Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What I Know Now That I Have a Baby

The baby is here! The baby is here! Here is a quick re-cap of that time in August when our son came into the world:

  • Was induced August 20th, 2012. Fabulous experience. Epidurals are the new awesome.
  • Gave birth to a beautiful son, Remy Owen Jutzi Sullivan! 7lbs, 13 oz.
  • My hubby and the doctor were great at helping me get the baby to be on the outside of my body.
  • Felt amazed when Remy was born, as though it were a dream.
  • Sent my dad to get McDonalds an hour after the birth. Really needed a Filet o' Fish.
  • Remy was alert right from the get-go, and everyone agreed he was a mini-Phil.
  • Well into the next morning, still wondered if it was all a dream from which I was about to be awoken and told, "You're still 4 centimetres."

  • We're still learning, and we're still tired, but overall Phil and I are feeling pretty darn good in our new parenting roles.  Here are my thoughts at the 7-week mark:

    Not Being Pregnant is GREAT

    In my final months of pregnancy, the whole being-a-vessel thing was getting old. Simple things like getting out of bed became a chore, and unfortunately I had to get out of bed a lot for washroom breaks in the middle of the night. I'd throw all my body weight to the side so that the momentum would propel me out of the bed, but then I couldn't just stand up and walk to the washroom; I had to lean on the bed and put my weight on one leg, then the other, to gently wake my lower back to the news that it was time for yet another trip to the toilet. Even after giving myself that time, I'd still have to stagger across the bedroom because my everything was stiff and sore. Sometimes, either day or night, I'd get searing leg cramps like none I'd ever experienced (and I already get bad leg cramps more than most people). Yes, I could have the odd drink, and every so often I would have half a glass of wine, but I couldn't really enjoy it.  In the last two months I started getting these intensely painful pelvic spasms.  And I was just a big, hot, sweaty mess most of the time.  Not pretty.  

    So I'd google things like "What's it like not being pregnant?" and "Glad I'm not pregnant anymore" in search of blogs of formerly pregnant women singing the praises of post-pregnancy life.  Turns out it's hard to find any posts focusing on not being pregnant, because women who've just had a baby are understandably more interested in the fact that they now HAVE A BABY, and the past 9 months  quickly fade into the recesses of their minds.  And now that I HAVE A BABY and am living through all the intense experiences and emotions that come with that, I too rarely think about the discomforts of pregnancy.

    BUT my quickly-fading memories are still intact enough that I can tell you that I LOVE not carrying around that pregnancy weight anymore (well, 20lbs of it at least...I'M WORKING ON IT), hopping out of bed is a joy, walking long distances without tiring or cramping is fabulous, enjoying a few glasses of red wine is divine, and, most of all, even though watching my beautiful baby do gymnastics in my belly was really cool, getting to see him on the outside of my belly is a million times better. 

    No One Can Explain How Awesome It Is To Have A Baby

    People tell you that having a baby will change your life, and that the love you have for your child will be unparalleled, and that from the birth of your baby you will start wearing your heart on the outside of your body, and all of these things are true, but none of these things can fully explain how it will feel to hold your newborn in your arms, and kiss his little face, and smell his precious little head nuzzled against your neck.  It's just something that you have to experience to understand, and when you do it's just...well...indescribable. 

    I Do Not Mourn My Former Care-free Life

    Sometimes you'll hear parents make comments like, "We'd love to go to Europe/a fancy restaurant/the movies, but it's hard now with the baby..." and as a childless person that sounds a bit like, "Ugh,  children are a burden and I miss being in my 20's" but I GET IT NOW! THAT'S NOT WHAT IT MEANS! It means, "Yeah, that fun thing would have been cool to do in the before time, but now I have this totally beautiful and amazing creature at home to play with, and I'm happy to put off that trip to Prague for now." 

    Parenting Is The Good Kind of Hard Work

    Being a mom is tiring, but at the end of the day you feel like you really did something.  Even having naps feels like you're doing something for the greater good (BECAUSE YOU TOTALLY ARE).

    Sometimes Diapers Leak And You Don't Know Why

    I think we finally determined that the problem was wee-wee positioning (ALWAYS MAKE SURE IT'S FACING DOWN BEFORE YOU CLOSE THE DIAPER) but for awhile there we were having some real issues.  Like, having to change his clothes once an hour kind of issues.  Good thing laundry is Phil's department...

    I Now Understand Co-Sleeping

    Phil and I were dead-set against it.  I used to think, "Having the baby in bed with us sounds dangerous" and "We want to have a private sleeping space as a couple" and now I think, "Having the baby in bed with us sounds like I might actually sleep tonight" and "Privacy Schmivacy, we're a family now".  

    Watching Your Husband As A Father Is The Best

    I knew Phil would be a great partner in parenting, and I have really enjoyed watching him bond with our son.  There's nothing like a delicious little ball of love to melt a man's heart.

    Sleeping When The Baby Sleeps Is Harder Than It Sounds

    Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps.  Seems simple enough.  But when junior goes down for his first real nap at 3pm, it's really hard to just stop, drop and hit the pillow when you just want to get those dishes done, and you just want to tidy the living room a bit, and you just want to do this and you just want to do that.  It is an art I have yet to master.

    Sleep Deprivation Feels Different Than I Thought It Would

    In the before time, not getting enough sleep meant I'd walk around like a zombie all day.  For some reason, this new kind of sleep deprivation is different.  I feel relatively alert most of the time BUT if ever I have to go out into the real world and answer questions about things that aren't baby-related, I realize how absolutely out of it I am.  I went into a shoe store without Remy the other day and said so many dumb things to the saleswoman that finally I blurted out, "I'm sorry, I just had a baby."  Baby brain is the best excuse. 


    So, would you like to see some photos?  

    Moments after birth.

    With mommy at the hospital.

    With the fabulous Dr. David Greenberg.

    Already showing attitude at such a young age.

    Family photo.

    Smiles for Sophie la Girafe.