January 16, 2012

Bringing Home Baby

Remarkably, we have already reached the one-week mark of Levi being home and our little family officially existing as a unit of 4 (well, 5 if you include Chipper).  The past week has had moments of pure joy, frustration, excitement, exhaustion, and probably a host of other things (as documented here).  Now that it is all said and done, I can definitely say we have learned some valuable lessons along the way.  I, by no means, claim to be a parenting expert, but these are some things that have helped us thus far, so I share them in hopes that they may help someone else...

1.  Don't be afraid to say "no."  I have a really hard time saying "no" to people, particularly when they are trying to do something nice for us...like stop by our abode and visit our cute little boys.  But in the first few days that we were home from the hospital, the well-wishers were constant, resulting in very little quiet time around our house.  Sure, Levi fared just fine and slept through most of it, but I, on the other hand, could have really used an extra nap or two, and Colton just about came undone because he was so off-schedule (my little boy takes after his mommy and is a very regimented little man).  Looking back, I should have just politely declined visitors, particularly during Colton's usual nap time to give us a bit of a breather...oh well, you live, you learn.
2.  Be patient...things do get better.  This goes for a host of things when dealing with a newborn.  Breastfeeding gets easier (my G-d it hurts like HELL at first though), figuring out newborn gets easier, getting in to somewhat of a routine gets easier, etc.  Day-by-day our time at home seemed to gradually, but steadily improve from utter chaos/frustration on day 1 to pretty enjoyable by the end of the week.  With everyone doing so much adjusting, I guess this can only be expected and embraced.
3.  Be sure to make time for big brother.  Because I am breastfeeding, my obligations kind of naturally fell to Levi for most of the first days.  Sure, I was careful to give Colton some love and attention, but for the most part Josh was handling Colton-duty, while I was handling Levi.  Around day 3 of being home, though, Colton became much more temperamental and sad than he usually is.  It was very obvious our boy missed his mommy (and quite frankly, she missed him too).  From that day forward, Josh and I made a huge effort to equally split the duties for both kids (as much as possible anyway), and I made sure to take some time out each day to just play with Colton.  His mood immediately improved, and his beautiful, happy smile reappeared.
what a ham, huh?  That's his "smile"
4.  Recruit help.  I was lucky that Josh was off for the first week we were home (and my mom is planning on coming over this next week to help) because honestly, I don't think I could tend to the needs of both boys by myself.  Breastfeeding alone takes up so much time (and hands!), so having someone around to make Colton's breakfast or keep him entertained was absolutely essential.  Seriously, I am dreading the day I don't have someone around!
5.  Adjust your expectations.  If you've been reading this for any amount of time, you have probably already figured out that I am pretty much always on the go, attempting some project or recipe or something.  But even I have come to accept the fact that errands, DIY, and even dinners are on hold indefinitely...and even more importantly, that it's ok!  I'll get back to it one day (hopefully sooner than later), but for now take-out and a slightly dirty house may just have to be our reality.
6.  If you have a C-Section, ask for an abdominal binder.  My C-Section was planned and in the weeks leading up to it, my doctor kept talking about this abdominal binder thing.  He wanted me to order one, but I kept forgetting, thinking it sounded kind of like a hoax or something.  Luckily, the hospital had them on hand because I seriously think this thing was my lifesaver.  I experienced so little pain following my C-Section that it was kind of scary and was able to get up and get around from day 1...well worth it, if you ask me!


  1. Good to know all these things! It's a whole new set of challenges when baby #2 enters the scene.

    I'm glad you're doing well and learning a lot too!!!

  2. Glad to know all of these things, for whenever the day comes that they will apply to me! haha
    Glad that things are settling in for you all! *sending you guys hugs*


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