December 30, 2013

Adjusting to Life with a Newborn


It sounds so cliché to say that I can’t believe our baby boy will be three weeks old tomorrow, but I am seeing just what that older gentleman at church meant when he told me his daughter looked like our baby two weeks ago and now she’s 52 years old.  These past few weeks have been such a whirlwind with our baby changing and growing more every day.  We've been adjusting and figuring out how to take care of our little one. 


When we brought that sweet, sleeping babe home from the hospital, we popped his car seat on the coffee table and sat on the couch staring at him in awe and disbelief for a good hour. I cried – tears of joy, tears of exhaustion, tears of thankfulness, and tears of relief to finally be home. We couldn’t believe, and still can’t believe, that he is really ours forever. A new life. A precious gift from God. 


We’re still wondering why God didn’t send him with an instruction manual as we navigate through sleepless nights and desperate pleading with an inconsolable, crying infant to let us know what he wants. There are nights where Thomas and I start off with deliriously tired, hysterical laughter, let frustration sink in around 3 in the morning, and then drift back into that delirious laughter as the sun comes up! 

Yes, there are certainly challenges that come with having a new baby (I never expected feeding a baby could be so hard and so painful and I’ve never been so sleep deprived in my life), but the joy we’ve experienced far outweighs the tiring and the frustrating times. Just one goofy face from Oliver is enough to power us through a few more hours of exhaustion. And even the challenges bring their own set of joys.  Like the night we spent laughing because we had to put our sheets and mattress cover through the wash in the middle of the night because I brought the baby in bed to burp him and he peed all over everything.  And somehow poop all over everything becomes funny when you’re both exhausted in the middle of the night!

Becoming new parents has been challenging, rewarding, and humbling. It has challenged us to become more selfless and giving of ourselves, both for our baby and for each other.  It’s been rewarding through those moments of eye contact, snuggles, the occasional gummy smiles, and just watching our baby sleep.  The number of times we smile at each other and say "He is soooo cute!" must be a record!  Being new parents has been humbling in showing us that we have much to learn and that we will always need God’s grace to get us through the tougher moments. 

God is so gracious and so giving, and I feel very blessed that he has given us our beautiful son, who I cherish and love more than I ever thought possible. And seeing Thomas with our baby has made my love for my husband grow even more than I could have ever imagined, and our marriage has strengthened on a whole new level.  I look at our new family, and my heart is filled to the brim with love and gratitude. 


Here’s a glimpse in pictures of the joy we have experienced over the past few weeks through the gift of our baby.


Visits from family... 



 






Washing his hair for the first time (he loves this!) 



Giving him his first bath (he did NOT love that!) 


 Family Walks...



 Oliver's first Christmas...




And those sweet, sweet moments of watching him...







Life has changed for the better, and my heart will never be the same again.  I am so in love with our dear Oliver, and I'm so excited to see who he grows up to be! 

"Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.
-Psalm 127:3



24 comments:

  1. I've been following your blog since before you were pregnant! What a cute baby! Hang in there! This is such a hard ( and precious) but hard exhausting time! I never thought I'd get a shower with out a crying baby again and then all the sudden routine kicks in and you start to feel normal.. It's a new kind of normal! Congrats!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Kathleen! :) Yes...so precious, but so hard and exhausting!!

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  2. He is so beautiful! He looks like a combination of the both of you.

    Those sleepless nights are hard, but it does get easier with each child. When Lucia was a baby it felt like she never slept and we wondered how anyone could have more than one child. For us, it was just hard for the first baby and seemed so easy for the others. I guess because by then we knew more of what to expect.

    Do you have a lactation consultant to talk to over the phone or in person? Ours has always told me it should never hurt and the only time it did, our baby at that time had a bad latch, once I knew how to correct it...the pain stopped immediately. Praying for you guys!

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    1. That is so good to know that it's easier with each child!! I've gone to the lactation consultants at the hospital several times. It's getting better, but we're still having trouble! Making progress though!

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  3. He is a gorgeous little boy Caitlin! You and Thomas are going to make wonderful parents! I just love his full set of hair! Did you or Thomas have that much hair as babies?

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    1. Thank you so much! We both had a TON of hair as babies! I guess it carried on!

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  4. Such a cutie pie he is....and what a head of hair so early on too!

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    1. Thank you! We were shocked to see how much hair he had, especially after they told us at the ultrasound when we went past 40 weeks that he had a little bit of short hair hehe!

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  5. Awe…so precious. I think he strongly resembles his daddy :) Happy baby moon!

