Happy 1 month birthday, Whoorlita! You are such a sweet little baby.
(On the eve of her birthday. She has enormous eyes just like her brother!)
Things I’ve learned (or re-learned) about new babies that I desperately feel the need to share with you:
1. Breastfeeding – Engorged boobs are ridiculously huge and hard. Letdown can be painful. Be sure to wear pads at all times for you can never predict when letdown will occur, especially in public places. Taking Lethicin daily can help prevent plugged ducts. Your nipples might kill. Don’t believe the experts that say your nipples shouldn’t hurt after the first week. Believe you me, I don’t have thrush and Wita’s latch is great (confirmed by the greatest lactation consultant ever – if you are looking for one in the OC area shoot me an email), but I STILL wince when she starts to nurse. Some people are more sensitive than others and that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
You are probably going to feel like the baby is attached to your body all the time. In fact, just last night, I looked down from my second-story bedroom window at my husband and son having a great time outside with all the neighbors. I felt a little like Rapunzel, locked up in my tower. It’s worth it, though! (Plus, that’s why cute nursing covers were created!) Nothing’s better than seeing your baby chub up before your very eyes and know your Very Painful Nipples played an integral part.
You are going to feel frumpy – most likely stuck in between your maternity clothes and your regular clothes. Yes, it sucks. I personally do not belong to the Breastfeeding Makes Me So Skinny Camp. With Wito, I didn’t lose the last 5 or so pounds until I stopped breastfeeding. Your body needs to keep an extra layer of fat to help produce all that milk you are feeding your baby. Don’t sweat it, mamas!
2. Sleeping – To parents of more than one child, if you are lucky enough to get all children napping at the same time, for the love of Christ, TAKE A NAP. Sure, your online pursuits and domestic duties are going to suffer, but honestly, no one really cares. Get some sleep while you can! (I am assuming all parents with only one child are napping already. Right? RIGHT?)
Newborns make all sorts of crazy grunting noises while sleeping – don’t assume they are waking up and/or need to be picked up. Most likely, they are just being insanely loud sleepers. If I could get back all the minutes I spent this month staring at Wita and wondering if she was going to wake up at that very moment, I could spend two full weeks drinking fruity cocktails in Bora Bora. I find that a white noise machine helps me to sleep through all of the racket.
Accept the fact that you are not going to get a full night’s sleep for awhile. Even if your significant other does the night feedings, you will still need to wake up to pump in order to keep your boobs from becoming rock hard torpedoes. Sexy! (If you are breastfeeding, that is. If your baby is formula fed and you aren’t doing the night feedings, well, ENJOY YOUR LENGTHY AND RESTFUL SLEEP, DAMMIT.)
(Sorry, that’s the sleep deprivation talking.)
3. Words With Friends makes 3am feedings infinitely better.
4. It’s so tempting to wish for the newborn phase to fly by, but try to revel in the little things that will soon be a distant memory. It won’t be long before your little one won’t curl up on your chest and snooze for hours. Smell their precious tiny heads on a daily basis! Before you know it, the lingering scent will most likely be grungy toddler sweat. Awesome.
Hmmm. What am I forgetting? Did anything surprise you about parenting newborns?