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10 New Baby Essentials

  1. Baby Bottles // Whether you are breast feeding/pumping or formula feeding, baby bottles are an absolute must. This really goes without saying. I’m sure not all bottles are created equal but I’ve really liked ours so far.
  2. Bottle Warmer // This has been an absolute dream to have. We didn’t get a bottle warmer for the first week or so and heating up water in the microwave then waiting for the bottle itself to warm up felt like forever when Cohen was having a melt down. Bottle warmers are super fast and ultra convenient; especially at 4 AM.
  3. Bottle Drying Rack // This is really convenient to have because bottles in a regular drying rack tip over and the nipple lids always seem to slide out onto the counter. This really makes keeping all the supplies in one place super nice.
  4. Soothie // Cohen is actually not a really big fan of these yet. He acts like they’re a decoy for a bottle, which I guess they are but they are convenient when he randomly wakes up mid-nap and we can slide one in his mouth to help him fall back asleep.
  5. Desitin // Recently he had a red spot and this stuff cleared it right up. It wasn’t terrible but he acted a little more upset than usual when we’d change him so this was really nice to have on hand.
  6. Shout Stain Spray // This has been a laundry lifesaver! Who even knew? I sure didn’t but received some at a shower and after Cohen’s first explosion, this stuff got the stain right out as if it never happened.
  7. Sound Spa Machine // I purchased this on a recommendation and am not quite sure how helpful it really is for Cohen but I personally have come to love it. I switch it to  the rain setting and find it so soothing that I actually sleep better with it on.
  8. Baby Swing // A few friends told me right off the bat to get a swing and it has been really nice to help calm him down when he gets really fussy.
  9. Car Seat // This kind of goes without saying too but I love our carseat because the base straps into the car and then his carrier just clicks into the top. It’s nice putting him in because it’s really fast and there’s no searching for a strap or belt.
  10. Baby Carrier // I have actually been dying to get an ergobaby carrier. I have a few different kinds but there was such a fuss about babies sitting in a natural position so I knew I’d have to splurge for one of these. I actually saw a girl in Target wearing one and randomly asked her how she liked it. Of course, she gave it a glowing recommendation so that sealed the deal.
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I am so excited to finally be posting our maternity pictures!

Having maternity pictures taken was something I knew I wanted to do as soon as we found out we were having a baby. Pictures are so important to me because they will always always be a reminder of the things you have done and experienced.

These were taken when I was 37 weeks pregnant so only two weeks before little man showed up. It took quite a while to get them done because we had to keep rescheduling. I was so worried that at 37 weeks I would be too “big” for the pictures but I like being able to see the size of my stomach only a short while before Cohen was born. It still so surprising that I carried a little baby around inside me for 9 months!

It was such a wonderful experience and now such an adventure having him a part of my life now. I want to be with him all the time, cuddling him, and smothering him with kisses. His little noises are so cute to listen to and I am just so glad that I have these pictures to remind me of the time I was pregnant. It was definitely one of the happiest times in my life and now it’s even better with him here.

*My dress is from ASOS (red is sold out – blue, mint, gray, pink)

Photos: Harlow Moon Photography

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Pregnant Silhouette| Birth Story

Cohen’s Birth Story

During the morning hours on Friday, I felt a sharp jolt; like when your cell phone buzzes, only this was inside my body underneath my left rib.

It made me question whether it was some sort of sign and that the baby was coming soon.

That evening, I started having severe pain in my left hip. I couldn’t stand up quickly or walk around very easily. I didn’t think much about it since there were many different aches and pains now that my due date was close.

At about 9:45 PM, I got up from my desk to use the bathroom.

While seated, I felt a sharp pain and a gush of water go into the toilet.

I was afraid to look but when I did, saw that the water was red. I could feel the panic beginning to start and tried to calm myself down.

I stood up and immediately started crying. I knew what this meant and suddenly felt so scared because I wasn’t sure what would happen next or what I was supposed to do.

My first inclination was to grab my Natural Childbirth book and look it up, hahaha. I didn’t because I knew it wouldn’t tell me much since there was no standardized list of events when it came to labor.

I decided to text my mom instead and when she didn’t reply I called her.

I told her I’d lost my plug and burst into heavy sobs. I told her I was panicking and freaked out. She asked if I had any pain or contractions yet and I said no. She told me I would be okay and that my contractions would probably begin during the night and I needed to get in bed and try to sleep.

I texted AJ next and told him my water had broken but I wasn’t in any pain. He called me right away and asked if he needed to leave work. I said no, that I was fine, but he said he’d be home soon.

After talking with him, I somehow decided that I needed to prepare the house for the baby. I went to the linen drawers and started changing the sheets on the bed. Then I did the dishes in the sink, started straightening up the house and ensuring his room was all ready for him.

By 11:30 PM my back was aching and I was so exhausted I just wanted to sleep. We got in bed and watched Castle on the iPad until both falling asleep.

Around 6 AM the next morning I started having pain in my lower abdomen. Pain that felt like burning flames but could be relieved when I went to the bathroom. I got up 2 or 3 times before finally checking the clock, 6:50 AM. After that I began timing them to see how far apart they were. They were roughly 12-17 minutes apart.

