Two Months with Madelyn James

Real smiles and happy coos—two months is so much fun! I think it was Gretchen Rubin who said, the days are long but the years are short. That’s been so true for us so far. Kyle and I laughed recently thinking how quickly these past two months have gone, and yet how in many ways it feels like its been so much longer! 

Madelyn’s little personality is starting to bloom. She looks like her daddy and acts like her mama. For a while now people have been saying how much she looks like Kyle, but not until a few weeks ago did I actually see it! Once you see it though… it cannot be unseen! I’m so interested if she will keep my blue eyes or if her dark hair does indeed turn blonde (like I suspect it will!). 

Memories and Milestones: 

This month MJ discovered her hands and has been eating them up like crazy! We still have her mostly wearing clothing with hand mits (because I clipped her fingernails once, made her bleed, and never again!) so the constant hand chewing makes for a lot of laundry! She’s also blowing bubbles now → note to self, buy some bibs! 

One of my favorite moments this month was when she reached up and rested her hand on my cheek while nursing, I totally melted. 

She’s starting to play with toys now. She loves laying under her play gym and is doing a gosh darn good job reaching, batting and smiling at those dangling toys. We also attached Mortimer (her favorite right now!) which keeps her engaged for a good while. She is also kicking her legs like crazy and using them to try to roll from her back to her side.

Kyle says Madelyn has perfected the “smize” which makes me laugh so much because up until our brand photoshoot this year he didn’t even know what smize meant, lol. But, it’s so true! She has the happiest eyes. She is smiling so much, listens very intently, and coos. 

The not so fun milestones: fighting sleep! This girl used to sleep anywhere, anytime, with any amount of noise going on. Those sleepy newborn days are quickly passing. She is extremely alert and aware of every little noise around her! She gets fussy when she’s tired but pop in that binky and she’s out (thank the Lord for pacifiers—MJs favorite). 

An update on breastfeeding

The hardest part of this month, hands down, has been breastfeeding. Clarify: the emotions and mental battle associated with breastfeeding. When MJ was about a month old, she started to fuss and pull away while breastfeeding (not every time, but enough to be concerning). It was super emotional for me and I didn’t understand what was going on. I suspected that maybe my supply wasn’t enough, so I started pumping hoping to build up a stash just in case my supply dropped. Those first attempts at pumping were (and still are) a struggle. In the beginning I would get less than an ounce per session and still, three weeks in, I only get about .5 to 1 ounce total for each pumping session. 

It was tricky to figure out if Madelyn was hungry because she has always slept really well and calms quickly if upset after breastfeeding. I thought if she wasn’t getting enough milk she would act inconsolable and want to eat around the clock? Yea… turns out, that wasn’t true for her.

It took a week of encouragement from Kyle to finally put my pride aside and go see a lactation specialist. I’m so glad we did because Madelyn was not gaining enough weight. 

After that first appointment, I cried all the way home feeling like a total failure. My one job is to take care of this baby and I felt like I wasn’t able to do that → insert perfectionist here. Pride aside (sensing a theme here), we started supplementing 2 oz of formula or pumped breastmilk each time I nurse. 

My new full time job began: nurse, supplement, pump, repeat. Thankfully it paid off and the next week her weight had increased 10 ounces! A week after (at her 2 month appointment) another 8 ounces! 

As mentioned in Madelyn’s one month update, I love breastfeeding more than I actually thought I would. I also did not expect pumping to be hard. For all the prep and praying I did for pregnancy and delivery.. I went into breastfeeding (aka taking care of a little human) totally blind! 

Fed is best → Absolutely true… but TBH has not been easy to accept. This breastfeeding journey has been humbling and so emotional. As of now we are sticking with the nurse, supplement, pump, repeat cycle and go back for another weight check this week. However, I know this plan is absolutely not sustainable once I go back to work (in two weeks, eek!) so we will see from there. 

Sleep & Daily Rhythms

Madelyn is a champion sleeper (and mostly a good napper as well!). She is currently sleeping 7+ hours a night. I don’t know what “the normal” is at two months, but I’m over here praise hands to the sky for a solid 7 hours! As of now we feed her at 9 pm, she’s down by 10pm and sleeps solid until 5:30am. I feed her again at 6am. I actually think we could put her down earlier at night because she’s often sound asleep and hard to wake at 9pm. But, until we know she’s good with her weight, I want to make sure she is eating at least 6xs a day. 

During the day we make sure she is eating every three hours. She is definitely starting to be awake more so we are getting in some play time and trying to do more tummy time (total parent fail at doing tummy time!). 

Ps. We took the Taking Cara Babies newborn class and it has been so so helpful! I cannot recommend it enough not just for sleep training, but figuring out rhythms in general. 

Preparing to go back to work

I started my maternity leave two weeks before my due date, and then Madelyn was a week late. So although she is just two months old, I go back to work in just over a week. Maternity leave flew by! I have so much I want to write about taking maternity leave as a business owner: things I would repeat versus things I would change (coming in another post). But overall, I cannot believe it’s time to head back to work. As of now I’m planning to work 3 full days a week + a half day. Eventually we plan to get a nanny for 2 days a week but for now Kyle and I will be tag teaming MJ care for the first month or so that I’m back. While I love what I do, I have an all new respect for working moms (especially stay at home working moms!). 

Mental Health & Self Care

The best thing I did for myself this month was join a bible study for moms at our church. The first class was just two days after I found out MJ wasn’t gaining weight and I sobbed to a table of ladies about how hard it was to supplement and feel like a failure. They encouraged me, shared their own journey with breastfeeding and motherhood, and showed me the calming power of hearing “me too”. Motherhood can be very isolating, especially with our family and best friends living 1000 miles away. I’m so grateful for this group of women and my mom friends here in Duluth. 

My First Mothers Day

What a special day! Kyle brought me coffee in bed, made me breakfast, we ordered out for dinner, had a special day at church and overall just relaxed and enjoyed time with our little family. I shared more thoughts on mothers day in this post: Thoughts on Mothers Day as a New Mother.

Goals for Month Three

  • Create a new routine around nursing/supplementing/pumping that works with work! 
  • Set realistic production goals for my first month back to work.
  • Set realistic expectations for being present with Madelyn while also going back to work.
  • Get back in the word and spend time with the Lord & journaling.
  • Fill out Madelyns baby book.
  • Start walking (and maybe running) more regularly now that the weather is nice & I was cleared by the doctor for exercise! 

Month Two Takeaway:

Don’t google anything (wink), turn worries into prayers, get out of the house, soak in these moments, ask for help, share the good and the hard

Two months, you’ve been my favorite! I have a feeling I’ll be saying that for each month to come!

 

Click Here for more Madelyn Updates!

 

 

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  1. Patricia says:

    Oh, gosh, she is just the cutest ever! Congratulations!

    • Shanna Skidmore says:

      Thank you for reading, Patricia! Yes, isn’t she sooooo precious!? -Jana from Team Skidmore

  2. Kat C. says:

    What a beautiful and real account of the whirlwind changes, emotions and steep learning curve of the first two months of motherhood! I went through the same struggles of milk production, pumping, coming to terms with needing to supplement with formula (pride, pride, pride for me too), and it was HARD. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and remember that you are in good company – we’re here for you 🙂 Big hugs to you!

    • Shanna Skidmore says:

      Kat, thank you for your supportive and sharing your own journey! It’s always encouraging to remember we’re not going through anything alone. Glad the post resonated with you 🙂 -Jana from Team Skidmore

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