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Confessions of a Wannabe Stay-at-Home Mom

The first time I dropped my son off at daycare, I was excited. My first week back at work was part time, and I was eager to see my coworkers and students again. I was told I would cry, but I didn’t believe I would. I was pumped to return to work.

I clocked in and gave my two month old to his new teacher without batting an eye. “I am super mom.”, I thought. “I am the ultimate working mom.” I had no idea why other moms dramatically told me to prepare myself. Prepare myself for what? A great day at work? The other moms must not have loved their jobs like i did. They must have been too sensitive. I was fine.

It wasn’t until about a month later when I started to notice the pit in my stomach every Sunday night and right before my lunch breaks ended. Every time I thought about going to work while someone else watched and loved on my baby, I felt like I could throw up. I clearly trust the teachers he is with everyday. They’re my coworkers. I love them to death. But the fact that someone besides me has the opportunity to be with my child all day… it slowly began to eat away at me.

Every time I drop Gideon off now, I have to choke back tears. What changed from the first day back to now? Honestly, I’m not so sure. I do have a few guesses though:

My whole life I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mom. That’s always been my goal. Maybe now I’m coming to terms with the fact that I will never have that opportunity. It’s sinking in that I will have to continue to drop my son off at day care until he’s in middle school. I’m realizing that my dream of staying at home with my children will only ever be that; just a dream.

I also think another part of my newfound distress is the fact that I learn more about Gideon each day, and each day I fall more and more in love with him. It’s so hard to leave my happy, tiny, boy every morning because I love him even more that day than I did the day before. It’s overwhelming. Maybe I just need time to navigate these feelings. Maybe in a year or so I’ll be better adjusted to these daily goodbyes. I can only hope.

I love my job. The people I work with are some of my closest friends. I love my students. They’re my babies, and I would do anything for them. My workplace is my second home. I just wish there was a way for me to spend as much time as possible with my son, while also continuing my full time job.

I wish I had a better conclusion for you; an explanation or answer of how I came to terms with my feelings and conquered them. I don’t. Every morning drop off is just as gut wrenching as the last. There is a silver lining, however, small as it may be: Every evening pick up seems even more sweet and satisfying. I guess the one positive thing I’m finding in all this mess is I now make sure that I am actively soaking up all the time that I do have with Gideon. Every second with him is precious. Even when he’s crying, I find myself thanking God for each moment that I have with my son. I may not ever get to be one of those moms who stays home with their children, but I will be one of those moms who cherishes every second she has with them. And right now, that’s the best I can do.

5 Things I Didn’t Use in my Hospital Bag

I have read a lot of posts and watched a lot of videos on what to bring in your labor and delivery hospital bag, and I followed them exactly. Throughout my time in the hospital when I gave birth to Gideon, I realized that I brought a lot of unnecessary things, because I felt as though I was supposed to, and I also was afraid to be without something that I would eventually need. Here are five things that I brought, that I could have lived without during my hospital stay.

DISCLAIMER: Every hospital is different. Check with your hospital to see what they provide. Mine was great and had a lot available, but not every hospital does.

