A look at our first 12 weeks of having Baby Brady in our lives

Wow. That’s all I have to say. It’s been just about 12 weeks since the day Brady Oliver Pitt was born (September 30, 2017), and these 12 weeks have gone by so incredibly quickly. While I’m still the same person that I was before he was born, in some ways, things are totally different. Everything I do and every step I take now has to have Brady factored into the equation, and my role as a mom is my primary focus. While these changes are ones you’d expect to derail an independent gal like me, I’m totally loving life with him in it … but it hasn’t been perfect though. Shall we chat?

Ashley and Brady at 11 weeks in December 2017 by A Lady Goes West

(I’m wearing a Fabletics jacket, and Brady is 11 weeks wearing this outfit.)

In case you need to catch up first, here’s what has happened so far:

And I’d also like to give a shout-out to anyone reading this who is hoping to have a baby one day and may not be having an easy go at it. Just remember, there’s still time, and if it’s meant to be, it will be. I was there in your shoes just this time last year. Keep the faith, because all the minutes you are spending wishing you’d have a healthy pregnancy and baby will hopefully be forgotten one day, when you finally get that little one in your arms. Trust me!

12 week postpartum update on life with Brady

Our routine

I’d say that we finally have a good routine down, and my days alone during the week with Brady are not as spastic as they were in the beginning. They’re pretty good. We get up around 7 a.m., when Dave is getting ready for work, and I feed Brady. Then, we go downstairs, and I set him up on his activity mat while I have breakfast and attempt to do some emails. Then, we play and snuggle on the couch for a couple hours. He usually takes a mid-morning nap, which starts when we go on our walk (he loves to sleep in the infant carrier, especially while strolling), then I try to do a short workout in the living room and eat my lunch, before he wakes back up and needs to get a new diaper and eat.

The rest of the afternoon, we snuggle and watch TV and maybe go on another short walk or run an errand, and next thing you know it’s the evening, and hopefully, Dave is home. Once Dave gets home, he takes over diaper duty and hangs out with Brady while I try to get some work done or handle some chores. He’s such an awesome dad, and I’m lucky and grateful for that.

We start our bedtime routine around 9:30 or 10 p.m., go to sleep and start the whole thing again the next day. Things are getting easier and easier for us routine-wise, and we’re definitely out of the house at least once a day, which is a nice change, that’s for sure. I remember in the beginning I was so nervous to leave the house with Brady, but that’s totally not the case any more. We’ve been to Target, Nordstrom Rack, the grocery store and all sorts of restaurants together. He always sleeps on outings right now, and I love that.

My post-baby body

Oh the post-baby body. I will be quite honest and let you know that mine is not at all what it was before the baby. Being someone who has lived many years of her life as a super-fit and lean person and someone who worked out quite religiously throughout pregnancy, I sort’ve assumed that I would have no problem “bouncing back,” as they say very quickly without much effort. However, I’m pretty surprised that the changes are happening much slower than I maybe would have liked. Granted, I’m not working terribly hard at it, because I can’t seem to eat a meal without a side of bread these days.

I gained 34 pounds while pregnant, lost about 20 pounds the first week after birth, and then have very, very, slowly dropped another 9 pounds over 11 weeks. While you’d say, okay, you only have five more pounds to lose, the truth is that because I’ve lost a lot of muscle tone and am only just now working to get it back, weight is not really important to me. Instead, I want to have more visible muscle tone and fit nicely into my old jeans. That’s not quite the case right now. 

The good news is that I feel “recovered” from the childbirth part, and that’s awesome, because I wasn’t sure that I ever would. But I do. 

And yes, when I run into people I haven’t seen since I was pregnant, they continue to tell me that I don’t even look like I had a baby, but they also aren’t trying to zip up my old jeans for me, or any of that. But I always have to remind myself that my body has done and is doing amazing things. I’m thankful for it and everything it has done for me, so I can’t get too mad at it for taking its sweet time to recover.

Ashley and Baby Brady at 10 weeks in December 2017 by A Lady Goes West

(I’m wearing this baby carrier with an infant insert, which is good for longer walks. But I prefer this one for everyday use.)

