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Surviving the First Month with a Newborn

First off, I do plan on getting back on a normal blogging schedule at some point! I'm starting to realize how little 'me' time I have with 2 babes under 2. This newborn + toddler business is no joke! Still working on a better routine, but I wanted to publish this post in celebration of baby Bennett turning 1 month as of today!

Secondly, this could be titled 'Surviving the 1st month with a Newborn AND a Toddler'... But, I'll keep this post to focusing on getting through the first few weeks with a newborn in general. Honestly, the only difference would be to make sure there is someone helping with the toddler while you focus on taking care of the newborn. That's what worked for us anyway!

The first month with a newborn can be very tiring and overwhelming. I pretty much knew what to expect this time around, so I made sure to be as prepared as possible. Here are a few things that helped me get through the first month...

DockATot | This thing has been used so much over the past month! We mostly have been using it for naps and at night when he's sleeping, but it can be used in so many ways (more ways to use the DockATot here). We have it positioned in the middle of our king sized bed at night, in between Bill and me. During the day I will put Bennett in it swaddled for naps as well. The unique shape and cushioned sides help to mimic the womb so baby feels comfortable. I plan to also use it when we transition Bennett to the crib in a few weeks (or sooner if he starts sleeping for longer stretches). It's perfect to place in the crib to make baby feel more comfortable in a larger sleeping environment. I also love that the outer cover is removable and machine washable. Anything that is machine washable with babies is always a plus!

Baby Connect App | This is the app I have been using to track Bennett's feedings, diapers, pumping, etc. There is so much you can track with this app! It has really helped me start to recognize his 'hungry' times during the day and keeps me assured he is getting enough to eat by tracking his diapers as well. I actually used it for Camden too and am able to go back and see what he was doing around the same age. It's interesting to compare! 

PJs and Onesies with mitten cuffs | I'm slowly easing into cutting those little, tiny delicate newborn nails. I had forgotten how they don't have any control over their arm and hand movements and if you're not careful, they can really scratch up their face! These onesies and these PJs (the newborn size comes with mitten cuffs) have really come in handy! I have tried some regular mittens, but they always seem to fall off.

Swaddling | I'm so glad that Bennett likes to be swaddled. It really helps to calm them down after a fussy period and helps to soothe them to sleep. Because newborns have no control over their arm and hand movement, they can wake themselves up out of a deep sleep by their startle or moro reflex if they are not swaddled. I have been using mostly this brand of swaddle blankets during the day (which are currently on sale at Nordstrom). They are so soft and are also great stroller blankets. We just recently started using these velcro swaddles at night as well since he is starting to bust out of the normal swaddles. 

Travel Sound Machine | I decided to get this small travel sound machine for the time being so that we could put it on the bed with us and Bennett at night. I wanted to start somewhat of a bedtime routine right away with him so he could start to understand when it was night time. It has several soothing sounds, but we love the ocean sound. And now we have a portable sound machine if we need one. 

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow | When it comes to feeding baby B, I'm so glad that nursing has been working out this time around. It has been much more convenient (especially with having a toddler around) to nurse instead of pump, feed, clean bottles/pump parts, etc. One difference is that nursing sessions do take a bit longer than if I were to just feed him a bottle. Typically, they las about 30-40 mins, sometimes upwards to an hour if he's really hungry! Making sure you keep a proper position and have the right back support is key. I use this pillow nearly every time I nurse baby B and I'm so glad I invested in it!

Lots of Pictures! | Babies change so much within the first few months! Make sure to take pictures everyday. It is so fun to look back and see how much they've changed. I love using these milestone baby cards to keep track of Bennett's weekly and monthly growth. They also include fun milestone cards like first smile, first laugh, first tooth, first time they slept through the night, etc. 

milestone baby cards | raccoon rattle c/o Finn and Emma

Help from Family, Friends and Spouse | If there's one major piece of advice I would give to new moms, it's to take all the help you can get! Don't try to be a super woman and end up feeling like a 'mombie' with no sleep. Have family hold the baby while you rest in between feedings. If you're bottle feeding, have someone else feed baby a bottle while you take a nap. And try to nap at least once during the day while baby naps! Don't worry too much about house chores, making dinner etc for the first month... All you need to focus on is loving and taking care of that new baby!

For more newborn/new mom help, check out my 'newborn essentials' series on FeedingSleeping and Clothing/Diapering.

I'm hoping to get a few new posts up next week including tips on taking your own newborn photos, what my postpartum wardrobe has consisted of and my new 10 minute summer makeup routine (hopefully I can get all 3 published if I'm feeling ambitious!).

I'm linking up with Natalie and Annie for Thoughts for Thursday.

*I was provided a DockATot and Milestone Baby Cards for review. All thoughts and opinions on these products are my own! They are awesome!

