As I’m writing this, I can hardly even believe I’ve been a mama for over a month! The first month was a mixture of so many emotions, but one thing I can say for sure…Philip and I are so in love with our little girl and we couldn’t feel more lucky to be her parents! We still can’t believe we created such a perfect little girl. Before Harper came into the world, I of course knew I loved her already…but it’s an absolutely unreal feeling to to know how much I love her now, after only knowing her for a month. I’m taken aback every day by how totally and completely in love with her I am. I know it’s only been one month, but we can definitely say our lives have changed in the best way possible 🙂
Before I get into how the first month has been, I just wanted to say a quick thank you to yall for being so sweet and constantly checking on Harper and me after she was born. Most of you know we had a bit of a rough start [read Harper’s birth story HERE], but Harper is doing so great and I’m so much better as well. I actually had an ultrasound last Wednesday to check on the abscess and fluid between my uterus and bladder and we got the best news…it’s shrunk so much and the fluid is super minimal! So, after a full month of being on antibiotics, I’ve been able to finally get off of them and I couldn’t be happier. I’m finally feeling like myself again and it’s a truly great feeling.
Last week, I asked on my blog and snapchat what kind of things yall would like to see in these updates, so I’m answering those questions, and then some! **I do want to preface this post by saying…every baby is different, every family is different, and every doctor is different…so what has worked for Harper and for us, may not necessarily work for everyone. And that’s totally fine! I’m just here to share where we are at and what has worked/hasn’t worked so far 🙂 So whatever works for you and your family…no judgement, go for it mama!
As we start week 5, I think we are finally settling into a bit of a routine. We are finally able to usually understand Harper’s cries and what she needs. We’re learning what she likes and doesn’t like. Successfully soothing her when she’s crying and seeing her little smile and her little hand grab our finger, makes it all worth it, 100000 times over.
1. As scared as I was of becoming a first time mama and failing miserably, I can’t imagine not having her here in our life. Philip and I have quickly learned that so much of parenting, is trial and error. And it’s truly shocking how quickly you snap into Mom or Dad role. It’s like your body just knows what to do.
2. Babies are not glass. I remember the first couple of days, I was terrified of breaking her. That may sound silly, but I just thought she was SO fragile and any little movement would hurt her. Yes, babies are more fragile the younger they are, but it’s okay to move them around, hold them different ways, go over bumps while pushing them in the stroller, etc.
3. Bodily functions and fluids no longer really gross me out. I never thought I’d be okay with farts, boogers, spit up, and dirty diapers, but when its your baby, it’s a totally different story.
4. I think I always kind of took sleep for granted…I’ve always been the one to be in bed by 9:00 pm and up at 6:30, ready to start the day. I always slept 9 hours, but never really thought much of it! Now, when I get 6,7, or 8 hours at night [more on that below], I can’t help but wonder if it’s a fluke!
5. Not everything goes to plan and once you have a baby, your OCD/type A behavior needs to sit down and take a back seat. I’m a crazy planner and love a good schedule, but I’m sloooowly starting to realize that sometimes you can’t be on a schedule with a little babe, and that’s okay! Life goes on.
6. I don’t think I’ve ever been more thankful for my husband, or more proud to call him the father of our daughter. He’s been beyond amazing throughout the first month and I must say, we make quite the team. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or extra tired, he’s been there and made everything better.
7. As a parent, you develop super-sonic hearing. No joke. You hear EVERYTHING. I can be sound asleep and swear I can hear Harper blink in her bassinet. The first few nights, Philip and I were so jumpy and every sound had us out of bed and at her bassinet to check on her. We’re slowly starting to relax…a little bit 😉
Sleeping + Feeding Schedule:
Sleeping — For the past couple of weeks, Harper has been sleeping 6-8 hours at night. Yes, that’s 6-8 hours of uninterrupted, peaceful sleep! Hallelujah! She is a great sleeper so far. For the first few nights of this, Philip and I woke up thinking it was a one time thing, no way this could be real, what did we do to deserve this miracle?! The truth is, we have been pretty intentional with her sleeping and eating schedule, which we are convinced has played a huge part in this. We both read Baby Wise while I was pregnant and we agreed we wanted to try to follow it.
