The First Week

by jenna on May 28, 2014

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Our first week home with Grayson was the best and hardest week of my entire life. I really want to be able to speak honestly about the postpartum period, and it’s ups and downs so please bear with me. I feel like I have so much to say and never have enough time to say it between feeding, burping, diaper changing and sleep. I’ve had to learn to be very selective with my time! Grayson is a joy but motherhood is a lot of work. I’m a few weeks in now and still still wondering where my days go?!

Almost half of our first week was spent at the hospital and I’ve already told you guys how tough that was. Typically, with vaginal births, families only stay two nights but our pediatrician talked us into spending a third night since we were having some feeding issues. We were so happy that we stayed {got to take advantage of working with great lactation counselors and nurses} but REALLY ready to get home.

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Like I said, I wasn’t really prepared for how much breastfeeding hurt in the beginning. I was really lucky because my milk came in after only three days but man, those first few days hurt…even with a good latch. However, it got better! Five days in and I wasn’t in toe-curling pain anymore. Hallelujah. We are waiting on my pump to arrive {I get a free one through my insurance} so I can start pumping some bottles and Adam can help with nighttime feedings. Hallelujah again!

Everyone told me about the hormone fluctuation those first few days home from the hospital so I thought I was prepared…but woah! Some serious hormone swings were happening. One minute I felt like I was on top of the world and blissfully happy and the next minute I was crying for absolutely no reason at the dinner table. So crazy. I was obviously crazy in love with Grayson yet found myself missing our old life at the same time. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been there so I’m especially thankful for mama friends that picked me up those first few days and assured me this was completely normal and to be expected. The hormone swings ended at about day five or six – same day that nursing became tolerable – and now I feel fine. Exhausted, but fine overall.

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Speaking of exhausted, I really am but it’s not as bad as I thought. The whole “no sleep with a newborn” thing caused me some anxiety while pregnant {I looooove getting my eight hours in} so I was nervous as to how I’d function during the day after being up all night. Not going to lie — the first few nights were pretty rough but it’s gotten easier now that we have a semi-routine down. We usually put Grayson down right after his 10pm feeding then he’s up around 1:30, again around 4:45 and up for the day around 6:30ish. Sometimes he makes it going three hours without eating at night and sometimes only an hour and a half. I’ve had to learn to relinquish control and just be present in the thick of it, whether that means two middle of the night feedings or four. I know this stage is so short lived and I don’t want to look back and regret hurrying through it. I only get him this little once so I try to soak it all up. I’ve started using the time that I’m up during the night to pray and memorize scripture. I mean, when’s a better time to talk to God than when you’re up at 3am nursing a baby by yourself in the dark? We moved our glider from the nursery into the bedroom and set up a changing station there as well to make middle of the night feedings go a little smoother. We plan to transition him to his crib in a few weeks!

We started cloth diapering when Grayson was about a week and a half old. I was nervous at first but decided to just go for it. We still use disposables at night but plan to transition to cloth soon…or when I am a little less sleep deprived to handle it, that is. :) In terms of the newborn cloth dipes, I have been loving the nb workhorses with either wool covers or thirsties duo wrap size one. Even though Grayson is a big baby, they still fit him fine. I think especially so since I bought the snapless kind that you snappi or pin on. The extra laundry hasn’t been an issue at all. I just throw all the dirty dipes in at night every 2-3 days. I thought it would be more work but it’s really not at all. Plus, his fluffy tush is just too cute. We also use cloth wipes and homemade solution. I use distilled water, a squirt of witch hazel and two drops of Kissaluvs diaper lotion potion. We have two wipes warmers – one for our bedroom changing station and one for his nursery – and Grayson LOVES the warm wipes.  A more detailed post on this topic to come!

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Overall, I really am loving motherhood but admit that this newborn stage definitely has it’s challenges.  I’m still working myself up to going out of the house more with him solo, since Adam is back to work now. In the beginning, I was terrified because there’s just so many moving parts and what if something bad were to happen?! I think the only way to gain more confidence though is just by forcing yourself to do it. We started with an easy trip to Trader Joe’s…then went to the chiropractor…then Whole Foods…slowly and surely, I am gaining confidence as a mom and feeling more like my old self again.

I am healing really well and enjoying all those extra breastfeeding calories. :) I gained about 40 lbs with Grayson and am still 15 lbs from my pre-baby weight. I know it will come off eventually so I’m not stressing about the fact I still can’t zip up my old jeans. That’s what leggings are for, right?!

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{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaara May 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Ah again, I love reading these and hope to some degree it helps for when my
Mini me arrives in October! Thanks for all the insight!

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Alyssa May 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I love your story and the fact that you’re honest and real makes it even better. What a beautiful family you have :)

Alyssa
cupcakesandsequins.blogspot.com

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Aaryn @ Insert{Life}Here May 28, 2014 at 6:18 pm

I’m not a mama, so I can’t relate. But I have a mama,and she is great, and so are you. I can say that, right?

