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I’m so glad you all are enjoying Henry’s Birth Story (here’s Part I).  It’s fun to write!  Part II is coming shortly.

 

When was the last time you felt totally inadequate at something?  I was thinking about this last night.  A few times in my life I have felt inadequate:  when I started my first post-college job; when I went back to college and took chemistry class (the sciences and I do not get along); when I was learning how to swim.  Now, I can add being a mom to the list.  People keep commenting that it seems so natural for me and so easy, but trust me… it’s not.  It’s SO hard.  The only thing that comes naturally is loving Henry!  Everything else seems really impossible.

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Yesterday was particularly rough.  We were surviving on four hours of broken sleep, and Henry was having trouble with nursing.  I have a whole new level of understanding regarding the breastfeeding v. formula feeding issue.  Everyone talks about breastfeeding like it’s the obvious choice, but it is so, so hard (I imagine it gets easier).  I can really understand why many moms intending to breastfeed revert to formula within a few weeks, especially if their baby is having problems.  So far, it’s been grueling, both emotionally and physically.   Henry refuses to nurse for more than 10 minutes before falling asleep (‘they’ say he should be eating at least 20 minutes every two to three hours), so I am currently nursing around the clock – every hour and a half, roughly.  That includes at night when we should both be sleeping.

 

I didn’t move from the couch all day, except to shower (I am covered in leaking milk). 

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Luckily, I planned ahead and scheduled an appointment with an at-home lactation consultant.  She was so helpful (I think ALL new breastfeeding moms should do this – don’t wait until there’s a big problem to call).  Henry got weighed, which assured me that I wasn’t slowly killing him with my inadequate nursing.  Yes, that was a serious concern of mine.  She also gave me the ‘permission’ that I needed to pump a bottle, which the Husband gave to Henry last night so I could sleep for a slightly longer stretch.

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Now that he’s eating more and producing really wet diapers, I’ve realized that I also don’t know how to correctly put on a diaper. He keeps soaking through the diaper and wetting himself all down his back.  So I have a sleepy, slightly jaundiced baby that smells a lot like leaky milk and piss.  Parenting fail.  Sometimes I feel like he’s looking at me and thinking, “God, how did I get stuck with YOU?!”  (I also realize that I definitely have a touch of new momma blues – the hormonal shift is insane.)

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Otherwise, I know we’re doing a pretty good job… He seems happy when he’s awake, we’re doing lots of skin-to-skin contact, and we’re both singing to him a lot. 

 

One of the concepts I wrote about in the Healthy Tipping Point book is using self-doubt as a powerful motivator.  Basically, don’t let yourself believe you can’t do something well just because it’s hard at first.  I keep going back to this concept.  Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean I can’t master it.  I eventually figured out my post-college job and got a promotion; I passed chemistry (and Operation Beautiful was born from the experience!); I taught myself to swim and did a bunch of triathlons.  All of the things that were once so hard and seemed so impossible became something that I could excel at… or at least feel competent at.  I just had to stick with it and ride out the initial rocky start.  In general, I think people tend to quit right before they can get ahead.

 

I can do this.  It’s worth it!

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Breakfast:

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Puppy love:

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(Maggie is having trouble adjusting… I am trying to convince her that her world isn’t over by giving her lots of apple slices.)

 

Well… Henry needs to eat.  And he needs a sponge bath.  Pissy baby smell is not acceptable.

 

What did you feel inadequate at and how did you eventually overcome the feeling?

{ 295 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Verna June 17, 2012, 9:12 am

    It’s hard in the beginning! Nursing is hard in the beginning! We didn’t have any real problems and it was still hard! Hang in there! It will get better! You ARE doing a great job, even if it doesn’t feel like it! Happy 1st Father’s Day to Kristien!

    Reply
  • Emily June 17, 2012, 9:14 am

    good for you for realizing all of this is normal. So hard to do in the moment. I’m sure the lactation consultant gave you tips for keeping him awake/nursing longer. And you are very, very new to this.
    RE: leaky diapers–try going up a size. We assumed our newborn, who was 7lbs 11oz at birth (not so big at all, and well within the range on the package) should be in newborn diapers. We had a leak rate of about 50% until we went up a size. We were actually able to get it on right and the absorbent part went higher up his back. And then changed diaper brands. (we love Earth’s Best, but obv its different for every baby).
    Hang in there. It all does get better. He is a beautiful baby.

    Reply
  • Stacie June 17, 2012, 9:15 am

    Don’t worry Caitlin it will get easier! All of your feelings are normal (and yes, you will have to live with the sour milk smell for quite some time) but before you know it you’ll be an expert diaper changer. I also think when they are first born, they are so thin that it’s hard to wrap the diaper tight enough. Once he gets more meat on his bones it should leak less. My youngest baby is now 8 but I remember it all like it was yesterday. Have a great day and Happy Fathers Day to Kristien! Remember You Are Beautiful and a Great Mom!

    Reply
  • Kayla @ The Best Things June 17, 2012, 9:16 am

    I just bought your book Healthy Tipping Point today!! I’m so excited to receive it in the mail soon. Happy Father’s Day to Kristien!

    Reply
  • miss pip kelly June 17, 2012, 9:16 am

    As ever I love love love your honesty! Thanks for sharing the ups and downs with us. I can’t comment from any sort of personal experience – but you seem to be keeping it together enough for me to wish to emulate your style someday!

    Reply
  • Kendra June 17, 2012, 9:16 am

    Caitlin, you are doing a great job! You are in good company. Every new mom feels the same way! You are right, breastfeeding is hard and I think the most frustrating thing about it for most moms, is that it doesn’t end up going the way we thought, or hoped, it would. Hang in there, it does get better. Also, you DO know how to put on a diaper correctly. The piss issue is just part of it all. I used to get so confused how it kept leaking out!! Confused and annoyed having to change his clothes all the time! I don’t know if it is a boy thing or a newborn thing?? Either way… it’s not you, it’s him. ;) Love the pics of Henry and loved Part 1 of the birth story

    Reply
    • Kendra June 17, 2012, 9:22 am

      P.S – I forgot to address the hormones! They are also normal. Especially the first week or so after labor. The hormones combined with the stuggles of breastfeeding and being a new mom in general can really be tough to handle. I would excuse myself and take a nice long shower and let the tears flow. I would feel so much better afterward. Sometimes, you just need a good cry. Again, you are doing a great job!

      Reply
  • Britta June 17, 2012, 9:16 am

    So have you figured out the correct way to diaper yet? Expecting a boy in a few days so I’m curious. One new mom told me yesterday to prevent the pee on the back make sure his little penis faces down in the diaper. Don’t know if that’s something you’ve tried yet. Good luck with everything!!

    Reply
  • Jenny O. June 17, 2012, 9:19 am

    I’m with the others who’ve said to try a different size/brand of diaper. The leaking is totally common. I tried a few brands with my girls before I figured out which fit them best. (And that brand was totally different for both of them.) Good luck- sounds like you’re doing wonderfully. Henry is a truly beautiful child.

    Reply
  • Lee June 17, 2012, 9:19 am

    While I don’t have kids yet, most of my friends do and they all say that it gets easier! Hang in there.

    Reply
  • Susan June 17, 2012, 9:19 am

    Make sure Henry’s boy parts are pointing down when you close the diaper! May be obvious, but I didn’t figure that out until we went through many wet outfits! And, you are doing a great job….you are getting through the toughest weeks and learning more how to do this mom thing every day. Nobody talks about how hard the first weeks are so many women are shocked at the feelings of inadequacy. It isn’t necessarily pleasant, but it is normal! Soon you’ll be on the other side looking back at this time with humor!

    Reply
    • Michaela June 17, 2012, 10:18 am

      This. I have three sons and the tip about his boy parts is spot on. My first was soaked constantly until my mom came for a visit and let me in on the secret. Hang in there, mama.

      Reply
      • Bonita June 17, 2012, 7:52 pm

        its called a penis

        Reply
        • Michaela June 19, 2012, 11:18 pm

          Thanks, Bonita. I’ve been calling it a wang this whole time! I had no idea!

          Reply
  • Kath June 17, 2012, 9:20 am

    You ARE going great!!! Great doesn’t mean perfect :)

    Hooray for leaking milk, and girl eat that first placenta pill STAT!

    Reply
  • Megan S June 17, 2012, 9:20 am

    Aw Caitlin I rarely comment but found this post to be so sweet and endearing. I imagine I will feel the exact same way. You’ll do great:) thanks for sharing, happy fathers day to the husband!

    Reply
  • Heidi June 17, 2012, 9:26 am

    Thank you for your honesty! I have read SO many new mama blogs where the mom was all “Breastfeeding is a piece of cake!” and “Ibjave never been so happy in my life!” It made me feel like a major parenting fail because Breastfeeding was REALLY hard for me (I ended up having to supplement because I was pretty much starving my baby.) and I definitely had some blue times after both of my kids were born. It does get easier-my kids are now 4yo and 22m and they’ve managed to survive and are happy, so I must be doing something right! Henry is lucky to have such a honest, upfront mama!

    Reply
  • Amy June 17, 2012, 9:27 am

    The biggest mistake I made with my first child was thinking that it would always be as hard as it was that first month. It won’t. The first month is like boot camp. My sister has a 5 week old and is just starting to see the light – and you will too.

    Henry didn’t read the book, so to heck with what they think he’s “supposed” to do. Let him sleep. He has been through a lot, too. See if you can’t figure out how to nurse while lying on your side (get an experienced nursing mom to show you if possible – if not, email me and I’ll send you a picture), because you will get a LOT more rest if you can lie down for some of those feedings. Even if you don’t sleep, you’ll rest, and that’s important.

    It’s hard, for people who are used to having busy, full lives, to switch to the baby-speed gear. Everything slows down and it’s grindingly monotonous and you have way too much time to think yourself into an existential crisis. Try to stay in the moment. It’s going to be FINE. You’ve got lots of people out here who are rooting for you, and who will provide you with endless support and advice if you need it.

    Hang in there! You’re oding great.

    Reply
  • Laura June 17, 2012, 9:28 am

    You are doing a fantastic job!! Don’t let that inner-voice tell you any different. Maybe you should start an operation beautiful campaign for moms. You could put post-its in your house telling you what a great parent you are. You are doing your best, and yes it is survival mode for a while but it DOES GET EASIER.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:45 pm

      What a great idea. I’m going to post a ton of notes for myself!!!!

      Reply
      • Elle June 17, 2012, 7:15 pm

        I don’t have children so I can’t comment on the specific issues, but one thing I wish to say, which I hope will lift your spirits… When I first saw your picture of you&Henry (your “Baby Boyle” post) I say to myself: “That would make the best – Operation Beautiful or HTP – bookcover – EVER”. Henry is your biggest accomplishment – don’t let the momma blues make you forget that! Hang in there – you can do it!

        Reply
    • veronica June 17, 2012, 3:12 pm

      fantastic idea! Operation Beautiful Motherhood! I’m going to start posting in mom-frequented places. First stop: the Motherhood Maternity dressing room!

      Reply
  • Lisa June 17, 2012, 9:30 am

    I’m sorry, I love reading about your baby but the “covered in leaking milk” was TMI… especially for a post that concludes with your breakfast eats.

    Reply
    • Erin June 17, 2012, 12:39 pm

      you obviously don’t have children

      Reply
      • Heidi June 17, 2012, 6:52 pm

        Right on, Erin! I was totally covered in milk 99% of the time after my first baby was born!

        Reply
    • Louise June 17, 2012, 12:43 pm

      And this is why new mums find it such a scary shock, because the most natural (and quite frankly shitty) parts of parenthood don’t get discussed. Sorry Lisa but this is a reasonably tame (and amusing and endearing) description of new motherhood. Vaginal discharge anyone…
      Caitlin, you’re doing amazing, 10 weeks in I can say it does get easier even if the gross leaky boobs squirt on. With the diapers tighten those suckers up – we went through many poosplosions and I felt like such a failure til I got a little bolder with pulling the tabs a little tighter. The beauty of all of this is you can do no real wrong, Henry will love you and thrive regardless of how much piss he marinates in ;)

      Reply
    • Emily June 17, 2012, 2:49 pm

      I have always loved the honesty of this blog.

      Babies involve leaky milk, pee, poo and vomit. I think when people read this blog, they should expect those realities! Considering the other things that have been openly discussed.

      Reply
    • Alicia June 17, 2012, 2:57 pm

      It’s milk, Lay off.

      Reply
    • Elizabeth June 17, 2012, 9:59 pm

      I guess you don’t really love reading about her baby then, because newborns = lots of leaky milk, lots of the time. In the month after my daughter was born, we had a friend come over for a beer who happens to be a paramedic. I apologized that the house smelled like breastmilk (I don’t know if it did – but I was so constantly covered in it that it felt like EVERYTHING smelled like breastmilk). He said “No worries. My job helps me to know that the world is covered in a thin layer of blood and poop.”

      Reply
      • Carrie June 18, 2012, 5:55 am

        Just to add to this, during my pregnancy I’ve been brutally honest with my single/childless girlfriends over what I’m feeling and going through because why sugar coat it? They LOVE knowing what is REALLY up with pregnancy and (eventually) childbirth. If you can’t handle knowing the truth, you’re probably not ready to go through it (not that anyone is TRULY prepared).

        Reply
    • Sarah June 20, 2012, 10:53 am

      Because breastfeeding is so “gross”? I can understand that we all have different TMI thresholds, but if you’ve been reading Caitlin’s blog for any length of time, you must have seen other posts just as “TMI”. I appreciate Caitlin’s honesty, that’s it’s not a cakewalk being a mum.

      Reply
  • Heather@YSP June 17, 2012, 9:30 am

    You are doing SO well. You’re definitely in the midst of a horrible combination of lack-of-sleep and hormonal roller coasters. Most moms feel like failures in the beginning. You are NOT a failure. You’ll find a rhythm, and your gorgeous son is happy and healthy. That’s all that matters! Just hang in there and sleep whenever you can.

    Reply
  • Sara June 17, 2012, 9:30 am

    You are doing fantastic! I promise. There really is no manual for children. Probably because they are all so different. I breastfed, and it took me awhile before my son and I found a rhythm. That first few days my hormones combined with lack of sleep from needing to breastfeed every hour left me very fried. And this was by myself. I felt more alone then I had before bringing my son home. Thankfully, I had people in my life that helped in the moments I really needed it. I never felt like I was doing good enough. I think because he is the most important job I will ever be given. I still don’t. It has gotten better over time though. And though it is the hardest job I will ever be given as well, it is also the most rewarding and fulfilling.

    You are exactly the mother Henry needs, and he only looks at you with unconditional love.

    Reply
  • Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 17, 2012, 9:35 am

    Go, Caitlin, Go! Just keep reminding you that throughout all of history there have been mothers, and they’ve probably ALL felt exactly the same way–that’s a lot of ladies! So just keep pushing through :)

    Reply
  • Laine June 17, 2012, 9:38 am

    He’s so cute!

