Life With Easton: 2 Week Update!
How on earth has my sweet boy been in our lives for 2 weeks already? A part of me feels like he was born just one hour ago and another part of me feels like he's been here my entire life. I do feel funny writing this "2 Week Update" blog post before sharing our birth story with you guys because it seems so insignificant in comparison... but I know that post is going to take a whole lot of thought and heart, and I don't want to forget the sweetness (and the pains) of the last 2 weeks. So, stay tuned--because it's taking me a little longer to put the most beautiful moment of my life into words.
I think any new mom can agree, the first few weeks with your new baby are the most magical, blissful, hard, unexplainably joyful, exhausting, tear-jerking, wonderful, confusing, emotional, beautiful moments of your life. It is difficult to put into words the rollercoaster of feelings I've felt these past 14 days. I honestly cannot complain and even feel guilty saying this- Easton is a DREAM baby. David and I keep saying to ourselves how lucky we are to have him as our firstborn, because he makes me want 10 more. He never ever cries, only a small little "EHHH" if he's hungry. He sleeps for most of the day... loves his swing time every morning (he can sleep in that thing for hours!) and is seriously the chillest baby boy in the whole world. When he's awake, he is either eating (such a little piggy) or staring up at us... I know he can't actually see me yet, but when he looks at me I know he knows I'm his mommy. And cue the tears.
The first two days of Easton's life were spent in the hospital. We tried to leave early (day after he was born) but the doctor recommended we stay an extra night... and I am so glad we did. Having the doctors and nurses checking in on us every few hours really helped ease all of those "AM I DOING THIS RIGHT?!?" feelings. I also had a chance to chat with the lactation consultant on staff and she helped me get Easton into the best positions, he latched almost instantly after birth which was a huge blessing, because breastfeeding was one of the things I was most nervous about!
Once we got home, the first few days were really all a newborn-snuggly-heaven blur. We had some family over to visit, my brother flew back into town to meet his new nephew (he came before Easton was born and left an hour before I went into labor!!) and my mom has been staying with us helping with EVERYTHING. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, hanging with Easton while I take a shower/write this post... she has been my saving grace. If you have someone in your life who is willing to come stay with you when you have a baby.... take them up on it!!! You will be so glad you did. I honestly don't think I would have gotten through this past (with David going back to work) without my mom. MOM- I know you're reading this.. Thank you, I love you so much.. and I pray I'm half the mom you are one day.
A few days after his birth, we went to our pediatrician to find out Easton was already back to his birth weight and 99% in height (and at his two week appointment we found out he has already gained a whole pound and grown a whole inch!!). He is a big ol boy and I am madly in love with every chubby ounce of him!! I knew when he was in my belly that he was going to be a big boy (he was born 9 lb even, 10.0 lbs now!) even though everybody, including our doctor, said he'd be average size! He never measured long or big... but I could feel him growing and kicking and knew he was going to be a lean mean machine!!
From the very first night in the hospital, Easton has been so EASY (his name totally fits his laid back, gentle demeanor) and a great sleeper (I think it's a big baby thing!). We have tried a few different sleeping situations and found the Dock-A-Tot IN the Halo Bassinet (next to my side of the bed) is where he sleeps best. He sleeps so well that I actually ended up with a very painful case of mastitis the first week because he slept about 6 solid hours one night without nursing.
I am entirely new to this whole breastfeeding thing (I honestly never thought I would breastfeed, but it was really important to David so it was important to me, too) and it has by far been the most difficult part for me. There is SO much going on in your body (healing, hormones, sleep deprivation) during the first week home, that the additional pains of breastfeeding AND the mastitis really took a toll on me. I am finally on the other end of that 103 degree fever, and getting more comfortable everyday with this new breastfeeding life... my prayer is that I can stick with it, but if not, my prayer is that I can break free of the mom-guilt associated with formula... because it's REAL!!
The same day that I got mastitis, my entire body also broke out into hives. Now I've had hives, rashes, you name it... but nothing to this extent! My arms, back, stomach, legs (and more) broke out into the itchiest bumpy, red rash. Which was so scary as a brand new mom!! I quickly learned it was PUPPS (a pregnancy/postpartum rash that happens in a small amount of women) and it is non-contagious, but I was still so scared to hold Easton without long sleeves on in fear of giving him the rash. I didn't want his perfect baby skin touching me!! I am still covered in the PUPPS rash and some women say it even takes months to get rid of... but it seems to be getting a little better everyday. This is NOT a common thing, so don't be scared if you're pregnant because it most likely won't happen to you... but if it does, know that it's probably PUPPS and not some crazy virus and you WILL survive!!
I basically spent the entire first week of Easton's life staring at him, crying in awe of his beautiful face and wondering how on earth I possibly deserved the honor of raising this perfect tiny human. The first few days I was on such a HIGH, I mean... I had this perfect little angel to call my son... the healing stitches and the fears of all this newness didn't even cross my mind. And then the hormones kicked in. I spent a lot of the week in delirious tears... happy tears, thankful tears, exhausted tears... tears wondering if I'd be a good mom. Tears over the thought of my mom leaving. Tears over the postpartum pains (I definitely didn't expect the healing be so intense and/or take so long... I thought I'd be on-the-go the next day!!). But those hormones have also settled down in the second week, thank you Jesus because I am NOT a crier (unless it's Tuesday 8pm and I'm watching This Is Us).