Postpartum fitness

I’ve been documenting my weekly workouts, so you mostly know what I’ve been doing, but I’ll recap here. It’s been slow. I started working out at six weeks and three days postpartum, and began with a 20-minute barre session at home. I’ve continued to walk almost every day for at least 30 minutes (yay for tracking my steps on my new Fitbit), and I also do about four other workouts during the week — usually barre at home, yoga at home, or weekend trips to the gym to do some resistance training.

I’m definitely getting stronger and more mobile every single week and am starting to feel less awkward doing some moves, but I still have a lot of work to do! I was SO happy to return to BODYPUMP class at 10 weeks postpartum, but I’m not teaching any group fitness classes yet. More information to come on this topic soon.

BODYPUMP return by A Lady Goes West

(Looking down at my feet and my new shoes during my first class back! Those legs soon turned sore.)

Sleeping

Sleep is not quite there yet. I know that a lot of newborns start sleeping through the night around 12 weeks, but we’re not there, even though we’d surely like to be. We’ve established a nice bedtime routine for Brady including swaddling him (our favorite swaddle), reading him a book, rocking him on the glider, turning off the lights and turning on a sound machine before laying him down in his bed. I know he likes this routine, because he falls asleep easily, but he’s still waking up 2-3 times a night to get a fresh diaper and, of course, to eat, with his first chunk of sleep as the longest and best.

When he was a tiny baby (okay, a tinier baby), he was up every 90 minutes or so, then the stretches got closer to 3 hours, and then we got a few 4-5 hour stretches, and maybe three 6-hour stretches, but they aren’t consistent. That means that Dave and I aren’t getting a ton of deep restorative sleep still, and well, it sucks. 

Because of how often Brady gets up, he’s still sleeping in our room in his Rock ‘n Play, which slightly elevates his body on an incline and is an AMAZING thing for new parents to have around. And before you tell me he should be sleeping flat on his back by now, I want you to know that Brady’s doctor said it’s okay that he’s not sleeping flat yet. We’re hopeful that his stretches will continue to lengthen and begin happening every night, and we’re also hopeful that we can get him to sleep in his beautiful bassinet for a bit before we move him to his crib in his own room (we have this crib). But until then, we’ll be making do and missing the good ol’ days of quality sleep. But I mean … this guy …

Baby Brady at 8 weeks in November 2017 by A Lady Goes West

(That face! Here’s Brady at 9 weeks, rocking one of his favorite outfits.)

Breastfeeding

I’ve had a few requests for posts on the topic of feeding and breastfeeding, and I just don’t think I’m expert enough to write a whole post about it, so let me just tell you where we are right now. The first week, breastfeeding was terribly hard for us. We struggled in the hospital and the first couple of days at home, but then, all of a sudden, it was fine. I felt it was painful at the start, but that quickly subsided too. Right now, breastfeeding and feeding Brady is not a big deal at all. He eats every two hours when he is awake, and less frequently when he is sleeping (see sleep above). The best part is that Brady nurses for only about 7-10 minutes at a time, and this, I’m told, is because he has gotten very efficient at getting what he needs. Works for me! The only time it goes longer is at night.

I use my Boppy pillow every single session still, because it’s just so darn convenient. And I even bring it with me in the car. 

Now let’s talk about breastfeeding in public: I haven’t totally done this yet. I’ve fed Brady away from home several times, but it’s always been in my car when we arrive at a destination before going inside. I get into the backseat when we arrive and pull him out of his carrier and slide him right onto the Boppy. I have a little scarf cover-up too, but haven’t even needed it in the car most of the time.

Ashley and Brady on Thanksgiving 2017 in Walnut Creek by A Lady Goes West

(Loving on my little Brady when he was 7.5 weeks on Thanksgiving Day.)

Bottle feeding

When we last talked about Brady, he hadn’t had a bottle yet, but he has had them now. He’s had about six bottles so far, which, of course, are full of breastmilk. I haven’t started pumping and freezing milk, because I don’t want to increase my production too much. So instead, I merely pump and refrigerate breastmilk a couple of days before my outing when he will need it.

When my mom was here, Dave and I went to three Christmas parties, and each time, she gave Brady a bottle. This is his favorite bottle and was the first one we tried on him too. We had no problem with him taking the bottle, and we also had no problem with breastfeeding after he tried the bottle. So all that’s good. I’ve been told by friends that they’re babies have rejected the bottle, and I’m lucky we haven’t dealt with that.

