The Other Side: Notes on the First Month

Powered by some high octane coffee and Miss C’s morning power nap, I am now going to attempt to hammer out some comments on this, the eve of her one-month birthday. (I know?! ONE MONTH, right?!)

  • I am IN LOVE. Obvious, I know, but I can’t help but shout from the rooftops how much I freaking love my little Vienna sausage. Yesterday I went to Target and left Miss C with B. Target at 3PM is a virtual kiddo and mom convention, and every time I heard the whelps and cries of other infants I missed Miss C something awful. Now, this is kind of huge. When we first brought her home, hearing her cry made me want to move back to Korea without her in tow because I felt so incompetent to assuage her. Now, her little cries are music to my ears. I love to hear her voice and her sounds, no matter whether they’re happy or sad. Similarly,
  • I am learning to read her cries. This, too, is huge. Being able to *kind of* anticipate her needs based on what her cries sound like and when they occur makes me feel like I’m making some progress in mothering her. Mommy’s sanity is a priceless thing nowadays and whatever it takes for me to keep a firm grasp on it is similarly valuable. Her signature cry is “Ehhh-LA!”. She really dislikes the sensation of soiling her diaper and often the cry she exhibits when she’s pooping is roughly equivalent to the cry she would have if I pulled out her fingernails (venturing a guess, of course). It’s pretty dramatic but I’ve learned to take it with a grain of salt.
  • B nearly fell out of his seat yesterday when he saw that I had changed my Facebook profile pic to a picture of solo Miss C. This is because for years I had been that hater who would say, “Ugh, why would ANYONE set a picture of their kid as their profile pic? LAME.” Yeah, well, I am currently eating my words. What can I say? She’s way cuter than me. And I made her. So she’s my profile pic. It will only be a matter of time before someone submits my online shenanigans to STFU Parents.
  • Hormones are a biotch. The first two weeks are WAY harder than the later two weeks because hormones are coursing through your bod with no abandon. Yeah, I know every moment with your child is precious and everything, but I would not go back and re-experience those first couple weeks for anything because I felt like an old damaged unwashed sock and I was just as useless as said sock. I cried a lot and felt like I had made a huge mistake in believing I was fit to be a mom. The hormones convinced me that the only thing I could offer her was nourishment in the form of breastmilk, and even then I couldn’t do that well because it took an¬†inordinately long time for my milk to fully come in; it therefore took Miss C three weeks to regain her birth weight. So yeah, I officially hate my insane hormones but since they’ve been on the DL for awhile we’re all happy campers.
  • It’s amazing what can get done with very little sleep. I hate to be a broken record about the whole sleep thing, but yeah, it’s kind of a huge part of why having an infant is massively hard. What they don’t tell you, though, is that it’s not that you’re getting no sleep at all; it’s that you’re operating on a 24-hour schedule. You (kind of) get sleep, but it’s in one- or two-hour naps. This makes you feel like you’re on ALL THE TIME (because, well, you ARE) and that days go on forever. But the cool thing about it all is that you’re making these sacrifices for an adorable little nugget who really truly benefits from your toils. That and the fact that you can watch She-Ra which comes on TV at 3AM. Circle of life much?
  • Babies are pretty virile. When the nurses handed Miss C over to B and me at the hospital, we handled her like an egg that already had a big crack. We were just afraid we’d break her or something. What we’ve learned over the month is that she’s not too breakable, though. We’re not dangling her off a balcony a la little Blanket Jackson, but we’re also not wiping her bottom with silk.

Now for some pictures. Yeah, we do that now.

Enjoy your weekend!

Poor kid dons a ribbon

Swaddled and happy. Notice how her arm has escaped.

Sleep in heavenly peace

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56 comments

  1. clownonfire · · Reply

    Hey!
    Thank you for finding me… And thank you for letting me in to your wonderful world. Such a peaceful looking baby.
    Le Clown

    1. Thank you! When she sleeps she’s pretty professional about it.

      1. clownonfire · · Reply

        Best quote about a kid. Hands down.
        Le Clown

        1. LOL thanks : D

  2. Aww your little gal is something special! When I become a mommy (someday wayy down the line) I will use your blog as a guide!

    1. Thanks! Hopefully we’ll still be plugging away then.

  3. Oh, I so love that look Miss C has in the swaddled pic. I know it’s supposed to be a terrible, terrible thing to do, but that 24-hour schedule was a nightmare for us ’cause our son would only sleep if we were near. (Crying out didn’t work. Trust me.) So, family bed. He could nurse all he wanted on my weak, slow equipment and I didn’t have to be afraid of dropping him, which was far more likely than the possibility I would roll over him. Thanks for the pics.

    1. I also have to admit that I’ve succumbed to letting her sleep with me a couple times when I’m truly desperate to get some rest and she is adamant about not being put down. I’ll just lie down flat on my back on the sofa and let her sleep on my stomach, with no blankets. Even tho it’s a big no-no I think we’re OK because the sofa is so narrow that I’m not going to roll over and in all honesty I’m never 100% asleep.

