The Golden Month: Life with a Newborn

Our handsome little boy was born on August 30th at 10:10 AM at Kingston General Hospital. It was truly love at first sight. I was filled with an overwhelming calmness and gratitude in the days that followed, knowing this was going to be my last baby, feeling so thankful for the healthy and beautiful children I have, and so protective of this precious new life we’ve brought into the world during uncertain times.

What’s in a name? Fraser had little to no say in naming our last two daughters so I thought it would be only fair to let him lead the decision on naming our baby boy. We named him Ian Conan Byron Gray. Ian after Fraser’s father, Conan - a name he’s always liked, and Byron after one of my favourite poets. Ian has a wonderful temperament so far, and makes a lot of serious and discerning expressions so I think the name suits him quite well!

It’s astounding how with the birth of each child, our world completely changes. My life becomes distinctly divided by a time “before“ and “after.” I’ve been trying to force myself to write his birth story and share some candid photos. However, the truth is even though everything went well, I’m still in too much of a sleep-deprived daze to share much aside from the news that our perfect little baby is here, and I’ve been taking a short break from writing in this space until my exhaustion and brain fog subsides. Pregnancy and childbirth is a physical and hormonal roller coaster. This has been my calmest postpartum experience yet, as I not only feel more confident in looking after a newborn but also in doing what I need to look after myself during this time as well.

Writing is so therapeutic for me and this is a space I keep and hold for exploring my own voice, for healing and inspiration. I don’t ever want to fall into the trap of feeling pressure to keep up with updates. Although I have so much to share with you! And many blog posts planned (but each in their own good time).

On the topic of taking time and space to rest and recuperate - the first month after baby is born is known in traditional Chinese medicine as “the Golden Month”, and elsewhere as the “Fourth Trimester”. During the Golden Month, the mother is to get as much rest and nourishment as possible to replenish her vital energy which has been depleted by pregnancy and childbirth. While the “Fourth Trimester” is focused on helping the baby transition from a cocoon-like womb environment into the world, lying-in or observing a Golden Month places the focus as well on the healing and well-being of the mother (see my blog post on lying-in). The Golden Month is so crucial to a mother’s physical, emotional and spiritual healing, it is said a woman can either potentially heal or harm herself depending on her actions. In other words, remembering to nurture ourselves as well as our babies is the most important job we can do. And so, on that note, I will be taking a little more time to heal and rest.

I can hardly believe our family of five has become a family of six. We are healthy, we are well and I’ll be back soon.