Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FOUR WEEKS – My Favorite Things

Every baby is different and everyday with Brianna proves to be different too.  Some days she is cranky ALL day, other days she is a dream. Some nights she sleeps all the way thru, and other nights she seems to be a night owl. Sometimes something will work then the next day not so much. But one thing I found to be true is to keep trying; when she is freaking out and all the things I can think of to calm her don’t work… keep trying. Eventually I’ll find something to calm her…… or she’ll wear herself out. It’s an exhausting process but that’s all you can do as a new mom. Try and try again.

But even though its sometimes hit and miss, here are a few of my favorites that I have come to love during these past four weeks. These are the items I have used the most during these four weeks.

1.  Rocking chair. For the first two weeks Michael and I lived without a rocking chair but then one day a magical thing happened. A big, cushy, leather, rocking recliner was delivered to our house (as a gift from Mamaw and Papaw!) and our nights have never been the same. It’s a beautiful, comfortable, useful piece of furniture that we wouldn’t have been able to get on our own so we are extremely grateful for the chair. I sleep in it every night, with Brianna in my arms, and I wake without back aches or crooks in my neck. Until Brianna starts sleeping in her own crib (hopefully we will start the transition as soon as we move into the apartment) the rocker is our bed… and we love it.

2. Button down shirts. I’ve probably said this 55 times already but I love Michael’s button down shirts. They are comfortable, big and flowy, and easy to unbutton when Brianna is hungry. I wear them EVERY DAY.

3. Ask Michael; I am on this website all day every day, and more specifically I am on the community message boards more than anything. I have referenced thebump community boards since my first trimester and will continue to use it as Brianna grows. There are tons of women from all over the country; some are new moms like me, others are on their second, third, fourth child and have some experience under their belts. I find that I get more helpful feedback and information from these moms than most articles on the web. Plus its advice that I need and request; not advice that is given to me unwarranted (which tends to happen a lot in my day to day life).

4. Fisher Price Rock n Play. This $50 sleeper is a miracle. I read about it on; it seemed like the majority of the moms out there either used this Rock n Play or their Pack n Play to put their napping little one’s down. My darling little one didn’t ever stay asleep long after I put her down; she had to be held by moi. After buying the Rock n Play I can expect to put Brianna down (when she’s ready) for a good 15 minutes or longer. This gives me time to go to the bathroom, type blogs, clean up the room, or just sit in the recliner and take a breather.

5. Baby Bjorn, baby backpack. Like I said earlier, Brianna likes to be held. I like to hold her but my arms were going numb (seriously). Putting her in the baby backpack keeps her close enough to keep happy, but allows me my hands so I can help with dinner, to clean, to type, etc. We took it out yesterday when we went on our first family outing (to Target). When Bria started fussing I put the backpack on, put her in it, and all was well in the world. Also, while the weather has been nice, Bria and I have taken to morning walks. I put her in the pack and walk where I can before the heat sets in. I’m hands free! It’s like the modern technology of baby stuff.

      Some things that work for me when I need to calm a screaming baby (besides feeding, changing a dirty diaper, burping, etc.):
    1. Walking. Bria likes a change of scenery and I think she gets bored when I am sitting in the same position for too long. We've started a morning tradition where I take her on walks around the neighborhood (not today because its storming) and she seems to love it.

     2. Going outside. This goes along with #1. She can be having a fit but if I take her outside she's instantly calm.

     3. "Stand up". By stand up I mean I prop her against my chest so that she is looking over my shoulder. She likes to be held so this is a way for her to be close/be held but also look around.

   4. She likes to be read to. I guess hearing my/Michael's voice is soothing but as long as she's not overstimulated this tactic usually works to lull her into sleep.

      5. Hanging out in her Rock n Play. She can't be overstimulated to use this one either.

    (Things that she doesn't like include: our nightly baths, to be held when she's awake and aware -- she wants to see the world and would prefer to be propped against my chest, looking around. She also doesn't like car rides just yet.)

     Brianna is four weeks old today! I can tell that she is growing – she seems heavier but I don’t know how much she weighs. Her neck is getting stronger and will turn her head independently to follow my voice (if she’s lounging in her Rock n Play). She’s only three days away from her 1 month birthday, and I’m so excited! These four weeks have gone by super fast and super slow, at the same time.
     Momma has lost ten pounds in four weeks. I have 29 more pounds to go. If I lose ten pounds every four weeks I will be 9 pounds away from my goal weight when I go back to work! I can do that! Whoohoo!!
    Daddy is working hard every day going to work and then coming home and taking care of us. Good thing Michael is such a good cook; he prepares the majority of our meals. One of our favorite, healthiest, and easiest,meals is Carmelized Chicken. It’s just a matter of putting all ingredients in a baking dish, sliding it in the oven for a while, and eating! For those days when you have no energy to prepare a big dindin, but want something yummy to eat… give this recipe a shot.

