The first month felt like an up hill battle. We were trying to figure things out and nothing felt consistent. But suddenly, the second month arrived and things finally clicked. We had learned what made Donovan happy and what did not. We had breastfeeding down and I had adjusted to the interesting new schedule of on-demand feeding. Even the lack of sleep started to sting less and I enjoyed my morning snuggle sessions with the little guy so much more.
It is human nature to want things immediately. However, pregnancy and parenthood have been the best teachers. You can’t just wake up and say, “today, I would like to be pregnant” or “I’d like to have this baby today” (although I really wish that I could have) or “Now seems like a good time for my baby to sleep though the night.” Some things takes time. I have learned to stop trying to be in control of everything and be patient. Besides, life is happening, so I might as well enjoy the ride 🙂
Having a new baby is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And the second hardest thing has been slowing down and appreciating the time that I have with him. Babies do grow and change quickly and I always need to remember that this is a beautiful thing. While on my maternity leave I reminded myself each day that these were special moments with him and that I needed to be present and make each day count instead of counting the dreaded days until I would have to return to work. Of course the days were long; that’s what happens when you are up day and night with a crying baby who is demanding to be fed or changed or just held. But when it ended, it just didn’t feel like it was long enough. I mean ‘long enough’ in the sense that I wanted more time, but it also signaled the end of this break from reality. The end of this special time that allowed me to solely focus on what Donovan needed and to learn all about him. It was bittersweet re-entering the working world. Above all, I was so grateful for that time together.
Returning to work wasn’t too bad because I worked about 500 yards from my apartment on campus. I was able to make my schedule flexible enough to run home for feedings. It was the end of the school year as well, so meetings and the demands of my job were already decreasing. I was able to return just in time for graduation and closing, so I got to say good-bye to my students. I also knew that I would be leaving my job in July, so most projects had been wrapped up and handed off well before Donovan was born. I started job searching more frequently in hopes of securing a job before we moved.
To help with the transition, Cathy, Doug’s step-mother, came to stay for two weeks. She was absolutely wonderful. It was great having an extra set of hands to help with everything. She made many delicious meals and I finally made it back to the gym. I know that she enjoyed lots of one-on-one time with Donovan. And she took Stella for many great walks, too!
We celebrated my first Mother’s Day as a mother of a real baby! Stella will always be my first baby, but this year it had a new meaning. In my short time as a mother, I had already experienced enough to know that being a mother is one of the hardest roles around. But it was also one of the most rewarding and one that I was already loving so much.
This month Donovan really started to love his baths. He loved the water and would happily sit in the tub and splash until he was a prune. If he was every really fussy and we couldn’t figure out what to do, we would give him a warm bath and he would calm right down.
Ed came to visit, too! Donovan had so much fun with his grandparents 🙂
Here are few sweet pictures…I am the baby paparazzi!
And, the two month photos:
From me to you