Reflecting on Nolan's First Week

From the day I went into labor, I began taking notes on my IPhone to help me document this very exciting time in our lives and I'm happy to finally have it completed to share with all of you.

Nolan's Birth Day: 6/2 4:39pm
David left the hospital at 8:30pm, not feeling very well, and wanting to see Emily so, he sent my mom to the hospital to stay with me overnight while he got a good night's rest. We ate dinner and read through the Newborn book given to us by the hospital, watched some television, and found ourselves just staring at Nolan. We were of course bothered by nurses all night long, having my stitches checked, temperature taken, and being asked a million questions about Nolan's last feeding and diaper change, and coupled with the fact that I was up all night Wednesday, I was running on fumes.

Day 2: 6/3
I was finally able to fall asleep around 5:30am until 9:30am when I was woken up by nurses again. At this point, I was still very numb in my hips, butt, and thighs and can't get in/out bed alone. They helped me get into the shower, which was heavenly, and I was able to make it to the breastfeeding class at 10:30am. Nolan slept from 5:00am until 11:45am, as most newborns do, and no attempt to wake him was successful. Mom and I had a good laugh about it. :) Soon after, mom went back home to relieve David and give him the day to come spend with Nolan. David held Nolan, changed him, and burped him in-between feedings and then, we got a surprise visit from my Ob/Gyn who offered to discharge me at 4:30pm, twenty-four hours after I delivered. We were so happy to get home and introduce Nolan to Emily! Unfortunately, with shift change and other, higher priority patients, we didn't actually leave the hospital until 8:45pm. I was able to get in a two hour nap while waiting. Emily was already in bed; however, not asleep so, David got her up to meet her baby brother and it was truly love at first sight. She was all smiles, touching him, kissing him, and holding him and then, surprised us all with a beautiful lullaby she sang to him. Because of my stitches, I needed to sleep on the couch, which is easier to get on/off of. It proved to be a good decision as David and I were up almost all night with Nolan and it was nice to have the couch, my glider, and several other places to breastfeed, as well as the television, bathroom, and kitchen close by. Nolan finally drifted off to sleep from 4:30am until 8:45am.

Day 3: 6/4
I made the decision early on to "sleep when the baby sleeps", mainly because I didn't do this with Emily (I was a complete baby hog!) and my recovery was much more painful and lengthy. So, during the day today, I breastfed Nolan and then, immediately handed him off to mom or David to burp and put down to sleep. I slept from 10-12pm, 2-2:30pm, 5-6pm, 9-9:30pm, 11-11:30pm. It wasn't enough as I was running off very little sleep for over 36 hours but it was something!

My milk came in and we noticed that Nolan is an excellent breast-feeder: he quickly latches on and is patient, waiting for let down. He's nursing 12-18 minutes each side, and then must be burped every time. He's very gassy! When in doubt about why he's fussy, we know to try burping him first! My breasts are fuller, hard, and tender (engorgement) and I can feel let down. I don't have pain, blisters, or cracks thankfully. Besides nursing bras, I'm wearing super soft maternity t-shirts and maternity yoga pants, as I still look about four to five months pregnant.

Like most babies, Nolan cries during diaper changes, he really hates the cold wipes and does end up peeing soon after his diaper is removed. He loves to be swaddled but, just like Emily, wrestles his hands free and keeps them up under his chin, over his face, or up over his head.

His favorite position to be burped and to sleep is on my chest, with his hands under chin, his legs drawn up and tucked under his body, exactly like he was in my womb. He's also sleeping in his vibrating chair, swaddled on the Boppy, and in his bassinet. His feet appear to be ticklish, he has long nails (wears fold over mittens!), the baby acne rash on face and neck, and his eyelids are still swollen, though he is opening both eyes for a minute to look towards light and voices.

Emily is fascinated with him! She loves to help, hold him, sing to him, bring him toys, touch his hands and tickle feet, kiss his head, asks lots of questions about his cries and rash, gives us instructions on what to do, and wants him to sleep with her. We have really enjoyed her reaction to him.

We had our first visitors this afternoon, our friends and neighbors Les and Louise who brought beautiful gifts and loved all over him. I had actually just fed him and he ended up sleeping in Louise's arms for over an hour. Then, I breastfed him only on the right side for 13 minutes, burped him, and he fell back asleep for over three hours. I guess breast milk made him more full, which helped him sleep longer.

Next up was Emilys big sister party 6:30pm. Mom had picked up an ice cream cake, David brought home balloons, and we had a few gifts for her. We made a really big deal out of her new role as big sister, which she ate up!

Mom, David and I came up with a game plan for nights: David stays up to help me burp and change Nolan, help get me food, water and medication, and to watch over him while I sleep (when Nolan is asleep) until my mom wakes up at 4:00am. Then, he is off to bed until about 11:00am. Mom sleeps with Emily to be well-rested during the day as she is doing all the housework, plays with Emily, burps, rocks, changes, and swaddles Nolan during the day so I can sleep, and prepares all the meals. Luckily for us all, I spent the better part of a week preparing and freezing enough meals for 14 days.

