Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Postpartum surprises and changes

My biggest surprise is a happy one: the evolution into Jacob and I becoming parents has been natural. We are over the moon with our little one. This is enough of a surprise for me, because I may have been something akin to depressed when I was pregnant. It’s hard to say, because the symptoms of pregnancy are so similar: I could sleep 12 hours at a time, my appetite was lower, I couldn’t get out and do the things I liked because I didn’t feel up to it, I was anxious for the future…mostly normal pregnancy things really, but it just got worse with each month. I just didn’t feel like myself.

So it has been wonderful that I didn’t even get the “baby blues” let alone postpartum depression. I have felt 100 times better now that I’m not massive and I have a healthy and beautiful baby that I totally feel bonded to.

I had no idea how much I would enjoy breastfeeding, especially as the pain has lessened. Before having a baby, I thought it sounded so unnatural for something so supposedly natural. After all, I’d never played the part of ‘milk producing mammal’ before. But it’s so much more than that. It’s providing sustenance and comfort to a little person who is entirely dependent on you, who coos and squeaks and bobs his head and makes happy noises when getting fed.

Also, if anyone had told me having a newborn is just like having a puppy I would have been more excited at the prospect. Ryder whimpers, pants, licks and is so similar to having a pet that Jacob and I both agree that our desire to have a dog has been quenched. I just wonder if that dwindled desire will last as Ryder grows? Except a puppy doesn’t have such kissable cheeks, nor does a puppy smile a huge gummy smile when he’s with you.

I had no idea that it would be so fun to dress up a little boy in cute little newborn outfits.

It’s so funny to me now that I wanted a girl. Ryder is just perfect for Jacob and I. No little girl could be sweeter than our Ryder. I’m thrilled, too, that he looks like Jacob. mexico city 001

I wouldn’t mind if he was like Jacob in every way. He already seems to have my husband’s good natured temperament. Although it has made me laugh, to be feeding my baby and to see my husband’s face, in miniature, peering up at me.


One of the more difficult changes for me has simply been lost time with Jacob. Jacob was my whole world before Ryder…now I see less of him because of the weird sleep thing. I’m sure we will get that under control eventually, but for now the nature of a needy newborn means I’m cuddling a lot more with Jacob’s miniature version than with the full-sized one.

fathers day

Jacob is the father I knew he would be: fun, competent, and involved. I’ve never seen him happier. Ryder doesn’t scream when dad gives his baths (I’ve had my mommy guilt moment already too, when I realized I’d made the bath water too hot for Ryder and he was screaming).

 mexico city 005

He loves to carry Ryder around in his pouch. Here he is latching on to Jacob Smile

 mexico city 010mexico city 001

He also likes to give Ryder his nose to suck. Ryder happily obliges.

mexico city 009

Ryder does gang signs with his hands. We think it’s so funny.

“Jacobito” (little Jacob) is a good sleeper, he has already slept as much as 6 hours in a row, and he is not colicky. He’s an easy baby. Also a surprise, Jacob and I had prepared ourselves for a crier.

He has already been to his first museums, ridden on the bus and in taxis, attended church, went on outings with friends, and ate at restaurants without a hitch. He is a good little companion. Some Mexicans have given me some grief for taking him out so young (I think they do the 40 day stay inside postpartum thing) but for the most part they have been friendly and happy to see him.

I feel more connected to the world in general now. I am not only in the position of being a daughter and a sister…I’m now a mother too. I have never felt “baby hungry” or spent time with a newborn. In fact I have not considered myself a baby person. Now when I see a pregnant woman I know what is coming her way, and I smile.

I already feel melancholy that Ryder is growing so fast…it helps to look at his newborn pictures and remember…

newborn blanket


The Francis Family said...

He's so cute Kallie! Congratulations on your birth and baby! you are a champion!!

Adespain said...

He is a cutie!!! I am so, SO happy for you!

Adespain said...

oh, i've also wondered about you taking them out and how the locals took it. having my own hispanic heritage I wondered if they'd give you grief (although, for Bolivians it's 30 days . . . )

Maren T. said...

Adorable Kalli, I've loved all your mother posts. Congratulations again, I am so happy for you and Jacob

Jamie said...

He's adorable, Kalli. Your little family is so lovely. I'm so glad to read how you're adjusting to motherhood because I feel like I relate to "pre-baby" you (not feeling like a baby person, etc). I'm so happy for you guys. <3

Astyn said...

Congrats on the baby! Ryder does look so much like Jacob, really. I love your last sentiments. Having a baby definitely made me feel more connected to all women, and I feel a lot of mixed emotions watching my children grow. I long for time gone by, I anticipate things to come, and try to remember to be present for each minute.
Best of luck!

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