I swear, there must be something in the water. I have SO. MANY. PREGNANT. FRIENDS. I went to my 10 year high school reunion just a few weeks ago and I felt like there were more pregnant women than not! Plus tons of new moms who were enjoying their first night out since their big arrival. I found myself talking more about delivery and newborns than anything else! On top of that, I feel like I can’t scroll through Facebook without seeing one of those precious pictures of a glowing new mama perched up in her hospital bed with a little bundled up baby in her arms. It really is wonderful. It’s crazy how much differently I look at those pictures now that I have been in their shoes. It’s such a magical time I find myself thinking about those friends often. I wonder how they’re sleeping. How breastfeeding is going. How baby daddy is holding up. I’ll usually shoot them a quick text letting them know they are in my thoughts. I usually don’t get a automatic response, as expected. Let’s be frank, life with a new baby is hectic. I don’t think I had time to shower regularly, let alone respond to text messages in a timely matter. When I look back on those first 10 days home with Emmy, it’s a blur of baby kisses, tears of joy, tears of exhaustion, surprisingly wonderful meals, surprisingly painful laughs and so much more. Expectant mama’s- read on to prepare yourselves!
We arrived home on a Sunday afternoon around 1 P.M. The most surreal feeling was driving away from the hospital with A BABY. Didn’t the doctors and nurses know we were clueless? Luckily Jay’s parents were at home waiting for us and could help calm any baby storms coming our way. How cute is Jay with little 3 day new Emmy?
The First 10 Nights
Jay and I both took on the rule to sleep when the baby slept for those first few days. The first two nights with Emmy were the roughest. We had her sleeping in her pack n’ play in our room and we quickly learned she wanted something that felt more secure and comforting versus a flat, hard surface. We moved her to her Rock n’ Play sleeper right next to my bed and it made a big difference on night 3. Her Rock n’ Play sleeper soon became the most used baby product in our home. We sometimes even took it on outings (restaurants, friends houses, I even took it to a park at one point) because Emmy slept so well in it. She was able to get a good solid snooze in for at least 2-3 hours between feedings. My milk also came in on day 2 of being home so that made a big difference. She was finally having those cute “milk comas” mama’s always talk about. It really was sweet to have her just fall asleep so soundly in my arms after a feeding. My body time clock took a few days to adjust to waking every two hours. One night I even said to Jay “Wow, Emmy had slept for almost five hours”, he quickly reminded me of that last feeding just 2 hours earlier that I had forgotten about due to my zombie like state. It gets easier as the nights go on. I always followed the rule that anytime the baby was sleeping before noon, I was too. After noon I was usually rested up enough to be a productive and functioning human. I will admit that I cried one night out of complete exhaustion. I was quick to turn to Jay and tell him I needed a mental break and he scooped Emmy right out of my arms and took over while I went into the other room and let out a good cry. I felt so much better afterwards. Tears will happen. But so will so many wonderful memories in those first few days.
Breastfeeding in the first 10 days
It’s hard. That’s the easiest way to put it. Baby is starving those first few days before the milk comes in. Your nipples begin to dry out, crack, even bleed. The first few seconds of a latch would literally make me wince in pain. My saving grace was milk storage bags filled with Aloe Vera that had been in the freezer and nipple cream. I used a few different brands but would always suggest to try something that is all natural. Birth Song Botanicals makes a great all natural Nipple Salve that works wonders. You can also try rubbing a little bit of your own breast milk on your nipple and letting it air dry. Hot showers work wonders too, just make sure you don’t have a high pressure shower head aimed straight at your sore nips, bad combo. Bottom line, it isn’t going to be a walk in the park. But it is SO WORTH IT! I could go on for days on all the wonderful things your breast milk is doing for your baby. By day 10 it won’t hurt as bad. By day 20 you won’t even feel it when she latches on. And by month 3 you will realize how convenient it is to breast feed and how much money it saves compared to formula and you will be swearing to breastfeed for a full year. Just stick to it. Be sure to read up on my breast feeding hacks that have changed my breastfeeding game.
Mom Bod in the first 10 days
Unlike Chrissy Teigan and the other supermodels of the world, your body will not be back in skinny jeans and a crop top anytime soon. When I left the hospital I looked about the same as I did 6 months pregnant. I had a c-section (read more about how completely unexpected that was here) and had alot of swelling that made wearing pants impossible. About a week before I had Emmy, I went to Forever 21 and bought a bunch of their $2.80 leggings and plain t-shirts in 1-2 sizes too big. I’m sure you can imagine the looks I got. Nine months pregnant shopping at Forever 21. Even with me waddling through the store as fast as my preggers legs could go, I still caught some glipses of people staring with their judging eyes. Any who, I emptied out a drawer in my dresser for nothing but big, comfy clothes I bought. This kept me from sorting through clothes and having to think “that won’t fit me”. It was also a helpful move when having to get dressed quickly to get back to your hungry baby! Your body will change back in time. One of my postpartum nurses told me the best thing I could do to help my body bounce back was drinking TONS of water. So. much. water. You know those big mugs they give you at the hospital as a parting gift for delivering a human being? She told me to drink no less than 3 of those a day for the first month. And it worked! I slowly saw my body morph back into its pre-baby shape. Well, not COMPLETELY back to normal, but close enough. Biggest helper was a Belly Bandit. This one worked fine, no need for the super silk, bamboo lined ones that cost extra. Not going to lie- I saw a celebrity post about it a year or so back and decided to order one. Worth. every. penny. It just kind of squeezed everything back into place. When you look in the mirror those first couple days after baby, just remember that your body created LIFE! Your heart will never be the same, and neither will your body. But chances are when you are holding your little beybey, you won’t care about your body.
Visitors in the first 10 days
One of the best pre-baby conversations Jay and I had was about visitors. We decided that it was okay to tell people that we were too tired or that Emmy needed rest. This is not to say that visitors are a burden, they can actually be your saving grace. I took some of my best naps when my mom and sister were here and watched Emmy. I ate some delicious meals in those first 10 days due to the cooking skills of visitors. We also did our fair share of asking for rain checks on visits. We wanted to be able to truly enjoy our time with anyone who came to meet Emmy and if we were too tired, we simply asked when another day worked better for them since today didn’t seem to work with Emmy’s sleep schedule. Point being, enjoy your time with the ones who love you and your baby, it’s a special moment that will only happen once. But also make sure you are taking care of yourself and baby daddy by taking time for yourselves when you need it.
There were a few things that really saved us some sanity in those first few days. You have to have a sound machine. We originally had this cute lamb as Emmy’s sound machine but it could only operate on a timer and we needed the noise all night. I found this inexpensive one and it has worked wonders. It can plug into the wall and play all night or on a timer and it has a few different sound options. The Swaddle Me Swaddlers were HUGE life savers in those first few nights to keep Emmy feeling secure enough to get into a sound sleep. I would also HIGHLY suggest signing up for Amazon Family Diaper & Wipe Subscription. It saves time and money… and it saves you from taking a trip to the store with a newborn for diapers. Also, lots of nipple cream, lots of coffee (yes, you can have a cup!) and a whole lot of baby kisses.
Sleepless nights aside, the first 10 days are so magical. Soak in every minute, take entirely too many pictures and snuggle your little nugget every minute you get. I already look back at these pictures of Emmy’s first days and just can’t believe how much she has already grown!