Chris and I have been parents for over a month. That time span is just the blink of an eye but it feels like so much time too. So much has changed and we've learned so much. Everything is going really well; we are loving being parents. Dashiell is the center of our world now and I absolutely love it. But it's really hard at times too.
There's so much I want to say but I haven't been able to organize my thoughts into blog posts...maybe the lack of sleep has something to do with it? ;)
Some of the thoughts bouncing around my head right now:
Sleep! Or the lack of it. In our experience so far this is the hardest part of caring for an infant. On a "bad" night Dashiell will only sleep for 1 hr - 1 hr 45 minutes at a time. It's physically painful to wake up after being asleep for so little time. We've had some better nights lately with an initial 4 hour stretch of sleep and I'm amazed at how restorative 4 hours of straight sleep can be.
Breastfeeding, after initially being really painful, is going great now. Our lactation consultant and two pediatricians diagnosed Dashiell with mild tongue tie and his initial weight gain was very slow. We opted to have his frenulum (small flap of skin under the tongue) clipped to solve the issue. I felt like I was going to pass out in the doctor's office during the procedure but it all went well and I think it was harder on me than on Dashiell. Now breastfeeding is pain free and Dashiell is gaining weight.
I'm now really enjoying breastfeeding - it's amazing to me that I'm (still) sustaining this little human just with my own body. Dashiell mostly just fusses when he is hungry and (selfishly) I love that I'm the only one who can comfort him at those times.
I feel that I'm starting to get the hang of caring for Dashiell enough that I have bandwidth to think of my own interests again. I'm looking forward to getting back to cooking, projects around the house, and exercising.
In the first couple of weeks I was really emotional in the evenings and had quite a few teary phone calls with my mom. I felt overwhelmed at how much I love Dashiell and always want to protect him (and know that I won't be able to at all times) and stressed at the prospect of going back to work. I also learned that my boss, who I love and who was a big factor is making my job so great, would be quitting during my maternity leave. But I've turned a corner and haven't been feeling as emotional. I also had a chance to talk with my new boss and feel positive about the change. In the past week I've even started to feel that I'll enjoy the responsibility and challenge of returning to work and I'm looking forward to finding our new routine as working parents. I hope I can maintain this positive attitude as I get close to going back to work (in early July)!
I hope to be back to more regular and coherent posts in the future. For now I'm going to keep giving myself space to be free of commitments while I find my rhythm and spend my time with the most important little guy in my life.
*Photo from our newborn photoshoot with Darby Elizabeth.