Truth time. Adjusting to life with a baby wasn’t quite as seamless as I’d envisioned. It’s not just that life with a newborn is challenging (although DUH – it is), it’s that it’s rock-your-world-knock-you-on-your-butt-life-altering. In all honesty, that first month of newborn life was tough, but it’s kind of amazing how quickly our little family has
stumbled slipped into this new normal. And while “Sheer Survival” is still very much the name of the game (showering, sleeping, fitting into pants without elastic waistbands, etc.) I feel as though I’m finally getting the hang of this motherhood thing.
Maternity leave has been the best. 12 full weeks of my little girl, getting to know her, and soaking up these precious milestones in her first weeks of life has been absolutely priceless.
Most days begin with lazy mornings. Zo nurses a couple times a night, so I do my best to stay in bed just about as long as she’ll let me. At this point, we’re not on any type of sleeping or feeding schedule, we really just go with the flow and rely on Zoey to let us know when she’s hungry or tired. It’s not something that works for everyone, but being at home most of the time allows us to be super flexible. She’s happy-go-lucky, and the “fly by the seat of your pants” approach to parenting has worked great for us so far.
Getting things done around the house is a real balancing act, and productivity is hit and miss since Zo been born. Not because she’s so high maintenance (although yes, sometimes her majesty can be a real diva), but mainly because I hate putting her down! It feels like the minute I go to set her in the swing or Rock N’ Play, she does something so unbearably adorable that I instantly miss her and want to scoop her right back up again.
Baby wearing her in the Solly has been a LIFESAVER. From running errands, doing laundry, surviving witching hour, or even just giving my arms a break – this thing is our favorite.
After Zoey was born, the idea of leaving the house on our own (i.e. without Taylor) was completely crippling. I consider myself a fairly care-free person, but just the thought of packing up the diaper bag and braving the suddenly dangerous roads was enough to make me curl up into a ball until her 18th birthday. Thankfully with a little time, practice, and babywearing, we’ve gotten then hang of it.
When we do manage to make it out of the house, it’s usually to meet up with our other halves, Katie and Caroline. Katie and I went to college together, and her little girl Caroline is just six weeks older than Zo. When I got pregnant, my list of pregnant or mom-friends was really short, so when Katie and I learned we were pregnant at the same time, it couldn’t have been more of a Godsend.
I could have never in a million years predicted how much I would need a fellow new mom friend. From having someone to text during 3am feedings, to throwing our babies in the car for a sanity-saving Target run, I am grateful EVERY DAY for this new friendship. Watching our babies grow up side by side is both amazing and terrifying. Weren’t they just born like – YESTERDAY?! Please someone make it stop!
(Perfectly dainty velvet ribbon bows from Caroline + Me)
As far as postpartum fitness goes – LOL, I’m sorry, I can barely type that without laughing because right now I’m about 9 months and 15 pounds away from caring about how in shape I am. This little girl came hard and fast, and recovery was much harder than I expected it to be, which put strenuous physical activity on the back burner for quite a while. BUT I’ve made it a goal to go on as many walks as we can because fresh air! Sunshine! Passing other humans on the street!
I finally got the OK to hop back on the exercise train at 8 weeks, but could’ve laughed right in the midwife’s face. Because exercise?!??!!? What even IS that?!
This past weekend though, I finally felt ballsy enough to try running. Saturday morning I hit the pavement to see how just a mile felt. Annnnnd…it was better than I expected! Slow, achy, and far, far from impressive, but 9 months and many pounds later, these legs still work!
I expected my lungs to be completely shot, but it was actually my legs that seemed to take the biggest beating. I’ll refrain from sharing just how sore I was after ONE MILE, but man it felt so good to run again, and I’m actually looking forward to getting back out there. Zo isn’t big enough for our jogging stroller just yet, so any runs I can do right now are limited to when Taylor can watch her. But tackling that first postpartum mile feels like a major milestone, and I can’t wait to get back out there again.
Since the big surprise, I’ve had a lot of people ask how it was adjusting to life with a girl after expecting a boy for so long. The truth is, it was weird for a while. It was a strange mix of feelings. Relief for a healthy baby, excitement for a little mini-me, but also a weird disorientation. A feeling like I’d lost something, only something that never really existed. Add a postpartum hormone cocktail to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for an emotional rollercoaster. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but I really did go through a mini period of mourning. And any time I experienced sadness over missing a boy, I felt guilty. It took a while to sink in that this little girl was the same baby I’d carried, the same baby I’d hoped and prayed for. SHE is here. And she’s beautiful, feisty, and perfect in every way. Better than I could have ever dreamed.
And on a lighter note, I’ve got to confess that the very best part of expecting a boy but getting a girl has to be the CLOTHES. And MATCHING. I want to match her all day every day. One day she’ll hate me for it, but until she’s able to verbally express her hatred, match we will!
(Knotted turban headbands from ReLy Handmade)
Being apart from my best friend during her engagement and the early stages of motherhood has been oh-so-trying, and a little bit heartbreaking. I’m counting down the days until we see her again (5!) but until then, thank God for FaceTime.
Life has been moving so so fast. That newborn I had? She’s now a freaking TWO MONTH OLD. How, I mean…how?!
Last week Little Girl had her 2 month checkup. She took her shots like a champ, and is weighing in at 9 lbs 14 oz and 23 inches long. Growing like a weed, just a little tiny one.
Y’all – these days are so, so fun. I love watching her grow, and seeing her little personality shine through. She’s chatty and feisty, and a total drama queen (#karma).
(Knotted bow headband from ReLy Handmade)
I’ve got 3 weeks left of maternity leave, and I am soaking up every last second. I know that blogging has been sporadic (at best). And that’s because typing one-handed with a baby on your boob is all kinds of challenging. So I want to say thank you for every comment, kind word, and note of encouragement. My hope is that as we continue to settle into a routine, consistent blogging will become doable again. But until that day comes, you can follow along on Instagram or Snapchat (nataliezambresk) for more glimpses of our day to day adventures.