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Why I Kept My Pregnancy a Secret

secret pregnancyHey remember that time back in January when I surprised everyone and just like… HAD A BABY?

Yeah… fun times.

I caught quite a bit of flack for that, honestly. But eh… I really didn’t mind. See, Finn was a surprise for US – a very welcome, wonderful surprise. Adam and I always keep pregnancy to ourselves for a least a little while (I think it was about 10 weeks with Ellie, and 16 with Jamie before we shared with friends and Facebook; earlier for family)… but for some reason, I was “weird” about my third pregnancy.

Once I found out I was pregnant (there’s a story there), I was over the moon excited. And nervous. And worried. And absolutely ecstatic. Adam and I had talked before about 3 being it for us, so I knew this would be my final pregnancy from the moment I found out. That… made me sad. Not necessarily because I want more children, but because all of these firsts are now “last firsts” – and I felt I needed to cherish the hell out of them. First ultrasound. First kicks. First time I got such horrid heartburn I thought death was surely around the corner (okay, I might not have wanted to cherish that one so much).

We didn’t share our news with anyone until about 19-20 weeks. Family, friends, and the virtual world included. I wasn’t showing (much) and honestly I could’ve kept it to myself and just popped a baby out without telling a soul if it weren’t for Adam getting antsy about it. Why? I’ll go ahead and be super-honest here… I was being selfish. Like really selfish. And I still defend my right to be selfish.

I felt a connection with Baby 3 from the moment I peed on a stick. I loved my little secret “relationship” with my baby – and I loved that I didn’t have to share it with anyone but Adam. We were in our own little bubble of safety and excitement. I enjoyed having this allllll to myself, I really did. It wasn’t meant to be devious or deceitful, it just… wasn’t something I was ready to let anyone else share with me. And I really still feel like that’s okay. Once baby news is out, you no longer steer the conversations you have in everyday life. You don’t get to choose the topic, or deflect to something else; pregnancy is the ONLY thing you’re allowed to discuss (or so it seems). I liked being able to feel so connected with my baby, but still carry on in the outside world as normal. I hogged the baby because… well, because it was mine. That’s my only excuse, really.

So, we found out in May last year. We told family and close friends in September. I could hardly hide it anymore as baby popped out pretty obviously around 24 weeks, so acquaintances and anyone who ran into me out and about town were allowed into the bubble after that. I did not, however, post anything to social media. I’m really not sure why, but I think after keeping it to myself for 4-5 months it just became… simple, to not share online. I wasn’t bursting at the seams to tell, and then I didn’t really want to steal anyone else’s thunder (a lot of my friends had pregnancies to announce last year too!). Then, it was just so late in the game that I decided to wait and announce when kiddo was born. Why not? It made for a fun day on Facebook, that’s for sure!

Finn Lea Fast was born on January 28th, 2016 – and we shared a cute little pregnancy AND baby announcement that day on Facebook. She was the biggest of all my babes, at 7 lbs 10oz and 20.5? tall. She was the best surprise we could’ve asked for in 2015/16, and she fits in with our cozy little family just perfectly. <3 I kept her to myself for as long as I could – I hope you enjoy her sweet, silly little self now that she’s an official SuperKid!

Postpartum Fun

A fun little note about postpartum sneezing (and really, this applies to the last trimester of pregnancy as well)-

Sneeze #1: “Yessss… no pee. Those kegels must be working!”

Sneeze #2: “Mwahaha evil sneeze, you won’t get me!”

Sneeze #3: “dammit.”

Happens every time.

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Ice Cream: The Miracle Cure

I know I owe you all a birth story about my brand new daughter Jamie Lea, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks here in the Fast household – cut me some slack, people, I have TWO FREAKING KIDS now! Anyway I promise, it’s coming. In the meantime, I thought I’d share another Ellie-ism…

So lately when Ellie gets a little diaper rash, I’ll put Desitin or hydrocortisone cream on it and it usually clears right up. When I’m putting it on her, I always tell her “Okay, gotta put some butt cream on!”

