Because things in the life of a newborn change SO quickly, I do weekly posts for my kids. This post will cover Tess’s first week of life from July 31st – August 6th
Nursing: Right when Tess was born she seemed to understand how to nurse and what it’s all about. She was my first baby to not want to nurse right away but once she was ready…she was READY! I was SO excited because Kye always nursed for at least 45 min each feeding and Britt always nursed an hour or more at each feeding. Tess? Right from day one she was a quicker, more efficient nurser.
Not only is she quick, she’s also LOUD. People who came to visit in the hospital would comment on how they could hear her sucking from across the room. There was no doubt in my mind about whether or not she was getting enough! She also rooted constantly. As soon as she woke up she’d start rooting, expecting milk right away and would get mad when it wasn’t an instant thing.
My milk came in very, very fast as well. Within 24 hours of her being born my breasts felt full and she had a while milk mustache when eating. She also had a LOT of poop diapers so I was very confident in how nursing was going with her.
With my milk coming in so fast, I think it caused her to suck harder on me and caused me some nipple soreness. I’m thankful I brought my lansinoh cream with me to the hospital! I used it after each feeding the whole first week. I also let them air out a lot in the hospital. Once my milk was fully in though I started leaking and couldn’t let them hang out anymore without getting milk everywhere 😉 I’m SO thankful I never got engorged!!! I hardly had any pain at all and this is the first baby I’ve had where I felt like we were in sync with breastfeeding…she was emptying me and I wasn’t overproducing. Such a wonderful feeling!
During the first week it actually wasn’t too too tough keeping her awake for feedings. She tended to nurse fast and furiously then fall asleep when she was done. I for sure didn’t complain about those sweet baby cuddles!
Once home I set up my nursing spot on the couch and nurse there every feeding. Even the middle of the night ones I get up and go to the couch. We tried me nursing in a chair in our bedroom with Britt and it just kept Zach awake and I don’t mind going to the kitchen. Since I use Milkies anyway I have to go to the kitchen after each feeding to store the milk so it makes sense to just be in the living room!
I thought she had a little angel kiss red spot on her left eye but I’m not sure if it is or not b/c so often it seems to go away!
Sweet, sweet feet!
Since she was feeding SO quickly and I’m not used to that with my prior babies…I did get nervous once we were home about if she was getting enough milk. I decided to pump after her feeding and make sure she was fully emptying me. I only got an ounce of milk so that made me feel good that we were in a rhythm together and I was producing just the right amount for her. I’m so used to producing too much milk and this was def the least milk I’ve ever gotten from a first time pump session!
If you haven’t ever heard of Milkies
you need to get some! I wear it on the side I’m not nursing on. Like if the feeding starts on my right breast, I put it on the left one. It collects the leaking milk and then I’m able to store it. I have two bottles in my fridge. You aren’t supposed to mix warm/room temp/fresh milk with cold milk so I put the fresh in one bottle and then when I have more milk from the next feeding I pour the milk from the prior one into the other bottle with other cold stored milk and pour the fresh milk into the first bottle so it can get cold before the next feeding. It’s a good system and then every day I divide it up and store it to freeze. Because it’s leaked milk it’s not as nutritious as the hind milk that comes at the end of a feeding so I mark each bag with a “M” so I will know it’s a Milkies Milk one. When I go to make bottles from it I will use less of the milkies milk and more pumped milk so she will get the nutrients! But it’s a GREAT way to add to my supply!
Overall nursing was off to a great start! Her second day of life she cluster fed for like the entire afternoon but after that we were in a solid rhythm of every 3 hours. Even at home! I set an alarm at night and woke her to eat at three hours around the clock to keep our good thing going. It was tough getting so little sleep (I was getting 2 solid hours max between feedings of sleep) but I was glad to make sure she was getting what she needed from me and to keep my body aligned with hers!
Schedule: In the hospital I slacked on my “start baby wise from birth” plan I followed with Britt. I just wanted to hold Tess and cuddle her and love on her as much as I could so she slept in my arms (or in the arms of visitors) a good bit during our stay. Once we got home though we hit the ground running much more “hardcore” than we have in the past, in my opinion.
Babywise doesn’t recommend any type of scheduling for the first two weeks but there are still things I do to get in the routine…you can read my post about that here. Since I was setting an alarm at night and waking her to eat…she was pretty much on a routine when we got home from the hospital. And I liked it SO MUCH better than the randomness of life when we brought Britt home. I fed Tess at 7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 10, 1, and 4. Obviously if she woke earlier, I fed her. But that didn’t happen too often! She was getting her 8 feedings in a day and was sleeping well through the times in between!
