7 weeks, 2 days

Parenting is so strange. You feel gratitude for the tiny one in your life, snuggling him close and loving the way he snuggles you back, thinking about how this is probably the last time we have a tiny one. And then hours later you can be so up to your ears in parenting, so tired of the monotony and the disciplining and the whining or smelling like puke that you wonder if you really should have been a parent at all.

Chris and I had a conversation tonight about his bachelor days (and arguably my own bachelorette days), how we miss the freedom and the habits and activities we used to get so much joy from. 

At 7 weeks exactly I had a little meltdown because I was feeling incredibly burned out. Breastfeeding moms work around the clock. Instead of getting in bed and feeling happy that the day is over, I have to rally to continue to work all night. It seems like I've been nonstop working for seven weeks and, man, I was so tired of it on Friday. Noah is also having a hard time, missing our time together and acting out at times. 

I guess the truth is that we are all a bit burned out of this phase.

But we pull each other up as-needed. Just when we're about to go nuts, Noah will make a hilarious or brilliant remark. Aaron will smile and even giggle a bit. I will secretly buy ice cream for just me and Chris; Chris will queue up a Parks and Rec and we'll relax into it together.

Maternity leave is winding down for me and we now have a new phase coming - working mom of 2. I am daunted but also excited. I am ready for things to feel even the slightest bit normal again!


Day 30

I went to a lactation group on Wednesday. In Brooklyn, that was where I made all my mom friends and got support for breastfeeding, which is SUCH a shitshow at times. (Seriously, mother nature, can you just subscribe to evolution? ENOUGH WITH THE PLUGGED DUCTS AND MASTITIS AND CRAZY LEAKING AND CLUSTER FEEDING. The modern mom does not appreciate this. And frankly? The caveman mom probably died from it.)

Anyway. I walk into the office for lactation group and immediately recognize my people. The women sitting around with tiny babies look exhausted. No one is wearing make-up. Everyone is half naked so they can feed their kid at ease. Babies are pooping through their diapers, being weighed to help champion this craziness and moms are offered colorful cupcakes and big glasses of water.

This is my version of heaven.

I already have a kid, so I've been through this before. But the sense of community that I feel when I walk into a room of people going through it at the same exact time? You can't replicate that. I joked with a woman next to me who was having a really hard day - and made her cry and laugh in the same moment. Sometimes even if I'm having a hard time with something, helping someone else through it makes me feel better. Funny, isn't it?

I am raising a beefcake this time around; Aaron has gained an insane amount of weight. I'm so proud of him (and me!)... but I'm also feeling the strain of it on my body. There's nothing like the ups and downs of these early weeks. Yesterday we visited the Oakland Zoo for the first time as a family of four, which felt like the hugest victory. And then we ended up in urgent care for Aaron's diaper rash, which has started bleeding.  That led to a night of cluster feeding and now I'm sitting here typing this with a plugged duct. Blech.

As painful as today is, here's the way I get through it: I keep thinking about the zoo yesterday. I think about what it was like to ride the zoo train with all four of us crammed into one row, holding my tiny newborn while Noah pointed to the emus and wallabies we passed. Smiling at Chris in disbelief as we said "holy shit, we're doing it!"

Life is going to give you tons and tons of busted kneecap times. The trick is not to spend energy reliving those; instead, think about the zoo trains. You gotta hold onto the "we're doing it" moments, knit them together, look back at your life and remember all the times you grabbed the victories.