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The day he was born

Today Wesley turns one. Wow.

I wrote a rough version of his birth story almost immediately after he was born. I kept waiting to clean it or shorten it or something before publishing it. But it’s been a year. So I’m going to share it, long, unpolished and kind of graphic though it is. This is the day I became a mother. This is the day my son was born. It was an amazing day.

Saturday, March 30th, started with me just as frustrated with being pregnant as ever. Still no sign of labor in sight and I was uncomfortable, impatient and generally pissed off. The weather had improved finally so we decided to take a walk around Brookfield Zoo. The nice weather improved my mood immensely. About halfway through the hour and a half or so we were there I went to the restroom and noticed some light pink spotting. I’ve never been so happy to see blood on toilet paper in my life! I tried not to get my hopes up though because there had been other labor “signs” so many times and they never amounted to anything. Plus, I hadn’t felt one contraction all day.

We ended our little date day with dinner at a local Mexican place. It was tasty and there I felt my first “different” contraction. It kind of actually hurt a little and it was much lower. I still blew it off since I was really convinced this kid was never ever going to come out.

We went home, watched some Netflix and around 9pm the contractions started coming every 10-20 minutes. They were definitely uncomfortable. Instead of tightening around the top of my belly like all my other contractions had been before that day I felt it directly in my cervix. It kind of felt like each contraction was prying it open (which I guess it was). At this point I got a little excited but still felt pretty certain I would go to bed and wake up pregnant.

We tried to go to sleep at this point to see if they would stop but they just kept getting more regular and more painful. Lying down during a contraction was torture so I ended up jumping out of bed and pacing through each one. I did not get any sleep but I think Joel dozed between a few of them. At this point I was totally in don’t touch me mode. Joel’s job was timing them but I wouldn’t let him rub my back or anything else.

At this point they were about 5-7 minutes apart and about a minute long. I had started to think this was really it so we took a shower to be sure. Warm water always stopped my contractions before but this time they kept going right through the shower.

It was about 1am and had finally been an hour of Joel’s app was telling us they were averaging 5 1/2 minutes apart. Since my mom and sisters live two hours away we texted them to let them know.

My sisters and mom got to the house around 3am. My contractions were about 4-5 mins apart and I was shaking even though I wasn’t actually cold. Looking back I’m fairly sure it was just nerves and excitement. I could still kind of talk through the contractions but I was way more comfortable closing my eyes and just breathing through them. We called the midwife and let her know what was going on. She thought it was a good idea for us to go into the hospital.

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I wanted one last belly picture so I put a tiny bit of make up on so we could take one and then hit publish on the “going to the hospital” blog posts that had been sitting in our drafts folders for forever. I had a couple contractions during this time and by the time I was ready to take the picture Joel was kind of stressing out. He just wanted to go. Everyone else just kind of chuckled at me about it. I did have the thought that my Bradley instructor would probably say I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital since I was putting on make up and smiling for a picture. All I could think about was the jacuzzi tub that was waiting for me at the hospital though. Plus my mom was worried the shaking might mean I was going into transition already. (Spoiler alert, I wasn’t. Not even close.)

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We got to the hospital at around 4am. The car ride was very unpleasant but my mom rode in the back and petted my head during them so I managed okay.

The nurse checked me and I was nearly 4cm so they admitted me. Of course I had been 3cm since they checked me a week and a half ago so I wasn’t very encouraged by that. I had to lie in the bed for about 30 minutes so they could get a baseline on my contractions and his heart rate. Awful. Worst pain ever. And then my blood pressure was high so I had to lie down for even longer until they could get it down somehow. I’m sure the extra pain from lying down in bed did not help my contractions any. My sister gave me her sleep mask and I tried to just zone through the contractions. This became a theme throughout my whole labor, I just wanted my eyes closed the whole time. Partially so I could focus and partially because I was so. freaking. tired.

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The nurse could tell how miserable being in bed made me so she had me lie on my side to see if that would get my blood pressure down to an acceptable level. I also got up to use the restroom because dealing with a contraction while fighting the urge to pee is not even a little fun. They had someone come in and draw blood to check for preeclampsia (those labs came back fine). Thankfully the side lying “cheat” plus emptying my bladder worked and I got a couple decent readings on my blood pressure. The nurse made sure to let me know it was kind of a cheat doing it that way but she was really trying to get me out of the bed and in the tub so I could be more comfortable. Bless that woman.

