A few things have changed since my last blog post, which was over a year and a half ago. I ordered HelloFresh, Stitch Fix, and Birchbox subscriptions; I gained and lost 30 lbs; and last week I got a new bathing suit, complete with a forgiving ruching across the front, a little skirt, and ample ahem support.
I had a baby. It’s a boy.
The midwife said I was an excellent pusher – I was at once both intensely proud of myself and thought wildly, I bet she says that to all the girls. However, in barely 20 minutes I pushed my baby boy out to meet the world, pulled him up onto my chest, and became a mother. Months of anxiety, stress-eating, insomnia, restless legs, carpel tunnel, and amazon-shopping came to an end and, for a few short minutes, were covered over by that red, wailing, wrinkly beauty that my husband and I named Jack.
Being pregnant became sort of an obsessive thing for me. Before I knew I was expecting I symptom-spotted constantly – even informing my mother at one point that a runny nose was an early sign of pregnancy. Later, in the second trimester I became overly anxious about what I ate [now that food was actually appetizing again] and would sit in the evening on the couch, frantically googling what I’d just eaten in order to make sure that it was ok for the baby. In hindsight I probably had some pregnancy-related anxiety, but I guess I’m symptom-spotting again.
In the days leading up to giving birth (which happened a week before my due date) I did not get the nesting instinct that people talk about (thankfully my husband got it and built the crib, changing table, and set up the car seat). Instead, the day before I went into labor, I watched 3 seasons of Sherlock and ate pecans dipped in salted caramel for dinner. For breakfast, while my contractions were about 3 minutes apart and quickly approaching the “table grippers” my midwife told me to look out for, I ate a cinnamon roll. Jack does not seem to have been adversely affected by my ill-advised pregnancy cravings.
I had two lovely baby showers and received lots of beautiful gifts. Why do babies grow out of their most adorable clothes the quickest? I waited for months for Jack to fit into some adorable patch-work overalls we’d been given. He wore them once, promptly spit-up, and had outgrown them by the time they’d gone through the washer and dryer.
I’m currently sitting in my gliding chair surrounded by a nursing pillow, a floor jungle gym, a book titled LMNO Peas, a jump-a-roo, a video baby monitor, and a dying plant, with spit-up on my shirt and the tv turned down too low so as to not wake the baby. Babies involve a lot of life-changes, but I didn’t realize how multi-colored my living room décor would become.
I took six weeks of maternity leave and, since my time seemed so short, I would snuggle Jack during naps and would only lay him in his bassinet at night. Just last week, since I’m on summer vacation now, I started to teach him to nap in his crib. This involves a lot of humming (whatever tune pops into my head in my hurry to get him back to sleep before he wakes up too much) and rocking. I tried to let him “cry it out” – but I think he has inherited my stubbornness, and all that ended up happening was he just skipped that nap. But, now that he is sleeping in his crib during the day, he has stopped sleeping at night. They say that I should sleep when the baby sleeps, but then when would I cook, clean, shower, do laundry, and watch HGTV?
Baby Jack has innumerable adorable traits. The most adorable, I think, is when he smiles really big, so so big that he pushes his chin in tight [creating multiple chins], shows his two little teeth, and pushes his belly up in glee, all while making a fuzzy sort of excited growl. He is especially excited when his daddy comes home from work. He also recently started planking and, when he really wants to, lunging at his toys across the floor. He can almost sit up and enjoys trying to grab at our food while we’re eating. We might try sweet potato next week.
Remember when I mentioned that Jack has stopped sleeping properly at night since he started napping in his bed? Well – progress has been made – in the process of writing this blog post, I’ve only had to hum three renditions of “God Bless America”, two run-throughs of the Welsh national anthem, and one excerpt from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.