SOCIAL MEDIA

18 March 2018

Parenthood: The First Two Weeks

+ Taking care of a newborn is not so much the hard part. The hard part is taking care of yourself when you're in too much pain and too weak to hardly walk or stand or sit...and then somehow take care of a newborn. Pretty sure I'd pick both pregnancy and labor over the ordeal of recovery, if that tells you my feelings on the matter. I've been really happy (other than when at doctor's appointments) but for a while there it was a muted, dazed sort of happiness that you're capable of feeling when your body is running on empty. I'm doing much better now in the healing process and getting ever closer to feeling like an actual human!



+ Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...but nobody on the face of the planet hath an energy burst like that of a brand-new mom whose baby is freshly fed and sleeping...who knows she has about half an hour to eat breakfast, start the laundry, wash dishes, get out everything he needs for a bath, check email, pick out ingredients for dinner, etc. I imagine I look like a tornado at these times.

+ Grandmas are the best. Our strategic decision to move into the same apartment complex as my parents has certainly proved its worth over the past few weeks. Grandpa and the two aunties are pretty enthralled with baby boy, too, but Grandma is truly magic with her mysterious knowledge of babies and everything you're supposed to do with them 24/7.


+ Babies are scary. I wake up throughout the night to look at him and check on him. He's gone to the doctor six times in his first two weeks of life. A lovely, healthy little boy, but the first thing he did after being born was get a fingernail infection (who does that??) which scared this mama, and he's also had to get poked all too often as the doctors are testing his blood. I think it's rather unkind of doctors to force poor pitiful just-given-birth moms to wait in waiting rooms with their tiny babies for all these checks. Whatever happened to old-school house calls?

+ On the "babies are scary" note, the other afternoon I was so very tired and wanted an afternoon nap, so I handed Angel the baby at 1 p.m. and told him I was going to sleep. At 1:15 p.m. I woke up suddenly, arms flailing, panicking because I couldn't remember where the baby was or if he was safe. A minute later, I realized he was with Angel, and fell back asleep until 2.


+ So far, we don't manage to use his name all that often. It's still "Baby" a lot of the time along with all sorts of random nicknames. The one I've latched onto the most is "Milk Monster," because of his resemblance to the Cookie Monster when it's time to eat. I can understand his enthusiasm for a good meal.

+ We are totally the obsessed parents who are proud of basically everything Cyrus does. Look around the room with his out-of-focus eyes. Open and close his mouth. Grab onto things with his tiny fist. Lift his head up. Flip from his belly to his side, which he started doing at 13 days old and continues to do every day. He loves being on his belly and loves trying to brace his legs against anything and push as hard as he can to move that little body. Angel even thinks it's cute when he cries. Which is good, because Angel's in charge of bathtime, and bathtime is what Cyrus hates most in the whole world. I understand, little guy. Hygiene is so annoying.


+ I don't know if I've ever laughed so much in my life as I have in the past two weeks. He's like a random facial expression generator and it's pretty much the best and funniest thing ever.

+ One of Cyrus's favorite things is what we've called "house tours." Which is really just being held and wandering from room to room all over the apartment. So, basically every baby's favorite thing--being in motion at all times. During the house tours, we often actually narrate the apartment's special features--items like stovetops and ceiling fans and bathrooms--to Cyrus so that he knows exactly the kind of home he's living in and where all of the important stuff is. For future reference.



+ While my big hurdle in the first two weeks has been recovery, Angel's big hurdle has been paperwork. Mountains of it. Nothing about finances or insurance, like you might imagine, because it's really simple here--the hospital just charged our credit card for his birth before we were checked out. Instead, it's mountains of identity paperwork as we get ready to head to the embassy to get this baby registered as a U.S. Citizen and get a blue passport and all that good stuff. Actually, our first outing as a family of three was to get passport photos taken. Cyrus really did not want to open his eyes for the passport photos and it was quite the hilarious ordeal, but in the end, we got the photos. As I shuffled back to the car after photos, a tiny elderly lady stopped us to scold me roundly for having such a young baby out in public and for being out in public myself, and to tell me I should be wearing long pants and long sleeves so I don't get too cold and we should just be staying at home and it's not good to be out so soon, I haven't had time to heal yet. It was hilarious, but internally I was pretty much agreeing with her. In this culture, moms and babies stay "confined" for a month after birth. There are many traditions associated with this confinement period, but in general, I kind of like the idea of staying home for that first month--I liked it even before I knew how difficult recovery was. Being out getting passport pictures taken was about the last thing I wanted to do, but what options do you have when Angel has limited leave from work and we need to all appear at the embassy very soon?

+ My favorite moments so far have been family rest time, when everything mysteriously aligns and the three of us all somehow have time and are inclined to napping at the same time. I look around the room and see my Angel and my Cyrus and I cry because I can't believe how amazing this is.

13 comments :

  1. Oh girl. Recovery is horrible and I felt the same way. It was so much worse than birth because it dragged on for weeks! I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better. Cyrus is the cutest little thing and I’m so happy for you!

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  2. I seriously could not love a post more. So beyond thrilled for you. That baby is just perfection!

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  3. What a crazy, exhausting, scary, overwhelming, wonderful time! Cyrus is just adorable! :)

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  4. Yes! So much joy and so much pain in those first several weeks! I agree that recovery was the biggest thing I did NOT anticipate! You're doing great!

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  5. Wow! Wishing you quicker recovery. Cyrus is the most adorable baby!!

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  6. Oh Cyrus is so cute! What a little cutie :) Peter hated bathtime for the longest time too! It surprised me because I thought all little kids naturally love baths.
    Hang in there with the recovery! As I think about postpartum with my first and think about the upcoming birth of #2, I've marveled about how newborn babies really aren't that difficult to care for (for the most part)-but it is still so exhausting and such a huge adjustment. Give yourself time! I'm really excited that this time around, I'll have a midwife and birth assistant who do home visits in the first couple weeks, because that sounds way more appealing to me than last time when I had to haul the new baby (and myself) over to the doctor's office in those early days and weeks.

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  7. I cried whilst reading this! He is such a LOVE! Congratulations, Mamma. You are doing such amazing things for him every single day! xX (remember to take care of yourself along the way though... I'm sure Angel is reminding you this too xx)

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  8. He is so completely precious. I'm sorry to hear that recovery has been so difficult for you. I hope it gets increasingly better day by day!

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  9. OMG, he looks so much like Angel. He's precious. Thanks for sharing. I hope you recover quickly, but definitely enjoy those first months. Its goes so quickly! God Bless!

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  10. He's so cute and looks so much like Angel! Although I am not a mother yet, I am thankful for your transparency about what it's like - especially the first couple of weeks! You're both going to be amazing parents and I am excited to see the ways God is going to continue walking with you both through this journey of parenthood!

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  11. Aww, loved hearing more about your past two weeks! So exciting. I'm not a mom yet but I imagine motherhood isn't easy.

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  12. He does have quite the best facial expressions ever and looks so much like his dad :)

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  13. Congratulations again!! :] He's so adorable, and I love that you're doing "house tours"--that's so cute! :P

    Best of luck to you with all the paperwork--that can't be fun, but it'll be such a relief when that's all finally done with!!

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