Well, here we are at the end of our third week. We are learning a little more everyday. This week I have to say has been running pretty smoothly. I was a little scared of it at the beginning because it was my first real week alone during the days. I feel like I have so much to talk about. Hope you will bear with me.
First off. I want to say a HUGE HUGE Thank you to all you readers out there. You have no idea how much your comments, emails and tweets have meant to me since Rowan has been born. I always love them but they have been so encouraging to me. You have no idea how many times I have been up in the middle of the night feeding, feeling so overwhelmed and just being so uplifted by reading your words of wisdom on jenloveskev. I think if I could offer any advice to a new mom it is to have a good support system and it doesn’t even have to be a real life one. haha. That sounds funny but I mean it. Just reading your comments have totally made me feel like I can do this and that I am not alone in any of this. Moms are a very powerful group of ladies and they offer so much love in person or thru the internet. So never feel like you are alone if you are a new mom. For one, I am here. I would love to hear from any of you. That is why I am trying to be as honest as I can about this whole journey. I think it’s a scary thing and its not always pure bliss. I hope people know its ok to have the lows as well. If you ever have any questions please feel free to email me or ask me on my formspring. I don’t know a heck of a lot but I would be willing to share any experience that I have had thru this whole thing. That really goes for anything. Parenthood, marriage, fashion or just life in general.
I have been asked a lot about her name. I saw Rowan I think in a baby name book months and months ago and I instantly added it to the running list of names I had been keeping on my phone. It just stood out to me as this strong warrior princess name or something. Like Liv Tylers character on Lord of the Rings. That kind of Princess. A kick butt kind of princess, who is beautiful with pretty dresses on a horse with a sword defeating evil. haha. Can you tell I really like Lord of the Rings? I am really geeky. Anyways I told Kev and over the next few months it just stuck. Kev started calling her Rowan and then we couldn’t imagine her any other way. Winter has always been a word I have wanted to use as a middle name. Rowan Winter just seemed perfect!
Rowan has been sleeping at night like a champ. We are able to transition her into her little bassinet beside our bed now. She still needs to fall asleep on us but as long as she is swaddled she will stay asleep in her bassinet. She even slept 6 hours straight the other night. Oh yeah! She usually does somewhere between a 4.5 to 6 stretch and then feeds and then goes to sleep again for another 3ish hours. During the day she wont sleep in her bassinet and needs to be held but we are working on that as well. We have to swaddle her in one of those straight jacket ones with the velcro. She is like a little Houdini if you don’t. With in seconds she will have both arms wiggled out and raised high as if she is saying “you can’t contain me, I am super girl!” hehe. It was important for us to get her to start sleeping on her own because although we are ok with co sleeping, I really just enjoy my time in bed with Kev. Its like the one place where its just us. No phones, no tv, no computer. We used to go to bed early all the time to just hang out and chat and cuddle. So I like having that space and that time. I think its important. Now that Rowan is here its not a lot of time but even if its for a few mins, its worth it to me.
I am really trying to stick with the motto of just Going with the Flow. We are not on any schedule or anything. When she is hungry we feed her, when she falls asleep we let her sleep. Its working for us and seems to be way less stressful than trying to fit ourselves into some sort of mold. The thing I am struggling with this week now that I feel like we are getting back to regular life, is how to get back to regular life. haha. Does that make sense? I was talking to my friend the other day and she hit the nail on the head when she said “its a weird feeling to have absolutely nothing to do, but not be able to get anything done.” Thats what it feels like. I really cant understand how you are able to clean, do laundry, cook, run errands or really do anything else with her. I know it takes time to figure it all out, but that is what we are working on this week…
haha that and still working out our thoughts on breastfeeding.
OMG! as soon as you said her name was Rowan I thought of Eowyn of Rohan from LOTR!! it was like a combination of the two! she’s the badass warrior princess! (LOVE LOTR!!)
I’ve read your blog for a few years, and always really enjoy it! I am also a new mom! My daughter Moira Grace was born on September 27th, and its so nice to hear so many of the thoughts and experiences that i’ve had since then echoed by you. It is good to know that all of us newbies are in this together, and that there is so much about the experience that all of the moms out there have shared. Good luck to you and your family, and I’ll look forward to reading about your journey!
It seems like with every week so far Rowan stretches out a little more in the pictures, like she’s discovering that there’s a whole wide world around her! You are so lucky she’s sleeping so well for you 🙂 Hope you’re having a blast with her!
Ack! What a cutie! It’s been wonderful to follow you on your new adventure of motherhood and see the experience through your eyes. Thanks for sharing!
Good luck in figuring out what’s right for you and yours as far as breastfeeding. There’s this expectation that it’s so magical, this bonding experience where you coo at each other all the time. And that you’re ensuring their future as a genius that never gets sick. The reality is sometimes it’s a pain in the ass and it’s not right for every family.
On the other hand, I’d never have gotten involved in the fashion blogging community if I didn’t have so much time to type with one hand! Hee hee!
when i feel like giving up on breastfeeding i remember that cows milk based formula is meant for baby cows who gain at least a hundred pounds in the first year of life. My daughter may eat like a pig but she’s definitely not a cow.
