life with atticus has been sweet, challenging, joyful, overwhelming, beautiful and surreal. today marks 10 weeks since he entered the world, and it feels both so long and too quick all at once. we are finding a good rhythm these days but it has taken 2+ months of fumbling through each day. overall, adjusting to our new little guy has been a joyful experience with a few exasperating moments thrown in.
the postpartum period has gone rather smoothly. atticus and i had a fairly easy transition into breastfeeding which i am very thankful for because i worried it would be a challenge for me. i can truly say that i love breastfeeding and the bond it gives me with my little one. he had his first bottle the other night and, even though it was my milk, it was still hard to watch him eat without me. but i’m glad that i’ll have the option to be gone from him for more than a hour if need be, especially for doula work.
emotionally, i struggled a bit at night for the first couple of weeks. i would get very emotional and fearful of the night when it started getting dark. like any mom, i worried something bad would happen to atticus at night because nobody was watching him. we were still trying to find a comfortable sleeping situation which made it harder for me to get restful sleep (at first, he slept beside me in the bed and now he sleeps in a bassinet right beside me). it also upset me with how fast the days were flying by and knowing atticus was already growing up (crazy, i know!). the day he turned a week old was a hard one! luckily, the nighttime blues lifted about 2 weeks after his birth.
overall, my emotional state has stayed fairly positive which is quite a relief. i have struggled with anxiety and depression in the past so i was a little worried about how the postpartum period would treat me. there have definitely been some trying days when i have thought there is no way i can do this alone. of course, i am not alone and have an awesome husband who is in love with his little boy and is great at caring for him and me. but there are days when he is at work and i am at home trying to get the most basic of chores done and atticus is crying, crying, crying. and i think, “I CAN”T DO THIS ALONE!”. it is definitely hard to live away from family at those times when you need your mama to come help take care of you. i am blown away by single moms (and dads). i really can’t understand how they do it and keep their sanity at the same time. everybody needs a break – even from their bundles of joy.
the one thing i am trying to learn over and over again everyday is to cherish these moments. to soak them in. to hold my baby and study every detail of his face. to pay attention to his needs and what he is trying to tell me with his cries. to enjoy even the most mundane of tasks like changing poopy diapers and wiping away the drool and spit up. these are some of the most beautiful moments of my life and i have been waiting for these very days for many years.
atticus has grown leaps and bounds in the past few months. morning is his happiest time, full of smiles and coos. milk is still his most favorite thing in the world. hair is returning to the top of his head after going bald for a little while. he is now zoning in on objects and enjoys looking at and talking to his toys. there is a lot of drooling going on these days and he especially enjoys gnawing on his hand. this past week he went for his 2 month checkup and is weighing in at slightly over 13 pounds and measuring 24 1/4 inches long! as for me, i am feeling pretty much back to normal but am still adjusting to a post-baby body. clothes still don’t quite fit right and i’m having to work on dressing in the light of being a nursing mama. my hair is starting to fall out more and, while doing pregnancy i was able to go a whole week without washing it, that is starting to change. even my skin is starting to break out again. so some of the perks of pregnancy hormones are starting to wane. like any woman, i struggle at times with the bodily changes but i love these words from savannah (maiedae blog) that she wrote in response to her own postpartum journey:
“our body may never look the same but it IS beautiful. It carries battle scars and memories of carrying a baby for months and months and for putting every bit of yourself into bringing your son into the world.”
i can truly say that i put every ounce of myself into bringing little atticus into this world. instead of fretting over the physical differences from pre-baby to post-baby, i want to do my best to view my physical changes as beautiful reminders of growing and bearing my sweet child. i don’t want to be ashamed of the “battle scars” that are evidence of my greatest achievement to date.