Monday, April 30, 2012

The One Where I Talk About Being a Mom....Again

Had to share this picture.  How that's comfortable for a nap, I have no idea, but he sure was sleeping soundly.

One of my recent Facebook status' read thus:

"1. I feel like my son is huge! He's grown so much already. I know, I know, you'll all say it just keeps going faster!

2. I wonder if I'll have a status update that doesn't involve something Mommy-related any time soon?"

After all the comments about how my status' would all be Mommy-related, I made sure to post this one:

"Cleaned the bathroom, made the bed, took a shower, went to the library, AND am doing a little online grading today. Is it prideful to be impressed with myself?"
Of course, if we're being honest here, well, it's only impressive that I did all those things today because  I'm the mommy of a 5-week old baby. 
See, what I'm realizing is that I've entered the next phase of my life, Motherhood, where everything is different than it was before.   Everything comes back to being a mom, it seems.  I want to be a better blogger (for various reasons) and have one of those blogs that is a fun mix of who I am - stories about things that happened, ways God is teaching me, random posts about clothes and decor and fun things- but all I can come up with these days seems to be Mommy-things.  (Of course, finding time to blog is also challenging.  Typing with a baby in your arms is a skill I have not yet mastered.) 
It's the same when I Skype with my bestest friend Brooke, who is currently living in Korea.  She gets to tell me all sorts of her adventures about people and places.  What do I do all day?  Hold the baby, change the baby's diaper, feed the baby, comfort the  baby, play with the baby.  Repeat.  "Today he spit up five times!"  Not exactly newsworthy, folks.
But it's who I am, now.  In an instant (okay, after 9 months of pregnancy and 10 hours of labor), I am a mom.  I can't just run to the store if I need something - I have to load up Will.  Go to a movie?  Haven't figured out how to do that yet.  Want to read others' blog posts?  That's not usually the most important use of his naptime. 

When it's time to go back to school in the fall, I'm not going to want to stay there late, I'm going to want to go pick up my little boy and spend the evening with him.  Nor will I want to grade papers, I imagine.  Sick days (which I never take) will now be taken when I need to be home with a little guy who isn't feeling so well.  I'll be thinking about those big blue (or whatever color they turn out to be) eyes all day, and waiting to see that sweet little smile.

I'll be (I already am) a little more of a worrier than I've ever been before, because I'm responsible for him, for his health, his well-being, his spiritual development, his education.  I care about school districts and safety and college funds.  I'll do price comparisons on baby items and do research about what products are best.  I'll think about making my own baby food to save money.  I read to him already, whatever I'm reading, and soon we'll start with books of his own.  I'll speak Spanish to him so he can learn it early, and leave the English for when we're with his daddy.  We'll do a baby dedication at church, and I will continue praying and praying for him, every day.

I've always been a daughter - to my parents, for 30 years.  To my Father, a few less.  A reader for 25 years, a student my whole life.  A big sister for 24 years. A jogger for 13 years, a coffee drinker for 15. A wife for nearly 4.  A Spanish-speaker for 16 years, a teacher for 8. These are the roles I play, among others. 

But now, well, now I've added a new role, and I'm pretty sure it's one of the important roles I'll ever have.  It's a nerve-wracking, joy-filling, fear-creating, awe-inspiring role.  Being a mom is forever.  I'll be his mom when he gets his first tooth, on his first day of school, at his high school graduation.  When my son is grown and having his own children, I'll still be his mother.  I'll be his mother until the day I die.

So I guess it's okay if that's all I have to talk about these days, because it's kind of a big deal, you know.  Someday (and maybe sooner than later), I'll blog about something else, but for now, this is where I'm at, spending most of my time learning how to be the best mommy I can be to my sweet Peanut.

I'm a diaper-changer, a colic-comforter, a tear-drier, a rock-as-we-walk-er, a cozy-cuddler, a sit-and-stare-er, a baby-talking Spanish-speaker, a play-whenever-he's-awake-er, a 24-hour-a-day-diner.

I'm a mom.

Friday, April 27, 2012

One Month

How quickly time flies when you are a new mom, wouldn't you agree?  (Although I would also contend that time moves very slowly somtimes, when your routine consists of feeding the baby, changing the baby, calming the baby.)

