Time is flying by!!! How has it been one month since the day our beautiful son came into this world?! On August 5th, I started out the day like any other getting ready for work while drinking a protein shake, and I texted my husband saying that I was ready to not be pregnant anymore; the third trimester was the hardest for me because I was totally uncomfortable with my size, swollen feet, and the summer heat.
Not 30 minutes later I started having contractions while driving to work. Once I got there I debated whether I should drive myself to the hospital or wait and see if they would go away, so I waited a few minutes in the car then went inside to sit at my desk and time them out. I called the OBGYN office but they were not open yet, so I left a message and a nurse called me back and after telling her how I was feeling – which the pain was nothing compared to actual labor – she advised me to come to triage and get a closer look. I hitched a ride to the hospital with one of our salesmen and later on Adam arrived before they decided that it was time to take us into the labor and delivery room. The contractions were about 2 minutes apart and lasted longer than a minute, which didn’t give me much time to relax in between so I wasn’t able to get fully dilated. I was trying to do an all natural birth, but after they broke my water the pain intensified and I started to vomit and my legs cramped up.
At this time I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and got the epidural, which ended up being the best decision because it only took an hour to get fully dilated. I could still feel pain while pushing, and there were many times I told Adam that I wanted to give up and I couldn’t keep pushing (the ring of fire is real and it’s horrible). Thankfully we took a labor prep class with a doula and the breathing exercises and positions were so helpful to calm me down.
Once baby L arrived we had to decide on a name! We were 90% sure that we were going to have a boy from what everyone told me during my pregnancy based on how I was carrying him, so we had quite a few boy names picked out (we didn’t have any girl names yet) and we went with our two family names; Henry was Adam’s grandpa that he adored while growing up and Joseph was my uncle who passed earlier this year.
Our doula arrived after the birth to gather the placenta and grind it up to make capsules, cream, and tincture. I have also worked with her for postpartum yoga with Mr. Henry and it’s been great getting in some stretches and movement!
Below I’ve listed products that were must-haves for my hospital bag, as well as nursing supplies, our schedule, other things happening this first month and advice from other racing moms to help you out if you’re expecting your first and have no idea where to start – because I was in your shoes just one month ago.
Hospital bag products from Amazon:
Below I’ve linked to products that I packed into my hospital bag. Thankfully I had everything I needed and in my car the week that he arrived, so don’t put this off! (All of these items are from Amazon, which I get a very, very, very small (if any) kickback from.)
Other things I packed: toiletries, baby journal (if you’re using one), breast pump (I didn’t bring mine but wish I did so the lactation consultant could help me get familiar with it), pillow and clothes for your partner, ID and insurance card, favorite snacks, extra long charger, letter board (for the ‘gram), a comfy dress to go home in, and don’t forget the car seat (we almost did).
Things not needed: video camera (I had all the intentions to film the birth but never got the camera out of the bag because I completely forgot about it while trying to deal with the contractions), clothes or a robe (I wore the hospital gowns all day each day, it was too painful to change), blankets or swaddles for baby, bath towels, pads for bleeding, underwear – these things will all be provided by the hospital and ask for extras to take home with you.
As I’m typing up this blog, he’s sleeping on my stomach with a full belly and a podcast on in the background. We were totally clueless to what life with a newborn would be like. We typically spent our evenings working on projects, going to the gym, or vegging out on the couch and were out of town pretty much every weekend going to one of Adam’s races or going fishing or camping somewhere. Everyone says how much your life will change and we didn’t want to completely lose our hobbies and adventures just because we have a baby now. We’ve found out that life with a newborn is actually pretty easy (because he can’t move yet) so we’ve been able to keep up doing what we love for the most part and safely tag him along with us. We’ve gone camping, dirt bike races, yoga, boating and fishing together and go on walks about every other day.
To be honest I need to do a better job at writing down the special moments in our baby journal, but I’m filling up my camera roll with photos and videos of him to document the blur of having a newborn. With the help of those moments captured to jog my memory, this first month has gone by so quickly. It feels like yesterday was when we first brought him home. Our schedule started out with feeding him every 2-3 hours, and yes that includes in the middle of the night. I wasn’t quite prepared for this especially when he was sound asleep and I didn’t want to get up either. Not gonna lie – there have been times where I start to doze off while nursing. I’d like to say it’s gotten easier getting up so frequently, but I think it’s a natural instinct for moms.