Sleeping: With both of our older kids we had them sleep in our room for awhile when we first got home. Zach is a VERY light sleeper and it always causes issues so they never last in our room very long. Tess was def the shortest time period of sleeping near us. Like, legit, she only slept in the brand new bassinet I got next to our bed for about 30 min total. It was 1 am on her first night home and Z and I were bickering about her sleeping there (me wanting her to, him not wanting her to) and it just wasn’t worth it. Our marriage is important and I didn’t want to start off life with three babies on a bad foot. Zach needs his sleep more than I do and I wanted him to be happy with me. So we moved her to her crib that first night and haven’t ever looked back!
Since Tess does eat quicker, she is able to have a little bit more of awake time! It’s so funny b/c I’m not used to that with a newborn! Both of my other kids ate for so long that they had to go straight to bed after eating. Tess’s awake time was only 5-10 min but she was SO alert and I loved it! I pretty much spent all her awake time just holding her and talking to her 😉 I’m quite the baby hog! It was also tricky for me to know how long to keep her awake and at the FIRST sign of her being tired I put her to bed!
That first night was rough and we didn’t get much sleep at all. I was a TOTAL zombie the next day. Casey ended up offering to come and help me and I took her up on it. The kids and Zach were at Mrs. Charlotte’s due to a stomach bug they were experiencing so I tried my best to spend the day just sleeping and nursing. Since being home I tried to get as many naps as possible throughout the day to help make up for my lack of night time sleep.
During night feedings I’d go put her to bed and if she was fussy I’d nurse her to sleep. It’s not a habit I want to ever do during the day but I know that the process of getting her swaddled for sleep sometimes would wake her and since it was the middle of the night I’d just top her off and then put her back down to bed.
Tess was a perfect nurser from birth, but not a perfect sleeper. We had some sleep issues from the beginning but I realized quickly that it was gas related. I went aged and started giving her gas drops at the start of each feeding and they made a HUGE difference. I also would swaddle her for nap and then burp her again for a little bit to try to help her get the gas out.
She also came home from the hospital with her days and nights confused. So her naps went pretty smoothly from the starts, but the nights were ROUGH because she was awake so much! Running on such little sleep myself, it was tough not to get frustrated but after a couple days of changing things up to help her distinguish night and day she adjusted and it got easier!
Mrs. Charlotte came and stayed with us two nights during Tess’s first week and it was a LIFESAVER. Zach was able to sleep through the entire night and she helped me in the night. It allowed him to go to work and be refreshed and more helpful for me at home, and she also took care of the kids during the day so I could sleep. It was amazing. If Tess fussed, she would go in and handle it so I could rest between feedings. Seriously a mega blessing and those two nights set me up to be so, so, so much better. I could problem solve better with Tess and think clearer!
The last night of her first week of life was her first PERFECT night where she slept solid between each feeding time and didn’t have any gas issues at all. Since the next day was Zach’s birthday I told him to sleep and I’d handle night duty that night and he was able to get 6 solid hours! (yes, I’m jealous! haha!)
Yes, we wake our sleeping baby!
About Tess: It’s amazing to me how babies have so many things in common with each other, yet are also so different. I love Tess’s unique qualities! Her little “elf ear” is so, so adorable to me. Her right ear comes to a point at the top! I read that it will probably stay that way? If it does I don’t mind at all…although I can see her being embarrassed of it when she’s older. Thankfully she’s a girl and her hair will cover it if it does bug her!
Tess is VERY alert and has beautiful blue eyes! I remember Britt only opening one eye a lot while nursing but Tess opens both all the time and keeps them open while eating and during her awake time. She’s for sure my most alert baby! In the hospital she had a lot of goop in her eyes and a clogged tear duct but once we were home that was completely cleared up. She also had some busted blood vessels in her eyes from childbirth and those took a bit longer to go away.
You can see the busted vessel in this pic…and you can also see how her breasts were swollen. Which is normal for baby girls! Her privates were mega swollen at birth but went down a lot during her first week home.
Of course another awesome quality Tess has is all her hair! Her hair on her head is awesome. Thick and long and beautiful. Then she has these amazing eye lashes and eye brows to go with it! Super model baby for sure 🙂
Kye and Britt both held their heads up very well from birth and Tess isn’t able to do that yet. She does have some head/neck control, just not as much as we are used to with our babies. However, she already puts her hands together! And that’s something Britt wasn’t doing at one month old even! She puts them together all the time while she’s awake.
