My First Month With My Newborn
What The First Month Has Been Like With My Newborn
I have a good friend from college who told me that the first morning with her little girl:
“was the most sacred day of my life. Some cultures say that for the first 40 days after a woman gives birth, if she were to die she would go straight to heaven.”
She’s a very empowering friend and she encouraged me to revel in my new power (being a mom) and the glory and the miracle of my precious little soulmate as she called her.
This first month with Eileah has indeed been heavenily, but it’s hard to put it into words. I definitely see what my friend meant about the sense of power and sacredness of those first few days, but I’ve been finding it hard to make time for the Tinley Park Mom blog as any new mom would with a newborn. I could put off everything and go on forever with my baby sleeping in my arms. I just wish I could write an inspired blog post that says everything I want to say about this amazing time I’ve had or all the amazing things about my Eileah. I don’t want this time to end, but I’ll do my best to document my experience of the first month with my newborn, while she’s asleep.
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Expecting sleep deprivation and a whole host of discomforts and difficulties common to new moms, surprisingly I’ve had a really placid first month with my baby girl. We have been getting a good amount of sleep (seriously, she only gets me up two times during the night and then she cuddles with us till the sun rises), breastfeeding is super easy (it’s so wild that my baby girl has been squirted in the face by me over a dozen times!), and despite having never changed a diaper or grown up with siblings before this, I feel like I was born to be a mom. I don’t know when I’ve ever felt this naturally confident and self-assured in myself.
Two things that I did come up against in the first month were cradle cap and colic. Here’s how I dealt with them:
To combat the scaly little dandruffy dermatitis common in newborns, I applied Aveda invati AdvancedTM Scalp Revitalizer on Eileah’s scalp for one week. The serum stimulates the keratin protein naturally found in our hair and works to invigorate the scalp. I would massage it into her scalp after her sponge baths, which I give her twice a week. Luckily after only two applications (or two sponde baths) her cradle cap was no longer an issue.
This past week (week four) Eileah started showing signs of colic. What’s been working for her is I give her a half teaspoon of mother’s BLISS gripe water twice a day (but you can go up to six servings a day according to the bottle though). Usually we feed her, then burp her, but when she has discomfort or seems inconsolable fussy, my husband or I will give Eileah a baby massage after she’s ingested the gripe water and been fed. Works like a charm.
Sidenote: If you’re like me and can’t imagine just letting your baby “cry it out” try a co-Sleeper. A co-sleeper can be attached to your bed or be kept on it. How cool is that? Totally different from a bassinet. So if you’re not feeling confident about co-sleeping and want to keep your little one close at hand, check out mom Zoe Wither’s experience and which brands she recommends on the ThinkBaby‘s article about the Safest Co-Sleeper Baby Beds.
I don’t know where it comes from, this confidence, this knowing what Eileah needs when she gives a cue. I certainly didn’t have it while I was pregnant. The connection we have as mother and daughter is as everyone said it would be “unlike any other.” We can’t communicate with words, but the way we do communicate with looks, sounds, and touch is truly magical.
I still read new articles from the different email newsletters I subscribed to while I was pregnant on parenting and raising children, but only when I have time. For nine months I was insecurely reading, studying, and looking up the answers to so many questions and topics to make sure I was prepared. Now that I am a mom, I no longer need to go to those information sources to feel secure in my abilities. It also helps to know I always have the moms of the Tinley Park Moms Facebook group there if I need support or advice.
Did PPD Happen?
I’ve been feeling pretty good and miraculously dropped all my baby weight in the first two weeks since I had Eileah. Emotionally though I did tear up easily those first three weeks. I would cry when a neighbor would surprise us with a gift or sometimes when I’d be looking at my baby girl when she’d fall asleep during a feeding session. She’s just so precious, I just didn’t want this time in our lives to end. I felt overwhelmed by the joy and love she has added to our lives, the generosity of others, and sometimes by worrying about little things like THE FUTURE. The trick was always having my husband there to talk things through, reminding me not to get too ahead in thinking about things like where Eileah will go to school, etc. I was worried about postpartum depression, etc., happening to me while I was pregnant, but with fingers crossed by the end of our third week with Eileah, my lady hormones let up on the happy tears and I’m feeling less sensitive. I am also so happy that I am no longer experiencing those pregnancy symptoms of being ditzy, forgetful, and easily tired.
Did I Have Maternity Leave?
Since my husband and I run our own digital marketing agency, our parental leave was limited, but it’s been a luxury being able to work from home. I’m able to be here for my daughter and our clients.
Not having a traditional maternity leave doesn’t bother me, it’s based on the country I live in and the choice I made to be a business owner. It also helped that our clients were all very understanding about me being unavailable in the first two weeks home. As I slowly returned to full-time mode I kept reminding myself that I can always ask for help if I need it. Whether it’s asking one of our parents to watch Eileah or running out to pick up something from the store for us, I have a really fortunate lifestyle and support system that gives me flexibility and stability I need as a mom. And the best part is peace of mind, knowing that I can be as involved in my baby’s life as I can be in my career.
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Soaking Up Every Minute
The first month went by fast. Since she was born I’ve been soaking up every minute that I can with Eileah. Her first bath, her first smile, the first time we watched “The Little Mermaid” together as a family. She even got to celebrate her first Easters this year.
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Since it’s recommended that newborns be kept close to home for the first two months of life to protect their delicate developing immune systems, both sets of grandparents came over and brought their Easter to us on their observed Easter Sunday. Geoff’s parents came over on Sunday April 1st, then my parents came over the following Sunday, April 8th, according to the revised Julian calendar date followed by Orthodox Christianity. And then, a week later Eileah had her first appearance in a newspaper. The Tinley Junction put an announcement of her birth along with a photo of her, my husband, and I from when we were in the hospital still the day after she was born.
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What really sent our families over the edge was how the Junction shared about the event of her birth on social media with a congratulatuons and then the hospital where she was born did too. It was a good surprise. Now we’re all wondering, could this be the beginning of a hometown sweetheart? We’ll just have to see.
I can’t wait for all the other firsts to come, all the other milestones of Eileah’s development. And for me this coming May, it’ll be my first Mother’s Day as a mom. It’s surreal how fast that date is coming up and how fast time seems to be moving now that we’ve become parents. Just ten years ago my husband and I first met, and now we’re well into our fifth week as parents. Time truly flies when you’re happy.