seven pounds of fear
... especially advice
and now, for your reading pleasure, a missive from the Other Side. the nice guys have a good friend who gave birth just a couple of short weeks ago. here's the note that she just sent us. it has the exceedingly rare quality of being simultaneously very useful and bone-freezingly terrifying:
I've been thinking about what I would have liked to have known about those first couple of weeks, and although I'm no expert on motherhood, here's what I wish I had known:
1. You will never be more dependent on other people for your survival. I ate 3 meals a day in bed for almost 2 weeks -- getting out of bed to pee and shower was about as much as I could handle. Stock up on groceries, freeze some meals -- do anything you can do to make life easier for the people waiting on you because you will never be needier.
2. Have at least a couple of pairs of comfy pajamas and nursing bras (as well as nursing pads and Lansinoh) on hand before you deliver. I did this, but I underestimated my enormous boobs and ended up with bras that were slightly too small. You will leak, sweat, and be covered in baby pee every night and will want to change pajamas at least twice a day. Which leads me to...
3. Take a shower everyday. No matter what.
4. Even with a super hungry baby with a great latch, breastfeeding is really hard at first. It just is. I spent the first few days referring to H____ as The Vampire. He latched like a champ but my nipples were just raw for a few days and then I was totally engorged for about a week. Ouch. I was nearly in tears waiting for the baby to wake up and eat because my boobs were about ready to explode. Good times. And I have cursed every moment I have ever wished for bigger boobs. Oy vey.
5. The amount of laundry a 7 pound baby generates is astounding. Nevermind the amount of laundry generated by having milk leak everywhere all the time. And being peed on. And puked on.
6. Accept all offers of help. Anything that makes life easier is good. Anything (other than the baby) that makes life harder should be ignored.
7. That thing they say about "sleep when the baby sleeps"? Yeah. It's true. Although figuring out WHERE the baby sleeps is an ongoing process for us. Right now he's mostly in bed beside me all night but we bought a co-sleeper and would like to transition him into there (which seems to not be happening when he's up to eat every 2 hours anyway -- getting him settled down and into the co-sleeper is more work than it's worth at this point). We also bought a "Snuggle Safe" thingy that fits in the middle of the bed and you put the baby there, but he didn't like it. If you think you'd like it, just let me know.
8. The little baby kimono t-shirts are da bomb while waiting for the cord to fall off. They are easy to put on, don't go over the head, and don't press against the cord. All good.
9. Pampers Swaddlers for Newborns are the smallest diapers we could find. Other diapers looked GIGANTIC at first.
i told her that her list was so going to be blogged, she replied: "Glad to be of service. Back to the Amazing Screaming Baby."
ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please kill me. now.