On Sunday, Isaac and I celebrated one month of being parents to the sweetest baby boy. I still can’t believe it’s been a month since James was born. Sometimes it feels like time has just flown by, and at other times I could swear that he’s been a part of our lives forever. It’s so hard to remember what life was like before him! And while the first couple of weeks were hard for me (helloooo sleep deprivation), these have been the best .four weeks of my life.
I’ve known for years that Isaac was going to be a great dad. Even when we first started dating almost eight years ago, watching him interact with my siblings, love on my baby sister, and seeing his incredible patience, I knew he would be amazing with his own kids someday. And I wasn’t wrong. He has been an incredible father to James this past month. I love it when he reaches for James first thing in the morning to get some snuggles before leaving for work. Or when he grabs him after a fussy evening so I can have a little break. Or all the times I catch him kissing our baby, reading to him, and taking pictures of him. I have loved every stage of mine and Isaac’s relationship, from dating to engaged, then married. But his one is by far my favorite. There’s just something sweet about watching the boy I fell in love with in high school grow up and become a dad.
Something I’ve come to realize in these past few weeks of being new parents is how quickly time flies and how every day starts to blur together with the next. Between sleep deprivation, waking up for middle of the night feedings, and simply trying to survive half the time, I’m not surprised that most days I have no idea if it’s Monday, Thursday or Saturday. And the last thing I want is to forget all the little things that make these days oh so special. Which is why I will be doing monthly updates for James’s first year of life. There will be so many firsts, so many memories made, and I want to remember them in the years to come. Just like I wanted to remember his birth, I want to be able to look back on his first year of life and not see a hazy blur of events.
What can you expect in these monthly updates?
Well first off, pictures. And lots of them.
Also, little stories, anecdotes, “firsts” and so on.
Basically the things I want to remember and share about his first twelve months of life.
Because the days are long, but the years are short.
Newborn pictures taken by Tricia Marie Photography!
I still can’t believe how much James has changed in one month! He looks like a completely different baby. I’ve never been so thankful for pictures, because we get to remember those sweet fresh newborn rolls, squinty swollen eyes, and how LITTLE he was. I did this side by side comparison of him at 3 days and 1 month and almost started crying. I didn’t realize how much he had changed until I put these two pictures together!
Based on my measurements (which let’s be real… are probably not accurate AT all), he has grown about 2 inches and gained 2 pounds, putting him at 22 inches long and around 10 pounds. I can tell he’s gotten bigger and he’s slowly transitioning from newborn into 0-3 month clothing. Slow down, baby boy!
He’s a champ at breastfeeding. Once I got through the first two weeks, things have been SO much better. He latches on great, and I love the sweet cuddles I get with him when he’s eating. I’ve also been using my Haakaa to catch milk from the other breast to slowly build a stockpile of milk for when I get back to shooting weddings in October and have to leave him with a babysitter.
James loves wiggling. He was a wiggle worm in the womb, and definitely carried it out with him. When he lays on his play mat, he just flails his arms and legs the entire time, while grunting and making all kinds of baby sounds. He’s not too fond of tummy time, but is getting better at it and is definitely gaining neck strength. He especially loves doing tummy time on Isaac’s chest, where he’ll practice lifting up his head and looking at his daddy. It’s the cutest!
One of the things I was most excited to do once he was born was wear him in my ring slings. So when he was 4 days old, my doula taught me how to put a newborn in a sling and he’s been a champ ever since. We’ve slung in Hobby Lobby, Target, Trader Joe’s, church, and just about every time we’ve gone out. I love love love the baby snuggles, and he usually falls right asleep once he’s settled.
He is a horribly noisy sleeper. Like SO loud! Especially when he’s falling asleep, he coos, grunts, wiggles and does just about everything else a newborn baby can do. It usually keeps me up until he finally quiets down and falls into a deep sleep, but I secretly love it because I know this stage in life isn’t going to last forever. He’s currently sleeping in our Halo Bassinest by my side of the bed, and we all love it. Once I get him in his baby “straight jacket” (aka Halo SleepSack) and he’s happy and fed, he’ll go straight to sleep.
James is currently only waking up about once a night. He’ll have a long stretch of sleep right at the beginning for about 4-6 hours, then sleep for another 3 hours or so after feeding. I am enjoying these long stretches, because I know it may not last forever! I bought the book “The Natural Baby Sleep Solution” so I can learn more about his natural sleep cycle, and hopefully help him continue getting good rest at night and during the day.
When he was a little over 3 weeks old, we took him to church for the first time! My best friend’s family has moved to Oregon because her husband has accepted a pastoral position at a small church up there, and James’s first visit was to watch his Uncle Mike’s ordination. I’m so glad we were able to be there for that! And that James was born before they made their move, so he could meet his future wife (arranged marriages are a thing still, right??), and so Brooke and I could get all our baby snuggles in together!
Most of my days are spent feeding James and running errands here and there to get out of the house a little bit! I’ve started walking occasionally (when it’s not deathly hot outside!) and the fresh air is SO nice. I’m looking forward to the cooler temperatures in our extended forecast, because cabin fever is REAL, y’all. I am slowly getting back into the groove of things, and am looking forward to picking up my camera again in October. I am happy to feel like ME again. For a while there I was so tired, sore and overwhelmed with everything that I thought I’d never feel like myself again. #sodramatic
I am mostly healed from his birth, and can’t wait to get the green light from my midwives to start going back to barre class again! I’ve missed my Bar Method family. Until then I’m making sure to give my body plenty of rest, and remembering that I just went through one of the hardest things of my life and to give myself some grace. Thankfully it’s been so hot outside, that I really haven’t had much motivation to do much, which has forced myself to rest more. Perfect timing, right? haha
One of the things that has stood out to me the most this month is how much James is loved. Between his aunts and uncles, grandparents, great grandma, “adopted” aunts and uncles, friends and our church family, he has been cuddled and loved on like no other! And Isaac and I have been so blessed with all the people who provided us with meals, gifts, prayer and words of encouragement during this time. It truly takes a village!
One of the things I was most worried about before James was born was how Lillie was going to handle the transition. Turns out I didn’t need to worry! The first few days she was pretty indifferent towards him, and still is most of the time, but she’s slowly warming up to him. She likes to check on him when he’s crying, and tries to give him kisses all the time. She’s a sweet big sister, and I can’t wait till he’s older and can play with her. I know she’ll be ALL over that!
I’ll share a bit more about this later this week, but I just have to say… I’ve never been so thankful for Isaac and everyone else who knows what my family has been through this year. James is truly a blessing, but it has been SO hard to do this without my dad being here. He would have loved his grandson so much, and it breaks my heart knowing my son and future children are going to grow up not knowing how amazing my Dad was. I know all of this happened for a reason, and it’s been so amazing to see how even in the midst of sorrow there is still so much joy.
My favorite part about James is his eyes. Because they’re blue like my daddy’s were. And I pray they learn how to see the world with the same spark, humor and discernment that my dad had. But most of all that they are opened to the Lord’s grace and mercy, and that he may be used by God to do great and mighty things.
So here’s to James’s first month and all the ones to come. We love you to the moon and back, my sweet baby boy.
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