Because I’m exclusively breastfeeding Brady, I’m with him all day, every day, but if I’m away for more than two hours, I will pump ahead of time to prepare his bottle. So far, when being away, I haven’t had any issues with engorgement, but I do always feed him as SOON as I get home too. My longest stretch away from him was five hours, and that was the only time when my chest was a little sore. As a reference, he had his first bottle at around seven weeks, and has had 2-3 a week since then. I haven’t brought bottles out with us anywhere, and if he’s with me, I just plan to breastfeed.

Brady’s personality

The biggest change that has happened since we last did a Brady update at six weeks is his personality. He totally has one. And before I had my own baby and heard people say that newborns had personalities, I didn’t believe it. But he totally has one. He is sweet, alert, awake and wants to be RIGHT in the heart of the action. He loves to go out of the house and be around people too. He makes the cutest little coo sounds while he is looking at you in the eye, and it’s totally because he’s trying to talk and communicate. He also LOVES to smile. His toothless little grin is perhaps the best thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And he gives you eye contact the entire time you change is his diaper. I melt.

He is totally a happy baby, and I’m glad, because he had a couple of weeks (maybe around week 4-5 I think) when he was pretty fussy all day and all night. He also had a little bit of a gassy tummy around that time too, and that seemed to go away on its own. And I also started giving him probiotics, which seemed to help. 

Baby Brady at 11 weeks in December 2017 by A Lady Goes West

(A close-up of sweet Brady at 11 weeks.)

The not-so-pretty truth about mom life

While overall, everything is going great, I have to admit that at times I have days where it’s a lot for me. I’m thankful that I’m not prepping to go back to work at an office right now, but I definitely do have work and things to do … and at times, I can’t get it all done. I’m constantly wishing I had more time to write, come up with content, collaborate with others and get a few projects off the ground that I’ve wanted to do for a while. But, my time at the computer is minimal, and it’s never un-interrupted. I try my best to keep our laundry done, fridge full and house clean and work out most days, and those things are a challenge to handle when I’m alone with Brady. 

I’m lucky to have a very flexible job with this blog, but I’m also slightly overwhelmed at times that I can’t ever get to everything I want to, because Brady needs me and I am the person responsible for him every single day. I can’t go teach group fitness classes during the day or even take them right now. I can’t go to the library to write (my favorite place to write, and where I wrote almost all of my ebook Fit & Fertile). I can’t set up a little photo-shoot for a project. And I don’t have ANY family nearby to help me out and give me a little break. Sometimes I’m okay with all this, but sometimes I have moments of stress. It usually goes away, but when it’s there, I don’t like it. 

I know that my time with Brady as a newborn right now is incredibly precious, and I always choose to snuggle with him rather than crossing off items from my to-do list, but being a type-A personality with an entrepreneurial job, you can imagine how conflicted I get at times. Once again, a great problem to have, because I am beyond happy to have that little nugget in my life. But I like to be real, and the real truth is that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, and at times, I feel bad about my productivity. 

But I must say that I don’t mourn the loss of my independence and old life like I thought I would and like I know many moms do. I wanted Brady for so long, and he brings SUCH love into every moment of every day, that I don’t wish things were back to how they were before he arrived, I just wish I had a little bit more time to get things done. 

Ashley and Brady at 9 weeks by A Lady Goes West

(I’m wearing these shoes and holding Brady at 9 weeks.)

