Friday 10 March 2023

Friday Funnies

 It’s been a SEASON around here, to say the least. Sleep issues upon sleep issues, mixed in with the odd tooth rupture, stomach bug & a sprinkle of RSV just to be sure - it’s been a long season of winter. Relationships are not in their thriving season around here & that’s okay, there are ebbs and flows for a reason. 


We’re all coming a bit unglued, Mom being the leader of that game. So yesterday, while it was only day 6 of the actual sickness this time; it was still day 267 of winter and we were scraping the bottom finding things to do to keep us happy, entertained and comfortable. 

So let me set the scene. We piled up in outside clothes, and played in the areas of the yard that were no longer snowy. Myles was setting the excavation sites up & Jack was testing the leaves to assess their nutrition after a long winter of being buried. Mom was cringing at the dirt & muck but she was pushing through because that’s growth baby, can’t control the mess all the time. 

So once we were done outside - vocalized by Jack in a perfect pitch temper shriek, we were heading inside. “They need a bath now to warm up, and I need a shower! Okay I’ll shower & they can play at my feet with their toys and the bathroom will get good and steamy.” Score one for mom! 

LOL, Sure Jan.

So picture it, we’re all naked and I’m gathering all the supplies. Putting towels & jammies in the dryer so my little cherubs are cozy cozy when they come out of their wonderful sensory activity. Jack is waddling around belly first, trash talking the game plan to us. Myles is standing in the bath as the water runs, because he wants to feel the shower start. Bliss is about to be had.


I turn on the shower. And blast that poor feverish kid with cold water. INSTANT Screaming. Howling. Well fuck.

Okay no problem! In comes Mom & Jack and we’re having fun! This is fun! Trucks & containers to fill with water! Fun fun! Distraction, cuddles! Togetherness! No.

Jack joins the chorus because anything his brother is doing he co-signs entirely. So in unison we have howling screams, no fun is being had and NO fun will be had, thank you very much, Mother!!! 

So in a whirlwind of slippery bodies and towels, I gather everybody up, and just panic go into our laundry closet and wrap them in the warm towels. We end up in a pile of warm clothes fresh from the dryer, burritoed in tight. 

As my sopping wet hair drips down my back because I’m the last one I worried about getting cold, or dry, naturally. (I forget what it’s like when I put myself first)

After a few moments of apologizing for clearly traumatizing them and asking why they hated it so much, we were calm and cuddled in. 

“Boy mom, that shower sure went haywire! It was like whoosh whoosh whoosh, what a mess!”

Yea Myles, nailed it. Guess we’ll stick to baths for now.

Thursday 16 February 2023

Jack David Stuchberry, the missing piece.

 Our little Jack; Jack Jack, Jackie Boy, Goldie Boy, Danny Devito. Jack turned one on January 27th, so now is as good a time as ever to introduce him! He's the little boy we swore we weren't going to have for nearly 3 years, and the little blonde monkey who perfectly completed our family - human wise at least. 

I should've known Jack was going to be a spicy little monk, my pregnancy was about as difficult as it could get. Outside factors had a lot to do with it - and likely caused  a lot  of the later trimester health concerns, but from day 1 this kid made my body his bitch; working himself into any crevice he could, getting good & comfy. I stopped working out entirely because my hips hurt so bad (don't worry, hindsight also tells me that was not the correct path to take), and could neither be on my feet comfortably, nor could I sit comfortably. Essentially the only comfortable position was beached whale, which doesn't really exist with a lively 2 year old to chase. 

So on January 27th, when I went to the bathroom for the 43rd time that morning at 6 am, I was fucking delighted  to see a bit of blood when I wiped. 

"Fucking fuck yes, FINALLY. Get out of me." - did I mention I had had Covid the few days prior, and was throwing up almost the entire day for the past... 5 weeks? Get. Him. Ouuuut. Safely, please & thank you. 

