The First Month
The first month of Bam Bam's birth has gone by in a fog. I spent the first three weeks nursing, eating, napping and repeat. I took full advantage of my husband being home and napped every chance I had. I also tried to tuck away the guilt that I had about not spending as much time with my big kids. Fortunately, they have made the transition very easy by giving me a break.
I recently read in one of my breastfeeding books that women really need at least 6 weeks to do absolutely nothing but nursing, sleeping, and eating when they have a new baby. Why? Because it's hard work having a baby, learning new routines, breastfeeding, and bonding. I wish I had given myself a break the first two times I had babies.
My husband tried to make the transition as easy as possible by setting up the cosleeper and glider in our room. That way when Bam Bam woke up I didn't have to go very far to get him. Now that he's gotten very good side-lying nursing, we rarely have to get out of bed in the middle of the night. I scoop him out of the cosleeper and nurse him in bed. My husband made most of the meals the 3 weeks that he was home on leave. Thankfully friends and family have stopped by with meals and that gave him a break from the cooking. He didn't mind it, but he was almost as tired as I was because he was up helping me with the baby, taking care of the big kids during the day, and trying to maintain the house and run all the errands. At one point he said that he felt he was functioning in my domain and I think it felt a little off to him. He's used to having his own agenda on the weekends and getting the chores and errands on his own to-do list. The first 3 weeks of Bam Bam's life he was just trying to get the every day things done, forget about his own to-do list. Hubby did a pretty awesome job taking care of all of us as we transitioned our away to being a family of five.
Last week Hubs went back to work. Fortunately he had the foresight to go in only 3 days and go in on a modified schedule. He went in an hour late and came home an hour early. That modification helped tremendously. I was a little nervous about him going back to work full-time this week and how I would get it all done. But it's been working out. We've been blessed by the meals that people have made and brought over for us, so I still haven't had to cook a full meal. I've been trying to schedule appointments for when Hubby is home so that I'm only taking one or two of the kids, but alas that didn't work and I had to take all 3 of them with me for a lactation consultation this week. But the big kids were great and now everything is working out on the nursing front.
I still feel like I'm functioning less than halfway, and I'm trying to give myself a break. I mean really, the baby isn't even two months old yet. I'm slowly going back to cleaning the house and getting the laundry done. I'm still trying to nap in the afternoons when I can. And I found that I really can do more than I think I can. What I mean is I didn't think I could juggle the 3 kids while running errands or going to appointments, and I had to that at least twice this week already. I need to give myself a little more credit. When I don't think I can do something, I usually can. SometimesI think the best thing to do is to just jump in with both feet. So far so good.