foto friday: growing a baby and the first week at home

4 weeks 6 weeks 7 weeks
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31 weeks 33 weeks 34 weeks
36 weeks 37 weeks 38 weeks
39 weeks 40 weeks! 41 weeks

Well, here we are. After fortyone and a half weeks, our little girl is finally in the world with us. I want to thank all of you who left such nice comments on my last post announcing her birth. Yesterday marked one week since she was born and tomorrow will be one week since we brought her home from the hospital.

The week has both flown by and felt like a much longer time period. The birth still feels so vivid and clear to me that I can’t believe it’s been a week. But at the same time, we’ve learned so much and experienced so much these past days that it feels like much more time must have passed since bringing her home.

I can say that we’re finally settling into routines. I’m getting better at nursing and can even manage to hold her with one hand while multitasking with the other. T. has become a pro at bathing her in the evenings and we’ve both adapted to our erratic and sleep-deprived schedules. I’m so thankful that T. is home with me for another two weeks before he returns to work and I’ll be working from home this entire coming year as I’m on a fellowship to finish writing my dissertation.

In terms of surviving the first week, it hasn’t been the things that I expected to bother me that have been the most challenging. I thought the sleep deprivation would be the toughest but that’s turned out to be surprisingly manageable. Even though I wake up to nurse her every hour to hour and a half at night, the moment I look into her sweet face and see that adorable baby, my heart melts and I don’t care about being woken up yet again. And she’s such a good baby, we feel so lucky. She only cries when she’s hungry (an easy fix) and a bit at bathtime.

The things that have proven most difficult this week have had more to do with my recovering and changing body. Healing from the birth, adapting to being a 24 hour milk machine, and coming to terms with the still limited mobility of my post-partum body have taken the most getting used to. But as I sit here on our deck, enjoying a cool summer day, sweet baby by my side, my dog Indie underfoot, breakfast leftovers next to my laptop…I can’t help but feel incredibly happy and blessed. It may be a while before I can get on a bike again or run even a mile but I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

Also, for anyone interested, C. did have a two vessel cord (a condition called SUA) that can cause various birth defects and organ problems but we are so thankful and relived to count ourselves among the 70% of cases where the babies are still born perfectly healthy. We confirmed the cord condition upon birth when the midwife showed T. how C’s cord only had one vein and one artery instead of one vein and two arteries but this limitation did not end up impacting her development in the womb. Yay, little C! Way to be a little fighter in there! I just want to write this for other parents out there who may be carrying a baby with SUA and dispairing about it like we did – we’re just one more example of a baby born perfectly healthy despite the condition. So don’t lose hope!

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
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21 Responses to foto friday: growing a baby and the first week at home

  1. Deidra says:

    Congrats! She looks like a perfect little bundle of joy!

    I too was surprised at the difficulty of recovery. I think my mother put it best when she said that so many women bemoan delivery, but you know there will be an end to that. Recovering comes as a surprise, and one you don’t know how long it will last. (My baby girl is coming up on 4 months and I’m glad to say that you do start feeling like yourself again! The human body is incredible.)

    Congrats again!

  2. Shalini says:

    I just discovered your website from a blogging friend of mine–congratulations!

    I was also surprised how long it took me to recover from a totally normal birth. I thought only c-sections were tough, but no. My mom likes to tell me that when she had my brother in India, her feet weren’t allowed to touch the ground most of the day for the first month after his birth, and that’s tradition–she said that it’s so, so important to relax and heal and let everyone else take care of the mom so the mom can take care of the baby. (Kind of makes me wish I had my kids in India, though.)

