Mamahood Styled


My Two Baby Must-Haves

As a new, first-time Mommy, I love looking at what other moms post as their must-haves. Although, I have pleeeeeeeenty to add to this list, I know that every Mommy and baby is completely different. But there are a couple of items that have been SO convenient and I have recommended them to other mommas who have excitedly called back to tell me they also worked for them! As someone with no experience, other than my current one, it makes me feel pretty darn good! I have plenty of other recommendations but these two have been my biggest lifesavers!

1. The NoseFrida Snotsucker- I SWEAR by this!! I use almost daily, as Oliver tends to be stuffed up in the morning. He hates it but as soon as it's over and he can breathe, he is all smiles immediately! I am obsessed with him having a clean nose! Often, you cannot see anything in his nostrils but you can hear it in his breathing. This does require some lung capacity from the momma (Geoff refuses to try it), and no, you do not eat anything gross as there is a long tube and at the end of it there's a filter- although we have never gotten up that far! I know this will come in just as handy when he has a real need for it as well!

2. The Windi- made by the same company. I feared Colic like no other, so I looked for some natural solutions while pregnant just in case. Although, Oliver has not really been colicy, he is very gassy. After any long nap or sleep, he wakes up with a lot of gas. We constantly give him belly massages and bicycle his legs to help him relieve some gas. I hear that this is totally normal. Have you ever heard a newborn grunt and grunt. Super cute until they cry from it! The first month of Oliver's life, he seemed to struggle so The Windi was SO useful in relieving him from some gas. You put baby oil on the tip and insert it as you would a suppository. Depending on the issue, it somehow relieves gas and he always poops right after. I also bought Colic Calm (the ONLY homeopathic gripe water on the market) but I haven't used it enough. I did recommend it to another mommy and she says that as soon as her baby drinks some, he is calm and falls asleep! The three times I've used it on Oliver, he has been so overtired that I really don't know if it's worked. Although, the second time we used it, he did relieve some gas!

I've purchased all of these items from Amazon and will continue to do so! Love them!

Baby Must Haves

Week One Pictures

We took some pictures of Oliver at Week One and we still don't have all of them edited! Oops! Here's some of our favorites!

Month One

Dear Oliver D Cruz,
I love you a bushel and a peck,                                                                      
 A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck,
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap,
A barrel and a heap and I'm talkin' in my sleep,
About you, about you.
'Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your pretty neck I do
I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck though you make my heart a wreck
Make my heart a wreck and you make my life a mess
Make my life a mess, yes a mess of happiness
About you, about you
'Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your pretty neck I do

Months 0-1 in review:

-you can already lift your head up
-you have been smiling since Day 1. People saw it's gas but we swear you react to us.
-you can follow objects with your eyes and follow sounds, as well.
-none of your Newborn clothes fit
-Preemies don't either, though because you're long! ;)
-you were circumsized at one week old and your umbilical cord fell off during it!
-you had a lip and tongue tie clipped at 3 weeks.
-this meant that you had your first road trip to San Diego
-your second road trip was to Tucson to hear that Daddy was officially in remission from his second bout with ugly Cancer.
-you can grasp our fingers! As in, we wave our finger at you, and you reach up, try a couple of times, and actually grasp it!
-you can scoot up while on tummy time, about 2-3 feet!
-your eyes are blue/gray!
-your birth weight was 6 lbs. 5 oz.
-at your one week check up you were at 6 lbs. 3 oz- which is great!
-at week 2, you were at 6 lbs. 11 oz.
You had your first bath around this time!
-at week 3, you were over 7 lbs! You had an ultrasound at this time to check on your kidneys!
-Mommy struggled a lot with breastfeeding you! You had a tongue and lip tie, a high palatte, and your neck/jaw were a little out of alignment.
-you like to caress your own head while feeding, and you usually love to stick your middle finger out- as in, flipping me off. Thanks, Kid.
-we took you to a massage therapist to get a sacral cranial massage and later a chiropractor.
-you peed on your own face- sorry little dude!
-you definitely have Mommy's nose and lips! You have Daddy's hairline! Your hair naturally grows into a little mohawk.
-you are definitely the best dressed baby ever!