The minute she told me I could get up I shot out of that devil bed. They filled the tub while I paced around the room and changed into the bikini top I bought specifically for the birth. Yes, I bought just a bikini top for the occasion. Doesn’t everybody do that? I got into that giant jacuzzi tub and was in heaven. It felt so freaking good. I was a little worried that it was too early to get in the tub since I was only 4cm and that my contractions would space out but they actually got closer together when I was in there. When a contraction would hit I would sway my hips in the water and it really helped me manage things.

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Joel tried to put some music on at this point but the jets were so loud that it really just sounded like noise and it started to bug me. I had him turn it off “for now” but we never ended up turning it back on again. I guess I’m just not a music person when I’m in pain.

After awhile in the tub I was really getting tired. I’m not sure how long I was in the tub but I know the sun rose and then some while my contractions got harder and closer together in there. I was just a little too short for the tub. I had to really hold myself up by pointing my toes against the far end of the tub and I could never fully relax between contractions. Eventually my legs started cramping up so I decided to get out of the tub.

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I paced around for awhile and did the labor dance with Joel for contractions. By this point I was so sleepy I was having a hard time. I just wanted to lie down and sleep but I couldn’t handle the pain of the contractions lying down. I ended up sitting on the exercise ball next to the bed with pillows propped up underneath my head so I could doze between contractions. I still had to stand up for each contraction but it wasn’t too bad to just stand up from the ball and lean over the bed for each one.

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In this time I really slept between contractions. I know at one point they were getting so intense I had a hard time distinguishing reality from the semi dream state I went into between contractions. For a little while I was so tired and in pain I almost felt like I was drugged or was hallucinating. I asked Joel if I said anything strange and he couldn’t remember specifically but he said I did say a few things that made everyone kind of look at each other and say huh? According to him it was nothing embarrassing though. So win?

One of the weirdest things about me in labor was that I was so freaking polite. I apologized for bleeding on things, said please and thank you for water sips all the time. I’d finish a contraction and ask other people if they were okay. I did not expect that about myself. Extreme pain and exhaustion makes me nice. Who’d a thought?

Things on the ball got really intense. I wanted to get back in the tub but I couldn’t stand the thought of lying down so I opted to try being in the shower for awhile. Joel held the shower head on my lower back and that felt so good. I did look down and notice he was still wearing his street shoes. In the shower. I came out of a contraction, realized he was fully clothed in the shower, kicked him out and let my mom take over since she was barefoot.

After awhile I was too tired to stand in the shower between contractions anymore so I went back to the ball. The contractions started coming almost every minute and a half to two minutes. A couple times while I was on the ball my midwife came in and asked if I wanted to be checked but I turned her down. I wasn’t feeling any urge to push so I knew I wasn’t at 10 and if she told me I hadn’t progressed much I would lose it. She was so amazing and was fine with it. She made sure to tell me there was no rush and I was doing a great job.

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My midwife wasn’t there the entire time but she did come in and out of the room a lot and stayed to talk me through contractions for long stretches of time. We got a really great routine going with my mom, Joel and my midwife. Joel would time the contractions which is something we learned in Bradley. Since my contractions were consistently about a minute long he would tell me when I was halfway done and then when there was only 10 seconds or so left. I honestly think that helped me mentally get through the contractions more than anything else. I just kept repeating to myself that I could do anything for one minute.

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My mom would run her fingers on my hips and stomach. She tried rubbing my back a few times but that never felt good. The lights running of her fingers on me though helped me to focus my energy on exactly where I needed to relax. Then my midwife would talk me through the relaxation out loud. She is super sweet and soft spoken which turned out to be exactly what I needed at the time. Between the three of them I was able to really allow myself to give into the contractions and relax the baby down.

I finally allowed the midwife to check me. I thought sitting on the bed would be torture but it was surprisingly less intense. This may be because I was actually standing up from the ball as a contraction would hit and that hurt. Plus, I was doing a semi squat position next to the bed and I think that really was moving him down. I about cried from happiness when she told me I was at 7-8cm, fully effaced and baby was at -2. Up to that point my water had sprung a leak but hadn’t fully broken so she broke my water bag all the way and saw there was slight meconium.