Today (since Midnight) I manged to sleep: 1-4:30am, 6-7:30am, 9-11am, 1-2pm, 4:30-7:30pm, 8:45-9:50, 11:45-12:45am. I'm feeling much less like death but still have a few days to fully catch up.

My recovery up to this point has been fantastic (when compared to my recovery after having Emily)! I suffered a 2nd degree tear, which is still swollen and tender but tolerable, especially with the Tuck's pads and vicodin as well as using a squirt bottle when using the bathroom and taking showers. I'm also taking Ibuprofin (for the 7-8 level painful contraction-like cramps while breastfeeding that do seem to be letting up a bit today) and a stool softener. I still have a dull back ache from my epidural as well. Can sit and take stairs just fine and can get in and out of bed fine today. The heavy bleeding has all but stopped this afternoon and my four to five month pregnant-looking belly has shrunk to almost nothing and is feeling more firm. I don't have any swelling (I had a slight amount the first 48hrs) and have a good appetite.

I am just so darn happy, at peace, alert, fulfilled, and soaking up every moment. I have no anxiety not do I feel incompetent, like I did with Emily; his cries don't make me feel like I am helpless. I am calm, confident and relaxed and am letting David and my mom help with it all.

Day 4: 6/5
Nolan gave me a great deal of sleep over night, which has me feeling more refreshed! He slept from 1-4:30am, 6-7:30am, and 9-11am and so did I!  During the day, he breastfed 12-15 minutes each side, burped, and then, fed another 12-15 minutes on each side.  Then, he slept from 1-1:45pm, 3-4:15pm, 4:30-7:15pm, 8-9pm, and 12-1:15am. I slept when he slept and just let David and my mom take care of us both.

Day 5: 6/6
David went back to work today, after four days off with us, and it went really well for us all. My mom easily took care of Emily and the house as well as helped me burp and change Nolan and we wanted to save the bulk of David's vacation time for after my mom leaves on the 18th of this month. Today I noticed that Nolan is starting to give me a bit more sleep over night, which I am so thankful for! I slept from 12-1am, 3-6am, 7-8:15, and 10-11am. Yea! I really needed it as we had to leave home today. Because Nolan and I were discharged so early, our Pediatrician wanted to see us today for a weight check and examination at 11:30am. Luckily, Nolan woke from an hour nap at 11:05am and we made it to his appointment after breastfeeding on only one side and a quick burping.  He weighed in at 7lbs 12oz. His umbilical cord stump was unclamped and they said his baby acne was clearing up nicely. We discussed how gassy he is and how the constant burping made getting full at feedings difficult and seemed to make getting rest harder for him. Totally normal. He also had a little spit up after eating twice today. It felt great to leave home for 2hrs though it was stressful. I'm so grateful I have help for nearly an entire month! Once home from the Pediatrician's office, I slept 3:30-6pm, 7-7:30, and 8:50-10pm.

Day 6: 6/7
Nolan spit up after every single feeding today, going through three outfits. We may need to get some bibs! :) He has been wearing size: Newborn sleep 'n plays with fold-over mitts and a pair of socks. He's not liking his swaddle too much today so, we stopped doing it. He got a quick sponge bath and we all got a lesson is "putting the penis down" after he peed on us all. His daytime feedings seem to be following a more predictable pattern and he's taking one to three hour naps every fourth hour. Today, I used my new Organic Ergo with the Heart2Heart infant insert for the first time, which he seemed to love. He slept 1 hour 45 minutes while Emily played outside. It felt great to be out in the sunshine! His evening feedings are similar to those in the daytime and overnight he slept 2-6am: four hours! What a gift! After breastfeeding, he went back to sleep from 6:30-9am. I felt so much better after a few consecutive hours of sleep. During the day today, I also slept 12:30-2pm, 2:45-4:45pm, and 6:30-9:15pm.

Day 7: 6/8 wed
Last night, Nolan slept from 11:45-3:30am and after breastfeeding, went back to sleep from 4:50-7:15am. What a difference a few hours of sleep over the course of a few days can make! The only complaint I have today is that my breasts are even more engorged and my nipples have small bloody cracks in one spot on each. Boo! Lanolin and ice packs, as well as some Ibuprophin are my only relief.  I can now comfortable wear non-maternity yoga pants with my pre-pregnancy t-shirts. I have yet to weigh myself, I really don't care at this point, but it's obvious that I have lost a great deal of weight and I'm really looking forward to my six week post-pardem appointment to get cleared to exercise. Nolan is still spitting up at almost every feed but is also nursing 20-25 minutes on each side at a feeding. Today we left home for the second time to take Emily to Gymboree for her Kindergarten-readiness class called School Skills. I definitely needed an hour to feed and burp Nolan before putting him in his carseat. He has to get out all the gas bubbles before or he'll cry relentlessly. Once the car was moving, he drifted off for a nap, sleeping the entire way there and thru the two hour class. Once we were home, he and I both slept from 8-9:50pm and then, we slept from 11:40pm until 6:00am: over six hours straight of blissful, uninterrupted sleep. I actually woke up Thursday feeling disoriented, wondering what day it was. ha! :)

Day 8: 6/8 ***One Week Old***
What a week it's been! So much has changed since the day he was born and I'm so glad I took the time every day to document just about everything as these memories are fleeting.

