newborn

packing my hospital bag for the third baby

The last time we had a newborn was about 5 years ago. It's amazing how different the baby market is now, than what it offered back then. In a lot of ways I felt like a first time mom this time as I created a registry, shopped for my hospital bag and prepared for our little boy to arrive. 

I knew I was going to have a c-section this time, so it was a little different preparing my bag. Now we are at home and have passed week 6 with our little Theodore. Goodness what a joy! 

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But as I pull out newborn items, and use products (some for the first time) that I didn't use with our other two boys, I wanted to create a list of things that have really helped me this time around. I think for my own sake really, because if we have another baby I'd like to remember what we actually found as necessary. Hint: you don't need much.  

I'll start with my hospital bag for this post, but I'd like to follow up with our must have baby items with a third baby. 

When I created my list, I scoured Pinterest for some ideas for a c-section delivery. I found some very helpful ideas and used some from a few different sites. So here's my go to list for packing your bag (keep in mind this is for c-section, but a lot could apply for a natural delivery). 

1. Nursing pads  I think they may actually have nursing pads if you ask for them, but I brought a few just in case. My milk seemed to come in faster with each baby, so I was thankful I had some on hand that I liked. 

2. Burts Bees facial wipes these were super helpful when I couldn't get up that first 24 hours or so after he was delivered. My face felt gross, and it was quick way to make me feel a little fresher without the help of soap and water! 

3. Gas x pills sounds embarrassing to pack (as well as the next item) but were so helpful! Especially with a c-section. You are having a major surgery, and air somehow finds a way to become trapped in the weirdest places. I had gas pains in my shoulder and neck! Taking this simple little pill will relieve some pain for you in a big way. 

4Colace I know this is not so lovely to talk about, but be sure to include this in your bag. Especially with c-sections. You'll want to start taking it earlier than later, as everything slows way down with surgery. I started this right away and was so very thankful I did! It helped a lot. And thats enough about that.

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5. Ginger tea and Ginger brew  after delivery I was on a liquid diet for 24 hours. Hot liquids are encouraged to help move everything along, and having something that will settle any nausea was wonderful. I love Traditional Medicinal teas, and the ginger is really soothing. We also packed some natural ginger ale (the Ginger brew) and both my husband and I loved it mixed with cran grape juice! The bubbles felt good in my belly too! Also you can pick them both up at Kroger, our local grocery store here in Georgia. 

6Prenatals I brought my own prenatal vitamins, because I wanted to take what I was familiar with. I love my New Chapter ones, and they even have a Post Natal one that I'm using now. They are whole food based with organic ingredients, plus an extra blend just for breastfeeding! The hospital gives you a multi vitamin usually but I know how my body feels taking these, and I opted to bring my own. 

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7. A few of newborn outfits and onesies. With our first son I made the mistake of bringing baby clothes that were 0-3 in size. Um, those do NOT fit a typical newborn (7-8 lbs). I learned quickly that they have to be labeled "N" for newborn. I'd bring some in each size though since you never know how big baby will be! I brought about 3 or 4 outfits. The sooner you dress them, be prepared for possible blow outs or wet diapers leaking through those little clothes! 

8. Swaddles I had read that some mom's did not take swaddles and didn't need them at the hospital. Um, nope. We spent many hours awake because Theodore kept kicking out of his swaddled blankets from the hospital. I had wished we'd brought our trusty swaddles from home! They have velcro straps that helped him stay swaddled and sleeping! I linked to a brand that I really like, and that stays swaddled. Really though, ones with velcro are great in general. 

9. A robe  and a pretty night gown once you are out of your amazing looking hospital gown, it's so nice to feel pretty in a comfortable night gown and robe. I always try to get up and walk as soon as I possibly can, because it helps healing go that much faster. Having a pretty robe to keep myself modest was a need. I'd even bring 2 or 3 night gowns, if you will be there for 3-4 days (c-section). It's so much better than pants, since the nurses need to check you regularly and make sure the top is easy access for breast feeding. I picked up a gown at motherhood maternity (linked above) and it was made for nursing and so very comfortable!

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I really wanted to make a nice even list of 10, but these 9 things were the ones I really remembered as being helpful. Of course you can add the essentials like your own toiletries, your pillow, slippers, change of clothes, camera, phone and chargers etc. Being our third time here I knew we didn't want to take too much stuff. 

You should have seen us with the first two babies. We actually had a cart for all our gear. Ahem. 

I hope this list is helpful for you mama who is having your first, your second, your fifth. Wherever you are in this journey of motherhood. What a fun and blessed one it is isn't it? 

 

baby susanna

I love newborns. 

Even more so, I love shooting a photo story of a newborn! When it's a first-time parent, it's neat to watch them adjust to having a baby in their home and in their life. When it's a second-time parent, or third or fourth, there is a change. A calmness, a more relaxed approach to welcoming a newborn into their home. I love watching parents in either of these stages, because it reminds me of my own experience of becoming a mom. It's a very special time that goes by so quickly (even quicker the second time), but having those first days documented are something that you will cherish in the months ahead. 