    I remember when I went to visit my little sister after her first baby was born. She was like “his cloth diapers suck, they just leak everywhere!” We looked and saw that they hadn’t been putting the water proof covers on, just the cloth part. They had set up their nursery with the whole diaper set up but in those first few days their brains melted out and they didn’t remember.

    Reply
  • Barbara Younger June 17, 2012, 9:38 am

    I remember changing Kath’s diaper in the hospital and thinking she KNEW I was doing it wrong. It took me a while to figure out that we know as much (and more!) than the babies do. You’re doing a great job and Henry is darling.

    Reply
  • Jennifer June 17, 2012, 9:38 am

    Being a mommy will get so much easier. And I can guarantee that it will be more rewarding than any other experience you have had thus far. I remember the first night home from the hospital with my son. I couldn’t BELIEVE they let me take him home without passing some kind of test! I remember pacing the house all night long, promising him that I would figure things out. You’ll figure things out too. And yeah, the hormone fluctuations are really, really rough!

    Reply
  • Tricia June 17, 2012, 9:39 am

    I am there with you. I have a 4 week old and continue to be in survival mode! Thanks for being honest about how hard it is and that breast feeding does not come easily. I have had to move to formula after 2 weeks and the mommy guilt will kill you! My baby will still thrive although my bank account may not. Dang that formula is expensive! Henry is really cute by the way!

    Reply
  • Kier June 17, 2012, 9:41 am

    Firstly – Happy Fathers day to Kristien!

    Secondly – I do not have kids, but have read a few blogs of people with new babies, thus clearly I am an expert. Ha. Kidding of course. I just wanted to say that I am sure your honesty is helping out with a ton of other new moms out there feel better about what they are doing. There are a lot of bloggers who make it seem so easy (and heck, maybe it is for them!), but it has to be helpful for people to hear about all experiences and know that they are still doing a good job – even if diapers leak!

    Reply
  • Cecilia June 17, 2012, 9:43 am

    Breath! This is probably one of the most challenging times of motherhood, in my opinion. You’re tired, your hormones are all over the place, things aren’t easy and it’s a round the clock job. But it will get better! Nursing is not easy but keep trying. I was ready to give up too but my mom convinced me to keep trying and I met with a lactation specialist too. Just think…if it was all so easy there wouldn’t actually be people employed as lactation specialists!

    Just get your rest when you can and don’t try to do anything more than take care of yourself and Henry right now. It WILL get easier! And the rewards are so worth it!

    Reply
  • Helen June 17, 2012, 9:45 am

    You ARE enough, that’s all I’m going to say.

    This is an adjusting period and will get better.

    Best wishes and positive thoughts from the UK xx

    Reply
  • Allison June 17, 2012, 9:46 am

    YOU are a great mother. You seem like one of the most loving people ever, and I don’t even know you. I think your life is just amazing. You have a wonderful husband and one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen; that must be so fulfilling! It will get easier :) I’m only 20 years old and don’t have a child of my own, but my youngest sister is 12 years younger than me. My mom was working when she was born, so I pretty much raised her on my own. I felt exacctly how you did; getting up in the middle of the night to care for a child that wasn’t even technically mine was taxing at times, but so rewarding when I would see her sleeping and smell her head (that sounds creepy, but that new baby smell is amazing). I think you’re doing a great job :)

    I still feel inadequate with accepting myself. I work at it every day but it’s so hard to remember it when times get hard. Working on it though!

    Reply
    • Marissa C June 17, 2012, 1:33 pm

      The new baby smell is amazing! I was so sad when she lost it. Not creepy at all, my sisters said the same thing.

      Reply
  • Morgan J. June 17, 2012, 9:46 am

    This is probably one of the most perfect posts I could have read right now. First of all, Henry is absolutely adorable and congratulations to you and your husband :]

    Anyways, I just took chemistry over the summer for my degree to become an RD and failed it miserably. Partly because I’m just not good with sciences either and also because my teacher wasn’t the best ( he got fired). It took me a long time to finally decide to major in Food & Nutrition because of the sciences and now that I’ve failed chem it makes me question myself (which I’ve been doing the whole time). To be honest there’s nothing else I can do and I have such a huge passion for healthy living that I know this is what I’m meant to do so thank you for posting this. It is exactly what I needed :]

    Reply
  • Krista June 17, 2012, 9:48 am

    I love your honesty! Having a newborn is not all puppies and rainbows. It actually sucks, quite a bit. But it is worth every sucky second.
    You really seem like you’re doing a great job. I hope you find your confidence soon.

    Reply
  • Kristin June 17, 2012, 9:48 am

    You are doing the best job you can – the first two weeks are unlike anything you will ever go through in your life. Just know it does get better. As for the diapers, my daughter was about Henry’s weight, and everything we tried didn’t work – I tried tightening the newborn diapers, going up a size, etc. ultimately, my mom bought some preemie diapers and they were perfect. Darned tall skinny babies, keeping us on our toes!

    Good luck and chin up – it gets better.

    Reply
  • Megan@therunningdoc June 17, 2012, 9:49 am

    Such a nice post to ready first thing on a Sunday morning. It’s so easy to let thoughts of self doubt and negativity convince you to give up on something before you’ve even given it your full effort. I know that I’ve definitely fallen into this trap and really struggle with doubting myself.

    I’ve never been a new mother (or mother at all, unless you count my fur children) but I know you’ll get more comfortable and figure it all out! And I know there’s no one else Henry would rather see each morning than you and your husband!!

    Reply
  • Sarah June 17, 2012, 9:50 am

    Hang in there! I breastfed my son for 12 months and remember having the VERY same feelings as you! It does get easier, just stick with it!!

    The next feeling you may have is that of being trapped! Breastfeeding so often leaves very few opportunities to do anything else, especially out of the house. Two things I learned – 1) I can run errands really quickly (and it feels great to just get out) and 2) when all else fails, the back of the car works really well for a quick breastfeeding pitstop.

    Good luck!

    Reply
    • Morgan June 17, 2012, 9:55 am

      I second the feeling trapped, I think that actually pushed me closer to quitting probably around the 3-4 month mark than the terrible first month did. But I was oh so happy I stuck with it once I had a much more portable 8 month old who only needed a diaper in my purse and not her own bag full of bottles and formula.

      Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 17, 2012, 9:52 am

    HAha I’m sure Henry isn’t upset he’s been stuck with you, he’s been born into an amazing and loving home, he’s so much luckier than most babies in the world! I’m sure it will just take time!

    Reply
  • Morgan June 17, 2012, 9:52 am

    The first few weeks of breastfeeding are so so hard. I would literally cry every time it was time for my daughter to eat. She had a hard time latching, and was the sleepiest newborn you ever met, so I was nursing every 90 minutes because she would fall asleep while eating (sound familiar?). None of the tricks worked to keep her awake (ice cubes, naked eating, cold wash cloths etc). Finally I gave in and pretty much fed her non stop during the day for a while, probably 2ish weeks). It made my days pretty terrible, but because she was eating so much during the day we started getting a 6 hour stretch of sleep by the time she was 3 weeks old. So I fed on demand for 14 months, she slept through the night by 10 weeks (12-14 hours) and weaned herself at 14 months. Most of my memories of breastfeeding are now very sweet and loving, but those first few weeks felt like a very sleep deprived war. Hang in there, it can be worth it!

    Reply
  • Rachel June 17, 2012, 9:53 am

    Thank you for your honesty Caitlin. I am not a mom, but hope to be someday (I’m 27). It’s so refreshing to read posts like this that aren’t all “soooo amazing” “perfect” blah blah blah because even though most of us know the truth, but it distorts it to read shiny happy fake posts all the time. Don’t stop being real! Congratulations to you and Daddy!

    Reply
  • Veronica June 17, 2012, 9:55 am

    People quit right before they take off. YES!!! It’s so true!
    Keep breastfeeding.
    Those lazy hours parked on the corner of the couch are the “honeymoon period” – savor the crap outta them! It feels like you’re getting nothing done, but you’re actually accomplishing tons!

    For the first 3 weeks (at least) with both my boys, I was parked on the couch with the remote, food, a huge water bottle with a straw, a boppy, SEVERAL rags, and baby wipes. I hunkered down and focused on nursing, because its all about building a relationship between your baby, boobs and brain.

    Cultivate the relationship!

    Good news: His stomach is the size of an almond. It fills up fast, which is why he only feeds for 10 min. Falling asleep is actually a sign that you’re doing beautifully and getting him nice and fat and happy!

    Bad news: His stomach is the size of an almond! Which is why he’s eating every 1.5 hours.

    But stomachs grow fast and by next week it’ll be every 2 hours…and then 3..and by 6 weeks you might get 5 hours and feel like a new woman!

    As Bob Harper likes to say “trust the process.” Mamas have fed their babies this way from the beginning of mankind. When you’re at your breaking point, take a moment to think of all the other mothers (new, old and everything in between) around this HUGE world feeling the same way at that exact moment. Join them in solidarity and say:

    “I commit to do the best I can.”

    Also, find someone you can call – anytime, anywhere, for any reason. There were a few times I was going to lose. my. schmidt. in the early weeks, I’d call my mom even at 2am. She never breastfed, so she had no advice there, but she’d listen to me cry. And 5 out of 6 times, getting ME calmed down also calmed the baby down, and by the time I hung up I had a milk-drunk, sleeping baby in my arms.

    You’re already doing it, just keep doing it. *smile* >>hug<<

    Reply
    • Michaela June 17, 2012, 10:22 am

      Can I just hug you? You hit the nail on the head.

      Reply
      • Penélope June 17, 2012, 10:41 am

        Absolutely!!!

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      • Veronica June 17, 2012, 1:16 pm

        awwww thanks!

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    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:39 pm

      Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
    • Melissa June 17, 2012, 7:55 pm

      Agree! Gosh Caitlin, when I read your post it was as if i was writing this myself from my first days as a new mom. Breast feeding was so hard in the beginning and I had a sleepy nurser too. Hang with it and it will get easier! Promse!! Keep pumping and drink tons of water. The advice someone gave about feeding on demand is spot on and works so much better than a schedule. Henry is adorable. Congratulations!

      Reply
  • Stephanie June 17, 2012, 9:55 am

    Hi Caitlin! I have an 8 week old so I’m a mama who just went through the trenches and came out on the other side (with breastfeeding issues and a super fussy/grumpy baby no less). My baby girl had latch and transfer issues and we struggled for the better part of 4 weeks – trying to breastfeed, giving her a bottle of pumped milk and then pumping milk – which took up 24 hours of my day pretty much. We finally decided to just exclusively pump so my daughter could still get breast milk because she has milk sensitivities and formula did not agree with her (I’m on a no dairy diet). Exclusively pumping is HARD though! It’s uncomfortable and takes up sooo much time that you could be spending with baby. Anyway, moral of my diatribe is keep working with the breastfeeding and it will get easier if Henry doesn’t have any issues because pumping is a pain and formula gets to be expensive!

    I was feeling the same way you are and can definitely relate but you are doing a fabulous job. =)

    Reply
  • Kamaile June 17, 2012, 10:00 am

    The 1st picture, oh my goodness he is cute! You’re doing great, keep supportive people around you and know that it is a learning process. Aww Maggie!

    Reply
    • Katie June 17, 2012, 10:18 am

      I agree, its a great picture! I just want to say “Thank you!” for being so honest about how everything is going. I’m not close to becoming a mother, but its good to see the truth in the situation.

      Reply
  • Jodie June 17, 2012, 10:01 am

    Breastfeeding was so difficult for me at first Caitlin. I remember thinking no wonder so many women don’t do this! I actually kept feeling awful because I couldn’t stop thinking I was the only mom ever to hate feeding her baby. But now that I am 6 months in I can you that if you are producing milk and Henry is gaining weight, the rest will come. It took 5 weeks for me, which felt like forever, but all the work and tears were so worth it! Not only does it get easier, but also you will never regret choosing to breastfeed. Hang in there! Y’all are doing amazing.

    Reply
  • Theresa June 17, 2012, 10:03 am

    I applaud your honesty about the situation. I think so many other women try to portray the illusion of being “supermom” right from the beginning. The reality of it is that almost every women struggles at first. I was a full time nanny for 8 years before having my own and it was still hard. Having just had our little one within the last year I can totally relate with everything you are going through. Just know that it will get better and the reward is obviously worth all the hard work. I also agree with everyone about trying a different size or brand of diaper. Also, don’t be afraid to put it on nice and snug. If it is loose than the pee can “escape” too easily. Good luck!

    Reply
  • Sam @ Fit for My Fork June 17, 2012, 10:05 am

    I’ve always thought being a new mom sounds like a lot of (worthwhile) work. I’m sure it will get easier. The first photo of Henry is absolutely adorable – I love the look on his face!

    Reply
  • Leah June 17, 2012, 10:07 am

    Nursing is hard! No doubt about it. It took me a good six weeks to get a handle on it where I wouldn’t cringe and curl my toes in agony every time Sophie would latch. It just became so much more natural and much easier. I remember when my sis said “give it six weeks” I thought, “wtf? really? I dont know if I can last that long.” But, as with everything to do with kids, it goes so quickly!! I think it’s a great idea to start giving Henry a bottle so young. I waited 3 weeks but I know parents who wait months and then baby does not go from breast to bottle very easily and they have a different problem on their hands. My biggest advice right now: give yourself a break. Give yourself time. Rest when you can. Henry hasn’t even been here a week yet. It’s natural for things to feel turned upside down. Things will settle and get easier. Promise x

    Reply
  • chelsea June 17, 2012, 10:09 am

    OK first of all I wish I could give you a big big hug. This part of it sucks..you are excited and thrilled to death but also sleep deprived hormonal and crazy- you are going to be fine take a minute for a yourself- take a hot shower, get outside for a little bit..do SOMETHING for yourself everyday.
    You will be OK it DOES get easier.

    Reply
  • Michelle June 17, 2012, 10:10 am

    Breastfeeding is so so hard!! I thought it would come as naturally as breathing!!! NOT!!! With my second daughter it was a breeze. With my first one, not so much. I was terrified that she wasn’t getting enough to eat and that I was slowly starving her to death. She was a sleepy baby (that’ll get better in a few days!) so I had to strip her down to diapers to keep her awake and rub her feet. Breastfeeding will get easier. I PROMSISE!!! Give it some time. And having the blues is totally normal. I cried when she ruined an outfit with poop! LOL!!! that’ll get better. Be ready for some sweaty nights ahead when the hormone levels start dropping. Sleep will get better!! You will sleep through the night again!!

    Reply
  • stephanie June 17, 2012, 10:12 am

    I know you are hearing this a bunch and probably don’t believe it, but you are not alone in how you are feeling!!! It WILL get easier but the first few weeks are the hardest. You are doing amazing. By the way, I have a two year old and a ten week old, and when I was where you are now, I couldn’t even read your blog every day, much less write, photograph and publish several posts a day. You should be so proud of yourself!

    Reply
  • Sarah (the shu box) June 17, 2012, 10:13 am

    Just wanted to send support- and to reiterate that everything you are feeling is soooo normal. I’m a pediatrician and I STILL felt clueless and inadequate at times in the early days. And breastfeeding IS hard!! But it does get easier- and there will be more sleep which will help everything!

