My brain feels like mush. I’ve thought about what I should blog about — how I should describe to the world this new change that has taken place in my life — but I can’t seem to get it right in my head, much less, in words. I feel like I’m starting to come out of this newborn fog state, but I’m still not quite there. Another couple weeks maybe? Another month? So. Instead of a coherent organized blog post about the joys & hardships of motherhood, I bring to you a random assortment of thoughts… as they come to me:

1. I had always heard that the newborn stage is hard. In my mind I prepared myself for little sleep & challenges with breastfeeding. When the real deal came though, I felt completely shell-shocked. I thought: “Is this for real? Is this normal?!” Not only was I exhausted physically, my post-partum hormones were out of control. Like, seriously. When I had the baby blues, I would hit a point everyday where I felt I could not go on. I wanted to quit motherhood, quit life, quit everything… but I couldn’t. It was the most desperate I had felt in a very long time. Now I should be clear: I don’t think every mom goes through this. I mean, every mom has a tough time with the newborn stage. But I don’t think they experience the level of anxiety & overwhelmed-ness (is that a word?) that I felt… it was crazy.

2. That said, it did get better. The first two weeks were the worst, and since then, I have still had my fair share of meltdowns, but it is significantly better. I almost feel stable. :)

3. I am convinced now more than ever before that Steven is the world’s best husband. Up until last week, he got up with me for every middle-of-the-night feeding. And he still asks me at 4am if I want him to come with me to feed the baby. My mind says YES!, but my lips say no. Yes, I am selfish & overly dependent on him. He also handles the video monitor in the middle of the night, because I turn into a kind of crazy lunatic woman when I see him not sleeping when he should be. Lack of sleep does crazy things to an otherwise normal person — ask Steven, he knows. It is his primary goal now to get me to sleep, even more than getting the baby to sleep.

4. Ollie is six weeks tomorrow. At the beginning I would ask everyone — no seriously, everyone — when things would start to get better. I heard one month, six weeks, two months, three months…. but really a lot of people said six weeks & three months. What is it about these two markers that is so different? I am eagerly awaiting some drastic changes this week — good changes. But not holding out hope. Supposedly six weeks is also a growth spurt, and I am not a fan of those. :( Okay, but on the optimistic side, every week is totally better the week before. I can tell because I actually find myself getting bored during the day instead of constantly feeling anxious & thinking about how I need to nap all the time.

5. I realized I am a total schedule Nazi. I thought I would be way more laid back & willing to flex. Nope. I do not stray from my schedule unless I absolutely positively have to (like going to church yesterday for the first time), and when I do stray (like going to church yesterday for the first time), I am totally stressed & feel like I have to stay home the rest of the day & the whole day afterwards. Steven is much better than me — he doesn’t get stressed out when Ollie is fussy from being overly tired. But then again, it doesn’t really stress him out when he cries either. Note to self: work on being flexible.

6. Babies sleep so much. Correction: babies need to sleep so much. How are you supposed to run errands and stuff when their wake times are so short? It boggles my mind. Do I just have him skip a nap? Also, my parents are seriously on my case about how he sleeps way too much. They think he will miss out on life & development because all he does is sleep. I facetime with them almost every day, and you should hear the way they groan when I tell them he has to go down for a nap… again. I tell them it’s normal, that he’s still very young, that it won’t be like this forever, that all my friends’ babies slept this much too. They don’t believe me.

7. I am so thankful for fellow mommy friends who I call, literally, all the time. You know who you are. Where would I be without you?

8. I finally got around to designing & making birth announcements for the little guy. For awhile there, I almost gave up on them altogether. But I did them. And you know what? I loved it. The whole process of designing, printing, assembling, stamping, etc. You would think I’d feel too crazy to even have time to do something like that, but actually, it was totally therapeutic for me to get my mind off the baby & do something that I love. I’m going to try to re-open my shop next month… fingers crossed that all goes well.

9. We think Ollie is starting to smile. Well, he smiles, but we think he is actually starting to smile at us!!! It seems like a small thing, but when you are nursing around the clock & losing sleep & going crazy, one smile really makes it feel like it’s all worth it. I do this thing where I kiss him on the mouth over & over again, and I swear he smiles bigger & bigger every time I kiss him until his eyes turn into little moons! It is absolutely precious. I cannot wait for him to respond to us even more.

10. So 95% of people say he looks like me. With a handful of people saying they can see both of us in him. Steven pretends to be sad, saying that people only say he looks like him in the pictures where he looks super chubby, but he really isn’t haha. One thing’s for sure: the hair & the cheeks are definitely from daddy. Mama did not have those super chubby cheeks when she was a baby.

