It’s time to talk about my first month postpartum. I’m so glad I took so many notes because I don’t ever want to forget what it was like going home after giving birth to my beautiful girl! You can read my daughter’s birth story here.
“I’m walking around in my diaper (yes, one of the perks of having a baby), my nursing bra is unclipped as someone told me fresh air would help heal my cracked nipples. I wonder how long this will take. I sit on the living room couch and my husband brings L to me. Apparently she’s VERY hungry. It’s been an hour since she finished feeding last. I strap this weird pillow to my midsection, and take her. I brace myself for the pain I feel every time she latches. She’s like a newborn vampire with a latch to kill. She starts sucking and sure enough, the pain lessens and I’m once again able to breathe.
Hubby brings me a plate of food and I’m thankful for being ambidextrous so I can still feed myself with my left hand, and hold her head with the right. Bread crumbs fall on my boobs and I wonder if I’ll remember to wipe it off before she wants to feed again. L starts getting really red, and I half hear, half feel, an explosion coming from her little body. I can no longer enjoy my breakfast after I start smelling the situation as well. I look at my food longingly before setting it down next to the pile of 5 diapers I changed from midnight to 7am while feeding her every 2 hours, and somehow sleeping maybe an hour in between feedings…”
Definitely not what I expected to write in my journal on December 31, 2020. The first month was rough. I’m not sure why I thought the hardest part was going to be delivering the baby. In my mind we’d go home, within 4 days my milk would come in, and we’d laugh and enjoy the new chapter in our lives. I’m not writing this to scare anyone out there who’s pregnant. But I wish someone had told me a little more about the difficulties after going home.
Another journal entry:
“Baby L turns 3 weeks today, and although I love her more than words can properly express, it’s been hard to adapt to sleepless nights, and the need to heal my body. No amount of research could have prepared me for the last 3 weeks and 2 days (adding labor and delivery too). I feel like when I’ve asked new parents about how things are going, they always share the highlights, and I love that, but the low moments are certainly there as well. And the guilt of knowing all I should feel is thankful and blessed for having this healthy baby at home.
There’s pressure about everything: breastfeeding, returning phone calls/texts, losing the baby weight, writing/mailing thank you cards… The pressure gives me so much anxiety.”
1st Month Challenges:
- Breastfeeding – My milk did not come in after 4 days. Heck, it’s been a month and I’m still struggling with breastfeeding. I firmly believe in “fed is best” but I’m feeling constantly pressured to keep pushing on this journey. The best article anyone could have shared with me about it was this one.
- Lack of Sleep – From 10 hours a night, to maybe 4 hours total. I’m STRUGGLING. No wonder sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture. How can anyone pull it together without sleep?
- Anxiety – Over everything. COVID doesn’t help.
- Not having my mom here – She’s in Brazil and they can’t come because of COVID restrictions.
- Moving – Getting our house ready for renters, and moving into a house that’s undergoing renovations.
1st Month Tips:
- Partner up, it’s going to be a tough ride. Use your partner, sleep at different times, ask how you can help)
- Accept help when offered to you. People will offer to bring food, etc, so just say “yes” and “thank you.” It was so nice to not have to think about what we were going to have for lunch/dinner.
- Take a bath and practice self care. I bought a huge bag of Epson salts and tried getting a bath in every few days.
- Drink more water than you think you need. Breastfeeding will totally dry you out.
- Make a list of people you can ask for help… like at 2am!
- Remember “your house, your rules.”
- Try to go out for walks, even very short ones will help
- Wear your baby! Both you and your partner!
1st Month Favorite things:
- Oteroo (she started using this at 2 weeks and LOVES it so much! Very fun to watch her kicking!)
- Loverly cards (we have the gym and love it, but the cards especially right now)
- Snuggle me organic
- Sound machine
- 7am car seat cover
- Uppa baby vista bassinet (We have this stroller that comes with a bassinet. Liv has slept many times on this bassinet which we move around the house when we want to put her down)
- Halo sleepers
1st Month Tv shows I binged:
- The Queen’s Gambit
- Emily in Paris
- Cobra Kai
XOXO, a new momma trying to survive… and read more about my pregnancy on the blog!