Parenting…one big game of what works for you and your family, and that’s exactly how Will and I look at this whole thing. I like to think we make a pretty good team!
There are things we’ve done I was certain we wouldn’t, and things we’ve done, that I’m pretty proud we (mostly I) was laid back enough to do!
As most of you probably know- I had a c-section to birth our sweet girl, and that’s what it took to get her. Because I had a c-section, it changed how Will and I envisioned ourselves being parents when we brought her home. He basically went straight back to work the day after we got home, and within a few days of arriving home, he was back to working his long days from dawn until after dusk. That’s farm life for ya, and something we knew would happen, especially with having a baby born during Harvest! However, we also were hoping to avoid the recovery time a c-section involves- guess what, we couldn’t! Sooooooooo…….
A baby or child sleeping in our bed with us? OF COURSE THE ANSWER WAS ALWAYS NEVERRRRRRR!
Reality?! Guess what-having a c-section and a high bed, a low cradle, a low swing, practically everything is low when you have to bend down and lift an 8 pound baby for a majority of the day by yourself…which means life just got easier by putting that baby in your bed….
Will was amazing! I would wake him up for each feeding- he would pick her up and take her to the floor to change her diaper, then bring her back to me to feed her. When I was finished feeding, instead of having to wake him up again, I could just sit her in this Boppy pillow in between us to continue sleeping. Believe me, it seriously takes so long to get up, down, and in and out of beds and chairs, especially when you’re holding a baby at the same time with a burning incision across your lower abs. So, having him do the changes and her sleeping with us for those few weeks made such a difference! I also know people love to tell you to get up and move around as soon as possible, but guess what, I did that for HOURS by myself all day! You learn really quickly how to maneuver things to make it work! No worries though, she has, for the last couple of weeks, been in her cradle in our room! (She is getting so strong now though, that in a few weeks we will be progressing to her actual crib in her own room!)
We don’t need one of those baby bathtubs! There is a sink and an actual tub that can do the exact same thing!
Reality?! That baby bathtub made such a difference for me when trying to give her a bath by myself! I wasn’t having to support the weight of holding her while also washing her off. I could use just enough water in the tub to clean her and Will could dump it and put it away when he got home! Again- you quickly find ways to make life easier after a c-section. This baby tub from Lee and Jamie was DEFINITELY helpful!
Let’s buy a nice electric pump- read all the reviews, find one that will last for a long time, and can travel easily, and is a great brand so that parts can be replaced easily!
Reality?! For the first few weeks it just DID.NOT.WORK. I could maybe pump 1oz and it took FOREVER….and I was definitely NOT low on supply… So, Will picked up a $17 hand-pump from Walmart. I was pumping MULTIPLE ounces in no time at all. $17 hand pump > $300 electric pump. Guess what, it’s super easy to travel with as well! Husband of the year award for finding this goodie!
(The electric pump is finally working a little better with my body now- not sure what changed, but glad it did! I would still recommend moms-to-be invest in a cheap-o one like this though, JUST IN CASE- that full, can’t relieve feeling when baby isn’t hungry and my fancy pump won’t pump enough- is not so fun!)
Clothes- Nursing night gowns, I should own one- I’ll DEFINITELY use it…
Reality: Nursing tops that aren’t padded, I LOVE! The gown I bought that is padded….no thanks. It is so uncomfortable at night. To be completely honest- again- because of my c-section, I didn’t like anything, bottoms or tops that would or could potentially rub my incision at night while trying to sleep and deal with Annabelle Grace. I happened to remember I had these long-sleeved, loose-fitting, semi-open back shirts that I bought as covers for my shirts I wear to Pure Barre classes. I realized I could wear them backwards! Easy to nurse in a night, AND loose and no padding! (and I already owned them!) I think I ordered them from Fabletics like 2 years ago?! Below is the back of the shirt that I would/still do wear at night as the front. I stuck a white shirt underneath so you can see what it looks like:
Now on to the fun stories-
Two months in with our baby and I honestly like to think Will and I are pretty laid back parents, which I am proud of! I knew he had the potential to be, but I actually have surprised myself with how laid back I have been! (and I’m glad for it!)
For Example: Baby projectile spitting up milk? My reaction, hmm… you’re still happy and it doesn’t smell- guess we’re both fine. Baby spitting up IN the bed in the middle of the night? Hmm.. we have a king sized bed, let’s just slide to the other side until tomorrow and then change the sheets. On the phone with UPS and burping the baby as she spits up all down your just-washed hair, down your back, and on a pillowcase? Don’t skip a beat on that phone call… she’s not crying, and the mess will be there as soon as I get off.
