I have officially been a mother for one month (and 3 days). Wow! The time has flown by, although some of the days (and nights) have seemed to drag on and on.
I have to say...it's hard. It has gotten a lot better since the second week but still, HARD. Part of it is just being home alone during the day with no help and part of it is just that it is going to be hard. That's it. You're taking care of a helpless human being who can't really communicate their needs in any helpful manner. Apparently, I'm going to be able to determine what different cries mean at some point. That has not happened yet.
The first week we had Agatha home was so, so tough. The first night, especially. Apparently, there is something called "Second Night" or something that babies have. It is supposedly their crankiest time. I will say this was right on for Agatha. I thought I was going to go crazy the first night home. We were running on very little sleep and got home about 10 at night. We really had no idea what to do with her and set up the Pack N Play in our room for her to sleep in. We didn't have a swaddle sleep sack to put her in so we tried to put her in a sleep dress thing, that is open on the bottom, but it was super bulky and just didn't work for us. I honestly can't remember what she ended up sleeping in. She cried a lot that night and I kept nursing and nursing her but she was very fussy. Chris was a super rock star, and took her and tried to rock her and calm her down so I could get some sleep. We were both exhausted the next day.
On top of that, I of course had the baby blues and was anxiously awaiting my placenta pills. (Yes, I had my placenta encapsulated. No, it's not gross. I highly recommend it.) They showed up the next day and really helped a lot. Every day got better than the day before but I remember thinking that first day, "I don't know if I can do this." Every time someone mentioned Chris going back to work I would burst into tears. I cried about everything.
We had a home nurse come on our third day home. We were still exhausted and my milk came in that morning so I was pretty uncomfortable. When she showed up, Chris was in the shower and our cat, Henry Thomas, was misbehaving something terrible. He was jumping on lamps, jumping on the nurse, biting the nurse. I was breast feeding Agatha at the time, and there was nothing I could do. Luckily, the home nurse was very understanding and was a cat person and Chris eventually came out and rescued her but I had never been so embarrassed in my life. She weighed Agatha, watched me nurse and answered a lot of questions for us. It was really nice having her come.
Agatha and I really struggled with breast feeding. By day 10 I was ready to give up. WARNING: Gratuitous breast talk ahead. She had a really shallow latch and my nipples were cracked and bleeding and JUST PAINFUL. Every nurse in the hospital tried to help and said everything looked good, but obviously it was not okay. We ended up going to a lactation consultant at the hospital, because I was ready to just buy a pump and bottle feed her. I really wanted to avoid formula, so I never really considered that, but I was ready to give up on nursing if something did not change. The lactation consultant examined my nipples, watched me nurse on one side, weighed Agatha and then watched me nurse on the other side and weighed her again. She said she was getting enough to eat, and that my latch looked good on the left side but we needed to correct the right side and let it heal. So I got a nipple shield and ended up using that on and off for about a week until it healed. Since then, we have not had any problems and I really enjoy feeding her.
My mom came up and stayed with us the week Chris went back to work. I was so grateful for that. She was a really big help. We took a walk almost every day and it was just nice to have an extra set of hands. She, of course, loved spending time with Agatha. She ended coming back 10 days later for a few more days. It was great.
The days by myself are not so bad. I try to sleep as long as possible (usually until 9 or 10) and get what I can done in the morning. Agatha is usually more fussy/more work in the evening. I try to take a walk with her every day in the afternoon or take a nap with her. The days can get pretty boring and she doesn't like to sleep anywhere but someones arms during the day, so I can't accomplish very much. I can put her down for about 15 minutes before she wakes up, so I have to be quick with my chores. Sometimes it is just not worth it to put her down, but I am trying to get her to sleep in her Pack N Play during the day. She did really well at it the first few weeks.
It is amazing to see how much she has changed in such a short period. She is vocalizing now and stays awake for longer during the day. She is kind of getting into a routine at night and we are starting to see her little personality. What a joy. What a gift.