She apparently got confused somewhere along the line and now when her butt itches she says “Gotta put some butt ice cream on it!”. She loves ice cream, and butt cream always makes her feel better, so somehow she’s combined the two in her mind. While this is cute enough alone to be the anecdote, it gets even MORE ridiculously adorable…

The night I went into labor with Jamie, I was having regular contractions about 15 minutes apart. They were getting stronger and closer, and I was sitting on a yoga ball in my living room to ease the pressure on my lower back. At one point, I had Ellie up in my lap when I started to contract – so I gently put her down and told her “Mommy’s tummy hurts, Honey, I’ll pick you back up again in a minute.”

My sweet, adorable, smart little daughter didn’t even miss a beat. She just looked up at me with her serious green eyes and said, “It’s okay Mommy, gotta put some ice cream on it!”

*sigh*

Here’s hoping it’ll be a loooooong time before Ellie realizes that ice cream doesn’t cure everything.

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On Becoming a Supermom – How to Enjoy You New Baby

After visiting my sister-in-law Amanda in the hospital just moments after she gave birth to my gorgeous new nephew, Carson, I mentioned to Adam that I was jealous of her. He of course thought I was referring to the fact that she no longer has to deal with the aches and pains of pregnancy that I complain about 24/7- in a way, yes sure, I’m wishing I could move this whole process along, but I was really thinking of this particular time in Amanda’s life that has me wading through the waters of jealous remembrance.

She is now on Day 3 of motherhood, and I can’t help but tear up when I think of how overwhelmed with emotion I was when I was a 3-day-old mommy. Sure, my new-mommyness was a bit tainted with the pain of losing my father-in-law less than a week before, but nothing can get in the way of the pure magic only a newborn can provide. (I would even say that Ellie SAVED me from my grief-  a powerful feat from such a little human.)

Amanda is in this time-suspended period where all she has to do is stare at her new baby, breathe in the delicious scent of her new baby, and dream up all the things she hopes to accomplish for her new baby. When I had Ellie, it didn’t even matter who or how many people were in the room (we had a LOT of visitors) – I was completely submerged in her essence. Her smell, her tiny noises, her little squirmy movements- the way she blinked, breathed, yawned and especially the way she would just stare into my eyes.

I’m jealous because while I will definitely get to experience the new-baby fun in just a few weeks- I won’t ever get to be a “new mom” again. New moms have no expectations, no pre-conceived notions – they’re a clean slate, no matter what advice they’ve been given. Every single little tiny experience is created from a fresh, innocent place.

So- because I can’t help it (what mother can?), I offer this advice to my beautiful sister – and any other beautiful new mommies:

  • Smell your new baby, as much as possible. I always wondered when that “new” smell would dissipate- it takes a while, but enjoy every second of it.
  • Get lost in your baby’s eyes. They may change color over time, but you’ll be enamored with that part of your child forever. A child’s eyes carry so much emotion and wonder, you’ll feel like they make time stand still.
  • Relax when your baby cries (but don’t feel guilty if you cry a little too). It’s true that they feel your tension- and they also feel your calmness.
  • Learn to never stand still. I still do a little side-to-side sway sometimes, even when I’m not holding my daughter- it becomes an ingrained action.
  • Laugh. At everything. Laugh at the funny faces your baby makes, and laugh at how ridiculous you look (and feel) while using a breast pump. Laugh when you spill coffee all over yourself, and laugh when your baby has four “blowouts” in one day. Do NOT forget to laugh.
  • Listen to (and ask for) advice – from your mom, your dad, your friends, your sister (hint hint), and everyone else who may have something to offer. Do not feel obligated to use any of it. Motherhood is individual to each of us- my experience is different from my mom’s, and yours will be too. YOU get to make the calls now, and no one can decide anything for your baby but you.
  • Try not to get jealous when other people hold your baby – but don’t feel guilty asking for him back. It’s normal to feel naked without your baby attached to you, and during those first few weeks at home it’s really, really hard to willingly place him/her in someone else’s arms (until you really, really need a shower – then it’s a little easier).
  • Accept meals (whether homemade or fast-food) from anyone and everyone who offers. You just concentrate on getting to know your new baby – your family and friends will make sure you get fed. 🙂
  • Don’t forget about Dad. He’s experiencing all of this for the very first time too- and he’s loving it just as much as you are. Share in that together- and be thankful – every single stressful amazing second – for your new family.

