As we are still adjusting to our new life, the thing that's been MOST helpful to me is other moms talking to me honestly about these newborn days. It has been such a comfort to me to know that the good and the bad and all of the crazy emotions I feel are normal! I'll share a typical day in the life of an almost four-week-old here so you can see the good and bad and everything in between! This is a typical day, though every day is different. These pics weren't all taken on the same day, but you get the idea :-)
Let's begin our day at 12 am, shall we? Because that's when the day begins (at least on my Baby Connect app where I track all feedings).
12:00 am: Sleeping. Everyone. (Praise God)
2:00 am: Ava wakes with her "DEFCON 5" cry. This is the cry that means - "I need food - NOW!" I stumble out of bed, pick her up, carry her to the nursery, and change her diaper while half asleep. She's still screaming, but luckily I've developed nerves of steel. I take her back to our bed and nurse her for 30-45 minutes. I nurse sitting up so I don't fall asleep, and I troll Facebook (no new posts at 2 am... come on people!) and Pinterest (I see recent pins from two people who just had babies... imagine seeing y'all here!) I drink an entire Gatorade during this feeding to quench my undying thirst.
2:40 am: Put Ava back in the pack-and-play, turn on the sleep sheep, and tiptoe back into bed, holding my breath. Listen for about 5 minutes to see if she sleeps or screams. She sleeps. I'm out.
4:00 am: Wake up freaking out that I forgot to put Ava back in her pack and play. I think she's lost in our bed, and I wake Brent up asking, "Where is Ava?!" Brent says, "She's in her bed, Katie. Go to sleep." Yep, fully rational over here.
5:00 am: DEFCON 5 scream. Jump out of bed. Grab baby. Change diaper. Feed. Still no new Facebook posts. Don't you working people get up early, and can't you please post something for my entertainment? K thanks.
5:40 am: Put Ava down, tiptoe to bed, snuggle under covers. DEFCON cry. Give her a second. Give her a minute. OK, a few minutes. Still screaming. Say pitifully, "Honey, can you please help me?" Brent stumbles out of bed, takes Ava into the living room, and sleeps on the couch with her in the bouncer, which he has to bounce every 10 minutes while I sleep in the bedroom. Love him.
7:50 am: Wake up. I have 10 minutes before little miss has to eat. Dash around the house to make coffee, open windows, empty dishwasher, put in a load of laundry, make the bed, put in contacts. Wake up Ava and feed her. Even though I'm exhausted and the coffee hasn't kicked in yet, I enjoy her a lot in the mornings. She's usually pretty darn sweet. I admire her and read all of my devotionals on my iPhone while feeding.
8:30 am: Ava is awake, full, and happy! This is her happy awake time, and she loves to explore the world. Her eyes are wide open and she's not crying! She's awake for an hour, so we do a little swing time, lay on the floor and read books, and make faces on the couch.
Sometimes we praise Jesus.
9:30 am: Ava starts fussing and yawning. Time to sleep. We rock, listen to lullabies, and sing. She resists valiantly and screams loudly and flails around as if we are torturing her.
Then I remember she isn't swaddled, and she won't sleep if she's not swaddled. So we swaddle. Then we repeat all of the above for 45 minutes until little miss finally gives in and goes to sleep.
While Ava naps, I eat breakfast (finally), shower, put on makeup, and "get dressed" in workout clothes or leggings and a sweater, all while watching the monitor.
11:00 am: Time to eat again! Ava's still asleep, so I wake her up and change her diaper. She's not happy - until she figures out she's about to eat. Feed Ava for about 30 minutes while watching HGTV.
12:00 pm: Put Ava in the bouncer to keep her happy for 20 minutes or so while I make and eat a sandwich, chips, and apple at record speed. Oh, and drink a giant glass of water - the thirst!!
12:20 pm: The clock is ticking before the next feeding, and I REALLY want to go to Target! Bundle up Ava in mittens and hat and put her in the carseat. Rush out to the car with diaper bag and Moby wrap already on me. Drive to Target. Ava sleeps when we're moving and cries when we stop at every red light. No lie. Little girl wants me to be a criminal and run red lights, I tell ya.
12:30 pm: Arrive at Target and try to slip Ava into the Moby wrap without waking her. Success! Spend one blissful hour walking around Target with Ava fast asleep in the Moby. Everyone thinks she is so cute. I think to myself that this is a really fun part about being a mom. This cute baby? Yeah, she's mine. Except one lady said, "Oh, isn't it just a miracle! Even when they are screaming and crying, they are so sweet and cute and precious and a MIRACLE." I kind of looked at her like 'lady you have lost your mind' and I said, "Yeah, you're free to come over to my house any time!"
2:00 pm: It's feeding time, and Ava lets me know. Throw the Target bags on the counter and take off my shirt as fast as possible to stop the screaming. Feed Ava.
2:30 pm: Ava's full and dry, but she's grumpy. Try rocking. Try bouncer. Try swing. Try music. Try all the "happiest baby on the block" techniques. She's not having it. Try wearing her in the sling. She loves it, clearly!!
j/k she totally hates it. Mom of the year! However, I'm determined for her to like it, so I keep her in there and bounce around the house for 20 minutes or so. And suddenly... she stops crying. She catnaps happily in the sling for the next 20 minutes as I tidy up the house.
3:45 pm: Daddy gets home from class, and we pop Ava into the stroller for a walk around the neighborhood. She screams the first block or so, but then succumbs to the movement and the vibration and sleeps the rest of the walk. Brent and I see this as a "date" time when we can just be together and talk. It feels soooooo good to get out of the house, breathe fresh air, and exercise.
4:45: Time to eat again! This time, Ava is very fussy for no apparent reason and screams while I try to feed her. No matter how many times I try, she resists and stiffens up and pushes away like I am trying to hurt her. She refuses to eat and continues to scream. It's the end of the day, and I'm frustrated. I start crying because I feel like I can't feed my child and she hates me and she will starve and she will not gain enough weight and I am not making good milk and I'm a terrible mother and..........
Blazer hates when I cry and hates when Ava cries. It stresses him out. He comes over and tries to snuggle on my lap (even though Ava's there) to make me feel better and licks Ava with a big sloppy kiss on the face, and this all makes me laugh even though I'm sobbing. Finally, I get Ava to eat a tiny bit, but it was not a good feeding.
5:15 pm: Bath time. One time, we gave Ava a bath at bedtime because we thought that's what you were supposed to do?? Rookie mistake. Ava hated the bath with all her might and screamed at DEFCON 5 level until about midnight. Now, we bathe her at 5 so that if she freaks out, she has many hours to calm down before bed. Of course, now, she loves baths. Go figure.
7:00 pm: Ava's finally asleep in the bouncer and dinner is ready. We eat and watch TV and savor the quiet. And we have a glass of wine. Definitely a glass of wine.
7:45 pm: Time for Ava to eat again! This time she feeds a little better, and she is tired afterwords. We change her, put on her pjs, and swaddle her. After the evening chores are done, we all pile into bed for some family cuddle time and watch TV together. How sweet is Blazer in this pic? He loves little Ava - it's really sweet.
10:30 pm: Wake Ava to feed her one last time before we go to sleep. Hopefully, she ends up in a milk coma, or, as Brent likes to say, "Drunk as a skunk". This is the face you want to see at bedtime. What we don't want to see is eyes so wide open they look as if they are held up by toothpicks!
11:00 pm: Go to sleep until the next day begins.....