Wow! I cannot believe that while I am writing this post my 3 week old baby is snoozing away in her swing. The days have been long, but the last 2 weeks have flown by. They have been both the hardest and most amazing of my life, and I already cannot remember what my life was like pre-baby.
Lets start from the beginning shall we? The two days we spent in the hospital were pretty rough. Ella was AWAKE the entire time. Everything I had read said that she would probably sleep for the first 24-48 hours of her life, and would need to be woken up to eat every 2-3 hours. With our baby, this was not the case. She was awake and alert and pretty fussy most of the time.
We had lots of visitors while we were in the hospital. New grandparents and friends came with gifts and lots of tasty food so Stephen and I did not have to eat the gross hospital food. I cannot believe how tired I look in these pictures!
We were discharged from the hospital on Sunday and made our way home. As we pulled into the driveway we were greeted by a welcome party of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins! After everyone left we settled in for a little family nap on the couch
Since getting home, life has been a whirlwind. Ella seemed to settle down when she was home, and finally started to sleep and eat in regular intervals. In fact, for the entire first week I needed to wake her up to eat every 3 hours. After the first week, and after a lot of research to see if it was ok, I decided to just let her sleep and let her wake me up when she wanted to eat. She fell into a nice schedule after that. She is such a good eater, and I feel so lucky that she latched on so quickly and has been an amazing nurser. Its true, newborns will really tell you what they want!
Emotionally speaking, the first two weeks were touch and go. While in the hospital I experienced a few days of complete euphoria. Those new mommy hormones were amazing and I felt incredible. After getting home from the hospital I experienced the “hormone dump” that everyone talks about post child birth. The roller coaster of hormones on top of recovering from my episiotomy and vacuum assisted birth made for a very hard first week. Every day at 5:30 PM I cried. Like clockwork the tears would flow and I would need a break. I felt like my emotions were in a pin ball machine, one minute I was euphoric and the next minute I was crying and feeling helpless. Luckily, right at the 2 week mark I felt like I was back on an even keel. I woke up that day confident, knowing I could handle this and ready to tackle the day. Each day I get to know my little girl a little more, and feel ready to anticipate and meet her needs.
Having a child is amazing. You know you are going to love them, but you have no idea how much or how all consuming this love is until they are placed on your chest after birth. You know you are going to be tired, but you have no idea how tired until you spend a whole night dealing with cluster feeding. You know you will be over whelmed, but you have no idea just how over whelmed until you get home from the hospital and realize that even though you read every book under the sun about caring for a newborn, you have no idea what you are doing.
I am soaking up every moment I can with my little girl. I am loving the bonding breast feeding provides, and the way she looks up at me when she wakes up from a nap on my chest. Motherhood has been amazing and challenging and all consuming. Two weeks down, a lifetime to go. I cannot wait 🙂