Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
As you can imagine, over here we’re busy taking care of this little new life.
Today marks the day that Drew goes back to work. I’ve been emotional about it because life with the 3 of us has been special. Both of us rapidly bonded with Maxwell + we’ve worked together to tackle parenting this sweet newborn. I’m beyond thankful for Drew’s approach to supporting me + taking care of Maxwell. He does it with love, patience, grace, kindness, + enthusiasm. I’ve never heard someone so excited for tummy time. 😉 Maxwell + I love you with our entire hearts + feel very lucky to call you husband + daddy. You are our greatest supporter + my favorite thing about your approach to marriage is that you see it as an equal partnership. I can only hope that Max would grow up to treat a special woman like you do me.
I asked our photographer (Clare Mullins Photography) to secretly send me a few pictures of Drew + Maxwell together. She is in the process of editing Maxwell’s newborn pictures, we’re SO excited to see those shots (eeee!). As a favor, she sent me these pictures early!
I was able to sneak out of the house (Drew didn’t think twice about a Walgreens run since I’ve needed a few things for Max or me there) to print + frame these images for him to take back to work + to share in this post. Thank you Clare for being SO sweet + helping me pull off the surprise. Drew loved it!
For the rest of this post I want to talk about the wonderful support system that Drew + I have around us! Bringing Maxwell home has been joyful, but it is not without challenges.
We’ve been overwhelmed + humbled by how our friends + families have supported the three of us. I wanted to share a few examples. This post is also to encourage + remind all of us to perform acts of kindness for the people around us.
Encouragement: I mentioned in my prior posts that breastfeeding is challenging. The nipple soreness – oofta! Max + I are committed to making it through this challenging little period in order to continue to reap the benefits of breast milk + our bonding time. Many mommas reached out to encourage me– thank you all! I wanted to share this extra sweet message from my friend Jamie, with her permission:
Hi Amy! Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! He is the spitting image of his daddy (My babe looks like her daddy too…I did all the work and she comes out looking like him-so unfair! )
It has been fun reading about your journey to baby Max! I’m sure you have had others tell you this, but I also wanted to chime in to let you know that breastfeeding DOES get easier! Once I hit 6 weeks or so things go SO much better! I had so many issues at the beginning (mastitis, cracked/bleeding nipples, upper lip tie). At times I felt it was more difficult than labor I’m now going strong still nursing my 6 month old babe, and even though I’m OVER pumping at work, I know it is one of the best things I can do for her! Lactation consultants were incredibly helpful for me- I saw mine like once a week for the first month!
Thank goodness for Kellen supporting me while I was nursing in tears many nights! I’m so thankful I stuck with it- especially now since nursing is the only time Lila will let me snuggle her! Whatever you decide to do is going to be best for you and Max, but I wanted to let you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel if breastfeeding is your hope
Enjoy all your baby snuggles- the time flies by way too quickly!!
How sweet was that? Jamie + I haven’t even seen each other in a couple of years, so for her to open up + send that message really meant a lot to me. And if Jamie can make it through all of those challenges, I know I can make it through the very painful 10 seconds after he latches. It’s funny what she said about labor because I told Drew I would take the last 15 minutes of pushing him out if I could get rid of this pain.
If you have a word of encouragement to share with someone- share it! Perhaps you’ve gone through something that they are struggling through. It may be just what they need + can really make a difference in their day as Jamie’s message did for me! Thanks again Jamie!
Fuel: Our friends Nya + Billy brought us the most delicious dinner. Our friends Anna + John brought us a dinner + muffins (which Anna thought would be perfect for breastfeeding snacks– and they were!). Even though Drew was home to cook for me, it was nice to have these prepared meals. It meant that we had more downtime to enjoy together + was a nice break for Drew. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for feeding us! In preparation for going back to work, Drew grilled me a bunch of chicken for this week so I would have a healthy + fast lunch option– thank you!
Don’t underestimate the gesture of taking food to someone that may need a little time freed up or support. Food is a great way to show love, especially for food loving people 😉 I remember when my brother passed away + our church had people sign up to bring us dinners for about a week. Our family was beyond touched by that gesture.
Visitors: Max has been able to meet a lot of our friends + family. It is not only great to introduce him to everyone, but also gives us some adult interaction. It has been SO good to see everyone. We’re thankful for the visits + look forward to more!
Side note for new mommas: His schedule is still unpredictable, so at first I would get worried that he would need to feed or be fussy when visitors were here. I realized I had to let that fear go + that everyone would understand if I needed to run upstairs with him for a little bit.
Go visit your friends! Often we let too much time pass. Whether it be to meet their brand new baby, to see their new home, or to just catch up + reconnect.
Friendly resources: As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have some outstanding professionals around me. Including close friends (+ a sister) that are physical therapists + an occupational therapist. I’m having some common aches including upper back soreness + lower back soreness. One of my friends sent me a video of different exercises to do to help in this early postpartum period in order to help alleviate pain + increase strength. I also utilized the breast feeding line available through Meriter. She was very friendly + gave some great tips that truly helped.
Wisdom/Mom advice: Thank goodness for my sister + friends that are able to answer questions that come up along the way. They are quick to respond to give me a pointer + words of encouragement. I have utilized them a lot + asked tons of questions! My motto has been that I’d rather be positive for Max than guess + it’s comforting to talk to people that have been through it.
One thing we’ve talked about before in church is loving on other people without the expectation of getting anything in return. That’s the life I want to live + these women have shown this exact mindset. It has been extra sweet of them to reach out + ask how I’m doing. It would be easy to just say “great”. But, since I know they have the knowledge I go ahead + ask if they have any suggestions!
My best advice would be to never think you are alone in something. You are surrounded by people that want to help you! I’ll send you a note of encouragement if you need it– anytime! 😉
On Thursday I’m going to open up about my postpartum body image, mindset, + workout plans. It may be a bit different than you think from a woman that absolutely loves working out– it’s going to be a slow + steady approach that is absolutely full of grace. I will get into that more on Thursday.
Thanks again for all of the support + well wishes friends! I promise all the posts aren’t going to be about Maxwell or postpartum, but it will a common theme. I think there is just too much good information that people don’t know + I’m committed to help spreading it. I also try to make the lessons applicable to other seasons of life that you may be going through.