11. What do you guys think of kissing your babies on the mouth? I totally did not think I would do this (I am not really much of a kisser — never really kissed much with my parents growing up), but now that he’s here, I totally cannot resist. I love it!

Apologies to readers who don’t want to hear about all-things-baby. I am going to make a conscious effort to not make all my blogging about babies & motherhood — I am still a person with other hobbies & thoughts, after all — but I’m not gonna lie, this is kind of taking over my life right now & will probably take over many of my blog posts in the near future.  :)

Okay, the baby’s crying. I have to go. But before I do, a picture of my two favorite guys!

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Birth Story.

July 10, 2011

It has officially been 26 days since Oliver was born. Life has seemed like a blur — days blending into each other, nights seeming longer than days, living hour-to-hour, feeding-to-feeding. Despite all the stories I had heard from fellow mamas, nothing quite prepared me for the real deal. Won’t go into all the details now — I need to take a step back from it all before I write about it (and that might take me a couple more weeks) — but wanted to share our birth story with you today. :)

On Monday June 13 (Steven’s birthday), I went out with some girlfriends to celebrate Sharon’s birthday. I know… why am I celebrating my friend’s birthday when it’s my husband’s birthday? Don’t worry, we celebrated Steven’s birthday the whole weekend prior. So a bunch of us girls met up at La Creperie in Long Beach & feasted on a ton of dessert crepes & ice cream. People kept asking me if I felt any different, like the baby would be coming sometime soon, but I really didn’t. I felt totally normal (aside from the fact that I was huge). I got home at 10:30pm, went to bed around 11pm, woke up to go to the bathroom at midnight, and what do you know, my water breaks. I wasn’t sure that my water had broken — I was just leaking pink fluid — but I called the hospital & they told me to come in to be evaluated. We hurriedly packed up our bags. Steven told me to eat something since I might have a long labor ahead, but I was still full from the crepes so I declined. I started feeling shaky & a little nauseous on the way to the hospital — I think cause I was starting to get nervous that it might really be happening. We checked in & sure enough, they confirmed that my water had broken. They monitored me to see if my body would kick into labor on its own, and though they could see that I was having minor contractions, I couldn’t feel them at all. So they gave me some Prostin to help induce labor & said that I should gradually feel stronger contractions throughout the night & day. They estimated that I would deliver in the late afternoon or evening. I could feel the contractions growing stronger by the minute & was wondering how I was going to make it through half a day without any painkiller. At a certain point, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and asked if they could give me something to just take the edge off a little. They gave me Nubain, which worked immediately, but wore off in less than an hour. As soon as it wore off, the contractions were back & stronger than ever. I started panicking that I wouldn’t get any painkiller before the next contraction hit (they were seriously painful… I was squeezing Steven’s fingers through each one & he was in pain haha). So they gave me an epidural, and hallelujah, the pain subsided just like that! Praise the Lord for epidurals. This whole time I had no idea how dilated I was — the doctor on-call assumed that I probably wasn’t that far along yet & didn’t want to check me too frequently. I felt dull urges to push now & then, but my nurse told me it was normal & it was just the baby moving further down. At around 6:30am, the nurse wanted to insert internal monitors on the baby, and when she checked me, she was shocked to find that I was fully dilated. My wonderful OB came into the hospital around 7am. He had a surgery scheduled for 7:30am but just wanted to check on me before he went into surgery. They figured that I would deliver the baby after his surgery since most first-time moms can push anywhere from 1-3 hours. But he checked me and said the baby was ready to come out right then! Nurses were running around our room, getting everything prepped for delivery, and then they told me to push. I felt a wave of nausea hit me & then threw up all the delicious crepes I ate the night before — needless to say, it tasted much better going in than coming out. I pushed through 3 rounds of contractions & out he came in just about 15 minutes at precisely 7:22am! It was a totally surreal experience — I didn’t even know that he had come out when he did until they lifted him and placed him on top of my chest. Steven was tearing up & trying to take pictures at the same time — I was in shock & totally confused cause everything was happening so fast. My first thoughts were that he looked just like my brother (!!) and that he had really good lungs (his cry was so loud!).

He’s already changed so much since then — looking more like me than my brother, then looking more like a mix of me & Steven, features becoming more defined, skin going through crazy changes (crazy cradle cap, baby acne, rash… so sad), eyes becoming more alert. Won’t post a ton of pictures, but here are a couple of our little man!