Whew, talk about the fastest month of my life! I swear it just hits different when you’re chasing a toddler around during the day and awake tending to the little squeaks and grunts at night. One sweet month of Quinn, one month as a family of four. I did these monthly recaps with Coco and selfishly wanted to do them again to make sure that I don’t forget anything this time around in the blur of it all! Not only is it a fun way to share our behind-the-scenes and the things that we couldn’t live without, but it’s a great way for me to remember all these tiny and huge moments that we’re encountering as parents to baby Quinn! So without further adieu, here’s what our first month was like.
What’s Quinn like:
I know, I know, she’s only a month old, and we have all the time in the world to discover who she is but I have to say, she is the easiest baby. She’s the kind of baby that would trick you into having more babies because she’s just so quiet and sweet. She is super content, calm, and easy to figure out. In the seldom times that she cries, it’s usually because she’s hungry or needs a diaper change. We totally lucked out with two babies who are easy to soothe, who love to snuggle, and who nail the basics like breastfeeding without much work. She’s accompanied me to the dentist, a haircut, and a manicure and was the sweetest (and quietest) little companion. I can’t wait to see who she becomes but so far she’s just the sweetest little lady who seems to fit into our family perfectly. This morning Coco snuck over to her bassinet while she slept (of course she sleeps the minute I need to wake up) and just stared at her and seeing these little moments between my girls, it’s just indescribable.
What I couldn’t live without right now:
- These nipple savers: Last time I navigated breastfeeding so differently. I had to use a nipple shield for the first few months of breastfeeding, I had to load up on all the creams and salves, it was way more painful. This time (after a friend swore by them) I got the Silverette’s and I can tell you, my breastfeeding experience has been night and day. Straight from the source, here’s how they work. They just sit on top of your nipples and with a little bit of breastmilk (like drops) in there, they keep your nipples moist and safe from drying out. Silver is a natural antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial metal that also contains anti-inflammatory agents. It heals and prevents cuts, wounds, cracks, soreness, and infections. The other benefit is they preserve your nipple shape which makes latching easier and less painful! I haven’t had to use any creams or nipple butters yet because of these!
- This baby wrap: I honestly don’t know how I would survive this season without wearing Quinn. Seriously, having a toddler to chase means I need to have my hands free. Quinn probably spends an hour or two (or three) in this baby wrap every day and it helps me be able to move through the house, fold laundry, cook, etc. Once you learn how to do the wrap and get baby in safely, it literally takes a minute or two and having her so close to me is the best! Coco loved to be in a wrap too, so I’m feeling so lucky, it’s been a lifesaver!
- This hands-free suction pump: I also used this last time but the Haakaa has been such an amazing tool during this season. This time around, I wanted to avoid pumping as long as I could just to try and avoid an oversupply of milk. This helps collect milk while you are feeding baby on the other side, collecting the letdown. Using this helped me freeze tons of milk in the first month without having to use an electronic pump (plus it’s way easier to clean!) I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to save and freeze my milk that might have gone to waste. My only complaint is that sometimes it’s tricky to maintain the suction, especially while feeding a squirmy baby!
- This baby oil: Quinn’s skin partnered with the dry Minnesota winters meant that we needed to hydrate her skin! One week in, her skin was so dry and flaky adjusting to life earthside and so we were lathering her up with this baby oil and also using this baby balm on the extra dry spots! I also found myself using these products (safe for baby and mama!) and they have lived on my nightstand for easy access. I love that you can read the ingredient labels and understand what’s in them! My faves! (You can save 10% on your purchase of any Primally Pure products using code JK10 at checkout… I love everything there!)
- This dock and this lounger: Hear me out, you definitely don’t need both of these, but I’m thankful we have them. We’ve had the Snuggle Me up in her bassinet for nighttime and the DockaTot downstairs that we scoot around based on where we are in the house. It’s so nice to have spots to set Quinn down and be present with Coco or, ya know, doing the things life requires. Quinn definitely loves to be held but I’m so thankful to be able to safely lay her down! I like both of these loungers for different reasons, so you truly can’t go wrong!
The same or different:
It’s been so incredible going through this experience again. I swear, even from the first moments in the hospital, it all felt familiar. Seeing our level of confidence as parents has been such a beautiful reminder of all that we’ve learned through parenting Coco. The transition overall has been pretty easy and that feeling of knowing what you’re doing has been a blessed assurance that we got this! Overall, this time around, everything just has been easier from breastfeeding to recovering from birth, figuring out things like sleep, and how the heck to get out of the house on time with a baby. I also think having been through this experience before gives us perspective when things feel challenging (like those first few nights where I didn’t sleep a wink) and it also encourages us to slow down and savor because we know how fast time flies! I’d say for us, going from zero to one baby is a harder transition than going from one to two! The biggest struggle is having one kid who’s awake during the day and one kiddo who’s up at night, it creates limited opportunities for shut-eye for mama!
