Monday, April 29, 2013

How we're doing...

When you're pregnant, everyone tells you that your life is about to change in a dramatic way.  And during those nine months, you begin to grasp that reality in a very basic way.  But until you're actually holding your very own little person in your arms, you can't really comprehend how different your life has actually become.

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So much of it is the best kind of change you can imagine.  From the sound of Grace's first cry, I was overwhelmed with a love I've never known.  I had worried that I wouldn't feel bonded or connected to her immediately, but something instinctual took over my heart in that moment.  And in the days that followed, it only grew.  I'd just look at her and cry, overcome with adoration for every tiny part of her.  I'd thank the Lord over and over for such a blessing.  And I marveled at the fact that she was ours and that we made her

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My love for Micah grew as well.  During the pregnancy, he was so incredible and adorable, and I kept thinking that there was no way I'd ever be able to love him more than I did then.  Ha.  Holding his hand during the labor and delivery, watching him hold our little girl, laughing as he changed the first diaper... I've honestly never been more thankful for him.  We bonded in a way that I couldn't have imagined, and I feel like our marriage has never been stronger.

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But they weren't lying when they said that life with a newborn is trying. 

The hormones coursing through my body after I had Grace (and probably even now) were/are no joke.  Tears came ridiculously easy, good and bad, and I felt overwhelmed with emotion most of the time during those first few days.

And I'll likely write a whole post on this at some point, but nursing hasn't been the easiest thing in the world for us.  Grace dropped from 9 pounds to 7 pounds 10 ounces by the fifth day, and I was stressed to the max.  Nursing was incredibly painful, the colostrum didn't seem to be there, and my milk took forever to come in.  Because of the weight loss, we've ended up having to supplement nursing with formula bottles, and Grace started to prefer the bottles and wouldn't latch for almost a full day.  Thankfully, we switched to Tommy Tippee bottles, and she's been able to go back and forth much more easily, but it's still tough.  Micah has been amazingly helpful, but nursing means that I'm the only one who can feed her.  With feedings happening every three hours around the clock, I've started to feel like a milk cow, and the inflexibility of it is kind of frustrating.   

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And although Grace is mostly an incredibly easy and content baby, she has had trouble with her days and nights.  She sleeps like a rock during the day but has very interrupted and sometimes fussy sleep at night.  And while I've been shocked at God's provision of energy and strength, you can't help but be exhausted when you've gone almost two weeks without getting more than five (interrupted) hours of sleep a night.  I live in pajama pants, and I feel like I smell like spit up most of the time.

Plus, it's just a whole new world for us.  Neither Micah nor I have really had that much experience with kids, let alone newborns.  Learning how to change diapers, swaddle, and even change her clothes without suffocating her has taken time (and some tears). 

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But we're figuring it out.  We're learning that love covers a multitude of shortcomings, and a little snuggling dries a lot of tears.  And I know that although the struggles will grow and change, so will the blessings.  And that all we can give her is our best. 

So here's to hopefully a little less spit up and a little more sleep. :)


Rebekah said...

You're doing great! For me personally, the first 4 weeks were the worst but it gets so much easier. I am sure it's hard to believe, I didn't believe it, but you will survive, Grace will thrive and all will be good.

Established: 2008 said...

Breast feeding is hard! I feel like no one adequately explained that. Like you said, the only person that can feed her is you and I know for me, that's so frustrating. I'm glad things are going well. Grace is beautiful!

Jessica K said...

Hang in there momma!! There is a light at the end of this tunnel. And soon you will wonder where these moments went! You will soon be back at work, and she will learn and get adjusted to a schedule. Momma will get some sleep! :)

ThistleAshD said...

I agree with Rebekah that its the first 4 weeks. Things really got easier after that for me. It seems terrible in the midst of it, but praise God, he doesn't let that last but for a short season!

Jennjilla said...

She sure is a cutie!

What is going to blow your mind is when you look back at this time and think "wow...that wasn't so bad!" While you are in the "trenches", though, it can seem rough (and it totally is)! hahaha Enjoy your love bug and wear your smell of spit up with pride! You are doing great and just take one day at a time!

Annabelle said...

It's hard but don't let it get you down! Like the others before me, the first few weeks are the rough part! Once you get into a full on schedule everything will be rainbows and uniorns. That is until someone tries to change your schedule! Ain't no body got time for that! Haha! She's beautiful and I am sure that Micah is over the moon about the both of you!

Colleen said...

Oh my gosh she is so precious! Cannot get over her hair!

Camille Griffiths said...

She is so sweet! Congrats!!! And don't worry, I promise it all gets easier after the first few weeks. :)

The Morrows said...

I feel like I just relived my first 3 months of each babies life through this post. Everything you are feeling and going through are so normal and you are right...this is the most trying time.
Hang in there because it will not be much longer when these trying days are past and routine gets a little better for them and as a result, you.
Love the posts about Grace's arrival and her being your All American Girl.

Brittany said...

First of all, your daughter is gorgeous! Second of all, your honesty is so refreshing & will surely help other new mamas when they go through the newborn phase. It is SO hard in the beginning yet SO joyous at the same time. Just know that you are doing a great job and it will get much, much easier! With both of my boys I felt like by 12 weeks we were settled into a routine and sleeping more. Hang in there & enjoy that sweet girl!

Lauren Thomas said...

Ryan, she's absolutely beautiful and precious!

Liz said...

Congratulation on your new baby girl! That's so awesome! It's hard, you're so right but I know God will give you guys strength. Praying breastfeeding gets easier for you.

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