A recap of Navy's First Month

I don't plan on doing a recap of every month of Navy's life, don't worry. That being said, the first month is both incredibly exciting and particularly challenging. As a new mom, it can be helpful to read other people's experiences to have an idea of what is to come. Also, selfishly I want to remember the details of the first month before it feels like years ago.

The Toughest Parts:

1. Lack of sleep, duh- The lack of sleep is pretty unimaginable until you experience it. We constantly say it's like army training (or what I envision army training to be like). Somehow, everyone does it. But that doesn't make it easier. For the first two weeks, the lack of sleep didn't really bother me. I'd be dead by 7:00 PM, but during the day I felt pretty fine. I think I was on a new parent high, and I was always so excited to see her and hold her that I didn't mind waking up every 2 hours. The third week was the most challenging. While I still felt the same excitement at the thought of holding her every few hours throughout the night, the high was quickly being replaced by pure exhaustion. Navy also got a cold and started becoming fussier. It wasn't easy. For the past week, Navy has been sleeping a lot better. I know it will only get easier.

2. Breastfeeding- Breastfeeding actually hasn't been too difficult for me. That being said, there were days at the beginning where I thought I would for sure give it up. When your milk first comes in, it can be painful. Moreover, figuring out your baby's feeding schedule and worrying whether or not she/he is getting enough can be disheartening.

At the hospital, I met with a lactation consultant who suggested that I feed 15 minutes on each side, and burp her in between. The nurses would also monitor when she peed and pood to ensure she was eating enough. When Ray and I got home, we continued the same routine of tracking each feed and diaper. It was so stressful! Navy would fall asleep before the 15 minutes was up. I would constantly try and wake her up to feed more and then would get stressed out since I wasn't sure if she actually ate for a full 15 minutes. It made the process exhausting! Moreover, the lactation consultant suggested I wear a nipple shield because Navy had a bit of a tongue tie and pump after each feed. The nipple shield wasn't easy to use and Navy would get really fussy if she had to wait while she was hungry. It wasn't fun.

When Navy was 6 days old we went to see the lactation consultant at my pediatrician's office. She was already back at her birth weight. She ate for 7 minutes and then the lactation consultant weighed her- she drank 2.5 ounces! The consultant said I had an overproduction of milk and that 7 minutes could be more than enough for Navy to get enough to eat. She said there was no such thing as having to do a full 15 minutes on each side (and that probably would never happen with Navy!). She also said I absolutely did not need the nipple shield or to pump yet and there was no need to track every feed, poo, and pee (so long as she continued to have wet diapers). Her advice made the process so much more relaxing. It was only after that meeting that I actually could start enjoying it, rather than stressing over it.

3. Leaving Navy for the first time- It took me almost 3 weeks to leave Navy for the first time. I went for dinner and left after 1.5 hours, it was just too stressful for me. But each time it got easier. Now I feel okay leaving her right after a feed and getting back before her next one.

4. Getting used to newborn noises- Before I delivered I thought I would be so anxious that I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I assumed I would just sit and stare at her in the bassinet. In reality, I was so overtired that even if I wanted to sit and stare, it wasn't going to happen. The second I put her down I'd fall right asleep. That being said, the noises she would make when she was falling asleep would freak Ray and I out. Nobody mentioned this. Newborns make the weirdest sounds that can totally scare you. But apparently it's normal! Just a heads up :).

5. Recovering from delivery- I was very lucky that I had a relatively easy delivery and therefore a relatively easy recovery. Nonetheless, it's never easy. I continued to take the Motrin prescribed by my doctor for two weeks, which really helped with any discomfort. Going for walks was challenging at first since my body still felt sore. But after two weeks I was pretty much back to normal. I can't wait to get cleared to exercise (and take baths!).

6. Being on a strict schedule- I have to feed Navy every 2.5-3 hours. In reality, this is every 1.5-2 hours, since you start counting from the beginning of one feed until the next feed. So it's really hard to do anything, especially if it involves an activity outside of the house. I'm hoping I'll start feeding her outside of the house soon, so we can actually go places and get things done.

The Best Parts:

1. Getting to know your baby- You spend so much time imagining what he or she will look like and be like and then all of a sudden he or she is here! It's beyond magical. Every time I stare at her, I can't believe she is mine.

2. The first week- The first week after Navy was born, Ray and I were alone with her. We spent all of our time hanging with her in bed, getting to know her, figuring out her "schedule"and learning how to care for a newborn (thank god for Google). We didn't sleep at all and really didn't care. Every new sound was exciting. Every time she woke up we smiled like crazy. We took a million pictures. And we listened to my push playlist on repeat. It was definitely the best week of my entire life.

3. Having family and friends meet her- It was so special having our family in LA over the holidays and getting to meet her. Everyone got so attached (how could you not?!)

4. Slowing down- I've loved spending most of the days just lounging, feeding her, changing her, watching tv, catching up with you guys on IG and just hibernating at home.

4. Starting to feel normal- Right after I delivered I started to feel like my pre-pregnancy self. As the weeks went by, I felt more and more normal. I was able to jump out of bed again and tie my own shoes. I could move without getting out of breath. My clothes started fitting (although they still don't fit like they used to). And I overall just felt like my self, which was a welcome change since I found pregnancy to be really challenging.

5. Getting to dress Navy- This one is pretty self-explanatory!

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