I have no idea where the past month has gone. Well, I take that back. The past month has been full of firsts, learning, loving, breastfeeding, diapers, emotions, sleep deprivation, and everything else that comes along with the first month of being a new parent. I'd like to think we are surviving and thriving! Of course some days are easier than others but right now as I look down at my sweet boy, all snuggled up against me, sleeping so soundly, I KNOW that it has all been worth it. The love I feel for him is one that I've never known before...Even when he's screaming his head off and I'm trying to figure out what he needs.
What's been going on over the past month:
Everyone told us that the first two weeks were the most difficult but that was not the case for us. Those weeks had their challenges but he was a pretty easy baby then. He was super sleepy and barely cried at all. He woke every 2 hours to eat and have his diaper changed. He'd give us a few minutes of alert time where he'd gaze at us and his new world, then he'd drift off to sleep again.
I was emotional, especially in the afternoons and evenings. I expected the baby blues, but I thought they'd revolve more around the baby or how our lives have changed. Instead they were about Matt. I missed him even when he was sitting right next to me! I would cry when thinking about him being at work instead of at home with us [Edited to add that he was at home with us for a week and a half. We treasured that time together!]. It was a little unreasonable but it was how I felt. Thankfully, things have improved in that area.
My recovery from labor and delivery was more painful after leaving the hospital but that has also improved.
Breastfeeding FORTUNATELY came easily for Ethan. He got the hang of it right away and I learned with practice. We are also fortunate that the Lactation Consultant at the hospital where we delivered is wonderful!! She has been incredibly helpful and supportive. The hormones that brought on my baby blues/tears came as soon as my milk came in. Wow, I NEVER expected engorgement to be as painful as it was. It was severe and I still think about how insanely uncomfortable those 4 days were.
The next two weeks provided some more challenges. Ethan was showing signs of possibly having reflux and was not as sleepy or as happy. It was obvious that he was in pain. After attending a breastfeeding group and talking with the LC, I decided to start eliminating things from my diet that could be upsetting his digestive system. I miss milk and cheese (and most other dairy) but it seems to have helped him. I also eliminated caffeine and most tomato products. We're still keeping our fingers crossed that his issues were being caused by my diet and not by reflux.
It takes more work to get him to go to sleep then it used to. We're figuring out what works for him, although it can change so quickly (as most things with him do!). He has about an hour of awake time after his feedings. Sometimes he'll pass out before that but most of the time he tries to stay awake and fights sleep... which makes for a cranky baby boy!
He is starting to look more like an infant then a newborn now. Check out the difference after only a month:
He is steadily gaining weight as well. He was 6lbs 12oz at birth and 10lbs even today.
His favorite time of day seems to be the late afternoon. He loves to lay on the changing table after that diaper change and stare at the ceiling fan. We also use that happy time for singing to him, reading a book, and tummy time if he's up for it. He is not a fan of the bouncer chair. I hope he'll like it someday as mom's rave about those types of chairs giving them some free time. I'd love it if he would sit in it while I did things around the house or took a shower but he'll only sit in it for about 3 minutes before he starts fussing. On his 3 week bday he decided that he liked the swing. He does not care to swing side to side but enjoys front to back swinging. He likes to stare at the bookshelf while he swings and *sometimes* falls asleep in it. He also enjoys being carried around in the moby style wrap and the beco butterfly carrier.
Happy 1 month birthday baby boy! This was us...on your birth day. I couldn't have been happier to see you.