I thought blogging when I was tired and pregnant was hard, but blogging with a newborn is way harder! (See: The Birth Story of Colton James!) Sleep deprivation really does something to you. You forget how exhausting the newborn stage is when you’ve been removed from it for some time. I’m pretty much living in survival mode these days. The combination of after birth unpleasantries, postpartum hormones, no sleep, AND breastfeeding woes is a real shit show. I wanted to take a moment to talk Newborn Life + Postpartum Realness: The Stuff You Forget… Because it’s important to share the good, the bad, and the fugly when documenting pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond!
My goal in sticking with my Orangetheory Fitness work outs throughout pregnancy was so that I’d have a faster recovery time and an easy bounce back to pre-pregnancy weight. I had convinced myself I’d be back to normal in no time.
That mindset had me trying to be some kind of postpartum warrior in the hospital. When the nurse asked what my pain level was I said a two out of ten. And when she asked if I needed a prescription for pain meds when I left the hospital I said no. Why was I so dumb? I should’ve taken the dang Vicodin because I hadn’t gotten into the weeds with breastfeeding yet. Pain was a’comin!
Breastfeeding is hard
I nursed both Annabelle and Leo for a year and it was a wonderful experience — after a very bumpy start. In the beginning I always experience horrible breast pain while nursing. After visiting a Lactation consultant with Annabelle I was diagnosed with something called Vasospasm. This is the sudden constricting/narrowing of blood vessels in the nipple that can be very painful. It feels like shooting pain in the nips basically. It’s mind numbing at the point of baby latching and I get an instant headache. I’ve dreaded this ever since I found out I was pregnant. The thing that keeps me going is knowing that with my first two kids the pain subsided by about 10 weeks postpartum. From there breastfeeding was all good. So if I can just. get. there. quickly — I’ll feel much better!
Dreading breast pain and having a newborn that wants to nurse every TWO hours is hard. What happened to babies eating every three hours?! This baby is ravenous after two! And I know he’s eating enough because we go through a ton of diapers. By week two when the newness high had worn off I definitely had my mommy melt down moment. I was sitting up in bed nursing in pain, tired to my bones, and just feeling sorry for myself sitting there in adult diapers. If I didn’t know what I know now about the pain subsiding soon I’d be like EFF THIS! Breastfeeding is hard… at first. It does get better, but you just have to give it time.
Sleep deprivation sucks the life out of you.
Because my little man wants to eat every two hours, it makes for a very broken night of sleep. I always fall asleep nursing in the middle of the night so I usually wake up two hours later and I’m still sitting up holding my sleeping baby chest to chest. Thankfully we did get a Sleep Number 360 Smart bed just before having Colton and the mattress is split down the middle. That way I can be inclined in bed while feeding the baby and my husband can be lying flat on his back on his side. It’s been so helpful!
Once I get my two older kids off to school by 8 am (big thanks to my husband for getting them up, making breakfast and packing lunches so I can sleep in a little more), I basically fall asleep feeding baby on the couch watching The Today Show. I sleep through the 9 o’clock hour and wake up towards the end of Hoda & Jenna! I basically NEED that morning nap to get me to a functional state so that I can do SOMETHING with the rest of my day. Too bad I’m not dressed and ready to go anywhere until like 1 pm. By this point my big kids only have two hours left of school so not a lot of time to run errands or whatever I need to do. It’s a viscous cycle every day and I wish I could get myself going sooner. Sleep deprivation truly sucks the life out of you.
Relishing the newborn stage
Now that I have the perspective of a mama with older kids, I know what it’s like to miss my kids when they were babies. I remember all the times I’d see the Facebook memories pop up and I’d reminisce about Annabelle or Leo being so little. It always gave me baby fever. So now that I have a new baby I don’t want to rush any of his baby-ness away. Not even the newborn stage, despite how tough it is. I’m trying to take all kinds of mental notes on how soft his skin is, how tiny his wittle body is, how cute his jerky newborn movements are… the baby cooes — all of it!
Just when your baby is going to drive you up a wall because he won’t let you put him down, he flashes you his first baby smile and coo’s at you. It’s like he knows he needs to give you a little something cute to keep you off the ledge, haha! Anyway, I know all this hard stuff shall pass soon. Hanging in there as every passing day gets us closer to more sleep, less pain, and lots of baby smiles and milestones ahead!
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