Happy Friday! Teddy and I have officially survived our first week with Will back at work and while it wasn’t always pretty, I feel a real sense of accomplishment! I’m very excited to have our little fam back together again and hope this gorgeous fall weather sticks around so we can head to the park and get some fresh air. I loved reading all of your questions this week and have a bunch left over for the next couple weeks as well — I so appreciate you checking in and have loved getting to chat with all of you on Instagram as I navigate these totally new waters! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
1. How are you feeling? I’ve been thinking about you and hope you are healing well!
I feel very grateful that this was the #1 most asked question! You guys are the best. I’m definitely feeling a lot better than I was when I first sat down to write Teddy’s birth story. The first couple weeks were really challenging from a pain standpoint but then it felt like I suddenly turned a corner around the two-week mark and started feeling more like myself every day. Today marks four weeks since I gave birth and I can’t believe how miraculously the healing process has unfolded, especially since that first week home I honestly thought I’d never feel pain-free again. I obviously don’t feel 100% back to normal (and imagine I won’t for several months) but I’m no longer taking pain meds around the clock and that feels like a huge win! I’ll have my six-week check-up in a couple weeks and am looking forward to having a doctor tell me everything’s on track and recommend any next steps.
2. How is Rory doing with Teddy? Any tips for introducing your dog to a new baby?
Rory has truly been an angel! I would say he’s super protective and otherwise a little disinterested, haha. If Teddy is crying, Rory runs to me or Will and then runs to Teddy’s side and it’s just the sweetest thing ever. Other than that he doesn’t show a ton of interest in cuddling or playing, but I suspect that will change completely once Teddy starts eating real food a few months from now. My only tip is we asked my in-laws to take one of Teddy’s hats home from the hospital and let Rory smell it before we came home, but honestly I feel like we just got really lucky!
3. What kind of classes did you take or books did you read to prepare for Teddy’s arrival? And which ones did you find the most useful?
Will and I took four classes at our hospital — infant care, childbirth preparation, infant CPR, and breastfeeding — and I would say we got the most value out of childbirth preparation and infant CPR. Even though my delivery experience unfolded differently than I had hoped, we both learned a ton in the childbirth preparation class (which was the longest one at two three-hour sessions), and I’d recommend infant CPR as a great refresher for any new parent. The infant care class was a little too rushed to be super helpful (plus it’s easier to learn how to give a bath, for instance, by doing it rather than reading about it) and the breastfeeding class was a pretty intimidating, all-or-nothing approach that left me more stressed out than I needed to be. And you can see a list of books I read during pregnancy here!
4. What general schedule are you following for Teddy? We’re trying to get our one-month-old on one!
We’re trying our hand at Moms on Call (per many of your recommendations!) and just doing the best we can with it. Some days he follows it to a T and other days he wants to sleep when he’s supposed to be eating and play when he’s supposed to be sleeping and we just throw the schedule out the window and follow his lead until we can try again the next day. So our general schedule with him at four weeks is that I breastfeed at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. and Will feeds him a bottle with pumped breast milk around 2 a.m. while I pump in bed. The daytime feeds (9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.) are followed by 20-30 minutes of playtime (mostly on his tummy on this playmat) and then a 90-minute or two-hour nap if we’re lucky. And he gets a bath every night at 8:30 p.m. which has become his and my favorite part of the day! Having a schedule in mind helps me feel like my day has a little more structure, but I’m trying to view it as something we can aspire to and not something that I should freak out about on the days where it’s just not happening.
5. How are your days going now that Will has returned to work?
This week has been an adjustment for sure! Teddy and I have been trying to stick to the schedule above but some days have been easier than others. Monday and Thursday he ate and slept well all day and I felt on top of the world, but Tuesday and Wednesday he basically refused to nap anywhere except on me and I think I went through four t-shirts a day being peed and spit up on. 😂 I’m sure we will get into more of a routine as the weeks go by but for now I’m just trying to take it as it comes!
6. Have you experienced any baby blues or randomly crying? I’m definitely feeling it all at three weeks postpartum!
Yes, 100%! I could cry at the drop of a hat, particularly the first two weeks when I was still in a lot of physical pain on top of all the hormonal changes. I’ve cried about being overwhelmed, having no idea what I’m doing, getting frustrated breastfeeding, not getting enough sleep, having too many people at our house, fear of not being a good enough mom, and even loving Teddy as a newborn so much that I didn’t want him to get a day older (yes, seriously). There’s so much pressure on new moms to bounce back to “normal” right away and I think it IS normal to feel anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed, and even occasionally irrational as you navigate the myriad physical and emotional adjustments in the first few weeks postpartum. Hoping you can give yourself the grace you deserve (and reminding myself to take my own advice)!
7. I know Will is a “IV” — did you feel any pressure to carry the name to Teddy?
Yes, Will’s full name is Rudolf William Beuttenmuller IV — quite a mouthful! It’s something we talked about for sure, but ultimately we both feel good about choosing a name that’s a reflection of both of our families as opposed to just his. Thankfully everyone’s been very respectful of our decision!
8. Are you planning to do any travel as a family soon?
We have zero travel plans right now which is kind of a first for me! We’re celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house this year and I’m grateful everyone is coming to us as it will be a lot easier than packing up all of Teddy’s gear and getting on a plane somewhere! We’re also saving up to renovate our kitchen and powder room so travel is lower on the priority list than it usually is. I’m sure I’ll get restless as winter drags on and want to get out of town, but for now I’m happy just laying low for a bit!
9. How did you stay sane during the first trimester? I’m going crazy waiting for my 8 week appointment!
I would literally google “how many days until” my next appointment or my due date and refresh the page on my phone every morning, so I’m probably not the best person to ask on staying sane. 🙂 I was also super sick my first trimester before I got on medication so that was pretty all-consuming! In retrospect I’d say the days will pass no matter how you spend them, so you’ll be better off finding ways to take care of yourself and giving yourself other things to look forward to rather than spending half the night googling some symptom or other, but I know that’s much easier said than done and I have a ton of empathy for how you’re feeling right now. Praying the time goes by quickly and you get happy news!
10. Not baby related (sorry!) but what are your favorite non-maternity jeans?
Haha please still ask me non-baby questions!!! My go-to brands are DL1961 (who make my favorite maternity jeans as well!), Frame, J Brand, and Rag & Bone, but I’ve been eager to try out Good American, Madewell, and Veronica Beard as well (I’m sure I’d be annoyed by the button fly but they look so chic on!).