Today I am one week old! Mostly I eat, sleep and make messy diapers, but here are a few other things that I’ve done…
- I also went for a short ride in my ring sling while mama took the shortest walk of her life.
- I rode in the car to visit Karen, the “milk maven” aka lactation consultant. I’ve been practicing breastfeeding, and it’s getting better…but I’m still little and mama and I have some work to do before we’re completely off of the syringes!
Mostly good, both physically and emotionally. I’m surprised at the resiliency of the female body. My body just housed a human for 9 months, pushed that new life out and now sustains it with nourishment…meanwhile it is also healing from the last 9 months and from birth. It’s really incredible. But in the monotony of trying to breastfeed, struggling, pumping, feeding and changing diapers…it’s easy to forget how miraculous this process is. It’s also easy to get discouraged about not getting out. I want to feel like a normal human, but I just can’t really right now…With the feeding routine we’re trying to keep up here and my body recovering, it doesn’t leave me much time or energy to do anything outside the house. This is probably the hardest part. I know that JP won’t be a newborn forever, and so I try to simply enjoy all the little moments with him, especially his silly faces, scrawny newborn appendages and his sweet newborn cuddles. He just started smiling a little bit in the last day. Mostly it’s at involuntary moments, like as he is falling asleep…but it still warms my heart. I don’t want to wish this time away, but I do look forward to hitting our stride and being able to get out and about.
I went to an independent lactation consultant named Karen Foard. Talk about a knowledgable and kind woman! I mean, sure, it’s pretty strange to go to someone’s home and take off your shirt to have them watch you breastfeed your child….but it was totally worth it! She shared so much information with me about breastfeeding and more about babies. Although we’re still struggling even after our session, we have made forward progress. Most importantly I have more knowledge about why JP is struggling and can work to make adjustments without doing all the guesswork.
I cry alot, but not because I’m sad. Just because my heart has changed so much in this last week (and hormones. for real.). I may be tired and frustrated with certain aspects of my new role, but my tears actually come from thinking about other mothers who are out there, mothers who lack support but have all the same (and more!) worries that I do. I think about the persecuted Christian women of the middle East who are pregnant and the trials they will face as they bring a new life into the world. I think about mothers in my own city, state, country that struggle with loneliness because they don’t have a loving or supportive partner. My heart breaks for them, because I know how hard all of this is WITH a caring husband, family and friends. In the spirit of these concerns, I want to provide you with a link to the Saint Gianna’s Maternity Home and encourage you to make a donation if your heart feels so moved. Check out their mission – they’re pretty wonderful.
A little overwhelmed. Josh has a big test in his hardest class tomorrow. Being in grad school comes with its perks; namely, Josh doesn’t have to be at work at 8am, and he is able to help out a little bit in the mornings as I try to get ready for the day. The hard part is that he, of course, does not get any paternity leave. So we’re trying to make this big adjustment without really any solid time sorting it out together at home. I know there are other people in much more challenging circumstances! But that’s where we’re at right now and I know that it’s hard on Josh.
Other than that, Josh loves being a daddy. Just as I knew he would be, he’s so wonderful at helping out with JP when he can. Even after long, hard days of studying, Josh will still wake up and help get the milk syringes ready while I try and calm JP. When Josh comes home, he’s so excited to see us and to spend time with his baby boy. He changes diapers – even the THREE massively explosive diaper bombs this morning (literally went through the sleeping gown, and his swaddling blanket into the bed. Welcome to the world of bodily fluids). God bless him.
Things are going really well. John Paul has a relatively calm disposition. He only ever REALLY cries when he’s hungry and we’re struggling to get him to latch. Other than that, he mostly sounds like a little kitten mewing to let us know he wants us to hold him or that he needs to be changed. Right now he naps ALOT, and usually sleeps for 2-3 hours at a time during the night. He’s such a sweet boy and I am seeking to live as presently as I can to enjoy all these first moments.
I also want to thank everyone who has sent gifts and MEALS!!! to us during the last week. We are immensely grateful! It makes such a difference to be able to focus on JP in the evenings when we’re both home and not have to worry about food. Seriously, thank you.
**Also, A DISCLAIMER TO OUR FUTURE CHILDREN: I know you probably feel like you got the short end of the stick – mom doesn’t write weekly updates for me or take 2,756 pictures of me in a week! – but know that we love you 🙂