Well, Kenneth turned one month old yesterday! It’s hard to believe – it feels like we just brought him home from the hospital. I remember, a couple of days after he was born, thinking back to a few nights before that when his daddy and I had been watching The Walking Dead every night and how it felt like that was a different life. Things are starting to feel ‘normal’ now, and this is starting to feel like my ‘real’ life. It’s hard to remember life before Baby Kenneth – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my old schedule (i.e., no schedule, and unlimited sleep!). But I think I’ve definitely got the better part of this deal. Yes, things are totally different now, and (almost) every second of every day revolves around this little life we’ve created. The truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t know what I’d do without him, and can’t imagine life before him.
There’s this thing about parenthood that I’ve discovered – which also holds true for marriage. People tell you congratulations when they learn you are expecting, they smile like they’re so happy for you, they give you words of wisdom and try to tell you what it might be like. But it’s one of those things that you can’t possibly understand until you’ve done it. And behind the smiles of the well-wishers is all of the knowledge they won’t be able to impart upon you. The things you just have to figure out for yourself.
Things no one tells you about parenthood:
You will change consecutive diapers. It will feel like a waste of money when you hear those velcro tabs sealing followed immediately by a sound indicating a 4- or 5-wipe job. It’s not a waste of money. Consider the alternative, and thank God that you got the diaper on in time.
A shower becomes a token gesture. Please, continue to shower every day for your own sanity, and so that others in your household don’t judge you. But accept the fact that many times, you will barely have dried off before you are covered, again, in poop or pee or breastmilk, or a combination of the three.
God invented the breast pump for a reason. So mommies can have 15 minutes in which no one expects anything else from her. So that hubbies can let their wives get a 4-hour stretch of sleep. And so that said wives can enjoy an alcoholic beverage on football Sunday. Cause let’s face it – after 9 months of watching every substance that passes through your lips, you’ve earned it, mama!
On the subject of bottles – you will feel guilty when you see your hubby put the ‘artificial’ nipple to your babe’s lips. Simply recall the hours you spend each day with your darling at your breast – or even better, in the middle of the night! That should nip that guilt right in the bud. Also, you may feel something else unpleasant, and it may take you a moment to realize that it’s jealousy. Yes, your child will willingly take his nourishment from something other than you. Yes, your feelings might be a little hurt. That will disappear the next time he falls asleep while you’re nursing him. Nothing will ever replace you as his mama.
On the subject of sleep – you will discover that you need much less sleep than you thought. There are parents who will brag about how their 5-week-old baby is sleeping 7 hours a night. Don’t expect to be one of them. Don’t expect to get more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time. But know that you were made for this, and that when your baby is up for 3 or 4 hours in the middle of the night, you will find the strength within you to push through. And no one wants to tell you that you might briefly resent your baby for this. Don’t worry, that’s normal, too. It will pass.
Also in regards to sleep – no one tells you that for every night that it seems like someone stole your angel baby from his bassinet and replaced him with a demon child, there will be a night that’s almost magical. You’ll wake right as you hear your baby start to stir, take him in your arms, and nurse him until he passes out, drunk off your milk. And you will follow suit – drunk off of baby love. Everything will happen just how it’s meant to, and you’ll feel like the best mommy in the world (and yes – you are!).
There will be times, when your milk lets down just before he tells you he’s hungry, or when he’s laying on your chest and he matches you breath for breath, sigh for sigh, that you feel more ‘one’ with your baby than when he was in your body. Everything will feel ‘right,’ and you will know down to your core that this is what you were created to do. These are also usually the moments you are overcome with emotion. It’s okay to cry. You were part of a miracle. Drink it all in while you can – you’ll never get these moments back.
In celebration of Kenneth’s one month birthday (yes, I’m totally about to become that obsessed mother who thinks her kiddo is the cutest one in the world. Except, mine actually is! :P) :
AND in celebration of mommy – cause I worked hard to make this baby, and I’m damn proud of my body for the way it took it like a champ!
Not bad, if I do say so myself! And that’s with zero exercise – unless you count breastfeeding (’cause let’s be real, sometimes it feels like a workout). If I didn’t have a blood clot the size of Texas in my leg, I’d say my body handles pregnancy pretty darn well. Who’s ready for round 2!? 😛