8 Weeks with Clay + Postpartum Update

I’m back in the land of the living! Maternity leave is over and our new reality has started. That not only means that I’m back to work, but I’m back to blogging again. Who knows how often, but I’m back. 🙂

One of the biggest reasons why I started this blog in the first place was to have something to look back on, so I plan on sharing updates as Clay grows. Mostly for myself and family who aren’t in the area, but for some cute baby eye candy for you guys too. 😉 The format will probably change over time, but I’m going with the flow (I’m pretty good at that these days).


Here’s what Clay’s been up to:

[LOOSE] SCHEDULE

7am – Awake for the day, bottle, diaper change, etc.
9am – Nap
11am – Awake, bottle, diaper change
1pm – Nap
3pm – Awake, bottle, diaper change
5pm – Nap
7pm – Awake, bottle, diaper change
9:30pm – Bedtime
11pm – Dream feed and back to sleep
2am – Bottle
5am – Bottle

STATS / DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS

At his 8-week well child visit, he weighed 11 pounds 12 ounces and was 23 3/4 inches long. He was 8 pounds and 21 1/2 inches at birth, so he’s growing right on track and is long and lean. He already seems completely different than the little nugget we brought home from the hospital. He is officially out of newborn sizes and is filling out 0-3 month clothes.

Also at his 8-week appointment, he got 3 shots. He was a champ and only cried for about 15 seconds. I’m glad that Tyler was with me because I would have been a wreck otherwise!

We love his doctor! She was recommended by my OB and I’m glad that she said something because she’s a great fit for us so far.


EATING

Clay was exclusively breastfed until he was 5 weeks old, but then I developed a horrible case of mastitis and my milk supply tanked (more about that in my postpartum update at the end). He now mostly has formula, but I’m also pumping and trying to get my supply back to normal now that I’m all healed. I’m not worried about it, though. He’s fed and he’s happy, so that means I’m happy.

Almost 2 weeks old.

SLEEPING

The first two weeks were rough. I don’t operate well on little sleep (but I can now!), so there were many tears from me in the middle of the night when I wasn’t getting more than 1 or 2 hours of sleep at a time. Eventually, around the 4-week mark, it got a lot better and he started sleeping 3 or 4 hours at a time overnight. At 8 weeks, he’s still sleeping about the same, which I’m okay with for now. He’s still little.

One thing that I’m grateful for is that he is getting better and better at self-soothing both at nap times and overnight. This means I don’t have to sit and wait for him to be dead asleep before transferring him over to his bassinet, which is great! I do still let him take naps while I’m holding him maybe once or twice a day. He’ll only be little once.

We haven’t done any sort of sleep training, but I want to start implementing something soon now that he’s getting to the point where it will be worth it. I’m doing some research to see what will be best for us. We’ll see what happens!

5 weeks old

MILESTONES

Since day one, Clay has had the strongest neck muscles! He seriously could hold his head up on his own for about 10 seconds at a time while he was still in the hospital. It has made tummy time a little easier, but he still doesn’t like it very much.

Motor Skills: Clay is kicking his feet and waving his hands around a ton! Usually before, during, and after diaper changes. It’s super cute! He kicks so much that he can scoot forward a little bit.

He recently has started drooling and is producing tears. Drooling makes burp rags more necessary and tears make crying even sadder. He doesn’t cry tears often (only when he’s actually sad, not just hungry).

Big smiles at 6 weeks old!

Smiling! At about 4 weeks old, we started to get some real smiles. By now he smiles a bunch and is almost talking to us. You can tell he really wants to make noise but doesn’t quite get there very often. This has taught me that I really will do anything to make him smile. 😉

First sleepover. When I was hospitalized for mastitis, Clay got to have 3 sleepovers – my parents for 2 nights and Tyler’s for 1. He did great with them and even got his first bath at home at my parent’s house. He slept great when he was there and didn’t give them any problems. I’m a proud mama!

First bath at home. Tyler and I really procrastinated doing this because we knew he’d hate it, but Tyler took it upon himself to do it on my first day back at work! He said he didn’t like it very much, but it wasn’t too bad. He’s just TOO DARN CUTE.