Months 0-1 according to my camera roll:


Oliver's Birth Story- Part Deux of Deux

I had left off where I had begun to consider taking medicine. The pain was pretty much unbearable. I couldn't understand how to describe the pain and the exhaustion that was starting to set in. I hadn't been able to sleep much the night before and I was working on an empty stomach- which was good! That morning, when I thought I might be in labor, I made myself a piece of toast with peanut butter and half a banana sliced on top- what I would consume for a marathon! haha!
Anyway, as I was saying, I cannot begin to explain what that pain was like. Your absolute worst period and stomach cramps rolled into one. My contractions doubled up each time and by the time I was done with one duo the next approached.

Our nurse told us that Susie requested for me to not have any medicines until she arrived. Which wouldn't be for an hour or two. I began to want to cry. Geoff kept asking me if I would just take some medicine to cut off the edge of the pain and so I could relax. As tempting as it was, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The idea of it affecting our baby in anyway- I just couldn't risk it. I kept thinking of all the struggles Geoff has been through. Of everything our baby had been through to make it to this point. I just needed to wait a bit longer. I don't think I opened my eyes much at this point, just trying to mentally ride each painful wave and thinking how eventually the pain would go away and we would have our baby in our arms. I would close my eyes and concentrate and go elsewhere in my mind and think that a lot of time had passed. I finally would peek at the clock only to realize only 5 minutes had gone by! This kept happening over and over. After an hour of this, I finally told Geoff he should go get something to eat. I wanted him to have energy and strength and even though we had packed granola bars, I wanted him to have something more substantial. He agreed and was about to walk out the door when a familiar voice graced us! Susie! She had arrived a lot sooner and she had the look of excitement and happiness on her face! Geoff made a quick u-turn and came back into the room. By now it was 4pm! Susie has this presence about her that just brings me comfort and warmth. Like a mom does when you are hurting and in need. She asked me how I was doing and I told her not good. She told me I could do it and just needed to hang in a bit more. She explained that since they couldn't tell why the babies heartbeat was dropping with each contraction, that she would need to put in an internal monitor. When she went to put it in she sighed and said that the reason for it was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck! Eek! That explained why my labor was going so hard and painful, apparently. She wanted me to change positions to see if that would help. So I was instructed to turn on all fours and hug the top of the bed, so I'd be on my knees, and sway my hips side to side. I did this for awhile and it was so painful. I kept telling her I couldn't do it anymore and she asked me if I needed to bear down. What? Bear down? Wtf?! I remember saying "Bear down?! What? Idk what that means!!!" haha! Apparently it means to push like you need to go the restroom, lol! I told her not, necessarily and she asked if I was sure. I told her I didn't know. I've always heard you have this crazy urge to push push push! I was in so much pain that I don't think I could register, but I don't remember having a specific urge to push. She checked me and said "okay, let's get you on your back! It's time to push!" I was fully effaced and dilated. What?! In an hour!? I kept asking her if she was sure.,, "Are we really having a baby right now?!" She laughed, and said "Well, yes, but not right now, right have to push him out!" haha! Geoff and I couldn't believe it. Our eyes and hands locked and we realized this was it. Our lives would change more than ever! We watched as Susie suited up and the nurse scrambled to get things ready. I heard them call NICU because of the umbilical cord. Geoff ran to start recording on the camera. The next 30 minutes are all captured on video and it's pretty unbelievable to watch. I pushed for 27 minutes before he came out. Each push was sooo hard! I was told to push during a contraction and rest/breathe in between. I couldn't even tell when one contraction started and ended. I had read that pushing brought some relief and of course, it didn't do anything for me, haha! I got the hang of how to push right away and everyone was so encouraging. NICU stayed behind to give us as much privacy as possible. I thought it would just take a few pushes and be done but Susie would make me stop pushing- probably so I wouldn't tear. But within a few, I heard them start exclaiming about his head! I started pushing past the part of telling me to stop, and Susie ended up having Geoff put an oxygen mask on me so that I would recover better in between pushes. It felt like no push would bring me there. Eventually, I heard her explain that the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his little neck and Geoff later told me, she pried it off of his neck! At one point, towards the end, I let out a bit of a yelp or scream and then quickly apologized haha! I think that's the only loud noise I made! Lol! Geoff was so incredible throughout the process. Right by my side, helping me out and with this look of amazement and excitement all over his face! Finally, Susie told me to reach down and place my hands under the baby's shoulders so I could pull him out myself like I wanted. She guided me and with a swoosh, out he came!!! Amazing! Beyond words! Exhilaration to the max. Nothing can explain this experience correctly. Before I was able to pull him all the way to my chest, they had to check him to make sure he was okay! Geoff later told me that his face was so blue! Scary! Geoff was able to cut the cord once it stopped pulsating! Still holding him up in midair, all of a sudden he let out the most beautiful cry I have ever heard and all I wanted was to comfort him. I pulled him to my chest and welcomed our new baby boy into this world. At 4:51pm, Oliver D Cruz Montgomery let us celebrate his birthday.