Chicken (we usually use 5ish chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup honey (we also add some brown sugar)
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chicken in a baking dish. Mix together the ingredients and pour over the chicken.
Bake in preheated oven for one hour or until sauce is caramelized.

Monday, August 15, 2011

You like oatmeal, do ya? Well, if you're a breastfeeding mommy then you probably do. Brianna is now 3 weeks and 5 days old (almost a month!) and eats CONSTANTLY (and sleeps constantly... which is why you see so many sleeping-baby pictures). Like I've said before, I usually am wearing one of Michael's button down shirts because they are easy to remove when she wants to eat.

Well, this little food-monster seems to be eating a little too much. My boobs seemed to be at their limit. Half way thru the day I didn't feel like I wasn't producing enough milk. I had started to formula supplement (only twice a day; the more you breastfeed the more milk will come in so if I formula feed TOO much my personal supply will go down)... which worked well at first. I also pumped so that I would have some breast milk ready when I wanted to give my body a break. That also worked well at first.

Now my pump doesn't work and Brianna doesn't seem to like the formula (which is my fault. I tried a new type of formula. I'm gonna go back to the kind she does like).

And I still don't feel like my body is making enough milk.

So I read online about oatmeal.
Oatmeal is one of a few types of food that is supposed to boost your milk supply! I decided to try it out and these past two days are proof that the rumor is true. Michael made me a mean bowl of oatmeal yesterday (original oatmeal, tons of raisins, milk and butter!)... I swear... he's so good to me. Anyway, my milk supply is up! Some other foods that boost supply?

  • High fiber foods such as oats, usually eaten as oatmeal (the old fashioned kind, not instant), barley, brown rice, and beans
  • Calcium-rich foods such as sesame, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables
  • Fruits such as apricots, dates, figs, and cooked green papaya
  • Soups made from Torbangun or Mulunggay leaves

So, baby experiment #1 = oatmeal is successful!

Baby experiment #2, coming to a blog near you = cloth diapering. Yes... I am gonna try...

On another note, wish Michael luck! He applied for student federal aid (and was eligible for $5,000 scholarship and $10,000 loan), and he applied for admission to CBU. I'm helping him to apply to Northwest Mississippi Community College too, and maybe one more. Our goal is to get him into school for the Spring 2012 semester. He would only need another 2ish years to graduate and then he would have a much greater chance getting a job he enjoys. Doesn't that make a big difference? Working somewhere doing something you actually enjoy? Makes the day to day life easier. So any prayers, good-lucks, and well wishes are welcomed!

On the subject of going back to school -- Brianna is in our lives now and of course our priorities have changed. But does that mean our dreams and goals should change too? Michael going back to school is a dream of his; becoming a game warden is also a dream of his. Having a daughter shouldn't squash all of our dreams of being better. I believe we can do it! I want him to be happy, to graduate and find that dream job. We'd like to move in a few years and I believe it's possible! We'd like to buy a house one day and I believe that is possible too! Being a parent I get to watch the little miracles that my daughter accomplishes every day. I want her to grow up a well rounded person; dabbling in many different areas until she finds the one that she loves with all of her heart, and then I'll support her however I can in pursuing that dream or desire. I want her to believe that she can do ANYTHING. So, if I'm going to encourage her to do anything she sets her mind on, why shouldn't I practice what I preach?

Have faith, work hard, and...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The below link will take you to a list of 10 must-take photos on baby's first day. We don't have any of these photos and I wish I had brought my camera, and that I had had more energy when Brianna was born to take these, and others.,0,0#0


Sometimes people act a certain way, and they do certain things and say certain words that they shouldn't have. I know. I've done my share of awful deeds. You can't pretend what you did didn't happen. You have to make amends and live so that the mistake isn't made again. You have to communicate; make things right.

I want things to be good. I really do.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Painting. Does a body good.

To paint or not to paint?

We are moving into our new home in seven days!! I’m so excited! I know it will be difficult (moving again in Memphis heat) and will be followed up by days of unpacking… but we’ll have our own home!