A few other things about Brady …

  • Pacifier. We gave Brady his first pacifier at just over six weeks, and he LOVES to suck on it. At first, he couldn’t hang on to it, but now he loves to hold on to it. This is the BEST pacifier, and I notice it now in so many babies’ mouths when we’re out and about.
  • The mirror. If you want to entertain Brady, let him look into a mirror. He LOVES to see his face, or the face of whoever is holding him. I love it. In fact, I often put my make-up on on the floor with him in my lap staring into our full-length mirror.
  • Diapers. At around eight weeks old, we transitioned Brady out of newborn-size diapers into size 1 diapers. At that time, I signed up for The Honest Company delivery program for our diapers and wipes, and it’s so darn convenient. I highly recommend! You also get a little discount on your regular delivery bundles too. And I will say that we go through less diapers than we did the first eight weeks of life, so that’s good.
  • Weight. Brady was just over seven pounds when born, then dropped some weight. He gained more than five pounds between his two-week check-up and two-month check-up, and we’re guessing he is about 13 pounds right now — which means he’s more than three pounds bigger than his big brother, Rudy! He is tracking totally normal for his growth and weight.
  • Movement. Brady still can’t roll over, or totally lift his head up when he’s on his tummy, but he can hold his head up a lot better when we prop him up or hold him up. It’s so darn cute to see his little head wobble around. Brady’s legs kick a lot and he flails his arms sometimes. Basically, he loves to move. 
  • Laughter. I find myself laughing so much during the day with Brady, because he does funny things. And he makes many funny sounds. I had no idea babies could provide so much entertainment. Oh yes they do! I talk to him all day, and I feel like he talks back. We’re pals.
  • Postpartum emotions. I feel so lucky that I didn’t ever have to deal with baby blues or postpartum depression, and I know it’s very, very common. While I felt a rush of hormones and still do at times, I’ve been in surprisingly good spirits ever since he was born —  outside of the productivity issues mentioned above, of course. 
  • Rudy. The first few weeks of Brady’s life, I truly felt bad for Rudy, who was trying to find his place in our newly minted family of four (by the way, Rudy is our little maltipoo, in case you didn’t know that yet). Rudy has gotten more used to having Brady around now and he attends every diaper change, loves to lick Brady’s feet and seems to be slightly confused by Brady, but still intrigued. The good news is that Rudy still sleeps in our bed and is just as needy and sweet as ever. I’m sure he can’t wait for Brady to be on the move and pull his tail and ears. 
  • Social. I think what’s helped me stay sane during what could be a difficult time is getting out of the house and being social. Brady’s been to wine country with us three times, I do walking dates or lunch dates with girlfriends every week, and I also go to a mommy group once a week too. It helps to have people to talk to about baby stuff and to leave the confines of our place and get fresh air and new scenery. Three cheers for outings! Brady’s always a good boy on them too.

Brady in the mirror at 11 weeks in December 2017 by A Lady Goes West

(My little guy at 11.5 weeks in my lap and loving his time in front of the mirror.)

Overall reflections on 12 weeks postpartum

Overall, things are going very well for us. I’m feeling strong and recovered and have a good routine down. And from what I can tell, Brady is a very easy baby. He’s growing quickly, is very healthy, loves to eat and makes everything better just be being around. His smile. His little giggle. Even his cry. We’re beyond grateful for him and everything little thing about him. Yes, sleep is still an issue, but it’s a small price to pay for having this tiny angel in our lives.

Oftentimes, I look at him and just grin from ear to ear. He TRULY warms my heart, and his little face is the best thing to look at that has ever been created in the history of the universe, hands down. Not an exaggeration. Twelve weeks have gone by in a flash, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for our guy!

Pitt family in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

(Our family, minus Rudy, when Brady was 10 weeks and on his third visit to wine country.)

Thank you so much for following along this journey with us, my friends!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and holiday weekend! I’ll be celebrating my birthday two days before Christmas, and it will be extra special now that we have Brady in our lives to share it with.

Take care, peeps! You are SO important to me! And please, let me know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions for future baby-related or postpartum posts. See you over on Instagram!

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38 Comments

      1. And you know I too can be an overshare-er! {if we ever texted and talked on the phone it would be LOTS of information hehe} But I certainly enjoy the details and the introvert in me craves those intimate, non-surface-y stories and posts. Which is why your blog has always been my favorite. So keep em coming!

        1. It’s probably best for BOTH of our own productivities that we don’t send each other 8 million texts a day ahhahah! Because I could totally be into it!!

  1. So glad to hear you are doing well! I can imagine the balancing act is really hard but you are doing great!! Brady is precious and has some great parents! Have a great birthday!!

    I’m so ready for some days off work and spending time with family over the holidays.

    1. Hi Jessie! Thanks for reading, lady! And yessss for time off! When I worked in the corporate world I dreamed of the days off around Christmas, even though I always had to use vacation and never just had all the time off. Soak it up, friend!

