If you follow me on social media, you may be sick by now of the pics of my adorable child. I’m here to tell you that I feel that I’ve exercised a really fantastic amount of restraint as far as posting pictures of Liam. If you feel that I haven’t posted quite enough, you’re in luck. Here’s a photo of me and my son – I’ve actually not really made an appearance in my own social media for some time. Not really on purpose, but quite honestly, I haven’t been looking my best. I literally have not worn a stitch of makeup probably since the day before he was born. Not because I’m doing an Alicia Keys thing, but really because I have had enough time to shower, and that’s really been it – I haven’t had time for a ton else other than making sure that I do what I can to keep baby Liam clothed and fed.
I’m wearing my mom uniform, which is that pair of Lululemon tights that Austin bought me like 6 months into the pregnancy because I begged, and an Athleta shirt, loose enough for me to yank up while I’m nursing him. Key.
I’m easing back into blogging more regularly – I love to write and get a chance to exercise my creative side, and now I’m updating at least once a week, and we’ll get back to three, and then maybe four or so by the time I have the time and I’m feeling comfortable to do that.
The First Three Weeks
I think a lot of people are curious about what happens when a new child comes into the home, and we aren’t really super open about it. We get home from wherever we delivered, and sort of shut ourselves in, only to emerge a few months later, and the time in between is a big mystery. I actually am going to reference Kourtney Kardashian again (if you’ll remember, I referenced her as that first stage of labor), in that I remember her literally, after the birth of her second child in a season of ‘Miami’, shutting herself in her hotel room whilst wearing these kaftan things, not really wearing deodorant, and her sister making fun of her for being smelly. There’s a lot of accuracy in that.
Physically, I feel good now at three weeks postpartum. The first week, the first few days, extending out to week two, are physically really difficult. I gave birth vaginally and tore, so that means stitches, a lot of blood loss (totally normal), and for me, a general feeling of being really physically weak. For the first two days or so, I had a lot of trouble getting up and down to go to the bathroom, and Austin had to help me shower by day two because I felt so gross, but the nurses didn’t want me to fall out in the shower. That feeling slowly improved. As far as exercise, I haven’t had my six-week appointment where I’ll (hopefully) be cleared, so exercise is limited to walking, and I did some gentle yoga last night. I’m not someone who could bust out like 6 miles two weeks pp, and I’m fine with that.
As far as breastfeeding, I think it’s going pretty well, and when I have questions, I am able to ask friends kind of what’s up, and I have a breastfeeding support group I am planning to attend at WakeMed, just to see what’s up, and who I can lean on for a little bit of additional support.
I think this is one of the hardest parts of bringing baby home. I was super antsy toward the end of our time at the hospital (which was absolutely lovely) and ready to go home, but nothing really prepares you for coming home with a new little person. I can’t tell you that I really remember what that first afternoon was like at all, and really what we did, or when we went to bed because I must have been really really tired. I think he woke up a few times to nurse, maybe around 3 in the morning, and again around 6:30, and so on, until my sister came to relieve me that next day. You’re tired. I was so tired. I’m still so tired. But I don’t think anything quite beats the tired and shock of that first day or two home. We’ve had a few nights where Liam wants to fuss and fuss for two hours between like 10pm and 12am, but he usually calms before 1, and I’m able to get a few hours of sleep before he nurses again in time for me to lay down quickly before daylight.
What’s really hard mentally, is the tears the first few days, and not baby tears. For me, and for some women I’ve heard, it’s totally normal that due to a combination of hormones, exhaustion, and some of the baby blues, that you cry on and off, for sometimes no reason at all. I cried when he cried sometimes. I cried when my husband went back to work a few days later. I cried when my sister left the second weekend he was here because I didn’t want her to go (she was a really big help). And I cried that day after she left for a long time in the afternoon. I’m not sure really why. And I felt insane.
Three weeks out, I’m feeling better, and more balanced. Someone told me that 12 days pp is kind of when the tears, the exhaustion, and the frustration come to a head (and that there will be more days like the one where I’m crying because I don’t get my sister’s company anymore), but that I may be past the first breakdown (of quite a few) of parenthood that I’ve gotten through.
So overall, I’m feeling much better. My memories of his birth are really hazy, and every time my mom reminds me of something or shows me a video, I’m surprised because I have no recollection of things. I miss my time with Liam and Austin in the hospital because that first night was so special, and showed me what kind of man my husband is. I mean, I knew he was something really special from one of the first times I spent time with him, but he’s blown me away. Fussytime gets hard because babies don’t talk, and sometimes you’re playing the “what do you need” game. I’m still figuring Liam out, and he seems to be studying me with his beautiful dark eyes and his furrowed brow. We went out downtown to pick up lunch together, and he just studied my face for a while and seemed really irritated that he was being awakened for something as trivial as lunch for me. Now that I’m more mobile, I’m interested to see how I feel, if and when I physically start to feel stronger, and when I’ll feel like my life doesn’t revolve around the 40 minutes I get alone to shower and straighten up after he goes to sleep early in the morning.
Now that I’ve rambled on and on and on about what I’ve been up to these past few weeks…what are you up to?