What's life like with a newborn? How has life changed? Are you getting any sleep? How do you fit in work outs?
These are all questions asked frequently by peers, acquaintances, strangers and relatives.
The weirdest question yet... "Does your stomach look the same?"
What's Life Like With a New Born
This broad and vague question has a plethora of answers. I'll start by saying this blog post will take me double the time to write simply because I'm typing with one hand and simultaneously holding a baby in the other. I should say double the time if, and only if, the beast doesn't wake-up to eat or poop in the meantime. I should also mention that I don't necessarily have to be holding her. I could put her in her crib and get things done... but she's got the face of an angel, the smell of sweet baby and the moments are passing by too fast and I don't want to miss a single one.
Life is fast and slow all at the same time. Like, 2 weeks has felt like 2 days yet trying to get out of the house seems to take an hour. The whole, all they do is "eat, sleep, and poop" joke is not really a joke at all.
My days go a little like this:
5am-6am: squeeks, smacks and short, quiet cries... followed by a full blown wail.
Me: It can't be time to feed again... she must just want her pacy (wishful thinking)
After accepting that it's time to wake, the next hour quickly becomes my favorite. Feeding/baby snuggles while enjoying coffee. And then another cup of coffee, while simultaneously catching up on social media. By this point, dad relentlessly makes his way down the stairs to enjoy the morning with his girls.
7am: Diaper change after a blow out followed by nap time.
Me: Here's my chance to shower, eat, juice and prepare Spencer's coffee and lunch. Half way through juicing, cries of hunger emerge from the little sleeping angel. I quickly pack up Spencer's lunch and send him on his way. Eating, showering and cleaning the juicer will have to wait.
8am-9am: breastfeeding while dreaming of all the things I will do once she falls asleep.
Me: Oh, she's done... and asleep! Try to put her down... wails. Give her the boob again. Suckle, suckle, suckle. Guess we'll be here a while longer.
All too often, she begins feeding only to fall asleep after 5 minutes due to utter exhaustion or pure comfort. The minute I try to put her down, she instantly remembers that she was chowing down and heaven forbid I take away what is hers. This makes our feeding process an hour long (on a good day).
10am: Finally out for the count, We're all packed in the bob and ready for a long walk!
Me: This is absolutely glorious. Fresh air. Sunshine. Sleeping baby. Silence. Sweat. How I've missed sweat!
11am: Hunger cries followed by another hour of breastfeeding and watching sex and the city.
Me: Have I eaten yet? No. Can I whip up ezekiel toast with peanut butter and banana with one arm? Oh, screw it. Pre-made Pumpkin Spice Balls for the win.
Typically after her 3rd feeding, I get a nice, long nap-time break.
Me: I've got 2 hours, 3 if I'm lucky. Shower, check. Laundry, check. Cleaning, check. Blog, check. Times up. It's amazing how fast 2 hours goes by when it's quickly become your only opportunity to be productive.
3pm: Feeding in the brown recliner while staring into the kitchen, surfing the mobile web and dreaming of dinner-time.
4pm: Blue, wide eyes full of life and.. mommy milk.
Me: I could sit here and stare at this beautiful miracle for the rest of eternity but my growling tummy quickly reminds me I've hardly eaten.
Funky Flamingo wrap= handsfree baby snuggles! Dinner is in the making, I've had a snack, baby is content and dad will be home soon. (Seriously, strongly suggest the Funky Flamingo Baby Wrap- from getting stuff done around the house to hiking, it's been the best hands-free blessing... EVER)
6pm: Dad is home, baby is asleep in flamingo wrap and I'm rushing to sit down to eat before it's time for her to eat.
Me: Pick up my fork for the first bite... wails. Eye-rolls.... I just want to EAT! Every little baby mouth suckle feels as though she's sucking my energy dry. Because she is. So, dinner moves to the brown recliner and I eat while simultaneously trying not to drop my food on her head as she eats. Happiness.
