Time can slow down at any point now. I honestly cannot believe that Madelyn is one month old already. I know it sounds cliche, but it seems like just yesterday we were on our way to the hospital. Even though this bundle has been in our lives for a very short period of time, it’s hard to remember what life was like before her.
This month has been one of the toughest of my life-mentally, physically & emotionally. The first day we brought her home from the hospital she cried and cried. I thought maybe the hospital screwed up and gave us the wrong baby! Trying to figure out what she wanted based on her cries was hard in the beginning, but once I listened to my gut instinct (and to Madelyn of course) it got easier. Even though this is my first baby & I’ve had lots of helped from experienced moms, no one knows your baby better than you.
Sleep. One of the hardest parts about month 1 has been getting used to the sleep deprivation. Newborn babies sleep a lot, but what I overlooked is that their sleep is broken up into short spurts. One night, Madelyn woke up almost every single hour. As we’re getting into routine over here, her sleep is getting better and ranges from about 3-4 hours at a time during the night. Win.
Eat. I was one of the lucky ones that was born with a baby that latched on 10 minutes after birth. The process of getting her to breastfeed has been a breeze. The act of breastfeeding is a different story. I thought it would be simple and it really is now that I’m past the first few weeks. My milk didn’t come in right away, so she just fed on colostrum for a few days. I didn’t have a strong let down either, so I couldn’t even pinpoint the exact time of when my milk did actually come in. One problem I had (and still struggle with) is having Madelyn stay awake long enough to get what she needs. She gets to the breast and within 10 minutes she’s falling asleep. In the beginning, I would just stop and let her sleep only to have her wake up 45 minutes later crying and hungry. I felt like I was feeding her all day. It became exhausting but I pushed through it. Now, I’ve got tricks up my sleep to help keep her awake and nursing on both sides. I also pump after I nurse in the morning and at her last feeding at night. Sometimes I leave it for LC to give her if I run out and do errands. I try to store & freeze at least 1/2 of what I pump so that I have some on back up for when I go back to work or when someone watches her. My doctor did tell me what formula would be best to use, but as long as breastfeeding is going well, I’d like to keep that as a last resort.
Emotionally. The transition into motherhood can be a difficult one. You’re sleep deprived. Your hormones are completely out of whack. Your body is just not at all what it was before. I’ve read other new mom bloggers that just make it seem like a cake walk and that they’ve got it all together. I’ve cried a handful of times. Both out of happiness and frustration. I’ve yelled at my husband when he was only trying to help. I’ve sat and cried in the shower. I questioned myself as to whether or not I am doing a good job. But I’ve also cried because I can’t believe the that I’ve been blessed with this little girl who brings me so much joy-who smiles at the sound of my voice as she’s waking up, who laughs in her sleep and who seems so eager to learn about the world around her.
What She loves. The other day while we were eating dinner, Madelyn sat calmly in her chair. I looked over at her and said to hubs, “I can’t believe she’s actually here.” Despite the trials and tribulations of the first month, I thank God every day that we’ve been given a healthy, happy baby to take care of and nurture. It amazes me that someone so small has such a big personality and knows what she wants.
- She loves to move around and be worn in the Moby wrap.
- The large balance ball has been a lifesaver for both gassiness and soothing.
- She prefers to fall asleep on your chest as opposed to on her back in your arms.
- She LOVES her vibrating chair and up until today, cried every time I tried to put her in her swing. Today, she fell right asleep.
- The laugh she does in her sleep makes me laugh.
- The smile she gets when she hears me calling her name as she’s waking up melts my heart.
- Bath time relaxes her. We gave her a bath yesterday and she almost fell asleep in the tub. I think we have a little water baby on our hands.
- Her funny expressions make my day.
- She loves to cuddle with you and will take her little hands and rub them against your chest, almost like she’s trying to give you a massage.
- She enjoys being read to and instead of looking at the book, she stares up at me with those big blue eyes and I read to her.
Happy 1 month of life baby girl! You have brought us more joy than I ever thought possible. I’m looking forward to watching you grown into a happy, loving little person 🙂