Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reflections on the first few weeks of motherhood

Hello, blogosphere! It has been weird taking a few week's hiatus from blogging. I felt like something was missing from my life, as odd as that may sound. Last week I started catching up on everyone else's blogs, and this week I feel like I'm ready to start blogging, at least occasionally, again. We'll see how it goes.

I wanted to mark my return to blogging by talking a bit about the adjustment to motherhood. In many ways, I think I was prepared for the adjustment, and in some ways, the adjustment was a bit easier than I expected. The reason it's been a bit easier is that Baby Jane is, for the most part, an easy baby. Except for a fussy period every evening, she is good-natured, sleeps like a champ (and in 3-hour chunks at night---which, trust me, makes all the difference in the WORLD), and is just delightful. Part of the easiness, too, is that Mr. Jane and I are both fairly laid-back about the whole parenting thing. We're both taking things in stride, sharing the responsibilities (and waking up at odd hours), laughing at ourselves when things go awry, and just trying to go with the flow. And enjoying every single minute of it. (OK, maybe not the minutes where Baby Jane is screaming her head off for no apparent reason, but the rest of them, sure.)

The hardest part of the adjustment, and the part I really didn't expect, was going from somewhat highly-structured days to completely unstructured days. Everything, really, is at the whim and on the timetable of Baby Jane. And while we're getting better at figuring out her "schedule", such as it is, every day is different from the last. Sometimes she's awake in the morning, sometime not until the afternoon. Sometimes she likes the front carrier, sometimes she'll wail inconsolably while in it. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes to feed her, other times an hour. It's so unpredictable, and for someone with control freak tendencies, it's been a tough adjustment. But I'm getting used to it, and even starting to embrace it.

Other random notes:

* Breastfeeding is HARD at first! It's definitely more of a learned skill. Why don't they tell you these things up front?? Why do all the ads and literature make it seem like the most natural thing in the world?? Liars.

* The first week was BRUTAL in terms of sleep deprivation. I'd never felt so tired in my life. Now, it's not so bad. Either that, or my body is just used to the lack of sleep and it feels normal.... Anyway, naps are my salvation.

* I find that I need to get out of the house every day. Otherwise, I feel like climbing the walls. Luckily, Baby Jane is fairly portable and enjoys being out and about. (And I finally feel comfortable enough breastfeeding in public that I can be out for longer periods of time.)

* I am dying to begin exercising again (not until the 6-week checkup, alas). I do walk every day, and it's been great for my physical and mental well-being.

And on that note, someone has just woken up from her nap, so it's back to the unschedule for me....

12 comments:

post-doc said...

Hello, Jane! I'm glad to hear you and Baby Jane are doing so well getting used to each other. I'm wishing you many good naps and pleasant outings. :)

Saoirse said...

It's nice to hear from you, Jane. I'm glad things are going well. :)

navigating said...

good to know that everything is working out very well :D

Addy N. said...

Great to hear from you, Jane! I'm glad you are adjusting so well. I laughed when I read your comment about the baby running the show. My husband always referred to our daughter as "The General" because she was IN CHARGE! I also had some trouble with nursing initially- I'm glad you stuck it out, too! Hang in there and enjoy that baby before she grows up! I still can't believe that mine is seven.

ScienceWoman said...

Glad things are going well. I'm finding that things are continuing to get easier as the months (gasp! months!) go on. The sleep deprivation didn't bother me for the first two months or so, but as soon as I went back to work, I really noticed it.

Jodie said...

Jane - sounds like you are doing really well! Becoming a parent is such a big life change. I've written a book that supports and reassures new parents. Rather than tell you how to care for your baby, it helps you care for yourself. I thought you might like to check it out. There is a free sample on the book's website. www.littlebundlebook.com
Good luck!

Lisa said...

We have just a couple of months before our little one comes, and I just wanted to say thanks for posting about this. You and sciencewoman are great examples, and I love that parenting is working out so well for you, because otherwise I would be totally freaking out! Keep up the good work :)

What Now? said...

Hurrah for Baby Jane in all of her easy-baby-ness! I'm delighted to read this first reflection and to see that you and Mr. Jane are hanging in there and getting some sleep and enjoying the company of your expanded household.

kb said...

I think the reason they don't tell you breastfeeding is a (difficult!) learned skill is because the literature is way more interested in promoting breastfeeding than supporting it. I think the authors worry that if they say flat-out it's going to be tough to learn, people just won't bother. Which leaves those of us who bother experimenting. Unscientifically.

Every time Thomas hits a big new stage of life (teeth! crawling!) breastfeeding changes, too, and requires new adjustments. I search internet forums for problems. The Berkeley Parents Network was helpful when he started biting suddenly at 9 months.

Best of luck to all three of you.

Jane said...

Thanks for all the comments, everyone! kb, thanks for the link---I'll check that out. (There's also a podcast called Mommy's Milk and More that I've found very helpful---I think the website is pregtastic.com.) Lisa, I'm glad you're finding the posts useful, and best of luck to you! addy, I love the nickname---very appropriate!

sakthi said...

Jane,it is wonderful to have you back..and nice to hear about both you and new little angle are doing good..I appreciate you for taking everything in a positive note,even though it is your first experience as a mother..I really like to see the recent photos of your kid...
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trillwing said...

Hang in there. Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I ever learned to do.