It is crazy to say it but it’s true: I am a mom. Sometimes I find myself talking to Caleb and referring to myself as “mommy” or picking him up when he is crying and saying “Mommy’s here”. It catches me off guard. I am a mom. Such a great feeling and I love being the center of his world…well, maybe my breasts are the center of his world right now more than “me” but whatever. So, in the three weeks that Caleb has blessed us with his presence, I have learned a lot of things. Some things I was told by other mothers but most are things I have learned on my own. Let me share them with you…
1. Child birth hurts like hell. Everyone says “you forget what it’s like afterward so you’ll want to have more” and that really couldn’t be more true. I remember how bad it hurt. I do. But the creepiest thing is that as each day has passed, I forget a little more how painful it was. Three days after the birth, I could tell you word for word what it felt like. Today, it’s a little different. I remember it hurting but now I feel more like “meh, it hurt but it wasn’t so bad”. Seriously, that is whack. I bet you anything that Manfriend remembers how painful it was because he heard me scream, saw me blubbering, suffered through my death grip and saw his fiance morph into the devil a couple of times.
2. Babies are durable. They really are. The first day Caleb was alive, I was scared to hold him and move him. The next day? I was passing him to people like he was a little Hot Potato. Today? Pssh, we man handle this boy and he’s doing just fine.
3. You bleed like an actress in a horror film after birth. Thankfully I knew this would happen. I actually remember the first few days where I would stand up and feel a “gush”. Yeah, I know that just grossed some of you out but it is true. The day Caleb was born we were prepared with MAXIMUM pads but my sister had a better idea: Depends. Seriously, I rocked adult diapers for 3 days after Caleb was born. It was heaven too because I felt “safe” in my diaper at night. The worst part? I also rocked yoga pants so the people who were around those days inevitably saw my funky diaper butt. This is now the number one reason why I know Manfriend is “the one”. He never judged me in my diaper.
4. Pads suck. Keeping in line with the previous tidbit, I hate pads. I never use them and I have good reason- they give me a rash. Seriously, my skin is so sensitive and the “dry weave” in them must have some freaky chemical because I had the pleasure of using Caleb’s diaper rash cream before he ever did.
5. Babies make some weird noises. Caleb grunts all night long. They make weird noises in their sleep and even when they are breastfeeding they make choking/gurgling sounds. Caleb can fart and burp like my brother and when he is sleeping he has the loudest explosions in his diaper that always make Manfriend and I laugh.
6. Babies are masochists. When Caleb is hungry and frustrated, he scratches the bejesus out of his face! Thankfully we cover his hands in mittens but I have to clip his fingernails every few days because those daggers grow so quickly. It often resembles a scene from The Exorcist when he gets going.
7. Pee and poop everywhere. The first night of Caleb’s life I got soaked in pee. The newborn diapers were too small for him and he peed right out of the top. It soaked the whole front of my shirt. He pees often when we change his diaper and it is always a surprise. There is also the issue of explosive poop. I changed him one day and as his diaper was off- he had a sonic boom and his poop shot out onto our ottoman, landed on the floor, and got on my foot. The worst part: I didn’t know it was on my foot until I got in the shower that night…
*About an hour after starting this post, I changed Caleb’s diaper and while he was “commando” he projectile poo’d all down my leg and in between my toes. A-w-e-s-o-m-e.
8. Olive oil is your best friend. We were told to cover Caleb’s butt and genitals in olive oil shortly after he was born to keep the meconium from sticking everywhere. It worked like a dream! We also use olive oil on his dry skin and gave him “olive oil baths” with cotton balls the few days after his birth for his dry skin. It absorbed so much better than creams and lotions and because it is all natural, I know it won’t harm his sensitive skin.
9. Breastfeeding is TUFF! Though Caleb latched on right away we still have times where breastfeeding is difficult. Sometimes he gets so flustered that he starts head-banging my chest, opening his mouth and shaking his head, shoving his fists into is mouth…and screaming. I feel bad admitting this, but sometimes I can’t help myself and I start laughing at him.
10. Breast p-a-i-n. Yikes. The first week after birth, my nipples were so sore. They were cracked and dry and I was slathering them with Lansinoh all day. Thankfully, they don’t hurt but my nipples are still sensitive. The other thing that is strange is I can feel my breasts filling up if Caleb hasn’t eaten in a few hours. Sometimes I can tell when Caleb needs to eat just because I get a weird shooting sensation through my breasts. Definitely strange, but thankfully I haven’t had leaking issues. My breasts are no longer linked to anything pleasureful though; they are “on the clock” 24/7.
11. This love is unreal. I have never been so enamored with anyone in my life. I love this little boy so much and sometimes I find myself looking at him and crying because I just love him so much. I smother him with kisses all day. I sing songs to him to help him relax; I even made a song just for him that I sing on constant repeat because I think he likes it. I love his farts and burps but his sneezes are our absolute favorite thing! He sneezes and then yells “uh!” afterward and it wins over all who hear it. I love his furry little Keebler ears (he got my bunk ear gene) and I could stare at him all day. I never thought I would love anything this much, but what everyone says is true- it is love like you cannot imagine. (Check out that cute little duck tail on his head!)
12. Sleep is a commodity. We have been fortunate that Caleb doesn’t cry at night. In fact, he kind of just chills in bed. What he does do though, is grunt. All. Night. Long. This keeps us up. We know he is working on a poop or a fart but he lays there like Wilbur the pig and roots and toots all night long. I try to take little naps during the day but it is tough because when he sleeps I try to work or shower or do something for me. This is why you will NEVER hear me say “sleep when they sleep” to a new mom. Blah blah blah. If one more person says that I will slap them.
13. Pumping is a pain. I hate pumping breast milk. It takes forever. I won’t stop though because I want Caleb to have breast milk his first year of life but man, it is tedious.
14. Cosleeping is a dream. I was against cosleeping at first and then I read more about it and now I am glad I did. While it is not for everyone (heavy sleepers, smokers, alcohol/drug users, etc) I have found cosleeping to be wonderful for us. I love how close Caleb is to me and that when I wake up he is right there. I think this is part of the reason why he doesn’t cry at night; when he wakes up- I am there. Breastfeeding is easier as I can lay next to him and feed him and fall back asleep without having to exert too much effort. I love having Caleb in bed with us and while we know he won’t be in bed with us for a long time, I love that we have this time together.
15. We are attached. It makes sense that because Caleb spent so much time inside me that he prefers me over others but it really is amazing how much we are attached to one another. There are times when all he wants is to be with me and even though I get to hold him all day long, I still find myself wanting to hold him when people are over. When I talk he looks around the room for me, when I sit by him he locks his eyes on me, and when I hold him he smiles and opens his mouth. It is crazy that a three week old prefers my smell, my voice, my face over anyone else. But I have to admit, I prefer him too.
I am sure there is more/will be more but this is it for now!