Biggest Surprise: Dreading Going Back to School
I have mentioned before that I am a bit of a workaholic. So I was not expecting to feel so not ready to go back to school after taking two weeks off. As week two went by I was dreading going back more and more. I guess it’s because I am very proud of lots of things that I have accomplished, but I have never done anything as wonderful as making Baby M. And the thought of leaving her was really hard – especially after she had been right there with me 24/7 for 43 weeks! Luckily, I am happy to report that the dread was worse than the actual going back. And I guess that is my biggest surprise for week 3. I am very lucky that I only have to leave for a couple of hours at a time to go to class – and there are only 2 days of the week when I have more than one class a day. This means I don’t have to deal with the same pumping challenges or being away for long stretches that full-time working moms have to deal with. I still don’t like leaving her, but short time periods definitely make it easier.
Biggest Challenge: Will Got Sick :(
When baby girl was 10 days old, Will woke up and said, “My throat feels a little scratchy, I’m not sure if I should hold her this morning.” And unfortunately he felt worse from there. It wasn’t strep or anything – just a standard upper respiratory virus – but definitely not anything you want around a new mom or baby. Luckily, my mom was still in town and so baby girl and I moved in with mom for almost a week and quarantined Will at home with the dogs. It was the right thing to do. It allowed Will to get some rest and get well, and it kept Lil’ M and I from getting sick. But it was hard on Will to not hold his baby for a week (he said he felt guilty for sleeping and not being able to help) and it was hard on us because we missed him.
Best Baby Care Item: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
I downloaded this album from iTunes for my phone and it is one of the best baby calming tools that we have now. She loves classical music, especially classical music with strings. We also got a few classical CDs for her and a CD player (which was surprisingly hard to find – guess they are going the way of the tape player lol), but the Vivaldi is her favorite. It is really handy to have it on my phone so we can play it anywhere.
Best Mommy Care Item: Coconut Oil
Nursing gets easier everyday, but sore nipples are part of life now. I have found that coconut oil is the easiest and best relief. I like it even better than the gel pads that you put in the fridge. It’s naturally anti-microbial and anti-fungal and all that good stuff. And it’s safe for baby without washing before the next feeding, so need to wash or wipe it off before nursing again. Anything that can take one less step at this point is a good thing :)
Favorite Memory: Sleeping In My Arms and Hugging Me Back
I love watching her sleep in my arms – still her favorite place to sleep. We have finally gotten her to sleep in the Mamma Roo and the swing some, but boy does she love to be held. It is fine by me though. I could just watch her sleep and snuggle her for hours. My favorite week three memory was the first time she hugged me back. She had just finished eating and I put her on my shoulder to burp and instead of her normal arms flopped out she reached around and grabbed the back of my shoulder with her little right hand. Ohhh – just made me melt :)
Other Thoughts to Share:
Have a Post-Partum Plan
It is so important to have help in the first few weeks and it is much easier to ask for help before you need it. We have had lots of help from family and friends – from my mom helping around the house last week and helping babysit this week while I went back to school to our friend from the gym bringing us casserole for dinner one night to my friend from school bringing me lunch to my aunt and my cousin who are coming next week for a few days to help out – and I am so grateful. It is hard to know exactly what you will need, but it will help to give it some thought before baby arrives. Here is a great worksheet that our doula helped us find. I highly recommend it.