The First Month

My baby girl is one month old today.

I’m not gonna lie.  It’s been rough.  Yes, there have been moments of joy and unbelievable wonder.  But it’s also been really, really hard.

Breastfeeding has been challenging and incredibly painful (perhaps unnecessarily so, if her tongue tie had been caught and corrected earlier).  Sleep deprivation and living in survival mode have meant I’ve gone days without showering or even brushing my teeth.  I’ve cried more times than I can count.

But some of those tears have been out of sheer happiness and amazement that this tiny creature has given me what I’ve always dreamed of.  She made me a mother.

Even as I type those words, it doesn’t quite seem real.

She has made me laugh, too.  Like when she smiles in her sleep.  Or, the past few days, earning the nickname “George Costanza” because her feathery, newborn hair has started falling out.

She has proven to be as stubborn as she was in the womb, crossing her legs when we wanted to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl.  Waiting a full week past her due date to make her sudden arrival.  Now, it’s fighting sleep like it’s her job, even as her eyelids droop.  She strains to hold them wide open in defiance, not wanting to miss a thing.

Hubby and I are more in love with her than we could have imagined.  And, even though we’re both exhausted, and I’ve been more than a little irritable, we’re more in love with each other, too.  Seeing each other in our new roles has been a powerful and tender shift.  Hubby now makes it his responsibility to make sure I get sleep and food.  He takes care of me so I can take care of our daughter.  And he does his share of diaper changes, too.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had plenty of arguments.  About big and little stuff.  And there have been moments when I’ve been glad to hand her off to him because I’d reached my limit.  But our time with her is already going too fast.  I want to cherish as much of it as I can.  So I hold her close when she refuses to sleep.  I stroke and smell her balding head.  I marvel at the features I recognize as miniatures of my own.  Or Hubby’s.  And at those that are uniquely hers.

She is still so new and fragile.  She is precious.  And, at last, she’s ours.

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10 thoughts on “The First Month

  1. I promise, it gets easier. In some ways, it gets harder too. But at least the breastfeeding will become like second nature and you’ll get more sleep to get through the hard times.

  2. The first weeks were hard! I too cried many tears of frustration and pain. I swear my boy was pooping in a newly changed diaper on purpose!! LOL
    Breastfeeding was a struggle for me a few months later, but thankfully it worked out. I hope it does for you too!

    You’re doing great, momma! Happy Mother’s day.

  3. Echoing what everyone said. It will get easier, I promise. You will find your rhythm as a family. I still remember getting to that first Saturday, thinking “oh yay! I made it to the weekend!” and then remembering that parenthood has no weekends, which left me feeling utterly exhausted. Now here we are 9 1/2 months later and though still exhausted, definitely looking forward to the weekends as a family.

    Hoping that you have been able to find some support for breastfeeding. There is a lot of good advice from your last post, but take only what works best for you.

    Very glad to hear your Hubs is being such an amazing dad. If he’s like Grey, it won’t be long before you’re fighting him off just to get some one-on-one time with your daughter. 😉

    Hang in there. Thinking of you.

  4. I have felt the same way so much of the time. It is simultaneously blissful an completely overwhelming. It will get easier in little steps over time, even though it probably feels like it won’t. The girls turn 1 next month, an I am already mourning the incredibly difficult and precious newborn phase. Happy One Month!

  5. The first month was the hardest. And in some ways, the most precious and memorable. Funny, we called our girl George Costanza when her hair fell out too. I wonder if he knows how many people compare him to newborns with hair loss? 😉

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