THIS Is What I Thought It Would Be Like

{ Wednesday, September 30, 2009 }
I've had a post written for some time describing our experience at the hospital after having the bean, but I never published it because it seemed like just a bunch of complaining. Suffice it to say that we were very anxious to get away from the hospital and get home after our two day stay. I was under strict orders from our midwife to go home and do nothing but care for the bean for the next two weeks. The boy had taken that time off from work and we were looking forward to getting to know the newest member of our family. I had expected that the three of us would crawl into bed and stay in our pajamas. I'd feed the bean, the three of us would nap, the boy and I would take turns changing diapers and we'd squeeze in some gazing into each other's eyes here and there. The reality? Well, all I remember is the screaming. I fed the bean all. the. time. and when I wasn't feeding her, she was crying. I couldn't feed her lying down and I couldn't sit up in the bed thanks to my broken tailbone. I took the bean out of the bedroom to feed her and the boy ran around trying to take care of our animals, bring me food and water, and attempt to calm a screaming baby when I finally unlatched her to go to the bathroom or close my eyes for 10 minutes at 3am. It was not the peaceful time I had imagined it to be. The boy assures me (and there's photographic evidence to confirm) that the bean did, in fact, spend some time sleeping and interacting with us during that time. Looking at those pictures is like looking at my belly pictures the day before I delivered--I refuse to believe I was ever that big. And I refuse to believe that the bean ever stopped crying those first two weeks.

At my two week checkup, my midwife advised me that life with a new baby gets significantly easier after the first two weeks, after six weeks, and again after three months. Some of you even told me things would get easier at three months and its not that I didn't believe it, not exactly. I just didn't want to get my hopes up. Well, I'm here to say that you were right. I can't believe how far we've come from those first two weeks. We're napping consistently during the day and . . . dare I say it? We have something that looks almost like a schedule. NOW we can lay in bed and coo and giggle at each other, take a long nap and the bean will actually eat a meal and stop for some time before eating some more.

Shortly after the bean was born, I mourned that the days of the boy and I curling up on the couch on a Saturday afternoon to watch a movie were gone forever. Well, last Saturday the bean took a long nap and the boy and I did just that. It was heaven. I love, love, love spending time with the bean and "talking" to her and making her laugh, but those long days when she wouldn't close her eyes for more than a few minutes at a time were really, really tiring. We are all in such better spirits when she gets a little rest during the day.

I can't say whether this change is because the bean is older and decided to nap better or if its because we are getting better at taking care of her, but I suspect its a little of each. Every time we realize something new (oh look, when her eyes get glassy, that means she's tired!) I feel so badly for our little bean that she's had to suffer with such amateur parenting. We don't even need to mention how long after her birth it was before one of us said, "Do you think we should check if her diaper is dirty?" OK, I admit it, it was not me that said that. Were it up to me, the poor thing would have gone much longer without a clean diaper. I was a bit preoccupied with trying to figure out where the truck went that ran me over and oh yeah, working out everything that goes along with having another human being attached to my breast nonstop. But I digress. We're getting more comfortable with this whole parenting thing and she seems to be forgiving us our mistakes and adjusting right along with us.

I know its a cliche, but its truly amazing how quickly this time passes. When I look at the pictures from the bean's first few days and think about how different she is now, its amazing. I'm trying so hard to remember how quickly this time goes and to savor every moment. Before we know it, we'll be wondering where this first year went (and laughing at how inept we were)!


Jess said...

Yay for things getting easier. :)

Good to see you posting again!

Happy 3 months, pretty little bean!

Strawberry said...

Even when you know it's going to be hard, you never know quite how hard until you live it. And now that you're past the hardest part, it just keeps getting better and better. The view from 5 months is LOT more fun than anything that came before :)
She's just precious- so glad you're all doing better now.

Dani and Tonka said...

ahh i love that pic and think its awesome that you are taking pics like that. i wish we did!

Val said...

great post... and looks like you'll be in bowling form in no time!! :) I mean, JR will be able to join us! :)

nutella said...

You have put into words exactly how I felt about our first 3 months. And as Strawberry says, it keeps getting better. Not sure how you are healing, but 3 months is when I finally felt like myself again in regards to my nerve damage.

And the bean is beautiful!