Which has me thinking… should I try to paint? Sure, I’d really like to but the reality is I have a newborn and won’t be able to paint without some help. If anyone would like to help – lemme know! If anything I’d like to paint accent walls at the least. This will allow us some color without taking up too much time.

I have to run these colors by Michael but here are some wall paint colors I’m liking right now…

1) master/living room wall color?

2) Dining room wall color?

3) Living room/master bedroom wall color?

4) (yellow) Bria's room wall color?

5) Living/master wall color?

6) Bria's room wall color?

7) Bria's room?

8) Living/master?

9) Bria's room?

10) Bria's room wall color?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bria is three weeks and 1 day old.

We’re 9 days away from moving.

Michael’s 26th birthday is 41 days away.

Labor Day is 25 days away (possibly looking forward to a visit from Mamaw and Papaw Boyd).

About 68 more days until I go back to work.

Bria had a brief stint with concerning spit up; she would spit up her entire meal almost after every feeding. I called the pedi and meant to go in but after doing some research, plus some of my own trial and error, I think I’ve eased the problem. I breastfeed Brianna for most of the day with a few bottle of sensitive stomach formula as well – in the formula I add a few gas drops. She seems to be doing much better.

Now I’m keeping an eye on her bowel movements. She only goes number two once a day, but is still doing plenty of wet diapers – so I know she’s not dehydrated. From what I’ve read having one bowel movement isn’t a bad thing so as long as she’s doing one then I’ll be content.

I’ve gone out with her twice. Once to Walgreens and once to the grocery store. Walgreens was successful – I bought what I needed and she slept the entire time. The grocery store turned out to be quite an event. She was sleeping soundly at first and I thought I might be good to go. But when I was trying to find the last item on my list she woke up and started wailing bloody murder… and nothing could calm her. It wouldn’t have been so bad if SOMETHING worked to calm her, and if everyone wasn’t starring at me is if I were beating my child. I ended up abandoning the grocery cart and heading out… and as soon as I got her into the car she calmed down.


For now I’ll have to get nice folks to go grocery shopping for me, or go with Michael.

Before giving birth I absolutely loved my body – being pregnant made me feel great, physically. But the view I have on my body now isn’t as positive. I gave birth three weeks and one day ago, and so far I’ve lost 8 lbs. When we move into our new apartment we will have a nice, new gym to use and I hope to do. And when my doctor and the pediatrician give the go-ahead I plan on using the jogging stroller. I have 31 more pounds to lose, and I hope to accomplish this by the New Year: That’s 4.6 pounds to lose every day for the next 143 days. Yikes. Besides being happy with my weight I’m also giving myself an incentive to make it: a cute NYE dress and maybe a spa day. Considering how badly my back has started to hurt I’d do just about anything for a spa day.

Stay tuned because I intend to do some before, during, and after photos of myself. Exposing myself and taking accountability for my body will definitely keep me motivated to stay on track.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Brianna's Birth Story

Tuesday July 19th

I went to work with a full mind – I needed to train (two people), I needed to find a house, I needed to pack, but most importantly I needed to go to the doctor. Our next scheduled doctor’s appointment was Tuesday so all day I worked towards that 3:30pm appointment. Luckily work went fast – training two people at once definitely makes the time fly. Before I knew it Michael was downstairs, waiting on me to head to Dr. Taylor’s office.

We got there right on time, met with the ultrasound tech first. She took a gander inside my stomach, and we got to see our beautiful little girl’s face (little did we know we’d see her live and in living color about that same time the next day). The ultrasound tech estimated her weight, and saw that her lengths were looking good. We weren’t supposed to receive any more ultrasound pictures but the nice tech ended up saving them all to a disc, and printing some out for us. She was so sweet.

Next we went on to see the doctor and I had my second vaginal exam. The doctor told us that I had already lost my mucus plug (which I had no idea!), I was 1 cm dilated, and was 50% effaced! He scheduled the next round of visits, but told us he didn’t think we’d make it. He guessed we’d go into labor that upcoming weekend.

Michael and I left the doctor’s office excited and ready. We ran a few errands after the doctor and eventually made it to his dad’s house – we had been staying there for two weeks packing for the upcoming move.

I went to sleep with the normal Braxton hicks contractions – nothing serious and nothing to make me think labor was just around the corner.

