So, no post on her one month birthday and no cute picture of her next to a big bear to show her growth. I tried to take one of her next to the dog but he wasn't having it. I can attest to her growth though. Today was her one-month checkup and the doctor was very affirming that her 65x/day feedings are indeed working. Little piglet is 9lbs 5oz, up from 6.14 one month ago. So I am obviously not wasting my time with our all day nursing. Just for record-keeping (will I even care about this 20 years from now??), she is a well-proportioned gal, in the 75 percentile for weight, length, and head circumference. When the doctor asked me how I was adjusting, I may or may not have embarrased my husband to no end by immediately dropping a few tears before assuring her that we are doing okay, despite the sleep thing.
I don't have to write about our biggest issue here because you all have done it and you all assure me that "it will get better." God help every last one of you if this is just lip service. And to those new moms I previously judged who don't shower during the day, I am so, so sorry. Please karma, give a girl a break. When the doc suggested I pump an extra bottle to speed the 3am (or 1am or 5am) feedings, I nearly laughed. Now I probably won't even brush my teeth. Friends and husbands beware.
But I will say that a few things have kept me sane in this past month, despite the very large amount of feeding and very little amount of sleep. So as to not make your head spin further with this post's complete lack of organization, a few bullets.
- putting on makeup. Awhile back Rachel remarked that putting on makeup each day made her feel more sane. I don't know if I feel more sane but I know my husband is less afraid when he comes home with a little help from Loreal. And I am less afraid when I pass a mirror.
- getting out of the house. We do this near daily and while it is tiring, these visits with friends or family or lunch with dad are always worth it. Plus, it (usually) makes mom brush teeth and put on makeup. Note that I did not include a shower in there.
- I've said it before, God makes newborns so cute so as to not want to put your own (not baby's) head in a pillow and scream when you've been woken up for the 5th time in 4 hours. God has definitely answered my prayers and in my most frustrated state, those blue eyes on that child still make me stop and smile.
- It does get better. Admittedly, I have wanted to shoot many of you for that constant assertion. It's not that I didn't trust your memories of those early days with your babes, but that speaking in the future tense was just not okay. I don't need it to get better sometime later, I need it to get better now. Tomorrow will be 5 weeks from that fateful day at Piedmont Hospital and I can now say that all of you are safe. I will not be shooting you. Each day (notice I did not say NIGHT) gets better. It actually gets a little more fabulous.
- Having a supportive husband is KEY. No doubt about it, Ross has kept me saneish and Mary Kate is simply so very lucky he is her dad. I have not moments I am not proud of, like the other night when I am ashamed to say, I told him to shut up as I went to bed. A few minutes later, he was in the room, hugging me, allowing me to apologize and reassuring me that we will get through these crazy first weeks. Having someone who understands the psychosis that ensues after a month without sleep (hell, after 11 months- I hate any pregnant woman who actually sleeps) is very helpful. Plus, the kid seems to adore the guy. That helps too.
- Friends who have done this before freaking rock. Ashley, Betsy, Natalie, Elizabeth, Jennifer D, Jennifer S, Kacie, Amy N., Rae, Emily, Lisa, Melanie, mom, Busha, and many others, thank you. Even though I don't always believe you when you tell me we are doing a good job and that again, it will get better, hearing your advice and your support makes it easier. It takes a village to raise a new mama.
- New moms should get a gold medal if one day includes pumping a night bottle, teeth brushing, shower and vacuuming. If I can get in a shower today, plus the blog, I should get two.
- Everything takes a back seat to that precious, noctural, piglet, including blogging and most forms of etiquette. So, your thank you notes are coming, I promise. And emails will be returned by age 6 months. I will never again judge any woman in this "4th trimester" of life.
- And lastly, what I know of this crazy season, is that prayer truly does work. So, if I have been so priviledged to have yours, thank you. They are totally, totally working. Please do not hesitate to let me know how I can return the favor. I have lots of free time on my hands from 1a-6a and would love to make good use of it praying for you!
Happy 1 month and 3 day birthday precious girl