Monday, October 26, 2015

Lessons Learned: Baby Edition

I know, I know...the baby is napping, so I should be napping.  Unfortunately, I am truly horrible at napping/day sleeping.  To be fair, I did lay down on the couch & close my eyes for a little while.

So instead, I'll take a quick moment to start an update about Baby J (whether I'll be able to finish it before he wakes up from his nap is a different story).  Today is the first day The Hubs went back to work, so it's my first day completely alone with him.  A little terrifying.  But we've made it almost until Daddy's Home Time, so unless something truly horrible happens in the next hour, I'd call that a success.  Today (aside from eating and diaper changes) mostly consisted of him napping on me while I watched Treme or read Andy Weir's "The Martian".  I anticipate many similar days in the next few weeks--hopefully with a few walks in there if the weather cooperates.  Tomorrow is his "2 week appointment" (which actually falls on his 3 week birth-iversary) so we'll see how well he's growing.

In those 3 weeks, we've learned a few things:

1. Mom (aka me) is not allowed to eat beans until we stop breastfeeding.  Baby bean farts are TRULY atrocious. (Hilarious, but atrocious.)

2.  When they tell you your baby's poop will become "yellow & seedy"...they're not lying.  And even my pediatrician doesn't know where the "seeds" come from.  It's a freak of nature.

3. You never imagined how much time you would spend talking about poop & farts with your partner.

4. Don't make a giant batch of lactation cookies until you know whether the brewer's yeast will make your kiddo gassy.  We had a period of about 4 nights where he screamed in pain for about 4-5 hours every night.  I stopped eating the cookies and his nighttime fussiness went down to about 30 minutes an evening.  (If anyone would like a couple dozen balls of frozen lactation cookie dough, let me know.)
He REALLY hates being gassy.

5.  You MUST get out of the house.  You cannot spend a week in your house watching the Game Show Network while holding your kiddo and not expect it to take a mental toll.  Let the hubs or your mother in law or SOMEBODY watch him while you run to the store, or go for a need it.  You've just had a major life change--that takes a while to adjust to. Just 30 minutes to an hour of something "normal" to your "old life" (being alone at Wally-World or strolling through the neighborhood sans kid with my husband) can help with the transition.  

6. The Baby Blues are all too real.  For me, it hit the worst during those 4 nights of fussiness mentioned under #4.  I didn't even realize it was happening until I found myself crying while nursing the little man--tears rolling down my cheeks as I whispered "Mommy loves you..." (not 100% sure that I believed it myself.)  My mom was here two of those nights and could really see how hard it was affecting us.  It's a good time to implement #5 (the first time, it was just a run to Walgreens to pick up photos for our baby book).  It's also a really great time to get a hug from your mom.  

7.  I remember reading somewhere before the baby came that it's okay to not have an "instant bond" with your little one.  That's really reassuring, because as much as I love this tiny thing we created, there are moments when he's fussing or when he refuses to sleep that I wonder "was this worth it?"  I know in the long run that it will be...but right now when there's so little direct interaction between us (aside from nursing), it can be easy to feel less like a loving mother and more like a cow that needs to be milked every 2 hours.  
Milk wasted.

8.  My husband is amazing.  I knew that before the baby, of course, but I know it better now.  I'm not sure how the stereotype of the "clueless husband" started, but I would be lost without my hubs.  We tag team the baby when he's fussy, we take turns getting meals ready, he helps with laundry & all the housework....he plays with Baby J and makes sure to fit in tummy time...watching them interact just melts my heart.  

9.  My mom and my mother in law are also both amazing.  They live 2 hours away, but have still made an effort to each come down at least once a week so we can get a bit of a break and they can get Grandparent Time in.  My MIL is coming down this Thursday so The Hubs & I can go to Red Lobster for Endless Shrimp...I anticipate it being the highlight of my week. :)
My mom--pillow for babies and pugsters.

10.  Our FRIENDS are amazing.  We only had to cook once in the first 3 weeks of being home.  So many people have stopped by with meals and to meet our little man.  I'm sure that a combination of #8-10 are the reasons I've been healing as well as I have.

11.  Watching what you eat during the first & second trimesters seriously paid off for me.  I've still got about 12 lbs to lose, but I already fit back in my pre-baby jeans (granted--those jeans were about a size too big since I bought them when I was TRYING to get preggers).  That's not bragging--I'm sure I just have some good genes or something, but not having to go through the awkward "having to wear maternity clothes even though the baby is on the outside" thing has helped combat the Baby Blues.  I was pretty irregular about working out during my pregnancy, but for the first 6 months I was really diligent about wearing my FitBit and logging my food, making sure I got 75g of protein each day & staying within my allotted calories.  I was FAR less diligent during the last trimester (because I was hot & miserable and NEEDED all of those slushies, darnnit!) but it didn't seem to affect much by that point.

12.  I have never been happier to fit in all of my shoes again.  During the last trimester I was limited to about 3 pairs of shoes because my feet were so swollen.  Now, I'm like "WEAR ALL THE SHOES!!!!"  Except the flip-flops.  I may never wear the flip-flops ever again.

13.  I now totally understand why yoga pants and stretchy tanks are the uniform of the mom.  Whatever's comfy and makes feeding easy.

14.  Boppys make great couch-napping pillows (or "just resting your eyes" pillows).

15.  The Boba wrap is really intimidating, but CAN be mastered.  Though I think it's best for wearing around the house, or out for a walk that starts at your house.  The idea of taking the baby somewhere in the car seat, then wrapping the 20 feet of fabric around me while standing outside my car, just to go to the grocery store for 15 minutes seems excessive.  I'll probably wait til Lil' Man is big enough to fit in our Snugly before I try using a carrier at the store.

Previous Adventures:
Birth Story

Related Adventures:
Mom Guilt Edition
Working Mom Edition
Things That Suck
Traveling For The Holidays
Living In The Moment

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