So I'm getting all of our overnight/Myles to Nana & Papa's/ take Baby home items and bags ready, and meanwhile my husband is putting his hospital outfit in the dryer to eliminate wrinkles. the one he is literally about to fold & pack. And he's parked infront of me, so Myles & I can't leave until he does. After pleasantly asking him to light a fire under his ass, about as peacefully as you can imagine a woman in labor doing so, Myles & I were on our way to my parents, and Jake was off to work - local, so he could leave at a moment's notice. 

I should mention I really had no contractions, just a lot of pressure. With Myles there were obvious contractions. So mom & I just figured we'd go the hospital and get checked (I had missed my last OB appointment due to the aforementioned Cov), see how dilated I was if anything past the 2cm I had been for 3 weeks. I had a body shower, got ready and we headed up, giving Myles a million kisses and hugs before leaving him with my dad. 

It's like the universe just knows me, but as we were waiting to check in - my OB walked in to start her rounds up at the maternity ward. In Vernon it's pretty unlikely you'll get your OB to actually deliver your baby, so this was like, fortuitous. This baby had to come out today; not only was she my OB, she delivered Myles too. I knew we would only ever be having two babies and I loved the symmetry of the same amazing doctor deliver both my boys into this world.  

So I started doing squats, and plie squats, and bouncing in place. You're coming out today Mister Man, let's go. 

After getting hooked up to the monitors and doing my covid test (which I warned them would likely make me throw up, everything was during those miserable days), Dr. Manji came and checked and I was 5cm dilated and having a baby. My blood pressure again had been climbing and it was too high to sendly safe me home to further progress, so I was getting checked in. I called Jake and told him to leave his site and join. I had him on speaker and he asked if he had time to finish the bit he was working on, to which our lovely nurse (also a Myles team OG!) replied quite shortly, "No."

Once Jake joined us, we moved to our birthing room and got started. Because my pressure was too high, they started me on oxytocin & broke my water. I still never got a contraction, just unreal pressure - it literally felt like my spine was trying to escape through my bumhole. Lovely, right? Around 3pm I told them it was feeling harder to breathe through the pressure contractions because my body was screaming at me to push, so pushing I began. 6 minutes. SIX MINUTES later, after apologizing in between pushes that I "didn't remember how much this hurt!! I'm sorry for being so dramatic", Jack David Stuchberry joined me on my chest and I just remember thinking "well of course it's you, you're Jack. Of course you needed to be here with us, I've known you forever." Meeting someone you created is the most surreal, trippy experience one can ever experience. Rihanna described it as "tripping on acid" and honestly, I get it. 
Jack Stuchberry was born in record time, 6 hours from start to finish essentially, and perfect in every way. A funny little Gus with sparkling eyes and a temper to fit a whole room if he felt like it; thankfully he rarely does. Looks almost nothing like his brother, and the most delightful little bookend to our family. Our little Goldie boy, the boy the universe knew we needed to borrow. 

Out of the Mouth of Myles

 I can't believe I have an almost 4 year old; it's one of those bizarre things where you logically realize it, but still can't fathom you're old enough to have that much responsibility. 

I digress, this isn't about that. This is about how freaking funny my almost 4 year old is. And insightful, witty, romantic, dramatic; he's all the things in the most perfectly Myles way. 

A few years ago when I was working at Birch, my coworker Trish gave me one of my most treasured presents: a personalized journal with a photo of Myles that is both mine & Jake's all-time favorite. His curly curly mop of hair, holding tightly to his bestie Mr Sloth & his 18 month old baby belly proudly hanging out. What i love about Trish is she always had this wise third eye about her; she didn't know it was our favorite, she found it on my instagram and could feel his little soul shining through the picture. "Kids say the sweetest, funniest things, and they say things a certain way that you swear you'll remember forever. But you don't, and so this journal is to write down all the things he says that you never ever want to forget"

And I wrote in it any chance I got, anytime I could remember to do it. But then I got busy and life whizzes by and i haven't in a while, but I text them to myself so I don't forget them. 

Part of the charm of Myles is his ability to warm up to anyone, and illicit a smile from even the most crotchety of the bunch. He's an old soul, our little chocolate lab with too much energy for his own good sometimes. Enjoy these little nuggets, out of the mouth of my babe. 


