Hi everyone! It’s great to be back, movin’ on up with my full mama status to The Parenting Post. For those of you who weren’t along for the ride during my pregnancy, you can get yourselves caught up here, or just keep reading for the quick n’ dirty back story, and then read on for what’s happening now.
The back story: This past year has been, by far, the most eventful year of my life (and actually, that’s saying a lot). After romping around New York for a couple of years, and dipping into the city’s endless offerings, I settled into a new job and an apartment in Brooklyn with my then-boyfriend, Aaron. ‘Settled,’ however, isn’t really the word for it: We became engaged last February, became pregnant three months into wedding planning (surprise!), and got hitched in August. I grew a giant belly all the way through the holiday season and gave birth to a baby boy, Kaspar, six weeks ago. There’s been a lot of change, but it all felt like it progressed very naturally. We were so busy all the way through it, charging full-speed ahead with our lives. And now here I am a mom!
Kaspar, all suited up for an excursion.
I’ll admit I had the pediatrician on speed dial for the first two or three weeks after bringing Kaspar home (how was I supposed to know that what appears by all counts to be baby diarrhea is in fact just normal baby poop?), but I haven’t called her at all since our last checkup two weeks ago. It’s true that all babies are different, and it’s true that you figure it out—something you all told me in Project Pregnancy, but I’m just now beginning to understand.
Kaspar got terrible reflux after eating for the first few weeks. He’d writhe around and cry, and there was apparently nothing we could do about it except to wait it out (confirmed by the pediatrician, after I insisted she watch a video of the “reflux dance” on my phone and hook me up with some baby Tums). This was totally exhausting for everyone involved. Then one day I was in the shower, listening to Kaspar cry as Aaron took a turn on reflux duty (feedings lasted two hours, at least), when the crying suddenly stopped. I stepped out of the shower to see Aaron doing lunges while holding Kaspar. This, for some reason, works for him. The reflux has been letting up-- he’s totally reflux-free about half of the time-- but when it strikes, we do calisthenics (still exhausting, but at least I have my pre-baby ass back).
Kaspar smiling. He is not actually this red in person, but he does have rock star hair.
As adults, we’re all too often afraid to do anything unless we can get it right the first time. This just isn’t realistic with a baby. We just keep trying things until we find what works, and we have our little systems down. Kaspar’s changing every day, so the systems are changing, too, but there is nothing as satisfying as holding my happily fed, snoring infant in my arms, or as rewarding as seeing him smile. Anyway, it’s been good to let go of that ‘get it right all the time’ thing, as well as a whole lot of other expectations I normally place on myself (like how long it’ll take to get a day’s to-do list done. Hint: a lot more than a day).
Other than the reflux, it’s been smooth. Kaspar will sometimes sleep for six hours at a stretch, which is heaven for us. He’s also been out and about without a problem—to an art show, a brunch, Connecticut, and a bar (this is okay in Brooklyn. In fact I met my first neighborhood mom-friend there). He’s snuggly and smells delicious. We’re utterly smitten.
Okay, one more. Here he is looking around. He's definitely curious about his surroundings. I can't wait to see how he grows and develops.
There’s still an endless amount to figure out, of course. We’re going to fly to visit some of Aaron’s family in Ohio in a couple of weeks. And I’ll be returning to work in mid-May (a lot of unknowns around how that’ll all play out, but I have a plan of sorts). I’ve found talking to other moms, and dads, to be so helpful in terms of tapping new ideas and finding our what’s worked for them. Luckily, I’m pretty sure I’ve hit the jackpot here in The Parenting Post.
Have any of your babies had reflux? The pediatrician said it’s normal and should work itself out around three months (please tell me this is true). Any tips on flying with an infant? What kind of expectations or personal habits did you let go of during the first few months with your infants? I’m looking forward to sharing our ongoing adventures with you, and to hearing about all of your thoughts and experiences, as well!