Ok – so the title of this blog alludes to the fact that I am generally brutally honest and will truthfully describe the situation as it is. So being a new mom of a 16-day old, here are my thoughts:
Sleep deprivation – Dude. Sucky. But, not as bad as I had anticipated on a general level. With the exception of last night (wherein Evan changed 3 dirty diapers in the span of 15 minutes and she leaked through to her clothes….yippee!) – Maya has started to sleep in the night for about 3 hour chunks of time…that translates to two long naps for Mommy, Daddy and Grandma. This sustains me until about right after our dinner time or before her 8ish feeding when I feel like death warmed over.
Breastfeeding – This really deserves its own post entitled Lactation Wars (and that might come later). No one quite described to me how horrendous it could be in the beginning….3 drops of colostrum that your uncoordinated baby is trying to suck out of your boob as if it wasn’t attached to a human being with nerve endings, much less her own mother (I try really hard to remember she can’t possibly hate me yet) but can’t latch on correctly and therefore screams her head off so you have to supplement which makes the lactation consultants look at you with “the look” making you feel worse that you can’t feed your own kid like you are “supposed” to be able to (this is what happens naturally right!!???)…not having your milk come in until your daughter is 6 days old, thus making it extremely difficult for breastfeeding to be a) comfortable and 2) useful in making her gain weight. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy clothespins on my nipples… Ridonkulous. Before I had her people would ask if I was planning on breastfeeding like it was the greatest experience in the world. Now that I have had her those same people have told me what a bitch it was in the beginning – why didn’t they warn me before hand??? I think personally they just wanted to be able to commiserate with me once I was crying over being a loserhead who couldn’t figure out how to do it right. Since Maya lost more weight than is considered normal upon her first peds visit, and then only gained 1/4 oz. at the next check up 5 days later, her doc has me supplementing her with formula 4 times a day. This has actually worked out to a nice smorgasboard of Similac, breast and expressed breast milk from a bottle for her, and allowed me time to pump so that others can feed her the liquid gold. I’m hoping this will bring her weight up and that perhaps my supply will continue to increase so that any bottles she gets are ONLY expressed breast milk and not formula for the first few months…
Diapers – Yep. They are nasty. She doesn’t like being wet AT ALL (great news for potty training later) And since we are doing half formula/half breast milk, her poops half-stink to high heavens. She takes after Daddy. Heh.
Naptime/Sleep for Maya – She is a good sleeper (please knock on wood for me now)…she will sleep on humans, in her bassinet, in her crib and in her swing. She will also lay in those places for the most part with eyes open and exploring without fussing too much. This makes me happy as it means she is learning to self-soothe, entertain herself and is not too needy (well, not needier than most newborns).
Waketime with us – She is awfully adorable when her eyes are open …especially now since she is starting to focus more on us as opposed to having that cute newborn stare where she is not quite focusing…She half turned over during tummy time day before yesterday from her tummy to her back, per her Daddy, but I didn’t see it. She also had used her arm as a prop…so not sure if I am counting that yet as “turning over.”
Help from family and friends – has been invaluable. Despite looking forward to being home with her by myself in some ways (and terrified in others, I’ll be honest), I don’t know what we would have done without my Mom being here…probably starved and slept less…all the people who have brought meals over or anything else for that matter…it really has been great to not have to think to hard about that stuff…and both Evan and I are truly grateful for that.
Being a mom – So far, it is still surreal. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with emotion when I hold her and look at her sleeping little face as it breaks into a gas-induced smile and I can’t believe that I was lucky enough to be the one to bring her into the world and to get to take care of her and raise her to be a good human. I love her. I’m afraid I will screw her up somehow. Sometimes I think – oy, this whole taking care of a helpless little person is a pain in the ass. Other times, like when I wash her hair and see how she loves it, I find the most pleasure in taking care of her. Most times I am completely calm even when she is crying – sometimes I am irritable like I have PMS. I am worried when I don’t audibly hear her breathing at night…it takes me a while to fall asleep as I am listening to all of her sounds and getting used to her “normal.” I love watching Evan with her, especially when he is frustrated as it makes me giggle and shows me how much he loves her and doesn’t want to screw her up either. It amazes me how much she is changing already – how different her face looks as she sleeps, how light her hair is getting and how curly it is when it is wet.
And it’s only been 16 Days.