Hi, friends! I’m coming at you real time with an update on how life with a newborn has been going during our first 14 days of having Baby Brady in our lives at home. Overall, it’s been amazing … but being a new parent isn’t exactly a walk in the park. And let me take a minute to send SO much respect out there to all the parents in the world. It’s quite the job, even with an easy baby like our Brady.
Life with a newborn
Before we get started, need to get caught up? Here you go …
Love at first sight truly exists
First and foremost, can I just say that the term “love at first sight” is a real thing, and becoming a parent has reaffirmed that for me. And even though I loved Baby Brady Oliver Pitt the second I laid eyes on his purple little body, I really think I love him more every single day already as well. That’s a little scary, because I’m already obsessed. It’s this overwhelming feeling when I look at him. Just overwhelming.
He is the cutest baby ever created (not biased at all, not at all — FACT). He makes the BEST facial expressions. He flails his little arms in his sleep and kicks his feet like he is riding a bicycle. He is so soft. He has the best peach fuzz all over his face and body. His blonde hair is a little longer in the back than it is in the front, and it gets kinked when he lays down for too long, so it sticks out from his head — like a tiny mullet.
I could just stare at him for hours on end, and I still can’t believe he is our creation! True love!
(This pillow is everything to us right now, and I highly recommend it.)
Nursing ain’t easy, but it gets better
Before I left the hospital, the lactation consultants thought we needed to be on a “nursing support plan” because Brady wasn’t doing all that great with getting in enough nutrition the first couple of days. They thought I should rent a hospital-grade pump (I already had a regular home pump) and even supplement with formula as needed. However, once we got home and figured things out, we realized that we were not in fact in the “nursing support” group at all. We didn’t need anything of those things. Nursing is going totally fine.
Brady eats every two to three hours for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and he is gaining his weight back and doing plenty of potties. I was SO nervous about nursing, having heard so many horror stories from friends on how difficult and painful it can be — but I’m happy to say that has not been my experience so far. It’s going well. Knocking on wood here, of course, but we have a good little eater on our hands. In fact, we had a home healthcare visit by a nurse a couple of days after we got home, and she said he had a perfect latch. Alrighty!
(One of my favorite outfits Brady has, which is a newborn size, but is still too big for him.)
Newborns come alive at night, or at least Brady does
For the first few days, Brady slept like an angel basically all day long. He would barely make a peep unless his diaper was getting changed, and you could almost forget he was there at times, when he was sleeping in his little chair. However, come 10 p.m., his little eyes would open, his arms would get moving, and he would become pretty fussy. He was up and unhappy until around 2 a.m. for several nights in a row. And for a big sleeper like me, well, that’s not fun.
However, slowly, but surely, I think we see the light at the end of the tunnel for him somewhat transitioning into a sleeping-at-night phase. It’s not there yet, but it’s going in the right direction. We’ve had a couple good stretches of sleep, and he is staying awake a little better during the day now. But the lack of sleep for parents of a newborn is basically unavoidable, and we’re coping okay. We’re trying to take a short nap each day, but are definitely not doing the whole sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps thing. Do people really do that? Babies sleep so much.
Caring for a baby takes a LOT of time
It’s not that I thought that caring for a newborn would be insignificant or anything, but I’m definitely surprised at just how long every task takes. Feeding him is basically at least a 30-minute process, maybe more, when you account for burping him and getting him comfortable afterward. He also needs his diaper changed like 15 to 20 times a day, and that takes a lot of time too. And then there’s baby laundry — I mean — we have a lot of supplies, and yet have already done like 10 loads of laundry just for him in the past few days. He seems to get a new outfit a couple times a day, so his little hamper is constantly full.
Somehow, the entire day has gone by, and all we’ve done is care for him and keep him alive, and that’s all we could fit in from morning to night. I’m not complaining, because I love this little guy and enjoy caring for him, but I’m shocked that it takes up the whole day right now. Good thing I don’t have a lot on the agenda during this time. He IS my agenda.
