In some ways, it’s really hard for me to believe that Gregory is now 3 weeks old. Part of this is probably due to the fact that for 9.5 months, it was hard for me to think past my due date, October 24th. So the fact that it’s already November 6th kinda freaks me out.
But in other ways, 3 weeks has seemed like a long time. I feel like Gregory has always been a part of our lives, yet it’s all so “new” and unlike our lives before that the minutes seem to drag by, at times. We’ve learned so much about each other, ourselves and most importantly, about Gregory. I know what most of his little grunts mean, and can even distinguish his cries based on his needs.
We’ve also jumped a few major hurdles.
Gregory and I are now a team when it comes to breastfeeding. As long as I do my part to get to him before he’s crying (as crying is a last resort for a baby when communicating hunger), he cooperates quite nicely. I love hearing his little grunts as he anticipates getting fed, and his greedy gulps that lead to happy cooing when he’s full. He has only spat up once or twice, and has not reacted negatively to any foods that I’ve eaten. This may sound silly, but the first time I gave him a pacifier I got a little jealous. I kind of wanted him to reject it, because I like the privilege of being able to comfort him. This privilege has a negative flip side, however, because sometimes it feels like that’s all I am to him– food. We joke by putting words into his mouth: “Oh! The boobies have a face!”. It made me feel a little used at first, which I know is odd.
So I’ve taken to talking to him for about 5-10 seconds, which is as long as he’ll allow before he cries impatiently, “Enough already! Eyes on the prize, woman!” I use a certain tone of voice that I reserve especially for feeding him so that he can automatically know what’s coming when he hears it. I think it’s working– he is patient and listens to me talk to him, even making eye contact as though he understands. And I feel like I’ve actually had quality time bonding with him. Plus, I no longer resent how often he needs/wants to eat– due to breastfeeding (it has to be, I’m not allowed to exercise, and I’m eating more food and drinking more beers than Jesse), I now weigh LESS than before I got pregnant! Win win for everyone!
But the responsibility of being available every 1.5-3 hours for a feeding is tiring, so I’m glad that we’ve jumped another hurdle– the bottle. I pumped around 5 oz. extra yesterday, little by little, and saved it for 2 feedings. Since I had a test this morning in my Trivium class, Jesse graciously agreed to give him the 3am feeding so that I wouldn’t be arriving at class on one or two hours of sleep. My goal was to sleep for at least 4 hours straight for the first time in weeks. While this didn’t happen (it’s impossible not to hear Gregory’s cries, even when I know I don’t have to get up), it did allow me to sleep longer. The other bottle was for this morning, while I was at class and Jesse stayed home with him. Last week, we managed the “breast-feeding mommy/student” combo by having my mom come with me to campus and wait in the car with him. Since it is a 3 hour class, we get a long break in the middle, which I used to nurse Gregory in the car.
Speaking of my mom, she was able to come and stay for 10 days with me. I know two things about my mom: a) that she religiously reads this blog, and b) that she is horrible at taking compliments, but I’m going to praise her anyways. Instead of treating this visit as a vacation, she used every minute in an effort to help Jesse and I make this transition. She cleaned the house top to bottom, helped me organize closets and bathrooms, bought me needed baby necessities, took us out to eat when we didn’t have a meal being brought to us, got up with me every night to change Gregory’s diapers while I went back to bed, accompanied me to his appointments, did our laundry and dishes every day…absolute picture of selfless. I’m not saying that there wasn’t something in it for her– she and Gregory got along great (I think she spoiled him, in fact…he did NOT want to be put down for a minute after she left). But anything I needed, she was right there for, even when it was unpleasant. I think I only changed 2 or 3 diapers the whole time she was here! She also did a great job of giving Jesse and I space to veg out in front of a movie or our computers in the evening. I never once felt like I had to host her– instead, I felt like the guest of honor, in my own home!
All in all, these last 3 weeks have been such a blessing. Hopefully, it just keeps getting better!