Two months down, two to go

Clara turned two months old this week, which I find somewhat hard to believe — she’s only been with us for two months? How can that be? Our lives have adjusted and molded to her presence so much so that I have a hard time remembering what our day-to-day lives were like before she was here.

It helps that things have settled into something of a routine at this point. (I know, I know, that routine will get completely shaken up, probably several times, over the next few weeks/months/years. But for now, we have a routine.) At the risk of having things thrown at me, I’ll admit that she sleeps through the night beautifully, waking up just once to eat between 8 pm and 8 am, so Mr. D. and I are actually pretty well rested. She doesn’t nap well during the day, but that’s OK — it just means she spends a lot of time playing on the activity mat, and in the stroller for walks in the neighborhood with the dog (thank God for a mild winter), and in the swing with its funny little mobile. I manage to eke out small chunks of time to check my email and read the news and (most days) shower.

Never fear, though — things are not all sunshine and roses.  First, she is a fussy eater, so I’m never sure that she’s getting enough to eat, and I can’t even rely on her output to judge her input, as she only poops once a week or so. Her weight gain has slowed down, which I guess is normal, but it stresses me out nonetheless. Her pediatrician isn’t worried — she’s not falling off of her growth curve or anything — but I, the mama, am stressed out about it.

Second, I’m halfway through my maternity leave, and I’m starting to get a little stir crazy. I go to a new mom’s group once or twice a week, and I try to get out of the house on the other days to run errands or go to the grocery store, but we still spend a lot of time at home, and a lot of that time, the baby wants to be held.  The bulk of my adult interactions on a day-to-day basis revolve around baby stuff. We stopped by my office this week for a happy hour, and I realized just how much I miss being around my colleagues, how much I miss talking about stuff that isn’t the baby. Which isn’t to say I didn’t talk about the baby a lot at happy hour but I also got to talk about them and what’s going on their lives and how work is going. It was really, really nice. I am sure that, once I’m back at work, I will long for these lazy, relaxing days at home with my baby. But for right now, I’m longing for a little time for myself — to go for a run, to read a book, to focus on something (anything!) for more than 45 minutes at a stretch.

Anyway, short version: Things are mostly good. Clara sleeps well at night but not during the day, but eats and poops only OK. She’s gaining enough weight, even if I wish she were gaining more. And I’m halfway through maternity leave and feeling guilty because I think I won’t enjoy the next two months as much as I should.

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My, how the time flies.

My kid will be 6 weeks old tomorrow. I don’t know where the last 6 weeks went.

Well, that’s not totally true. I actually do know where those 6 weeks went. In a perfect world, they would have been filled with cuddles and hugs, milestones (big and small), and lots of time getting to know each other. And the last 6 weeks have seen some of that. But they’ve also seen feeding problems and weight gain problems brought on by a really bad infection that took a lot of my attention away from watching my little girl grow. I spent the week between Christmas and New Years in quite a bit of pain (though it’s only in retrospect that I realize how much pain I was in), and that week culminated in a trip to the ER for me.  Two weeks later, I am almost fully recovered, though I’m still on antibiotics, and we’ll see what happens when those run out at the end of this week.

I feel like I lost a huge chunk of time, between getting sick and then dealing with trying to get better, and all the while living with huge amounts of anxiety over whether my little girl was getting enough to eat and whether I’d be able to keep feeding her. Luckily, as of today, it seems like everything is resolved — I think we are finally in the place we should have been in three weeks ago, feeding-wise — and that feels really good. But I’m still really sad for the two weeks (really, three weeks, since I was sick for about a week before I even saw anyone) that I lost in the fog of pain and fever and anxiety.

And of course, the 6 weeks that have already gone by mean that I am 6 weeks closer to having to go back to work. Which is difficult to contemplate right now. I am in a new moms’ group and I told them all yesterday that I’m not all that ambivalent about going back to work as a theoretical matter — I love my job, I’m good at my job — but conceptually, I have no idea how I can actually leave my little girl to go to the office. Luckily, I have more than two and a half months to figure that out. I hope I manage to do it in that timeframe.

For now, though, I am going to relish the fact that things — at least some things — seem to have gotten easier around here, and that from here on out, they should continue to get easier. And I have those two and a half months to keep enjoying my little girl 24 hours a day.