For now you (sporadically) have me, the overwhelmed but happy new mother. Since this blog is not just about clothes, I wanted to share some of the things running around my head after 25 days in the trenches. I think some of you may relate, or have advice to share, or just appreciate a peek into what it's like after one of the biggest life changes we'll ever experience:
- For those who don't know, Baby Miles ended up being a c-section delivery after 13 hours of labor that stopped progressing. He was stuck and not able to "drop" like he needed to, and despite lots of pitocin, my body basically said "eff this" and stopped having strong contractions. If this had been olden times, one or both of us likely wouldn't have made it, which is really strange to think about.
- I was terrified of a c-section delivery, and it ended up being fine. No pain, and about 25 minutes from start to finish. The recovery is no party, don't be mistaken, but it's not the ordeal I was envisioning after reading scary blog posts from people who are either really dramatic, or perhaps facing some unusual circumstances. So, if you end up in my shoes, don't freak out. That said, it is major abdominal surgery and perhaps the only kind that you don't get to fully relax after having. Take advantage of all offers of help, and don't feel bad about leaning on your partner or family to do all housework and fetch you things as you recline on the sofa and let your body recover.
- I had no idea what sleep deprivation was like until now. We live in 3-4 hour increments between feedings, and my nighttime sleep comes in a series of 2-3 hour naps. I am slowly getting more used to it, but I'd say that 90% of the time I could lay down and fall asleep if given the option.
- Up until the end of last week, I'd say I definitely had a bad case of the baby blues. I was constantly on the verge of tears, and felt totally overwhelmed by breastfeeding and learning to soothe a crying baby. Now that my hormones have leveled out a bit and we've started going on walks and venturing out for short trips to places not packed with people, I feel so much better.
- In other news, a used copy of Happiest Baby on the Block is the best $5 I spent preparing for this child.
- Probably one of the biggest adjustments for me has been being mostly home bound. I often have no reason to get dressed, but make it a point to put on fresh clothes and take a long bath or shower every day. I know lots of moms go on about not bathing or changing clothes covered in bodily fluids, but the old me is not dead and that is where I draw the line. That said, I never thought I'd spend so much time in leggings, cardigans, and nursing tanks. It was a big deal to finally put my maternity skinny jeans back on this week:
- Yes, I'm back in maternity jeans (if I'm venturing out in public). I don't look normal yet, and wasn't expecting to after 3.5 weeks, but am anxious to see how many of these extra inches I'll need to burn off once I'm allowed to exercise. Although I wasn't delusional, it's really hard to come home with a body that doesn't look or feel like your own when everything else in your life is different, too. However, this little face is worth every stretch mark and extra pound:
photo by Sweet Violet Photography
- I was pretty up front about my dread when it came to breastfeeding, and I'm sad to say it was totally warranted. I wanted to love it (and during easy daytime feedings, I do) and was hoping it would come naturally, but it's been an uphill battle for which I was only semi-prepared. I think that hospitals and care providers walk a fine line between scaring new mothers away from trying, and allowing them to have unreal expectations when it comes to the level of work and skill needed to be successful. I ended up somewhere in the middle - expecting it to be hard but still shocked at how consuming it is. You see, breastfeeding is a skill, and it has its own jargon and techniques that you will quickly learn as you do it every 3-4 hours for weeks on end. I probably think about how great it will be to quit at least 15 times per day, especially since it forces me to be solely responsible for feeding the baby unless I've pumped milk for my husband to offer in a bottle. It's tough for a couple used to equal division of labor, especially when one party is an emotional mess and accustomed to being good at things. However, I'm going to give it another few weeks in hopes that we'll hit our stride before I switch to pumping, and I'm proud that we're still nursing exclusively and that Miles is growing like a weed.
See y'all soon!