8pm: SwaddleMe Pod jammies, bed-time pumped bottle, mom and dad ready for bed... baby with sleepless, wide eyes ready to party.
Me: Nodding off. Dad duty time.
12am: squeeks, smacks and short, quiet cries... followed by a full blown wail.
Me: say it isn't so!
An hour later, we're back to bed and then it's time to repeat all over again.
Not disclosed are the amount of blowout diapers I've changed, love-filled kisses I can't help but give, and the happiness that has taken over my heart by getting to be her mommy.
If I've showered, eaten 3 meals and remembered to feed the dog, I'm ready to put on my super woman cape and brag to the world.
How Has Life Changed
- I no longer eat 6x a day because she eats 12x which leaves me no time. 3 meals is pure chance these days. Not the right way to get to pre pregnancy weight but I'd be lying if I said that wasn't part of it!
- In 2 weeks i've done 16 loads of laundry... mostly due to blow out diapers. I previously did 2 loads a week.
- My heart is outside of my chest. Seriously, she has stolen it.
- I've been pooped and peed on more times than I can count. I must be doing something terribly wrong.
- I have a built in BFF that I get the opportunity to spend all day, every day with.
- I save a lot of money because I'm a prisoner to my home to avoid public baby meltdowns.
- Make-up is no longer a necessary part of getting ready. In fact, getting ready doesn't exist. Although, I try to brush my hair before the hubs walks through the door.
- I spend countless hours staring at a human. The most beautiful human alive.
Two cups of coffee everyday... one will never be enough again. Nothing can prepare you for the sleepless nights brought to you by loudest cries from the tiniest little body.
Overall, I have to say, I'm thankful for my 3-4 hour periods of sleep that I do get. And while sleep has definitely changed, I don't feel completely overwhelmed with sleep deprivation. Okay, maybe I am. That was the deliria speaking.
I always hated when people would say, "Sleep while you can!" But seriously, it starts with waking up every hour to check on baby, then to feed baby, then to make sure baby comes home before curfew, then to make sure baby doesn't sneak out and then to simply wait up until baby comes home. See ya later, sleep. Until we meet again in some other life where I'm not a worrying parent!
How Do You Fit In Workouts
For those who know me, know that I'm a planner. I've had a plan for my entire life, including the life I just brought to the world. What I didn't plan, was throwing out the plan once little miss Harper arrived.
What I'm trying to say is, I've planned on not having a plan for the time being. I'm at the cries and wails of hungry Harper.
Work-outs are so important to me, but I'm giving myself time to adjust to time not exactly being my own anymore. Right now, it is a game of whatever I can fit in, whenever I can fit it in. Looking forward to cooler weather and being able to run again. But until then... I'm working with what feels good in the time that I've got!
Does Your Stomach Look the Same
I was going to say, as luck would have it, I was back down to my pre pregnancy weight after 1 week postpartum. But, truth is, there was nothing lucky about it. Staying active and eating healthy during pregnancy was a goal of mine because I felt it was important for me to continue to feel good in my own skin, but never had I thought about what that would mean for me after birth. During this time of considerable life changes, it has felt so good to be light, agile and feeling good.
Does my stomach look the same? No. But thanks to minimal weight gain, I have no stretch marks and my stomach has shrunk back down. Is it soft? Completely. Will it ever be the same? I have no idea.
From blastocyst to tiny human, I'm responsible for bringing life into the world. My body contorted, adjusted and hosted a viable environment to deliver me a baby. My baby. Loss of muscle, a soft tummy and a decrease in fitness is worth that. My body may never fully recover and there's possibility it won't be the same as pre-baby, but I'm proud of where it's been, what it accomplished and whatever come back it does have.
Between starting this blog and now, it's been 3 days, 27 feedings, 34 diaper changes, a Harper poop in the bathtub and 72 hours of unconditional love and grateful bliss to be able to do it all. I just simply cannot wait to change another diaper :)