I’ve been wanting to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys?) for some time now, however the reality of having a newborn is just that, there is no more time. Time has become something measured by diaper changes, how long my left boob has been leaking, and the varying levels of grunge my hair has gone through over the week before it’s really a necessity to shampoo. My baby is 8 weeks, 2 days old as of today. There’s really no telling if today, Wednesday the 22nd of July will be the day I finish this post, but it’s the day I finally seem to have the time to begin.
So here I sit, 8 weeks postpartum, my babe is nestled into his Boppy newborn lounger complete with a plush throw blanket over it as an added comfort, and two receiving blankets tucked over and around him, my phone playing the sound of rainfall next to his right ear- the perfect nest.
It’s taken time figuring him out, learning about his likes and dislikes. I study his every feature and store it in my memory for tomorrow, because he will never be exactly as he is at this moment ever again. That realization is both heartbreaking and fills me with excitement at the same time, knowing I get to watch him grow and morph into a whole person. For now though I’ll talk about becoming a mom and this newborn stage and what we’ve been up to the past 2 months.
I choose to bring Xander into the World via induction on my actual due date. I wasn’t advised that I needed to, but I was given the option and frankly I was done being pregnant and just wanted the little man here. In hindsight, I’m not 100 percent sure I would go this route again for a few reasons. For starters, I feel like he resents me a bit for evicting him so his punishment toward me is making me hold him constantly which to be honest isn’t a “punishment” until I really have to pee or when my back gives out. Also, the whole process of being induced was long, exhausting, and bordered on torture—being withheld food and sleep for over 24 hours while being pumped full of drugs to push a watermelon sized human out of you will make you rethink all your life choices. So, my actual labor was in total about 22 hours, with 20 minutes of pushing, and just like that all the pain and discomfort disappears when they put that purple-skinned, tearful, creature on my chest…I was in love. No matter how many times someone else tries to tell you how much you will love that tiny person so much you can’t handle it, you will never really get it until that fucking moment. Skin to skin, everyone else in the room disappears, the tears come and they won’t be stopping for about 2 weeks. At least that’s how it was for me.
When I said all the pain disappeared, it does, until the epidural wears off and it wears off quick. I once heard a quote that went something like “as women we are no stranger to blood” that might have been Cersei from Game of Thrones, regardless, it’s always kind of stuck with me because of the validity of that statement. It might sound gross but we are conditioned to be unfazed by blood biologically, anyway after birth–There.Will.Be.Blood. A lot of it. But it’s all not as bad as I imagined, and you just get through the recovery and are able to take care of this little human all at the same time, and with no sleep. Women really are badass.
My husband, baby, and I stayed three nights total in the hospital. When we left baby in tow, it felt like we were being sent off on a mission to save the world without any weapons, a quest to find a hidden treasure without a map, to raise a baby without any instructions. Like, really, you’re trusting us to keep this thing alive and thriving? The first 2 weeks were the hardest for me (so far). As the mom, your role is so much more hands on and involved than the father. I chose to breastfeed so that poses its own set of challenges, one’s that solely fall to me to figure out. During those first weeks your system is shot, and hormones confused AF—hence the non-stop crying. I cried so much, and I really didn’t know why. Sometimes I would just look at Xander and start weeping, or if we were having people over to the house for dinner, I would have to sit in our room to cry a bit before I was ready to socialize. But most of the time I would cry because I felt so god damn happy, the happiest I’ve ever felt in my life that kind of emotion is overwhelming and I guess the only outlet is through salty tears. Apparently, these are all very normal feelings at least according to doctor google and all the pamphlets I got from the hospital. As long as they eventually taper off, then the crying is a normal reaction to birthing a child.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post a start date, it is currently not that day anymore. I told you I probably wouldn’t be afforded the time to get it done in one sitting. The last thing in my life that I was in control of was choosing the day my child would get here, ever since then my daily plans have gone with the wind. Nevertheless, I’m adapting to my new out of control lifestyle and coming to the realization that nothing will ever go as planned so I should just give up on the idea of a scheduled day altogether, because we are on Xan’s schedule now. I think that’s the biggest adjustment that I’m forced to cope with, because pre-X I was very routine oriented and if my daily routines were thrown off, I would get a bit fussy. There’s no room for my fussiness when your days revolve around the whims of an infant. I’ve tried and failed to keep routines with a newborn, the only semblance of routine in our World is Xander’s bedtime regimen, which let’s be honest doesn’t go as planned 90 percent of the time.
This new life isn’t easy, its definitely not an Instagram picture. I’ve had more baby puke and other bodily fluids projectile and stuck on me for the day like perfume more times than I can count. Some days the lack of control catches up to you, the house begins to mess with laundry pilling up, dogs being ignored, dishes to be done, hair to wash, diapers to change, it can all get really loud, then I look down into my baby’s eyes, he cracks a smile and everything around me is silenced. It’s truly been the best gift, becoming a mom.