This week Will celebrated his One-Month Birthday!  It was on Tuesday, when he was exactly four weeks and three days old. 

Wide awake and looking out the window the other morning as we lazed around in bed for a bit.

I can't believe our little guy is already a month old, and I confess to crying at the thought that he's going to grow up and not want to cuddle me any more.  I may be jumping the gun, but hey, I blame all of you moms who keep telling me to "enjoy this time while it lasts, because it's going to be over before you know it." 

Anyway, thought you'd all be interested in a few details about the Peanut.

Size: According to the doctor on Monday, Will weighed about 9 lbs, 5 oz, a significant increase from his birth weight of 6 lbs, 14 oz.  While somehow his new weight is still only the 37% percentile, his birth weight was apparently in the 18% percentile.  So he's growing at a very healthy weight. I think he's a big boy, but Husband keeps reminding me that when he was born, he weighed 9+ lbs to start.  Fair enough.  Will's also nearly 22 inches long.  He can still wear most of his newborn clothes, but this week we started to break out some of the 0-3 month outfits. 

With his Tia (aunt) on her birthday - we stopped by her 1st grade class for a quick visit.

Development: In the last week we've seen huge changes (I mean, we see changes every day).  He's holding his head up for long periods of time (you know, several seconds), he's awake more and more, and very alert.  I absolutely adore watching him take the world in, his eyes wide open and blue as he absorbs it all.  He's strong - so strong- and loves grabbing things.  I'd say he's quite amazing, thank you very much.  He's also very vocal, making all sorts of sounds and noises all the time.  We can't wait for the babbling stage - it will be interesting to see what he comes up with!  I'm also very proud of him as he's started to learn to self-soothe and doesn't seem to need to scream or cry as much or as often.  (Granted, he still does that at times.)

Personality: I think he might be a little strong-willed, like his Mama.  But we'll see.  He's content more and more, but he still is pretty fussy about anything he thinks is bothering him.  Normal, I think. 

Eating: We're still eating about every 2 - 3 hours a day and night.  I'm breast-feeding him, which is going well most of the time, although I do worry about whether or not he's getting enough.  But based on his weight gain, he is... so we'll just hope that continues.  He also takes the bottle like a champ.  No nipple-confusion for this boy - he'll switch between breast and bottle and pacifier with no problem at all, and has done so right from the start.  Most days we give him either one pumped bottle or one supplemental formula bottle, so Husband or Sister or someone else can have a turn. 

Sleeping on his Nonna - we liked how it looked like he was hugging her.

Sleep: As I mentioned, he's sleeping less during the day than before, but he's still enjoying quite a few long naps during the day (like right now).  Night time has been going better, in my opinion.  He wakes up between 2 and a half to 3 hours to eat, which for some still sounds frequent, but he goes back to bed right away (usually) with very little effort.  He's sleeping in the pack and play in our room still, but we're doing a good job not picking him up at every little sound, and he's doing a great job self-soothing.

Likes/Dislikes: He loves being held, especially by his Nonna.  He loves his pacifier, being swaddled to sleep at night, and apparently, sound machines or other noises like that.  He's content in his carseat, especially, if we're on a walk, but he only likes the swing or the bouncy seat when he's in the right mood, and only for a little while.  He doesn't seem to care either way about Ginny (who also seems indifferent to him at this point).  He dislikes gas, pooping, me taking too long to get situated to feed him, being put down when he wants to be held, and various other standard baby things.

Milestones: Everything feels like a milestone right now.  No two days are alike, and he's different every day.  I would say he's smiling more often, and it seems completely unrelated to gas.  Don't burst my bubble, people.  I love his little smile.  And he's beginning to "talk" more than just cry.  He does great in public - we've gone out to eat several times (although always only in noisy restaurants) and to school a few times, and he's fantastic.  Next step, maybe a movie this weekend.  We'll see how it goes.

Going on our first walk in the stroller.

Moms, just tell me, how do I capture every sweet moment in my memory?  If each month goes as fast as this first one, I'll be back to work full time before I know it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

12 Hours That Changed My Life: Part 2

If you missed part 1 of the story (or you want to read the whole thing at once), go here first.

