It has been almost two full months since I’ve given birth to my little Ava. I can’t believe it! I am a mother. It is a very surreal experience. She changes everyday, and everyday I look at her, incredulously, in complete awe that I birth this awesome and sassy little baby.
The one thing that I also can’t believe is how much life has changed. Everyone always says that life changes after a baby, but you really can’t anticipate or be prepared for the extent of changes that come along with mommyhood. Like…
1) I don’t sleep. Literally.
Perhaps my lack of sleep is exacerbated by the fact that I’m breastfeeding, because I am on call every 2 to 4 hours (occasionally I get a random 6 hour stretch 🙏). On call. That means awake, with my Boppy and baby, usually having had changed a diaper and sometimes attempting to soothe a crying baby. During my 2 to 4 hour “breaks,” I attempt to sleep. But let’s examine a typical 3 hour break:
If Ava sleeps for three hours, I still have to factor in my prep and cleaning time for the nursing and changing sessions. That eats away about thirty minutes from my break (this is assuming everything is normal, and that Ava hasn’t sprayed pee pee or poop everywhere, thus extending my diaper changing time to include a frantic bout of disinfecting and cleaning).
Now, I’m left with two and a half hours. I often have to make a decision. Do I try to do something…anything…that doesn’t involve nursing? Maybe cleaning? Eating? A shower? Or do I sleep? I can’t just fall asleep on command so let’s assume a 20 minute wind down. That’s a whooping two hours for my REM-less sleep!
Occasionally, Ava will sleep for five or even SIX hours!!!!!!! But I’m often on edge at night, not sure what type of night lays ahead of me…so I’m just super anxious at the start of each evening, which I think affects the quality of my sleep. Also, I still have to pump, even if Ava doesn’t wake up to nurse (one word: engorgement). But still, I would pay money for those long stretches to happen every night.
2) I have never sung or listened to so many nursery rhymes in a two month period…and I’ve worked for a preschool before!
When Ava needs soothing, for some reason, she will calm down momentarily when I sing or hum. She must be desperate because I can’t sing. So sing & hum I do. I ran out of songs one day and started singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” You never realize how many songs you know until you need to belt them out. I’m sure it is not my harmonic genius that Ava is drawn to, but rather a reminder of what it is like to be in the womb…constantly hearing my voice.
3) The washing machine is always on
I’m so glad I bought a Sams Club size of Tide Free & Clear. I run the washer machine every single day. Despite having multiples of all items for Ava, I’m still washing her stuff, my stuff, Sean’s stuff, towels, and sheets around the clock. Things just seem to get dirty so quickly.
4) Despite my general happiness, I can’t relax
Like a typical FTM (first time mom), I can’t relax. Every sound Ava makes (and she makes a lot of them), I get startled and am curious about the cause of the noise. It’s like I have my own built in startle reflex. This will hopefully subside…maybe a little?
5) I’m late to everything
Regardless of whether or not I’m bringing Ava out, I am late to whatever appointment I have outside of my house. Getting Ava together is a lot of work! And every time I leave, Ava decides that she’s hungry! 🍼
late, late, late
6) There is one person in the world who I can’t get mad at….
No matter how much spit up and sleepless nights I have to endure, all Ava has to do is flash that toothless, gummy grin and my heart melts. I can’t be mad at her. I may be frustrated or tired, but never mad. She’s so adorable and is completely helpless. She depends on my husband and me for everything. There is no way that I can ever be mad at that little munchkin. Just tons of love. 💕💕💕💕💕💕