Welp, we did it: our baby girl is one month old … This is a milestone that feel like we might have a chance at being great parents!
In all seriousness, this past month has been beautiful. Becoming a family came really naturally to us, and we are so very thankful. The universe has blessed us with a really easy baby. Aside from our breastfeeding struggles, things have been pretty amazing. We just promised to take it one day at a time … there isn’t a single day that will influence another. We start over each morning … a sleepless night cannot influence the next day. We just approach each day with a positive attitude, and thankfully, it’s served us well.
During my pregnancy, we recapped each & every week. While I would have loved to do this with Alba, I just knew that there’s no way I could accomplish it with her here. A newborn requires so much time & attention, and we thought each month would be much more manageable. Even though we weren’t blogging, we were taking lots of photos, and I’m so happy to share our joys each month.
- Baby girl is smiling … In all fairness though, I think these are still involuntary smiles. We think we’re just days away from the real thing.
- The BEST sounds we’ve heard: coos!! She does it mostly when she’s on the changing table. It’s amazing to interact with her & hear her sweet, little voice.
- One of my favorite moments during her first month was when we chose her name. It happened just hours after her birth, but we honestly hadn’t decided on it before she was here. I think some people thought we chose a name, but we weren’t sharing. We knew we wanted to meet her first. I had a vision about her before we conceived her, and to honor that vision, we named her Alba. Jane comes from Jimmy’s mom and my great grandmother. I feel like my great grandma is my guardian angel … a bit of my compass when going through difficult times in my life. Knowing that Alba will carry a bit of her spirit makes me so very happy.
- Related: finding out she was a girl was amazing. I had the strongest intuition, and meeting her for the first time felt like I was meeting an old friend. All I could say when she was born was, “I knew you were a girl!!” … So much joy.
- My mom got to visit for two weeks. I mentioned this in our January post, but man, this visit was amazing. I miss her more than words can say.
- Jimmy’s stepmom, Lori, was able to take a trip out here. It was totally unexpected, but it was so great! It was her first visit to Portland, and since it was during week 3, I felt like we were able to get out and have some fun!
- Jimmy was able to take 5 weeks off work. We’re almost to the middle of the very last one. Sad, yes … but, we are just so happy we’ve had this time together. Being able to spend uninterrupted time, learning to be a family, has been the biggest joy of my life.
- I really loved bonding with my midwives on a deeper level. Heather & Amy Jo took SUCH amazing care of us. I seriously love these women more than words can say.
- We absolutely LOVE co-sleeping .. More on this later. For now, I will say: It’s really natural, it reduces the chance of SIDS, and it helps to create a schedule (I know, she’s a newborn, so it’s not really a schedule). We just love it. For the first two weeks, she and I had a lot of skin on skin time. At night, she would sleep on my chest … it was a dream.
- Cloth diapering has been great. We’ve both been peed on a few times, but for the most part, we love it. I love that we’re reducing our impact on the planet, and soon, we’ll break even on the cost.
Ooops (yep, there are a few things we totally messed up on):
- I think it was day three when we realized she had terrible diaper rash in one of her hip/leg rolls. Oh my! We felt terrible … thankfully, coconut oil is a miracle.
- I insisted that Alba wear a hat for the first 4 weeks. When I was reading our baby book (by Dr. Sears), I read that you really aren’t supposed to put a hat past two days, and that overheating can lead to SIDS. Oh my! Ooops!
- Before Alba was born, we decided that we would not be giving her the eye ointment at birth. It’s meant to combat nasty bacteria from gonorrhea or chlamydia … Since I knew I didn’t have either of those things, we just didn’t want an unnecessary medicine put into her eyes. Well, 2-3 days after she was born, one of her eyes got all goopy (from a clogged tear duct), and I felt like a total failure as a parent. Our midwives told us to put a bit of breast milk in her eye, and it did the trick!
- Breastfeeding has been SO HARD. I had NO idea how difficult it could be. I have an entire post describing the first month, it’s just sucked. I haven’t given up though. Currently, I’m pumping nearly 90% of the time (breast feeding her just once a day). My nipples are healing, and I started my prescription for my supply this week. I am determined to breastfeed my baby, so we are working really hard to figure this out.
- I also had no idea how having a baby would ROCK my body. I tried doing too much the 2nd day, then quickly realized I needed to spend the week in bed. I had some very important skin-on-skin for a week with my little love. It was amazing. But, healing has been slow. My bleeding lasted way longer than I thought, my stitches were very tender, my insides felt odd, and postpartum poops have NOT been fun. I know this is all quite normal, but I just had no clue. I am so thankful for Jimmy doing everything while I stayed in bed to recover. I should mention: by week 4, all of these things were pretty much back to normal. I don’t want to scare any mamas-to-be … it’s all worth it.
- I’ve been a bit bummed that it’s been pretty cold. We don’t want to take Alba out into the cold, so I’m getting a little stir crazy. We have all of this time together, we want to get out, but we have to mostly stay home.
- Her belly is still a little off. She’s going more than 24 hours (at times) between poops, and she’s super gassy. I think it has to do with the formula we’re supplementing her with, and the dairy I’m eating. We’re working on both of those things now.
And, some photos that make us swoon: