The hardest part this week:Figuring out breastfeeding. Madelyn was tongue tied when she was born, the flap of skin went all the way to the tip of her tongue so her whole time in utero she didn't have any function or mobility of her tongue. And as soon as she had her latch figured out (ouch) a pediatrician came into the hospital right before we checked out and snipped the tongue tie. Madelyn had to relearn allll over again and this time I didn't have the help of nurses.
My first night home from the hospital was so difficult because she didn't latch once and I knew she was hungry. All night I kept trying and trying to feed her, I didn't sleep at all. Eventually it got to the point where every time someone would hand her to me she'd start screaming because it was so frustrating for her, and that was devestating. I really thought she hated me.
Nothing quite like having your baby see you as the bad guy. Everyone kept telling me different things, like hold her face there until she latches but I hated that. She'd scream and I knew that wouldn't "teach" her to latch it was only giving her a negative view of breastfeeding.
But then I found the power of skin to skin and that changed everything. I started stripping her down to her diaper and laying her on my bare chest and then when she started showing signs that she wanted to eat I'd put her down and it really worked! It helped calm her down and turned breastfeeding into a positive and relaxing experience. Now she wants to nurse not only when she's hungry but when she's tired and just wants to fall asleep.
Best Part(s) of this Week:I really can't name one thing, so here's a list -
+ Meeting my baby girl for the first time and holding her.
+ Seeing Josh become a dad, there's just something about your husband becoming the father of your child that is so special and life changing. The first time he held Madelyn I just looked at him and my heart was exploding with love, I didn't even know it was possible to love someone that much.
+ Finally getting breastfeeding down, Madelyn is quite the trooper.
+ The time Madelyn slept for 8 hours straight at night, we didn't even realize until we woke up the next morning fully rested. (We now have to set an alarm at night so we can wake her up and feed her. Turns out babies aren't supposed to sleep that long until they've gained the weight back that they lost after being born. Madelyn just loves her sleep!)
+ Whenever Madelyn starts crying and the moment I pick her up and she sees me and stops, it's like she knows me and she can feel my love for her.
+ To nurse.
+ Sleep, that girl came out of the womb a great sleeper.
+ When daddy bounces her.
+ Skin to skin time with mama.
+ Being swaddled as tight as a little burrito.
+ Getting a sponge bath.
+Being rocked to sleep.
+ Riding in the car.
+ Cuddles and kisses.
Madelyn isn't a huge fan of:
+ Having gas.
+ Going to the doctor and having her heart listened to.
+ Putting clothes on, or having them taken off.
+ Getting her diaper changed.
Everyone keeps asking me how I'm doing emotionally, how I'm handling being a new mother. I used to think I'd really struggle, change is hard for me, especially when I don't feel ready (and I definitely wasn't ready when we found out we were pregnant). But honestly, who is ready? Everyone will have those days after getting pregnant when you think, "Oh crap, I can't do this! I can't birth a baby! I can't keep a child alive!" The thought of the responsibility was much more terrifying to think about than it is in real life.
When it's your own baby things just fall into place. You are ready because you have to be and want to be. And even though Madelyn came a few years earlier than we were planning, she's so perfect and our lives feel whole and complete, and I wouldn't change anything. She has brought me so much joy in this one week, much more than I ever could have imagined. I really think being a mother is my calling in life, it's what I'm good at. And I really believe that for me there's nothing more sacred and fulfilling than being Madelyn's mother and Josh's wife. It's who I was meant to be and who I want to be.
It's like my whole life I was missing someone and now that's she's here I know that was her. I've known her since before I was born and I've waited my whole life to be her mother and to bring her into this world and now that I have I feel complete again, and my life has so much more meaning. She's the presence my soul longed to see again and greatly missed. I know she won't be our only baby and when the time comes for us to bring another child into the world I'll have this feeling of completeness all over again.
But for now, all is well and perfect.
Even through the sleep deprivation I am happy, so very happy. And I am so glad that this little girl is a part of our family. Like I said, I've waited so long to see her again and now that she's here I can't imagine a day without her.
First week was a success, now here's to many, many more. And I wouldn't have it any other way.