Happy Wednesday ya’ll! Today I wanted to share a post that I have been wanting to share for about a month now and it is a REAL LIFE post on newborn life. I want to preface this post with saying that I am BEYOND BLESSED and GRATEFUL to God to be a mother! As many of you know, my husband and I experienced two miscarriages prior to our sweet baby boy Brayden and when I say it was the absolute LOWEST point in my life, that’s an understatement! I told myself that if I was able to have a child I would never complain about the sleepless nights, the hard times etc. because I knew the DESIRE to have a baby, so today’s post is in no way a complaint post, but it is a reality post; newborn life can be TOUGH! I have had numerous conversations with friends and followers about newborn life and many of my feelings were shared so I wanted to just sprinkle a little truth out there to maybe be a little help to one of you because in today’s world it’s easy to think you are all alone struggling because social media paints such a pretty picture.
Brayden is officially 12 weeks old TODAY, WHEW, TIME FLEW BY! A few moms have said, ‘The days are long, but the years are short’ and I can totally understand this now! The first two weeks of Brayden’s life my parents came and practically lived with us and my mom taught me everything she knew and I am so grateful and blessed for her! There was nothing like coming home from the hospital and having ALL of the baby gadgets and still feeling so out of place in your own home and not sure about ANYTHING! Coming home I felt completely out of sorts for that first month and this actually caught me so off guard because I just thought everything would come naturally! My mom helped us get into a ‘routine’ with him for that first month… I use the term routine so loosely because there really was not one; he determined our schedule and I learned FOOD IS LIFE!
On the subject of food… Brayden could not latch to breastfeed and my husband and I wanted him to have breastmilk so I became a ‘sole pumping mother.’ This basically means in essence I ‘double feed’ each time I feed my baby and I have to pump every 3-4 hours (which is limiting on what you can do and when you can do it, when you are learning how). Feeding was such a hard adjustment for me, probably the toughest because I underestimated this and never even thought about him not being able to just breastfeed by latching! I am a VERY active person and was always ‘on-the go’ and now I can’t just come and go, I now revolve my day around the baby’s feeding times; so this was quite an adjustment that is finally now getting much easier as we have established a routine! I felt like no one told me or could have prepared me for breastfeeding because I think it’s different from mom to mom and even baby to baby! I do not regret my decision to breastfeed by solely pumping, but there is a reality behind it that can make you feel a bit isolated and I think it’s important to acknowledge that as well! I am so glad that my husband and family are able to bond with the baby by feeding him a bottle, but often during these times I am away in a quite place pumping for the next feeding and I miss that time with my baby! I also hate having to lay him down beside me when I am alone as I pump for 20-30 minutes after each feeding when I really just want to hold him and play with him. I know that I am doing what’s best for him/us and I can’t beat myself up about it! I also want to say that whether or not you breastfeed you are a rockstar mom, I am not against formula by any means and will most likely have to supplement at some point because this little guy can EAT 🙂
Along with feeding in those first few weeks I felt like a stranger in my home and life in some ways. I am a very habitual person and I had my morning routine and my work routine down and I thrive off of a schedule; a newborn completely disrupts this schedule (there is NO SCHEDULE, but their schedule)… Both the baby and I were learning each other and so I really lost track of time and the EXHAUSTION was REAL! I had so much help from my family and friends, but because I was pumping and having to get up every 2-3 hours, no matter the help, to feed my body and emotions took a toll! I will say, it has gotten so much better and the early stages of 2-3 hour feedings have now been extended to 3-4 hours during the day and at night he is sleeping from 10:30pm-7am on most days; so I am blessed. There is light at the end of the sleep deprivation tunnel for all of you new moms. I had moments and days where I wondered if I would EVER feel like myself again, but I finally do! My mom kept telling me that it seems like the longest days ever when you are going through it, but when you look back later in life you will realize this hectic part like this is so temporary and even wish for those moments to come back.
At about 5-8 weeks Brayden experienced what I believe is termed, ‘The Witching Hour.’ I did not coin this term, but basically he would get extremely fussy most every afternoon from 5pm -8pm whether he was fed, burped or changed. This was a trying time because along with having no sleep, I had a crying baby and it was defeating not being able to pacify him. After week 8 and a food intake increase his daily afternoon crying sessions were over and now they are just sporadic, mostly if he is hungry or fighting sleep.
I wanted to also touch on social media as those moments are just snapshots not the day to day reality! Many of the photos on my social channels you have seen since this little man was born was a very tired Mama who may or may not have slept the night before… I don’t say this for any other reason than, photos are just a moment in time. Each day I grow more and more in love with this little guy and I would not trade ONE SECOND (or tired moment) with him and being his Mommy, but that also does not mean every day is a piece of cake and pure bliss. I currently believe I am surviving with lots of prayer, God’s grace and lots of coffee!
Also, unlike my social feed I am not put together daily with hair and makeup (I am lucky to wash my hair every 3 days, thank you Batiste dry shampoo 😉 ) A long hot shower is a thing of the past as I race to get dressed in the 30 minute window I have while my baby sleeps (or doesn’t sleep) after he eats. I get pooped on pretty much every single morning between 7am and 8am and burped up on all day. There are afternoons of plans that have to readjust because little man is upset and date night is pretty much no longer in existence. Everything in my life takes a backseat to raising this little man and I wouldn’t have it any other way; however, it is an adjustment.
Each day I scroll social media and see moms ‘killing it’ in both the ‘mom world’ and in their professional lives and wonder how I will ever get back there, but maybe I won’t ever get it all together (like I feel and pressure myself in my head to) and I am totally fine with that too! I had to let go of the idea of ‘perfection’ that I wanted to hold myself to both as a mom and in my career and realize that no one and nothing is perfect except for Jesus Christ and He does not call me to be perfect! This verse stood out to me so much:
Matthew 11:28-30 ‘ Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!’
Overriding these difficult and trying moments are the BEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE! Those moments that Brayden does something new for the first time, those moments where he just stares in my eyes with the most love I have ever felt make everything worth it and so much more The feeling of love when I can only calm him on my chest or he holds my hand, those moments are ones I will never forget! A child is such a blessing from God and there truly are no words to describe the unconditional love that you have for them as their parent!
‘Every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly Light, who does not change like shifting shadows. ‘ James 1:17
Brayden has opened my eyes and heart to a love I can not even describe as anything other than ‘unconditional’ and it really helps me to see/understand how much God loves us by giving His only son to die for us on the cross!
My goal is to give my baby and family 100% and then try my best with all of the rest! God does not call me to be everything all at one time and I am so thankful for that! I am so grateful for all of you who have been with my for these past 3 years; thank you! Thank you to all of you for always giving me so much support and love through this new exciting journey! Many of you have sent DM’s with help for this new Mama and I am so thankful for ALL of you! I am so grateful to have this blog and you all!! XOXO!