Friday, August 31, 2007

One Month

Rolo will be one month old tomorrow. On one hand, I can't believe it's already been a month. On the other, I can't believe it's only been a month. It's not that I feel like it's been longer because I've gained so much experience and have this thing down pat. Rather, when you're awake for 21 hours a day, the days just seem longer.

I haven't talked much about breastfeeding. After a disasterous start, Rolo finally caught on to the boob thing. Turns out he and I just needed to go home, relax and learn together about breastfeeding, without the pressure of the lactation nazis. That being said, I still use a bottle for most feedings. Although he latches on just fine, Rolo is what they call a "rester", meaning he'll nurse for 15 minutes, then take a nap for 15-30 minutes, wake up hungry and want to nurse again, only to fall asleep. At that rate, all I'd ever do is have him attached to my boob. I wish I had more patience and some days I do take my time and let him nurse and nap at his own pace. But mostly, I pump and give him a bottle so I can see how much he's eating. Strangely, he drinks down a whole bottle without falling asleep.

I haven't tried too much to get him on a schedule. Other than I try to feed him at about 11pm, so that he'll sleep until about 2 or 3am. Some nights he's good about going back to sleep, some nights, not so much.

The thing about having a child, and one of the reasons I was so hesitant for so many years about doing so, is that it's the one thing in your life you can't undo. You can switch jobs, move to a different state, get divorced, but you can't undo being a mother. It's with you all the time and sometimes you feel like you'd do anything to walk away for just an hour. Your life is nothing like your old life and I think you mourn that old life a bit. You want it back, maybe just for a day.

I mean you do get fragments of your old life back, but there are tradeoffs. To have dinner with your husband uninterrupted means making sure the baby is sleeping during dinner time. If you want to go get a cup of coffee, there are 15 different steps that need to happen before you can go out the door. It can be maddening. On the other hand, there are those small moments of your old life and when you experience them you think, "I can do this, this isn't so bad."

I was hoping I'd be like Mighty Girl--she makes having a baby seem effortless, like she didn't miss a step. Like her old life just continues with some minor modifications. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Dooce who makes every aspect of motherhood seem like an ordeal (note: I know Dooce had post-partum depression and that's not what I'm referring to here). I think I fall somewhere between those two women.

I was also hoping Rolo would be the kind of happy baby that I could take anywhere and I'm still holding out hope that that might develop. But right now he's gassy and has reflux, so he's in a pretty crappy mood when he's not sleeping. And I refuse to be one of those people who brings the screaming kid to the wine bar. Hopefully, I'll resume happy hours soon, provided I can make this kid a little more positive.

Tomorrow we're taking Rolo to the trailer, down by the river. It'll be his first get away and frankly, Mama needs the change of scenery. I'm bringing cupcakes and a candle to celebrate my little man's one month birthday.

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