  1. Socks- I brought some socks, because my feet are ALWAYS cold, but I never ended up taking them out of my bag. The hospital provided some socks that were just as comfortable, and had anti-slip grips on them for extra safety.
  2. Games/Movies-I planned on playing games and watching movies as I labored. I wanted to atmosphere in my room to be a chill distraction from the sensations of contractions. Much to my surprise, however, my labor did not go exactly as planned, and long story short, I spent only a brief time in the hospital laboring. The majority of my time in the delivery room was spent pushing, and it’s impossible to do anything else when you’re in that stage of labor. You can feel free to bring games and movies if you want, because every labor and delivery is different, but I probably won’t with my next children.
  3. Pads– In almost every hospital bag video that I watched, they suggested to bring some maxi pads because the bleeding after labor is INTENSE. I packed a ton, but never used a single one. The hospital provided some mesh underwear and the BIGGEST PADS I HAVE EVER SEEN, which I proceeded to use throughout my stay (and ended up taking some home to use as well). They also gave me frozen pads in the mini freezer in my room. Those were LIFESAVERS. I highly recommend using those, or making some yourself.
  4. Baby Toys- We brought a lot of unnecessary things for Gideon when we went to the hospital. I don’t remember even opening the STUFFED diaper bag I brought for anything other than blankets and baby clothes. I knew that our baby would sleep a lot in the hospital, but I brought a cute stuffed animal and a toy just in case he might be interested. If anything, it would make cute pictures. Newsflash: babies don’t play with toys until literal months later, and you won’t wish you had a stuffed animal with your baby in the hospital. It’s not worth it. It’s just a waste of space.
  5. Baby Diapers- The hospital where I delivered provided everything that we could have possibly needed for Gideon once he was born. They gave us blankets, onesies, wipes, diapers, and even a sleep sack for when we went home. The rolling crib in the room was stocked with supplies, and if we were to run out of anything, all I would have to do is call my nurses and they would come bring more. The only thing that I truly recommend bringing for baby is a cute going home outfit, a swaddle, and maybe a blanket from home, and that’s it.

So there you have it! Five things that I brought with my for the birth of my son, but never actually ended up using. Eventually, I might make a list of what I recommend actually bringing, but I know that when I was pregnant, I could have benefited from lists like this one. Thanks for reading!

My POTS Journey

This is unrelated to what I typically plan on posting about, but I feel as though it’s important to share this part of my life. Also POTS is still something that needs more awareness, so here’s my experience!

My whole life I have been a relatively sick kid. When I was in kindergarten, I spent a lot of time in doctors’ offices, due to the fact that I had constant stomach aches and was almost always nauseous. Eventually it was discovered that I had Irritable Stomach, Irritable Bowel, severe and constant acid reflux, and esophagitis as a result of my acid reflux. A few years later, it was also discovered that I am VERY lactose intolerant. All of these things combined with a very anxious child do not mix well. My elementary school years were not the greatest, but I learned how to cope.

Once I hit middle and high school, however, things started to subside. I finally found a cocktail of medications that combined, made me feel much better. After awhile, I seemed to have even grown out of some of my symptoms. It wasn’t until about my junior year of high school when things started to go south.

It started with the migraines. I would come home from school, or from play rehearsal and would just have to lie on the couch all evening because I was in so much pain. I was also exhausted. The fatigue was unbearable, however, that wasn’t the worst symptom I’ve as experiencing. The part that concerned me the most, though, was the vomiting. I would wake up and immediately throw up, then I would fall back asleep as if nothing happened. I would come home from school and throw up after having no previous symptoms. I would feel briefly, intensely nauseous, and then I’d vomit, and it’d be over. It got so bad that whenever I would enter a room, I would look for the nearest trash can just in case I needed to throw up quickly. I was miserable.

I went to Children’s hospital and they did some tests to check out my digestion, and how my body handled food. I got tested for allergies. Everything came back normal. Eventually I saw a neurologist because of my migraines. After explaining everything to him, he told me he wanted to “try something”. He strapped me to a table and tilted it up to where I was basically standing and using the table to lean up against. I was also hooked up to heart monitors and something that measured my brainwaves. He put on the movie Tangled and told me to just let him know if anything in my body changed. If I were to feel nauseous, hot, cold, tired, anything at all, I were to tell him immediately.

During the first song of the movie, I started to feel… off… “I feel pretty nauseous right now”, I said.

“Okay.” He replied calmly. It got worse.

“No, like I feel like I’m going to throw up.”, I responded in panic. I was feeling worse by the second and also I was starting to sweat profusely.

“Yup. Okay. Just let me know when it gets to be too much.”, he said.

Suddenly, I couldn’t see anymore. My vision got spotty, then completely black. As I spoke, I felt like I was hearing my voice through a tunnel, very far away. “I can’t see. I’m going to pass out. I want to lay back down now please.” I felt him lower the table and eventually my sight returned. Slowly I felt better, but still a bit shaken.

