Our first Guest Mom is Sarah Farrar debuting the series on the blog!
|Provided by Sarah Farrar|
Baby’s Full Name & Birth Date (explain name if it has significance): Ellie Ryan Farrar- no real significance. I knew for years that if I had a girl it was going to be Ellie and Ryan is Mike’s middle name. We thought it just “sounded cute”.
DOB - May 23, 2014
After the excitement wore off, how prepared did you feel to have a baby? Haha! I don’t think I ever felt prepared. I secretly panicked up until the day she was born even though the room was ready and I had all the “stuff” I needed. I had a planned C-section so that last week I was very uncomfortable and was beyond ready for her to be here but definitely never ever felt prepared.
One word to describe my pregnancy is Easy.
Now that I am a mom, I wish someone would have told me postpartum is WAY harder than you will ever expect. Juggling the f*cked up hormonal fluctuations was off the charts the hardest part for me and was something I never thought about during my pregnancy. I was so nervous about not getting sleep and that was never the hardest thing. Also, don’t google anything because it will only freak you out more (even during the pregnancy) and don’t overanalyze feedings, weight, etc. because it adds unnecessary stress and only the bad is up on the internet.
What items (beauty, food, medicine) did you swear by during pregnancy? Beauty- stretch mark cream (DON”T FORGET THE ASS)! Food- I never really craved or relied on anything that I can remember except I tried to drink as much water as humanly possible. Medicine- the only thing I ever took was a prenatal (and still do to this day) and Unisom to sleep and help with nausea.
Favorite baby book or magazine (if you read them). “What to Expect” I believe was the only thing I actually read (and by read I mean skimmed certain sections).
Maternity clothes tips? Don’t go overboard because it goes really quickly. I lived in yoga pants, slouchy tunics and flats. I was only big during the late winter, early spring. I bought a nice pair of black pants for work and was lucky to borrow a pair of jeans from a friend. Target actually has really cute things; basic shirts and pants and I did buy a few of the wrap dresses. There are those things (and I’m not sure what they are called) but it’s the elastic band to go over the top of your pants and stomach? Anyways, I didn’t use them like they were supposed to but my bellybutton popped out really early and I found it gross so I used that band around my waist to cover up the bellybutton issue. I also did this ghetto thing during the awkward 2nd trimester before I got big enough to need maternity pants to where I wrapped an elastic hair tie through the button of my pants to expand them without having to spend money on the real maternity pants. That’s embarrassing but it saved me some money in the long run J My feet never grew or got swollen so I can’t comment on the shoe issue some have but I only wore heels occasionally.
What was the best advice you received that helped you in motherhood? The best advice I got I didn’t listen to and HIGHLY regret it and will definitely take it to heart next time around. Accept help when it is offered and sleep when the baby sleeps. This is such basic boring advice that everyone will give you but I didn’t listen or accept help (except for the first 2 days after I got home because of the C-section) and it caused a lot of unneeded exhaustion. People that offer to help WANT to help you out; they aren’t just doing it to be nice. I had the hardest time handing Ellie off on someone else because in my head I didn’t want her to be a burden to anyone but me (I even thought this crazy towards Mike because I was on maternity leave and he didn’t take any time off work so I felt like he should sleep the whole night. I felt bad when he got awoken by Ellie that it would frustrate me more than I should have ever let it). It probably sounds stupid but I never accepted or asked for help which caused some MAJOR meltdowns. Also, sleeping when the baby sleeps is hard because all I wanted to do was clean or organize and act like supermom but those few hours or minutes of sleep are needed. Cleaning the floors and windows can wait!
How did you decide the items from which you registered (research, word of mouth, random)? I asked a few friends and then found a complete list of items on a blog that were broken down by category I believe and just registered for everything.
Where did you register? Target, Itty Bitty Bella and Babies R Us…a lot of friends registered at Buy Buy Baby but I didn’t, I think they have a great return policy though.
What is your stroller? Do you like it? I just bought the Chicco KeyFit Caddy Stroller Frame to save money and really enjoyed it because it took up little space and was a WHOLE lot lighter than the full travel system. The travel systems are expensive and you really only use them for a few months because as soon as they sit up you will want an umbrella stroller or jogging stroller. We bought a cheap umbrella stroller that we take everywhere these days and a jogging stroller on Craigslist that Mike only uses when he runs with her.
What is your car seat? Do you like it? Chicco KeyFit 30, love it! A lot lighter than Graco and it also isn’t as long as the Graco so it fits in the car easier to where I don’t have to adjust the seats and be uncomfortable. I know a lot of people have Britax but I believe it was just as safe and more expensive so we stuck with the Chicco.
Isn’t a baby bottle a baby bottle or are some better than others? I didn’t really use bottles till 6 months or later but I think all that matters are the nipples because Ellie was particular. I didn’t know how many different kinds and sizes of bottle nipples there were until I really looked and bought one of everything. Dr. Brown is what I ended up using but I HATED the amount of parts there were to them.
Favorite diapers? What the heck is a diaper pail? I use any and every kind of diaper, Ellie didn’t break out in a rash like some babies do so I used anything as long as it was the right size. If you register for diapers just asked for Huggies and Pampers and multiple sizes because the small sizes go quick. I ended up with a whole box for size 1 that I ended up giving away to a neighbor. I did use a diaper pail and really like it even though you do have to buy the refills (although I buy the generic refills to save money). Some people say that a pail isn’t needed because you can just throw the stinky diapers in the trash outside but let’s face it EVERY DIAPER IS STINKY and I was too lazy to go outside to throw every diaper away and they really do mask the smell in my opinion.
