On his second-month birthday, A got totally wasted (on mommy's milk)
Things have gotten somewhat easier--because I'm not going to lie to you, the first month (the first two weeks especially) was hard. I'm the youngest in the family so I had never taken care of a baby, and so I was completely clueless. No book or birthing class can prepare you for all the inexplicable crying, for the amount of feeding a little barracuda requires, and the amount of time you need to devote to take care of a little one. I never understood that last one until now--people say all a baby does is eat and sleep. But this one eats A LOT (and he's purely breastfed), so it's an endless cycle of feed-burp. He's also at the low end of the spectrum of average hours of sleep, and when he's awake, he demands to be entertained!
I knew that my life was going to change, but I didn't expect it to change that much. It was just the two of us for more than three years, so to say we went through an adjustment is a bit of an understatement. I went through the baby blues--I mourned the loss of my previous life, sad that things were never going to be the same again. I couldn't hop on a plane on a whim--heck, going to two-hour disc training (yes, I'm back!) requires extensive planning! Don't get me wrong, I was (and am) crazy in love with our little darling, but this new normal was taking a toll on me emotionally. It made things that much harder, and me that much sadder.
But one day I realized that I just simply had to embrace that things were never going to be the same. I was called on to be a mother--a privilege not everyone has--and it meant truly letting go of my selfish past, and loving the fact that I pretty much belonged to another human being. The minute I accepted that I was a different person with a different life now, I was ready to be a different kind of happy.
It still isn't easy. There is still some inexplicable crying sometimes, but at least we're better at reading his cues now. And he has a semblance of a routine now, and he seems to know it. By 6 or 7 a.m., I can hear him going, "Eh! Eh! Eh!" and he won't stop until someone comes and talks to him. (Yes, he "talks" now! He's quite chatty and he's got a LOUD voice, so it's hilarious.) By 11 a.m., he's ready for his bath. By 6:30 p.m., he's ready for his bedtime ritual: We change him into his jammies, and then I feed him. If he's still wide awake, I play music or read him a story. Once he's somewhat sleepy, I rock him in my arms and sing to him. Of course he's still in his newborn stage, so he throws us for a loop sometimes (e.g., sleeping four straight hours one night, then feeding literally every hour the next--guess who ends up not getting any sleep?). But it's more manageable now.
Besides, it's hard not to be happy when he's learned how to do this: