Jake’s First Father’s Day!!
It feels so surreal to be celebrating Jake for Father’s Day. Like what!? He is just a dad now!!
For his first Father’s Day, Jake wanted to do a joint celebration with his dad! We spent the day at the beach (a Kohlhepp classic). And in the evening, went back to Jake’s parent’s house for some sushi & ice cream sandwiches! We were both excited and a little nervous bringing Baby R to the beach at just 2.5ish weeks old. Excited to leave the house and do something fun! Nervous about sun burning soft, fresh baby skin. And for Cindy, the added stress of nursing in public for the first time. Luckily, it was overcast for most of the day. And Jake’s parents brought a canopy which not only shielded Baby R from the sun, but also provided Cindy a safe and comfortable hideaway to nurse.
It is such a process to leave the house these days. We went from being able to pack up and leave the house with everything we need in 10 minutes to taking 30 minutes and still forgetting things. We kind of have our baby packing list down. But that means we’ve been forgetting to pack what we need for ourselves. Like…we forgot to bring jackets and a swim suit for Jake. (luckily, his brother had an extra pair, so Jake could still enjoy the beach and go in the water).
Overall, despite the stress of leaving the house and tending to a baby at the beach, it was a really fun day! The perfect 1st Father’s Day for Jake. He got to spend time with his dad and all 3 brothers! The 5 of them spent some quality time together out in the ocean, body surfing. Cindy couldn’t go in the water just yet— she’s still healing down there. But she got to play some spike ball! She can’t wait to be able to jump into the ocean again.
Like we shared last week, it’s not quite the same– these family gatherings– because we’re distracted, tending to Baby R for most of the time. We keep reminding ourselves that this is just a season and we’ll be able to fully participate again one day (hopefully).
We celebrated Father’s Day with Cindy’s dad the day before. Her parents came over and we ate some delicious Chinese food for dinner and had pastries from Artelice Patisserie for dessert. Those pastries are, hands-down, the most delicious ever. Expensive but worth the price. And of course, Cindy’s dad’s favorite activity, there were lots of baby snuggles!
Other Highlights of the Week
Jake’s brother from DC is visiting! He spent the weekend with us (and Monday & Tuesday of the next week). It was a little random, but he was there for Cindy’s dad’s Father’s Day celebration! We kinda like it when our families mix!
It was nice to spend time together and catch up. And he got to meet Baby R for the first time! Baby R has finally met all her uncles & aunts! Like we keep mentioning— this visit wasn’t quite the same as visits before. Before, we could play board games for hours on end, go out and play some basketball with whoever was at the courts, walk wherever to grab some food, and watch a movie late at night. Our time together would be packed with back to back activities. This time, we were lucky to get even just one activity in– even if it was just a 30 minute walk to the park. Conversations get broken up with baby cries and feedings. After we put Baby R down for the night, the three of us sat down to watch a movie but couldn’t finish it because we got too sleepy. Even though it wasn’t the same, it was still nice to spend time together, catch up, and just hang out!
Postpartum Updates: Week 2
It’s only been 2 weeks, but it somehow feels like it’s been forever! Each day seems to get a bit better and easier— still HARD, but relatively better & easier than the day before. We’re learning what’s a hunger cry vs. a poop cry vs. an “I want attention” cry. We’re learning how to soothe Baby R and put her down to sleep without waking her (we’re successful maybe 25% of the time). We’re learning that Baby R is a side sleeper and is more likely to fall asleep on her side vs. on her back. And even though side sleeping goes against the AAP’s recommendations, we’re learning that it’s okay to make decisions that don’t always align with the “official” recommendations. We’re learning how to be more efficient with our time, taking advantage of baby naps to get the more pressing errands & chores done at 2x the speed they were done before. At the same time, we’re also learning to slow down and enjoy baby cuddles even if it means letting some chores slide for the moment. Cindy’s learning that Jake is groggiest during the mornings and Jake is learning to just not talk to Cindy during the 1:00-3:00am feeds (she’s mean during that time and talking just leads to unnecessary arguments lol).
