You imagine your baby and everything about having them home with you while you are pregnant, but you really have no idea what it’s going to be like. Especially as a first-time mom. Even for the seasoned moms it is still difficult because every baby is different. While being a seasoned mom might prepare you slightly better, it doesn’t make it any easier, more so because you probably have a toddler with that newborn as well!
Daniel took off work that first week with me while I was still recovering, and I am so grateful he did. He was the absolute best and took care of everything from me to baby. He got a slight break because I handled all the feedings because I was breastfeeding, and we decided to wait a bit before introducing a bottle (more on that topic later). We brought Gabriella home Sunday afternoon, and some of our family was here with us. After everyone had gone, the night began. At first it wasn’t bad, I thought “huh, I got this” (hahaha). All throughout my pregnancy, we were both against co-sleeping for fear of the dangers of suffocation. Even going into our first night, we had no intentions of letting her in our bed. My memory is very foggy of those first few nights, as I am pretty sure I was running off adrenaline and exhaustion. The three of us were in our room sitting in bed. I had just finished feeding her and she was asleep. The basinet was set up right next to the bed. I laid her down, and just stared at her, and staring back at me was the huge suffocation label on the side of the basinet! I naturally couldn’t sleep now, so with Daniel now asleep next to me, I just stare at her. I sit there and watch her sleep, swaddled up, to make sure she doesn’t roll over and suffocate on the side of the basinet. Well, that lasted about 45min and she was awake. Crap. I’m so tired. Why didn’t I sleep? I pick her up and feed her as I sit up in bed. Now she’s crying and not even feeding her is helping. Daniel now wakes up and starts rocking her, and that helps a little. He lets me get about an hour nap in before she starts crying again. I decide to come sit in the recliner with her in the living room to rock her. We both end up sleeping there, elevated.
Morning comes, and we have a good day! Go to the doctor to check her bilirubin and get a few visitors at the house. Night comes again and it’s more of the same. We try the basinet again, and no sleep for anyone. We end up on the recliner again. I wake up so sore and stiff from trying to stay in the same position all night! But, Gabriella slept so good on my chest. The third night I’m trying to be creative. Can she sleep in the bouncer? Can we put the bouncer on our bed? Nope, too big. Hmmm… maybe the boppy? That will keep her snug and it’s small enough to fit here on the bed. From that night on, she slept in her boppy on our bed, peacefully. Sleep for everyone! Around two months she outgrew it and wanted to stretch out more, and she had already doubled her birth size, so I didn’t feel like she was as fragile. We have been successfully co-sleeping since. I love every minute of it <3 We have made a few attempts getting her out of our bed, but that will be a post of its own 😊
What I learned is that you can have all the plans you want when you are pregnant, but you really don’t know how it will play out when you get home. Now that Gabriella is 9 months, I have learned so much from her, but I still don’t know how I will be when we eventually bring a second baby home. Will we co-sleep? Maybe, maybe not. There are pros and cons to both, so we will figure it out when the time comes <3
Pics of our first night home below..