The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author. They are not intended to replace medical advice from
a licensed healthcare professional. So, don't be stupid. Talk to your healthcare provider and don't rely on the
Internet for your medical needs.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The First Six Weeks

Six weeks ago today, I was in labor. It was snowing, and I refused to believe I would actually have to be out in that nastiness on my way to deliver. And yet... here we are.

Things I have learned over the past six weeks include...

During Delivery
  • People will come in and out of your room without announcing their presence
  • People will be all up in your va-jay-jay without introducing themselves
  • People will continue to ask you questions even though you do not have the presence of mind to attend to them AND to the labor contractions... and you're more likely to attend to the latter
After Birth
  • Despite being SO incredibly tired, you might just not be able to sleep for the excitement of meeting this little person you've been waiting to cuddle
  • You might not get many visitors... and that's okay
  • ...and if it's not okay, if you had your baby at the hospital, there are plenty of staff to be in and out of your room all day and night
Coming Home
  • By the third child, it feels like that baby was always there; you just have to reconsider sleeping arrangements
  • Your newbie's siblings may fall instantly in love... or they might willfully ignore the fact that the n00b is here
  • Your eldest might tell the (now) middle child that she loves the baby more than him
  • The (now) middle child might tell you that he wishes the baby would die
  • You might cry because of these things
The First Two Weeks
  • ...well, they absolutely still suck. Even though baby #3 feels totally like he's always been there, the adjustment to poor sleep and frequent feedings takes a lot out of you
  • ...and a lot out of your partner, who is picking up the slack around the house for everything else you can't do now that nearly 100% of your time involves having an infant hanging off your breast or being up to your elbows in mustardy-poop
  • You are likely to have less patience with each other, and with your other kids
  • You might decide it's best to have daddy sleep elsewhere in the house so he can get a good night's sleep and not be the devil-parent (someone has to be nice, at least)
  • You might really miss each other
  • Your breasts hurt like a sonofabitch - you realize you forgot that the "natural" breastfeeding isn't exactly, like, naturally easy to do
  • You might have experienced engorgement, a lump, and the desperation of trying to keep baby awake long enough during a feeding to squeeze out that painful milk backlog
  • Your partner may offer an ice cube to wake up baby, and it becomes a running joke ("Want an ice cube?")
The Second Two Weeks (weeks 3 and 4)
  • Ah, adjustment! You are finding your groove
  • You discover this growing person also has a little personality
  • You understand his language, know his sleepy cry from his hungry cry, and his likes and dislikes
  • He likes, for example, to be near you - and has started to coo when you talk to him
  • He can see a teeny bit farther and knows which blurry blobs are his parents and siblings
  • You may feel adventurous enough to go on outings
  • Your breasts are starting to feel semi-normal again... except that they are at least twice the size they used to be and you can't wear many of your "regular" shirts
  • Your maternity pants are too big, and your regular pants are too small.... ah, sweatpants will do (preferably with drawstring)
The Third Two Weeks (weeks 5 and 6)
  • My word, he smiled at you! The real kind, not the gassy kind
  • And thank goodness he smiles and is so cute, or otherwise you'd probably hate him because he's decided to eat and sleep on some crazy new schedule you haven't figured out yet
  • And you realize that his love of cuddling with you extends now to only sleeping when you are holding him, and that he wakes when you put him down
  • You'd really like to go pee without bringing the baby along
  • Or eat lunch without worrying about dropping food on him while he dozes in your lap
  • Oh, and you have to go back to work next Monday, which reminds you that you need to pump
  • And your partner isn't back in your bed yet because nobody trusts that this baby is going to sleep in his own space without disturbing the whole house
  • But at least the (now) middle child has warmed up enough that he kisses baby goodnight
  • And you might have figured out that he needs to sleep on your dirty clothes in the crib to have your smell on him
  • And despite all of this, you're still sad that the convalescent-getting-to-know-you time is almost over already
So we're on the eve of his 6 weeks birthday. And I am both extremely happy and terribly sad, as patient as a saint and as frustrated as humanly tolerable, alert and exhausted. This is motherhood.

No comments: