June Harbor Shippy: Month #1
Oh my sweet baby June. So a couple of weeks ago, your dad and I were sitting in the living room just staring at your adorableness like we often do when your daddy says, “Do you have a baby book or something you’re writing stuff down in? We probably need to write down the little things we love that she does, because otherwise we will probably forget them.”
And oh Juners, let me just tell you- I’ve never ever known your daddy to be one to concerned about documenting memories and such.
This was just one of the many many moments in which I’ve seen him being so smitten by you, June. It’s the neatest thing to see him be so excited by you.
And normally I’m kind of the queen of documenting things around here, so it really was just incredibly precious that HE was reminding ME.
Since your mama is less of the scrapbooking kind and more of the blogging kind, I decided we could document your sweet firsts and favorite moments of ours here on the blog. My goal is to write you a letter on the 24th of each month– to celebrate 1 month, 2 months, etc.
However, this one is a little late because right after your 1 month birthday, Mama got The Mastitis. That sounds like it could be a country song. And if it was a song, it would be a very sad, painful one lol. But I don’t want to bore you with the details of that miserable situation, other than to explain that is why this first letter to you is a bit late.
It also might be a little late due to the fact my days are so busy cuddling and loving on you. We have all these cooler than cool contraptions– swings, bouncy seats, etc. — and yet, all I want to do is hold your sweetness.
Your first month truly was the single best month of my life, June.
And I’ve had some REALLY good months, girlfriend, so please know this is big.
To be real honest, I was nervous for you to get here. I adored being pregnant with you– I felt great, your daddy and I had a blast all summer long preparing our home and hearts for you, and I just was afraid maybe life couldn’t get any better.
Oh. My. June.
I was so wrong. See, everyone had told me I would never sleep and all my hair would fall out and my body would feel like it couldn’t do anything normal for weeks… and somehow, we DO sleep, my hair is still all full as can be, and my body felt so normal so quickly.
Now don’t get me wrong– the first week home had its challenges… breastfeeding was hard at first, my hormones had some crazy moments, and I felt frustrated not knowing if I was “doing everything right.” You’ll probably learn this about me, but I really like reading manuals or rule books on how to do things– be it a game of Taboo or how to make a pie.
And crazy enough, our doctor sent us right home with you WITH NO MANUAL!
Which stressed me out a bit and left me doubting myself during that first couple of weeks, but I was so thankful that the first week of your life your Grammy (my mom) came to stay with us! Oh man, Junebug- that was so helpful. She spoke confidence into me when I felt discouraged breastfeeding, she made us meals, she cleaned like only those in the direct line of Mary Jane Windsor know how to clean a home, and she was just there to be my mom and friend through all the ups and downs of our first week. It was THE biggest blessing, and I so hope I can do the same for you one day.
This is a picture I took while Grammy was staying with us, because I had to capture our sink being spotless, the windows being the cleanest they’ve ever been, and the very signature Robin Dyer washrag hung over the faucet. (This kind of clean makes me a nearly unhealthy amount of happy and truly makes me more relaxed and comfortable lol. It’s a sickness you’ll probably acquire from me.)
Week two everything got easier, and I was again SUPER blessed that for that second week, your daddy took some time off from work to be home with us. Your daddy is the most helpful and involved dad ever. SO many times in that first couple of weeks I literally watched him IN AWE of the way he was so helpful, loving, and involved with you and to me. He immediately had this bond with you that I just couldn’t believe. He would just look at you with such admiration.
Just to be super honest and real here, during that first week when I was figuring out breastfeeding (and my hormones were probably slightly to blame) I nearly felt like he loved you and enjoyed you more than I did. This was so weird to me and incredibly frustrating, because I AM YOUR MOM! The one who carried you around in me for 9 precious months.
I watched him be so excited by you, so smitten by you, and when breastfeeding was difficult and frustrating, I would feel even more frustrated when all I saw him be around you was so in love and giddy. This was absolutely the hardest part about the first week, because I felt like the responsibility of feeding you was such a huge pressure and I didn’t know if I was “doing it right” and I just wished I could be like your dad and just get to hold you and enjoy you with no worries of figuring out a “proper and nutritive latch.”
With all of that, breastfeeding was not without tears that first week. I even asked your dad to capture one of those “less than happy moments” because I had faith we’d get through it eventually and I wanted to remember it wasn’t without some tough times, too.
A pivotal moment for me was your first doctor’s appointment– just one week after you were born we went back and I had been told by the lactation consultants it normally took two weeks for newborns to gain their birth weight back, so not to expect much weight gain.
So when the nurse put you on the scale and I saw you had gained TEN ounces since leaving the hospital, I seriously cried.
Tears of a mama that so just wanted to have confirmation she was “doing it right” for her baby girl.
Your Grandma Shippy text me that “proof is in the pudding” and that weight gain was truly just what I needed to know we were “doing it right”… even without a manual or book of rules!
