Tuesday, 23 November 2010
I'm officially one month into the adventure of motherhood. Let me say it definitely is an adventure, between going back and forth between my boyfriend's house and mine, a million and one doctor's appointments, and trying to get school together, I seem to be a wreck.
I know that without my mom or his, I would have probably had a mental breakdown by now. At first, SJ had problems with jaundice. I had to take him to a lab almost every day for a week just for them to poke his foot over and over. A week after he is born, he also has to get (mandatory, and by law in the State of Nevada) a "newborn screening," which is basically another prick in the foot. The State of Nevada also doesn't circumcise in the hospital, so at a week old, after all this poking on his foot, he had to get circumcised. I went, but I didn't stay in the room. I stayed until I saw them strap him down and I left.
Did I mention that somehow it seems as if since becoming a mother, there was an internal button that was pushed called "emotional," which is a totally new territory for me? Anyway, after his umbilical cord healed, and his circumcision, we were excited to give him his first real bath, only for him to catch a cold. Two weeks later, he still hasn't gotten rid of it. It sucks because I wish I could help him with his congestion, but even with the nasal aspirator and saline drops, nothing seems to work. Luckily, we have a pediatrician's appointment tomorrow, and I have plenty of questions to ask. Unfortunately, he has to get a shot (or shots) tomorrow... Poor kid!
With all this, I have discovered a few more things that make me realize just how much of an adventure motherhood really is. For example, babies don't know the concept of patience. When I am trying to pump, write a blog, or accomplish anything in general, and he wakes up? I have to drop everything and tend to him ASAP. Not one minute more, even if it's at two thirty in the morning.
I also learned that I should never speak too soon. With the cold and circumcision and all this other mayhem, the good old day/night confusion has set in. Last night, I literally spent five hours trying to get him to sleep. I walked with him, fed him, rocked him, didn't rock him.... whatever I could think about -didn't work. Luckily, my boyfriend's mom is visiting, and is more than willing to take him for a few hours in the middle of the night.
I have learned the value of help. First off, both of our mothers have been so much of a help, I don't know what we would do without them. Having them there to remind us to calm down, to offer advice, or even watch him for a little bit, I think we would both be complete messes. Especially since my boyfriend was only allowed three days off of work. Unfortunately, my mom is working, so we are spending more time at the moment at his house, but on the other end, his mom is only here for a few months before she has to leave.
Call me spoiled, but I don't want her to leave! I will admit that sometimes their advice seems more like harking than anything and it makes me want to scream, but when I pause and realize that they've done this before and more than once, I just relent.
Breastfeeding is not what it's cracked up to be. Any woman can tell you that all nine months of pregnancy, you are always being told that you HAVE to breastfeed because of this or that. Breast is best, yada yada. I had this idea of my breastfeeding, but I also knew better. I know that my breasts aren't that big to begin with, and milk production or not, they won't get THAT much bigger, so I knew that I would have to supplement with formula. I just didn't know how little I would be making. He latches fine, we breastfeed every time he is hungry, and even pumped...hardly anything. I've even resorted to old wives tales of eating oatmeal, still barely anything.
Not to mention having to find time and privacy to breastfeed around my boyfriend's mom and roommate (who is moving out at the end of this month THANK GOD!). At my mom's house, I just whip out my boob and feed it to him. It's my mom. If she sees me, it's no big deal. At this point, I am not very caring about if I am in my boyfriend's room breastfeeding and his mom walks in. It seems as if modesty has become a totally different term.
I HAD plans. We talked about everything while I was pregnant. Breastfeeding, where the baby would sleep, how we were going to handle this or that. Yeah...umm...plans seem to be pointless at this interval in my life. Breastfeeding seems to have gone down the drain. Even the whole "sleep when baby sleeps" plan has gone out of the window. I have been trying... to do everything. Haha. Slowly, but surely I am getting things together. For a very plan-oriented person like me, at first it sent me into panic mode. I didn't know what to do because my plans aren't going right.
I am betting at this point, veteran moms are probably laughing right now because they know how silly making meticulous plans are with a newborn. Anyway! Needless to say, we have abandoned most of our "plans." I bottle feed and breast feed because I can't stand the thought of waking up every hour, nor the thought of my baby being hungry. He sleeps in the bed with us, instead of in his crib or his pack-and-play. I know people say we shouldn't, but we have a California King, so the chances of us "rolling over" onto the baby are slim. However, I don't know what we are going to do when he gets a little older, and we want to have mommy-daddy time again.
By the way, did I mention how long six weeks seems when you aren't doing anything? I mean, I can't exercise, I can't have sex, I can't even eat cabbage if you ask some people! Apparently because I still have a "fever in my stomach"??? Whatever THAT means. I don't know. I have to wear socks and keep my body warm for six weeks, keep taking my prenatal pills... Ugh... SIX WEEKS!!!! 42 days!!!! Do you know how hard it is to want sex and can't have it? On BOTH ends!
And exercise...I used to go to the gym ALL the time. Now, I can't even run for six weeks. Oh my dear sweet Jesus I am going nuts. Sedentary life is so not for me. I need to move around and do things. I even pick the baby up and walk around the apartment just because I am only allowed to pick up "no more than the weight of the baby."
All in all, I am getting used to the fact that there is no "settling in" to motherhood. There will always be new and surprising revelations and lessons that we will learn. Eventually, I will look at him and wonder what happened to the time, and "remember when." My boyfriend already said "I just want to hit the pause button already. He is growing too fast."
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like without him. If I didn't have a kid, would I already be back in school? Would I be in Paris traveling on vacation with my friend Sarah? Would I be working at another job? Would I be with my boyfriend still? Hmm. I ask a lot of questions but at the same time I know that regardless, my current life is great. Crazy, and a little unorthodox, but I am happy with what I have.