Tuesday, April 14, 2009
What to expect when you're not expecting. . .
When I was expecting Caleb, my every move revolved around keeping him safe in my tummy. My tummy that grew to an immense size in a mere 9 months! I watched what medicine I took, how much caffeine I had and a million and one other things that would nearly drive any woman crazy. But in the end, all of my worrying paid off when I first laid eyes on my little Caleb Easton, with the long fingers and toes (the first thing I noticed about him!). Then reality hits. If you think pregnancy is hard and stressful, try bringing your little baby home for the first time. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, you barely sleep because of all the bathroom trips and all of the anxiety of waiting for your little baby to get here. You think that you can't get any worse of a nights sleep than what you are getting, but boy was is that wrong!!! I have never been as tired as I was the first 3 weeks of Calebs life. I decided to make a little list of the things I didn't expect after I wasn't expecting.
1. I never knew that the labor and delivery would be the easy part of having Caleb. The long recovery afterwards is what no one warned me about. Coughing and sneezing in peace were luxuries of the past, at least for a few weeks.
2. Pee Pee Tee Pee's do not work! And this boy is not a sprinkler, he is a stinking water hose! I learned quickly to have the clean diaper ready for replacement and a washcloth in hand.
3. I had expected the very worst when it came to breastfeeding. All I had heard were stories of how hard it was and how painful it was. I already had braced myself for an awful first few weeks of feedings. However, I was presently surprised. I have had such a great experience breastfeeding and I am so glad that I didn't let everyone's horror stories change my mind. In fact it is going so good that Caleb will not take a bottle (okay, that would be something I would enjoy from time to time, but whatever!) At least I am saving us some major money right now.
4. In my mind, for the 9 months I was expecting Caleb, I had imagined what our days together would be like. He would nap while I leisurely took my shower, got ready and cleaned the house. Whenever I wanted to go shopping I would just put him in his car seat and push him around the stores in the stroller or cart. When Seth and I wanted to go out to eat, we would take our peaceful, sleeping baby into the restaurant in his carseat and have a nice dinner while little Caleb took his nap. How wonderful does that all sound? If you think too wonderful to be true than you are very right. After I get Caleb down for his nap, I run to the shower and get ready as quick as I can. Then I run around like a mad women getting the housework done, or as much of it as I can before Caleb is ready to get up. As far as as shopping goes, my infantino 3 way baby carrier is my life saver. I never thought that I would be wearing that everywhere we went, but honestly it wouldn't matter how silly of a contraption I would have to wear, as long as Caleb is happy and I can get my groceries in the cart. Going out to eat has turned into, "What can I order that I only have to use one hand to eat it?" Even then, Seth and I still have to take turns holding Caleb so we can both eat. No one told me that not all babies are content in their carseats, and this little booger hates his!!!
Okay, so I could go on and on but I will stop here for today so I don't scare too many of the expecting mommies. It is just so funny to me to look bad at all my dreaming for 9 months and to think now that none of it turned out the way I had planned. But you know what I never thought of? I never thought about how much I would love one little human. I never knew how much joy I was going to find by seeing my baby smile and laugh. My favorite time of the day is when Caleb first wakes up from his nap and he smiles at me. We just sit together and play until he gets fussy to eat and I would not trade those times for anything. All the work I didn't think I was going to be doing has become habit now. I don't even think about how difficult it will be to go out to eat or go shopping. I just do it and hope for the best. Sometimes he is great and I get to stay out longer, other times he just wants to go home so I cut my errands short and home we go! I have come to realize that being a mommy isn't about getting your baby on the perfect schedule and getting him to sleep through the night and making sure he is wearing fancy Pampers and stylish clothes. It is all about not being selfish anymore. It is about making him smile and making sure he is taken care of before yourself. Most days, my first bite of food comes at about 11. That is when I have fed Caleb, played with him and put him back down for his nap. They just want to be loved. A lot of my friends have asked what mommyhood is like and I would be stupid to not let them know that it is not glamorous. I walk around the house with spit up glued in my hair and a shirt that has been peed on sometimes. Some days (okay, most days!) I don't have the luxury of drying my hair or changing my outfit if I decide I don't like what I have on, and these are just the things I have realized in the first 8 weeks! But you know what? At the end of the day I am happy knowing that my little man is happy, warm and tucked in his bed and even if I am a complete mess I realize that one day I will be able to focus on myself a little more, but today someone else needs me more than I need my hair blow dried.