Cullen is three weeks old today. How is that possible? What have I been doing for three entire weeks? Oh I know. I’ve been living in 2 to 3 hour increments of nursing, sleeping, eating, laundry, walking, playing, rocking, and more.
I’ve been peed on more times than I can count, I haven’t slept for longer than four hours in a row since October 18th, and this week we have entered an entirely new realm of crankiness. Hands down, it’s been the best three weeks of my life.
Cullen has become a little firecracker this week. He has so much personality already, and there is literally nothing more heart-melting than when he occasionally cracks his giant gorgeous smile.
In between the playtime and the smiles though, we have also had some rough nights lately. I think a few of those in a row have left us all a bit exhausted.
He is lucky he’s so darn cute.
We have a pretty good cycle of eating, sleeping, and playing during the daytime, but just recently starting around 4 or 5pm each night, he breaks into these heartbreaking screams. We have tried all the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques, and I assure you all the shushing, swaddling, and swinging in the world just makes him angrier.
He also has a very love/hate relationship with the pacifier. Last week it was our saving grace, and kept him peaceful and happy for hours at a time. This week he screams at the sight of one. He’s definitely a sucker though, and one of the only things that appeases his outbursts is sucking on my finger. It’s kind of gross, and not exactly convenient for doing anything other than acting as a human pacifier, but if it keeps him calm I’m willing to do just about anything.
Last night the screaming didn’t start until about 8pm, because he napped a little later than usual. I have a feeling he is so comfortable in all my babywearing wraps and carriers during the day that he is sleeping too much, leaving him wide awake and frustrated by evening.
Last night at midnight I found myself slung across my bed with one arm draped in the pack n play so he could suck on my finger (ridiculous), and the other hand holding the hair dryer on full blast for loud white noise. Absolutely absurd, and 100% effective.
The good news is that once I do get him calmed down and ready for bed, he is a really good sleeper. He sleeps in 3-4 hour stretches through the night, wakes up to eat and get a clean diaper, and then goes straight back to sleep with no problems. Knock on wood. I’ll take a fussy evening baby over a fussy 3am baby any day.
He definitely loves his swaddles though, and I am so glad we ordered a few extra blankets as soon as we left the hospital. You can see my other newborn essentials for the first few weeks over on Babble this week!
Of course his cranky moments are not the only thing of note this week. We’ve also had a ton of fun getting out and about in the neighborhood, going for lots of long walks and visiting coffee shops. He’s starting to like sitting in his mini Boppy pillow, and I’ve been singing and dancing along with Baby Einstein to keep him stimulated and entertained. It makes him happy, and it makes me feel like an absolute fool. As always, he wins.
Overall, life with Cullen is still wonderful and I kiss his face no less than 1,000 times each day.
Did you know that Cullen is actually a very old Irish/Gaelic name that means handsome? Seems fitting for such a good looking little guy.
As for me, the postpartum healing continues slowly but surely. I’m having a lot of intense lower back/tailbone pain that has been there since delivery, and hasn’t really improved since. I keep hoping it will start to feel better soon!
The rest of my soreness has definitely improved though, and I’ve been able to start walking farther and longer, which has been wonderful. Yesterday I walked four miles and felt fantastic.
I haven’t actually lost any additional weight this week which was initially discouraging. But I pulled out my old jeans just to see how they fit this morning, and much to my delight– they buttoned! They are still skin tight and borderline obscene, but they are on my body. I’m calling that a win.
I think any sort of cardio is still a few weeks away, but I’m considering starting up some moderate weight training in the meantime if I can figure out how to fit it into my days with Cullen.
It’s funny – I think I actually felt better about my body at one week postpartum than I do now. Maybe it was just the shock of finally seeing myself not pregnant after such a long time, but I really felt great that first week. If I’m being honest, now I just kind of feel saggy and flabby. I certainly didn’t expect to bounce back into great shape right away, but I’m definitely getting antsy to see some improvements sooner than later.
Here’s hoping that now that I’m out walking again each day, I’ll start to feel stronger and more toned again. The good news is that Cullen doesn’t seem to care that I never dry my hair anymore or that sweatpants have become the norm. As long as he has a warm shoulder to snuggle on, he is content.
Three weeks in and I think we’re doing pretty well so far. Every day I learn something new about myself as a mother, about Cullen as a baby, and about our family as a unit of three.
For previous weekly updates and other posts about life with a baby, please visit the parenting page!
This week’s Babble: