Now that we have gotten to know Everest on the outside for a few months, we wanted to share some reflections of what life is like and how we have been changed since meeting our little one. This post also includes recommendations for five baby items that we couldn’t live without and suggest for all of you new parents out there!
We hope it goes without saying how in love we are with our little one. We often get asked if Everest is a “good” baby. He is the BEST, y’all. He brings us so much joy and, in some ways, we feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop considering how smoothly everything is going. We cannot believe how exponentially love has grown in our home and in our hearts and we are so, so happy to be parents to this baby and partners to each other. Below are three of the biggest things we have learned since Evs joined our family from both of us!
If it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?
Yes. It did.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned since having Everest is that I don’t have to share every single thing. Since reading numerous articles about “sharenting,” we have decided that we don’t want Everest to have a huge digital footprint. We understand the downsides of this. As someone who has a large amount of family in India and elsewhere in the US, it’s harder for them to have immediate access to Everest, and that’s a little sad. And, as a photographer who has been fairly comfortable with and compelled to share the largest moments in our lives as well as our clients’, it has definitely been a challenge. That being said, this cobbler’s kid definitely has shoes! Our choice doesn’t mean that we’re not taking photos or documenting Everest’s milestones and growth just because we aren’t posting them daily on Instagram or Facebook. On the contrary, our parents have started asking for what they call Everest’s “Power Picture of the Day” (PPOD for short), which means we take photos (and, more recently, videos) of Everest every day and share them with the people who love him most besides us. Everyone else? They get texts, too, or see him in person! Our feelings on this might change over time and clearly we are sharing some images of him (how could we not? these newborn photos from our session with LJP are so good!), but we don’t feel the need to put all of the hundreds of photos of him that are on our phones on the internet just yet! 🙂
Villages are awesome.
We have all heard the saying, but until now, I feel like I have always been independent. I didn’t need a village. And to some extent, maybe I still don’t. However, I really can’t begin to express the overwhelming gratitude I feel for our village. From our moms, who stayed with us or commuted to help out for the first month of Everest’s life (Ian went back to work after two weeks!) to friends who have brought so much incredibly delicious food so that we (i.e. Ian) wouldn’t have to cook, I can’t believe how fortunate we are. On top of that, I have begun to understand how incredible moms are in general. There are so many random mothers I have connected with who have given me advice, shared their stories, pointed me in the direction of resources, or empathized with me. I think moms are just amazing people, and I literally don’t know what I would have done without all of the mothers I have connected with in the past few months. Our family is so well-loved. If you’re reading this and cooked for us or came over and sat with us or held our baby because we needed to eat or sleep or let us borrow a book or let us text you with frantic questions or have even just kept us in your thoughts, thank you.
It’s worth mentioning that for me personally, my #1 “villager” has been Ian. Not only has it been amazing to watch him become a father, but he has totally proven that there is no finite amount of love. As he loves and cares for Everest, he continues to love and care for me as well as ever. I could not imagine this journey with anyone else by my side.
My body is amazing.
Like most other TV-watching, magazine-reading women, let’s just say I haven’t always been the biggest fan of my body. But now, every time I look at Everest, I’m reminded of how my body has helped sustain another life for almost an entire year now. It grew Everest (and an extra organ!), and went through 19 hours of labor to give birth to him, and now it feeds him for hours each day! My body has felt pretty uncomfortable for a while, and there have been a lot of changes to get used to. I still often wish there were fewer. But I am constantly in awe of what it has been capable of, and am so, so thankful that even with its bumps and pains and leaks and imperfections, it has served me and our baby perfectly well.
These last 12 weeks have been the happiest of my life. People often ask what taking care of a newborn looks like on a daily basis, and I’m here to report that the days and weeks flew by. I fed Everest a lot, I played with him and changed him and bathed him, and I took care of myself. I rested a lot. I read books. I practiced getting out of the house with him and went on walks. I exercised after several weeks (and after finding that I couldn’t go up and down the stairs too many times or my body would have something to say about it). I took SO MANY naps (side note: naps are magical, friends — take one today and your life might change). I even cooked a few meals! I tried to stay really present with Everest and Ian, which is incredibly hard to do sometimes. I’ve spent 29 years doing just about whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to, so as ridiculous as it sounds, it was hard to put aside my wants to spend so much uninterrupted quality time with the people I love most. As a serial overachiever, at the beginning I felt frustrated that I could never quite do what felt like was enough each day. I realized, though, that everything I was doing was already more than enough. I changed my expectations for myself and started setting one goal for myself a day (besides the normal, everyday tasks). So if I got all of the laundry done or edited a set of photos or finished a book, all while taking care of Everest and myself, then that day could be considered successful. Despite the feeling like there will never be enough, I am so happy to have had this time with Everest. I am just the luckiest.
I can learn a lot from Radhika.
