2 weeks of Olivia!

Today Olivia Mabelynn is 2 weeks old!

Side note, Olivia’s middle name is a combination of her two Grandma’s names. My mother-in-law’s name is Mabel and my mom’s name is Lynn. So we combined them to get Mabelynn!

I really wanted to get something down on the blog to remember the last two weeks, as things have changed so so much already with Olivia and I don’t want to forget these early days.

Since Olivia was born super early (3:30am) in the morning of Friday, November 24 we ended up spending 2.5 days in the hospital. We spent all day on the 24th, all day on the 25th and half the day on the 26th there. Those early days were tough. I was in quite a bit of pain from my episiotomy and getting in and out of bed was hard. Both Olivia and I were trying to learn how to breastfeed and she was cluster feeding. Basically for those first few nights Eric would get up when she did, wake me up, I would feed her and then Eric would burp her, change her and put her back to sleep. During those nights in the hospital Eric would head back to our house to sleep during the day because he would basically be up all night. Luckily we had SO much family visiting us that I was never alone during the day while he was gone and I’m very grateful for all the support.

This photo was taken on her 2nd night. 

I am also so very thankful for the Labour & Delivery nurses who would come and help us with breastfeeding. I knew it would be very hard at the beginning but I didn’t realize that I would literally need an additional person to help with latching and about 5,000 cushions/pillows propped around me. Luckily Eric learned well from the L&D nurses and was an incredible help with latching once we left the hospital. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Eric those first 5 days. He basically did everything except actually feed her. Ha ha!

We are pretty sure for the first few days Olivia had her days and nights mixed up, so she was asleep most of the day and awake most of the night. The second night after we got home from the hospital was our hardest night yet. Olivia was cluster feeding and basically did not sleep from 1am – 8:30am. Eric and I were so so tired and wondering how we could possibly do that night after night. Luckily her sleep has improved immensely and that was our only really bad night with her.

She sleeps in the Halo Bassinet beside our bed at night and during the day she naps on the coffee table downstairs in a baby nest my Grandma made for us – crafty grandma strikes again as these baby nests sell for $150+! And yes, we do attempt to swaddle her at night but she almost always breaks free and puts up quite the fuss if we swaddle her too tight. She likes to have her hands out!

I can’t remember when but at about night 3 or 4 at home Olivia got her days and nights straightened out and started sleeping amazingly well. We are SO LUCKY. She will sleep for a 4 hour stretch at night easily, and I usually have to wake her up to feed at the 4 hour mark or she would sleep even longer. I have been told this is a benefit of having a bigger baby – she comes out already being a good sleeper. I am so grateful!

The night before she hit 2 weeks she slept from midnight – 4:30am and again from 5:30 – 8:30am. She is also really good about sleeping in her bassinet and in her nest as long as she is asleep when we put her in there. She does not like being laid down awake which is a challenge as sometimes it takes lots of rocking to get her back to sleep after a feed, which is not always fun when you are just so so desperate to go to sleep yourself!

Breastfeeding is going quite well and her and I can now feed on our own and with only one pillow for support instead of 5,000! A huge win. I am pumping to store some milk in the freezer but we have not attempted to introduce the bottle yet as we want to make sure we get well established with breastfeeding before doing so.

Chloe seems to be doing well with her. This is a topic for a separate blog post, but a few months ago Chloe went completely blind. She had slowly been losing her eyesight since the spring, and she lost it completely this fall. We are so sad Chloe never got to see Olivia, but she is definitely aware that she is there and has carefully sniffed her a couple of times. When Chloe first came back to our house (she was at my dad’s while we were in the hospital) she would whimper on her bed whenever Olivia cried. Sympathy crying!

Webster has gone to live at my dad’s house for the first few months. This is again a topic for another blog post, but we were having some issues with him and Chloe since Chloe went blind and Webster is a very ornery cat. We weren’t totally sure how he would act with the baby and we weren’t ready to risk it, especially since he’d been attacking Chloe a lot since she went blind because she would get too close to him or run into him. My brother and dad send me daily pictures of Webster and he has settled in nicely with them and gets tons of cuddles. I’ll be going out to visit him soon and slowly introducing him to Olivia over the next few months and hopefully we can bring him home in the spring when she is older. It was a super hard decision, and I sobbed the day my brother picked him up, but I know it was the right decision for our little family right now.

I should also note that I could never have given Webster away completely and I am so grateful my brother and dad were willing to take him in and have been taking such great care of him and of course sending me daily photos and snapchats. I trade Olivia photos for Webster photos now 🙂

The weather warmed up immensely last week so we were able to get outside for our first outdoor walk. It was so nice to get some sunshine and fresh air!! Speaking of going for a walk, I am doing 100x better physically in week 2 than I was in week 1. I was very very sore for a few days and couldn’t spend too much time on my feet or go up and down the stairs too much as it would really intensify my bleeding. I’m also pretty sure I ripped / popped a stitch on our 2nd night at home getting up from the chair after feeding her, so that was very sore for a few days. I couldn’t even *think* about going for a walk for awhile.

All of a sudden in week 2 I started to feel a lot better and could be on my feet more and even took Chloe for a couple of slow walks around the block. I still get pretty tuckered out and need to sit and rest after a 10-15 minute walk, but I am definitely feeling better.

On the hormones / emotions level, they really are no joke post partum. The tears will come so so easily these days. The other night I was sitting on the couch snuggling Olivia and I just started crying. It was part exhaustion and part gratefulness / happy tears. I never used to cry happy tears but I definitely am in these PP days. I also would start crying anytime I even *thought* about Eric going back to work those first few days but now that I’m feeling so much better and have a better handle on breastfeeding I am feeling OK about him going back to work next week, though Olivia and I will miss him so so much.

