It’s been two weeks since our sweet RC made his arrival and we love him so much. But at the same time, as it is with any newborn, my life has been in a state of limbo. I feel like our whole house is a paused video with that little buffering circle going around and around and around. Trying to find some semblance of a routine feels like an absolute impossibility. And let’s face it, it pretty much is. RC has no idea what’s going on and all he does know is that he’s in a very bright, loud, and strange place. He’s feeling these strange new feelings, hunger, wet diapers, being cold, people poking and prodding him constantly. That’s enough to make anyone want to scream and wail. Also, the one constant thing he’s known in his whole existence was me, all around him. Now, I’m no longer all around him, he’s on the outside and he has to call for me.
We’re all fairly sleep deprived, except for maybe my toddler who doesn’t seem to be bothered by the late night/early morning screaming sessions (yes, I just knocked on wood!). My husband and I could seriously use an IV of coffee. We’re trying to find a good balance for the both of us since he does have to go to work during the day and I have to function for a newborn and an active toddler. He takes the first few hours of the night/morning, and I do the second half. I wouldn’t say it’s working perfectly, RC is still flipped with his days and nights. He wants to eat just about every hour, and sometimes it takes an entire hour for him to eat if I’m breastfeeding. Breastfeeding…
I realize that it is suppose to be this natural thing, human instinct, so to speak. But it’s really just not. We’re still having trouble with latching and he seems to prefer a bottle to my “naturalness” and will pretty much only latch if I have a shield on. I’m trying to pump as much as I can but I just can’t stand cleaning all of the parts every single time I use it. I will say that the pumping has helped with my supply, so there’s that. Plus, at least with the pumping, I can give him more of my milk than if we just gave him formula instead. You do what works I suppose.
Then there was the entire first week of his life spent at the pediatrician and hospital lab. He had jaundice and, while it wasn’t severe enough to need a bili-bed, it was still high and continued to go up as the week went on. So every morning we would take Mr. G to my parents’ house (huge thanks to them by the way!) and then make our way to the hospital to get RC’s little foot pricked again. Then sometimes it was also a trip to the pediatrician for a weight check. We were told to start supplementing so he could gain weight and also to help get the bilirubin out of his system (done by pooping, in case you were wondering) when he was three days old so maybe that has something to do with our breast feeding issues. So that first week, which my husband thankfully had off, we didn’t have a chance to adjust, to just be home and learn about this new little human in our family.
I realize that, to some, these may not seem like huge problems to have. I realize that. To the mom who has lost their child, to the woman who is having fertility issues, I realize these are issues they wish they had. I’m not writing this to complain. I’m writing this as more of a diary entry. This time goes by so fast, although it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. I’m also writing this in case there’s another mother out there going through the same thing and needs to read something that makes them feel like “Yes! I’m right there with you!” Whenever I’m with other mom’s and I mention something I’m going though and they validate me by say “Yes! Me too!”, it automatically makes me feel better. No matter if you got 4 hours or 30 minutes of sleep the night before, it will make you feel better!
So what helps me during this hard stage of parenting? Coffee! Caffeine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. But seriously, it really does help me. Getting out of the house helps. Even if I have both kids, it still helps to change the scenery. It also REALLY helps that Mr. G goes to preschool 3 days a week for 4 hours. It makes running an errand easier for sure, but also just provides a mental break. I love that little boy, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nice to turn on the radio and just listen to music or watch something other than PBS kids or even read a magazine! Yes, RC does need me much more than Mr. G does, but in a much different way. He also doesn’t run around like crazy and sleeps at different points of the day. Mr. G? The napping concept is lost on him now!
I know this will all iron itself out eventually. It did with Mr. G and it will with RC too. It’s just a process for all of us. RC is learning what the heck this world is and we’re learning how to love on him, soothe him, and care for him. Every baby is different. Each day is different. Each day is new. If you’re reading this and just nodding your head, I feel ya. Pour a cup of coffee (you know, not too much if your breastfeeding! ha!), raise it up and know that I’m sitting here clinking my favorite mug with yours! Cheers to being moms!