Brantley: 1 Month

Dear Brantley,

It’s been one month since the day you came into our lives, one month of trying to figure out how to get you to sleep, how to get you to stop crying, and how much and how often you need to be fed. They say nothing can prepare you for parenthood and of course “they” are always right.

Our first week home… emotionally draining but overall we faired pretty well. You had a pretty consistent schedule during the day, you went to sleep around 11pm each night and only woke up once to eat, and sometimes we would have to actually wake you up for that meal so maybe you would’ve slept even longer. (These first time parents aren’t quite ready to break out of the box yet. Maybe with the second kid.)

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Five days after you were born and only two day after arriving home, we began taking daily walks around the neighborhood. Mommy couldn’t walk for very long or very far but we would go down a few blocks to the end of our street to our favorite little spot overlooking the water and hang out with friends.

About a week after you were born, we gave you your first bath in your little blue tub in our kitchen sink. Daddy watched the nurses bathe you in the hospital so he took the reins on bath time while Mommy took the camera for a photo shoot. You weren’t so thrilled with your bath. Sorry, bud.

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We tried to make it up to you by taking you out on your first outing to none other than our favorite restaurant: Chix! (Let’s be honest, where else would we go?) You did just fine at dinner, sitting there quietly while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed their dinner. It would be only the first of quite a few outings we took you on over the next few weeks. We figure, the more we go out with you, the easier it will get!

At day 10, your little body started going through a growth spurt and all hell broke loose. We didn’t know what was going on at that time other than the fact that you wanted to nurse nonstop for 8.5 hours the first night: 45min on, 10min off, 50min on, 15min off, etc. Being that we were not adequately prepared for this crazy feeding schedule, we immediately panicked and worried that my body wasn’t producing enough milk for you. After nursing for hours on end, we gave you a bottle of formula and finally you were able to sleep. In the morning we spoke with a lactation consultant who told us not to supplement with formula and just “weather the storm” for the next few days as a growth spurt typically only lasts a couple days. So each night around dinner time you would get hungry, nurse right on through our dinner – I quickly learned to nurse and eat at the same time – nurse straight through a few episodes of Rescue Me (our current Netflix obsession), then we’d take you upstairs and you would continue nursing sometimes until midnight, 1am, or 2am. It was beyond exhausting but Daddy was very supportive, telling me that I could back out of nursing and try something easier like pumping, bottle feeding, or using formula if t was just too much to handle. But I was determined to do what was best for my baby and if that meant staying up all night long to feed him then that’s what I would do. It was rough, but six days later we were finally out of the woods.

The next few weeks were much easier, well… easy is a relative term now that we have a newborn. You settled into a pretty consistent routine during the days and also through the night. Daddy is still off work and doesn’t go back until this weekend so we’ve really enjoyed our time at home as a family. We’ve developed our own little daily rituals which I treasure. Daddy makes breakfast for me nearly every morning, we play with you on the floor during tummy time while you usually just scream and cry through it, we take walks almost every day through the neighborhood, and every night during your “witching hour” we dance in the living room while playing a mixture of beach music and motown to keep you calm.

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This month you also met your future friends, Brayden and Alexis! Our good friends Blair & Ty and Brent & Heba got pregnant around the same time we did and had “Preggers” dinners and nights out with the other couples throughout our pregnancies. You three little ones were born just a few weeks apart. We are so excited that you will be able to grow up together and looking forward to being able to share the joys and stresses of parenthood with good friends. While we would love for you and Brayden to become best friends through childhood, we’re kinda hoping you’ll stay away from Alexis for a while. 😉

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Our favorite moments over the last 4 weeks have most definitely been our days at home spending quality time as a new little family. This was one of the things I was most excited about before beginning maternity leave – the opportunity to wake up every morning next to my husband, feed my baby, cuddle on the couch with our little man, and marvel at every little smile and movement he makes.

It’s been a wonderful 4 weeks and I treasure every minute, just the three of us.

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