As I lay here on our love seat with little man Mark sleeping on me chest to chest, husband on the couch and a rerun of Pawn Stars on in the background, I can't help but think how blessed I am. Mark was born a mere 16 days ago, and yet it feels like he has been a part of our lives forever! I couldn't imagine life without him. Dustin and I did a darn good job creating this guy!
Now that we are just over two weeks in, I have a few thoughts on breastfeeding, crying, biscuits & gravy and more!
Breastfeeding is NO joke!
Mark came in a quick two pushes and was taken beside me to get a few things measured and cleaned up on him. Then he was put on my for my 2 hours of skin-to-skin contact before we moved to the postpartum room from the labor and delivery room. During that skin-to-skin time is when I first breastfed. I was sort of in a daze since I just pushed a human being out of my hoo-ha-ha. So I don't remember much of anything that happened, with the exception of making eye contact with Dustin every five seconds and repeating "we have a baby!" Then within the first two days a lactation consultant came in to visit with me, Mark and the husband. All Dustin and I remember her saying, over and over again I might add, is how (TMI) big my nipples were....yes, we get it! Big nips and a little baby mouth. Honestly, I don't remember much more than that. It's crazy how much you don't care about the hospital staff walking in on you bare chested, but a lot can change when you are giving your baby life through your body.
Over the course of Mark's first two weeks, we were on major struggle bus with breastfeeding, particularly with the left side. He just latched much different and it was quite painful, but yet bearable. Husband urged me to schedule an appointment with the lactation consultant, and boy am I glad he did! Husband, the supporter that he is, was right there with Mark and I for our LC meeting. I seriously feel like I JUST learned how to breastfeed, two weeks after giving birth.
I wasn't holding Mark correctly. I wasn't holding my boob correctly. I wasn't in control. I was allowing him to fall asleep, when he needs to know that the boob is for feeding and not sleeping. Let's just say I was pretty much doing it all wrong, but yet little man has been getting more than enough since he freakin' gained 1 lb 3.5 ounces since our last doctor's appointment on August 18. Without going too much into breastfeeding - don't worry, I'm thinking of writing a post on just breastfeeding - meet with an LC within the first week of your babies life if possible. Or, if you've been breastfeeding longer and are having issues, go...go now! Seriously. Dustin can tell a huge difference in my attitude and mental state just from that one hour meeting.
Sleep? What sleep?
Actually, I feel pretty darn rested. Little man is a champ sleeper. When we put him down, he tends to sleep for 3-4 hours at a time before he wakes up to feed. I know everyone says sleep when he sleeps, but so far I think I've only taken 2 naps when he's been sleeping. I feel pretty good on the sleep front, let's just hope it stays this way and/or gets better!
No Rush of Guests at the Hospital
While it would be so much fun to live near all of our family in Florida and Georgia during this extremely exciting time in our lives, I can honestly say I am so glad we only had three guests at the hospital - well, technically four. My best friend flew in from out of town the weekend I went into labor. So she was there for the entire thing and then left at around 9 a.m. the day Mark was born to head to the airport. Then my local best friend came by the next day for about an hour to meet our little guy. Then the last day we were in the hospital the owner of the company we work for, and her husband, dropped by for a quick visit. The visits were short and sweet, which was perfect. I just read this morning on the August 2016 babies chat board on the What to Expect app, was that so many women were absolutely miserable at the hospital because of overbearing family and friends. Now, let me say this, Dustin and I are blessed with great families, so I don't really think we would have an issue if we did have family in town, it just happened to be an extremely awesome experience for just my husband and I, and our new beautiful baby boy! So, if you are pregnant and are nervous about having family visit at the hospital, set some ground rules. Stat!
Wash Yo Hands!
Dustin and I were never dirty people. Messy maybe, but not dirty. We would have the occasional stack of unfolded laundry laying around all week and the 2-day old coffee cups in the kitchen sink. However, the moment we brought our little man home, something changed. Seriously! First off, we stocked up on cleaning supplies, with a big emphasis on clorox wipes, hand soap and hand sanitizer wipes. Dustin washed his hand so many times the first week home that they became raw. Then we bought a family size Jergen lotion that solved that problem. If you come over to our house and expect to hold little man, you WILL wash your hands. If you change his diaper, you use the hand sanitzer wipe before picking him back up. Pretty much wash your hands after you do anything before touching little man.
