Life’s Good


hands

I’ve been looking over my posts from the beginning. Most of them were written during what I refer to as “the dark days” of the first couple of months.

Nine months later, I can actually look back at them and smile. Relief floods over me as I thank God it got better. I remember thinking it never would. I felt like the sleepless nights and evenings of non-stop crying would last forever. Wow, how times have changed.

Today life’s full of giggles and play, strolls and messy meals, stories and songs, and lots of hugs and cuddles. What I’m trying to say is: it gets SO SO SO much better and fun. Once you have a routine set and get to know your little one’s needs, life becomes a little simpler.

The “dark days” seem like they weren’t so dark. And believe it or not, I’m already pining for another little baby. I want my family to grow even more. I’m forgetting how exhausting the first couple of months were, and instead, remember how easily Jacob fit into the crook of my arm and how he nestled his little head into my neck. At nine months, he’s already squirming out of my arms. Since he’s started crawling, he wants to break free from mummy’s grip and explore his world.

Every day I wonder what type of boy he’ll become. What kind of man he’ll grow into. I love watching him watch things. We have some potted plants on a wall shelf in the kitchen, and while he sits in his highchair as I feed him, he gazes at these plants with wonder. I forget sometimes that he’s seeing most things for the very first time. He’s so curious about everything. I’ve let him feel the leaves with his little fingers. At first he’s cautious and gentle, and then, he yanks a leaf off with fierceness so he can bring it where? To his mouth of course!

He’s becoming more aware of Pepper our cat and Chester our dog. They used to carefully sniff him when they could, and now that he’s crawling, they’re darting out of his way because they know he’ll be after their wagging tails. Right now, Jacob likes Pepper more. I think it’s because Pepper’s more his size whereas Chester towers over him. It melts my heart how close their all becoming. Jacob looks at them as toys right now, but as he gets older, he’ll love them like we do. The pets already love Jacob. I can see it when Pepper meows as he walks over to Jacob, purrs, and rubs his head over Jacob’s feet. And Chester will clumsily saunter over to Jacob on the exersaucer and stick his wet nose into Jacob’s neck, taking in the baby scent that’s already beginning to fade.

I love our little family. I’m glad the “dark days” are over, and I can finally say: it was all completely worth and I’ll do it all over again.

Etiquette – On Visiting the New Mom & Baby


knockWhether it’s her first or fifth baby, a mother fresh from delivering a human into the world is sore, tired and hormonal. And the new baby is still adjusting to life on the outside. So let’s give them a little time to heal and relax.

Grandparents, Close Friends & Siblings Only Please

I was happy to have my parents, in-laws, close friends, and siblings over when I was home from the hospital. None of them cared if I hadn’t showered that day or if my house was a little messy.

For new mothers, things are so tough in those first couple of weeks. The thought of having people over is painful. Maybe she’s had a c-section and prefers her robe. Yes, most visitors would be understanding of her appearance, but that still doesn’t mean she’s comfortable with having them see her in this state.

Here are some more reasons for waiting to visit mom and baby:

  • Mom and baby are still getting used to breastfeeding, it’s easier for her to whip out a boob wherever she is in her home rather than cover up or leave the room
  • Mom’s hormonal, any little bit of stress can make her sweat enough to show puddles through eight layers of clothing and a parka, that’s embarrassing for her
  • Baby’s brand new; a lot of different hands handling them can be over stimulating, then once you leave, parents are left with a fussy baby after entertaining all day
  • Baby’s immune system is fragile, if you’re a little sniffly but feel fine, it’s still not okay for you to hold and breath all over the newborn

Now, even with all these reasons, if you still must visit then don’t expect the following:

  • A super cheerful and upbeat woman greeting the door
  • A meal to be prepared for you by candle light
  • Fresh cookies and tea to be prepared with enthusiasm
  • A guest room to be ready if you’re traveling from far away (book a hotel room!)
Apologies for Sounding Harsh

If the comments above have offended anyone I’m sorry. The point I’m trying to make is that the new parents do want to see you! They just need some time to adjust to this new life. If you have children, try to think back on those first few weeks and how hard they were. If you’re not a parent, then think about someone showing up at your place when you’ve had a party the night before and still have stuff all over the house, you’re extremely hung over, a lollipop is stuck in your hair, you have raccoon eyes and you haven’t brushed your teeth. It’s horrifying, right?

