The Hazy Fog of a Newborn

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our daughter is almost 3 weeks old. while writing that sentence, i thought both “whoa, time is moving so fast” and also “whoa, only 3 weeks?! it feels like eternity.” newborn life is hard, like way harder than i anticipated. the sleep deprivation makes everything worse and those ‘witching hours’ in the evening when she wails for no apparent reason – oooof. we have had some unique challenges which have made it a bit harder so i wanted to share those with you because life isn’t always butterflies, rainbows and snickers bars (fine, it is snickers bars because i’m eating one right now).

a-eyes-open

plus, we have a pretty darn cute kid on our hands over here people so more photos are needed, right?!

i am still working on my/our birth story (and by “working,” i mean i plan on writing it at some point) but it was intense to say the least. she never turned out of the left-facing position and didn’t rotate upon delivery as she was ‘supposed to.’ that means i pushed on her little massive head (and she pushed on my vagina) for a solid 3 hours before she entered this world! that’s a long time.

because of this, the muscles in her face and neck became super compressed and tight so nursing those first 48 hours was miserable and not successful. she lost 8% of her body weight (yes, 5-10% of weight loss is normal and expected) because she wasn’t latching and we were both super frustrated. this turned into a whirlwind of her first week of life consisting of going to see lactation specialists, a pediatric chiropractor and a pediatric dentist because it was discovered she also has a tongue tie.

asleep

our first week with atlas wasn’t my favorite. pregnancy hormones are no joke as they leave your body and my emotions spiraled worse than a bipolar tornado. i totally get why britney spears shaved her head now.

to add to that, we were doing something called ‘triple feedings.’ this meant i would try to nurse her (less-than-fun), then i would pump my breastmilk and then feed it to her with pace-bottle-fedding. this took about 45-60 minutes and then we had to do it all over again about an hour later. did i mention newborns eat like 9-12 times a day!? my supply was just coming in so there were no reserves for that first week. i think i cried more that week that i have in the past few years combined.

thankfully now my supply is good and i am two feedings ahead. this means that i try to nurse her every few feedings and my amazing husband can feed her while i pump more liquid gold. she is back on track for her weight gain and getting cuter every day!

on-the-boat

let me pause a moment and say what a truly amazing partner my husband is – i am so grateful for him. i have literally tried to write 15 different sentences right here attempting to express how supportive, helpful and encouraging he has been over these past few weeks but words don’t do him justice. of course i have fallen in love with him deeper while seeing him become a father but more than that, he has showered me with extra love and affection on a whole new level. i am so grateful to be doing this with him because part of me truly feels like i wouldn’t survive without him.

asleep-on-daddy

also, massive shoutout to our parents because they have been amazing. they have cleaned for us, cooked for us, held and consoled our screaming child, snuggled her so we could get a few hours of sleep and have been essential parts of our lives these past few weeks! thanks family! while we are on the subject of parents, go thank yours and give them a hug because this newborn rearing is no joke. they did a lot for you those first weeks of life. 

we are headed back to the pediatric dentist today to see if he can get his hands in her mouth to check things out (her muscles were so tight the first time we went in for a consult – hence the chiropractor). please send us good vibes for a quick procedure and fast healing for our brave little attie!

overall, we are all healthy and that is not something to be taken lightly. she continues to amaze us with her funny noises, sweet (reflex) smiles and insanely strong neck for her age! we are continuing to learn how to be parents to a newborn and she is continuing to learn how to live on planet earth outside of my womb.

smiling

it is certainly an adjustment period for all of us but at the end of the day (actually, about midmorning when everyone is fed and happy), we are grateful to all be on this journey together.

family-hudson-garden

oh, and sugar is SUCH a sweet big sister!

atlas-sugar-daddy

27 Comments

  1. Samantha

    September 21, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Little Atlas is so precious!!
    The first weeks are pure hell. But i PROMISE it gets better. You will start a routine and the colic will get better. And keep taking those pictures!! Garrett and I don’t have many from the “squishy ” phase and I sure wish I would have something now to look back on. What with baby fever setting in with these cute pictures of your little family….
    Congrats again and I pray her tie will be an easy fix!!

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      that’s what everyone claims, thanks for the encouragement samantha 🙂 good luck with that baby fever HA! her tie release has definitely helped already yay!

  2. Shannon

    September 21, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I’m right there with you! I appreciate your post as it’s 5:45 am (which is an hour I usually avoid consciousness) and I’m nursing my sweet son for the umpteenth time tonight. He was born a day after Atlas, Sept. 2!

    This newborn phase really is as challenging as it is incredible. The hormones are far worse than I ever anticipated, too. Add in sleep deprivation, and the constant toll on your body (I swear we have been cluster feeding since day 3), and it’s a draining experience. I am humbled by the fact that other women handle this with far less support (I’m on a paid maternity leave and my husband, who has been my hero more than ever, has a 5 week paternity leave). And that mother’s go for another round! I’m thinking our babe will need to be content with fur-siblings, ha!

    All that being said, I have never enjoyed being a hot mess more in my life! I feel honored to be this guy’s mom, and the love is immense. It’s hard to sleep when baby sleeps because I just want to soak up every peaceful moment cuddling and gazing at him. I know he won’t be little for long. The road ahead will be full of silliness, adventure, and a lot of growth for everyone!

    Thank you for letting me ramble in your comments section. Now I have a diaper to change! 😉 Good luck with your lovely little lady, I hope her dentist appointment goes well. I’ll stay tuned! 🙂

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      awww yay congratulations to you shannon – yay almost birthday twins! i also feel the same and have such a newfound respect for those that do this without all the support we have.

      i so appreciate your comment, thanks for sharing your experience and keep soaking up your sweet little one!