I also think it’s so cute how Tess puts her legs folded and up all the time. I bet money it’s how she was in the womb. Anytime I lay her down this is how she puts her little legs 😉
Kye is mega grossed out by her umbilical cord. The hospital told us to do alcohol on it at each diaper change but I remembered from Britt that our pediatrician said to only do it a couple times a day. So Zach did it every time he changed her but I didn’t. I just HATE putting the alcohol on there because it’s cold and I can tell it bugs her!
Tess poops constantly. I stopped tracking her wets and dirties before we even left the hospital. Prior to her birth I had bought a couple smaller packs of newborn diapers but once we were home Zach went and bought a jumbo box. She had her first blowout at 6 days old, I’m honestly surprised it didn’t happen sooner! Her poop also transitioned at the hospital from the dark, first poop type junk to the seedy/yellow breastfed baby poop.
After her first bath her skin started to peel which I read can be from it drying out from the water? But with all her hair she needed a bath! Her hands peeled really bad, but her face wasn’t too too bad at all. She had her first bath on August 5th and on August 6th I gave her a massage for the first time. We usually do it each night after bath with our babies but life with three is a bit crazier haha. I skipped her bath that night and did the massage instead and she really enjoyed it!
Siblings: This was an insane week for us all. Not only did we bring Tess into the world and into our home, but everyone got sick. Britt puked our first night home and she kicked things off with the stomach virus. Then Zach didn’t feel good. And by the end of the week Kye wasn’t feeling good either. Britt was the only one who ever actually threw up but it was still tough to care for sick children and husband and have a new baby at home! Somehow Tess and I managed to stay healthy, thank the lord. And it was a blessing that Zach and the older kids could go to Mrs. Charlotte’s for a bit to keep the sickness out of the house!
It was the last week of summer so it was a lazy get-well week for everyone!
Pedialite was our friend that week!
Before having Tess I expected Britt to show ZERO interest and thought, for sure, Kye would be mega super hands on and helpful. Once Tess arrived, things were a bit different than I had pictured. Kye is in LOVE with her. He wants to constantly kiss on her, hold her, and love on her when she’s awake. But helping? No thanks. Britt, on the other hand, is less interested in “playing” with Tess and more interested in the helping aspect. She always wants to help me do everything which is so sweet and a wonderful surprise! Neither child has shown any jealousy type issues nor any regression of any kind.
Kye did have two night walking episodes this week which were SCARY. One was the night Tess was born when they stayed at Mrs. Charlotte’s. Mr. Rusty woke up in the night to Kye beside his bed saying he needed to go help Daddy. And then when we were home Kye slept walk down stairs and into our room and he was saying he needed his mommy. He doesn’t remember either instance ever happening but I assume it was due to all the emotions, change of schedules, and lack of sleep that caused it!
Helping wake Tess up
Helping turn on her fan
She’s such a great big sister! She is also a great mommy to her babies 😉
Sweet Tess cuddles!
I love how proud she looks!
Britt was very excited to talk to Tess and the first thing she ever wanted to tell her was that we are going to the beach and pool in October 😉 Britt has been talking about our beach trip since we got home back in May and I actually booked a beach trip for our family because she loved it so much! She’s been so excited for the baby to be born so we can go back to the beach 😉
I also told the kids that I think Tess looks like Pocahontas because she has darker skin and such pretty dark hair. Kye said “no ma’am she looks like GOOFY!” haha
I love how they are all holding hands 🙂
Products: Obviously a new baby means a LOT of new products for me to be using! I wanted to mention some of my favorites from this week 🙂
When I had Kye I would give him massages with lotion. Then we realized it actually caused his skin to be DRY! When Britt was born we used baby oil because I read it’s a lot better for their skin. We found Baby Oil Gel
and it’s AMAZING. Much, much less messy than regular baby oil! If you do infant massages I totally recommend getting some!
When we had Britt we invested in an Angel Care Monitor. I loved it but have heard AMAZING things about the Snuza. I decided to purchase a Snuza only to use for travel. Traveling with the Angel Care monitor is a bit annoying and I thought the Snuza would be the way to go for us when we were out and about and when Tess was napping other places than at home. When we brought her home that first night we went to turn on our Angel Care and it didn’t work! SO thankful I had bought the Snuza!!! We used it that first night and totally looooove it! We never bothered fixing our Angel Care and will be using this from now on 🙂 The one we have isn’t made by Snuza. I read that Snuza sold their product so now it’s called Levana
. I bought the oma + model
as it vibrates if the baby stops breathing to help wake them and get them breathing again 🙂
Another awesome product to go along with breastfeeding are Booby Tubes
. They can be used in the microwave or in the freezer. You can use them cold to help ease breast pain between feedings or warm them to help with clogged ducts/mastitis. I used them a good bit this week to help my nipples when they were tender. The shape of them is perfect for breasts and they fit in a bra too! I slept with them in to help give me relief!
