Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Motherhood Notes Part 2

The little Man is a chubby little thing, 75th percentile in weight but 55th in height. He's six and a half weeks old, and he's smiling and starting to make laughing noises. He loves bath time, usually just gives me 4 hours at a time at night, and his baby acne is finally clearing up but cradle cap is flaring.

Today, for the first time, I feel like I sort of am seeing or understanding the daytime schedule, thanks to some comments from my fellow new mom friend Katie when I visited her yesterday. In general, Judah eats and is awake for around an hour, perfect time to play and learn and get smiles. Then he falls asleep and sleeps around an hour, and then is up and STARVING. Knowing this system is very helpful. At the moment the little darling just fell asleep in his bouncer next to me, and in the falling asleep process would jolt awake and his eyes would pop open and look up at me. He'd recognize me, give a little smile, and then nod back off. SO CUTE. I could just eat him up. I continually look at him and think... he's mine?! It's kind of amazing, this fierce attachment to this little being in the midst of the chaos he brings.

Last Friday: For everyone that was jealous of the way I seemed to easily get out and around with a newborn, you can stop being jealous now. It was a facade created by the fact that I had family around for a month and Isaac had all of seminary Christmas break off. Every time I took Judah out it was pretty much WITH Isaac. This is the first week I've taken him out on my own, and yeah, it's way more stressful. Yesterday I felt like the stereotypical mom - skipping a shower and breakfast in order to get out the door on time in the morning, eating just a granola bar and stopping at McDonalds later (I hate fast food) just to get something in my stomach. The weight of the car seat is killing me, I hate that it's winter so I can't just carry the kid places because I have to keep him as bundled up as possible. And... he's older and doesn't sleep as much now, so there's far more risk of periods of yell-fests in public (happened twice this week).

Someone used the phrase "new mom energy" and I think that's a real thing. That first month I really was only getting about an hour and a half of sleep at a time most nights, and yet somehow I really felt... rested. Most of the time. That has officially ended. Last night Judah was restless in between feedings AND I was so anxious about something that I couldn't sleep between 2am and 4am anyways... kill me now.

Last Thursday: 
There seems to be a fourth member of this family at the moment. He sticks close to Judah and Judah is finding him persistent and annoying. I'll call him "Fist". Fist sleeps when Judah's swaddled, but first thing in the morning he's up and around. He insists on pushing Judah's paci right out of his mouth, resulting in wails of despair as Judah attempts to root around and find where the thing has gone to. Often Fist just flails around in Judah's view, especially when he's excited and really trying to look at something. Worst of all he often smacks Judah in the face, resulting in great frustration. Judah seems extremely concerned about the situation... and mommy will be glad when Judah figures out his own appendages.

Boobies are weiiiiird things. Breast feeding has been easy but it still cracks me up. I mean... there's so much I could say that is TMI.

I went to a New Moms class at my church. My church is big, but this was the biggest New Moms class they'd ever had and they were scrambling to make enough space. There were about 35 moms there, and it was suuuch a surreal atmosphere. The hallway was filled with snap-n-go strollers, half of them identical. I walked into a room packed with women in chairs, most of them with a car seat in front of them... and I could barely hear the speaker amidst the baby noises. There were hiccups coming from both sides of the room, baby coos, crying, etc. All the moms with babies in their arms were swaying or bouncing at various speeds and rhythms. And of course, since these are newborns, they eat all the time, and in a two hour class half the babies have to eat. So... you have moms with babies in slings nursing, moms with bottles, moms with wraps as they nurse, and some moms who just pulled out a boob for all to see.

In a smaller group prayer and praise time there were a lot of tears as moms expressed what is currently hardest for them - and really almost everyone had something totally different. There's a mom pained because the son wasn't bonding with his dad. There were moms worried about going back to work, moms struggling with the monotony of staying at home, moms struggling with whether or not to immunize, a mom feeling guilt about the inability to breastfeed, a mom feeling intense scrutiny from her mom over her parenting choices, a mom struggling with milk supply, a mom feeling like she couldn't leave home or she'd bother people with a crying baby, etc, etc.

To be honest, I hardly talked to anyone... I didn't really want to. I arrived exhausted and stressed, and I didn't want to connect with people at that point. Still, the class was immensely encouraging to me simply because I was surrounded by people doing the same thing I am right now, and yet amidst those similarities everyone was doing things their own way.... and that was okay. There wasn't any condemnation or expectations, just the reality that this stage of life is crazy and beautiful and we're just trying to survive.


Jaimie said...

..."moms struggling with whether or not to immunize"...

Gag. Me. With. A. Spoon.

I like out of the whole post, this is what I latch onto. But I am sometimes afraid of ever being a mom because apparently you lose all sense of logic? Or a ton of them do. The odds aren't good, dude.

Jaimie said...

Well science backs you, dear! You know, science, the reason why we're ALIVE and haven't died out from disease centuries ago... yeesh. /soapbox

Rach said...

Jaimie: If you are at all interested in seeing the other side of the circ/vax movement, feel free to check out my posts on the subject:
Vax: and I welcome any well-informed thoughts you might have on the subject!

Kacie, he is ADORABLE. Seriously. I love that you love is tiring, but those baby smiles make it so worth it!

Jaimie said...

What AHLondon said.

Here's a CNN article about the "elaborate fraud."