A Phone Call Is Awesome!

There’s no rule against a phone call though! If you want the new parents to know that you’re thinking about them and can’t wait to see them with their new bundle, then call them. Let them know you’re excited to see them so you’d love a phone call from them when they’re ready for visitors. They’d appreciate that MUCH more than a super early visit.

Anyone have horror stories you’d like to share about early visitors? Or maybe you’d like to rant about it here. Leave a reply! 

From Pampered to Sleep Deprived


I wish I knew more about what to expect in those first two weeks of parenthood. I went from being carefree and taking naps whenever I needed them to being up every two hours at night to feed the little angel who had a serious set of lungs to scream with.

Delusional

Becoming a mother wasn’t what I envisioned at all. I imagined pushing a little bundle in a stroller while smiling at neighbors, cuddling with a baby who was sleeping soundly in my arms, playing peek-a-boo, and looking like my slim self in pre-pregnancy jeans. I was obviously delusional.

Within half an hour of bringing Jacob home for the first time, he started crying uncontrollably… and didn’t stop for a few hours. My husband and I listed all the tips the nurses gave us at the hospital: check his temperature for fever, see if he suckles on your knuckle to ensure he’s not hungry, make sure he isn’t too hot or cold, try burping him… When all of those things were ruled out and Jacob’s voice was almost gone from screaming so loud, I broke down.

What Have I Done?

I felt like my life was ruined. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how I was going to take care of this little baby. I was tired, sore, extremely hormonal, and thinking straight was impossible. And to top this all off, I was having a hard time breastfeeding him.

I was told by the nurses that it wasn’t supposed to be excruciatingly painful. So when I saw stars every time Jacob latched on, I knew something wasn’t right. By day three, my nipples were cracked and bleeding and my left breast was engorged and fire-engine red. Great!

Hope? I Don’t Have Hope

A visit to the doctor’s office lead to a mastitis prescription. My breast was completely blocked and infected. On top of being exhausted, hormonal and sore I was now fighting a high fever…and still had Jacob to tend to. I felt like I was living a nightmare.

While waiting for my prescription to be filled, a woman saw my miserable self with Jacob sleeping beside me in his car seat. She walked up to me and softly said “I promise it gets better, honey.” I looked up at her and was fighting back tears. I said thanks, but didn’t smile or anything like I normally would. The truth is, I didn’t believe her. I really saw no light at the end of this black tunnel.

What Do You Know? There is Hope!

Once week three came around I wasn’t waking up with the same feeling of dread. I found myself excited to peek into the bassinet and see my little angel. I noticed I felt a bit more confident as I was starting to understand more about what Jacob’s cries meant. I was also observing his body language and learning that when he pulled his legs up, he was gassy, when he sucked his hand he was hungry, when he yawned he was getting tired… Once I saw his cues and gave him what he needed before he started wailing for it I felt more accomplished.

Best of all, by six weeks we were on a great schedule that had him sleeping the night! My body woke up on its own because it was used to the 5am feed, but when I realized he was still sound asleep I wiggled a little dance in my bed. It was like the heavens opened and spilled the warm sun on my body after a long cold winter.

Today Life is Wonderful

Jacob is six months old now. And when I look back on those first two weeks, I don’t miss them at all. I will never forget the panic, fear, uncertainty and exhaustion I felt. I wish I was more prepared, but really, I don’t think anything can prepare a first-time parent for those hellish weeks.

I’m glad they’re over. And with how fun life is now, I can be that woman who approaches the new mom and promise her that it does get better.