I can't believe I've been a mommy now for two whole weeks. Two weeks ago, I left for the hospital with a giant belly and got to leave with a tiny beautiful baby...it still blows my mind. They have definitely been the most amazing, most emotional, most stressful, most exhausting, most wonderful weeks of my entire life. I've tried to soak up every second of mommyhood so far, but I know with the lack of sleep, overwhelming emotions and raging hormones I probably won't remember as much as I want to. So this is my attempt to document Mac's first few weeks of life. It's more for me than anything, but I'll throw in some cute baby pictures to keep you entertained.
We were in the hospital from Sunday morning until Thursday afternoon. The staff at the hospital was great. There was only one nurse that we didn't really care for, and one nurse that we fell madly in love with. The first few days were incredibly emotional (and very hormonal). I think I cried at least a dozen times. Mostly because I was so happy, but also because I was terrified. It's such a surreal feeling to be handed a child and expected to know what to do with him. It's such a huge responsibility and can feel so overwhelming, but then you look into those little eyes and your heart melts and you know that you will do whatever it takes to give this child absolutely everything he needs or wants.
We left the hospital and brought Mac home on Thursday. It was a crazy chaotic experience. As prepared as we thought we were at home, we weren't even close. Since I had a c-section, I couldn't take the stairs, except to go up at night for bed. This meant that we'd have to have a baby station upstairs as well as downstairs. Ryan and I scrambled for hours getting the house ready and set-up and comfortable for our new lifestyle. By the time we went to bed that evening we were absolutely exhausted. And in true newborn fashion, Mac didn't make it any easier on us. It was a hell of a night and we didn't get much sleep at all. Mac had meltdown after meltdown, all night long. The crying nearly brought us both to tears. We were horrified - what happened to our sweet peaceful baby? What were we doing wrong? How do we fix it? What does he want? We still have so much to learn.
The next day, our angel baby was back. We had his newborn pictures done and he slept like a log through the entire session. He was perfect. He slept all day, obviously exhausted by our all-night scream party the evening before. But this also let Ryan and I get some rest too. By the end of the day, we were ready for our little "night terror" to appear again. This time we had a plan. We devised schedules. We were ready. But, Mac was a perfect baby all night long. He went right back to sleep after feedings, he slept until we woke him for food, he barely cried at all. Go figure. Every day is a new experience, every day is different, every day is an adventure. And I can't wait for the next day, to see what it will bring.
At our first pediatrician appointment, Mac was up in weight from when we left the hospital. The doctor told us we were doing a great job. That stamp of approval was the best feeling in the world. We'd managed to keep him alive for an entire week...now we just had to keep it up for 18 or so more years. Easy as cake, right? And just when it felt like we were getting the hang of things, Ryan had to go back to work and left me and Mac home alone. I have to admit that I was terrified of needing help with the baby and not having Ryan around, but we made it. I still can't seem to get anything accomplished during the day, which blow my mind. When Ryan gets home I still haven't showered or eaten or cleaned up or anything, but the kid is well-fed and that's all that matters. Seriously, where does the time go? Surely I'll get better at this, right? (please say yes)
After three days, it was so nice having Ryan back home for the weekend. We spent most of Saturday in a complete sleepless stupor, wanting desperately to nap, but unable to get the baby to sleep. He was up for hours - gassy and fussy and just plain uncomfortable. It is the hardest thing ever to feel so helpless and not be able to make it better for your baby. I had no idea that as his mom, I would physically hurt and feel pain when my child cried. When he hurts, I do too. It's an amazing connection. But then to make up for it, he slept like a log all night long. We woke up Sunday rested and ready to take on the world again. Down one day, up the next - the new story of our lives. After spending all day Saturday cooped up, we were determined to get out of the house and get some fresh air. We packed up the baby bag, the stroller, the dogs and everything else we might possibly need for an outing (which only took about 3 hours to accomplish), and headed to the park to go for a walk. However, Mac wasn't having it. Within 10 minutes he was screaming bloody murder and I was in tears. We couldn't figure out whether he was hot or hungry or what. We panicked and packed everyone back up and headed back home. Turns out he was just hungry...only 45 minutes after his last feeding, he was starving again. Once he ate, he was out like a light. So much to learn.
Two weeks ago, I became a mom and my life will never be the same.
It's much better than I ever imagined.