Mentally I was in a pretty bad place at this point. I could only focus on how ridiculously tired I was. I just wanted to take a nap. Plus I was suddenly terrified of actually pushing. As well as I was dealing with the contractions, the unknown of the pain of pushing was suddenly overwhelming to me. I told my mom how scared I was. I didn’t want to push. This baby had taken so long to get here. Between my loss a year earlier and him being overdue he just didn’t feel real to me. She encouraged me but I know I was still holding back the process mentally. Somehow my body knew I wasn’t in a good place mentally to start pushing and my contractions actually spaced out quite a bit. Apparently augmenting my labor was mentioned at this point because I had “stalled.” My support team was great though and I never heard a word of that until months later. I was able to sleep for the 15-20 minutes between several contractions. I’m amazed that my body seemed to know exactly what I needed. I was in a much better mental place after a got a few of those naps and my labor picked right back up on its own.

They eventually talked me into getting up on my hands and knees on the bed and the contractions picked back up frequency and intensity. I started feeling kind of pushy and would sometimes grunt/involuntarily push about halfway through a contraction. The nurse checked me but said I still had a cervical lip so I couldn’t push. It was really hard to relax through the contractions but also fight the urge to push. Often as not I would end up pushing a bit towards the end no matter how hard I tried to fight it.

At this point I was like oh my god what have I done? Why am I not numb from my eyeballs down? I asked if it was too late for an epidural knowing full well it was. At least I waited until it was too late to get it before I mentioned it, right?

My midwife came in and had me push a little to see if I could get him over the cervical lip. After a couple pushes she checked me again and the lip was still there so she had me change to sitting up with my knees up to see if the lip was positional.

It was positional and after not too long I got his head over the lip and started the pushing phase for real. I was still really nervous to push but my body started taking over at the end of each push and I was getting some effective movement. I asked if I’d have to be pushing for long and they kind of chuckled. Someone said if they could know things like that they could win the lottery.

I pushed for what felt like forever. In reality the whole phase was only about 40 minutes. Still, time kind of disappears in those moments. Between pushes I could actually feel his head moving around in the birth canal. Weirdest feeling ever. Finally they told me they could see his head. They told me I could touch it and at first I didn’t want to. Don’t ask me why I didn’t want to, I wasn’t exactly rational in the moment. They did convince me to though and I’m really glad, I think I would have been bummed if I hadn’t touched it. It felt like jello, it was so weird. Joel impressed me and kept watching things happen instead of staying up by my head like he thought he would want. He even touched the head. I guess the Bradley Method classes plus all those YouTube videos I forced him to watch paid off.

I was fighting the pushing a little because of the burn. It kind of felt like my girly bits were going to rip in half. Good times. Luckily my body is smarter than my brain and kept taking over at the end and I couldn’t help but push effectively.

His head was partially out for several pushes. My midwife actually had to have me reposition my legs because he kept crowning when I pushed and then going back in. I reached down for a second time to feel his head sitting partially out and it was really encouraging.

At the very end it burned so badly and I could actually feel myself tearing as he was coming out. Part of me wanted to hold back still but then, in the last three pushes that got his head out, I wanted him out more than I cared how much it burned. I just wanted to be done.

His head came out and she told me not to push and she suctioned him. That was rough because I just wanted it done. Plus my body really wanted to keep pushing. My mom talked me through it though. Finally the next contraction came and I pushed him out. I vividly remember my midwife saying, “One shoulder, the other shoulder” and then sweet relief because he was out.

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She immediately put him on my stomach and I stared at his beautiful face. The adrenaline rush was unbelievable. He was kind of purple and it felt like ages for him to finally cry. In reality it was only a few seconds but the minute he let out his first yell I realized I’d been holding my breath waiting for him to take his first one. I didn’t cry right then, I was too overwhelmed with happiness. I said, “Hi baby” a million times and then “I did it! I love you so much.” As soon as he was on my stomach I felt no pain. It was the most amazing thing in the world to see his face and know he came from me.

