I’m pretty sure I’ll always say this about time now, but it’s hard to believe that it’s already been two whole months that Liam has been with us. As I sit here writing this, thinking back on the last two months, I can honestly say that they’ve been the best two months of my life. They’ve held some of the hardest, most exhausting days, but I’ve never felt so completely fulfilled in my life. The Lord has blessed me richly with a loving husband and the most precious son we could ever dream of. I’ve wanted to sit down and share about the first several weeks of his life, but also wanted to let a little time pass before diving in. I want to be present for every moment with him and record the moments in my memory before sharing them. I’ll take you back to our first couple of days with him first, and bring you all the way up until today.
I remember leaving the hospital, less than two days after giving birth and finally meeting our son, and thinking, this is when it really starts. I’m his mom. I felt the weight of his care, well-being, and health unlike I had before. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it, but almost empowered by it. I had spent nine months loving him and caring for him inside of me and now I got the joy of doing it while seeing his sweet little face. Additionally, I felt a sense of relief knowing that his care and little life wasn’t just in my hands anymore – Mike was now able to care for him in many ways that he hadn’t been able to before. (Side note: watching Mike step into this role as his dad has been one of the great joys of my life. He was made for this role and I’m honored to witness it firsthand.) It was surreal to bring Liam into our home and think about the fact that he’s here now and that this is his home now, too.
That first week back home was the hardest one for me. Not only was I exhausted from our hospital stay, but Liam had his days and nights mixed up, so he was up all night long. Add in recovering from delivery, hormone changes, breastfeeding woes, and everything else…it was a long, hard week. Outside of how I was feeling physically, I had a few days feeling sad and mourning the loss of our life together, the life we lived before Liam was born. Everything was flipped on its head (as it should be!) and I almost felt like I had whiplash. I missed the quality time that Mike and I used to have together. I missed watching a show in bed together before we fell asleep. I missed doing whatever we wanted to, whenever we wanted. While I knew that having Liam would change things, I wasn’t prepared for how quickly it would all happen. It was probably naivety on my part, but I just never really thought through the fact that there would not be some smooth, slow transition into this new life with him. It all changed as soon as he was born and that was it. There was no going back, only moving forward and figuring out our life together as the three of us. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I see that we’ve gotten some of that back. Mike and I are still able to find quiet, quality time together most days (even if it’s just 30 minutes!), but it’s definitely different. While I still miss that part, something else really beautiful has happened. We’ve had to work together, day in and day out, to best care for Liam and for each other. Parenting together has added another layer to our relationship that has only increased our communication and connection with one another. At least once a day, we still have that, “can you believe we MADE that?!” moment with each other. It’s been a very bonding experience for us, which I’m grateful for.
The newborn “fog” lifted a bit as we headed into the third week. We had a bit of time under out belt of getting to know him, being able to predict what he would want/need, and had found a rhythm at home with sleeping and sharing the responsibilities of his care. It was also at this time that I made the decision to stop nursing. (I may share more of my breastfeeding journey in the future, but don’t currently have plans on when/how that will be. As of me writing this post, Liam is finishing up our freezer stash of breastmilk and will be exclusively formula-fed soon. He’s happy and healthy, I’m happy and healthy, and that’s all that matters.) Making that decision to stop nursing, with confidence that I was doing the right thing for us, caused a noticeable shift for me, emotionally and mentally. I felt lighter, more clear-headed, and able to enjoy all the other things that motherhood brings that much more.
Prior to Liam being born, we took the Newborn Sleep Class by Taking Cara Babies. Being on the other side of it, I’m so glad that we took the time to do that! It was extremely helpful for us to have some semblance of an idea of how he should be spending his days and how to learn him (sleep cues, different cries, etc). We started implementing the “schedule” that she lays out in her class during his third week of life and he’s pretty much stuck to it since then! So far, he’s a pretty good sleeper, as far as newborns go. Some days he takes great naps and sleeps well through the night, some days the naps are harder to come by and the nighttime sleep is more interrupted, but that’s life with a newborn! If nothing else, they certainly keep you on your toes! He is currently sleeping in the Halo Bassinest in our room at night, but taking naps in his crib during the day. We wanted to make sure that he got comfortable with his crib from early on, so that when we transition him there for nighttime sleep, it’s a place that he is familiar with. We’ve been swaddling him in the Ollie for a few weeks now and it’s working really well for us!
So far, in his eight weeks of life, Liam is a chill, happy baby. He doesn’t cry much, unless he’s hungry or tired, and can be soothed pretty easily. He has certainly had his times of being fussy, but those are the exception, at this point. He’s big into snuggling and his favorite place on earth is mine or Mike’s chest. He is generous with his smiles and coos and loves to make eye contact with people. He loves bath time, too! He enjoys being outside and playing on his piano in the mornings, but he’ll definitely let you know when he wants a change of scenery or to be picked up. He really is the sweetest little thing and I can’t believe we get to keep him!
I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but wasn’t one to be counting down the months/years until that day. I was content and happy with our life before him, while also remaining hopeful for a future family. Now that I’m a mom, his mom, I can say that it is the most rewarding, joy-filled role that I play in this life. And to be able to do it alongside Mike is truly an honor.
Thank you for loving on our family the last two months! The Internet is a weird place, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this new chapter in my life and have you all be a part of it!