Tuesday, December 13, 2016

1 Month with Juniper

I promise in the future this blog will not be all about baby, but right now, my life is consumed with all things Juniper. To write about anything else right now would sound forced and fake and that's not what you want to read and it's not what I want to write, so for now, expect a lot more about my new role as mama!

Anyways, miraculously I survived my first month with baby despite my doubts! Overall, she is a pretty simple kid. Month one has been all about figuring each other out.
There is always a reason for her tears-more often than not she is hungry or tired (or if she's been with Dad for awhile, she probably has a dirty diaper that he's neglected to notice). The hardest part has honestly been adjusting to the new me and our new lifestyle; caring for her has been simple enough. Diapers are a breeze, nursing is not awful, and naps are a biatch, but do happen eventually. I'd say she's a pretty good baby.

Weight/Length: At 3 1/2 weeks she was 8 lbs. 15 oz. Wow! I love seeing her little double chin. It gives me reason to keep at it with this whole breastfeeding business. My body is enough to support an entire life! Pretty cool even if I am tempted to throw in the towel every two hours! She's long all over: long legs, long feet, and long fingers (like her mama-in high school I stopped throwing up the bird after a kid laughed at how long my middle finger was).

Clothes: Every one swore she would not be in NB clothes for long so I exchanged most of them. So much for that idea. Girlfriend has me doing laundry every other day. Mother of the year award over here because I have her wearing the same outfit two days in a row or I slip her into clothes one size too big. The important thing is that she's wearing clothes, right?

Sleep Habits: We stopped waking her every three hours through the night. The pediatrician said to wake her every three hours max, even through the night, but every mama I speak to says to let her sleep if we're able to. I was hesitant at first, but recently I forgot to set an alarm for 2:30 am and woke in a panic, throwing on every damn light at 5 am hoping she was okay. She was...but she was not happy to be woken up so aggressively! Last night she slept from 11 until I woke her up at 6 to eat! I try not to let her go over 5 hours in the night though. I get too worried.

Also, she just loves snuggles. She is not a happy camper if you stick her in one of her contraptions. She prefers Erik's bear chest or snuggled in close to me. As much as I'd like to put her down and get some shit down, I can't help but love that she feels safe and comfy in our arms.

Eating Habits: I never sought out to breastfeed for over a year like many mothers do. I knew I only wanted to do so for a max of six months (for selfish reasons: limitless caffeine, alcohol without pumping and dumping, baby teeth there frighten me). After one week I decided I'd try my best to nurse for three months. Another week later and my goal was to just make it the first month (goal met!). I knew breastfeeding would be hard, but the aspects I thought would be difficult have been surprisingly easy and smooth: latching, milk supply, engorgement, etc. The part that has been tough has been on my end: feeling like a prisoner in my own home, not being able to leave the couch for fifty or sixty minutes at a time, not being able to knock a damn thing off of my to-do list. It's getting easier though and I no longer hate it. I don't get the warm and fuzzies when I feed her, but I do feel like it has helped me bond with her a bit.  

Diapers: She's in Honest diapers size 1 or newborn. The fall/winter prints are the cutest!

Appearance: The day she was born I thought, "Oh yeah, she looks just like me." Now, I see a lot more of Erik. She has a spunky little face: slanted, bright eyes, round cheeks, cleft chin, and a Whoville nose. Her hair is the exact shade of ash blonde that Erik and I both share. I just stare at her sometimes in awe of her beauty!

She also has these long ass, skinny little legs and huge feet! Neither Erik nor I have a single tall person in our immediate family. I don't know where those genes come from and if I didn't still have the after effects of birth I'd be asking for a maternity test Maury Povich style.

Nicknames: Junie Bear. Junie Bee. JuJuBee. Junie Mae. Munchie. Baby Bear. 

  • She looks at my face now! Ahhh! Who knew such a simple gesture could mean so much. I can't get enough of her stares!  
  • She had her first vacation when she was a week and a half old when we went up to Traverse City. We hadn't gotten even the semblance of a routine down yet so we didn't get to do much, plus I could still hardly walk and was dealing with a major hormone change. But, I would do it again if given the opportunity. 
  • She is trying to mimic our facial expressions with some success.

