Well folks, we have survived the first two weeks with little Rylan. It has been a blur but a very happy and loving one at that. We are all figuring each other out a bit more each day and enjoying the journey. On Saturday Sarah Hill took Rylan’s newborn photos, a wonderful follow up to our maternity shoot before his arrival. She just posted a ton of photos from both shoots on her blog and I look forward to sharing more here soon.
Reflections on weeks one and two…
- Breastfeeding is really hard. I went into the process expecting it to be tough based on candid feedback from friends and family so I felt mentally prepared. However, physically you just can’t prep for the strain of it (including the lack of sleep between nighttime sessions). But he’s putting on weight and healthy so I’m committed to sticking with it for as long as I can
- A newborn’s feeding “schedule” isn’t a schedule that a Type A person like myself would typically follow. A feeding that doesn’t go well or takes forever throws off even the best made plans to do something around the house, take a walk or even just shower
- Sanity is achieved by asking for help, even if you are the type of person who hates asking. My mom has stayed with us since Rylan’s arrival (she leaves Saturday) and has been a godsend — cooking, cleaning, pushing me to take naps. The list goes on and on. Our fairly easy transition into parenthood since coming home from the hospital is 100% due to the help we’ve received from her and Mike’s family as well. They have brought food, come to us for visits and his sister has entertained countless calls and texts with questions from me about feeding, pumping, blocked tear ducts, burping patterns…and on and on
- Don’t bottle up any emotions. When I have felt the urge to cry or be frustrated I have been lucky that Mike, my mom and sister-in-law encourage me to feel what I am feeling. They have made me see that there is no guilt or shame in feeling overwhelmed. I urge new moms to surround themselves with loved ones who will do the same. You have to be able to vent
- You have to learn how to embrace slowing down. I find myself staring at our unmade bed or dirty dishes and going through an internal struggle of wanting to fix the mess immediately versus just sitting in a chair and snuggling our sweet bundle. Luckily I am slowly learning that the bed will eventually get made…maybe just at one o’clock in the afternoon instead of the second I get up for Ry’s first feeding…and, deep breath, that’s okay
- Trusting your gut is essential. People have the best intentions but the amount of advice given can get overwhelming. Combine that with postpartum hormones and for me, the tears start to flow. I have a lot more learning to do but I am trying to trust my gut instinct more and find my voice as Rylan’s mama
Stay tuned for more updates! I also plan to post some recipes soon of easy meals (including freezer friendly options) that have kept us well fed every night. Eating healthy meals is another key to my sanity, especially while I cannot work out quite yet.
Thanks for all the support and well wishes these first two weeks. It means the world to all of us.