Blessings: We were SO blessed the first week (and beyond!) with so much food, wonderful visitors, and thoughtful gifts! I tried to get pics of the gifts with Tess so I will post those with the weeks that I took the photos 🙂
I did have a GENIUS idea as we started to get food…after we ate the dinners we would store the leftovers in tupperwear and then label them with masking tape. I put the day and date that someone brought them to us. I know I could have just put the date but honestly with a new baby it’s hard to remember the date haha. So I put both 😉 That way we knew how long things were in our fridge and it really helped us to eat things in order so stuff didn’t spoil. We tried to eat the oldest food first each time we ate any left overs! We barely threw anything out and it was a great system!
When we got home from the hospital I had an inbox FB message from an extremely sweet blog reader! Her daughter’s birthday is right around the same time as Tess’s and she offered to give us ALL her baby clothes!!! I still can’t believe it! BEYOND generous and oh my goodness every single thing she gave us is beautiful! Tess is one stylish baby now! Thank yo SO MUCH to AnnElise!!!! Britt being a Dec baby and Tess being a July baby means a lot of Britt’s old clothes won’t work since they are the wrong season so it’s been an amazing blessing to have these clothes!
Check out just Tess’s nb and 3 month sizes!
Other Things from This Week: Casey and I were mega pumped for Carter and Tess to meet so she brought him over one afternoon. It’s CRAZY how MASSIVE he looks now that we have Tess!!! They are 8 weeks apart but he looks like he could eat her haha! I’m so excited for them to grow up together and be best buddies like Zach and I are with Carter’s parents 🙂
When I saw these pics of them together my first thought was how I just can’t BELIEVE Tess wasn’t jaundice?!?! Her skin is so dark and her eyes totally look yellow right?!?! But they tested her and she wasn’t! I think maybe the yellowish in her eyes was from the goop due to her clogged tear ducts. And the child just has natural dark beautiful skin 😉
Even though the first week with a new baby at home is pretty crazy, I truly enjoyed it so much more this time around than I have before. I appreciate Tess in a totally deeper way. With the first baby it’s all SO overwhelming. Then with the second it was so much guilt that I couldn’t give my all to Kye. Now? I know Tess will require my attention the most. I know it’s a very short phase so I am just enjoying all the baby snuggles!
Here are some more cute pics of Tess from this week:
It always freaks me out when babies cross their eyes haha
Videos: Here are a couple videos from this week!
Here are the kids helping Zach wake Tess
Here is Kye singing one of his many made up songs to Tess
Mrs. Charlotte: When Kye was born my mom stayed with us for almost the whole first week. Since she lived out of town it made sense for her to come and stay. With Britt, my mom lived local and Zach and I never felt like we needed anyone to stay with us. When Courtney had her babies her mother in law came and stayed and when Casey had Carter she just really wanted it to be her and Jordan and for them to adjust to their new lives as parents together. Mrs. Charlotte has SIX grand babies but hasn’t ever stayed the night with any of them during their first week of life! I could tell in talking to her that she wanted to get that chance. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of her coming to spend the night with us for a couple nights. Zach and I tend to argue a good bit during the first week with a baby at home b/c we are both SO tired. He needs his sleep more than I do and I was nervous about us being tired and taking it out on the older children (getting easily frustrated with them, losing patience, etc). So the idea of someone else staying and helping me and letting Zach get full sleep was genius. He was able to function at his best and having ONE of us at 100% was better than having both of us at 50% for sure!!!
She came to stay Monday and Tuesday night and it went AWESOME. She’s truly such a blessing to me. She helped me care for Tess in the night when she would cry and I could sleep soundly knowing that Mrs. Charlotte would do for Tess the exact thing I would do. Mrs. Charlotte is always so supportive of our parenting decisions and choices. She never tried to tell us to just let Tess sleep with us, or hold her all night, etc. She followed our lead on everything and I loved having her company! Plus during the days she helped the older kids have FUN so I could nap, shower, and take care of myself and Tess. And that allowed Zach to get a couple days of work in. We ended up not missing out on any income with Tess’s birth! HUGE blessing!!! I’m so, so, SO appreciative and thankful to have Mrs. Charlotte in my life!