Wednesday July 20th – 4am

I woke up because I felt wet. After my exam the day before I had been wearing a feminine pad and it felt like it was about time for a new one. I went to the rest room and realized that I shouldn’t need a new pad. I realized the wetness was probably my water…….. which meant it had broken! I cleaned up and paced the bathroom, trying to figure out what to do. The Braxton hicks I had felt the night before were still coming on but they felt different this time. More intense. Because I didn’t know what the heck to do, and I really didn’t want to show up at the hospital only to be turned away with false labor contractions, I decided to call the nurse line and ask a professional. I described to her what I woke up to and how I was feeling. She told me to ahead, get ready, and come in.

I got dressed and laid back in bed. Michael was groggy but awake by now and was concerned. I told him to go back to sleep for a little while, but when we woke back up we should go to the hospital.

Wednesday July 20th – 8am

We woke up, grabbed our hospital bag, and let Michael’s dad know we were headed to the hospital. He offered to drive us (the sleepy couple), and off we went. The contractions were about steady; they were uncomfortable but they were easily talked thru and I didn’t miss a beat. We checked into the hospital and were admitted to a labor and delivery room. We met my nurse, Katy – and I gave her my premade gift basket. She was already a cool girl but the gift basket may have helped. Either way, she took it away and I was informed later that all of the l&d nurses were very appreciative.

Katy did my first exam.  She told me that no, my water had not broken, like I believed it had. At that point I’m thinking we’re headed back home in a few minutes… I jumped the gun. But then she tells me I am four and a half centimeters dilated! FOUR AND A HALF CENTIMETERS?! I had gone from 1 cm to 4.5 in less than 24 hours. Katy nods her head and looks to Michael – “Looks like we’re gonna have a baby today”!

At this point we start making phone calls – we call my mom, Michael’s mom. I text my bosses. Katy starts plugging me in – I have a heart monitor, they wrap Brianna’s heart monitor around my belly, and they give me pitocin. Pitocin is used to induce or speed labor along so Katy warns me that as my pitocin increases my contractions will begin to increase. She says once my water breaks the contractions will be even stronger. I buckle down for a long day.

Doctor Taylor is called but in the meantime the OB on staff stops by. Michael’s dad waits with us in the room and my mom finally makes it. I update my facebook status, and I start getting texts and fb well-wishes. All the while my contractions start increasing – now I KNOW I’m in labor.

The time, and the centimeters go by. My contractions get worse; Now I need to stop talking, concentrate on breathing, and wait for them to pass. I can’t talk thru them anymore. When a contraction starts everyone in the room goes quiet – to let me concentrate on breathing and getting thru the pain. For the longest time the contractions are manageable; they are painful but they come and then they go. I know they have an ending and I am feeling pretty good about going natural. When the anesthesiologist comes into the room I tell him I may not need him afterall. He gives me a “yeah right” look and tells me to call him when I want him (he knows the name of the game). My mom encourages me to go natural and so far I was feeling confident. Michael was supportive of whatever option I chose, and when I went thru the contractions he would hold my hand and help me thru.

Katy checks on me often, Doctor Taylor makes a visit, contractions come and go. Eventually Katy tells me its time to break my water bag, and she warns me again that the contractions will become worse afterwards. So, she does the deed, and within five minutes the contractions are drastically different. I am still breathing thru the pain, not talking and just concentrating on the light at the end of the tunnel… but now I arch my back and I can’t help but moan and groan. I never wanted to be the type of lady to give birth and cuss out her loved ones, so instead of saying anything at all I was quiet, except for those moans. Michael holds my hand; the contractions not only getting more intense but lasting longer. When they end there isn’t much relief – the pain is still faintly there and now I am started to get tired. In between contractions all I want to do is sleep. I squeeze Michael’s hand so hard that later he tells me that he didn’t realize I had that much strength in me.

Finally, I realize that dealing with the contractions is do-able, but its wearing me out. I was worried I wouldn’t have the energy to push if I didn’t get pain relief soon. So, I requested the epidural. The anesthesiologist  came to the room with her rolling station of supplies(a different lady than whom I had met before). Her and Katy get me into position (my back arched out, my shoulders rolled forward, my head hanging down – aka very uncomfortable position for a pregnant lady to be in)… and the ane. Begins to stick me.

And she misses. So she sticks me again.


This goes on for 45 minutes before she finally the right space for inject the meds. Michael and Katy were both getting frustrated with the anesthesiologist and at one point Katy says “Wow, even I’m getting tired here…”, with her foot tapping, showing signs of disbelief. I remained quiet and didn’t realize how much time had passed – the entire awkward time I was still having contractions so I concentrated on breathing.
After the epidural is injected my body started to shake. My legs, my arms, my hands – due to the medicine – but the relief came. I was able to rest and for that I’m so glad I chose to get the epi.