Visits from Mark's Florida Relatives
Little man is 16 days old and has already met three Florida relatives - my Uncle Steve, Dustin's mom and Dustin's sister. My Uncle Steve called me last week one night around 9:30 p.m. He said he was in town and leaving the next morning and wanted to know if he could swing by. Ummm...heck YES! We were so excited to show off our little guy, and also to see Uncle Steve! It was a great 30-minute visit! Next up came Grandma Karen and Aunt Liane. They both flew in for a long weekend. It was Mark's most eventful few days. We did something every day, which was probably exhausting to Mark. He also got fewer snuggles with me and lots of cuddles with them! They left yesterday and today I made up for the missing snuggles and then some! (Yes, Mark is still asleep on me as I type this, 30 minutes later.)
One Big Realization
Dustin pointed out something that a lot of new parents need to take note of since it's not something you really think about. Throughout a journey of being a parent, you help your kid through many stages. At first you are their lifeline deciphering their cries, making sure they are fed and comfortable, then you help them adjust to starting school, helping them with their homework and extracurricular activity, to thinking about what they want to do with their life. While you think your job is to raise a good child, in actuality, you need to raise them to be an adult. It sounds pretty obvious, but it really puts it in perspective. We have a good 18 (maybe a few more) years of having a huge impact on Mark. After those 18 years, he is out in the world and will spend a heck of a lot more time there than with us. We are going to do our best to raise a good adult and everything in between!
Cry It Out!
When I was being discharged from the hospital, the nurse who was working her way through all the paperwork and spiels on what to do and what not to do (i.e. don't leave the baby in the car), she told me matter of factly that I would be crying uncontrollably. I shrugged (internally) at that. I was NOT going to be crying uncontrollably. Not me who had a great pregnancy and was not hormonal or emotional but maybe once or twice. However, after struggling with breastfeeding (really just the left side), I found myself crying a night or two, and probably scaring my husband. But, he was not deterred by my tears. He let me cry. He got me my water. And then he gave me the much needed pep talk. We just made a beautiful baby boy. Yes, I was struggling with breastfeeding, but it was probably nothing a lactation consultant couldn't help with, which he was right about, go figure. So new mamas out there, if you need to sit at home while hubby is at work and eat some raw cookie dough that you have been yearning for for the past 10 months, and cry your eyes out. You do that! But, and this is a big BUT, just remember that this will not last. I repeat, this will NOT last. So you have your good cry. You eat that cookie dough, and quickly hide the evidence, and then you go wash your face and put on your best makeup. No one will be the wiser and you will feel a million times better. I promise!
Love, Baby and Biscuits & Gravy
The other night we were at dinner with Aunt Liane and Grandma Karen (Dustin's sister and mom) when we were trying to figure out what to do for breakfast. Dustin and I quickly offered up making our biscuits and gravy. You see, it's the best. I'm not even kidding! We value ourselves quite the B&G connoisseurs, and have yet to find the perfect B&G in the DFW area...that is until WE made them (check out the recipe here)! Well, Dustin and I made some cheesy I'm-the-biscuit-to-your-gravy lovey-dovey statement and then kissed. Pretty sure mom and Liane gagged and/or threw up in their mouths a little (kidding, but not really).
While I mention this B&G story not just to relay the fact that we make the best biscuits and gravy, but I also want to state again, like I recently outlined in my last post about 7 Reasons Why I Love My Husband More After Pregnancy, our family, The Robinson's party of three, could not be filled with more love! Dustin is an absolute natural at being a father. Spend 5 minutes with him and Mark and you will agree wholeheartedly, And this little guy, who has since gained 2 pounds 3.5 ounces since being discharged from the hospital 14 days ago, completely has our hearts. This kid is going to grow up surrounded by so much love. Then one day he will be able to help out with the biscuits and gravy and he will know how amazing and talented his parents really are!
Dustin and I have been parents for a week now and it honestly feels like a lifetime...in a really, really good way! We both cannot imagine life without our little man Mark.
We decided we wanted to try to have a baby last September, and here we are just under a year later and we actually have a baby! No one can really prepare you for parenthood. I mean, you get all the advice - solicited and unsolicited - during the entire pregnancy, but you really won't know. Not only during my pregnancy did I know Dustin would be a great dad when he made sure I had everything I needed when I had awful heartburn, or the worst constipation, or needed a foot rub, but when the oh-crap-we're-having-a-baby contractions started, I knew he was going to be great!