WHAT ELSE WE’VE BEEN UP TO

My aunt Cindy had this Santa outfit and we couldn’t get over how CUTE he was!

Thanksgiving and Christmas happened! It was honestly such a blur. This time of year always flies by, but it was even crazier in my postpartum/newborn fog. We spent a lot of time hanging out with our families, which was so nice! I hardly held him on either holiday because he was getting passed around so much! He also tagged along with us for Black Friday shopping and was a champ (and I had my first “breastfeeding in weird places” situation in the Shopko dressing room).

I started work again at She Can Coterie. I work from home as the Editorial Manager for a virtual assistant company and started working there again when Clay was 5 weeks old. It was a good amount of time to have off and I was definitely ready for some mental stimulation by then. I definitely had some weird hours clocked, though. Gotta work around that nap schedule!

Tyler and I have been trying to get out of the house as much as possible. If I was the type to plan these things, I would never have a baby in the winter again. It’s dark half of the day and it takes ALL of the motivation to want to leave the house. I think the little-little newborn stage would have been much easier if I could have easily gone outside to get fresh air every day. The first time that I left Clay for any length of time was to drive to get take-out sushi about a half-hour away. It was 100% necessary for my sanity at that point! We’ve taken him with us on date nights and he does really well. He usually sleeps through dinner and then we feed him and he’s ready for the car ride home!


HOW I’M DOING POSTPARTUM.

Overall, my recovery went really smoothly. Way better than I expected. Since I didn’t have an epidural, I was able to get up and walk around right away in the hospital, which was nice. I took painkillers regularly for a few weeks and that helped a bunch and made me feel like a normal person.

My hormones were definitely out of whack the first 2 weeks. I was really emotional and overwhelmed easily, but it passed and didn’t turn into full-on postpartum depression or anxiety, which I am so grateful for. I can only imagine feeling that way for longer than I did.

Now for the craziness that is my mastitis story. Grab a snack because this might get long. I developed a clogged duct when Clay was around 4 weeks old in my right breast and immediately started trying to get rid of it quickly (nursing a bunch, hot compresses, massage, everything I could find on the internet).

What I was doing didn’t work because I got a fever with chills and the whole nine yards. The next day I called my OB and she sent a prescription for an antibiotic to the pharmacy for me to start taking and told me to get rest and keep doing what I’m doing and it’ll eventually go away.

Long story short, it didn’t. The antibiotic wasn’t strong enough and I ended up getting an abscess. I woke up a week into taking the meds with what looked like a boil that was super sensitive to the touch. This seriously developed overnight. I waited for Tyler to get home from work and then he took me to the walk-in where the doctor on duty told me to go to the ER so I could see the surgeon on duty to have it drained.

At this point, I thought that it would be quick and easy – just drain the thing, put a bandage on it, and then I can go home! We waited in the ER forever and both of the regular doctors on duty said it was above their pay grade (because of the location and since I was nursing), so I would definitely need to see the surgeon.

Since the fluid hadn’t hardened, she was able to do a needle aspiration and [TMI] the amount of pus that she drained was… crazy. I had no idea that it was that bad until that moment. She said if I had waited any longer I could have easily gone into septic shock.

I ended up staying Friday – Monday in the hospital to get an IV with antibiotics. Some more fluid drained off when the skin broke the next day (since that spot was so thin) and continued for another 48 hours. I had an open wound about half the size of a dime that healed in a week. Now, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that anything was wrong. It’s amazing! My OB said it was the worst case of mastitis she’s seen since she’s been practicing.


Other than that, life has been good. I feel like my normal self again. I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight and can fit into my old clothes (although I still love my maternity jeans – they’re too comfy!). The new reality is great. I love being a mom and can’t wait to see what’s next for us!

About Leah Van Ert

Leah is newly wed to her high school sweetheart and is a church secretary by day and blogger by night. She firmly believes in spending a little extra on high-quality cuisine, sleeping in, and the healing power of a good cup of tea. She currently lives in central Wisconsin where she was born and raised (and, yes, the stereotype is true - we really do love cheese).