Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week 1 (In Words and Pictures)

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Week 1 with a new baby, whether it's your first or subsequent child, is a pretty surreal experience, in my humble opinion. First off, moms, I don't know about you, but for at least a week after giving birth, I constantly look down at this little person, (well, actually, not so little person, seeing as how he was born just an ounce shy of nine pounds), and marvel to myself, "I cannot believe this person was INSIDE OF ME a day ago," three days ago, a week ago, etc. Am I the only one who finds this freakin' dumbfounding? Yes, I know, I was there for the whole pregnancy thing, but it still blows my mind.

Also, I feel like I go into a cocoon world known as: our own house. Inside, I feel safe and important. I am honored and pampered for having just gone through the physical demands of childbirth. Kind people bring us food. I am forgiven for my appearance when showers don't happen but spit-up does. I am pretty critical to keeping at least 3 people alive. But outside? And I don't mean literally "outdoors", but rather, back into regular society -- I feel totally out of place. I am a nobody, wishing I were wearing a sign around my neck that reads, "I just gave birth," as if that would make the seas part in front of me. Also, I tend to feel like people should be gushing over the baby (whether he's with me or not) as if I'm the first woman to have ever had a child, or perhaps as if he's the key to the continuance of the human race or something, I don't know. Pretty ridiculous, but I'm just being honest.

Then, you've got the hormone swings, onset of sleep deprivation, and, well, the anti-cocoon feeling. Which is to say, I'll be cruising along just fine, and then suddenly I'll snap due to feeling housebound and exclaim, "I have GOT to get out of here." So, in Week 1, I think I made it to Target, Walgreens, and the GAP Outlet to run quick errands, where, by the way, I lost my car keys and instead of just thinking of hailing a cab, I was on the verge of tears. There have been several bouts of tears since Waylon was born; sometimes spontaneous tears of overwhelming emotion and joy, and sometimes tears of frustration.

Joe has been amazing through everything. While I can think of nothing more stupid than a couple having a baby to bring them closer together (you do hear about people trying that, you know), I have to say that I think in our case it does bring out the best in us. We dig deeper for patience with each other (and the girls), and we cut each other more slack. I feel like Joe was watching me like a pot about to boil over all week, paying attention to everything from my food and water intake to whether I'd had a chance to leave the building or shower, and knowing all the right times to say, "You go take a nap, I'll handle it." We quickly fell into a pattern of me covering almost all nighttime duties (since I'm nursing, it just makes sense that way to me), and him then helping me make up for lost sleep by shouldering a bit more of the daytime parenting. [He went back to work today.] : (

But enough about us (for now). Let's talk about the children.
June: enamored with her little brother. Generally going with the flow.
Georgia: enamored with her little brother. But totally off kilter from the disturbance to her world caused by having a new little brother. Pushing all of our buttons. (<--UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY.) But maybe she's adjusting? Her behavior has been improving the last couple of days.
Waylon: oh my gosh, where do I begin? You forget how incredibly soft newborns are until you have one. I just want to pet him. We have kissed him approximately 7 million times already, and I nibble on his cheek constantly and try to stifle the urge to eat him up. After nursing, he likes to pass out with his head up on your chest or shoulder, and it's the most calming, wholly satisfying feeling you can imagine. The little puffs of his breath against my ear or cheek seem to mean that all is right in the world, and suddenly quitting our jobs, living off savings until it runs out, and having like 10 children sounds like a good idea. Sure, we'd be out of money by Memorial Day or something, but whatever - details, details. Love is all you need, kumbaya, etc. That is the sentiment. In short, I am prone to bursting into tears a la Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona when she proclaims, "I just love him so much!" Especially if a sentimental song comes on the stereo. Oh Lord, then it's all over.

So yeah, it was a rough week, but we are so happy. So very, very happy.

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First Cubs game. Oh no. (BTW, can I just give a blanket "please excuse the appearance of our downstairs" that applies to all pictures until the renovations are complete, say, 6 months from now? Thanks.)

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For the record, I am not asking her to pose for these things. If I asked her to pose or smile or anything, she'd run away. This is just what she does to him all day long.

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Boy, do I look tired. Oh well. Tired but happy.

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You kidding me? Georgia's birthday again?

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My sister and brother in law generously gave us a newborn photography session as a baby gift. Georgia was SO excited to get to be the photographer's assistant by holding up this muslin blanket to diffuse the light that I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the work in progress. (I haven't seen the results yet, except for this sneak peak on the photog's blog.)

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First bottle with Dad in the dark. (We're hoping to avoid the bottle refusal that we went through with June.)

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Re-learning my Moby Wrap skills. Waylon's in there, in case you couldn't tell.

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Photo credit:  Elaine Melko.  (Snapped on my camera, so edited by moi.)

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Kate, those are absolutely beautiful! I love the shots of June with him. And I can see the resemblance with Georgia. So cute! I'm glad you're enjoying this. Definitely lots of family time! And you guys are an adorable family!

Danni said...

Aww this post made me teary eyed! I'm so happy for you and I do think you're basically a superhero.

Emily said...

Pictures are great and puffs of milky newborn breath - ahh! I felt the same way when I ventured out after Caris was born; after months of being obviously pregnant and people being nice to me, when I really actually needed them to be nice to me was when I had just HAD the baby, but nobody knew I just HAD a baby, so nobody was nice to me. We should all get a T-shirt. Also, I love the photo and art (?) display in your hallway - hope it's not too stalkerish that I noticed it (behind Beth). Sending warm fuzzy thoughts your way and wishing I could come give all the kiddos a squeeze.

Anonymous said...

Love these! And there's Aunt Beth with new baby Waylon - Yeah! Tom T.

Ann said...

Great post. So true. And I'm totally feeling you on the pampering thing. I realized this week as I jumped on the subway post-pregnancy (and with baby at home) that I still felt entitled to a seat on the train! What?? No one wants to get up for me? I had to remind myself that the pregnant days are over. Officially. So yeah, I'll take my mom and mother-in-law catering to me around the house any day! Have to enjoy it while I can. Best to you and hope you start catching up on sleep. Yeah, right.