Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Life is good.

Having a newborn was hard in ways I never imagined. I don't just mean the NICU experience, either. You have this tiny, beautiful person that you somehow managed to create, and you are totally in awe of her, but at the same time you're completely enslaved to her. You get up a million times a night. You feel more tired than you've ever felt. Sometimes you are both completely covered in spit-up and you can't tell which one of you is crying louder. Really, you don't get a whole lot in return for all the things that you do, and it can feel pretty thankless at times. You're also completely terrified that you will somehow break your child, and you're convinced that half of what you're doing is totally wrong. You worry that you're somehow failing her, and it feels like an endless, exhausting parade of nursing and dirty diapers and crying and shushing and bouncing. (Sorry, just telling it like it is! I can't be the only one who thinks these things.)

But one day you are sitting up and feeding your baby at some obscenely early morning hour, and you realize that even though you are dead tired, this is a time when you have an excuse to do nothing but cuddle with your baby and stare at her perfect eyelashes and ears. Another day you go to pick baby up when she's done with her nap, and she gives you the biggest toothless grin you've ever seen, just because you are you, and she sees you standing there. Nursing finally becomes surprisingly easy, if you've chosen to do that. You start to get more sleep at night. She starts to stay awake more during the day, and seems like a real little person with a true personality, and you can really tell that she loves you unconditionally, whether you feel like you deserve it or not.

Can you tell things have changed around here? Caroline has been sleeping through the night consistently for about two weeks now. Breastfeeding is suddenly kind of effortless. She seems healthy and happy and is doing all sorts of new and fun things, like actually playing with her toys, flipping herself onto her back on her playmat, smiling at us, and cooing when we talk to her. We've established somewhat of a routine, and we do fun things like walk to the park down the street to look at the geese and turtles.

Overall, things are looking up. She is such a joy to spend time with, and I no longer have guilty feelings about "giving up my whole life" to stay home with her. She IS my whole life, for now, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Lauren said...

She is so beautiful, Julia! I'm glad things have gotten easier and she has started sleeping more.

MJS said...

I am so happy for you, Julia!

Heidi said...

She is so beautiful! I'm so happy things have gotten much easier and hopefully both of you are sleeping through the night!

Mimi said...

She is so big and beautifuL! Crazy how quickly time passes! I am glad everything is getting better! DS is still not sleeping through the night but we have gone from waking every 2 hours to every 3. ;)

Jackswife said...

This post gives so much hope to those of us who are "in the thick of it" right now. I`m so happy to hear that things are getting better for you.

The Paro Family said...

She's adorable and I am SO happy things have gotten so much better for you. You certainly deserve it! I sure hope my days of effortless bf-ing are coming!! Thanks so much for posting this...it really gives me hope!

MrsBaughman said...

I couldn't relate more to your post...our girls are only two weeks apart and I am so thankful that Reese is such a good sleeper and honestly started sleeping throug the night like three weeks now. She's been smiling a lot more now which does help when I am feeling like all I do is change dirty diapers as opposed to helping important people with important things. You've inspired me to start my own blog, check it out: thebaughmanlife.blogspot.com
I'm so glad things are starting to normalize for you, it makes it so much more fun.