I've been Nate's mom for one month! By the way, we call him Nathaniel, Nathan, Nate, bub, cutie pie, little stinker, handsome face, buddy boy, little man, and many other ridiculous nicknames, and you can also feel free to call him whatever strikes your fancy. Well, not whatever. Don't call him a butthead or a girl's name. Anywho. While I was pregnant, I read pretty much everything ever written on the internet about having a newborn; what to expect, sleeping strategies, feeding tips, etc. But there really is no way to prepare for what it's going to be like to have this tiny new human come live at your house and reply completely on you to meet his every need and soil every item in your house with various bodily fluids. But seeing as I'm now a seasoned expert at this mom gig (haha), I think I owe it to the internet to write one more post about what life is like when you have a brand spankin' new baby. The good, the bad, and the weird.
1. Having a baby that wants ME. I have spent a lot of time in my life trying to soothe babies who quite obviously want nothing to do with me. I'd be holding them and frantically trying to rock and bounce and soothe just right, and they'd be crying and staring at me with a look that clearly says, "Give me to someone who knows what they're doing; I hate your guts." I still have no idea what I'm doing, but as soon as Nate is in my arms, he instantly relaxes and looks so at home. It is more magical than I ever imagined. I thought it would be extremely draining being the one that the baby wants, and it is sometimes, but mostly it is a humbling and tender privilege to be that sweet baby's mama.
|My little buddy.|
|Homeboy loves his baths. He gets so zen.|
|I mean, really. Just the cutest duo I ever did see.|
5. I am actually loving this period of hunkering down and staying home and getting to know our baby. We venture out to the store or out to lunch every now and then, but mostly we stay home. I cuddle my baby, try to get things done around the house (which does take considerably more time than it used to), we go on walks when the weather is okay, and watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I only get to have my first baby once. Next time we have a baby, I will most likely be chasing around a toddler, and I won't have the luxury of staying home and taking it easy. So I am just savoring these days of just me and my little guy, and we both love it when daddy comes home. Also, I'm a total germaphobe and won't let anyone touch him, so laying low is good for everyone at this point.
1. The sleep deprivation. Oh sweet mercy. I knew I would be sleep deprived as a new mom, but I could not comprehend the depth of tiredness. Nate is such a sweet and alert baby, and unfortunately he thinks night time is the time to hang out and NOT sleep. He's slowly improving, but there was a solid week and a half or so where I could not get the stinker to sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning, unless he was in my arms. Woof. I also did not expect how much sleep deprivation would effect me. Postpartum hormones and sleep deprivation are one potent cocktail for going absolutely bonkers. I come completely emotionally unhinged when I'm severely sleep deprived. I cry over everything, feel detached from my baby, hate my husband, and get insanely anxious when I'm running on 3 hours of sleep. When I'm the throes of a crazy person meltdown, I absolutely can not find perspective. I am just convinced that I am going to hate my life forever and Nate is never going to sleep and life is ruined. Usually it takes Cary sending me to our room to sleep for me to snap out of it. And it's really amazing how restorative just a couple of hours of sleep can be for my psyche. I'm learning to hand the reigns over to Cary when I'm on the verge of a complete meltdown, and Nate is slowly learning to sleep better, so hopefully we'll figure this out and I won't have to run away to Vegas to become a showgirl after all.
|Nice bed head, Nate! At least one of us around here is spending enough time asleep to get bed head...|
3. The constant worry. Oh goodness, the worry. That baby can't so much as sneeze without me freaking out and googling his every symptom. The internet is so helpful and so awful when you are a new mama. I am really grateful for some awesome and helpful information I've found on the internet, but I have found about 500% more horrible advice and opinions. I'm slowly (very slowly) learning to trust my mama intuition and brush off the things I read that tell me that if my baby ever sleeps in his swing, he will never sleep through the night and probably will never get into college and it will be all my fault for not having the discipline to teach him from day 1 to sleep in his crib. Or conversely, if I don't hold my baby at every moment and feed him every time he makes a sound, he will never bond to me and will most likely end up in jail. People be trippin'.
|He is obviously quite stressed too.|
5. I also hate putting onesies on him. I feel like getting his giant head through that tiny neck hole must remind him of the trauma of birth.
|Just chatting with Abby.|
1. Smelling so bad. All of the time. I constantly smell like sour milk, spit up, and B.O. I had (still sometimes have) absolutely awful post-partum night sweats. Combined with leaky boobs and a baby that consistently leaks from both ends, and I actually shower more now that I have a baby than I did pre-baby. One night, Cary snuggled up all close to me and whispered tenderly in my ear, "Let me watch the baby while you take a shower. You smell really bad." It was really romantic.
3. Can we please just talk about how foreign your body feels after you have a baby? The belly you have been cultivating for 9 months is suddenly gone, but leaves behind some saggy skin and stretch marks. Your boobs are all kinds of out of whack and leaking and weird and often two completely different sizes. And as this is a family blog we aren't even going to mention your unmentionables. It is a war zone. Everything just feels a little out of sorts after birthing a tiny human.
4. Umbilical cords and circumcisions. So much weirdness.
|"Well what did you expect Mom? All of this used to be inside of you and now it's outside. It's bound to be traumatic."|
|Cary brought him back from getting dressed after a bath with his first little faux hawk. We love messing with his hair and laughing at the ridiculous faces this baby makes. We should probably just start saving already for this child's therapy.|
What a ride, Nathaniel Cary! We are so excited to watch you grow. Just don't grow too fast. I've started putting away newborn clothes you've outgrown, and it hurts my heart just a little bit. Even when you are keeping me up at all hours of the night or spitting up directly down my cleavage, I feel so blessed that your sweet little spirit joined our family. Looking into your bright eyes feels like peeking straight into heaven. We love you to pieces, baby Nate.