Posts Tagged 'parenting'

Ups and downs.

About a month ago, we were really getting into a good daily routine. I never felt like taking a nap anymore; I was cooking and getting out for a walk almost daily; I was running several times a week; and it started to seem slightly less impossible to accomplish the simplest daily tasks.

And then—Lulu started sleeping horribly, we all got colds, and then I got a stomach bug, which Lulu also caught. Result: I spent the last few weeks feeling like I could never quite climb out of a hole of exhaustion. (On the bright side, after not eating for three days, my pre-pregnancy jeans are suddenly a lot more comfortable.)

It was a bummer to backslide so thoroughly just when it felt like we were approaching normal life. Especially this last week, when I was sick and then Lulu was sick and we hardly left the house or ate any real food. By the end of the week, I was pretty sure having a baby had been a grave mistake.

But, then I got two decent nights of sleep, and just like that, things are looking up. I’ve begun to rejoin life. We went to brunch with friends, I got a pedicure, we went to IKEA, and I cooked my first batch of baby food. We resumed watching Breaking Bad (everyone was not lying: it is awesome).

And we’re going on a mini-vacation to Vancouver later this week, and then we’re taking Lulu on her first flight to visit my parents, and then it’s time for cold weather and snow and all my favorite holiday events like dancing around the living room when the Nutcracker is on television and performing a private sing-it-yourself Messiah for any neighbors within earshot. My two new nieces will arrive. And, before the winter is over, Lulu will be crawling and eating real food and maybe even standing or saying her first words (or at least something that sounds like a word). It doesn’t sound terrible. I won’t go so far as to say having a baby was the best idea I’ve ever had, but I’m reconsidering my position.

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Alchemy.

ImageI was going through some old files yesterday and found an ultrasound picture of my daughter from exactly a year ago today. I was 8 weeks pregnant. She was a blobby bundle of cells, 17 millimeters long, a quiet parasite in my abdominal cavity with a hummingbird heart beating away.

One year later, she is more than two feet long and weighs 13.5 pounds. By my rough calculation, that is 47,000 calories of toast, bananas, cookies, Mapo Tofu, and other delicious food I consumed over the last year that somehow turned into a yelling, grabbing, laughing, curious, energetic tiny person.

Here you go, Mom.

Lulu and I went for our first hike today. She’s finally big enough at 4 months to use the comfortable Ergo carrier and it was a brilliant fall day, sunny and clear and cool.

I realized there was nothing keeping us—now that she’s mostly over the phase in which she would only eat while lying on the floor next to me—from going out to enjoy the weather and get some exercise. So we drove to a local hill and went for a short hike.

Some stats on our little excursion:

  • Number of admiring comments on the trail: I’m not sure exactly, but a sufficiently gratifying amount. Yes, thank you, my baby is cute, and I am a can-do mom.
  • Number of alarmed looks: one or two. It was a bit slippery on the way down.
  • Number of ice-cold baby feet and hands: four. Sorry, my girl; lesson learned. Next time we’ll try something warmer than socks on your feet and nothing on your hands.
  • Number of elderly gentlemen and their small grandsons who witnessed me trying to breastfeed a crying baby in the front seat of my car in the trailhead parking lot: two.
  • Number of bloodcurdling screams from the backseat on the way home from the trail: approximately 700.
  • Number of Hello Kitty Jelly Bellies consumed in response to said screams: one small bag.

Overall, I’d call it a moderate success. It was nice to get out in the woods and get some exercise, and we both stayed relatively happy throughout (minus the screaming on the ride home). No one ended up covered in poop, starving, or even particularly cranky. But small successes like these sometime bring home how different my life has been since having a baby, and how life with her often feels like I’m learning how to do everything all over again.


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