Thank you for sharing you honest/amazing story with us readers! I’ve been thinking, praying, and sending you and your family good thoughts. And I get so excited when I see an insta pic :)

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Wendy mecke May 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm

God Bless and enjoy every minute.

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Maggie May 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Oh mama, those first few weeks are a doozy! That said, my baby girl is only three months old and I’ve already forgotten the haze of month one. Like you said, try to enjoy those moments with Grayson in the middle of the night. One of these nights, he’ll lay his little head on your shoulder while burping and give you his first little baby hug. All will then be right in the world. :)

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Live Love Yum May 29, 2014 at 2:51 am

So beautiful. :)

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Tara May 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Glad all is going well!!! You have a cutie for sure. How’s Dexter doing with him?!

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Aria May 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm

You are doing amazing! Grayson is such a cutie :)

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Helen May 28, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Thank you for sharing!! Hang in there it does get a little easier! I remember those newborn days, my daughter is now almost 2. They do grow so fast! You will miss these days when Grayson is a toddler running around and never stops to cuddle for more than a minute haha. And the hormone changes just keep going, mine were crazy up and down for months. I was exactly the same as you about going out alone with Lily and I had a few meltdowns but t did get better the more I ventured out. I remember in the hospital they kept telling me sleep when my baby sleeps during the day, and I never did there was always too much house stuff to catch up on. Looking back I would have slept! House stuff can wait, sleep helps you keep your sanity during these first few months. Good Luck! And know that you are definitely not alone!!! And congrats, its amazing being a mother, there is nothing else like it ! :)

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DianeG May 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm

I have been there (twice now), and everything you said resonates with me. It is hard and beautiful and emotional and so many things all at once. You are already braver about going out than I was at the beginning! And what a cute little bundle you have to snuggle! I love that last picture especially.

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Emma May 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Our first baby is coming end of August, this is so great to read in preparation! Thank you

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Nicole May 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Love the honesty. You definitely speak the truth that so many of us feel in the beginning. I don’t think it’s something you can explain to someone who doesn’t have kids, as you have to be in the throes to fully understand. I can say being a mom of a 2.5 year old, with baby number two any day now, it’s totally worth it. Seriously the most challenging thing one can do, but also the most rewarding. My saving grace those first months was finding other moms with babies around the same age. Just helps to have someone else say, YES! I’m so going through that too!! Good luck. It’s truly an amazing journey.

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sarah May 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Those first few weeks are hard. And even though you think you feel emotionally back to normal, you’ll go through waves of it for a few months. The hardest part of the sleep thing for me was not that one night was particularly difficult, but the compounding of sleepless nights month, after month, after month. Mine wasn’t sleeping through the night regularly until she was about six and half months old. But, I think since you have a big baby who’s a good eater you might luck out on sleep sooner rather than later!

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Allie || 6000 miles to home May 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

This is wonderful – thanks so much for being so transparent and letting us get a glimpse into your life!

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Kelli May 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for this Jenna. I am due in July with our first and I so appreciate your honesty, that way when I am going through this I know I am not alone. Thanks for sharing :). Beautiful family by the way!

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Kelli May 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Thank you for this Jenna. I am due in July with our first and I so appreciate your honesty, that way when I am going through the up and down emotions I know that I am not alone. Thank you for sharing! Beautiful family by the way. :)

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Jessica May 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

I remember how scared I was to leave the house when my son was a newborn. However, my husband worked long hours and I didn’t have help from family so there was really no other choice except to just do it. It truly does get easier and easier. When snags do happen, all you can do is see them as learning experiences and maybe even laugh about it. :)

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Yael May 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing so honestly. I’m nowhere near ready to have kids yet but I know that your words and experience will stick with me when the time comes. It seems so rare and hard to find honest wisdom/experience/advice.

Glad to hear that things are getting a little easier. Can’t wait to read more!

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Stacey May 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your honesty! I’m working my way up to having kids, and I love to read honest stories about the entire process. I’ve been praying hard for you guys! Looking forward to your next update.

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Sarah May 28, 2014 at 9:16 pm

You are doing amazingly well!! It took me a couple months after Fi was born to feel comfortable leaving the house alone with her. At around the 3 month mark I felt like I was a “normal” person again and was starting to find my groove. There will be ups and downs, but those baby snuggles make it all worth it!

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Amy Walters, A DESIGN DOCK May 28, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Aw, sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job, Jenna! It’s been so fun to follow along on your family’s journey these past 9+ months :)

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dishing up the dirt May 28, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Raw, real and totally lovely. Thanks for sharing. XO

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duffy May 29, 2014 at 3:52 am

Nice post, and welcome to motherhood! It changes daily, I swear. I love that period because it gives you the chance to catch up on really bad tv overnight (I was a Gossip Girl convert).

Don’t sweat about your jeans zipping up. After giving birth to a big baby, your hips will naturally be wider. Jeans can be tough to fit back into, even six months out, no matter how much weight you lose. I don’t know if you feel like your hips expanded a ton, but when women are smaller it can be an issue.