That’s good to hear everything is going well. That last picture is way too adorable! Lol I love it. 🙂
Thanks for sharing Jen, Rowan is looking more gorgeous every week! Hope things are going well!
That’s awesome she’s sleeping well for you! And I think it’s really great that you and Kev are able to have some wind-down time at the end of each day just to catch up. I really like that idea! I’ll have to keep that in mind for the future when I have a man 😀
Love your post and now rowan’s post she looks so beautiful, she’s growing 😀
I’m glad to hear you are doing well! I am not a mom yet, so I don’t have much advice for you. Your blog is wonderful! I know you are doing a great job as a mother.
I love the name Rowan. It definitely has the kick butt princess kind of vibe!
you sound like you are doing so well. that makes me happy. i knew that you and kev would be great. the fact that you two have such a great relationship is really going to make this parenting thing go great for you guys. and props for being so confident in your mothering choices.
Rowan is such a beauty:) That name is lovely as well. I have absolutely enjoyed reading your pregnancy journey and now your journey being a new mommy. I had my son Keane, in February of this year. I can honestly say being a mom is one of the best things in the world. It’s not easy all the time, but you just learn as you go. I think it’s awesome that you and Kev have decided not to be stuck to any particular schedule w/ Rowan. Ultimately, you need to decide what works best for you but as a mom who does the same thing – I can vouch and say it has been the perfect thing for our son. We are not slaves to a strict schedule for him and because of this, it has helped him to adapt to all kinds of things like eating out, going on vacation and all over w/ us. He is just an easygoing kid. A looser schedule seems to work excellent for us. I’m sorry to have written a book here, but just wanted to give a bit of encouragement:). Your doing great! I wish you, Kev, and Rowan many blessings!
I’ve never commented here, but just needed to say…I breastfed my son for 13 months, he’s been weaned for almost 8, I’m pregnant with my second and I am STILL working out my thoughts on breastfeeding. And I totally agree with you about having a support system that you can be totally honest with. It’s a gift that anyone can give and in those early weeks especially, is more valuable than any onesie, receiving blanket or burp cloth you’ll ever get.
awesome, jen!! you are doing great! motherhood is such a wonder….
the newborn/baby stage is my favorite. i know it’s challenging and i don’t mean to take away from every struggle, but it’s so very simple and basic. it’s just beautiful. to be able to meet every one of rowan’s needs by simply offering your body and other very basic things. my girls are now 3 and 1 and already, there are so many more complicated issues in being a mother. there are emotions and feelings and… i can’t imagine what it will be like to have a 13 and 11 year old!
again, not to downplay the challenges of “newmotherhood”, but this is such a simple time. don’t expect too much of yourself. allow yourself to be lazy, to sleep, to ignore dishes and laundry and… everything! when you are holding rowan, realize that you’re “working.” you’re being a mom. baby’s need physical presence, touch, connection, etc. if you are sitting on the couch, holding rowan, you’re doing your job as a mom! 🙂 don’t feel guilty about the other stuff! so proud of you, jen!!!
Hi! I am a new reader/lurker 🙂 Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, she is gorgeous! As a first time mum to a six month old girl, the comment “its a weird feeling to have absolutely nothing to do, but not be able to get anything doneâ€ describes perfectly how I have been feeling. I was obsessed with this notion of ‘being productive’. In the end every time I thought I was being unproductive I had to tell myself “you have kept a small baby alive and happy and that is enough!” It gets easier and one day you will realise you have found a happy rhythm. Enjoy!
Okay, I am not a new mother but I’m living with a family for six months as an au pair so in some ways I can read this and nod in agreement. It has been a huge life-change: going from a college student to a full time nanny. Plus, living in a different country throws a major wrench in the mix. Being a first time parent is a different experience and probably at least 10 times more stressful. At least. But I totally understand what you’re saying about nothing to do but getting nothing done. I’ve learned so much about myself by being with the children 24/7 (even when I’m not technically watching them they’re part of my life here) but I’ve also learned just how much time and effort being a parent requires. So, I’m sending you major props and a heft load of encouragement from Europe. You’re little family is full of love and that is the key. Love, love love love love! Well done and keep it up!
Love the outfit 🙂
oh my goodness, I’m dying over the week photo, she’s so cute!
Rowan is soooo cute! Thank you for sharing your precious little daughter’s pictures with us.
Congratulations!! She is simply gorgeous! My son is now 6, but I can remember and agree with everything you’ve said here completely. I think I found myself disappointed those first few weeks – I knew having a newborn would be tough, but I thought I would be enjoying it more. Instead, many times I just found it so overwhelming!! I, too, had mixed feelings on breastfeeding but if I could offer only one thought (not ‘advice’!! HA!) Things really do seem to turn a bit at 6 weeks – its not quite as difficult, you start to get your legs a bit more. So if there’s any way you could wait a bit longer than 4 weeks to make the decision. But you need to do what’s right for you. I ended up with some medical problems at 7 weeks so had to stop breastfeeding. I had mixed feelings there too! But it was what it was. And let me tell you my son is beautiful, healthy, very smart and a true joy – even on cow’s milk based formula!!
