Halli use to sleep at night...like 8 hour chunks. Two times she even did 12 hours...in a row! The first night she did that I raced to her room terrified because I thought something was wrong with her. I have a bruise on my leg to prove it because in my tired state of sheer panic I ran straight into my door. Grace should be my middle name...
Lately however she has been waking up every 3 hours. STARVING! She nose dives to eat as soon as I hold her. During one of our late night feedings as I was exhausted I looked down at her big eyes that were looking at me, she touched my face and smiled...then went right back to eating. Best moment ever and helped me push through the 2 other late night feedings.
The next morning I was making pancakes for Hayden and threw in some mini chocolate chips. Hayden sang my praises all morning, telling me how cool and silly I was. And how putting chocolate chips in was "good using your noggin'." Love him.
These little experiences got me thinking what life was like BEFORE I was a mom... and what I might tell myself the year, months, or day before I was honored with the title of "mommy." Which led to this...
Soon you will have a new name to add to your list. You are currently called Megan, dear, Teacher Megan, Sister Hamilton ...and by those who are real close to you, Meg. Your new name will be "mommy." Also mom, mama, or maaaaaawwwwm! It is the best name yet and a huge blessing that will change your life forever. On this new journey you are about to begin, here are some things and suggestions that I have learned being you 5 years later.
You will love deeper. You will know what it really means to be unselfish and also true exhaustion. You will love Cory even more. Because he loves you through the craziness of pregnancy, and there is nothing better watching him with the kids. Snuggling, being "daddy danger," a pirate or other imaginary character, teaching them things only he can, and rocking your babies to sleep...your heart will melt every time. You married a good one. Let him know often how much you appreciate him.
For pregnancy during and right after...
First Trimester must haves: Ginger Ale. Crackers by the bed. Naps when you can. Hang in there. Second trimester is awesome.
You will be really hungry and so not hungry at the same time.
Pregnancy hormones are INSANE! You won't understand why you are crying, don't expect anyone else to either. You will also randomly really want Greek food and sherbet shakes...thanks hormones.
Sonic has 150 gagillion combinations of drinks and shakes=every pregnant woman's dream.
You will get stretch marks... nice wishful thinking though. They fade and eventually are less scary looking...kind of. They are a badge of motherhood.
When they say "eating for two," they don't mean 2 full size people.
Tums. You will pop those babies like tic tacs. Don't think the biggest bottle is too big. You will go through 3 of those easy.
An epidural or spinal block isn't that bad. The baby could come out your nose and you wouldn't care.
Nursing is hard, like really hard at first. But it's worth it. Hang in there for 2 months then it gets better. Also, formula won't kill them....it is a necessary break sometimes.
Baby blues are real and normal. Crying for a few weeks is normal. Again pregnancy hormones are insane. But crying, being depressed, and anxious for a few months isn't. It is ok to get help. It does get better, hang in there!
It is amazing how well you can function on little to no sleep. Just keep going, you can do it. You eventually enter into a tired state of delirious and it's smooth sailing from there.
Throw those jeans away...let's be honest here. They aren't going to fit again. You can't stay 22 forever honey. Bodies change after babies and there is no going back. It is amazing how your body will change to get your new little loves to the world. Hips are bigger, things sag, and stretch. It's natural. So get rid of those jeans, they will only make you wishful for what cannot be. Be your new beautiful you. On that same note.... Spanx. You are not above them. They are awesome and hold things up and in like you can't believe. Spanx....
The mother bear instinct is real thing. You will be super protective and rage inside like you wouldn't believe will overcome you when your kids are in danger, threatened, or need you to stand up for them. You will fight for your kids. No doctor, teacher, or specialists know them like you do. NO one is a better specialist about your babies than you are. Go with your gut. Mother's intuition is a gift from Heavenly Father. Intuition rocks!! Stay close to the spirit so you know how to take care of your sweet babies.
As soon as you become a mom you will love baths and want one daily. This includes during pregnancy. Baths had to have been invented by a woman.
