4 weeks ago (it was a Friday like today!) I was laboring all day long with this beautiful girl. It is so hard to believe that in just 4 days she will officially be a month old. The time has flown by! It is hard to imagine life without our newest addition, we all are so happy she has joined us. Here’s a break down of the past month:
1. The kids. Everyone always asks how our 2 older kids have adjusted. My answer? They have been wonderful with her and its been a breeze of an adjustment compared to when Jaxson arrived. We have had ZERO jealousy issues this time around! Savannah is over the moon with excitement for her little sister and loves her so much. She is such a huge helper! She helps Jaxson when I can’t get up at the moment due to nursing, or helping calm Ashlyn while I tend to Jaxson. Best yet, Ashlyn’s arrival suddenly changed Savannah into such a sweet, caring, responsible, pleasant little girl. I posted in the past how our relationship hasn’t always been easy, but right now I am so blessed to have a little sidekick that is helpful and such a great listener. That has been a big help in this transition, not having battles with her every day.
Jaxson has been very loving towards Ashlyn, he is constantly kissing and on hugging on her! Which is great, but we have to keep on eye on him because he can be TOO loving and too rough. He’s been acting out more, but I’m not sure if its just because he’s a 2 year old boy and just is a crazy tornado of a little dude or if Ashlyn’s arrival has made him seek negative attention. I’m working on that, I’m sure I do need to spend more time with him and I hope that helps curb some of his destructiveness craziness! Overall I think he’s done really well though.
2. Our marriage. After Jaxson was born, it drove a wedge between Mark and I for a while, especially with my crazy hormonal emotions flying every where. This time we went into our birth in a rock solid place and I think that has helped our postpartum a lot! We have felt little “wedges” at times since he pretty much tackles the older kid duties right now and I’m doing all-things-baby and by the time we get us time we are both too tired to hold a conversation. Nightly snuggles (with a newborn in one arm…) watching TV is about the extent of our time right now. However, we know how to fix these wedges this time around and fill up each other’s love tanks to avoid issues getting bigger. Having those tools in our pocket has kept us pretty steady this time.
3. My recovery. I really wanted to make it more of a priority to truly rest and accept help this time around (my midwife really encourages this, it helps with physical and emotional recovery and bonding). The 1st week I rarely left the bed or went down stairs. It was a wonderful “babymoon” where I just soaked in the blissful snuggles of my new baby girl, watched movies, and napped! Mark was amazing and did everything for the older kids, cleaning, brought every meal or whatever I needed to me in bed, etc. I’m so grateful to him and all his help to allow me to rest. The 2nd week my Mom was here to help with the kids and cleaning, also a huge help! I slowly did more things, got out of the house, and at times over did it but I still rested more than I did with my others I think. Week 3 I was on my own, but I had 2 sweet friends come and clean a few things (thank you again!) to help me be able to rest a little more. Now in the 4th week I’m back to doing pretty much everything but cooking (thanks to many meals from church and mommy friends…and take out…) and feeling great except the normal newborn phase tiredness!
4. I love placenta pills. I want to write a whole separate post on this, but WOW what a difference the emotional part of this postpartum has been so far! I feel like I’ve been floating on cloud 9 the past 4 weeks, as long as I kept up with the dosage. I became a believer after experiencing PPD with Jaxson and starting it at 7 weeks, and this time has proven to be the same results. Highly, highly recommend placenta encapsulation. I’m sure this has attributed to our smooth adjustment as well, since I feel so much more stable and happy rather than overwhelmed and weepy.
5. She sleeps! The first 3 weeks were rough on sleep, but not because Ashlyn was awake….it was simply because I couldn’t sleep. I was on high alert to listen to every noise she made. Sweet Ashlyn has been going 3-5 hours between feedings (equates to 2 feedings a night usually) pretty much since the beginning! But, she can be very grunty in between that time, which kept me awake thinking she would need me at any moment. She also wouldn’t sleep unless beside me for a while, but now she’s great just being swaddled and I put her in her room in the rock n play so I only wake to her cries instead of grunts. Praise the Lord for a decent sleeping baby! Something I prayed a LOT about while pregnant as well, sleep helps me function so much better as a mom.
6. God is good. I prayed a lot about this postpartum experience when I was pregnant. I truly feared it after my experience with Jaxson last time…for how the kids would adjust, the separation it creates in our marriage for a little bit, fearing depression again, the lack of sleep, etc. While I know that using my placenta has helped give me a tool to physically feel more stable, I truly feel God carrying me throughout this time. I feel His strength in me. He has answered so many prayers, He has built a hedge of protection around our hearts and homes during this transition time. I can feel it. While I know challenges will come as we continue to settle into a family of 5, I know He will still be carrying us and be my help if I just ask. He’s proven that so many times in the past.
What a beautiful gift this month has been in so many ways. I’m so, so grateful.
(P.S. Forgive any mistakes…this momma is tired even if Ashlyn sleeps decent!)