Friday, April 5, 2013

joy & irving - the first month

i first met joy a couple of years ago. i knew right away i was around someone very special. she had the most beautiful smile and calmest energy. i was amazed knowing that she was a mother of (at that time) two and also a stylist and creative director. last year her family went to live in costa rica for several months. i find her hugely inspiring and i love her honest and sweet portrayal of her first few weeks with irving. 

irving turns one month tomorrow. The last four weeks have been such a blur. Lots of sleep, lots of quiet, lots of snuggles, interjected with lots of moments of chaos and varying levels of pain. The chaos being the normal life at our house. My husband, 7 year old, 5 year old, 18 month old, and who ever else happens to be at the house, often making some type of noise all at the same time. While I love them all dearly, this last birth took so much out of me I found myself needing to retreat and spend most of my time upstairs resting with the new one. Irving was over nine pounds at birth which is so much bigger than my previous ones and seemed to be bigger than my body could handle (my hips felt disconnected for at least the first three weeks!) The birth was rough and the attachment under his tongue was tight so breastfeeding was super painful for me and he had to have his frenulum clipped. It felt to me like he and I both needed a lot of rest and tenderness to recover and begin to reverse all the physical stress we had both been through. I don't meant to complain at all, and I realize so many people go through so much worse, but I feel like it has been good for me to acknowledge the hard parts and, equally, to give myself permission to do what is best to recover. We've had so much extra support from family, our au pair, and friends bringing meals. I'm so grateful. It has allowed me the space to rest and just get to hold him as he have quiet and get to know his sounds.

He's amazing. His soft fuzzy skin, still peeling... His hair is pretty strawberry blond right now (will I have a redhead?) with this amazing swirling hairline that is just like his dad's and makes him look so grown up and dapper. He eats well and sleeps pretty well and almost never cries. My mother told me when my daughter was born that the secret to happy newborns is getting the gas out! She showed me her magic tricks for burping babies and a must say...I'm a believer. All four of my babies rarely cried. He is so snuggly, he loves being held. And since his first week, sometimes, when he's resting on my chest  – where I can easily and often kiss his forehead – he'll start to lift his head and grunt and struggle and work his way up until his lips meet mine and then his whole body relaxes and he falls asleep instantly. No lie.

Given that it has been such a quite time my songs for him rarely broke a hum in the first weeks and seemed to go to Frank Sinatra for some reason. Though any time we'd venture downstairs he got to hear plenty more from his big sister who often performs her own renditions of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry in our living room. We haven't needed much gear or toys or anything yet but i'm debating which new sling to order (because I know how invaluable they are!) this linen one or this gauzy one that's like the Aden + Anais swaddling blankets, which are my favorite. And this little gray gown from Gap has proven to be my favorite thing to dress him in – its like a super soft and worn in baby sweet sweatshirt. Lately our favorite little game is a staring contest. Mostly I can't help wondering what his life will be like...

meditation on one month:

the first few weeks is a wonderful time to discover each other through the senses. lay together in bed, skin-to-skin, decide what their song might be. elodie's is edelweiss and francesca's is beautiful boy (changed to girl of course!) let your baby smell you, hear you, feel you. explore your little one. learn every inch of them. there is no need for toys or stimulation. you are your little one's universe. enjoy knowing that you are enough.


  1. This is going to be a wonderful series. I'm very curious what this magic burping trick is, I have a feeling I'm going to need it.

  2. This should be a book! Great idea and love the mediation at the end also - looking fwd to the rest of the series then more series!

  3. lovely post. Joy, i think the world needs to know your mom's burping technique secrets. smiles.

  4. I was right to be so excited. What a wonderful time traveling post for me. Bandit has a song too! Smile by Charlie Chaplin. It just always pops in when we are snuggling. I look forward to some day having another child and being able to relax a bit. I wasn't crazy with Bandit but I couldn't trust that I was enough. I'm sure that will always be part of my work. Thanks for this, both of you.

  5. thanks for your sweet words, Elizabeth...wish we were in the same part of the world. :) and natalie and elaine, it's true! I think the world would be a better place if every parent were as good at burping babies as my mom is. i can't imagine trying to describe it though...i think it would have to be a video. not a bad idea though!

  6. I adore this new series. It's so lovely, sweet, thoughtful... love it. I would love to participate once our daughter arrives. I'm going to email you now. =)


  7. I too want the secrets to getting the gas out! My little Wolfie struggles so.

    Love this series.. can't wait for more!