10 Things I Love About Motherhood During The Newborn Stage

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In my experience with social media, I’ve found it’s more common for new parents to share the difficult side of raising babies than the beautiful aspects of it… I understand that the posts I’m referring to are made with the intention of solidarity and connection to other parents who are in the thick of it all and may feel alone or overwhelmed, but quite frankly, it can be discouraging to read on a consistent basis.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely mental and emotional challenges that come with being a parent—I’m no stranger to feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, and parenthood can exacerbate that. But like with any new element in our lives, our mentality really is half the battle, isn’t it?

What has helped me so far is praying to embody the fruits of the spirit daily—love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, and self-control—and focusing on the things I love about being a mom in this stage:

The Looks

• When he looks up at me while breastfeeding

• The “excited” expression he makes right before latching on to eat

• Staring into each other’s eyes and making faces (which leads to the best smiles and coos)

Growth & Personality

• Seeing how quickly he’s learning new things, like holding his head up tall, rolling over, tracking with his eyes, etc.

• That he finds great comfort in cuddling in our arms

• How active and wiggly he is

• His curiosity at such a young age

Family Bonding

• Playing together with his musical play mat

• Enjoying the time as a family of three while we’re off from work

• Seeing the love in my husband’s eyes when he looks at and talks to our son

🤍

Any new moms out there? What are some of your favorite things about your baby and the newborn stage?

Welcoming Owen To The World

Born December 21, 2020 — 7 lbs. 14 oz. 20.5 in.

The best part of 2020 was welcoming our beautiful son into the world! Since he remained in a breech position the last few weeks of my pregnancy, our doctor scheduled us for a c-section on December 21st. It was both exciting and strange having his birth planned out in advance like that, but it ended up being perfect because we got to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s at home as a family of three (plus my parents).

Christmas 2020
Midnight Kisses — New Year’s 2021

As far as my surgery/delivery goes, it was really uncomfortable, not gonna lie… I received the spinal anesthesia, which made me numb from the chest down, but I still felt all the pressure of my doctor pushing him out. Owen was in one of the more challenging breech positions, so it required a lot more maneuvering and pressing to get him out. Our first glimpse of him made it all worthwhile though! He came out with his eyes wide open and I was instantly overcome with emotion.

C-Section Recovery & Tips

Healing from a c-section surgery is tough, especially with the added factor of caring for your newborn at the same time, so having a great support system is key. Brant stepped up and took the reigns on a lot of Owen’s care while we were in the hospital, which allowed me to focus on breastfeeding and resting. My parents flew in the day we were discharged and have been a huge help to both of us at home, taking care of the cooking and cleaning while also holding Owen so we can catch up on some sleep.

*For anyone currently pregnant and concerned about the potential of going through this operation, I encourage you to: (1) Let others help you as much as possible and take it slow when moving around, (2) Drink LOTS of water and eat fiber-rich foods, and (3) Invest in postpartum care products ahead of time—breast/nipple care items; pads; loose, comfortable underwear and leggings; stool softener pills; and a belly band for support.

Thank you for following along my journey to motherhood this past year! It’s been a pleasure documenting and sharing this part of my life with you.

Two Noteworthy Reads

I started this year off by reading “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys, and am now closing 2020 with “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins. I wanted to share these with you because I found them to be incredibly insightful, heart-wrenching, and beautiful stories that encapsulate our humanity at its best and worst. Both of these are fictional novels based on real events/experiences from history or present-day affairs, and I believe there’s a lot to be learned from them.

“Between Shades of Gray” captures the voice of hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during Stalin’s cleansing of the Baltic region (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia specifically), by following one family’s brutal journey from their home in Lithuania to the Siberian tundra via cattle car. Before reading this, I had never known about these specific tragedies. In school, we learned a basic overview about Stalin’s reign and what that entailed, but nothing about this forced exodus of entire countries and peoples… It goes to show there’s always more to unearth and learn.

“American Dirt” follows a similar trajectory in that it describes the journey of a mother and her eight-year old son from their home in Acapulco, Mexico to the United States. After surviving unfathomable violence at the hands of a local cartel, this mom and her son flee for their lives, hoping for solace and refuge in the U.S. Their experiences along the way are a mix of beauty and tragedy, horror and restoration, goodness and evil… As a Mexican American myself, this book hit home a little more for me, especially with the way our political climate has been these last four years in regard to immigrants and refugees at our southern border. This book does an impeccable job of showing readers that immigrants/refugees are humans with real stories, fears, and dreams like any other person.

Although I read many books this year, I have to say these two were most impactful for me. I hope you give them a chance too!