LIFE WITH A NEWBORN AS A FIRST TIME MOM (THE FIRST 6 WEEKS)

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I have dreamed about having a family since I was a little girl and when I got married to the greatest man ever three years ago, I knew it was going to happen. When we found out I was expecting last year, we were over the moon ecstatic. I immediately began reading and “studying” for the big day. Well, a few weeks ago, that day finally arrived and it was better than I could have imagined. Now, six weeks in, I am (just now) beginning to get the hang of things. This is a very long-winded post so I apologize in advance. Please keep in mind that this is just my experience and I am being honest about how I feel. I’m doing my best to be the best mom I can be.

I can’t begin to explain how much I love this little girl. I worried about her for nine months before she was born and when she made her appearance, I couldn’t believe it was real life. I know it sounds corny but it really does feel like a dream. I can’t stop thinking/saying things like “I can’t believe she was inside me” and “I can’t believe I am a mom.” There are no words to describe the emotional and physical ups and downs that come with being a first time mom. I constantly stress about her and I probably check a million times a day if she is breathing. Every whimper, grunt, hiccup or cough and I run over to see if she is ok. Her cry breaks my heart and her smile lights up my life. She is my sunshine.

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When I though about how the first weeks would go, I figured there would be a lot of time spent entertaining and playing with her. However, all she did was sleep and eat. There wasn’t really any time between feeding her and her sleeping for us to “play” with her. Almost all of those first two weeks were spent holding a sleeping baby. This was fine because we were extremely exhausted those first weeks…and still are.

BREASTFEEDING

I thought breastfeeding would be hard at first and get easier with time. It was something I didn’t research because I new there would be a consultant at the hospital. As much as I told myself I was definitely going to exclusively breastfeed, I couldn’t imagine my body actually doing it. When she was born, they laid her on my chest and she immediately began nursing. I didn’t have to coax her or position her in any way. She just new. Then, my milk came in. At first, everything was going smoothly. Then, at around two and a half weeks, she started getting fussy and throwing up a lot. This led to more frequent feedings (like every 30 minutes). This was physically and mentally exhausting but really wonderful at the same time because I was still nourishing my little girl (other moms will understand). At her 1 month checkup, I told the doctor what was going on and he asked some questions and ran some tests. It turns out, she has reflux. I know it could be so much worse and I’m really thankful there is a reason and a treatment for what she has been experiencing. We started her on medicine and since then she has been doing much better in terms of pain (she still throws up sometimes).

Then, we hit a point recently where I was having issues with latch and let-down and it was getting really frustrating because I really want to continue to exclusively breastfeed. After reading about Julie’s experience, I purchased a nipple shield and it is a lifesaver. When it is 3am and she is thrashing her head back and forth choking from a forceful let-down, it is literally the best thing ever!

After all this, I think we have established a rhythm that works for us. So I guess this was my long way of saying it started easy, got hard, and is getting easier again. Even though it is challenging sometimes, it is my favorite way to spend time with her and I never imagined how much I would enjoy it. To any moms out there struggling, stick with it!

SLEEP

Overall sleep has been touch and go. She usually does really great at night with only two feedings. After she eats she goes right back to sleep. Daytime is rough. At first, she slept through the day with no problem. Then, when her reflux emerged it became an issue. She isn’t comfortable laying flat on her back so we either have to hold her or put her bassinet on an incline for her to nap. She still experiences some discomfort so she cries between naps/feedings. Her naps range from 30 minutes to an hour. She never really goes into deep sleep during the day so it is hard for me to nap or do chores around the house because I usually end up helping her “settle” several times during her naps. She has been on meds for about a week and we have started to see an improvement in her sleep in general. 

HOW AM I?

Overall, I am doing really well. Some days I’m exhausted and overwhelmed but that just comes with the territory. Mentally, I feel like I am in a good place. I am happy everyday (maybe not all day every day, but every day I am happy). I am extremely anxious about returning to work in two weeks. I love my job and I’m excited to get back but I feel nervous and guilty about leaving her. I’m sure it will pass with time.

Physically, I feel more normal as each day passes. My body doesn’t look different from before I was pregnant but I definitely feel weaker and more flabby in my arms, stomach and legs. That too will get better when I am able to return to the gym and honestly I’m not too worried about it.

Right now I am focusing on doing my best as a mom and treasuring the last days alone with my precious little girl. We already have a bond that is indescribable and I will forever remember these past few weeks that we have had alone (while dad is at work) to get to know each other and to form a very strong mother-daughter relationship from the very beginning.

I want to say thank you to my sweet little girl for being mine and loving me unconditionally.

