Monday, September 5, 2016


If I had to choose one word to describe parenthood, it would be overwhelming. Overwhelmed with joy and love, which I wasn't sure if I would be, so I'm grateful for that. But also overwhelmed with anxiety, frustration, exhaustion, and confusion.

I'm overwhelmed with being overwhelmed.

Atlas is two weeks and some days old. When I look back on it, it seems like time has flown by, but each day itself goes by SO. SLOWLY. I am trying my best to take in and appreciate every second with him, but it's hard to do that when I'm running on basically no sleep and trying to navigate the treacherous waters of parenthood. Yes, treacherous. I feel like I am going to fall overboard at any moment.

I love the little dude more than I have ever loved anything, and I want him to stay this little forever, but at the same time, I find myself wishing for the next stage. Selfishly, I just want things to be easier for me. "If he could only take a bottle. If he could go more than three hours between feedings. If he could comfort himself back to sleep." Wishing time away is a flaw of mine, and a flaw of many people who struggle with anxiety. We just want the hard times to be over. We want to get to a place of comfort. But if you live like that, your entire life will pass you by.

I am struggling with this right now.

Breastfeeding has been our main difficulty. Atlas has been a hungry boy from the minute he was born, but he had a bad latch at first, which made it EXTREMELY painful to feed him. I firmly believe that the most important thing is to make sure your baby is fed and loved, whether you breastfeed or formula feed, but I really want to try to make breastfeeding work. Besides all the health benefits of breastmilk, it's free! So... yeah. Luckily, I've been doing research on it for the past nine months. If I hadn't, I probably would have given up by now. I wouldn't know to ask about tongue and lip ties, or about letdowns, foremilk, hindmilk, hunger cues, and so many more things that NO ONE teaches women about breastfeeding, which is ridiculous. We have a great support system in place, too. The hospital offered a great breastfeeding class and has lactation consultants on call six days a week. They stopped in numerous times during our stay there to help me fix Atlas' latch and learn different positions for nursing, AND they are available for free calls and outpatient appointments for everyone who delivered there. Plus, my doula came for my postpartum visit the day after I had a massive meltdown about it, and she fixed us right up again. I'll be attending a New Moms group for all her doula clients as well, which I'm sure will feel like therapy to me and help me make new mom friends.

Besides all that, the hardest part about it has been no sleep. I find myself thinking that I literally do not know when the next time I will get more than two consecutive hours of sleep will be. Atlas will only go three hours max between feedings if I'm lucky, which leaves me maybe two hours between to eat, sleep, shower, pee, write this fucking blog, whatever. Many times, he'll only go one hour between feedings, which leaves me like NO TIME at all between feedings, because I need to change him and hold him upright for awhile after he eats. We think he might be having some reflux/gas issues, so he's uncomfortable as soon as we lay him down. :(

A lot of people feel overwhelmed and drained by having too many visitors during the first couple weeks, and I thought I'd be the same, being an introvert and all, but having visitors and getting out of the house has kept me sane. So far, I've gotten to see Kristin and Ben and their families, Charity, Sarah and Rob, Katie and Leo (who just had Baby Leo!), Heather who came back just in time from St. Kitts, and Dave and Rachel! I've been to Starbucks a couple times, Publix, Target, and Jupiter Donut Factory just this morning for me and Eric's anniversary outing. It's all we feel comfortable enough to manage right now, but it was perfect, and I got doughnuts out of it (apparently it wasn't just a pregnancy craving...).

Oh, speaking of cravings, let's talk about postpartum body things. Here are some interesting facts:
- I'm hungrier and thirstier now than I was when I was pregnant. Breastfeeding really does make you ravenous.
- I am breaking out like crazy all over my face, chest, and back. It's like the first trimester of pregnancy all over again. Hormones are weird.
- The most difficult thing about my body has not been my belly. It's my boobs. I did not expect to feel this way at all. My belly shrunk down very quickly, although I'm not flat yet, the skin is still loose, and my belly button is stretched out. The Belly Bandit wrap definitely helps a lot. But my boobs... they are huge. Sometimes they look noticeably uneven. I have no clue how to handle them, and I don't like them at all right now.
- My body feels like I ran a marathon. It feels like my muscles are tired, I am off balance sometimes, and my joints feel loose and wobbly.
- I feel comfortable advocating for placenta encapsulation. Throughout all of the craziness, I have not felt a twinge of postpartum depression. My milk supply has been wonderful, and despite no sleep, I am surprisingly energetic, feeling well, and healing rather quickly. I guess it could be a coincidence, but I find it hard to believe that I am lucky enough to have literally everything going my way.

So, we are getting the hang of this parenting thing. It's all trial and error, but we're managing. I dread the day when my mom leaves, but we will be okay. The rest of our family gets here this week, and we can't wait to see everyone.

Here are some random phone pictures!

These were from Charity and they were DELICIOUS. I will be ordering cookies for future special occasions.

Little tree frog! He already looks older than this now. :(
Turtle butt
Monster butt. Can you tell I like little creatures on his butt?
Trying to sleep...
Early mornings
Jungle time

Baby model
He's bored with Daddy's gaming :P
Beautiful peridot earrings from Eric. Atlas' birthstone, my favorite color. <3
Maybe my favorite picture of him so far. He thinks flipping the bird is hilarious.
First walk!
Kid loves his carseat.
Pirate bear!

Trying to master the wrap. I adjusted him a little after this, but I'm getting the hang of it. He's in it right now as I write this, which is the ONLY reason I have the time to write. Hope he starts loving to be in this thing, because it'll make my life a LOT easier!

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