We’re finding some semblance of a routine (even if that routine still looks erratic & dictated by Baby R’s needs) but it helps knowing, roughly, when it’s time to feed and when it’s time to nap.
We gave in and bought a baby scale… It was really unclear how much Baby R was taking in during feeds. At our last lactation consultation, Baby R fed for 20 minutes and only took in 5 ml. It is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting– when you think baby has eaten a full meal only to find out she got barely anything at all. We joked that it’s like doing research for an Econ PhD program– spending months on an idea only to realize you can’t do it or it’s a bad idea. Super discouraging and feels like a waste of time. Now that we have a scale, we have more peace of mind knowing we can collect the data and see how much she is taking in. We’re both people who like to see the numbers.
It’s amazing how quickly the human body can recover. Cindy’s been able to go on longer walks and at a faster pace. It doesn’t feel like her insides are going to just all fall out when she moves around. She’s still taking it easy and listening to her body, but it’s been nice to move around and get blood flowing. She can’t wait to run again. She’s slowly moving on from using the peri bottle and has started wiping (after using the restroom) again. It still hurts her stitches a bit if she sits in a weird position, but even sitting is getting easier. It was only 2 weeks ago, but the pain of childbirth seems like a distant memory already, now that her body is feeling a little more back to normal.
Breastfeeding is also getting easier. It seemed so hopeless and frustrating just a week ago. Cindy seriously considered quitting and just pumping or formula feeding. But she’s been “practicing” and learning with Baby R, and it seems more doable now. After a few visits with the lactation specialist, Baby R is latching better! Breastfeeding does feel like it takes forever and Cindy feels like a human milk machine. Her days are basically dictated by when Baby R needs to feed. But she’s trying to enjoy the moments and be patient. We did decide to pump for one of the middle-of-the-night feeds and just formula feed. The lactation consultants make it seem like your supply will dry up instantly if you do this. And maybe it will. But for our sanity and for the sake of our sleep, we decided this was for the best.
Emotionally, Cindy feels more bonded to the baby. She loves little Baby R more and more each day. Still, Cindy has good days and bad days. On the bad days, she feels trapped and wishes she never had the baby. It’s a strange conflict of emotions because at the same time, she can’t imagine not having this baby. It’s hard to go from being able to go out whenever you wanted to being attached to a baby almost 24/7. It’s been reassuring and comforting to know many moms feel this same way. She’s trying to remind herself that this is a huge life transition and identity shift that will take time to adjust to and it’s important to give herself some grace.
Jake is learning to adjust to our new sleep schedule. He’s usually the one who is able to power through any day on very little sleep. Cindy’s usually the one who is extremely grumpy if she got anything less than 8 hours. Maybe it’s because she has the hormones surging through her body, but Jake has been struggling more than Cindy with the lack of sleep. We try to give each other breaks when we notice the other person struggling.
Jake has started easing back into his school work. Because everything is still remote, it’s been manageable for Jake to do some work during the day while still being available to help Cindy out and give her a break from the baby when she needs it. We both don’t want Jake to fall behind in his research. Plus, he’s teaching his first course this summer! And we want to make sure he has plenty of time to plan and be prepared for that.
Jake is itching to get back to our normal routines. He’s excited to have visitors, who aren’t just family, over. He’s ready to go back to church services. But he’s learning to be patient and wait for when Cindy is ready. He’s been really understanding and considerate.
Baby R’s Updates
We don’t want to “jinx” it, but we think we have a relatively “easy” baby. Baby R sleeps through most of the night on most days. She’s pretty calm through most of the day and mostly cries when she’s hungry or has a dirty diaper. She’s a bit needy sometimes and wants to be held instead of being left alone in the pack n’ play or bassinet. We keep wondering if this “good baby” phase will end. We hope not!
She’s been having more consistent poops! Who knew baby poops would be something we would ever get excited about. But poops mean she’s eating! And eating means she’s gaining weight.