Madison Alicia (Maddie for short) was born a few days before her due date via induction at 8:11AM on August 20, 2019 at 5lbs 14oz and 19 inches. A little peanut of a thing! She’s a good sleeper and a great eater and Dan & I are counting our blessings! We fall more and more in love with her every day and are slowly adjusting to this new life as a family of three.
I know many of you enjoyed following along with my pregnancy journey (Announcement, 1st Trimester, 2nd Trimester, 3rd Trimester) and I plan to continue to post updates about Maddie here and there! : )
How was labor and delivery?
I want to start by saying that my postpartum expectations were REAL low. I was anticipating not being able to walk ever again.. I literally had moved everything in my house that I thought I would need in the first couple of weeks either downstairs or next to my bed. I showed Dan where I kept my sweatpants and PJs in case I wasn’t able to get them myself. I bought tons of supplies in hopes to ease my discomfort. I’m not dramatic at all..
In the end, I got really lucky with my labor and delivery experience. As much as I’d love to take the credit and say it was because I stayed active during pregnancy, ate healthy and took care of myself… I know it was really just luck. My induction “started” at 1:45PM on Monday, August 19th but after a slow start and a few delays, it didn’t really get going at 9:45PM that night. From that point on, things progressed much faster than they expected. I spent a couple hours in discomfort (and by discomfort I mean at one point my thought was, “I’d rather run back to back marathons than this”) before an epidural came to save the day. After just 15 minutes of pushing, Maddie was here just after 8AM!
My first thought when they placed her on my chest was how her eyes freakishly looked like mine. But now I see both me and Dan in her : )
What’s Maddie like?
Being teeny tiny at birth, the doctors at the hospital had me in a bit of a panic. There was a ton of pressure to do all the things, all the time: breastfeed, pump, give her formula. Luckily, she regained her birth weight within a couple days of leaving the hospital and the “small baby panic” subsided. Maddie chugs milk like a champ and is already almost 10 pounds. She went from being in the 10th percentile for weight to the 50th percentile in just 5 weeks.
Besides eating, Maddie loves sleeping, sucking on her hands, snuggling with people who run “warm” (aka her Dad), wearing super cozy, warm clothes, going on walks, and trying to bust out of her swaddle. She’s a good baby and calm *most* of the time. She’s already so strong so clearly we are excited about a possible professional athlete on our hands haha ; )
What has surprised you the most in the first six weeks?
To name a few: how easily I’ve learned to trust my gut, how difficult visitors can be for an introvert who is used to hiding alone in her office for days at a time, how different changing a girl’s diaper is than a boy’s, how (relatively) well I’ve been able to function on such little sleep, how smoothly my body has been recovering from pregnancy and birth, how I haven’t been straight up miserable.
(Again, I had real low expectations here..)
How does it feel being a mom?
I’m not sure I truly feel like a “mom” yet. I’ve always been slow to accept change.. it usually takes me a while to see myself in a new older, more mature role if that makes sense. That being said, I love Maddie and caring for Maddie so I guess I love being a “mom”. My favorite days are when it’s just us: feeding, snuggling, repeat. I don’t even mind the diaper changes and middle of the night wake ups. I miss her when she’s sleeping and find myself scrolling through pictures of her in bed (gosh, I sound crazy).
I expected motherhood to be really hard. I expected tears and resentment and exhaustion. I expected to miss parts of my “old life”, like going to the gym by myself and running errands in an efficient manner. And sleeping big chunks of time. While all of the above is my reality it doesn’t consume me like I thought it would. Sure, if I think too hard about how another person is completely dependent on me I start to freak out a little. But overall, I’m enjoying these early weeks much more than I anticipated. One
day hour at a time.
How’s Dan doing?
He’s great! When I was pregnant, I was having trouble getting excited because I was just expecting everything to be so hard. One thing I WAS excited for was to see Dan with his daughter. As predicted this has easily been my favorite part, especially in those early weeks. I swear I think he bonded with Maddie quicker than I did (see above: I’m slow). In the hospital, when I was exhausted and recovering, he completely took charge of diaper changes (I didn’t change a single one), tracking her eating, cleaning my pumping parts, even taking notes of things the nurses were telling us. The first couple of weeks, he took the 8pm-12am shift so that I always knew I would at least get those 4 hours of sleep. It was a life saver! Now that he’s back to work, most everything has fallen to me but it’s still been so nice to have his support.
We’ve even been on two dinner dates so far, thanks to my in laws watching Maddie. It was SO nice to get out! I now understand the importance of prioritizing date nights and also how easy it is to let your relationship slip when you have a kid. I think we’re doing great though : )
Have you taken a million pictures of her?
This is probably the most common question I’ve been asked and the answer is actually no! I’ve barely taken any of her with my professional camera (I didn’t even bother bringing my camera to the hospital!). The first couple weeks I was honestly just too exhausted. By the time I got her to sleep, the last thing I wanted to do was disturb her with outfit changes, swaddles and poses! I’ve started taking a lot more photos with my phone the last couple weeks now and my goal is to take “professional” photos of her once a month for the first year.
I understand so much more now the importance of hiring someone for newborn photos. Those early days really do fly by in a blur! I’m glad I did manage to snap a couple with the help of my sister Kelly : )
When are you back to work?
I photographed my first wedding on Friday at 5.5 weeks PP and I have 4 more weddings this Fall. I’m also taking on a limited number of family shoots in October and November – I have been photographing some families for 6+ years and I didn’t want to give that up! My first wedding back went so much better than expected (are you sensing a theme in this post?) but I can already tell finding office time to edit is going to be a challenge this Fall! Moms who work from home I’d love to know how you do it! While I didn’t have much of a “maternity leave”, I do plan to take a couple months off this winter to soak up time with Maddie and focus on family.
Tell us more!
Some firsts already checked off: first smiles (!!), first bottle from Dad, first pediatrician visit (fun fact: Maddie is seeing my pediatrician from when I was a kid!), first time meeting all her grandparents/aunts/uncles, first (baaaad) diaper rash, first road trip (to the Cape for the wedding I photographed), first baths, first tummy time, first time watching the Pats win, first nap in her crib.
Our favorite things to do together are: go on morning walks, snuggle on the couch and watch football, sing songs, and dance in the kitchen to Taylor Swift’s new album.
My new talents include: picking up things with my toes, doing everything with one hand, pretending I don’t care if she falls asleep, walking in and out of Starbucks with a stroller, making zero sound, power naps, and making up songs on the fly.
October 3, 2019