This post is a little late…and I apologize for that. But last week I shared Allie’s birth story with you all so today I’m sharing part two along with my 1-week postpartum update! This may be a little long so bear with me! There’s lots of ground I want to cover in this post.
ALLIE’S FIRST WEEK
In the hospital: So first we have Allie’s first week. She was born on Sunday, May 28, 2017 and we spent two days in the hospital. Really, I’ll count it as three days because the day we got discharged took forever. We didn’t get out of there until almost dinnertime so really, it added on a whole extra day which completely sucked. We were so bored in there. I was more than ready to go home within 24 hours of giving birth.
Allie slept super well while we were in the hospital (and still sleeps pretty well actually). Zack ended up sleeping at home those two nights since we have Jack, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad without him there. I very much luck out in that she’s still on the same sleeping schedule that she was on in my womb. She wakes up sometime between 1 and 3am and then again sometime between 4 and 6am (with typically three to four hours of sleep in between). Those are the same times I’d wake up to go to the bathroom throughout my pregnancy so I’m very fortunate to already be on that sleep schedule. It’s made for a rather easy and smooth transition there.
Taking her home: We got to bring her home last Tuesday which was when everything started to sink in and feel real. It wasn’t until we had her in the car that I finally felt like a mom. It was a huge wave of emotions driving home with her. So much excitement and a little bit of fear as well. I sat in the back seat with her and she did so well during the drive. We’ve discovered that she loves motion whether it’s in the car or her stroller or even just me rocking her or walking around the room with her. As long as she’s moving, she’s happy and I think that’s partly because I was so active throughout my pregnancy. At this point, she’s probably just very used to the constant motion.
I had totally planned to catch up on some sleep once we got home from the hospital since I had literally been awake almost nonstop all weekend, but by the time I got home I had a random burst of energy. So Zack and I cleaned up the house and got everything organized while Allie took yet another nap. That first day home with her was slightly overwhelming at first, but I think we handled it really well and it was overall a success!
Her personality: For the most part, we have a pretty chill baby. She typically only cries when she needs something like a bottle or a fresh diaper. But the past few days, she’s become rather clingy which we’re still trying to find a way to make work. It’s to the point where I’m literally holding her for half the day because if I’m not, then she’s horribly upset and in tears. Usually this starts in the mid-afternoon and lasts until after dinner. I’ve had to type up blog posts and even my final paper for one of my graduate courses with one hand because she’s fast asleep in the other (my professor should definitely give me extra credit there!). And unfortunately, it’s usually only me who can successfully calm her down. So that’s a bit inconvenient sometimes.
I’m not naive to the fact that babies cry, but she seems super bothered by something and I just can’t figure out what it is. I actually broke down crying her second night home, not because I was mad at her or frustrated, but because she was clearly upset and I had no idea what it was or how to fix it. It really upset me. I’m now thinking that it may be gas, but I’ll definitely be asking her doctor next week at her two week check up. Hopefully they can give me some answers so I can make her feel better in those moments.
So other than her recent crankiness, we literally have the most adorable baby ever. I know every parent says that, but seriously. I couldn’t be more in love with her. Even when she’s broken down in tears for no apparent reason. She’s absolutely beautiful and her tiny smile instantly makes you happy. She makes the absolute best facial expressions already which is super fun to watch. She loves to check out her surroundings and looks at everything in awe. I’m obsessed. I’m so excited to see her grow into a tiny little human with her own personality.
Outings: We’ve had a couple outings with her this past week. The first was a trip to Applebee’s with friends for lunch. I was suuuuper nervous about this outing because she was literally screaming and crying leading up to when we left. I just didn’t want to be those parents who have the screaming child. I know it happens, but I don’t feel that it’s fair to drag her out when she’s so upset and I don’t find it fair to those who wanted a nice lunch either. So I had my fingers crossed the entire drive there.
Thankfully, she fell asleep the moment the car started moving (thank you motion!) and by the time we arrived at the restaurant, she was completely out. And for the most part, she stayed asleep the entire hour we were there. Thank God!
