After another year hiatus - I’m back! Life is moving faster than ever these days and A LOT has transpired, namely, becoming a mom! It’s still hard to believe tbh, but so far it’s been an incredible journey and I’m fully embracing the #momlife as I’m currently typing this one handed while baby G is napping in my arms…a true mom skill.
They say you’re never ready for parenthood, and let me tell you, they are right! Before baby G, I had maybe changed 1-2 diapers in my life and pretty much knew absolutely nothing about babies. But, as I approach most things in life, I told myself “I’d figure it out!”... and 5 months in, I can confidently say I’m doing that - with the help of my amazing husband, family & of course my greatest resource, Google.
Unfortunately babies don’t come with an instruction manual, so Google has been my greatest ally. If you could only see some of my searches…”Why is my baby's poop green?”, “How to put a baby down without waking up?”, “What is a hemangioma?”, and the most important question…“How to drink wine while breastfeeding?”...the mom skills of all mom skills.
While there’s A LOT I still don’t know, I do know becoming a mom is an absolute blessing and one of the hardest, yet most special things I’ve ever experienced. The sleepless nights, blowouts, spit ups, and endless diaper changes are all worth it for the sweet cuddles, smiles, laughs and milestones you get to watch day by day.
So quick rewind to…the pregnancy! Finding out you’re pregnant is a weird feeling. I was terrified, scared & excited all at the same time. I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom, but I never knew when. Ben and I had only been married a few months, I was busy with work, enjoying the dog mom life (S/o to Willow), traveling, etc. so finding out I was pregnant was full of mixed emotions.
I’ve heard all the horror stories of pregnancy so going into it I was nervous. I fully expected to gain 60 lbs, have morning sickness everyday, swollen ankles, etc. but fortunately I had an extremely pleasant pregnancy almost the entire way (I’ll get to that in a min). I felt tired the first few weeks and not drinking was tough not going to lie… lol but other than that, I had no morning sickness, I worked out until the very end, and honestly didn’t look all that pregnant (despite trying every flavor of Ben & Jerry's Ice cream) - one of the perks of being tall. I even went on a 10 mile hike at Yosemite when I was 6 months pregnant in 100+ degree weather!
The only hiccup I dealt with was around 32 weeks, doctors unexpectedly discovered I had a bladder tumor. I’ll spare the details - but after weeks of appointments, testing, and stress (amplified x10 for being a hormonal pregnant lady) at 36 weeks, I had the tumor removed. Because I was pregnant, I opted to not have anesthesia for the procedure… and what an experience that was (George, you owe me!). After getting the tumor biopsied, it was determined to be benign - a true blessing. Dealing with this situation was less than ideal for my last few weeks of pregnancy, but I was beyond relieved everything turned out ok & it made my upcoming delivery feel like it would be a breeze.
However…anyone who tells you giving birth is a breeze is lying to you - ha! I’m tough. I’ve had 7 surgeries throughout my basketball career, but giving birth was probably… the worst. Sorry future moms, gotta keep it real! lol. Get the epidural is all I have to say. But the moment your child is born and put on your chest, it’s all worth it, 100%.
Then the real work begins and this is what I was NOT prepared for. Ok so I haven’t slept in 3 days, I just gave birth and now I'm supposed to feed this child every 2 hours? Sooo when do I sleep? I'm not gonna lie, the first few weeks of baby G’s life I was in pure survival mode. With labor + birth + being a paranoid first time mom, I didn’t sleep AT ALL for a legit 3 days and I was a walking zombie those first few weeks. It was tough, but luckily my husband is the best and my mom came out to help the first week too. It was hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel at first, but I knew if somehow every mom in the world goes through it, we’d eventually get there!
The athlete in me definitely translates to motherhood…especially those early days. It was a GRIND. No one tells you how hard breastfeeding is. Or how delirious you’ll be running on no sleep. But day by day, we put in the work, stayed positive and slowly saw results. I get pumped going to his pediatrician and seeing how much weight he’s gained. +2 lbs?! LFG. 4 poops in one day? Let’s go George! You should have seen me the first time he rolled over. I can only imagine how I’ll be when he plays sports one day.
It’s funny how a baby changes everything. My needs? No longer first. Sleeping in? Not a thing. Going for a walk with your dog AND pushing a stroller, an art form. Finishing a workout? Impossible. Solo trip to Target? A luxury. I like to joke and say breastfeeding is like being on house arrest. Once you finish one feeding, you have approx ~2 hours before your ankle monitor beeps and it's time to get home for another feeding. I’m glad I’m able to breastfeed, don't get me wrong, but it's been the hardest adjustment to motherhood I underestimated. But like all things, with practice, it gets easier and now baby George is an all-star eater with the thunder thighs to prove it.
So far, my “mom motto” has been “go with the flow & don’t stress” (or at least try not to). I don’t know if we just got lucky or if the motto actually works, but baby George is a good baby. Actually, he’s a stud. He’s chill, super happy, smiles all the time, and sleeps like a champ. Like all newborns, the first couple months he would only sleep at the most 2.5-3 hour stretches and I was getting use to the graveyard shift feedings, but by 3 months, he slowly went to 5-6 hours and now (thanks to his Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit - a godsend) this kid sleeps 10-12 hours - straight!!! Sometimes I even have to wake him up in the morning. It’s insane and I’m crossing my fingers it stays this way.
He’s also the best traveler. Once Ben and I had the basics of parenting down, we knew we wanted to take advantage of our time off for work. I’m fortunate my job at Meta gives a very generous 6 months of maternity leave, and thanks to a new military policy, Ben surprisingly got 12 weeks! So naturally…Day 2 of Ben’s paternity leave, we bought an RV!
An impulse buy? Maybe. But we like to travel & there’s so many places to see around where we live in California, so we figured it would be a good investment. So far we’ve been on camping trips to Santa Cruz & San Luis Obisbo and we plan to get more use out of it this summer. We’ve also taken George with us to Lake Tahoe, Maui & wine tasting in Napa Valley.
Traveling with a baby isn't the easiest and definitely requires A LOT of planning - but it IS possible. Pro Tip - always have an extra outfit for baby AND yourself handy. I've learned my lesson.
It’s funny looking back and thinking I was going to be bored on maternity leave. Before baby G, I thought 6 months sounded like an eternity, now it doesn’t seem like enough. I thought I’d have so much free time. Maybe I’ll start up a side hustle? Pick up a new hobby? Write weekly blogs? HA! Now here I am with only 2 weeks left attempting to write my one blog post, one handed. Time has FLOWN by and I honestly think I’m busier living the stay at home mom life than I am when working. And I only have 1, non-mobile child - ha! It’s no joke and I have a new respect for all the moms who do it. Between the feedings, diaper changes, *daily* blow outs, laundry, etc., next thing I know I look up and the day is almost over.
Maternity leave has really taught me to appreciate the mundane moments and to be comfortable with a slower pace. I’m a very task driven person and like to have a to-do list to accomplish each day, but now I’ve learned it’s OK if it all doesn’t get done. Some days I try to get a lot done (and by a lot, I mean get a Peloton workout in, clean and maybe a load of laundry). But others, others I opt to let George nap in my arms, watch way too much daytime television, take 100+ pictures of George and just enjoy it. It’s a change of pace for sure, but one I’m trying to soak in since I only have a couple weeks left before baby G goes to daycare (tear). Going back to work will be bittersweet. I love my job and I’m excited to get back, but until then I’ll be enjoying all aspects of #momlife, blowouts & all.