  3. jenniferhastonsays

    September 21, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Prayers and good vibes for your visit- Hang in there! thank you for sharing your journey so far. I am taking your advice and have been sleeping as MUCH as I possibly can. Mom to Mom- you are doing much better than you think!

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      thanks jennifer – that was a sweet thing to say! yes yes yes soak up that sleep (and uninterrupted movie/TV viewing)!

  4. Elyse@JustMurrayed

    September 21, 2016 at 8:16 am

    She’s so adorable! I’m glad you have the support of your husband and family to get through this awesome(but insane!) time.

    You got this, Chelsea! Take lots of photos and snuggle her as much as you can, they are only this small once!
    Elyse@JustMurrayed recently posted…Fall Goals

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      thanks elyse! i’ve had so many friends and people tell me their experience but it apparently still cannot prepare you for the real deal!

  5. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    September 21, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Oh my goodness, Atlas is SUCH the cutie! Post Partum is a beast I hear, but you’re awesome for pushing through it!
    Nina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…8 Things I Want to Do this Fall

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      it really is but then she smiles and giggle and “warrior yell” poops and it’s all a little better!

  6. Audrey

    September 21, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Um, Sugar and Mr. WS are seriously the cutest. But can we just talk about THE CUTEST BABY THAT YOU GUYS MADE! Holy cow- she’s beautifully amazing! Go, Atlas- the strong neck champ!!

    Is the tongue tied thing the situation where the skin that connects her lip to her gums/the tie under the tongue is too tight?
    If so, my bff’s daughter had to have that cut and nursing became 100% easier for them. Also, I know it causes chiropractic issues when that tie is messed up? So if that’s what you’re talking about hopefully things greatly improve once it’s all done!!
    Audrey recently posted…The Origin of Dogs

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      awww yay thank you audrey! we were just talking about how we made a pretty darn cute kid! and yes, the tongue tie is exactly that – I read your comment yesterday and that made me feel really encouraged!

      thankfully she is latching SO much better already (after getting under tongue and lip ties cut whew) so yay!

  7. Tess

    September 21, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Thanks for writing this post. I loved your honesty about the early weeks after having Atlas. My husband and I are going to start trying for kids in the near future, so I am always eager to know more and more about what it is like when you go from people a couple to a family of three. Thanks for sharing your struggles and I pray things get better as weeks go by. PS She is so adorable:)

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      thanks for reading and as always, this was my experience and i bet you all will have a completely different one (and i hope easier!) that’s so exciting you’re going to start having kids soon yay!

  8. Kate

    September 21, 2016 at 9:44 am

    What a beautiful baby girl! You two are doing an amazing job! This time flies by, and the fog clears up…but every now and then I miss those times when Aida would just curl up and sleep on my chest.
    Kate recently posted…6 Month Update

    • chelsea

      September 22, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      the curl up and sleep on the chest thing really is ridiculously sweet (and she loves it) so i am extra appreciating those moments! thanks kate 🙂

  9. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    September 21, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    What a cutie! More pictures are definetly needed. Breastfeeding is no joke and nursing plus pumping what seems like all day is so draining, so good for you for sticking to it. Sounds like you have a good system down. We had issues with her losing weight because my milk didn’t come in until day 12 and I still dont produce enough to exclusively breastfeed. These are the things you definetly don’t expect when you think of having your baby and nursing. I love the pic of Ravery wearing her in the solly!
    Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} recently posted…Currently

    • chelsea

      September 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      it really is draining, quite literally, courtney! wow day 12 – that would be SO hard and disappointing that there isn’t enough supply either (i’m currently drinking a lactation tea because mine went down the past few days too). oof. so hard. hang in there lady – our little girls appreciate our work!

  10. Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That!

    September 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Atlas is just beautiful! And you’re doing a wonderful job, Mama!

    • chelsea

      September 23, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      thank you lauren – much appreciated 🙂

  11. P.K. Eastman

    September 21, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Congratulations on making it nearly a month’. Atlas is beyond adorable. The picture with Sugar in the middle completes your sweet family.

    • chelsea

      September 23, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      thank you PK! she is pretty darn cute, isn’t she? we love how sweet sugar is being to her too – anytime she wail-cries, sugar tries to console her with licks!

  12. Paula Howley

    September 22, 2016 at 1:54 am

    Yo girl, that is one crazy cute baby. Yes, it gets easier and better I promise. This is the super toughest time. It also gets annoying when they are about 10 and starting puberty. They are also not as cute so you think about doing a Homer Simpson every once in a while. Or every day. lol
    Nah, for realz, I am so happy to hear about how you are all coming along. SO GLAD you made the move to be closer to family and that you have so much support. Take care loves!
    Paula Howley recently posted…What’s So Funny?

    • chelsea

      September 23, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      i mean, i think so too but she came from my body so i know i’m more than a little biased 🙂 i totally know each stage will bring their challenges but damn this one caught me off guard! thanks for your kind words of encouragement, paula!

  13. Cathy

    September 22, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Great job, it does get better. Support is key. My first was tongue tied, and they clipped it and it went much better. I nursed my cleft lip and palate baby too.

    • chelsea

      September 23, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      wow you are a superstar, cathy! i have already noticed a huge difference in her latch since the procedure so yay!

  14. Amberly

    September 23, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for this reminder!! Our first week home, I feel like I spent ALL of my time feeding one kid or the other and I wonder how I’m going to get back into a normal routine.
    Amberly recently posted…Preparing Our Toddler for the New Baby