Postpartum: I had many goals for myself when it came to baby #3. One of the biggies was about my recovery. I KNOW what it takes to recover from childbirth. Rest, rest, and rest. It’s easy to push yourself too hard too fast and then pay for it later. In the hospital I didn’t get much sleep but once I got home I napped as much as I possibly could. The whole first week I had help with the older kids so I was able to sleep! It allowed me to be able to function throughout the day!
I also had the goal to shower every day. I know that sounds like a silly goal but when you are nursing around the clock and super mega exhausted…it’s easy to skip showering. Not only did I shower each day but I forced myself to also get ready. Not like my sunday best or anything but makeup was applied, hair was fixed, and clothes other than pjs were worn each day. It helped that we had people bringing food in the evenings! When we had Kye I remember going and hiding in the bedroom when people brought food and Z would tell them I was sleeping haha but this time around I legit visited with each visitor and was alive enough to enjoy their company 🙂
In addition to the shower each day I also made sure I spent 20-30 min soaking in an epsom salt tub TWO times a day. I don’t think I’ve ever actually soaked in the bath that much after having a baby. But it REALLY made a difference in my healing!!!
A big concern when I first had Tess was my belly button. It had stuck out during pregnancy and was STILL an outie after her birth. I think I asked probably 5 of the nurses about it during my hospital stay. They assured me it would go back in and it did within the first week. Whew 😉
I did a great job taking my meds this time around. I know how important they are! Pain only makes everything worse! Even with the IBProphen I still had a lot of pain in my arms, especially my forearms and my back. My back felt like someone literally had hit me with a stick straight across it over and over all the way down. Zach said both pain issues were from the pushing. He said it was like running a marathon without the training. I was using ALL my energy and pushing my body to an extreme it hadn’t experienced in a long time (if ever as this was my best pushing for sure!) so of course the pain would linger from that!
The after birth cramping was pretty legit…I laugh though when people complain about that? I mean sure it hurts but it’s not that bad. And it’s a good thing b/c it’s helping your body get back to normal! Bring on some cramps if it helps me lose the baby weight right?!?!? Speaking of baby weight…when I left the hospital I’d only lost 4 lbs. And my baby weighed 7! Ugh! My body just does NOT drop baby weight very fast or very easily. I knew that going in this time around and haven’t stressed it. It is what it is! The worst part to me is my FACE. Ugh. It’s SO puffy still. I hate it!!! It was so thin after Britt and I hope it thins out soon!
Also with both prior pregnancies my postpartum bleeding was pretty intense. This time it was very light once we got home from the hospital. I kept it all really really clean down there haha! It’s funny b/c I have just wanted to be CLEAN this time around. Even in labor I was mega concerned with feeling clean and in postpartum I have been super hardcore about changing out my pads, taking all the showers, etc. I wonder if Tess will be the kind of baby that hates having a poop diaper? Because she sure has turned me into a clean freak!
When the hospital called to check on me and asked how I was doing I told them “well I am exhausted and feel like I’ve been hit by a truck so I think I just had a baby” haha. The lady said that the recovery process gets harder and harder with each baby you have. I believe it. My body hurt more and longer this time AND I’ve been WAY more exhausted. But at the same time I have recovered, over all, quicker than ever before. I’ve been in a way way way better mood. I’ve been more productive (my house stayed spotless all week!) and just feel better overall. I know that the rest, showering, getting ready, and baths were to thank for that!!!!
I zero percent miss being pregnant. I had enjoyed my pregnancy so much with Britt that I remember after she was born missing having her inside me. Nope. Not this time! I’m happy to be done being pregnant and LOVE that I can bend over easily without any pain 🙂
Before having Tess I bought a Bellefit
after reading about it online. I wore it a couple hours each day the first week and LOVE IT. It was so small on me that I had to lay on the bed and have ZACH zip it up haha. It was mega tight but wasn’t too, too uncomfortable. Supposedly it really helps tighten the stomach back up after baby! I wore this to Tess’s 2 day hospital visit so it’s 4 days postpartum. Told ya it’s legit! You can read more about it on their site here!
Sibling Newborn Updates: I did a weekly update each week for both Kye and Britt. Of course Kye was my first and I was a new blogger so his wasn’t quite as organized as his sisters’ 🙂 You can look back at Kye’s first week here (it’s actually his first two weeks combined) and at Britt’s here!