Products I love for nursing:
Nursing and scheduling:
Our day starts off at 6am with a diaper change, feeding, cuddles before dad has to go to work, then back to bed for a nap. We follow the same routine with feedings at 8:30, 11, 1:30, 4, 7, 10, 12:30, and 3am. When we hit the 3 week mark I decided to merge his two night time feedings according to the book, On Becoming Babywise. I now do the dream feed at 10pm, then give him two 4-hour stretches at night to sleep before getting up at 6am, so the 12:30 and 3am feedings merged to 2am. He naturally fell into this cycle and at 4 weeks now he’s getting a solid 3-4 hours of sleep at night before waking up hungry.
Although every day is the same routine now and the days blur together, I am still struggling with finding enough time to get my work done during the day. I planned on taking maternity leave for 12 weeks from working in the office at the headquarters of my parents businesses, but I am still working from home handling the Randy Meyer Racing Team’s social media to post race results and content between events, as well as other social media management clients and design projects that were already on the calendar.
I spent quite a bit of time this summer working on the backend of my business and updating the curriculum for Driven by Social, my 4-week social media online class for race teams and drivers, since I knew I wouldn’t have time for it later on this year. Because I like challenges, I opened up the VIP private group coaching part of the course just a few days before Henry arrived, but I was able to handle both duties pretty well given my limited schedule to work while he was sleeping while my team handled things like designing the workbook, writing and sending emails, and running Facebook and Instagram ads. I’m thankful for the ability to outsource these tasks to part-time help to allow me to use the little bits of free time I have to focus on the areas of my business that need me the most, like recording videos and communicating to sponsors.
Advice from other racing moms:
- Get the FridaBaby Mom Postpartum Kit – it will be a lifesaver during the 4th trimester!!
- You will most likely get a prescription for ibuprofen or other pain meds, don’t forget to pick up some stool softener as well.
- Don’t buy too many baby clothes before your little one is here, whether you know the gender or not. They could be too big or too small for what you’ve gotten already and they will grow out of them so fast anyways so don’t waste your money. You really only need 6-8 onesies and zip-up or snap pajamas to start with.
- Blue Dawn gets all stains out including breast milk spit ups and blow out poops
- Sanitizer/steam bags to clean pacifiers, nippes, and more – add an ounce of water and a microwave, no boiling necessary
- Duck tub for new or learning-to-sitters, keeps them safe if you need to grab something
- Baby wrap or carrier to keep them close for skin-to-skin (helpful for sensory regulation even if you aren’t breastfeeding)
- Air drying rack for bottles that can go in the dishwasher (every now and then it gets funky)
- Things you probably don’t need: baby socks, mittens, a ton of bottles, too many bibs, a bunch of different swings and play mats – 1 of each should get the job done, snack catchers, anti-slip knee pads for crawlers, and bottle warmers.
- Toy subscriptions are great for gifts! Below are some recommendations:
- Lovevery – no batteries!! The toys are crafted by a child psychologist and occupational therapist. It delivers a Montessori-style learning to your doorstep and the toys are incredibly durable yet easy to clean. This kit also included a developmental-step-by-step guide and ways to foster development.
- Koala crates – for the explorer child.
- Highlights Hello magazine – durable, wipeable, and great for short attention spans.
NHRA TAFC driver and friend Marie Ferriolo-Tirb became a mom in 2019 and has extensive knowledge of working with children. She has been a Clinically-Certified Competent Speech-Language Pathologist since 2009, and obtained her Lactation Counselor Certification in 2018 while currently halfway through transitioning to her IBCLC. Below is her advice for moms:
Tips from the Feeding Therapist:
- Teethers: Beckman tri-chew, banana brush, teething necklace for caregiver to wear. These all help promote bringing something to their mouth and early tongue movements that support solid food consumption later. The Beckman Tri-Chew and the Banana Brush are designed with little hands and early fine-motor skill development in mind.
- First utensils – hands works great, so do short-handled spoons like NumNums and EZTots
- If you are introducing solids and are concerned about ANYTHING ask for a consult with a feeding therapist (typically a Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist; sometimes and IBCLC with training). Consistent gagging is NOT normal.
Tips from the Speech Therapist:
- Narrate what your child is doing – imagine you are the Peter Coyote or Morgan Freeman of their life. “You’re rolling the ball,” “Great brushing hair,” “Walk, walk, walk,” etc.
- Repeat all the sounds they make back to them. Even in Target and the grocery store. Yes, you may sound silly, but the engagement and social development you’ll build with your child is priceless.
Let me know what piece of advice would you give? I’m always looking for the next thing to help me learn and grow in motherhood! Or if you’re a new mom like me, what’s been your biggest struggle so far?