Wow – where has time gone?! And is my baby really seven weeks old?
I really meant to do an update on life with the little guy sooner but – as I’m sure many of you know – life with a newborn is HARD and for the first few weeks, not a lot was done except making sure all of his needs were met. Since it’s been seven weeks, the details are a little fuzzy from the first few weeks, so bear with me.
Week One and Two
The first week we brought Lars home was filled with lots of family time. My mom and step dad were up for the labor and his first two days, and then my dad, step-mom, and brother came to visit the day after we got home from the hospital. The day they left we headed up to the cabin for the 4th of July with Marc’s parents. It was great having our parents around to lend an extra hand with meals, cleaning, laundry, and watching Lars so we could get some sleep.
I’ll be honest – the first couple of weeks were hard physically and emotionally. The physical recovery of giving birth was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated. On top of being exhausted from laboring for 42 hours, and then subsequently not getting any sleep taking care of a newborn, I was really sore…everywhere. It was difficult to do everything. Walk, get up from a chair, go to the bathroom, get out of bed, go up stairs, just everything.
And the hormones. Oh the hormones. I read how about the drop in hormones after giving birth could cause the “baby blues” but I really didn’t think it would affect me that much. Even though I didn’t feel sad about having a baby or our “new life”, the simplest of things could throw me into tears. I felt guilty for being so emotional and seeming so sad when really I wasn’t. I just couldn’t control my emotions. It was definitely a tough couple of weeks to get through. It didn’t help that I wasn’t getting much sleep, either.
Speaking of sleep, we were surprised to find out that Lars didn’t like sleeping on his back in his crib (new parent mistake!) and the first couple of nights he would only sleep if we were holding him. Luckily we wised up and got him a Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and the nights were much more manageable. I think he felt more cozied up in the sleeper as opposed to the big wide open crib.
Another thing we had to learn through trial and error was the whole swaddling deal. If you’ve ever looked at baby gear, you know there are countless different swaddles to choose from. At first we went tried swaddling with these aden + anais Bamboo Swaddle Blankets . While I absolutely love them for covering him up in the carseat or cuddling with him (they’re so soft!!), he is way too much of a squirmer to stay put in them when sleeping. Almost immediately his arms would pop out.
Then I remembered the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle that I received as a shower present and decided to give it a try. That first night he went from sleeping just two hours at a time to four glorious hours. We’ve never looked back and now use it every night and sometimes at nap time.
Weeks Three and Four
Weeks three through four involved a lot of getting used to our new normal. Marc went back to work which was really tough for me at first, and I felt like I got absolutely nothing done every day. At that point Lars would only nap if I was holding him (the second I put him down he would wake up!), which made it impossible to be productive. So I quieted the voice in my head rattling off my to-do list and savored all of the cuddling I could. The dishes could wait. Snuggling with my son could not.
Along with not being able to put Lars down for an extended period of time, I was terrified to take Lars anywhere alone because what if he has a meltdown?! I guess I just lacked the confidence of being able to handle any situation that might arise, but slowly I started venturing out. First just a quick trip to the grocery store (which felt like a HUGE victory!) then to visit my coworkers, and increasing walks a few minutes at a time. Now we can go for an hour walk in the morning or take a trip to Target with a pretty high success rate.
Weeks Five and Six
When Lars was four going on five weeks old we road tripped to Wisconsin for a friend’s wedding. Even though Lars was a champ on the 3 1/2 hour trip to the cabin when he was four days old, I was worried that since he was starting to be more alert during the day that he wouldn’t be as quiet on the ride. Wrong. He pretty much slept the entire time both ways. Such a champ.
On the way home from the wedding we stopped to do some cherry picking. It was a family effort.
During the fifth week he started sleeping longer periods at night. He went from consistently sleeping three to four hours at a time to five to six hours. There were two days that he woke up every couple of hours, but I think he must have been going through a growth spurt and just was really hungry.
During the sixth week my aunt Penny, cousin Ellie, and mom came to town to visit. We were out and about a ton, and I feel like this is when I really started feeling comfortable bringing Lars places in public. We went to restaurants, to the mall, Target, the farmers market, you name it.
This past weekend we went to Iowa for a bridal shower, and once again he was an angel in the car. He got to meet a lot of his extended family as well as spend some time with his grandma and grandpa!
These days we’ve been easing our way into some “sort of” schedule. Typically Lars wakes up for the day around 6:30 or 7, and is immediately ready to eat. After some breakfast for him, mama gets some coffee (decaf – frown face) and breakfast (usually yogurt, fruit, and granola) and some morning cuddles. After breakfast we head out for our morning walk, during which Lars typically falls asleep for some or all of it. Then we come home, try some tummy time, and he eats again.
Afternoons are a little more sporadic but regardless, I try to get him to nap around 1:30 or 2 for 1-2 hours and then again around 4 or 5. He has been going to bed between 9 and 10. Like I said, it’s not a strict schedule, but we’re trying to get into a routine.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet that has been a huge hurdle for us is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding started out pretty normally, I would say, but quickly turned painful. I kept going for a couple of weeks, just dealing with the pain, thinking it was going to get better. But it didn’t. As in, the pain was so bad it would bring me to tears…mostly during night feedings because everything is a thousand times worse at night, right?
So I saw a lactation consultant. We worked on Lars’ latch but after a week of continued pain after that appointment I went to see her again. I just felt something wasn’t right. Now the pain was keeping me up at night, with burning and stabbing pains. Still, the lactation consultant told me it was a latch issue.
So I left and went through another week of worsening pain. At this point I was desperate, as I’d been breastfeeding for six weeks with pain. I so badly wanted to continue breastfeeding but I knew if this pain continued, there was no way I could.
So I called my doctor and she referred me to a different lactation consultant who diagnosed me with ductal thrush. Since Lars didn’t show any signs of it, the first lactation consultant quickly dismissed the possibility of my pain being due to thrush, but the second nurse told me that babies don’t always have to have symptoms.
Now that I’m halfway through the prescribed treatment, the pain is SO much better than it was a week ago. It is such a relief I could cry.
I slowly started walking for exercise in the first week after Lars was born. I definitely didn’t do anything strenuous, but it felt good to get outside, breath in some fresh air, and move my legs.
Then after four weeks I started going to yoga, and slowly started ramping up the intensity of my workouts. I joined Class Pass and have done yoga, barre, spinning, bring your own baby yoga, and strengthening classes. I’ve been careful to listen to my body and not push it too hard.
Whew! You still with me? That was a lot. I’m going to try to do monthly updates so I remember more and not so much has to be crammed into one post. Oh and if you have any questions about products we use, our routine, whatever, just ask!