It’s weird, though. Your size won’t change, you will just need a different pair of jeans. So it’s a good excuse to go shopping.

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jen May 31, 2014 at 11:12 am

Amen to wider hips. Even after I lost all the weight I was wider. Now even more so after my 2nd.

And heck yes to the notion of rolling with the punches. Now that I’m on my 2nd I know that even when it seems like forever the hard parts all pass. My 2nd is 11 months now and is still up 3 times to nurse most nights. I’m fried and finding its much harded with a toddler at home too, so we’re done having babies. But I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’ll sleep one day, just like big sis did.

And seeing these pics of little Grayson is just killing me… what a beauty he is jenna!

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Kayley Maybe May 29, 2014 at 3:55 am

I used to pray a lot during middle of the night feedings too. It was a real time of connection, and it was overwhelming realizing that the love I had for my little baby was the same immense love God feels for every one of us. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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Nan May 29, 2014 at 3:57 am

Oh, those first few weeks are so so very hard, you are exactly right. But it gets better and easier soon. I promise! I had no idea about the hormone fluctuations those first few days but they are very real and very wild but soon, things settle down for you and your baby. It sounds like you are already settling into some sort of routine and it is great that you are getting yourself out of the house for a bit. Just like you said, keep surrounding yourself with all your mommy friends who have been there! In those beginning days, my goals were very small… getting dressed and getting out of the house at least one time. Those little trips to the grocery store or sitting at the park were so helpful and much needed. You are doing beautifully and thanks for allowing all your readers to hear about your journey.

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michele May 29, 2014 at 4:09 am

I don’t have babies, but I’ve had severe issues with depression my whole life (or at least since I was about 5…), and the post-baby hormone surge terrifies me. I want kids, but I don’t know if my body/brain can handle that type of swing. Honest words like this give me strength, and I admire your courage. Your son is already blessed to have a momma with such qualities!

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Lori May 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hi Michele,
I have suffered with depression in my life, too. You may not be into this, but I had my placenta encapsulated after I gave birth (into pills that you ingest). Look into it. It’s been popular in Chinese medicine for centuries, and it has a lot of benefits, including helping with hormones and post partum depression. Of course none of this is “proven”, and I only have my one experience with nothing to compare it to, but I felt pretty good during the newborn days. Of course it was still hard and emotional adn I cried here and there, but I was able to keep my emotions in check.

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Jaclyn @ BumpSweat May 29, 2014 at 4:43 am

I’m new to your blog but so glad I found it. We’re expecting our first baby in August, so I’m looking forward to reading more and more about your adventures as a new mommy. Two of my girlfriends alerted me to the pain that accompanies early bf’ing. One had such a bad experience that she cried every time her little guy got hungry. Fortunately, she pushed through and is a baby-feeding rockstar :)

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Jojo @ RunFastEatLots May 29, 2014 at 4:50 am

omg my heart melted at that last photo of you and Grayson

Thanks for sharing your experience as a new mother. I still have a long way to go to become a mother, but it’s interesting to hear about your experience.

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Carolyn@Small Things Trilogy May 29, 2014 at 4:58 am

Loved reading this! Especially as we are trying oueselves. Do tell when u have good baby cloth diapers/ wipes ideas! Need some good advise and ideas! Good luck with the mood swings ;)

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Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) May 29, 2014 at 5:08 am

Jenna, what a beautiful and honest account of the experience becoming a mom for the first time. I just had my second daughter a week ago, and it’s been much easier the second time around knowing what to expect.

I definitely think it’s SO normal to miss your old life a bit when your new normal is being a feeding machine every couple of hours and living life is 2-3 hour increments. Like you, I don’t wish away these days of them being so tiny and precious, but do know that it only gets better and more fun as they grow.

Also, great call in just forcing yourself to get out! The first time around I would think ‘but what if the baby cries?! Well now I know if the baby cries, she cries. You just go with it and usually people are very understanding.

You’re doing a great job and I love reading about your experience!

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Louise May 29, 2014 at 5:11 am

Love the last photo….he is precious….and it just keeps getting better and better!

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sarah May 29, 2014 at 5:56 am

OH the hormones- those were the worst for me. Be happy it only lasted 5-6 days! I was like you, though, and cried because I loved my son so much but missed my old life at the same time and was terrified of what the future held and what COULD happen with my husband and I. But it got better and then I just found myself crying hysterically because I loved him so much and couldn’t believe I ever missed my life without him.
You are doing great! I love reading your updates. I hope you keep them coming. It helps new moms like me know that how I was feeling or am feeling is completely normal and I can’t wait to see and read more and more!!!

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Christina May 29, 2014 at 6:02 am

You are doing an amazing job mama. If you can find a new mama group in your area, I highly recommend it. It was so wonderful to meet women who were going through the exact same thing at the exact same time. It was very therapeutic.

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Sara Palacios May 29, 2014 at 6:03 am

Hi Jenna!