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I looked over at Joel and he was crying. I could see a tear running down his nose. I looked at him and said something about how we did it and we have a son. It was so magical. I’ve never been so happy in my life. That moment is forever etched into my mind. The exhaustion and the pain were instantly gone. All I felt was overwhelming love and a sense of accomplishment.

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His cord was kind of short so the midwife had to keep telling me not to tug on it. I’m sure it’s my fault that my baby has an outie belly button. I just wanted to kiss him a million times and soak in his smell.

Once it stopped pulsing Joel cut the cord and I got to hold him for awhile longer. Wesley kept coughing and sputtering though so they took him away to suction him out in case he inhaled meconium. They did weight and footprints and all that at that point too.

Joel followed him over there while I got stitched up. I had a second degree tear that needed a few stitches. I also delivered the placenta. The midwife asked if I was saving it and I said no but I did want to see it. I’m a weirdo but I wanted to see the thing that made me miserable for 9 months. She was very cool about it and showed it to me and explained what I was looking at.

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I finally got Wesley back and he nursed for 20 minutes on one side and 30 on the other. It was another magical moment. He was a complete natural. The moment he latched on was when I finally teared up.

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It was like a dream how wonderful that first breastfeeding experience was. I expected it to be painful but it wasn’t at all, it was practically pleasurable.

The hospital stay was marvelous. All the nurses were so kind and supportive. Someone came in and gave me a post-natal massage. A photographer came in and took gorgeous pictures of Wesley when he was less than 24 hours old. The food wasn’t even too bad. They made a fantastic apple pie which I may or may not have ordered with every lunch and dinner meal. Ahem. They took Wesley to the nursery a few times and Joel went with him every time. It honestly felt more like a stay at the spa than a hospital. It was the perfect wrap up to a wonderful birth.

I’m so pleased with every aspect of my birth. I had the perfect support team. Even my midwife mentioned how it was so beautiful to see my support team made up of the women in my life who had given birth before me leading me into motherhood. It was so special that my mom and two of my sisters could be there. They were great support and they took the most amazing pictures and video. Of the four care providers in the practice the midwife who attended my birth was the one we saw the least during the pregnancy. She ended being exactly what I needed though.

And then of course there was Joel. His support was absolutely essential. I never let him leave my side. Poor guy only got to pee once and didn’t get to eat anything the whole time because every time he tried to sneak away to take care of himself I called him back. I needed him and he was amazing. He never breathed a word of complaint. In fact, I didn’t even realize he didn’t get to eat or sit down or anything. He was nothing but positive, supportive and encouraging.

It was the birth of my dreams. Everything just went so well. Even better though was I got this wonderful tiny person out of it. He is better than I ever dreamed.

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—-

And now it’s a year later. Motherhood has been everything and nothing that I expected. I wouldn’t trade this kid for anything in the whole world… most days. I know it’s cliche but I really can’t believe how fast it went. I’m so glad I get to be home and watch this little human grow up.  He is the best. As long as he is in my future things look very bright indeed.

41 weeks 3 days

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Dear Son,

Today you have been out in the world as long as you were in me. When we were waiting for you to arrive 41 weeks 3 days felt like an eternity. Especially the last 10 days. Honestly I had hoped you’d show up on the 17th which was a few days before your due date. You had your own ideas though and showed up exactly when you felt like it. Looking back over the last nine and a half months though I’m not surprised. You do what you want. Sometimes that is incredibly frustrating and I wonder if I’ve already ruined you.

You’re so stubborn. I have know idea where you get it. Ahem.

My silly hopes that you would be early made you being late seem that much longer. Weeks, months, years even, passed every day you were “overdue.” And yet somehow, as we step into you being out longer than you were in, I can’t believe how fast the time has gone.

My pregnancy with you was not easy. I did love feeling you wiggle and squirm inside of me though. There are not many parts of pregnancy I miss, but I do miss that a lot.

Your birth on the other hand totally made up for it. I know I haven’t shared your birth story with the world yet. I have it written down in a rough form but so far I’ve kept it just ours. It was such a beautiful day that putting it into words almost cheapens it. I will share it when I feel the time is right. It needs to be shared. People need to hear the beautiful stories as well as the dramatic ones.

Being your mother is something I love way more than I thought I would. Watching you learn and grow every day amazes me. You are a force to be reckoned with. Your smile is still the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve seen several wonders of the world and none of them compare to the wonder and beauty of your smile.

