Saturday, March 29, 2014

3 Months

When I was pregnant, a friend of mine gave me some advice that a friend had given her. She said to mark a date on the calendar 12 weeks from when the baby is born and to not expect life to go back to any sense of normalcy before then. This has been pretty good advice in my case. Jonas has been a relatively easy baby, so our life hasn't been complete chaos, but we were pretty much in survival mode. I am just now starting to get back into cooking (semi) regularly, exercising, and working more than 15 minutes at a time. The transition to stay-at-home motherhood has been a bit rough for me (perhaps I'll write more about that later), but I'm beginning to feel like I can do this.

Jonas is officially not a newborn anymore. That's bittersweet, but mainly sweet. I'm enjoying seeing his little personality emerge and watching him learn new skills every day.

"Firsts" from This Month
  • First laugh. G-ma just happened to make a noise that he thought was hilarious. Since then we've tried to replicate it, but he hasn't fallen for it. So his laugh count is still at one. I can't figure out how to upload the video here, but I posted it on facebook.
  • First time to lift his head when on his stomach. Yes, he's a little late for this particular milestone. Poor kid has to have a lot of strength to lift his giant head. :)
  • First time to go to Cradle Roll class at church. He's not big enough to sit in the bucket seats yet, so he sits in a little carrier on the table. And this picture is pretty representative of his expression the whole time he's there. I think he likes it because he never fusses or cries, even when he should be hungry, but he always looks quite skeptical of the whole thing.
  • First family vacation. We wanted to go to Austin, but we ended up staying in Georgetown because SXSW was in Austin that week. We enjoyed exploring Georgetown, though. And Jonas got to meet Brittany and Erin. He was a great traveler.
    Enjoying some snuggles while watching HGTV - mine and Darby's favorite hotel pastime.

    Brittany offered to watch Jonas while Darby and I went on a date. So sweet!
    Erin and Brendan drove up from San Antonio to have dinner with us. It was great to see them!
  • First wedding/First time to meet Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Janice/First time to see his CUZNS (Darby's cousins' children). Darby's cousin Hayley got married in Cleburne. It was great to introduce Jonas to a lot of that side of the family. 
  • The Hewitt clan
    All three babies were born within 2 months of each other: Allison and Noah; Darby and Jonas; Nicky and Carter

Things I Want to Remember
  •  Jonas is a very serious baby. He spends most of his time staring, just taking everything in, often with a furrowed brow. But sometimes, he'll just break into the sweetest little grin. I find his smiles even more rewarding since they don't happen all the time.
  • Jonas usually wakes up between 7 and 7:30 and goes down for a nap around 8:30. In order to get a little more sleep on Saturdays, I lay him on the bed between us after he gets done eating. We play with him for a while, and then we all take a morning nap together. It's wonderful. 
  • Like me, Jonas does not like the wind. If we take him out in it, he scrunches up his face and makes this little scoffing sound. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

After giving birth

Since Jonas's birth, I've thought a lot about his delivery. It was the most intense, physically and emotionally challenging experience of my life (granted, I've had a pretty easy life). But there was really no time to process it because, when it was over, everyone's focus immediately shifted to the baby. I found myself really wanting to talk about the birth. But it's a little awkward. I think most people prefer not to think about how babies enter the world. It's messy and painful and scary. When I was pretty close to my due date, a friend told me the stories of her two babies' deliveries. They were somewhat difficult deliveries and a little frightening. At the time, I wondered why she told me. But now I think I see. There's this compulsion, at least for me, to share the details with others even if it is uncomfortable.

The delivery is in sharp contrast to the actual pregnancy. For 9 months, everyone sees your belly getting bigger and bigger. There are constant questions about how you're feeling, what you're craving, whether you have morning sickness, etc. It's basically unavoidable, as the reality of your condition is glaringly obvious. Then, you deliver the baby. And what you have been building up to for the past 9 months is over in a matter of hours. Very shortly after giving birth, I looked normal to outsiders. But I felt so far from normal. A couple of weeks after Jonas was born, I went to the store without him. When I got home, I told Darby, "It's so strange. No one knows I've just given birth. I feel like I want to shout, 'I just had a baby.'"

I have this strange need for others to recognize the life-altering event I just went through. On the one hand, I know women have babies every day, and there's not really any special skill required. But, on the other hand, I'm really proud of what my body did. When I look in the mirror now, I do sometimes feel a twinge of self-consciousness over my new baby pooch and stretch marks (note: don't start bragging at 8 months that you don't have any stretch marks - they will come, oh, they will come). But, mainly I feel amazed that this body carried and delivered over 9 pounds of baby.

So now I'm that woman unintentionally scaring other pregnant women with stories of her difficult birth. :) But I hope I'll also be that woman asking the new mom about her birth and listening if she wants to talk about it.