Ollie is two weeks old today. Well, she was two weeks old on Wednesday (just in case I don’t get this posted on time.)
The last week has had its ups and downs and I feel like so much has changed. At some point last week (my days are really starting to run together) we had a very bad day. Ollie wasn’t wanting to eat, and, let me tell you, the hardest thing about having a baby for me right now is breastfeeding. For something that is “natural”, it is not easy. I have never in my life felt more like a failure than when we started nursing…but I have also never felt more maternal and connected to my baby than when things started to really work. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a lot of work for us, and I have spent way too much time Googling how long I am going to be sore, but it is definitely worth all of the difficulties. Anyways, back to the very bad day-I was ready to throw in the towel on the whole nursing thing, and just pump/bottle feed. At one point Ollie and I had struggled for two hours: I was in tears, she was super frustrated, and C.J. walked into the nursery at the highest point of despair. Luckily for me I have a very supportive and encouraging husband who gently reminded me that one bad day should not change everything we had previously planned for our daughter. The next day was a little better and magically after that we seemed to be fairly successful. Like I said before, being successful at nursing is a wonderful feeling.
Other than struggle and sometimes prosper with breastfeeding, the second week of Ollie has brought about the realization of various things:
1. At some point during this second week my love for Ollie changed. That sounds odd, but there was a real change in the way that I saw her and felt about her. When I described the change to C.J. he put it in terms of when she was born I loved her because she was mine, but now I know her and am in love with her.
2. Newborn photographers really know what they are doing. I don’t know if I have ever met someone more patient than our photographer for Ollie’s newborn photos. The whole session was about 4 hours and I would guarantee that almost 1.5 hours of that was taking things slow and soothing Ollie to make sure she stayed asleep/calm during the photoshoot. Ollie slept through about 3 hours of photos, including swaddle changes, multiple positions, and headwear adjustments. It was really neat to witness.
3. Sometimes you will find things in your pockets at 3 AM that make you question everything. It probably won’t sound like a big deal to any veteran moms reading this post, but yesterday during our 3 AM nursing session, I reached into my pocket for my phone and pulled out something extra with the phone…Ollie’s umbilical cord stub. I was so confused: 3 aAM (groggy), pajama pocket, umbilical cord stub. The last time I changed her diaper it was attached…then wham…in my pocket. So strange and most likely foreshadowing crazier things to come as she grows.
4. I can just stare at her for long periods of time.
5. Pumping while making dinner or getting ready in the morning makes me feel like a superhero or something. This is absolutely ridiculous because I am not doing anything spectacular…but the extreme multitasking factor put into play here makes me feel like a champ. Also-the fact that pumping while making dinner doesn’t gross me out in the slightest bit is a HUGE change for me.
6. My mom has been a lifesaver. I mentioned this in my last post, but I can’t say it enough: my mom has been exactly what I needed. She checks in every morning and every evening to make sure Ollie and I are doing ok, answers all of my whacky questions throughout the day, lovingly listens to me complain about aches and pains, and offers her wisdom and advice without condescension. I would say that my mom and I have the best relationship we have ever had right in this moment.
7. I talk to my husband about things that would have made me cringe before motherhood…and we are only two weeks into this journey! He genuinely listens to every little babble…he is fantastic.
8. I miss my bump, but I also LOVED wearing pants with a zipper for the first time in a LONG time. It is weird being out in public without my baby bump. It was such a defining feature for so long, and, honestly, I felt so confident with my bump. Now I am working on trying to be confident with my new self, which aches in new places and looks completely different…but eventually it will feel like me again.
9. The random bursts of emotion are getting less frequent. Hallelujah. I was starting to annoy myself with the unneeded crying spells.
10. Middle of the night feeding partners are the best. When C.J. gets up with me in the middle of the night it makes me feel so supported. Even though he can’t actually feed our baby, knowing that he is up with me ready to help change her diaper or keep me awake is a comforting feeling.
11. I am learning to adjust my stress. Anyone who knows me knows that I stress about pretty much everything, so I am very grateful to Ollie for helping me potentially learn how to stress in a healthier way. We will see how this unfolds.
12. I am forever appreciative of ANY time I get with my amazing husband. C.J. is my best friend and these last two weeks have been a bit of an adjustment. I am so used to getting him all to myself, spending our time at home or going out having fun together, and now we have our wonderful daughter as a third to our adventures. While this is awesome and I am looking forward to all of our family moments, I have realized that my time with just my husband is ever so special and that I have to make sure that it stays a priority.
Definitely not a list full of wisdom for new moms, but my second week as Ollie’s mom has been quite enjoyable. I am looking forward to what week 3 brings and how we continue to figure out life as a unit of 3.
Have a wonderful weekend. Stay warm!