In a strange way I feel like I’m losing a small part of you with this milestone. Like we’re just slightly less connected than we were yesterday. Every day you take another step away from being snug and safe in my uterus and towards independence. I know that’s the goal and I mostly celebrate it. Still, there’s a part of me that’s sad and I hope that’s okay.

Thankfully you’re quite the snuggle bug. You still hate to be put down almost always so I don’t have to worry about you rushing off to college just yet. Don’t rush it, Mister Dude. You are still very much my baby and I’ll be happy to keep it that way for quite awhile longer.

First Father’s Day

Letters to my boys on Joel’s first Father’s Day:

Dear Wesley,

Your daddy loved you long before you were born.

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In fact, I think he let himself love you before I even could. He just could not wait to meet you.

He never dealt with many babies before and I knew he was nervous, but he took to fatherhood like he was born to do it. He was the first one to change your diapers.

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The first night you were alive he stayed up most of the night with me just to stare at your face and make sure you were still breathing.

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He so clearly adores you.

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I’m pretty sure you adore him too.

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I’m so proud of what an amazing father he is to you. If mommy’s milk doesn’t do the trick he puts you to sleep better than anyone, even me.

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Your father is an amazing man who loves his family and would do absolutely anything for us. He is brilliant, creative, a hard worker, tender, loving and extremely passionate. He is my rock and I know he will be yours too. I hope you grow up to be just like him.

-Mommy

Dear Joel,

Happy first Father’s Day. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to raise our son. You amaze me every single day. I absolutely could not do this without you. I can’t thank you enough for all that you do.

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Nothing sexier than my man wearing my baby. I love you.

-Abigail

Two Months Old

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Weight: 9 pounds 12 ounces

Length: 23 inches

Clothing size: Newborn for onsies still. His newborn sized pants are too short on him but the 0-3 month pants still look too big. He has grown into the rest of his 0-3 month a little more. They’re still big around the waist but he’s growing into them little by little.

Diaper size: Size 1.

Sleep: He’s awake a lot more during the day. He still takes at least one long (2-4 hour) nap during the day and several shorter (20 minutes- 1 hour). At night he usually falls asleep around 8, dream feeds at 11 or 12 when we go to bed, up at 5 or 6 again to eat and get changed and then is either up for the day around 7 or cat naps until 10 or so. Twice he’s slept even longer, once 7 hours and once 8 hours. I have zero sleep complaints. Zero.

Approximate number of photos I’ve taken of Wesley: 1,700+

Approximate diapers changed: 300+

He’s still our little peanut but he’s growing, healthy and is the happiest baby ever.

Two Months Old

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Weight: 9 pounds 12 ounces

Length: 23 inches

Clothing size: Newborn for onesies still. His newborn sized pants are too short on him but the 0-3 month pants still look too big. He has grown into the rest of his 0-3 month a little more. They’re still big around the waist but he’s growing into them little by little.

Diaper size: Size 1.

Sleep: He’s awake a lot more during the day. He still takes at least one long (2-4 hour) nap during the day and several shorter (20 minutes- 1 hour). At night he usually falls asleep around 8, dream feeds at 11 or 12 when we go to bed, up at 5 or 6 again to eat and get changed and then is either up for the day around 7 or cat naps until 10 or so. Twice he’s slept even longer, once 7 hours and once 8 hours. I have zero sleep complaints. Zero.

Approximate number of photos I’ve taken of Wesley: 1,700+

Approximate diapers changed: 300+

He’s still our little peanut but he’s growing, healthy and is the happiest baby ever.

My first Mother’s Day

My first Mother’s Day was lovely and low key, just the way I wanted it. We started the day with brunch with Joel’s mom.

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Wesley slept through the whole thing like an angel and woke up at the very end, just in time to let his Gigi hold him for a few minutes.

From there we went straight to hang out with my family. We had a little cookout and just enjoyed our time together.

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It’s not easy to get this many people together, all looking in the same direction and still long enough to get a picture.

My mom gifted me this beautiful necklace.

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It is a tradition that she started that she gifts us girls a necklace like this on our first Mother’s Day. It’s very special to me that I’m finally one of the mothers who gets to wear this.

