* Let me start with the real deal folks: Healing from a vaginal delivery is not what I expected. Now I did not have your average delivery as they had to use forceps to get Charlie out so they had to, as Joe likes to say, "Get Baghdad ready for the Olympics". Here I am 4 weeks from giving birth and I am still recovering. The first week was absolute hell and even worse than actual childbirth (seeing as I had double the epidural meds I did not feel one thing so not a hard statement to make).
* Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I have ever done. There has been nipple shields, formula given in moments of pure panic, screaming and crying (from baby and I), loss of supply, gain of supply, pills taken, cookies eaten and so on. At 3 weeks I decided I could not do it any longer and made the switch to pumping. Now I pump every 3 or so hours and feed Charlie from a bottle. This decision has saved my sanity and my marriage. Joe was feeling helpless not able to assist me with feedings and I was so exhausted so now he can take over and it is SO much easier. I don't love being hooked up to a pump all the time and feel like a cow but it's worth it to me. I try and do one boob feeding session at night to keep that bond and lull Charlie to sleep.
* Surprisingly, I am not tired during the day. Once I have my cup of coffee and some breakfast I feel totally fine and ready to take on the day. I may get a little tired in the afternoon but it's nothing worse than when I was just pregnant and not sleeping much. I rarely nap and spend Charlie's nap time cleaning up, watching Parenthood on Netflix (OMG so good) or just holding her.
* On the contrary, I DREAD the nighttime. Even though my Mom and Joe can help with feedings, the nights just feel really lonely. While I like having bonding quiet time in the dark with Charlie, it just always feels like the nights are so long.
* Charlie didn't get back up to her birth weight right away and at our appointment last week was just under 8 pounds. We have a little peanut on our hands! Thank goodness my good friend Kate advised me to buy a few extra newborn onesies because Charlie only fits into 5 or so items still. We are hoping she grows out of them soon so I can dress her in some fun new things for a change.
* Charlie is a pretty great baby. So far she is pretty even tempered for the most part. She has been dealing with either acid reflux or painful gas or something else I am not supposed to google and therefore has trouble calming down after feedings. She is not a fan of baths or being changed. She does though LOVE to be held and rocked and talked to. We have started putting her down in her pack n play with a mirror and she loves to talk to herself.
* The older she gets, the more people say she looks like her Daddy. I have no clue who she looks like and I can't wait to see as she continues to fill out and grow. Each week it's different.
* Speaking of Daddy, watching Joe become a Dad has been really special for me. He constantly tells me what a great job I am doing, when I am questioning everything. He holds our daughter and talks to her and I melt. I know it's different for Dads as they don't have that instant connection to babies so seeing Joe and Charlie form their special Daddy/Daughter relationship moves me. I try not to wish away these first weeks but I am so excited for Charlie to get a little older as she has the best Dad and playmate to look forward to.
Finally, motherhood is not at all and exactly like I thought it would be. There is a lot of self doubt as you and your baby learn this whole new world and I wasn't expecting that. But, as everyone tells you, the love you feel for your child the moment you lay eyes on them is indescribable. Each day I fall more and more in love with my daughter. My daughter; it took me a few weeks to actually realize that I am a Mom now. I feel so blessed to be her Mom.