Thank you so much for your honesty in this posting. Often times, I feel like motherhood is painted with tinted glasses to make it sound like it is all flowers and rainbows, when really it isn’t. Yes, it is wonderful and amazing….but it is also exhausting and overwhelming at the same time. It sounds like you are handling it all with grace and to be honest, that is the best way to go about it. My biggest adjustment was realizing motherhood is all about being flexible. Little man is in charge now (especially as a nursing mom) and it can definitely be quite an adjustment. But, hang in there because it gets easier every single day. So, does nursing, trust me. From my experience, if you can make it through the first six weeks nursing, you are set….so just hang in there. Also, did the nipple shield come in handy? :) Okay, before I finish, just one last thing….I would be cautious about pumping/bottle feeding just yet. Word to the wise, nursing is pretty much like a science. Our body will produce as much, or as little, milk as we dictate (or baby dictates), so try to keep things consistent if at all possible. If your body gets used to pumping at a certain time to get a certain amount of ounces, then it will continue to think that it needs to do so all the time. My suggestion is to just nurse Grayson solely for at least the first three months until your milk gets settled and then introduce pumping. There aren’t many nursing mommas out there so I thought I would pass along some advice I picked up along the way during my time nursing.

Sorry for such a long comment but I remember how daunting the first few weeks could be. You are doing amazing! You and Adam just hang in there….he will be talking before you know it!

Sara

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sarah May 29, 2014 at 9:06 am

I actually had to start pumping before I even left the hospital because my baby had such bad jaundice they basically wanted us to give him as much food as possible, from me and thru a syringe. So I pumped on day two for a few days, then stopped, then started again because I had such bad pain in one breast from feeding and my baby still is fed from me and a bottle. I know they advice against pumping and bottles early because baby might not take the breast anymore but we had a wonderful experience, and honestly, if my husband didn’t feed him with the bottle while I pumped, I never would have made it. I had terrible scabs on one breast and that was the only way it could heal. Now that I’m back at work I pump enough milk for my son for the next day and then some! I have a HUGE HUGE HUGE stockpile of breast milk because I started pumping and storing about a month in and I’m so happy to know that if, God forbid, my milk does slow down since I am at work ::tear:: that he has enough to get him thru months of feedings! I know it’s not for everyone but pumping, bottles and storing really worked out for me. Now if I was a SAHM from the start, I don’t think I would have pumped AS frequently but I definitely needed those breaks especially when I was in so much pain – we’re talking tears through feedings. But it helped me stick with it and I’m 4mo in going strong :o)

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Sara Palacios May 29, 2014 at 9:45 am

Hi Sarah!

Sorry, I think I gave the wrong impression. I am all for pumping, trust me, I am a working mom and pumped milk with my office door closed at least three times a day for almost a year with my little guy. I used to call it “liquid gold” because I worked so hard for it all. Obviously, babies and nursing are on a case-by-case basis and with jaundice or any type of issues, different things are needed. I applaud you for still making nursing work and for sticking with it. I can imagine that it was quite difficult for you in the beginning, especially given all the pain you were in. Way to hang in there. Sorry if my comment came across wrong, I didn’t mean anything negative by it at all. I’ve just found that there is a lot of misinformation out there for new nursing moms and I was trying to be helpful. Have a great day!

Sara

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Gennin May 29, 2014 at 6:08 am

I love hearing your story about being a new mom. I too had a lot of pain and problems in the first few days of breastfeeding. I nursed my twins for 5 weeks until the supply couldn’t keep up with their demands. One little piece of advice: instead of getting things done around the house while the baby is sleeping take a nap too. ;) You, your Baby and Adam will appreciate it.

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kk May 29, 2014 at 6:21 am

Those first few weeks are so hard. My tears would hit everyday at 5 p.m. It’s also when I found myself missing our old life a bit. I also really missed my husband. Even though he was there, we passed the baby back and forth like zombies and didn’t get a chance to sit and talk. But, like everyone says, these days do pass. It sounds like you are doing great. Just take it one day at a time!

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Laura May 29, 2014 at 7:28 am

yep, that 5pm slump!! i would call my husband IN TEARS begging him to leave work and come home, hahahah. it’s just a lonely time of day.

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Sophie May 29, 2014 at 6:39 am

You are an awesome mom!! I can’t tell you how encouraging your story has been for me. I had a very hard vaginal birth ( epidural and all!) and ended up having to stay in the hospital for 3 days too. I was so in love my son but those first few months were certainly the hardest few months of my life. I’d nannied before so I thought it would be easy. Turns out nursing can be very painful and colicky babies like to see every hour of the clock. Anyway, to hear your story and learn that it’s not easy for everyone at first, is helpful. It sounds like you are going to be one fantastic mama! By best advice: keep gripe water on hand! I wish I had known about it sooner. Nothing calmed my baby down like that. Hopefully that won’t even be an issue for you :)

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Stephanie May 29, 2014 at 6:46 am

This was excellent to read…I have no kids yet nor am I pregnant, but I love these honest posts. You sound like you’re doing realistically great! Can’t wait for more! (P.S. Grayson is so handsome!)