You forget the lack of sleep, the continual feedings, the first days of seeing your children bond, and the smallness of what a newborn feels like. 

When Kelly asked me to do their newborn session for Susanna, I was so excited! I had done their newborn session for their firstborn, Judah, and I knew that with a baby girl in their family it was going to be a very sweet change for them. I love their family, and I love their cute little kiddos. They are clients who we now consider to be friends and it was an honor to capture some of Susanna's first photos. Thanks Kelly, Jack, Judah and Susanna!

Every perfect gift. A story of miscarriage and healing.

I started dabbling in hand lettering at the beginning of the year. I had been growing interested in it, so Jonah gifted me with some supplies for Christmas. I had no idea if I would stick with it—because I'm creative I tend to be interested in several things at once! But to my surprise I really enjoyed it and continued to work on it regularly, to grow into my own style. 

I still have MUCH room for improvement and much to learn, but after all these months I am really loving hand lettering. So much so, that I've begun selling pieces in my etsy shop, the itsy bitsy store

Around the time I started lettering, I also started journaling, and this became such a great place of growth in my personal journey with the Lord. Scriptures, songs, quotes and words were all written down in page after page. It became such a great habit to write in prayer to the Lord, that I'd often wake up with a verse or song on my mind that I would journal about. It was a wonderful, encouraging season, rich with growth.

This past summer, Jonah and I had a great loss that we kept pretty private. We walked through a miscarriage that was terribly painful. It was a shock, as I'm sure it is to any parent, and it was heart wrenching to say goodbye to our child that we had just begun dreaming for.

Looking back I can see how much the Lord had His hand on me, on us, leading up to that season of grief. I have journals filled with so many words from Him. I am so very thankful that God sees before us and knows what is to come. He was not surprised by the grief we experienced, and He did not once leave us. As He has promised, He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

Before our miscarriage, I had been surrounded by women who had walked down this road of grief. I had prayed for them faithfully and encouraged them with scripture as the Lord graciously gave me verses for them. Praying a certain scripture for someone is powerful and encouraging, and I love holding on to His promises this way. 

One day, not long after our miscarriage, I was praying and had an idea for a gift for one of my dear friends who was expecting her rainbow baby (a pregnancy following a loss). There are a lot of ugly feelings that come with grief and loss, and I wrestled with many of them. Thinking of this gift was something that I felt the Lord laid on my heart, as it was a difficult thing for me to even think of newborns, let alone make gifts for them. 

But I pursued it, trusting that He would be faithful to help me fulfill it if it was from Him.  

He was faithful to provide the means to fulfill this idea, and in a few weeks time I was able to create and finalize this gift, this small idea that beautifully illustrates the Father's love for us. 

It was an incredibly healing and exciting walk to follow where I felt the Lord leading, to make these little gifts using His words, His scripture, on them.

These are the gifts. 

They are onesies that have a screen print of a hand-lettered scripture I had been praying for in each recipient's life. Each belonging to a mother, each a unique story of joy, and some of grief.

For each woman that received one, I had been praying with them through their own journey in motherhood. In that prayer time I had been given these verses for each one, and I did not ever think I would be somehow giving them the scripture in this tangible way. I never expected to be on the other side of miscarriage like some of them are. But here I am. Seeing how God can bring good out of a sad, dark place. A place where I couldn't see any beauty. And He gave me this. Reminders of the past wrapped up in hope for the future. It's humbling to be shown His beauty in this way.   

If you would like a screen printed onesie with scripture made, I am adding them to my shop. What a joy it is to me to create these. Know that I will be praying that scripture over your life or the life of your child.  

Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24) 

To visit my etsy shop, you can head here: the itsy bitsy store

 

*If you would like to read more of my thoughts as we walked through miscarriage, head over here.*

 

 

 

 

 

baby judah

When we met Kelly and Jack it was kind of like meeting old friends. We just clicked as individuals, and that's always nice when you are in the "nice to meet you, what kind of people will these two be?" phase. We found out pretty quickly that they are easy-going, down-to-earth kind of people, and it was refreshing knowing their expectations were realistic about becoming parents—realistic in the sense that you have to remain flexible and enjoy the ride into parenthood! Their love for each other and their soon-to-be-born son was evident, and their excitement contagious. We were thrilled to be the ones to shoot their first days at home as a family of three.

A few weeks later, baby Judah was born (what an awesome name, right?), and we planned for their story session once they felt settled in at home. The day of their shoot dawned a beautiful Saturday morning, and it was a wonderful experience all around to watch these two naturally parent their wee son. There is something so very special about those first months as a brand new mom and dad. You love like you never knew possible, you grow in ways you didn't think you could, and you easily delight in caring for your baby. Life is certainly different now for these two, but honestly, for them, parenting seems to be second nature, and it sure does look beautiful.