Saturday, May 21, 2011

Six Weeks!--Saturday, May 21

Jesse asked if I was going to quit blogging or change my blog title.  I don't think I'll quit blogging anytime soon.  I love looking back and already being able to see how much my baby has changed, along with my mentality.  I titled the blog "Surviving the First Six Weeks..." because I know the first six weeks are supposed to be the toughest-physically and emotionally.  Everything was so overwhelming the first few days, I just kept thinking, "If I can just make it through the first six weeks..."  After six weeks, I am considered strong and healthy enough to return to work.  I can resume any activity I ever did before I was pregnant.  The crazy hormones return to normal after six weeks.  I should feel confident and have a routine.  So....what exactly has changed in 42 days?

Jackson has become fairly predictable.  His day usually begins with eating, diaper change, and getting dressed around 8:30.  He spends most of the day in my arms, the Ergo/Moby Wrap, swing, or bouncer.  He eats like clockwork every two hours during the day.  Depending on when he wakes up, he eats either every odd or even hour for 10-15 minutes.  A diaper change immediately follows every feeding.  Jackson generally naps for 30-45 minutes in between most 2 hour cycles of eating; the rest of the time he is very alert.  Jackson tends to get fussy around 7 or 8 at night.  We get him ready for bed between 8-9 every night with another diaper change, feeding, pajamas, swaddle, and lullabies.  He typically eats and has a diaper change around 12, 3, and 6 a.m.

Some of Jackson's quirks:
He is extremely vocal at all hours and will randomly start yelling (not crying/in pain but yelling as if he has something really important to say that we must hear).
Now that he is frequently holding his head up, he violently flops it back and forth like a fish out of water.  He'll slam his head on our shoulder, chest, etc.
Jackson is like a grown man when he wakes up, grunting and stretching for several minutes before he actually opens his eyes. 


As far as recovery goes, all is well.  I assume my stitches have dissolved.  Post partum bleeding only lasted 3.5 weeks.  It took us nearly three weeks to get rid of thrush, and I still have shooting pain in my nipples the first 20-30 seconds that he latches.  My milk supply is stable and my boobs don't change drastically in between feedings.  My energy level is completely normal.  (Now I need to actually get off my behind and start exercising.)  While I technically get plenty of sleep, it is in 2-3 hour increments which isn't as restful as one would think, but I don't feel exhausted during the day.

I feel grounded and stable.  I have gained so much confidence as a mother in the last six weeks.  I haven't had an emotional breakdown since Mother's Day.  I no longer want to scream at Jackson in the middle of the night every time he wakes up or if he won't latch right away during the night.  I don't cringe at the idea of being a stay at home mom or feel trapped when Jesse leaves.  I'm not afraid to go out in public or drive with Jackson in the car.  I'm not uncomfortable nursing with a cover in front of others.  I don't stress out every time I hear Jackson cry. 

The biggest lesson I have learned as a parent is simply to do what you think is best for your child, whatever that may mean.  There are hundreds of different opinions on every possible topic about raising a child.  Books, pediatricians, family members, online forums, etc will all advocate different practices. You might feel pressured that a certain thing is "right" or "wrong", but as long as it is for the benefit of your child, there is nothing "wrong".  Sometimes you'll feel like a failure and sometimes you'll exude confidence (all within the same hour).  The most important thing is to do what works for you.  And what worked yesterday might not work today.  Just keep trying, because you know your child best.  I think every mother, regardless of experience, is just trying to figure things out.  None of us have all of the answers but all of us are willing to do anything for our children.

To celebrate surviving the first six weeks of motherhood, I got a real hair cut.  I've been wanting something different for a few weeks now.  It wasn't my usual Great Clips haircut, but a nice, expensive haircut from an actual stylist where I got a shampoo, cut, and blow dry.



I can't wait to see what else is in store for my family over the next six weeks, months, years, decades...

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