I know it has taken me forever to start posting again, what can I say, I've been just a bit busy! I am working on my side of the birth story, but I am waiting for Will to do the same so we can post them together. So for now, I'm just going to move on with the posts.
I'm feeling another list post. So here are some revelations that I've made so far. These might be good notes to take for those of you who plan on having babies in the future. For those of you who have been there and done that, feel free to comment with some additional tidbits of information!
1. Quite frankly, breast feeding sucks. (Gasp!) I know it's supposed to be a bonding experience, and feel completely natural... blah blah, yada, blah. In my opinion, that's crap. What no one tells you is that it's extremely inconvenient, uncomfortable, messy, and sometimes lonely. I'm sure it's not this way for everyone, but this has been my experience. Of course, it is the best thing for the baby, so I'll keep doing it for now. But, I completely understand why people give up on it.
2. This one is related to the first... when they tell you that babies eat every 2 hours, what they don't mention is that a) it might take 30 minutes for the baby to eat and b) the 2 hours is from the time they start eating, not the time they stop. So, let's say baby is hungry and it's 12:00. It takes you 15 minutes to get the diaper changed, get whatever supplies you need, and get settled, then 30 minutes for mealtime. Then, it might be another 15 minutes for burping, possibly another diaper change, cleaning up, etc. So it's now 1:00, and at 2:00, you have to start all over again.
In addition to that, there's this thing that no one ever tells you about called "Cluster Feeding." Not all babies do it, but luckily for me, mine does! In the evenings, for about 3-4 hours, he just wants to eat nonstop. We go through the whole process above, and maybe he's content for 20 minutes, and then acts like he hasn't eaten in hours. Basically, I'm stuck on the couch exposing myself the whole evening. This will hopefully stop soon - maybe it signals a growth spurt - I don't know, but it certainly makes it difficult to get anything done, or have visitors in the evenings!
3. When I was pregnant, Will and I decided we would not give Holden a binky (paci, nuk, or whatever you want to call it). We agreed that we didn't want to have to deal with breaking him of the habit, and the easiest way to do that seemed to be to just never get him started! HA! What a joke! When Holden was in the NICU, the nurses gave gave him a binkie. He looked so vulnerable in his little box under the lights, so I was ok with him having one. After all, he didn't have anything else to comfort him in there. Well, just that one night got him hooked. He claims he can stop any time, and it's just for fun, but I don't believe it! The little ninja even stole his NICU binky! Ok, so maybe we just didn't take it out of his mouth when we put him in the car seat, but I still think he had something to do with it.
Just so you know...binkies are, in fact, your friend. Especially when you need a break during one of the episodes mentioned in #2.
4. I can function on much less sleep than I ever thought possible. I have always been the kind of person who needs those full 8 hours of sleep in order to be allowed to enter society. 8 hours of sleep! HA! I can't remember the last time I got that much sleep, uninterrupted. These days, I am excited if I get 5 hours before waking up to feed Holden. And if I get another 2 after that, I feel like I could run a marathon!
5. Strangers are obsessed with babies. You hear horror stories about strangers approaching pregnant women in the grocery store and feeling them up while asking inappropriate questions. Well, once the baby is on the outside, you don't have to worry about the strangers feeling you up anymore. Now the baby is the target! Seriously, last week I went to FedEx Kinkos to send a fax and mail something. Holden was in his car on the floor next to me while I filled out paperwork. I think every employee in the place came out to inspect my baby. One lady even turned the car seat around and pulled his blanket down to get a better look! WTF? The following questions and comments came from all around, it was like a firing squad. "How much did he weigh?" "He's soooo tiny!" "What's his name?" "Oh, I like that name!" "Is he a good sleeper?" "Is he a good baby?" And the list goes on...
Just an FYI, here are the answers to those questions:
"He weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces at birth. Yes, I know he's tiny, newborns generally are. No, he was not a preemie. No, there's nothing wrong with me or him. He's just small. My family makes small babies. Personally, that's a gene I'm happy to inherit!"
"His name is Holden. What, you like that name? Oh thank God, because I was really worried about what complete strangers would think of my kid's name." (I understand that people might just be trying to give me a compliment here, but they often say this in an 'I approve' tone.)
"Is he a good sleeper? If I tell you no, are you going to offer to come to my house and get up during the night with him? No, you are just going to tell me about YOUR babies and what great sleepers they were. Thanks for rubbing it in and telling me unsolicited stories, person I do not know."
"Is he a good baby? Well, no...he's disrespectful, rude, talks back, sneaks out of the house at night, and insults my cooking."
*Please do not take offense if you have asked strangers these questions. I've done it, too*
6. I never knew that such a tiny person could make so much noise, and I'm not talking about crying. Belching, farting, pooping so loud we can hear it across the room... he puts frat boys to shame. His keg stands are pretty impressive too.
7. No matter how prepared you think you are for the diaper change, the baby WILL use his little ninja skills to pee on you, himself, the outfit you just put him in, the outside of the new diaper you just put on him, the changing table, the wall, and the floor. Yes, that much pee can come out of something that small. Oh, and he especially enjoys doing this while he's wrapped in a towel just after his bath. If you don't believe me, feel free to come over and change a diaper or two!
8. No matter how prepared you think you are to leave the house...you're not. The first time we took Holden out, it was for his first doctor's appointment. I put a few things in the diaper bag - 1 or 2 diapers, a tiny trial pack with like 5 wipes in it, and maybe an outfit. When we got to the doctor's, I didn't even bring the bag into the car. I figured...we weren't going to be there long, what could we possibly need? What I didn't know was that we'd have to strip the baby down to completely naked to be weighed. And of course, when we took his diaper off it was dirty (We learn to always bring the bag in). After being weighed, we put a new diaper on him and were told to leave him in just the diaper for the doctor to check him. Well, it took her about 30 minutes to get to the exam room. Poor Holden was cold and screaming the whole time! (Add blankets and binkies to the diaper bag). And, now he's hungry (Add bottles of pumped milk and/or backup formula to bag). And of course, he needed a diaper change within that 30 minutes (Add at least 10 diapers and full pack of wipes to the bag). Then, we notice a sign that says we have to take dirty diapers with us. We never thought about the fact that other people and places would probably rather not have our stinky diapers in their trash (Add plastic bags to diaper bag). THEN...to top it all off, Holden is jaundiced and the doc sends us straight to the hospital for blood work, and as it turns out, admittance to the NICU. Good thing we were able to stop at home on the way and restock. So...moral of the story...always overpack!
9. Every face the kid makes is the most adorable thing I've ever seen. He could be smiling, screaming, making his pouty face (we call it the boo boo face), pooping, eating, sleeping...it doesn't matter, he's always THAT cute. Even at 3:30 a.m. when I've slept for 2 hours. (I may be slightly biased on this one)
10. Baby clothes should ALWAYS have ears and/or animal feet. Cute things on the butt are a major bonus.
Well, this post turned out much longer than I thought. I guess I do have things to talk about. I promise to keep them coming now!