"It doesn't end after the baby arrives - that’s only the beginning!" Christy Carlson Romano writes of her experiences in parenthood so far

By Christy Carlson Romano
March 02, 2017 03:30 PM
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Credit: Austin Henry Wallace

Christy Carlson Romano is a new mom!

The actress is best known for her early-2000s Disney Channel work, including her turn as type-A older sibling Ren Stevens on Even Stevens, and for voicing the titular character in the animated series Kim Possible. In 2004, she starred on Broadway as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Romano, 32, married writer-producer Brendan Rooney in a romantic winter-wonderland wedding set against the backdrop of the Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada, on New Year’s Eve 2013. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Isabella Victoria, on Christmas Eve.

Romano recently starred in Christmas with the Andersons and Christmas All Over Again — the latter of which she also directed, and was co-written by Rooney. Christmas All Over Again was released to DVD on Dec. 13.

You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @ChristyRomano.

It has been quite a wild ride since bringing our baby girl home from the hospital on Dec. 26. Since I have a moment to breathe while she is down for a nap, I want to take the time to share the story of my experience bringing sweet Isabella into the world.

One of the most important things we did to prep for the baby was take time to have a babymoon. We made a beautiful and lasting memory at the most fabulous resort called Terranea here in Los Angeles.

We really got a chance to relax at the resort’s beautiful oceanside spa, take hikes around their edible gardens, and dine at an incredible restaurant (can someone say five courses of truffle-themed food?). Looking back, I see just how lucky we were to take that time for our relationship. When you are up to your eyeballs in diapers at 3 a.m., you can reflect on the moments you shared before the craziness.

Credit: Courtesy Christy Carlson Romano

Speaking of craziness, I’d like to share my birth story. ‘Twas the night before Christmas Eve (so Christmas Eve eve), and Brendan and I ordered from a fancy restaurant and watched a funny Christmas movie knowing (and not knowing) what lay ahead of us.

But before we left for the hospital at 3 a.m., I got a cleaning bug and revved up my Dyson! It’s nerve-racking to think that you will be coming home with three people instead of just you two. I’m a big believer in trying to be prepared, so of course I over-packed my hospital bags.

I found suggestions from various articles super helpful (and was gifted several products by the brands!), so I compiled my final list for you here:

Bag 1: Food and Drink
“Laboraid” — 3 cups coconut water, 1 cup water, 2 Tbsp. honey, 1/4 tsp. sea salt bone broth
Snacks — various chips, hummus (good for lactation), sweet and salty things

  • Bag 2: Personal items
  • Cushy toilet paper (better than the hospital’s)
  • Phone charger
  • Extension cord
  • Speakers — Sonos
  • Auxiliary cord
  • Playlist (Izzy was born to The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses”)
  • Ear plugs and mask
  • “Do Not Disturb” sign
  • Computer and charger
  • Pillow
  • Nursing bras — Rosie Pope
  • Nursing tank — Boob Design
  • Pretty robe — Pink Blush
  • Slippers/comfy socks*
  • Sneakers
  • Toiletries and makeup (for pictures after labor)
  • Facial wipes
  • Hair straightener/curling iron
  • Tucks
  • Perineal bottle*
  • Extra pads*
  • Double pump nursing bra
  • Nipple cream — Lansinoh
  • Boppy pillow
  • Spectra S2 Bling medical-grade pump (in LOVE with this one)

*Can get at the hospital

I hope this list helps you if you are currently prepping your first-time labor routine. I know it can be daunting, and it’s good to see what you might need.

I will tell you, looking back, I didn’t get a chance to use much of this stuff because I was in bed and couldn’t reach my bags! But I am so happy I felt prepared.

Credit: Austin Henry Wallace

In the end, I feel so blessed to have been able to have had a successful and mostly peaceful labor. I labored for 12 hours and pushed for two and a half more.

Isabella Victoria Rooney was born at 3:52 p.m. on Christmas Eve! Apparently I opened my present early. It was surreal to spend Christmas in the hospital, but I managed to find a yule log TV program.

Brendan went out and brought me a tiny Christmas tree and gave me my “push present”: a matching set of diamond Starling bracelets for me and Isabella. Cuteness overload!

So many emotions are surging through you and your partner, and all of them terrifying and joyous. It doesn’t end after the baby arrives — that’s only the beginning! I now have so much love for parents everywhere, and can’t begin to express to those of you in waiting how worth it those nine months are.

Please enjoy the journey, as the destination is only the start of a new chapter. Hope you will enjoy the postpartum roundup coming soon!