    Reply
    • veronica June 17, 2012, 3:16 pm

      awesome comment. good to know that even a pediatrician isn’t a perfect mother. *sigh of relief*

      Reply
  • jen June 17, 2012, 10:14 am

    Caitlin- how WOULD you know how to be a mom!? you have never been one before! plus it’s only like your FIRST week of your entire mom life. you are amazing and we all love you and support you and are here to help you. so much love.

    Reply
  • Debbie June 17, 2012, 10:14 am

    I’m loving your honesty and your great attitude. You’re doing great! You are an inspiration and thank you for posting! Can’t wait to read part 2!

    Reply
  • hilary June 17, 2012, 10:14 am

    Trust me, every new mama feels the way you do! Its part of having the new baby. By #2 you will wonder why it seemed so hard. My daughter was born on the 9th, and I think back to when my son was born and just smile at how different it is.

    Breastfeeding will get easier. Please don’t get too discouraged! It takes time (and a little pain) to master it, but it is so worth it. You can do it!

    Reply
  • Kristin June 17, 2012, 10:16 am

    Make sure you are pointing Henry’s “little guy” down in the diaper. We went through literally 7 outfits a day before we figured this out! Hang in there, you are doing great. It really, really does get easier!

    Reply
  • Liz June 17, 2012, 10:17 am

    Being a mom is the hardest thing in the world. And it kind of sucks. But I am 9 weeks in and can tell you it gets a little easier every single day. Keep on keepin on – you are doing great!

    Reply
  • Gretchen June 17, 2012, 10:18 am

    Hang in there! The first few weeks are SO hard. It will get easier. Promise.

    Reply
  • Erica June 17, 2012, 10:23 am

    Henry is adorable, he looks so mature! I think you are doing well and just expect that it’s going to be hard :) lactation consultants are SO helpful! I saw one 10 days post partum when I developed mastitis for the first time. She weighed our little guy to see how much milk he was getting, and I learned some new positions. Those first days / weeks are SO painful. I had a pretty bad abrasion on both nipples that made every latch on excruciating. In the end I got mastitis twice and a clogged duct, but by 6 weeks breastfeeding suddenly got really easy and now I love it (though I’m back at work and pumping, too). You’ll get the hang of it! We’re 12 weeks into our parenting adventure and we still feel like we’re flying by the seat of our pants sometimes, but most of the time we’re pretty confident. You’re still getting to know each other, and it takes a little time !

    Reply
  • nicole June 17, 2012, 10:24 am

    First of all, congratulations to you and your family. Henry is beautiful. Second, being a mom REALLY is the hardest job in the world. It is a learning curve, and a ball of emotions. I have learnt that no matter how hard you try to do everything totally right, it doesnt always work that way! But I promise you, it does get easier. The hardest part for me was the sleepless nights, and no longer being able just to ‘pick up and go’. I would definately suggest giving him a bottle of EBM daily. I did not do this with my first, and I could not go far for the nine months that I nursed! Also try putting a cloth of some sort under your breast and around his neck when you nurse, to help minimize the milk leakage that gets everywhere! It took two weeks for my daughter to fall into routine, and after the first month, it got way easier. I highly reoommend reading the baby whisperer too. And at 10 days, expect a growth spurt where Henry will want to eat even more!!

    I just had baby number two, and this time is a breeze. You feel more confident, and more relaxed. I just feel as though I am changing diapers and feeding ALL day long, lol.

    Wishing you all the best Cailtin. Hang on and try to ENJOY every part of this ride, because it really honestly does go by way too fast. <3

    Reply
  • Michaela June 17, 2012, 10:24 am

    The other ladies pretty much have it covered, but I still wanted to comment and tell you to hang in there! It gets so much better when you get your bearings. Be gentle with yourself, we all had to learn how to best care for our babies and you’re doing a great job. xxoo

    Reply
  • Nikki June 17, 2012, 10:25 am

    This post made me love your blog even more!!! It’s such a relief to know that it is normal and okay to work at mentally and emotionally staying strong–especially in the face of crazy hormone shifts!

    Reply
  • Kelly June 17, 2012, 10:26 am

    I wanted to give up nursing for the first six weeks I did it. It is SO hard. I didn’t have a lactation consultant, that is a very good idea! Don’t give up. Stick with it. At about 6 weeks it got a little easier (I remember it taking me a 1/2hr to latch him on and then he’d only eat for 5 minutes – so frustrating). And, it gets easier from there. I nursed for a full year, after only wanting to nurse till 4-6 months when I was pregnant with him! You can do it!

    Reply
  • Kelly@runmarun June 17, 2012, 10:27 am

    I basically second what everyone else says- the first few weeks with a baby are so hard. And I felt the same way about breasted feeding- why would anyone stick with it!? You are doing a great job- lean on your family and cry whenever you need to! You will smile about this stretch soon and you will feel normal again!!!

    Reply
  • Kristen June 17, 2012, 10:29 am

    You know how perfect and amazing you think Henry is? Well, he feels the same way about you because you love him and you are HIS. To him, everything you are doing is exactly right because it all comes from love. He doesn’t know any other way other than yours! And It WILL get easier!

    Reply
  • Melissa June 17, 2012, 10:30 am

    Ive said this a million times, breastfeeding was harder than pregnancy, labor and delivery for me. I had bruised nips and had to pump a lot for the first 7 weeks. Pumpin pals saved my life, google them. I have to say the first 4 weeks are hard because you have to learn your little one, but after that you will feel so much better until something else new pops up,maybe 4 month sleep regression, but when you look back you will have concurred it and it will just be another memory of your journey. And remember it just keeps getting better with everyday.

    Reply
  • Jennifer V. June 17, 2012, 10:30 am Reply
  • Penélope June 17, 2012, 10:32 am

    Of course you are going to master it!!!! And you are already an amazing mom!!! Don’t ever doubt it!

    Reply
  • Kellie June 17, 2012, 10:33 am

    I am a mother of three and I can attest to how hard the first months are. I spent days crying due to the hormones, lack of sleep and life change. I remember sobbing one day and not really knowing why. I can tell you that it does pass.

    Reply
  • Allison June 17, 2012, 10:34 am

    I’m a new mom too. My daughter is 7 months now and I’m still figuring it out as I go. We had to breast feed every 1.5 hours through the night too. I learned to take lots of naps on the couch!. Now that Shea bigger she only nurses or wants to every 4 hours. It gets a lot easier! I also felt like crying when I was overwhelmed. Just cry :) when your hormones adjust that will get better to. Hang in there pretty soon changing diapers will be like breathing!

    Reply
  • Christena June 17, 2012, 10:34 am

    Can I just say that your blog has grown in leaps and bounds during your pregnancy and now? This might sound weird and inappropriate, but I’m proud of how you handled your pregnancy on the blog and I’m proud of how honest and open and down-to-earth you are being about the whole thing. Most of the time when a blogger gets pregnant, they become so hyper-focused on themselves & the pregnancy (which is natural, I’m sure! Most women just aren’t blogging about it.) Some pregnant bloggers write as if they are the first person in the world to be pregnant & have a baby. You have not done that & I think it is a sign of your maturity & your blog’s longevity.

    I think what you talk about here is SO IMPORTANT. Something I have never really thought about before and can use. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Megan S June 17, 2012, 12:31 pm

      I totally agree with this. I think you’ve handled yourself and your blog with honesty, poise and professionalism throughout this process.

      Reply
      • Maria June 17, 2012, 1:45 pm

        I have been having the same thoughts. I have asked myself what it is that is so special about this blog and especially the pregnancy and now birth and baby posts. I just love following and I don’t even have kids. I think it’s because Caitlin is so completely honest and real about what it means to have dreams, turn them into goals and attain them. Caitlin, you are truly inspirational, thank you so much!

        Reply
  • Marissa June 17, 2012, 10:35 am

    henry looks like a happy little baby with that sweet smile! keep doing what you’re doing & don’t get discouraged. first few weeks have got to be an adjustment for all, but you (& henry) will learn how to operate as a team & it will work out & get easier!

    Reply
  • Megan June 17, 2012, 10:36 am

    I’ve never had a baby and I don’t really know much about babies but I think you’re giving Henry exactly what he needs. Love. You’ll get the hang of everything else in time. You’re doing a beautiful job :]

    Reply
  • Jill June 17, 2012, 10:37 am

    Hi–I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry when I read your post. It brought back some big memories for me. Both happy and not so happy—and that is OK because looking back (my son is now 6 1/2 years old) I would not have changed a thing, even the terrible postpartum depression I went through….seriously. It taught me all so much–most importantnly that I can and do ANYTHING. So, dear Caitlin, let me tell you this: Not only CAN you do this…you ARE doing it :-)
    I have been following your blog for 6 months…you have no idea how much you inspire and motivate me. Thanks to your informative and hysterical blog (and some hard lap swimming and healthy weight watchers eating..hee-hee!) I have sucesfully lost 51.6 lbs. since January 1st. I PROMISE it gets better.I know I used to think that people just said that to me in those early Mummy days when I was having what I felt were epic Mummy fails, but it’s true, it does. The first 8-12 weeeks are trying, but not only will all three of you and your furry children will be better for it…..I promise. Be well, take care of you and thank you for helping me to chnage my life so I can be a better Mummy to my son. Hugs, Jill :-)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Congrats on your healthy weight loss!!!!

      Reply
  • Wendy June 17, 2012, 10:39 am

    I still can’t believe they let me leave the hospital with my first child. I was a mess and knew nothing about babies. But through many tears (both mine and the baby) we made it. I would not trade motherhood for anything, but it is the most difficult job in the world but also the most rewarding. The first few weeks are very hard ( but not so much with your second child) but then you’ll get rewarded with a first smile and that will make it all worth it!

    Reply
  • Meghan June 17, 2012, 10:41 am

    Breastfeeding gets easy I promise! I was in so much pain at first but now 4 months in and we nurse everywhere and no pain. As for.diapers you may need to point his penis either up or back depending on which way he is leaking. Or keep him in a shirt and change him as soon as the lone turns blue. You have a super pee baby too :)

    Reply
  • Lindsay Owen June 17, 2012, 10:44 am

    Oh honey! Listen, as someone who has done this twice, let me tell you. In the first few weeks, do not expect anything more of yourself than just feeding yourself, feeding Henry and getting some sleep. Getting a shower in (at some point in the day – if you manage one before noon, you’re doing amazingly well) is a bonus. Sleep when he sleeps, forget about housework or anything else that someone else can do for you and just focus on getting breast feeding established and your health optimal.

    (And here’s the midwife advice). Boys are notorious for falling asleep on the boob (annectdotaly of course). You can try jiggling his cheeks, or tickling him on his hand if he gets lazy, or change position to keep him feeding as long as possible. The important thing is to try and drain the whole breast so that he gets the more satisfying, thicker milk that comes later in the feed, as that’s what keeps him fuller for longer. Just one boob each feed, so that the other boob has a chance to refill. I’m sure you know all this anyway, but it’s worth repeating.

    Remember, he’s new to this too. It takes time to establish. At the moment there’s an amazing relationship between his needs and your supply going on. The more he feeds, the more milk you make. Sooner or later, his frequent feeds will encourage your body to make JUST the right amount of milk for his needs – and then everything will calm down.

    Expect that you will be tired. You will. Awfully. But this will pass. Expect that you will be sore. You will. But (with a little help from a lanolin cream, maybe), this too will pass (I used to have to count to ten at the start of each feed while rocking frantically and digging my nails into my husband’s hands). The newborn phase is gone in an instant as are the baby blues hormones (God, day 6 for me was always the day I felt I needed the loony bin). Before you know it, you’ll be able to get him latched on without even looking. Promise.

    You’re doing brilliantly, and nobody knows what to do the first time (I couldn’t remember much of it the 2nd time either!). Keep doing what you’re doing and when it all gets too much, have a skin to skin love in!

    One more tip. If he’s hard to settle when he’s fully fed, sometimes it’s better to give him to the husband. I always found that I coudn’t settle my kids by rocking them as they could smell my milk and got confused. Boys don’t tend to be leaking milk from their nips so do a better job at the rocking to sleep thing.

    Anyhoo! Hope all this helps and congratulations again!

    Lindsay x

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:34 pm

      Thank you Lindsay!

      Reply
    • veronica June 17, 2012, 3:20 pm

      lindsay – your first paragraph said it ALL. So so so true.

      Reply
    • Amber June 17, 2012, 10:29 pm

      Lindsay,
      I think you offered great advice on breastfeeding. A wonderful lactation consultant also talked to me about simply nursing on one side especially early on rather than switching sides which allowed me to relax a ton after reading so many things that said it was important to always nurse on both sides. Also, about waking the baby so they can get a full feeding…this was so hard with my first very sleepy baby, but so beneficial!

      Reply
  • kristen @ livinlifeinlouie June 17, 2012, 10:46 am

    I know the first few days/weeks/months can be hard but you are doing a GREAT job! I mean look at how happy he looks. just take one minute/hour/day at a time. It will get better and you will get into more of a routine. Keep it up! You are a great mom :)
    And happy father’s day to your husband!

    Reply
  • Jen June 17, 2012, 10:48 am

    You are thinking too much. Don’t think. Just do. Just be. Just Smile. Just Laugh. Just Cry. Just Love. It’s all part of the experience. Peace :)

    Reply
  • Megan June 17, 2012, 10:50 am

    Thank you so much for your honesty, especially right in the moment. Your honesty mixed with your determination is very motivating. We are thinking about having our first child soon and my lack of experience and knowledge scares me more than anything. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Reply
  • Rachel June 17, 2012, 10:52 am

    You’re doing an amazing job. Period.

    Becoming a mom is tougher than anyone can tell you while you’re pregnant. Add nursing and sleep deprivation to the mix and it’s natural to feel like you’re inadequate. But you’re not.

    And nursing? It hurts like HELL for a good few weeks. I promise that if you stick to it, it will be so unbelievably worth it. And if you don’t and go the formula route? That’s 100% okay and you’ll still be a wonderful momma and wife and you’ll still have an amazing bond with your new little man. Whatever choices you make are the ones that are right for you and your little family.

    You WILL survive this – all three of you. And you’ll be stronger and happier for it.

    You’re doing an amazing job. Repeat that every time you have any doubts :)

    Reply
  • Mamamac June 17, 2012, 10:53 am

    I am sure people have told you this, and it may even be somewhere in the above comments, but a bit of breast feeding advice would be to not watch the clock. I know that is easier said than done. I obsessed over keeping a log and timing his feelings, he always fell asleep and only nursed for probably 8 minutes a side. At each weigh in he was always growing and doing fine. You will know if he is not getting enough because he will scream in hunger! Sme babies are better feeders than others and can more efficiently empty a breast. Just keep offering and making him comfortable. Try to relax and enjoy it. You are doing an awesome job all ready!

    Reply
    • jen June 17, 2012, 11:39 am

      yes to this! with our first she really wasn’t getting enough and it was obvious. she screamed when she was awake and was never content. you will know. and in a couple weeks he will wake up and it will make it less stressful.