In the delivery room he saw me in the most raw form! When I needed help in the bathroom, he was there. When I was puking up my spicy non-alcoholic drinks I had earlier that day, he was there helping me. And while I was apologizing to him for him seeing me this way, he had nothing but love to share. When I needed him to massage my back during an intense contraction, he was there. When I needed someone to hold my leg and tell me to push, he was there not only holding my leg and telling me to push, but he was telling me how great I was doing.
Seven days in, I think my husband is more awesome than ever, and I couldn't be more in love. Here are seven reasons why!
7 | He LOVES Mark
It is SO much fun watching Dustin love on Mark. Through our nearly 7 years together, I never once saw Dustin with a newborn, and only ever one child. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous to see how Dustin would adapt to holding a little tiny human. Well, all my worries rushed away the first time I saw Dustin hold Mark. He was a complete natural. Seriously! When we are listening to music together, he will dance with little man. (*swoon**) When I get out of the shower, and Dustin is holding Mark, I hear him talking about everything under the sun - what we did today, the news, spelling different words and so much more. (**double swoon**) My favorite though is just staring at Mark with Dustin. We. Made. Him! What an awesome feeling that is!
While I know we have a lot in front of us on this journey of parenthood, at this time, I want to bask in the fact that my best friend and I made an incredible little kid. We want to enjoy every minute of this, and are constantly reminding ourselves that this will not last. He will not be this small forever. We won't always lose sleep. He won't always eat every 2-3 hours, or less. He won't always get a shallow latch. He won't always go through 10-14 diapers a day.
Dustin is one of the most caring people I know and seeing him be a father, even though it's only been a week, I can't be more proud, excited and anxious - in a good way - to parent with him for the rest of our lives! EEKK!!!!
Now let's talk about excuses for a minute.
We all have a decision many, many times a day whether or not we will make an excuse or get the job done.
After my workout in the morning and I take my clothes off before getting in the shower, I can make the decision to immediately put my dirty workout clothes in the hamper or leave them on the ground. Am I going to make an excuse over that 10 second task?
When I make my morning coffee, am I going to leave the coffee grinder, coffee canister, french press and dirty coffee cup on the counter or am I going to put the coffee grinder and canister back in the pantry, and rinse out the french press and coffee cup and put in the dishwasher? I can make an excuse or I can take the 2 minutes to do that and be done with it.
When I go to the grocery store, am I going to leave the cart in the middle of the parking lot or walk the 20 feet to put the cart away? It's a matter of making an excuse or getting it done!
Let's be honest. Sometimes making an excuse seems like the easier decision.
I hate, and I mean hate, folding laundry. What's the point of doing laundry if I'm just going to let it sit there on the chair in my room? If I take the laundry out of the dryer and fold it right away, I immediately feel not only a sense of relief but satisfaction as well.
All it took was a decision to tackle the laundry immediately and about 5-10 minutes depending on how much laundry I had. This no excuse way of thinking goes even further than mundane every day tasks.
For about 2 months I delayed getting a breast pump. Why? Because I had to contact my insurance company. Then I had to contact the PPO providers. Then I had to research the type of breast pump I wanted. Once I finally decided to just get 'er done, I realized it was a super simple task. Read about it here in this blog post - Ordering a Breast Pump.
Another example for me, that I currently have made an excuse for all year is getting this red bump on my chest looked at. You can see it in almost every picture of me. I absolutely hate it. It appeared about 7 years ago and has gotten slightly bigger since it appeared. I know it's not harmful since I have previously gotten a biopsy done on it. However, I have been delaying, all year long, calling and scheduling an appointment with my dermatologist to get it removed. So every time it becomes itchy, I can't really get mad since it's my fault it's not taken care of yet. I have no excuses for not calling the dermatologist. I just flat out haven't done it yet.
Successful people leave their excuses at the door whether it's something small like putting your dishes away to calling and scheduling a doctor's appointment.
Every day, I am trying to be more successful and make less excuses. It's hard. Not going to lie. But it is worth it.
So, tomorrow I challenge you to make your bed right away...do the dishes immediately after using them...take that trash out to the dumpster...push the shopping cart back - heck, grab another one on the way...get to the gym, even when you don't feel like.
I promise you that in making these decisions and removing all excuses, no matter how small, you will feel so much better about your day and yourself!
How do you limit excuses throughout your day?
Hi there! I'm Kara, of taking KARA myself! I've dabbled in blogging off and on for a while now. Mostly off. But I'm trying to change that and make a dent in this side of the world wide web. Enjoy!