One Month Reflections

Disclaimer: Baby post. It's been awhile, so I'd thought I'd give an update on the reason why my blog posts have decreased!

Sawyer turned one-month-old yesterday and I'm torn between "ohmygod it's going so fast" and "holy crap, every day is slow and exactly the same, and I can't wait until you can play with LEGOS and go to the science museum with me" Before having him I accepted the fact that being a parent would be hard and the first six weeks would be excruciating. I don't think they've been as bad as I've thought, but here's a rundown:

Sleep, I miss you so! These days I'm lucky to get sleep in 2.5 hour blocks- a few times I've gotten three straight and it's been glorious. Sawyer has to eat every four hours at night (at first it was 2-3 when he was born, since he lost a bit of weight), although he generally can't go that long and wakes up himself. For example, he'll wake up at 3, I'll nurse him for thirty or so minutes, change his diaper, and then spend another ten or so getting him back to sleep. It was even longer, but I stopped supplementing with a bottle as much at night. I'm getting used to it, but the first week or two was brutal. Luckily he doesn't wake up cranky- there's very little to no crying at night, just big wide-open eyes.

I don't want to get too into it, but breastfeeding is hard. I've had some trouble in terms of producing enough, meaning I've had to give him a little formula (which I'm totally okay with) and have had to throw in some pumping session during the day to get things moving (which has worked some). I generally spend about seven or eight hours on feeding-related activities a day. The mental burden has been the worst part- if things had worked easily it would have been better, but I'm trying to go with it. Four weeks in things have gotten better, but I look forward to the day where I can hopefully cut the supplementing and extra pumping out. I'd like to commit to breastfeeding until he's six or eight months, but we'll see. All I know is that if someone else says "breast is best" to me I might punch them in the face.

I'm not going to lie- the first two or three weeks Sawyer was a bit boring. He was sweet and cuddly and cute, but we were pretty much on the feed/eat/sleep/cry occasionally routine. In the past week he's awake a bit more and has started noticing things around him a little bit, specifically the mobile attached to the bouncer he hangs out in every morning while I tend to the dogs and eat breakfast. He's not smiling on purpose quite yet, but he is starting to make sweet little cooing noises and does show his feisty side by arching his back and giving an occasional frustrated old-man grunt. He sighs after his sneezes and screams bloody murder during his baths. He loves the Metallica lullaby CD and once sat, awake, through me reading six books to him. He has potential. And I have to say, I have probably never kissed anyone as much as I have this little guy's chubby cheeks.

I worry about everything anyway and did a damn good job staying calm during my pregnancy. I'm trying to channel that calm, though, when it comes to not freaking out about the crazy sounds newborns make while breathing at night. Or when he screams himself hoarse and sounds like he smokes two packs a day (this is happening right now, actually). I'm trying not to think about sending him to daycare and the provider not knowing what he likes and needs. I try to not weight him every day after he lost almost a pound the first few days after birth. Luckily our pediatrician is amazing and as long as the kid is eating, pooping, and breathing he's probably fine. 

The Dogs
I have yet to experience "mommy-guilt," but do very much feel bad for the dogs. They were used to at least six solid walks a week and are now down to four or five. They have yet to go in the pool (I'm seriously considering telling some of my students that they can come use my pool if they'll take my dogs in it with them... and dry them off)  and seem to be generally pretty bored. I know I'm projecting, as dogs are generally pretty lazy creatures during the summer, but still. I try to pay attention to them as much as possible, even if it's for just a quick belly rub, but it is something I feel bad about.

I really miss work. I hate the fact that my seniors are starting their last week and I'm not there. I hate the fact that someone else is running my class. I hate the fact that my friends are there and I am not. 

Mental Health
I am incredibly thankful that I didn't have to deal with post-partum depression, which I was a little bit worried about since I do have some of the risk factors. I did have a few moments that involved tears, "why did I do this?" and "my life is going to suck for the next few years!" thoughts, and copious amounts of cookies. This was primarily in week two, though, after the novelty of the new toy had worn off and exhaustion had set in (I'm sure there are some hormonal factors as well). My husband was wonderful- he listened, took the baby so I could get stuff done and nap, and bought more cookies. While I still do have moments of frustration, I'm in a good place and think I'm handling things well now! 

Post-Partum Weight and Whatnot
First of all, labor and delivery is disgusting. The things that your body goes through is just... ugh. Gross. Luckily, a lot of that nastiness leads to weight loss! Hurray! I gained almost thirty-five pounds and was down twelve by the time I got home. Within two weeks I had lost twenty and I'm now down somewhere around twenty-five. Things are definitely a little mushier, but I can get on some of my old jeans and for that I am happy. I know these last ten are going to have to be earned, but this side of it has been a lot easier than I thought, and I'm thinking that staying active up until the day before I delivered was part of it (in my expert opinion, of course). I am very, very antsy to being more active, though. I see the doctor for my six-week check up soon and will begin running once she says okay (I'm sure I could now, but since it's been so long since I've really trained I want to make sure I'm completely ready). And hopefully I can squeeze in a yoga class here or there! This has been really hard on me- I feel like I was more active at nine months pregnant than I am now. I know patience is key right now...

