Wow, I found this post stashed away in my drafts and have to smile while reading. Two weeks into being a mom and I was so funny. I wish I could go back in time and just hug me... reassure me that it was really going to get better, sleep would come, we would eventually get into a groove and it wouldn't seem so darn scary!!!! I would also tell myself that he would turn out to be the most amazing little man on the planet. . . interesting perspective though ... glad I found it :o)
Written exactly two weeks post delivery.
The little man is still alive, still in one piece and doing amazingly well at putting up with his crazy parents. Mom and dad, while exhausted are holding up and still as in love as the first moment we saw his precious face. It's truly amazing to me how your body adapts to the sheer exhaustion of parenthood. Anyone who knows me knows how much I loved sleep. I could sleep forever if allowed. My body has always been one that needed at least 8 hours a night in order to function. And yet now, I'm lucky to get 3 hours at any given time. Sure I'm tired but its nothing that a good cup of coffee can't remedy.
But as I sit and reflect on the past two weeks it's amazing to me that there is no class or preparation that is mandatory for having a baby. I mean, for someone trying to adopt you are put through the ringer. Your checked emotionally, physically, spiritually. Your home is inspected and your life is rooted through. And yet when you have a biological child there's nothing. I think that one person asked me at the hospital if my home was safe. They asked if the hubs was a beater and if I felt that my life or the life of my child was in jeopardy. But just because my husband isn't a wife beater doesn't mean I was prepared to be a mother.
Even after being a nanny for over 9 years there are things about this kid that freak me out. His random gasps and grunts. I jump out of bed and find myself sticking my finger up to his nose to make sure he's still breathing.
I mean, luckily, I feel like our home is safe, clean, and as "baby" proof as it needs to be for someone that eats, sleeps and occasionally poos. I was thinking today, if I were to host a new parent's class what would I want each person to walk out knowing.
Everyone tells you to send the baby to the nursery while your in the hospital so that you can rest. Here's my take on it. I just couldn't do it. I went through some health issues while recovering and they took the baby away so that they could focus on me. I spent almost 8 hours away from him and despite all that my body was battling all I could think about was him. I needed him close to me. So once they finally cleared me to go up to the maternity ward I couldn't stand to be away from him. I spent every second staring at him. He had to go under the lights for jaundice and he was only 2 feet away from me but I couldn't take my eyes off of him. It took my husband forcing me to let him go to the nursery the 2nd night we were there. It had been nearly 72 hours of little to no sleep and my body was shutting down. Find someone that will force you to send the baby to the nursery. Even if its just for a few hours between feedings. It was the hardest thing, and I even spent the first hour of that time angry with my husband for doing it. But looking back it was the best sleep I would get for at least 2 weeks !!!
Once your home, get your support buddies lined up. For me it was my husband, and for the baby my mom. My husband is amazing and totally helped me through the nitty gritty. I know that my recovery was different then most, I had alot of health issues to overcome. So you might only need one buddy ... for me I can't imagine having gone through those first critical hours without them both. I was amazed at his unconditional love and compassion. He helped me in ways that I would have never imagined. But with almost all of his time and attention focused on me and my recovering body, my mom was able to focus 100% on little man. She kept him snuggled, diapers clean and delicious foods ready for us to eat whenever a moment allowed. I know that this might be a luxury for most, but if you have anyone that can step in and handle these things for you, even if its just the first 24 hours of being home... its a life saver!
This brings me to sleep. Everyone and their mom tells you to nap when baby naps. This is true... and you'll be able to handle things alot easier if you can catch up on rest when your little one sleeps. This didnt happen for me. I would lay down, shut my eyes and pray to the nap God's for even just half an hour of sleep. But I couldnt shut my brain off long enough to allow sleep to come. I would toss and turn and before I knew it, it was time for another feeding. This is when I realized I would just need to go to sleep at 6pm if I had to. Sleep, whenever, wherever you can. If it means putting the baby back to bed after his 7am feeding then do it. Hand him off to the hubs for that last feeding so you can get a head start on the night time shifts. DO IT! At first I felt like I needed to handle everything. I soon realized that doing everything would kill me.