Help from friends and family is everything
Dave and I have been very lucky to have our group of friends come together to do food drop-offs for us, to keep us well-fed with good meals. We’ve had some delicious home-cooked dishes and take-out dinners delivered straight to our door — and always with a dessert too. So awesome! The food drop-off schedule also means that a lot of our friends have been by to meet our little guy already. And while some people say that you don’t want a lot of visitors when you have a newborn (I was actually worried I would feel this way), our friends all know the drill and have just stayed a short amount of time to visit and given us the food. Love them for that!
In addition to our good friends, my Mom has been ahhhh-mazing! After I was admitted to the hospital, we asked my Mom to move her ticket up to come stay with us five days earlier than she had planned, and she has been such a huge help. There’s no one I would rather have here or trust to handle SO much for us during this time. She does all of our chores, refills my water cup when I’m on the couch nursing, and just does all the things a Mom does when you really need it. And she hangs out with us too, which I always enjoy.
While Dave and I handled things on our own for the first four days home from the hospital with Brady, it’s much nicer to have my Mom around to help. And it will be even nicer to have my Mom here now that Dave’s paternity leave is over this week and he returned to work today, so I’m not on my own right off the bat. Yay for good people in our lives who support us when we really need it.
The post-baby body is an amazing thing
I’m two weeks out from delivering Baby Brady, and I’m still in recovery mode — you can’t just resume your normal activities, and you definitely need to rest, rest, rest after laboring. I haven’t really taken a walk, outside of one 10-minute stroll, and I know I will need all six weeks postpartum to heal and get my energy back before really beginning any sort of fitness endeavors — pregnancy did a number on me, even though I worked out the whole time and stayed relatively healthy and fit. I do expect to start doing some more walking soon, but it will be slow — that’s for sure.
I’m still just amazed at the human body. From struggling to get pregnant, to healing my hormones, to getting pregnant, to delivery a baby and now recovering — somehow the body just knows what to do. For those of you who really want to know, I gained a total of 34 pounds during the course of my pregnancy. When I left the hospital after giving birth, I had already lost 12 pounds, then over the next week, another 8 or so fell off, and that’s where I remain. That means I’ve lost 20 pounds of excess baby-related weight without doing anything at all and eating a ton. I know it will take a little effort to get back into fighting shape, but I don’t plan to worry about that quite yet. My body is definitely nowhere near what it was before getting pregnant, and I don’t know what it will be like in the future. We’ll just wait and see.
As far as if I will be sharing “body-after baby” pictures … I’m not so sure. I don’t really intend to track my progress or anything on a regular cadence, but I will tell you what I am eating and doing to feel fit again, and how I approach my postpartum workouts, when it’s time to think about it. But for now, I’m just going to heal, take it easy and enjoy my little man.
We have SO much to learn
Let’s be real here, Dave and I are NEWWWWW parents. Like way new. And we are learning every single day, and we will likely make a lot of mistakes along the way. I’ve found myself googling what a normal poop looks like, showing Dave the pictures to discuss and also researching certain positions of breastfeeding in the same setting. All these things that we’ll come to know confidently in time, but they are new to us now.
I’m totally okay with NOT being an expert yet, because it’s really a fun journey to see how much we’re picking up every day living this life with a newborn. I didn’t know how to change a diaper, burp a baby or wrap a swaddle 14 days ago, and now I’m doing them all with ease. Woohoo.
Every day is a new adventure with our little guy, and we are BEYOND excited to have him in our lives. Thank you for letting me share all these important times with you here on the blog and for being so supportive. I’ve loved reading all of your kind comments and even your own birth and pregnancy stories last week too. I’ll be back soon with more updates on life, and maybe, just maybe, it won’t be baby related. 🙂What life with a newborn is like. Check it out on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s something you’ve learned lately?
Have you ever felt love at first sight?