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  6. Awh, what a darling! He is so precious and I just love all his hair! Enjoy this special time with your cutie. And yes, the sleep depreciation is pretty brutal, but from my experience things get A LOT better around 3/4 months. You're almost there! :) Blessings to your new family of three this new year. xo!

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    1. Thank you so much! We are loving this time, but it's good to know that the sleeping will soon get better! :)

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  7. Congrats!! He is just precious!!! You take such beautiful pictures, what kind of camera do you use?

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    1. Thanks Elise! I use a Canon Rebel T2i...I got it from my in-laws, and I absolutely love it!!

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  8. He is just adorable! I think he looks like his Daddy! Hang in there, your sleep will never be the same but it gets better. And they REALLY grow up way too fast! Enjoy the little moments, before you know it he won't fit in your arms!

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    1. Thank you! We are certainly loving all of the sweet little moments with him! :)

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  9. There is nothing in the world that shakes up your life like a new baby- and especially the first baby. There is nothing like new parenthood to make you feel vulnerable and insecure, and full of awe all at once.

    When my husband and I welcomed our first baby we were so young (like you and Thomas) and so shocked by the difference between our visions of parenthood and the reality of a fussy, demanding new baby who would not sleep. Everyone had just gushed to us about how wonderful it would be to have our baby- and it was, but it was also the HARDEST thing we had ever done!

    When our daughter was a few weeks old, a man who my husband worked with (who had a 7 month old baby of his own) just looked at us and said, "It gets easier." We hadn't mentioned the sleepless nights or the tears (baby's and ours) or the struggle to keep our relationship on track despite the crazy adjustments we were dealing with, but this guy knew. He knew and he gave us a glimmer of hope to get through those first difficult months.

    So, now I am here to say to you- He was right, it does get easier! I have 5 children now (my first baby is 15 and yes, it seems she was three weeks old yesterday) and I have discovered that you NEVER master the newborn age. You simply survive it and one day you wake up and your baby is three months old and you realize you CAN handle this and you are doing fine. And someday, you'll even get a full night sleep again! :)

    Good luck, baby is beautiful and he looks happy and healthy and LOVED! So you're doing great.

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    1. That second sentence is oh so true! It's amazing how it can be so wonderful and so hard all at the same time! Thank you so much for the encouragement! It is so appreciated during this adjustment phase!

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  10. Hang in there, Caitlin! It's amazing how the first few weeks with a baby can be simultaneously wonderful and miserable. Of course the wonder overwhelms us...but the sleep deprivation, the nursing difficulties, and the difficulty communicating (oh, those cries!) overwhelms us, too. It is so hard to see from where you are that in a few short weeks you will hardly recognize your family -- you will all be sleeping a little better (though not "like babies!") and you will be healed up and the nursing will be easier and you will know much better how to "speak Oliver." Babies are always changing -- a blessing and a sorrow!

    Also, just as a side note, don't be afraid to push your pediatrician to investigate further if the crying/sleeplessness doesn't improve over time. Sometimes these little ones have a problem like reflux or a dairy allergy that can be hard to catch. Trust your instinct (and those of older friends) about whether or not it's a normal level of crying and sleeplessness. Same thing with nursing -- don't be embarrassed to call the lactation consultant over and over until you get it feeling better. La Leche League leaders can help, too. With some mamas, it does take a little time to toughen up the skin -- but that doesn't mean that there isn't something that can be done to improve the latch or that he may not have a lip tie or something like that. Pain in nursing should never be just overlooked.

    What a gorgeous baby boy. God bless you three!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the encouragement! I have been seeing lactation consultants at the hospital, and things are definitely improving! The pediatrician checked him out for a tight frenulum because the consultants thought that he might have that, but it wasn't it. We're working on it and I'm thankful it's not as bad as it was at the beginning!

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  11. He is precious, beautiful, amazing! And I'm over the moon happy for you and your husband. Oh and the look on your family holding him, they are all gushing with love. What a gift you gave to every single one of them.

    Adjusting is tough. You are blessed to know that it is a precious time in your lives. And one day you will sleep again, promise. But your love for him will continue to grow. As you know, you are one the most amazing journey.

    God bless you all! You are all in my thoughts and daily prayers! xoxo tara

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers Tara! Yes, everyone in our family is absolutely head over heels in love with him! We are all feeling so blessed to have this sweet boy! :)

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  12. Ok first you look stunning as a new mom! Second, congratulations!!!! He looks just like Daddy! I look at your family pictures and my eyes go to your and Thomas' faces instead of the baby because you two are clearly so happy, so in love, and so proud!:)

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  13. What a beautiful post...he's such a handsome little guy! Continued prayers for you & your sweet family, Caitlin.

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