Friday, February 5, 2016

First Week as "Mom"

First Day Home- Christmas Day
After being surrounded by nurses for two days, we were sent home with our wriggly little human on Christmas.... right into the onslaught of family dinner, gifts and an overwhelming amount of baby love.

I made my way upstairs, and when I arrived at our apartment everyone was in the nursery, surrounding the crib, where they had placed him. He was this tiny thing, freshly swaddled, and he was staring up at everyone. He soon started crying for his own Christmas dinner, and I shooed everyone out of the room. The festivities had started out in the living room, dinner was served, and neighbors were stopping in to see the new member of our building.

Day Two- What Do We Do Now?

We really had no clue how to care for this crying newborn. I knew how to feed him, and Tom had already taken over diaper duty with gusto. Other than that- we had no clue how to burp, dress him (in less than 10 minutes), or get him anywhere.

The doctors had told us that since it was a long weekend, and they wanted to check his jaundice levels (again), we needed to bring him back to the hospital Saturday evening for another blood test. We made the trip with Daniel riding along on Tom's chest in a baby carrier. It took us about 20 minutes to walk two blocks to the bus since Tom was sure that the carrier was either too loose, too tight or not letting him breathe. All of course were wrong, he was fine in there, but we kept stopping to readjust the carrier and so Tom could check that he was breathing. We all arrived there in one piece, were told his levels were still borderline, and to return the next day.

That evening we returned home to find my parents had cooked us dinner and the entire family came to eat and see Daniel get his first bath.

Day Three- First Day of Church
After a night of no sleep, we woke early to shower and get everyone ready for church. When we arrived, Daniel was screaming and needed to eat and be changed. Everyone we passed followed and wanted to see him, but seeing as how he was pretty miserable I told them I'd bring him around later. After changing him and nursing, he fell asleep and I was able to creep upstairs with him and listen to the sermon from the back of the church. He slept the entire time cuddled up on my chest, and it was nice to know that for the first few weeks, he should be pretty content to sleep through pretty much anything.

My parents said their goodbyes to everyone after church and took a few last photos of Daniel before Tom took them back to NJ so they could drive home. He came home only to return to the hospital with Daniel and get the jaundice test taken again. I stayed home, realizing that I really should not have taken the journey the day before and that staying in was important in healing.

It was odd, the first time that I didn't have my baby with me, on purpose. Tom came home later with Daniel, and told me that he had received a clean bill of health. That I didn't need to pump instead of breastfeeding, and that I didn't have to keep feeding him formula.

Day Four-  Nursing isn't Easy
Despite having my in-laws living in the same apartment building, when Tom left for work on Monday I felt suddenly on my own with this little baby. Now that we no longer were told to feed him formula, we spent the day learning how to latch and nurse correctly.

When Tom returned that evening, I was thrilled to see him so I could hand him his son, take a shower, and eat dinner. I had no idea at the time, but learning to do things 'one handed' was not as easy as I had imagined. The rest of the week I would be happy if I ate breakfast before 3pm.

Day Five- First Checkup
Today my mother-in-law and I took Daniel to the pediatrician to see how he was doing. He had already gained back most of his baby weight. The pediatrician made sure to ask how breastfeeding and sleep was going, and made sure to tell me to not shake the baby. Apparently you should definitely not do that.

Day Six- Life Continues
Sleep is elusive, but I get the hours necessary to function. Daniel seems to be sleepy today, which scares me because I can only assume that means he will be up tonight. 

I take advantage of having both my arms free to make my first dinner since being a stay at home mom, and while I wouldn't say it was ruined, it was not good. Tom was gracious and ate the whole thing without comment. What a keeper.

Day Seven- New Year's Eve
Today I spent much of the day trying to keep Daniel happy and fed. I'm wishing for breakfast, the opportunity to clean up our crazy house as it's mess from Christmas. I bring Daniel back to the pediatrician today, and learn that is officially over his birth weight, and his jaundice looks as though it's gone.

Daniel continues to nurse all the time, and when walking the few blocks to the pediatrician, I find myself nursing him while babywearing and covering up with a scarf. My first public and mobile breastfeeding experience, and I'd say it was an unexpected success.

Tom gets home early from work because of it being New Years Eve, and I hand him Daniel and take a breather. The family comes over and we spend New Year's Eve eating homemade Indian food and watching one of the Mission Impossible movies. This entire holiday season has flown by, and definitely not been what I expected. It's circled around this newborn taking all our love and attention. It feels like we skipped Christmas and New Years this year, but that's fine. Just odd.

I gave Daniel my first kiss of the New Year, and Tom my second. Things have changed so much since the year before, and I've no idea where it's going to take us but I'm excited to see what comes.

I hear that the first few months of your child's life is a blur... whether due to sleep deprivation, emotions or amnesia- who knows. But this is my written record of the first week anyway. It wasn't what I expected, but then again I'm not sure what I expected.

So tell me...
Do you remember your first week (months?) as a new mother (or father)?
Did you know what to do or were you kind of shocked with the new responsibility?

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Monday, February 1, 2016


Meet Daniel.
He arrived on December 23, 2015.
He weighed in at 7 lbs 14 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long.

I am writing this as he is 6 weeks old, and he now weights appreciate least 13 lbs and is likely 24 inches long. He's definitely a growing boy. Yesterday we found ourselves buying 6-9 month onesies, because he's outgrowing some of his 3-6 month outfits already.
He was born with so much long brown hair that I joke that he came out needing a haircut. Also, the term 'wolverine' may have been used, since his eyebrows connected to his hairline for a few days. 
Mom and Dad are still getting acclimated to caring for this little guy, and while we did all the research and have waited a long time to be parents... nothing could've prepared us for the amount of love we have for him.

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