I have been meaning to write down some of my impressions of Pumpkin, motherhood, life, the universe, everything (with baby in tow) for awhile. Already, I have a hard time remembering all of the details of the earliest days. I remember events like bouncing on the exercise ball for 45 minutes straight one day to get Pumpkin to go to sleep and stay asleep, but I have forgotten how it felt. I remember some sore abs, but not the feeling of desperation that would have driven me to bounce for so long.
I have some notes on my favorite things about various ages, intended to be used in a scrapbook that I will make for Pumpkin some day. I have bought the scrapbook and some paper, but haven't even started thinking about the pages. Maybe I'll get to that someday soon, but I suspect it won't happen until Pumpkin is much older and those scribbled notes will seem like messages from a completely different woman.
So, here is a random list of some of things I remember, and some of the things I've learned over the last 15 months:
1. I remember eating a bowl of Cheerios before going to the hospital once I had finally become convinced that my water was breaking (it started out as a slow leak). I'd been told that I wouldn't be allowed to eat once they checked me in, and I couldn't imagine not being hungry. It turns out, I wasn't really hungry once labor really started. Go figure.
2. I remember Hubby having to convince me to go to the first breastfeeding support group meeting I went to, when Pumpkin was just about two weeks old. That support group became the anchor of my weeks at home with Pumpkin. I was a bit overwhelmed by new motherhood, and a bit embarrassed to be so overwhelmed. The support group was my chance to get out once or twice a week and talk to other overwhelmed mothers as well as the mothers of older babies, who seemed far more together than us newbies. They had so much good advice, and seemed so confident and supportive. And then, suddenly, I was in that group of "older" mothers, dispensing advice and support.
3. I remember sitting in my comfy nursing chair for most of three days straight when Pumpkin hit her 6 week growth spurt. I watched a lot of Home and Garden TV, because I was too sleep deprived to follow a plot line.
4. I remember how excited and proud I was when Pumpkin started rolling over on her own. Look! My baby can DO SOMETHING!
5. I remember how hard it was to leave Pumpkin with Hubby for an entire day when she was about 6 weeks old. I went to a local Women in Bioscience conference (which I attend every time it is held- it is good for networking, and always has some useful talks, too). It felt so strange to leave my baby, who had been like an appendage to me. It was great to see my friends, and to talk about science, careers, and other "normal" things again. Still, I ducked out of the closing reception early, and rushed home. I opened the door to our apartment and said "Mommy's home!" But no one was there to greet me- Hubby had Pumpkin out for a walk. I felt bereft, in a way. I was craving my Pumpkin fix. I paced the apartment until they came home, and then swooped Pumpkin into my arms for a snuggle and then a nursing session.
6. I remember how happy Pumpkin would look when I came home from work, even in the early months. I went back to work part time when she was three months old. Hubby also worked part time for a month, and was home with Pumpkin while I was at work. She always seemed happy to see me, and the first nursing session after I got home was the only daytime nursing session during which she'd lay still and nurse peacefully. During all of the other sessions (except the half asleep middle of the night sessions), she was wriggling around, flailing her arms and legs, and eventually grabbing my hair. She still does this. I hope I can always remember how special those after work nursing sessions seemed, with Pumpkin snuggled up against me, content and peaceful.
I think I'll stop here for tonight, on that happy memory. I'm sure I'll write Part II of this post sometime, because there are many more things to remember.