Hello blog world! I realize I barely even have the right to call myself a blogger anymore, given my significant lack of a presence here for the last, I dunno… 5 months or so.
I have a 5 month old baby (AKA Cozy). This is not a coincidence. A few of you know me as a regular reader and commenter on your blogs. But for the most part, I feel like a stranger to this place now. I wish that were not the case, but it is. It really doesn’t help that, besides my Iphone, I only have a 500 year old laptop to use during the day, because my husband works out of our home office full time (which is where our nice, new Mac lives). I don’t recommend navigating the internet and typing blog posts on an ancient laptop.
I also wish the (much-discussed in these parts) dilemma of a parenting-after-infertility-blogger were not an issue, but it is. I’ve struggled with finding my voice and rightful place as an IF blogger since I found out I was pregnant (despite the dismal odds) last June. Now that I’m a mom, my mind and days are filled with Mommy issues and an eat-play-nap cycle that leaves little room for much else. And by “much else,” I not only mean blogging, but also socializing, exercising, sleeping, and sometimes showering. Despite all of the wonderful, exhausting and time-consuming newness that is my life as a mother, I still think about how I got here and identify with women/couples still fighting the
good incredibly difficult and unfair fight.
I’ve missed my poor, abandoned little blog more than I thought I would. I find myself thinking of topics and even attempting to plan a time slot in my day into which I will fit an hour of computer time… just as soon as I can ______ (fill in the blank with any number of 100 tasks). I’ve missed this because it made/makes me happy. But so does shopping and having a pedicure, and neither of those have happened in the past 5 months either (as evidenced by my sad, mostly unwearable wardrobe and even sadder toenails). C’est la vie.
Also, one tends to crave any form of intellectual activity when one’s day is filled pretty much exclusively with interactions with and about an infant. Happily so, of course! This may come across as selfish, but any stay-at-home mom must surely agree that caring for your baby all day does zilch for your own cognitive development. In fact, I’d argue that it has the opposite effect. I know… it’s the baby’s little brain that matters at this point, but still. Mama needs to save her own intellect from the atrophy and decay that must surely come of no mental exercise. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, right?
Hence, my newly (re)formulated plan to return to blogging. Again. How am I gonna do it? God only knows. We’ll see.
What exactly does a soon-to-be 37-year-old new (stay at home) mother with IF roots have to blog about? Psh. Plenty, I assure you. But I’m going have to exercise my right to embrace this space as my own and not have to censor my writing because it might be hurtful for someone in the trenches. This does not mean that I won’t be respectful of what others are going through. I just cannot dissect each sentence I write based on whether or not it has the potential to come across as ungrateful, bitchy, whiney, or any other characteristic that might be offensive to someone who’s still TTC, pursing adoption, or has made the decision to live child-free. Because, if you think about it, much of what a person who is parenting after IF writes could be (mis)construed by someone who is in a particularly painful place. I’ve felt the sting. I’ll bet most of you have felt it, too. It’s usually unintentional, in my experience… and no ones fault. It’s just one of the many ways that IF sucks.
I hope I can write regularly- even once per month- but the fact is, my child comes first in my life right now. My husband (Riggo:) is right up there too, of course, but Cozy is a lot more needy at this point. Except when my husband is sick… then he is equally as needy;). But here we are, 5 months in to this parenting thing, and I think I might just have gotten into a groove… enough to begin to attempt to add things back into my life that sort of went by the wayside in the first few months of her life. Yay me!
So I guess I’ll do a recap of the past 5 months to catch everyone up. Everyone. Ha! I should probably say both of you. It’s been that long. ;)
Cozy was born on Feb. 26th, which was her due date, by the way. I think my last post was shortly after her birth. I also think I pretty much covered the birth story in as much detail as I’m gonna on my blog. It was amazing. Of course it was not how I planned it, imagined it, or anything else, but it was still perfect. Except for the (cough) unpleasant nurse who made me choose between my mother and my sister to be present for the delivery. And the back labor that made me cave much earlier than I had intended to and practically shove the epidural needle in myself. And the fact that my baby had to spend the first 4 hours of her life in a transitional nursery because she swallowed her own poop on the way out. There were a few other things that weren’t so great, but all in all, it was perfect because it was the day I met my daughter.
Ahhh, my daughter. Cozy is just about… no, she is… the cutest baby I have ever seen. She is perfect and healthy and smart and tiny and, well… everything. She has been the light of our lives since she came into it, and we thank God for her every single day.
The first two months were hard. They were a whirlwind of indescribable joys and trials that remain slightly fuzzy in my head at this point. From what I’ve heard, I’ll probably always remember them that way. But, for posterity’s sake, I’ll sum them up like this (these are all my experiences and opinions, of course… and, as with everything I write, please don’t feel the need to adopt them as your own or take offense to them in any way):
Having a newborn is stressful. Having a newborn is amazing. Breast feeding is equally stressful and amazing. It still is the best and worst part of my day… so frustrating sometimes, but always a source of so much joy. Diapers aren’t so bad. Getting puked on and peed/pooped on isn’t so bad either… when it’s your baby, who can basically do no wrong. Having a partner in this is NOT something to be taken for granted. People who do it on their own or people who have multiples deserve to be knighted or ladyed. Or whatever. Video monitors are also not overrated (however, grossly overpriced)… unless you think sleep is a luxury and not a necessity. Swaddling works and is not cruel. Sleeping when your baby sleeps is easier said than done, but don’t just say it. Do it. Ask for help. I recommend calling the lactation specialist hotline as often as you need to. Join a Mom and Me and/or breast feeding support group. TRY not to sweat the small stuff is good advice in general, and excellent advice in the first couple of months of parenting. Don’t beat yourself up for things that don’t go exactly as you had hoped or read they would.
That’s the first two months in a nutshell. Oh. And you cannot take too many photos and videos of your baby in these first few weeks. Riggo and I have thousands (yes, thousands) of them rolling by on our Apple TV screensaver all day long… and I sometimes just sit and watch them, mesmerized by all of the changes and the beauty and the perfection that is our daughter.
The last three months (months 3-5) have been challenging in other ways, but slightly less overwhelming. The whole breast feeding thing got easier sometime around 3 months. The waking up several times per night to nurse turned into one time per night, and so that got easier. Naps happen in more regularly scheduled intervals, and I’m able to take them now, too. I’m more comfortable taking her out to run errands, and so I have more flexibility in my life.
She grows and changes so much and so fast! Too fast. I can’t believe it sometimes that I have a 5 month old already! I adore her. I also adore the fact that I am home with her and not working. I feel so lucky to be able to do that… and my husband works from home, so he’s just downstairs and can pop up to see us periodically, which is awesome. We have it so good, and we know it. Sometimes it makes me nervous, because things are so perfect right now. I get scared that the other shoe is gonna drop some day soon. Gotta shake that pessimistic crap.