Navigating A Newborn & Motherhood

Giulian is down for a nap and that means mommy has a tiny bit of time to work on her blog. Let me start this post off by saying I feel crazy blessed. Our baby is healthy, happy and has totally stolen my heart! Today is July 7th 2017 and as of tomorrow our baby boy will be three weeks old. Since he is our first kid, I must say the first three weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. A mix of pure joy, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding frustrations and lots of stress about keeping this baby safe, healthy and alive. I would have never anticipated that Nick and I would be such worrisome parents. All of which stems from our insane amount of love we have for our son. Lets start with week one, because lets be honest that one is the largest adjustment. Giulian was born on a Saturday and we brought him home from the hospital Monday evening. Nick and I were both so grateful for the time we got to have in the hospital with those AMAZING nurses and midwives, which pretty much baby savants. Those women gave us so much knowledge and we felt like we had our parenting "training wheels" on after hearing all of their tips. You should have seen these ladies swaddle a baby, it was quite impressive. Our first night at home we were incredibly nervous about sleeping, the thought of us both sleeping while he slept was just not an option for these overprotective parents. Soooo for the first week or so Nick and I switched off sleeping in shifts. Nick would take the night shift until like 2:00 am and then I would get up and watch Giulian sleep the rest of the night. Crazy? Yes probably. But that was the only thing that allowed Nick and I to get any sleep at the time since we were both so paranoid that he would stop breathing or something. Well that sleep shift schedule is not sustainable, we both felt like zombies and are not doing that anymore (I'll share more about that in a minute). So to put the final touches on our "how to be a worrisome new parent" recipe, we made a trip to the ER at 3:00 am while we both had zero sleep. Talk about a mess. We had this monitor that is supposed to track baby's oxygen levels and give parents "peace of mind" while baby sleeps. Well that damn monitor went off THREE times in one night and gave us both heart attacks. We weren't sure if the monitor was acting up or if there was actually something wrong with our baby so we called the pediatrician and ended up rushing him to the Emergency Room. Long story short, Giulian is fine and is a healthy baby and I'm sure we aren't the first stressed out new parents that the ER docs have seen in the middle of the night. Maybe I'll put a copy of the ER bill in his baby book for a good laugh down the road. 

When they say it takes a village they really are not kidding. We are so beyond grateful for our family and close friends. Especially the Grandmas, Nick's mom and my mom are just unbelievable. That next day after our silly ER trip they both came over, watched Giulian the whole day while Nick and I slept and thankfully regained some of our sanity. I truly don't know what we would have done without them. Our village is one of the best. 

Week two and three have been so much more smooth. A friend lent us the Snuza Hero baby monitor and it's been working amazing! It is a monitor that sits on the baby's belly while they sleep, tracking the movements and alerting you if they stop breathing. It is much more simple than the other monitor we tried using and sometimes simple is way better. That monitor has given us so much peace of mind that now we have a strong routine down during the night. Nick sleeps the whole night while I get up just to feed him and pump and then I sleep while he sleeps. I'm still sleep deprived, but I am functioning and way more rested than I was while we were switching off during the night. We have Giulian sleeping in the Halo Bassinest Premiere Swivel Sleeper bed right beside our bed. I absolutely love this bed and would recommend it to any new parent. As of now he is waking up two to three times between midnight and 9:00 am and I am up for about an hour to two hours with him each time he wakes up. Not too bad for week three. 

Something that has been a real struggle for me is breastfeeding. I had so many moms warn me that it might be difficult, but wow I would have never anticipated this emotional roller coaster. Breastfeeding for every woman is different and everyone has a different story with it, but for me it hasn't been a walk in the park. I want to share my story because some women might relate and feel less "alone" through it. When Giulian was born he weighed 7lb 13 oz. , but within the next 24-48 hours he dropped 11% of his weight and was under 7lb. It's totally normal for babies to drop weight after birth, but anything over 10% is worrisome and 11% that quick was concerning. He pooped like 12 times in the first 24 hours since he had swallowed some amniotic fluid, which didn't help with the weight situation. Since he dropped weight so quick they had us start supplementing with donor breast milk right away. They had me doing what is called a triple feed. I feed him on me for about 15 minutes, then we feed him donor milk from a bottle, then I pump for 15-20 minutes. It's quite the tedious process and it feels like once I am done, there is a tiny gap and then it's time to start the process again. The frustration with this process is that baby now links the bottle to easy milk and doesn't want to "work" for the milk that I am making him. Which then makes it so I produce less because he is not aggressively stimulating my boobs to create more milk. It's quite the cycle. I must say it is improving though and I am starting to supplement less and produce more. As of yesterday (two days shy of three weeks), Giulian is above birth weight! Whoo-hoo!! He is currently 7lb 14oz and working on his double chin and wrist rolls (too cute). I'm hoping that soon he will be all mommy and we won't need donor milk, but whatever happens I just need to remember that a fed baby is best (no matter how he is fed). I need to remember that because at times I feel super sad that I wasn't producing enough or provide enough for my son. It's a real emotional roller coaster to feel like you can't do one of your main job as a mother. So for all you mothers out there feeling the same way, let's remember that our #1 job as mothers is to love our babies, and we are in full control of the quantity of that. 

I am so in love with our little guy. He brings us so much joy. He's been incredibly smiley since day one, which is not very common for a newborn to have such strong facial expressions. We lucked out with this guy, he is such a sweet baby. I love watching him sleep, watching him dream, I even love watching his hilarious facial expressions as he poops (that is some real work for a newborn baby). My favorite though is watching Nick interact with him, it's so precious. There are no words to describe the love I have for Nick and our son, my heart just explodes when I look at Nick holding him. The other night Nick was singing the Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow to Giulian. I'll never forget moments like that (especially since I was sneaky and got a video), it was a perfect moment. 

Soon I will do a birth story blog post, I can't wait to share our story with y'all. And eventually I would love to get back in the swing of writing about travel, style and other things again. But truthfully, if you are a subscriber, you should get used to seeing posts about motherhood and our son because he's stolen my heart and a portion of my blog too. Thanks for following along our wild amazing journey called life! Make sure to comment below with any new mom tips you have for me!