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Ashley May 29, 2014 at 7:01 am

I’ve always said that motherhood is being like being smacked in the face with a 2×4, haha! It’s amazing, but nothing can truly prepare you for just how intense it is. I read something recently that said having kids is like winning the lottery while also losing your leg. It was nice to have a leg, but it’s really nice to have money. Does the money make the leg loss worth it? Yeah, but you can’t help but sometimes think about how much you miss your leg, even if you were poor when you had it. I think that’s a great analogy, even if a bit of an insensitive one. It’s absolutely 10000million% worth it, but you are totally fine to mourn the loss of your old life. My daughter is almost 2 and I still think things like “Man it was so nice to be able to just go to a happy hour when I wanted to!” But she’s the best part of me and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Glad things are becoming more second nature for you. He’s beautiful!

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Kelly May 29, 2014 at 7:08 am

Great post! My baby is 17 and I can remember those first 5 days like it was yesterday! Enjoy the ride!

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erin @hooleywithaz May 29, 2014 at 7:49 am

i love these posts from you. we are so similar in how we view life/life happenings, and so hearing how you reacted to the first few weeks are so helpful for me as i prepare for my last 11 weeks of pregnancy. even though it can sound daunting, the more information i have helps me feel calmer if that’s possible? i’m so happy you are coming out on the other side of the most difficult part, can’t wait to see how you blossom as a mama.

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Diane May 29, 2014 at 8:06 am

Love your pictures of your tootsie! I remember those late night feedings like yesterday – and I am 7 yrs out! Now I fondly remember them, but when in the midst I was exhausted and hormonal! All that changes with time. You have a wonderful attitude and love hearing your story. Going out gets easier and easier. I used to pack enough gear for a weekend when we were just going to the grocery store :)

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Jeannine May 29, 2014 at 8:17 am

Hi Sweet Jenna, What a beautiful family. So happy for you all.

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Kaye L May 29, 2014 at 8:29 am

I’m not even a mom but appreciate your honesty and will be sharing this with friends who are getting ready for their first lil pop-tart! Greyson is beautiful as is your family! Congratulations!

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Amber May 29, 2014 at 8:53 am

You guys are so precious. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

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Jen May 29, 2014 at 8:54 am

Jenna, thank you SO much for sharing all of this! I love every single one of your pregnancy posts. You put so much thought into what you share, and I find myself nodding my head and tearing up as I read each one. Come the fall, I’ll be experiencing becoming a first time mother as well, and I’m so looking forward to following your experiences to help me better prepare for the reality of what’s to come. Grayson is absolutely incredible, congratulations to you and your husband!

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Carolyn May 29, 2014 at 9:10 am

Jenna, thank you so much for writing with such honesty and integrity about such a personal time in your life! You have many readers who have come to love and care about you and your family, and we’re all right there with you :)

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Kathryn May 29, 2014 at 9:11 am

I’m just 10 weeks pregnant and am sitting here in the depths of miserable nausea, but this was a really nice post to read. I am so ready to get past this stage and on to the next part of this amazing journey! Your photos are beautiful and and I really like your philosophy on it all. Enjoy every day, if not every minute :)

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Erin May 29, 2014 at 9:15 am

I absolutely LOVE your blog, and these baby posts are amazing. My little guy arrived in April so it has been so fun to compare notes on first baby boys– our first outing was also to TJ’s! We are at 7 weeks now, he’s cruising up on 12lbs and he is sleeping 7 hours a night… Where did the last few weeks go?! Enjoy every hardship, snuggle and breath of that yummy baby smell because time just starts to fly! So glad you are all happy and healthy and can’t wait to hear more about your adventures <3.

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Jenny May 29, 2014 at 9:38 am

I’ve been following your blog for several years now and I’ve absolutely loved getting to read about this part of your journey. Grayson is such a cutie and I look forward to watching him grow on the blog as well. Thank you for being so honest and open with your readers!

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Kelly May 29, 2014 at 9:48 am

You go girl. Taking the time to meditate on scripture even when you’re beyond exhausted will pour out so many blessings!! I’ve loved reading your last few posts!! Thanks for being so honest. I don’t have kids yet, but we want to start a family in the next few years. Looks like you’re doing a great job so far!

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Rachel May 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

Thank you for being so honest! No kids yet but I love reading your posts. You go Mama!

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Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats May 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

You’re doing great, Jenna!! Yes, those hormonal mood swings are a crazy biotch, aren’t they? I started sobbing when my husband suggested we upgrade our Costco membership…WHAT?! I *thought* I was back to normal two weeks post-partum, but looking back it was probably a month or two. So, that said, definitely cut yourself some slack. Regarding sleeping at night, I had to relinquish control as well. I wanted to badly to be on a schedule, but the schedule became there is no schedule! Give it a few months (which seems like forever but will go by in the blink of an eye) and it’ll be better. Finally (as if you didn’t have enough to read through) I, and I think most moms, are right there with you regarding missing your old life. My husband and I love our son more than anything in this world, but just because you become a parent doesn’t mean you stop being the person you used to be, and have the same wants you used to want. As our son has gotten older (he’s 10 months now) it’s easier to take him out and incorporate him more into our normal daily lives, trips, and excursions. You’ll get there – like you said, enjoy newbornhood because it sure goes by fast!