Soaking up those newborn cuddles. 

This newborn stage is really hard. We are lucky to have an amazing sleeper on our hands, and it’s still hard. But it is also so amazing. This little person is just so darn cute and perfect in every way and you literally cannot beat those newborn snuggles. There is nothing better. Also, why do they smell SO good??

I already know the time is going to pass way too quickly so I’m really focusing on being in the moment and enjoying this time with our sweet and cuddly newborn.

At 2 weeks old Olivia loves…

  • The mamaroo swing
  • Sleeping on mommy or daddy’s chest

She hates…

  • Diaper changes
  • Baths (see below photo for how she feels about them…)
  • Being hungry for even 3 seconds

Things I haven’t felt like doing at all are cooking or cleaning. I am very grateful that Eric has taken over pretty much all cleaning the last couple of weeks. My amazing BFF Jen also flew up to spend 3 nights with us and scrubbed our house top to bottom while here and my mom has been amazing with helping clean as well. I’ve also had sooo many family members drop off food, which I am so appreciative for. Just tonight I enjoyed some amazing homemade chicken soup and homemade bread that my cousin dropped off.

I think that pretty much sums up the first 2 weeks of life with a baby. We don’t really do much, but the days pass by so quickly. I still can hardly believe it’s already been 2 weeks since she entered our lives. I am sad about Eric going back to work next week but happy that he will have some more time off with us at Christmas.

Perhaps my next blog post will not be baby related, but don’t count on it 😉

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Maternity Leave so far!

Thanks for all of your comments on the photo tour of Baby H’s nursery! I am so happy with how it came together. I didn’t have a ‘vision’ in my head when we first started putting it together but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

So as of today I have been on maternity leave for 1 week and have had 5 official days of maternity leave (again not counting the weekend). The past week has actually gone by super fast and I’ve been pretty busy. I seem to alternate super busy days with super relaxing days. I kicked off maternity leave last Wednesday, November 1 by going to the pool for a swim, cleaning the house, getting a pedicure and going to prenatal yoga. Then last Thursday I spent most of the day on the couch reading. It’s been pretty lovely to do it that way!

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Sleeping in / Laying in bed

One of the hardest things about going to work the last couple of weeks was getting up and getting ready in the mornings. My sleep has been steadily going downhill since about 36 weeks of pregnancy due to being extremely uncomfortable and waking up several times in the night. Being able to just stay in bed as long as I want / need to in the mornings has been amazing over the last week.

Reading

I’ve spent a lot of time plopped right here on our couch reading my book and it’s been amazing!

Walking / Swimming / Yoga

I did do an upper body strength workout from Fitness Blender one day last week, but for the most part I am sticking to walking, swimming and yoga in these end of pregnancy days. Over the last week I’ve walked almost every day at the track with my mom, went swimming twice and went to yoga three times.

House Stuff

  

I have a list of things I’ve been wanting to get done around the house so I’ve been puttering away at those. The other day I took absolutely everything out of our pantry, wiped it out and organized it. Before and After photos above. Also on my list is to wipe down all blinds / windowsills and baseboards in the house. I will start picking away at that today or tomorrow. Later this week / weekend I plan to spend some serious time in the kitchen making some meals and easy snacks (like muffins!) to freeze.

Studying

I am working on converting my Group Fitness Instructor certificate through the YMCA/YWCA to a certificate through the BCRPA since we do not have a Y in my current city. This means I have to retake the Fitness Theory exam which has lots of complicated questions about the muscular and skeletal systems so I have been spending about 1 hour a day studying for that and plan to take the exam this Friday. Wish me luck! I hope my pregnancy brain doesn’t betray me.

Self Care

I booked a pedicure for my very first day of leave – and it was ah-ma-zing. I also am going to the chiropractor weekly and had a prenatal massage yesterday, which I wouldn’t say was insanely enjoyable at the time but felt good afterwards! So I am also filling my days/weeks with lots of appointments that I probably won’t have time for very soon plus the chiropractor and massage appointments feel more like necessities these days, especially the chiropractor!

Seasonal Decorating

Well, so far all I’ve done for that is exchanged some of the fall decor in our entry way for these two winter-y / Christmas-y signs. However, I’ve already decided that if Baby H hasn’t made his or her appearance when Eric goes on days off next week we are pulling out the decorations and doing full on Christmas decorating! The cold weather and snow has me in holiday mode.

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I think that about sums it up! All of the above and general puttering / tidying around the house has basically filled my days and I haven’t felt ‘bored’ yet, which I thought I would. I think the fact that I’m very large and uncomfortable helps – for example, that pantry clean out took me about 4 hours with a few breaks whereas I’m sure it would have taken me 2 hours max in my pre-pregnancy days or high energy second trimester days.

I’ve had staycations before – usually over the Christmas holidays – but never ones where you don’t know when the end will be. It could be in 2 days, in a week or (god forbid!) in 2 weeks from now. There is really no way of knowing when this babe will arrive and these early days of maternity leave / having a staycation will come to an end so I’m trying really hard to soak up each day as it comes and enjoy this time even though of course it’s only natural at this point to be starting to feel anxious for babe to arrive already. That said, I have a pretty busy rest of this week ahead of me so would be OK with Baby H staying cozy until this weekend at least 🙂

If you had a couple of weeks off work at home what would you get up to? 

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