The first shocker...breastfeeding. It is truly an art form and I still feel like an amateur. When I was pregnant I thought it would be so easy. Put the baby on the boob and you're done. When I saw that my birth center offered a breastfeeding support group I ignorantly thought I wouldn't be one who needed any support. Coco and I have come quite a long way but it took me a while to accept that my baby wasn't the typical 30 minute nurser...nope she gulps her food in 5-10 minutes flat (give or take) and is done. At first I freaked out thinking she wasn't getting enough but she is gaining weight like a champ so I have had to let go of how I thought it was going to be and accept that my child has a preference and personality all her own. I know, I know Motherhood 101. I thought I had learned that one but apparently not.
I also haven't perfected the art of breastfeeding in public. At the moms group I attend I see women whip out their boob and latch their child on with such speed and grace. They look so content as their child nurses for what seems like forever. Then there is me...baby gets fussy and I clumsily fumble to get my nursing bra open while flashing the whole world and then contemplate whether or not I should prop Coco up with a pillow or use my knees instead. Should I use the cross cradle hold or just the cradle hold? Is she comfortable? Can she breath with my massive boob shoved in her face? Am I choking her with the abundance of my milk? Is she seriously done after 3 minutes? Told you, amateur. Fortunately, it's getting better by the day. I also got the good advice to only count kisses and not feedings and to watch your baby not the clock.
Another shocker? The crying. My baby has a mighty set of lungs and she isn't afraid to use them. I'm sure my neighbors hate me. I never let her cry it out on her own so if one day you say something to me and I ask you to repeat that it's because my hearing isn't what it used to be.
One major question I have is how in the world do other mothers get anything done? I am so far behind on everything my days are completely consumed with baby. Seriously, somebody please tell me the secret of multitasking with a baby.
On the upside I couldn't be more in love with my sweet little girl. She is beyond precious and every single second even the ones where I panic, second guess myself or feel beyond exhausted from it all are so completely and utterly worth it. My heart has never felt the kind of happiness that comes from her beautiful smile or the way she melts in my arms when I sing to her (this is saying a lot as she is the only person on earth who loves my singing). I can't get enough of her dramatic stretching when she wakes up. I live for her sweet little coos. When I put her down to sleep I know I need to get some sleep myself but I can't stop myself from staring at her endlessly. I fall in love with her more everyday. I know that every stage of motherhood presents different challenges and I am more than willing to do whatever I have to to make her as happy as I possibly can and for the first time in my life I'm treasuring every single moment. They go by far to quickly (except for those moments at 4 in the morning when she's crying - those moments drag on forever).