Life with a newborn

IMG_2643-1Cruz Adriana

Cruz already has so much personality! She’s sassy, can hold her head up for a few seconds, has a strong grip (already pulling some of my hair), hugs Mommy and Daddy when she lays on our chest, smiles so much, super fussy when she is hungry (just like her Mommy), snorts when she’s really hungry and trying to latch, losing her baby hair on the top of her head, and loves to cuddle.

She is absolutely beautiful, even from the minute she entered this world (no alien baby here).

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Breastfeeding

One of the things I looked forward to most was breastfeeding Cruz! I mean how amazing is it that I am able to give her everything she needs through my body.

A few facts about your boobs:

They will grow!! I struggled with this during pregnancy because I couldn’t find a bra to contain them on my long runs. I still struggle with the size of my boobs because they are so huge and feel they don’t fit my body. But right now that doesn’t matter, all that I really care about is being able to nourish Cruz.

• You produce colostrum first and a few days after birth regular milk will come in.

• When the regular milk comes in you will experience engorgement. This hurts like hell. It happened 3 days after Cruz was born and it honestly felt like sandbags were in my boobs. To relieve the pain I would take a really hot shower and massage them. Luckily the pain went away after 2 days or so.

Take care of your nips!! Make sure to use nipple cream after each feeding, especially in the beginning. I used 2 different brands, Medela and Lansinoh. Lansinoh turned out to be the best one, it’s odorless and didn’t stain my clothes yellow like Medela. I also bought Medela Tender Care Hydrogels, I cut one pad into 4’s and froze them. I would put these on my nips after each feeding. After a couple of weeks my nips didn’t hurt anymore, but occasionally I use the Lansinoh cream.

• Part of taking care of your nips is making sure you get a good latch every time you breastfeed. I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning but after learning from several nurses and watching a hospital video, it clicked. So, my advice to you is to use all the help/advice from the different nurses, lactation consultants and videos. The most important thing is to be patient with the process, it doesn’t just magically happen – it takes work.

The first time I breastfed her. IMG_9615

Feeding schedule

1 week old: The feedings were sporadic but averaged every 1-2 hours. The feedings were long in the first few days of life.

2 weeks old: In the middle of the night my routine is to change, feed, burp for 15-30 mins (depends on how many burps I get out of her), and little bit of cuddling until she is completely out then I either let her sleep with us or put her in her crib.

Time Left/Right Boob Duration of Feeding Diaper Change
1:53am Left 21mins Pee
4:10am 3oz bottle Pee
4:30am Right 7
5:57am Left 14 Mixed
9am Right 5
10am Left 10 Mixed
12:42pm Right 11 Mixed
1:55pm Left 22
2:23pm Left 11 Poop
6:21pm Right 7 Mixed
7:03pm Left 10
8:50pm Right *Pumped 3.5oz
8:53pm Left 18 Mixed
10:57pm Right 27

3 weeks old: I downloading a ‘Baby Tracker’ app to keep track of the feedings, diaper changes, and pumping. It’s so much easier to use than writing it down in my phone.

Feeding has become second nature to me at this point. I don’t mind the middle of the night feedings as much anymore. The hardest thing is when she doesn’t want to sleep after a late feeding and decides to fuss instead.

Her feedings average 10-12 times a day lasting 10-20 minutes.

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Diaper changing

We gave gone through an average of 8-10 diapers a day. We have used the following brands: The Honest Company, Huggies and Pampers. Pampers newborn were our favorite because they fit her the best, super soft, and it has a wetness indicator (yellow strip on the bum that turns green when wet). As far as wipes go, we bought a huge box from Costco but I really loved the Burt’s Bee baby wipes. Unfortunately, these are too expensive for how fast we go through them. On average we use 2-3 wipes per diaper change, that adds up fast!

Doctor Appointments

3 days old: Cruz gained weight here (most newborns lose weight), low risk for jaundice, 48cm long, and doesn’t like to be pricked in the foot.

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2 weeks old: Cruz is 6lbs 9.2 oz, grew an inch since birth, and got her first of three Hep B shots. Her next appointment is at 2 months.

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Advice for new parents: write questions as you think of them and make sure to ask the doc in the appointment. There are NO stupid questions. And the book Baby 411 is amazing, I refer to it constantly.

Sleep

Mommy: At night I get 2-3 hour chunks of sleep, but other nights when she doesn’t sleep as well it’s closer to 1-2 chunks at a time. Joey and I are trying different things to tag team these night feedings. I take the 10pm-4am shift and he takes her from 4am-7:45am and then gets ready for work. I try to nap at least once a day with her, some days it doesn’t happen because I try to get other things done.

Daddy: Joey sleeps from 9pm-4/5am until his shift. During his shift he goes out to the living room so I can get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. He changes her, feeds her a breast milk bottle, and lays her back down to sleep until he has to get ready for work. I make this all sound like it works so smoothly, and I promise you it doesn’t. I’m learning that this is just how it is with a newborn and we have to be patient and just roll with it.

