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baby

Family, Pregnancy

When It’s Not “Love at First Sight”

July 8, 2015

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/ainsleynewborn

Photo by Gina Zeidler 

As we were preparing for Ainsley’s arrival I heard a lot of people talk about the amazing “love at first sight” that you feel when your little one is born. People went on and on about how the minute you become a mom you are instantly changed and overwhelmed with all the feelings. Me? I was a little skeptical and more than a little worried about the whole thing. You see, when someone tells me that I’m going to feel a certain way there is a degree of stress and pressure to feel those same feelings. And if you don’t what does that mean?

Here’s the thing that people don’t tell you: You might not experience overwhelming love at first sight. I know I certainly didn’t. I loved Ainsley from the moment I saw her: she was our long-awaited and much-anticipated miracle baby, for goodness sake! But I was also exhausted, clueless, overwhelmed and navigating a whole new world with a baby I hardly knew. I didn’t know anything about her personality or her likes and dislikes and I wasn’t confident in my skills as a mother in the least, because no amount of babysitting can ever prepare you for being a mom.

I was deeply committed to being her momma, in awe of her presence and her cute little features, thankful beyond words for her presence in our life and grateful for her safe and healthy delivery. But I felt so guilty about not having the emotional love response that others had told me I would have. I carried that guilt around with me like a dirty little secret that wasn’t appropriate to disclose.

The other night while on vacation, Joe and I were laying in bed after Ainsley went to sleep just chatting on and on about how much we loved her and how much FUN she has started becoming in the last month or so. Now that she is 4 months old, she is smiling, babbling to herself, giggling and responding to us in new ways everyday. She grabs the puppy’s tail and makes funny faces to things, her eyes light up when we sing to her and she tries her best to sing along. She’s becoming a real person with real likes, dislikes and personality traits. And over the past couple months I’ve started to fall deeply in love with who she is as a unique individual, beyond the fact that she is our baby.

I told Joe, “I think I’ve always loved her, but now I really understand what that all-consuming love for her is about!” Sounds horrible, right? I mean, you’re “supposed” to love your baby that way from day 1. But with all the sleepless nights, hazy days, raging hormones, baby (and mommy!) tears, and so many unknowns, I found it sort of difficult to really make that connection. And now that things have settled into a routine and we’re getting to know our little person? Gosh, it just keeps getting better and better!

So if you’re a new mom or soon-to-be mom or even thinking about having kids in the future, I want to encourage you. You don’t have to feel any certain way at any certain time. Maybe you’ll experience that great “love at first sight” moment like some people do, or maybe, like me, it will take you a little longer. Whatever your journey, there really is no “right” way to do things or a set of benchmarks that you need to reach and different moments in your development as a mom. Just like your baby reaches developmental milestones at different times, moms reach those moments at different times, too!

Madison

Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Hey, first time momma. This post is for you.

March 18, 2015

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/ainsleynewbornPhoto by Gina Zeidler  http://ginazeidler.com/  http://ginazeidler.com/blog

I’m so very sorry that posting has been so sporadic lately. I really should have just anticipated that I was going to need a full month of blog maternity leave to adjust to life with a newborn and life as a family of three. Of course, I though I was going to get so much more done than I’ve actually accomplished, despite what I had heard from veteran mommas who have much more wisdom about this parenthood thing that I have.

Although I don’t claim to be an expert, in fact I’m very far from it, I do have the benefit of perspective being in the thick of the new momma days and have a few things I thought I would jot down for all you out there who are thinking about pregnancy or are currently expecting your first baby.

1. Read all the books you feel comfortable reading, but don’t feel bad when you don’t remember anything you read in the first few days at home. I felt SO prepared before Ainsley arrived, having read parenting and sleep books galore, but when you’re awake in the middle of the night with a newborn that has their days and nights mixed up, it seems so much more real than the theoretical scenarios you read about. It’s okay, there will be time to go back and read later, and the books will all make more sense when you have a few weeks under your belt, anyway.

2. There really is no time like the present, so do your best to be in the moment rather than living for the next. Joe and I are constantly battling this only three weeks in! I find myself thinking about when Ainsley is a bit older and sleeps longer stretches, but then Joe gently reminds me that we should cherish this stage and not wish for the next because when she is a little older she won’t sleep on our chests with her little frog legs curled under her body and baby cuddles will be harder to come by. Keep reminding yourself that no stage lasts forever, even if it feels like forever at the time.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The nurses in our hospital preached the importance of not sending your baby off to the newborn nursery because of the value of bonding with your baby by rooming in with them. Thankfully some of my veteran mom friends told me differently! Take advantage of the help while you have it, sleep as much as you can so you go home well-rested and ready for the first wonderful-difficult days at home. And when your mom volunteers to care for your baby in the middle of the night while you go back to bed, take her up on that offer, too. You’re not a “bad mom” for letting others love on and care for your baby. You’re human.

