Friday, November 6, 2015

Baby Lessons: 1 Month Down

So here we are: we survived the first month!  Not only that, but I also survived two weeks of being home "alone" with the baby. (I use quotes since The Hubs works from his home/car, so he's home more than a typical office-working dad would be, but I still usually have at least 5-6 hours home alone with the kiddo.)
Barely fitting in his NB outfits now! (We use Yoda for scale.)

Lessons Learned:

1. I've seen the Jennifer Garner Capital One airline miles commercial about a million times in the last month--you know, the one with her walking around an airport talking while people complain about not being able to book a flight with their miles?  OK, here's the thing--WHO in the world goes TO an airport, walks up to a counter, & tries to buy a ticket with miles?  Or who even just tries to buy a ticket at the airport?  That shiz is booked weeks if not months in advance.  Anybody who tries to get anything at the airport should already know they're going to have to drop their life savings for a last minute flight--assuming you can even get on, since they overbook those things on the regular.  Sheesh.

2. On a more serious note--since I didn't really talk about this in the last post, we'll drop it here.  When you bring a baby home from the hospital, as a mom, you're not just responsible for taking care of a new human.  You're doing it while still recovering yourself.  My bathroom counter was covered in medical supplies for the first few weeks.  You've got pain meds and sitz baths to take and stitches that need to be cleansed and OH THE HEMORRHOIDS and you best be warming up that water before putting it in your peri bottle--nobody likes getting shot in the netheregions with cold H2O.  There's weird mesh underwear from the hospital and ginormous pads to deal with the fact that HEY YOU'RE STILL BLEEDING ON THE DAILY...and possibly don't exactly have the best control of your #1 and #2-makers yet.  This can be sort of overwhelming, and it's not something you really ever think about before having the baby.  It's a jarring new routine--especially if you're in the middle of trying to tend to yourself with a crying baby in the other room at 2am.  But it's still really important to remember to take care of yourself.  You need to heal--theoretically you'd probably like to be able to use those parts again without pain, amiright?  
My first few weeks arsenal: witch hazel, Dermoplast, hemorrhoid cream, irrigation bottle, Tylenol, Colace, lanolin (for the ta-tas), and Bio-Oil (for stretch marks--when I feel like/actually remember to use it).  Weird mesh undies & stockpile of gi-gundo pads are off-camera.  Oh..and then don't forget to brush your teeth.

DUDES: If there are any fellows/future dads reading this post, remember this bit.  Your amazing wife just pushed a human out of her hoo-ha, and is hurting. A lot.  And essentially playing doctor on herself while tending to that new human.  Since that part goes on behind the closed doors of the bathroom, husbands may be somewhat blissfully unaware. Here's a really great article with week by week breakdowns of recovery in medical terms--I had my husband read it before the baby came so we'd both know what to expect.  Be aware, dudes, and love on your wife a little extra during the first few weeks.

3. If you have a pet, once the initial awkwardness/curiosity wears off, prepare for your fur-baby to start demanding attention.  If the baby is not in my lap, the Pugster is.  No matter where we go, he MUST be under foot.  He's also started wanting to play more--which is a little odd for our normally lazy 6 year old, but hey, it gets him solo time with one of us which makes him happy.
Like, LITERALLY under foot.

4.  When baby starts getting fussy, the exercise ball is my new BFF.  We bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce... and he instantly stops fussing, & sometimes even conks out.  Let's just say my abs should be rock hard in about 6 weeks.  However, it helps to have a lot of options in your arsenal (because you simply cannot bounce on a ball for 8 hours straight--your spine will fall out).  Some days, he LURVES the swing, some days, the bouncer keeps him content.  Other days/times during the day, he's just not having any of it and MUST be held.  Some times he's totally cool with just chilling in his crib or Pack & Play, staring at a mirror or his mobile--other times he'll start fussing approx. 10 seconds after being laid down.  

5. If you started a reading challenge at the beginning of the year, be prepared to finish out the challenge reading children's books.  Totally counts. (Jimmy Fallon's "Your Baby's 1st Word Will Be Dada" was published in 2015, in case you need a book to hit that "published this year" criteria, too.)

6. Babies are ever evolving--just when you think you've got some sort of routine figured out, be prepared for it to change.  We got to deal with daylight savings time last week (prior to which we didn't need a blackout curtain because his room was dark until 8:30a)...and then, of course right after we got used to our nighttime feeding schedule (10:30 dream feed, then 1:30am & 5am), he managed to sneak in a 5 hour chunk of sleep on me...which, as a new mom, of course caused me to freak out since all the websites say "ZOMG DON'T LET YOUR NEWBORN GO MORE THAN 4 HOURS WITHOUT EATING".  But they're SUPPOSED to shift their schedules around 1 month, because they've gotten more efficient at eating and can go to about 7-9 feedings a day instead of 8-10.  But freak out (even though you should just be stoked that you got to sleep for 5 hours straight for the first time in a month).  You wake up and look at your baby feeding app (because hey, there's an app for that), realize it says your baby hasn't eaten in 5 hours, and hasn't made a peep, and you immediately think "OMG HE'S DEAD".
Sleeping.  Not dead.  About half the photos on my phone are of him sleeping.

