Monday, August 21, 2017

Mom Monday: 3 Things from First Week Home with Baby

Hello there! It feels good to be here, as I slowly try to make my way back to blogging in between feedings, diaper changes and an extreme amount of tiny toe kisses. Lots has changed over here...everything, really. We have officially been home as a Family of four (our pup included) for a little over two weeks now and to say our worlds have been turned upside down is an understatement. But, before I dive into the details, I am so pleased to introduce our handsome little man, Ronan James. 


I remember during one of our Dr. visits, my OB telling us how our definition of love would change the second our boy arrived. He said it would be like nothing we've ever felt...not the love we feel for each other, for our parents or anybody else in the world. It would be all-consuming and almost overwhelming from the second we locked eyes -- And while I believed him, it was still hard to imagine experiencing these feelings for someone I hadn't even met. I knew we would love him but the doctor was right...I couldn't have imagined anything like this.

The second we saw him, it was as if somebody pressed a hold button on all of the stress and intense labor pain I had just been through. My husband and I were bawling, half convinced it was all a dream, one we didn't want to end. Through my tears I said, "He's so tiny!" (and he was -- 6 lbs, 10 oz) and thought, I had never seen something so amazing. We created him. In the hours that followed, we were moved to the recovery room where we got to spend some time together just the three of us and I'll never forget him sleeping soundly in his tiny bassinet next to my hospital bed and me, laying on my side to face him, with tears streaming down my face. My husband kept reminding me how important it was to try and sleep while he did but it was so hard. My heart actually hurt from how precious he was and I just wanted to stare at him. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment and there's been many similar ones since, all of which mean the same: Nothing will ever be as important as his protection and sense of happiness. 


They say "it takes a village" to raise a child and now I know why. During those first few days, especially the first night (oh, that first night), we quickly realized what kind of a challenge stood in front of us. It's hard to believe someone so small can change your life and routine so dramatically, but he is helpless and relies on us to provide him with every single thing. The first week, my husband and I did everything together -- every diaper change, every new outfit, every feeding (him bringing me water and crackers, watching late night Gilmore Girls by my side), baby's first trip to the pediatrician, the first time he peed on us (which btw, was just the first of MANY), and so on. Sure, now we're realizing it's more helpful if we split up some of the duties to give on another a break, but finding our way together has been more helpful than I can tell you. I am so thankful to have such an amazing person by my side because when I'm crying from exhaustion or feeling unsure, he is unfailingly supportive and reassuring that we're doing the best we can. Those little reminders are so important as new parents.
Not to mention, both sets of our parents have been remarkable -- Stopping in daily to offer us time to nap, shower, take a walk together, fill our fridge, bring us goodies, and more than anything, offer us words of encouragement. A simple "we're so proud of you," goes a long way and reminds us we're not alone. We can't forget all of our friends and extended Family who have stopped by with some amazing dinners, making sure we don't have to think about cooking and those who already have kids, sharing their tips on what has worked best for them (including a breast feeding session with some of my best girlfriends  -- I'm talking, boobs were whipped out and we wasted no time discussing the best nursing positions, techniques, pumping questions, etc. Ladies, nothing is considered TMI at this point!) 

So, yes...I can confirm: IT TAKES A VILLAGE. 


I will never forget the morning after our first night home. I don't think we actually ever went to sleep so at that point, we had pretty much been up for 24 hours straight because there's no rest in the hospital either. The sun came up and I came downstairs in a dense fog, needing to put something in my stomach in order to move forward. I poured a bowl of cereal and ate it standing up at the counter,  barely alive and literally forcing myself to chew. I felt sick. It was a different kind of tired than I've ever felt -- My body ached and it put my emotions into overdrive. And hello, I had just given birth 3 days prior, so the debilitating burnout I was feeling was to be expected. I wondered, how do people go on like this? Can we really function in this state? 
Luckily, things have continued to improve since that first night...not only is the little man becoming more comfortable in his surroundings and sleeping for slightly longer periods (sometimes!) but we are also finding our groove...or at the very least, we're doing better adjusting to the change. In addition to middle of the night diaper changes and feedings, I also unconsciously wake up every now and then to check on him and make sure all is well (okay, and stare at him in the soft quiet of the night...he's just so precious!) I know that he will continue to sleep better and longer which I look forward to but part of me also wants to hold on to these moments forever...when it's just he and I,  whether I'm feeding him or he's just staring up at me in the dark, I think, maybe sleep can wait. This is a good attitude to have because as I understand, once you're parents, you never actually get back to your old kind of a "good nights sleep" again. I think it's a trade I'm willing to make ;)
Fellow Mom's - What did you learn your first week home with a new baby? 
I'd love to hear any special/memorable moments you experienced!

Thanks for stopping by...Xo!