...so I've read how to care for a newborn and how to feed a newborn and play with a newborn and swaddle a newborn, and I've also read how to do all of these things with an infant a bit older...so now I'm learning what to do with myself! For instance, daily showers are just now coming back into my daily repertoire since all the 'help' has been gone. My helpers made sure I had time to myself to shower or nap whenever I wanted, and boy did I appreciate that! We had it pretty good for those first three weeks, having my mom, then my dad, then Matt's mom and then Mae Mae come stay with us for anywhere from 3 days to a week and a half! Now that its just me and sweet Stella every day, I have to relearn how to create and tweak our daily schedule.
I kept reading how awful those first weeks home can be because both mom and dad are so unaware and unprepared for a new baby that needs to be taken care of 24/7...but for us, that was not the case! The first 2 weeks flew by without any problems. Even the nightly feedings every 2 hours didn't really bother us that much. I must say, prior to giving birth I was preparing myself for an all out breakdown on my part as a new mommy...for those who know me, I'm pretty high strung as it is and so I'd planned on being pretty stressed out and welcomed all the help we could get. I have been so pleasantly surprised with how we've adjusted to life with Stella:)
Things have definitely changed, though. For instance, the highlight of my alone time this week was being able to soak in the tub and read "Happiest Baby on the Block" with a glass of wine - this replaced the usual quick shower, and if I time it right, I may be able to enjoy a glass of wine IN that quick shower...I got this idea from a friend of mine who enjoys coffee in the shower now that she has a newborn, too! My daily pampering ritual has been replaced with making sure I remember to use lanolin after I nurse and trying to slap on a bit of body lotion before Stella cries...and lets not even mention make up. When I left the house pre-Stella, I almost always at least had applied concealer and mascara. These days, when I even venture to leave the house, it's never with make up on:) I was OCD about keeping the house clean, up with laundry, dishes done while pregnant...these days, if the dishes get loaded into the dishwasher once every two days, we are happy! When I get stressed out about the house, I just go over and look at Stella or pick her up and tell myself the time I have with her now is way more important than any load of dirty laundry or dishes that need to be done. Scooping her up and cuddling her close to the side of my head is our fav way to move about the house - she loves this:)
I have about one week left until I'm off of maternity leave and back to work and I honestly do not know how I'll cope. Since I work from home we'll have a nanny come for the first 8 weeks I'm back at work to keep Stella under my watchful eye and adjust to life back at work AND being a new mommy:) Actually, I'll probably be so busy with work I'll have the office door closed - no watching over the shoulder, so I hope our nanny Dawn is good with her! After 8 weeks with the nanny we plan to send her to daycare. Hopefully we will get in to Old Mandeville Preschool which is RIGHT around the corner - Matt's trying to work his magic now on holding a spot for Stella until September:) Please pray for me once I go back to work - I'm not sure how things will play out, but we are hoping for the best! I just hope Matt, Stella and I adjust well to our new way of life!