Hi friends! How’s life on the outside going?
I’m currently on my third attempt at trying to finish this post to share with you in between newborn cuddles and cries, but my intentions are to log on and publish more often once we get into our groove!
We’re officially past the two-week mark, so I figured it was time to check in with you guys and update you on how things are going over here.
The short version? Great!
The long version with more stories and details? Read below!
Skyler’s Two Week Update
The first two weeks with a newborn at home went just as I expected them to. We had a lot of great days, but a handful of hard days, too.
Skyler went from being an absolute angel to extremely fussy at the drop of a hat, and I responded with a lot of different and unpredictable emotions. At one point, I cried out of frustration while changing his diaper because I couldn’t figure out why he was still crying. At another point, I cried while rocking and singing him to sleep because I still couldn’t believe that he was real and in my arms. I’m clearly functioning with a healthy dose of hormones these days.
The first few weeks included days when I had complete control over everything and days when I had none. There were nights of restful sleep (for 2-3 hours at a time) and nights of zero sleep for me.
Every day was different, and still is, and that’s okay. He’s a newborn, and that’s what newborns do – you can count on one thing and one thing only … nothing being predictable.
The biggest adjustment that I’m going through right now is to simply be okay with getting nothing done during the day. When he’s fussy or cluster feeding, I basically nurse him, change him, soothe him, put him down for a (quick) nap, and repeat until it’s time to go to bed. On a good day I can get in a few loads of laundry, organize the nursery, go on a walk with Sky and Roadie, answer a few emails, and take a shower. Gone are the days where my focus was creating content for this blog! At least for now. I’m hoping that will change once he gets on more of a schedule and has (somewhat) set nap times throughout the day.
Right now my goal is to get through the first few months of Skyler’s life and spend as much time with him as I possibly can. Where I once thought I would hone in and write a few hours a day – no matter what – has turned into cuddling this guy close with a movie on in the background instead. And I’m okay with that.
I know this time is going to go by too fast, and the last thing I want to do is regret spending too much time on my to-do lists and not enough time with him.
Sky loves to be held, snuggled, and to move around with me as much as possible. I have two baby carriers (pictured above is the Baby Tula Imagine Free-to-Grow Carrier), but only one is compatible with his weight right now (somewhere around 7 pounds 5 oz), and it will be a lot more comfortable for him when he’s a little bigger. I might order a sling or wrap to wear around the apartment, and I have heard the Baby K’Tan carriers are good for wearing at this stage. Any other suggestions?
We’ve been breastfeeding since the start (more on that in the Q&A section below), and he’s been doing more than his share on the diaper front. We have had a few epic blowouts already, one where he got a mess all over our changing pad and dresser (thank goodness for the wipeable Keekaroo Peanut Changer!), but we survived and laughed really hard about it.
Skyler has had a handful of visitors from friends and is also adjusting well with our fur babies.
Scott’s mom flew up for the birth and stayed with us for a night, and my mom stayed a week to help us get settled in. She was a huge help and is actually coming back next week when Scott goes overseas for a work event. It will be nice to have her in the apartment again, and then Scott’s mom is coming for another visit after that. Skyler will be getting a lot of Grandma love!
One of the things that I was most worried about with bringing a newborn into our home was how our pets, specifically Roadie, would react to him. So far, so good, and they are all learning to co-exist and love each other.
(Scott’s holding the number 4 up for how many babies he has on him.)
Our couch in the living room has turned into Skyler’s oasis with blankets, pillows, boppys, swings, burp cloths, and binkies. We still have some work to do on the nursery and the apartment in general (we were toying with the idea of moving out of a fourth story walk-up, so we delayed projects like painting and hanging a lot of pictures until now), but we’re going at our own pace and we are getting it all figured out.
Scott has been an amazing spouse and father. I knew he would be great, but I am truly surprised by just how hands-on he has been with everything. We used to always joke that he would never change a diaper and that he wouldn’t know what to do with a baby besides stare at him until he could talk, but it’s been the complete opposite. We practically have to take turns holding him because we both want to cuddle on him all the time.
(at our first visit to the pediatrician – one week old!)
I am truly thankful for him, and the addition of this miracle has already brought us closer. I know it won’t always seem this easy and that kids will test our relationship in a lot of different ways in the future, but I’m going to hold on to this feeling of gratefulness for now and will take all of the foot and back rubs when offered, too.
What I’ve realized the most over the last few weeks is that I need to just live in the moment. At the end of the day, emails will still be there, blog posts can be written or finished the next day (or days … ha), and these early days won’t last forever. We’re taking everything one day at a time and are doing our best to be the best parents to this little man!