  3. Alexandra says:

    Beautiful Baby, congratulations!!!
    I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and also your posts on academichic for the last months as I was pregnant at the same time as you were. I’m very happy that your baby is healthy, I understand the relief and happiness, we also had some problems during pregnancy and we were worried whether our son would be a healthy child. But just a month ago I also gave birth to a healthy baby  Funny thing, I was most anxious about my long healing process (I had a c-section), but I healed instantaneously, in like 4 or 5 days I was more or less myself again. A month after birth I don’t believe I was pregnant just 4 weeks ago. But the sleep deprivation is actually bothering me ;)
    Waiting for your family posts. Many happy moments with your wonderful daughter!

  4. Erin says:

    Happy first week birthday little C!

    I, too, was stunned at how long it took to heal after giving birth. I felt like I’d been hit by a MAC truck and got very down on myself for not jumping up and returning to pre-pregnancy life like I thought I would be able to. But my mom said, “You just had a baby – that’s a HUGE thing!” That’s a lot for a body to undertake and of course you don’t feel tip top. I had to cut myself some slack.

    And even though I was exhausted, every time I got up w/ my little C I would tell her that I wouldn’t trade those late, long nights for anything because I knew those moments would only last a little while and then they’d be gone forever. I treasure every moment with my daughter because sooner than I want she’ll be all grown up.

    Happy first week of parenthood S and T!

  5. Erin says:

    Look at that sweet little mug! Oh my goodness, what a doll!

    I was really active before my pregnancy, so slowing down over its course and then recovering postpartum where challenging. It’s cliche, but listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard. C needs you more than you need to run or cycle!

    I was most surprised in my first week postpartum by how emotional I was! I had crazy vivid stress dreams and just felt like I was on the verge of breaking down. :( Those feelings are normal for new moms, challenging as they are. If you’re feeling weepy and hypersensitive, you’re in good company. My husband and I did daily mental health checks and talked about our fears and worries, and that helped A LOT! (Also, you may be having crazy night sweats — totally normal, too. And they do stop!)

    I’m so happy for you and T (and the wee one, natch), and I can’t wait to hear about your new family adventures.

  6. Nadine says:

    I just can’t get enough photos of your gorgeous wee pepi! Sounds like you are doing EXTREMELY well, and how lovely to have T at home with you for the first weeks! Allow yourself a good 6 weeks for recovery, too. We’re all different and alas, we can’t all be like my sister who I’ve seen leaping around on the SAME DAY she delivered, like she adopted the baby or something . . . !

  7. Christina says:

    Many many many congratulations on the newborn and healthy and happy baby and family :-) As I read your post I looked back to my own daughter’s birth and the first two months that followed and remember what a challenging time it is. Something that really helped me was to join a Mom’s group for lactation at our hospital. I gained lactation support and new friends, people who helped me learn how to adapt to all of the new and overwhelming changes. (I made it to 18 months breastfeeding!)

    Your body will recover at its own pace, I learned the most important thing was not to gauge it by others. Everyone is different. My biggest issue (besides healing from a vaginal birth) was staying hydrated properly for breastfeeding … boy, did I need a lot of extra fluids. It sounds like you are getting into the swing of things well!

    I did have a 3 week period of “baby blues” that snuck up on me around week 2. Don’t be surprised if it happens. As soon as it set in, a couple weeks it was gone. Joining a group really helped get thru those times. Knowing what it was also helped.

    I’m sure you’ll be getting lots of tips and ideas so I won’t rattle on more … just many happy congrats! I look forward to reading how you adapt to your active lifestyle with baby. I’m getting ready to tackle Kindergarten so now I’m in a new zone myself :-) But doing Couch 2 5k is keeping me distracted at the moment from getting too mommy emotional!

  8. Miss Sarah says:

    Congrats again!

    I know what you mean about the body mending. The day after I had D, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Just the muscle pain from all the pushing etc. But each day got exponentially better than the last! Each night I took a bath with salts to relax my muscles, and it was good to have 10-15 minutes to myself too. My friend gave me this herbal mixture (a postpardum “tea”) that I prepared and also used in the bathwater. I have no idea how much it helped, but I was really feeling great in about a week.

