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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Month One

So you will notice I am posting this a mere day before your 2 month birthday, but as God as my witness, I simply could not pull it together until only recently...I really hope this is not indicative as my future performance as a mother.

The first month came and went while I blinked my eye. You arrived in a whirlwind of emergency hospital/medical craziness, A WEEK LATE! And I really hope that was not indicative of your future punctuality (like your father, who, let's face it, could not be on time to his own much so that he took his sweet ass time getting to your birth for the love of God).

Because you wouldn't come out short of the doctor slicing me open and forcibly taking you out, I was very sore for the first 3 weeks of your first month. As a consequence, I now can justify why I couldn't pull it together for the first month, so really it was a win-win (or not).

That aside, you have been the joy of my life since the moment you arrived. True, I did think you were a boy, and did not believe your father when he told me you were beautiful, a beautiful girl...twice. But once the doctor assured me that you were, in fact, a girl...I could not have imagined having any other child but you. Your father and I think you were just waiting up in heaven for us. You were meant to be ours. And after living with you for a month, I am sure of it. You look so much like us (more like me at this point, but honestly looking more like your dad every day).

There was not a single second in this first month that you caused me the least frustration or grief. Exhaustion, yes. But not an ounce of anything other than pure joy. I just can't believe you are here, that you are real. We have been waiting forever for you! Dad likes to tell you he has dreamed of you his whole life. But honestly, I am thinking Dad probably didn't give you too much thought before he turned 30...but let's not knit pick.

You were so tiny in the Hospital, we brought you home at 6 lbs, 10 oz. But by the month's end, you were up to 9 lbs 4 oz. This is probably because you eat every hour and a half. Basically, if I had one word to sum up the first month of your life, it would be "BREASTFEEDING". It is really all I do, and it is taxing. But I don't mind. Really I don't.

After you were born, we stayed in the Hospital for 5 days. Daddy stayed with us the whole time. He slept on what I believe to be the Hospital's way of having men go through a token amount of pain to appreciate what their wives have done to give them a child. It was the most uncomfortable looking pull out chair/bed contraption I have ever seen. Poor Dad. But before we get too sympathetic for Dad, may I remind you that Dad does not have to get up in the middle of the night to feed you every hour and a half in light of the breastfeeding, and truth be told, most of the time he sleeps right through the commotion. So yeah, he comes out ahead.

While Dad slept on the pull out chair/bed/torture device, I stayed awake and held you all night and day. I stayed up for almost a week straightsimply because I couldn't bear to put you down. I didn't want you out of my sight, and wouldn't let the nurses take you unless the doctor needed to see you. So I stayed awake and held you all night (since it was dangerous to sleep with you in my bed). I would have kept it up too, except Dad ratted me out to your doctor who insisted I not do that, and Dad put his foot down and made me give up and put you in the bassinett. So if you later discover in therapy that you were traumatized by being wrenched from my belly and then from my arms-blame your father for that one (not everything will be my fault.) After that, you slept with us sometimes (when you wouldn't stay in the bassinett) and sometimes you slept directly next to the bed in the bassinett (where I obsessively listened to every single noise/grunt you made all night).

You were born on a Monday. We got home on a Friday afternoon, and the whole neighborhood came out to see you. It was crazy! And sweet. They literrally all came out of their houses like they had been waiting for us all damn day. There were also signs welcoming us home and a huge stork that Grammy got to announce your birth to the world. Once we got you inside(after about 25 minutes of the neighbors ooohing and aahhhing while dad asked everyone if they wanted to hold you and I burned fire from my eyes warning them not to take him up on the offer or suffer my wrath), I started to cry. I think it was just so emotional for me. I was in pain, and felt so overwhelmed at having to take care of you all by myself (without the nurses!).

But it only lasted a minute or two, and then Meme and Grammy and Papa Ooch came over. And that began the march of a thousand visitors. We had company non stop! Dad took 2 weeks off from work, and we just entertained the whole time. Everyone who saw you fell in love with you. Especially your grandparents. (Zaydi flew down from Boston just for the day to see you!).