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Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork May 29, 2014 at 10:02 am

Thank you so much for another completely honest post that I am sure took you a long time to write. So beautifully written! I’ll never forget my friend telling me that the first night she was home with her son she kept thinking, “We’ve made the worst mistake of our lives.” That first night (or few) can be some of the longest and it must have been good to have other mothers around you to reassure you. Good to hear that things have evened out a bit! I will be making my husband read these posts someday when we are expecting. Thanks again!

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Carolyn May 29, 2014 at 10:35 am

I was just like you with regard to being afraid to leave the house. My son had terrible reflux and would constantly throw up copious amounts. I felt like I needed to be home for all his feedings and since BF’ing didn’t work out in the long run for us it was stressful so I cooped myself up at home. (And then the post-partum depression hit at 3 months, but that’s different story.)

Eventually (he’s almost 2 now) I realized the newborn period was actually when it’s the easiest to be out and about with them. They aren’t mobile, they’ll sleep anywhere, etc.

I’m glad to hear you’re getting the hang of everything and are doing well. Congratulations!

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Laurel May 29, 2014 at 11:20 am

Thank you for your sharing your heart and thoughts about your transition to motherhood! It is such an amazing journey! Many of us mamas can definitely relate to what you write. My first is 18 months and I remember those overwhelming, yet happy days well. I’m gearing up to meet my newest in about a month, anticipating that transition once again!

Take care!

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Lauren C May 29, 2014 at 11:37 am

Thank you for keeping it real. I’m not a mom but I really appreciate your thoughts on trying to stay in the moment. It sounds like you have a very good perspective. Keep reading scripture and talking to God! You’ll never go wrong there, as you know. Have faith in yourself! Take care!

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Emily @ Fit as a Mother... May 29, 2014 at 11:42 am

I can 100% relate to everything in this post!! And you’re right – it all goes by so fast, and that can be hard to remember sometimes when you’re up for the 6th time feeding a hungry baby!

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LANA May 29, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Have you tried any herbal soaks for in the tub to help with your recovery? The weeks after having Grace I was in terrible pain (hello, hemorrhoids and episiotomy!) from pushing too hard. (That’s the downside of an epidural. You just don’t know how darn hard you’re pushing!) Had I known about them at the time, I would have been all over herbal post-partum soaks. They are supposed to be wonderful! Google them and see what you think!

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Cheri @ Overactive Blogger May 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Super cool that you got a free pump through your insurance? Is that a recent development under the current administration, cause I think that is super AWESOME! Keep these updates coming, I think it’s super awesome for girls like me (who don’t have kids but are sort of thinking about it) to hear!

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Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake May 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

“Crying for no reason at the dinner table.” YES. That was me. 6 PM, every night, on the dot. Since it’s my second baby, my husband just (lovingly) laughed at me . . . and I laughed too, because I was on a crying schedule and there was nothing I could do about it. ;) Those hormones are ridiculous!!

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Kristi May 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Ahhh… I felt the same way after I had my daughter. Those early days were rough, but it also something that I truly miss now.

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megan May 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

All of your mommy readers are right there with you – we’ve all been there and know just what you’re going through. This is the hardest yet most rewarding job. The one thing I wish someone would have told me with my first that I repeated to myself often with my second is that the only consistent thing with a baby is inconsistency. As soon as you get into a rythym, they throw you for a loop and change it up. This goes for feeding, sleeping, and pretty much everything for the first year. I think you’ll do great with ‘rolling with the punches’, so to speak. Time will go by so so fast!

Also, the pump is a blessing and a curse. My husband took a night feed for me so I could get some rest but only after my supply was established around 6 weeks. (This had nothing to do with so-called nipple confusion) Otherwise, when he was feeding I would have to be pumping anyways or soon after so I didn’t mess with my supply. In the beginning weeks your body is way more sensitive to supply/demand issues than it is later on when there’s more wiggle room. you’ll find what works for you!

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Jaime June 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm

^^^^THIS!!!!
I felt “ripped off” by all the pro-bf-ing people that sang the praises of the pump and how it gives you a break to have someone else give the baby the bottle…ummm no it doesnt because even though I dont have to nurse the baby, I STILL HAVE TO PUMP so I might as well nurse….that was probably the biggest struggle I had (once I FINALLY got my supply up) was ALWAYS having to pump or nurse every 3 hours all day, every day….there was no escape…EVER. Do I regret bf-ing? Not entirely. Will I do it again if we have another? Yep. Although I wont go as long as I did with my first. For me, and this is just me, the stress that breastfeeding caused me and how it made me so anxious and took the joy away from being a new mom was not worth it. I look back and it was my biggest regret. I was so caught up in the “OMG must breastfeed” that I didnt look at quality of life for me and my baby. Breastfeeding just didnt work well for us and so I might cut it short if I feel us going down that same path with a second kid. Its all about feeding your baby (however you chose to do it) and being happy. That is what is best for you and the baby.

