I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment keeping a human being alive for that amount of time. How did I do it? you might wonder.
Well, it turns out the first month of parenthood is not for sissies. There's the standard sleep deprivation, meltdowns on both sides (baby and mom), physical recovery (I'm never taking sitting down for granted again), and, of course, keeping the pediatrician on speed dial. Pediatricians must hate new parents (So...she hasn't pooped in three days? Is that flaky skin life-threatening? Why is she hungry all the time?).
The first two weeks we said several times, "This is hard!" And it was. At one particularly low point I lay on the bed blubbering (should we blame it on the hormones? Let's blame it on the hormones) while Isaac called the pediatrician. Mary had been either eating or crying all day. She clearly was not getting enough food. Thus ensued a week and a half of supplementing with formula, visits to lactation consultants, feeding her too little, feeding her too much, pumping, weighing her, blah, blah, blah.
Things are much better now. Mary has turned out to be a really good baby--waking up only once at night, eating well with no more need for formula, and relatively calm in between feedings.
More than marveling that she's still alive, I marvel at how much I like being a mom. Because--please don't judge--parenthood used to terrify me. It seemed so...hard. I saw other moms sacrificing so much for a little person that didn't seem to give back. I watched, bewildered, as they gave up sleep, gained weight, sacrificed careers, and cleaned up vomit. There seemed to be no logical explanation.
Turns out, there is no logical explanation.
I do not love her because she is a fascinating conversationalist or has an amazing personality. I do not love her because she has exciting ideas or a vivid sense of humor. I do not love her because she tells me all the time how awesome I am for taking such good care of her (although I'm pretty sure she thinks that...waaaaaaay deep down).
I cannot explain why I love this little person so much I was willing to go through years of fertility treatments and spend lots of money and sacrifice sleep and stop working and gain weight and dedicate nearly every waking thought to her well-being.
Perhaps I love her because she asked all that of me, and you love people you serve. Maybe it's because I know there's a whole person in there and day by day her personality is coming out. Maybe it's because I see a little of Isaac and a little of me in her. Maybe it's because she is so pure and innocent. Maybe it's because she's so darn good-looking (that's probably the real reason).
At any rate, I think I know now why moms do what they do. And I'd happily do it again.
|With Nana (Isaac's mom)|
|Contemplating the world's problems. During tummy time.|
|Chilling with her dad.|
|Aaaaaannnd the bear suit.|