Finally. "One or two more like that and I can call the doctor in," encouraged Jessica. Push, push, push. The doctor, a new one I'd never met before, came in. Push, push, push. The same words. "Like that first one. Again." The minutes ticked by. "I can't tell what direction the baby is facing," said the nurse. "His heart rate dropped for a few minutes a while ago, but it went back up." Push more, Beth. Did you hear that? The Peanut needs you.

He was about to come, the doctor said, and she needed to do an episiotomy. Fine, I nodded. We just need to do this. Push, push, push, and there he was. "Oh, that explains it. He's sunny side up." Such a simple statement to explain such a long, stressful experience. The excruciating pain earlier in the morning? Back labor, thank you very much. My furious five hours of pushing? He was face up, of course. "If we'd known that, we might have done something else hours ago." Oh, thank you for telling me.

A flurry of activity. The Peanut wrapped up and on my chest, Husband standing right next to us, a huge, purple bruise covering Peanut's whole forehead. The doctor examining me, the placenta being delivered.

I cried partly because he was here and I was happy, and partly because it was over. At 10:00 am exactly, it was over. And I was so relieved. Pictures of our new family.

Baby and Husband went to the little "baby station" with the nurse while the doctor still worked on me. "Do you know what a tear is?" she asked? "You have about a 3 and half degree one. That means it didn't go all the way from the vagina to the rectum, but close. I'm going to have to stitch you up. Then, "Is she on medication?" to the nurse. "No, she's off right now." "Beth, push that button right next to you. Push it again," said the doctor, telling me to dose myself with a little medication through the epidural. (Educational moment for me - I didn't realize exactly how it worked before then. The catheter was in the epidural area of my spine, but the pump with the meds had been turned off so I could feel to push. The button worked just like you see in the movies.)

I was paying attention to the doctor and the nurse as they worked on me and trying to pay attention to what was going on with Husband and the baby over in the other part of the room. Wincing as she sewed, trying not to cry, asking Husband questions about the baby. "He's 19 inches long, and 6 lbs, 15 oz."

The doctor was showing the nurse a different technique for some certain type of stitch. "I appreciate a teaching and learning environment," I thought. Then my two men were both back at my side as the doctor finished up. "He's just fine," said the pediatric nurse about the baby. "There doesn't appear to be any damage, despite the bruising on his forehead." Relief. Then nausea and light-headedness. "I think I'm going to be pass out or be sick," I told Jessica. "I feel faint." Juice and some trail mix. My color returned a little, and I felt less light-headed.  We hadn't eaten since 5:30 the night before.

Cleaning up, putting things away, and eventually the doctor was gone. Still sipping on juice, holding my baby. Husband's parents and sister came in, along with my sister. I held in the tears. I probably would have bawled had it just been Sister, truthfully. They oohed and ahed over the Peanut, over Will. Sister asked how I was doing. "I'll tell you about it later. It was hard."

They left, Husband going to find something to eat as Jessica helped me try to nurse for the first time. Quiet. Blessed quiet, with this small, tiny baby at my breast. Unbelievable, beautiful.

Eventually Husband took the Peanut to the nursery for some tests, shots, and his first bath. More juice and food for me as I tried to rest. My parents arrived with lunch in hand, my mom's first concern for me and me alone. The Mama Bear in her re-surfaced big time, her first priority to protect and take care of me. Jessica came with the wheel chair to take me to my post-partum room, and Husband followed behind with our baby - our baby!- in the bassinet.

Finally, settled into our room, the room where we'd spend the next couple of days, learning how to feed my son, trying to get some rest, healing, seeing family. Nurses in and nurses out. Tanya, my favorite and most helpful post-partum nurse. Bridget, our overly talkative night nurse who treated me like a celebrity. Comments from everyone I met. "We were here when you were in labor. We kept waiting to hear you were going in for the C-Section. We can't believe how much of that you did without medication. You're such a rock star." It was therapeutic, my "I failed" mentality slowly being replaced with the affirmation that I had not, in fact, failed, and that instead, I had done well.

The Peanut was here, our William John, after a long night of hard work, and after many months of praying. We were tired - no, exhausted -, and we were in awe. Our teeny tiny baby was with us, snuggled in our arms, relying completely on us.

