Sunday, February 3, 2013

One month!

My baby is one month old tomorrow! And already everyday I get a little sad thinking about how fast she is growing up. It's crazy! She's still a tiny little girl, but she seems so much different than that little newborn we brought home! She has a little personality now and all of these facial expressions and mannerisms and whatnot that she didn't have when she was brand new.

So let's reflect on the past month of new parenthood! Man, it is a crazy thing. Obviously, you know you're life is going to change when you have a baby, but you can't ever really comprehend just how it is.

We were in the hospital for a few days after she was born, then when we came home my parents were here visiting for the week. Having a newborn is so stressful at first! You suddenly have this little person who you know a little bit, but at the same time she's a stranger who you have to learn everything about. I was pretty confident in my abilities to take care of a baby, but it was still so nice to have my parents here to help those first few days while we got situated.

Then once my parents left, Sterling also had to go back to work. So I was alone with Brynleigh for the first time! That first week of being a stay-at-home momma was a blur of trying to clean the house while she was asleep (that never worked too well), attempting to do normal things like shower (this resulted in me leaning out of the shower, dripping wet, every 30 seconds when she started crying) and apply makeup (this was actually successful, but was done with one hand while holding Bryn in the other), and trying to figure out things like breastfeeding.

Oh, breastfeeding. Nobody tells new moms-to-be how INCREDIBLY HORRIBLE it is. Like, wow. I knew it would hurt some at first, but I had no idea it would make the first two and a half weeks of being a mom a living helllll, both physically and emotionally. First, we had trouble in the hospital with Brynnie latching on. We saw the lactation specialist probably at least 6 times. Then my milk was taking too long to come in, so the doctor told me I needed to supplement with formula. I actually cried when they told me this, because I wanted to exclusively breastfeed my baby so she was as healthy as possible and felt like a failure as a mother.

By the time we got to come home, I was trying to feed baby with a cracked, bleeding, engorged mess (sorry for the icky details). I couldn't talk through the first 30 seconds of each feeding because I was reeling from the pain. It was awful. And she wanted to eat constantly, so that meant constant pain. I really didn't believe that it would ever get better. I seriously considered switching to entirely formula feeding. It was a painful, stressful mess. But we continued, and by week 3, it was suddenly a million times better. And now it's a breeze! But yeah, all you future moms should consider yourselves warned. Breastfeeding sucks at first.

Another issue we encountered was Brynleigh's weight. Like I said before, while in the hospital Brynleigh lost too much weight (I think a whole pound? She was 7 lbs 7 oz at birth, and I think she got down to 6 lbs 6 oz? I was a little emotional and didn't catch the exact numbers) so we were told we had to supplement with formula. After we were home for a few days, my milk was in so I stopped using formula and just gave her breastmilk. When we went to the doctor for her 1 week check-up, she still wasn't gaining weight so we were told to keep supplementing formula along with breastfeeding. And now, at 4 weeks old, she still isn't up to her birth weight (she's currently 7 lbs 5 oz). We've been having to go in for weekly weight checks, and at her last one the nurse told us we needed to make an appointment to see the doctor to have Bryn checked for acid reflux. So we're going in tomorrow for that. I think she has either reflux or a sensitivity to something in her formula. They switched her to a formula to reduce spit up last week, but I don't see it working. Anyway, hopefully we can get something figured out tomorrow. I hate seeing my little girl so fussy and gassy and not gaining weight!

Other than all that, things are going great. We're getting into the swing of things and figuring this whole parenting thing out. We had family pictures and newborn pictures done last week (see a sneak peek below), and should have all those pictures back sometime this coming week. I'm super excited. She's such a cute, funny little girl. She has the best expressions--many of them are 'old man faces' so we've nicknamed her Wilbert (a fitting old man name). She is a super cuddly baby, she has to be held constantly. She won't sleep alone, so she's in Mom & Dad's bed every night (much to the dismay of my in-laws :), and yes we practice safe co-sleeping. She hates the Moby but loves the new Infantino carrier I bought. She also hates baths, which I'm hoping she grows out of soon!

 As for me, I'm pretty much all healed up and doing good. I took the tape off of my c-section incision today and it looks pretty good. Still a little tender and I think I have some nerve damage on one side, but nothing bad. I lost all but 5 pounds of my baby weight in the first 2 weeks after she was born because I accidentally starved myself (I was too stressed and busy taking care of Brynleigh that I just didn't make time to eat). But I realized that was really affecting my milk supply so I've made it a point to be sure to eat more and now those last 5 pounds haven't budged much (I'd like to think that they've settled into my chest, haha).  I think that's a good enough update for now, so onto some pictures!


Our first time going to church!

Daddy testing out our new carrier. Cute little Brynnie eyes poking out :)

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