This has definitely been one of the fastest months of my life! The first month of being parents to our little gem, Quinn. I found myself wanting to write a week 1 and then a week 2 recap as everything was so new and exciting, and I feared I was going to forget all of the wonderful moments that we were experiencing each day. But alas, I’ve realised time with a newborn gets away on you.
This month, I’ve also taken a ridiculous amount of photos so I know if I don’t do something with them now they may end up sitting on my hard drive untouched. By doing these monthly recaps it allows me to keep on top of my photos and gives me a platform to look back and reminisce on Quinns first year. And if it’s anything like this first month, I know it’s going to be a great year!
So how is it all going?
Apart from the odd meltdown, like getting upset at Matt for not washing my nursing singlet (lol hormones), it has honestly been THE BEST! Everyone talks about how awesome it is being a mumma and I sometimes wondered, ‘Is that really the case?’ But now with the arrival of our daughter I can understand that the pure love, protectiveness and obsession you feel for this little soul, is, like nothing else.
Little miss Quinn has slotted into our lives so effortlessly. Having worked from home the past 5 years nothing much has changed for me in terms of lifestyle. I now just have a little baby around home to keep me company. Of course, it is much harder to keep a tidy house than it once was, as snuggles with Quinn takes priority.
I’m a girl who loves my sleep and to be honest, this was one of my greatest fears going into parenthood. Sleep is often one of the biggest topics talked about amongst Mums and it usually goes one of two ways, you have a baby who is either a good sleeper or not so good sleeper. We are super lucky because Quinn loves to sleep – which means that we are getting plenty of sleep too!
After Quinn’s birth, I was pretty exhausted. Some say birth is like running a marathon, I have done both, and yes, they are comparable in some ways, like the physical and mental endurance they both require. However, with birth, various things happen in the body including hormonal changes, blood loss and pain that one has not experienced before. Following on from the birth, your body takes weeks to heal and breastfeeding demands a lot of your time and energy. Also, I did feel exhausted from day 1 due to labour being an all-nighter but at the same time I was high on love and adrenaline. After some thought, we decided to only stay the one night in hospital, which turned out to be the best decision ever. Home was quiet, calm and Matt was there to help during the nights. Plus, nothing beats your own bed!
We don’t have a sleep routine as such but we usually put Quinn down around 10pm and she will usually sleep for a decent stretch of time. Some nights, she sleeps right through for a solid 7 – 8 hours, or other nights, she will wake up once around 2am – 3am for a feed then back to sleep until 7am – 8am. At this stage, I breastfeed at night in bed and use a Himalayan Salt Lamp for light. This was a really good $30 investment as it provides a calming atmosphere and the dimming dial allows Matt to continue to sleep (when he’s not changing her nappy!).
Products we love for sleep:
The ‘mum2mum’ swaddle – We put Quinn’s solid sleeping habits down to this swaddle. Our favourite part is when we unzip her in the morning and watch her stretch.
Moses basket – This was a last-minute purchase as we were unsure how much we would use it. However, we have basically used it every day. It has been great to have the basket in the lounge with us or in my office with me during her day sleeps.
Chicco crib – We were lucky enough to borrow this bassinet from a friend. We love how it is right beside our bed so I don’t have to get up for breastfeeding and I can easily reach out with my hand to settle her during the night.
Soon after her birth we learnt how to breastfeed. My midwife showed me a technique to hold her safely and effectively, which I continue to do now. It probably wasn’t until her third feed in hospital until I felt more comfortable with it and she started swallowing every 3 to 4 suckles. I found the initial latch quite painful and the sensation of the colostrum extracting to be quite strange. However, once my milk came in that sensation went away and things were relatively smooth sailing from there.
The first few nights I would wake Quinn to feed her as my boobs were so sore. Although, on night six Matt suggested that we should see how long she sleeps for if we didn’t wake her – she surprised us with a full 8 hours straight! I was so nervous that we had done the ‘wrong thing’ by letting her sleep that long, thankfully, my midwife, Annette, was visiting us the next day so I was able to run my concern past her. Annette weighed Quinn and because she had put on weight in the first 6 days, she reassured us that there was no need to wake her to feed, phew! Each week Quinn continues to pack on the pounds, filling out her chubby cheeks and newborn clothes beautifully.
So far, I have really enjoyed breastfeeding. As a creative individual who always loves having a project to focus on, breastfeeding forces me to stop, relax and spend some quality time nourishing my baby girl. My favourite time of the day is when she falls asleep on my chest after feeding; her breathing completely relaxes me and we usually end up napping together.
Products I love for breastfeeding:
Gaia Nipple Balm – Most of my friends are Mums already so I got given some very handy gifts for my baby shower, including this balm. I use this religiously after each feed and I believe it has saved my nipples. I love that it is organic and that I don’t need to remove it before feeding.
Haaka pump – My friend told me about this very affordable silicone pump, which has been so useful this past month. I’ve managed to collect several mls of milk to freeze for a later date!
Lactation cookies and balls – I was lucky enough to have friends deliver me some delicious home made breastfeeding cookies and balls as well as plenty of Lactation Station cookies! I have a sweet tooth in general and when food can benefit my milk supply too, it’s a win win!
How incredible is the female body?! I find myself in awe that my body only took 9 months to grow her and continues to stimulate growth into the fourth trimester. During pregnancy I found exercise helped me a lot, especially in the first trimester when I wasn’t feeling too flash. Getting outside for a walk in the fresh air made me feel so much better. I also continued to do my body pump class at the gym until around 30 weeks pregnant, as well as, prenatal yoga classes, swims at the beach and gentle walks. I feel like I went into birth feeling mentally and physically fit.
I put on about 15kgs by the end of my pregnancy and now, a month postpartum, I feel I am close to my pre pregnancy weight. Matt and I love to take Quinn for walks through Pukekura Park or along the foreshore in the pram and front pack. I was fairly fatigued the first few walks, so I knew I had to take it very easy as my body was still recovering, but slowly I’m gaining strength back and I’m looking forward to becoming more active and physically fit again to keep up with Quinn!
This month we have loved watching Quinn transform from a sleepy newborn to an alert one month old. Her little facial expressions, poo explosions and leg kicks make us laugh so much. Her big blue eyes capture our attention and her loving cuddles melt our hearts. We look forward to seeing how she changes and grows during month two.
We love you so much Quinn Evelyn Ander!