Resposibility, and Joy. Still the two overwhelming emotions, but beautiful, amazing emotions.

Welcome, Peanut, baby Will.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

12 Hours That Changed My Life: Part 1

Wednesday night and Thursday night were Parent-Teacher Conferences.  I sat, 38 nearly 39 weeks pregnant, in the gymnasium with all my colleagues, talking with parents about their students and what they could do to either stay strong or to improve during 4th quarter.  Of course, I wasn't going to be there for 4th quarter, but I still gave the advice anyway.  And, of course, there were many conversations about parenting and having babies.  "Are you ready?" they always asked.  "Well, I'd really like a few days of Spring Break, you know, to have a transition between school and mommy-hood."  Heads nodded in understanding. 

Me about a month before Will's arrival.  Turns out I have no pictures of me after this.
Friday was my day off.  The kick off to Spring Break, there was no school since we'd worked the two previous evenings.  I had two items on my agenda - coffee with a friend who was in town, and a trip to the library.  I knew I probably should do some work for my online class, but I was going to give myself a day off from thinking about school.  After my trip to the library, I considered a stop at Target to buy some baby-is-coming-soon essentials, like a nursing bra, but thought, "no, I'll go tomorrow.  I'm worn out from the week, from getting ready to leave school for the rest of the semester, from being huge.  I'm going to go home and read."  So home I went, and I read. 

It was a small group evening, so husband and I headed over to our friends' house and spent the evening there.  We broke into guys and girls groups to hear prayer requests.  Mine, of course, was primarily for a healthy and safe delivery.  We meet every two weeks as a group, and, with my due date a week away, we were all hoping that by the next small group, I'd have the Peanut.  I joked about wondering if I'd even know when I was in labor.  How are you supposed to know what it feels like when you've never done it?  "Oh, you'll know," was always the response.  They prayed for me and for the Peanut right then and there, and then later the guys and the girls were back together for some Bible study.  Later we all headed home, with well wishes for our delivery and a question on how they would know it was time.  "Oh, Husband will text you - if it says "Autobots, Let's Roll," that means it's time."  (Followed by an explanation of the Transformers.)

It was about 10:45, and Husband and I were sitting on our bed as we unwound for the evening, sharing our thoughts about small group, with him rubbing my back.  Suddenly a sensation I'd never experienced before.

"I'm peeing my pants!" I screeched as I leapt off the bed and raced to the bathroom.  "I think maybe my water just broke..." I announced to Husband as I sat on the toilet, trying to figure out if that was what had happened or not.  Certainly I didn't actually pee my pants, right?  Surely I had more control than that?  But it was so weird, and not what I expected, so could it actually be my water breaking?  And I had expected contractions first.  This wasn't labor, was it? I  felt perfectly normal, except for the whole peeing-of-the-pants thing. 

At the mention of the words "water breaking," Husband was up and throwing things into bags right and left.  We'd talked about what we'd take to the hospital, but we hadn't actually packed yet.  "I'm not even sure this it," I protested.  It didn't matter, he thought.  We needed to go to the hospital to check it out, just in case.  So I changed clothes (obviously) and helped pack the bags for the hospital, "just in case." 

Poor confused Ginny went to her room (her crate), and we got in the truck and drove the less-than-ten minutes to the hospital, it now being about 11:30.  Entering through the ER doors due to the late hour, we told the person at the desk we thought I might be in labor and she pointed us in the direction of the elevators.  When you get to the right floor, you have to ring this little doorbell and wait for admission, since the whole maternity floor is secure.  Once we'd gotten buzzed in, I told the nurse at the station the same thing.  "I think my water may have broken, but I'm not really sure."

We stood there for several minutes, starting to fill out paperwork I thought I'd already filled out at our pre-admit session, just to be told that yes, I had filled that out already, so I could stop.  They took us back to the triage session, told me to urinate in the cup and put the gown on, and then we'd take a look and see what was going on.  "Don't text people yet," I told Husband.  "We're not even sure what's happening." 

