Haven't been able to make it to a computer regularly this past week to make a record of some of the things I've been thinking about, so here some of them are. More just a way for me to think through and treasure up some of the things I've been experiencing, but this does seem like the appropriate place to record them.
I have felt so full and so emotionally in tune this past week that it's startling. I have embarked on an entirely new lifestye and an entirely new journey, and without a moment's hesitation or looking back, I embrace it with all that I have. It feels so natural and like this is what I was made for. I'm so surprised by it, how good and natural it feels. (Even at 3 a.m.) Of course I'm still quite hormonal, but really I've enjoyed the release I get from crying times. They're times when I'm filled up to overflowing, mostly just bursting with love and disbelief at the goodness of the life I've been given. Probably having an aching body and a little exhaustion helps it along, but the times when I'm just so overwhelmed I haven't another option but to cry have felt so good. It's just WORTH feeling every bit of what's happening these days.
I used to joke that men definitely had it easier than women--and really I still belive that. My line was, "they can pee standing up, take their shirts off when they get hot, and they don't have to deal with a menstrual cycle!" But after having carried Adria in my body for 9 months, after having labored many hours with her and then birthing her, and after already countless hours nursing and cuddling her in a way that only a mother is able to do, I have changed my mind. I find myself feeling sorry that Jason can't experince all that I am experiencing, and that he'll never be able to. Perhaps men do still have it easier. No pregnancy. No labor and delivery. No nursing. But how sad for them! What a sad consolation standing to pee is!
I completely love breastfeeding, which is strange to me. A big part of it, I think, is the sweet time we get to spend together, just Adria and myself. She'll do the sweetest or funniest things, and makes the greatest faces, and they're all just for me. I want to take a picture to remember the laughs and warm squishies she gives me just watching her breastfeeding antics, but I'm not too much for indecent exposure, so I'm just trying to remember them and treasure them up. When she starts to get hungry she'll just open and shut her little mouth, sometimes looking like she's smiling to the side, and she'll poke her little tongue in and out. She usuallly does this with wide eyes, and she looks just like a little baby bird when she does it. I CANNOT resist, and know lunchtime will always soon follow. When she finally gets settled in, she's strong enough to bob her head up and down, so with a gaping mouth she'll bang her little head against me until she latches on. She gets so excited about eating! And sometimes, I guess when things are going particularly well for her, with eyes closed and still latched on, she'll almost pull back a little bit and her eyebrows will go up as though someone just told her something very interesting. Eyes closed for this little expression it's as if she's saying, "oh, now that's good!", and it makes me laugh every time! She is a treasure, and I cannot believe I get to be her mommy, and her best provider.
I think she's done very well with establishing nursing and sleeping so far. Still no predictable pattern, but I think that's ok. She'll nurse anywhere from 30 mins to an hour depending on how hungry she is and how long it's been since her last lunch,. She does well with having a little bit of awake time during the days before napping, and we've begun letting her "cry it out" at night. It breaks her daddy's heart, but her mommy thinks it's good for her, and that she needs to learn to settle without ME having to hold her or nurse her to sleep every time. At night we'll go a good 3 hours between feedings--sometimes as much as 4+ hours between feedings. I've probably been a bit negligent during the days about trying to get her fed at more regular intervals so as not to have those funny feedings where she's slept too long during the day so she just can't get enough, and then wants to feed an hour at a time, and about every hour and a half! (Enough of that would wear her poor mommy right out!) Of course she's not sleeping through the night! (Someone actually asked me that--what, are you crazy?) But she's sleeping enough at night that I'm able to get some sleep, and when I wake and see her pretty face, I still feel refreshed. Exhausted by the time I get her back down after a 3 a.m. feeding, but it's amazing what that little face does to me.
I am AMAZED at the amount of diapers we're going through. Everyone warned me, and we've got them stockpiled (in case of nuclear war, we'll be able to hide in a bunker made out of diapers). I seriously want to start looking into cloth diaper options, if for no other reason than the overwhelming amount of trash we're now turning out. We'll see when I'm able to get the time to look into that!
And my last observation for the moment is just how little she is. I've visited with a few friends and their 6 month old babies in these last few days, and am just delighted with my newborn, how sweet and tiny she is. I know she'll grow quickly and it'll be hard to remember her being this tiny, but she's just so sweet and tiny right now. I can cross my arms and put my fingertips to my elbows and she just fits so perfectly. She's also the perfect height and distance to smother her with kisses. Which I'm not sure she likes as much as I do, but at this point, it's just a perk I'm taking advantage of, whether she enjoys it or not. I promised to take good care of her, not to always do what she wants! So... the kisses are a part of it! :)