I’m sitting stiller than I ever have, a tiny baby perched on my shoulder. He’s fast asleep, crashing hard after being burped post-feed, and I decided to leave his tiny self there. In part because it’s cute, but also because he’s been wide-eyed all day and I’d like him to catch a few winks. Hopefully there is a big night of sleep ahead, but who knows… we’re still figuring this whole thing out.
Disclaimer: I wrote that 4 days ago. It’s appropriate for today, too, but still. And there I was thinking I would blog so much about this journey to parenting. Hilarious.
Today: 4 days later…
Today marks a whole 2 weeks since we became parents. 2 weeks. It has flown by and been peppered with everything I thought it would be, and a whole lot more – like A being overdue, having to be induced (A was really comfy, apparently), the caesarian we hoped to avoid, the incredibly painful nipples we didn’t bank on and the hours we’ve spent just staring at him that we couldn’t have begun to imagine a few weeks ago.
When I say we, I’m not being obnoxious. This really is a we-situation. There is zero chance I’d even be typing this were I ‘going at it’ alone. A rock of a husband and my mom being here for a few weeks to impart some wisdom and make sure we eat, sleep and have a few breathers in between. Plus the tiny soul.
Disclaimer: It didn’t stop there. It’s is now the next morning and A is batting his eyelashes at his granny after a rather long night. I should throw in here that is deep, dark eyes looking up at me in the middle of the night make little else matter. Nope, not even sleep.
The journey thus far
Guys, it has been a journey. It’s been dark (duh, midnight feeding), and full of twists and turns. I’m not just talking about the twists and turns A does when I’m trying to get him to latch properly (he gets really, really excited about food time). My days have become a myriad of asking what the time is, checking the time, timing feeds, checking when the next feed is and forgetting where we are with it all, or falling asleep, mid-feed. Normal at 3am, apparently (??).
Getting dressed has become a whole new experience, and getting out of the house takes a whole lot longer. My outfits need to centre around how accessible and protected my boobs are – new for me, that’s for sure – while still being easy enough to move around in and comfortably cover my newly formed, still rather lumpy, mom-bod (I don’t hate it, it’s just different). Then we need to dress another human, considering his temperature / real-world acclimatisation. Outings, strategically planned around feed times, are attempted daily to avoid cabin fever and ensure I learn to mom in public. A, however, sleeps through them all. Car seat or pram = sleep. Good to know!
I thought my incessant night-time toilet trips and moments spent lying awake pondering his future would prepare me for the evening trips up the passage to feed the little guy. I was wrong. I could navigate to and use the toilet still pretty much asleep. Getting a very small, very hungry human to latch nicely requires a certain level of consciousness. That being said, I never knew how OK I would be about getting up several times a night to feed, burp, comfort… or send Frank down the passage to stick a dummy back in a little mouth or change a dirty nappy.
I’ve cried at nothing, put it down to a lack of sleep and raging hormones and, thankfully, not had to apologise for a damn thing. I’ve also learnt that having strangers shove your boob into your baby’s mouth in the middle of the night is the only way to learn how to feed and that your baby isn’t as fragile as you thought and that Voltaren suppositories are incredible things. All dignity gets parked at the hospital entrance when you roll in to get your baby out and you don’t get to pick it up on the way out. Just forget about it. No one will care, anyway. Apparently we’re given a full license to be a mess once we enter the ‘hood.
I thought the love I have for Frank was a lot. Holy smokes. This is that coupled by an overwhelming protectiveness and constant worry. That never goes away, does it? I only check that he’s breathing (and real) about 200 times a day, and I cannot sleep without checking the little pendulum on his monitor is ticking, monitoring his little heart beat.
All in all, this whole experience has been completely surreal and it’s flying by. Someone put this all on slow-mo, please, so I can stare at this perfect, little 2 week old face for a few minutes more.
So, now that we’re officially a part of the parenthood, any advice?