***DISCLAIMER: Don't read this if a little harsh reality of mommy-hood may deter you from having children. The truth I share is some-what terrifying for non-parents but humorous for those with offspring****
Well, I have finally hit it...borderline or maybe all-the-way-across-the-line crazy. The first month of sleep deprivation after having a newborn is shocking despite the warnings people make you aware of and the natural preparation of having to urinate throughout the night as if your esophagus directly connected to your bladder. So basically the wait time of drinking water and peeing was approximately 5 minutes. You would think that all the blogs, advice, and sleep-peeing during pregnancy would have prepared me for the first month of Shep's life of getting no sleep.....or even the second month... or third.
The first month is T-R-A-M-A-T-I-C. But you don't realize it until later, because you have a shiny fluffy miniature human that resembles your features. You don't even want the sleep, because if you stare a little harder at that new face he'll blink differently. And Lord knows you don't want to miss a "first."
Let me tell you about 4-month-crazy sleep deprivation. This is about the point where I feel...no that I know I am sluh-deprunk. Thats my term for sleep deprivation to the point of having similar if not the exact same symptoms of being intoxicated. I'm not necessarily proud of it, but I know that feeling of being drunk. Let me just say.... I have reached that point and not even a drop of alcohol has come close to being mixed with any of my beverages for almost 2 years now.
Most babies, if not all of them, are sleeping through the night by 4 months, but my adorable precious cute babyhead of a son is not. He still does the newborn 3-4 hour wake cycle for feedings. I could, however, handle this constant REM cycle interruption when I wasn't at school and could take a good nap or two during the day. But now that I have gone back to school and "work" - for free might I add - at my rotation until 5pm everyday, I am an absolute wreck.
My poor supervisor probably thinks I am psycho or at least mildly bipolar. I started out my first two weeks pumped up with a constant (and annoying - I'm sure) smile on my face. Now I come in and one minute I am laughing about a funny off-topic comment one of our 90 year old patients made, and the next minute I am in tears over the lack of coffee I've been drinking to help with my milk production.
I mean.... what?
This is all called mommy-hood, people. I wouldn't describe my emotions as the all-so-over-used cliché "roller coaster" - they are more like a sandwich. I have joy and appreciation slathered on a heaping pile of bitterness layered with stress between two thick loaves of fatigue. I am bitter at my husband for sleeping through the 3am feeding with his peaceful open-mouthed snore. Also a little bitter for him responding with an "oh, Shep slept good" repeatedly after I tell him Shepherd got up 3 times throughout the night. In his defense, he is Mr. Brightside and thinks 3 times is just amazing compared to his usual 4 times.
On the other hand, Josh takes care of Shep all day long and graciously lets me workout for an hour nearly every morning. Not to mention he has done 99.9% of the laundry, cleaning, and cooking. What a guy.. I know. There is where my appreciation steps in. Plus, I mean, who wouldn't have joy raising a babe with a demeanor like Shep's?
I feel all of these things at the exact same time. I take one bite of that emotional sandwich and almost lose it from the overload.
All this to say - if you are a mommy and are not losing it just a little, I am MAJORLY impressed. I didn't have postpartum depression immediately after I had Shep, but I attribute that mainly to my encapsulated placenta. Yes, people, I took bits of my placenta in pill form to regulate my crazy hormones, and it worked. I may consider taking more of those, because this mama is a little tired of eating those "sandwiches" everyday.
So when people ask me how being a new mom is, I may answer, "it is awfully amazing," "incredulously satisfying," "splendidly exhausting," or "beautifully messy." It is both ends of the spectrum.
Shep is slowly but surely moving up in his percentile rankings. He is 11 pounds 11 ounces in the 7th percentile. He measures 24 inches, which is in the 43rd percentile. His head circumference is 41.5 cm putting him in the....wait for it....81st PERCENTILE! I didn't think he would be above the 50th percentile in any area! I'm sure there will be times when he topples over from his big head and tiny body. We'll just help him with his balance. (;
He unfortunately has caught his first cold. He has had a cough that makes me hurt for him, but, thankfully, his pediatrician that it's not RSV or any other uber scary infection.
We've decided Shep is an extrovert. He likes non-stop eye contact and he "talks" to us all the time. His favorite toy right now is the linked chain. He will play with it for an hour, which I think gives both Josh and I a break from our continual nonsense conversation we have with him. He also LOVES the Baby Bjorn baby carrier. He likes to be held facing out, so as to not miss anything I assume, and this carrier allows him to do this. (Thanks Jenny Mostad for letting us borrow it!)
Now we are trying to get him to workout those ab muscles to sit up on his own. He is getting less shaky sitting up using the Boppy and Bumbo, but he isn't there yet. He also is starting to hold his own bottle, but he drops it every time.
We will see where is in those areas after this next month. I am so proud of how he has adjusted after the endlessly traveling November through January, dealing with Josh and I going back to school, transitioning from exclusively breast feeding to bottle feeding, and being put in several caregiver's hands throughout the week as to make our schedule work. It has been a crazy month of transition for us all.