(My poor Photoshop rendition... You get the idea)
Never used this either except maybe the first week because I thought I just "had" to have it. (Had I breastfed, I'm sure it would have been a necessity.)
(UPDATE: I've gotten comments that receiving blankets and the Boppy worked out well for many! Maybe I'm just the weirdo!)
(Buy it here.)
If you don't know about these, then you'll want to thank me! During all of my pregnancy "researching", I came across a lot of articles on SIDS and a lot of mothers who commented about loosing their baby to SIDS. (Completely devastating. Take my advice and don't read those kinds of comments until your baby is older.) The AngelCare monitor is sort of like a 2-in-1. You can just use it like a normal baby monitor, or you can use it as a breathing monoitor, or both. This is the one that we have...
(Buy it here.)
If you've never heard of it, the pad thing goes under the baby's mattress. Once you get your settings just right, you can have the parent piece flash or beep every time the child breathes. If they quit breathing for more than 30 seconds, an alarm goes off. Like the sound machine, it's worth it's weight in gold to me. Before we got this, I'd wake up every 30 minutes to check on Lily Kate as a newborn. I'd get up just to make sure she was still breathing. That kind of sleep is hard on your health and sanity! Once we got this, I was able to sleep until the alarm went off or she woke up. We did have a few false alarms that will scare the @#$% out of you, but that's what it's there for, right? I'd rather have 1,000 false alarms than miss being alerted if there really was an emergency. I STILL use the breathing monitor today (we rarely have a false alarm now that she's bigger) and I will continue to use it as long as she's in her crib. It only takes 0.5 seconds to turn it on or off.
Accept help when it's offered.
Some people told me that the weight will "fall off" and others said "9 months on, 9 months off." By 3 weeks I had lost most of my weight. (I think that part is genetics. I've always had a pretty high metabolism.) It took another month or so to get my jeans to fit comfortably, and by about 3 months, I was at my pre-preggo weight. At 6 months postpartum, I weighed less than I did in HIGH SCHOOL and I'm probably smaller now than I've been in 10 years. I really don't have the time to work out, but as a stay-at-home mom, I'm a lot more active. I'm always cleaning or doing something around the house. If not, I'm toting around my 20 pound baby. Since I'm busier and not sitting at a desk all day, I find that I eat a lot less. And since I gained 30 pounds with LK and I know what that feels and looks like, I am more conscience of what I eat and how much exercise I get throughout the day. All I can say... It may take a little longer for some, but you really can have the best body you've ever had... if you want it!
Postpartum hair loss isn't fun. I shed like a cat for about 3 months. It starts about 100 days after birth (or any traumatic event, I've read) and you'll lose any hair that you didn't shed during pregnancy. My hair was so full and thick during pregnancy. I had the best hair ever. :( Still, one year later, I still shed more than normal, but I've been taking extra iron, Vitamin B, and Biotin supplements to help.
Now my skin -- I've had hormonal acne all my life. It's gotten progressively better since I've gotten older but I'd still have outbreaks almost every month. By the time my face cleared up for that month, it was time for next month. A never ending cycle. My skin was "okay" during pregnancy. I couldn't use any of the face washes that I normally used but I didn't have the "monthly" reason, so it stayed about the same. Since I had LK, MY SKIN HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER! Maybe it's the work-related stress that's been eliminated since I've become a stay-at-home mom, or maybe it's just because my body "reset" itself after pregnancy. I'm not sure, but I'm sure enjoying it. I do have minimal monthly breakouts, but no where NEAR what it used to be. And since pregnancy, I still only use Cetaphil face wash for cleansing and toothpaste (yes, toothpaste) for spot-drying zits.