Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My First Outing with a Newborn

Last week, I made my first attempt to leave the house with Jo (baby Joanna) (besides the time we went to her second pediatrician appointment and she pooped all over the blanket - the doc literally helped me clean up her poop). Needless to say, it took almost 2 weeks for me to build up the courage and leave the house with her again, alone.

When you're a new mom, leaving the house for the first time alone sounds like a big deal. Like seriously, leaving the house pre-baby was a pretty big deal - I had to shower, get dressed, do something with my hair and put on my makeup. Then, I had to figure out why I was leaving the house, make a list so I don't drive around aimlessly and make sure I had my purse loaded with whatever essentials I need. It took me years to develop this routine of efficiency! And literally overnight, we have to develop a new routine with baby and this was my attempt...

With baby: skip the AM shower (I've switched to PM showers when daddy is home), pull the hair back in a pony tail (ain't no one got time for all that hair stylin' anymore) and put on a little bit of powder and black eyeliner to cover up the I'm so tired look. Then, we start the fun stuff... and this is basically how my morning went once I got through 1, 2, 3 steps of me "getting ready" while she sat in her chair.

Change Jo's diaper, change her onsie that was just spit-up on while I was getting dressed and feed her. My thought process:

A - I don't want her to cry in her car seat because she has a dirty diaper
B - I don't want her to smell like dry breast milk in 2 hours
C - I don't want her to cry in her car seat because she is hungry, so let's "top her off" or fill 'er up!

And the above steps worked perfectly! Now the fun stuff - how do I get the diaper bag, car seat, purse, essentials listed above and my water cup into the car? ...without leaving the baby unsupervised? Thought to self: If she is strapped to her car seat, she is safe? Maybe the dogs can keep a 60-second eye on her while I load the diaper bag, purse and essentials in the car. Seriously, I don't know what the correct answer is here but I ran through the scenario in my head 5 times and there is no way that I can load all of that stuff in the car with a baby in my hands. I can barely get milk out of the fridge and poured into a cup while holding her bopping head!

So, we made it out of the house. Only 20 minutes after my original "goal time" so it wasn't that bad. But then, 10 down the street... the tire pressure indicator light came on in the car! After an attempt of checking the tires and adding air at the gas station - I gave up and drove to the Mazda dealership (all while Jo was sleeping in the back seat). I couldn't figure out how to get the indicator light to turn off and there was no way I was driving 1hr solo with a newborn and that indicator light on... so we drove to the Mazda dealership.

It's was definitely God's plan that I didn't know how to turn off the indicator light (which ended up being a little button left of the steering wheel). I pulled into the service department and my rear tire had a NAIL IN IT! Well, it looks like we were spending the afternoon at the dealership.. or at least a few hours. And this worked out in my favor as well because I had my first breast-feeding-in-public experience (and Jo had her first diaper change in public experience, this time she didn't poop on her blanket... whoosah!). I found a corner of the dealership tucked behind a vending machine where I could cover-up with a blanket and whip out the bam bams. As my first experience doing this in public, it was a nice calm environment. But I quickly realized that I need to work on my upper body strength. Once I get cleared from the doctor to exercise again (13 days and counting!), I'm going to start using those 5lb weights!

Anyways, this was my view for the duration of that dealership feeding and changing experience...

And you can imagine what we did after we left there? Went home and took a nap!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

One Day I'll Miss These Long Nights

We are 12 days into parenthood and there is one thing that I'm beginning to realize about life that somehow in my 27.5 years of existence I never really realized before... It happens FAST - like really fast. How is it possible that we've had our little girl for almost 2 weeks already? I keep remembering those last several weeks of pregnancy which felt like they would never end and she would never arrive. I felt like the time passed so incredibly slow, especially when the night came and I'd wake up 5-6 times to go to the bathroom and lay back down just to stare at the clock until I dozed off again. 

My running coach shared a blog post with our running group recently...

The Long and Short of It

There is basically one sentence that sums it up:
"As it turns out, running is a lot like parenting: The days are long, but the years are short."

I remember those months marathon training where I cursed the alarm clock for going off at 3:30am so I could get in that long run before 8am. Or the evenings at the parkway doing speed work where I just had to push through one interval at a time because thinking about doing 5 total wore me out. But in the end, meeting my running goals during those races felt like heaven at the finish line. And in the blink of an eye, my training months came to an end and I was staring at the start line of another race I'd prepared for. Here we are, 4 years of running later - 2 marathons, 9 half marathons, I lost count of how many 15ks, 10ks and 5ks - and it all just flew by. 

Well, parenting is a lot like that right now - specifically nursing at all hours of the night. When I'm falling asleep in the rocking chair hoping that Joanna finishes up so I can put her back to bed, I remind myself that I just need to make it to 5am (you called it, the initial first-time-mommy-adrenaline is starting to ware off). Because after 5am comes dawn and the long evening will be over. For me, it's the dim lit evenings in that rocking chair that feel the longest. 

Yes, it's a beautiful thing and since she arrived I get choked up and start tearing at any moment about how thankful I am to have our growing family. But it's also hard work, probably the hardest job I've ever had. And although I find myself saying, "Momma, you just have to make it to 5am" ...I want the days to stop flying by. Soon we'll be moving and shortly after I'll have to go back to work full time. And...

But I also love my daughter with every fiber of my being, every ounce of my soul. And I know that I'm going to miss those dim lit nights in the rocking chair when I'm away traveling for work. I know I'm going to miss her unfinished diaper explosions which leave poop and/or pee on her changing pad cover because my new-parent-experience didn't know to have the new diaper ready before taking the old diaper off (okay this really happened multiple times so far, haha). And I'm going to miss just watching her sleep. And the scariest part is that in the next 10 weeks she is going to grow even more and there will be other memories we will make, that haven't happened yet... that I know I'm going to miss. 

So to sum it all up again, the days are long but the years are short. I realize now that time flys by and when the night comes again where I feel like I may not make it to 5am... I just have to cherish the snuggles and her little hands that curl around my finger, because these days will be over before I know it. 

One tired momma