Baby Pearl is 1 month old today. I’ve unlocked a new Mother badge today of successfully graduating 3 children from newborns to infants.
In line from my previous posts mentioning peace and going with the flow, here are some things I’ve learned about the newborn stage.
Day 1 they’re sleepy little bubbies and day 2 they turn into adorable blood-sucking lampreys. I’m convinced Day 2 is responsible for a lot of new moms feeling like they need to supplement with formula because they’re “not making enough.” But having gone through this twice before Pearl, I knew to expect it. I also knew to expect a clusterfuck….scuse me, clusterFEED session sometime in weeks 2-3 and not get frustrated about my prisoner status.
Specific to me, I’ve also learned that I create babies with lip and tongue ties for funsies (let my DNA tell the story) and to expect painful breastfeeding, excruciating even, until I could get the baby to the pediatric dentist an hour’s drive away to water-laser those shits to hell for the bargain non-reimbursable by insurance $830. Hopefully you felt the dripping venom of sarcasm in that sentence.
I now know to expect to be on house arrest, save for doctor appointments, for the first 2 months. Yes I know many moms who have their new limited-edition babycakes out among people, the world, and various microbes at 5 days old but I am not that mom. So I cautiously invite visitors and indulge in the best of Planet Earth and Beachfront Bargain episodes, organize my planner, and eat.
I know to expect RAVENOUS breastfeeding hunger. I never ate much before I became a mother. I ate more but not much when pregnant due to nausea. But breastfeeding hunger, gotdamn. I’m trying not to be a complete fat-ass this time and am avoiding my beloved jumbo blueberry muffins in favor of mini-pretzels, bananas, and yogurt. That’s about as healthy as it’s gonna get but I already see a difference in my weight loss (weight gain with Ruby and Jade). I hate a Healthy Snack and life is too short to suffer through celery sticks dipped in hummus. I’ll be gotdamned.
I’ve learned to not fear swaddling. If it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work and I’ll find another way. What is currently working for us is I nurse Pearl at night, when she’s finished and in a milk coma I swaddle her and put her in the crib. I used to try swaddling after a diaper change and before nursing when the baby would be yelling all sorts of wee little expletives and throwing wee little rap hands, making swaddling a nightmare that they would bust out of. Pearl doesn’t even wake up when I’m tilting her and tucking swaddle folds hither and thither. I feel very smug in Mom Righteousness right now.
I’ve learned not to fear pumping at home. I started at 2 weeks, just once a day (I hope to build a grand stash of 100+ oz like I was able to do with Jade). I plan to introduce the bottle today. I used to stress about timing when to pump, is the baby going to wake up and starve?!?! Now, I pump during a morning nap and if she wakes up, she’s just gonna have to be and stay mad about the lack of milk for a while. She’ll be aight. Ain’t nobody tell your little ass to wake up this fast.
Finally, I’ve learned that the Newborn stage really doesn’t last forever. It took 3 kids for me to truly realize this because I was trying not to curse out everyone who said that very thing all of the time. But this time I really feel the sands of time in the hourglass. Though the intensity of the sleep deprivation, adjusting milk supply, wondering why does this baby cry SO DAMN LOUD, don’t last….the hilarious baby coos, and perching them high on your shoulder with them in the fetal position…won’t last either.
So go with the flow, this too shall pass….but seriously take lots of photos and jot down memories in your Notes app or on an actual notepad. You’ll be glad you did because I’ve learned the things you think you’ll remember, you just may not.