Soon I was ready to push. Because I had an epidural I couldn’t quite my move my legs freely so the nurse (Stephanie at this point; Katy’s shift was over) had to help me into the stirrups on one side; Michael helped on the other. Dr. Taylor was paged, and the baby nurse was set up in the corner, waiting to grab Bria and get her cleaned up. I felt my body want to push; vaguely I felt the pressure but it was almost like I couldn’t help it. My body was doing what it needed to do. Stephanie had done two practice pushes with me, to see if the epidural was too strong and I would need help, but that wasn’t the case. She told me to stop pushing or else Bria would be here before the doctor arrived. Finally he showed up. The extra people in the room were asked to leave (Michael’s dad and my mom) and we were ready to push.
At that point things went quickly. I pushed three times – maybe because of the epidural but the pushing was easy. I focused all of my energy on my nether regions and made sure to push that direction. Michael was on my left, my nurse was on my right, doctor Taylor in the business end, baby nurse standing back, and Doctor Taylor’s nurse at his side assisting him however she could.

Finally I felt relief and the doctor held my little baby up. She was blue and covered in nastiness, the cord still attached to me. The doctor and his nurse worked quickly to get the chord ready to snip; they handed Michael the scissors so he could the honors. Mike was so astounded by A) seeing all of the gloriousness of my womanhood and the disturbing event that took place and B) seeing Bria for the first time ever. When they were ready for him to snip he was in such a trance, looking at her and at me, that he didn’t hear them at first. They spoke up and he made the cut. The baby nurse took her to get clean – my eyes following her everywhere. It was like a spell was put on me. I couldn’t look away, except to look at Michael who seemed to have the same spell on him.

She was born at 3:49pm, weighing in at 6lbs and 14 oz. She was 19.75 inches long. And she was beautiful.

Time after that was blurry. I know that I had an episiotomy, and that I needed to be cleaned up. I know that Bria was weighed and cleaned, and Michael held her first until I was ready. I know that she was put into my arms and then the rest of the time is lost to me. I don’t know how long we sat there, and in what order things happened next. I do know that eventually my mom came in, my brother came in, Mickey came in… and that eventually I was wheeled up to post partum (I had another premade basket for the pp nurses and they also seemed to appreciate the gesture).

We stayed in the hospital for the next 24 hours until we were finally ready and released to go home.

It’s been three weeks today that Brianna was born and it feels like I’ve known her all my life.  We’re learning about each other as we go and I can’t wait to see how things progress. She is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen! The love I feel for her (and for Michael) is sometimes so overwhelming that I can’t help but cry it out a little. I know it’s the hormones but it’s also the overflowing mom love that you always hear about, but never really know until it happens. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my family members. I’m excited about my family and about it growing and changing. I’m the luckiest girl in the world <3

Friday, August 5, 2011

I want to see this documentary so bad. It looks beautiful.

But in the meantime, check out this beauty.

Now, I'm off to bed to try and get some zzz's in while she is.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mama's first day.

Today is my first day being home alone with Bria. Our day so far has been comprised of  eating and napping. During her short naps I’m working on cleaning the playroom – but Bria doesn’t sleep long on her own so my bouts of cleaning are only 5-15 min. long. If I hold her she’ll nap for an hour, so here I am, typing this one handed.

We’re 18 days away from moving into our new apartment and we can’t wait! It’s not that we don’t appreciate where we’re staying; it’s just very difficult living out of boxes with a newborn. I have her necessities but I’ve lost my own. My phone charger was lost in the move so my cell is dead. Luckily I don’t need many clothes; I find that wearing Michael’s button down shirts are the most comfortable. They’re easy to open for breastfeeding, and they’re baggy enough to keep me cool (Memphis is HOT right now with temps over 100 everyday). Plus it seems like Michael has plenty of them.

Dunno if the temp was really 112, but it felt like it.

Bria is a beautiful week and six day old baby girl. Staring at her is something I could do all day and night. She does smell like breast milk (heck, we both do) due to spit-ups… but we’re establishing a night time routine that I hope will eventually help her to sleep on her own, through the night. Every night Bria gets a bath with me, and Michael helps. She doesn’t like baths naturally, and will cry if put in the baby tub. So I fill the regular tub 2/3 the way full with warm water, then I get in myself. I hold her the whole time and Michael helps me to wash her up. I think the being held part calms her down and she gets thru bath time much easier. After the bath, and after drying her off, I give her a baby massage. Again, she doesn’t like this much (what does she like? Being held and fed, and sleeping in my arms) but it does seem to wear her out and eventually calm her down. Lastly I put on a clean diaper and a swaddle sack… then we’re ready for bed! The last two nights weren’t so bad. She slept thru the entire night on Sunday, and last night she only woke up once for a feeding.