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Yvette May 29, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Everything that you are experience is totally normal. It seems at times like you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel but it will be there! And no matter how much you prepare for the newborn days, it seems as though they sweep you up into a whirlwind!

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Whitney S May 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’m due with my first in just 4 weeks, and reading other women’s honest stories has really made me feel more prepared!

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lindsey May 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm

you already mentioned you got the support on this topic, but really i have to comment because it’s so true, it is so hard to deal with going from you two, carefree as can be, to 3! It doesn’t help that you’re raging with hormones so I think it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for that! I remember 100% absolutely DREADINGGGG the nighttime. I think I hated it so much because it meant my husband was coming home but he would be awake for just a little bit, and then go to sleep and it was alone time for me again. It didn’t help that i used to work with my husband so I went from 12 hours with him STRAIGHT to maybe 1.5? I’m glad yours didn’t last very long, and same for nursing pain! Just get teh tub o’ nipple buttah and you’ll be (hopefully) a happy camper :)

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Laura May 29, 2014 at 6:14 pm

my husband and i worked together before i had our baby, too. it was a big shift going from seeing him all day, to just a couple hours after he came home.

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Sara p May 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Brings back memories of my first: crying at dinner table um yep, being scared to go out- I went to the bank drive thru and right back home:). Now I type this with my thumb while my third baby( 4 month precious boy) just finished nursing and is asleep in my arms. Great posts. And just know that if you have more then one the nursing is not as painful in the beginning next time around. Good job mama.

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Nic G May 29, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Thanks for sharing! I cried at the dinner table on day 4 after bringing my twin girls home. They are 4 weeks now and we are getting out daily. It really helps me feel like a human being. Good job getting through these first few weeks!!

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Katie sB May 29, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for sharing your journey! I’ve been reading for five years (wow!) and I love getting to hear about this new step in your life.

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Anita May 29, 2014 at 8:33 pm

So happy for you and your new baby! I look forward to your posts. Thank you for sharing your family with us.

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Teri May 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Good for you with making those efforts to reach out of your comfort zone, Jenna. It’s work but sounds like you’re up for it and doing really well!

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meghan May 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I’ve been nodding my head constantly as I read this post! Today we celebrated my son’s 1st birthday. Those first few weeks were sooooo hard, so much harder than I expected. But so great at the same time. Talk about a roller coaster. It’s cliche, but true – nothing you read, or hear could prepare you for life with a newborn. But now my little boy is a year old and those early weeks feel like eons ago. It really goes by quickly – enjoy the snuggles, the late night feeds when its just the two of you together, the coos, and all the joys of a brand new babe!

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DessertForTwo May 30, 2014 at 5:43 am

You’re doing awesome :)

Thanks for being so honest :)

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Alison May 30, 2014 at 6:00 am

Such precious moments those first weeks! So glad you are taking time to enjoy them. And it gets better and easier and less scary, obviously, since people keep having babies! You’re doing great job!

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Colleen May 30, 2014 at 7:30 am

You and Grayson look beautiful and talking to God is a good thing. It is hard – but you take it day by day!

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Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner May 30, 2014 at 8:45 am

It’s so nice hearing this refreshing point of view, especially for those of us who haven’t had children yet. We always hear such skewed versions of what to expect that I love that you just lay it all out on the table. Your family is beautiful!

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Tia May 30, 2014 at 9:35 am

Great pictures and loved reading your update about the family! You are right, motherhood is HARD work and I had a hard time adjusting those first few months with our first. Newborn stage is taxing yet quick! Here I am on our 4th…. it does get a little easier when you figure out your mommy job and get the hang of things but to be quite honest….. even though I have 3 with a 4th on the way motherhood is the HARDEST job I’ve ever done….. it ‘s a 24hr/7days a week job that requires almost everything you feel like you have to give, and yet the blessing of children and the beauty God brings to your life through them is totally totally worth it! Keep on keeping on!
P.S. I discovered your blog a few years ago when I was up in the wee hours of the morning feeding my newborn!

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Tiffany May 30, 2014 at 9:55 am

Glad to hear you are doing great! Yes, that newborn stage is TOUGH (for me the hormones lasted like 3 months so you’re doing awesome!). My hubby is ready for #2 and all I can think about it “I don’t want to go through those first few weeks again”…haha. It’s great you have some mama friends who will tell you like it is. All of my friends, with the exception of one, just went on and on about how “blissful” and “wonderful” it is, and how they just wanted to hold their baby all day long. I felt so bad and guilty because all I could think was “I don’t feel that way – I want a hot shower, a hot meal, and a conversation with my husband!” When I called my one honest friend, crying my eyes out, telling her all of this she ASSURED me that I was normal and those other girls were liars (or just crazy). I loved my son so much but just didn’t love being a mom yet….if that makes sense. My sweet guy is almost 2 years old now and I cannot remember those hard times now….only all of the joy he’s brought to our family. I never knew I could love something as much as I love my little sidekick! Hang in there…and you’re right, it’ll be over in a blink of an eye (and I’d give my right leg for my son to let me cuddle him now!!!).