“No Daddy! I’m just ‘TENDIN!” - Jake was making the epic mistake of correcting him that his truck was not in fact a dinosaur. Rookie rookie move, Daddy

"Stop combing my hair! I don't want to look so handsome, I want to look like Myles!"

"Ohh my goodness mom, this is so cozy. Know what my body is telling you? It's saying 'Thank you, mommy Brianne!"…. quietly to himself, seconds later "Ohh this is so freaking cozy" 

"Can you put on the Shrek when they're in wuv?" - The song off Shrek when they're on their honeymoon, "Accidentally in Love" for those not as versed in Shrek songs as Jacob Stuchberry & I are. 

Actually, a full homage to the fact he can't pronounce his L's, or SM/SP sounds yet, so the following words are a cemented figure for us:

Pooties - Smoothies

Wuv- Love (this one is really going to break me when it ends)

Widdle - Little

Really any word that has an L in it comes out as a W, including his own name. Be still my freaking heart.

"Oh my GOSH this bath is so cold". Me: "Oh shoot, the bath is cold?".. "No, the bath is freaking cold."

Kid says freaking a lot.. it’s almost like his mother has a reformed…ish potty mouth :)

"I'm going to show you something and it's going to be really cool & not dangerous." Always a good start  

"I'm just watering Jack"

"Hey mom? Sometimes, sometimes I eat my boogers". Cool. 

(Myles wanted me to make him a fort like his Daddy does)

"Myles I'm not very good at this.."

"Mom, of course you are! You just need to try again"

I make one

"Mom you did it! I'm so proud of you! I'm really happy you did it". 

“Is this dinner a date? What is the dinner, chicken? Because I love chicken.” - Jake works so late that often i’ll wait to eat dinner until the kids have gone to bed and we make it into a “date” & there’s nothing Myles loves more than to third wheel his mom and dad. 

which leads me to…

“GROUP HUG!” - anytime Myles see Jake & I hugging, he launches himself in

Thursday 8 September 2022

a new beginning.

Wow, it’s been a while hey? what’s new, anything happen with you since 2019? Anything at all newsworthy…..? 



We don’t have to talk about it here, right? We know. We been through some shit, collectively, so to speak. We don’t need to talk about that big ol elephant here. It’s not the vibe. 

But it really has, it’s been a while. I fell out of this medium because, even though it was one of the most visceral parts of my identity, my other identity was taking up a LOT of time. Motherhood. He’s 3.5 now and holy Dina, this kid is my karma/blessing/joy all in one. His brother takes up the rear at 7 months and in searching in numerous directions for my role in life, I found it. It’s right where I left it, in search of the mysterious new me. Through heartbreak, pandemics, broken relationships and marriages almost in collapse. It went through hell and back again, and has come out on the other side shiny & new - like a diamond after being squeezed to the brink. 

Like I said, we been through some shit. 

But I’m back, and I want to talk about it.  

Friday 20 December 2019

9 months in, 9 months out

I turned 30 this week on Monday, literally 9 months minus a day that I became a mom. The end of one decade and the beginning of a new one as a completely different Brianne. A more confident, sure of herself, secure & happy Brianne. I have been feeling very introspective during the leadup to this birthday & I’m not going to go all hippy dippy on you, but I really feel like I have a clean slate going into this new decade and feel like a new & improved me. I feel sure of the path that I'm on, of the choices i made that lead me to it, and who I'm on the path with. Did anyone else feel this or is it just the hormones still? 
 I have a 9 month old baby. I am the mother of a very curious, funny, happy & active baby who is 3 months away from turning one. WHAT. How did this past 9 months fly by so fast? I know it’s cliche, but holy smokes man - I blinked and my baby went from the teeny little nugget we took home from the hospital who swam in newborn sleepers, to the 22 pound monkey who is much closer to walking unassisted than I’d like. It goes so fast. Newborn days simultaneously feel like a lifetime away, and last week. 

What can I say about motherhood other than it’s everything you’re warned of, and yet it still hits you like a squishy, adorable train. “You’ll never sleep again!” Except that it feels like you’ll never. sleep. again.. unless you have one of those awesome right out of the gate sleeper babies, which our FOMO child was not. If you have one of those unicorn babies, I hope you thank whatever shooting star, horseshoe or four leaf clover that crossed your path.