The second outing was earlier this week. We took her to Target, Lowe’s and Walmart. Zack was super excited to push her in her stroller so he was on baby duty the entire time we were out which was a nice break for me. Of course since she was in constant motion, she actually slept for the majority of the outing. I’m sad she missed out on her first Target trip, but thankful that she was so good and we were able to get things done.
We’ve also done a bunch of family walks with both her and Jack which we love! We try to go later in the afternoon, closer to dinnertime so that the sun isn’t quite as bright and it’s a little “cooler” out. We love these long walks and our neighbors all love seeing the baby (they’ve all been anxiously waiting for me to go into labor).
Sleep: So as I’ve mentioned a few times above, she’s still on a pretty good and manageable sleep schedule which is awesome! I can easily predict when she’ll be waking up each night which allows us to better plan out her feedings as well as our own sleep times.
We started her out in her crib in her own bedroom from night one…well, night three technically since we were in the hospital the first two nights. I was super against having a bassinet and having her sleep in our room and co-sleeping was 100% out of the question. So we started her in her crib and honestly, she didn’t do bad at all! I was rather impressed. But then she had a couple nights where she couldn’t put herself back to sleep as easily and it instantly made me wish she were in our bedroom. I just didn’t want to have to walk back and forth between bedrooms every time she stirred and by having her next to us, I could better determine if she needed me to step in to hold her or not. SO we ended up at Target.
We ended up getting a pack n’play with a bassinet insert rather than a separate bassinet simply because we’d use the pack n’ play so much longer than we’d use a bassinet. The pack n’ play also came with a napper which she loves as well as a changing “table” and side pockets for diapers and wipes. I LOVE this thing. I was totally desperate by the time we bought it so I went into Target fully expecting to pay $150+ for the one I had originally wanted. At that point, I could easily justify the price. After some searching I found one with everything I wanted included all for $80! So I was rather pleased there.
We’ve now had it set up on my side of the bed for a few days now and it’s been awesome. It’s so much less stressful when she wakes up because I can easily pick her up and hold her without even having to get out of bed. I can also reach over and rub her back until she falls asleep or to pop her pacifier back in if she’s starting to break down in tears. As much as I didn’t want her in our bedroom, I now picture myself having her with us for a while simply due to convenience.
And my last thing here is her sleeping position. Which I totally need your opinions and thoughts on! Is it normal for a 1-week old to already be rolling onto her side? Because she’s been doing this since day one and honestly, it scares the crap out of me! My whole two days in the hospital were spent listening to doctor after doctor stress the importance of sleeping on her back and all these other things related to SIDS so by the time I got home, I was pretty much panicked. Now she sleeps on her side regardless of how I put her down and I find myself staring at her half the night to make sure she’s still able to breathe. So if anyone has some reassuring insight here, please let me know!
How I’m doing: I’ll touch upon this more below in my 1-week postpartum update, but honestly I’m feeling pretty good so far! While I’m definitely a little sleep deprived some days, I feel like I’ve made the transition into motherhood really smoothly so far. I spent so many months stressing out over this transition and the moment I stopped stressing about it, it became a hell of a lot easier. Rather than going into motherhood, stressed and anxiety-ridden, I’ve been taking it one day at a time and because of that, I’m feeling super calm and relaxed a lot of the time. And man have I developed patience! I could listen to this child cry for hours and I wont be mad at her one bit. I might be deaf, but not mad.
How Zack’s doing: Zack’s doing great so far! Although he doesn’t have the patience that I have. Which is super odd considering he’s the patient one in our marriage. But he just doesn’t handle crying babies the same as I do so nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to be the one to calm her down so that she’s not feeding off his stress and frustration.
Aside from that, he’s super into her. I can tell they absolutely adore one another. He’s also a huge fan of pushing her in the stroller and is super excited to carry her carrier when we’re out with family this weekend. He wants to be that dad which makes me so happy because I’m honestly just not a fan of the carriers that you strap to your chest/back. Especially with having scoliosis too. It’s actually probably smarter to have him carry her in it.