The other big difference this time around is navigating having a new baby during a pandemic. From different hospital protocols to Covid tests to trying to figure out how we want to let family meet and interact with baby, it’s added a whole new level to parenting that is tricky (to say the least!). We decided to limit visitors to vaccinated immediate family members (parents, siblings, grandparents), do tests before meeting her when we could, and limiting potential exposure risks in any way we can. Quinn hasn’t met any of our friends yet and has left the house only a handful of times for appointments. We’re definitely feeling more protective and careful and wanting to stay in our safe little bubble. While I definitely think parenting these days can be easier (thank you, Google), I also think that navigating the times we are in adds a whole new layer that makes it challenging and somewhat scary.
My postpartum experience:
If you were able to tune into our birth story, you might have heard how everything went! In delivering Quinn, I was fortunate to only have to push for two-and-a-half minutes total but I did end up tearing (in the same spot I did with Coco!). Overall, my postpartum healing and journey has felt quicker than last time and I’ve been able to manage it even better, just due to having prior experience. I had this moment in the hospital during my shower (uhhh, that first shower after birth is heaven!) and I just hugged my body for all it had done and all we had been through. I just respect my body so much and feel like it’s been the best teammate on this crazy ride.
We busted out of the hospital right at the 24-hour mark. While I personally could have used one more day to rest and recover, I wasn’t getting good sleep at the hospital and missed Coco. We had my mom stay with us the first weekend, and it was such a blessing to have an extra set of hands to balance the girls and to help out around the house. She helped with simple things around the house like laundry, garbage, cooking, but it was such a huge help and made the transition easier. She was also my nurse helping me stay on top of pain medications, helping me get all cleaned up, and monitoring my recovery. A godsend, truly!
Pro tip: I created a postpartum box before I had Quinn and had it on the back of my toilet. It was stocked with pads, witch hazel, a peri bottle, spray… all the things I could need and it was so handy to have it all right there for when I needed it. I also stocked my nightstand with diapers, wipes, and things I might need like chapstick, my pain meds, hair ties, lotion, etc. I also reorganized my closet to keep all of my favorite maternity clothes and postpartum PJs in the front and easy to grab while my body transitions. I’ve basically just kept living in my maternity clothes and have stayed in PJs 90% of the time. Keeping things easily accessible and having it all ready was so helpful!
I feel like the first few weeks were definitely hard and I was really sore. Given that I had a toddler who wanted to be held and next to me, I wasn’t able to rest as much as last time. The hardest part was trying to really be there for Coco while not feeling 100%. Coco even started grabbing me a pillow to sit on when I sat next to her at mealtime. Once I felt like I had healed (down there) I started to feel great! I was itching to work out at the three-week mark and was feeling a lot better in my body and moving my body! I didn’t work out much in my third trimester so it felt great when I started to get the urge again and the energy to start moving.
Not going to lie, I am tired. I’m someone who could sleep 10 hours a night, so operating on barely any sleep is hard for me. While we’ve got a few good stretches, most nights I’m up 3-4 times and not getting good sleep. On night three, the exhaustion hit me and I was putting her to bed and could hear Quinn crying in the other room and I was just so tired, Drew walked in and both Coco and I were crying and holding each other and it was honestly a beautiful moment together where we just acknowledged that a lot had changed so fast but that we could be together and feel all the feels. Once we got our cry out, we felt so much better!
Lastly, Quinn does not take a bottle yet (something that Coco did pretty easily) which means her and I have been attached since day one! This is why she’s accompanied me to anything I need to be at (dentist appointments, etc!) and is also why I am probably ready for some alone time! It’s definitely tricky when baby isn’t on a schedule yet, so her eating is unpredictable and relatively constant. Just doing my best to roll with it and admire my cute little co-pilot knowing it’s just a temporary season!
Month one can be summarized by…
Sweetness. From watching the girls interact (I still get butterflies when I say “the girls”) to getting the house holiday ready and enjoying this cozy season, it’s been a relatively smooth and easy transition. We’ve been so blessed to have had two easy babies and I’m so thankful I’ve built a business that has allowed me to stop and savor this time as a family. While we’ve maybe watched a few too many movies all cuddled on the couch (oops!), it’s been a time where we have really just soaked in the sweetness and welcomed the change. Quinn is the perfect addition to our family and I can’t believe she’s been earthside for a month. If time flew before, it’s blasting on by now.