What the first 14 days of life with a newborn have been like for us

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

Laying with Baby Brady in my sweater by A Lady Goes West

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!

Baby Brady at 7 days by A Lady Goes West

(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!

Baby Brady at 9 days by A Lady Goes West

(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.

Baby Brady at 8 days by A Lady Goes West

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!

Baby Brady with a cupcake by A Lady Goes West

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. 

Baby Brady with Dave at 9 days by A Lady Goes West

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.

Baby Brady with monkey butt by A Lady Goes West

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. 🙂 

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Questions of the day

What’s something you’ve learned lately?

Have you ever felt love at first sight?

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36 Comments

    1. Hi Heather! Well, we had to assume that we wouldn’t get a ton of sleep off the bat, and I’m sure hopeful that gets better soon! Hope you had a nice weekend, lady!

    1. Hi Christina! Baby sweaters are adorable ehhe – I want to buy them all, but of course, it’s hardly even cold enough for a sweater yet. Hope you had a great weekend, lady!

  1. He really is a cutie! And I’m not surprised one bit that you’ve become a fast learner in the parenting department. I’m sure having Momma P around as a resource has not hurt.

    Xoxo.

    1. Hi Court! Well, we are doing our best, but we sure have a lot left to learn! And yessss having my Mom around is awesome, we have less than a week left with her, and I don’t want her to leave hehe! Happy Monday, lady!

    1. Hi Traci! It’s so true, I was worried about knowing how to parent, but you just figure out your way somehow. I think we had some practice with our fur baby ehhehe! 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend! Thank you for reading!

  2. Seriously, the first month you realize keeping a tiny human alive, fed, rested, and (mostly) clean takes up your entire day. You think to yourself as you collapse, “what did I do all day?” and things like “took a shower! took a 15 minute stroll! Made eggs instead of freezer food!” are the biggest accomplishment. Sleep is a big tough thing if you’re a nursing mama since your husband can do the diaper change or help get you water, but you have to wake up every time baby wants to eat. For the first month I stayed in bed 8pm-8pm to get 6-7 broken hours of sleep. Baby fed and went down 7:30. I’d sleep from 8:30-10, baby woke up to eat, sleep again 11-1, baby up to eat, sleep 1:30-3, baby wants to eat, sleep 4-6, baby wants to eat, then up at 8. You definitely don’t feel rested but there IS light at the end of the tunnel. Our guy woke up 3-5 times every night the first month. Month 2, he woke 2-3 times a night. Month 3, he woke once at night to eat. At 14 weeks he started sleeping consistently 7:30pm-5:30/6am, and by 4 months he was doing a solid 11-12 hour night’s sleep 🙂

    1. Hi Alyssa! Being a momma isn’t easy for the sleep heehhe! So yes, I am up a lot to feed Brady right now, and I guess that will continue for as long as he needs it at night and I’m nursing. I like your plan to be in bed for so long, I just don’t know if I could commit hahaha! Glad to know that it gets easier. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience!!! There’s HOPE! 🙂 hahah

  3. Ah, I love this post! I’m sure there are going to be a LOT of new things learned in the next year and future years, but it’s really cool how your body knows what to do. The body is such an incredible thing, right? Keep us updated- love posts like this!

    1. Thank you, Carrie! It is an amazing thing what the body does — sure is! I’m so glad you’re enjoying all this baby stuff, even though it’s not your stage of life right now — you’re a good sport hehe! Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

  4. Oh dear do I hate the distance between us right now! I adore these updates so much. More than anything, I can just hear the love and happiness through your words, and it makes me so so happy. A million heart eye emojis to you, Dave and Ashley!

    1. Judy!! Seriously! I wish you could have met him already! Thank you for sending us the heart emojis — CAUGHT ‘EM and putting them in my pocket heheh. Miss you and can’t wait for you to hold little Brady one day in the near future. Come visit!! hahha! Happy Monday!

  5. Congrats Ashley! The sleep part definitely gets easier. However, the trying to keep them alive gets a lot more interesting, especially when they discover rolling, crawling, scooting, etc… Every joyful milestone is coupled with an “oh crap!” moment as you realize the more mobile they are, the more they can access things that are dangerous. 10 months in and I understand why so many moms say to enjoy each month because they change so much in the first year!

    1. Hi Stefanie! I know, I know! That’s the exciting part, I know that each change will be cool, but could also mean harder to parent hahah! I’m just trying to enjoy it all! Happy Monday to you, lady! Hope your house is fully baby proofed by now!