Since I’m already on her sleep schedule, I take over night duty most nights. It’s important that one of us is getting their sleep so that we’re not both sleep deprived. This makes it easier for him to help me during the daytime hours. He’s taken over the cleaning of the house and cooking dinner which is super helpful! Otherwise we’d literally be having mac and cheese every night because I don’t want to cook or I have a baby attached to my side. He also makes sure all bottles are pre-made and in the fridge ready to go and is right there to take over when I need a long shower or some me time or when I have homework or blog work to get done. He’s been awesome!
How Jack’s doing: Lastly, a lot of people have been asking about Jack and how he’s handling the new baby and I’m so happy to say that he’s been excellent! We brought home a couple items of hers from the hospital so that he could get used to her scent before we brought her home. We also kept her baby blanket out for the last couple months and then brought her home with it so that was familiar to him as well. And lastly, we’ve kept the door to her nursery open these past couple months too so that he could get used to having her things around.
All this in addition to his training helped us SO much. Of course we’re super cautious and not getting too comfortable just yet, but bringing her into the house couldn’t have gone more smoothly. He checks on her every time she cries and wakes up with us during the night when we get up to feed and change her. He tries to lick her, but we try not to let him get that close just in case she makes a noise that startles him. But so far so good! He loves her. I couldn’t have asked for a better transition there. It makes me so happy.
MY 1-WEEK POSTPARTUM UPDATE
So finally we have my 1-week postpartum update. This is going to be super short and sweet because this will end up being more of a series in the coming weeks.
Mental health: First I’ll start off by saying I feel amazing! Like seriously. I’m doing a million times better than I ever could have imagined in the first couple weeks. I knew going into motherhood that I’d be more susceptible to postpartum depression so I spent a lot of time talking to my doctor and making sure I had information on all the resources available to me just in case I needed them. Everything from classes to therapists to medications and everything in between. I wanted those resources. So they’re there if I need them in the coming weeks or months, but so far so good!
I think the biggest thing I was worried about was whether or not I’d connect with her. I’ve read from a lot of moms who have experienced postpartum depression that they just didn’t feel a connection to their child. Like they could easily walk out of the room and not come back if they wanted to. And I was terrified of feeling that way about my own daughter. But the moment I had that little girl in my arms, I knew there was no way I could possibly feel that way. Even at night when I’m completely sleep deprived and she’s refusing to go back to sleep, I still look at her and feel nothing but love and happiness that we have her. She makes me so happy and I couldn’t be more in love with being a mom.
Recovery: My recovery is going very smoothly and my doctor says that my active lifestyle prior to and during pregnancy helped me out a lot there. So I couldn’t be more thankful that I was able to power through and keep up my workouts. It was definitely worth it! I gave birth at 6:41am and was up and moving around later that night. I was super sore of course, but it was really important to me that I got myself up and moving around a bit. The following day, I got up and moving even more and by the time I left the hospital two days later, I felt back to my normal self. I was fully functional by then.
Thankfully I’ve had no pain during my recovery and no known side effects from having an epidural. My back has definitely been a bit on the sore side from holding her in my arms so many hours of the day, but I know that’ll get better once I’m back at the gym and working out my back again. For now, there’s Tylenol. But other than that, I’m doing great recovery-wise. I have zero complaints here.
Physical health: I took last week and this week off from the gym to allow myself time to relax and adjust to motherhood a bit while I have Zack home. I continue to go for walks on a daily basis so that I’m still active, but I’m more than ready to get back to the gym next week and go back to my full workouts. I’m very excited about it. It’s time to get those abs back and get this body bikini-ready!
Originally I had wanted to do a whole series on my weight loss journey, but somehow I’m already back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Again, my doctor says it’s because I take such good care of myself. So that’s yet another reason to take your health seriously! I’ve also been super careful about what I’ve been eating these past couple weeks since I’m not at the gym so I know that helps a lot as well in addition to my daily walks. So I’m very happy to back to my pre-pregnancy weight. BUT my stomach is still a little on the flabby side so the next few weeks will be spent getting rid of the flab and gaining back those abs.
So overall I’m feeling fantastic so far! I definitely plan to continue these updates every month or so to touch base on my mental health along with Allie’s milestones and my fitness journey to getting my body back. So stay tuned for more updates coming later this month or early next!
What else do you want to know? How was your first week as a new parent?