The weather was a little chilly but sunny and gorgeous so we grabbed some outdoor shots.

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All of us mothers.

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My little family.

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I really love being a mommy to this little dude.

The sweetness of now

Dear Son,

I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings when I tell you I was dreading the newborn phase. I heard so many just-you-waits and horror stories of colic and sleepless nights. I was kind of terrified.

I never did well without sleep. Frankly I became quite the bitch without a full 8+ hours. Plus the dirty diapers and the cracked and bleeding nipples and the hormones… I always thought of newborns as cute, I just liked being able to hand them back off to their parents after a few minutes. Being responsible for one 24/7? Yikes.

I always joked that I just wanted to adopt a kindergartener, because that’s when kids really become interesting.

Then there was you.

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Your birth was beautiful. It was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. I didn’t love pregnancy but I would give birth a hundred times if every one was like yours. When they put you on my stomach I couldn’t believe you were real. You were perfect.

You took to nursing like it was the most natural thing in the whole world. I couldn’t believe how much I loved breastfeeding. It didn’t hurt like I expected. It was complete bliss right from the beginning. You wanted to nurse almost round the clock.

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You also want to be held round the clock. Every once in awhile you’ll be happy to be set down for 20 or 30 minutes and even that is a fairly new development. If I want to be sure you’ll stay asleep and content I have to hold you.

At first this was overwhelming and frustrating to me. People say to sleep when the baby sleeps. Well it’s difficult to do that when the baby doesn’t want to be put down. Ever. Also, I watch the mess pile up around me. I call the futon my nest. I have pillows and snacks and a phone charger surrounding me on it. Most days I don’t leave my nest except to go to the bathroom, change your diaper and grab more food and water.

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I found myself wishing you’d let me put you down.

And then I realized, this isn’t forever. Already there was that one time you slept in the mamaRoo for an hour. You won’t always need to be pressed up against me to stay asleep.

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Right now you need me. Completely. That is wonderful and terrible at the same time. I am your only source of food and often your only source of comfort. I have had moments of wishing that away.

But no more. You need me all you want, little man. There is nothing in the world that is more important than me being there for you right now.

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I look at your sweet face and it’s already changed so much in the six weeks you’ve been alive. You already are awake and alert more and more every day. Before I know it you’ll be too busy exploring your world to be bothered with cuddles. Before I know it your head will have more than just wispy fuzz. Before I know it you’ll lose that sweet milky breath. Before I know it you’ll chunk out and become more than just an armful of sweet squish.

Before I know it you’ll be that kindergartener I was wishing for.

Only the thing is, when I was dreading having a newborn, when I was bracing myself to just get through these days until I got to the “better” years, when I was thinking how I “can’t wait” for ____ milestone I didn’t realize I’d end up with a sweet newborn like you.

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Wesley, you are better than I ever dreamed you’d be. I was foolish to want to skip any of this. You take your time growing up. I know there will be times when things are hard, there already have been. But these moments of neediness? These all day cuddles? These I won’t wish away. They can find me buried under a pile of granola bar wrappers for all I care.

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Because everything else besides you can wait. Thank you for making me a mommy.

One Month Old

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Weight: 8 lbs 11oz

Length: 22 1/2 inches

Clothing size: Newborn for onesies and pants. He’s officially too long for any of his footed clothes that are newborn sized. The 0-3 months size kind of swim on him still though because he hasn’t chunked out yet.

Diaper size: Newborn. We’ve tried going up to size 1 a couple times but they’re still comically big on him, although less so than they used to be.

Sleep: He takes 4 or 5 naps a day. At night he generally sleeps 3 to 4 hour stretches at a time, usually totaling 8-12 hours before he’s up again for the day.

Approximate number of photos I’ve taken of Wesley: 1,300

Approximate diapers changed: 320+

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Don’t know how I got so lucky to get such a sweet, happy little peanut. Happy one month, mister dude.

Seventh Anniversary

Joel and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary today. Since our lives have been recently taken over by a tiny dictator…

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Give me all your milk!

We didn’t go out or do anything super fancy.

Joel did bring me some beautiful flowers, made me a delicious dinner and poured me my first glass of wine in… over a year, at least. It was really sweet.