What I Actually Used From My Hospital Bag

I had planned to publish a "What's in my hospital bag" post before Bennett arrived and never actually got around to it. I'm so glad I'm posting this now after I had him because I can actually share exactly what I used (and didn't use) from my bag. I definitely think I over packed a bit, but of course it's better to be safe than sorry. 

|| FOR ME ||
First, since I knew I was having another c section, I packed mostly night gowns instead of shorts or pants because they were just more comfortable for recovery. This sleep shirt (I have it in black) is so soft and is perfect for nursing moms as well since it buttons down. As soon as we got to our room after the recovery room, I changed into these PJs just to feel more comfortable. 

I also got a ton of use out of the 2 robes I brought. I love this one from this etsy shop (they also have non maternity robes) because it has a fun, floral pattern and is so soft and light weight. I also used this plain black one from Target a lot as well. 

Since it felt like I was nursing non-stop, I wore this nursing night gown a lot as well as this nursing tank and these nursing bras.

I also packed a few 'forgiving' shift style dresses to wear for the ride home. I packed a few options so I could try them on and decide which would be best (be the most comfortable). One good thing about having a baby in the summer is that you can wear flowy dresses after baby! I ended up wearing a comfy tee shirt style dress (similar style here) for the ride home. 

Other items that I used were:
flip flops (for walking around and for in the shower)
+ make up/toiletries/hair dryer/straightener
+ chap stick and hand lotion
+ iphone + charger
Nikon DSLR camera with 50 mm lens and charger
+ hair ties, clips and bobby pins (I wore my hair up a lot because I was sooo hot the whole time. I was literally drenched with sweat almost every night. The nurses said it was due to my hormones trying to regulate)

|| FOR BABY ||

I definitely brought too many outfits for Bennett to wear forgetting that they mostly are in the little half t shirts and swaddles for the first week or so of life while they still have the umbilical cord attached to their belly button. I also didn't really have the energy to wrestle him into too many outfits, so I actually only changed him into one outfit which was his going home outfit. 

I did however, use the extra swaddle blankets I brought (which are included in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!) and actually wish I would have brought more! I loved posting his birth announcement photo with his personalized swaddle blanket form Jennifer Ann Style.  

I also loved dressing him in his little going home outfit, booties and personalized cap for his first car ride. 

Other items I used for baby B:
+ burp cloths (used these a lot)
+ beanies/caps
+ baby socks
+ fuzzy baby blanket (I used this propped under him for nursing a lot!)
+ pacifiers

I also wanted to give you a list of what I took from the hospital:

+ diapers
+ wipes
+ nasal aspirator
+ beanie
+ baby shirts
+ Vaseline and gauze
+ hospital underwear (I asked for extra pairs)
+ pads
+ abdominal binder

Honestly, take as much as you can get! You will be sad when those hospital underwear run out, because regular underwear just isn't as comfortable.

And there you have it! 

Mamas, was there anything that I didn't list that you used while in the hospital?

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Oh, hi! Just coming out of my newborn/new mother sleepy haze to bring you my picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Since I have a Nordstrom debit card, I was able to get early access to the sale. I love having the debit card because I get all the perks and rewards, but don't feel guilty about opening another credit card. I highly recommend signing up if you love to shop at Nordstrom like me! I mean, free shipping and returns is reason enough to shop online!

Below are some of my favorite sale items:

I was on a shopping freeze for a month before Bennett was born, so I am so ready to start buying normal, non-maternity clothes again! The anniversary sale is a great time to stock up on items for fall and to splurge on designer pieces you've had your eye on.

I am lusting over this Tory Burch bag which is now over 30% off! I also have my eye on this kate spade watch and these nike tennis shoes.

Are you going to take advantage of the Anniversary Sale?

PS - Did you order anything good from Amazon Prime Day? I ended up getting 3 big boxes of diapers for 30% off! Wish I could have got something more exciting though...sigh...

Happy weekend and happy shopping!

Life With 2 So Far...

Bennett: I can't believe this little snuggle bug has been with us for almost 2 weeks! He is such a good baby! He got a healthy report at his one week appointment. He was down to 6 lbs 8 oz (7 oz from his birth weight) but, the pediatrician ensured us that it was in the normal range for the first week. We go back on Wednesday for his 2 week appointment and I'm hoping he has surpassed his birth weight. He has been BF'ing like a champ so I hope he's gained weight! I am so relieved that breastfeeding is working out this time. I still do pump once or twice a day just to be able to start storing some for the future, but baby B has not had to use bottles yet.