When the pain began each time, my entire body would get really hot and I couldn’t lay down any longer. I would stand up and pace the living room or head into the bathroom trying to relieve myself until the pain died down except now that wasn’t working.

Once the pain stopped, I was chilled to the bone; so freezing cold I put on sweat pants, a sweat shirt, socks, and wrapped a blanket around my shoulders.

I moved to the living room and laid on the couch because it was easier to get up and down when another flaming pain hit.

At about 8 AM, AJ woke up and asked if there was anything he could do, anything I needed. I told him I was hungry so he made some cream of wheat with butter. It tasted so good and the warm food was so comforting to my freezing body.

The pains continued coming and I started pacing in the living room. Sometimes they weren’t that painful and lasted only a few short seconds. Other times they were so unbearable I was wishing I could take the pain away somehow.

I was trying hard to breathe deeply through each one but relaxing was difficult when the pain was so intense. My mom began texting both of us asking how things were progressing. She said she thought the baby was sitting on my bladder which was why I felt like relieving myself would help relieve the pain.

By 9:30 AM, AJ left to get some ice for chewing. I could tell he needed something to do, some way to help me.

My mom came over at 10:00 AM and we started timing each contraction to see how far apart they were.

By 11:30 AM, I was in so much pain I couldn’t bear to have any lights on or listen to any noise from the tv. We decided it was time to get checked-in and it was lucky we did because I was already dilated to a three. We were told that it would take another 7 hours before being fully dilated so we resigned ourselves to the waiting game.

I was checked again at 3 PM and had already dilated to a seven. It looked like things were speeding up a little bit. Yay!

At 6 PM, I was fully dilated and told I could begin pushing. This marks the longest, most strenuous 2 and a half hours (roughly) of my entire life. I had decided from the very beginning that I would give birth naturally. No epidural, no pitocin, all me. When I told people they would always laugh and say I wouldn’t make it, that I would give in. I knew that I wouldn’t and I didn’t. At 8:45 PM, I pushed that baby into this world and it was an absolute miracle.

Those 2 1/2 hours were so long and so hard that I wanted to give up. I wanted to stop, to be done. When each contraction ended, I felt as though there was no way I could do it again. The pain was so intense, so unbearable yet all I could do was breathe and push through it. I had to keep going.

Many times, I would completely fall asleep in between the contractions. I knew this was a saving grace because it felt like it was never going to end.

AJ was a complete sweetheart and held my hand the entire time. Even when his face scrunched up in pain from me squeezing his fingers, he still held on when the next contraction began.

When I finally held that little boy in my arms, I was so stunned it was over. It was so much work and so painful I couldn’t believe that people would actually say that natural childbirth was painless. It most definitely was not. Of course once I had him in my arms, I started joking that yeah, that whole ordeal was completely painless. Everyone laughed but I just laid there shocked, staring at him thinking, “This is him. I did it. It’s over.” I was completely exhilarated that I’d made it through, that little Cohen was here safe and sound.

I was told to start talking to him. I had no idea what to say to him so I just started introducing him to everyone in the room. I told him how hard I had worked to get him here and that he didn’t have a name yet but we’d come up with a good one.

They cleaned him up, did some checking, and then weighed him. We all took turns guessing but were surprised when they said he weighed 8 lbs 11 oz. I couldn’t believe it. Everyone was amazed he’d fit inside me somehow. At 39 and a half weeks, he was ready to be here.

When all the exhilaration started wearing off and we were left alone, I could feel the exhaustion settling in. After such a long, long day, I was more than happy to go to sleep; so very happy it was all over.

Now, sitting here, holding this little guy in my arms, I have never felt so much love for such a tiny human being in my entire life. All the pain, all the struggle, it was completely worth it.

He was worth it.

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Baby Announcement | Pregnancy UpdateBaby Announcement

He’s here!!!

I literally couldn’t be anymore excited to announce that Cohen Cook is officially here.

He was born at 39 1/2 weeks on Saturday at 8:45 PM weighing in at 8 lbs. 11 oz. and was 21 inches long!

I haven’t quite decided if I want to post his birth story but I think if enough people want to hear it then maybe I will.

Either way, AJ and I are both over the moon that Cohen is now here safe and sound. I am in blissful heaven holding him all the time and staring at him like a creeper while he sleeps.

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Pregnancy Update | Baby Announcement

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39 Weeks Pregnancy Update

39 Weeks Pregnancy Update

Baby’s gender:

Boy

Baby’s size:

It’s likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds – about the size of a mini-watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.)

Baby’s development:

Your baby’s waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth. The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

My weight gain:

35 lbs

Craving:

Water and more water

Feeling: 

More calm now that the time is almost over. It’s more of a finality than anything; an acceptance that he could come any day now. It is both thrilling and frightening. The fact that those 9 months have already past is so bizarre. This little guy is nearly here.

Things of Note:

Random people have started asking me how much longer I have left. It’s kind of fun to reply with “I’m done!” hahaha.

We set up the nursery and things are getting organized. I still feel like there’s things I need to do. It’s hard knowing if I have enough blankets, socks, etc. I worry about the littlest things apparently.  I try to remind myself that those things aren’t as important and I can worry about them as they come. I want to be prepared and I think this entire ordeal is so overwhelming that I try to take control of some of the small issues so at least I have some grip on things.

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39 Weeks Pregnancy Update

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