One Month Baby Update
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been one month since we welcomed our sweet baby into the world. And how much our lives have forever changed. A lot can happen in a month. In fact, I feel like this first month of becoming a mom brought all the emotions. Literally. From pure joy to exhaustion, excitement and even a bit of sadness... Having a baby is a pretty powerful experience and every day brings something new.
It’s cliche, but true…the days feel so long, but this month seemed to fly by. So, I am once again hoping to capture some of the experiences before they feel like blurry memories. Even the first week is already starting to feel so distant.
We spent our first five days as a family in the hospital after my unplanned c-section, which was an adventure in itself. Five long days of hospital food and late-night vital checks from the nurses. While we truly had an amazing medical team, we were so ready to be home to start our new adventure. And I was ready to not be trapped in a dark hospital room. My recovery had gone so well, I knew it was time to go home.
The first few days at home felt like baby bliss - the newborn honeymoon, if you will. My husband had the week off and my MIL came into town to help out. Baby was still in his super sleepy phase and was only up to eat. So, I had two people that were solely focused on taking care of ME, making my only job to feed and bond with baby. They brought me comforting food and made sure I had time to shower and rest. It was heavenly.
That first week at home was focused on getting breastfeeding down. It was a challenge in the hospital. My milk didn’t come in until day four or five, so my nipples had taken a beating. And I went from nothing to enforced. No one said how hard it would be! It was much easier to relax in the comfort of my home and we started to get a latch down. Thankfully, it worked because Ford took to breastfeeding and was gaining weight!
Side note: I am so lucky to have a husband that is domestic - he cooks, cleans and grocery shops without any issues. I never knew how much this would mean to me until I become a mom. So, we settled in quite nicely. And I fell more in love with that sweet boy by the minute.
Becoming a Full-time Mama
Reality hit hard when J had to go back to work full-time and my MIL went back home. I was suddenly all alone during the day. Everything fell on my shoulders and it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I was emotionally and physically exhausted.
Even though Ford has been a great nighttime sleeper and has been comfortable in his bassinet, it still felt like I was constantly attached to him - feeding, changing, cuddling, rocking, repeat. I love those newborn snuggles and got breastfeeding down pretty easily, so that wasn’t the issue. It was more that I never had time to myself. No time to shower, to check emails, to brush my teeth, to finish my coffee…my former independent lifestyle seemed to suddenly drift far, far away.
On top of that, the newborn sleepy phase started to wear off around this time. Cue the sad tears and loud cries. It broke my heart to hear our baby so sad without me knowing what to do. I’ve always thought of myself as a strong woman, but let me tell you…those first two weeks at home really peeled me apart like an onion. I was down to my most raw layer and feeling really vulnerable.
Ford and I were still figuring each other out. I was learning his cues for what he needed and he was learning how to live outside of my tummy. No one prepares you for that. While I felt my inner mom instinct kick in, there were definitely times I felt so helpless.
Figuring it out
After two weeks at home on my own, I did what any business savvy woman would do. I started to create a plan. And I started to do my research. I can’t imagine becoming a mom in a world without Google. I knew I needed help creating a sleep schedule for baby and myself, so I purchased the Taking Cara Babies course and watched all the training videos during feedings in one day. I would highly recommend this or any sleep training education! While it’s hard to follow the schedule exactly when he is still so young, I learned so much about how to help get him down for naps and longer stretches at night.
We also started slowly leaving the house for short visits. I had to really work on this. I was so anxious about bringing baby out for fear of strangers and their germs, along with him having a meltdown. I hated the idea of not knowing how to soothe him in public. Every time I took him somewhere, it got easier (at least for me, mentally). But I do think getting out of the house helped me SO much (emotionally) during those first few weeks. I needed the fresh air and to be out in the world. It was good for my soul.
By week four, I feel like we were getting into a groove. Baby was sleeping 4 to 6 hour stretches at night and was starting to nap more regularly in the daytime, which meant I was well rested and able to be productive again! I started easing back into work (1. Because I didn’t have a choice and 2. Because it felt good to challenge my mind again). And even started to leave him with my mom or sister for short periods to run errands. I was starting to feel like a functioning person!