How do you even begin to articulate this stage in life? I’ve never been so besieged with thoughts, feelings, emotions, hormones, and bouts of lethargy, while at the same time the happiest I’ve ever been—happy from the depths of my soul. From the moment I wake up until I haphazardly fall asleep, I’m in awe of this little miracle. She breathes. She sighs. She sleeps. She laughs. And she looks at me like she knows me better than anyone else ever could. She is the best of us. We created her. Life as we know it right now is pulling from two polar opposite places and somewhere in the middle, we’re existing in a haze of weary bliss.
Even the blatant honesty of things—my body is the softest and lumpiest it’s ever been—doesn’t faze me. I’m the strongest I’ve ever felt. Birth made me a warrior, a fierce mama bear, and more passionate about helping women and women’s rights. I have more respect for single mothers and working mothers and single-working mothers. I don’t know how they do it all. It’s probably because they don’t have time to talk about it. The talkers are rarely the doers. In fact one of my clients has a saying, “If you’ve got time to lean, then you’ve got time to clean.” Ain’t that the truth?
But I’m not going to lie—I have help. I declined the whole nanny and night nurse thing because I don’t have to clean, unlike my mother. She did it all, and with three kids nonetheless, while my dad spent months on the road working. At night she was a cop, and in the day she was a mom, cook, housekeeper, nurse, tutor, and best friend. If I can just be half the mom that she was, Darlington will be the luckiest little girl.
Another amazing woman who inspired my foundation into motherhood is my best friend Kathryn. I was fortunate enough to witness her become a mother before me. She was a successful attorney, as was her husband, but she decided to put her career on hold to rear their two children and support her husband’s ambitions.
I asked her how she could give everything up. Before Darlington I imagined I’d gladly hire a night nurse to get a good night’s sleep and consider putting my child in daycare. Then in one answer, she completely changed my way of thinking and thus, is the inspiration for my first three months as a mother. You only get this one chance in these precious few months. You can go back to work, but you can’t go back to these times with your baby.
The first week was definitely the week of firsts: Darlington’s first car ride, Darlington’s first walk around the block along with her protective big brother Kidd, and Darlington’s first bath with mom and dad.
The adrenaline finally wears off, and I’m so thankful that I scheduled Ayurvedic massages with doula Cheryl to help me feel normal. Along with the massages, she does waist binding to help release excess bloating and toxins from my body. Cheryl also gives Darlington Ayurvedic massages to help her digestion.
The whole family heads to the ranch with Simon, Ann, and Kelly to shoot Darlington’s first photos. It’s such a magical day. There’s nothing more precious than to see her little bitty naked body.
At our first doctor’s visit, Darlington’s lost almost a pound from her birth weight. I make an appointment with Judy, a lactation consultant, to figure out what’s going on. Apparently, I’m making about an ounce of breast milk per day. She recommends herbal supplements, steel cut oatmeal, and pumping after each feeding to help stimulate breast milk production (read more).
The feedings, combined with pumping sessions, are lasting an hour and a half. Then I have to start feeding again thirty minutes later. I feel trapped, imprisoned, unable to escape this impossible schedule.
After a couple days, I’m up to two ounces of breast milk per day.
Auntie Khanh sends Darlington her first piece of couture.
The US Women’s National Team wins the world cup, and I’m finally getting into a routine, climbing out of my mental fog.
Daddy gets Darlington her first jersey and poses with her for his own photo shoot. Mom of course adds the bow.
Darlington gets a surprise from the Behaviorists, and oh what a sweet and thoughtful surprise. Of course, Holly crafted it up to be such a unique and thoughtful gift. We go twinning at least once a week in our little outfits.
Mommy and Darlington run our first race with our Mountain Buggy jogger. I ditch the diapers, beginning to feel normal again.
Darlington goes to her first FC Dallas game.
She’s starting to copy my facial expressions.
Darlington develops Milia on her head and nothing helps it go away. In fact, each day it’s getting worse.
I finally treat myself to a glass of wine.
We put Darlington on the waiting list for a couple of schools and go visit one in particular. She’s totally wiped out at the end of our visit.
Dad teaches Darlington how to feed herself.
I wash Darlington’s head with Aveda and her Milia starts to disappear. It looks like mama and baby are both particular about their products.
Then I find some sort of discoloration on Darlington’s back. Our pediatrician says it’s likely a segmental cutis maromata. It’s benign, requires no treatment, and should improve throughout childhood. Another possibility is that it’s a hemangioma. It might become larger, darker, or more raised over the next few months. It will resolve on its own throughout childhood.
We take our first family vacation to get away and enjoy each other for a couple of days. I give myself a birthday challenge and decide to hike up Aspen Mountain. It takes 30 minutes longer than usual, but we make it!
Darlington finally weighs nine pounds. This is a healthy weight. I can finally return the scale and not have to weigh her every day!
We travel back home for my brother’s wedding. It’s absolutely magical, and my grandparents get to meet Darlington for the first time.
She’s the eighth generation, and my grandma cries every time she holds her. My grandma’s memory is beginning to go and to have this experience is everything to me.
Our honey is harvested at the ranch! We’re so excited our first batch fills 200 bottles.
One of our favorite houses in the neighborhood goes on the market. We go see it to get ideas for when we decide to build. However, we totally fall in love with it and decide to move. So with a two-month-old baby and football and soccer seasons occurring at the same time, we decide to move.
The move completely stresses out my body and my milk production goes from fourteen ounces a day to three ounces. I get a prescription for domperidone because I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding. My goal is to feed her breast milk for at least six months, but as long as she makes it to three months, I know she’ll have a fairly strong immune system.
We travel to Kansas City for the Chiefs Annual Kickoff Luncheon.
Darlington insists that I hold her hand every time she eats and falls asleep. I live for these moments.
Darlington attends her first Chiefs game and gets her first kiss.
It’s hard to believe how big she’s getting. She’s so big in her stroller now.
We’re nonstop these days between soccer and football games.
Grandma Ricki comes to visit.
Darlington loves to play dress up when grandma is visiting.
Kidd has a new spot on the bed to hang out.
MY FAVORITE THING IN THE FIRST 3 MONTHS: Our morning talks.