Real Life with a Newborn

Our little girl has been here for almost a month – and life has changed SO SO MUCH!!!!

There is no way to prepare for how your life will change instantly. I don’t want that to sound cliche but it’s true. It’s like your life pre-baby is just a dream!

Real life with a newborn // Helen Loves

Babies make you instantly unselfish because you put their needs above your own. Who else could make us stay up all night then gladly cuddle all day? We used to let our house get to 55 at night because we love it cold – well guess who just bought a space heater because our bedroom is impossible to keep warm! Plus I didn’t want to heat the whole house to 68 when I can heat one room 🙂 I know that’s a silly example but it’s just one of many things that become no longer important.

I also wanted to share some of our experience in the hope that it can help those of you about to go through the same thing. Get ready for the wildest and best ride of your life!

Accept Help

I don’t know what we would have done without my parents here. Having extra sets of hands meant we didn’t have to cook, clean, and we could hand baby off to take a nap. Plus as a new parent you don’t know what you’re doing – and it is reassuring to have help from very experienced people! My husband went back to work three days after we got back from the hospital (to nights….so he sleeps all day and is gone at night) so having my parents around was life changing. There was NO way we would have had the same experience if we were on our own. Sure we could have “done” it, but why suffer when you can have family help.

I’ve also had friends bring us dinner – which I would normally turn down. But cooking with someone who is cluster feeding just isn’t possible, so these food deliveries have been a life saver! I’m going to be sad when they stop…

You’re On the Clock

Newborns need to eat every 2-3 hours. So say you nurse every 2 hours for 40 minutes total – you’ve only got a bit over an hour before the cycle starts again. AKA there is limited time to “get things done” and you’re forced to really prioritize. Most times I continue hanging but I do try to get in some quick cleaning or time for myself when I can (cleaning sometimes makes me feel as good as a shower does! So do what you want with the time you have).

At the same time, there is no true schedule in your life. Sometimes I get two hour feedings, other times three, other times they are 90 minutes apart. Some days she is super chill and other days she wants to be held all the time.

Load up on the snacks

So if you think you’re hungry while pregnant – get ready for nursing! I honestly didn’t get much hungrier during pregnancy but I have been so hungry while nursing. I could eat all day and then I even need to eat at night. So grab lots of snacks that don’t require cooking – from apples to bananas to muffins and bars. Oh and don’t forget to stay hydrated! Drink alllllll the water. I keep snacks on my nightstand now so I don’t have to go down to the kitchen in the middle of the night, and I have glasses of water all over the house.

All things pass

Every night ends in the morning, and every rough nursing session will come to an end. You will both learn what you’re doing and feel more comfortable each day! I don’t want to wish this stage away because it won’t ever happen with her again, so I’m embracing the ups and downs. And all the newborn cuddles – they are so fun!

Having a newborn has been the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s crazy how quickly this month has flown by and I want time to slow down each day. I get sad when I leave her (which has only happened twice haha – once to the doctor, and once to Kroger!) and love cuddling with her as much as possible. She changes so much and it’s funny to look at photos from only a few weeks ago and see how different she looks.

Sure sometimes the nights are long and I would love for her to sleep for 8 hours, but I miss her when she’s sleeping and am happy to cuddle with her each morning. She is so awake and happy first thing in the morning. I’ve also loved seeing my husband become a dad – she already has him wrapped around her finger!

There is no way to prepare for having a baby – so I didn’t even “try”. The truth is you figure it out together as you go through it. All your priorities become clear and each day is a new beginning. Embrace the change and uncertainty and go with your gut mama! You were made to do this 💪🏻

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