That random smell of baby spit up, poo, play doh or old oatmeal is probably you, not your tiny children. Try hard to shower daily. Those 15 minutes of alone time in a tiny enclosed area is a much needed break. Don't worry about shaving your legs. When you do happen to have an extra 2 minutes to shower, shoot for just getting one shaved at a time. Get the other leg the next shower. I believe most moms live in wonderful land of "One Shaved Leg." You still may be in sweats all day, but you've showered. Winning. With a brand new baby personal hygiene will go out the door. Don't worry eventually you will be able to really get ready again.(Oh and high, messy buns come back into fashion...it's a blessing and amazing.)
Sweats. Hallelujah and Amen. Immediately apologize in your head right now for when you secretly judged all the mom's, aka "shlumpadinkas" on Oprah that received makeovers because they lived in their sweats. You will understand sweats and why people live in them all day. BUT just because sweats are awesome, and comfortable get dressed up sometimes! Like really get dressed and ready. It's good for your womanly soul! Cory won't complain about it either...
Some last quick things:
-You get good at doing everything with having only one free hand and a baby in the other.
-You can't do anything remotely sports related but you better believe you can hit a diaper into the trash can from anywhere in the room while holding a wiggly baby down with the other hand. ..and boom goes the dynamite!
-Doing anything while holding a baby is great exercise.
-Enjoy each moment. Don't rush it and don't ever say hurry up, ever. Time really does go by too quickly and your babies will be grown before you know it.
-Randomly put sprinkles and chocolate chips on and in things more often.
-Don't forget about that stupid elf on the shelf on night 22. You've done it every night so far and you're almost there!
-You do NOT have to be perfect.
-Kids can get dirty. They SHOULD get dirty; it is part of them being a kid.
-You will never laugh so hard, kids are hilarious. You will also be awesome at the fake laugh for random nonsensical knock knock jokes.
-Nothing is better than kissing chubby baby cheeks.
-Boogers, throw up, and blood becomes no big deal. It is true that it really is different when they come from your kid.
-NEVER say what you won't do... Because I promise you absolutely WILL end up doing it. The universe will plot against you to make sure you absolutely do said thing you swore you would never do...and probably multiple times.
-Nap time is wonderful.
-Kiss your babies while they are sleeping. Every night.
-There will be a universal connection to other moms at Walmart,
the park and Target. They will also probably have their hair in a bun, a weird stain on their
shirt, and bags under their eyes. Give them a head nod and a smile...they will know what you mean.
-Rock your babies to sleep. They won't be babies forever.
-Take a break! Make time for you. Do something you love. Girl's night outs are fabulous.
-Snuggle. Lots of snuggles.
-Listen to them pray.
-You will do anything and look ridiculous trying to get giggles out of your kids. Those giggles are like heaven. Best sound ever.
-That first smile will melt your heart ...and every other time after that.
-You have a new sweet dance move... The newborn shimmy. Even when you aren't holding a baby you will catch yourself shaking and swaying ...just go with it.
-You will have great literature memorized. Good night moon. Guess how much I love you. Big Red Barn. Hungry Caterpillar. Brown bear, brown bear.
-Savor every moment, smile, laugh, squeal, and milestone.
-Pray multiple times daily to know how to raise them. Pray for energy. Pray for patience.
-Keep going, you can do it.
-Don't compare. Don't compare yourself or any of your children. To anyone ever.
-It is ok to ask for help. People want to help!
-Forgive yourself. You don't have to be perfect.
Your life is about to be turned upside down, and it will again when you have another baby! But it is wonderful. Enjoy them at the age and stage they are in. Babies grow too quickly. Take a deep breath. Take breaks and make time for yourself. A mom is a wonderful job and blessing, but you are your own woman first. Do things YOU like to do and don't lose yourself. You will be a better wife and mother because you made time for you and the things you like to do.
ps. hope to talk to you in a few years with advice about teenagers. *shudder*
So what would you tell your pre-mommy self? Or the you 5 years ago?