      Reply
  • K June 17, 2012, 10:55 am

    Caitlin, I’m not that much farther along (8 weeks) but I promise that for most people, breastfeeding gets easier! Let’s be honest:it is SO hard in the beginning and throw in some baby blues and you have a perfect recipe for mama imposter syndrome. Just be vocal about the dark stuff with someone you love and trust and know that we are all totally clueless at first. Don’t underestimate the power of yours and Kristien’s love in helping Henry grow :) believe me, you are doing awesome already!!

    Reply
  • Marissa C June 17, 2012, 10:59 am

    Oh honey I was there not too long ago! Then at one appointment my daughter “didnt’ gain enough weight” (HA! The girl is now 22 lbs at 6 months) and I spent the day at my parents crying because I was an awful mother. My daughter wouldn’t latch well and I wanted to give up so many times.

    It get’s so much better, though. He will get the hang of it and then you will be so grateful you don’t have to drag a bottle around. And when you figure out side-lying nursing…oh it is beautiful. You’ll get so much more sleep. And it would be 30-40 minute nursing sessions forever. By 2 ish months we were down to 15 minutes and now she drains a boob in about 5. Easy peasy. The only downside is the stinker has started to bite!

    Pump if you need to and be kind to yourself. These weeks suck HARD. Really HARD. But they are in no way representative of what most of your life will be like for the next year.

    Once thing that helped me? Getting out and having visitors. Maybe try that?

    Reply
    • Marissa C June 17, 2012, 11:00 am

      wont be 30-40 minute nursing sessions*

      Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:33 pm

      I really do enjoy visitors coming!

      Reply
  • Buttercup June 17, 2012, 11:01 am

    I second trying to breastfeed while lying on your side. This was a life saver for me during the first few weeks. I was less tired in this position. Hang in there! You and Henry will figure out your own rhythms. I also really appreciated your comments on self-doubt as a motivator. Even now as my “baby” is on the cusp of being a teenager, so many days I feel like when will I get this parenting thing “right”?! (btw, Parenthood with Steve Martin – great movie with lots of memorable quotes)

    Reply
  • Tammy Root June 17, 2012, 11:01 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    I know how you feel about breastfeeding. Marea was a preemie as you know, so she didn’t have the stamina to nurse for long periods. We started out at only one minute and to this day (4 weeks) she only nursed for 10 minutes on average. I have pumped since I was in the hospital so I have always supplemented nursing with bottled breast milk. I know she was hungry and not getting full from me because she always downed her bottle. Well, now it seems we have transitioned almost exclusively to bottle feeding her breast milk. I feel like a nursing failure, but this is what works for us, and it gives me some freedom. So, now, Denny and I take shifts — he goes to bed around 6pm and I have baby duty until 2am. Then, I sleep until 7am or so. Those 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep make a world of difference, and I figure at least she is getting breast milk! We spend a lot of time snuggling too.

    I know it is hard. You will figure out the whole breastfeeding thing.

    I also know how you feel about having the blues. I had the blues too – and still do a little. For me, it is because I do not have family or my best friends here in NM. I wish more than anything we lived close to family. Maybe someday we will before Marea is too old. :) The thing that does help me though is having a little time to get out every day — this usually consists of me walking my dog when Denny comes home from work while he spends some one-on-one time with Marea. It really helps — that, and of course, sleep.

    Sending a big cyber hug your way.

    Reply
  • Elisabeth June 17, 2012, 11:05 am

    Sending big hugs to all of you! I’m not a mother, but I know this new mom stuff is hard. It sounds like you’re trying very hard & you’re giving him lots of love – you’ll get there! He looks happy & healthy – the most important things. :)

    Happy 1st Father’s Day to Kristien!

    Reply
  • Mal June 17, 2012, 11:07 am

    I agree with pretty much everything the other ladies have said about breastfeeding. I have a one month old (today is his one month birthday!) and the first couple weeks of breastfeeding were really hard, but it gets so much easier. The lactation consultant I saw was great and when my son wasn’t eating very much and super sleepy the first few days she said that is completely normal. They went through a lot being born! I’m sure your lactation consultant gave you lots of tips and info but I just thought I would share some things mine told me. They need to eat about 8-12 times a day but it doesn’t have to be every two to three hours. Watch for his cues and feed him when he is hungry. If I try to feed my son before he is hungry he will only eat for 5 minutes or so. When he is eating listen for swallowing. If he is swallowing every time he sucks he may be getting enough even if he only eats for 10 minutes. My son really only ever ate for a maximum of 20 minutes, but usually more like 10-15 minutes and he is growing crazy fast. He was 6 pounds 6 ounces at birth, 6 pounds 1.5 ounces at four days old (which I think was his lowest weight) and he was weighed at 4 weeks old and was 8 pounds 9 ounces! And the hormones are crazy. I was so sad the first couple weeks after I had him. I loved him so much, but everything made me sad. One day my dad called me and he kinda choked when he said hi to me and it sounded like he was crying so immediately I panicked and assumed someone died and burst into tears in front of the guests we had over. It was so ridiculous. And when I called my sister to tell her about it, I started crying then too. It was the weirdest thing. Anyway this is getting really long and you probably don’t even have time to read these comments right now, but I just wanted to tell you that you are doing great and everything you’re going through is completely normal. At one month things are still hard, but it gets so much easier each week!

    Reply
  • jen June 17, 2012, 11:07 am

    he is beautiful and you CAN do it! these first few weeks/months are the longest and hardest. breastfeeding is HARD at first. i wanted to quit everyday for the first month with my 1st child because it was so demanding but eventually it started to get better and i didn’t mind it all. you will get there!

    also-i’ve sometimes found that folding in part of the diaper in the front & back helps with the leaking out.

    Reply
  • Courtney June 17, 2012, 11:10 am

    It is so hard at first. You’re going on little to no sleep, plus the new mommy hormones are going crazy! But don’t worry, all this will settle and you’ll get in a stride…promise!! You’re doing a great job and I know Henry is so glad he got you as a mommy :)

    Reply
  • Jackie June 17, 2012, 11:11 am

    I’m sure you are drowning in advice, but diapers usually go on tighter than you think. The straps should come into about the middle (unless it’s a chubby monkey, but that doesn’t happen for a while).

    Reply
  • Mary June 17, 2012, 11:14 am

    I remember feeling just like you when my first was born, and that was 15 years ago this month! You will make it through these first confusing, overwhelming weeks and before you know it things will seem like you’ve been doing it forever. Next thing you know your Baby Henry will be a high schooler taller than you with a learner’s driving permit! The challenges never stop, they just change:). Enjoy the ride!!!

    Reply
  • Jen June 17, 2012, 11:15 am

    Amen for the honesty! New Moms often leave out the “hard” parts when they talk about their newborns. After I had my first son I felt like such a terrible Mom because I was feeling the baby blues and no other Moms arounds me ever admitted to feeling the same!! It definitely gets easier and so does the breast feeding. I failed with BF my first son but have stuck with it with my second who is now 8 months old. A friend once told me “BF is 90% confidence”. She was 100% right and I always told myself that during the difficult times!! Baby Henry is absolutely gorgeous and I’m so happy for you!

    Reply
  • Rachel June 17, 2012, 11:15 am

    I love how honest you are!! As a mom to be, I really love reading posts like this, as I know I will think back to them once my own baby gets here! Thank you are telling your story.

    And hang in there. Your beautiful boy is lucky to have you as his momma. You’re doing a GREAT job.

    Reply
  • Susan June 17, 2012, 11:17 am

    Hang in there Caitlin, and Maggie :)! I think all new moms feel this way at first. It will get better…and getting sleep really helps. You can do this!

    Reply
  • Brenda June 17, 2012, 11:17 am

    Nursing is soooo hard at first. It does get easier and is 100% worth it (IMO). We’re 8 months into it, and I am so proud of myself for all of the time and effort I put into it. Pumping twice a day in a closet at work, five days a week. Worth it. It helps to have good support, and it sounds like you do! You can do it mama!

    Reply
  • Erin June 17, 2012, 11:17 am

    The first 2 weeks are the hardest – if you can make it through that you’ve conquered the toughest newborn stuff. After that it slowly starts to get easier. Just keep at it with the nursing, you’re doing great. You’ll be so happy you did, it’s the best bond between mother and child and in the big picture it lasts for such a short time.

    Reply
  • Ash Bear June 17, 2012, 11:18 am

    I am so thrilled that you are being honest and heart felt in your posts. Of course I expect nothing else but big hugs to you all. You’re not killing him slowly you’re nurturing him with love and affection!

    Reply
  • Grace June 17, 2012, 11:20 am

    At the moment, I just gradated and am spending the summer travelling, I feel like I will never get a job and “get my life started.” I have no idea what I want to do or where I want to do it? It’s so confusing. I don’t think you should feel inadequate I know other new moms who went through the same exact thing you’re going through, you will get through this transition stage and be a great Momma! I don’t know if I will ever work up the courage to get pregnant and have a baby! Everyone says it’s worth it but at the moment it sounds terrifying to me, so I’m obviously not ready! Henry looks so sweet the in photo by the way!

    Reply
  • Valerian Buckethash June 17, 2012, 11:27 am

    Dont google or read about normal babies and their nursing times or sleep amounts, that will drive you crazy. Just get used to the couch and expect to nurse nonstop. But remember, it’s temporary. It gets way easier. Newborns are crazy! But they turn into babies so fast.

    Reply
  • Hillary June 17, 2012, 11:28 am

    I don’t have kids, but I have to assume this feeling is pretty common, right? You guys obviously are getting the hang of it; the first few days must be the craziest!

    I felt totally defeated my first few days (weeks? months?) of teaching. It definitely took me awhile to get the hang of what I was doing and to not feel like I was failing on a daily basis. Now, five years later, I think I’m doing a damn good job ; )

    Reply
  • Carrie June 17, 2012, 11:28 am

    Oh Caitlin! That sounds just like my experience! My daughter was really fussy and those first few days and weeks were intense. She was having trouble breastfeeding and we were afraid my diet was impacting her so I was limited in what I can eat. I am a vegetarian so that made it rough. I ended up switching to formula and it was so much easier but I was sad that I did not continue to breast feed.

    It’s a challenge and new experience for all first time mothers! I called my family like 200 times a day with questions. Still do and my daughter is 1. It will get so much easier and your love will grow and grow. Gettif through the first part is the hardest and I feel like its something not a lot of women discuss. You’re doing great- getting through each day is seriously half the battle!

    Reply
  • colleen June 17, 2012, 11:29 am

    The hardest was my second son. My first was easy (after the first three days), but my second not so much. After numerous nights of no sleep, a screaming baby, a frustrated daddy, a frustrated and tearful mommy with sore and cracked nipples, a baby who refused the breast and every expensive bottle I could find, I finally had throw in the towel and ask for help. Turned out my second son had a latching and sucking problem caused by his smaller than normal mouth and tongue formation. The only nipples he could take were orthodontic by Gerber. If I had known that from the start, the first 2-3 weeks would have been so much better. But, my success with my first and my unwillingness to look stupid blinded me from asking for help sooner. I learned a valuable lesson and made sure to seek all the help available to me with number 3.

    Reply
  • Carrie June 17, 2012, 11:33 am

    Hi Caitlin, your baby Henry is just the sweetest! I have two boys and am pregnant with a third baby. Breastfeeding and everything about the first baby was SO overwhelming and hard. But just know it really does get easier. A friend told me in those early days something that has always stuck with me and helped so much. She said that your only job right now is to feed that baby. You don’t have to worry about the house, work, the yard, etc. Even if you had to sit on the couch all day in your pjs, if the baby was fed, huge accomplishment! It is so hard in the beginning but try to stick it out for at least 4-6 weeks. I swear that’s when it becomes routine and so much easier. Good for you getting a lactation consultant to come to your house, that was a huge help, I’m sure. Anyway, thinking of you! This is such a hard time but it’s also the best. And believe me, that little baby loves you and needs you more than anything. Little boys so love their mommies :) Enjoy lots of snuggles with your little one :)

    Reply
  • Jillian @ Reshape Your Life June 17, 2012, 11:39 am

    Just breathe and remember that this will get better! I’m sure your doing great and you’re being overly hard on yourself! It sounds like you are going a great job and you have a great support team!

    Reply
  • Army Amy* June 17, 2012, 11:42 am

    Girl, you have the right attitude. Just fake it till you make it. As a teacher, I feel incompetent all the time. Any lesson that I teach that doesn’t hit the mark, any time I have a kid that totally perplexes me with their behavior, any time I have a coworker that I have to wrangle who won’t cooperate. But you are right; these things pass and we become more competent. You can do it!*

    Reply
  • Christie June 17, 2012, 11:48 am

    One suggestion on the diapers, try a different brand. When my son was born, Pampers didn’t fit him and we kept having “blow outs”. Huggies ended up fitting better and that solved the problem for us. Hang in there, having a newborn is really hard. There is no perfect way, just do the best you can and know that a lot of us have been in your exact shoes. It gets so much better, lack of sleep makes everything seem so much worse!

    Reply
  • Kristen June 17, 2012, 11:55 am

    Awwwww, everything you are feeling is 100% totally normal and we ALL feel this way in the beginning. Regarding the diapering, you have to cinch them up tighter then you think, especially with boys. AND YOU HAVE TO ALWAYS POINT THE PENIS DOWN. This is hugely important. I hope you realize that the fact that he is soaking diapers is absolutely terrific and means that you are producing plenty of milk for him. Yay!!! They do make overnight diapers too, that are much more absorbent. I too so wish women gave each other some more slack when it comes to breastfeeding. Other moms can be so judgmental and just because it was simple for your mom or sister or friend, doesn’t mean it is going to be as seamless for you. I never even considered that breastfeeding might not work out for me and my first child. The thought literally never crossed my mind, so I was completely dumbfounded when the lactation consultant point blank told me I was starving my child and would have to supplement when my daughter was 3 weeks old. It was one of the lowest lows of my life. Attempting to nurse, pump, and also supplement quickly became more then I could physically and emotionally handle, and I eventually threw in the towel with nursing altogether. It was heartbreaking. In the end you have to do what is best for YOU and not what you think you SHOULD do. Happy, healthy mamma is what baby needs most of all. Hang in there. Ask for help when you need it and always sleep when the baby is sleeping. Two things I wish I had done. You are doing GREAT and Henry is absolutely precious!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:29 pm

      It prob sounds simple for others because everyone doesn’t want to sound like a failure so we all just shit out rainbows instead of being real!

      Reply
      • Gretchen June 17, 2012, 3:02 pm

        Lol! Exactly!!!