I’ll reign in the rest of my motherly knowledge until I’m asked. Or hell, maybe I’ll spill it all out every time I visit, who knows? Just know that no matter what anyone tells you, your only job right now is to revel in the beauty of your baby and your new family.

I love you, Amanda. Now share your baby with me. I’ll be over in a few hours.

The Baby Lists: Your Medicine Kit

I always keep a medicine kit in Ellie’s diaper bag – that way I have everything I need in case of an emergency no matter where we are… and if she’s at Grandma’s or anywhere else without me, they’ll have emergency items as well. Here’s what I keep in the kit:

  • thermometer
  • ibuprofen
  • tylenol
  • nail clippers/files
  • bulb syringe
  • boogie wipes
  • pedialyte
  • orajel
  • Vaseline
  • qtips
  • little noses saline drops/spray
  • baby Vicks vapo-rub
  • baby tooth/gum brush
  • gas drops (though I never used them)
  • chapstick (of course)

Do you keep a med kit for your superbaby? What’s in yours?

The Baby Lists: What’s in Your Diaper Bag?

I struggled when I was a brand new mommy because I wanted to just bring my whole house with me every time I left to run an errand with Ellie… after a few weeks of packing and repacking, I had it down. This list worked perfectly for me whether I was taking Ellie with me to the store or dropping her off at Grandma’s for a few hours. All of this for a trip to the store may seem like overkill, but if you really feel overburdened just leave the bag in the car… you never know, however, when your superbaby will have a blowout or pitch a royal fit. 🙂

Here is what I recommend for a new mommy to keep in her diaper bag:

  •  at least 6 diapers
  • wipes
  • changing pad
  • baby powder
  • a&d ointment
  • diaper rash cream
  • baby lotion
  • hand sanitizer
  • burp cloths
  • rec’v blanket
  • soft blankie
  • pacifiers (a couple)
  • toys or lovey
  • med bag
  • bottle
  • formula/breast milk
  • breast pads
  • nipple cream
  • extra change of clothes
  • coat & hat
  • baby food/bibs/spoon/puffs (4mos+)

What do you think, mommies? Would you add anything?

The Baby Lists: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Continuing on with the baby lists, here is a list I made of things I actually needed and used when I went to the hospital in labor. There are a lot of lists out there that include MUCH more than this… I packed way too much in my hospital bag, and only found the following items necessary:

  • Portable ipod/iphone speakers
  • Toothbrush/paste/retainer
  • Contacts/solution/glasses
  • Deodorant/perfume
  • Socks
  • Comfy pillow
  • Going home outfit (sweats, maternity tee &  underwear you’ll throw away)
  • Hairbrush
  • Makeup (minimal… I used mascara and blush)
  • Facial cleansing wipes
  • Face lotion
  • Nipple cream!
  • Baby going home outfit
  • Baby swaddle (my mom brought one and I had Ellie in it the whole time)

To explain the speakers… I am SO glad we had them. I pushed for 3 hours, and in a silent delivery room with only my husband, our moms, and 3 medical professionals – I really wanted some background noise to make me feel less self-conscious of my grunting, crying, and any other noises that might have come out of my body. Thank goodness for Pandora’s 70’s Hits station.

Anything to add, ladies? I’ve heard of mommies bringing candles, heat wraps… what helped you during your stay in the hospital?