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Monday, May 20, 2013

Settling In (Week 2)

Maddy at 1 week!


Day 1: 

We have now kept our little girl alive for one week! I know to the average reader it doesn’t seem like a superhuman skill, but to every new parent, it’s an important milestone. One that proclaims “I may not know what I’m doing, but that baby is still breathing, so I haven’t royally screwed up - yet!”. The day is filled with grandparent visits, which allows Phil and I to use our hands to do other things like clean up, make food, or generally rest.

Day 3: 

Monday morning arrives, and it’s time for Phil to return to work, and for me to go it alone. I’m nervous about this, but it’s time to rip the band aid off. I have internally vowed to watch as little television as possible, so that I can focus on bonding with Maddy and not the daytime soaps. The first day goes relatively well and is a consistent cycle of diapers, feeds, and nap times - most of which are done on me (Maddy's preferred nap time location), which means nothing else is really getting done. I am successful in not watching TV, until I receive an alert on my phone that bombs have exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, which happens to be a few short blocks from where my sister lives with her husband and son. I turn on the TV to see the devastation that has occurred, hold my baby and cry at the senselessness of it, and wait to hear from my sister on their safety. Luckily, my sister and her family are not harmed, although severely affected by the close call.

Day 5: 

Wednesday is a big day for Mommy and Maddy. It’s our first pediatrician appointment I need get Maddy to alone - Phil is going to meet me there, but I need to figure out how to get her there on my own. There is something about the first few weeks with a baby that makes you feel like you are relearning major life skills, like going outside (How do I get the baby down the stairs? What about the stroller?) entering buildings (What if there are stairs? What do you do about revolving doors?) and coping with the weather (Is it too hot? Too cold? What if it rains?). For me, the pediatrician visit, a whopping 6 blocks away from our apartment, seems like a major obstacle that needs to be tackled. On top of that, it’s supposed to thunderstorm right around the appointment time. On top of THAT, Maddy is having a growth spurt, and nursing every hour. EVERY HOUR. Which means by the time I’m done feeding her, rocking her and possibly changing her, it’s time to feed her again. I’m starting to feel like an all you can eat buffet.

The only solution I can see to making it to our appointment alive and not soaked in rain or hit by lightning is to leave insanely early for our appointment. That way I can figure out how to get outside, get the baby to the car, drive the vast 6 blocks to the pediatrician, and do all of this before the storm hits and I lose my ability to cope. If she is still needing to eat every hour, at least then I can nurse her at the pediatricians office, where I’m sure they've seen it before (This is something I’m still getting used to, and don’t know if I’ll ever fully enjoy nursing in public). I think this is a genius idea, and after 30 or so panicked minutes of executing on this plan, I ARRIVE at the doctor’s office exactly 1 hour prior to my appointment. I’m pretty sure the look on the receptionist's face confirmed that I had “New Mom” written all over me.