The fog of the early days and weeks of new parenthood, or, perhaps new parenthood again is more accurate, are beginning to lift. Do you know that I do not even recall the first two weeks at home? I look at pictures of baby boy and he does not resemble the chubba wubba we have now at 4w2d.
For anyone, the cumulative effect of sleep deprivation is problematic. It affects so many (do you know, I’ve sat here for minutes trying to think of the next word I intend to type, which, is on the tip of my tongue and has finally come to me?) facets of ones life, but ones mental acuity takes the hardest hit. And, in that category is short term memory which, in large part, goes out the window. Also, spelling, grammar, and word choice are iffy.
We have finally gotten into a groove in that my expectations have been reset and are largely managed daily by the repetitious monotony (hmm, oxymoron?) of caring for a newborn. My husband and I have the overnight schedule worked out and both of us are getting some sleep, even if it is in 2 hour increments. Last night, I decided to skip a pumping session so, even though I woke for it, I went right back to sleep. That meant I slept the longest block, 5 hours, since baby boy arrived. I am a renewed person today (I even got my sh*t together early enough to also touch up my roots before my husband left for work).
This baby is r.a.v.e.n.o.u.s when he wakes up. First son would sort of slowly wake and would be in good enough spirits that I could thaw breast milk and get us ready for a feeding. This baby MUST HAVE FOOD NOW as soon as he wakes. I’ve learned to prepare bottles ahead of time for the overnight feedings so that they can be quickly warmed with minimal banshee cries. We’ve managed to keep to 4 oz, 7-8 times/day, and I am trying just to go with it. But, I have to say, in the wee hours, when he is grunting in his sleep and then waking up starving, I still wonder if there’s not something going on. I’m not sure what I think it could be, but my pink mommy flag of instinct is flying. We don’t see his pediatrician again until early March, but I won’t hesitate to take him if anything deviates from the path we’re now on.
I am almost exclusively pumping with maybe one feeding at the breast a day, as I did with first son, and it is a rigorous schedule because I have to squeeze pumping in between feedings and that has to be timed to when he is asleep but long enough in between sessions that I get maximum output. A mother’s body is a glorious thing in how in produces milk for its young. It is humbling, really.
We’ve also reached homeostasis with our older son. We’ve made a concerted attempt to just let him be, within reason, and try to minimize the yelling or barking at him. I also arranged some outings for him this week (his school was closed for 3 days) which has also helped everyone’s mood and assuaged my guilt. I even hosted a play date with one of his friends. It feels good to return to some semblance of normalcy.
I’ve managed to get out with baby and run some errands which also makes me feel like I’ve rejoined the human race. Given how severe this cold/flu season has been, I’m cautious about where I go. It is raining here, but not too chilly, and we’ve done fine so far.
A friend organized a meal train for us so we’ve been having meals delivered by friends although that is waning now. I think we have 3 more meals coming over the next 2 weeks, so I’ve returned to cooking. I saw Michael Symon make this dish on The Chew so I decided to make it (we love mac n cheese here and I always make it from scratch). Baby boy did not cooperate and stay sleeping so I had to make it one handed with him in my arms. I subbed 1% milk for the whole milk and 2% sharp cheddar cheese for the Guyere, and it came out great. Will definitely make it again. I shared it with a friend and she said it is her new favorite mac n cheese.
I have two friends visiting tomorrow morning, one that I haven’t seen in well over a year and the other has an infant, too, her second, who is 3 months old. It will be so nice to visit here, in the comforts of our home, with women whose company I look forward to. No putting on of airs, no trying to be super mom. Just catching up and relating. It will be good for my soul.
The comments you have left for me over the last few posts have been my refuge and I’ve returned to many of them over and over if only to remind myself that I do have support, sometimes in the form of women I’ve never met, and it bolsters me when I wonder if I can hold myself up. Thank you. Really.
“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book,
and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”