So it’s been just over 2 months since my sweet baby girl was born and I am absolutely OBSESSED with her! It’s honestly so crazy how in such a short time she has become my whole world – I truly can’t imagine a life without her. It sounds so cliche but it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, I have days or moments where I do miss how my life was before – I miss just picking myself up and going out whenever I felt like doing so, I miss spending a whole hour soaking in the tub because I felt like I needed to de-stress, I miss sleeping in on a Saturday morning. But even though I miss those things, I wouldn’t change the way my life is now with my baby girl for anything in the world. In today’s post I wanted to share a little about what the past 2 months have been like getting used to my new role as a mom and adjusting to life with a newborn.
As I mentioned in my Labour and Delivery Story, I had a C-section so I spent the first 2 days in the hospital. From there, I spent the rest of that first week at my parent’s house. It was such a HUGE help to be there because I had my parents and my sister in addition to my husband who was home for the first week and a half. Going into parenthood, I was very comfortable doing the typical things such as changing diapers, feeding, bathing, holding, etc. from years of experience with various younger cousins and nephews. So for me being at my parent’s house was less about getting help to learn how to do those things and more about just having a support system around me for those first few days when it can get super overwhelming. And trust me it did! Since the first night home Mia has been sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed, and I remember those first couple of nights barely sleeping because I would keep checking to make sure she was breathing and I would wake up every time I heard her make the slightest sound (let’s be real, I still do that). I’m sure all of you new moms can totally relate! During those first few weeks I also struggled a lot with my postpartum feelings and emotions – I had emotional outbursts, felt like I was failing as a mom at times, and was constantly snapping at my husband. It was hard to say the least, and trying to overcome those postpartum blues while being sleep deprived and not feeling like myself was hard! Needless to say, having my sister and mom there to reassure me that I was doing great and to just be there to listen and cheer me on was AMAZING.
After we went back to our own home my husband went back to work. He does shift work and he went right back onto the overnight shift. I was honestly terrified of being alone with baby girl all night! She was only a week and a half old and I just kept picturing something going wrong and me being all alone and not knowing what to do. Thank goodness my sister offered to spend that week with me. She would go to work during the day and spend the nights with me so that I wasn’t alone, and God bless her soul because I really think I would have lost my mind if she wasn’t there. I can function without a lot of sleep for about 2-3 days, but after that I NEED to get a proper night’s rest otherwise I start to shut down. And I am not someone who can very easily take day-time naps no matter how tired I am, so the whole “sleep when baby sleeps” thing really didn’t work for me. In addition to a lack of sleep, around the 2 week mark we saw the introduction of her digestive problems which meant figuring out how best to deal with the extra fussiness when she was super gassy. That first month was BRUTAL because of the lack of sleep and having a partner who does shift work. My husband does a lot when he’s home, but having a constantly changing schedule and not having him around at certain times of the day when I felt like I was crashing was hard. It was a lot to get used to during that first month. Mia would wake up every 3 hours for a feeding like clockwork unless she was cluster feeding, in which case she was just constantly waking up. By the end of the third week, I honestly thought my body was just going to shut down on me. I remember calling my sister early one morning when my husband was on day shift and saying you need to come over, I need help today because I am just SO freaking exhausted that I can’t function. She came and brought my parents with her, and together they all cleaned my house, cooked me dinner, and took care of the baby while I took a long hot shower and just relaxed. It was AH-MAZING!
Guys, real talk, if you are a new mom or a soon-to-be mom, do NOT be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I feel like sometimes we as women put so much pressure on ourselves to have it all together and to do it all on our own that we’re almost scared to ask for help because it might make us appear less-than. But we don’t have to do it all alone. Whether its having an honest conversation with your significant other and telling them that you just need them to do a little bit more or calling in for back-up like I did, do it! Having a great support system around you is KEY.
Aside from the severe lack of sleep and postpartum blues, I spent most of that first month just getting to know my sweet new babe. I let her just be her and I took her lead on how each day would go. I didn’t try to force any type of sleep training or schedule on her. I just let her do her own thing and followed her cues. In such a short time I learned so much about her – how she liked to be held, what comforted her, all of her different cries (which by the way I always thought was just crazy talk when parents would say that they knew what was wrong with their baby based on how they cried) and so much more. Our second month together was the complete opposite of the first. By this time I had already learned a lot about Mia, so I had a pretty good idea of what I could do to make our days go smoother. We also used her cues that we had learned during that first month to develop a pretty good routine with her. She started sleeping 5-6 hours through the night, which made a HUGE difference because it meant that I was also getting a better night’s rest without having to wake up every 2-3 hours, which in turn meant that I could function better during the day. For me the second month was definitely easier than the first because we had already figured each other out during that hard first month, so we spent our second month together just ENJOYING each other.
It’s honestly so incredible to see just how fast my baby girl is growing up! I feel like she is already developing a whole personality of her own and it’s so fun to see. We spend most of our days just hanging out – she is so playful and smiles and babbles back to me when I talk to her which just makes my heart melt! I also feel like she’s hitting so many milestones already like holding her head up for long periods of time and she’s turned over from her tummy to her back a few times. We are at such a fun stage and I honestly love just hanging out with her all day! I’m still learning so much about her and getting to know what she likes and dislikes, which is so fun. I also feel like my life is for the most part getting back to normal now (although not totally there) since we’ve developed a routine and I’m able to be fully awake and present since I get to sleep through the night, and as a result I can get most of my day-to-day tasks done while Mia takes her day-time naps. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and daisies over here – we still have nights where she’ll wake up randomly in the wee hours of the morning and refuse to go back to sleep or days where she is super fussy and won’t nap at all, plus the added stress of a partner who does shift work is still there because it means that he’s not always around for early morning wake ups or putting her to bed at night. I still have days where I call my sister and tell her to come over so I can have some down-time because things can still get overwhelming at times. But we’re making it work as best we can, and I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far. The key for us was spending that first month just getting to know Mia and learning what worked and didn’t work for her, and in turn also letting her get to know us and making sure that she felt comfortable and safe with us.
These first two months have been nothing short of amazing – we’ve gotten to know so much about each other in such a short time and I get to hang out with my new best friend EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! Knowing how quickly the time is flying by gives me a little anxiety though, because I want her to stay this small forever. These moments are SOO special and they are just going by way too quickly. Hence why when people tell me not to hold her too much because I’ll spoil her, I let it go in one ear and out the other. I’ll be enjoying ALL the cuddles and kisses all day long thank you very much.
To all the new mamas out there, ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY! Despite the exhaustion and overwhelming amount of stress, find a way to push through it and make the most of each day together – they unfortunately won’t be this small for too long.