Cooper is seventeen days old today! It's hard to believe that we've had more than two weeks to get to know our little guy.
Here is what life looks like lately, at the DeVries home:
Meeting family! Great grandma and great grandpa Friend came to visit, along with Aunt Julie and cousin Connor. And my parents and brother came to visit from Minnesota! There were cuddles and baby snuggles, and my mom and I read picture books aloud to Cooper. And collectively, we all ooed and awed over him.
We have been so blessed by meals brought to us, since we've been home. I haven't really cooked, apart from breakfast (& breakfast for dinner, so, still breakfast...). Everyone assures me that there will come a time when I feel like I can cook again. ;)
We have a bit of a routine where I nurse Cooper in the early morning (sometime between 5:30 and 7, depending on his previous feed, etc.) and then we set him in the Snuggle Me while I make breakfast and coffee and we both get dressed/somewhat ready for the day (even if we don't intend to leave home).
Some of Cooper's favorite things:
- the Snuggle Me (when mama and daddy need free hands)
- naps on dad in the recliner (in a variety of positions;)
- snuggles with mom
- elaborate and expressive hand movements
- being worn in the Solly baby
- reaching for dad's beard
- being bounced/held by dad
- staring at high contrast scenes
- rides in the carseat (at least for now!)
They call it the "fourth trimester" for good reason, my goodness. I met with a lactation consultant to sort a few things out, and she reiterated that "[I] am [Cooper's] comfort." He wants to be swaddled, held, and he finds comfort from nursing, especially as he adjusts to not being in the womb--all things that make this newborn phase so challenging and wonderful. Apart from physically healing myself, there is a lot of learning for all three of us, but it is so worth it.
All that said, we are so blessed to get to have Nicholas to ourselves for three whole weeks! And the three of us are figuring things out, and also just "going with the flow," as is necessary with a newborn.
Other little life things:
- The last thing I baked while pregnant with Cooper: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The first thing I baked after having Cooper: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. What can I say? I love a good rest and comfort routine. :)
- I'm knitting on a pair of socks, off and on. It's mindless knitting that's portable, I don't have to reference a pattern, and I can easily set it down without losing my spot
- I notice that on some days, I get a bit anxious in the late afternoons/evenings. A dear friend of mine sent me a copy of Fresh start for moms: A 31-day devotional journal to renew your joy and it's been incredibly encouraging and helpful to reframe my days.
- Nicholas and I took Cooper out on a mini coffee date (we grabbed our drinks to-go), but it still made me feel more normal
- Cooper is so alert during bathtime and after diaper changes. We love just staring at his big blue eyes and talking with him.
- We went on our first walk and Cooper slept the whole time
- When he was about a week old (and we were out of the meconium stage) we switched to cloth diapers. We love them so far!!
- I'm not eating dairy right now, since we think it may cause stomach upset for Coop. So that's an adjustment, but of all the things to cut out, dairy is pretty straightforward, since I didn't eat a lot of it anyway.
Things I'm learning as a new mama:
- naps are gold (mine and baby's)
- surround yourself with people who will cheer you on and help you (and answer the billions of questions you have). We have felt so supported during this time!
- it was therapeutic to write out Cooper's birth story! What a huge day that was for all three of us.
- seeing Nicholas become a dad has been the most incredible thing
- cherish the newborn snuggles because they won't last forever
- take time to notice the clouds and the blue sky and all the things that make you feel alive
- I'm more aware than ever of my need for a Savior and the need to daily give up the desire to do everything by my own strength. I love this verse: "No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope." Acts 2:26 My body rests in hope. I love that.