Baby: Cruz sleeps for roughly 18-20 hours a day. When she’s not sleeping she’s eating or just awake looking at things and making funny faces.

Recovery

Body: I had the easiest delivery, only had to push for 15 minutes and out popped Cruz. All that exercising during my pregnancy really paid off. During delivery I had a minor tear to my labia minora that was stitched up. Also, Freddy the fibroid tried to make an appearance too. My body was trying to deliver the fibroid but it was still attached to the uterine lining. My doc told me that I would have to have it surgically removed at a later time and for now there was nothing she could do. At that point I wasn’t too concerned, I just wanted to hold my baby!

Once my epidural wore off the pain hit me!!! At first I was hesitant about taking percocet because it’s so intense, but I caved in and it helped so much with the pain. Once the pain faded, I used the following: Motrin, Tylenol, ice pack, & this spray for minor cuts/burn that the hospital gave me.

This might be TMI but I got to keep it real with you all. A few days after Cruz was born I delivered my fibroid while trying to pee. It was the worse pain but turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. The fibroid detached and died due to the lack of blood supply. So technically I gave birth twice, once to Cruz and then to Freddy the fibroid that was the size of a small apple. Now that Freddy has died the bleeding slowed down. I am currently 4 weeks postpartum and there are very small amounts of blood and I look forward to not having to wear a pad. Going to get my sexy back!!!

Exercise: I didn’t go on my first walk until Cruz was 8 days old because my body was still recovering. I have continued our walks since then, which last 1-2 miles. Cruz loves it and falls asleep almost immediately. Around 3 weeks postpartum I was going crazy because I missed strength training and running but right now I am trying to be patient and listen to my body. I think I will attempt to slowly trot at 4.5 weeks postpartum if my body feels up for it.

Kegels:  This is squeezing your lady parts as if you are holding it like you have to pee. It’s important to strengthen those muscles down there. I try to do 20 second holds for 15-20 reps twice a day.

 1 Week Postpartum IMG_1282.JPG
2 Weeks Postpartum IMG_1524.JPG 
 3 Weeks Postpartum IMG_1992.JPG 

Postpartum Feelings:

1 week of life: During our stay in the hospital I had tons of help from the nurses. My mother-in-law (Cruz’s Mimi) stayed with us for a few days after coming home and it was great. But as soon as she went home and Joey and I were left to take care of Cruz by ourselves we were terrified!!! I constantly questioned myself, I mean I didn’t know what I was doing (I still don’t, definitely learning as I go). Basically parenthood slapped us right in the face!!!!!

Luckily my Mom (Cruz’s Nana) came to visit a few days after Mimi left and stayed for 8 days. It was amazing and the time just flew by.
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2 weeks of life: Joey went back to work, which was something I cried a lot about during the first week Cruz was born. Looking back I needed to just chill and enjoy our time together.

The lack of sleep is tough. Even though everyone told me about the constant feedings and little sleep, I still had no idea what it was really like. You honestly don’t even know how to prepare yourself for it until you are in the midst of it. It’s hard.

I guess you eventually get to the point where it becomes the new normal. But with any type of change in your life it’s uncomfortable and such an adjustment. It was hard for me to wrap my head around this new life of mine. There are moments when I’m so overwhelmed or lonely and I just cry. And then you have these moments when you look at your baby and you’re just in awe or they smile at you. I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

Bottomline, this shit is hard but so fulfilling and amazing. I mean I created a human being with my husband!

Family pic before Daddy and I went on our first dateIMG_1503

3 weeks of life: Somehow I’m starting to get used to the lack of solid sleep. I can get by with 5-6 hours (in chunks, not in full), whereas before I needed 8-10 to function.

My Mom left this week but I felt ready to take care of Cruz on my own.

There have been good days and some days you feel so defeated. On the hard days you get through it and really appreciate when you have a good day. I couldn’t do this by myself and so happy to have my husband.

Cruz looks so much like her DaddyIMG_2614

Remember Who You Are

Not to sound all cheesy and quote The Lion King but this is so fitting. You can’t forget who you are. It’s easy to lose yourself in this whole process. I have been trying my best to continue doing the things I love.
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4 Comments

Maria E. Garcia aka Nana

You are amazing! I’m so proud of you ? I can’t wait until my next visit.

Reply
Preggr

I really loved and APPRECIATED this post. I’m just over 8 weeks out of delivering my very first and I haven’t come across such a well thought out and presented account of life in the first few weeks with baby. I’m excited but so so terrified, lol. Saving with plans to re-read later. Thank you ?

Reply
fitandyy@gmail.com

I’m so happy you liked it! Congrats mama 🙂 Best of luck to you and your family! Enjoy every moment!!!!!

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