**From Stephanie at Creating Mrs. Cox:
-What is one piece of advance you would give someone who is about to become a first time Mommy??
Well I wouldn't give the standard "get your sleep now" advice because let's be real, you can't bank sleep, once your in the throws of taking care of a newborn it doesn't matter how much sleep you got pre-baby you're exhausted!
So my main advice would be to go into the whole labor/delivery with an open mind. I'm not a fan of strict birth plans because you just never know what will happen or what potential complications may arise and the more you have your heart set on a particular way of delivering the more you set yourself up for potential disappointment if it doesn't all go according to plan. Definitely have a preference for what you want but realize it may need to change.
Also, to try to enjoy every moment, even the sleep deprived, tears inducing, anxiety filled moments because they go by so quickly.
-What is one thing you wish you would have done differently in preparing for Hunter's arrival?
Nothing really. I think we were as prepared as any first time parent can be. Every baby is different so there is only really so much you can do to prepare in advance.
**From Kristen at First Name Smith
-What is the most surprising thing you have come to learn since being a mommy?
How little sleep I can actually function on! I've always been a lover of sleep and use to need a solid 8 or more hours of sleep to feel human. Now I'm lucky to get 4 consecutive hours of sleep or even 4 hours of total sleep some nights yet I still get up, get dressed, go to work and then come home and take care of my son. Granted I sometimes feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown but I'm still standing (for now). You'll be surprised how quickly your body adjusts to lack of sleep.
**From Beka at Only Three Times
-How has your marriage changed since you got pregnant, and since he was born?
I think overall our marriage has changed for the better. Granted we get irritated with each other a lot easier now thanks to the sleep deprivation and I definitely get a little bitter when I wake up every night for the 2am feedings while he sleeps but that just comes with the territory and I think is pretty common to most couples. Also, we have much less sexy-time which kinda sucks but I'm trying to remember to make that a priority even when I'm exhausted.
Having a child has definitely brought us closer. After all we made this amazing little human that is part him and part me and that's pretty freaking cool. Also, any modesty that I had before flew out the window during the pregnancy/delivery/recovery. He had to help me with EVERYTHING while I recovered even the gross stuff so that definitely brought us closer. We've also learned more about teamwork, it's amazing how this tiny human requires SO much. I really don't know how single mothers do it. One of us has to be taking care of Hunter while the other is cooking or doing the housework so we're constantly having to work as a team to get it all done and make sure neither person gets too overwhelmed.
Do you feel more "family" now that there are 3 of you instead of 2?
I do actually. Before Hunter came I considered Kristian and I (and our fur-children) to be a family but for me at least, there is something about having a child that just changes things. My mother and my brothers are still my family but when I think of my immediate family that's Hunter and Kristian.
Has having a baby changed your relationships with any family members? With friends?
Not really, though I guess it brought me a bit closer to my dad before he passed away since having Hunter was one of the things that made me get back in touch with him. As for everyone else I think my relationships are basically the same.
Is it all worth it? Especially the sleep thing... I really like sleep... :)
100%. Believe me I LOVE sleep but like I said you adjust pretty quickly to the lack of sleep and if you're lucky that phase doesn't last too long and you're left with this amazing little person that you love more than life. It's hard...no doubt...but totally worth it, especially when they smile at you. Melts your heart every time.
**From Heather at High Heels and Flip Flops
What's your advice for someone (me) who is absolutely terrified of being pregnant and giving birth?
My advice is to remember that all of the pain/discomfort is temporary and the prize at the end is totally worth it. I have a very low tolerance for pain/nausea/discomfort etc and I'm not gonna lie there were times when being pregnant absolutely sucked but 9 months isn't very long in the grand scheme of life. As for giving birth, that's what the drugs are for :)
Were you able to work through any fears you had, and how did the physical aspects influence your views about motherhood?
I was pretty freaked out about giving birth and the pain of it all but I kept reminding myself that there is pain medicine and that it would all be over in a day or so. Now that I've been through it and know what to expect I'm actually more nervous about giving birth next time but that's because I didn't have a very good birth experience but that fear doesn't stop me for still wanting to have another...eventually.
**From Venassa at These are the best days of your life
How old were you when you first got your heart broken?
My first real heartbreak was when I was 18 right after I got to college. I found out about a week after breaking up with my boyfriend that he had cheated on me while we were still together. That pretty much sucked. The sad thing is that I still got back together with him a few months later. Yeah I was young and dumb.
How long have you known the (non-family) person you are closest to?
I would say there are a few of my sorority sisters that I'm the closest to and I've known them now for 14 years! God I'm old.
**From April at Adventures with April
Now that you've gone through the first month or two and have some semblance of a routine down, what has been different than expected (other than your birth story as no birth ever goes exactly as imagined I don't think)? Have you found things easier or harder than anticipated?
Certain things are easier than I expected like breastfeeding. I was convinced after all the horror stories I've read of the difficulties of breastfeeding that we would have a tough time but I've been very lucky that Hunter is a great eater and has never had a problem with nursing or going back and forth between nursing and bottle feeding. Also, the poopy diapers aren't as gross as I thought they would be (though I hear once he's on solids they get really nasty)
Juggling all the responsibilities that come with being a working mother has been harder than I thought and I already knew it would be hard. There truly are not enough hours in the day to manage it all and I already don't get any breaks from when I wake up at 6am to when I go to bed around 10 (plus the middle of the night wake up calls).
As for what's been different than expected, I thought I would lose the baby weight easier/faster than I have. My body looks totally different now and that's been an adjustment as well.
How many times already have people asked if you're going to have another and how do you NOT punch those people in the face?
I've lost count, in fact Kristian's cousin just asked us this over the weekend. I've learned to just laugh at them.
**From Krysten at Why Girls Are Weird
Were there any fears you had before becoming a mom? What were they? Do you still have these fears now?
I had pretty much all the typical new mom fears like having a healthy baby and keeping him healthy and happy. And yes I still have those fears and probably will for the rest of my life. I also had a fear that having a baby would somehow hurt my marriage and even though we've had our moments of getting irritated or frustrated with each other our marriage is still solid.
Thanks again for the questions, this was fun. If anyone else has any questions feel free to ask and I'll answer those as well.