I kept thinking I was prepared for motherhood. After all I have been a nanny since I was 18- kind of the same thing right? Haha…
Bringing Hayden home was a mix of relief, excitement, and nerves. I didn’t get to just buzz in a midwife to check his temperature, or see if that weird spot there was normal. It was about to just be me and Alex and this tiny little baby who was totally dependent on us. Not to mention getting back to our other little guy Murphy after 5 days away in the hospital.
One thing I had not anticipated nearly enough as I should have were the hormones- the crazy cry inducing hormones that make me look like a weirdo when I cried because Alex ate lunch before me. Yeah those kind of nutso hormones. Plus there is the overwhelming knowledge that I am the most important person in this tiny humans life- the feeding machine. It kind of didn’t dawn on me just how often this baby needs to eat. I am the 24/7 drive through now and thats a big responsibility. Plus breastfeeding is not as easy as it may look- plus its a new concept for him too so we needed to get into the “flow” of things pun intended. I cried a lot the first week I will not lie, it was harder than I expected and the perfectionist in me was not getting everything right.
We had only been home for three days when I came down with the dreaded MASTITIS! Fever, chills, and yes a nice blocked milk duct to make me feel horrible. No I had not anticipated this part of the journey either and no one really warned me enough about it- yes I had heard the word and knew the symptoms but I was in agony. My milk supply was greater than the demand and my body is still working that equation out. Thank the Lord for antibiotics! The mastitis fever brought on a lovely bunch of cold sores not to mention the stress brought on the WORST dermatitis I have ever had on my hands. Needless to say my body has been very run down. I am finally feeling more like myself again but it has taken two weeks since the birth of the most handsome little man I have ever laid my eyes on (okay tied with his daddy).
Motherhood is not like nannying- I knew this but now I REALLY REALLY know this. Alex and I are getting the hang of things and have worked out a pretty tight night time routine to maximize sleep for both of us. I could not have gotten through any of this without him holding my hand and trying to laugh at my crazy hormone tears. I have never loved him more.
Now onto little Hayden. He is just doing fabulous- thankfully he cant comment on my nasty looking lips (the worst part of that being I cannot kiss him, so Alex has been doing double the kisses for me), he is a super sleeper and definitely likes to eat. He also loves to just look around and take in his new surrounding with those big eyes, we are still debating if they will be blue or brown by the end of this year. One of his best qualities so far is he is easy to settle (unless there is gas) and he really doesn’t cry unless we are changing him or he is ready to eat. Hayden is gaining weight which makes this mommy very happy because I cant wait to see some chunky legs and cheeks he is now over 6 pounds YIPPE. Murphy has taken to this tiny human too and loves to lick his feet and be very close all the time- sometimes too close. Watching Alex being so taken with Hayden makes my heart swell to abnormal sizes and I can imagine hearts just floating around my head. He is an amazing daddy and so attentive to us both.
I know these newborn days are fleeting and that the lack of sleep will only last for so long- I am doing my best to savor the moments when Hayden is just quietly sleeping on my chest because like anything in life it wont be like this forever. He is so tiny and cute, Alex keeps saying he doesn’t want him to grow, of course I do because I cant wait to see all the milestones he will hit over the next months and years, but it is hard to imagine him not being so itty bitty. Having a child is really the most amazing thing even when everything seems so overwhelming looking down at that adorable face puts everything into perspective. The joy he brings me will always outweigh any of nights when I feel exhausted and frustrated.
Parenthood is going to be such an adventure and I am looking forward to talking about it and being real about the parts that are awesome and the parts that really kind of suck. Right now I am going to go stare at my son for approximately a millions hours and keep letting my love for him and his dad grow and grow because I never knew how much my heart could expand in the span of two weeks.