I really feel for all you are going through and can only say – follow your heart, keep focusing on one day at a time and very soon you’ll be feeling so settled you’ll be surprised when you go back and remember these first days!!
I’m nowhere near having babies, or even thinking about it, but I really appreciate your honesty about the process. For as long as I can remember you’ve just heard how amazing it is and while I’m sure it is most of the time, I bet there are times that aren’t so amazing. Thanks for sharing your true experience. It makes you a better Mommy to be honest with your feelings and let them out, rather than suffer in silence because you think everything should be perfect. Also, I applaud you for taking time for you and Kev. I always wondered how marriages stay together when the kids are so young and taking up so much of their parents time but I think it’s through sneaking little moments like that! I’m happy to hear you put your marriage first…it’s just as important as Rowan b/c without it she woudn’t be here! Thanks for always sharing your journey!
Your daughter is just beautiful! As a soon-to-be mommy, I really appreciate your honesty (especially about breastfeeding!) and optimism! It’s such a tough job but so worth it!
Congratulations on your little Rowen! I have only been reading your blog for about 2 months and I love your fashion!
I am a newer mom myself, my Lucy is 8 months old now and I completely understand your conflicted feelings with breastfeeding as well as the completely overwhelming feeling that is new motherhood. I never knew the capacity my heart had until I had Lucy. We went with a more relaxed “schedule” with Lucy and it sort of formed into it’s own schedule the older she got. It works for us, and she seems much happier with it… Don’t feel the pressure to schedule every moment because it will only cause more stress. I am still breastfeeding her at minimum twice a day (morning and evening), and I think in the past 2 months I finally started to enjoy it. We had to supplement with formula in the beginning (she wasn’t gaining so much), so it took some pressure off of me, but it was still very overwhelming at times… I have to say that I am so happy I stuck it out, even if it was a pain sometimes. It has now become Mommy and me quiet time, and I love the bond. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and feel free to email me if you want to talk about it.
Hey… where is this birth story we were promised? 🙂 I am due in two and a half weeks so you may be getting random three in the morning comments from me pretty soon!
rowan. such a beautiful name! i’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now, but am a first time commenter. i wanted to share with you a book i read over and over again as a kid. you should check it out, especially if you’re into LOTR/sci-fi-esque things. 🙂 have a wonderful day!
aaaaaah! the last sentence of the last paragraph IS TOTALLY the nail on the head for me too girl! how in the heck!? …of course we’ll get there one day over the rainbow…but geez louise-not now. 😉
oh don’t get me started on Lord of the Rings! haha. love the books and the movies. I’m a total nerd right along with ya. I also really understand about that special bed time with your husband, cause my husband and I have that too! we don’t have kids yet, still young and not ready…also don’t want to share my husband just yet haha.
it’s good to hear that you are always honest and always willing to help. keep flowin’ girl 🙂
I’m a new follower to your blog, but i just wanted to say that your baby is just beautiful. You are lucky she is such a wonderful sleeper 🙂 All I remember about the newborn days was being REALLY tired and cranky. (Me, not my baby)
Will continue reading your journey with Rowan! 🙂
Rowan looks like “yay 3 weeks!” I can honestly say that you’ll look back and only remember the bliss. I can’t remember how hard it was or all the things I struggled with unless I really focus on remembering. You’ll get through all of it and look back with a smile. I think having a baby makes women stronger than they knew they could be. Every stage is trying but always so worth it. I think you’re such an amazing mom already. Keep up the good work.
Happy and supportive thoughts being sent your way in regards to breastfeeding … it can be so hard at the beginning! It took me at least a month or so to fall into a comfortable breastfeeding routine with my first daughter, and even longer with the second. It seems like you have a really strong support system, and that is key when you’re struggling as a new mom. Good luck! 🙂
Rowan is adorable and I love the pictures you’re posting of her on the fuzzy carpet … so so so cute!
Good luck and best wishes!!!
Love that first pic 🙂
Congrats on your new princess!
I’m new to the TopBabyBlogs world, and I recently discovered you.
Will definitely follow along as you fall in love with your new babe!
As someone who is single and has no children, just reading this post made me tired! LOL
I have so much respect for you and all of the other mothers out there, and especially first-time moms. Even through the computer, as you are describing some of the things you are adjusting to, the love and devotion you have for Rowan is so evident.
Also – as a few others have said, I also instantly thought of Arwen from LOTR when I saw the name. A real Princess!
One thing I tell myself about breastfeeding…it’s one less thing to pack in the diaper purse! I just keep looking for the positives. Ah well…I’d rather not carry more than I have to.
Sounds like you are doing great! You are experiencing what we all go through. We try to make the best decisions for our children, and we never really know if they are right. I’m 10 weeks in, and I’m still working out what kind of schedule we want, or if we want one. So far, I’ve done what you have done, just gone with the flow. Not sure if that will continue to work for us, but it’s been great so far.
Be encouraged. We are all in this together.
I love your pictures :o) She’s beautiful.
lol I love that little tongue-out/leg-kick pic! she’s adorable!