        Reply
  • Annie June 17, 2012, 12:00 pm

    Caitlin – This is Annie, Michelle and Ben’s friend. We met in the fall at the football game…both newly preggers. Ty William in 7 1/2 weeks old and we are still struggling with breast feeding BUT it is better than it was! After 2 rounds of mastitis, over a dozen visits with the LC, cracked and bleeding nipples, exclusively pumping for 2 weeks, lots of gel soothies and lanolin cream, and lots and lots of tears shed Ty is able to nurse using a nipple shield. This of course, is not ideal, but it is where we are! I gave up with breast feeding at about 2 weeks. I said it out loud to myself…”I give up.” Too bad my husband heard me and said, “No. I know how bad you want this. You are not giving up.” It is far more time consuming than I realized and much more painful than I thought it could be. Everyone keeps telling me it is worth it and I am finally to the point that I can see that. Keep in mind to do what is best for you and baby. The lack of sleep makes everything seem worse than it is so try to nap…even 20 minutes.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:28 pm

      Hi Annie! I am so glad to hear your baby arrived safe and sound!!!

      Reply
  • The Delicate Place June 17, 2012, 12:00 pm

    i don’t think i’ve ever left a comment but i have a newfound respect for you. thank you for writing the realities of first time motherhood! i don’t have any kids myself but it seems in HLB land that everyone is painting it like rainbows & unicorns. your frankness is refreshing! best of luck! he is a beautiful baby :)

    Reply
  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) June 17, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Usually it does get easier…you have to find a new normal in everything! It will happen but it needs to happen slowly. Your doing great, he is so stinking adorable and in a few weeks it will be much much easier…bring on the helpers and DO NOT feel like a failure to ask for help. (Helpers to walk the dogs, to do laundry, to cook a few meals or run a few errands)

    Reply
  • Sarah June 17, 2012, 12:02 pm

    I’m sitting at my table, struggling my way through my OWN chemistry homework (so.friggin.hard) and you’ve totally inspired me. Three cheers for using self doubt as a motivator! We can do it!

    Reply
  • Lauren June 17, 2012, 12:06 pm

    Henry is looking at you thinking how lucky he is :) Your blues are just having you interpret those messages incorrectly…sort of similar to how an anorexic looks in the mirror and sees an overweight person. Persevere with the breast-feeding…it’s all in the latch my Mom tells me. She struggled a lot, but ended up persevering (through mastitis even!) and I was breast feed for 12 months…I then gave it up myself at that point :) You are doing a fabulous job. Henry already loves you as much as you love him :) One hour at a time :)

    Reply
  • Sara June 17, 2012, 12:06 pm

    No one masters parenting the first week! I have a degree in child develepment, spent years working with children, and was a professional nanny…but it’s COMPLETELY DIFFERENT when it’s your own child. All of a sudden, it’s like I forgot everything and questioned everything I thought I knew! It’s hard, but you WILL catch on quick!

    Breastfeeding is not easy in the beginning. Choose a time to commit to trying (6 weeks is common) and push through. You’ll probably be surprised at the end of 6 weeks to find that you’ve gotten the hang of it and feel much more natural breastfeeding.

    As far as parenting fails go….I hope this one makes you smile. When Jude was a few weeks old, I gave him a bath, washed his hair, etc. The next day, I noticed he had a wicked case of cradle cap, so I put a little olive oil on and let it sit. Then I started to rinse it off and noticed that it was bubbling up…what the heck??? Turns out, in my exhaustion induced haze, I had never rinsed the shampoo out of my baby’s hair!!!! And since it had sat ALL NIGHT LONG, it was stuck in there. I had rinse and scrub for so long, that by the time it was finally out, I had literally washed his hair off! He was cueball, shiny-ass, bald! I cried and cried, imagining that I had washed off the “root” hairs that somehow are what all his future hairs grow from and that he would be bald his whole life long. Luckily, he did indeed grow hair (but not for many anxiety ridden months), and he hasn’t even held it against me!

    You’ll do fine! Give yourself a break and know that EVERY mom has screwed up at some point…it’s our dirty little secret! :)

    Reply
  • kris June 17, 2012, 12:14 pm

    My son peed up his back everyday for two weeks when we got him home. He still does sometimes if I dont get the diaper just right. Wait until he pees in your eye at 3am.
    Try undressing H to feed him. The chill keeps them awake.

    Reply
  • Angela June 17, 2012, 12:19 pm

    I can not get over how adorable Henry is! I am not a Mom so I really can’t give advice but I’m sure most new Mom’s feel the same way I know I would have no idea what I was doing! I’m sure in time everything will feel easier, you are doing a great job!

    Reply
  • Emily June 17, 2012, 12:21 pm

    It’s been a long while since I commented, but this is one of the best posts I’ve read on any blog in a while.

    I don’t have any children yet, but I can relate to the feelings of inadequacy (who can’t?!). Right now, I’m searching for my first post-college job and it’s so, SO frustrating. It makes me wonder what I could have done differently…

    Reply
  • Amy@macncheesenpeas June 17, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Yes, you can do it! Thank you so much for writing this honest post. I wish you all the best! I hope breast feeding gets easier! :)

    Reply
  • Jessica June 17, 2012, 12:23 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your honesty. I wish more people would talk about how it’s not always rainbows and sunshine! Those first few weeks can be ROUGH, I was an emotional basket case for a solid 2 weeks, but then the hormones leveled off and I felt much better. I still had cracked nipples for 12 weeks and absolutely dreaded each feeding because of the pain, but we’re now 12.5 months in and it’s a distant memory. I wouldn’t change it for the world. You’re doing great and it WILL get better, just hang in there! :hugs:

    Reply
  • Ciorsdah June 17, 2012, 12:25 pm

    Being totally childless, but having many friends who have babies I’d like to say a huge. THANK YOU to you for being so honest about how tough being a new mum is. Right now you are a walking milk supply for the wee man and I bet he is so grateful in his tiny baby world and you, being an adult will naturally want to do better and be better for him. But right now, in this very moment you are storming this and ring the best mum you can be. Honesty and understanding will get you through.

    On another note, Henry is actually the cutest wee man I have ever seen (and I’m a person who is terrified of babies!!). Thank you and well done!

    Reply
  • Katie June 17, 2012, 12:26 pm

    He is so beautiful. ANd it is really hard. I often get nostalgia for those early days. There is such an intensity about those first few weeks with your first child. It does get easier. I know its noe easy there now though. What I wish I had really understood is that as hard as each stage may be, and as joyful, it is unique. And so if you can be there and be present for it you will be able to keep it with you forever. Does that sound crazy? I may not be saying it right. I think thats what people mean when they say, it goes so fast. I used to hate when people said that to me, or when they still do since my boys are still young. I think what they mean though is enjoy this stage. Other stages will come, harder or easier. But this stage happens now and then soon it will be different. Enjoy. So much joy is coming your way! The hormones get better too. I cried my was through my second’s sons first weeks.

    Reply
  • Samantha @ Mama Notes June 17, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Nursing every 1.5 hours is totally normal… actually, I nursed even more than that I think. Pretty sure my kids nursed non stop the first 4 months of their life, haha! :) Sometimes it was for 2 minutes, other times 20 m inutes.

    Know that your emotions are totally normal. You are doing a great job, and all you have to do is love your sweet baby! He is so perfect, congratulations!!

    Reply
  • Jennifer June 17, 2012, 12:39 pm

    I was right where you are 12 years ago. My son was born in May and I spent Memorial Day in tears thinking I was starving him. He always fell asleep while nursing, he was jaundiced, and I was exhausted. I was urged by many to just give in and switch to formula but I was determined (? hard headed) enough to stick with it. My lactation consultant recommended stripping my son down to his diaper when I fed him. She said that he was falling asleep because he was getting all snuggly warm tucked beside me. She also recommended a cool wash cloth on his back. Both of these things worked great! You are doing a great job! Keep up the good work. It is TOTALLY worth this bumpy part. The good part IS coming!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:25 pm

      Will try the washcloth!

      Reply
    • Crystal June 17, 2012, 4:09 pm

      I second this!! My second was exactly like this!!! The only way to get him to nurse without falling asleep was to strip him down and keep a cool wash cloth nearby which I would constantly keep moving (down his back, forehead, bottoms of feet….repeat). And it will get easier, right now you’re all “open your mouth like an alligator so I can stuff my boob in” but you’ll be amazed, one day his mouth will just be like a magnet! You are doing great!!!

      Reply
  • Luna June 17, 2012, 12:41 pm

    1)Henry’s beautiful 2)you’re awesome on so many levels :)

    Reply
  • Pam June 17, 2012, 12:42 pm

    Thank you for the totally honest post and YOU ARE DOING GREAT! Henry is very luck and it will all get easier and you will just about forget where you are right now.
    xo

    Reply
  • Devonia June 17, 2012, 12:42 pm

    I want to say Congratulations to you and your husband on the birth of Henry. You are doing a wonderful job. Trust your instincts and continue to learn as you grow. Having a new baby is not easy, but it is worth it. :-) I wish you and your husband all the best.

    Reply
  • nancy June 17, 2012, 12:47 pm

    Welcome to motherhood :) Please know that this is how just about every mom starts. No matter how prepared you think you are, a newborn will bring you to your knees. Honestly, bringing home a new baby is THE HARDEST thing ever. With that said, it’s completely and totally worth it, but it’s still really really hard. Don’t feel like it’s just you. You are doing fine. Take care of yourself as best you can. Your recovery is important for Henry. It gets easier. At 6 weeks you will feel so much better. By 12 weeks you will know you are going to be ok. Really :)You’ve got this.

    Reply
  • Staci June 17, 2012, 12:57 pm

    Oh, Caitlin. I so relate on every level to what you’re saying. I really, really appreciate you posting because I was sitting back thinking, “holy crap, how is she finding the time or energy to even post as much as she already has??” Everything that’s happening is so normal and I remember feeling much the same when I had my little dude (he’s still alive 6 years later!!).

    I felt completely inadequate at nursing, coincidentally. I did it for six weeks and finally gave in when I realized that it was dictating my entire experience as being a new mom. It just wasn’t worth it. And guess what? My son is still alive. ;) For some it works, for others it doesn’t. Stick with it for as long as you feel comfortable doing so. No one can tell you what’s right or wrong on that one.

    Take care, and enjoy!

    Reply
    • lindsay June 17, 2012, 4:03 pm

      I was glad to read this comment. If breastfeeding works, wonderful! But if not, formula is fine too! I was never breastfed and I am extremely close with my mom, am super healthy and pretty smart if I don’t say so myself :)

      So for all you moms out there – do what works best for you and your baby!

      Reply
  • Lindsey June 17, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Kaitlyn, I know it is incredibly hard and so much pressure when you enter into the world of mommy hood! With my first. Was a strict baby wise mom because I am a very type A person! I freaked out if she didn’t nurse the length of time the book said or did not fall into the sleeping pattern it stated. What I learned very hard was every baby is different, every mom is different, just as every birth story is different. My second was still just as hard and came with some serious postpartum. He’s a boy and he peed for months out of his diaper. I still don’t know why despite diapering him correctly and pointing him down. Anyways, you will find your strength and get more and more comfortable each day. It is a huge learning process…he’s learning life outside the womb as you’re learning him. I know it doesn’t seem so right now, but you are amazingly strong and capable!!! And best of all….you were chosen to be his mommy! You can do it!!!

    Lindsey

    Reply
  • Kate June 17, 2012, 1:06 pm

    Hang in there! I basically hated breastfeeding for about six weeks and got help from a LC a couple of times, but after that it was much better and I nursed my son for a year! It can be so hard, but remember you’re not alone!

    Reply
  • Christina June 17, 2012, 1:11 pm

    This post is proof that we’re not all “perfect”. I’m sure you are an amazing mommy and it might just take a little time to adjust and get into the swing of things. I can’t imagine anyone having their first baby and knowing everything that needs to be done, or doing everything 100% and having the baby be 100% on board. Babies put us in check!

    Reply
  • KD Baker June 17, 2012, 1:12 pm

    Caitlin,

    Don’t worry. It will be better before you know it! My little lady is 10 weeks old today. I vividly remember my first nights in the hospital and at home…crying and thinking there was no way in the world I could do this. Telling her I was so sorry I didn’t know what I was doing. Sitting in the recliner nursing ALL DAY LONG! But before long we found a groove…we ended up bed sharing which I know isn’t right for everybody but it has been amazing for us. She has slept happily nearly through the night since we started and I love having her near. IT WILL GET BETTER and sooner than later. Hang in there :) He’s precious!

    Reply
  • polly June 17, 2012, 1:12 pm

    you are doing AWESOME. :) I promise. God gave this baby to you and he is a blessed little dude. thanks for your honesty. when new moms say “it’s great! i love it!” ummm… really? just love him. That’s all that matters. hugs!!!

    Reply
  • Adrienne June 17, 2012, 1:12 pm

    I’m reading this at 3am while nursing my baby boy, and believe me when I say that it gets easier!! Henry is oh so lucky to have you as his mum, and you’re doing a good job of it! Enjoy those sleepy skin-to-skin moments – there’s nothing better!!

    Reply
  • Kate B. June 17, 2012, 1:15 pm

    If you ever need any help please let me know, I live with a ‘Healthy Babies, Healthy Children’ Nurse (my fiancé). He visits new Mums and gives them tips and tricks, he has a lot of resources and would love to give you a hand, from afar, if you would like. I bet you have people like that where you live too, like the lactation consultant you saw (my fiancé works at Public Health here in Ontario). Henry is a beautiful baby and you are doing an amazing job, but if you need anything you can always ask.

    Reply
  • Megan June 17, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Aww Caitlin! Hang in there! You are by no means an inadequate parent! You’re just beginning to learn how to be a mommy. Things WILL get easier for you. I’m currently pregnant with my first baby. I know I’m speaking from no experience. I heard parenting is hard at first. But I do know that things will improve.

    Be easy on yourself and keep loving your baby :)

    Reply
  • Lauren June 17, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Hang in there! I think what’s going to happen is parenting will be easier, but you will always be so humble about it, and humility is a wonderful gift.

    Reply
  • Lindsay June 17, 2012, 1:23 pm

    You can do it! I’ve been there just a short year ago and it was the hardest thing I have ever done, ever. My best advice would be don’t be afraid to ask for help and know that you aren’t alone. I was really shocked at first at how truly difficult the adjustment was, and wondered why more women didn’t have open honest conversations about it. I feel like my experience has given me opportunities to start these much needed conversations with other new moms and maybe this is another avenue you will be able to use to help others too!

    Reply
  • Nina June 17, 2012, 1:25 pm

    Congratulations! Going through the comments, you have an awesome online support network to draw strength from.
    A note about Maggie: friends of mine have two kids. With their first the dog literally hide in the bathroom all the time and was generally freaked out. For their newly arrived second, they got a pheromone collar from the vet that releases the same thing that nursing mama dogs do. Their dog is way calmer and happier. Might be because it’s baby number two, or it could be working incredibly well, either way it might be worth a shot ( I’m not sure about availability, I live in Ontario )

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:23 pm

      Hmmm what a cool idea!!! I will look into this if she doesn’t feel better soon.

      Reply
  • Julie June 17, 2012, 1:28 pm

    THANK YOU for being so honest about it being hard. I do not have children but it’s refreshing to see your honesty. I know when I do have kids and struggle at the beginning that I won’t be alone.