After I was feeling a little better, he unhooked me from the machines and I sat up while we talked. “I know what’s wrong with you.” He said matter-of-factly. “You have POTS. It stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. There’s still a lot about this syndrome that’s unknown, but the way to best diagnose it is through the tilt table test we just did. And your body acted the exact way that someone with POTS would.”

It’s been about 6 or so years since then, and eventually after some trial and error, I’ve gotten my symptoms down to a manageable level. Typically a normal person’s blood circulates throughout the body with minimal effort. When standing or sitting, my blood just pools in my legs and has issues getting up to the brain. The lack of blood supply to the brain, makes my body feel like it’s about to faint all the time, hence the nausea, the sweating and the headaches I was experiencing. My body is also super tired because it’s working so much harder than a normal body would to get blood to the brain. The thing that helped me the most, honestly, was pregnancy. I’ve read that pregnancy in POTS patients can go one of two ways: it can completely cure you for the duration of your pregnancy, or it can get WAY WORSE. Thankfully, my POTS symptoms completely disappeared throughout the time in which I carried Gideon. I’m anxious to see how subsequent pregnancies will go, but I guess that’s a problem for future me.

So there you have it. A small rundown of my history with POTS. Obviously I’m not an expert. I clearly don’t have all of the answers about it. Honestly, I have more questions than answers, but this is just a brief history of my journey thus far with POTS.

I’m Losing Myself…and That’s Okay.

I’m struggling to put into words how I am feeling.

I just put Gideon to bed, Kyle’s at the grocery store, and I am sitting here wondering why I am so…quiet and confused right now. Nothing’s going wrong in my life, but I feel so off.

As I sat, I realized that I have no idea who I am alone anymore. Before I had Gideon, I was alone a lot. Every time I would drive my car, every time I would be at the store, every time I would get home from work, etc. would all be spent by myself. Now, I do all of those things at least with my son, and sometimes even with my husband as well.

Today, Kyle took Gideon to see his great- grandparents and I stayed home to do some cleaning and shopping and I felt free to do whatever I wanted, but also completely lost. I almost felt naked, or as if I was forgetting something. I used to roll my windows down in my car and blast my music, but ever since I had my son, I’ve obviously refrained because he’s always in the car with me. Today I tried to roll down the windows and turn up the radio, but it felt weird and forced, so I stopped.

The only thing that made me feel better was cleaning Gideon’s room. I am never able to do this task while he’s awake, because typically he demands too much of my attention, and I obviously cannot do it while he’s asleep because he sleeps in the very room I am always desperate to clean. While they were away, I happily emptied the diaper trash and reorganized his clothes and toys, so they weren’t thrown all over the floor anymore. It was nice to finally do something I had wanted to do for so long.

Although cleaning Gideon’s room was satisfying, it wasn’t until they returned from their trip that I felt as though I could breathe again. Having “me” time used to be fun and freeing, but now it just ends up stressful and confusing. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Have I completely lost myself in my family? Who am I alone?”

The more I sat and thought about it, the more I realized that I’m not at all the person I was before I had Gideon. I’m not really sure who I was before I had Gideon. All I know now is who I am as teacher Faith, wife Faith, and mom Faith, and that’s okay. That’s who I am in this season of life.

Instead of dwelling on who I was, I need to focus on the incredible woman and mom that I have become.

I love who I am now. My life has even more meaning. I laugh more, I smile more, I’m more relaxed and calm. At first I was scared about my new identity, but the more I think about it, the more I love and embrace it.

I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a teacher. That’s all. And I love that.

A Day in the Life of Daycare Mom/Daycare Worker

I am blessed with the opportunity to have my son attend the same daycare where my husband and I both work. Sometimes people ask me what our day is like if we’re all constantly under the same roof, but I’m still considered a “working mom”. I realize that our family is a unique situation, so here is a glimpse of what a typical day (through my eyes) is like!

