Ten Things I Learned My First Week of Motherhood

This baby is two and a half weeks old. We have successfully kept our child alive for two and a half weeks! Wahoo! Let's break out the booze and celebrate!

I'm learning so much...every day is a million tiny lessons in parenting. Thankfully now we've got the basics under our belts, so the new lessons aren't as challenging as they were at first. Man, that first week was just one giant emotional learning curve! Even with the decent amount of experience both of us have with children, it's a whole different ball game to take care of a very very new baby. That just came out of your womb 30 hours ago. And therefore knows nothing. 

But now we've settled in a bit more! A lot, in fact. We've become such a cliche. We talk about poop and pee all the time and we don't care if we get any on us and we think (nay, know) Jack is the most beautiful baby in the world and we're certain he's brilliant because he can already focus on youtube videos on the iPad and we know he's super strong because he can hold his head up a little and roll onto his side already and we just love him so much it hurts. 

It's so fun. I love being a cliche.

I'm sure most of these are also a cliche (all the mothers who have come before me, please confirm), but I wanted to share the Top Ten Things I Learned My First Week of Motherhood.

10. I am no longer shy about my boobs. And I even get it why people publicly breastfeed now! Yes, I'll be honest, I've always been a little taken aback by people who just whip out their breast in a restaurant. BUT now I get it. Because it's not sexual at all. When you are feeding your baby, your breasts are no longer objects of desire. They are important feeding instruments for your child. Now, I am still trying to cover up around others and be respectful of other people who may not feel the way I do. But suddenly I understand why people do it - it's just business!

9. My baby is going to be ok if I have a glass of wine or two at night. I love wine, and I was very worried about this clash at first (Yay, I get to drink again! Boo, I have to pump and dump!). But my friend Emily sent me this awesome article in Slate with some facts and figures about drinking and breast milk, and I now feel much better.

8. Poop is great! We talk about poop all the time. We talk about the consistency, the color, the frequency...so many exciting poop topics, you guys. But here's why - poop means he's eating and processing food correctly. Poop means the jaundice he had is leaving his system. Poop means he's alive and well. So let's talk about poop! Yay, poop! Poop emojis for everyone!

7. You need at least 12 of everything because you will go through them all (see #8 for details). We have four changing pads and I think we go through all of them every day. One time he wore six different onesies in one day. I have about 36 burp clothes scattered about the house. Babies have three jobs - to eat, sleep, and expel stuff through their mouths and cute booties. And the latter they do constantly.

Burrito baby!
6. Swaddling fixes everything! Our baby LOVES to be swaddled! And who wouldn't? Who doesn't like getting wrapped up in a giant burrito and put to bed? But we're too lazy to use the swaddling blankets (we just use those as blankets, as the good Lord intended); instead we use these Summer SwaddleMe thingies that are so easy to use, and Jack absolutely loves. Kudos to the Quinns for telling us about those (and giving us a bunch of hand-me-downs!)

5. I'm STARVING ALL THE TIME. I'm eating like it's going out of style. Yesterday I had two bagels for breakfast. TWO. And then two hours later I had a bowl of cereal. Feeding two people takes a lot of calories! In that way, breastfeeding is the greatest.

4. In every other way, breastfeeding is HARD. It really is. It's super rewarding, it's super wonderful, it's super sweet, and it's super hard (at least at first). My tiny piece of advice is to do whatever you need to do. Supplement with formula if you need to. Don't be afraid to see a lactation consultant. Talk about it with people. Make sure you're doing it right. It's not as intuitive as you would think! Because heck, you don't know what you're doing, and this baby that's younger than the Chinese leftovers in your fridge certainly doesn't know either. I'm very glad I'm doing it - I just want to recognize that the struggle is real. #mynippleshurtyouguys

Love love love.
3. I love my mother so much. Obviously this wasn't a revelation - I've always loved my mother. But now I understand and respect her on a much deeper level. I'm on the other side of the motherhood wall now, and I get it that once you have/adopt/open your heart to this baby, it is literally all you think and care about it. So now I have a deep empathy for all moms...and especially my mom. Mom, I'm really sorry about that evening when I was 13 and I told you I was just going to walk around the block with my friends and then we went to the park for 45 minutes and sat and talked and it grew dark and you thought I had been kidnapped. I can't believe you even let me walk around the block in the first place - you're such a good mom for letting me do anything. I'm keeping my child locked in our home forever. Anyway, I understand you now, and I love you.

2. I will never sleep well again. (And this is from a champion sleeper!) And I mean that in the best way...I mean that I now have a reason to keep one eye open. I wake up out of nowhere just because. Any noise he makes, I bolt upright immediately. Oh, and I keep waking up and thinking he's in my arms and I'm going to roll over on him (phantom feeding syndrome?). To put it simply, I'll never sleep well again because...

1. My heart is now on the outside of my body. I didn't make this up, but it doesn't make it any less true. Here's the quote:
"Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."   Elizabeth Stone
It's true. It's as simple as that. My everything is now exposed...forever! It is simultaneously the most thrilling and the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me. No one told me it was going to be like this. But now that I know...I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything in the world.


Jack Vincent Oropallo. My heart.