Baby monitors are expensive. What did you choose and why? We got as a gift the Motorola Video monitor. It was the middle priced one and there are still things on it that we don’t use. We actually don’t use the monitor at home anymore since the nursery is right next to our master so the monitor stays at my parents. We actually only used the monitor for a few months till I realized that we didn’t need it and it was making me more anxious than anything.
Where did you get your diaper bag? What is in it? My mom got me my diaper bag and I liked the material because it was light but there was really nothing much to it. It was gray and white and I couldn’t even tell you the brand name. I stopped using a diaper bag around 1 year and just throw a few things in my actual purse but I would recommend getting something that you like…I will next time around. I don’t know much about the different brands but there are a lot of cute/nice ones at Itty Bitty Bella that I would recommend looking at.
Best place to buy baby clothes? Target, Old Navy and Gap were my go too because they held up and weren’t expensive and REALLY cute. Infant clothes go so fast they may only wear it once so I suggest not going overboard at first. Now that she is older and I can predict her size better I have a few nice things…Itty Bitty Bella, Matilda Jane (online) and Cotton Tails have gotten a good bit of my money these days J
|Provided by Sarah Farrar|
Nursery theme? Since we didn’t find out the sex we went gender neutral with gray, white, green and orange…kind of jungle themed. Since I took the picture attached…we have rearranged to make things easier and have added some stuff to the walls.
What do you wish you had registered for? Hands down, breast milk storage accessories/bags. I ran through those things like crazy and the money added up over time. Extra bottles/nipples would have been nice but Ellie didn’t really take from a bottle until 6 months and she was really picky about the bottle nipple so stocking up at showers might have been a waste because I didn’t know what she would take. I will say though that you can never have enough bottles because cleaning them is a b*itch if you have to do it after every feeding. Also, footed onesies. I really didn’t get many because Ellie was born in the summer but always found myself at Target buying a few more. I liked the footed ones and not the ones with elastic at the bottom that are open. Personal preference but you will quickly find out which items you like over others.
What did you think you would need, but it turns out you do not? You will always get a lot of blankets and burp clothes and I probably just rotated a good 5-6 and have 2 drawers filled with untouched stuff like that. There are a lot of items that aren’t necessary but I still used them to make life easier; such as the diaper pail, the swing and the bouncer. You can probably get away with just one but I did use both. One thing that I was really excited about that I made sure I had but never once used was the Moby Wrap. I used the Ergo Baby instead and the Moby wraps aren’t cheap. You won’t use a high chair for a while so I wouldn’t stress about getting one of these right away. So that’s one thing I wish I had the money back on. People stress a lot about the nursery being complete which is nice but if your bedding for the crib isn’t in don’t stress because the baby will probably be in your room in a sleeper/pack-n-play for a few weeks anyways and you might not step foot in the nursery for a few weeks J I’m sure there are a ton of things I didn’t use but I can’t think at the moment. I used everything possible to make life easier so the only gifts I returned were blankets and duplicates of stuff.
Is your baby on a schedule? Was that hard? Yes, this was the one thing I worked at from day 1 because if she wasn’t on a predictable schedule I would have been much more of a mess than I was. I’m not sure when she started to actually develop the schedule (maybe month 2) but I highly recommend starting day 1 working on a schedule that works for you (every baby is different and every mom’s schedule is different so the online schedules that they recommend are just a guide to go by); although you have to alter the schedule a lot the older and older the baby gets. I didn’t find this too difficult but there are days that are horribly off, which was hard for my OCD!
Be honest. When did you start getting sleep again? Ellie started sleeping through the night on her 4 month birthday. I probably could have gotten her to start sleeping earlier but with breastfeeding I was nervous she wasn’t getting enough milk because I couldn’t tell how much she was getting that every time she woke up at night I fed her. I stopped doing this right at 4 months when the doctor told me she didn’t need to eat during the night, so it took 1 night of her “crying it out” till she started sleeping straight through. Ellie was very easy because most people I know didn’t get this till 6-9 months…just goes to show everyone’s different. If I’m honest though I still wake up a few times at night I guess just out of a nervous habit; so honestly I probably get a full good night’s sleep only a few times a week J
How did motherhood change you the most? I like to think I have more patience these days. I realized what really matters in life and have never been sappier. It’s true when they say you never knew you could love something so much that you will do ANYTHING for them. I’ve also never been so scared in my entire life for someone’s future.
What is your favorite part of being a mom? Watching her learn something new every day. Hearing her yell my name and give me hugs and kisses because it just reassures you that you are doing a great job and being the best parent you can even though some days you feel like a failure.
What is the hardest part? Emotions. I cry all the time, mostly over nothing. Some because Ellie is sad, some because I’m sad and frustrated and most of the time for no reason or I just look over and realize how cute and what a miracle she is. (Like I said, I’m way sappier these days).
People seem to have opinions about everything related to parenting. How do you deal with that? With social media and closed minded blogs this can be the most frustrating thing, especially when it comes to breastfeeding your child. I let certain things annoy me for a bit but I quickly learned to tune everything out and listen to your gut and know that you are doing the best thing for you and your child.
Listen, I don't know about you guys, but I learned a ton through this Q + A. Knowing Sarah and having met sweet Ellie in person, they give me so much confidence about this journey ahead of me. My favorite thing about this is the idea of getting more patience and not sweating the small stuff. Also, stretch mark cream on the ass - got it! What a wonderful and honest account of motherhood.
I have reached out to several ladies to contribute, but if you would like to answer the questionnaire, do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Chic Memphis' Facebook Page.
Thank you SO much to Sarah Farrar and Ellie for being a part of the first Mom Q+A of the series! I am thankful for you both!
So, readers, what parts resonate with you?