Then the vistors died down and Dad went back to work. And I struggled for the next two weeks. In fact, this first month was very hard for me. I couldn't get my footing with you at all. I had no idea what I was doing, and didn't feel well on top of it. I cried alot...for no reason other than the hormones. Dad was worried, I could see it in his eyes. But I was fine, just a little emotional. Each day was hard, and it never seemed to get any never really got into a routine at all. And neither did I. I needed your Meme to come over almost every day to help out. Which is a testament to how much I loved you, because although she is your meme, she is my mother, and therefore uber annoying at almost all times to me (although I love her like crazy...see previous post). She did all your laundry, and she brought over meals and cleaned the house and even helped me shower. Someday I will repay the favor when you have your own children (who I hope come out of their own volition, UNLIKE you).

Three days after you came home, you spit up. You had never done that before and given the force with which you projected the spit up, I freaked out. And the next morning, after you had spit up what I believed to be most of what you were eating, I called the doctor. Once we got there, the doctor explained to me that it was normal: Babies spit up. Happens all the time.


I took you to the doctor three days after you came home because you spit up. Yes, I have a post graduate degree, why do you ask?

At about two weeks old, you developed baby acne. To my credit, this time I played it cool and recognized that it was just run o' the mill baby acne. I was determined not to be the new mother who runs to the doctor every time her kid spits up...errrr...ummmm...well you get what I mean. Unfortunately, your father didn't get the memo and insisted I take you to the doctor lest you be dying of some flesh eating rash. So a week after the spit up doctor visit, I was back at the doctor. And, yes, it was just baby acne. "Totally normal Mrs. Newlywife, babies sometimes get acne." And that is why your doctor probably thinks I am a raving lune. I blame Dad.

Beside eating non stop, you grunt. I mean you grunt like a 50 year old man trying to keep up with the 20 year old lifting weights next to him at the gym. And it is constant. You never coo or make other baby noises, just the grunting. It is weird...and freaks out your grandparents. Papa Ooch and Grammy call you the Gruntster. Dad and I call you Grunty MacFarland. It is the craziest thing I have ever heard a baby do.

Can you guess what I did about the grunting? Correct. I asked the doctor about it. Can you guess what he said? Turns out "It's normal Mrs. Newlywife, some babies grunt." Yeah, I Figured, I was just checking...and I wouldn't want to break the crazy new mother paranoia streak I have going. (Please note that I asked him at your scheduled checkup, and was not neurotic enough to bring you down just for the grunting).

And last but not least, just as I was starting to feel better, I developed Mastitis. A breast infection...which I got from you. Meme had to come over and help with you all day. It was the only day this month that I let someone else hold you outside of my presence. The only day I let you leave my sight. And only because I was so, so, so sick. But let's not even talk about it, I don't like to remember that part. The part where you were out of my sight for an hour when I napped.

This first month was hard. And I measured success every day by a single standard: were you still alive at the end of the day. God, this month was hard, and lonely, and emotional. Not to mention, I felt crappy from the c-section. But I loved every single minute of it...really, I did.

Which I think is the most surprising thing of all. People used to tell your father and I that parenthood would kick our asses (it is totally kicking our asses by the way). And then they would always follow that up with how great it is, how much we would love it (Which we do. We totally love it). I never understood how people could tell you how hard, brutally tiring and difficult something is while simultaneously grinning and saying it is the greatest and most fun thing you will ever do. The two things seem mutually exclusive.

I get it now though. You are simultaneously the hardest and most fun thing I have ever done.

This first month was hard. I cried alot. I was in serious pain. I don't think I slept for more than 3 hours total a day, and I was never so unsure of myself or my abilities.

So yeah, if I had to call it, this first month was hands down the greatest month of my life. Thank you so much, my beautiful baby girl.




Blogger Amy said...

would you please stop making me cry!! I love this. Katie will love this, too, someday (and yes, more than Dad loved the blog when he was first 'given' it). You will have months like this one again, but in completely new ways. Your heart will break with joy and sorrow in simultaneous moments again and again during her lifetime. But you are right, it is the greatest thing that could ever happen to a person.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow! I think you nailed motherhood right on the head :) Sometimes it will be better, sometimes worse, but you'll only ever remember the good stuff. Although, since you mentioned it, I had 2 breast infections back-to-back with my first kiddo and the doctor told me to just keep nursing...yeah, right!!! So glad you're doing better :)

1:20 PM  

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