I espoused on here many times that I wasn’t making a birth plan because I felt like a birth plan was just a way to have everything go wrong, and that worked for me. I had a quick, easy, and painless (after the epidural was in) labor.
I didn’t, however, refuse to make a life plan in regards to how I was going to parent my child. I had lots of plans. And most of them got changed.
1. Cosleeping. I said before I had Charlie that there was no way I would ever cosleep. Nope. No way. It’s dangerous, and our bed is our bed. It’s not healthy to have your child come between you. Literally, between you. But in truth, Charlie has spent some amount of time in our bed every night of her life. Honestly, I don’t see any danger. Now that she’s here I cannot fathom rolling over on her. I don’t use drugs or drink, and even in my sleep I am aware she is there. And now our bed IS our bed-our family bed. If anything I feel like it’s brought Chief and I closer to have her there. He rolls over and checks on us when she starts to fuss. Sometimes he gives her a gentle stroke on the cheek and a kiss to me when he wakes up to find us nursing at 4:00 am. It’s been the sweetest, most tenderest time of my life and I’m so glad I didn’t miss it because I had some preconceived notion about what would be right for my family before my family was formed.
2. Breastfeeding in Public Uncovered. I mean, that’s just ridiculous. What’s the big deal about covering up? This is one that I’m embarrassed by how I felt previously. I was never one of those people who thought that women were trying to “flaunt” themselves. I just always thought that if it made folks uncomfortable what’s the big deal about covering up? The big deal is that the baby really does hate it. She hates it. And I can’t see her. And trying to navigate my giant boob into her tiny mouth with a cover on is like trying to hit a bulls eye blindfolded with your nondominant hand while drinking a glass of water upside down. I’m not even kidding. So now I nurse in public all the time and I feel very confident about it, most days anyway. I still stay pretty discreet. I typically wear a long, flowy shirt that keeps the pertinent parts covered while not covering Charlie’s face. Because when it comes right down to it, the baby’s gotta eat. And I don’t just love public nursing-if there’s a mother’s room or a target dressing room available that’s still my preference, but if not? Oh well.
3. Quitting My Job. Yeah…didn’t see that one coming. I mean, I knew before going on maternity leave that coming back to work would be hard and I would probably not want to, but I never saw myself being so against the idea that I would actually take steps to make it possible for me to stay home. But I did. And sometimes that still seems like the craziest thing I’ve ever done. This is the week I was supposed to return, but here I am at home. In my nightgown-my new work uniform (AND IT IS EFFING GLORIOUS). I take Charlie to storytime every week. We run errands together, we have lunch, we go on walks, we play and read and nap. Effing. Glorious. It is still scary. The money is fine now, but it’s not like we have a lot of extra fun money (although tell that to our postman who has been delivering lots of packages full of baby clothes for next summer-Labor Day sales were on POINT y’all). And it’s time for my menagerie to get their shots, so that’s stressful. But I know we can make it work. We’ve done more with less before, so we can do this.
4. Thinking it Would be Work. I did. I thought that having a baby was going to be hard. That the work would be overwhelming. And I don’t say this to make any of you out there who are struggling feel bad, but for me it just hasn’t been that hard. I think part of that is that I built it up to be SO FREAKING HARD in my head, that it’s been pleasantly wonderful in the most surprising way. THE MOST SURPRISING WAY. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I wish I could go out without another human attached to me. And then she smiles and there is literally nowhere else I’d rather be, and nothing I’d rather be doing than being this tiny human’s mom. So I hope I haven’t made anyone feel bad. On the contrary, I hope that I’m providing hope for any of you who are struggling like I did, afraid of the future. It is not work. It is pure joy. It is pure wonder. It’s like having the sun shine on your face when you walk out of a cold building.
Also, apparently today is my wordpressiversary. I think it must be three years now, and over 600 posts. Yowza. Thanks for being here, for reading, for following through the good and the bad, the negative and positive tests. The baby pictures, the sappy momma posts. The cats, the roses, the remodels, the in laws-all of it.
Thanks for being my bleeps.