My baby arrived!
Shortly after my last post, I went into labor. After a (relatively) short and easy labor, my son made his first appearance in the world. He’s healthy, if smallish, utterly adorable, and definitely a bit precocious in the development department. He’s also one of the most calm babies ever, which is nice for a first-time mother. He is now almost three weeks old, and I’m just starting to figure out my routine again. (As evidenced by the fact that I began writing this post two and a half weeks ago).
So far, motherhood has been like nothing I’ve experienced before. It’s terrifying. Exhausting. Frustrating. It’s also been completely special and wonderful in a weird way.
I’m continuously terrified that something will go wrong with the baby. Scared of his suffocating, or freezing, or getting too hot. I worry that he’ll eat more milk than I can produce, or that the formula I have to supplement him with sometimes will harm him. I’m scared I’ll do something wrong, and totally mess him up for life. I even worry that somehow I’ll drop him or he’ll flop around and hurt himself (newborns are really unbelievably floppy…).
I dream of one day sleeping deeply and for longer than a few too-short hours. My little Bookelet is a pretty good sleeper generally, but he prefers to be held, and he won’t sleep in his own bassinet at night yet. He prefers sleeping with his mummy, which means I don’t sleep very deeply at night as I’m constantly conscious of what’s happening with him.
My son utterly refuses to breast-feed for food, though he will occasionally do so when he’s not particularly hungry. He likes the comfort of it, and it will usually put him to sleep, but if he’s hungry he simply fights the breast until he’s good and angry. Since I really had my heart set on breast-feeding, this is only the first of what I’m sure will be many frustrations. It’s especially frustrating to keep him fully fed as he appears to have two hollow legs and possibly hollow arms as well (at this rate, it’ll cost a small fortune to keep him fed as a teenager) and I have to pump almost every bit of milk he consumes.
Yet, through the haze of exhausted, frustrating terror, I adore my son. I would do anything for him, and nothing brightens my day so much as when he grins up at me despite the development charts saying he shouldn’t be smiling yet. Motherhood is truly indescribable. I fully understand how some women can become overwhelmed, depressed, and even despondent. The random weepiness is no picnic, and I occasionally feel overwhelmed despite all the loving help I’ve gotten and continue to get from everyone around me. But I no longer truly fear post-partum depression for myself. My heart is too full of love and delight in the little life that’s just beginning to be overshadowed by darker emotions, no matter how wonky my hormones get or how exasperating he can be.