Nathan is now three weeks old. These past three weeks have been interesting – both wonderful and stressful. I can’t believe it’s only been three weeks since I gave birth. I also can’t believe he’s already three weeks old. Time has definitely done a strange thing – my nights are no longer spent sleeping and my days are broken up into time spent feeding and not feeding my little love.
Life with a newborn is hard. It’s not that I expected it to be easy, I mean I did read a little about babies before going into this (funny though, I read wayyyy more about pregnancy and birth than I did about actually raising a human being), but there were definitely a number of things I underestimated going into this. Such as:
How little sleep I’d get.
You hear it all the time, how sleep deprived new parents are, and I always thought, ‘don’t newborns sleep, like, all the time?’. And ya, they do – like up to 18 hours a day – but that sleep is in two or three hour spurts. Which means I haven’t had more than three consecutive hours of sleep in three weeks. That’s really hard to adjust to!! Though I must admit (and Danny makes fun of me for this) sometimes I don’t sleep when Nathan’s sleeping because I’m too busy staring at him. He just makes the cutest faces in his sleep! Little smiles and angry faces and confused faces. So yes, I watch my child sleep when I should be sleeping.
I feel like things are on the up and up on this front though. He’s been sleeping longer through the night and my need to check if he’s breathing is subsiding. Which leads me to….
How much anxiety I would feel.
This one caught me a little off guard. The second day we brought him home I peeked into his bassinet to find him back arched, body rigid, and purple. Mucus was coming out of his nose and mouth. It was the most terrifying feeling and just thinking about it makes me cry. He was OK, but holy shit, my nerves could not handle it. Then just last week something similar happened, he was choking on breastmilk and turned purple. I was inconsolable the rest of the day. It’s episodes like these which cause me to worry.
I have never felt so much worry.
I know what I need to do here. I need to get back to my yoga, meditation, and get outside! I’ve been a bit cooped up in the house, which is never a good thing. Here is a picture of us before we went out on an adventure today. We plan to go out again tomorrow too!
I also have been getting back to my meditation practice, which is huge for calming the nerves. Lucky for me a new Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21 Day Meditation Challenge started yesterday and I’m happy to say that I am two for two! My meditations suck right now as I’m having a hard time quieting my mind, but just taking time to sit quietly and breathe has been really good for me.
How much I would cry.
I blame this on points one and two and on a whole lot of crazy hormones. I have never been so weepy in my life! That first week – around day 4 or so – just looking at him would bring me to tears. The love I feel is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and some days I just want to burst. And I do. I become a blubbery mess over how much I love my baby boy. And sometimes it’s because of the next point.
How challenging breastfeeding would be.
I had been prepared for this one. I had read it could be very painful and all that. And for me, 80% of the time there isn’t any pain (and really, it shouldn’t be painful at all – that’s what lactation consultants are for), but oh man that 20% – let me just say I now understand the saying ‘chomping at the bit’. When there’s a bad latch and it’s 4 am and I’m exhausted and he’s been up every hour and a half to feed because he’s going through yet another growth spurt it’s frustrating and painful and it makes me want to cry. Luckily, this doesn’t happen every night. Besides, as exhausting as it is to be up every three hours, I have to say, he wakes me up in the most adorable way. He doesn’t really cry at night, he just grunts. It’s so freaking cute. I imagine he’s saying ‘ma, ma, ma, I’m hungry ma’.
How much help I’d need.
Danny was off work for the first two weeks, which was really wonderful and when he went back to work my parents came up to help out. I am so grateful to have them here helping out. How do women manage alone!? Nathan doesn’t sleep in his bassinet (which apparently is very common for newborns) and being able to hand him over to my mom so that I can catch a few hours (or an hour) of shut eye, shower, or just take a moment to myself has been HUGE. Not to mention, the other day I was feeding him in the nursery and my mom came in with freshly baked cookies and a cup of tea for me. How spoiled am I!? Also, I think they’re enjoying spending time with their first grandchild 🙂
So ya, life with a newborn is not easy. But I’m also so happy. And we’re all adjusting here to this new life. I know that with a bit of time we’ll get the hang of it. I’m just trying to enjoy and this stage as much as I can – even if I am sleep deprived and weepy – because I know it won’t last long.