I counted all his fingers and toes! I studied his face and features! His light skin and hair! This huge beautiful eyes, little button nose and the biggest mouth and lips I had ever seen! He was perfect and absolutely beautiful! He was the baby that had spent the last almost 40 weeks inside of me, makin me wonder. The only other being that knew my inner most being, my heartbeat from within. This little piece of me consumed me immediately.

We were allowed to study him and meet him for as long as we wanted. It was amazing! Eventually, Susie said I needed to deliver the placenta so we decided he should get weighed at that moment. Geoff went with him a few feet away and Susie and I talked away! It was still very painful and I remember being giddy and excited, yet still flinching as I delivered it and she stitched up a couple of lady parts inside of me. I asked her if I teared and she said I had nothing on the outside! Amazing! I asked to see the placenta and it was incredible to see as she explained the side that was attached to me and the bag where he had lived all this time. Beyond incredible. Oliver was brought back to me and we witnessed him crawl on my chest for his first meal. Even as I write this I am beside myself. It is incredible what our bodies naturally do. This teeny tiny little being knew exactly where to go and what to do. Still, in this moment, makes me stop and think. Beyond.

I could go on and on about the next 48 hours; the emotions, the family, best friends, etc. But for now, I'll pay the story of this baby's birth the respect it deserves and leave it at that. But let's just say that this baby was welcomed into this world by his beloved family/friends and made us feel so lucky and blessed all over again. xo.


Oliver's Birth Story- Part One of Deux

January 25th, 2013 was our estimated due date. I wasn't sure if we would make it all that way after being on bedrest for 4 weeks. But then with our luck, I thought it'd be perfectly ironic to make it past that due date. As soon as we hit 38 weeks, we started doing everything short of consuming castor oil to induce labor. But this stubborn baby has a mind of his own and prefers to do things his way. On January 22nd I was at work and felt the tiniest little cramp. Nothing significant but just enough of a difference for me to notice. These continued for hours and I finally mentioned it to my co-worker. Around 1pm, I was teaching my class and got up to walk around and check my kiddos work...and felt a tiny leak. I looked down but realized it wasn't significant. Ten minutes later, class ended and I went to check in the bathroom, but again, not enough to be significant. I sat in the lounge and talked to two other co-workers, laughing and saying "I wonder if that was some of my water breaking!" The little cramps continued all day and I came home to rest. I had been wanting to juice for dinner because I was feeling blah, but after talking to Geoff, we decided not to because what if this was it. His family from out of state (great aunts and uncle) were in town so we went out to dinner with his whole family. I kept telling everyone this probably would be my last meal and even took pictures with them, just in case! I kept leaking a little bit each time I'd sit for awhile and stand up.

The next morning, I woke up around 4:50am with the same cramps but a little stronger. Geoff had already been at work since 4am, so I texted him. But I really wasn't sure. I decided to have a slice of toast with peanut butter, honey and half a banana- what I would have for energy for a long run! Juuust in case. By 6am they had gotten a bit stronger so I decided to get in the tub. I laid in hot water and it eased the pain, which made me start to doubt that it may be it.  When I got out of the shower and started getting ready for work, the cramps started stronger and I decided to start timing them...4 minutes apart. So I decided to text our midwife a little update and by the time I had hit sent, she was already calling. She asked me to come in to her office to perform a test to see if my water had broken. I let Geoff know and called work saying I'd be in after my appointment, haha. Geoff met me at home and packed our hospital bags just in 8:45am we were at Susie's office.

