We’ve now been parents for 7 weeks. It’s gone by so fast already. I’ve heard people say, “the days are long, but the years are short,” but I have to say, the days haven’t even felt long. With Talie having to feed every 2-3 hours, our days are broken up into a bunch of small blocks of time, which makes me feel like they fly by.
We didn’t have a lot of expectations going into parenthood. We knew it would be hard and we expected not to get a lot of sleep. Other than that, we’ve tried to stay really open and to go with the flow. We were right about it being hard, especially that first week when we were really learning and adjusting. The hardest part for me was dealing with my body being in pain and recovering while we learned how to take care of a newborn. Everything hurt for a little while and breastfeeding was excruciating in the beginning. Thankfully, Seth was more supportive, helpful, and involved than I ever could have asked him to be. And we also have a lot of supportive family that made things a lot easier.
After that first week, we slowly got into the groove of things and things have gotten easier and easier every day. My body is now healed and nursing has gotten much easier as well. On the sleep front, we’re actually doing a lot better than expected. Talie has been an excellent sleeper from the get go. In the very beginning, we had to wake her up for night feedings every 2-3 hours, but thankfully, she gained her birth weight back very quickly so after a week or so, we’ve let her sleep until she wakes up to eat on her own, which recently has only been once a night. We’re taking full advantage because we know this could change at any point in time – nothing is ever constant with babies!
When it comes to our time, we’ve learned to simply take advantage of the times she sleeps. In the beginning, we learned quickly to use her naps to nap ourselves. Now, because we’re sleeping well and don’t need naps very often, we use her nap time to straighten up the house or get to other things we may need to do. She sleeps better and longer when she’s being held or if she’s laying on one of us so sometimes one of us will relax with her while she sleeps and the other will use the time to do our own thing. I’ll use the time to shower and get ready, paint my nails, clean up the house, ship orders, or work on a blog post. I’ve missed blogging a ton and have been slowly easing back into it, fitting in writing time where I can, without pressuring myself or placing any expectations on it. When Seth’s at work, my time is mostly spent focused on Talie, but if she has a good nap, I try to use the time as efficiently as possible for whatever is the priority that day. I can always get quite a bit done when I put in the Solly wrap, which she loves to sleep in.
These first few months have certainly had their challenges, but quite honestly, it’s been so fun and full of so much joy. We honestly feel so lucky because she’s such a mellow baby. When people say there is no way to explain the love you have for your child, it’s so true. It’s different than any other relationship. I truly didn’t know my heart could contain this much love. The immense amount of joy she’s brought to our lives is indescribable. I’ve never cried so much out of happiness in my life (I know my hormones are also at play here). I’ve also been surprised at how protective, connected, and attached I feel to her. I never expected to be the mom that had a hard time leaving their kid for the first time, but the thought of it makes me nervous – not because I worry about her safety or wellbeing, just because…well, I don’t really know. Biology, I guess. As nice as it is to get a break when we visit people from everyone holding her, when I get her back I realize how much I missed her. And even when she’s fighting sleep or being fussy, I just look at her sweet little face and am filled with so much love and gratitude that I get to be her mom. I’m truly in awe of her.
Photo by Carlie Statsky