4. Be an advocate for your baby, but check the worrying (and Dr. Google) at the door. I heard that once your baby was in the world the worry wouldn’t subside, it would only increase, and boy is that true! I’ve found myself worried over baby sniffles, poop color and tummy fussiness more than I ever thought possible. Since you are your baby’s momma and probably see and know more about them than anyone else, it’s your job to advocate for them when you notice something seems off, but know when to draw the line. Steer clear of Google and call your pediatrician when you really need a question answered. (I’m preaching to myself with this one!)

5. It doesn’t matter how (or what) you feed your baby nearly as much as people will lead you to believe. Breastfeeding, bottle feeding breast milk, formula feeding or a combination of both – the choices are numerous and the opinions are plentiful and passionate. I always thought I would breastfeed, only to find out that for a number of reasons (that’s another post for another time) the best solution for us was to bottle feed breast milk and exclusively pump. For the first few days after making that decision I agonized about the choice and felt guilty sharing that choice with others. But I soon came to the realization that even the best laid plans don’t always work out the way you want them to and that’s more than okay.

6. The first few days and weeks at home are tough. I know everyone will be asking you about how things are going and how your baby is sleeping and how you’re feeling. You might feel pressure to have it all together and say that things are just wonderful and you love being a mom, and that might be true. But if you’re feeling exhausted and mourning a bit of your old life with your husband and crying in the parking lot of Target 4 days postpartum, that’s okay, too. It’s possible to love your new life AND mourn your old life.

7. Find a support group of other new moms to walk with you on this road. I have a handful of momma friends who have newborns around the same age as Ainsley and have also joined a new momma/first-time mom class that meets at our local parenting center for six weeks. It’s SO helpful to connect with other women who are burning the midnight oil with feedings and baby fussiness and just knowing that there are others in your exact same stage of life helps tremendously. Because sometimes in the middle of the night when you’re up with a fussy baby it can feel incredibly lonely and you could probably use the reminder that it’s not just you navigating these unfamiliar waters.

8. Don’t try on your pre-pregnancy jeans 2 weeks postpartum. Just don’t. Give yourself and your body a little more time.

9. And speaking of bodies, remember that although you’re probably eager to get back into shape and start looking like your old self as soon as possible, your primary responsibility right now is to feed and nourish your baby and to take care of yourself. So focus on filling your body with nourishing foods, plenty of water and as much good stuff as possible. The weight will come off in time, or so I’m told.

10. Take a little time to yourself every single day. Nap while your baby naps, read a magazine for 20 minutes, let your hubby bond with your little one when he gets home from work so you can take a walk outside or a soak in the tub. Shower, wash your hair and put on makeup. Whatever makes you feel like your old self is SO important for your mental well-being, so do whatever it takes to make time for something like that daily.

Madison

Pregnancy

Baby H Maternity Photos

January 27, 2015

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/madisonmaterniy
I knew from the start that we wanted to have newborn photos taken professionally in our home after Baby H arrives (in just about 5 weeks!) but I was a little unsure about taking maternity photos. I’ve seen so many maternity photos that make me uncomfortable (bare bellies really aren’t my thing!) and sometimes they feel so forced. But when I booked Gina to take our newborn photos and she offered to do a small mini maternity session of about 45 minutes in length at her studio, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

If you live in Minneapolis, you just have to take a look at Gina’s work and jump at the first opportunity to have her take your photos. She was so incredibly wonderful to work with and her relaxed way of shooting put both me and my husband at ease. I’ll admit that I’m usually pretty comfortable in front of the camera, but being pregnant in front of the camera had me a little nervous. Thank you, Gina, for making the process so much fun!

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/madisonmaterniy

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/madisonmaterniy

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/madisonmaterniy

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/madisonmaterniy

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/madisonmaterniy

 

Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Second Trimester: Maternity Fashion and Body Image

September 4, 2014

photoThe first evidence of a growing bump! (above)

Hello again! I feel like it’s been forever since I checked in with you all. California wine country was absolutely wonderful and I plan to put a full travel post together soon, but travel posts always take me such a long time. In the meantime, let’s sit down and have some good old fashioned girl talk about babies, body image and maternity fashion, shall we?

I’ve always been so excited to be pregnant and have a family of my own, especially given the rocky road we’ve journeyed to have this baby, but, given my body image struggles of the past, I was more than a little nervous about seeing my body grow and change over the 9+ months of pregnancy.

