Saturday, December 27, 2014
My little guy is just over 2 weeks now. He is still in that newborn haze where he has just enough energy to nurse, suffer through a diaper change, and give a little eye contact for 5 minutes. Then he's totally wiped out and needs to sleep for an hour or two before beginning the process again. He's eating every 2.5-3.5 hours, which feels totally manageable compared to Sisi who ate every 1.5 hours.
My biggest anxiety while pregnant was going through Postpartum Depression again, and I'm so happy to report I'm all smiles so far. Maybe a few panicky moments when the sun goes down (totally hormones), but nothing that deep breaths and Amoryn can't solve. With Sisi, everything was so new and overwhelming. I'd never even held a newborn, and suddenly I was responsible for keeping one alive and happy. If she cried, I took it as a chastisement that I was a horrible mother. I remember being so surprised when she first smiled at me at 6 weeks. I thought, "Wait, you actually like me??? You're not miserable? I had no idea!"
This time around is so much easier, for lots of reasons.
- I have confidence in my mothering abilities. I realize that babies are sturdier than they look. I know to pause (aka "le pause") before rushing in to rescue him when he cries, not to be cruel, but to listen to him and figure out what he really needs from me. As a result, I feel I've gotten to know Matteo really well already. Also, an ounce of prevention is my motto this time around when it comes to sleep learning (not training, learning!). That means no crazy shenanigans to get him to fall asleep, because while rocking/nursing/shusshing and bouncing a 7 pounder to sleep is no big deal, when he's 15 or 20 pounds it becomes a huge burden. Babies can happily fall asleep on their own, I'm amazed to discover!
- I think of babies as intelligent and worthy of respect. They are not just squirmy blobs, they are people, and they are worth talking to and listening to. It's amazing how much Matteo relaxes when I just tell him what I'm going to do, whether it's a diaper change or nap time or even if I need to put him down to be by himself for a bit. When he cries, I listen to him and empathize. This sounds very kumbaya, doesn't it? But I really believe this kind of communication is so good for both of us. It's actually therapeutic for me to talk things out with him. He's like my little shrink :)
- My physical recovery was fast. Thank the Lord, my labor was so short that it left me pretty much unscathed. That makes EVERYTHING easier to handle.
- I have Sisi to distract me. My days just fly by, because while baby is napping, I'm busy caring for my eldest. With baby #1, each day never ends. It's like the twilight zone.
- I have perspective. Every annoying phase ends. Nursing was pretty painful with Matteo at first, but I didn't despair. I told myself it would get better soon, and it already has. Even waking up every 3 hours at night is tolerable because I know one day, just when I think I can't take it anymore, he will start skipping those night feeds and I'll enjoy a full night's sleep again. And of course, watching Siena thrive is daily proof that it all works out in the end. Matteo is probably our last baby, so I am treasuring each moment with him. Every day I think, "I'll never have a baby this itty bitty again."
Sisi is handling the changes pretty well, although I can see she is grieving a bit. I trust that she will work out her mixed emotions in her own time. She likes to help me with the baby, but does not want to hold him. I was actually surprised she did it for the picture!