Oh, a fun first for me: On our second or third night with her at home, I was changing her diaper at about three in the morning. All of the sudden I gasped, "Oh my God!" In less than a single second Erik bolted from his sleep and was at the end of the bed searching the ground for her, thinking somehow she'd fallen out of the pack 'n' play. I just stood there staring at him covered in projectile shit. I think I said something to the affect of, "It's okay, she just shit on me. She's okay." He just held his hand up to me and covered his heart trying to catch his breath. I kid you not, There was shit on the pack 'n' play, shit on my robe, shit on my hands, and shit on our bed...three feet away from the source! They say nothing good happens after three am, and Lordy Lord was that verified for us that night. Have you ever had to strip your bed of it's sheets in the middle of the night and bundle up in all the mini throw blankets from your living room? I have. Obviously it wasn't our most romantic night but if I had to clean up shit with anyone it'd be my husband. Only he could have me laughing about such a "natural" disaster. I told a girlfriend about it and she promised it would not be the last time I was shit on. Joy.

Doing/Learning: Within the first week she was lifting her head up and looking side to side while propped on my chest. She also lifts her head enough to look to the opposite side during tummy time on the play gym. She looks like a little lizard propped up on a rock.

Likes: Looking at the Christmas lights, car rides, stroller walks, her Wubanub, getting her diaper changed, and falling asleep on our chests. She is absolutely entranced by the fan on our ceiling (black and white contrast) and being bounced to sleep on the fit ball. It's actually the only way we've been able to put her down for a nap. Also newly discovered, she loves splashing around in a warm bath followed by a little baby massage afterwards!

Dislikes: Stop lights! Formula milk (she makes a sour face), being set down, the period between seven and ten at night. Oh, and she screams bloody murder if she doesn't have her arms free from the swaddle! 

Mommy's Feelings: I'm preparing to write a post on surviving the first month with a newborn. Am I an expert with all of the answers? Nope, but somehow, despite wanting to, I survived the first month with Junie and want to share any information I can to help other moms in a similar situation. I don't want to elaborate too much here because I'll explain my thoughts and feelings in full in the post, but I will say the first two weeks were the worst weeks for me mentally and emotionally. I literally did not want to exist anymore. More to come later.

I am thrilled to share that I am a mere ten pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Everyone said the weight would just melt away with breastfeeding, but I didn't buy it. Within two weeks though I lost twenty freaking pounds! I was at 176 and am now at 151. 

He is finally starting to embrace his role as daddy. He's getting down his own techniques to calm her, growing more patient, and giving her more attention. Give it a couple years-he will be smitten. He takes the before-bed feeding and, if there is a middle-of-the-night feeding he takes that too! Love having a partner in this! Plus, he's been an even greater emotional support to me-super understanding and encouraging.

Radley and Calvin (the furbabies)
My poor babies. I have not been able to give them half of the love and attention they are used to. Instead of belly rubs and walks they get yelled at and gated in the kitchen. It breaks my heart.

Calvin, our purebred Boxer is obsessed with Juniper, always trying to lick her. Radley on the other hand isn't as impressed, but he is very curious about her. They follow us from room to room, even when it's just for a quick diaper change. Overall, it's been a much smoother transition than expected.

Favorite moments and Things to Remember?
Her yawns, her "I'm tired" squawk/scream (so girly sounding), watching her stretch her little arms above her head (in fact it takes like two full minutes for her to finish stretching), her big bright eyes staring up at me, the little hairs that are long enough to reach past her collar,when sometimes all it takes is a snuggle to make her stop crying.  Also, her "I'm peeing on my diaper" smile that I caught once or twice in her sleep. I get that it's not a social smile, but it's cute all the same. 

Looking forward to?
I'm finally starting to savor every moment and settle into being a mom. I look forward to all the traditions, the milestones, the toddler years. All of it. 


  1. This is a beautiful, honest tribute to motherhood, Audrey... Week written.. Emotional, bittersweet and funny too .. You write well.. And are well in the way to bring a terrific mom... Love, Aunt Bonnie

  2. Oh the joys of being shit on. Lol! It happens more to Michael than me because he doesn't move fast enough... haha! That first month is definitely an adjustment but I'm glad it's all coming together and your enjoying motherhood more and more!