Oh my goodness, the first two weeks with a baby have been hard. They make the labor and delivery seem like a breeze! Well, maybe not quite. But I don’t think I was quite prepared for all the ups and downs.
I think we’ve weathered the lack of sleep pretty well. Our midwife had suggested we try a system while my mom was here where she would take a four-hour shift at night and Mike would take a four-hour shift at night. Then they would wake me whenever the baby needed to be fed, and I could get a restful sleep in between. We were all tired, but ultimately I think it worked really well.
We had some problems with breastfeeding, though, and that meant the baby was losing too much weight. So we had to go to a lot of appointments that first week. Thankfully we found ways to get her eating and gaining the weight back. But just as soon as we felt on top of that, she started having a really hard time eating, no matter how we tried to feed her. Come to find out she had some kind of sore or scrape on the roof of her mouth that was hurting. So we’ve had to resort to pumping and bottle feeding round the clock until it heals.
She is hungry, hungry all the time, and it’s hard on me. I totally understand now why women would give up on breastfeeding. And why there is so much guilt around how we feed our babies. When you are responsible for someone else’s sustenance, it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Even though you know all that matters is that they’re healthy, you still feel like you have failed in some way.
So we’re getting through these tough weeks. We’re watching her grow and change every day. We take her for stroller walks. We’ve had our first blowout in a public place. I really look forward to the time when she’s big enough to put in the carriers we have so our arms can get a break! At least I am getting pretty good at the 5 S’s to get her to calm down when she’s fussy.
Overall she’s a pretty happy and curious baby, and she’s been a real trooper with all of these appointments and people messing with her. My heart melts every time I look at her peacefully sleeping. I love her wild hair — I think she got that from her dad. I love how tiny babies sort of resemble old men. Every day we get a little more confident as parents, but it still feels like the first day at a new job just about every morning when I wake up. I guess we are newbies as much as she is.