Being welcomed home by my family was the perfect way to start off our journey as new parents. I had plenty of helpful hands to hold the little guy and all meals were planed and prepared before I could even think about being hungry. Just having my family there made things so simple and it was wonderful sharing this special time with them. On Sunday, Teri, Fred and Kelly Learned came down from Winston-Salem to meet the little guy, too.
By Sunday night, the exhaustion and the realness of being a new mom was beginning to hit me. I was so tired and I was still fighting off a head cold. My Dad suggested that we play a round of “Settlers of Catan” and given my love for the game, I agreed. I didn’t make it very long before Donovan was awake and needing to be fed. The rest of the events are a bit foggy, but I do remember loosing my cool and basically ending the game. I was beginning to learn that my priorities would be playing second fiddle to my baby for a while.
My sisters and Dad left on Monday, but my Mom was able to stay with us for a week. Having my Mom stay with us was such a gift. Moms know you. They know what you need, want, and what you don’t. They do things without you asking or without needing pleasantries or ‘thank yous’. They do it because they are your Mom and they love you. I am lucky to have learned how to be a Mom from a woman who is an amazing example of selfless and unconditional love. I know in that first week I was not always patient or nice. I was sleep-deprived, stressed, and trying to adjust to the craziest change of my life. My mom was there to help me get the hang of nursing, which was no simple task. She was there to teach me how to BE a mom by showing me tips and tricks that must be part of a secret motherhood society. She was there to make the most delicious meals, because you know meals taste better when they are made by your Mom. She was there to give me a break when I needed it. She was there to make me go on a date with Doug before she left, since she knew that time alone together would be hard to find as new parents. She was there to do every chore that I had forgotten about because I had a new baby that demanded my full attention and who has time for chores with a newborn?!? She was there to help with errands and to prepare meals for after she left. She was there to tell me that I was doing a good job, even when I felt that I wasn’t.
In the first week we did enjoy a few outings:
To the pediatrician: We loved our doctor. She was so sweet with Donovan and she was super helpful with all things breastfeeding. She said that things were looking good.
To Target: This was my first solo outing. It felt strangely amazing to be able to go somewhere alone. I could zip through the aisles and I could do whatever I wanted! Of course, I was on a short time-frame, since feedings were every three hours or less, so my freedom was short-lived but very much appreciated.
To Verde: This is where Doug and I went for our first date as new parents. I love Cuban food and everything was delicious! I also enjoyed my first beer post pregnancy! It was nice to spend time with Doug without any distraction. It was hard leaving the little guy, but I knew he was in good hands with my Mom.
To the office: My breast pump (thank you insurance!!) was delivered to my office because I lived on campus. It was nice to pop in and see all of my co-workers. They wanted to know all of the details of the birth and how things were going. I know that they were dying to meet the little guy, too!
To walk around Davidson: Doug and I took Stella and Donovan out for our first walk to enjoy the beautiful weather. We put him in his carrier and used the stroller, but we quickly realized that the brick around campus was really bumpy so we had to take alternate routes. It was nice to get out and move my body after being cooped up for a week.
We had a few more visitors before my Mom left. Shanoya, Brian and Rosie all came over to catch up and meet the little guy. Sarah and Cayce came a little bit later too. It was fun introducing everyone to this little person that they had been waiting to meet for so long.
Donovan got his first bath by the end of his first week. It was my mom’s expertise that made the whole process possible. It is so much harder than it looks. Who knew that bathing a little human would be so difficult?
I was so sad to see my mom go. And I’d like to blame all of the hormones, but I have always been an emotional person when it comes to family. We were so thankful for all of her help and we knew that she had done so much. And we couldn’t wait to have her back just a few weeks later.
By the end of the first week, I was feeling pretty confident that Doug and I could do this parenting thing. I knew that we could handle it together. And I knew that my Mom had passed on so much to us in that first week together.
From Me to You