Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ronan Brent Isaacson - the first 2 weeks

i have a baby.
he's 2 weeks old.
his name is ronan brent isaacson and he's the new love of my life.

i've waited so long to be a mom, and now that i have a little one to hold, it seems surreal.  just like often times during my pregnancy it felt surreal that it was really my turn to share in the joy of awaiting a little one to call my own, two weeks into it, i still have moments when i can't believe there's a baby sleeping in the room next door and he's mine, all mine.

these first 2 weeks have been a blur.  in some ways the days have flown by, but more often than not, it feels like we've been on this new-parent journey forever.  it must be the sleepless nights, the days and nights that all blend together until you have no idea what time of day it is, much less what day of the week or what the date is.  everything revolves around the next feeding, the next nap, the next diaper change...and then the cycle continues.

there are so many other words i could use to describe these first 2 weeks and how i've felt -

zombie
hazy
exhausted
emotional
painful
scared
worried
overwhelmed
LOVE

but really, there are no words that can adequately express what it's like.  i don't think anyone or anything could every prepare a first time parent, especially a first time mom, for the reality of bringing a baby home for the first time.  and that's probably why not a lot of mom's talk about it.  or they don't want to remember or admit what it's really like.  or they forgot.  and now that i'm in the thick of it, i can say  it's one of those things that must be experienced first-hand to be understood and appreciated.

let's just say, the first couple of weeks we've been in 'survival mode'.  where having time to take a shower is a true luxury, where every cry, hiccup, sniffle, sneeze, stuffed nose is cause for alarm and results in a call to the pediatrician's office, where overwhelming exhaustion threatens to take over at all times, and where leaving the house for any other reason than a doctor's visit takes much more effort than it could ever be worth.

and yet, all of that is completely overshadowed by the vast and fierce love i feel for my son, my baby.  it's a love unlike any other, and one that truly can't be understood until experienced, just like i'd been told so many times in the past.  it's a love that reaches to the very core of who i am as a woman and now a mom and an emotion so strong it almost scares me.  i definitely understand the term 'mama bear' now, that's for sure! 

i've already had moments of panic where i feel like ronan's getting too big too quickly.  i want to freeze time, i want him to stay my newborn infant for just a while longer.  i can already see the physical changes in him as each day goes on.  he's getting bigger, more alert, and while those are all great things, i want and need more time to savor him as the baby i brought home from the hospital.  to kiss those tiny fingers and toes, to smell the intoxicating newborn smell, to have him fall asleep on my chest and hear his heartbeat sync with mine.  i'm told each stage in a baby's life has it's own special moments, but for now, my heart is completely enamored with the ronan i know at 2 weeks old.

**********
the things that helped us survive the first 2 weeks -
  • visitors who came bearing food - having a fridge stocked up with meals and meals dropped off by family and friends was such a blessing especially the first week!  i'm convinced there's no better gift one can give first time parents in the first few weeks than food.
  • swaddleme swaddlers - sure, we learned how to swaddle using swaddle blankets in one of the many baby prep classes we took, but when it came down to it, swaddling a live baby vs. a doll - 2 very different things!  it's a good thing we received some swaddleme blankets as gifts because they've been used every single day and make swaddling a piece of cake!
  • boppy nursing pillow - i know some moms don't find this product very useful, but i brought it to the hospital and began using it for nursing from the very beginning.  i've tried using a regular pillow, but it's not the same. 
  • boppy newborn lounger - this has been a great way to have ronan hang out with the fam on the couch and it's also been great for his daily tummy time.
  • iphone - the first couple of weeks i didn't have time nor the desire to get on the computer.  but my iphone became invaluable especially during those late night feedings.  the aps that got the most use - pinterest, facebook, words with friends, baby center & tetris.  my iphone was also the primary photo taking mechanism these first couple of weeks.  always handy and so much easier to take videos and pictures than pulling out my big DSLR.  the majority of the pictures taken have been taken with my phone.
  • babyconnect app - this app has been a lifesaver in tracking feedings and diaper changes (yes, one of the many fun things that must be done!)  highly recommend for parents of newborns
  • baby center - the website, the app, the forums, all of it!  such an invaluable resource both during pregnancy and now as a new mom. 
  • lansinoh lanolin 
  • the bassinet attachment for our stroller - this has been ronan's crib since we brought him home.  i thought i'd be able to put him in his crib from day 1, but that didn't happen.  we'll probably never use the bassinet stroller attachment again after this, so it's been great to get this use out of it.  the stroller/bassinet is right by the bed and makes middle of the night feedings so much more convenient.

best advice received -
  • give breastfeeding at least 2 weeks - contrary to what EVERY SINGLE lactation specialist will tell you, breastfeeding hurts, it REALLY hurts, even if you're doing it right!  our doctor came to visit us our second day in the hospital and i'll never forget his perspective on it: "they're going to tell you it's not supposed to hurt - that's bulls**t!  it's not natural, and it will hurt.  but stick with it for 2 weeks, and it will get better after that"  and i must say, he was right.  it's still not completely pain-free, but every day is better than the day before and i'm determined to stick with it.
  • sleep when the baby sleeps - i heard this from everyone!  but i've never been able to take naps. ever.  i was always envious of people who could take 30 minute power naps in the middle of the day.  so i assumed it would be the same now.  wrong!  i guess the body does get to a certain level of exhaustion where it will nap anywhere, anytime.  it's so tempting to want to clean the house, catch up on laundry, watch mindless tv, etc. while the baby sleeps, but the few times i've done that i've really paid for it at night when getting up to feed mister ronan has been excruciatingly unbearable.  so i've learned to take at least one nap while he's sleeping during the day.  i still feel like i will never again be caught up on sleep, but that nap has made a big difference.
  • i'm sure there's more, but that's all i can think of right now...

**********

and because i can hear my little man call for me, that's all i have time for.  except to share some of my fav pictures from the first couple of weeks - all taken with my handy-dandy iphone.  enjoy!


[at the hospital]





 [with auntie jen]

 [daddy's little man at his first dr's apt]


[happy on his lounger]

[he's getting ready for the superbowl!] 

[there's room for everyone on the couch] 

[with grandma]




5 comments:

Naomi said...

I'm so glad to see that you posted. I'll mark this for future advice. And So happy to see more pics of Ronan. The plan is to visit and see him in April for me. I am counting down the days. Yay!

hilldalehouse said...

oh my gosh tabi! I am so in love! he's an absolute doll!!! and so beautiful!
and the pics of reid and ryan and sue holding him are just precious! They too look madly in love with him! Soooo happy for you! Call me anytime if you need to vent or whatever! I know it can be an overwhelming and emotional time, but you can do it! I'm not gonna say enjoy everyminute of it, but take alot of pics and take alot of naps, that's what I wish I had done more of :)

halfpint said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amber said...

Ronan is adorable!! Congratulations! He's a lucky boy to be so loved. The baby stage is so special and fun, even with all its challenges, but it just gets better and better ;)

Bobi said...

very well said. and the really great thing is that after this milestone things get much easier, in some ways and a bit harder in other ways. All I can say is now that you are a mom, life will never have boring moments again. At least not for you anyway. :) Welcome to the Mommy Club nothing like it on earth. :)