During pregnancy, I thought a LOT about what I wanted for my son’s birth, what I choices I would make for him in his early days, and what kind of parent I would be. Especially with aspirations in the saddle in the back of my mind (actually more like smack dab in the front of my mind) eating away at me during 9 long months of no riding (try 10-11 😫) . I wrote about it here a lot so that is no mystery! I was determined to have it all with a new baby and somewhat in an effort to keep this in my mind after his birth, when I knew all I would want would be to revolve like a satellite around this tiny piece of my heart on the outside of my body, I wrote fervently on the topic – knowing full and well lots of you who have already been there would read it go “oh, just you wait…”
So it seems like a good time to reflect, with my almost two month old son asleep on my boob with my nip still in his mouth.
What I wanted for his birthing day…
This intimidating day was all I dwelled on in the last several months. I dutifully studied hypnobirthing, met with my doula many times, attended birthing class, did yoga, drank my raspberry leaf tea religiously and flexed those kegels. My surgery last summer revealed to me just how sensitive my body was to pain medication, and I was determined to go without while terrified I would never “be able” to do it. I was also equally afraid of being induced because I heard tales of intense contractions that I would in no way be able to handle without some drugs.
What we got during his birth…
Was perfection. I realize now that it wouldn’t have mattered if everything on the grand plan was followed to a tee or not (it wasn’t), it still would’ve been perfect. A lot of my worst fears came true: I was induced, having gone beyond my due date and little one not responding as they liked to tests and during ultrasounds. I barfed right after my water broke (half beecause of pain I’m sure, half because I was shocked that it was actually starting and when I’m severely emotionally disturbed, I puke 😆), and I had a perineal tear requiring stitches. But I did do without the epidural – and as he came in only 5 1/2 hours after my water broke, and the nurse didn’t believe me that I was in labor despite the fact I definitely went from no contractions to constant back laboring contractions 1 minute to 30 seconds apart (damn you hypnobirthing, you work too well), not to mention when I went from 4 to 8 cm dilated in less than 45 minutes, there probably wouldn’tve been time even if I had begged for drugs. Despite it all, he came out at 9am on the dot after only a few pushes the morning of April 6th with ten fingers and ten toes, and suddenly having a birth plan at all seemed such a small deal and nearly laughable. It just didn’t matter, because I finally had him in my arms.
What I wanted for his newborn days…
Ask me before pregnancy what choices I would make for my newborn, and my answers would be the furthest thing from “crunchy”. I had no interest in breastfeeding, complete trust in the CDC’s opinion in vaccines, and thought concepts like baby wearing (outside of a good hike), cloth diapering, and cosleeping were a little too hippy dippy for me.
What does the newborn phase look like now? Call me granola mom…
I came around to breastfeeding during pregnancy solely for the bottom line (mo money, mo horses). This also went hand in hand with cloth diapers – breastfed poo was way easier to handle, and cloth is another huge money saver. Now I am majorly determined to breastfeed and knock it out of the park, even after two (well three, if you count the doctor in the hospital who said he clipped it but didn’t) tongue tie revisions, craniosacral therapy, appointments on appointments with the lactation consultant, bleeding nips, lots of tears, and not lots of sleep. Bottom line aside, it is gratifying in a way I can’t explain and did not expect.
As for other issues? I am still a huge supporter of vaccines, but do question every single one and its appropriateness for our child. Things changed drastically since our childhood, so while I want him fully vaccinated I also don’t want him getting six at once even if it means coming to the doctor’s office every month. I also babywear on the daily, otherwise I could kiss eating goodbye. Cleaning, dishes and laundry are a whole ‘nother issue – and cooking dinner is something we’ll try and work in next month… or year. Cosleeping just seems to happen, epecially at 3am when smush wants to have his boob pacifier within reach every 10 minutes for five hours straight. It freaked W out at first, but the calming effects of having him there with us changed his mind very quick, so we are just very careful and follow all the safety guidelines. I now see my plans of having him in his own crib in his own room by 3 months entirely hilarious.
How about parenting once we are beyond the newborn phase?
Before baby, I had a plan to be back in the saddle a month after giving birth. We were also planning to have kiddo in daycare once a week somewhere in the 3-6 month timeframe so I could have a horse day during the week.
Now that he is here, I think my timelines are just stretched a little longer. I could be back in the saddle now healing wise. I felt back to normal a mere two weeks post, much to my luck and surprise (do yoga, pregnant friends!). But I am also dealing with mental healing after my accident, so I have started with groundwork lessons this month. It is also a struggle to find good lesson times with my now limited schedule to the high demand evening and weekend times when W can watch squish, so I only managed to get two lessons on the calendar for May and three in June. But really that feels like a massive achievement.
As for daycare, I did not realize how hard it would be for me to part with this kiddo. I will be ready to punch a wall during a middle of the night hissy fit (non parents, have you heard of purple crying? google it, its a thing and it makes you lose your mind. Reed’s is at 3am every. dang. day.) but the minute hubs takes him into the other room to give me break, I want him back in my arms. Y’all warned me about this, still feel like a crazy person. Even on my way to lessons when I know W is watching him, I keep looking in my rearview thinking he’s there, and missing his squish butt five minutes into my drive. And as a result, I can’t see the daycare thing happening soon. It just means I’ll have to work harder to schedule riding in around W’s work schedule. Which is more than doable until it gets easier to part (tell me it gets easier).
So there we go. Almost two months in and still alive – and in disbelief that a month can fly by so fast! There have been so many amazing things: smiles, firsts, and just oodles of cute. Looking forward to what is to come!