 It's taken me officially 9 months I would say to get me fully comfortable in all things Myles Nicholas. To really feel like I know him, and know what will work for him and what won't. Knowing where he can be flexible and where he needs his routine. From sleeping to eating to playing, I have finally figured out that my mama gut knows better than anyone. Myles was an adorable newborn, but easy is not a word either of us would use to describe him during that time. Particular? Yes. Easy? Not so much. Some would say he was colicky, some would say he was gassy/tired/hungry/wanted to see how close to the edge his parents could go. I would just say that Myles as a newborn humbled me fast. In a good way, I probably needed it; however it wasn't expected. 

In all truth, babies are little humans; they are their own person and they need some time to figure this brand new world out in their own way and in their own time. They need as much time figuring out life on the outside, as we do learning how to help them to figure it out. Now at 9 months, this is my favorite favorite stage. I'm watching his mind work in weird & wonderful ways. I'm listening to him have full conversations of babble, and I'm one of the lucky recipients of intentional kisses from him. He's such a snuggler and it's like the stork heard me wish for that when we ordered him. I googled so. much. in the first 6 months about everything: normal sleep patterns, normal poop, teething timelines, colic, gassy babies, when should he roll, crawl, smile, you name it. And then i realized that none of those articles pertained to Myles. I was the only "expert" on him, and I could only become an expert by getting to know him first. Social media has made it incredibly easy to compare your baby to all the others around you: "Well her baby has 4 teeth and she's 2 months younger! Why doesn't he have any yet!?" "Jake, their baby sleeps through the night, and they took the same course we did! How come it's not working on him?" Yadda Yadda. 

I had to stop and remind myself that this little human is one of a kind, and he will figure everything out in his own time, on his own schedule. I have to follow my mama instinct's, because they're connected with him. My little monkey may have no teeth, but he's been commando crawling since he was 4 months because in his timeline, moving was much more of a neccesity than chompers were, and mama's boobies are thankful for that anyway. He pulls himself up on anything in .2 seconds flat, and we're discovering there is nothing Myles enjoys more than doing something silly & getting a laugh out of us. & There is nothing we love more than seeing his "I'm so proud of myself" smile; not to be confused with his mischevious smile, or his "Goodness I love you" smile. 
 Things motherhood has taught me:
  • Even the “longest” seasons are still short.
    • You think you’ll never lose the weight, and then you just do. Your body doesn't look the same (nor should it, really), but you'll start fitting into your old clothes again and you won't expect just how good that feels. 
    • You think your relationship will never be the way it was again, and then it is - just a better version of it because now you have the same tiny sidekick who you're indescribably obsessed with. 
    • You’ll never sleep again! And then, you do. 
    • You swear you're team one and done.. And then you're not so sure anymore because look how teeny he was and we make such wicked little humans. 
  • I wish I could have a do-over with my friends who had babies before me. I would have more understanding of what their version of busy looked like compared to mine; I would bring them dinner or offer to do the dishes for them when I went to visit. I would understand if they didn't text me back, or even text me first. One of my best friends is having a baby and I seriously feel like this is my chance to make up for all the times she cooked me dinner when I would go over and see her and the kids after work, consumed in my own world and not paying attention to fully take in hers. 
  • You drop way more stuff on the ground than you think. & you don't truly notice until you have a little mini putting every little thing into his mouth. 
  • Babies are way more resilient than you give credit for. Don't worry mama. 
  • As mentioned above, you can google until your blue in the face and convinced your baby is going to "dry drown" overnight because he accidentally swallowed some bath water & coughed. You can max out your phone storage with every app there is, but nothing will tell you more than about your baby, than your own baby will. however, did have some great resources & definitely one I would recommend bookmarking. 

