July 20, 2013

this is harder than i thought

I've never been one of those people who tries to make things seem different or better than they are. In fact, I've been told that I can sometimes be honest to a fault. So I'm quick to admit that taking care of a newborn baby is much harder than I ever imagined. I realize now that newborns want to be held almost all the time, and I've never been around one all alone before. In the past there was always a room full of people waiting to take turns to hold the baby. When you take care of one on your own it's just you, one set of arms, one back and body to carry the weight of the baby for hours and hours. That's just one reason why this is hard. 

My baby has also become fussy since my husband has gone back to work. She now has two holding positions that sooth her and nothing else will do. Sometimes just holding her in one of those two positions isn't even enough. She also needs to be walked around the apartment and rocked. If I don't do that whole combination then come the tears and nonstop crying. Add in diaper changes, nursing, burping, normal everyday stuff and the whole thing is pretty exhausting to do alone. Thankfully, once my husband gets home from work he's more than ready to hold her and spend time with her.

I'm just now starting to feel better after the pregnancy and labor. I've been feeling so cooped up for months from being hugely pregnant and then recovering from a difficult labor and delivery. Now that I'm physically ready to get outside, start enjoying my body and the summer the heat wave begins. In order to avoid exposing our baby to extreme heat my husband and I have been taking her out on walks early in the morning. It makes for a long day, but I need to feel the sun and move around. 

This weekend is the Pitchfork music festival. My husband and I were offered free passes to go from a friend or ours and we had to turn them down to work and take care of our baby. So it seems at least for a while that sort of lifestyle won't be happening for us. I know that's what we signed up for when we decided to be parents, but the reality of it takes some getting used to. I can't seem to find the time to call my friends as often as I'd like to. Reading a book seems like joke, and sometimes just getting a moment to eat when I'm hungry is more of a challenge than I would have guessed. I will miss the casual afternoons grabbing lunch with a friend, going out to see a movie with my husband and randomly staying out late unexpectedly. Gone are those days, for now at least.

I love my baby, she's absolutely beautiful. Her smile has brought tears to my eyes many times. I just never knew how challenging this was actually going to be, and this is coming from a former nanny. I know this is a precious time, but I will admit I prefer babies once they get a little bit older. I'm ready for her to hold her head up on her own, sit up and have the ability to entertain herself for at least a little while here and there. I've been told that it starts getting a little easier once they are about three months old. She's nearly seven weeks, so we're getting there. In the meantime, I'm very thankful to have a partner in this and family and friends who have been quick to offer their help and support. I need it.


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