Ugh, I sure hope I don't sound like a complainer in this post... because it has truly been the best 2 weeks of my life, and life with a newborn is NOT all that everyone makes it out to be. It is NEW and it is a CHANGE. But bringing new, innocent, perfect LIFE into this world is the greatest blessing and greatest gift from God and that is not to be overlooked. I have been blessed with the sweetest, easiest baby. But I do want to keep it real with you guys like I always do.. because the past two weeks have not been all sunshine and daisies. My body (along with every other woman who has ever given birth) went through a lot... a lot, a lot... and that is not to be overlooked or forgotten either! I've had to let a lot of pride and expectations GO these past two weeks, and allow myself to slow down and let my body heal the way it needs to. And it's OKAY! So, thank you guys so much for being so patient with me during this time, I am so thankful for each and every one of you who have been cheering me on and supporting me through this whole pregnancy and now this new life! You guys are the greatest friends.
I got so many awesome questions from you guys on my last post so I am going to answer them here for all to see!
Q: What did you use in your hospital bag? Anything you wish you brought but didn't? What was most helpful?
A: I used almost EVERYTHING! Which is hilarious because after I shared my hospital bag on IG stories, so many ladies messaged me that I was bringing too much stuff and I would never use any of it! I am SO glad I brought several outfits for Easton in different sizes, because the newborn outfit I packed was WAY too small for him!! My most loved and used items were:
- The Boppy Pillow with THIS cover
- These pajamas (AMAAAAAAZING for postpartum, make sure to size up from your normal because you will still look 6 months pregnant in the hospital... it's true)
- This is so random, but this portable nightlight was a game changer in the hospital and I still use it every night! The lights were SO bright in the hospital room, so I used this nightlight was a huge help while nursing... it also comes in handy for changing diapers at night!
- These joggers (The softness is comparable to Eberjey sweats that are $150+... I wore them home from the hospitaland kept them on for days, lol)
- These onesies (they are so soft on newborn skin.. Easton fit in a 0-3 at birth)
- This blanket (we used it hours after birth because the hospital was so cold and it kept baby so snuggly... still his favorite!!)
- A snuggly blanket for me/David... hospitals are so cold!
THINGS I WISH I PACKED:
- A pillow from home. I totally forgot mine!!
**(I will get a full blog post on all things hospital bag within the next week!!)**
Q: What are your must have items for the first two weeks so far?
A: I am definitely still learning, but Easton has done well with almost every item we've tried out on him!! These are some of his favorites
- The Dock A Tot
- This Halo Bassinet with THIS organizer attached to it- it makes 3am diaper changes SO much easier.
- This Halo Swaddle (he sleeps in these every night, the velcro really holds him in tightly!! He looks like a little burrito)
- This baby bath (it weighs your baby, so we can keep track of how much weight he is gaining each week! He has had 2 baths at home and LOOOVES them!!)
- This shampoo and body wash (my favorite baby scent!)
- This lotion (Easton's skin was so dry when he was born, but we waited a few days to put lotion on him... this one smells so nice)
- The Fisher Price cradle swing... we put him in his swing every morning for nap time. He preferred this over the 4moms momaroo (a friend let us borrow hers to try it out!)
- These nightgowns (I didn't purchase any nightgowns but OMG... they are a game changer during the nights when you don't want to undress him and unswaddle him! I can just unzip the swaddle and pull up his nightgown... plus these are nice and soft!
- These bottles! My Aunt Jan is a lactation consultant and recommended we use these bottles, they have been amazing and Easton has not had any problems latching onto the breast after using the bottle!
Q: How do you deal with waking up every 2-3 hours of the night to feed him, plus the stretches where he doesn't fall back asleep?
A: We have really only had one or two reeeeeally long nights... I recently started pumping a little (thanks to the mastitis) so David and my mom have been able to feed him in the mornings so that I can get an extra 2-3 hours of sleep before the day starts. We definitely aren't on any kind of schedule yet, but those extra couple of hours have helped SO much... even if it's not everyday! It's also nice to give your boobs a break. We haven't had too many nights where he won't fall back asleep, but when he's up cluster feeding for what feels like HOURS I just let him lay with me until he is ready to feed again. You're the mom... you know what's best for your baby, if you feel comfortable letting him lay with you, go for it.
Q: What were your postpartum tricks and how did you get through the pain and the soreness?
A: Ugh, I wish I had an answer for this!!! That has definitely been the hardest part for me... the healing. These diapers were so helpful during the first 7-10 days. I highly recommend them, super comfortable and you can wear them under sweats without totally looking like you have a huge diaper on. I also used the prescription ibuprofen that my doctor prescribed in the hospital up until a few days ago. OH and how can I forget?! Dermoplast was a LIFESAVER!!! They gave me a bottle in the hospital but I actually ended up buying another bottle for home because it was so helpful. If you haven't purchased it for your hospital bag yet, GET IT!! I am two weeks postpartum and to be totally transparent: I am still sore. Sooooo.. if you have any POSTPARTUM TRICKS, LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW FOR ALL OF US!
Q: Are you planning on sharing your birth story?
A: YES! ASAP!! It was such a beautiful and wonderful experience... and I was sooooooo terrified to give birth, but the Lord washed all of those fears away in the moment!
Thank you so much for reading this far! If you have any more questions, leave them in the comments below!!