Once changed and on the table, the nurse, named Cassie, checked me out.  "Yes, you've ruptured.  You're at about 4 cm dilated," she told us.  "We'll get you checked into your birthing room."   I looked at Husband.  "Okay, now you can send the message."  I called my parents, it now being about midnight.  Both my mom and sister answered, groggy with sleep.  "My water broke and we're at the hospital.  Go back to bed, we'll call when something is really happening."  (As if they could go to sleep, Mom later told me.  But they tried.)

We moved over to my birthing room and decided to try to get some rest.  After all, I hadn't even had one contraction yet.  It took a while to get settled, with Cassie getting me hooked up to all the machines and going over what the process would/could look like for me.  Patiently, calmly, she answered all my questions, and then said she'd be back to check on me in a bit, but to call if I needed anything. 

The sign in our birth room.  We got a kick out of the room number and the date nearly matching.
I think we rested (and I use that term lightly) for about half an hour before the contractions hit, and hit in full force.  Forget easing your way into them, I don't apparently roll that way.  Husband was the man, holding my hand, standing beside me, helping me breathe and trying different positions with me.  After a while, though, I started to panic.  I was exhausted.  I had lost the night's sleep, and I become an emotional disaster area on a normal day when I'm over-tired.  So to be in labor and that tired, well I knew I was in trouble, and though a normally calm-in-stressful-situations person, I was in a panic.  We decided to try an IV medication to take the edge off.  I wouldn't normally, I said.  But it was just that I was so tired, justifying why I was breaking my "no meds" rule.

It helped.  I was able to get some good rest... for maybe 45 minutes.  And then the edge was no longer off, despite the fact that the medication should be working.  I was miserable.  We tried everything, all sorts of positions, breathing.  I could still have an epidural, Cassie thought, although she'd have to see how dilated I was.  Torturous, this thought.  My mom and best friend were pretty anti-epidural, and I really wanted to do this without one.  I didn't want to disappoint them, or myself.  Getting an epidural would be like failing. 

But it was excruciating.  "I can't do this," I kept crying to Husband, even as we were "dancing" trying to ease the pain.  I gave in.  I was 8 cm dilated, so it was now or never.   It was unbearable waiting for the anaesthesologist.  Couldn't he hurry up, I kept thinking.  After an eternity, relief.  It was just nearing 4 in the morning.

I slept.  The blissful, comatose sleep of a woman on drugs.  And at 5, Cassie checked and said we were ready.  So the pushing began.  I couldn't feel my contractions, so I relied on her to tell me when to push.  It wasn't working.  He wasn't progressing.  "Let's take a break and let you labor down for a while," Cassie suggested.  We'd called our family to say we were pushing, because my sister and Husand's family wanted to be in the waiting room when Peanut was born.  My sister came in and fixed my pony tail for me and we chatted.  Everything was just fine, although I told her I was afraid to tell Mom I'd had an epidural.  I didn't want her to be disappointed.  Sister understood, although we both knew Mom would never be disappointed over something like that.  It was more me.   Half an hour later.   Time to try again.  They turned off the epidural, because I needed to be able to feel what was going on.

But I couldn't push right, it seemed.  My first attempt would be great - "yes do that again," Cassie would say.  And I would try, but apparently I wasn't getting it.  All sorts of coaching on what to do, where to push, how to push.  Yet it wasn't working.  Failure again.  Perhaps it was because I'd had the epidural that I was having so much trouble, I thought.  I was ashamed of my weakness.

7 am.  Shift change.  We'd thought, when we were ready to push at 5, that we'd make it with the same nurse.  But no.  Cassie said goodbye, and Jessica came in.  Jessica had me try all sorts of different pushing positions.  Husband was still standing right by me, holding me, helping me, being involved.  He was freezing, had had no sleep either, and nothing to eat.   We were just disaster areas.  The same comments.  "Do it that way again."  A sigh that seemed disappointed when my next push wasn't the same.  Absolute failure, I thought.  I told Jessica so.  "I'm a bit type A here, so this feels like I'm totally failing." 

