As I write Chief’s 2 month update, I thought this would be great time to finally post about our first month together. I’ve been out of the blog world for a while now, resorting to writing my secrets with pen and paper. The last year has been a great break from broadcasting my life on the internet, but now that my sweet little bundle is here I realized I wanted a diary of our time together. Let’s talk about my first month with a newborn:
Born 9/24/16 at 4:39am, little Chief weighed 8lbs even and 21 inches long. One month in and he couldn’t be doing any better. From the moment he came out, they brought him to my chest, and within 15 minutes he was latched on and nursing. His little belly is a testament to the fact that he hasn’t stopped eating since. He passed all of his tests at the hospital with flying colors – Mom and Dad couldn’t be more proud.
Day 3 – We had our first venture out of the house. Little boy went to visit the pediatrician for the first time. He weighed 7lbs 13.5oz. Lost a little, but still well within the normal range. She checked his umbilical cord, circumcision, and his little hips – all looked good.
Day 6 – Chief lost his umbilical cord and circumcision ring all within the same day. Mom was a mess! I kept telling him “You’re too little to lose your umbilical cord!” He didn’t listen, lost it anyway.
One week old and he took his first picture with a deer. Dad was so proud.
Day 10 – Mom got mastitis. We had a rough few days but we both pulled through. I was worried for days that the poor guy wasn’t getting enough to eat. Thankfully we had our two week appointment coming up so I decided to wait until that appointment to make sure everything was going ok.
Day 14 – We went to see the pediatrician again. She put my fears to rest when he weighed a whopping 9lbs 12oz and measured 22 1/4″ long! Nearly 2lbs heavier than his first appointment. Pediatrician said that had to be some sort of record! He had me fooled – making me think he was starving. I’m on to you, little man.
At one month old we celebrated by going 5 hours between feedings overnight! This was followed by his first blowout – you win some, you lose some. We took him on a long walk around campus, a little shopping at Tiny Tulips, and lunch at Rudy’s, our first meal with him away from home. It was a great way to end our first month together!
BABIES. ARE. HARD. They are messy and wonderful and exhausting and cuddly and they will turn you into a giant pile of sappy mush. That first month of motherhood for me was all about survival. The fact that the postpartum phase and the newborn phase coincide is just plain mean.
At the time we were discharged from the hospital we’d been up almost 48 hours, Chief and I were both wearing diapers, and neither one of us wanted to put on pants for the car ride home. (I put up less of a fight than Chief.) Our first few
days weeks at home were a fog of feedings, diaper changes, cuddles, and crying (from both of us). I was a little weepy for a week or two after delivery – every sad commercial, news story, or even staring at him would turn me into a weepy mess. It was about 5 days after delivery that I started to feel more normal – I shaved my legs, went on a short walk, and dried my hair. Oh, it felt good! At around that 5-7 day mark, I felt like “I can do this.”
That feeling was short lived…I came down with mastitis 5 days later.
Growing up on a farm, I’ve watched the circle of life happen over and over and over again. Nothing has made me feel me more closely related to a cow than birth and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is not quite as easy and natural as one might think. Ten days into motherhood I came down with my first round of mastitis (more on that later). I would rather go through labor twice than have mastitis. IT. IS. TERRIBLE. I had a high fever, all the flu like symptoms, and of course the infection in my right side. Chief and I were both a little cranky. Thankfully, my sweet mother-in-law was staying with us so she would take care of him entirely throughout the day and then bring him to me to when it was time to eat. I couldn’t have survived without her.
What I wasn’t prepared for: (Well, besides pretty much everything…)
Everyone tells you that a newborn will feed every 2-3 hours, I was completely prepared for that! What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact it might take him 45min – 1 hour to eat and then another 30 min for a diaper change and soothing him back to sleep. So you might get to sleep for 30 min – 1 hour before it’s time to do the dance all over again. Why did I not know this?!
Some things I learned in the first month:
- There will be days when your baby wants to nurse every hour and is only content sleeping on your chest. On those days, I loaded up the side table with snacks, filled up the largest water bottle we had, and parked myself in the chair until Dad got home from work. Don’t even bother putting on a shirt – it will just get in the way for both of you.
- You don’t have to change every wet diaper in the middle of the night. This was a game changer for us! Changing his diaper would really wake him up and then we would spend a good chunk of time getting him settled again. We change it if it’s dirty or ridiculously wet but the pediatrician assured us that diapers these days are absorbent enough to keep him dry for a while.
- Space heater. The little dude hated baths until we gave him the spa treatment. Maybe he’s just a little sassy but as soon as we turned on that space heater and gave him a warm towel he was a new baby. He loves his bath now!
- Take the long way. I will drive miles out of my way to avoid the streets in Norman with a lot of stoplights. Our little guy is perfectly content in his car seat as long as we’re moving, but stop – hysteria.
- Don’t wash all the clothes you receive. That baby changes so fast he will outgrow clothes before you ever have a chance to put them on him. Wash in small batches and return/exchange what you don’t wear. Same goes for diapers!
- Take it slow. Don’t try to do too much to fast. Your body is healing and at the same time, changing. It never fails – the minute I pull an all-nighter and then try to workout like I used to, I get sick. Don’t be like me, take it easy.
I don’t think there is anything that can fully prepare you for bringing home a newborn. The days are long, the weeks are fast, and that baby will change in the blink of an eye. I’m only 2 months into this and I can hardly remember that tiny 8 pound baby we brought home from the hospital. Soak it in, accept help, and if baby is asleep – go to bed at 5pm.