When we were at the doctor’s office yesterday and they mentioned that it was her two week appointment, I was so caught off guard. It is strange how quickly the time can go when you’re basically not doing anything.
Our days are filled with feedings every 90 minutes during the day, every 2-4 hours at night, and then a lot of snuggles and couch/TV time. How does that schedule make the time pass so quickly?!
I have to say, however, that I’m thrilled to put the past two weeks behind us. With most of the physical ailments subsiding or completely resolved, and the hormonal/emotional turmoil also basically done (yay!), I feel like I can finally enjoy all of Ellen’s baby-ness to the fullest. We’re out of survival mode and into happy mode!
I remember loving loving loving Lewis’ baby-ness so deeply, and I’m so glad I’ve arrived there with Ellen now too. The first couple weeks are not easy for me, with all of the unpleasantness of the postpartum mess fighting for space with all the joy.
Now? Joy. JOY!
I feel like I know Ellen well enough after two weeks that I’m not constantly concerned about what’s coming next. To some degree, I can predict her, or at least read her signs. This does a lot to quell my anxiety! And we all know I’m prone to anxiety, so I’m always happy to escort some portion of my nerves out the door.
Will she sleep? Yes, she will. Will she puke? Yes, but not every time she eats. When will she poop? 2-3 times a day. Is she going to let me put her down? Yes, most of the time. How does she like to be held? I have a whole repertoire! Is she going to scream and cry? Probably not, but if she does, she’s hungry.
I’ve also started to feel better about Lewis. I’m figuring out how to fill up my heart with the time we get together by turning on laser-focus and really listening to him and being present with him. He’s in a tricky little phase right now where he is having trouble following directions and listening, so some of our time together is spent on discipline and nagging (ewwww), but I still feel really positive overall about how much better I’m doing with feeling connected to my sweet first-born.
And with the passage of time, I’m also noticing my feelings of anger about Ellen’s birth fade. I doubt I’ll ever look back on the experience and feel empowered like so many women do, but I’ll settle for not feeling traumatized, if that’s all I can get! It will be much more pleasant not to be haunted by negativity around that day so I can instead focus on the sweet miracle it brought me. And that’s what I think the key is – shifting the focus of that memory onto the outcome not the endeavor itself. Although, it wouldn’t hurt to leave some of the memories of the lead-up to the birth too. Because there were a lot of fun, calm, happy moments earlier on in the process, before the final 3-4 hours hit.
So the two-week conclusion? Overall, feeling mostly normal, mostly happy. Kyle heads back to work tomorrow after his paternity leave, and – if he has to go back (waaah!) – the timing could not be better. I needed him for the first two weeks, and I feel much more prepared to handle this new life on my own now. Virtual high-five! I’ve made it out of the darkness!