Charlotte Frances {1 month}

[I've had this post in my drafts for close to three weeks now, but am just now getting around to posting it! What can I say - the whole concept of time completely changes once you have a baby. I'm really working to stay on top of the posts going forward.]

Our sweet Charlotte Frances is one month old today! There is nothing in this world that I love more than being her mama - it's changed me in so many wonderful ways, and I wouldn't trade these last four weeks for anything in the world.

Those teeny tiny socks are tucked away - they were the only pair that fit her for her first three weeks and I cried when she outgrew them.

To say becoming a parent has been a learning experience is the understatement of the year. There is no way to prepare for any of it, until you're in the trenches and just have to... figure it out. I've been pooped and spit up on. There have been lots of tears (some from Charlotte, lots from mama). I've never been so exhausted in my life, but have also never experienced the desire to just sit and hold and stare at this amazing little human all day, every day. There have been the most fantastic highs and some really low lows, but we've made it and now here we are. We fall in love with her more every single day and all of those cliches about parenthood are so true. We can't wait to watch this sweet girl grow up!

My parents stayed with us for the first two weeks, and while I was originally a little reluctant for them to be here that long, by the time the day came to drive them to the airport, all I could think was "How can I be a mom without my mom here with me?" It was completely awful saying goodbye, and I can't really think about it much or I'll cry again. The first week, I thought I knew everything, but Charlotte was kind of still in the "newborn daze" - once she started waking up and I realized that my parents actually knew a thing or two about taking care of a newborn, I couldn't ask them enough questions. I was also deep in the baby blues at this point, so having my mom there for me was huge. Brian had two weeks of paternity leave that he could split up however he wanted, so he took the first week that we were home, then Monday/Tuesday for the last couple of weeks. 

There is no real schedule for us right now. The days are long but they also fly by, and I feel so lucky to have this maternity leave to soak up every single second with my girl. One of the best things I've done personally is have somewhat of a routine. We wake up for the day when Brian leaves for work, and move downstairs for coffee and breakfast, Good Morning America and Live with Kelly. I try to prep dinner and switch out/fold laundry, then we head back upstairs so I can shower (while Charlotte hangs in the bouncer in the bathroom with me. From there, depending on what kind of day Charlotte is having, the afternoon either flies by or drags until Brian gets home. We try to get out of the house every single day, even if it's just to drive to get a coffee. It keeps everyone sane - we can go a little stir crazy when we're in the house all day long. 

Breastfeeding has gone remarkably well. It was one of the things that I was most nervous about - I think maybe just fear of the unknown? But Charlotte latched immediately after birth and we had great encouragement from the nurses and lactation consultants while we were in the hospital. We had a little struggle around 3 weeks old with a lot of pain in my right breast - we figured out that I had a clogged duct, and Charlotte and I went to a breastfeeding support group that my hospital offers. It was helpful but... overwhelming. There were 21 moms with 21 newborns plus a few older siblings running around, so I had a moment to ask my questions and the lactation consultants were helpful, but it was just... a lot. We ended up working through it together, and things have gone so much better. 

All in all, our girl is healthy and thriving, and we couldn't be happier or feel more lucky to have this sweet baby in our lives! I wake up every morning so excited to see her, and just want to soak in every second that I can with her.

Now, for the start of our monthly updates!

Weight: Charlotte, you weighed 7lbs, 9oz when you were born, dropped down to 7lbs, 1 oz the day we were discharged from the hospital, and were back up to 7lbs, 14oz at your newborn checkup on Tuesday, January 10. The last time you were weighed was at our breastfeeding support group on Wednesday, January 25, and you clocked in at a whopping 8lbs, 9oz! Your 1 month checkup is on Monday, February 13 and I can't wait to see how much more you've grown!

So tiny at your first checkup at four days old!

Clothes: All newborn, but they're getting super snug! Your coming home outfit was Magnolia Baby and fit perfectly, and we've had several fleece Carters sleepers in the rotation that were initially slightly big on you. And the Janie and Jack one-piece that I bought when we found out you were on the way swallowed you up in the hospital and is still big. I'm having MAJOR mom feels this week because you're officially growing out of everything - tiny white newborn onesies, your newborn sleeper gowns, all of your footed jammies, and your newborn pants. We're kind of stuck because the majority of your 0-3 months clothes are still way too big, but we're out of options in your newborn drawer! I just bought a couple of Carters newborn sleepers and they're working for right now. Oh, my mama heart will break the day I have to pack up that sweet newborn drawer that I spent so much time shopping to fill, washing and folding, waiting for you to join us. I've definitely cried this past week as I've realized with the wear of each outfit that it's likely the last time you'll wear it, especially your fox sleeper and your "Hello Daddy" onesie (it's what I bought and tucked away to someday use to tell your Daddy that I was pregnant). 

