Let me begin by saying that all that anxiety I felt before having this baby... well... I wasn't just imagining things up. It's been every bit as challenging as I thought it would be. At least it didn't come as a surprise, right? Just in different ways than I had originally thought.
My mother, sister, two brothers + sister-in-law came from all quarters of the Earth to visit this newborn babe. It was so awesome to see them, and so awesome to have extra hands around the house. Especially in caring for my Vera. How did we all manage to catch a stomach bug that week? I dunno. But I don't recommend it to anyone who's just given birth.
I highly recommend help, though. I really think that's something that's missing horribly from our culture, is giving women time to focus on and get to know their new babies in the first weeks postpartum without having to worry about getting meals on the table or entertaining older children. I have no idea how I would have done it without the help of those family members who came to visit- my mom especially. And even in the midst of lots and lots of puking.
Liberty is the sweetest little thing, really. In some ways she looks just like Verity, and others, completely different. She has very little hair. Only a little on the back, and a teeny little mohawk on top of her head. Poor dear! If she had any idea what's going on around her, I'm sure she'd be counting down the days till all that newborn hair falls out and she's blessed with a thicker, more even, head of hair.
She looks more like her daddy's side than her mommy's. For now. Which means, she may look totally different from her Mommy-clone sister. They both, however, have my dark blue eyes, and I really like that.
|So I ran out of storage space in the freezer...|
Breastfeeding is one thing I didn't expect to be difficult the second time around. I kinda thought that was something I knew how to do well.. but apparently all kids are different or something? With Verity I knew I was producing much more than she needed, but it never seemed to cause much of problem beyond soaked clothing. With Liberty, it's been a real challenge. We've had help from a lactation consultant, a friend who's like the breastfeeding guru of the world.. and then trips to her pediatrician and the chiropractor.. tried a few things to help the reflux & colic symptoms.. oh, man. It's been an adventure.
Just when I think we're starting to do well, something changes. That's the whole point of parenting in general, though, isn't it? To keep you guessing about everything all of the time?
I'm finally starting to understand parents who complain that their child won't sleep. Again, we're back to figuring this child out...
|decorating our Christmas tree in matching Thanksgiving day dresses|
And it felt great to be able to go hiking in the wilderness for a Christmas tree 3 weeks postpartum with a newborn and a toddler.. like it was nothing. Heck. yes.
|I adore how their mouths fall open when they sleep...|
Libbie started out a great sleeper, but... you know those first 2-3 weeks can fool you. We're working on that whole sleep thing. As much as we can, anyway. I suspect an upset tummy has had a lot to do with it.
After I have a baby, I'm an emotional wreck. I'm sure more women are than would like to admit it, so I'll just admit it for everyone: postpartum hormones are torture. I hate crying for no stinking reason, or for reasons that are so unimportant.. oh, gosh. I'm so glad we're through the worst of that. It's made me seriously consider placenta encapsulation the next time around. I don't care how weird it is. I hate the postpartum stage so badly, I will do pretty much anything to improve it. Or else just not have anymore babies. And husband tells me we're not finished yet... soo...
One thing that's helped this time, though, has been giving up a lot of the fear and worry about others' opinions.. like... If I'm a freak who can't let my baby out of my sight, so what? I'm her mother. I put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and love into creating that little life, and I'm not about to just pass her off to anyone for the sake of something as silly as sleep. If I can't sleep without her snuggled next to me for a little while.. so what? She'll grow up and I'll grow out of it. If checking to make sure she's breathing every 10 minutes helps me.. so what? Call me crazy. Call me an anxious mess.. I really don't care. She's my baby. Right now, she's my whole life.
I know I won't always worry so much. Soon I might start trusting her baby monitor (you know, the kind that detects motion and sets off an alarm if baby stops breathing?) to function properly and be able to sleep with her beside my bed rather than in my bed. Eventually, she'll sleep in a room with her sister. Eventually.
And I probably will always worry about my girls.. just about different things. This newborn stage where life is so fragile and new and delicate, though, just sends me to the extreme. And it's okay. I'll get through it. And my husband just smiles and says,
"You're such a wonderful mother."
"You're such a wonderful mother."
Doesn't every mom need to hear that from the one they love?
|Libbie in her Moby.. and me celebrating the return of my chin|
So much for throwing together a few iphone photos and thoughts on the blog. I guess... this is what I need to remember about the first month of my baby's life. Just a little bit of cooky me, and a whole lot of moments captured on camera.
Also... Libbie's been showing off a gorgeous, happy, smile the past few days. Is there anything that can warm your tired heart more than those first baby smiles?
There is not.