Baby Steps: 10 magical moments that make your heart melt

IMG_20131030_140308If you read my last blog that described in what may have been too much postpartum detail (see 10 things to enjoy as a woman before becoming a mom), then you understand how… let’s say challenging the first few months of motherhood can be. You’re exhausted. You’re not used to taking care of someone else all the time, and have little chance to take care of yourself.

After having ranted about all the things women can’t do once a little human escapes from within, I feel the need to produce a blog detailing the other side of the spectrum, you know, the side that makes you want to be the best mom you can be and offers a beaming bright light at what can, at times, seem like a very long, very dark, very lonely tunnel.

In essence, this split between ranting and glowing is what characterizes parenthood; the simultaneous ups and downs triggered by a mixed sense of helplessness when your baby is fussy and of accomplishment once you finally figure out what was wrong, and how to fix it. As a mother, you hit extremes of both sadness and happiness you never knew existed. You feel emotions you didn’t know you had yet to experience. And you start understanding the real meaning of both patience, and unconditional love.

So, without further ado, here is a list of (the first of many) wonderful moments that really do make being a mom, feel like the coolest job on earth.

Your baby’s first smile (that is, in no way, tied to gas)

Your heart will melt and you will spend every waking moment trying to earn the next.

A full night’s sleep

This is the day you wake up panicking because the clock says 5:30am when you put her down at 11pm the night before – and then realize she’s fine, and just gave you 6 and a half hours of uninterrupted slumber. Magic.

Bath time

Seeing your baby splash around in a pool full of water reminds you how comfortable she felt in the womb and is a nice way to reconnect with your little love-nut. She really did love you (love you/need you) before she was even born. Note – Putting enough water in the tub and making sure it’s nice and warm is key to a happy bath time experience!

Cooing

You will swear she’s talking to you. And then you’ll answer her. And then the conversation will go off in hilarious directions that make you feel less alone and more in the company of someone who really gets you.

Eye contact

The moment you realize that your little one can not only see you, but recognize who you are makes all your hard work worthwhile. It’s the little bit of thanks you need for milking like a cow, looking like a slob and being at the beck and call of a pint sized rug rat.

A good pooh

Honest to God, who knew that feces could bring a woman such happiness? Two in one day of appropriate colour, texture and smell? You just won the lottery. Twice.

A solid belch

Runner up only to a good bowel movement is a nice loud burp! There is no sense of accomplishment like hearing the resounding exit of gas from either extremity following a feeding. A job well done for you, and baby.

Being the perfect pacifier

Having your little one fall asleep on you or stop crying when she’s in your arms can at times feel like you’ve tamed a wild beast, but it’s more than that, it’s the sense of trust that comes with responding on a daily basis to the cries, discomfort and whimpers of a little one who can’t tell you what’s wrong but hopes you understand anyway.  I can’t help but smile when I’m visiting friends and family and notice Luna’s eyes scanning the room, following me everywhere I go. In my head I’m saying “Yeah, that’s right! Who’s your mama!?” Having your little one look to you for comfort seriously validates your efforts as a (possibly reluctant and used to doing fifty billion things at once) stay at home mom.While I in no way hope to have a child who can’t be away from mommy for more than a minute at a time, it does feel good to know you’re meeting some or most of their needs on a regular basis. Maybe I really can do this after all?

Hand holding

The moment they raise their little fingers and wrap it around yours as they’re feeding, or refuse to let go of your finger as they drift to sleep. Bliss!

Snuggles

Hands down. When they burrow into you like they’re digging for lost treasure only to fall asleep face up, mouth gaping wide open, arms clasping you on both sides. It’s heaven. Pure heaven.

Yup, it’s a tough job (some days, it’s tougher than others) but somebody’s got to do it!