    Reply
  • mary @ what's cookin with mary June 17, 2012, 1:37 pm

    Perseverance. :0)

    Reply
  • emily June 17, 2012, 1:37 pm

    I don’t have anything new to add but I just want to echo that I adore the honesty in this post! Hang in there!

    Reply
  • Marissa C June 17, 2012, 1:42 pm

    Do you have nipple butter on hand? That stuff saved my life. It’s vegan compared to lanolin, doesn’t stain as bad, and smells way better. I like the Motherlove brand best. It’s also great to use as “lube” when you are pumping so you don’t get blisters.

    Reply
  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runnee June 17, 2012, 1:47 pm

    I wouldn’t say parenting gets easier, but it definitely becomes more manageable. I still doubt myself on a daily basis, but a lot of parenting is trial and error, so if something doesn’t work, I try something else.

    My aunt called me while I was still in the hospital after having my baby and told me to give breastfeeding 6 weeks. She has 3 kids and breastfed for 8 years (do the math), so I consider her somewhat of an expert. Sure enough, right around 5 weeks, breastfeeding became so natural. I was bound and determined to breastfeed, so I think that motivation helped. Not gonna lie though, I was secretly hoping they’d tell me I needed to supplement at her 1 week because I was so frustrated. Hang in there! It’s so worth it when they finally get it!

    Reply
  • jameil June 17, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Awww. I’m still a good year out from motherhood and everything you’re experiencing sounds exactly how I’ve imagined my first week with our baby. So overwhelming! I can’t tell you how relieved I was when my mom said she was saving her sabbatical for my first child! My baby’s diaper will also be the first diaper I change! The good thing is that we all survived, some of us with moms who knew even less! Henry will be fine because he’s in a house filled with love!

    Reply
  • JenRD June 17, 2012, 1:50 pm

    You are doing an AWESOME job and it will get easier! You may be diapering him just fine, but perhaps a different brand will fit him better? I have heard that certain brands fit boys better than girls. Another tip somebody gave me was to go up slightly in size, fold the bottom (back) part under (towards him) as well as the top (belly) part, forming a little lip, which can catch leakage. The BF-ing will get easier, I promise! Falling asleep is a huge challenge, but he will learn to stay up longer. Good luck!

    Reply
  • Beverly June 17, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Hi! I rarely comment, but I love your blog, ESPECIALLY with cute little Henry being a main topic. :-) I have a 15 month old son, and I feel like I could have written this exact blog post 15 months ago. I’ve never been one to be overly drawn to children, but I knew I always wanted my own. Since James was born, I have had such a calling to simply encourage new moms, because it’s just what you said – SO HARD!

    Trust your instincts, go with your gut, and enjoy this time with your little man. I nursed exclusively for 6 months (then a combo of my period returning and James weaning himself ended our streak, when we completely switched to formula around 8 months), and I would say the first 4 weeks are the hardest. Power through and stay confident in yourself AND your husband. Husbands can feel very down during this time because there is very little they can do to help – they can’t whip out a boob, they don’t have “the mommy touch,” and it’s important that they are able to help where they can during this time.

    My son was not a very good eater in the beginning. I got so caught up in the whole “nurse every 2 hours, nurse for 20 minutes, blah blah blah.” My son ate for about 10-15 minutes every 4 hours, starting on day 1, until the day he stopped getting bottles. He was slow to gain weight, but he did in fact gain, which was all that mattered. Roughly 1 year later, he’s massive, super healthy, and happy as can be (most days). Stray strong, and do not hesitate to reach out for advice or encouragement – this is all new to you and your family. And congratulations – Henry is perfect!

    Reply
  • Brandy June 17, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Big hugs, mama. It is so, so hard in the beginning.

    Watch this, give yourself permission to do just what you can, have a good cry, let it all go, and go back to just loving your baby.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taDqKWWPDAY

    Reply
  • Dawn June 17, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Dear Caitlin,
    i know this is temporary, and your life will feel yours again soon. in the meantime, i just have to write to say i love reading your words and i think you are amazing. in all ways.
    Dawn

    Reply
  • HEAB June 17, 2012, 2:02 pm

    You’ve so got this Caitlin, and you are doing an amazing job. Keep it up mama!

    Reply
  • Kris June 17, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Give yourself a big hug! You’re doing great — be good to yourself!!

    Reply
  • Anna June 17, 2012, 2:18 pm

    You are normal! This was my experience. My son is 10.5 months. It gets easier. You get confident. Your hormones will shift, and you WILL sleep (and so will he). Trust me, I am a psychologist and my husband is a pediatrician (I should make that into a t-shirt). He is so cute (Henry)! You’re doing it all right. The lactation apt was a genius idea on your part (I too needed to see the scale and see that he was eating and not being dehydrated). The BFing gets SO easy. The hard part is getting your milk supply up (thus never leaving the couch) and then you get into a swing and your body responded and gets the message. I had bleeding, gross cracked scabbed (sorry, hope you’re not eating) nipples and they are still used for BFing but look normal (boob wise) and feeding Elliot feels like nothing – my consulatant told me eventually it would be like noticing a train going by “oh, there is the train” and she was right. That is just how it feels! I loved going to a lactation support group at the beginning (was a lot to get out of the house/coordinate) but made me feel more normal. Plus they did a pre-post feed weigh to see how many oz’s the baby gets/etc. Just keep on keeping on. You have a great attitude. I was a mess but like you I knew I loved my son and that I’d figure out a way….yes to pointing the penis down, yes to it is GREAT day if you eat meals off a plate and get a shower in. It gets easier. It does, it does, it does. And in a few months these first few weeks will be a blur that you smile about. Chin up!

    Reply
  • Tiffany June 17, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing all of this down for us. I love reading about your experiences and as a new-mom-to-be myself (due in September) your honest thoughts, feelings, tips, advice, general experience is priceless to me. Hang in there, you are awesome…and Henry is a DOLL!

    Reply
  • kathy June 17, 2012, 2:38 pm

    It is totally normal for a baby to nurse that much. This is a time to just focus and resting and feeding henry. People are so used to rushing and trying to do everything.I think more woman need to know and expect to be woken up all through the night it is normal.

    Reply
  • Amanda June 17, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Sleep deprivation and hormones make everything seem soooo much more dramatic. From my own experience it is sooo important to push all the “shoulds” out of your mind in the first few days, weeks, MONTHS even. Feed him, diaper him, swaddle him and beyond that if you manage to get up from your nursing nest and get a shower that automatically makes you a rock star. The fact that you are eating real food that requires actual utensils: AMAZING. (It feels like I ate standing up, one-handed for at LEAST half a year…) I have absolute faith you will figure it all out. You are doing a GREAT job and YOU are the very best momma for Henry.

    Reply
    • Jenna June 17, 2012, 2:56 pm

      I agree with everything on this comment! Love the honesty! New moms should definitely share more stories about diffuculties and fears with each other: it’s the best support!

      Reply
  • Amber K June 17, 2012, 2:41 pm

    I love how open and honest you are being with this whole experience (not that I expected anything different!) So many of new moms don’t have anyone to talk to because they feel like everything is TMI. Well it’s not. We need to get over our worries about oversharing. Granted it’s not okay in every circumstance, but without sharing our stories how can anyone else realize they’re not the only one feeling that way?

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  • Jaime June 17, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Caitlin, I am so sorry- it is so tough in the beginning! My milk never came in, but the lactation consultant at the hospital was SO demanding. She made me feel like it was my fault that my daughter wouldn’t feed for more than 5 minutes on each side, and she never told me I should be getting more than 4 ounces TOTAL when I pumped for bottles. I was feeling SO inadequate- a total failure, if you would like brutal honesty. I did end up having to switch to formula, and I assure you there was a ton of guilt attached to that decision. However, my daughter and I weren’t bonding with our failed attempts at breastfeeding, and when I switched to formula, it all clicked everything was fabulous after that. I still get sad and angry thinking about that particular woman who should have been supportive but was anything but. Henry is a love, and I promise it all does get easier. <3

    Reply
  • Sarah June 17, 2012, 2:43 pm

    I absolutely love the honesty in this post. It made me think about how as a child, I thought my parents had it all figured out. I figured they just knew what to do! But as we get older, we realize they went through these same trials too… They didn’t have it all figured out. I’m not a mother (yet!) but I would imagine motherhood strengthens, in many ways, the bond you have with your parents.

    Reply
  • Abby June 17, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I too thought the breastfeeding was difficult. I remember my back and hips hurting, I felt like a wreck. We went to the lactation consultant and it was night and day! I guess it went really well guess 16 months later I’m still at it :). Also the hormone thing…yeah I felt like a waterfall. The state of Wisconsin was going through turmoil politically as well so my husband would try to clarify, post pregnancy hormones or our futures as teachers and citizens of WI?!

    You look wonderful Caitlin and Henry is beautiful!

    Reply
  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife June 17, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I find the placement of your title “Ride it out” next to your biking picture kind of funny. I’m sure the fact that you haven’t been around babies too often isn’t helping. But the fact that you are concerned shows just how great a mother you already are!

    Reply
  • Michelle June 17, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Yes- baby blues are so common- happened with my first (not my second thankfully). Lasted 14 days and seriously, I thought it was just horrible. I remember thinking: “If this is what depression is, I need to get on medicine. I cannot take this.” Thankfully, it passed after two weeks. If it goes on longer than that, please contact your OBGYN and talk to him/her about help. It’s horrible and definitely something you need help with if it goes on too long. :) Hang in there girl!

    Reply
    • Hannah June 17, 2012, 8:18 pm

      Ditto this. From what I know about depression, 2 weeks is the limit… after that, seek outside help. <3

      Reply
  • Maggie June 17, 2012, 3:20 pm

    Hang in there! I have an almost 6 wk old and the first few weeks are hellish. I didn’t anticipate how much the lack of sleep, hormones and breast feeding would challenge me. People told me it got better and I couldn’t see that far ahead and believe them. Now my baby gets up maybe once a night for a pumped bottle drom dad and the good moments outweigh the fussy ones. Get out of the house when you can, shower and do other things that make you feel normal, accept any help offered, tell visitors you are too tired at the moment and cuddle your dogs. All those things helped me through!

    Reply
    • Maggie June 17, 2012, 3:25 pm

      Also (in all your spare time ;)) find new mom friends- I have a few online, many out of town I text with and also in a breast feeding mommy and me group. It really helps normalize the experience especially when I am up in the middle of the night breastfeeding and I can text and email moms who are up too.

      Reply
  • Gretchen June 17, 2012, 3:20 pm

    Talk about formula feeding; please don’t judge!! :)

    When I had my first daughter (almost 11 years ago) I started out bf and felt like I always had her on my boob! But we adjusted, we supplemented some, I pumped some. No biggie. Then I went to work when she was about 5 months old, and I stopped (pumping really would have been out of the question where I was). It was hard, I felt horrible, it took me a while to get over it because I felt like I was such a failure for not being able to work/pump/bf, etc. But you know what, I got over it and was a better mom for finally being happy with what I could do for her. And I could finally hand her off to daddy!

    Then came my second daughter (4 years ago) and I had every intention to bf and pump at work (everyone was rallying for me). Yeah right… she was always on my boob and in 2 days post birth, lost 1 pound!!! Granted my kids were over 9 pounds at birth, but I literally felt like I was killing my kid! I camped out in my recliner and nursed non-stop to no avail. I was a complete mess! Crying all the time, feeling like a complete failure; the lactation consultants I had really didn’t help that feeling either! I finally threw in the towel at around 4 weeks completely and went straight formula. What a difference it made in how content she was, and in turn how content I was. Plus we could all feed her, which was fun for our oldest!

    In the end, you have to do what is best – it’s your family, your child, your decisions. It’s never easy, it never will be, you’re learning on the fly ALL the time, they grow, they learn, they drive you crazy, you love them like crazy, parenting is honestly the best job ever… but it takes time… give that to yourself!

    Lots of hugs during this time; it is the hardest!

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  • Amanda June 17, 2012, 3:23 pm

    You’re doing amazing, Caitlin. This post is one of my favorites–EVER–for your candidness and the supportive responses.

    I also want to echo: Happy first Father’s Day, Kristien!

    Reply
  • Simply Life June 17, 2012, 3:31 pm

    I love your honesty in this post- thanks for always being so sincere.

    Also, I’m curious how the journey of chemistry turned into operation beautiful!

    You’re such a positive inspiration!!!!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 6:24 pm

      I got back a test grade and had gotten like a 43% despite studying really hard. I freaked out, left the classroom, and proceeded to have a major meltdown in the bathroom about how worthless and stupid I was. I pulled out a sheet of paper, wrote you are beautiful on it, and taped it to the mirror. I took a pic and asked HTP readers to participate and the rest is history!

      Reply
  • Annette June 17, 2012, 3:45 pm

    First I Just want to say your little guy is adorable. Second I know its hard right now but it defiantly does get easier, your doing fine.
    I have three boys and they were all in NICU for a week because if my gestational diabetes so I learned a couple of tricks on diapering from the nurses. As was already mentioned keep his boy parts facing down when you close it. If its not a complete blow out take the new diaper and put it under him before you undo the old one, clean him up as normal and fasten the new one. This can help minimize the number of times you get wet :) good luck to your little family, its a beautiful one.

    Reply
  • Amy June 17, 2012, 3:46 pm

    It is so so hard! my 3rd baby is 6 weeks old and it’s getting a little better. I’m so thankful that I have a helpful husband. He is my rock. I also did placenta caps and I think they will help you out once you get them in you system. I also take baby blues tincture and skullcap tincture twice a day. I think it’s helping!

    With my 2nd and 3rd I had scabby blistered nipples. Nipple shells helped them heal in a week. Now I’m battling oversupply and a forceful let down. (yes, too much milk can be a problem!)

    Point is- you’re n

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  • Amy June 17, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Opps! Not alone! I’m struggling right here with you. :)

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  • Megan June 17, 2012, 3:54 pm

    I felt sooo inadequate in the first few days of nursing my first baby. I read “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” while pregnant and while they prepare you for the hardships, I totally thought, “It’s a natural thing! Surely it can’t be that hard!!” Yeah, I broke down and cried about it every day for the first days. I was ready to give up buy my awesome husband didn’t let me. I went to the lactation consultant in my jammies several times. I pumped and fed him for several days. I used a nipple shield for 2-3 weeks. I did alot of things that “they” say was setting me up for failure. But you know what? He nursed for 25 months. I think I ended up figuring it out. ;) With baby #2, we still had the beginning “struggles” but by that time I knew it was normal stuff and didn’t need any help, besides support from friends and family. :)

    Good luck, you can do it (and ARE doing it!).

    Reply
  • Patty June 17, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Don’t worry sweetie, it WILL get easier! You are doing a great job!
    No kidding, in two blinks of your eyes he will be graduating from high school.it goes that quickly….enjoy him…you’ve got a great support system too.
    Love ya in California,
    Patty

    Reply
  • Shela June 17, 2012, 4:00 pm

    oh my goodness, he is so adorable!! I’m far, far away from being a mom but I’m learning a lot from you. You can do it!!

