Eco Baby’s Birth Story: Introduction

Welcome to a new series I’m planning to write for this blog about my pregnancy with Eco Baby. Overall, I felt that Eco Baby’s birth was an incredibly positive experience. Having an unmedicated labor went better than I could have hoped and made me confident in the health of my daughter. Since she was born several weeks early, it could have been a very scary time so I am proud to have gone the natural route and would encourage other Moms to make the same decision as well! I had never thought of myself as an athlete before, but after giving birth I felt like I had just completed a marathon. I got such a rush from the sense of accomplishment and the exhaustion, mixed with true love for our new baby.

There was a lot of preparation in the months and weeks leading up to her birth. I started with a healthy diet once the morning sickness passed. Then, I began exercising regularly when I regained my energy. I chose prenatal workout videos of yoga, cardio, and strength training. I also walked around the mall during my lunch breaks or walked around the neighborhood with Mr. Eco after work if the weather was nice. He helped encourage me to drink plenty of water, too. All these things were instrumental in my choice to have a natural birth.

It wasn’t until halfway through my pregnancy that I actually started considering that option. Mostly out of fear that for some reason I wouldn’t be able to have an epidural, I wanted to know how it would be done without one. The more I learned, the more it seemed like it should be my first choice and not my backup plan. I finally made the decision when I considered that (like me) many women are too scared to have their first baby the natural way, but think that they could do it the second time around. Why not my first time? I resolved to do everything I could to prepare myself for the natural birth plan, but to keep an open mind and do what seemed best for the baby when the time came around.

Initially I borrowed the book “Husband Coached Child Birth” for Mr. Eco, in the hope that he would learn how to support me during the delivery. Well, he didn’t read very much of it, but he was still a great resource for information because the book kept touting the benefits of swimming to pregnant women. Lucky me, married to a Rescue Swimmer. I needed to get into a pool with him- stat! We started swimming during our vacation in Florida and kept it up when we returned home. He showed me how to breathe in the pool and coached me to swim laps. If you can believe it, I didn’t even know you had to exhale prior to drawing in a new breath before we started. I quickly improved from controlled drowning to active swimming. Whenever I got tired or cold and wanted to quit, Mr. Eco prodded me along and sent me on a stroll to the other side of the pool. Then I would feel my little future Olympian kicking and I knew that this would be good practice for me to eventually keep up with her in the pool as well. I had just enough time to get the hang of swimming before Eco Baby decided it was time for us to meet!

This Little Mommy Stayed Home by Samantha Wilde: Book Review

“Think of the funniest person you know, give her a baby and a month without sleep, multiply by ten, and you’ve got the incomparable Samantha Wilde rocking the hilariously appalling realities of motherhood and the modern marriage.” Karen Karbo

Joy is stumbling through the first year of Motherhood with a husband who works 24/7, a monster mother-in-law, and a loveable baby boy. Her humorous take on everything from her mother’s impending fourth marriage to a crush on her steamy yoga teacher, mixed with the everyday trials of first-time motherhood will have you poring through this page turner.

She starts in a seemingly normal situation for many new moms, having recently relocated to the suburbs of New York for her husband’s work. This brings them closer to her opinionated mother-in-law, who balks at everything Joy does as a parent. It’s no help that her absentee husband has begun siding with his Mother on top of everything else he does to get on her nerves. She has a hilarious breakdown from the bathroom when her husband asks her where she keeps the diapers. Is it possible that it’s been so long since he changed the baby?

Amidst all this, a stream of amusing characters parade through Joy’s day-to-day. Her flirtatious yoga instructor and former college boyfriend keep the romance sparking even as it flickers out of her marriage. She’s accompanying her Mother on too many pre-wedding errands to allow enough time to cyber-stalk her future Father-in-law. As if she didn’t already have her hands full with a new baby!So, if you can find a few minutes to yourself or if you can manage to hold a book while nursing your baby, I highly recommend this one. Any other Moms read any great books lately? Let us know!

Rule #4: Listen to your Baby

Babies are smart! They have a unique set of sounds and cries to tell you what they need. If you immediately pick up your baby every time she cries, you may be missing out on an opportunity to hear what she needs from the expert. Once you take the time to learn her cries, try a new way to calm her. Let her know you’re there by shushing and talking in a soothing voice if she needs to hear you. You can place a hand on her chest firmly, but gently to establish your presence. Wait a few moments and see if she calms right back down. Sometimes she just needs reassurance that you are near. Since this method is less disruptive, she’ll easily get back to sleep. On the other hand, if she’s hungry, cold, or needs a new diaper you’ll know the exact solution since those are two different cries! (Hint: a hunger cry sounds like a few wails followed by short coughs and does not get louder. The other two clearly indicate distress.)

Rule #3: Help baby get good sleep

If your baby is crying herself to sleep, she needs your help figuring it out. Find a resource and get some help. No matter your goal, someone before you has found a successful way to parent before you. Take advice with a grain of salt and find out what works best for your baby and your family. You can even consult your pediatrician. Whatever you decide, stick with it!

Daytime Diapering vs. Nighttime Diapering

Eco Baby gets a new diaper about 14 times per day, so I’m happy that she wiggles and giggles through these changes with glee. As long as the temperature is right, she never has a problem kicking back playfully during the swap. In the morning, if she falls asleep from nursing I use it as a chance to wake her up for a few minutes before her nap. Today she practically slept through the whole change!

Still, I talk to her about what I’m doing and try to interest her by using her sounds (gooo, argf, cu). She finally rose when she heard me blow a raspberry and then proceeded to make what I call “Dada faces” for a minute.

Then she blossomed right back into my loveable little girl and gratefully giggled after receiving her new diaper. I’m pretty sure that “ah goo” means “that feels much better Mama!”

When she’s wide awake I’ll play or sing to her because it makes her very talkative and smiley. The difference between early changes and late night changes are that the goal at night is to get her back to sleep as quickly as possible! I talk as little as possible- just enough to let her know she’s getting a new diap. Then I turn on the small lamp to keep the lighting dim. (So that’s what those $40 nursery lamps are for at Babies R Us!) The next step is to make it snappy! I use a wipe warmer for wipes in the evening because it’s a little more soothing. At the end of it all she’s usually much more relaxed, but I still stay to help her get to sleep. Sometimes a pacifier will help calm her, too. She’s still waking up at night for diaper changes, so I’m planning to try a few different varieties over the next weeks to find out if there’s one that’s better for helping her stay asleep.

It’s pretty amazing that she already has a unique cry to let me know she needs a new diaper. At first it was harder to distinguish her cries, but now that we’re on more of a routine it’s easy to tell what she needs. I’m excited to listen to what else she starts “telling” me in the next weeks as she becomes more aware of herself and her surroundings.

Rule #1: Always keep fresh fruit handy

New Moms should have plenty of fresh fruit on hand. It’s the best way to get energy, most fruits are easily portable, and it tastes great! If someone offers help in the early days, ask them to bring you fruit. Especially if you’re nursing, you’ll want to keep eating well and you’ll be so busy that the quick snacks will offer the perfect pick-me-up.