Some reasons to laugh? We’ll there’s a bunch but right now Michael and I are cracking up at her bodily functions. Rivers of spit up, projectile poop, adult-loud farts, cute hiccups, etc. what’s not so funny? Her “sleep talking”. Its cute but it’s so loud it keeps us up!

Anyway, I love my family and couldn’t ask for anyone more perfect than my little girl and her daddy. I COULD go for a good hour of free time to clean and another hour to run errands… oh well! I’m a stinky, behind on everything, happy mama.

Monday, August 1, 2011

bria is 1 week and 5 days old today. michael's and my life has drastically changed, for the better... and i wish i could sit and tell you all about it but my time is spent nursing, holding, napping, and loving my little girl. from what i've read i'll have more time to myself during her growing naps but until then i may be too busy smelling like baby spit up, talking to her, gazing into her eyes. :) etc. no complaints here!

but i did find this great article, below at i've bolded the things i feel i can relate to the most.


What changes when you have a baby? A better question may be: What doesn't change? Here, writer and mom Rebecca Woolf lists her most notable post-baby observations. Then scroll down to read our favorite comments from readers about how their babies changed their lives.

1. You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

2. Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid. 

3. The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.

4. You respect your body ... finally.

5. You respect your parents and love them in a new way.

6. You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.

7. You believe once again in the things you believed in as a child.

8. You lose touch with the people in your life whom you should have banished years ago.

9. Your heart breaks much more easily.

10. You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.

11. Every day is a surprise.

12. Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)

13. You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

14. You become a morning person.

15. Your love becomes limitless, a superhuman power.

And from our readers...
1. "You discover how much there is to say about one tooth." — Ashley's mom

2. "You finally realize that true joy doesn't come from material wealth." — Anonymous

3. "You now know where the sun comes from." — Charlotte

4. "You'd rather buy a plastic tricycle than those shoes that you've been dying to have." — Sophie's mom

5. "You realize that although sticky, lollipops have magical powers." — Roxanne

6. "You don't mind going to bed at 9 p.m. on Friday night." — Kellye

7. "Silence? What's that?" — Anonymous

8. "You realize that the 15 pounds you can't seem to get rid of are totally worth having." — Brenda

9. "You discover an inner strength you never thought you had." — Ronin and Brookie's mom

10. "You no longer rely on a clock — your baby now sets your schedule." — Thomas' mom

11. "You give parents with a screaming child an 'I-know-the-feeling' look instead of a 'Can't-they-shut-him-up?' one." — Jaidyn's mom

12. "Your dog — who used to be your 'baby' — becomes just a dog." — Kara
[Many readers begged to differ, saying things like, " I disagree with number 12. My dogs are my additional children," "Nothing about previous babies, whether two- or four-legged, changes when a new miracle comes along," "My dog will never be 'just a dog," and "This is sad to me. My dog is still my baby too."]
13. "You take the time for one more hug and kiss even if it means you'll be late." — Tracey

14. "You learn that taking a shower is a luxury." — Jayden's mom

15. "You realize that you can love a complete stranger." — Dezarae's mom
16. You find yourself wanting to make this world a better place. — Arizona
17. If you didn’t believe in love at first sight before, now you do! — Ciara
18. You start to appreciate Sesame Street for its intellectual contribution. — Anon.
19. You have to quit watching the news because you see every story from a mother's perspective and it breaks your heart. — Brooke&Boys
20. You just plain love life more - everything comes together and becomes better because of one tiny person and your love for them. — Anon.
21. You finally find out the real reason you have those breasts. — Anon.
22. In response to #2 [above], I'd say that where you were once afraid, you're now fearless. I was always very timid and shy and let myself get walked all over … but now where my kid's concerned, I'll speak my mind and really connect with my inner "b"! — gummismom
23. The support you get from other people surprises you, because the people giving it are not always the ones you'd expect. — japanese_macaque
24. Nothing is just yours any longer. You share EVERYTHING! — DylanLsMom
25. No matter what you've accomplished in life, you look at your child and think, "I've done a GREAT job!" — Anon.
26. You want to take better care of yourself for your child. — Treasor
27. You can have the most wonderful conversation using only vowel sounds like "ahhh" and "oooo." — littlehulk2008