10 things every woman should enjoy before having a baby

10 things every woman should enjoy before having a baby

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Having a baby is a big decision, and while you ought to be prepared to give it all up in an effort to be the perfect mama, saying goodbye to those precious moments of respite you savour when trying simultaneously to juggle a career, a household, a rockin’ bod, a social life and a full refrigerator (unless your husband actually does the groceries?) isn’t always as easy as it seems. Once your little one makes his/her arrival, all your minutes are instantaneously redirected towards feedings, diaper changes, doctors appointments, and bouncing up and down like a maniac trying to soothe a crying baby. They say this will only last for a little while (I’ll let you know in another month or so).

The point is, people don’t really tell you what exactly you’re giving up as a woman once you decide to have a baby (and it’s a good thing, otherwise human procreation would surely come to an alarming and immediate standstill). This is of course because the pay-off (a super cute, loving, minion sized bundle of joy) is totally worth at (and because woman have a biological component that deletes the trauma of birth and the time that immediately follows). Whatever the reason, there are a few things I wish I’d known before taking the dive into motherhood – not that I wouldn’t have done it anyways, but at least I would have had a better idea of what the first few months had in store. So, here it is; the stuff that every woman should know before dropping the pill and pinning their legs against a headboard in the hopes of sending swimmers to meet their mate. Do these things while you can ladies, and savour them for all of us.

*note: drinking wine is excluded because after giving birth I immediately reinstated a glass or two every other day – let’s be honest, that’s just responsible parenting. Continue reading “10 things every woman should enjoy before having a baby”

One month in and it’s time to introduce the baby blogs

Finally, five minutes to write something. Anything! It’s been a while, I know, but I have a good reason this time, and it’s called motherhood. One month ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, weighing in at 7.1 lbs. Her name is Luna (if you want to know why, refer to the Thailand Chronicles 2008: Full Moon Party, Kho Phan Nhang) and she has single-handedly turned my life upside down in countless ways, all wonderful – and all utterly and entirely exhausting.

Where does the time go?

1 month

Since Luna was born, her dad and I have had to navigate the unfamiliar and intimidating waters that wait to welcome every new parent as they learn how to keep another little being alive. There has been so many “eureka!” moments during this time that I feel as if I could already write a self help book along the lines of “how to survive the first month of parenthood” (“surviving” is really the key word here) – if only I’d had ten minutes to sit down at my computer and actually write (this post was an accumulation of 2 minute intervals over the course of three weeks, I kid you not). Such is the paradox of my current situation; finally off “work”, without a minute to spare. I can, quite honestly, count on one hand the number of times I’ve blow dried my hair in the last month, I can’t tell you what day of the week it is, and I’ve officially sworn off checking my voice mails (text me and I may write you back, but don’t make me dial in to retrieve a recorded message – it’s not going to happen.)

Time as a concept has in fact taken on a whole new meaning to me (or lack thereof). For the past month, the hours have blended together to form a kind of continuous cyclone that revolves around feeding times, diaper changes, burping, fussing and bath time. I eat when she sleeps and I shower as my husband is slowly waking up to get ready for work . And I sleep for around 4 hours a night in between feedings when Luna decides she’s still in the mood for a snooze. In short, I have no sense of time. I don’t wake up and go to work, I stay at work, for 24 hours a day. It’s the strangest thing really, but I’ve realized that when on Mat Leave, the only thing you leave behind is your sanity, the rest simply gets bumped up ten fold. This is, of course, a temporary condition, one that I have no doubt I’ll soon move past gracefully and one which I’m sure I’ll remember fondly (the little dear is after all now 8 lbs of sheer cuteness when her head isn’t spinning around like something from the exorcist). So, do I plan on never returning to work? Will I stop blogging, running, socializing etc? Heck no! I can’t wait until I figure out a routine that allows me to write between feeds – but until that happens, I’m afraid that posts, jogs and social calls will be few and far between. Trust me, the countdown is on.

For now, here’s a little insight into life with baby, one month in. Continue reading “One month in and it’s time to introduce the baby blogs”