Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Postpartum Update: Day 4

I'm writing this update on day four of our expanded family. So far, so good! The "cocoon stage" isn't my favorite, but I need to remind myself to savor each stage as much as I can. It's such a special, quiet time as a family, and it will pass all too quickly as the boys grow.
My healing is coming along well, but it's still difficult to experience the discrepancy between what my mind wants to be doing and what my body is actually capable of doing. I need to find more ways to enjoy this down time. Right now I primarily occupy myself with Facebook, which is definitely not nearly engaging enough for a whole day's entertainment. I'm also not entirely ready to switch on my productive mode and start working again. Blogging helps, but I don't have that much to talk about right now! Perhaps trying to get my hands on some good books might help, as well as starting a good series on Netflix and playing games with my family. I should also think about what kind of to-do list makes sense for my life right now, so I can at least remember some of the things I want/need to get done.
Both my mom and brother will be here for the next ten days. The extra support is invaluable. We had to take care of ourselves for 2.5 days after Tate's arrival, and it was stressful. Although Henry loves his brother and is always eager to see him and talk to him, he's also demonstrating challenging behavior and testing our patience (which is already thinner than usual because of the irregularity of our sleep). We remind ourselves that he's going through immense changes right now, and we try to focus on and celebrate all the positive choices he makes. We also try to maintain consistency with our expectations and boundaries. We say "yes" as often as we can, but when we say "no" we mean it (in a positive, calm way).
Tate is just as sweet as can be. We're still in that honeymoon phase when he sleeps all the time, but it's so fun to see glimpses of his personality when he's awake. I'm amazed by how much newborns can actually move. He can definitely slither his way into my armpit and will scoot closer if he feels me move away. I find co-sleeping to be simultaneously amazing, stressful, and uncomfortable. I imagine we'll keep it up throughout the Symbiotic Period (which, according to Maria Montessori, lasts for 6-8 weeks after birth and is the time of most intense bonding).
I'm trying to take it easy as much as possible, so that I continue to heal quickly. It's hard to rely so heavily on others to take care of my basic needs, but I definitely feel it if I try to push myself too hard. I'm also trying to stay nourished, hydrated, and de-stressed so that breastfeeding goes well. So far I've been able to take a shower every day, which really helps keep my spirits up.
I'm sorry for such a mundane post! There really isn't too much going on. I already underwent the seismic identity shift from an individual to a mother with Henry, so this transition is much less difficult (so far). It also helps that we kept Henry in school until 3pm every day. Although I'm gearing up to head into the really difficult two months of frequent nighttime breastfeeding, it's easier knowing that it won't last too long. It's easier to have perspective the second time around.

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on July 14. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Anthropolochic said...

I so completely understand how you feel. I remember desperately wanting to be "productive" during this period. Eventually I realized that just by being with my baby, I was being productive.

If Tate is sleeping and eating so well that you have full hours of downtime-and you haven't already gotten into this series- I so strongly recommend The Wire....though, some of the content was a little tough on my postpartum hormone drenched brain.

That pic - too cute!!

Shawn said...

Oh my goodness - best cheeks and chin ever! That picture is pure sweetness. Glad you are all safe and healthy. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Stacey and Drew said...

Congratulations on the new baby. Today I was reading another blog I follow, and the post made me think of you with your new little one.


KT My Lady said...

Maybe it sounded mundane to you, but I love the calm I feel in reading about your early postpartum days. It's so different from what I've heard others describe about having a newborn. Just signed up for your course and can't wait to go on this journey with you!

Kelsey said...

For the first few weeks we totally vegged out by watching the entire Office series since Dash was sleeping and eating so much, it felt so comforting. But soon I was also ready for more stimulation. I really enjoyed listening to podcasts on my phone (Dash would sleep through them). I love Spilled Milk, Stuff You Should Know, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and The Sporkful. I also found that keeping lists of things I wanted to do when I had time in Notes on my phone helped. I'm so used to being productive and writing ideas down helped me put them aside and focus on the now.

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