Sunday, August 31, 2014

It Takes a Village - Expressing Gratitude for Help with Baby!


Well, we are finishing up week two of being new parents. It has been a roller coaster. It has been scary, fast paced and confusing, but has given us both immense joy and happiness, all at the same time. Taking care of a newborn is really hard, especially when you have no experience. But, I am very happy to report that she seems to be doing well and both Joshua and I are getting used to our new normal.

I have a very long list of things to be grateful for and want to start with the importance of good health. I've never checked into a hospital before. Furthermore, I've never had surgery. So, giving birth was certainly an eye opening experience. I'm so thankful for my good health and even more grateful that Ev was born happy and healthy too. Two weeks later, and I almost feel normal. I have my energy back. I seem to be healing well. I just have mild discomfort from time to time. Ev was checked out both at the hospital and by our new family doctor at the Mayo Clinic. She passed both exams with flying colors and regained almost all of her weight in just one week rather than two. We have one more appointment this coming week. I look forward to hearing that they don't need to see us again until her 2 month appointment.

I am endlessly grateful to have both a husband and a mother who willingly and lovingly help take care of Ev. It really does take a village. Having the ability to take a break from time to time and hand her off has been amazing. Being that I had surgery, I can't lift anything heavy and at first couldn't bend over at all. My mom has been an angel to help with trash, laundry, dishes and more. Joshua stays up late sometimes and gives Ev her late night feeding so that I can catch up on sleep. He is the baby whisperer. Whenever she is really fussy, I can hand her over to him and he somehow figures out exactly what is wrong and calms her. Watching them together melts my heart. He is just as good of a daddy as I always imagined that he would be.

My best girlfriend not only supported us through the birthing process but also has helped keep our fridge stocked with basics grocery items since we arrived home. She has a busy life with four kiddos at home, but she has somehow still made time to check in on us and offer her help whenever possible. She is always willing and ready to listen to my latest mommy concerns. I don't know what I would do without her.

We have had a lot of support from our family and friends. One big help was a meal train that was set up by our cousin Sommer. We've had a stream of family and friends bringing us dinner since we got home from the hospital. Wow, was that helpful! I haven't had to think about dinner (or lunch) at all. There always seems to be enough food to feed whoever is around for the evening. It has given us a chance to visit with family and for them to meet our sweet baby in a fairly organized fashion. Thank you, Sommer!

This week, I am most grateful that Ev is now fully feeding on breast milk. The first week was a struggle. I am pretty sure that we broke every breast feeding best practice rule - formula, bottle feeding, pumping early, pacifiers, etc. But, in hind sight, I wouldn't have made different choices, except maybe to worry about breaking these rules a little less. Only time will tell if it affects our long term breast feeding potential. At this point, I feel as if I've given it all that I've got and am hopeful that we can continue until our girl is big and strong. I need to send out a special thank you to my friend Christina. I may not have had a pump right away if it had not been for her and having a pump was a necessity in the early days of getting home to be successful breast feeding.

Finally, I feel grateful that Ev sleeps more at night than during the day (so far). Is it a perfect schedule, no. Is it liveable, absolutely. She tends to cluster feed right before bed time and then I feel comfortable letting her sleep 3-4 hours. I even have to wake her up to eat at night and in the early morning. This gives me a good stretch of time to sleep too. During the day she feeds more frequently and usually wakes herself up regularly. This behavior bodes well for a good sleeping schedule in the future. 

All in all, it has been an incredible and somewhat indescribable two weeks. Although difficult at times, I would not trade away one single instant with our daughter.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you are all healthy and doing well ! She is precious, time flies by so very fast with little ones, that is for sure. Well, if you ever feel frantic just remember some sound advice we once heard " No problems, only solutions. " ;) Love you !



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