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I’m not sure how I got so lucky with this amazing guy. He treats me like a queen and is the most amazing dad. I could go on and on but frankly my brain is a bit frazzled and now Wesley is starting to fuss so I won’t.

I’ll just say it’s been a good seven years. This is the start of a completely new chapter in our lives and I’m so excited to see where it takes us. I can’t imagine a better partner for this adventure.

Weekly Wesley: One

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I survived my first week as a mother. Survived isn’t really the right word though because honestly I’m loving it so far. It’s still hard for me to tear myself away from his face long enough to throw a picture on Instagram much less write anything. Not only that but this kid loves to nurse so I rarely have more than one hand free. Currently Wesley is dream eating on my right side and I’m awkwardly typing this up with my left hand.

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Don’t take any of that as complaining though. Breastfeeding is still one of my very favorite things I’ve ever done. Wesley is a complete natural, it kind of blows my mind. I was expecting cracked, bleeding nipples and super sore boobs but so far I’ve experienced none of that. It can hurt a little when he latches on but usually that means I just have to unlatch him and try again. My milk finally officially came in yesterday. I was wondering if it was in before but when I woke up with seriously giant, dripping breasts I stopped questioning things. You’re welcome for that mental image guys.

Wesley-Sleeping

Sleep is actually not too bad now. The first two nights were rougher than I expected. All he did all night long was eat and cry. I’m fairly sure he didn’t sleep at all unless it was a cat nap while nursing. Oof. Joel was a saint and took turns walking him while he cried. We both got no more than two 45 minute stretches of sleep each though. There are no words for that kind of sleep deprivation. Wesley finally mastered the side lying nursing position though and that means that we both get far more sleep. In fact, last night I had to actually wake him up because my boobs were so full I couldn’t sleep anymore. Twice. I know these things change all the time but I’m enjoying the decent stretches I’m getting while I’m getting them.

Joel-and-Wesley

I love seeing how Joel has taken to fatherhood. It is beautiful. He so clearly adores our little guy. I’ve changed… one? diaper since Wesley was born. In just one week he’s gone from basically no experience to getting really comfortable with holding and soothing and dressing a tiny newborn. I knew he’d be a great dad but I didn’t know how much I’d enjoy watching him be one.

Phoebe-and-Wesley

Phoebe has adjusted really well. I plan to write a separate post about the transition but it’s going far better than I expected. She is such a great dog and I have a feeling her and Wesley are going to end up being best friends just like I hoped.

I’m recovering well. I plan to write about recovery and all that in a separate post as well. For now let’s just say not being pregnant anymore feels way better than I expected.

Wesley-Week-One-SkyMommy

Other milestones:

  • Wesley held his head up the morning after he was born.
  • Wesley’s cord fell off last night. So at six days old! I was kind of surprised it fell off already but I’m certainly not complaining. It’s nice not to have to worry about bumping it all the time. He has the funniest little outie belly button. We’ll see if it stays that way as he chunks out.
  • We finally did “real” (aka not on my chest) tummy time today and he predictably hated it. Poor little guy was so squished in utero though that he has a little weakness on one side of his neck so it’s really necessary for him to get that exercise.
  • His jaundice seems to be clearing up. The pediatrician sent us back to the hospital to get blood work done the day after he came home. She seemed to think it was pretty bad and said he might need to be readmitted depending on the numbers. Thankfully the levels weren’t too high and we didn’t even need to get a UV blanket to take home. In retrospect maybe dressing him in yellow for his appointment wasn’t the best choice. We have another appointment Wednesday so we’re hoping he’s gaining weight okay and his jaundice is gone.
  • Wesley has had lots of visitors already. He’s met all his grandparents and one set of great grandparents. Plus six of his cousins and a bunch of his aunts and uncles. This little man is so loved by so many people.

Looking-at-Mommy

It doesn’t feel totally real yet. I can’t really wrap my head around the fact that I’m a mom. Wesley is my son. I keep saying it out loud in hopes it will fully sink in. I love him but he doesn’t feel like he’s actually mine yet. I’m hoping that’s normal and that it will click in soon. But even though it hasn’t I’m still in a state of completely bliss over this adorable little bundle I was somehow lucky enough to get blessed with. One week old and he’s already perfect.

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