The baby: Sleeps well, eats well and poops well. Can’t ask for much more in a 4 week old. The most exciting part of her first month occurred when her umbilical cord stump finally fell off (hooray!). Which led to her first real bath (yay!). Which led to me washing her hair for the first time (awww…). Which somehow led to a section of hair on the back of her head that now stands up perfectly straight no matter what I do (oh my). It’s been almost a week and it is still standing up. If anyone knows any tricks for getting it to lay nicely on top of her head, please let me know.
The body: I have ankles! I have calves! I can wear real jeans again! (Okay, so I had to buy some new jeans in a size a bit larger than my pre-baby jeans. I’m just grateful that there is no elastic or stretchy fabric involved.) The 27 pounds of water weight I’ve shed over the past few weeks has made me one happy chica. This does not, however, mean that I’ve made a full return to my pre-baby body…*sigh*. I suppose I’m actually going to have to do some walking or sit-ups or something. Tomorrow.
The emotions: I still spend a lot of time alternating between experiencing the profound and indescribable joy of being a mama to a newborn (ah, the newborn smell… all I have to do is pick her up and smell her and the whole world is right again) and fighting nostalgia for the last summer we had as a family of three. Overall, though, my emotions are strangely stable. Sure, I threw a really good tantrum when my husband brought me a Spicy Italian sandwich from Subway that was toasted, but seriously-- it had mayo on it! Who toasts a sandwich with mayo on it?!? And how can my husband *not* know that I don’t like my Spicy Italian toasted? Cleary this was his way of telling me that he didn’t love me anymore. Besides, that was days ago.
The 4 year old: Is doing such a good job as a big brother. Strangely enough, he actually had a much harder time when I was pregnant. I think all of the pregnancy restrictions bothered him (no more tackling mommy) and I have a feeling that he spent a lot of time being worried about me and the baby and how she was going to get out of me. Now that she’s here, he dotes on her. He even managed to get her to go to sleep yesterday. I’m still not sure how he worked his magic. One minute she was crying frantically in her bouncy seat while I was trying to get the kitchen to some semblance of clean (see “the house” below) and the next minute he had patted her head and covered her up with a blanket and she was fast asleep. The immediate and absolute connection between the two of them is further proof that love does not find its origins in shared genes.
The house: Is a mess. Such a mess. Sometimes I just close my eyes and pretend that it is clean and organized again. I get up the energy to clean one room or undo one pile, only to turn around and find it a mess again. I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to keep up with the house, especially now that I am home full time rather than working part time. Then I added up the hours I spend nursing each day… 10 feedings a day at 45 minutes per feeding = 7.5 hours just spent nursing. And since I nurse every day, I’m clocking way more hours nursing than I did working. So now I don’t feel as guilty about a dirty house. Annoyed, but not guilty.
The bottom line: Despite hormones and chaos, stubborn pounds and dirty rooms, it is obvious to me that I am a very lucky mama. I don’t know what I did to deserve the love that I experience each day… but I’ll take it. :)