    Reply
  • Carrie June 17, 2012, 4:03 pm

    omgosh, that first picture is ADORABLE!!!

    thank you for blogging through your first days with him, I’m sooo scared about the nursing (i’m due next month) and am so afraid i’m going to give up in a fit of tears.

    Reply
  • BethT June 17, 2012, 4:13 pm

    Your new mom experience sounds exactly like mine. I actually cried coming out of the hospital because I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my baby! Hormones & sleep deprivation make those feelings so much worse, but the good news is, there is a “baby tipping point” where it all clicks into place and gets easier. You’ll get there!

    Reply
  • Rachel June 17, 2012, 4:25 pm

    While I don’t have any kids of my own yet, this reminds me exactly of how I felt this past year as a first year teacher. There were days when I would sit in the parking lot crying, feeling so inadequate and thinking I was screwing my students up for life, because I had no idea what I was doing. But, like everyone says, it did get better. By the end of this school year, I didn’t feel like an imposter anymore. To make things even sweeter, I received several Mother’s Day cards from my students (who are 7th graders!). You can do it!

    Reply
  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete June 17, 2012, 4:33 pm

    I know this sounds dumb, and you might have heard it a hundred times, but the Mini Athlete kept having leaky diapers until someone told me to point him down, if you know what I mean. I had never changed a baby boy’s diaper so it hadn’t occurred to me that it acted like a little sprinkler if I wasn’t careful! We also had to use preemie diapers for the first week or so, even though he was 7lbs, 5oz. They sure helped! You’re not alone in all the thoughts you’re feeling – you’re just much more articulate than most of us. :)

    Reply
  • alicia June 17, 2012, 4:34 pm

    I have heard they get 80 percent of what they will eat in the first 10 minutes. It is so difficult but try to remind yourself too that he will let you know if he needs something. As for the diapers pull the ruffles out around his legs once his diaper is on. You are doing great!

    Reply
  • Kelly June 17, 2012, 4:45 pm

    You WILL figure it all out! I think every new mom goes through similar feelings. You are such a star! Hang in there!

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  • Sarah T June 17, 2012, 4:45 pm

    My daughter was like the Hoover vacuum cleaner when she was born, latched on and wouldn’t let go so hard it hurt. My son…. just like yours. He wanted to fall asleep, only nursed for ten minutes and barely ate anything. I was distraught, exhausted and VERY emotional about it. I thought for sure I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t and most importantly YOU aren’t! Just love that little man with all you have and the rest will work out in the end. You are doing great! Everything WILL come together just the way it is supposed too.

    Reply
  • Kristen June 17, 2012, 4:46 pm

    I am sure every new mom feels the same way. Keep strong. He is PRECIOUS!

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  • Sarah June 17, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I think it sounds like you are doing brilliantly and have all the systems in place to survive!! And that is all you have to do in the next few weeks. Stay on that couch and keep it up. Feeding DOES get easier.

    And I commend you on keeping up the blog – it is so essential to keep some sense of normality through all of this.

    I’m so excited to watch this journey unfold.

    Reply
  • Kim @ girlevolving June 17, 2012, 4:56 pm

    I always knew I wanted to breastfeed but I never realized how challenging it is! It does get easier, but it’s a huge emotional and physical investment (totally worth it) for the whole time you choose to do it.

    Parenting is a crazy ride – hang on to Kristien and Henry and ride it out! :)

    Reply
  • Angie All The Way June 17, 2012, 5:10 pm

    Learning to be a mom and learning to breastfeed, it’s the most challenging and rewarding experience in your life. I remember my boobs feeling like razor blades when we were getting established and he would always fall asleep while nursing – this continued the entire time (the nursing to sleep part not the razor blades) and I worried myself silly that I was nurturing a “bad sleep habit” and I wish that a future me could have come to reassure me that he wouldn’t need my boon to sleep forever and he’d break from it on his own. So if you’re worried at all about this, don’t!

    I also had low milk supply associated with PCOS and the day that I had to give him a formula at 10 weeks broke my heart and I have no idea if it was because I felt like I “failed” him even though it was beyond my control or if I felt the guilt/pressure from everyone else who would judge the “choice” of using formula. I eventually got over it and continued to supplement all the way until he weaned at 8 mths. If I am lucky enough to have another, there is one thing different for next time – confidence gained. You will gain much more confidence as you go and the awkward diaper changes & difficulty latching and getting him to stop crying and general awkward inadequacy will fade and will all stop being awkward one day soon. I remember breaking out in full on sweats when he cried and what I would only describe as mini anxiety attacks as he wailed while I changed him or bathed him. I remember it all as plain as day and as I type this, my 22 month old sweetheart son is being adorable playing with is pirate ship and making my heart melt because not only did we make it through that first year of the “new mom” phase, but now I Feel like I could seriously do anything :-)

    Reply
  • Katie June 17, 2012, 5:16 pm

    OK, be very careful with the bottles. My baby was a sleepy eater (would only eat for about 5-10 mins then be out) and he was not gaining as quickly as I would have liked so I started to pump after nursing and giving a bottle. Well after a while he started screaming when I tried to nurse, he wanted a bottle. I ended up pumping for 4 months and just this weekend I’m weaning off the pump and going to formula :( So not what I imagined but I’ve come to terms with it. The next baby I will not be so quick to offer a bottle.

    Reply
  • LT June 17, 2012, 5:32 pm

    You’re doing great! I imagine that bringing home a newborn is a HUGE adjustment for every first-time parent. But you’ll keep learning and growing right along with your son, and soon some things like diapering and feeding will be automatic.

    Henry is an absolute doll!

    Reply
  • Clare June 17, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Sweetie, there are parenting fails (barring abuse and neglect, obviously). You’re doing great! Mine are a happy and healthy 10, 7 and 5 but I’ve been through all that you describe :) Don’t panic. It get easier, you find a routine, you sleep again.
    You are doing an awesome service for new moms everywhere; wish I had a voice like yours when mine were teeny-tiny ;)

    Reply
  • Clare June 17, 2012, 5:48 pm

    *there are NO parenting fails (obviously). Sigh.

    Reply
  • Linda June 17, 2012, 5:56 pm

    When my daughter was first born she would fall asleep nursing right away too. The nurse told me to put a cold wash cloth on her forhead to wake her up to keep eating. This helped a lot. Good luck! It does get easier.

    Reply
  • Sandy June 17, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Your post reminded me of bringing home my first baby 22 yrs ago.I cried,felt horrible and just knew my baby didn’t like me..then a miricle occurred, it became easier and she and I became a team.It will get better..You’re perfectly normal.

    Henry is beautiful and makes my heart swell.So wish I could go back and hold my girl’s again at his age..Enjoy your new family..

    Reply
  • Molly June 17, 2012, 6:12 pm

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I am 15 weeks pregnant and hearing about your first week has been so helpful. Best of luck in the upcoming weeks! It looks like you’re doing great!

    Reply
  • Claire June 17, 2012, 6:22 pm

    You are doing an amazing job. Re the breastfeeding – it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done – it took about 6 weeks for my first baby and I to get it worked out – in the interim it was so painful and demoralising. I think the pro breastfeeding lobby do themselves no favours when they say it isn’t painful. In my experience of three babies, it is quite pinful to begin with and then it improves. If there was some honesty out there about this, I think more women would be encouraged to stick with it just that bit longer – long enough for it to all ‘click’ and become easy – which it did for me with all three, who were exclusively breastfed for 6 months and then weaned at around 12 months. And if for any reason it doesn’t all come together for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using formula. A healthy happy mother is by far the most important thing for a baby.

    Reply
  • Sara @ The Foodie Diaries June 17, 2012, 6:28 pm

    Oh my gosh Caitlin, he is BEAUTIFUL!! Congratulations!!! So happy for both you and the hubby :)

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  • elizabeth June 17, 2012, 6:40 pm

    I think you are awesome. I love your honesty and think you will be able to handle anything thrown your way! I have 2 kid ages 4 and 7. I am only now learning to accept my mistakes and learn from them. When you dwell too much you miss the ride! Thank you for reminding me of that!

    Reply
  • Jenny June 17, 2012, 6:41 pm

    I love your candor and honesty – and grace. I’ve read your blog for several months now and continue to be impressed by your daily offerings. It’s refreshing and inspiring to see someone live life on life’s terms, and I thank you for sharing your story with the world. And welcome to parenthood – Henry is positively adorable! :-)

    Reply
  • Erin June 17, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Ive been reading your blog for years now, but generally not a big commenter. Just wanted to say a big fat CONGRATULATIONS on your new beautiful boy. He is just perfect.
    While I’m not yet a mumma (so I can’t relate to crazy post pregnancy hormones) I can assure you that you’re doing a wonderful job. I am a paediatric nurse and a few simple tips I’ve learnt with sleepy feeders – change Henry’s nappy (diaper?) when he starts to drift, wiggle those little legs and don’t wrap/swaddle him afterwards. The movement and temperature change should be enough to get him alert enough to feed some more.
    Good luck!

    Reply
  • Amanda K. June 17, 2012, 6:55 pm

    first, two things:
    1) henry is so so so cute
    2) i had all of the same experiences. horrible nursing (my son refused to latch on one side. awesome), i put diapers on wrong, i forgot to burp him, etc. etc. AND we had an earthquake and hurricane in the first 2 weeks of my son’s life. i was a BASKET CASE!

    and now advice from a new mom: my son is 10 months old and i’m still figuring it out, but you do lose that feeling that you’re in a constant triage. remember: you’ve been through a huge physical experience, and you’re chock full of hormones AND you aren’t sleeping. so don’t feel bad about sitting on the couch all day. you need the rest, and henry probably enjoys the snuggle time.

    there’s no better mommy for henry than YOU.

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  • Leah June 17, 2012, 7:07 pm

    Henry is so cute, congratulations. Happy father’s day to your hubby and dad too, are you and Henry doing anything to celebrate?

    Reply
  • EMily June 17, 2012, 7:11 pm

    THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOUR BLOG. You write the truth. There are over 200 comments telling you that a.) you are enough b.) it gets easier and c.) there is no perfect way. I am a new mom too and I still struggle with these thoughts over and over again BUT ALL ARE TRUE. I remember my second day home, I was scared I wasn’t feeding my baby enough because he slept all day and cried all night. My dear old dad watching me try to get him latched for the bazillionth time with tears streaming down my face says, “Welcome to motherhood, it sucks.”
    You are doing an amazing job. Hang in there and whether you becoming a breastfeeding champ or switch to formula this phase is a blip, so try to enjoy it while it lasts. Ps. I know you know this but keep an eye on the baby blues. It is totally normal to feel sad etc but sometimes it is more than a placenta pill can fix.

    Reply
  • stacey June 17, 2012, 7:13 pm

    First of all Henry is absolutely perfect. Such a cute little man. I am currently 12 weeks pregnant and appreciate your honesty in this post and all of your pregnancy updates. My husband has never changed a diaper, and I had him read about your first diaper change. He loved it! Best of luck, I have a feeling you will come out of this stronger than ever. Can’t wait to see what comes next! :)

    Reply
  • Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats June 17, 2012, 7:15 pm

    Hang in there! Breastfeeding is very hard. I had a much harder time with our first, than our second, but still struggled with enough milk for them. My supply wasn’t the greatest no matter what I tried. I ended up only doing 3 months with both, but I try and not beat myself up over it:(

    Reply
  • Lindsay June 17, 2012, 7:17 pm

    Henry looks just like his daddy!!!!

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  • Elizabeth June 17, 2012, 7:22 pm

    You sound just like me. I would cry every single time I nursed my first child. I would call my sister in complete tears to reassure me that this was something I wanted to do. I remember one time I literally saw stars when he latched on. All I can say is that slowly, but surely it will get better and when it does, it is truly the most amazing experience. There is nothing like sitting in a dimly lit room, nursing your baby at the end of the day. Soon you will also realize that on top of it being an incredible bonding experience, not too mention a nutritional gift (which you already know) it is also the most convenient thing going. Your milk is always ready, it is always the perfect temperature, you don’t need to carry bottles, nipples …. My husband you to say to me, “When in double, whip it out.” Don’t give up! Seek support. You can do this and you will absolutely love it!

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  • Laurie June 17, 2012, 7:35 pm

    OMG did I feel inadequate!!! And depressed! and so much more. This baby comes home with you and you are supposed to do so many things that you have no idea how to do…..all while feeling physically exhausted because you are barely sleeping. Wow did this post bring up memories for me! What I can tell you is if you can, get help for as long as you can, with the baby, with housework, accept the help that is offered. You are just starting out with a brand new job, soon, you will ace it. It’s a gradual process. I remember looking around and thinking how I am supposed to be sooooo happy, but I was so exhausted and hormonal. But I can tell you it will pass, you won’t feel that way forever. Congrats on your son!!!

    Reply
  • Ryann June 17, 2012, 7:39 pm

    I just wanted to say that I appreciate your honesty, and I think you are doing a FABULOUS job as a new family!!! I’m not a mommy yet (hopefully one day!), but I can only imagine that the first few days at home are *beyond* exciting and trying all at the same time. :) Keep it up and thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

    P.S. Henry is absolutely darling! What a doll.

    Reply
  • Kate June 17, 2012, 7:45 pm

    Thank you so much for being so honest. You and he are both beautiful and are going to do and be great together….he can’t go wrong with a mom who will acknowledge her kid smells like piss!

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  • Kate June 17, 2012, 8:03 pm

    The first six weeks or so of my daughter’s life were…umm…rough to say the least. I was seeing a lac consultant every other day trying to make bfing work, my daughter was losing weight and would fall asleep after nursing for 5 minutes and then subsequently spit up her whole meal (she had horrible reflux). At 14 days old she landed in the hospital for a sepsis work up (that was thankfully a false alarm), and I remember sitting there in the ER with my 2 week old, breast pump on my chest covered by a sweatshirt, watching three doctors give my baby a spinal tap and feeling so utterly overwhelmed and sad. But guess what…it got better. Bfing never really did, unfortunately, and we ended up quitting at 5.5 months, but everything else did. She’s now 7.5 months and an absolute joy, and I am much more confident in my mothering skills. Hang in there, accept every offer from someone else to cook, clean, or watch Henry so that you can take a nap. It won’t just get better–it will get awesome.

    Reply
  • Asima June 17, 2012, 8:04 pm

    Aw, everything will be okay. It’s a whole new experience but soon enough you’ll be a pro… And then you’ll laugh when you start giving OTHER moms advice down the road.

    And you HAVE to buy this! It’s invaluable, really, for those leaky boobs. Why ruin your bras and clothing/pads, stink AND waste your breastmilk when you can save it? http://www.mymilkies.com/

    Reply
  • Bonita June 17, 2012, 8:11 pm

    http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Has your LC told you about laid back nursing (biological nurturing)? It can help a lot with feeding challenges.

    6 weeks- just lay back for 6 weeks. Let others help, you need to rest, to heal, to help this little guy make his way through the 4th trimester.

    Congratulations to your beautiful family.

