Hello there! Were officially one month...well, 5 weeks...post delivery of our leaky creature. I can honestly say, the past 5 weeks have been the most challenging I've ever experienced. Taking care of a newborn is mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. And cute...
Labor, delivery and learning the baby care ropes, have given me an entirely new perspective on mothers. They are some bad ass bitches.
This first month has been full of a lot of surprises and a huge learning curve. Biology kicks in when it comes to the basics...but everything else is like taking a crash course in underwater basket weaving, that is being taught in Mandarin, while a screaming human wails in your ear to hurry the F up.
What has been the most challenging part of the first month?
I have a lot to say about breastfeeding. Enough for it's own post...which I'm sure only 5 people will read, because well...it's breastfeeding. But it has been an experience that should be shared. If not for the release...for the support. More on that later.
I've said it before and I'll say it again...this has been the hardest part of the first month. Not just the act of breastfeeding...but everything that goes along with it. The supposed bonding, pumping, oversupply, strong let down, milk messes, leaking, engorgement, screaming, refusing to eat, Aria's mystery allergy, reflux, gas pain, reflux pain, wondering if I'm doing something monumentally wrong. And just for the record...breast milk stains!
I am committed to breastfeeding because it's what I want for Aria. But it is not without a mental and emotional price. I've had more breastfeeding meldowns than anything else.
Everything else is falling into place. She changes so much every single day. I feel so fortunate to be able to see her changing and growing because it happens so fast. She had her first developmental growth spurt last week. We pulled through, and after it was over she was doing things I had never seen before. She makes eye contact longer, she actually trys to reach for the animals on her hanging gym thing, she coos and she lets out a few smiles. She also grew out of all of her newborn clothes over the weekend.
We've been doing all kinds of fun things. It isn't always easy to get out of the house to do things. Who am I kidding...It's NEVER easy to get out of the house to do things. But when we get moving...even though it's after noon, it's so worth it.
We take a lot of walks.
The Baby K'Tan wrap is my favorite carrying device for Aria. It's comfortable and she love it. I reccommend everyone get one! Even if you don't have a baby. You can just put your stuff in it.
We took a trip to the pumpkin patch...
Plotting how to take over the world...after thier naps of coarse.
We run errands, take trips through Whole Foods begging for free samples, frequent the baby stores, play chess, sing songs (she is a huge Jack Johnson fan), talk politics, read books, discuss the importance of being a strong, independant woman.
She isn't really old enough to grasp what were doing yet...but it's fun to introduce her to new things. She's starting to become aware of things around her now, so it's interesting and fun to watch her look at new places and new things. Today were going to take a walk down at the beach.
This will actually be our second attempt. We tried this 2 weeks ago and she had a melt down at the start of the boardwalk...so we came home.
How am I doing? I'm doing pretty well. There are some really hard days. And there are some really unbelievable days. Even on the hardest days I'm still so thankful that our amazing little girl is here.
It has been difficult for me to get used to not having a schedule. I'm a list maker, schedule follower, task completer. I love getting things done and crossing it off my list. Not happening anymore...at least for a while. Aria calls the shots now. We do a lot of eating, sleeping, crying and playing...over and over again. The fear I had of my house being messy is now a reality. During her naps I usually have adequate time to clean the first floor (kitchen, dining room, living room). Anything upstairs is a free for all right now. Guests are not allowed upstairs. It's a safety hazzard.
I feel very guilty that I can't spend as much time with the dogs now. When I was pregnant and home on maternity leave, we did tons of fun things and we had a lot of snuggle time. Now I'm taking care of Aria all day and she isn't yet at the point where they see her as fun...so they just lay around looking sad.
I am back to working out regularly. It is very important to me that I keep a little bit of time set aside to be me and stay in touch with tami. Getting my workouts in is very tricky because I'm doing them at odd times of the day. If my mother in law stops in to see the baby, I'll dash out on a run. While my sister is getting ready for work, I'll park Aria's swing in her room and sneak a workout in. And if none of that works, my wonderful husband will come home early so that I can get a few miles in. He's either extremely understanding of my committment to fitness...or he's afraid of the beast that will arise if I can't channel my energy into some fitness.
I'm able to get in 4 days of running in and 2 days of strength training, right now. I overlap one run day and one strength day...so I'm working out 5 days a week, right now.
It is very hard to squeeze in sometimes...but it's a priority to me so I make it work.
I'm still dairy free, gluten free and soy free because of Aria's mystery allergy. I have to say though...I feel really good. It's challenging to come up with meals during the day sometimes...because I don't have much time, or I have a baby in my arms. However, because I'm eating minimal processed food, and very nutrient dense foods, I feel really great. Which is important because I haven't slept more than 2 consecutive hours in 5 weeks.
Well, I'm off to spend some time with my puppies before the lion cub awakens.