Where to start?! There is so much I want to write about and so LITTLE time. In fact, the baby is trying to wake up right now.
For having a newborn, we are doing really well. I’m up every 2-3 hours to feed him at night, but I’m actually going back to sleep fairly easily after each feeding (different from last time). He also isn’t screaming at me during each feeding so my nerves aren’t shot. It’s amazing to have a baby who is soothed by breastfeeding. I can understand why breastfeeding is so special for so many women. The boob is magic to this kid. Once again, so different from last time. Breastfeeding James is like some superpower. I can just hit him with the boob and he relaxes. It was the opposite for Mae. I don’t have any goal for how long I’ll breastfeed him. I’m just thankful for each day that we are successful, and I have no expectations.
We have had so much support. My mom stayed with us for about the first ten days. She covered almost all of the care for Mae, so I was able to take care of James and Jimmy could take care of me. This was HUGE for my recovery. I felt so protected and safe. It was like my mom and Jimmy were my guardians, and I could just relax, knowing they had my back completely. I wasn’t able to accept this kind of help last time. I was trying to be supermom.
Just last weekend, my mother-in-law came up and she cleaned out my fridge! That’s the kind of support we’ve gotten. One of my best friends came to visit and helped fix our broken faucet. People have been so helpful, but more than the help, it’s just made us feel loved and not alone. Having a newborn can be isolating.
I’ve also made self care a priority. Jimmy and I give each other at least one small break per day. He might go for a run. I might nap. Or I might just run to Target to walk around for a little bit by myself. These snippets of self care are only possible because Red Hat has given Jimmy 6 WEEKS of paternity leave. I truly believe this is the main reason I’m not suffering from postpartum anxiety. Every mother and family deserves this support and time with a partner at home. I’m almost positive I wouldn’t be doing as well if he was at work. And it also gives him time to bond with James. I pumped a bottle for the first time yesterday and Jimmy got to do a late-night feeding. It was so sweet to hear him talking to James as I drifted in and out of sleep at 3 AM.
And the last difference I’ll mention while I have one more free moment: I know this is fleeting. I know it is the “longest shortest time.” When I’m up at 2 AM, I am tired, but I am also soaking up his sweet smell and face. I understand how temporary this all is, and I couldn’t understand that last time. (It’s also impossible to soak up and enjoy a colicky bab like Mae was).
So that’s the quick report. He is really waking up now and I’m going to breastfeed (in public!). Go me!