Next Story: Let’s get one thing straight – everyone has their own opinion about feeding and sleeping schedules with babies, so obviously we have ours! Our upmost opinion on this for anyone reading- do what works FOR YOU! For us- our nurses and doctors recommended waking Annabelle Grace every two hours until we could get her weight back up. We did exactly that. We still continue to wake her now, but we do it in 3-4 hour increments instead, and are hoping to work to a five hour stretch in the next few weeks! (and yes- we still plan on waking her, go ahead and gasp!) There are several (basically everyone) people who will tell you “Don’t wake a sleeping baby!” Guess what- we too believed that age-old wisdom before having our baby. BUT, for us- that is just not what works! We did test it out a handful of times, because hey-it’s a popular consensus, and look where that got us:
She wakes up, and screams bloody murder because hey- guess what- she’s hungry! So then we try to feed her, which helps, BUT it is so hard to get her BACK TO SLEEP because she had been so worked up! So, with a little patience, and a LOT of wake-up alarms, every day/night we followed our routine of waking her up to eat, and are quickly seeing the rewards of it! Now don’t get me wrong- girl can do some sleeping, and several times at night she would have been content if we had left her alone. (Until she woke up starving!) So now, when we wake her up, she is ALL smiles, eats, and goes STRAIGHT back to sleep. If she wakes up on her own, she doesn’t scream- she sits there and wriggles around and talks and waits for us! The first video is what she acts like EVERY time I get her up first thing in the morning and after every nap throughout the day. The second video is what we catch her doing if she wakes up before we get her up. Because she didn’t learn to wake up on her own and alert us that she was hungry, by screaming and crying, now waking up is fun for her, she wakes up so happy! (and yes- she poots in the second video!)
Last Story: Just this past Monday the three of us went to Memphis for an eye appointment for Will- he had to get his eyes dilated, so he needed me to drive, so that meant Annabelle Grace also went. While waiting for Will to get called back we were getting her swaddled up, paci in, and I was rocking her because she was wide awake and on the verge of wanting to get mad, as it was basically her afternoon nap time. She was so content with that paci in her mouth! BUT then…. then came the moment when the paci slipped out of her mouth and on to the floor…..shoot! We had barely been there for 10 minutes and it already fallen on the floor, and we had no backups…. I picked it up and Will and I both were like “5 second rule?” The office was an Eye Doctor Office, and was SUPER nice and clean…. so I looked at him and said, “just lick it off,” and he did, and we popped that bad boy right back in our 2 month old daughter’s mouth! Hello, what just happened? Who am I, and when did I suddenly become “that parent?!” I, AMY CASHION, recommended my husband just lick off a paci and stick it back in our daughter’s mouth…. guess what, it saved the day! She did SO WELL at this appointment that everyone who worked there was shocked and kept complimenting how well behaved she was! Really, we just got lucky, because we all know babies don’t “behave” because you ask them too…. but who cares, I’ll take that compliment any day! Now, the only issue is…. that’s what parents do with kid number 2, 3, and 4….. and we jumped straight to that parenting style 2 months in….. sorry in advance to the rest of the Cashion kids we may have one day…. =)
ANNABELLE GRACE IS TWO MONTHS OLD! (as of 10/23/17!)
She has made some MAJOR progress since month one! She now weighs at least 10 pounds, 1 ounce, is 22 3/4 inches long, and has a head with a circumference of 39 centimeters. She did some major growing during month two!
She has made leaps and bounds toward hitting milestones! She has been smiling like no body’s business for a while now (September 30th), and not just the gassy smiles- the real, authentic smiles! First real one right here ya’ll!
She has found her fingers! She sucks on them sometimes, uses them to put her paci back in, can grab toys, and can even kind of pull things!
She is really starting to find her voice, and is babbling and cooing a lot! She loves for someone to “talk” with her!
She also can hold her head up super well!
And of course, her tears have come in- and Daddy caught the first ones on camera yesterday! I fortunately have not seen them yet…. right now the fussing doesn’t bother me…when the tears get thrown in, I’m betting it’s going to break my heart a little more, at least that first time! (Yes- her skin gets a little dry sometimes….unfortunately she inherited that from me…)
She also had her first tractor ride 2 days in to month two! Daddy was so proud and excited!
She “ran” her first 5K with us!
She has been to her first King Biscuit Blues Fest
And let’s not forget her super-cute attire!
HAPPY TWO MONTHS TO OUR GIRL!
As for us- Will is incredibly awesome. He takes his roll as a Dad the way he should. He is ready to help in any way he can, and he tries so hard to make sure I get a little time to myself, just as I try to give it to him. We both know that we both chose to become parents, so it’s only fair that we both do our share. I’m so thankful we have each other to lean on and I can’t imagine anyone else I would rather be a parent with!
As for me and my body, I’m super happy with myself right now. I worked so hard while I was pregnant to stay in shape and not let gestational diabetes get the best of me. I constantly tried to keep a positive attitude, which wasn’t hard because I LOVED being pregnant! I came out of the hospital incredibly happy to have a sweet little family of three, and the support of a husband who tells me I’m beautiful, and truly means it. I have never been more happy and proud of my body, and am so thankful for the stretch marks I now have, as well as a scar from my incision that will be there forever. That scar also left me with a lot more work to get back in shape, and with an area that may never change, and that’s just fine with me. With that being said, all of my baby weight gained was gone with-in two weeks of delivering Annabelle Grace. I think it was a huge combination of having worked out so much before and during pregnancy, and also because I have been fortunate enough to have a super successful breastfeeding journey. As for how my body looks, I decided to take pictures on her two-month birthday. I put on my bathing suit bottoms, and honestly was pretty pleased and still insanely confident with how I look right now. Yes, there are a million stretch marks around my belly button that are SLOWLY shrinking back and the color is fading, and yes, there is still a flab you can see from the side, right above my incision. I don’t know how much either of those things will truly change, but even if they don’t, I’m proud of them- my body was FINALLY able to do what I had longed for it to do for a very long time! So, here they are- (and yes, I am still finding time to do Pure Barre, go for walks, and have even run a little bit since I was cleared at 6 weeks! I have a 10K to run in December for St. Jude!)