There are so many cliches about motherhood that you don't know are true until you're in the thick of it, part of the club. Do I look back on my last decade of selfishness, tight stomach skin & sleeping in on weekends fondly and with a heavy dose of nostalgia? Yes, of course I do -  that's okay it just means I enjoyed them. Would I trade my life now to go back? Absolutely not. Actually, wait.  That's not true. Give me the tight skin, but leave me my littlest best friend who falls asleep watching me shovel when he's supposed to be overseeing the process. 

Friday 21 June 2019

Breastfeeding: a journey through love & hate

*Disclaimer: A fed baby is a happy baby. Unless you're feeding your baby protein powder mixed with gatorade, there is no judgement here and all opinions stated are my own, and how I feel about my own journey. There is a plethora of reasons why people choose to feed their baby the way they do, and unless it's how they're feeding your baby,  it is no one's place to judge. Motherhood is hard enough with unneeded judgement. Moving along.

It's taken me 3 months to gather this blog post; I wish I had found a post like this when I was in the thick of learning breastfeeding, it would've given me a bit more hope that the light was at the end of the tunnel. Let’s get this clear out of the gate: breastfeeding is really really hard. Anyone who tells you it isn’t, is lying. It’s hard for a litany of reasons: under supply, over supply, bum nipples, sore nipples, cracked nipples, shallow latch, baby won’t latch, forceful letdown - there’s no cookie cutter reason for why it’s hard, it’s a “choose your own adventure” type thing. Point is, it’s hard for the first little bit - anywhere from 2-8 weeks, maybe even more. But no one tells you that and even if they do, you don’t “know” what it means until it’s YOUR version of hard. For me? Forceful letdown witha burning sensation and continuous excruciating cracked nipple pain, chronic clogged ducts, a bout of mastitis, plus a little boy who tended to gum as he fed, would look around whilst keeping my nipple in his mouth, all the while fiddle fucking around to make the sessions last even longer. LOVELY. 

Breastfeeding was important to me, I knew it was the best choice for Myles, it would ensure he got a healthy dose of my antibodies, and let’s face it - it was the best way for us to bond in those first few months & it's the least expensive route. It was important to me, but I entered it completely naively. We didn’t take any classes prior to Myles’s birth, because in my opinion, there’s only so much you can learn about feeding your baby before your baby is actually here. I now feel like this was a really dumb idea, but hindsight is 20/20. Thankfully I had been warned that the first few weeks were going to be painful for your nipples, but much like childbirth you don’t know what “painful” means until you’re experiencing it yourself. I figured that this would be something we would just kinda stumble through the first few days or weeks together, but apart from some nipple soreness that this would be smooth sailing - it’s “natural” after all, it had to come easy right? I assumed I would have the 2 week sore nipple, smooth sailing type of journey. I did not, I have not. I can only safely now say at 14 weeks, that it is more often than not, pain-free. 

Our journey of stumbling began the first hours he was born - he actively refused to latch, and I stressed that he was going to start starving soon; thankfully newborns are born with a full belly, but that mama guilt gets hardwired in around the same time I birthed the placenta, it would appear. I met with lactation specialists in the hospital and every nurse gave me their own version of advice, and it got to the point where the feeding sessions were “okay” at best; he was still within the range of weight he needed to be, so something was clearly working ish. When we were discharged I was overcome with anxiety about how I was going to manage this in real life; to the point where I had Jake cancel all of the planned visits that week, save for our parents. He was still not quite getting the latch down, and I couldn’t find a position that was comfortable or worked for us. I didn't want or need the added anxiety of people visiting while I was trying to just feed my baby properly. 