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2015 Highlights and Goals for 2016

This year seemed to fly by and drudge on at the same time. The first part of the year seemed to pass so slowly because I had just found out I was pregnant and I wanted to get to the 12-week safe zone. After reaching that point, it is like someone hit the fast forward button. Instead of writing a long drawn out post on everything that happened this year, I will just highlight the major/best parts. In chronological order:

1. We got Sirus

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2. We found out I was pregnant

Week 19 Ultrasound i

3. I went to Palm Springs, California

View from my room

4. We moved into a house with a yard

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5. We celebrated our 8 year dating anniversary (We didn’t do anything special so here is a picture of delicious food from a previous date)

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6. I turned 25

7. We celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary

8. We had a baby!

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With all the major changes we experienced in 2015 I can’t help but feel extremely grateful and blessed in so many ways. It will be hard to top this past year because the birth of our daughter is by far the best thing that has ever happened to us. Even though nothing will top that day, I am looking forward to each and every milestone she reaches in the coming months and years. In the spirit of the new year, I though I should come up with some goals that I hope to accomplish. I have never been a resolution maker but it is always nice to have some short term goals to motivate me. So, I came up with a few things that it would be nice to work on in the new year and I separated them into things that have a start and an end and things that have no clear ending. I will start with things that have a definitive end.

1. Run a half marathon. I started training for a half marathon before I found out I was pregnant. I made it to 12 miles when I found out and I decided to back off my training and focus on maintaining my fitness instead of pushing myself. This turned out to be a great decision and allowed me to really listen to my body. Now, I think this will be a great way to work on regaining my running fitness.

2. Clean out and organize our guest bedroom. This has been on the to do list for quite some time (since we moved actually) so I thought making it a goal for the new year would give me that push I need to do it. With a new baby, things have been a little crazy around here as we settle into life as new parents. However, people are visiting more now than ever before (people love babies) so having a place for them to stay is imperative.

3. Read a book for fun. I finished the wheel of time series a couple of months ago and I would really like to start reading again.

Now things that have no “finish.”

1. Spend time every day to clean up around the house. If I spend just a couple of minutes before bed to pick up around the house, it will help keep clutter to a minimum.

2. Have a monthly date night. We have always made time for date night but now that we have a baby I know it will be more difficult to just pick up a go. I want to make an effort to keep a monthly date night where we can spend some quality time together.

3. Focus on being less stressed out. I have always been a stress case about everything in my life. Now that I’m a mom, I have even more things to be stressed about. Stress is extremely unhealthy and it is something I have struggled with for a long time. This year I am going to try to be less stressed out and more easy going about unforeseen events.

I hope everyone has a great 2016!

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Something On My Mind

Hello everyone. Sorry about my absence this week but it was a rough one. I am posting on the weekend because I wanted to address something. When I started this blog, I really wanted it to serve as a hobby for me. I don’t have some magnificent life that I wanted to brag about or anything. I just wanted a way to look back in the years to come and see what I was doing. The reason for making it a public “diary” instead of private, is because some things might be fun or useful for other people to try (i.e. workouts or recipes) and I hope to make many new friends. That being said, I also don’t want to just post whatever to get something up. I still want to provide quality content. So, what I’m trying to say is that I won’t post something every day like I had hoped simply because that isn’t fair for you guys. I will post about the things that mean a lot to me or that I would want to read about. That’s not saying I won’t post about random daily happenings because I will. But, if all I did today was go to work and eat a few times, that wouldn’t be very fun to write or read (even for me in a few years). I want to remember the things that are worth remembering.

That being said, thank you for stopping by and taking a glimpse into my hectic life.

For all the mothers out there, happy early Mother’s Day!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Some Time Off

Good morning! I hope your weekend was fun and relaxing. After our super busy week due to finals and the new puppy, we were more than ready for a relaxing weekend. We spent it resting at home and training Sirus. He can now sit and shake but he is still working on learning to come. He is pretty good about it unless he is distracted by other dogs, squirrels, or new people.

Sirus Outside

Today I wanted to talk about taking time off from working out. As I said earlier, last week was a long and busy week. I was at work all day and then I would rush home to help take care of the puppy. Usually, I go to the gym 5-6 times a week. Last week, I didn’t go at all.

There are two main reasons why I didn’t make it to the gym last week.

1. After switching up some things with medication and battling anemia, I though I should take it easy in the running/weight lifting area. Thankfully, I think everything is starting to even out and I am feeling like myself again.

2. My husband had a huge work presentation he was preparing for in addition to his finals. He was putting in half days at work and then taking the rest home. I knew how busy he was and I just didn’t want to take the time to go workout after work when I could be helping him. I’m not saying that taking time for yourself is being selfish or anything. I just felt that in this situation, I needed to help him more than taking time to go workout. He is my PIC (partner in crime) and I know he would do the same for me. So, I would come home from work and take over puppy duty and help with dinner while he got some work done. Thankfully, Sirus is super active so taking him for walks served as my daily activity.

At the beginning of last week, I was anxious because I thought “I’m going to get so out of shape” and “yoga and running are going to kill me next week.”

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Honestly, after skipping three days in a row, I felt a huge relief. It was nice not to have to worry about what muscle groups to work so I wouldn’t be sore for yoga or what type of run I should do (HIIT, steady or tempo). Sometimes, I am really hard on myself about things that really don’t matter. I am in good shape and I eat (semi) healthy. Why does it matter if I take one week (or more if I need it) off? I guess what I’m trying to say is, it doesn’t really.

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Yesterday was really hard because I was feeling self-conscious and lazy. I’m just not used to being inactive. All things considered though, I think I did a good job of listening to my mind and body last week. I think some time off will help me mentally and physically in the long run.

That’s my tangent for today.

Do you take time off from exercise?

How do you handle taking time off from working out?

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