9 am.  Still pushing.  Progress had been made.  They could see his head occasionally.  Apparently he looked like he had no hair... but of course, it could have all just rubbed off by then.  It was the longest hour of my life.  The clock, right in front of me.  Minutes ticked by so slowly.  Had it really only been five minutes?  It felt like an eternity.  Exhausted.  Freezing.  Hot.  Push, push, push.  I can do another.  I have to keep going.  "Don't fall asleep," said Husband between sets.  "I'm not.... okay, I am totally falling asleep."  The longest hour of my life.  Minutes ticked by so slowly, the clock staring me in the face.  9:05.  9:07.  9:11.  What felt like hours between each minute.  And still, "try it like that again.  No, like you did before. I need you to push like you just did."  Failure, failure, failure.  "Maybe it's the epidural," I thought.  "I shouldn't have had it, I knew it.  I did this."

Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Good Friday

Writer's Note: I did, in fact, start this post on Friday.  And then I was distracted by the Peanut, as you might imagine can happen with a two-week old.  And then I was distracted on Saturday.  And Sunday.  And so I am just now, on Monday afternoon, getting to post this.  But at least it's getting posted.

Today, so far, has been a good Friday, on this Good Friday.  We had a rough night's sleep, but the Peanut (okay, Will) has had a great morning, and Husband came home early and is getting to see the side of his son that he hasn't been able to see this week - the sweet, still-deep blue eyes looking up at him and around at the world, his peaceful, non-crying sleep.  It makes my heart happy, because it's hard that most of the time Husband is home are the hours when Will fusses more or when our sleep is incredibly interrupted.    Right now they're cuddling on the couch as Husband watches a movie.  Happy heart, yes.

I opened up Facebook this morning, still groggy from the night's "sleep," and began to see my believing friends' posts about Good Friday.  "Oh yes," I thought.  "It's Good Friday.  I nearly forgot."  (Easter has really snuck up on us - the last few months were all about getting to the end of my working and getting to the birth of the Peanut.)  I'd realized in the last few days that, no matter how busy, how tired, I needed to get back into my regular quiet times.  What better day than today to start?

First, I'd love for you to read this post on when I first really began to appreciate Good Friday.  Growing up in a Christian home, you'd think I would have cared earlier, but it really wasn't until I was a Junior in college that it clicked.  If you have time, read it, please.  You'll understand me better.
This morning I opened up my Bible to Luke as I continue to make my way through the New Testament.  It was fitting, I thought, that as I held my nearly two-week old son in my arms, I read about Jesus' birth, rather than his death, on this day.  The shepherds were heralded in the fields by angels, told of the baby's birth.  Mary put her baby to sleep in a manger in a strange place, not in her home.  And Jesus, a tiny baby, was already the Messiah.  He didn't grow up to become the Messiah, he was Messiah.

My first thought was "May I be even half the woman that Mary was."  I'd already read earlier in Luke Mary's interaction with the angel as he foretold that she would be the mother of the Messiah. 

"Good morning!
You're beautiful with God's beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you."

the angel greeted Mary (via the Message).  Would that I be called beautiful, inside and out, with God's beauty.  And Mary, after a brief moment of questioning, responds:

"Yes, I see it all now:
I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say."

Mary is just awesome.  And here, at the birth of her son, the Messiah, I know she must have felt some of the same things I feel when I look at my son.  He's tiny, helpless, depenedent on me.  Yet at the same time, she knew he was the Messiah, the Savior.   And she was responsible for his life and his well-being.  He was a baby, not a saint.  I can't imagine he didn't cry and eat and poop just the like the rest of the babies.... and Mary was his mom.  Wow.

May I be even half the woman she was.

Then I wondered why God chose to send himself, his son, as a baby, and a baby to a carpenter, instead of a king.  So small, so humiliating.  No, wait, that's not the right word.  Not humiliating, I realized, but humbling. 

The Lord God, the Almighty, the Great I Am, humbled himself to come to be with us, and what less auspicious way to do so then to come as a baby, the most humble of beings? 

And then it struck me. 

When I consider his death, today, too, I realize he did it again.  To die on a cross, like a common criminal, between two common criminals, was humiliating.  No, not humiliating.  Humbling. 

The Lord God, the Almight, the Great I Am, humbled himself to die for us, to atone for the sins that we hadn't even yet committed, and he died in the most awful of ways. 

We believe in a God, we serve a God, we have been saved by a God who cared enough about us to completely humble Himself from the beginning to the end of His time here.

How then, can I, can we, still refuse to do the same?  How can we so stubbornly cling to our pride, our selfishness, our own desires and wishes? 