      1. I felt so overcome with guilt that I did research on the subject. The overwhelming majority of rolled-over babies were rolled over by a drunk and/or drugged parent. Now, I’m assuming you are not passed-out drunk, so I’m thinking you can let go of a little of that anxiety. Besides, what happened to the research that shows family bed babies have a much lower instance of SIDS? Huh!? And when I was a kid we were put to bed on our tummies! So, there, pediatric science!

        1. That really is the context it needs to be put in to. As much as I wish I could resume my pre-pregnancy drinking habits, I’m still essentially dry because of the breastfeeding and such…I’ve had a couple glasses of wine but it was because I pumped beforehand. Also, in all my husband’s baby pics, he is on his stomach sleeping, and obviously he turned out OK. I don’t want to get too lax about things but sometimes I just have to take into consideration that we weren’t born yesterday and it would take a lot for us to seriously damage her.

      2. Mama…Sleep. Any way you can get it. I sleep with my babies. And they are both very much alive. And so am I. :) not to be all wackadoo but you and the beeb are safer in your bed than on your couch. So if you need it… Get some sleep. She is so teeny and cute!!!!

        1. Aww thanks : D I am actually going to post on this next week because it’s become such an ordeal. Suffice it to say, I don’t think it’s wackadoo at all and the more I research it and hear from mamas like yourself, I realize that as long as I’m making an informed decision as to where we’re resting we’ll be just fine. :)

  4. krugthethinker · · Reply

    Oh, so precious! She looks so sweet in that pink outfit! I am so glad things are getting more balanced and normal, and I know Miss C loves you too, more than she will ever be able be able to say:) Love you!

    1. Thanks! She promptly teeteed all over it right after I took the picture :) Love you!

  5. Ahh, she is so cute! Looks like she’s a happy little baby, too.

    1. Thank you! So far she seems to be pretty genial. We get a smile out of her every-so-often.

  6. Man, I’m pretty sure all of my comments to you from here on out are going to be “she is so, so pretty.”

    1. Well, as a mom you already know that you can say that all you want and I certainly won’t mind! : D Yours is so cute you decided to make another one!

  7. Omg! Omg! Cute baby alert! I loved the sleeping picture. And LOL at becoming one of those moms on Facebook. Hey, you want everyone to see this beautiful person you created! She’s your first, you have the right to do this! Just no slapping us in the face (literally) with pics, k? Haha.

    1. I know! Everyday I’m like “who the heck am I becoming with all these baby pics and baby-related tweets?!?” I may just end up blaming it on the hormones, yet again.

  8. HA HA HA! Every one of us who have been mothers could have warned you, but you wouldn’t have understood. It’s something you have to experience to “get”. {pre-warning: same with grandkids – you won’t believe it!} Miss C is absolutely adorable!!!!

    1. You are absolutely right on that one! I really had to experience it first-hand to know what it’s all about!

  9. Swaddling is so dumb. My kids hated it. I mean after 9 months confined to that womb Id be like, “hey let me move my arms, bitch”. Not that I’m calling you a bitch.

    Anyway she is defintely a cute baby.

    1. Y’know, we’ve found swaddling to be a good last resort when she’s really inconsolable late at night, but I tend not to do it during the day. I think it’s just one of those things that some babies take to and others hate. :)

  10. You say it so perfectly. The first two weeks ARE hell, but I could never figure out why – and you said it perfectly. Kudos to making it through the first month, and happy 1-month birthday to Miss C!

    1. Thank you, Kristen! It’s really good to know that others experienced what I’m going through. You always hear that you shouldn’t compare your own experience to those of others but when it comes to being a first-time parent, that’s sometimes all you have to go by.

  11. There are a lot of words we have to eat when we become parents. Because there is no way to know what motherhood does to us. And it’s okay!

    1. I have been eating them with a side of ice cream, against my better judgment. That spare tire is going nowhere.

  12. Great post! I felt like I was back in first month with you. She is a beautiful baby!

    1. Thank you! Its good to know I’m not the only lone going thru these things.

  13. I cannot believe it has been a whole month. Wow.

    1. You’re telling me. I got some animal crackers to celebrate :)

  14. What an angel! Love the last pic – those sleep pics are priceless. Glad the hormones are letting you come up for a little air. That first month is a marathon!

    1. Thank you! I really like that one too. Whenever she’s sleeping next to me on the sofa while we’re watching a movie or TV, she always looks like a sweet little porcelain doll.

  15. I’m impressed you make time to blog and reply to comments in your first month of motherhood! It was the most intense, challenging time of my life–although I fell in love with both bots instantly, sleep deprivation made me into a humorless zombie for the first few months. Kudos for you for maintaining yours!

    1. Thanks! Blogging is really the only pastime I can afford myself right now. It gives me a lot of perspective because we don’t have family or a lot of friends where we live, so it’s nice to be able to discuss what I’m going thru with my blogging “friends” and other parents. Thank goodness my husband got an iPad for work because I can read, blog, and comment all through those marathon nursing sessions!

