Sunday, May 6, 2012

1st year reflections

Orion recently turned one year old.  I cannot believe how fast the first year flew by!  I would like to take some time to reflect on his first year on earth.

I am very proud that I have been able to breast feed without issues.  Yes there has been some biting and soreness but I know I have given my baby the very best food.  I love looking down at his happy face while he is sucking down the good stuff and seeing my milk pool in the corners of his mouth. 

I am proud that we have made all of Orion’s food and it really wasn’t that hard and did not require special kitchen gadgets.  We did not make his rice cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or organic cereal puffs but everything else.  I wish we could grow a banana tree in our backyard because he eats one a day! 

We did not sleep train but he sleeps great!  I am very lucky that I have been home because he used to wake up a few times at night.  Sleep exhaustion really sucks but it will pass.  Then when you get used to a full night’s sleep, it will all go out the window but sleep will return! 

Take Pictures!  I felt like I was taking a million photos those first few months but when I actually uploaded them and looked at them, they were all pretty bad.  I also regret not getting the baby photo in the hospital.  We also missed out on a few fun photo opportunities like laying out Dad’s suit or work clothes on the bed then laying baby under the clothes so it looks like baby is wearing the outfit.  This is impossible to do once babies are mobile.

Work on the baby book as you go along as it will be easier to manage instead of sorting through a year’s worth of photos.  I take a lot of pictures and am pretty good at uploading them and printing them out.  You do not need to make a fancy scrapbook but having photos you can touch, frame, and show off without an electrical device is a wonderful thing.

I am amazed by how much my baby makes me laugh and smile.  We are pretty laid back people and I think that has, thankfully, rubbed off on my baby.  When I get frustrated or am so exhausted, he will usually do something to make me laugh as if he knows what I need.

I really did not know that I had such capacity for love.  How could I love someone so much who deprives me of sleep, is very selfish and demanding and pees, poops, and vomits on me?  It helps that he is so friggin' cute!

I knew my husband would be a great father but I had my doubts on being any good at motherhood.  I also felt lost without my mother and more so when my dad passed away when Orion was just 6 weeks old.  I really love being Orion's mom and think the 3 of us make a great team.  Outsides sources have even confirmed that I am doing a good job but only time will tell.

I am not a baby mind reader but I do know what my baby needs without sign language.  How do I know?  I just know.  Babies do not have a lot of needs.  Wet diaper, hungry, sleepy, or they just want to snuggle, those are really the big needs for the first year.  If nothing I do seems to work, I usually blame gas or teething.  If the fussing won't stop, I will just walk outside.  For whatever reason being outside seems to have a calming effect, as does music.

I did not expect to be more emotional after the baby than when I was pregnant.  If I see anything about moms, babies, or pregnancy I usually get choked up.  I was never that chick flick type of girl but I think my insides have been replaced with pink marshmallow fluff.

I learned newborn clothes and 0-3 months are way different a little too late in the game. Newborn (NB) size is good for 5-8 pounds or so.  All the 0-3 month clothing just hung off Orion until he was about a month or so old.

Babies will grind their teeth and it will sound horrible but it is perfectly normal.  This happened when Orion was over 11 months old.  He was just seeing what his body can do and thankfully it did not last long.
Babies will shake their heads and it is perfectly normal.  It is not a muscle spam or tic, they are just learning there body and have an immature nervous system.

One big bonus of breastfeeding is that breastfed babies poop less.  This is great but totally freaks you out when you are not expecting it.  We called our pediatrician frantically around 6 weeks because Orion had not pooped in days.  We were told this was normal but if he goes for 10 days to call back.

There were some things that I did not know about being pregnant and the first year that I had to learn “on the job”.  This might get a bit graphic.

You are actually pregnant for 10 months, not 9.  You are pregnant for 40 weeks but could have the baby anywhere between 38-42 weeks.  Of course some pregnancies are shorter, some are longer.

Eat before you go into the hospital!  I was scheduled for an induction and that day they kept pushing up the time.  Originally, I was to go into the hospital around 10:30 pm, after a few calls, they wanted me in at 6 pm.  I forgot to eat and didn't know dinner would not be served.  I wasn't able to eat for over 36 hours but it felt like a week!  After having a Cesarean, you are not allowed to eat until you fart.   

After you have your baby, you will be bleeding for days even weeks.  You will be changing the baby’s diaper as well as your own.  You cannot use tampons during this period and I found long, thin, super absorbency pads to work the best as you have to change them frequently.

During pregnancy, I did not know I would be leaving snail trails in my underwear.  Yeah, no one tells you that shit.

There is a bloody show which is different from your water breaking.  Your body has made a mucus plug (which has been streaking those panties) which may or may not fall out before your water breaks.  Turns out, fewer than 15% of women will have their water break naturally.  It isn’t like the movies with a big splash and a mad dash to the hospital. 

I am sure I will come up with a few other things.  Every time I publish a post I think of a few things that I forgot or should have mentioned.  I will try to remember to mention them as they come up.  I do hope the above things help and do not scare you off of pregnancy!  Having Orion is defiantly the best thing I have ever done!  I wonder what we ever did without him.

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