One Month Later

One month ago today, Baby Girl was born and everything I thought I knew about babies and motherhood was put to the test. I thought parents were supposed to be the teachers in the mother & father/child relationship but I’ve learned more from this little girl in the last month than I ever thought possible. While I wouldn’t call it an easy course in parenthood, (there have been moments that I wanted to escape a hot bubble bath in another country) and God knows we’re not out of the woods yet, I am smart enough to know that she’s a pretty good baby. In most cases if she’s fussy she’s hungry and she’s a champion sleeper so I’d say we got pretty lucky.

Here are a few things I’ve learned:

#1. There is a difference between fussing and crying. Hell, there’s even a difference between making noise and fussing. Fussing means that she wants to be held, needs to be changed, or is too hot or cold. Crying means she’s hungry and her mother is looking at the clock thinking “it’s not time yet.” I think in her head she’s thinking, “WTF mom, a clock can not tell you when I’m hungry. Get to the kitchen and get me a bottle.” In my defense figuring out her feeding schedule (or lack thereof) has been one of the hardest things to determine. I don’t want to be the mom that shoves a bottle in her face every time she makes a noise thereby contributing to ‘fat kid america‘ but I don’t want to starve my baby either. Once the pediatrician said to feed on demand, I felt a lot better about not trying to stay on a real strict schedule.

#2. This world is a big scary place for babies and when all else fails – the child is fed, diapered and at an appropriate temperature – she usually just needs to be held and made to feel safe and secure. For me that means holding her tighter than I would ever think could be comfortable and doing the bounce and sway move that parents have been doing for a bazillion years, but it typically works to put her to sleep or at least settle her down.

#3. Newborns don’t stay newborns very long. It’s only been a month and already she’s outgrown anything that’s sized newborn. There were some outfits we had for her that she didn’t even get to wear. She’s already way more alert than she was three or four short weeks ago, she coos and smiles (I don’t care if it’s gas, if her lips are turned up, it’s a smile!). It’s amazing to watch her develop and grow, but it sucks too. It makes me want to document every moment of her life and save them for the days that she’s running around the kitchen and we’re yelling at her to sit still. (This is probably why we have approximately 325 pictures of her!)

#4. I don’t care about those men that work on rooftops or fight bad guys (I do actually, but go with me here…) being a parent is the scariest job in the world. When I snuggle with my daughter and look into her sweet little innocent face, all I can think about is how I want to protect her from anything bad – from bumps and bruises to heartache and disappointment. I don’t ever want her to know pain and I would give anything if I could do that for her. Knowing that I can’t breaks my heart a little.

#5. Post partum recovery sucks. Enough said.

#6. I don’t think I could be a full time stay at home mom, but I think going back to work in less than two weeks is going to suck worse than when I wasn’t allowed to go to Homecoming my freshman year in high school. (Yes, I survived but that was maybe one of the biggest disappointments for a 13-going-on-21-girl ever! ::Sigh::) I’ve liked being able to work a little from home and go in here and there for meetings, but there’s a big difference between that and having to be at the office nine hours a day, five days a week. I do have my own office now, do you think anyone would notice if I snuck her in there with me?

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