Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Home (Not Quite) Alone

So, glenn is back at work today for the first time. This morning he joined me at the pediatrician with the wee boo. She is one month old today, and we've only suffered minor hallucinations from the lack of sleep. Seriously though, this bit is quite hard. It's amazing how over-populated the planet is with how challening pregnancy and newborns are. The thing I didn't understand when reading about parenting was the math: how could a baby need to eat 12 times a day at first and possibly eat for an hour sometimes...it still doesn't seem possible now that I'm in the thick of it. Thankfully she's already slowing down the frequency (well, most days).

I have yet to feel that special amnesia that seems to happen to moms...you know, when they forget about the difficulty of pregnancy. It will be interesting to see if I get it. So far there is nothing I feel like going back to -- she was so big and there was so much fluid that I was ridiculously uncomfortable. I lost forty pounds in just two weeks after delivering and have more to go, and it took nearly two weeks for my feet to stop looking like they'd swolen into hooves. I also find it unlikely that I'll forget the trauma of the c-section as it was my first surgery, it was not entirely expected, and most of all because the anestheia did not entirely take at first....

The feeding that happens between 1-3am usually is my worst hour. I'm improving, but this week we'll start having me pump in the morning so she can be fed without my foul mood then and we can switch hit some and both get more sleep. Neither of us has proven to be very good at sleeping during the day (remember how bad I said I was at napping...it's still true even on wisps of sleep at night, and even though I know it would make a world of difference).

At the doc appt., her seemingly always happy doctor said Lyra was growing super well and was in the 75th percentile size-wise with apparently a bigger than average brain giving her a bigger than average melon. It's fairly unclear what she's using it for at the moment, but she is beginning to focus on faces as well as bright lights for the first time. She also just grew tear ducts, which mercifully happened after I was fairly used to hearing her cry, so it isn't quite as heartbreaking as seeing her tear up while crying would have been a couple of weeks ago.

I then checked out a "new mother's group" at the hospital, which turned out to be a smart idea. I learned a lot from the other moms and the nurse and lactation consultant who were there. She was the second youngest baby there, but by far not the smallest, nor the weakest (my baby could kick your baby's ass! After all, she kicks mine daily...). Lyra and I then took the subway for the first time. She was born just after they finally made the subway stop next to the hospital handicapped accessible. (Not sure what took so long with that concept.)

So every day there is some new thing to learn just by diving in. Where to feed or change her? Who is okay to feed her in front of? How long will she sleep between eating? What subway stops have elevators? How far can I walk today with my own recovery? What clothes fit my ever changing shape today? How do I bring her in a restaurant -- what do I do with the stroller? Which button does what on this stroller? What daytime TV can I stomach? What new way can I feed the boo so my arm doesn't break off? Should I get exercise, eat food, get support, have visitors or attempt to sleep? Who the hell am I? Etc.

After our subway ride and walk home, I was able to eat lunch before she woke up. We went through a lot of diapers and she had lunch and I got her to look at herself in a mirror. She could definitely see the baby this time. She touched the mirror (she's attempting to reach for things a bit early...maybe that's one connection in that big melon!) and then cried. We tried the sling, which was not successful until I went outside. I did a tiny bit of weeding and then went back inside. She was asleep for minutes only so then I strolled her around the block. So far so good since we returned.

This is what my life is like these days. Crying management and feeding her or me. I am attempting to keep her asleep and then feed her at a certain time this afternoon, which does not always work, so that we can take out for a couple of hours tonight. We're going over near Fenway and the Sox are playing at home so we'll need to take her on the subway again.

Mainly all I have to say today is: Whew I am tired.



At 1:48 PM, Blogger beth said...

So as not to be a lurker, I thought I'd announce myself. Bethany Erickson, this is Bethany Manning (another friend of Jen's, and Dennis's). I started a blog recently and saw that someone had gotten to it via search engine, so out of curiosity I googled ["Jen Haan" Bethany] and your blog popped up. It's great! I love your writing, and your thoughts on pregnancy, childbirth, death and infancy all hit home.

Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl! Lyra is such a wonderful name -- it's lovely even without Pullman's Lyra but the connection makes it even cooler. Good luck with the sleep thing - I swear I nearly divorced my husband as the result of sleep deprivation woes after my first kid was born. (Thirteen years and three more kids later, though, we're still together.)

I will surely visit your blog again. Take care,


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