Eating — So far this first month, we’ve been feeding her every 3 hours. Of course, sometimes she’s hungry at the 2 and a half hour mark or won’t drink a full bottle at the 3 hour mark, but we’ve learned to just go with it. So if she is napping during the day, we wake her around 3 hours for a feeding. We usually do her last feeding around 7:30-8:00 pm, at which point we put her down for the night. She will usually sleep until about 3:00 am [give or take], so once she wakes up, I’ll feed her. Then she goes back to sleep until about 7:00 or 8:00 am. We’ve gotten into a good schedule so far and it seems to work.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me how breastfeeding is going, and I actually haven’t been able to nurse. In my ‘Bumpdate’ posts while pregnant, I mentioned how breastfeeding was very important to me and I wanted to try to do it for as long as I could. Remember how I said above that not everything goes to plan? Well, here is exhibit A. Because of the complications I had from birth and the fact that I’ve been on antibiotics for the last month, I wasn’t able to nurse. I did decide however, that I wanted to still pump every 3 hours to keep my supply up, in the event I could start to nurse again. So for the last month, I pumped every 3 hours and had to dump it. My doctor cleared me last week after I got off my antibiotics to start breastfeeding again…however after much debate, I decided maybe it wasn’t the best idea. Harper has been on formula from a bottle for a month, so I didn’t want to risk confusing her at this point or risk it being difficult [and frustrating] to get her to latch on. All that being said…I’m currently still pumping every 3 hours and we mix my milk in with the formula for each of her feedings. It’s not the same and definitely not what I pictured, but at least she’s getting my milk and getting those nutrients. So for now, this is what we are doing 🙂
I do have to say that I’ve been lucky enough to have the help of my family this first month. With Philip back at work, it was a blessing to have my family to help out with the little things. My mom comes over often, runs to the grocery store for me, joins Harper and I on errands, sometimes watches her while I shower, etc. Harper and I have gone on a few solo outings and yesterday, Philip and I took her with us to brunch, so we are definitely getting back into the swing of things!
Philip and I try each night to at least spend an hour together, once we’ve put her down for the night. Relax, chat, and sit back with a glass of wine and watch our shows. It’s been so good for us and all of this has even further strengthened our relationship 🙂
1. Swaddle: This, hands down, may be our absolute favorite product. Harper sleeps best when swaddled, but is a little mini Houdini and can escape a wrapped blanket swaddle after a short amount of time. This sleep sack swaddle has played a huge role in her sleeping habits and we definitely think it contributes to her long stretches of sleep each night. It’s so easy to use [way easier than a blanket swaddle] and keeps her cozy and secure. Highly recommend.
2. Wipe Warmer: I will say, Philip and I weren’t sold on this all throughout my pregnancy. We thought we’d be fine without it. However, Harper was super fussy during diaper changes at the beginning, so day 3 of having her home, we ordered this and it fixed everything.
3. Nail Trimmer: Babies’ nails are so sharp and grow so quickly, so they definitely have to be trimmed. I’ll admit I was so nervous about this and terrified if I clipped them, I’d hurt her. This tool is so easy to use and gives me total peace of mind, knowing I won’t hurt her tiny fingers.
4. Bathtub: I love that its designed to let the dirty water flow out, while only clean water flows in. It also has a color-coded thermometer that turns red if the water is too hot and stays green when the temperature is just right.
5. Lotion: This smells amazing! It’s a nighttime lotion and we’ve incorporated it into Harper’s nighttime routine. Right before putting her down at night, I lather her up in this to help with her super dry skin and I think it’s really soothing for her.
6. Pajamas: These are the best pajamas ever made. Hands down. I own them in 4 colors now and I can’t even begin to describe how soft they are. Especially the first few weeks, you just want to be comfy…I lived in these. Plus, they’re button-front making them nursing friendly.
7. Dry Shampoo: Ha! Had to throw this one in there as a must have because honestly…hair washes become even fewer and farther between once you have a little one! Dry shampoo has been my BFF these past few weeks.
I know this post was crazy long, so if you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! I appreciate yall so much, xo! Have an amazing week!