The labor and delivery itself were far from what I expected. For the most part, it was incredibly smooth and while I wouldn't say it was enjoyable, in hindsight I would for sure do it again. As most moms seem to say, the hours (and days) following giving birth make you question having more kids in the future but now that some time has passed I'd be more than okay with it especially if the whole process was the same.
(Moments after she was born. I didn't cry, but I did get pretty choked up!)
(So proud. So in love.)
The first week was tough. Adjusting to life with a newborn who is on absolutely no schedule while recovering from giving birth is difficult. I am so thankful for all that Landon and our families did during that time. He really took care of us, doing anything and everything without being asked. This week he technically went back to work and even though he's working from home, I already miss that first week where it was just the three of us snuggled up in bed together. As exhausting and painful as it was, it was perfect.
(Our tiny human going home from the hospital)
Let's talk about breastfeeding real quick. I didn't expect it to be easy exactly, but some problems arose that I was not expecting. The nurses (who were incredible, by the way) who assisted us before and after birth encouraged me to use a nipple shield when Zoe had trouble latching on. We also didn't have any strong feelings for/against pacifiers, so she used one of those right away, too. The morning after she was born though, a lactation consultant came by and discouraged the use of both buttttt, Zoe had lost something like 8% of her birth weight so her feedings needed to be supplemented with formula or else they might keep us there longer, we were told. A week into breastfeeding, Zoe still couldn't latch on without a shield and was regularly drinking some formula at night because I was in so much pain and boy was I frustrated. A trip back to the hospital to meet with the LC one more time helped immensely as she showed us a better way to latch and now the shield use has decreased and the formula feeding has stopped, too. I'm still nervous to breastfeed in public mainly because I've had the most success doing it with a pillow (My Brest Friend) or lying down and you can't exactly cart a large pillow along with you or lay down on the floor at Target. If anyone has tips for successfully breastfeeding in public, I'm all ears.
Zoe has consistently gained weight since we left the hospital and has been an all around champ of a baby as far as we can tell. We're getting better at listening to our parental intuition but it's pretty hard when the internet is brimming with opinions and advice. We've pretty much been complete zombies since the night she was born but that's to be expected for the first few months, right?
(If your baby started sleeping in 3+ hour stretches at night by week 2 please tell us your secrets. Thank you.)
I just wanted to check in and say hi and introduce you to Zoe! I realize this post is all over the place but until I start getting some more sleep, I think that's just how it's going to be. Thank you all for your prayers during this time! Believe me, I've felt them during it all and I am so thankful.