  2. Sounds like your little family is really hitting a groove right now and that’s awesome! I appreciate that you’re super honest about how while you’ve lost all but 5 pounds of baby weight, your clothes don’t fit the exact same. From other bloggers that I’ve read who have had a baby, not everyone mentions this. (Definitely not bashing anyone either!! Some people chose to share less and that’s totally okay with me).

    Something I’m grateful for is that my company gives the week between Christmas and New Years off so I’ll get some extra downtime to recover from the holiday craziness!

    Have a wonderful birthday and Christmas Ashley!

    1. Well, it’s the truth, Maureen. I could pose in all the right angles to look awesome, but quite frankly, things are different! Thanks for reading, lady! And I LOVEEE it when a company closes that week — I never worked for one that did when I was in the corporate world, but always wished I did. Enjoy it, lady! πŸ™‚

  3. There is totally hope for sleep and the crib – Zander slept in the rock n play for 12 weeks, then we did some crib naps and night sleep came around 14 weeks in the crib. We did wait until he was sleeping through the night for the transition. He HATED our bassinet – in the end we realized it was too big, we had planned to use our travel crib as the bassinet, babies tend to like cozier spaces – so for the crib transition we actually partitioned half of it off to keep it cozy until he got bigger. You can also buy a “wedge” for the crib to make a slight incline, but he just rolled off it every time so we returned that πŸ™‚

    We wound up with an Uppababy Vista when he was 4 months old and if we have another I would just use the bassinet that came with the stroller, or the rock n play again, knowing most babies don’t like their traditional bassinets for various reasons, and the crib transition doesn’t have to be rough! Now he LOVES the crib. Of course at 9 months tomorrow, the bigger problem is him wanting to crawl around in the crib and play on his tummy before naps…

    1. Hi Alyssa! I see the Uppababy products everywhere, but don’t have any of them. Very good tips. And I love to hear other mom’s stories about their babes and sleep — it does give me hope. Thanks for sharing with me, lady! πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work with Zander!

    1. Thanks, Kelli! I’m so sick of seeing perfect everywhere on Instagram and blogs too, so it makes me want to share the bad even more heheh! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!

  4. You’re doing great! You grew a baby and now you’re feeding him so your body is working hard!

    It takes a long time to start feeling more like the old you. I had lost all of the weight plus some (of my hard earned muscle) by 4-5 months post partum but I still couldn’t fit in my smaller jeans until closer to 9 months. I can say now at 11 months post partum I feel pretty normal weight and fitness wise. I probably could have gotten there faster but I know that I won’t look back on his first year and wish I had done more squats! You will get back to where you’re comfortable soon and then you will wonder where all the time went πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Jess! So good to know and to hear. I’ve been told by many that it will take a full year to get back to my old fitness abilities too, so it makes sense it would take the bod about that long too! I appreciate your honesty too, lady! πŸ™‚ Have a fab day!

  5. Such an amazing and in-depth post!!! I loved reading this, so thank you for sharing. I’m so curious about how postpartum mom life will be for me. I guess you can never really expect anything!

    1. Hi Brittany!!! You’re getting so close!!! Thanks for reading, lady! I hope you’re feeling great!! πŸ™‚ And yes, you have no idea what mom life will look like for you, but I bet you’ll rock it.

  6. And it only gets better…SERIOUSLY! I’m two years in and still struggle to feel productive in all areas of my life (I feel like something always suffers) but it does get easier than those newborn days. When the time is right maybe you can look into some extra childcare to help you out? You’re doing great!

    1. Hi Krista! πŸ™‚ I seriously am so excited to see who Brady becomes as he grows. And YES, I’m certain I’ll need some sort of extra childcare to help me work, but I don’t know when I’ll be ready to look into it. Thanks so much for reading, lady!

