My new little man is here, and he’s all of 6 days old. These 6 days have gone quickly and yet very, very slowly at the same time. I’m assuming that’s due to lack of sleep, redundant tasks and routine, spending most of my days indoors (and in the same room), etc.
I am beginning to realize how little I knew about what life would be like with a new baby. Sure there’s the lack of sleep (to be expected), the dirty diapers (of course), the occasional crying (though that’s pretty limited with our little guy to date)… But on the whole, it’s a whole new world that was hard to imagine.
Breastfeeding is harder than expected. It’s painful, it’s stressful, and it’s a TON of responsibility. There’s the debate between “feeding on demand” versus “scheduled feedings,” and we’re still trying to figure out which works best for us. I’ve been feeding on demand, but scheduling certainly has it’s appeal. Then again, my little man has gained nearly a pound since he was discharged from the hospital after birth, so feeding on demand has obviously been working well so far. I’ve toyed with the idea of switching to just pumping and bottle feeding the breast milk rather than him being constantly attached to me – allowing someone else to watch him and feed him when needed so I can get out for a little bit. I’ve been reaching out for opinions from doctors and other moms as to their preferred methods, and I welcome feedback on here too.
My mom has been here with us since he’s been born, and she’s been instrumental in helping us to get things done that otherwise would fall through the cracks: laundry, cooking, watching the baby so I can nap, changing diapers, etc. So now imagining what life will look like when she goes back home has me a bit anxious. My husband has been home all week, but he goes back to work on Monday. And my Mom leaves next Saturday. And then, on Monday, May 13th, I’m on my own. How do I get things done on my own? I’m nervous to leave the room when my little man is sleeping, even to do laundry, make lunch, empty the dishwasher, etc. Not to mention “sleep when he sleeps” – that just blows my mind! Sleep when he sleeps with no one else to make sure he’s ok?? Not to mention the fact that I’m a social person who enjoys being around other people, will I be lonely? I had no idea the anxiety that came along with being a new mom.
I also have no idea what to do with a baby that isn’t asleep or feeding. Those times when he’s just hanging out.. I sit there and wonder “now what do I do with you?” Bigger kids play and entertain themselves. Babies? Not so much. So, what do we do all day? I never thought about it. I don’t want to take him places where he could end up catching something, but I don’t want to stay cooped up in my house every second of the day either. So what do we do? Plus, he’s not exactly on any predictable schedule yet (ie: two naps a day, specific feeding times, etc.), so taking him out seems like a challenge.
I also had NO IDEA how much I could absolutely love another human being this much, and want nothing but happiness, safety, joy, love and the best for him. His face melts my heart in an instant, and it’s that emotion that I think brings on the anxiety that I feel at times. Anxiety that I need to do everything right, about what the future holds for him (and us), about making sure I do my very best for him at all times. It’s a lot of pressure to put on myself, but when I look at him and I feel that strong, immeasurable, uncontrollable love for him, I can’t help myself from feeling anxious. I’ve reached out to friends about this as well for some words of advice and wisdom in dealing with these feelings.
Six days. A whole new world in six short days. A world made so much more meaningful, amazing, challenging, but beautiful all because of one sweet little face.
Thanks to fellow blogger Jen for the amazing picture of our little guy.