Our baby girl, Charlotte Tyler Nuss, finally decided to grace us with her presence on November 1, 2018 (four days past her due date) at 3:37am, after almost 24 hours of labor.
We are completely obsessed with her and feel so, so thankful that she is safe and healthy.
Labor was much harder and far more dramatic than we ever imagined. By the time she arrived, we were both shaken up but SO relieved.
I started typing out my birth story and realized that it was going to take way too long and that only a select few people care about the snail-like progression of my cervix and the woes of having to get a second epidural. So I am saving that for a separate post altogether just for those interested in the details of the day.
I did, however, want to share a little bit about our first month with her and about our transition into parenthood, which has felt similar to what I’d imagine being swiftly hoisted over a waterfall would be like. I also wanted to share about a product that’s been saving our nights of sleep (and sanity for that matter), the Dockatot.
Life with a baby
Sure, I’m biased, but Charlotte is breathtaking in every way. We can’t take our eyes off her as we watch her little personality come to life.
Like any other newborn, she was very, very sleepy the first few days. She cries when she’s hungry, tired, or just trying to keep us on our toes, apparently. She loves listening to her daddy sing and enters into a trance when he rocks her and sings.
She’s a pretty good eater, and breastfeeding came quite easily to both her and me which has been a huge blessing.
Throughout my entire pregnancy, Tyler kept saying “I hope our baby looks just like you.” Well now that she’s literally my mini me (just with brown hair and better brows), he jokingly complains about it. I think she’ll take on more of his features as she gets bigger. Especially hoping for those blue eyes, am I right?
Charlotte is extremely alert during her wake times and has been since she was only a few days old. We get a kick out of her slightly furrowed brow and cute little smile that she’s been debuting the past week.
Plain and simple, we couldn’t love her more. It’s excruciating really. She’s perfect.
Almost every one of my mama friends wholeheartedly recommended the DockATot, a cozy baby lounger that can be used for both sleep and wake time.
I followed their instructions but wasn’t totally sure how much we’d use it because I didn’t know what kind of baby Charlotte was going to be.
Surprise, surprise. My friends were all right. We use it every single day! Charlotte loves it.
We are definitely raising an introvert. Sometimes Charlotte gets fussy when Tyler and I are up in her face trying to get her to laugh or smile. (We can’t help it. She’s to-die-for cute).
Whenever she gets over us, we put her down in the DockATot, and she instantly relaxes. LOL. She loves being on her own and looking up at the ceiling fan or whatever’s around her. The DockATot makes her feel snuggled even when she needs her alone time.
Also. She sleeps, well, like a baby in it. It’s SO nice. We had a hard time getting her to sleep the first few days without holding her. Tyler spent many wee-hours practically sleepwalking around the house with her, begging her to go to sleep.
Now, we rock her to sleep, and she stays asleep when we lay her in the DockATot. THANK GOODNESS because things were starting to get dicey over here with our lack of sleep.
She sleeps at least three hours at a time at night in it and has even given us a few five-hour stretches. We joke that “she’s such a good girl,” but we really have the DockATot to thank for making her feel cozy while mom and dad get some much-needed rest.
I LOVE our plain white one because it goes with all of her outfits (can’t stop me from my Daily Charlotte Photo Shoot.) I’m also very relieved because it comes in two sizes– one for 0-8 months (Deluxe) and one for 9-36 months (Grand). This is a MUST for any baby registry, seriously.
I’m such an idiot. Really, I am the worst. Everyone told me how hard the first few weeks are, and I did believe them…to an extent. I was prepared for very little sleep, issues with breastfeeding, and lots of guessing what she could possibly be crying about. I didn’t bat an eye at the challenge.
What I was NOT prepared for was the absolute havoc that postpartum hormones would wreak on me.
Yes, people told me that I would be hormonal. But hello, I’ve been hormonal since the day I turned 13! Even Tyler said my “pregnancy hormones” made me just a *slightly* more extreme version of myself. I truly thought that I would just be a little moody and would shed a tear every now and then over how cute Charlotte is.
I’m sure you can guess how this went.
I cried every day for the first two weeks of having her home. Every day at precisely 4:30pm, the sun went down and took my spirits with it.
I’d cry uncontrollably, sometimes every hour for the entire night, for no reason at all. (Well of course at the time I had my reasons but can’t remember them now for the life of me).
I felt overwhelmed–overwhelmed by how much I loved her, by the responsibility of taking care of her, by the idea of even getting through the night.
I was terrified of doing something wrong. I’d look at her while she was sleeping and instantly burst into tears at the thought of something bad happening to her.
Add sleep deprivation and physical pain from labor to raging and unstable postpartum hormones, and you are looking at one weepy, short-tempered, and puffy-eyed new mom.
Our relationship (aka my Prince Charming doing knight-in-shining-armor things)
Fortunately for both myself and our daughter, Tyler carried us through the first few weeks and continues to do so. He is calm, selfless, and literally always knows what to do with her and how to deal with me.
One of the reasons I married Tyler is because of his ability to discern when he needs to put the hammer down with me–something that I was almost certain that no one in the world would be able to do.
He is the most patient, loving, and caring answer to my crazy, but he knows exactly when to look me in the eye and tell me to get it together. (Or, for example, when he can only handle either me or Charlotte crying at any given time).
The past month hasn’t been without its share of challenges, but I would not have survived without Tyler leading the charge.
I still have my meltdown moments, but after a couple of weeks of feeling helpless, the cloud lifted and I feel much better.
Tyler and I are so blessed to be Charlotte’s mom and dad. Though parenthood is overwhelming (to say the least), we are doing our best to soak up every moment with her.