One Month

On the 4th our little baby turned one month old and today she is 5 weeks! My, oh, my! It feels as though time got swept right out from under my feet.

One Month

I had so much that I wanted to do in the first month, like take tons of pictures with my nice camera, but I didn't. I mean, we did take pictures but not hundreds as I imagined. I feel a little sad because she has changed quite a lot. I have to remember that all the time I would have spent looking at her through a lens I actually spent holding her in my arms. 

I also wanted to write more. Every time I think about writing I can't think of the right words to say. It is overwhelming; the amount of change, love, growth, emotions... Oh, the emotions. Writing makes me emotional. Here I am... getting emotional. Motherhood is amazingly indescribable and completely overwhelming. 

I'll reflect on this past month and let the words spill out.

The first night it was hard to go to bed because I wanted to sit and stare at Ezra. Once we were in bed I had a hard time actually falling asleep. I worried that I would squish her. We started co-sleeping from the first night. A few nights we slept on the couch and Ezra slept on our chests. She has consistently slept 2-3 hours at a time from the beginning. Occasionally Ezra sleeps in her crib for her first 3 hour cycle. It allows John and I to sleep just a bit more comfortably.

One week old

In the beginning Ezra spent much of her awake time eating. She has progressively increased the time she stays awake. This last week she has been staying awake for quite a few hours in late morning/early afternoon. In the last few days she has been waking up really happy and smiling at me as I say as sing, "Good morning, Ezra! I love you, Ezra!" It is one of my most favorite things. My heart bursts when she smiles at me on purpose.

Ezra is exclusively being breastfed. We started our breastfeeding relationship in the first hour after birth. That first latch was really hard to get but once we got it, we got it! She immediately nursed well. The first 5 days were extremely painful for me. My milk came in on day 3 and the engorgement was horrible. For two days everything hurt. My breasts were swollen high up on my chest and under my armpits. The extreme pain from engorgement lasted for two days and then gradually wore off. From two weeks until now breastfeeding is painless. Ezra is growing and satisfied. Some days I have struggled with feeling like just a milk resource but I know that is a lie. I am a provider of nutrition, care, love, knowledge and Ezra loves me. I am so thankful to be able to provide food for our baby.

We decided to use disposable diapers for the first week until Ezra's cord stump feel off and she passed the meconium completely. We used about 75 diapers in 7 days. On day 8 we switched to cloth. Cloth was easy to use from the start and we were actually enjoying the bright, fun colors on Ezra. We had about 15 disposable diapers left in newborn size and we decided to use them instead of throw them away. After a day and a half we were so happy to be returning to cloth! Disposable diapers absolutely smell horrible! For a while we continued using baby wipes and slowly switched over to cloth wipes. We went through 5 regular packages of wipes. Now we are exclusively using cloth for diapering and we are loving it! Our inventory looks like this: 30 diapers, 25 wipes and 1 spray bottle with water. I wash a small load of diapers either every day or every other day. We are so glad we are using cloth. We have not had a single blow-out poop using them (we had a few with the disposable). If Ezra has a heavy pee the liquid will seep through the cloth on the leg hole to her outfit. I don't mind this because pee doesn't stain. I'll choose seeping over blow-outs. The final thing that I'll say about using cloth is that it fills out clothes a lot more than disposables. Some newborn clothes don't fit because the diaper makes her body longer.

Postpartum healing:
This has been the most challenging part for me. The first week was okay. I expected heavy period bleeding. I took the advice of many other mothers and used depends for the first few days and at night. I recommend them as well. Then one night I noticed something odd. I would rather not get very detailed about it but, long story short, I had retained a bit of the amniotic membranes. It isn't very common and wasn't serious; just initially alarming. My midwife saw me the next day and said my body was and would continue passing it on its own. I didn't know that the wound site where the placenta was develops a clot and it sloughs off around two weeks. It happened earlier for me and was accompanied by really heavy bleeding. It was scary because I know about postpartum hemorrhaging and I couldn't help but worry if I was. I called my midwife and she told me to lie down. She wanted me to call her in an hour if it continued. Lying down helped to slow the bleeding. I didn't need to call her. She checked in with me after a few hours. After those two experiences healing went on as I expected. My tear became less sensitive and was healing well at my two week appointment. The "4-6 week period" has progressed as a normal cycle would; just stretched over a longer period of time. Next week I have my six week check up and I feel as though I am where I should be in recovery. I feel great.

Four days old

My emotional state is good. I have only had a few days where I felt down and they were remedied with some "me time" (hot shower, fresh clothes, time out of the house and a nice meal). Creating good habits has been a key to feeling happy. Some of my daily habits are taking vitamins, flossing, kissing/hugging John, reading, dishes, smiling at myself in the mirror and saying affirmations like, "You are a great mom." "Even if you look tired you are still beautiful." "You have what it takes."

I gained 34 pounds in pregnancy. I came home 12 pounds lighter. Since then I have lost another 6 pounds. I plan on keeping around 7 of what I gained so I am 9 pounds away from my "goal". I don't care about the numbers but it is the easiest way to describe where I am at. My true goal is fit into my jeans and build up my tone and strength. My jeans button now but they are tighter than what is comfortable. I am not in any hurry to reach those goals, so I went out for an hour one day and bought myself a pair of hot pink ankle cords to feel pretty in. They are cute and I feel cute in them. Just what a new mama needs!

Time away:
I have spent 6 hours away from Ezra so far. One hour shopping for my pink pants, one hour spending friend time with my sister-I-L, Jessie, and 4 hours on a date with John. While Jessie and Charissa watched Ezra and Rizzo we went to dinner for two hours. We came back to feed Ezra then went back out for frozen yogurt. It was refreshing to have time as a couple. I missed Ezra while away from her but it was really good for me to have a few moments to be a "girlfriend" to John, a friend to Jessie and a woman for me.

Two weeks old

My favorite! She is so lovable, happy, beautiful... all the best words. She loves baths, being naked, looking at the bars of her crib, her binkie and stretching. She loves her family and they love her! She is starting to smile socially at John and me. We talk to her and she "talks" back with coo's, gah's and oh's. If she is alert and enjoying her binkie she gets upset if it falls out.

One month old

We spend so much time just staring at her. She is fascinating! I am so excited to spend more time with her and see her in every stage of her life. I love being her mother! I love seeing John be her father! Life is such a blessing!

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