Yes, being a mother is by far the most rewarding and satisfying thing that has ever happened to me, but by golly it’s exhausting. I can hardly keep my eyes open I’m so tired. I’ve managed to stop taking so many pictures since Maysen’s not really doing much, but don’t worry, I’ll post more soon.
Here are a few observations I’ve made in the 19 days that I have been a mother.
1. Time flies. Seriously. I feel like it was just a couple of days ago that little Maysen came into this world. I can’t believe our little angel is already almost three weeks old. I can already see changes in her face…she’s looking more and more like a baby, rather than a newborn, every day. And she’s starting to look like her father.
2. Time flies. Seriously. I mean the hours are flying by. I hardly make it out of bed consciously. Every day is a constant wave of diapers, crying, feeding, crying, diapers, sleeping, crying, feeding and diapers. Before I know it it’s two in the afternoon and I’m still in my jammies and I haven’t had coffee, let alone a well-balanced breakfast. And I keep forgetting to take a nap, and then suddenly it’s after 5pm and then it’s too late for a nap. Before the baby came 5:00 couldn’t come quickly enough; now it’s gone before I’ve even had lunch.
3. Sleeping through the night is a thing of the past. Our frantic nights of blood curdling screams every hour or two are gone, but I’m still not getting enough sleep. Maysen seems to have settled into a little bit of a schedule. She sleeps pretty much all day and then goes to bed any time between 10 and midnight, wakes up for 2 hours somewhere between 2 & 3am, wakes up again between 5 & 6, then again at 8ish, and then we snooze until 10 or 11 before rolling out of bed to feed the dog. Yes, of course, I’m up 3 or 4 times each night to change diapers, too.
4. Breastfeeding is way tougher than I ever expected. No amount of breastfeeding classes or books can make your baby open her mouth any wider. And when she won’t open her mouth, mama’s dirty pillows are in pain. But thanks to Sandy, the coach, we’re getting better. Pretty soon this whole thing should be second nature. But no matter how challenging and difficult it may be, it’s so wonderful to look down and see those bright blue eyes looking up at me, or at the fan, or out the window, or just sleepily & lazily closing. I can’t imagine anything much more beautiful than a little suckling baby.
5. Breastfeeding is way tougher than I expected. I thought I’d be an endless fountain of nutrition, but it turns out that I’m concerned that I might not produce enough to satiate Maysen’s voracious appetite. This girl likes to eat! As of our last doctor’s appointment, though, she was gaining weight at a normal rate, so she seems to be fine.
6. My linea negra is still here. It goes all the way up to my rib cage and basically looks like I left a pair of tight pantyhose on too long so the seam left a line all the way up my belly. How long should I expect to see that line? Forever?
7. I put on a little more weight than I thought during pregnancy. Well, it’s only been 19 days, so I can’t expect to look too good, but my belly’s a little softer and rounder than I expected it to be. I suppose it’s still uterus and fluid that needs to work its way back to normal, right? I still have about 10 pounds to go before I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight, which really isn’t that bad, but for some reason I thought I’d be some kind of superwoman who would deliver a baby and two weeks later have washboard abs. Wrong! But at least I’ve got myself a nice set of…er…nevermind.
8. I ache. I ache all over my body. My feet, my back, my nether regions, my head, my heart. Everything aches. I really need a freakin’ massage, but I can’t leave the baby long enough for me to relax, and Ronny hates giving massages. So I just sit here and ache.
9. Baths are nice. The doctor prescribed daily baths, so I’m taking them. And today’s was the best. So far Maysen HATES taking a bath in her little baby bathtub, but this morning I took her in with me. She seemed to love it. I guess there’s something about being skin-to-skin with mommy, being fed, and being soaked in warm water simultaneously that the baby finds soothing. Oh, and then there’s that freshly bathed baby smell…I love it!
10. I’m actually capable of eating dinner while my baby sits in my lap and fartypoops her diapers all up. How is that even possible?
11. My days of being sexy are over. I caught myself in the mirror today…or was it yesterday?…looking like the least sexy creature in the world. If you were to walk into my house and catch me unawares, you might see a major case of bedhead held back with an eye pillow all cattywampus on my head, puffy eyes lined with dark circles, milk-stained nursing bra with flaps down to air out the achy baby feeders, unflattering period underwear sporting wings from the maxi pad clearly visible, squishy flabby belly, and, as a bonus, every now and then you could catch a glimpse of a baby, a breastpump or both hanging off of my chest. Poor Ronny.
12. I can’t remember anything. Seriously, anything. Even if I write it down, I still forget even the most important details. I just can’t seem to pay attention to anything. Good thing there are no quizzes coming up.
13. The pacifier is a lifesaver. I did my best to wait at least three weeks before giving it to her, but we finally gave in. We just couldn’t take the crying anymore. “We” isn’t just me and Ronny; it’s my boobs, too. Maysen seems to just have insatiable sucking needs. The only way to get her to stop crying is to let her suck on something, and the only something that satisfies her is my breast. The pinky only fooled her for so long. In the Moms2Moms group Sandy tried and tried to help me with this little cryer, but finally said that even she would give in to the binky. Let’s just hope we waited enough to not screw up the breastfeeding. It seems to be working; Little BabyMay will suck and suck and suck on this little binky, which is so cute…it makes her look like a little blue-eyed monkey. Adorable.
14. Even though he’s not the breastfeeder who is up with the baby all night long, being a new parent is exhausting for Daddy, too. He’s doing the best he can to help, and somehow it seems that he’s better at comforting Maysen as long as it’s not hunger making her cry. He holds her while I nap, or while I take a bath, or while I take a few minutes to run a quick errand.
Anyways, I know there are more observations that I have made, but, if you refer to #12 you’ll understand that I’ve forgotten what they are. I’m sure they’ll come to me when I’m either sitting up in bed feeding the baby in the middle of the night or when I’m sitting in the bathtub, totally indisposed. Oh well!
Oh, and we still can’t decide for sure how to spell Maysen’s nickname. Should it be Masey, Maysee, or Maysie? Any opinions?
More pics to come soon…