My milk came in on Tuesday evening, 2.5 days after he was born. Engorged, sore breasts that were rock hard and made me feel nauseous. I didn’t even realize my milk had come in - I thought Myles was peeing on me until I realized it was my milk leaking onto my belly. Within 3 days I had cracked, painful nipples & a clogged duct which I had to feed it out, massage and pray it away. Thankfully 36 hours later it was on its way out and hadn’t gone into mastitis. By week 3 I had ductal thrush and by week 4, I had another clogged duct from Myles sleeping on my right boob and pinching a duct. Week 5 brought an intense crack on the side of my left nipple that hurt so badly, when Myles would latch on I felt like I had to throw up or bite down on a peice of leather. There were many times I told Jake I was done, I was either switching to formula or exclusive bottle feeding, that having this kind of pain numerous times a day wasn't good for my mental health. I finally bought a breast pump, and fed him via bottles every time I had to feed on the left side in order to let this horrible crack start to heal. For two days, I had amazing relief - then with the pumping brought on more supply (obviously), which brought on another clogged duct since my breast wasn't getting drained properly - which meant I had to feed more on the side with the horrible crack. When one nipple healed, the other would decide to get a crack. For 10 weeks I had no idea what it felt like to feed without at least a few minutes of agony, or without nipple pain. I’d say at least every 2 days I was considering throwing in the towel, and quite a few times I dramatically announced to Jake that I fucking hated breastfeeding and I was so done. Between him reminding me that i would regret giving it up, and my own stubborness, I relented and continued on. There’s nothing wrong with formula, I just really wanted to give it every possible shot before I went that avenue, and I hadn’t yet. The fact that I had enough milk to sustain him also made me feel guilty for even considering formula; it felt like taking the easy way out when I had no problem feeding him myself. Not to mention the convenience of whipping a boob out vs. heating up a bottle - when this little guy decides he's hungry, he's hungry now, and waiting 10 minutes for a bottle to warm up would hand me a screaming baby in no time. Not only that, but our Bubba has quite the sensitive tummy, and I could just imagine the nightmare that finding a formula that worked for us would've been. Breastfeeding had to work. 

A particular low moment came for the first time around 3am at 3.5 weeks, feeding Myles and gritting my teeth & doing labor breathing through the pain of cracked nipples & thrush, I was overcome with a heavy resentment I didn’t expect to feel. Resentment towards Jake and his useless nipples that couldn’t just take a turn, resentment that my sleep got interrupted only to be in agony, resentment towards my nipples for being so god damn sensitive and not toughening up faster and worst of all, resentment towards my baby for not having this down to a science yet, for not just getting in and getting out, so to speak; resentment at him for being hungry. When was the supposed “beautiful bonding experience” going to kick in? Because right now I just want him to finish so I can have a break for at least an hour. I started to hate nights and dread them, because those were the loneliest moments of pain, and I started dreaming of the days when at least one of those feedings would get dropped. I even dreamt about the days I was done breastfeeding altogether and he was eating solid foods; ahh sweet freedom that will be. This resentment made me feel horrible, like a horrible person and a terrible mother. I told Jake that if this wasn't better by 12 weeks, we were done.  

The first few weeks he got better every day, but there were times he would just be so overstimulated that he just wouldn’t latch properly & either milk would go everywhere or he would take on a really shallow latch and it would be agonizing on my nipples. In those moments I had to remind myself : these moments are fleeting, they will pass, this is what’s best for him. This will get easier, we just had to tough it out. Because after those resentful moments, once he was on and going and I could hear those gulps accompanied by his satisfied coos, I would look down at his squishy, sleepy face and be so proud of these formerly itty bitty breasts who had risen to the task of providing him life. Who made milk like crazy, and who nourished him to gain weight like crazy to the point where he was doubling, tripling the expected weight gain when we would go in for checkups. 

I tried earth mama nipple cream, Jack Newman's Ointment (prescribed), coconut oil with lavendar, just airing them out (which resulted in me nearly drowning in my own milk as I slept), rubbing breast milk on them, and you know what finally, finally caused me relief? Lanolin. LANOLIN. The stuff that smells like it would grease your tire bolts, that your mother, grandmother and great-grandmother used. The stuff I avoided like the plague because ONE pinterest bitch told her followers it "created mastitis". I put that shit on, and all of a sudden it doesn't hurt as much the first day. And then the next day it hurt even less, and so on and so forth. After a week, of not worrying that it was time for him to feed on "that" side, of not worrying that he was due to feed soon, of not actively dreading it - it was finally better. We had finally gotten to the point where I was enjoying this? Actually enjoying it. Looking down at his sweet face as he gulped and made the most adorable, satisfied noises - kid is such a noisy eater. We had finally reached this point everyone told me about - they weren't just blowing smoke up my ass! I was no longer counting down the minutes, days and weeks until I could retire the old boobies. Myles wakes up from a nap and is hungry - okay here you go babe. Growth spurt? No worries, you eat however much you need to grow big & strong. 

