A new life, a new normal
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Nash is FOUR months old today! That means four months of motherhood, four months of learning new things everyday and four months to adjust to our new life as a family of three. I thought it would be an appropriate time to do a little month-by-month recap of how we navigated the first few months of parenting and how we found our new normal.
Month ONE with Nash
The hospital was easy... nurses doting on us hand and foot, baby being taken care of in the nursery, and just being in pure newborn bliss. But coming home? Those first few nights home were stressful, exhausting, and wonderful all at the same time. This was the best time of my life, yet I was still crying daily over every little thing (blame it on the hormones). Sleep deprivation is no joke and can turn you from beauty to the beast in a split second.
One luxury baby item, that I truly don't think I would have slept a wink without is the Owlet Smart Sock. I didn't think I needed this, but I was very wrong... I needed this for my sanity if nothing else. We didn't have it the first two nights home with him and I stayed up the entire night just watching him breathe. (Thank you Amazon Prime for getting this to us very quickly!)
Nash also had a few minor health things (nothing serious) that we had to deal with. This just meant extra doctor visits and a few trips to Children’s in Boston. Again, nothing serious, but still something that created a little extra stress and worry in those first weeks. Speaking of extra stress, I'm not even going to get into my breastfeeding situation right now, because that will be a post entirely on its own. I will just say that around 2.5 weeks, Nash was solely on formula.
While Nash was still eating every two hours or so, Chris and I would split shifts at night. I would go to bed around 8:00 PM and Chris would stay up until 2:00 AM, then we would switch. Once Nash started eating more and sleeping longer, we were able to go to bed all together around 10ish (this was after the lovely witching hour(s) from about 7-10:00 PM every night). He would sleep for 4-5 hour stretches now, so I would wake up for the 2 or 3:00 AM feeding and Chris would wake up for the morning feeding. This was our groove for a while-- except when Chris worked overnights at the fire house, then I would sometimes have to do both feedings.
Once we found a routine and rhythm that worked for us, some normalcy returned to our lives and we were feeling much less physically and emotionally exhausted. Also, I have to give a shout out to DiFi (my mom), she was truly our saving grace at times in the first month.
Month TWO with Nash
After the first month, I was getting a severe case of cabin fever. Between having a newborn, recovering from a c-section, and a very rainy month-- I had only left the house for doctor's appointments. But like I said, we had regained some normalcy by this point, Nash was now a month old and had a great report at his routine checkup, so I was ready to start getting out and about. But wait-- what about germs?!
For me, motherhood brought germophobia! Nash wasn't getting his shots until his two month check up... that was four whole weeks away. But I didn't want to be afraid to take him out and I wanted him to be used to the car and used to noise. My first bit of advice-- invest in lots of Babyganics hand sanitizer (this is my Frank's Red Hot -- I put that sh*t on everything) and any kind of disinfecting wipes.
While taking a newborn out, here are my top 3 essentials. His awesome Milk Snob car seat cover (we have this Mickey one & this Star Wars one), so nosy strangers couldn't peek at him or try to touch him. It worked great for us, plus he slept like an angel under there. Also, the moby wrap was a lifesaver for his fussy spells and if we were out during his witching hour. He LOVED being snuggled up sleeping on my chest in there. One more thing we used more than you would think in that second month was noise cancelling headphones-- especially if we were somewhere with live music or just a loud place in general (like the time we went bowling with Nash's cousins). I randomly chose these ones from Amazon, and they are great! I always keep them in the car and I intend to bring them to Disney World in November for the fireworks.
Month two went by fast. I couldn't believe it was already time for Nash's two month checkup and (finally) his immunizations! In true Nash fashion, he threw us another curve ball. Long story short, earlier in the month Nash was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder that he inherited from Chris. It's nothing too serious, his blood just takes longer to clot and he will not be a football or hockey star for the risk of internal bleeding. So when it was time to get his shots, the doctor informed us, that he would not be getting his shots until she spoke with the hematologist. This totally stressed me out. His baptism was coming up and a bunch of people would be seeing him and holding him for the first time. Ugh! Luckily, I expressed my urgency on wanting him vaccinated as soon as possible and his awesome pediatrician made it happen less than a week later. Yay! And that pretty much concludes month two.
Month THREE with Nash
Okay, I'm getting the hang of this whole motherhood thing now. What's that you say?... My maternity leave is coming to an end?? What?! How did time go by so fast?! The dreaded 12th week was approaching and I was getting super sad. Starting at 4 weeks I was going into the office on Mondays for a few hours in the morning, which wasn't so bad. I was also away from him for an entire day in June for my dance recital. I was okay leaving him for a few hours here and there, but 4 days a week for 8+ hours?! I tried to not think about going back to work and enjoy the last few weeks I had at home with my baby. We celebrated Nash's Baptism, He took his first overnight trip to Nana & Papa's condo in New Hampshire, and finally our first family vacation to Nantucket.
