Birth announcement time! And our baby is only two months old. Ha. I regret nothing, because that’s actually a super great representation of how things are going.
I decided it was time for an update only because it is very late and I am sleepless and hungry. Thank you, breastfeeding! My eight-week-old sleeps through the night, yet I still wake up for snacks. But anyway…
I guess we left off at 32 weeks pregnant. Lots has happened since then!
Garret and I spent May goofing off, going to the beach, not working, enjoying life, and getting ready for Evelyn as much as possible.
She ended up coming at 41 weeks and a day, which is pretty much 13 weeks and a day longer than a pregnancy would be before sin entered the world and reproduction became the curse of woman. But that’s beside the point. She was late and I was miserable and it feels AMAZING to not be pregnant anymore.
On a Tuesday, our car broke down on an amazingly hot day and we put $600 into repairing it, which must have stressed me out enough that I went into labor on Wednesday! Evelyn was born on Thursday at 12:19p, and it was awesome. By “awesome,” to clarify, I do not mean it was cool, but that it was awe-inspiringly, supernaturally happy. And it was pretty cool to not be pregnant. I was very proud because I had given birth with no medications. I was strong. I was life-giving. I was SO not pregnant anymore.
We moved! Two days postpartum, my husband and I packed our apartment in boxes and moved across the state. Our families get a big shout-out for helping with that, because although my husband IS Superman, even Superman shouldn’t have to move alone.
Garret started his new job at Diplomat! He is enjoying it a lot, which is the cherry on top of our double-chocolate milkshake of a life.
And once all of our huge life-changes happened, we settled in. Garret goes to work. I pack his lunch and iron his shirts. I read idiotic books to my adorable baby, who looks at me like I am a crazy woman, because I am.
I wash endless loads of laundry. And I nurse the baby. LORD do I nurse the baby. I am mentioning it again, because you shouldn’t ever get the impression that I do anything more than I nurse the baby. I nurse the baby a lot.
On weekends, we do ridiculous things that new parents should not do, because we are always more exhausted at the end of them. So far, we have taken two weekend trips Up North (which is a magical land of roadside cherry stands and no cell service). And next weekend, we are going to Tennessee. You know. For a relaxing 24 hours in the car with an infant who recently decided she does NOT like car trips after all. We are insane.
Anyway, I decided to compile a list of perks to my parenthood, since this blog so far has been about how sucky it is to produce a baby. Having this child is basically Christmas, every single day, and here are a few of my (admittedly selfish) reasons:
I can eat/drink anything/everything. Water without ice isn’t repulsive to me anymore. I can eat more than four bites of food at a time. Actually, I think I am doing my time with pregnancy cravings, just a few months late. I am going CRAZY with coffee, chocolate, peaches, and bell peppers. A super healthy breastfeeding diet, I know. And my thighs still have no idea about my 8,000 calorie/day diet, because my child is like, “Hey, Mom. I will take this bullet for you. People think MY chunkiness is cute.” God bless you, sweet one.
I am me-sized. I don’t think it’s vain or shallow to say a large part of my identity is being small. I try to eat well and stay active, and genetics are on my side. My body is unassuming and unobtrusive. It is functional. It is efficient and capable. But it felt like none of those things during pregnancy. So being small again feels like I got a big part of my identity back. I like to be little. It’s who I am.
I can make someone else hold the baby. This is pretty simple. I held her for so long, and I adore holding my angel, but when she is screaming and will not be comforted, I can hand her to Dad for a turn and check my phone. It’s awesome.
No one asks why I am tired. I have an infant, silly. Never mind that the infant is regularly sleeping through the night. NO ONE questions it when you are too tired as a new parent. It is not done. Pardon me if I respond to your bridal shower invite with “Sorry, I think the baby is planning to be up all night before that…”
Baby smiles. I am not even going to bother describing, because if you know, you know. And if you don’t know, you are not going to learn now.
Baby sleep-laughter. See above.
No one looks at me anymore. I have a baby. You know your one friend who has a baby? Do you remember what she was wearing last time you saw her? No? How about what her baby was wearing? Yeah. A TINY little jean jacket and a coral ruffle skirt with turquoise baby shoes that matched her sequined headband. Think about that contrast. But not too much, lest you notice what I look like next time. Because it might be overalls with a Hawaiian print shirt. Nothing is off-limits to me now; I am a parent.
Clean house. A while ago, I suggested that my house might actually be cleaner with a newborn, and I was 100% correct. My #1 newborn coping mechanism is SYSTEMS, BABY! That means that there is a Bath Kit under the kitchen sink, and that means her various baby junk is organized in an over-the-door shoe organizer, and it means that there is a specific bin for each type of clothing she has. All of this will go to the wayside when she starts to walk, but for now, my house is clean except when I am sick.
Books. The baby has no idea about the words, which means that for this small window of life, I can read my own books, as long as I read them out loud, accompanied by interesting facial expressions, and I match the tone of my voice to an imaginary arc so she grows to understand the elements of story before she can read. (Sandra Boynton makes this easier than Chaim Potok does, but Mark Twain meets everyone in the middle.)
I am active. Nothing gets you excited to move like not being able to move. Also coffee. I can have coffee now. And I am doing cartwheels. (Figuratively. I am a clumsy nerd who mostly likes the idea of cartwheels.)
Spouse is a dad. It’s simple biology that your spouse is like 4,000 times more attractive when they are taking care of a baby with you. It is seriously so much fun to be with this person I married. I love it.
I’m a mom. It’s just so nice that I don’t have that looming over me. I don’t have to wonder anymore. I used to ask, “Will I be good at it? Will I survive?” But now I know the answers that matter: I am good enough at it, and I will survive today. Now the mental barrier is gone. Now we can adopt or have more kids with the knowledge that if they are messed up, they will be a happy messed-up gang in perfect company with Our Evie Grace.
All told, motherhood is way easier than they told me it would be. I am terrified of this, because a) it is going WAY too fast and I didn’t know I would miss having a newborn when I only have a two-month old, and b) I am in no way prepared for when she starts walking and talking. Evelyn, please have Grace.