Looking back

Tomorrow Darwin will be three months old. Tomorrow I will write about her weight, all the cute things she’s doing now, and what life is like with a three month old. But tonight I want to reflect back a bit and think about things that worked for us and things that didn’t work for us; things that annoyed or frustrated me, and things that were the most helpful/useful. I do a lot of “in-the-moment” writing, and a little perspective can totally change the way I view things.

Things that work(ed):

Co-sleeping. This was a life-saver with a baby who likes to nurse every 1-3 hours throughout the night. It allowed me to rest, even if I wasn’t always able to sleep, during those first few weeks. More importantly, it created some of my favorite moments, like the memory I have of waking up in the middle of the night to Darwin’s eyes, glittering in the slight of the lava lamp (best nightlight ever).

Using disposable diapers at night (thanks friend – you know who you are!). Darwin is a prolific maker of pee, which means that the whole “check the diaper every 2 hours” during the day is usually “change the diaper every hour or two” – if that. In our house, “I just changed her” means nothing. At night, with cloth diapers, this is untenable. Disposables allow me to get 3 hours (or every few weeks, *4* hours) of consecutive sleep at least once a night, most nights. Hail to the great plastic masses.

Having a video monitor. Best option ever. Not only can I babygaze to my heart’s content, but I can tell when fussing requires attention, or will pass.

Sleepers. Anything going over her head for the first 2-3 weeks resulted in prolonged, red-faced shrieking. Sleepers were easiest to put on her and to change in the middle of the night. Sleep sacks were a close second, but only when wide enough to pull up over her body rather than tug over her head.

Joint baths. I’ve had experiences with young babies hating baths. Darwin thinks they are amazing. Joint baths FTW. (Never been pooped on yet…)

A good stroller. I thought I would wear the Bug all the time. Who needs a stroller? Um, this mama, who had an epidural which, at 6 weeks resulted in adhesions, making babywearing rough for several weeks. What also helped fix that situation was the…

Moby wrap. So much fabric to learn to tie. So worth it. Seriously, with a kid who is growing as fast as this one, having a way to carry her that doesn’t destroy my back is a must. ❤ my Moby. I wish I had learned how to use it earlier.

The Rock’n’Play. Well, she has about outgrown it now, but it’s been great as a by-the-bed sleeper when we’re still up working (or blogging). Must have for new parents.

Things that fail(ed):

Eating dairy, brassicas, or beans. Seriously awful. Any of these delicious foods send Darwin into nights of kicking, screaming, 30-minute sleep fits. Sweet relief that I can control her not-colic.

Reusable nursing pads. Yeah, the milk just shot through the pads. After soaking through several shirts I found the Lansinoh disposable pads. Guilt at another thing to throw out was assuaged by not dripping on my desk at work.

Bottles. Darwin hates bottles. She will eventually take them, but what do women do whose babies just flat out refuse?

Things that annoy(ed) me:

Our pediatrician’s assistant.

Being told “just wait until…” as a negative thing. I prepared myself for the worst given all the horror stories out there. Turns out life with an infant is great overall. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Being asked if I’m sleeping by anyone other than other new parents. Seriously. If you can’t commiserate right now, I don’t want to think about it.

Things that were/are helpful/useful:

People understanding that I will forget things on a regular basis for a bit, even when they’re in my calendar, and when I do remember…

Forgiveness for being late. Sometimes it’s because the baby pooped the second her car seat was buckled, sometimes I’m just moving a little slower than intended.

Food. Oh friends, all the food <3.

My mom. She doesn’t read this blog, so I can say here: most amazing gift ever.

My dad. I don’t think he reads this blog so I can also say here: most amazing gift ever.

In summary of the last two: living close to my parents.

There’s more, and I may start a series of these posts over time, but now I have to put in another hour of work time before snuggling in to bed for the night.

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4 thoughts on “Looking back

  1. Love this reflection because it shows just how different parenting can go from our expectations (and others!) and I’m glad you were able to roll with it and find stuff that worked for you! I never really enjoyed the newborn stage for a variety of reasons but am finding this time to be a little better. I also think it’s because we were told parenting twins can never be easy. So far, it’s been relatively the same as parenting our first two, with exponentially more diapers. 😉 I’m so glad you have had a great support system as well. Enjoy it!

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  2. So true! I was expecting hard, hard, hard, because all the babies in our family have had colic. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop and can’t quite believe in never did. I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed the newborn phase nearly as much if I hadn’t had the support of my parents and community. Invaluable!

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