Thursday, August 1, 2013

Looking Back - Bringing Home A Newborn

Now that Asher has "unofficially" hit the 6 month mark (his "offical" half birthday will be on Aug 9th - yay!) I look back at those first few weeks home with him with a little more understanding of what we all were all going through. Hopefully I can offer up some insight to others about to embark on the same, exciting journey. Of course, this is just based on my own experience and every baby and every family is so very unique. So take what you want and just leave the rest. :)

{  We took a lot of video during our first week home, so I have mostly still frames from that footage below.  }

I really didn't realize just HOW MUCH your life changes when you have a baby. Maybe not everyone's life changes so drastically, buy mine sure did. I went from always on the go and on my own time to a whole new schedule with one very demanding boss - baby Asher.

Those first few months with our new baby are a blur. We had Asher in the height of flu season and the hospital recommended that we don't take him out in public or expose him to school age children for at least 1 month. So, we enlisted the help of family to keep our refrigerator and pantry stocked while we settled in and got to know our new recruit within the confines of our home. He was so tiny and so new. We were both overly prepared and utterly unprepared at the same time. Life was going to be different. That was a fact.

As a new mom,  there are so many uncertainties. Even still, the uncertainties are there, but during those early, early days, no matter how many books you've read, the uncertainties run rampant. That first week home, I think I took Asher's temperature almost every hour in the evenings to make sure he wasn't too hot or too cold. What should the a/c be set at?  Does he need socks? A hat? Swaddle? Your mind comes up with questions and scenarios that can drive you absolutely insane. It's all part of the fun, even the mistakes. We all make them. From backward diapers and onesies to forgetting to fasten in your baby in the carseat and having to pull over to secure the buckle - it happens to the best of us and we learn to laugh it off.

It takes time to learn what works for you and your baby. Don't pay attention to scrutiny from others. In time, you learn to worry about yourself and your baby only. Sometimes you are setting yourself up if you ask for others' opinions. There are lots of times when, in hindsight, I wish I had gone with my gut. Be confident. Trust your instincts. You know more than you think you do. 

We were incredibly blessed to have a relatively easy time when it came to our day to day with newborn Asher. He would wake 2-3 times a night, but only to go right back asleep after a feeding. He slept a lot during the day. He really didn't cry much at all. I think what's difficult in situations like ours is that your routine no longer exists and you are now on your baby's schedule, which let's face it, isn't even a schedule at first. All of a sudden you have more laundry every day, if you're bottle feeding you have lots of bottles to wash. You now have lots of dirty diapers and bath time and tummy time. Your house is likely in complete disarray and you're up all hours of the night. I have to remind myself that when I look back on this time of my life, I won't remember how messy my house was (very) or how many loads of laundry I was behind on (lots). I will remember holding and caring for my baby, playing and smiling with him. That's what's important.


When you first come home with your baby, you are going to have visitors. I do think its important to discuss the "rules" with your significant other beforehand and having certain days planned out in advance. The last thing you probably want to be doing is entertaining. Whether or not your visitor is expecting to be entertained, it's in most of our natures to feel the urge to do so when you have a guest in the house. Same goes for cleaning. You also probably will not be interested in cleaning or have the time to clean. It's totally ok to turn down a visit. Maybe even create a code word that you can use to signal one another that you are ready for company to leave.


I can say that now that this part has gotten much easier. That said, when you first bring home this little life that only days ago was bumping around inside of your belly, for some, it can be hard to suddenly give them up to another's arms, even if it's only for a few minutes but especially if it's for longer. I know of many, many a new mother that has felt this way and don't really understand it, much like I still have trouble grasping exactly what was and sometimes still is going through my mind.

On one hand you want to protect your baby, whether it is from germs or from careless accidents. I can't tell you how many times the vision ran through my mind of someone other than myself holding my precious baby without me around and letting him fall. It pained me to relinquish control over the most important thing in my life.

On another hand, I think you just want to experience every moment. This is REAL for you. You're not playing house, you're a mother and this is your baby. The mother-baby bond is essential and also learning your baby is important, too. You are learning what soothes your baby, what he likes and doesn't like, which way of doing certain things works best for you. It takes time.

In my opinion, the most important things when you bring home your first newborn baby are you, your baby, you significant other. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If the three of you are happy, that's all that matters. Anyone who has you and your new family (the family of 3)'s best interests at heart, will understand and give you as much time as you need to get into your new routine.

Just remember that what you are feeling is NORMAL and OK. You are not doing anything wrong. Have confidence in yourself and stand strong. 

{  WHY ARE/AREN'T YOU...?  }

I often find myself trying to explain what I am doing and why I am doing it. I've learned that I need to learn how to just own my decisions and not spend time trying to defend myself, sway or sell anyone on my beliefs. Opinions are going to be thrown at you left and right and sometimes its easiest to just smile and nod. You know what's best for you and your family.

Also, it's so difficult not to compare with other babies but it's really a tricky trap you fall into. Try not to. All babies are different and will reach milestones and grow at their own pace. Oh, and it's ok if you don't have to most posh baby gear around. I've accepted that I am not a celebrity and it's ok that my high chair is from Target. (I <3 Target.) The higher-end stroller we ended up splurging on doesn't even have cup holders. I mean... that's annoying.


Extra bassinet sheets and lots of sleepers
Frozen meals (if you have time, make some!)
Coffee + Coffee + Coffee
A sense of humor

...among much else, of course, but those are essential.


After that first week, when John went back to work and to his day to day routine, I carried on with my new one. You quickly realize that a sleeping baby can wake at any given moment. You learn to eat fast.  And pee while you have the chance. 

You also suddenly realize how ridiculously unnecessary all that crap stuff in your old purse was. Now you'll throw your card and cell phone into your diaper bag and won't miss a thing.

I ventured into work at our shop a few times with baby in tow. He slept well in his carrier and even allowed us to go out for dinner a few times while he dozed softly in his seat. This isn't so bad, we thought. You just have some extra things to carry around, that's all. - Yeah, that changes. Enjoy it now!

Life with a new baby is not always easy. You learn to let little things go and to put certain things previously of much importance on hold for a little while. You now have something much, much more important to focus on. Note to self: Need new couch. There are lots of changes happening left and right, yet so many of those changes are for the better. You become enlightened to what life is all about. All the cliches come to life and you can't really remember what you did for so long without one of these swaddled little sweethearts in your home.

At the end of the day, you have to just look at the big picture and have fun. The newborn stage goes so quickly, but it's worth every shushing, worrying, swaddling, kissing, grabbing, crying, sneezing, hiccuping, hair pulling, dream feeding, milestone reaching, heart melting, overwhelming and sleep deprived minute.

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  1. Great hospital pics! He may not appreciate them in 18 years. :-)

  2. I apologize if this is a repeat! I found you on topmommyblogs forum! I can't wait to read some more!

    Have a great day!