I still can’t believe it. We’re parents to the most beautiful baby girl (of course we’re biased about that). I keep thinking to myself, is this real? Is she really ours? I swear it just feels so surreal that we have a daughter. So, you might be wondering if parenting is everything I had expected, or how she has been sleeping, if I am breastfeeding or not or just how we are we dealing with our first month as parents. I’m here to fill you in…
Week one was a complete blur. Feels like yesterday that we were in the hospital taking turns holding her and just watching her sleep. We had so many visitors and we were just so thrilled to show her off to everyone. The first few nights were tough. Evie had a bad latch on my breast right after birth which gave me a cracked nipple for the first little while. Also, one of my boobs was completely blocked just days after labour and that was a bit stressful. This made breast feeding pretty painful. Evie kept crying when I tried to breastfeed her from the clogged side and I didn’t understand what was happening or why it hurt so much. Who knew that the milk fat could clog your ducts. My solution? I ended up heating up a damp washcloth and applying it as a hot compress just minutes before I would feed her from that side. I also had to force myself to feed her from the ‘bad’ side in hopes of getting things back to normal. It worked and I was so relieved. It was such a relief to be able to feed her from that side again. Once my milk came in (4 days after birth) I was able to feed her a lot faster. I remember the hospital nights where the feeds would take me about an hour and half and I would get about an hour of sleep before waking up to do it all over again. I was exhausted but I was so happy to be up with her. I was on an adrenaline high. After a few days we were able to establish a bit of a routine which really helps. In fact, I was finally able to implement my Medela Breast Pump and I swear it was a complete game changer for us. It was wonderful to be able to have Ryan feed Evie from a bottle when he got home from work and we’re so thankful that we introduced the bottle so early.
I was expecting parenting to be hard work. I mean, I had heard so many people say they were exhausted and they couldn’t get anything else done while taking care of a newborn… that just wasn’t the case for us. I guess it all depends on the baby. Some babies are super fussy, they might not take a soother to sooth them back to sleep or they might be colicky and need extra attention. Truthfully, there are so many scenarios and you never know what you’re going to end up with but what I do know is that babies can sense stress and anxiety. The more relaxed and easy going you are the more relaxed and easy going your baby will be (so they say). Our routine went a bit like this: I found that I was feeding her at 10:30 at night, then 3:30 in the morning, again at 7:00am and I would go back to sleep until 10:30am. I think most moms might feel obligated to start their days early to get things done. I tried this a couple of times and just felt completely exhausted. There was no need for me to be a zombie in the day if I was able to go back to bed in the morning, so I did. I was getting about 8-9 hours of combined sleep each night and this whole parenting thing seemed pretty great. Don’t get me wrong… we definitely had a few fussy nights but overall I was extremely well rested and Evie was sleeping throughout the day. Truthfully, the most overwhelming part for me was the amount of visitors that we had. I swear people were coming over non stop from 10:30am (right when I woke up) until about 9 at night almost every single day. I broke down at the end of this week. I was finding it completely draining to entertain non stop and it made it difficult for me to get into my own routine with Evie. I told myself I had to start saying no to guests and get myself into a bit of a routine with Evie during the day and that’s exactly what we did.
So I finally started saying no to guests. This totally saved my sanity. The weeks prior I constantly felt the need to have a tidy house and to entertain everyone that came through the door and it was time to just take some time for myself and work on our new life and routine with Evie. If you’re about to become a parent you may not know that your child eats about every three hours from the time you started your last feed (Heck, I didn’t). This is what my routine looked like: I would feed Evie until she would fall off my boob (or fall asleep). Next, I would burp her. I find she gets really fussy if I don’t burp her to slow down her feeds. After this, I change her diaper and sometimes her outfit depending on the time of day. If it’s morning this is when I get her dressed and if it’s night this is when I put her in a cosy sleeper and a sleep sack. That way when I feed her from the other side and she falls asleep I don’t have to disturb her and can put her right to bed. To be honest, this whole process tends to take me anywhere from 40-60 minutes and two hours later I’m doing it all over again. It’s truly gratifying to know how to sooth your child and to know that they’re content after having a full belly, a diaper change, a cozy outfit and some snuggles.
Believe it or not, I was actually able to do some work this week. After finally getting our feeding routine down I knew that I could get work done while she slept during the day. This was also the time for laundry. There’s SO MUCH LAUNDRY. I was able to answer emails, visit with friends, write blog posts and even edit some photos and videos. We were really starting to get the hang of this whole parenting thing. It also helped that Evie had been sleeping through the night. She’s normally in her bassinest at about 11:30 and she sleep till about 6 or 7 in the morning. We’re pretty lucky. That’s not to say that we haven’t had a few rough nights. Trust me… we’ve had a few. Overall though she’s been a miracle baby. She feeds so well, she sleeps like a dream and she burps like a champ. Again, I have to say how thankful I am to have our breast pump. I’ve been able to store milk for future days when I have to head out for work and am not home to feed her myself. I truly HIGHLY suggest the Medela Freestyle Breastpump. As I’ve said before, it’s been a game changer for us.
Do YOU have a newborn? How have your first few weeks been? Were you overwhelmed with visitors like I was? Is your baby sleeping through the night. I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks so much for tuning in for this edition of ‘Baby Talk’.