Nantucket is one of my favorite memories we've created as a family so far. Our awesome friends, Lauren & Bobby, invited us to stay with them for a couple nights on the island. We spent most of the time at the beach, enjoying sunset cocktails, Christmas in July, delicious food & more cocktails.
Are you ready for my first HUGE mom fail? I FORGOT HIS BOTTLES FOR THE BEACH! Yup, you heard that right, I forgot to pack his bottles (breastfeeding would have come in super handy right at that moment). Luckily, he had just eaten and we were only going to the drive-on beach for a couple hours. I did have a small 2oz pre-made bottle of formula hanging around the diaper bag... so I had half of a feeding. Yikes-- I felt mom guilt x1000000! I'm pretty sure God me an angel-- Nash was PERFECT that day. I think a combo of the salty air and ocean breeze had him in a state of bliss. He napped, woke up and smiled, ate his half-of-a feeding and fell back to sleep until we got home.
That incident could have been a huge disaster, we just got extremely lucky. However, we learned a huge lesson that day and hopefully we will never do that again. But if you ever find yourself feeling mom-guilt, just think about me forgetting my kid's food and it'll make you feel better. Having a tiny human who depends of you 24/7 is hard work-- cut yourself some slack, you are doing amazing!
Vacation came and went and July 15th was here. Off to work I went (for reference, my hours are M, T, W & F 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM). The first week was easy. Of course I missed my baby, but I was okay. It was week two that had me in a full blown depression. Nash's constant tossing and turning at night was keeping me up (he wasn't waking up to eat-- he just moved around a lot in his sleep and his bassinet was still right next to my bed), the sleep deprivation was catching up to me and I cried EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! Nash also turned three months that week, so I did some reevaluating going into month four...
Month FOUR with Nash
Nash was now getting more independent everyday. Holding his head up unassisted, chatting up a storm, rolling from side to side, going a full 8 hours in between bottles at night, and waking up diagonally, squished in his bassinet. Maybe it was time for his crib? But was I ready to separate myself from him at night? I loved simply reaching over next to me in the early morning hours and scooping him up for a snuggle sesh. Our early morning snuggles were my absolute favorite thing about the newborn stage. But I knew my sour mood, from lack of sleep, wasn't good for either one of us. Plus, he was clearly showing signs of being ready.
August 3rd, a Saturday night, I decided he was going into his crib. He had never even napped in his nursery, so we were going cold turkey. HE. DID. AMAZING! Slept right through the night 9:15 PM - 5:15 AM. Every night he continued to sleep better and longer. Moving to his crib has been life changing for both of us.
One thing I love about the Owlet Smart Sock is how it tracks his sleep. According to the Owlet, he occasionally wakes up in the middle of the night (very briefly) but falls right back to sleep. It doesn't wake me up because he doesn't cry or coo-- he just tosses a bit, changes positions, and soothes himself back to sleep.
I've mentioned that we love the Owlet, we also really love our baby monitor-- Lollipop Smart Wi-Fi-Based Baby Camera. I saw an ad for this monitor a very long ago on @alittlejandk's Instagram. It looked super cute, and seemed like it had a lot of great features, but I couldn't find many concrete reviews on it, which made me very indecisive about purchasing it. Obviously, it's the monitor I ended up getting and it's awesome. It's portable, wi-fi based, has a great app, clear picture & video, has a microphone, and plays classical music that you can put on a timer... Oh, and it saves clips of excessive noise or crying so you can watch it back and find out what the noise was or why the baby was crying. So far, we are loving it. It's so adorable when Chris can say goodnight to Nash over the monitor when he's working overnights. I also love when I'm a work and I can spy on my mom while she's babysitting (haha!).
So, in month four-- transition into the crib went swimmingly, going to work is much better now that I'm not physically and mentally exhausted, and this month really feels like we're settling into our new life as a family of three. It's truly remarkable to watch your baby grow and learn. I feel like everyday he's doing something new. He's sitting up more independently, he rolled from back to belly for the first time just yesterday, and if you guys could only hear how much he blabs to himself all day long-- and that belly laugh-- ahh! It's the cutest!
I'm looking forward to month five with Nash. I'll be rearranging my work schedule come September. This means really long Wednesdays, but Tuesdays & Thursdays I'll be home with my little man, which makes me so happy!
This was a pretty long post, so thank you for reading it to it's entirety. Next week, I'm stepping away from parenting and I'll be talking all things Star Wars for the opening of Galaxy's Edge in Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 29th! So if you're here for the Disney content-- Stay tuned!!
See ya real soon!