Other Adjustments
Not doing things is not an option for me, so I've had to re-prioritize what gets done when. In terms of getting out of the house I've made an effort in the last week or two to get out more alone with the baby and we've both survived. I bought a Baby Ergo, which he loves. The only problem is that we both get kind of warm and with summer coming I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of it. And yes, I totally have fantasies about strapping him on and doing some serious walking on the treadmill...  

So, in a nutshell: this has been hard, but not as hard as I thought, my baby is slightly less boring than he was before, and I need exercise or I might shoot myself. 

Moms! When did your baby start sleeping in longer chunks or through the night?

Non-Moms! What cocktail are you drinking on my behalf?


  1. Baby post! Fantastic. He is so cute! At least that half of him :P
    I love reading all these things although I don't have a baby. And won't for at least another four years.
    Anyway, cocktail: I'm kind of boring and like mocktails. But the one cocktail I love is called a Death by Chocolate (predictably): vodka, nachtmusik, amarula and ice cream. And chocolate sauce!

  2. My daughter is almost 4 and STILL screams when she gets a bath (just the washing hair part). Some things get easier and some things are still hard - but it's all so worth it. The sleep thing for me was the worst, and by the time I went back to work at 12 weeks, my daughter was sleeping through the night for the most part. And it was glorious and any time I lose sleep since that time I don't know how the hell I lived on such little sleep for so long.

  3. I'm no help because my daughter slept really well until 6 weeks (3-4+ hour chunks) and then it all went to hell. She is just now sleeping through the night at 11 months.

    Sounds like you're doing great. Don't let the 'breast is best' get you down. Feeding your baby is what's best regardless of where it comes from.

  4. Love the honesty of this post -- sometimes people really make it sound either 1. all sunshine & roses or 2. completely & utterly awful at the beginning, so it's nice to hear that somewhere in the middle is probably a lot more common that the average person who doesn't have kids yet hears about. I'll have to have a glass of wine on your behalf tonight!

  5. I'll keep drinking enough vodka tonics for both of us ;)

  6. Oh the joys of motherhood. You are doing a great job so far. You seem cool and collected (even when you think you're not) and that's the goal of mommyhood. LOOK cool and collected. lol. As for the sleep thing, Joaquin didn't sleep through the night until 9 months. He ate 1-2 times a night until then. We did sleep training after that because I was going bonkers. I do swear by his sound and projector machine. It helps him fall asleep pretty quickly!

  7. You're doing wonderful! Your attitude is so refreshing. Keep doing what works for you and don't worry to much about the other things-and try getting out of the hour as much as you can if the weather is good. As for sleeping- all babies are different-my son was at 6 weeks, my daughter not till 6 months. Enjoy him as much as you can.

  8. Breastfeeding IS hard! Everyone acts like it's so natural and just "happens", but it's actually a lot of work. And a huge commitment. My little guy is 3 months and it sounds like I've had similar issues as you. Has your doctor/OB recommended or suggested motilium (domperidone) to increase your breastmilk supply? This medication has probably saved my breastfeeding life! A lot of my friends have had to take it to make breastfeeding really work. It also makes pumping a little bit easier because, more milk!

    I have no advice on the sleep thing - some nights are great, some he's awake more often, but we are co-sleeping, so I'm not feeling the tiredness so badly. From what I've been told by numerous moms is every baby is different and babies make their own rules! And just when you think you've got them figured out or on some kind of schedule, they go and change things on you! And then there's the whole teething thing…

    Getting out gets easier with each trip out! I was so nervous in that first month. Shopping with a baby still is like shopping with a ticking time bomb - and babies don't give you much warning! You might want to invest in a wrap for baby wearing - mine has been a lifesaver! He still gets hot in it (my guy is like a little furnace though), but it's way more comfortable than my ergo.

    Above all, everyday is a learning curve! Just enjoy every moment, it goes so fast!!

  9. The fact that you can put a post together, packed withe information, shows that you've got your shit together Christine and doing a TOP job.

    Agree with Brie, breastfeeding is very, very hard. Always told friends expecting their first baby, "Breastfeeding is going to make you cry at some point. Accept that now and it'll be okay when it happens." Two of my kids fed like a dream (until they were 10-12 months), my first was breast and bottle fed (because of post-delivery issues for me) and the second baby fed for only 2 or 3 months before I realised that he was starving all of the time and needed more than I could give. I had people (inc strangers) offering opinions on all of those situations. And I cried. Tell people that if they'd like to takeover, they're welcome. Usually shuts them up. Failing that, punch them in the face.

    Sleep - the 12 week mark is your friend. Things magically shift around that time and you get a bit of a regular routine, babies sought out their nights from their days and sleeps do get a little longer. It is linked somewhat to feeding and I do remember an (idiotic) nurse telling me to wake my first baby up to get in an extra feed so that he'd put on more weight. It was a DISASTER and went against my instinct. It also didn't work (I can tell you why if you want the boring details). The bottom line is: trust your instinct and happy mother = happy baby.

  10. I'll have another Blue Moon on your behalf :)