First off, let me start by stating that I promise this is not turing into a mommy blog. Swear.
However, being a new mom changes your perspective a little, and pretending like I want to do anything other than hang out with baby Joe would be a complete joke, and pretending like my blogs won’t contain Joe-isms on a consistent basis would also be a joke.
I have had quite a few requests to share Joey’s birth story, and how new mommy-hood has been thus far. As we creep up on a month of Joey’s new life, I thought I’d share a few tidbits first:
- We have yet to take a family photo. As in, Adam, Joe and me. Surprising, I know. And we need to fix the situation. But let’s be real, it’s almost almond harvest and Adam has been working like crazy in preparation for his growers, I’m too busy feeding Joey to prepare myself for a photo and Joey really doesn’t care… he just wants to smile at us, not a camera.
- Friends on Netflix and Law and Order marathons are MADE for new mothers. They are always on (eh-hem, 3 am feed time) and they are great background noise. I think Joey recognizes the voices of Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, Ross, Joey and Chandler as well as my own sometimes.
- Breastfeeding is hard. More on that later.
- Parenting books may or may not help you. There are lots and lots of theories out there on feeding, schedules, sleep training, the 5 S’s and how to decrease the baby’s risk of SIDS. And as the type A personality and lover of routine, I had a very ideal situation in my mind of how our parenting of a newborn might go. But, now that we are 3 weeks in, I’ve learned that Joey does not fall into the management I wanted to follow. AKA - Babywise, and it took me this long to realize that that is TOTALLY FINE. More on that later, too.
- After being pregnant for so long, you forget what it’s like to be able to do things, like bend at the waist, put your own shoes on and see your own toes. Joe was always up in my ribs, and it made it even harder to coordinate my own movements. If I bent any way other than standing straight up, my ribs would literally dislocate. It’s quite nice to have my ribs back in place and staying there.
So with all that said, Joey’s arrival into this world was EXACTLY as I told everyone it would be : he was going to come early, and pop out like a football. Don’t cringe, you’ll appreciate my boldness later.
On Tuesday, July 19th, Adam’s 6 am alarm went off and I woke up to a real contraction. I told Adam that he probably shouldn’t go to work, and that I think these are real contractions… but wasn’t sure…
I was able to get a lot done - showered, made the bed, washed the dishes, fed the dogs, etc. I mean, I wanted to come home to a clean house after all. I even put on some makeup and dried shampooed my hair.
At 9 am, the neighbors on our street waved us on and cheered us Good Luck chants as we drove off.
After stopping for a coffee and muffin for Adam, we arrived at the hospital.
Receptionist : Hi! How can we help you today?
Me : I think I’m going to have a baby today.
Receptionist : Ok! Let’s get you registered.
Okey dokey. Well, that took forever, and I think she probably thought I was joking, as my contractions were pretty manageable and Adam and I sat there talking about our friends instead of freaking out about having a baby today.
A nurse took us back to the “Maybe Baby” room, and checked me out, hooked me up. She proceeded to tell us that some women have contractions like this for weeks, and that it’s probably just very early labor. If not though, this could take up to 15 hours. She’ll be back to check me in an hour and we’ll go from there.
Well, people, she never came back. I progressed, contractions got worse. Adam was a champ and held my hand while I sat on this TINY triage bed, still in my regular clothes.
Finally, someone came to check on me. After she looked at my monitor and asked how I was doing, my water broke. As in, on cue, my water broke. I said so and she looked puzzled. After confirming, she laughed and suggested to the other nurse that maybe we should get to a real room.
You guys, it was 11 am and I was in real labor. It took about another hour to get us to a room. By then, my contractions were so strong and fast that I couldn’t get off the bed and across the hall to our room without having a contraction. After almost passing out in the middle of the hallway, we were finally in a delivery room.
I asked about getting my epidural, and the nurses, who were WONDERFUL, informed us that it would take a about an hour to get the epidural, but that I had to get a whole bag of fluid first.
It took them 4 times to get my IV in. Ouch.
And then they started my fluids.
And then they checked me. It was around 2 pm, and the adorable nurse kindly looked at me and said, “Don’t panic… but you’re 8 centimeters. That means it time.”
This means no epidural. Not my plan, people. Not my plan.
The nurses, after somewhat leisurely going through the motions of getting me through labor, started moving at much faster pace. There were nurses everywhere, one on the phone getting the doctor here (I heard her say, “as fast as you can”). My mom asked the charge nurse if this was the team that comes in when they think the doctor might not get here in time… she said Yes.
Our doctor strolled in promptly, put on his gown, sat down, and off we went.
Two pushes later, Joey was here in all his glory.
You guys, it was the so incredibly painful, but so fast. And then he was just here. Like God just placed him on my chest and said:
This is your new life. You will love him, raise him and adore him. He will run towards Me because you have run towards Me. Hold him, kiss him. He is your flesh and blood, Adam’s flesh and blood. And you made him out of your love for one another.
Adam cried. My mom cheered. And all I could do was stare at him.
So how is Joey now, at 3 weeks?
You guys know me, right? Bold, honest, true?
Newborns are HARD. They cry. And don’t sleep. At least not mine. And he’s attached to my chest filling his belly for six and half hours a day.
But it’s also wonderful. He’s perfect, and part me and part Adam : constantly moving, doesn’t want to miss anything, loves music and being outside. In the nature versus nurture argument, Joey proves that nature plays an incredible role in personality development. This kid is only 3 weeks old and has traits just like his mom and dad.
Joey is not your typical newborn in the sleep department. If we circle back to those parenting books, they ALL tell you the newborns should sleep up to 16-18 hours a day. Joey’s longest day of sleep was 11 hours. This means that he is awake all the other hours. And though he’s an extremely happy baby, his awake time means mommy’s awake time, looking at me with wide eyes and a smile (or screaming if it’s between the hours of 5 and 7 or 10 and midnight).
I turned a corner a couple days ago when I realized this. I had been trying so hard to get Joey on a feed-wake-sleep schedule at every two and half hours, just like the books, and other moms, tell you. But frankly, he wants to be awake. So I’m just going to let him. He’s more fun when he’s awake anyway, so the showers and dishes and laundry and work can just wait.
And nursing? Well, that’s a story for another time. But ladies, stay strong. That’s all I have to say.
So welcome to the world, Joey. You are adored, cherished and loved immensely. You’re the coolest little man around.