    Reply
  • Hannah June 17, 2012, 8:12 pm

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but don’t forget to SMILE and LAUGH every day! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

    Reply
  • Rebecca June 17, 2012, 8:19 pm

    I had my little Amelia 2 weeks ago tomorrow. I have to say that this post was like looking in a mirror. I think I have cried every day since she was born from breast feeding trouble, hormonal crazies and just feeling totally overwhelmed. Of course I’m so in love with her, but man it’s HARD. Nursing is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I will say that it gets a little bit easier every day. Just don’t forget you are awesome and doing a great job!

    Reply
  • Mari June 17, 2012, 8:30 pm

    Thank you for all the honesty! We’re having our first child in just a couple months, so I am sooo eager to learn from you. Thank you for posting all of this — leaky diapers to milk, thanks for the open look at what life is like with a newborn!

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  • MomHTP June 17, 2012, 8:45 pm

    Well, you and Kristien have been so supportive of each other and are doing wonderful, loving job of parenting your MOST ADORABLE little Henry! He knows he is loved, safe, and that all is good at his house. It is a huge amount of effort and energy to offer breastfeeding and to try and meet all the needs of a newborn as best you can – both of you have been amazing.
    Henry is perfect and healthy. What a gift.
    Your articles and pictures are interesting, enjoyable, and grounded in the reality of what new parents experience which must be reassuring to others going through the postpartum period as well. Hope the three of you get more sleep with each night.

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    • suzie franklin June 18, 2012, 8:01 am

      Well said.

      Reply
  • Juniper June 17, 2012, 9:25 pm

    Good grief but he is the cutest baby ever!! He’s very photogenic! :) :) And you hang in there… I think you are doing amazing. You need to remember to pat yourself on the back too. My mom always told me… half the battle in the first month is just keeping the baby alive… ;) It’s true! :) So… good job!! :) Small successes are important! He’s healthy, he’s thriving. You are doing wonderful.

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  • Lauren June 17, 2012, 9:44 pm

    I skimmed other comments so this might’ve been said, but –
    When my friend had her first baby, her LC taught her to nudge the baby’s elbow upward when the baby stopped nursing. Baby wakes up immediately most of the time and starts sucking again. It worked like magic for her! :)

    P.S. Henry is outrageously cute.

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  • Jackie June 17, 2012, 9:46 pm

    Point him down when you put on the new diaper. And don’t be afraid to fasten it tightly! We leaked out of every diaper for about a month before we realized this. Why don’t “they” tell this to new mothers of boys??

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  • Pam June 17, 2012, 9:57 pm

    Take time Caitlin. Breast feeding is not EASY. You have just been through a marathon. The baby is learning to latch on. Take time to take a bath, sleep (as the baby dictates) and as other people have mentioned , cry, if you need to. It will all work it self out. It takes a couple of weeks. Soon you will be a pro. I promise !!

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  • Kelly June 17, 2012, 10:23 pm

    Becoming a mother to my first was the hardest thing I have ever done. Nursing was horrid and it was for months (we had special issues). I would cry every time I nursed her. But I swear it gets easier, and you are great at being proactive and getting help.

    And everything else will get easier too, I promise.

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  • Erin June 17, 2012, 10:27 pm

    I know you’ve gotten tons of comments saying this already, but you are doing a great job already, and it WILL get easier! My daughter just turned 5 months yesterday and we are still breastfeeding…it’s second nature now! The first three weeks are tough, tough, tough and the hormones and “baby blues” are no joke, but just stick with it! I personally think it’s a huge accomplishment that you are nursing, taking care of a newborn, and still finding time to blog! :)

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  • CRYSTAL June 17, 2012, 10:42 pm

    LANSINOH NURSING PADS! I swear they saved my life. I couldnt go anywhere without ending up with a completly soaked shirt. At first i tried the cheapest nusing pads thinking they were all the same these are more expensive but you wont need to change them every five minutes. worth every penny sometimes i felt like they could hold a pint of milk each!

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  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch June 17, 2012, 11:19 pm

    Nursing totally does get easier. My daughter had a NICU stay, I had inadequate supply (despite pumping round the clock and lots of lactation consultant visits), and we struggled a lot. We didn’t get the hang of it until about 6 weeks, and my supply never was great… Once it coalesced, it proved TOTALLY worth every second of frustration. Hang in there. And ummm… give yourself a little time to get the hang of your new motherhood vocation. Think of it like a job- you’re a new hire still in Orientation! ;)

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  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras June 17, 2012, 11:59 pm

    You are such a damn rock star mom! I had no idea breast-feeding was difficult. Honestly, I figured the baby gets hungry, you feed him… that’s it. I’ve been hearing more and more about how hard it can be lately (with Emily at Daily Garnish and now here) and I seriously just had no idea.

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  • Amanda June 18, 2012, 12:45 am

    Every SINGLE thing you’ve posted about being/becoming a mom so far has made me cry. I love how willing you are to share the ups and downs of everything you’re dealing with. I think it’s absolutely hard for everyone at first, and I think you’re already doing awesomely.

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    • Amanda June 18, 2012, 12:45 am

      PS Henry is SO dang cute!

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  • Monica June 18, 2012, 1:10 am

    Caitlin, if there is anything I’ve learned about breastfeeding it’s that your body will provide what your baby needs. My daughter is almost 11 months old and we’re still breastfeeding. I can honestly tell you that she neeeeeeeever has eaten as long as she is “supposed” to. I took a lot of letting go for me to finally just be OK with her following her hunger cues. She’s a skinny thing, but strong and still growing healthily. Every baby is different–maybe my next won’t want to stop eating and will be a big chunker!

    Also, from one mom who thought about quitting so, so much because I hit every roadblock possible to breastfeeding (and I’m not exaggerating…): it. gets. better. Just keep swimming! Before you know it, you won’t even have to think about it. This is just a season of your life and everything truly will get better.

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  • Meagan N. June 18, 2012, 1:34 am

    I was the oldest of 5, was the second oldest of 36 cousins on one side of my family (and they all lived close to me), and spent many years babysitting. I nannied newborn triplets when I was 18. I had LOTS of baby experience. I had changed hundreds of diapers, made bottles, fed, burped, rocked and cared for lots of babies. BUT, no amount of experience can prepare you for the overwhelming feelings of being a first time mom. You’re exhausted, worried about failing, nervous, etc. It’s totally normal. Throw in raging hormones, fluids leaking from every part of your body, smelling like spit-up, etc… it’s enough to make anyone feel inadequate!
    But you know, both of my kids only ate for about 10 minutes at a time. In fact, I remember my daughter usually ate for 6 minutes per “session”. I think some kids are just more efficient at nursing. It’s hard. Real hard. But, it does get easier. But if you decide to go the bottle route, don’t stress over it.
    As for the leaky diapers, if you’re sure you’re tightening them enough, try stuffing a few cottonballs in the diaper. I did that to help absorb some of the pee because it seemed that no matter what I did, my son ended up soaked every 30 minutes. I usually added them around his little parts, and sometimes around the legs. Play around until you get the positioning right.
    And the craziest part, is that what works with one baby won’t work with the next (one of mine would take a bottle, the other wouldn’t… so no help from my husband during the night. It was tough.).
    IT GETS BETTER. IT GETS EASIER. YOU GET BETTER AT IT!

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  • Ruby June 18, 2012, 1:45 am

    Aww everyone’s said SO many helpful things already! I wanted to add in two things:

    1. Kudos on getting the LC in. Remember you can always have her come back in or call a La Leche League consultant WHENEVER. Sometimes issues come up later (4 weeks, 6 weeks, 2 months) and there really very often is something you can do to resolve it.

    2. Take videos of Henry now! No idea if you’re doing that, but this is such a crazy time and they’re only teeny-tiny for a short bit. You’ll LOVE having those little video clips (however dark or shaky) later on.

    You’re doing great, promise. Darn hormones. Oh and I totally agree with the parking yourself on the couch. Take time to recover, take it easy.

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  • Nicole June 18, 2012, 1:47 am

    Just wanted to say that Henry is honestly SO freaking cute! Even my husband agrees. :) Congrats to both of you! You’ll figure it out in no time, I’m sure!

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  • Megan June 18, 2012, 4:01 am

    Oh my gosh, you’re doing awesomely well. BFeeding is so hard at first. Great that you have a LC visiting, keep utilizing that help, even past when you absolutely need it, it will be a great peace of mind. But seriously, breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I’ve ever learned to do. Now my Nina is almost 3 months old and it’s something I hardly have to think about doing. You will get there. And leaking milk all over the place is a good thing, just think of it that way, haha. I had to learn to forgive myself for not keeping an immaculate house, and getting out & doing stuff the way I always did. It’s an adjustment having a baby. I recently had to say, look, it’s okay if you can’t make it to the mom’s exercise group like you want to. You just do your best!

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  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) June 18, 2012, 6:34 am

    Nursing is hard work!! I don’t think women talk about this enough. My little girl is 6 weeks and nursing is just now getting easier for both of us. Takes time!! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I did. . . and the first few weeks of parenthood was filled with my tears and stress. Babies pick up on our stress more than we realize. I also met w/ a lactation consultant and her recommendations saved us. . . good for you for utilizing the help!! Hang in there. . . it’s HARD work (especially when you are beyond exhausted) but know it will get easier over time!!

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  • ashlynn June 18, 2012, 8:14 am

    I appreciate your honesty. I like how you’re not sugar-coating it and giving the real details. It’s truly hard those first few weeks, but no one talks about it.

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  • Ann June 18, 2012, 8:39 am

    I think all first time Moms go through several stages of feeling inadequate, just keep going! Between breastfeeding pain (I was in tears from engorgement when my milk came in), sleep deprivation and recovering from childbirth (hello, major physical trauma!), it is so hard. And my baby had a skeptical expression for weeks that we said was his concern at being stuck with morons for parents who are clearly incompetent!
    Henry is adorable, and you are doing a wonderful job. Loving him more than you ever imagined possible is the most important part, and you have that covered.

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  • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl June 18, 2012, 8:47 am

    Henry is so adorable! I can’t believe how much he has changed since his birth. He looks like a little man now!

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  • Lynna June 18, 2012, 8:52 am

    Hang in there, brand new mama…this is all normal, blues and all…you and Henry will survive and you will learn each other’s rhythms. Smart girl to get professional guidance, too…know anyone who can help you with the diapering do’s and don’ts? Gentle hugs.

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  • Coco June 18, 2012, 9:24 am

    Henry is beautiful and lucky to have you both as parents! Keep your head up and enjoy every single moment of it :)

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  • Kristin @ Wounded Fawn June 18, 2012, 9:26 am

    It made me tear up a bit when you wrote that Henry is probably thinking “God, how did I get stuck with YOU?!

    I think Henry is probably thinking, “You got this Mom! You can do it!”

    My therapist has told me several times that the most important thing a parent can do is love their child everything else will fall into place.

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  • Jess June 18, 2012, 10:03 am

    Hang in there with the nursing. It does get easier! The first six weeks were the worst for me. Sore nipples, milk blisters, round the clock nursing. Disregard the 20 mins, every 2-3 hours. They are full of it. It is totally normal to being nursing every half hour to hour these first few weeks for 10-60 minutes at a time. It’s exhausting and can be really frustrating. That’s how your supply gets established and Henry just needs to be close to you. Kellymom.com is a GREAT breastfeeding resources.
    I felt like I was falling miserably at the beginning but you are doing great and Henry does not think he got the short end of the stick having you as a mom. You’re both learning and getting to know each other.

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  • Debbie June 18, 2012, 10:49 am

    The mix of hormones and lack of sleep are a killer! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is the point when you realize that all the books you read cannot totally prepare you for the reality! But it does get better and easier with time, just as everything. Think of how you started running…you don’t start by running a marathon…you have to start slow and practice, practice. Henry is beautiful…I am sure he is happy to have you as his mom! It is hard in the beginning because they don’t know how to smile…I used to think my son didn’t like me either. Wait until that first smile..well worth it….hang in there!

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  • Brigid June 18, 2012, 1:04 pm

    First, congrats! Henry is beautiful!!!! I remember coming home with my first born 11 years ago and wondering what I was going to do with him. You definitely figure it all out. Be patient with yourself. There is a learning curve but it comes. As long as Henry is loved, he will do great.

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  • allpointswhole June 18, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Oh my gosh that face is adorable!!

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  • Julie June 18, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Those pics of Henry are absolutely ADORABLE!! And you’re going to be a GREAT mom! You really, truly are! Listen to what everyone else is saying. We all went thru this. I babysat like crazy when I was younger, changed a ton of diapers, was totally confident when my daughter was born, & I ended up going thru it, too. Trust your instincts; you will be just fine. The complete utter exhaustion doesn’t help w/ the mood or much else, does it? Hang in there! It’s ok to ask for & accept help when it’s offered. :)

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  • Stacey @ Here's to Life June 18, 2012, 4:09 pm

    Breastfeeding is SO hard in the beginning and it really does get easier. I also used a lactation consultant and I recommend keep seeing one until you’re really comfortable with feeding. I had to be readmitted to the hospital shortly after my little guy’s birth due to an infection and the pain was so great to feed him (and my fever was so high that I was delirious) that I actually became afraid of nursing him for a short time. After we got out the second time, my little boy always fell asleep, was eating every hour to an hour and a half, and I got a touch of thrush (which was so incredibly painful). Seeing the lactation consultant every week kept me confident that he was gaining weight and they kept giving me tips/positions/ideas to adjust the schedule, relieve pain, etc. After the first 6-8 weeks or so, we finally got the hang of it and now it’s even enjoyable. Hang in there! Everyone feels like their doing it wrong at first. You’ll overcome this tough time…you’re doing a great job!!!

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  • Kim T June 18, 2012, 5:34 pm

    I think there are very few people out there who totally know what they’re doing with their first baby. Do you have any family help?

    I’m glad you’re so self aware to be getting help (i.e. lactation consultant). Hang in there. Those hormones are crazy. Parenting is crazy. The newborn days are certainly a crash course, but it’s one big roller coaster. Mostly good with some rough spots.

    Keep loving Henry, that’s most important.

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  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie June 18, 2012, 10:46 pm

    I felt like motherhood came SO naturally to me the first time around (context: I’m the third of SEVEN kids in my family so I had lots of practice growing up) but I just had my second son three weeks ago and it took a solid two weeks for me to feel like I was going to be okay. haha

    You’re doing great because not only do you love your son but you are trying to do great…..that’s the best you can do as a parent and the rest comes with experience.

    By the way, he’s SO gorgeous. You guys done good:)

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  • Abby June 18, 2012, 11:25 pm

    Nursing is so so so hard in the beginning! I remember literally having to do labor-esque breathing every single time my daughter latched on for the first few Weeks. But having nursed for her first year I can say its definitely worth it!

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  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See June 22, 2012, 9:07 pm

    It’s so refreshing to hear you say that! I’m not even close to becoming a mom, but it’s still interesting to hear that it’s never as easy as you’d think!

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  • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Oh man. I feel you on personal lows. I feel like such a physical trainwreck.

    Reply