  16. I love all those pics, but oh – that last one. Too cute for words.Happy 1 month Miss C :)

    1. Thank you so much!

  17. Samantha · · Reply

    Being a parent will make you eat your words over and over again. I have let all my kids sleep with me even though I swore not this time. Once I made the statement that I didn’t get why parents say I can give you something to cry about. Obviously the child has a reason to cry right? Oh I have said it, 6 can be a tough age. You are suppose to be in love, babies are magical. Well after the rough get to know you period. Then they are awesome. Shout it from the rooftops, “my baby is adorable.” Because she is. And everyone is annoying on fb join on in. The non parents hate all the kid post and the parents hate all the I’m drunk Thursday thru Sunday post.

    1. Hahaha you are absolutely right! I have already gotten annoyed at some of the “oh my gosh, I missed my Starbucks and I only got seven hours of sleep, whatever shall I do?” posts on FB. Having a baby changes everything! Thank you for commenting. I value your opinion so much because you’ve really done this mother hood thing a *few* times, to say the least :)

  18. Oh my gosh! I could have written this post!

    The first two-ish months were insanely hard. I am ashamed to say that I was kind of relieved when I went back to work because it meant that I could relax for nine hours a day. Somehow my job seemed less stressful than taking care of my baby!

    I have so much respect for you and other stay at home moms of young babies, that is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. Hang in there, in the last month or so our little one has gotten much easier to care for.

    1. As much as I miss her when I go to the store (I’ve only been going when my husband can stay at home with her) I really am liking the time to myself. I actually just like driving around in the car and blasting the stereo, because obviously there is very little blasting going on at the apartment. But I think there is DEFINITELY something to say for leaving them every now and again. :) We are only humans and can only take so much Sesame Street and on demand feeding.

  19. Ahaha, this will be me in two months or so! :) Except replace She-Ra with The Real Ghostbusters (as I don’t have cable but do have that cartoon on DVD) :P

    Did you have anyone helping with the breastfeeding? What did you do in the meantime until your milk came in? I’d like to breastfeed so I’m curious about other’s experience, though feel free to not want to talk about it. That’s cool too. :)

    And on FB if people haven’t abandoned me for the massive amounts of posts about my dogs, I doubt they will when the dog posts turn into baby posts. :P

    1. Yes! I loved that cartoon! My brother was four right when it was in its heyday so I think I will be able to sing it in my sleep.

      We had a lot of help with breastfeeding at the hospital with the lactation consultants there. They were available on demand. After that, our pediatrician helped us out a lot too. She has three small kids of her own and is extremely understanding of how difficult nursing can be for some people. And news flash, it IS hard; they don’t tell you this when they extol all the virtues of breastfeeding. I would really advise you to interview candidates for your pediatrician and choose one that will spend time with you helping with nursing…it has been invaluable for us! Until my milk fully came in we were supplementing with formula. The pediatrician gave us a tiny little syringe that we inserted in her mouth while she was breastfeeding. That worked well and we only had to do it for a week or so. I’m still struggling to keep up with her appetite but now I don’t feel too bad about giving her a bottle with formula once a day or so. I mean, as long as her diet is mostly breast milk, I’m ok with it and she is clearly thriving.

      Feel free to ask any question at all! I may not devote an entire post to some of these topics in motherhood but I am always an open book :) I know everyone is probably telling you this right now, but enjoy these last two months of your pregnancy. Things are about to get cray cray!

      1. Thank you for the help! It’s hard to figure it all out ahead of time, just gotta wait and see. :) I love reading your posts as I’m so close behind you…they are very helpful, as are the comments from your readers. :) You rock!

  20. Oh my goodness, she’s so beautiful! And by the way, congratulations (a month late, it seems)! Best wishes for you and your new little family, and may she start sleeping through the night soon :D

    1. Thank you! She slept like a pro last night. I got like four and a half hours in a row. It was so luxurious. I’m sure those are my famous last words but I’m still going to savor it.

      1. Savor away :D I felt like a whole new person the first time my son slept longer than 3 hours at a stretch. Granted, I woke up 6 hours later in a panic, thinking something was seriously wrong, but nope, we’d just finally slept.

  21. Cutest. Baby. Ever! If I ever have a Little Blind Baby, I want her to look just like Miss C. And if she wants to turn pro in sleeping, like Miss C, so much the better.

    1. Aww thanks. She has turned out to be pretty extraordinary in the cuteness department. Thanks for saying so.

  22. That last picture is epic <3

  23. I can definitely relate to what you’re saying about the first few weeks. Love the pics! What a cutie! Nora gets her arms out of that swaddle me sleep sack too.

    1. I think her dad is secretly coming in and pulling her arms out because he adamantly thinks the swaddler is too restrictive.

  24. Ohh I love her. She is too sweet! I’m glad everything is going as smoothly as can be. You guys seem like you’re adjusting really well. I miss Sonia as soon as I walk out the door, too, but sometimes it’s nice to just turn the radio up and drive somewhere like a grown up.

    Also, the hormones? Ugh. Almost 7 months later I swear I’m having hot flashes.

  25. Last pic is EXTREMELY cute!

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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