Just shy of our 6 week mark I am finally able to sit down and right a post post baby. We’ll see just how long it takes me to write this and publish it. Right now, it is 9:48am on Friday…
I like to think of the first six weeks like a stiff cocktail. Semi-sweet, bitter, a swift kick to the gut, and a cherry on top. Like a well done Manhattan.
They say that time flies when you first have your baby. To treasure every moment. It all goes by so fast and before you know they will be walking.
It hasn’t felt that way to me.
This time has lagged on so long for me. The first two weeks felt like a dark and scary cave. Here we were in our little condo with this tiny little human. No one knew how to communicate with each other (except for Eric and I) and many nights were spent trying to figure out how we could all sleep at the same time for more than 45 minutes. I’ll be extremely honest and admit there were quite a few times where I thought “when does it feel worth it?” And then would immediately cry feeling guilty for having such thoughts.
By the third week my parents came to town to help us out. I’m so glad Eric and I got to have the first two weeks to really get an idea of who we were as new parents and start to have opinions on things. Having the parents in town helped us catch up on a bit more sleep, helped me get through the days now that Eric was back to work, and gave us some good ideas for what could help Cordie when she got fussy. What it also did was help Eric and I discover we had opinions about how to take care of Cordie and that we actually were able to pick up on what she wanted or needed.
At the end of the fourth week Eric’s parents came into town as well. That was an epically crowded weekend. I’m glad all the new grandparents got to have time hanging out together, but dear lord our home was crowded and I’ve never been so happy to have to nurse Cordie and go into another room. A quiet, dark, room, with no one else in it.
My parents left after two weeks here. Eric’s mom is still in town till Sunday. And then, we’re “on our own”. It’s felt like 6 weeks of new parent bootcamp. Or at least what I would imagine bootcamp to be like.
So, here are some things I’ve discovered about myself and about parenting:
I kept reading that breastfeeding is magical and wonderful.
I freaking hated it. I’m getting the hang of it now, but I still don’t like it that much. It hurt, it’s annoying, and I have a time limit when I go anywhere away from her. Thankfully it’s starting to get easier – but you don’t believe it when you’re on day 3 and crying your eyes out.
I’m no earth mamma
I try to eat organic and bathe organic and live organic… but it usually lasts a day or two. I’ll drink organic milk and then swiftly eat an overly processed Oreo cookie with it. I tried “healthy/safe” shampoo and it made my hair feel weird so I went to the chemically one I liked that made my hair soft. I’m surrounded by forums and posts with moms talking about chemically safe this and that and being opposed to pediatricians that tell them things they don’t like. They want organic cloth to surround their baby in, nature based cleaning things and wiping things and living things…. and I just can’t. I feel like I’ve entered a room I was supposed to go in but don’t feel like I belong. I just don’t have the patience or energy to try to minimize my footprint or chemical intake. I’ll just say an extra prayer of protection each night.
“Formula is the devil!”
This goes along with my trouble with breastfeeding. The first night we brought Cordie home we ended up giving her a bit of formula – and instantly felt we had failed as parents. Bullshit. Now six weeks later I’ve eased up on myself. If I need to go run an errand and whoever is at home baby-sitting for me has to give her a couple ounces while I’m gone – fine. My baby will not become obese by a few ounces of formula – or if that’s the only thing I could give her she would be fine.
And now here we are at the 3 month mark!
As you can see, me sitting down to write has not happened much since I began this post. But it’s nice to look over what I wrote and I’m happy to post it as well. Those first 6 weeks were really tough. At 3 months Eric and I feel like we are getting into a groove of our new normal. Cordelia (lately) has been going to bed between 7 and 8pm. She wakes at about 4am to feed, then sleeps until about 8am. I could not be happier.
I also now feel like I can play with her and she interacts with me. I love my days at home with her (something I never thought I would say!). This has been a gradual thing for me to love. Fortunately, the day before Mother’s Day I came home from a long day of workshops/meetings for The Fringe Festival and held Cordie in my arms and something clicked. Like the stories you hear from moms who hold their baby for the first time and instantly fall in love and know their lives will be forever changed and they could never imagine life without their little one…. ya, that happened to me. 12 weeks (to the day) after beginning my contractions with her. I am not ashamed to admit it. I hear other moms took some time falling in love with their babies, but you never seem to see it mentioned in our more public society.
I hope to write more soon. And I look forward to writing about the last improv show I did and prepping to do Dear Hollywood again. But goodness gracious, this post has taken me 6 weeks to finish and post. So here it is.