A look back… first published June 6, 2010.
Can’t believe it’s been two weeks! In trying to adjust to life as a new mom, it seems the days come and go so quickly. It’s amazing to watch our baby girl grow – each morning we’ll wake up to something new. Her big eyes capture so much more than they did just last week when it was nearly impossible to wake her up between feedings and her personality now comes through much more in an endless collection of facial expressions and squeaky sounds. She’s quite the little heartthrob and honestly, she’s hours of sheer entertainment.
So, what’s it really like as a new mom? After all the books and articles I read to prepare myself for this moment, I have to admit that many things still caught me by surprise. It’s only week two, but here are a few things I’ve learned so far.
Emotions Run Wild
I’ve never given hormones much credit. I had little to complain about before the pregnancy and apart from the occasional cravings or random tearful outbursts towards the end of the nine months, I thought I had escaped fairly unscathed. My husband was equally thankful to still recognize his wife after some of the stories he had heard, but little did he know what lay in store.
It seems the past two weeks have been a wild ride of emotions in coming down from such great heights and for an anti-drama queen it’s come as quite a shock. A few of the highlights: sobbing as we left the hospital in a mix of elation and fear, wondering if everyone would think I was headed straight for postpartum depression and snapping at my husband as if he were under interrogation for every minor offense. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Thankfully the crying has subsided and cooler minds now prevail, but I really didn’t expect to feel so unlike myself just after giving birth. Next time, best to be prepared.
Bound to the Breast
In fairness to all the material I read, the authors did warn of how time-consuming the feeding schedule would be. Every two to three hours the baby would have to eat and even at night it would take some time to stretch out feedings before returning to the notion of a good night’s sleep. Reading about it is one thing, actually doing it – well that is quite another. If like me you understood it to mean three hours of free time between feedings, better think again. It’s more like wake, feed, burp, change, lull back to sleep, decompress for an hour and start again.
I’ve also never felt more akin to livestock as I do right now, constantly having the goods tugged at for all their worth. For such a little lady she’s got a serious appetite and a pretty strong grip, but honestly, and maybe it’s just me, it pales in comparison to the suction force of the dreaded breast pump. Since I was a little behind on my quota at the start, the nurses suggested I pump to increase supply. Remember the machine they used on Wesley in The Princess Bride to literally suck the life out of him? Yes, well – same manufacturer.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m so thankful to be breastfeeding. It’s an experience I really didn’t expect to enjoy this much but it’s one I’ve come to cherish as bonding time with my baby girl. And although it was rather overwhelming at the start, I think we’ve finally begun to find our groove. Things are looking up and hopefully there will be no more pumping for a while!
More to come soon…see what I mean – time to feed again!