Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things I've Learned from Seven Weeks of Motherhood.

GangstaI owe my happiness, sanity, and the ability to take showers to a Mr. Hair Dryer. Amen.

My heart is more vulnerable than I ever thought it could be, because it's now outside of me and in this little boy.

Sleep triumphs most all else, including diaper changes. I've learned to time it so that I don't change his diaper all night, resulting in much more sleep for me because he eats while he's still drowsy and falls back asleep after ten minutes of eating. Victory!

My body will never be the same.

Carters and BabyGap make the most adorable baby clothes. Thank you, family, for all the hand-me-downs!

Forget a maternity wardrobe, where is the nursing wardrobe?! Someone needs to get on that market – shirts with more room in the bust and that can quickly expose the boobies for baby. Half of my old shirts no longer button, and many of those that do fit are too short thanks to the nursing boobs. (What's that? I shouldn't have bought all my clothes from the junior's section? Hush, you.) If the shirt doesn't make it easy to access Gabe's lunch, it's just not getting worn.

When your baby gets sick for the first time, you might cry. And feel terrible for having to shove a bulb syringe down his nose while he cries.

Taking that three-hour breastfeeding class and choosing a hospital with fabulous lactation consultants and nurses was one of the best decisions I made while pregnant. And the early days of breastfeeding were still really, really hard and I doubted myself a lot.

Baby fingernails grow ridiculously quickly. And have the ability to seriously scratch you. (Especially when certain, eh, more tender parts are exposed during nursing. Ouch.)

Shirts are overrated for the first few weeks when trying to figure out the whole feeding-a-baby-with-your-body thing.

I have no idea how I am going to return to work. Part of me looks forward to having something to contribute to and succeed at outside of motherhood, the other part of me wants to spend every second with Gabe. And all of me dreads the hour commute and leaving these sweet baby toes:

Baby leg warmers.

Baby socks don't stay on.

It's okay to be really overwhelmed, feel like a terrible mother, and cry for a few days at first. It's normal, even.

My relationship with Mike has changed, since it will never be just us again. I'm still grappling with how to be us as parents, but I know one thing for sure: we are a great team and our relationship has deepened because of Gabe's presence in our lives. It's just much more difficult to get caught up in a selfish fight when your sweet little boy is in your lap, you know?

Swaddles. Just, yes. Do it.

The whole exercising-during-pregnancy thing is a great idea. Aside from making me feel good during pregnancy, I was able to recover from childbirth and was back into my old clothes quickly, and just six weeks after having Gabe, I was able to run over a mile. (I am not an athletic person by any means, so I'm totally not the kind of girl who can take even a week off running without losing progress. So running over a mile after six-ish months of not running at all? A miracle, really.) Let's not discuss how often I exercise with a newborn.

People like to bring you baked goods after having a baby. Which is awesome. But also dangerous when it's the quickest thing to grab and eat. I have to be careful or I'll end up eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, a cinnamon roll as a snack, and cake batter cookies for lunch. It's a problem. A delicious problem. And probably why I still have TEN IMPOSSIBLE POUNDS to lose.

Babies smiles, laughs, and sneezes are the most adorable things in the world. Period. (Their coughs, however, are surprisingly terrifying.)

:) and achoo

Babies make you popular. If people paid attention to you while you were pregnant, JUST YOU WAIT. It seems like everyone wants to talk to us now, which is awesome. Especially when they're telling me how cute my little baby is.

Baby clothing creates a lot of white fluff in the lint trap. I have no idea why. One of life's great mysteries.

Target is the mecca for new moms. I can always spot them - wheeling around their infant carrier perched on a cart, their hair in a messy bun and wearing sweatshirts and yoga pants. Where else can you fill a prescription, get ketchup, buy a latte, and get your flu shot all at one time?

The early days of a baby are completely all-consuming and I sort of love it. There is a singularity to each day - just feed and take care of the baby - that is refreshing and clarifying. In many ways, life is much simpler with a baby. My house can be a little messier and my hair a little sloppier, because nothing is as important as taking care of our munchkin.

Pacifier boy
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