Likes & Dislikes
At two weeks, Skyler is currently loving to eat, nap, suck on his pacifier, any type of movement, and all of the snuggles from us.
He’s not a fan of diaper changes, baths, or getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. It’s pretty much the typical life of a newborn!
We don’t have too many clothes for this stage, so there is always laundry to be done with outfits on repeat. I read a suggestion to not invest a lot on the newborn size because they grow out of it so quickly, but some of the newborn sizes of certain brands are still too big on him! I’m looking forward to him fitting into more of what we’ve collected and bought for him. Until then, it’s a lot of greys and neutrals because we weren’t sure of his gender until he arrived!
Now that I’ve experienced giving birth and recovering from that, I think I’m going to put together a Fourth Trimester Favorites post. (I’m also making a note to myself to finish my Third Trimester Favorites post, too … whoops!)
I didn’t understand why people use the term Fourth Trimester versus Postpartum, but I totally get it now. The four weeks after birth are completely valid of a loop-in to pregnancy. You’re obviously dealing with a newborn, but you’re also dealing with your body after creating another body. There’s a lot that happens after giving birth that not many people talk about, and I’m not sure this is the space to do it, but I feel comfortable covering the non-detailed basics with an update on how I’m doing two weeks out.
(And again, I’ll share my must-have product list from the hospital and home recovery soon.)
The biggest shocker is that I’m still bleeding. I expected for that to happen in the hospital and even a few days later, but two and a half weeks later, here we are. It reminds me of having the heaviest, longest period ever. I wore disposable undies from the hospital with two HUGE pads at a time for days until I graduated to Depends Silhouettes (literally – a suggestion from two friends that I certainly recommend as well!), and finally feel somewhat back to myself wearing small liners. Now I’m barely spotting unless I overdue it with walking or straightening up around the house. The body knows when to let you know to slow it down – that’s for sure!
Beyond the bleeding, something I didn’t take into consideration post-birth was the thought of having to go to the bathroom for the first time. Whether that means #1 or #2, the thought of either terrified me. But, you get through it, and it was actually required to go upstairs to my recovery room a few hours after delivery. My nurses at the hospital were wonderful with supplying everything I needed along with medication to help things move along and make me as comfortable as possible.
Some of you might have seen a post that I shared on my Instagram stories about how my stomach looked 6 months pregnant a few days after delivery. FYI, this is completely normal. I knew that bellies don’t magically disappear once the baby is delivered, but I didn’t really expect so much to still be hanging around when I came home from the hospital.
(the day after we came home from the hospital – 4 days post postpartum)
The good news is that things are settling back into place and I would say that my stomach looks about 3 months pregnant now. Anyone who is pregnant and reading this, please be kind to yourself with post-baby expectations.
My doctor and the nurses checked on me several times a day while in the hospital to make sure that everything was shifting back into place correctly. Think about how everything inside moved around! My uterus grew somewhere between 500 and 1,000 times its normal size. That’s insane and of course it would take some time to shrink and go back to normal!
(6 days postpartum)
I’m not cleared to work out until the end of April, so I’ve lost the majority of my muscle tone and just feel soft. It’s super weird. But, again, I’m giving my body grace for what the heck just happened to it and there will be a time where I can get back to feeling more like myself soon enough. Until then, I’m enjoying daily walks with Skyler and Roadie and I am trying to take it easy when I feel like I’m doing too much.
My boobs are bigger and sorer than I ever imagined they could be, but I’ll get more into that and breastfeeding below.
I didn’t get many stretch marks during pregnancy (this belly elasticity belly oil and all day moisture lotion combination is amazing!), but I started seeing some trying to appear on my stomach the first week home, so I started using the creams again. So far, so good.
Overall, I feel as great as I can be with a newborn! I’m tired and get headaches often from lack of sleep, but I kind of expected that. I was prone to migraines pre-pregnancy when I got overtired, so I don’t expect them to go away any time soon. I just keep reiterating that the newborn phase that includes 2-3 hour sleep windows and long nights of cluster feeding doesn’t last forever.
I’m taking all the snuggles in that I possibly can and I am still amazed by those little blue eyes staring back at me all day.
Questions & Answers
What was going through your head when you found out he was a boy. Did you suspect anything all along?
I would say that at least eighty percent of the people who predicted the gender of this baby said boy. They all had their reasons, but it was mostly because of how low I was carrying. In fact, Scott’s brother said that he would “eat his shirt” if the baby was a girl. His family was very confident! I started believing Sky was a boy because that’s what I heard all the time. About halfway through the pregnancy, Scott told me that he had a dream that he saw our baby and he was a boy. Ever since then he was convinced, too!
So I guess you could say I kind of expected it, even though there wasn’t any way to really know.
