I honestly cannot believe a month has already gone by. Where does the time go? My pregnancy felt painstakingly long, but now that I’m in the motherhood game, the days feel shorter than ever! It’s so cliche, but I find myself wishing I could stop time and keep my little guy a newborn forever. With a full month of mama life under my belt, I figured it would be fun to do some reflection on how life has changed, as well as some of the joys and challenges that come with the territory.
Sleep // The most obvious change, of course, is my sleep patterns. Jack started in a good routine of eating around 9:30pm, then sleeping until 1 or 2am when I feed him, and then again until 5 or 6am when I would just wake up. It was great to get those nice night stretches from the start! Around 3 weeks old, he started waking up every 3 hours, which is a bit of a bummer, but thankfully right when babies get into a routine that you are used to, they change it. So I know that won’t last forever!
Eating Habits // While pregnant, I hated all healthy food and nothing ever really tasted that good (except for ice cream!). Now, I’m back to my old eating habits and enjoying lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as strong black coffee :) Also, weirdly, I have no desire to eat ice cream anymore, which I consider both a good thing and a sad thing.
My Body Image // I was SO WORRIED about how my body would be postpartum, and now I just feel silly for caring so much. First of all, I’m so distracted (in a good way) by Jack, that I hardly even look in the mirror and really couldn’t care less about what I look like. Secondly, the postpartum body—or mine, I suppose—isn’t anything like I thought it would be. Yes, my belly is softer than before, and of course I still have some extra weight from my pregnancy, but I can confidently say that I’ve experienced higher self-esteem and a better body image in this first postpartum month than I have in the past 10 years. (I’m sure I’ll write more on this in the future.)
Nursing // Nothing shocks me more than telling you that I truly enjoy feeding Jack. I thought I would hate it immensely, but it’s proven to be such a sweet time of bonding and snuggling that I love! Plus, it feels great to meet such a basic need of Jack’s (and to have at least 20 minutes of guaranteed peace and quiet while doing so, haha).
Feeling of Purpose // While I’ve always had a sense of purpose in my day through my work, this has given me purpose in an entirely new way. I actually delight in the responsibility of caring for this little human, and love waking up each day with a clear mission: feed him, change him, snuggle him, love him. It’s wonderful.
Babywearing // Both Solly Baby and Happy Baby sent me wraps to try when Jack arrived and I’ve been using them nonstop. It’s so nice having him wrapped up close to my body so much during the day—in fact, that’s exactly where he is as I’m writing this post!—and it’s amazing how content he is to sleep in the wrap. Of course, I also love being able to write, eat, and get things done around the house with two hands free. Baby wrap = life changing.
Getting to Know Jack // Yes, he’s still a super small baby, but I swear each day I learn a bit more about who he is. I love the way he stretches before we change his diaper, the “milk smile” he gets when he’s done eating, and that adoring look he has in his eye when he’s staring me in the face. He seems very mellow and easy going like his dad, and I really hope that doesn’t change! I can pretty much guarantee Brian was an easier child to raise than I was, haha.
Less Time with Brian // I knew the first few months would be an adjustment period, but it definitely makes me sad that Brian and I have less time together than we did before Jack. I know that will change down the line as Jack gets into more of a schedule and we can enjoy both more sleep and more evening time together, but for now this is definitely a challenge.
Physical Recovery // My life this first month has been shockingly even more sedentary than my pregnancy. After pushing myself a bit too hard during the first two weeks postpartum, my doctor basically ordered me to sit on the couch for the rest of the month. I’m only allowed to take the stairs in my house twice a day, and walks and errands are off limits. I was super disappointed that life needed to be on hold for even longer, but it’s also been nice to be home and totally focused on Jack for the first month of his life. That being said, I’m ready to get out and move around!
Living Life in 2 Hour Increments // Though Jack sleeps well at night, he eats every one and a half to two hours during the day. I’ve never been so aware of the time on the clock! While it’s not that big of a burden while I’m stuck at home recovering, I can see how timing my outings will be a bit of a challenge once I get out of the house. My goal is to learn how to nurse in the baby wrap, but at the very least, I for sure will always have a nursing poncho on hand to keep this kid well-fed while we’re out.
Pumping // We started introducing a bottle to Jack recently so he’ll be used to it when, down the road, his grandparents watch him or he has a sitter. As a result, I obviously have had to start pumping to store up milk in the freezer, and let me just say—I hate it. There is nothing more awkward nor inconvenient than extracting milk from your own body. I’m thankful to have a really good pump, but really dread the 15-20 minutes I spent each day attached to it.
Mamas: what were your surprises, joys and challenges when you first became a mom? Non-mamas: what do you think you’ll love and what do you think will be challenging if/when you have babies in your life?