Note to self for next time around…

If only I knew 5 months ago what I know now, I would:

-Research slings and baby carriers, spend whatever to get the best one and only buy one
-Have plenty of baby “seats” available around the house – swing, bouncer, pack and play, vibrating chair, etc
-Try breastfeeding a little longer, use the help available and rent a GOOD pump (formula is expensive!!!)
-Not leave bottles or cans of formula anywhere the dog can reach them
-Have only onesie and pant sets…shirts do not do well on babies
-Get the window shade things for my car the day I bring baby home
-Get a 4-door car
-Get more rinsable bibs
-Have a toybox
-Definitely have a diaper genie or some other sort of diaper disposal besides a regular trash can
-Find a mom/baby group to join even if I don’t feel like being social
-Not expect the weight to come off the way it did the first week postpartum

I’m sure there is/will be more as time goes by.

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Bonding

I just finished reading the book “The Deep End of the Ocean.” I read it every night before bed, and subsequently cried every night before bed. If you have not read the book I won’t spoil it, but it is basically about a family whose middle child is kidnapped at the age of three, and their life for the next 10 years.

One of the biggst changes I’ve noticed in myself since having a baby is my feelings toward other babies and children. I’ve never been gaga over babies, and kids, quite frankly, usually annoy me. If I had read this book BB (before baby), my reaction probably would have been “that’s sad and it’s a good story.” Now my reaction is “BWAAAA…WAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!! God help all the kids in the world!!!!”

Although it turned me into a crying mess, I am glad I read it, and I am grateful because it made me realize how much I really do love my baby. Yes, it has been a terribly rough road for the last few months. Yes, I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision in becoming a mom, and yes, I have often wondered if I can really do this for the rest of my life, but I think I’m starting to learn about my relationship with my child. That is, it wasn’t all fireworks when we first met, but like the love I have for my husband, it continues growing every day, every week, every month and every year. Some days are hard and I cry and want to take off, but on the good days, my love for this little guy grows exponentially. My heart melts when he smiles and kicks when I come into the room. I seriously shed a tear when he holds my hand while he’s sleeping. I know he loves me and that I am his world, and that makes me love him.

Now I know what people mean when they say there is no love like the love between a child and a parent. I have never had anyone be completely dependent on me and unconditionally in love with me until now, and it has overwhelmed me with love.

I know he won’t always feel that way. All too soon he will be an independent little toddler, then an embarassed schoolboy, then a snotty teenager. However, I still love my parents with everything I am, and I do need them, just not every minute of the day. My hope is that he will feel that way about me for the rest of his life.

I have heard time and time and time again how difficult having a baby is on a relationship, but you never know until it happens. My husband and I have a VERY strong relationship and were married 5 years before baby was born, and we are still having a hard time.

I think what it comes down to is that men will NEVER have the same bond with their babies that women do. It is a biological thing, it has nothing to do with love – the hormones, sharing the same body for 9 months, the mother’s instinct. I think we want so desperately for the fathers of our kids to feel and act the same as we do, but it is probably unrealistic.

Last night I was SO pissed because hubby and I agreed that two nights a week he would be in charge of dinner and getting up with the baby at night because I am so burnt out and exhausted. So last night I slept in the guest room with the baby monitor turned off so I wouldn’t wake up. Well, I woke up anyway at 4:30 am because my baby was crying for like 10 minutes straight, louder and louder and louder. I stomped down the hall to find hubby dead asleep with the baby monitor up to 100% volume right next to his ear. How in the HELL he could not hear that is beyond me, but I hear the same story over and over and over again. Men just do not have the same instinct and often don’t wake up to their babies cries. I, on the other hand, wake up if I even hear my baby rustling around in his sleep.

I’m trying to accept that just because my husband isn’t the same as me when it comes to our baby doesn’t mean he is a bad husband or father. I know he loves me and my son more than anything, even if he does sometimes come home from work and crack open a beer or get on the computer without even offering to hold the baby or feed him.

I just need to remember men are much, much different than women. We have to tell them what we want and need. As much as we want them to instinctively know what we and our babies need, it is not wired into their DNA like it is into ours.

So I will try to take my own advice and not be constantly pissed at my husband for not feeling the same way I do or for not being able to read my mind.

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