  6. Ashley;

    He seriously is the most precious, cutest baby ever. He gives me all the feels and major major baby fev!!! I can totally see how you fall more and more in love every day, how could you not?! I love reading all the updates. You’re doing amazing!! XXOO

    1. Hi lady!! hehehe keep that baby fever under wraps for now, girlllllfriend hahahah! Or not! 🙂 Thank you SO much for reading my updates and sending love to little Brady — he sends it back your way for sure! Happy Monday!

      1. Ohh, its def under wraps until May after the wedding. 😉 No No No babbbbies until then!! HEHE. Have the best Monday!!!! XXOOXXOO

          1. I’m not sure how everyone would feel with me walking down the isle in church with a big ole belly!! HAHA! I will for sure be reading your ebook in the beginning of year so I can start to get my body on track 🙂

  7. I love love love the baby post write as much as you want! Having been through what you went through to heal your hormones I know how grateful you are for your journey! Love the raw and realness of this post, congrats again momma!

    1. Hi Kelli! Totally! I feel like I should mention in EVERY post that I am SO lucky to have been pregnant and had a little baby — because for a long time I didn’t know if that was in the cards for me — but of course, I’m so darn happy and excited I skip right to the good stuff hehehe. I really appreciate you reading and sharing in my journey, friend. Happy Monday to you!!!

    1. Hi Emily! You’ve got it — absolutely NOTHING like it! So in love! And we’re having a good time figuring things out. 🙂 Hope all is well with you, lady!

    1. Hi Brittany! OMG — congrats on your pregnancy, lady! I love it! I just read some of your posts, and it’s so awesome that you’ve always known you wanted to be a mom — you found your calling! Hope your pregnancy is going well. Stay in touch, Momma!

  8. When I saw my little one it was absolutely love at first sight! I am still amazed that I am her momma! I am almost two months postpartum and let me tell you it feels like time is just flying by! And yes you are one of the very lucky ones in which nursing comes easy. My baby latched on right away but just not properly causing immense pain for about two weeks. I am still shocked I continued on cause it felt like someone was stabbing my breasts.

    1. Hi Daisy! Totally love at first sight! 🙂 Oh man, sorry to hear about your breastfeeding struggles at first — but I’m glad you got it fixed. Yay for mommmmhood! 🙂 Thanks for reading, lady!

  9. Good job Mama! It is definitely a life change but a fun one too! You’ll figure out your routine soon! Enjoy those sweet baby snuggles. Now I have toddlers that rarely sit still, haha!

  10. I should go back and look at my 2 week post after a baby. Pretty sure it was NOT this pleasant. My hormones were nuts and I spent 1 week crying NONSTOP and the next 2 weeks crying like, 50% of the time. I would love to see body after baby photos, or at least posts on how you feel. I had never struggled with my body before or during pregnancy and I did a LOT after a baby. My mom-belly was there for a long time and I got a stress fracture in my foot that prevented me from being active, so I lost a ton of weight and lost ALL of my muscle, so I got super thin with HUGE boobs (I was a serious milk cow and my boobs would fill up and I’d cleavage to my neck- it was AWFUL). I also felt like life REVOLVED around a baby and I absolutely hated it. I didn’t feel like I accepted my motherhood until a good year postpartum. Once my kid could walk, I really got into the swing of things. But I did not enjoy how mundane parenthood is and how much effort it took to get out of the house (especially as an exclusive pumper- I had to pump in the car allll the time when we got places). I felt like we made a mistake by having a kid. It was rough. We followed Babywise and it was the beeeeeest decision of our lives. My son was predictable, easy to put down for naps, and still sleeps GREAT!

    1. Hi Liz! I’m sorry to hear you had a tough time postpartum — right now, I’m doing great — but of course, things can always change. As far as the Babywise thing — I need to read up more on it, because I’m hearing some very good things. It’s awesome your son is still sleeping well, and I hope YOU are doing better now too, lady! Parenting is hard, and the fourth trimester is a real thing! 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing all of this Ashley – I’m heading into 18 weeks this week and thinking about actually having the little baby is so surreal. Will continue to love reading your updates 🙂 Brady is SO adorable! Glad you are doing well, momma!

    1. Hi Sarah! OMG – SO many congrats to you on your pregnancy, lady! 🙂 I felt the SAME way, that I could NOT even imagine having my baby and delivering and all of that — but then it happens. I hope you have been feeling well, lady! I have another pregnancy post coming up tomorrow, so check it out! 🙂

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