He has also been sleeping really well at night (*knock on wood*). The first week while we were at the hospital and a few nights after we got home, he was cluster feeding at night and would be up from 8pm - 2am. After talking to the pediatrician about it, we realized it was happening because he was so sleepy during the day and wouldn't wake very easily for feedings. He wasn't getting full feedings during the day, so then when he did wake up in the evenings, he wanted to feed all night. Now, I have him on a pretty good schedule of waking up at 6:30am to feed him, then I wake him up every 3 hours for feedings. I've been keeping him downstairs during the day with all the noises and light so he's more awake. I try to get the last feeding in around 9pm, I turn the lights low in our bedroom, swaddle and rock him to sleep after the last feeding and put him in the Dock-A-Tot (full review post on this soon!) on our bed. He's been sleeping until about 1:30-2am, then again from about 2:30am-6:30am! I will take it!!

We also moved Bennett's glider and changing dresser in our bedroom for convenience sake while he is sleeping with us at night. I had originally thought I would just sleep in his nursery for the first month or so before we transition him to the crib. But, once we got home from the hospital I realized that I would still need help at night with diaper changes so we could minimized the amount of times I get in and out of bed. I guess I kind of forgot about the recovery part! I am hoping to transition him to his crib around 6 weeks like we did with Camden. That age seemed to be the sweet spot for the transition.

Also, I realized I never wrote about where Bennett's name came from! It was on our short list for a long time and one that Bill actually brought up. I was loving the name Beckett, but saw a lot of Becketts being born recently and started thinking it might be one of those names you think is unique and then become popular (like Camden ;) ). Whenever we brought up the 2 names to family members, they always loved Bennett more. So, we went with it! I'm so glad we did! He's definitely a Bennett! His middle name, David, is after my grandfather and my brother's first name is David (but, he goes by Kyle his middle name).

Camden: If there's one thing I wish I could change about this whole transition to having 2 under 2, it would be to have the ability to pick Camden up and play with him more. We have been so lucky to have the help of our parents over the past few weeks. Camden's grandmas have been getting up with him, feeding him, changing his diapers, playing with him during the day, giving him baths and putting him to bed. They have been so wonderful! But, I can tell when I try to play with him during the day he is resentful that I am not spending as much time with him. He has been acting out a bit more than usual, which I know is most likely normal behavior for a toddler his age (19 months) especially with all the change that has been going on for the last few weeks. I know he probably won't even remember this time, but I can't help but to feel major mom guilt. It's really the only thing I've been really upset about since B arrived.

Camden is interested in Bennett when someone is holding him. He will come over and point to him and say 'baby!' We are working on teaching the word 'gentle' when he's around Bennett so he's not tempted to grab at him. He loves to point out Bennett's nose, eyes, ears, etc and then points to the same part on his face. It's so cute! We also tell him to give the baby a kiss and he leans his head on Bennett and says 'mwah!' It's the cutest thing ever! We were able to get a few good photos of the 4 of us since we got home from the hospital, but I haven't gotten a good one of just the 2 boys yet. Trying to figure out how to accomplish that one without Bennett losing an eye or a meltdown from Camden...

(on 4th of July, Bennett's due date! Don't mind how tired I look or our messy kitchen in the background...)

(Always wanting to touch the baby!)

Recovery: The recovery part has been a bit more difficult this time around. For some reason, I don't remember it being too bad with Camden? But then, we lived in a smaller, ranch style home with no stairs and I didn't have a toddler to worry about! I'm still a bit sore, but it's gotten so much better over the last few weeks. The nurses gave me an abdominal binder which helps to support the area around my incision and I really think it's helped tremendously. There were a few days that I realized I had pushed my self too much going up and down the stairs, walking around too much, etc. At night I would be so sore, so I would try to take it easy the next morning. Bill has been really helpful with diaper changes at night and during the day after I'm done feeding Bennett so I don't have to get up.

I have my follow up appointment tomorrow, so I'm hoping everything is healing correctly and I will feel back to normal soon!

Thankful for: Help from our families! Bill and I got so lucky with our parents. They have been so helpful over the past few weeks with this whole transition and I don't know what I would have done without them! If there's one piece of advice I would give to those having their first, second, third baby is to take the help!! Don't try to be independent and think you can do it all on your own. It truly does take a village!

Now I will bombard you with photos from the past few weeks at home:

(This is pretty much what I lived in for the first few days at home. I love this robe from this etsy shop)

(On 4th of July, baby B's due date!)

(My first glass of wine in almost 10 months! Rosé of course!)

(Before my first solo trip out of the house to Target! This dress is so great for post baby! Taken from Snapchat, username: LindsayRumple)

 (soaking up all the newborn snuggles!)

I have been loving dressing Bennett in all Camden's hand me downs!

That's all I have for now! I promise to get back to a normal blogging schedule very soon!

(read Bennett's birth story here)

Welcome, Bennett!

(personalized swaddle blanket from here)

And just like that... He's here!

