Parenting means experiencing extremes. On the one hand, spending time with your baby is so fun. Everything he does is the cutest- all of his expressions and movements, whether while sleeping or crying. Best of all is when he’s actually awake and not upset. It’s fun interacting with him, even though the smiles in response to us aren’t consistent yet. Of course we’re biased, and we think he’s the most attractive baby ever. 🙂
It’s a wonder looking at this little human, who is now 5 weeks old. Given his myriad of expressions and actions, and to stimulate his growing brain, I talk to him as if he understands me. Yet I also realize how primitive he is when he’s breastfeeding- he’ll wave his head wildly and then go for my hand or his own fist instead of the breast. Even though he’s been getting noticeably heavier, seeing him with my husband makes me realize the size difference and how little he still is.
On the downside, it is tiring having to care for him 24/7. This week was my husband’s first week back at work. He works less days, but has long work days. So for three days and nights, I was essentially taking care of WZW by myself. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I had my mom come over for a few hours one day to help cook dinner. But it is tough when there’s no one to relieve me. One day he had fallen asleep and I had stripped down to hop in the shower when he woke up and started crying. That meant the shower got put on hold.
Speaking of showers, I must admit that even when my husband has been around, I’ve often been skipping days. I guess since I’m mostly at home, it feels like such a hassle daily. It’s not that I dislike showering; in fact I enjoy taking my time. So between the baby and the California drought, I feel like it’s nice to take a leisurely shower, but to do so daily these days is more difficult. I tell myself I’m saving water. And I recently came across a BuzzFeed article that supports that we don’t need to shower daily:
My husband makes fun of my filthy lack of showering, and the fact that I’m using the above excuses.
I think the hardest is at night. Although I’ve been pumping and we’ve started introducing a bottle every other day, I’m primarily breastfeeding. That means that I’m the one who gets up multiple times at night. I’m not the kind of wife that’s going to kick her husband awake (on his off days) just so he can feel my pain. So unless I really need him, I let him sleep so he can function better during the day.
But when I’m the one getting up in the middle of the night, feeling groggy and alone in the dark in my misery, it can be tough. I can’t help but feel bitter that I’m the one with the lactating breasts that has to get up multiple times each night. If it was just a matter of getting up and feeding him and going right back to bed, that wouldn’t be as bad. But sometimes he’ll get fussy while on the breast, so it hurts when he moves his head around and pulls on my nipple. Ouch!
Thankfully, most of the time he goes back to sleep once he’s done, but by the time he’s been fed, burped, and had his diaper changed, easily 45 min have passed. By then I’m hungry, and I can’t go back to sleep. Or maybe it’s from the screen time of going on Facebook while breastfeeding, but by the time I want to go back to bed, my brain is no longer in sleep mode.
Last night, I woke up at 3:30 to feed him, then when all was said and done, I tried to go back to sleep at 4:30. After lying in bed for 15 minutes I realized I was too hungry to do so. So I got up, made some food, and by the time I was ready to go back to bed at 5:30, WZW started to wake up. I tried to put him back to sleep, but it wasn’t working and in my tired state I was getting impatient, so around 6:00 I decided to feed him again in hopes that it would put him back to sleep. Before I knew it, 6:30 had rolled around and he didn’t go back to bed after feeding, so at that point I woke up my husband (who was off work) to take care of him because I desperately needed sleep.
So I’m living the life of the typical new mom. Being tired, I definitely have been straying from staying Paleo. I’ll eat healthy meals half the time, but then the fatigue will make me just want some sugar and carbs. I do feel kinda gross because I’m mostly in the house and am not getting exercise regularly, and am still 10 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight. But I’m too tired to make the effort to eat better and exercise just yet. Eventually I hope to, as WZW starts sleeping longer hours and such. But for now, I’m gonna try not to beat myself up too much about it.
On the upside, we went to get our flu shots, and an older lady in line asked how old WZW was. She also asked how I lost the pregnancy weight so quickly, so that was a nice compliment. I told her that I didn’t gain too much in the first place, and that breastfeeding burns extra calories. Figured in case she passes along the message to others that it wouldn’t hurt to plant the seed.
One new mom milestone I recently achieved is perfectly depicted by this cartoon: