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Rebecca's Parenting Journal

Entry 1
~ 1 Month Old - New to the Newborn Thing

AdisynWelcome to my parenting journal! I wanted this journal to be a continuation of my pregnancy and TTC journals. It's was such a valuable resource to memorize my pregnancy leading up to Adisyn's birth. I now started a blog not only to recount Adisyn's exciting moments, but also for my family to see how she's growing and what we've been up to. This parenting journal, on the other hand, will focus more on me and Mark's parenting skills, or lack thereof. I will also discuss some of the issues we face, such as working outside the home and parenting after a loss. I really hope you enjoy following us in our next step of our journey!

Let me start with saying that newborns have always petrified me. One thing I worried about as I progressed in my pregnancy was the whole newborn phase, almost dreading it. How was I going to do it? Between all the sleepless nights and endless cries, how was it possible? At the same time they're so small, delicate and fragile and that is very terrifying!

Adisyn's first month has been pretty much a whirlwind. I don't really know where to start because there has been so much that we've learned and experienced. It goes by so quickly yet this has put our internal time-clocks into a different time zone!

Everything is a new experience in the eyes of a newborn, which is the framework for their growth and development. Likewise, this newborn phase is also a big learning venture for us as well. Mark and I went to the birthing and breastfeeding classes and they told us that the nurses at the hospital would teach us everything we need to know about caring for a newborn. We had no practice sessions where we all went around the room - it was just a "good luck" when we headed out the door. It's funny how difficult a simple swaddle can be on a little baby! We felt like we were left in the dark because we weren't shown very much in the hospital. It looks like this parenting thing is more of on-the-job training.

One thing that has been a huge learning curve is breastfeeding. At first, when my milk first came in, I had early engorgement in which I was unable to nurse. I was able to pump, so I pumped as much as I could, but I still wasn't producing enough milk. I wasn't able to keep up with the supply and demand so we had to add some more formula to her diet (I mentioned this in the "Birth Story" that they recommended the breast milk/formula combo in the hospital). It sounds unrealistic looking at it now, but because I had to add formula to her diet again, it made me feel like a failure. I wanted more than anything to provide Adisyn with the most natural and healthy substance that I could provide for her. The formula upset her stomach and it was my fault (at least that was my thinking at the time). I called the lactation consultant at the hospital and she helped with the engorgement issues. We eventually were able to wean off of the formula again and we only occasionally use it, only when it's really needed. There have been times when my breasts were so sore that I took some time off to let it heal, but I always pumped. I actually enjoy pumping because I love the fact that Mark can feed her too. Overall, we weren't given much guidance with breastfeeding issues. We were also given a lot of conflicting information from the lactation consultant, the pediatrician, and friends so that we realized that everyone will give you their own advice and we learned to make up our own system as we go, and that seems to be working for us!

As I try to transition myself to return to work, I find that I'm worried about not seeing her during the day. You want to be a good mother and how could I be a good mother if I'm at work all day? It's been really bothering me as I get closer to returning to work. I wish it was possible to be a SAHM, but unfortunately it's not. I do try to remind myself that we will be providing her with a stable future. One good thing is that I only live 10 minutes from my work and I can come home and nurse her on my lunch breaks. It gives me that little extra time to see her!

While we're at work Mark's mother will be watching Adisyn. I love that she'll have a close relationship with her grandmother, as I did. The downturn is, though, that my MIL tends to do things "her way" because after all, "she raised two boys". But, I hope she respects the fact that Adisyn is our child, and there are certain things that we want done, some of those being safety things. For instance, she didn't understand why Adisyn can't be wrapped up in blankets and have blankets to surround her in her bed, because she feels it makes her feel more comfortable. It's understandable why she feels this way, but although 30 years ago this was considered normal, now they realize how dangerous it really is. As his parents come to visit, we bring up some of these issues and it seems to be getting a lot better. I think the hard part is feeling like you, as a parent, have little control over the situation. I know my MIL will do well and I appreciate her, but at the same time things are a little different from before.

I am so eager for Adisyn to be more interactive and responsive. I really feared this newborn phase and but now we have learned the basics. It may be difficult with lack of sleep and the crying, but having a healthy baby girl in my arms is all worth it. I've gotten over my reservations about caring for such a delicate human being and accepted the fact that parenting itself is all a learning experience.

There are so many things that I love about having Adisyn as a newborn. It's the little moments that I'm appreciating like having our one-on-one time together at night, the comfort she gets from my voice and touch, and the way she looks up at me when she's nursing. I love just looking at her knowing that she is our little miracle. So as I attempt to chase away my guilt and as we learn this whole parenting thing, we are looking forward to everyday, wondering what she's going to do next.

Rebecca

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