Hi!  I thought I’d take a minute to mention how we’re doing overall, 6 weeks into parenthood…to give you an idea of how busy things are around here, it took me almost two weeks to write this post… To give you an idea of how much fun we’re having, just look at the above picture. 🙂

First of all…I was under the impression that after I had Catherine, some sort of crazy lightening would strike me and things would stop feeling so surreal once I had her in my arms.  Like, WOW, I really feel like a mother now!

But, no, not really.  It still feels surreal.  I still feel like the same Helen.  I still look at her and can’t believe this tiny, cute little baby is mine.  Things are happening gradually.  We’re getting to know Catherine and she’s getting to know us.  When people ask me how things are going, I don’t really know how to respond.  That’s because nothing I can say can explain how much I love her and if I tried it would be cliche and also, I mean, duh.  And at the same time, nothing feels drastically different and our days consist of feeding, sleeping, changing diapers, fitting in chores and a stroller run where we can so, there’s just nothing to talk about that would interest anyone besides our families.

I mean, no one is going to find the fact that Catherine melts my heart when she burps on my shoulder fascinating.  Or that her loud poops are cute and inspire confidence (that she’s eating well).  Or that I secretly enjoy our middle-of-the-night rocks back to sleep (who else would tolerate my rendition of Joni Mitchell’s entire album, Blue?).

We’ve learned a lot during this 6 weeks, and sure things have changed – like my relationship with Chris…I miss our time together alone!  We really have to work to connect these days, our focus having shifted so much, but I know it will get better.  But overall, I feel like parenthood has come pretty naturally to us.  It just makes sense and it just is.  There’s no big fireworks display over us or anything.  We’re just slowly getting to know and fall more in love with our new family member.  We’re adjusting.  There are mundane times and adorable times and glimmers of hope that we will have a life outside of the sofa and my breastfeeding pillow again one day…like when my mom babysat and Chris and I went to La Fonda for fish tacos and a margarita.  It was wonderful to have that time just us.  But it was also wonderful to get back home and hold my baby.  And I am cherishing all this couch-sitting and snuggling because it won’t last long.  Just the thought of her growing up is heartbreaking!

All that said, here are a few postpartum stats:

How’s breastfeeding going?  Great!  I have questions and worries along the way that always work themselves out, and I can’t imagine not breastfeeding.  I absolutely cherish that bond with her.

My weight:  To be honest, the weight fell off within days of having her (yeah, okay, I was eager to brag about that one).  But then, I started baking out of boredom when she was sleeping a lot, and the cookies helped me put a few pounds back on.  But that’s easy enough to lose.

Sleep:  Most nights we have one “middle of the night” feeding and it isn’t so bad.  Sure, I don’t like getting up but once I’m up I just enjoy playing around on my iphone while she eats, then snuggling her in the rocking chair back to sleep.  I don’t feel sleep deprived or anything the next day.  I seem to have plenty of energy.

Crying:  We are lucky to have a very good baby, who has only had a few days here and there of fussiness.  But when she’s fussy, even if Chris has her I simply can NOT relax.  The crying gets to me like nothing else, just bothers me, and I can’t help but go to her and do whatever I need to do to make her stop.  I don’t buy into the “babies just cry sometimes for no reason” philosophy.  I feel like even if it is a mystery, there is always a reason, and it is my job as her mommy to solve the mystery. Chris and I are both getting better at figuring it out.

Milestones: She is smiling at us every day now and there is nothing more beautiful than her big, amazing smile.  NOTHING! 🙂  She loves to be read to!  She stares at the book intently while we read to her.  She loves her rattle.  She will lie by herself and just shake and shake and shake it.  She’s getting good at gripping things – like my hair.  She holds her head up and sits straight and tall with her long legs sticking out like a proper little girl while I burp her.  I can’t get over her expressive little mouth (Chris’s), her huge blue eyes (mine), and her chubby cheeks (Chris’s…JK, those are for storing boobie milk I guess).

Our Routine:  For any soon-to-be-moms out there – I’m not one to give unsolicited advice but may I suggest, for making your days easier and more enjoyable…a routine!  Yes.  It helps.  Everything throughout the day is done in cycles of wake, diaper change, eat, play, sleep, repeat.  We wake, change her diaper, eat, snuggle a little in bed, head out for a stroller run during which time she naps.  Come home, shower if I’m lucky before she wakes, feed her, have tummy/rattle/reading time, stuff her in the moby wrap where she sleeps and I shop or prep dinner.

What I’m looking forward to:  I’m looking forward to her being old enough to travel and play with her cousins.  I love the idea of hanging out with Chris’s and my siblings while our kids play together.  I know I’m going to love that.  That said, I am NOT wishing this newborn time away!!!

Alright, time to end this post before I put it off yet another week, with a photo of Meeks watching over his baby sister.