May this Easter season be one where I let go of those things I so ridiculously hold onto, and may I instead follow the example that has been set before me and humble myself, just as He did.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Midweek Confessions: On Being a Mom for the First Week

This is THE perfect Wednesday for me to join in with Midweek Confessions again.  I mean, it, perfect.  For I have lots to confess, what with being a mom for a grand total of less than two weeks.  Those of you more experienced moms who might stumble upon this, well, advice given with good intention is welcome, I think.

- I just let my 11 day old son sit in his car seat on the kitchen counter and scream for minutes before going and picking him up.  I'd put him in there because I don't have a sling or any other place to put him on our main floor yet and I needed to fix myself something to eat.  I left him there because he started to fall asleep, and we're struggling with sleeping anywhere but in someone's arms.  Rather than take him to his crib, which would totally disturb him and the screaming would begin, I left him there.  It worked for about 5 minutes.  Then the whimper.  "Maybe he'll self-soothe.  We need to not pick him up at the first sign of a cry," I thought.  Then the slightly more persistent cry.  "No, he still might go back to sleep.  Just wait.  Get the computer out, I want to blog."  The soft wail.  "I'm ignoring you - I think you might still make it, although probably not."  Finally, the scream.  "Well, maybe he'll get tired of that and go back to sleep."  Ummm.  Nope.  Pick him up - and the crying instantly stops.  He must have tired himself out, though, because I have him sitting in the boppy on the couch next to me, and he's sleeping there.

- He looks adorable, sleeping there.  I almost forget he's been screaming.  Almost.

- I may have let him sleep in the boppy in the bed last night with us.  All night.  Yup, I might have.  See, we have a pack and play in our room that has this nice little newborn bassinet attachment.  Up until two nights ago, this was working out great.  We would get up, eat, walk or rock for a minute, and go back to sleep.  He went from waking up once between feedings to sleeping from one to the next.  He went from needing a 10 minute rock and walk to a 3 or 4 minute one, and sometimes less.  Sunday night, though, it started to change.  He slept great between feedings, but he took a long time to fall alseep again.  Monday night, the same thing, but worse.  Lay him down, a whimper, a cry, a wail, a scream.  I took to sleeping with my head at the end of the bed so I could try rubbing his belly and shushing without picking him up.  Failure.  Last night, Husband had him asleep in his arms for an hour so I could get some rest, and the moment he put him down, straight to the scream.  I tried for another hour. And then I quit.  I put the boppy in the middle of the bed, and slept with my arm under him as if I were still holding him.  And we stayed that way the rest of the night.  I didn't even bother trying again.

- I put him in the bouncer outside the shower this morning so I could take one.  It gave him hiccups and he couldn't get rid of them the entire time he was in there.

- I've cried nearly every day at least a little.  Sometimes out of tiredness (that was big at the beginning of the experience), sometimes out of frustration (not usually at him, but at others), sometimes out of sadness when he's crying so hard, sometimes from being overwhelmed as I look at his sweet face and feel the heaviness and joy of responsibility for his life.

- Poor little baby has gas a lot and I can't figure out if it's something I'm eating or if it's a phase he's going through.  I hate to use the word "colic," because I think we jump there too fast with babies.  But he definitely has gas and it definitely bothers him.  And I want to make it all better and haven't the foggiest how, but am working on it.

- On a more positive note, I just want to kiss his sweet little cheeks all the time.  I love it when he looks up at me with his big currently-dark blue eyes and his mouth forms a perfect little "o," as he takes it all in.  I love snuggling and rocking and cuddling with him, and could stare at him for hours.  I climbed in the backseat the other day while Husband ran into the store for something and just put my head on his carseat, watching him sleep.  I'm in awe of how powerful his tiny little grip is and how forcefully his little legs can kick.  I want him to be healthy and happy and safe, and I've never felt more strongly about making that happen for anyone than I do for him.  I've said all along, I'm not a mushy person, and I mean it, but this little man, the Peanut, is about as close as I can get.   But it's not just mushy love and adoration of him.  There's a fierceness I feel, a protectiveness. 

Welcome to motherhood, you might say.  A plethora of emotions, roles, and experiences.
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