DISCLAIMER: My shifts change throughout the week. Sometimes I have to go in at 6:45am, sometimes 7:15am, or sometimes 8am! This is an example of my 8am day!

5:00am- Husband wakes up. I stay in bed for about another hour. Even though my husband, Kyle, and I work at the same daycare center, his shift begins before mine.

6:00am- Gideon starts to wake up. Typically I hear him “talking” on the monitor and fussing a little. I get up and get his bottle ready. Kyle is the best and pre-makes all of our son’s bottles the night before, so I just grab one from the fridge and heat it up.

While the bottle is warming, I get my coffee, and go to the bathroom. These are my last few minutes of the day where I will be completely alone, so I take this time to enjoy the quiet and the calm.

6:10am- I go into Gideon’s room and get him up for the day. I turn on the light, turn off his sound machine, and turn of his Owlet Smart Sock. After I get Gideon out of his sleepsack, I change him and watch him LOSE HIS MIND. He HATES getting changed in the morning. I have no idea why…

6:15am- The bottle is ready and it is time to feed little buddy! I typically watch tv during this time, or catch up on YouTube videos. During this time as well, I try to mentally plan out our outfits so when he is done eating, I’ll be able to hurry up and get ready for the day.

6:45am- Gideon is done eating, so I burp him, and then put him in his MamaRoo, or his tent. This is my time to get ready for the day. I get dressed, put on some minimal makeup, and drink my coffee throughout.

7:15am- TIME TO HURRY. Gideon and I go into his room and I get him dressed, and change his diaper one last time before we go. I grab his bottles from the fridge and put them in our bottle bag. I take my medicine (post about my medical journey coming soon!), put little boy in his infant carrier and get out the door!

7:30am- OFF TO WORK

8:00am- We go say hi to Kyle, then it’s time to drop off Gideon in the Infant room. I label his bottles with the date, contents, and his name, and then throw them in the fridge in his classroom. After Gideon is settled in his room, I clock in, and begin my shift in the Toddler room, which is where I work!

Throughout the day, I get updates on Gideon’s bottles, diapers, and naps. The daycare we attend has an app that sends alerts to parents’ phones in real time, so I know everything that happens, while it’s happening. I’m also able to be reached internally through the phones in the center. The infant room sometimes calls the toddler room just to ask me specific questions about Gideon, or give me updates on things, such as how he’s doing with a new formula, or how his nap is going.

1:00pm- Lunch break! Kyle’s break is typically around this time too, so sometimes, we get lunch together, but if he’s busy, I’ll go grab something to eat by myself, and then rush right back to the center, so I can spy on Gideon for about an hour. Sometimes he’s asleep, and I’ll just stand by his crib and stare at him like a CREEP. Other times he’ll be fussing in his crib, so I’ll take him out, and rock him to sleep. Or he might just be out in the play area, hanging out, or doing tummy time. I play with him for a few minutes, which FLY BY, and then it’s time for me to leave and return to my shift.

2:00pm- I go back to work to finish out the day.

5:55pm- My shift ends at 6pm on days that I go in at 8am, so at around this time, I only have about one kid left in my room. Around this time, if I still have a child in my room, I call down to the infant room so that they can get Gideon ready and bring him down to me. On days that I work until 6, Gideon is typically the last baby in the infant room, so I try to get him out of there as early as possible so that the person working in his room can go home ASAP. He hangs out in my classroom, while I clean, and then when the last child gets picked up, we get ready to go home. Most of the time, Kyle will come help me vacuum or mop my classroom (because he loves me), and then we’ll clock out and GO HOME.

6:30pm- We get home and play with Gideon, and watch tv for a bit. This is our chill out time. I use this time to catch up on the events of the day with Kyle, and to hold Gideon, because I miss him SO MUCH throughout the day.

6:50pm- Gideon eats some baby food, and then has a small bottle.