  7. So so fun. It’s hard to be okay with how everything has changed and how you’re basically in charge of keeping in him alive, right? I feel that way sometimes but I’m glad your mom was out there and you have Dave for help and support. I would say most babies don’t sleep through by 12 weeks so try to think of that. He’s totally normal. I know it’s terrible to hear but it’s normal for breastfed babies to not sleep through until 9-10 months! Annabelle started sleeping through at 5.5 months and I thought that was great. The only tip that could help with nighttime is (Sadly) an earlier bedtime. They get to where they do a longer first stretch but it helps get them used to the circadian rhythms which start developing at 3 months. Isn’t working out with kids so hard? Especially getting to the gym. I actually haven’t gone back to teaching after my son was born 6 months ago because it’s hard to work with their schedules (my kids don’t nap on the go- you’re so lucky Brady does!!) and the rules for childcare. Whew sorry for the long post- I loved your honestly and hearing all about it! Sleep does get better and it all gets easier- 6 months is such a fun time with them!

    1. Hi Heather! I am SO glad that Brady naps during outings, because those have been a savior for me. And I won’t be going back to teach classes until I can figure out childcare, so sadly, I’m waiting on those. Thanks for the tips and thoughts on sleep! Hoping it happens soon! I always appreciate advice from those who have been there!! πŸ™‚ Have a great day, lady!

  8. What a cutie! πŸ™‚ I agree with the time thing…it’s very challenging for me too. I also have a really hard time with pumping at work. I never pump enough for a bottle’s worth in one pump session at work…so frustrating!

    1. Hi Heather! Oh man, I feel for you! Pumping at work must be SUCH a pain! In addition to messing up your flow while working, you have to switch gears and then you are probably have some supply issues. Oh the things we moms have to do! Keep up the good work, lady!

  9. I like how you’re being so real in these posts. So many people don’t talk about the real things they’re dealing with. You are doing great and I’m sure this phase will transform into a new one where you can get more done and have more of your life back.

    1. Hi Megan, Yes, totally! I know this is just a phase and things are still pretty new at almost 12 weeks. Thanks for the encouragement, lady! πŸ™‚ And thanks for reading!

  10. SO sososososososo much love seeing you and Dave with your little bug. Seeing your happiness is infectious, and I hope fervently that I am in the same state in a few months! Happiest of holidays!

  11. You’re so fortunate not to have experienced the baby blues and to be transitioning to motherhood so nicely! It was so tough for me, but now that my son is older, I LOVE having him around. But I still miss my childless life at times and he’s almost 2, haha. They get to be even more fun and more entertainment and such good little pals after they can walk and talk. They just keep on getting better and better and your love somehow continues to grow. I was working on my master’s program when my son was born and it was HARD to get done, and my kid was a super great napper. But between pumping and the wake times and trying to keep up with everything else, I had no time. Daycare saved me because I could NOT get stuff done!

    1. Hi Liz! I know, I’m lucky for things having been so good so far, but I totally can’t wait to be able to have Brady talk back to me, I am already talking to him a lot right now. As far as you finishing your master’s! DANG! Go girl! That must have been rough. And I am fully planning to do some sort of child-care one day soon, I just don’t know what or when yet! πŸ™‚

  12. Hi, Ashley.

    You still look so awesome and gorgeous! Brady gets cuter and cuter. I am glad you got a routine for the day. I think you’re acing motherhood already!

  13. Thank you Ashley for sharing your beautiful journey of your first 12 weeks with Baby Brady. Its truly inspiring!

    It brings back so many relatable scenarios I had with my daughter. The ups, downs, and many in-between feelings. Especially wanting more time to do the To-Do list. I was breastfeeding every 3 hours and started feeling like a cow (milk from me only) and not to forget- the constant loads of laundry! Ugh. lol

    In regards to your jeans, I also felt that way. I was so frustrated at one point- I remember wanting to get rid of all jeans because I didn’t feel it was happening fast enough.

    My advice to you is give yourself time. You carried a growing baby and nourished it for 9 months. Your body will be better than ever. I speak from experience. I had to get smaller jeans. I have no doubt this will happen for you. Especially because you are SO active and breastfeeding! Its an amazing combination that your jeans will be on any-day now. πŸ™‚

    Keep up the Great work. Be kind to yourself. YOU are a Super MOM. Wishing you & Baby Brady many blessings in 2018! Soon, you will discover many firsts that you will have SO much content to write about in your posts- when he rolls over, his first reaction to food, his mannerisms, etc.

    Will you post when the jeans fit?

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