Well here we are…. we have a baby! It’s so hard to believe that our precious little guy — Samuel John — is finally here.
Last time I posted, (almost 2 months ago, oops) I was 36 weeks pregnant, and we were anxiously waiting for Baby Time. Talking about the kicking and growing baby inside my belly, wondering when he was going to show up. Now he’s here and life is looking very different! Different in every kind of good, hard, life-changing, amazing way.
There is is a lot more snuggling, a lot less sleeping, many more conversations about wet/dirty diapers, and a lot of love for this little cutie. Seriously, we are so in love with this guy. We give him hundreds of kisses every day — I think we’re probably already embarrassing him. Sorry, Sam, nothing you can do about it right now. I love looking at him and talking to him. Every morning I ask him what he wants to do that day. He’s pretty laid-back and let’s me decide on the day’s activities. My favorite activity? Cuddling and holding his little hand. Okay, also napping when I get the chance. 🙂 It’s quite amusing…David and I are THOSE parents who think everything Sam does is magical and special. All the faces he makes. His big stretches after a nap. Noises he makes (he makes the funniest noises while filling his diaper.) How generally cute he is — note the excess of pictures in this post.
We are always talking about how big and strong he’s getting. We’re convinced he has a SUPER strong neck. He’s been lifting his head since Week 1, and it’s getting stronger and stronger. He loves tummy time and has been pushing himself way up so he can check things out. I love spending my days hanging out at home with Samuel. It is definitely not easy but we are getting into a pretty good routine. The other day I realized that we are spending so much time together that we are becoming more and more alike.
I made a list of all the ways we are similar:
- We live in our pjs
Lately I’ve been trying to wear real clothes more often, but for the first 3 weeks I lived in PJ/yoga pants and t-shirts. We mostly dress Sam in pajamas too. We don’t have a lot of newborn outfits and pajamas are just so easy to put on.
- We bathe every 3 days or so
Babies don’t need baths very often so we do it every few days. Unfortunately, I’m showering about as often. No time! Loving dry shampoo for the in-between days.
- Eat all day and night
Wow, breastfeeding makes you so hungry! I have been eating like crazy, probably as often as Sam. I even have some snacks next to our nursing chair so I can eat during 4am feedings. Sam is doing really well with nursing and gets hungry every 2-4 hours. He figured it out pretty quickly, although I sometimes have a hard time keeping him awake during the feeding session.
Sam is growing well — back up to birth weight of 8 lbs at his 2 week appointment and he is about 10 pounds now.
- Love when Dad comes home
- Sleep sporadically
Of course we’re on a pretty similar sleeping schedule. Sam is definitely not sleeping through the night but he is sleeping fairly well. After the first week or so he started to conk out in between nighttime nursing sessions. 2-3 hour stretches of sleep at night feel pretty good. I’m sure a 5-6 hour stretch would feel life-changing at this point, haha.
- Sometimes we cry
Of course Sam cries — he’s a baby. But sometimes I cry too. I haven’t had the postpartum hormonal blues too bad but I have had my moments of just being overwhelmed to the point of tears. They don’t last too long and David is always there to help me remember that Samuel is doing so well, we are doing the best we can, and we are so blessed to have our little guy.
We definitely had a learning curve in the beginning. The day after we took him home from the hospital, David and I were both super-overwhelmed with how little we knew and how HARD taking care of Sam was. Thankfully, it gets better each day, although each day is so different. I think we just needed to start building some confidence in our parenting. I keep reminding myself that I am the best mom for Samuel, even if I still have lots of learning to do. Here’s a few things I’ve learned so far:
- Can do more things one-handed than I would have guessed
Laundry, dishes, eating — I can do quite a few things while holding the babe!
- Help from others is such a blessing!
We are so thankful to be living close to family. Between all the advice, babysitting, and just general support, we’ve had a great first month as parents. So thankful. It has also been such a blessing to be able to share the experience with family. Lots of people love little Sam!
- Nursing takes a lot of time
So many hours are spent breastfeeding! 8 or so nursing sessions a day, half an hour each makes me feel like all I’m doing is getting ready to nurse, nursing, burping Sam, or pumping. I don’t know where the days go — last week I recorded what we did all day so I could look back and see what a “Day in the Life” looked like. I’ll post it soon before I forget too much.
- I can manage on little sleep
Yes, getting up multiple times per night is hard but I can manage. In the first two weeks, I had many days when I felt dead exhausted. These last two weeks have been so much better. I finally have had energy to get a few things done during the day and go for walks and outings (grocery store! grandpa and grandma’s house! church!). I’m probably getting about 5-6 hours of sleep each night and a blessed nap some days.
- Not as anxious of a mom as I would have guessed
I would have guessed that I would have been an anxious mom who worries about everything. That hasn’t been the case. I think this might change when I have to give up more control, like when Sam starts walking or when we bring him to daycare.
- Advice from others/internet is awesome but each baby is different
I feel like I’m constantly getting tips from others, asking for advice, or Googling various baby things — breastfeeding, sleeping, number of diapers, baby development, etc. It’s been helpful overall but it’s made me realize that all babies are different. It’s hard to find out that there’s no one perfect way to take care of a baby. I just have to figure out what’s best for Samuel. It’s a work in progress, but worth the effort.
When I was pregnant I wrote a list about what I wanted to remember while being a mom. Reading it again, I love the list and hope I can embrace each part.
- Make life about people and experiences, not things
- Model patience, always
- Enjoy seeing the world through their eyes
- Give as many hugs, kisses, and snuggles as possible
- Make pancakes on Saturday
- Work hard to get on the same page as David
- Ask for help
- Start fun traditions that they can hold onto
- Don’t get too worked up over messes and imperfection
- Enjoy each age fully
So that’s what’s going on in our life with a newborn.
Happy 1 Month, Samuel! We love you to pieces!