I am still sleeping when Nolan sleeps, which was from 8-10:30am, 12:15-2:50pm, and 9:30-11:50pm today. The only nap I didn't sleep for was from 4:30-6:30pm when I put him in the Ergo and mom, Emily, and I took a long walk around the neighborhood. It was 70 degrees and sunny and I was just dying to spend some time outside; however, I overdid it a bit as I felt very sore and a bit more swollen around my perineum. Nothing a little Ibuprofen can't fix. :)

My friend Leah brought lasagna for us for dinner today, which is always the best gift for new moms, and it was just so great to catch up with her as she's due on Monday!

As for me, one week after delivery; my breasts are not quite as engorged and scabs have formed on the cracks, making breastfeeding more comfortable; I am coming off the Vicodin, taking only one or two pills per day; I am getting plenty of daytime and night time sleep to feel alert and well-rested; I am having very little bleeding and zero back pain at my epidural sight; and I am joyful to great every day with Nolan and Emily.

Nolan is such a joy! He's breastfeeding every three to four hours for about 45 minutes total, needs burping after every feeding, is sleeping approximately 2- 2 1/2 hours at a time, and always needs a diaper change once is awake. He opens both eyes and turns his head towards your voice for about 10 minutes at a time between naps, which is everyone's favorite part. Emily often fights us for her turn to hold Nolan. :) He's comfortable in his size: Newborn Huggies diapers and sleep 'n plays, isn't being swaddled at all, loves to sleep in his vibrating chair, in the ergo, or in your arms, and only cries when he's gassy and when you use wipes during diaper changes. His baby acne is completely gone and his skin is a beautiful olive, tan color. His eyes are an electric blue and his hair is a dirty blond, light ash brown color. His baby feet are my favorite! His umbilical cord stump is still attached so he's only getting sponge baths every three to four days for now, which he seems to enjoy if you keep a warm washcloth over his torso.

David is Super Dad this time around for sure! So confident in caring for Nolan and eager to help out with everything. He actually asked me when I can start pumping so he can take over a few feedings. Love him!

And of course Emily is adjusting well, beyond our highest hopes. She's really soaking up all the extra attention from Gram being here, sleeping well, and is eager to help with every part of caring for Nolan. Her favorite thing is to pull back his fold over mittens so she can hold his hands and pull off his socks so she can tickle his feet. She hugs him and kisses him before bed every night and first thing every morning and even scolds us to "be quiet!" when he's napping.

We are all happily adjusting to our life as a family of four and are excited to see what the summer brings us!


  1. The memories ARE fleeting in those early days, and I'm so impressed that you have been able to record all these details. I never did. Photos help to bring back the memories, but I'd love to have something like this. I wasn't even blogging then.

    Congratulations! He is beautiful, and I'm so glad to hear you are all doing so well.

  2. I am quite the obsessed journalist and I had a lot of time in the middle of the night, while up breastfeeding, to jot down my thoughts. ;) I did it with Emily as well and have always been so thankful to have those memories in black & white as I have little memory of those first few weeks.

    Thank you so much!

  3. Glad he's doing so well!! Owen was gassy like that as a baby, and used to spit up a ton because of it. I actually stood on a towel to burp him because he so regularly spit up enough to overflow the receiving blanket I used as a burp cloth, right down my back and onto the carpet. It was extreme. Anyway, we ended up introducing a pacifier earlier than I'd imagined because he would let me interrupt his BFing session to sit him up and burp him with the pacifier (after every 5min or so of BFing?), and then I'd take it out and let him continue feeding. It helped to not let the gas settle too far down. I also learned the wonderful gassy baby skill of laying Owen on his back and folding his feet up to his ears to work the gas out the other end too.... I have no idea how he managed to be so gassy. Just thought I'd share in case you find his gassiness gets worse. Hope Nolan keeps being such a good sleeper! Love the ice cream cake idea - I think I'll have to steal that for this time around!

  4. KateB - I find myself hoping you will comment on my blog because you ALWAYS offer such practical, detailed advice, from your own experiences and I cannot express how much I appreciate you taking the time to do so. We are going to try what I call the "pump the water" technique you described as folding his feet up to his ears today and may even try your pacifier trick! Fingers crossed we can get him some relief quicker.

    Thank you!!!


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