First, the nitty gritty: Childbirth (I know some women love to talk birth, so here's the story.)
I didn't go in with a "Birth Plan." I just trusted my doctors and knew my husband would speak up for me if things went south. Plus, planning it made me more anxious, and I work better on the "go with the flow" attitude. I ended up being induced, so I don't really know when you start counting hours. Solely based on "amount of time in pain," it was probably somewhere around 12 hours, with an epidural thrown in. The after-effects were great, but the process of getting an epidural is terrifying. No one warned me about that. I actively pushed for about an hour and a half, and then our little guy came out. He went to the NICU for a few hours, which was horrifyingly vague. However, he improved pretty quickly, and they called it "slow transition" out of the womb. All-in-all, he's here and healthy, making the details less important.
Our announcement/Christmas Card:
Now, the good stuff. Parenthood.
Oh my word. The love. I'm trying to find a good way to document things, so bare with me as I try to find some flow. The choppiness of this writing seems to fit my world perfectly right now. I am trying to adapt to a lack of set schedule (my fear coming to life!), documenting his life like crazy and hoping to find his "schedule" to preserve my sanity. In the mean time, I watch him fall asleep, frantically run and try to get lunch, take bathroom breaks, do dishes, etc., and return before he wakes up. It's quite the magical event when it works out. ;)
Here are the first things I learned about Mommy life and Nolan's personality.
- My mom was right.
I was terrified that I wouldn't wake up to my baby. Despite how much she told me "it will change when it is your baby," I was not convinced. I had a fake baby for a high school class, and more often than not my mom had to wake me as it cried. Or, in college, I slept entirely through a fire alarm (Good thing it was just a freshman pulling a prank). But, it is different with your baby. I can survive on 4 hours of sleep. I can hear him because I never go in a deep sleep... and I can be exhausted/half awake and still have no problem spending ten minutes just watching him breathe. Also, mommies, when does the need to make sure he's breathing every 1-2 hours stop?
- Like father, like son?
Eh, I should say parents. Scott and I are...well, stubborn. I think we both would say we are more "well-reasoned" than stubborn, but it's true. And... Nolan's the same way. Here are some examples.
- Nolan is very adamant on how he should sit. I like the busy life and love multi-tasking. Sure, we can argue about productivity, but I feel better when I'm juggling multiple things. Well, Nolan does not want any of that. If he's being held the attention needs to be on him. He wants to be facing you with eye contact. Anything less is just unacceptable. But, really, who can resist that?
- Shower time. Oh my word... this kid. Showers are a balancing act for babies, I know. First, we haul his little bouncer into our tiny bathroom. Then, he has to face the contrasting color curtain. Vibrations are required on the bouncy seat. But, that's not all! He also prefers to have Pandora music on from my phone. But, now for the stubborn part. This little stinker has a fake cry for when Pandora goes to a commercial or when it pauses between songs. He's fine once the new song comes on, but goodness... (Though, today, he just wanted that eye contact again. As soon as I shut the curtain, he would fake cry... and I would open it and he would be fine).
- Learning cries is the most helpful thing, and you do learn eventually. I thought I was terrible when I didn't have it within the first two weeks...but you do figure it out. And, there will be some that you can't decipher. It's fine. Sometimes it's just gas (Gas drops are wonderful!).
- Breastfeeding is hard.
I'm happy to be doing it, but it's not a walk in the park. I'd say it's been a lesson in selflessness, because some days are just really long, where it feels like he can't possibly eat anymore and wants to. But, other days are great. It was also a proud moment when I was able to pump him a bottle and he took it from Dad. :)
I am not an outwardly emotional person. I can contain it very well, but I feel as though I opened a whole new set of emotions. For instance, it's so sad to be outgrowing clothes. He's growing too fast! Part of me is/was eager to have him communicating, more independent, etc. I love 2 year olds. But I'm learning that it's already going too fast. Where did these 5 weeks go? Why do I have to go back to work in 3 weeks? Gah...
- Every day is new.
I feel like, at least at this age, every day he seems older. His movements get more smooth (Daddy doesn't want that lovely startle reflex to go away), he makes more facial expressions, and each day brings a new little coo. He was exploring tummy time and rolled over (he was propped up on a baby pillow and rolled himself off onto the play mat), but it still just seemed like such a big leap. Oh, and my favorite, he now understands that we go back to sleep after our midnight and 3am feedings. :)
I think that's enough for his first month.
And, as a final note, our new signature. :)