She did a PH level test and immediately the little strip changed to bright blue, and she said that my water had definitely broken and she started talking about check in procedures, and ran by my labor plan again. She said I was 70% effaced and 3-4cm dilated. She said she was going to let me go completely natural but did want me to get an IV port put in just in case, but she wouldn't have me get an actual IV since I was actually well hydrated. She prayed with us and gave us lots of hugs. As she was walking out I said "Wait! Are we having the baby TODAY?!" Geoff and her laughed and gave me more hugs while confirming this was happening. She left and Geoff and I started laughing with excitement and some fear haha!

We got back into my Jeep and started calling our parents and then texted our bff'ers! I kept timing my contractions and they were all 3-4 minutes apart but more painful than ever. We arrived to check in and they had us wait before giving us a room although Susie had already called to tell them to be ready for us. By the time we were settled and changed (I got to wear my own gown) in our room it was already 10am.

My contractions were very painful at this point but manageable. Our wonderful nurse had to ask us a gazillion questions and it took them 4-5 pokes to finally get the port in. For a natural labor, my arms and hands looked pretty beat up! They hooked up to monitor Oliver's heartrate and said that after 20 minutes, I was free to roam and do whatever I wanted to progress my labor. Sounded pretty easy. Except, the bands wrapped around my belly kept slipping and couldn't read the contractions correctly so I kept having to restart those 20 minutes. Then they realized that the baby's heartrate kept dropping with each contraction. Our nurse explained that this could be because of multiple things but not to worry...yet. As the hours progressed, my contractions were on top of each other, coming in groups of two without much time in between to recover. By noon, my mouth started to water like I was about to throw up. I kept telling Geoff and our nurse that I was going to, but I absolutely detest throwing up so I fought the urge. Finally, I took off the monitors and practically ran to the bathroom. I threw up a bunch of bile and then got sick to my stomach. I guess my body was trying to empty out before delivery! An hour later, I was fighting the same pain. Our nurse finally asked if I wanted to be checked again. Susie doesn't like anyone else touching her patients but she said if I requested it, she could check me. Of course, I wanted to know but was so disheartened to hear that I was only at a 4, although I had effaced to more. By this point, I was in so much pain that I couldn't concentrate on anything or anyone. I remember being so exhausted and wanting to sleep in between contractions. I would close my eyes and focus and feel like I was doing that for the longest time- only to open my eyes and realize that it had only been 2 minutes. This kept happening over and over. Around 1pm, our nurse left on her lunch break (I wished her a happy lunch and told her to rest up, haha), and another nurse came in to cover for her. I was allowed to get on the medicine ball- I kept insisting that I needed out of the bed. But they kept trying to get that 20 minute strip to monitor the babies heartrate. I would be asked to lay on one side and not move. Which was absolute torture! While, on the medicine ball, I felt like I wasn't going to make it much longer. At one point I looked up and saw Geoff's mom there. I had no idea she was coming. I felt like crying and started whimpering. I remember praying to God aloud over and over and asking for the strength to continue. I came down from the medicine ball and just labored on my hands and knees on the floor. I started to feel sick again and started to work my way to the bathroom. By this time our nurse was back and tried to convince me not to go but I knew I was going to be sick again. Which I was. I came back and they asked me to lay on my side again to try to monitor our baby. I worked so hard to not tighten up my body with each contraction. I kept telling Geoff that I didn't think I could do it for much longer. After some time, he asked me if I wanted medicine. I said yes but no. haha! But I kept going and he kept asking me if I was sure; he finally asked our nurse what other medicines were available other than an epidural. She gave a couple of options, both of which I couldn't concentrate on, and Geoff began to explain them to me. I couldn't say yes to them though because although they were short term (would wear off in two hours), they still affected the baby by making him sleepy or out of it. Our nurse did tell us that usually you progress 1cm an hour...and it was 3pm at this point- dilated at a 4...I definitely couldn't last another 6 hours- no way! But I also wanted to push my body to its limit. I kept thinking how our bodies are meant to go through this pain. Each wave of a contraction built up and peaked and remained in that peak for quite a while. As it started to subside, another one would immediately reach its zenith point. Pure torture. At 3pm, our nurse called Susie to tell her I was considering medicine.

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