I’m due with my first in October and we aren’t finding out the gender either. Did you bring a blue and pink outfit or just had that one for boy or girl?
I wanted to bring an outfit for a boy and an outfit for a girl to the hospital, but then I didn’t end up ordering that way. After perusing Etsy and Pinterest for far too long, I decided on bringing a handful of onesies we had in a variety of sizes for him (newborn and 0-3 months). I did, however, purchase a swaddle blanket set that came with a hat and a headband for the announcement photo. I figured the colors could go either way and we ended up using the hat, of course.
Did you get stitches?
Yes! There was so much going on once Skyler arrived that I didn’t really know I was getting stitches until I saw my doctor showing a medical student how to do it. Once I realized what was happening, it seemed like it took forever! I didn’t know where they were or how many, but they were there along with a lot of swelling afterwards. I can still feel them when I go to the bathroom. It’s not the best feeling.
Are you strictly breastfeeding? How’s it going?
Yes. We had a rough start at the hospital though. Something I didn’t know about giving birth was that it takes a good 3-5 days for your milk to come in afterwards. Until that happens, your body produces colostrum – a clear fluid that produces important antibodies and immunoglobulins – and getting a baby to latch onto your breast for it is no easy task. And it doesn’t feel great.
Skyler latched right away for his first few feedings, but then at least twelve hours went by and he refused to grab on and get anything. His mouth was extremely dry and he was so fussy. I could tell he was hungry and I felt so helpless! I was actually in the middle of a class at the hospital when he started crying, and I excused myself to ask a nurse about supplementing him with some formula for the time being. It could have been my hormones, her tone, or a combination of a lot of things, but I had a breakdown and cried in the middle of the hallway, then went back to my room to ask for help from my night nurse. She was very patient and explained that this was normal and that he will eventually figure out what he needs and go for it. He did, but man, that was rough.
(my mom bought him this St. Patty’s Day onesie since we took him home on the holiday!)
Just in case it happened again, I asked for formula to take home to supplement with until my milk came in, and I ended up using three bottles of it. I rotated from breast to formula whenever he skipped a feeding because he wouldn’t latch or if he was extra fussy from being hungry for the first few days at home. Once my milk came in, however, I haven’t had to supplement.
I could probably write an entire post on breastfeeding and I’m only two and a half weeks in. There’s just so much that people don’t really tell you! If you’re interested in hearing more about it, I’ll go into more details later on after I get a few more weeks or months under my belt.
How did you find your pediatrician?
I actually scoped the office we ended up going with a long, long time ago because there is a location literally on our block with rave reviews. Another location is right across the street from the studio, so I figured we really couldn’t go wrong! So far they have been wonderful. But, if we didn’t have one lined up already, the hospital recommends a huge list of them along with a few visits from pediatricians themselves in the hospital before you leave.
We love it! I shared more about how we decided on Cybex in a previous post, and it has been wonderful so far. My biggest goal was to find a car seat, stroller base, and bassinet/seat that was city-friendly and lightweight enough to carry up flights of stairs. We’ve enjoyed several walks in the bassinet and also use it for where we put him to sleep at night. I love how the hood (of the seats and the car seat) pulls out far enough to shield sun from the baby’s eyes as well as light in the apartment when I’m strolling him around. It was an investment purchase, but well worth it.
Were you nervous about bringing your baby home to pets?
YES! And we are still worried that allergies might develop down the road with him. But, for now, our pediatrician doesn’t seem worried about exposing him to them right away and says it could take years for some babies to get pet allergies. So, we’re just taking it one day at a time.
We were slow to introduce them, and everything is going well so far. We do our best to spread our attention to everyone in the family equally, so there aren’t negative feelings towards Sky for stealing a lot of it. It wasn’t like this immediately, but now we can all sleep in the same room (and even bed!) with Sky in a bassinet right next to us. It’s actually really sweet.
I heard to bring home one of Sky’s blankets from the hospital to let Roadie sniff it before we brought him home for the first time, and we did that. We brought him inside in his car seat and Scott handled the official introduction because I get way too nervous and Roadie can sense that. We still don’t let them get too close, but it seems as though Roadie has accepted him as another one of us. He whines when Skyler cries and always makes sure we know when he needs us. Only time will tell how he does with an energetic toddler crawling around!
While I could still ramble on, I’m going to end this update here because it’s crazy long. Kudos to any of you who made it through all 3,300+ words while reading this!
Skyler is about to wake up any minute from a nap, but I’m going to do my best to get back to those pregnancy posts I’ve been wanting to finish writing soon enough. After a few weeks, I’ll be able to incorporate more content that isn’t as baby related!
Thank you for all of your love and support so far.
I love sharing this journey with you all!
In case you missed it …