Monday, February 2, 2015

Life with A Newborn: The First Three Weeks

Bringing Greyson into our home was like a dream. Even though the house was totally set up for "baby" actually having our child home was so surreal. Jeremie and I would just stare at him and couldn't believe that we had brought something so beautiful into this world.

I was SO tired from the whole labor/delivery and hospital stay (48 hours felt like 2 weeks) that I couldn't WAIT to sleep nap in my own bed. I will never forget the first night home. I guess Jeremie and I though we'd just wrap our baby up in a blanket, lay him in the bassinet, and everyone would go to sleep soundly until the next feeding.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA..........I hope you can hear me laughing hysterically through your computer. So news flash: a 72 hour old human does not know day from night, isn't comfortable outside of the womb, and wants constant skin to skin contact with his mama. (Well, in Greyson's case, this was true.) Child would scream bloody murder unless he was nursing/on my chest. Of course I was trying so hard to follow the #1 Rule of  "Don't fall asleep with your baby on you" and I was about to lose my mind.  Jeremie hadn't slept in 72 hours either.  At 4:15 a.m., I called it, and in sobbing tears, took Greyson upstairs to the GRANDMOTHERS. My mom heard me and came flying out of one door while J's mom came flying out the other door across the hall. In my ugliest cry face, I said "This baby hasn't slept a wink and neither have I!" Someone grabbed the child and they ordered me to bed. Next thing I knew it was 7:30 a.m. and time for the next feeding. I felt like a new woman.

Let me interrupt this post and answer the question all of you are asking: "You had BOTH sets of your parents in your house at the same time when your baby was born?" And the answer is ABSOLUTELY. Not only did it "take a village" to get us situated when we got home, we actually enjoyed having them, and they actually enjoy each other. Just look at them having a grand ole time at Saltgrass while me and J ate hospital food.....

To say these are four amazing people is an understatement. Our dads added the humor while our moms cooked and cleaned like it was a full scale Four Star operation. We are beyond blessed with our families.

Anyway, the next day, we went all "Operation Sleepy Baby" and Nona (J's mom) went and bought swaddles while J ordered a mobile, a bassinet vibrator, and downloaded soothing worship music on an old iPhone.  All seemed to helped.....our cousin's rendition of "It is Well" bought us about 45 minutes, so we were ecstatic.

J's parent's left after a couple nights and my mom (CC) stayed the first week. And the firsts began....this is us trying to get out the door to our first pediatrician appointment.  I love that I am trying desperately to make this a darling first family photo shoot and Greyson is screaming his head off and J is like "what the heck". You should have seen us trying to pack our first diaper bag....we had no idea what all went in a diaper bag. I'm sure my mom was wondering if we were actually gonna raise this child.

Since J had to go back to work and needed sleep, I slept upstairs on an air mattress in the nursery so I could be close to G. Plus, I was nursing 'round the clock.  And ya'll.  Sleep deprivation is legit. It's something I have never truly experienced before. I feel like they should just use newborn babies for Navy Seal training. When they say your baby needs to eat every 3 hours, but the clock starts from the BEGINNING of each feeding, that is not 3 hours. By the time I would feed, change his diaper, swaddle him back up, EAT (because breastfeeding makes you hungry as a horse), use the bathroom myself, and catch up on all the pain meds I was taking, I had about 45 minutes to an hour of sleep time. During said time, Greyson would make all sorts of crazy noises, to which I would jump up and make sure he hadn't choked on his own spit. Or he would just wake up on his own before the next feeding.

After a couple of nights like this, my sweet mother would swoop in if Greyson woke up between feedings and I'd go crawl in the guest bed. She also encouraged me to start pumping bottles so she could take a middle of the night feeding, which helped tremendously. (I would still get up and pump during this time....if you've ever nursed, you know skipping a feeding is super painful.) But brainlessly pumping takes a LOT less energy than the changing/feeding/re-swaddling process. Honestly, I don't know how my mom was up at all hours of the night and still cooked and cleaned all day!

During my mom's stay I probably had 3 good breakdowns. Ugly cry and all.  One day was so hard, I finally just closed myself up in my bathroom and took a hot bath while I ate a big ole piece of chocolate cake.  (J came home and found the cake plate with crumbs and fork on the side of the bathtub....and was like "Bad day?")

CC clocked out and Nona clocked in at the end of the week. The night she got there I had another breakdown. (I'm sure she thought to herself...."Oh dear, it's gonna be a long week.) But she assured me that my overwhelmed feelings were normal. She was also a superwoman for a week taking midnight or early morning feedings and helping with laundry, grocery shopping and cooking! I was still teetering on the edge of craziness but finally felt like I had gained some control that week. I already felt like I'd come so far since week one!

Nona did go to our 2 week appointment with us, where Greyson had his first shot. Do not let this picture fool you. I may look happy and Greyson may look calm but he was in the middle of screaming like a wildcat and I was trying to fool him into thinking he wasn't in pain. The shot just broke my heart. Hearing Greyson cry made me cry, and seeing me cry made Nona cry.....we were all a hot mess.
Having a newborn is HARD. It is a mixture of PURE EXHAUSTION, PURE ELATION, and PURE SHOCK all at one time. Days run into nights and the sleeplessness leads to hopelessness that you don't have the energy to keep up with the demands of this little person.  You barely have time for a shower and even less time to have a conversation with your husband. But in the midst of the endless feedings and God-sent naps, you look down and see the ANGEL you brought into this world and you know this must be the biggest joy in life.

And by literally taking ONE day at a time, the "new normal" became less overwhelming. God truly gave me the strength I need to get through each day. Looking back, I think I felt like it was pure chaos because it was a totally new schedule for me and took me longer to do everything.....mainly because I didn't know what I was doing. AND Greyson was getting used to his new little life. Going from warm and cozy in the womb for 9 months to having a digestive system, wearing clothes, and working for your food is pretty traumatic I'm sure.  Eventually his nap times became more predictable so I knew when I could probably take a shower, wash cloths and bottles, EAT, straighten up, etc. 

Don't get me wrong, some days still totally throw me for a loop.  But now I know I CAN do it and I celebrate every small victory, like our first successful grocery trip or going to bible study.

And on a more adorable are some of my favorite pics from the first 3 weeks.....

My boys.

My whole world on one bed.

Greyson's first Halloween. After 2 sets of trick-or-treaters with the doorbell ringing and Manny barking, we put a bucket of candy outside and locked the door.

And this is my all time favorite. This is Greyson's milk drunk face. Completely comatose after nursing. Precious.

I could post 2,647 more, but I will try to limit myself.  Looking at these pictures reminds me what a blip each stage is right now and that I should really cherish every moment. This sweet thing has been the biggest blessing and I can't wait to see where his little life leads.

1 comment:

  1. I so love this little Momma! Thankful for you, Katie. Hoping that your honesty and your JOY will encourage other new moms as they care for new babes. Greyson is one blessed little boy!