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Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living May 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Awe, Grayson is adorable! Congratulations! Like most things in life, nobody tells you how difficult it really is to be a parent (or they do, and you have no idea what they’re talking about). Anyway, I wish you all the best with your little one.

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Lori May 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Loving your baby posts! Yep, it’s hard. And everyone says “trust me, it gets easier”, but let me just be honest. It gets easier, then harder, then easier, then….. Like some other commenters have said, as soon as you get into a good routine, everything changes. Like they say, everything with a baby (and toddler, and I imagine children in general) is a phase. That makes it hard, but at the same time easier to get through, knowing that a certain rough patch will soon be a thing of the past. What I do is just try to stay focused on all of the amazing parts. My little one is 19 months and #2 is due in Aug. I’m scared as heck, but I will get through it, knowing that having children is such a blessing. The hardest work in the world, but just as rewarding as it is hard. Grayson is so lucky to have you as a mother :)

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Mrs. O May 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I think you have a really important thing tackled from the start…this important thing is to ” let it all hang out ” what you do naturally- feel it, say it- sometimes cry through it and scream it. And certainly don’t apologize for it. In our family- it’s a que for a hug or a piece of the expensive chocolate:) Just make sure you don’t keep it all inside or pretend for anyone- especially you! I always “let it all hang out” and my grown up daughter says it is great to know she isn’t all weird for having crazy feelings:) Because she always remembered her mom- kept it real:)

Motherhood -Tough times and all – I would do it all over again and would love to have just one day back with each of my babies, when they were babies:)

Ox

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Kim May 30, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Jenna, just wanted to say how much I appreciate your honesty and that I’ve been praying for you, Adam, and Grayson!

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Pam May 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Love this update, you are such a wonderful mom! And thank you for being so honest that it’s not all roses but worth every minute.

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Kathleen May 31, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Congrats! Having successfully breast-fed two kids for an extended period of time, I have some advice. Don’t pump until at least 4 weeks. It will seriously affect your supply. Also you are going to need to feed every 3 hours regardless. Adam won’t be able to help too much now. It’ll be okay, you’ll survive. Enjoy him, he’s beautiful!

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January May 31, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Jenna I have followed your blog for a while now although I have never been one to comment before. I felt as though I had to thank you for such a beautifully honest post about what the beginning struggles of motherhood can truly be like. Often times on TV in literature even in the blogosphere, life is presented as some flawless picture that can make a person feel somehow less worthy for not having a similar idyllic experience. I have seen your blog change focus a lot over the years (while always remaining entertaining and well written) but based on this post I have a feeling you’ve really found your niche. Thanks you again for reflecting upon your son’s first week so sincerely.

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Cassandra June 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I love that you pray & memorize scriptures during night feedings. I’ve prayed during feedings for both my girls. Now that my baby is almost 1 it’s usually only while putting her to bed but I cherish it!! The power of prayer is amazing!!

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Michelle June 3, 2014 at 4:56 am

Sounds familiar! So thankful that you are sharing this because more women need to. The pounds will surely come off- I feel like mine just dropped off out of nowhere by themselves month 4. That is also when some PPD settled in- I expected it sooner if I was going to have it, but apparently, it’s most common in months 4-6. Hang in there! He is so handsome and snuggly. You look radiant :)

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Alyssa June 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I think you’re handling the transition like a champ! Way to go mama!

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steph June 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Congrats & great post. Very open and honest. Hard to share, especially when the ideals in your head don’t match the day to day happenings of having a sweet baby. I know you don’t know me (and will get way to much un-asked for advice), but remember to go with your gut, throw expectations out the window, do what genuinely feels best/most natural for you and your baby. You are his mom and no book/aunt/friend can tell you what is the best thing for him or you. Go easy on yourself, your life has changed (for the better), but accepting the change is the hardest part, no matter how much of a blessing he is. You’ll be awesome and sharing your story and talking with other mamas will help keep you feeling normal. Good luck. (On a side note, I giggled when you wrote how you cried at the table…I remember doing that a few times and crying harder because I couldn’t figure out why I was crying…such a natural thing :) )
-Steph

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Tara | Treble in the Kitchen June 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

It sounds like you are doing great! What a cutie :)

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Michelle June 5, 2014 at 7:15 pm

So sweet! What an amazing time. You are so lucky to have the job that you have- no worrying about having to go back to work in a couple of months!

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Kristen @ Vitamin K Girl June 11, 2014 at 10:33 am

I love your honesty about being a new mom–I imagine I will be revisiting this post when that time comes along for me:-)

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Sarah June 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm

What baby carrier are you using? Congrats…we just welcomed our baby girl last Saturday! Loved reading this.

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Stoich91 June 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm

wittle peanut! :D

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