Monday, September 6, 2010

Through the Early Parenthood Wringer - But Still Alive!

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything on the blog! Most of the time I spend in front of the computer these days is while I'm nursing Sophie, so I only have one hand to type with. Now she's taking a nap, so I have a few minutes to type with two hands and let you all know how things are going!

Another reason it's been hard for me to update the blog is because I haven't been sure what to say. I want to be able to post about how rosy and beautiful it is to have become a parent, but I also want to be honest about our experience. There have been rosy and beautiful moments, yes, but for the first two months a lot more dark, scary, or just plain frustrating moments. The combination of my type-A personality, crazy hormonal changes, a "high-need" baby, and the myriad inconveniences of being a foreigner in Korea have made the past two months or so a very, very difficult time for Keegan and I. I hope it's been a comfortable and happy time for Sophie, though!

When I think about how Sophie has changed in the past two months, I keep thinking that the biggest changes have been not in our little one but in us. We've had to learn that we are not in control of our days anymore! While I sit and nurse Sophie, I think about my plans for the next stretch of time between feedings. I think things like "Well, she looks sleepy. I'll put her down for a nap and then clean the kitchen." And then she finishes eating, pops her eyes open, and grins at me mischievously, and I know that I'll be carrying her or playing with her or going for a walk rather than doing any housework. I had lots of ideas about how to calm a baby or how she should sleep that just don't work for our child. It drives me crazy that she doesn't like to be worn in the sling around the house and that she doesn't sleep well in her bassinet, but it's not up to me. I have had to learn that she sleeps well in her swing and that she likes to sit in a seat and watch me rather than be worn around the house. There are times when she refuses to breastfeed because we have waited to long to get situated, and there is nothing I can do until I've calmed her down, even though I know that she'd feel much better if she'd just close her screaming mouth and start drinking. I guess this is all part of learning that our child, while dependent on us for everything she needs, has a mind of her own and can't be forced into our preconceived ideas of what babies want and need.

Anyway, things are slowly but surely getting easier. It's easier to tell when Sophie is tired and wants to sleep for a bit and easier to tell when she is hungry. She cries a lot less and "talks" and smiles a lot more. When she is hungry, she has a funny, insistent sing-songy screech. It's the warning that we need to start getting things in place for the feeding. When she is tired, she will scream and refuse to eat until she is swaddled and comfortable. Now that she is less likely to have a screaming fit, I am getting more confident about taking her out in public. I am even thinking about meeting some friends for lunch at a restaurant this Wednesday - wish us luck!

Here's a short video from a recent bedtime bath:


Mom said...

Welcome to Parenthood. You're doing great.

Nana said...

You two are doing beautifully! We are very proud of you both. It will get easier as Sophia gets older. Hang in there.

KIM! said...

My mom could regale you with stories about me being a difficult child :)

i'm sure you are doing great!