This sweet fox sleeper was an impulse purchase a few days before you were born - I dressed you in it until the neck started to pull because you were too long! 

All the tears for this - I bought this onesie when you were just a dream and a prayer of mine, and I gave it to your daddy to unwrap to tell him you were on the way. 

Sleep: You're waking every two hours to eat and for a diaper change, but going back down has been a little touch and go. Some nights you fall right back to sleep, but we've also walked and rocked for hours to get you settled back to sleep. You're a great sleeper, though - you never startle and can sleep anywhere, but are especially fond of napping in our arms (and I'm not in any hurry to break that habit). At night, you sleep in your Pack n Play bassinet next to my side of the bed, and during the day nap in either your Boppy Lounger or the Mamaroo. Something I want to remember - we know you're in a deep sleep when your little mouth falls open and you make your "purring" noises (sweetest sound in the world).

Schedule: I will be the first to admit that I was that annoying pre-parent who told anyone who would listen about how we were going to put you on a schedule at 2 weeks old. Yep, didn't happen, and I'm in no rush to do so. I quickly figured out that my main priority is making sure you're fed and rested, and we do what it takes to make that happen. 

Health: You are healthy and thriving, baby girl!
Crying: You only fuss a tiny bit when you're hungry or need a diaper change, but even then it's the daintiest little sounds. We call them your kitten meows and baby lamb noises - I have countless videos saved of them!
Feeding: Breastfeeding has gone exceptionally well for us, which is such a relief for me. Right now we're nursing on demand, and you eat for around 10 minutes on each side. We're exclusively nursing, although I know we'll need to introduce a bottle at some point. 
Likes: Sleeping in our arms, bathtime, being in motion (in the car, stroller), eating, being snuggled and warm, the Mamaroo, listening to Adele with Daddy
Dislikes: Being cold, dirty diapers, getting buckled into your carseat
Milestones: I'm going to say being born was your biggest (and best) milestone this past month.
Places You’ve Gone: We've been really good about getting out and about as much as possible! We made our first trip to Target with Gigi on your 1 week birthday, and have been back... many, many times since. You've had pediatrician visits, and went to my office to meet my coworkers (they loved you!). 
Visitors: Your Gigi and Papa were here from Texas for two weeks, which was amazing. Caitlin and Andrew, and Brad and Jackie also came to see you and were so excited to love on you.

Postpartum: Major baby blues over here, which deserves its own post entirely. Physically, I feel great and feel like I've had a very easy go of it in regards to my recovery.

Molly: She was a little suspicious of you at the beginning and definitely nailed a look that screams "Just so you remember, this was NOT my idea, guys..." but she's been super sweet and gentle. We can't wait for you to grow up with a built-in best friend!

Shortly after walking in the front door from the hospital! The most surreal moment - sitting in the nursery we worked on for so long, holding the baby I'd hoped and prayed for... with our sweet Molly at my feet.

Two day old Charlotte!


Our first (very tired) family picture! 

"Let's snuggle and be cozy" - the motto of my maternity leave with my girl.

So teeny tiny and snuggled up.
The most tired (and happy) I've ever been in my life.

One week old! OBSESSED with this precious baby.

Charlotte and her Gigi (my mom).

Charlotte's first trip to Target at one week old!

My sweet little family (and deeeeep in the world of post partum sads - more to come on that...)

Charlotte's first sink bath (before her umbilical cord fell off)

Me and my girl.

Charlotte's first bath! Her umbilical cord fell off (obviously)... and I cried. And then Molly ate it. You can't make this stuff up, y'all... I kept thinking of the episode of SATC where Brady's cord stump falls off and Miranda's cat takes it and is playing with it and she has to call Steve... and that this was SO much worse.

Dressed my girl in her white "Future President" onesie for Inauguration Day. Again - all of the tears.

The morning my parents left - so many sads.

Charlotte meeting her great grandmother, DeeDee (Brian's grandmother). Charlotte is DD's fifth great grandchild!

Daddy and his girls.

My dad told me when I Facetimed him on this night that she looked like a mime. 

Wearing the Janie and Jack outfit that I bought the afternoon that my doctor told us that we had nothing to worry about and that my pregnancy was healthy and strong (teary again just typing that).

Her favorite place to sleep (and my favorite place to let her sleep).
Her daddy's little Pats fan on Superbowl Sunday!

My sweet CC

Getting so big already - the night before her 1 month birthday!

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