My little boy is three weeks old!
These three weeks have raced by-- it feels like I was just pregnant yesterday. But I also feel like I've been sleep-deprived and changing diapers for a year. My relationship with time is strange--days both fly and crawl. Moments can feel monotonous, but then I look at the clock and can't believe it's 5 pm already.
This is my first week alone without motherly assistance. It's going fairly well. I feel more confident about my ability to read Smudgie's cues and to keep my spirits up through the poopsplosions and crying jags. (I'm actually rather amazed that I feel so relatively calm and even-natured-- the postpartum blues were one of my biggest fears and I'm very grateful to have mostly avoided them so far).
My biggest emotional issue right now is feeling useless and unproductive. I haven't gotten the hang of the Moby or Ergo yet and our stroller is too difficult for me to lug it up and down the stairs of our walk-up and assemble myself, so I haven't been leaving the house much on my own. And when Smudgie falls asleep during the day, I'm lucky if I manage to get a few loads of laundry done, pump some breast-milk, or wash and sterilize some bottles. I mostly read on the couch or catch a nap or watch tv.
I can't shut off the guilty, need-to-accomplish-things part of my brain. I feel bad that I'm not baking pies with all the apples we got from our CSA or finishing knitting Smudgie's blanket or cleaning the apartment. I feel bad that I haven't figured out the carriers yet so I can run errands or walk Bella or just introduce Smudgie to the world. I had a phone session with my therapist yesterday, who suggested I try to just be in the moment right now and not think of this time as achievement-oriented, which I agree is wise and I'm trying to do. But it's hard.
Also difficult is the spate of the fussies that Smudgie has weathered over the last week. Once or twice a day, he'll have a three-hour span where he won't sleep, doesn't want to eat, doesn't need a change, and doesn't want to be set down. We call this his Wild Man Phase, because of the way he'll grunt and bang his head around my boob and flail his arms like a tiny dictator having a tantrum. The Wild Man phases, with their whining and crying, are really difficult for LG and I to deal with, especially when they happen at 3 am. But at least we know that they're temporary and rarely last more than 4 hours, at which point Smudgie falls asleep and is out for hours.
I also made the mistake a few days ago of reading a sleep training book someone sent me. It ramped up my anxiety hardcore. Do I not feed Smudgie often enough? Too often? Should I really be letting him cry it out at less than a month. (No way, I last about 30 seconds when he cries before I start crying too). I got really worried about doing everything wrong and decided to stop reading books. Smudgie seems to be growing well and sleeps okay in his crib at night (though he will only fall asleep in my lap for daytime naps). So I'm going to try to follow my instincts and hope for the best. (As my bff said, no one goes off to college still needing to nurse to sleep, so one way or another these things get fixed.)
There's so much more I haven't touched on: Smudgie's blisters (a staph infection acquired in the hospital--scary!--but nearly gone after antibiotic cream), our first brunch outing as a family last weekend (successful!), my struggles with the Moby wrap and Ergo carrier (majorly disappointing and inconvenient). But I'm juggling a wild man on my lap and my lunch with my one-handed typing, so I'll leave you with a photo of my little dude stylin' in his fall duds.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
8 months ago