This motherhood business has felt like one big, long game of tetris - finding out which pieces "fit" for our baby, which routine works and what doesn't. Breastfeeding has been our biggest hurdle, and no longer having it be the bain of my existence feels like such a relief. So here we are, 14 weeks deep & I’m no longer counting down the days until I can retire my boobies - and as I post this, I’m nursing through yet another clogged duct (6th one in 3 months, but who’s counting). I no longer have to slather myself in nipple cream hoping to create enough of a barrier for it to not be excruciating, just sore. In fact I haven’t used nipple cream in weeks. Breastfeeding was by far, the hardest hurdle to overcome on this whole motherhood journey, and yet I know I will be so sad when it’s done. If I can be of any advice to future mamas stumbling across this post at 3am feeling the same resentment I was it would be this: give it your all. Try absolutely everything you can, and just get through it. It isn’t for everybody, but it does get better. I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass. I promise, you & those nipples will make it, mama. Keep up the good fight. 

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Life with a Newborn

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. Or, we just survived the first month of having a little clingon in our lives - a little almost 10lb turkey who has completely, entirely & irrevocably changed our lives; completely for the better, but sometimes a little harder to admit than others. The last 5.5 weeks have been blissful, learning his little quirks and squeaks, somewhat deciphering what certain squeaks mean over others, melting over his baby snores and laughing hysterically over how loud he is when he eats and the faces he makes when he fights waking up. To put it bluntly, we’re obsessed with him. But that doesn’t mean it’s been a breezy month and a bit; I feel like I made it by the skin of my teeth - but we did it. 

Compiled is a list of what we have learned in the last 5.5 weeks: what will happen when you experience life with a newborn. Now that I’m a seasoned expert and everything (wink wink nudge nudge *SARCASM*). 

1.The cliche is true - you will forget to brush your teeth and remember in the afternoon sometime, and that coffee you made with great intentions will be chugged hours later - cold. Who cares, caffeine is caffeine girl. 
1a. When a support person accidentally dumps that 4 hours old coffee and you want to cry because wasted coffee is only secondarily tragic to wasted breast milk. 
2. Your husband/partner will start using phrases like “babe he’s starting to root” and you’re like, you’re correct but when the hell did you learn what that means. 
3. Take. It. Easy. Now - I was SHOCKED how little stamina I had the first few weeks after baby. I assumed that once the big belly was gone, I’d have my stamina back. You won’t, you just went through something maaajor - reward your body with kindness and gentleness. It’ll come back.
4. You still look pregnant. I told myself I’d leave the hospital looking exactly as I did going in, so that way anything less was a success. I left looking about 6 months pregnant, albeit with one helluva squishy belly. My belly admittedly did shrink fast (those uterus cramps are REAL), but dont worry, there's still lots of squish there. 
5. Baby blues are real. Thankfully for me they only lasted a few days, but for others they last longer and don’t be afraid to admit to it; it’s human, it’s normal and you shouldn’t suffer in silence. There's nothing to be ashamed about or feel guilty for. 
6. Breastfeeding is HARD. Your nipples are really sore, and you’re both still learning how to master this “natural” act.. natural doesn’t mean seamless. Relax, take your time with each other and get comfy. & take advantage of all the professional lactation advice you can receive within your community. Personally, breastfeeding hasn’t been something I enjoy - but that’s a whole other post I’m working on. 

