Happy 3(+)weeks little lady. Goodness time flies and seems to lag at the same time. For the first 10 days of your life I wished you were 5 years old. I begged for this phase to be over as you stressed me out, worried me, and made my heart burst with all of the emotions possible. Everyone said it would pass (and pass too quickly). That was so hard to imagine. I found myself struggling to keep my head above water… figuratively gasping for air…as I stayed up all night with you cradled in my arms as we sat in your nursery hooked up to my boob. In between the sob fests (all 3 of us) over the last few weeks…we are slowly learning to survive. The last 3+ weeks brought about a trip back to the emergency room and lots of sleepless nights. I’m finally able to say I think we’re getting the hang of it and maybe the thoughts of wishing you were 5 are fewer and farther in between as I learn to savor these moments with you my sweet girl. Not sure if we’re just starting to settle into our new normal or if we’re turning a corner… but this all doesn’t seem as crazy as it did the first 10 days….
Life with a newborn hit us HARD. I’m not sure if it was the picture perfect pregnancy I had that made me think life with a newborn wouldn’t be as scary as everyone made it seem (?)…Or if it is pure stupidity (?!?)… but either way I really didn’t imagine it to be as hard as it is.
You guys, I had the best pregnancy. I was almost tricked into thinking the drama people talked about with newborns would be as it compared to the drama with pregnancy. Before I was pregnant I was scared of ALL of the pregnant things. The weight gain, the swollen ankles, the morning slickness (all day sickness) the horror!!! I was truly terrified which is why we waited over 5 years to have a baby. Pregnancy symptoms I experienced…stuffy nose, itchy nipples, swollen feet every now and again. Really, nothing compared to the crazy things women experience. During my entire pregnancy I felt like the best version of myself. Sure I got chubby…. and yeah I modified my CrossFit workouts… and could have done without 10 months of sobriety (margarita me please) but things were magical. I loved being pregnant. As my due date approached people would always say things like “you poor thing!” and “it must be so hard.” I really couldn’t wrap my head around this. Pregnancy was great! I was eager to meet the baby. And DREADING being induced, but truly that was the only reason I was doing all of the things to get her here. It was never ever once about being miserable, uncomfortable, or too hot to be pregnant. I was happy! I felt great! I did NOT want to be induced.
In my head, all of the horror stories of how hard life with a newborn is seemed like overly dramatic embellishments. I wanted to tell people to suck it up. I couldn’t understand because I heard the same things about pregnancy and here I was on cloud 9 as I hit 41 weeks… rocking it out at the gym and enjoying time with my little squish snuggled up inside. Sure, there were moments (usually at the end of a long day) that I complained about getting up off the couch because moving was hard…. or was tired of peeing every 10 minutes… or even feeling like I couldn’t breathe because her feet were stuffed so high in my ribs I thought I would cough and she would come out my throat. I was truly starting to believe newborn life couldn’t be as bad as everyone made it seem. Pregnancy sure wasn’t. How could it be? We will find our rhythm. We won’t sleep, but who cares? Crazy hormones? Not me! Certainly not me… I didn’t have crazy pregnancy hormones… can’t be! I’ll be able to go on walks… we’ll meet with friends for coffee…. we’ll settle into life with a tiny person just like we’re meant to be.
How wrong I was.
It was all so hard. So incredibly hard! I cracked about Day 6 as I quite literally melted into Michaels arms and asked if we made a mistake. I was convinced I couldn’t do it anymore. It was the weirdest feeling. I never thought SHE was a mistake, I felt like I was a mistake. Like she deserved to have a better mom. Like she deserved to have something more. I knew nobody would love her like we do, but it’s all such a mind fuck. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and scared. SO scared.
When Maryn was born she made quite an entrance. My water broke around 7pm on Friday night. I didn’t realize all day on Friday that I was in labor, but now looking back… I sure was! She wasn’t born until a few minutes before 11am on Sunday morning. I was 11 days past due. Because she was cooking for almost 2 whole weeks past her due date, she had fully mature intestines, therefore pooped while still in the womb. For those that don’t know, this poop is called Meconium. When my water broke the fluid I was leaking was a greenish brownish color full of Mar girl poops. My midwife told me she could see meconium in my water during my 41 week ultrasound. At this point she told me that NICU would be in the room for delivery as part of standard hospital procedure. She assured me (although I wasn’t worried) that it was normal and everything would be fine. I truly wasn’t worried. She said when the baby came out she would hand her directly to NICU before they handed her to me. It was likely going to be brief and as soon as she had the clear from NICU we would have the “golden hour” as a family of 3. I was fully expecting things to go as planned.
Unfortunately, when Maryn girl was born she took a big breath, started crying, and inhaled meconium. This resulted in a 20 minute procedure in the delivery room with her hooked to a CPAP machine, tubes down her throat, and lots of trauma to my sweet (not so) little 9lb baby. The NICU nurses explained to us that her lungs were sticking together with each breath she took and they would need to take her to the NICU to get her breathing settled down and start an IV. By this point I had not seen my baby or held her. They brought this little bundle wrapped up like a burrito and put her in my arms. I held her for 15 seconds before they took her, and Michael, to the NICU. I was worried beyond belief. I hated that I wasn’t there with her and desperately wanted to nurse her and snuggle her. I can’t imagine the fear that was going through Michaels mind as he watched them poke her repeatedly with needles and stuff tubes down her throat and up her nose. He was able to hold her and sent me a picture. I was beyond relieved to see her in his arms.
