10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without in the First Four Weeks of My Son's Life
1. My Husband. He gets the number one spot. I have a wonderful husband. I cannot imagine doing this without him. I honestly don't know how single mothers do it. Or mothers with shitty husbands. My husband makes me feel safe and loved and supported. He cheered me on during my 32 hours of labor. He stayed calm and made me believe that everything would be okay when the baby was in distress and they prepped me for the C-section. He helped me in and out of bed (in the hospital) and on and off the couch (at home). He slept on the floor of our living room for almost 2 weeks when I could only sleep on the couch so he could be there to help me feed the baby at night. He dried me off after a shower and helped me get dressed when I couldn't lift my legs or bend over. He told me I looked beautiful when I know I looked like shit. He cooked, cleaned, changed diapers (I didn't change a diaper for over a week), answered the phone and dealt with visitors. I could go on and o During labor and the birth and the first weeks after, I was definitely the most vulnerable I have ever been in my entire life. I am not good at being vulnerable. I pride myself on being strong and able to handle anything. Being vulnerable is hard for me. And to feel that way and to have a partner who was there to help me through it....I feel such a deeper love for him. He has been just amazing. And on top of all that, he is a GREAT father.
2. My Meds. Oh vicodin how I love thee (and miss thee). Motrin ain't bad either. The combination of the two is heavenly. During our hospital stay, the nurses had to administer every dose. I get that. They can't just leave me with a bottle of Vicodin while I am in their care. But if they missed my "pill time" (which they frequently did) I would pick up my little phone and call them and GENTLY remind them to come put me out of my agony. The nurses who got me my meds on time were my favorite - I loved and appreciated them (I had almost all great nurses and I know they are overworked and my stupid pills are not necessarily THE most important thing for them at any given moment. But you get a little bitchy when you are in pain right?) I knew EXACTLY when four hours (for vicodin) and 6 hours (for Motrin) was up. I now truly appreciate the concept of "staying ahead of the pain." When we got home, Greg made a spread sheet to keep track of feedings, poo and pee, and my meds. That chart was my best friend. And I really understand how people can get addicted to pain meds. They make you feel so good. Oh, and one more pill. Colace. Oh Colace. Considering how bad trips to the bathroom were with me taking it twice a day....I can't imagine how things would have been without it.
3. Lansinoh. My poor nipples. At some point I assume they will stop hurting? I'm already on my second tube of Lansinoh. One of my book club buddies recommended Lansinoh when Iwas still pregnant. She spoke of it so passionately and lovingly. Now I understand why she was adamant that I have some ready to go.
4. Tivo. I loved tivo before and I hella love it now. Makes those late night (or morning or mid day) feedings fly by. I love my Law and Order reruns during the night feedings. You can't watch a new show that time of night. You might fall asleep and miss something. And its hard to hear the TV when burping the babe. So reruns of my favorite show are perfect. And my new shows are recorded, waiting for me to get a free moment to watch them (I can't believe how much stuff I have waiting for me on tivo - Grey's, Project Runway, Daily Show. I guess I'll get caught up when he goes to preschool).
5. The Swing. My friend lent me her swing. The big Fisher Price Papasan one. Turns out that thing is my best friend. Because after sleeping happily for almost two weeks in the pack and play, my son decided he could only sleep in the swing. Oh, he'd also be happy to sleep ON me or in my ARMS, but since that is not really an option (except for the occasional nap when I am desperate), the swing it is. I would not get any sleep if it wasn't for that swing. And at first I felt a little weird about it (okay, I still feel a teeny tiny weird about it). Like, should he really be sleeping in his swing? Is it safe? Am I starting some horrible habit? And I decided that he is still brand new - you can't spoil them at this age right? And I HAVE TO SLEEP. So whatever.
6. Food Brought by Family and Friends. I would have starved without it. Or had to live on protein bars and potato chips. People who bring new moms food are AWESOME. I vow to always be that guy in the future.
7. The Internet. Email and Facebook were my little window to the world since the only trips I took out of the house were to the doctor or short walks around the neighborhood. Reading the blogs made me feel better - reading about people I've followed for awhile have their babies, or progress through their pregnancy or get pregnant made me feel happy. And reading about people with babies the same age as mine go through the same things that I am going through makes me feel better, like I am not alone. And boy, Google has gotten a workout - I've looked up countless things I was worried about - newborn sleep patterns, reflux, thrush, breastfeeding problems, c-section recovery.....just to name a few. My husband would say this is a NEGATIVE thing about the internet, that I need to relax and not worry, but he is wrong.
8. A Great Swaddling Blanket. Needs to be square. And big. Stretchy is nice too.
9. The Boppy. My neck, arms and shoulders are pretty goddamn sore. But they would be infinitely worse without the Boppy (and the 5 other pillows I keep handy).
10. My camera and the Flip. Because I have to record every adorable moment of my little son's life! I think he already hates it when the flash is constantly going off but I just tell him to get used to it - I'll be annoying him in this way for the rest of his life.