7. Thirst & hunger is real. Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories and it feels like painful cardio. Have healthy, nutrient dense snacks on hand to chow down quickly. & Chug water. Have a tall glass in every spot you breastfeed, and invest in (glass or steel) straws. Extra points for a husband who holds it up to your mouth when one hand is holding a boob and the other is holding a baby head. 
8. Take the help - it honestly takes a village and between both sets of parents and siblings, I don’t think I would’ve made it through the first week - especially when Jake’s back spasmed two days after we got home and he could barely move. Laundry was done, dishes, dinners taken care of, floors vacuumed and bathrooms done. It felt extremely weird and wrong to have people do “my” chores, but it made life so much easier. 
9. Don’t turn inward, but don’t feel afraid to turn away visitors if/when you feel overwhelmed. Like I said, Baby blues are real and everything can feel daunting and hard. I’m someone who instinctively turns inward when anxiety hits me, but was surprised how refreshing *SHORT* visits could be. Have a gatekeeper who enforces the visit time limit. 
10. Cuddle cuddle cuddle - they’re only this little once, and even the hard moments are ones you can’t get back. Can’t get him to sleep in his crib for his nap? Hold him and inhale all that baby smell. They’ll figure it out sooner than you think. 
12. Every cough, squeak, grunt, snort or funny coloured foot will panic you. It’s normal.

13. Nipppple. Paaaaaads. I’ve been very fortunate that my milk supply has been very good, it’s a great problem to have in the grand scheme of things as I know some women really struggle with supply. However, with a healthy supply comes with serious engorgement and pain, as well as major leakage. Nipple pads were and are my saviours. I have extras stashed everywhere.
14. Do what works for YOU. Myles slept on me for part of the night for the first month. We would manage to get him down in his bassinette for the first portion, but then that would be it. I felt like such a failure - until I realized ALL new moms do this to some extent. I’d say it’s 50% comfort for the baby, 50% mama’s only hope for sleep. He won't be sleeping on me when he's 3, so I'll just embrace it now and know it will eventually not be the normal. 
15. Are you like me and having a set schedule/day plan is important to you? Well SAY GOODBYE TO THAT because baby don’t give a fuuuuu. True story: I had to be somewhere for an appointment at 9:30, and had to leave the house at 8:45. I had my morning planned out and it involved feeding Myles at 8:15 so I could burp him, change him and go. He decided however he wanted to eat at 7:30. No big deal right? Well it fucked my whole type A personality right up; I HATE schedule deviations. However, we still left the house on time, I was just less “presentable” than I would’ve liked, and it didn’t matter. It was a quick lesson that you’re only in control so much and you have to be able to take the divots with grace, and flexibility. Or you will be a snap show. 
16. You still send your husband photos that include your breasts, but slightly different now because there’s a baby attached to it and it’s usually in response to “whatcha up to?” While he’s at work. 
17. You WILL say out loud to each other “what the fuck were we thinking?!” At least once. A week. If you don’t, that’s great but pretty sure you’re lying. It’s okay to admit it - your baby can’t read this. I won’t tell. It doesn't mean you don't love this little human to death, it means that raising this little human is HARD, and didn't come with a manual and it can get frustrating sometimes. 
18. Sleep. When. Baby. Sleeps. It took me a week to actually do this; mainly because adrenaline was so high that I wasn’t actually tired. Well, when that wore off I felt like a train hit me. Now I try to grab at least an hour or two nap during the day when he goes down, because I still don’t know what our night will look like. Everything else can wait, you need sleep. 

19. Baby's tummies are not fully developed when they're born, and gassy bellies happen and it's horrible for everyone. Stock up on Gripe water, Ovol drops (we have 3 bottles), and learn the bicycle pump - become a master at it. 
20. Unless you want to be a human pacifier, teach your baby to love a soother - and don't feel mom guilt for giving it to your baby at 2 weeks instead of the 5 weeks like you were planning, like I did. It'll save those sore nips and your sanity.  
21. Take moments for you and your spouse; you can't pour from an empty cup is what I always say, and that extends to your relationship. You two need to depend on each other and exhaustion can easily cause squabbles. Take mini dates, go for walks, keep lines of communication open. 

So there you have it, the few things I've figured out in the short almost 6 weeks we've had our little Bubba earthside. And now that I've put it in writing, Baby Murphy's Law means it's all going to go to shit and I will be back at square one. But that's okay, because it's a learning process and it's an adventure and I couldn't have better adventure buddies on my side. This little family of mine is everything I could ever want - but I would gladly take another hour or two of sleep a night ;)