All of this to say, her first few hours of life were quite traumatic in so many ways. When she was released from the NICU she came to my recovery room. Finally we were able to be a family of 3 all together again. The NICU staff gave us lots of things to be on the lookout for as she recovered. Her breathing, while was good enough to get her out of NICU, was still scary to listen to. We were on edge, stressed out, and super worried for our girl.
A few days later we were released from the hospital. Michael couldn’t wait to get home. I, on the other hand, was begging to stay. I felt safe in the hospital and couldn’t believe they were letting us take her home. I’m pretty sure I asked every nurse to come home with us. Nothing short of creepy… I held back tears as we made our way out of the hospital. I wanted to hug each nurse and cry on their shoulder. My hormones were WHACK. My whole body hurt. I was certain they were letting us go home too soon.
The first few days at home were a blur. Such a crazy blur! We had to keep our eye on her around the clock and watch for respiratory distress. I’m sure every new mom can relate to the feeling of needing watch your baby sleep and make sure they’re still breathing. I hear it’s common to do this. Now, lets talk about the NICU staff scaring the daylights out of us with all of these warning signs that she is in respiratory distress…. so we quite literally watched her every move and listened to every grumble, grunt, gasp, and growl. There was a terrifying moment on Saturday that she started gasping. I called the nurse hotline (for the second time) and they told me to take her into the ER. Off we went.
Here we are….3 weeks and 3 days PP…. Miss Maryn is recovering well and I’m getting the hang of this mama thing. Michael is the best dad ever and makes my life as easy as he can. He does the dirty work…. after I supply the nutrition. Now that I’ve shared all of our drama here are a few things that I hope to never forget…(they say someday these things will be funny….)
Day 2 home from the hospital… Michael and I cracked open a beer and enjoyed time together while she slept on his chest. I was so exhausted I was getting ready to go to sleep while he held her so she could sleep (she had to be sleeping upright while her lungs healed… oh the exhaustion). I was ready to head up to bed and hear Michael say, “OH SHIT!” My heart almost fell out of my body… no new mom wants to hear these words while ANYBODY is holding their newborn. He was taking an exhausted sip of beer from his glass and dribbled beer out of the corner of his mouth. It dropped on the top of her head and down hear ear/neck/back. I grabbed her and ran upstairs in a total panic. We started washing her up with a sponge bath as she wailed the entire time. I couldn’t help but imagine we were going to end up in the ER that evening (her breathing had us on edge) as I told Michael “CPS is going to take her from us!! My baby smells like a frat house!!!!!” We got her cleaned up. I banned him from doing anything stupid like this again. He felt so bad… I went to sleep. Hormones.
Her cord finally fell off (3 weeks later). 3 smelly weeks later.
She got thrush. We’re both on medicine. Drama never ends.
She’s no longer fitting in most of her newborn clothes. She’s in size 1 diaper. She started gaining weight right away. Homegirl loves a good snack. She’s mine!
I lost ALL (and more) of the baby weight within the first 10 days…. then put back on a few lbs because I’m quite literally hungry all the time. I went to Trader Joe’s and basically filled up a cart with all of the snacks. I should relax a bit on the popcorn, alphabet cookies, Peruvian Corn, and chocolate covered blueberries…..
We did a newborn photo shoot (3 weeks) after she was born. She loves the camera!
Michael is the best dad. She LOVES him so much. He can settle her down almost immediately. He does these “tooter moves” with her…. homegirl can TOOT especially during her tooting exercises.
She has the biggest case of FOMO ever. EVER!
Strawberry blonde hair and long (clear) eyelashes. That’s all your dad kid, sorry.
We’ve been going to a breastfeeding support group and the RN (Lactation Consultant) is always so impressed with Mar girl. I’m always impressed with the other moms. It’s such a supportive, reassuring, happy time of our week! We love it.
Before signing out… I have one last little gem for you. My mother in law came to stay with us for a few days to help. It was incredible to have the extra hands. While she was here she accompanied me to an appointment for Mar Girl….by the time we left the appointment I was starving and could only think about pancakes. We decided to stop at a small, quiet, local cafe super close to home. It was the first time we went out with the little one (and since then really have only gone to the market… Starbucks… the hospital… and CrossFit). I had to nurse her while we were out and was pretty nervous. It was the first time I nursed her outside of our home/the hospital and although I’m completely cool with it…. I’ve heard horror stories of mean looks and weird things people say to nursing moms. The waitress walked over to refill my coffee. “Boob show over here…sorry about that”, I awkwardly said. Her response? “No worries girl feed your baby!… also those are nice boobs!” I will never feel worried about nursing in public again. I have nice boobs and a hungry baby. Deal with it. 🙂