!”

“Try to remember it’s ok to say you need help.  I went through the first few weeks denying all help; pride got in my way.”

"If you’re in a dark place, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And if you can’t see your way out, talk to someone, get help, and get medication if you need to.”

Feb17 on other people:

“If you’re having your second baby... logistics are everything. Your first kid might get jealous, act out, want to be treated like the baby... but they will also surprise you with their maturity and sweetness at other times.”

“Some partners need specific directions on how to be helpful. Whether this is your first baby or your 4th, they may need very specific directions on what to do or what you need. Don't be afraid to tell him. We had to have a level system in the early days. Like level 3 meant I had showered, dinner was started and I got a load of laundry folded. Level 0 was I haven't been able to put this baby down all day and I need to pee. And take a shower. I hope you grabbed dinner on the way home and roll up your sleeves.”

“Don't be afraid of setting boundaries. It's easy to feel guilted into something you dont want for your baby. Even the "small" things like someone wanting to hold your baby. If it's not a good time and you're not comfortable with something just say no. People might get annoyed/hurt/upset but you don't need to feel stressed. You are an adult and can set your own rules. Don’t forget you can simply get up and leave or ask for company to leave. This is your baby, you do what you feel is best. Others will adjust their expectations to yours eventually.”

“Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself and your baby. You know best what you both need. I had a lot of family pressure early on and I gave in bc I thought I had too. It made me have terrible anxiety and finally a few breakdowns. No is not a bad word so don’t be afraid to use it. Once I started setting boundaries my anxiety got much better. Even if it’s as small as you don’t want someone to hold your baby then, it’s important and stick to your gut feelings.”

“Take all the help, but don’t be afraid of hurting people’s feelings by saying no if it’s not what you want or need.”

Feb17 on expectations, and managing them:

“Be gentle with yourself. It’s easy to feel like you are not doing everything you “should” be. As long as your baby is fed and loved, you’re doing a perfect job!”

“Being told you have to have an emergency c-section at 2:00 in the morning due a failed induction may seem scary in the moment, but you’ll be ok. Your baby will be ok. Everything will be ok.”

“Don’t wait too long to go to the hospital when you’re in labor. Nobody wants a car baby!”

“Another one is to not take this time for granted. My house hasn't been in order since sometime during pregnancy, but I have been making memories with my family, and that's ok. I'll get it back to organized one day, just not today.”

“Pregnancy, birth, and parenting do not always go how we want. Do not let anyone minimize your feelings about your birth - your feelings are valid. It is ok to be unhappy about how things went, and it does not mean you don't love or appreciate your healthy baby. You are still human, and your birth experience matters to you. If you are in that situation, find someone supportive to talk to about how you feel.“

"Don’t let mommy guilt get you down! Your house will be dirty. Your kid will get hurt. Maybe things aren’t going the way you always thought they should. Maybe your best friend is a Pinterest perfect mom— it is okay. If everyone is fed and no one is dead, you are doing all right. Just give your kiddo lots of love. “


Re: With love from Feb17

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