I also couldn’t be more thankful for such encouraging breastfeeding friends, grandparents, lactation consultants, and your daddy– they all were HUGE support.
Our Bradley teacher had told us learning to breastfeed is such a steep learning curve, and that is SUCH an accurate description of it! Now that we’ve got it figured out, it’s such a special time we share, and I’m just so incredibly glad we kept at it.
And let there be no question that while your daddy is still so excited about you, now that we’ve got that “proper and nutritive latch,” there is no one more smitten, more excited, and more in love with you than your mama.
Speaking of breastfeeding, it’s what we spend our evenings doing. From about 6 or 7 at night until bedtime (about 11 or midnight) you like to EAT. And eat. And eat some more. It’s pretty much all you and I do during that time.
AND THEN YOU SLEEP. THROUGH THE NIGHT, JUNE!!!!!
Your daddy and I seriously spent the first couple of weeks looking around holding our breath thinking it couldn’t be real life when we would wake up at 7 or 8 in the morning!?! You are such a dream of a baby.
You don’t know how much I wondered how I would survive on no sleep, June. And then you get here and literally since the very first night we brought you home from the hospital, you have slept right through the night.
The first couple of weeks, every morning when we’d wake up, I would literally say a prayer over you– first thanking God for your amazing sleep patterns and then a request for it to continue!
So far it has continued, and we are just so incredibly grateful for that dear, dear sleep that you’ve been giving us.
We wake up and eat around 7 or 8 and then you and I snooze together until about 10. I know that I should get up and get things done during that morning nap, but for this first month, it’s been way too wonderful to just cuddle with you instead. I truly adore that time we spend together– often with you on my chest snuggled so close to me. I just love it.
This first month, our days have been spent feeding and cuddling– I seriously never put you down! We also daily go on little adventures– be it to get a Sonic drink or to go on a walk on the trail near our house.
People warned me I wouldn’t want to just run up town to get a Sonic drink the same with a newborn, but either they underestimated my love for Sonic drinks or overestimated the task it is to get you loaded up, because we absolutely go places and do things like I did before you. It’s just all more fun with you in the backseat with me looking up at me in your super cool mirror.
Because this is getting a little long (I’ve been typing this piece by piece over the course of several days and right now I’m hopefully about to finish it as I’m typing while feeding you- I’m learning lol!) I’m going to end with a list.
The Very June Shippy Moments We Want to Remember Always from Month #1:
-the crazy adorable way you throw your hands up in the air when startled (it’s called the Moro reflex)
-the precious way you sleep with your arms extended out
-the sweet bonding time our little family of three has during bath time. Just recently, your daddy said to me how much he enjoys us doing bath time together, because it’s our own family bonding time. Melted my heart.
-your 1st photo shoot! I sat and watched you in awe… as if you were getting a gold medal at the Olympics or something. It’s seriously crazy how proud I am of you… for everything you do… including letting our awesome photographer pose you.
-the way you ADORE your changing table! You are the happiest, smiliest, excited little baby when we put you on that thing! You LOVE having your diaper changed, and the whole experience is so incredibly fun for all of us.
-I asked your daddy some specific memories he wanted documented and he immediately said how he had you sleep with him at the hospital! He let me sleep while he took care of you during the nights there, and while you all started out like this:
Somewhere in the middle of the night, he moved you closer to him:
It was a big bonding time for you and Daddy (and maybe against hospital policy lol) and it is a bonding experience you two have continued to enjoy at home:
-He also mentioned your crazy loud poops.
So your Aunt Bailey had told me that Roman has some major loud diapers when I was pregnant with you, but I had NO idea how loud she meant. It is quite comical to us just how loud you can be for such a little lady! And since your dad brought it up, I will go on record for saying I’ve never loved anyone’s poop more. I remember before I had you reading moms talking about their kids’ poop on Facebook and being so disgusted, and yet now I find myself seriously being so proud of your crazy poopy diapers. It’s the weirdest thing- this motherhood business, and somehow I couldn’t love it more.
This is the face I see after every feeding. It’s the face of a baby so blissfully full from a feeding. It’s the face that made every bit of the challenge it was to figure out breastfeeding ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. Our times spent feeding are now some of my favorite moments with you, June. I love the fact I get to feed you and what felt like a stressful responsibility at first now feels like an honor and a joy. I’m so glad we stuck with it and figured it out together, baby girl.
-your 1st time in The Principal’s Office. Thankfully he has a soft spot for Granddaughter. (to be said just like Zeke Braverman says it)
-your freakishly long fingernails!!!!!! Your dad and Grammy clip and bite those bad boys regularly, and I personally am yet to do so.
And last, but certainly not least, I will end this first letter to you with two of my favorite of our first family photos.
I couldn’t let it not be documented and remembered forever that we had coordinating “going home” outfits as we left the hospital. Your daddy thought this was a bit over the top, but I insisted that if Prince George was brought home in such a fashion, my little princess would be, too.