Baby Violet Beverly Peat has arrived! Actually, she’s been here for over 5 weeks now, and I thought I would have so much time to blog about how awesome she is, but it’s been the exact opposite. On September 16, 2014 we welcomed this tiny perfect human into the world at 7 lbs 15 oz and 20.75 in long. And since then, my days have flown by. I don’t know how it happens, but all of a sudden I’ll look up from a boring episode of Gilmore Girls and Dan will be strolling through the door after a full day of work and I’m still in my pajamas!
But it’s not just the time warp that’s surprising to me. I can honestly say that nothing is like I thought it would be. Labor hurt more than I thought I could humanly stand. The unplanned c-section wasn’t as bad as all the horror stories I had heard. And I love little Vi more than I ever thought possible.
I’m also realizing that everything I’ve read/researched on how to not screw up your kid means nothing. Because the reality of it is that you will do anything in your power to make sure they’re happy and healthy, even if that means going against everything you just read in your fancy french parenting book.
I always saw myself as the mom who would breastfeed her kids for at least a year. I would have no shame about breastfeeding in public and my child would never get sick and be the smartest kid in daycare because of my amazing milk. And then it took almost 5 days for my milk to come in and I had to supplement with donor milk. Yes. A stranger’s milk kept my baby alive for the first few days. That was a blow to my mom-ego to say the least. Oh, and it cost $20 per oz. OUCH.
On top of that, breastfeeding is HARD. I thought, “You put the baby on your breast and everything would just work itself out. I mean, it’s nature, right? Babies know how to feed otherwise how would they survive?” WRONG. I could write a whole post dedicated just to breastfeeding and I probably will eventually, but for now I can say that we’ll be lucky if we make it six months! I’ve yet to feed in public because usually one (or both) of us cries until I can get her latched and I haven’t figured out a way to put her on the boob without taking my entire shirt off just for both of us to get comfy. That would be an awkward thing to attempt while eating a sandwich at Jimmy John’s.
We WERE NOT going to be the parents who shoved a pacifier in their kid’s mouth every time he or she cried. I thought, “Those parents must just not know how to soothe their kids.” Plus, I hate when you see a 4 yr old walking around with a paci in their mouth. What a condescending person without kids I used to be. The first time I realized that a pacifier would get Vi to stop crying and I didn’t have to give her my boob to suck on, I never looked back. Pacifiers, to me, are right up there on the invention list with that thing that turns your vegetables into noodles. GENIUS.
My husband and I agreed that Vi would sleep in her pack ‘n play in our room until I went back to work and then we’d transfer her to her crib. We WOULD NOT, under any circumstances, let her sleep in bed with us, because we wanted to be those parents who still had a sex life and whose child didn’t sleep with them until the age of 7. And then on our first night home I woke up to see Vi sleeping curled up on Dan’s chest. And even though it’s not ideal, she’s ended up in bed with us every night since then. We’re such suckers. But we’re well rested suckers.
ON LETTING THEM CRY IT OUT:
Of course we’ll let her cry it out. She needs to learn how to self-soothe so she can be independent, and blah blah blah. And then I actually heard her cry and my heart broke. How can I fix it? Do you need food? A clean diaper? A hug? All I want to do is hold her all day anyway. Why would I let her just lay there and cry when picking her up will make both of us feel better?
ON BABY TALK:
Does wittle vi pie want a paci? Does she need a dipey change? Yes, we call diapers, dipeys. On top of the stupid made up words that I can’t get myself to stop saying, without even realizing it, my voice goes up a few octaves when I talk to her and I end up sounding like someone off of Blues Clues (or whatever obnoxious show toddlers like to watch these days).
So there you have it. I’m the exact opposite of the parent that I thought I would be but you know what? Vi slept 6 CONSECUTIVE HOURS LAST NIGHT. SIX. And she just woke up from a 2.5 hour nap which allowed me to write this post! So Dan and I must not be doing a horrible job.