Bennett David Rumple was born on June 28th at 8:43am. He was 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 20.25 inches long. He was a pound heavier and almost 3 inches taller than his brother was! But, he had a few more weeks in my belly than Cam did. Most importantly, he was perfectly healthy! Praise the Lord!

We are slowly coming out of the newborn cocoon we've been in over the past week. I have to say I don't know what we would have done with out both of our parents (Bennett's grandparents) help! Especially with watching Camden while we were at the hospital and continuing to help with him while we are home and I am recuperating from the c section. Honestly, it really does take a village... especially when there are toddlers and newborns involved!

Here's a quick recap of our time at the hospital last week...

(The morning before going to the hospital)

My c section was scheduled for 8:15 am Tuesday morning. We had to arrive 2 hours early to check in and get ready. Needless to say I didn't get a great night's sleep the night before and you can totally tell on my face in the photo above!

Driving to the hospital and sitting in the triage room before surgery I was filled to the brim with nerves. I pretty much knew what to expect since I had had a c section with Camden, but I was still so nervous about what could potentially go wrong. After they got my IV in (which was one of the worst parts, I swear!) and got me all ready for surgery, we still had about an hour to just sit there! It was torture! My doctor and the anesthesiologist came in to talk to us and that helped a lot with my nerves.  

Finally, at about 8:10 the nurses walked me into the OR and prepped me for my spinal. The spinal was pretty rough (not gonna lie) and I think it took her a few times to get it right (they numb the area first, but you can still feel pressure). Once it was in, they laid me down for surgery. The spinal kicked in pretty quickly and I could feel my legs and my whole lower half start to get very numb and heavy. The anesthesiologist was so great and stayed by my side the whole time just talking me through what was happening before Bill was allowed in the room. Once I was prepped for surgery and the curtain was up, they brought Bill in. My tactic to not think about what was going on was to stare at Bill and talk about what Bennett was going to look like, what Camden was doing right now, what we plan to do when we get home from the hospital... Basically, any random subject that would keep my mind off what was going on behind the curtain. I couldn't feel any pain, but I could feel some pressure and slight tugging here and there. 

Then, all of a sudden... we heard a cry! "It's a boy!" was yelled (even though we already knew, it's always nice to be reassured!).

They cleaned him up a bit and brought him over the curtain so we could see him! Immediately, I thought he looked very similar to Cam did when he was born! But, of course all squishy little newborns look similar. I just remember seeing his cute little nose like Camden's.

The rest of the surgery took about 20 minutes or so. While they were finishing, they checked all of Bennett's vitals and let us know he was all healthy. They swaddled him up and brought him over for Bill to hold. Bill then held his cute little face against mine and it was the best moment! Of course, I started crying right away! (Unfortunately, at this particular hospital there are no pictures allowed in the OR)

After they were done with the surgery, we headed to recovery. Once we were there, I was able to do skin to skin with him and start breastfeeding. Bennett actually latched pretty quickly, which was quite the opposite with his brother. We were in recovery for 2 hours before heading to our permanent room. The time in recovery was so relaxing and a great way for Bill and I to spend quality time with our new baby, just the three of us. 

My recovery and stay at the hospital was pretty similar to what I remember with Camden. The nurses had me get out of bed only 8 hours after my surgery. The first time out of bed is always the worst, but it got better each time. The only visitors we had were both our parents and Camden. I was so excited to see Camden's reaction to meeting his little brother. I didn't want to make him jealous right away, so we had Bennett in the hospital basinet instead of me holding him when Camden came in the room. 

(Our first picture as a family of 4!)

 I think Camden kind of knew what was going on, but was a little confused on why mommy was in bed and couldn't hold him. Cam kept pointing to Bennett and saying 'baby!'  which was adorable. I tried to teach him to say Bennett, which he is pretty close to mimicking now!

We stayed in the hospital until Friday morning. The rest of our stay pretty much consisted of working on breastfeeding (which is going great I'm so thankful to report), baby snuggling and resting. 

(the best post baby/hospital stay PJs here)

Bill was so great the entire time and pretty much did everything else for Bennett besides feeding him since I wasn't really able to get out of bed too often. He handled all the diaper changes, helped with burping him and changing his swaddles, etc. He is such a great dad and I am so lucky to have him as my partner!

By the time Friday rolled around, we were so ready to bring baby Bennett home and start our new adventure as a family of four!

Of course, I had to get Bennett all dressed up for the ride home...

(Bennett's personalized beanie is from this etsy shop)

Welcome to the world, Bennett! You are so loved already!!

Can't believe baby B will be one week tomorrow!! 

I'm still working on a good schedule for finding the time to blog, but I'm hoping to post another update by the end of the week. Hope you all had a happy 4th of July weekend!