Charlie just turned two and lately I’ve been reflecting back on how our lives changed when we first became a family of three. He loves to look at baby pictures and see his grandparents and uncles holding him when he was first born. We spend lots of sweet snuggle time looking at “Baby Charlie” together and talking about how loved he is by his family. These cuddles are often some of the only moments I can get him to sit still these days! My toddler is usually going full blast! And the more tired he gets, the squirrelier he gets—flipping and flopping until we finally sit down in his room at the end of the night to read stories. We love stories, but I’ll save our favorite books for another post.
Reflecting on the newborn period, I think it went by too fast! I remember the first two weeks of Charlie’s life as a precious moment in our lives. We existed in our own reality, separate from the rest of the world, completely focused on our new family. Sure, we weren’t getting a lot of sleep and our schedule was crazy (naps anytime we could catch them, dinners finally eaten at midnight, PJs worn all day), but we had this experience of intense bonding as a family that unique to this moment in time. I really miss that feeling of connectedness some days when our schedules get busy and we feel stretched too thin. My favorite things about the newborn period were the sweet, sleepy baby snuggles. There is nothing like having a baby fall asleep in your arms or, better yet, on your chest while you relax on the couch.
There are a lot of things that we did in the first few weeks that I am so happy about. We took time to bond together and tried to block out the rest of the world for a little while. (Though we did celebrate Charlie’s homecoming, Josh’s birthday, and my first Mother’s Day all in the same week!) While I was in the hospital, we had the house professionally cleaned, so I didn’t have to worry about any cleaning in the first week or so. We took lots of pictures, including professional newborn pictures. We documented lots of Charlie’s firsts, including bath, book, walk, visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and dance party in the living room. We cuddled. A. LOT. We tried out baby wearing and mastered using our K’tan baby carrier. Of course, there are some things I would change if I could go back in time. I would have rested more. I would have bought some newborn-size clothes ahead of time (everyone told me I’d only need size 3 month and up, but Charlie wore newborn size clothes for about 6 weeks and he was a healthy size baby). I would have told myself that I didn’t have to be a hostess when friends and family came by to visit. All in all, I look back on this period with sweet memories, and when Charlie and I look at “Baby Charlie” pictures together, I hold him a little closer.