Now that Cole is almost 3 months old I'm finding time to do things for myself. Things like taking showers, cutting my fingernails and using my computer. Hey, I remember how to type! These nimble fingers can do more than change diapers and snap onesies.
Motherhood is much tougher than I thought it would be. Not just the sleep deprivation but the anxiety that comes along with realizing I'm responsible for a very small human being who came into this world without an instruction book.
Breastfeeding was rough, Cole and I gave it the old college try, but we just couldn't hack it as a feeding/eating team. He ended up losing weight and I ended up with mastitis... 3 times in 10 weeks. It was miserable. So now I pump a couple times a day and we make up the extra with formula. The formula is where Alex got to jump in as super-dad to do price and ingredient comparisons. His findings were that the Kirkland (a.k.a. Costco) brand is pretty darn close to Enfamil and Similac in the nutrition department but costs half as much. Talk about your bargain shopping. I was really resistant to the idea of formula, but without it I would have a starving baby and I would have had to continue spending more time bonding with my Medela breast pump than my son. And as it turns out that giving Cole formula was not the end of the world. Imagine that. I did find some creative ways to use my Medela accessories after I stopped pumping a million times a day. For example: the breast shield is a great funnel for getting the formula into the bottle.And the storage bottles for breast milk are super for transporting pre-measured amounts of formula when we go on outings. The best thing about the storage bottles are that they say things on the side like "Breastfeeding is baby's best start" "Breastfeeding: from mother with love" "Breastfeeding: nature's perfect food" "Mother's milk is #1" and my personal favorite to fill with powdered formula, "Contents: 100% Breastmilk." I think I might give the LaLeche League a collective heart attack.
One of the biggest lessons I've learned since having a baby is that it's crucial to be flexible and to understand that as a parent I have to roll with the punches and do what works best, no matter what preconceived ideas I may have had. I laugh now when I think about how I was convinced I would have a natural childbirth, then I downgraded it to "okay, maybe I'll take the epidural" and when it came right down to it I had an epidural as well as tons of narcotics. Being a parent has forced me to live in the moment like I never have before. There aren't enough books in the universe to prepare anyone for an infant, you just have to do what you have to do. It felt scary to me for the first 8 weeks and now I'm finally getting the hang of this mommy thing. Which is ironic because I go back to work in 3 weeks.
What kind of mother would I be if I didn't end this post with a picture of my super-smart-extra-cute-amazingly-strong baby?