Every day since Everest was born I’ve been reminded how lucky I am to share this experience with Radhika. Watching her with him gives me a new perspective on the love she has always shown me. I see what it looks like for her to give that kind of love to our son. I learn so much from watching her — the way she greets him with a warmth that seems to seep into his body, the way she listens to his grunts and coos and cries and really hears what he’s trying to say, the way she is gentle with him no matter what she’s trying to do with him. I’m so lucky to have her as my role model and my partner in this journey.
There’s not a lot of time in the day.
Time seems to be going by a lot faster these days. I never understood what people did all day with a new baby, but now I get it. In some ways, there really isn’t enough time. Between his eating and sleeping and us taking care of everything in between, those first few weeks felt like we were hitting reset every two or so hours, not quite finishing anything before it was time to start all over. In the past couple weeks, though, it seems like no matter how much time there is, it’s not enough. He’s growing so fast! We’ve already had to ditch the first round of newborn-sized onesies and will soon be moving up sizes again. We’ve bought some clothes for winter that seem comically large, but in just a few months they’ll be just right. It’s been a shock how little time there is from one day, or one size, to the next. For now we’re trying to take it in as much as we can, documenting the special moments to save them for later.
This is a lot of fun!
I’m kind of learning this, but I think I’ve always known it. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, even before I knew it was Radhika I wanted to raise children with. It’s a truly special experience to be able to introduce someone to the world, and to watch them make their own place in it. I’m so excited to be able to watch this little boy grow and learn, to see his personality develop from scratch, to teach him everything I know and learn from him everything he has to show me. I hope I can be a good father to Everest but I know that I’m enthusiastically ready to give it my best shot.
6 things we couldn’t live without
We all know of the typical baby necessities — diapers, car seats, bassinets, etc. — but we thought we would tell all of you new parents about a few out-of-the-box products that have really made life easier on us! We hope this is helpful to you!
- Baby Bum Diaper Cream Brush: Diapers. You’re going to have to deal with them. But what you don’t have to deal with is the sticky, messy diaper cream that keeps babies rash-free. Our friend found out about this item from her sister and gifted it to us. We literally use it every single day, multiple times a day, and have never experienced having to deal with getting diaper cream out from underneath fingernails.
- Swaddles: Everest can break out of most swaddles and loves sucking on his fingers. However, he hasn’t overcome the Moro reflex yet and will often startle awake when he breaks free. Ian cringed when he found out how much the Ollie swaddles cost (someone gifted them to us!) but quickly changed his tune when he learned that this is the quickest, easiest swaddle to keep Evs snug and secure. It’s great having two so that we can still swaddle him for naps while one is being washed, and we’re glad we’ll be able to use this for a long time unlike the sleep sacks we used at first (which never worked well for us and which he has already outgrown)! We did notice that Everest would sometimes get too hot in them (they’re made of breathable material but his room is over the garage and air just doesn’t circulate well there in the summer), so we also got him an Anna and Eve swaddle which does the same job really well and helps keep him cool!
- Kiinde bottle system: We started feeding Everest one bottle every day when we had breastfeeding fairly established because it gave Ian a chance to bond with him after he came home from work. Plus, one break each day from breastfeeding is pretty nice. I still have to pump while he eats, but especially early on, that took only 20 minutes as opposed to an hour of feeding him. We found out about the Kiinde system while pregnant and are so glad that we started using them. I can pump directly into one of their pouches, freeze it or take it on the go if I need to, and snap it into one of their bottles so that there’s no milk to transfer and no bottles to clean. Plus, because we can get the air out of the pouches pretty easily, we’re able to use paced bottle feeding to make sure Everest doesn’t eat too fast or take in too much air, which prevents gas and reflux. 🙂
- Babywearing items: Obsessing about babywearing might have been how Radhika nested, but we won’t get into that right now… what you need to know is how much easier babywearing is than lugging around a huge stroller or car seat for quick trips! A few of our favorite brands include Solly Baby wraps for newborns and Wildbird, Poppet, and Poppy Laurel ring slings for infants.
- DockATot: We weren’t sure about the DockATot at first. A $200 lounger?! But we heard so many good things that we put it on our registry anyway and received it as a gift. Since then, it’s basically all Evs sleeps in (besides our arms!). We put it in his crib and bassinet and move it around the house as we need to. There are lots of other types of loungers on the market, including the Snuggle Me Organic, which given the chance to go back, we might have asked for instead!
- Nursing clothes! Just when you thought you were done shopping for a wildly different body, it goes and changes again! All of a sudden, you need quick access to the milk makers. One of my favorite brands include Pink Blush — see a styled look below that is cute, comfortable, and nursing friendly!
Thank you for reading friends! As always, if you have questions for us, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to Lauren Jolly Photography for these gorgeous photos and for your friendship through the entirety of Everest’s life!
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