    I am so glad little C is just a little milk-hound! Makes it easy to please her:) With little D I would always try that first, and 80% of the time it could cure whatever ailed him.

    The milk coming in is probably going to be ridiculous for a little while yet. I look back at photos from 2 weeks after D was born and MAN. Those milk-boobs were epic. It’s like looking at a sci-fi still.

    Keep resting, and eat well! 5 more weeks and hopefully you can ride around your neighbourhood, just to get moving again:)

  9. Congratulations on Little C! Give yourself time (easier said than done) and you will be like your old self soon enough. For now, move slowly, doze between feedings, and enjoy the moments, it goes quickly!

  10. Lisa Page says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby. My daughter was born with SUA 2 1/2 years ago and hasn’t shown any side effects at all. I made sure to tell her pediatrician every time we moved, and they’ve all said she looks perfectly fine.

  11. Meg says:

    I only recently discovered your blog. I found it because of my love of bikes, but will stay to read more, and hear more about your baby’s progress and your journey alongside her. Mazel tov to you all! xx

    • Andru says:

      I always enjoy redanig your blog and hope that you get the BFP soon. In the meantime, I have nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award (not sure if you were already nominated, but even if so, you deserve more than one).

  12. Anne says:

    Congratulations! Little C. is just gorgeous, and it sounds like you’re all doing well.

  13. Sarah says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been reading academichic since the beginning and enjoying your blog too. I had my baby nearly 7 months ago and was also really surprised about the recovery. I was also very active and extremely well and energetic during my pregnancy, but afterwards… On day 2 we had to take our baby to have a routine check up at the doctor’s surgery which would normally be 5 minutes walk from our house. It probably took 15 minutes and I was overtaken twice by people using zimmer frames! I had read somewhere that whatever you could do immediately prior to the birth you could expect to be able to do straight after. Total lies in my experience!! I had a comedy conversation with the physiotherapists who visit you in the hospital right after the birth in which they asked me if there were any activities I was looking forward to getting back to. I said “swimming?” “Not for 6 weeks”, “running” “not for at least 3 months” and I remember thinking, I’m not sure why you bothered asking… I should have added “sleeping” to which the answer would apparently have been “don’t even consider it for at least a year”. Good luck with the nursing – I second the comment above about finding support groups, especially if they are nursing too. In my group of 8 we all nursed and all found it to be pretty tricky.

    • simplybike says:


      thanks for the comment! I know what you mean, I feel like I was in better shape at 9 months pregnant than I am now. But I’m learning to be patient with my body as it recovers. As for the support, I am part of a really great moms’ group that evolved out of my prenatal yoga class. The support and community has been invaluable! I don’t know what I would do without it. You’re so right in saying that finding that support through a community of other parents is crucial.


  14. Daria says:

    Felicitari si multa sanatate!

    I am so happy for you and your husband that everything went well! Congratulations for the beautiful and healthy little girl. She really is gorgeous. Enjoy the time that is coming! Even when it is hard, a smile from the baby is enough to make you feel like you are on the top of the world. My best wishes to all of you!

  15. kathy says:

    Just commented on your birth story post wondering about the baby’s health and I just read here that she was born perfectly healthy. So never mind.

    She really is beautiful. Thanks for sharing her.

    • simplybike says:

      Hi Kathy,

      thanks for your comment and your concern! We were worried up until the birth but were so happy and relieved to find out that her Single Umbelical Artery (SUA) condition didn’t affect her development in utero. When SUA is isolated (not compounded by other problems in the womb), it ends up being harmless and not resulting in any birth defects in about 70% of cases and we were really hoping that would be the case for us. You can imagine our relief when we found ourselves part of that lucky 70%.


  16. hi there

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    check out this post

    i’d love to start some discussion with you and know what do you think about

    • Tatiana says:

      I agree that chosing a splecaity is challenging because they are so diverse and there are several to choose from. I can also see Neonatal as a hard job and emotionally draining as well.

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