I don’t want this to come across as complaining in any way, because as I mentioned we are so very thankful,  but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that seeing your body grow and change and having it be out of your control can be extremely unsettling at times, especially when you have a rocky body-image past.  I’ve been careful to watch what I say and monitor my thought processes about my growing body, appreciating what my body is doing (growing a human!) rather than what scares me, like the extra pounds and squishy bits that weren’t there before.

One of the things that’s been helpful is to buy and wear clothing that fits my body in its current state, rather than trying to fit into items that used to fit a certain way and now fit quite different. Since I’m on the tall side, I’m just barely showing shy of 15 weeks, meaning most maternity clothes don’t seem necessary but some of my old favorites (especially the waist-defining dresses I love) don’t fit, either.

Last week I went shopping and picked up a handful of dresses from Banana Republic and Gap Outlet that are looser and stretchy, meaning my bump will have some room to grow. I also picked up a shift dress from Anthropologie that I should be able to wear for months to come.

As far as maternity clothes go, I would love your suggestions! I recently splurged on a dress from Hatch Collection (the Afternoon Dress in black if you’re interested) which felt like a total indulgence. Since wearing Hatch exclusively isn’t in the budget, I would love to hear where you found the best fun, trendy and affordable maternity pieces. Anywhere I should be looking ?

Madison

Uncategorized

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Sauce

August 3, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream | Espresso and Cream

I mentioned last week, but my post-vacation self was in serious need of a little detox after our trip. For me, detox is never about juice cleanses or major restrictions, just focusing on putting as many nutrients into my body as possible in the form of veggies, whole grains and lots and lots of water.

Of course, being pregnant has made the whole “eating nutritious foods” fairly difficult, but I’m trying my best. This pregnancy has been rather strange; some days I feel almost normal and the next day I feel completely horrible. Most of the time I can count on feeling pretty good in the morning but I’ve been hit with morning sickness in reverse, feeling miserable as the day drags on. The benefit of having a rocky pregnancy past is that even when I’m feeling my worst, I still feel incredibly thankful for each day I have with this baby.

Baby Photo 10 Weeks

 

This past Friday we had another appointment and ultrasound. I was incredibly nervous; it had been 2 1/2 weeks since our last appointment, and this appointment, just shy of 10 weeks, felt like a huge milestone to me. We’ve never made it anywhere near this far with either of our two previous pregnancies, so it was hard to imagine going to the doctor and getting good news. Right before our vacation I got extremely worked up and questioned whether I should have taken our doctor up on her offer to do a scan before our trip, but Joe and I talked it over and felt strongly that God was asking us to trust Him, to go out into the unknown and wait until our trip was over to get our ultrasound.

When we saw our little one, who looks so much more like a baby now, on that ultrasound I was blown away. At 9 weeks 5 days we could see him/her moving around and got a video of the heartbeat, a strong 178! For most of this pregnancy I have held back on letting myself feel truly excited about this pregnancy for fear of getting my hopes up, but I finally feel as if I’m allowing myself to think about the future and what life will look like come March 2nd. For now, we are done with ultrasounds for a while. Our doctor offered to do another one in two weeks, when we will be at the 12 week mark, but I told her I was comfortable hearing the heartbeat on a doppler at that appointment instead.

I’ve said it a thousand times already, but thank you for your prayers. Every single e-mail I’ve received has been such a blessing. Some days I feel confident and secure, other days I have to pray through the fear hour by hour, and the e-mails that have been sent my way have meant so much on those tough days. Sometimes I wonder why we are being gifted this miracle. I don’t have a clue, because it’s certainly more than we deserve. My prayer is that this baby would be a constant reminder to many of God’s grace, compassion and ability to do miraculous things despite what science or statistics might say.

And because this post suddenly became extremely long-winded, I am rewarding those of you still reading with this amazing recipe. It’s one of my new favorite spreads/dips/sauces in part because of its versatility. I made a batch (it makes quite a bit!) and drizzled it over a bowl of whole wheat couscous and roasted summer squash for dinner the other night. My mom and Joe both had the same meal and raved about how delicious it was, mainly because of the sauce. Since that meal, I’ve also used this as a dip for chips and a spread for sandwiches. The possibilities are endless!

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream 1 | Espresso and Cream

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce, Dip, Spread
 
This sauce is great on pretty much anything, but my favorite way to eat it is on top of roasted veggies and whole wheat couscous or rice. It's absolutely delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups cashews roasted and unsalted (soaked in water for at least 4 hours)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Drain cashews from the water they have been soaking in. Place cashews, water, red pepper, garlic and salt in a high-powdered blender or food processor. Blend 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until mixture is completely smooth and creamy. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

 

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