The learning curve

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tuesday, January 1 - 6am
Originally uploaded by kathy photo
Tomorrow will mark when I have been a mother a total of four weeks. It's been really crazy. And fun. And stressful. And tiring. And stretching. And amazing.

[I know I said that there was a "super update" coming soon... That should be blog-sin rule #1: never promise an "update coming soon". All the pressure has kept me from actually posting anything. I've just made up my mind to post SOMETHING.]

Being a new mother, I really find that I'm adding to my list of skills weekly, or sometimes daily.
  • Bathing her - How do you hold this baby so she doesn't slip out of your hands while she is in the water? Soap + baby = slippery bugger.
  • Learn to breastfeed - that required more coordination than anything else. How do I hold this baby? How do I get her arms so that she doesn't have them in the way?
  • Getting ready to go out - What does she need when we go out? How long does it take to get her ready and get ME ready? For the first two weeks we were late to EVERYTHING.
  • Changing a diaper - Oh! the baby will CONTINUE to pee even though you have removed her diaper? How inconsiderate! POO? Yeah, newborns are quite rude. Just ask her Aunt Christine.
  • Interpreting her cries - What in the world is she crying about now? For Sofia - we've learned it's pretty much only if she's hungry, or more recently: gas. She kept me up with her crying for nearly 4 hours (on and off) in the middle of the night a couple of days ago. Admittedly I thought about quitting motherhood.

    That's just a few things.

    The last one has been particularly hard on us as parents. It's better now because we now know what's "wrong" with her when she is crying, what it seems like, incessantly. I think that is the most frustrating/scariest thing - it's when we DON'T know what is wrong and therefore how to fix it. But when we do figure it out there is a confidence that everything will be fine.

    So these last few weeks have been a pretty awesome experience. These three things have been essential for us:

    1 - READ. We've had lots of books passed on to us, so I consult them regularly. The internet, while not necessarily 100% trustworthy, has been very helpful too. I try and visit real parenting websites so that at least there articles to look at - not just merely opinions of random strangers from around the world.

    2 - FAMILY. Our families have been so amazing. My parents are over every day, cooking and/or cleaning and just being around. Gonz's parents live further away, but they're just a phone call away when we're at our wits' end and didn't know what to do when my milk's came in and I feel like I'm gonna explode, or how to solve our baby's gas problem.

    3 - GOD. I pray for patience, for guidance, for peace, for strength, for health... Tonight, when she had so much gas that her little torso seemed stretched to the limit, and she was crying so hard that her whole body was turning red, I leaned down over her and asked God for help - yes, with tears. She calmed right down and so I could at least hold her and try to work out those burps that she needed to make. And this is just with her "gas" problems - I know that I am going to come to rely on Him even more as she grows, and therefore, we grow.

    She's finally sleeping now. (I have come back to finish this post at least three times). It's hard sometimes, but there are all these little victories along the way that make me feel like I'm not totally screwing this up (like, Sofia gaining all her birth weight back in one week, and then gaining 1.5 pounds in two weeks... apparently this is so fantastic that our doctor doesn't feel like we need to see him the usual every-week fashion. We'll be seeing him every two).

    I wonder what I have to learn next.

    (Hey - if you're checking out 365 Sofia, leave some comments. It's just an easy way to hear from you people. I'm on maternity leave - I need some adult interaction!)

    1. Anonymous10/1/08 15:06

      I love your post! I remember all those feelings too! It can feel overwhelming at times for sure. I never did figure out the different cry thing- I just tried everything and sometimes NOTHING worked. It sounds like you are doing great!
      Bless ya, Laura

    2. Anonymous10/1/08 18:28

      Your post brings back a lot of memories (and emotions) for me too.
      Kathy, you're doing a great job! Parenting is the hardest job on earth but you already have a head start being married to great man, surrounded by a loving family and having God through the midst of it all and your life. Everyday, I'm praying for strength and patience and being reminded daily that my kids are His gifts to me. Talk about huge!! After having Journee, grace, forgiveness, unconditional love became so much more clearer to me. You relationship with God will deepen too through Sofia. It's wonderful journey, enjoy every second!
      P.S - I want to leave comments on your flicker pages but can never remember my password. So, I'm lookin' and loving every picture I see.



    Hey, thanks for leaving a comment.