I can’t believe that Harvey has been here for a month… especially since I was still supposed to be pregnant right now (well, I would be overdue at this point, but that’s what everybody tells you to expect with your first). With each new day that goes by, my heart feels like it is going to burst with all of the love I have for my son. What a beautiful life we live, y’all!!
Harvey went to the pediatrician on Monday for his 4-week-old check-up, and he had gained over 2 pounds!! He had also grown over 1 inch and his head circumference was in the normal range! So is everything else – he is just in the lower half of “normal” because he was a preemie and they say it could take 6 months or more for him to “catch up” to the growth percentiles. However, everything else about him is “normal” to us, haha! He has definitely found his cry – which is funny to even write, but honestly, it took him 2 full weeks to even start crying when he needed something. His main form of communication is grunting. He grunts so much that he’s given himself an outie bellybutton in the form of an umbilical hernia (not that big of a deal, they generally correct themselves before age 5).
He has been eating like a Hungry, Hungry Hippo – which is why I call him Hungry, Hungry Harvey! But seriously, imagine the children’s game, with the Hippos opening and closing their mouths ferociously, and that’s him… about every 2 and a half hours throughout the day. It’s so cute. The only reason I feel like I can say this, and make a joke, is because breastfeeding has gone extremely well for me. I feel like I am one of the lucky ones, because I have heard so many stories and have some friends who’ve had difficulty with it, and feel extremely grateful for every single feeding when I feel nothing but bonding and sweetness and love for him as we look at each other while he munches. I am looking into milk donation, because I have so much of it (I have two breast pumps if anybody needs one), and have been very happy to breastfeed in public. Harvey and I are going to a Nation-Wide Nurse-In at the State Capitol building on Friday, his actual one-month-birthday, to help bring attention to the unnecessary stigmas behind breastfeeding in public areas. ESPECIALLY because I will be breastfeeding him during the freaking summer time, and the thought of trying to put a blanket over myself every single time he needs to eat, is 100% ridiculous. I mean, we don’t eat with blankets over our heads do we? This picture is me feeding him at a brewery last weekend – and the Moby on my shoulder was to shield the sun from his eyes, not to hide my boob from the crowd.
Other things Harvey likes: smiling (whether he does it on purpose or not), being carried in the Moby wrap, stroller walks, riding in the car, and…BATH TIME! He is obsessed with the water. It completely calms him into stretching his little body fully out and pretending to float (with the help of an adult, of course). It is one of my favorite activities with him.
I love being a mom. It is, by far, the best occupation I’ve ever encountered. Nick and I have incorporated Harvey into our daily lives with ease – which we both felt very strongly about doing before he was born. I knew that the only way to get used to bringing him places was to just get out and do it! Showing him off has been so much fun! So far, he has been to Raleigh, Chapel Hill, downtown Durham, and Hillsborough. Taking him to soccer games has been super fun too! We also have trips planned for the rest of the summer that include Philadelphia, Hilton Head, Camp Mikell, Ohio, and Seattle! Some people think we are crazy for flying with a baby, but honestly, he is so good, and travels so well, that I think we will be happy we got out and visited people before I go back to work.
One of the parts of being a new mom that not a lot of people talk about, is having a new body. It has taken some time, and some effort, to embrace the new way I look. My stomach will never look the same, and that’s ok. Mederma is helping a bit, but it will obviously never bring me back to pre-Harvey days. This week, I made the decision to join Weight Watchers, to help lose the baby-weight and to help stay on a healthy lifestyle track that will be much better for me in the long run. Breastfeeding requires extra calories, and a lot of moms want to cut calories to lose the weight. It is also in my nature to do the same thing, but, before Harvey was born, my therapist and I discussed some ways to prevent me from slipping back in to old habits, and WW, so far, has been a good plan. I’m not going to lie, it has been hard from time to time, thinking about the fact that its summer and we are going to go to the beach and pool and whatnot, and I have to go to the store and buy a new bathing suit that I think looks “ok” for now… but overall, the benefits of being a mom have outweighed the few “costs”. I am adding a picture here, for my own purposes. This is my body, one month postpartum. All of the mamas out there whose bellies look like road maps, bless you. We know it was worth it 🙂