7.  You think "OMG HE'S DEAD" a LOT.  He gets slightly sweaty--you're convinced he's sick & has a temperature (even though you've been holding him while he naps for the last 30 minutes, which is a far more logical reason for why he's sweaty).  He spits up a bunch and then immediately conks out in his swing after you wipe his mouth--you assume he's choked to death on his spittle and have to make sure he's breathing.  You haven't heard him coo or squirm in his crib in a while?  You turn on the video monitor & zoom in to make sure he's breathing...but the resolution isn't that great so you still get up, creep into his room, and make sure he's breathing.  He sleeps all the time?  You wonder if he's sick, even though you KNOW newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day.  You won't shower unless your husband is home because you want to make sure someone is watching him because HE COULD STOP BREATHING.  He falls asleep in his car seat (which is directly behind you in the car, so you can't turn around & check on him)...yeah, you get the idea.

8.  You discover that he only likes his car seat when it's moving.  Which makes drive thru lanes & standstill traffic highly stressful--particularly after that first time you had to wait in line at Walgreens and he started screaming like you were trying to kill him, while the lady in the next car over glared at you like you're the worst human ever and the piece o'crap pharmacy assistant hassles you for not having an insurance card for your 3 week old son yet. (OMG JUST GIVE ME THE STUPID PRESCRIPTION ALREADY I WILL PAY FULL PRICE I JUST NEED TO GET THIS CAR MOVING RIGHTNOW!!!)

"Keep this thing movin', Mom..."

9.  Algebra will come in handy, if you're planning to continue pumping/breastfeeding after you go back to work:  If I have 28 oz of pumped milk in the freezer, and 2 months before I go back to work, and I pump 1 time/day every day for the rest of my leave, how much milk will I have saved up when I go back?  If a 3 month old baby eats about 25 oz of milk a day, and I have to supply expressed milk for feedings between 8am-6pm 5 days a week for 3 months, how much milk is that?  If I pump 2x a day after going back to work, will that be enough in addition to what I pump during leave to make it to my 6 month old goal?

10.  We've discovered the "Period of Purple Crying".  Some days are better than others.  His fussiness always comes in the evenings--which is nice, because it means both mom & dad are home to take turns.  It's probably also exacerbated by the fact that we don't really have a set napping routine yet.  Sad, I know--up to this point we've just been letting him nap in our laps, in his bouncer, in his swing, in his Pack & Play...pretty much anywhere but his crib, and never swaddled.  Just wherever & whenever he passes out. Some days he sleeps all day, others he only gets a couple small naps and then screams all evening.  Hey--I'm learning here--don't judge.  Because...well... my kid can only interact with me on a limited basis (mostly just staring at my face) and only smiles as a reflex, so it already feels like he's constantly judging me.  
"You don't have me on a routine yet, lady?  You kind of suck at this.  I'm totes gonna be scarred for life."

11.  At least once or twice, you consider cutting your maternity leave short & just going back to work early.  Because hey--you KNOW how to do your job, whereas being a mom is still foreign territory.  I can juggle 25 long term projects, but I can still barely manage to hold my bobble-headed son with one arm.  But, you'll tough it out, because you know the time is actually zooming by, and in 2 months, you'll be back at work wishing you could be at home with your cutie-patootie kiddo.
These are good moments.

Previous Adventures:
Birth Story
3 Weeks

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


  1. Honeychildofmine, you nailed it. Like the self-treatment and hooha-medical-care. Oh God I remember all that. I remember being totally unable to "wipe" ANY parts of me, and the squeeze bottle (filled with fresh VERY WARM water, of course) was my BFF4Lyf. And Tucks pads--I'd fold those suckers all up in the general area and let them stay till the next time I peed. And the gorjungo pads--With Maya, I bled for like 12 fucking weeks. No joke. Even developed myself a nice rash cos of it, and at one point had to call 911 because I...omg, am I really saying this? Because I passed a softball-sized "thing." Turns out it was a clot, and was normal. But fucking huge.

    And sex post-baby? Let's just say, the doctor threw in a "husband stitch" (look it up) and I was miserable. SOOOO OUCH. TOOO MUCH OUCH. (With second baby, after re-tearing, goddammit, I was stitched appropriately, so all is well.)

    Oh oh oh, but throw into the torn-vag department a BROKEN FUCKING TAILBONE (broken during the birth), which left me unable to walk three steps without exclaiming "OH MY ASS, OH MY BUTT HURTS"), the desperate pain of which lasted a full 18 months. I had me some sore, sore, sore nethers.

    And the OMG HE'S DEAD. Substitute "she" and you have my life ever since October 20, 2007. I constantly think my kids are dead, especially when they were babies. I remember one time, I woke up in the middle of the night, probably to pump (oh the pumping, the inability to make breast milk, the worst time in my life), and Maya's cotton hat had slipped down from her head over part of her face/nose. I flipped my shit and freaked the fuck out and like screamed. Because I knew she had suffocated. (We had a warm jammy and swaddle blanket and infant hat on her because she was born early and simply could not maintain her body temperature, so hats were a must.) As you are well-aware, Maya had not suffocated. :) I later posted to LJ, "How do you keep these goddamn things alive??" Because it seemed like it was always something. Always some fear, threat, mistake. Or, like, she'd wriggle out of her swaddle until it was around her neck. Or she'd press her face flat, straight into the sides of the bassinet and be totally asleep (luckily, we had a "breathable" mesh bassinet).

    Anyway, yes, oh god the fear, the fear. So many times I woke up the sleeping baby just to make sure she was alive. Resulting in a miserable screaming child, which always made me be like, "Sigh," but I had to know she was OK.

    Did I really just post all this TMI to your blog? You're welcome.

    1. Hey, I opened the door for TMI talk. Because I think when it comes to preggo-stuff, ladies have a right to know: a) You will cry A LOT, b) you will bleed and hurt A LOT, and c) you may not like your baby right away...and all of those are okay.