I had all the best intentions of beginning these monthly posts at least within days of Evan turning 1 month old, but life with a new born is blissful in its unpredictability and that is certainly where I stand right now.
Physical Changes: Aside from going from 7 lbs 12 ounces, to 7 lbs. 5 ounces and then all the way up to 11 lbs, Evan’s eyes have settled into a gorgeous blue gray shade. And they are like little buttons, always searching and smiling, even though the first smile hasn’t appeared yet. Evan’s gone from being a skinny, skinny baby (we called him a “skint chicken” for a few weeks) to a wonderfully chubbly little guy. His head and face have filled out and we can see the dimples hiding in his cheeks, waiting to make their appearance when he blesses us with that first smile.
Grasping our fingers, which I love.
Tracking objects, really faces at this point are all he’s interested in.
Lifting and holding his head up.
Sleep Patterns: In the first 10 days, I’m certain Evan would have slept way more than 3 hours at a time, but we were instructed not to let him do that so that he would keep his weight up. Day 10 hit right on schedule with his first growth spurt, just as all those handy little parenting books predicted. He could not get enough to eat! With eating more, came tummy problems and formula challenges (more later). After 2 weeks old, a 3 hour cycle was our goal for the daytime and you’d think he was wearing a watch most days! However, even though we aren’t waking him up at night to feed him, he still wakes every 3 hours ready to chow. Thankfully, he seems to know the difference between night and day. We’re careful not to turn on any lights or talk to him during the night to keep that constant. He eats and drifts right back off to sleep.
I most want to remember:
There is something so fantastic about the weight of a newborn baby on you. Because they aren’t able to control their bodies much, they just lay on you completely and snuggle right in.
The “bird mouth” he shows us when he’s hungry.
Just how tiny every part is in the beginning and what an honor it is to bring something so small and perfect into the world and watch it grow.
The biggest challenges:
I’m afraid this list may be a little long. Don’t at all take it as me “hatin'” on this stage of his life. The truth and reality of it is that it is challenging.
Hormonal and physical switchback. If you have ever been through this, I’m sure just those words conjure strong memories and emotional responses. Being past it now, it’s actually tough to talk about with the true craze of emotion that occurred. For those of you who haven’t gone through it yet, or who will be, it should be encouraging to know that once it passes it’s tough to even remember why it was such a hard time. Hormones are just that way, crazy with no good explanation as to why.
Boob talk. I really thought that not breastfeeding would give me a bit of a pass on the boob talk. Nope. Mostly family members find it perfectly acceptable to talk about how badly the baby wants your boobs when he cries. They also find it is perfectly acceptable to talk about my sex life and what birth control we’ll be using. Seriously? Not dinner conversation.
Feeding. The challenges that came with this are going to get their very own post. It’s bad, people. Bad… and advice is much appreciated.
Sleep depravation. At first, the erratic sleep is somewhat manageable. After a month of it, it’s not so much. At this point, he cries at night and I don’t jump right up anymore. I try to grab just ONE MORE MINUTE of precious sleep. With one child, the long nights can be made up for during the days by sleeping when the baby sleeps. This time, while I am up all night, Carter is sleeping peacefully. By 8:00 he’s ready to go and so I have to be as well. Admittedly, I have put on a movie and gone to sleep on the couch next to him. I gotta say that I never thought I’d do that. Never say never, right?
How I feel:
The first month goes by in such a fog. I know this is my last baby and, though I’m trying to hold on to each special moment, it has slipped right by me. People say that there is such a condition as “baby brain”, but I think it’s just a complete lack of concern for much of anything except this new, precious little person that has been gifted into your care. It’s not that I want to forget or do completely hair-brained things each day, it’s just that so much energy and effort goes into making sure Evan is happy and well cared for that there is little left for anything else.
The end of the month…