7:15pm- Every other day we give Gideon his bath, and lotion him up!

7:30pm- I change baby boy one last time, and put him in his Owlet SmartSock, jammies, and sleepsack. We read 1-3 books, and then put him in his crib. I turn on the sound machine, and turn off the light. He gets one more kiss goodnight, and then I walk out and close the door!

8:00pm- Gideon is typically asleep by this time. Kyle and I try to stay awake and eat dinner, but we’re normally EXHAUSTED by this time. We talk about our day, and watch some TV.

9:00pm- I take a shower (or a bath, depending on how much my body hurts from chasing toddlers all day), and go to BED! I set my alarms and get ready for tomorrow! GOODNIGHT.

That’s everything! My day in a nutshell!

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Top 5 Unexpected New Mom Necessities

I love research. When I was pregnant, I googled everything you could have imagined in regard to pregnancy, delivery, and motherhood. I was pretty sure I knew everything there was to learn. I knew what i needed. There were some items, however, that surprised me. Here are five things I had that i was surprised to have relied on, in those first few months.

Formula samples. When we met with our pediatrician, she gave us free containers of formula. I knew that I would never need them because I was going to breastfeed my baby the entire time. Surprise surprise, things don’t always happen according to plan. It was good to know that I had these samples as backup when I completely dried out.

A BUNCH of different pacifiers. Babies are little people with their own opinions. I had no idea which pacifier my son would like. My family members and friends ended up getting me many different varieties of pacis. When my baby was born, we tried each one and found what he preferred. This was so much easier, and more efficient than just buying a bunch of one brand and praying it works.

A BUNCH of different bottles. Just like the pacifier situation, I wasn’t sure what brand or type of bottle my baby would latch on to easiest. Family members continuously asked me what brand of bottle I was registered for, but I didn’t register for any, because I was scared to buy a kind that my baby didn’t like. Plus, I found other (FREE) ways to get a few bottles. Many free baby bags from stores through registries, or gifts from friends had a bottle or two in it, and they all ended up being different brands which was nice. My sister also gave me a few of her bottles from when my niece was a baby. Just like with the pacifiers, we tested a few of the bottles once our son was born, and found the one he liked the best. After that, we went out and bought more.

Tubes of Vaseline. This is more of a boy mom necessity, but still something that I feel is important to talk about. If you plan on getting your baby boy circumcised, it is important for the first few weeks of his life, to keep his…area…covered with vaseline. If not, his wounds will stick to his diaper and his skin will rip when the diaper comes off. OUCH. Gideon also needed vaseline for the back of his head. He has a birthmark on his head that eczematized and became very flaky and itchy. His pediatrician recommended to put some vaseline on the back of his head. It helped briefly, but eventually it became clear that he needed actual medication to heal the spot, but I’ve heard that in some cases, all it takes is a little vaseline to fix eczema spots.

Owlet Smart Sock. We bought the Owlet Smart Sock a few weeks before our son was born. When he came, however, we were so busy with a newborn that we didn’t set everything up until Gideon was about a week or so old. For the week before we used the Smart Sock, I was a wreck. I would wake up every hour or so and just watch Gideon breathe to make sure that everything was okay with him. It wasn’t until we set up the sock and installed everything that I felt as though I could sleep soundly. The first couple months of Gideon’s life would have been a lot more stressful and a lot less restful if I didn’t have the Owlet Smart Sock. It gives me a peace of mind that, in my opinion, is worth any price tag.

So there you have it. Five things I didn’t know I would need as a new mom, that ended up being LIFESAVERS. I might make a new post someday with additions to this list, but these are the top five!

Welcome!

Happy first post! My name is Faith Couch. I am 23 years old and I live in Columbus, OH with my 26 year old husband, Kyle, and my 5 month old baby boy, Gideon. Currently, my husband and I are teachers at a local daycare. I’m around babies and children all day, so I figured, why not write about it! I have so much to talk to y’all about and I can’t wait to get started.

Also FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/faith_noelle95/

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