Friday, March 15, 2013

Here We Go Again

This past summer, JD switched gyms.  He went from your basic, strip mall, cardio equipment + weights gym to a gym that offers classes and training in both boxing and MMA (MMA, for those of you unfamiliar, stands for Mixed Martial Arts, a brutal combat sport that includes various forms of martial arts).  In the beginning, he was pretty much just taking the boxing class, but he eventually started training with the MMA coach, and I knew what was coming next.  It's JD.  It was inevitable.

He is now interested in taking on a real, legitimate, let's get in a cage and beat a stranger senseless until someone gets knocked out or we run out of rounds, fight.  Naturally, as his wife and the mother of his newborn, I'm not super excited about this.   I was there when he broke his kneecap in half.  I was there when he busted his face open on the cement.  I was there when he and his motorcycle did a front flip into a ditch.  I was there when a crash landing while wake boarding resulted in a concussion.  The difference is that it's not just me anymore.  I would hate for him to get injured and for it affect his ability to care for the baby.  But, as a friend recently pointed out, telling JD no will only make him want it more, so better just to go with it and hope for the best.  From his day job chasing down gang members to hobbies that include flipping on a bike and racing a motorcycle, it really is inevitable that JD will always be in harm's way.

I have no doubt that he can do this.  Once JD decides something, he's determined to make it happen.  It's the kind of mindset that allows him to wake up one morning and decide he wants to learn to do a back flip on his bike, then go out and master it that very day.   I also have no doubt he will be good at this.  He has the warrior mindset of a former Marine turned cop who volunteered to go to war.

Still, I'd prefer that he just select different hobbies.  Competitive chess maybe?  Or coin collecting?  I would be much more on board with something like that.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Loralai- 1 Month

Today, Loralai is 1 month old!  She is a happy and observant baby.  She's so easygoing that JD and I can take her out to dinner or even run a few errands.  She is pretty content to just nap in her seat.  When she's awake, she's always wide-eyed and gazing around.  Almost everyone comments on how alert she is.  She loves staring at lights and has started to really study faces within the past week.  She's also strong- she was already lifting her head on the first day and has been lifting it for longer periods of time every day!

This past month has been a blur of continuous visitors, round-the-clock feedings, and happy moments gazing down at my beautiful daughter.  We've been lucky because she's a very easy baby.  She is very content most of the time, sleeps well, and only fusses when she's hungry or wants to be held.  She loves, loves, LOVES to be held and is happy to be passed off to anyone who wants to hold her.  Now that our stream of visitors has died off, the Baby Bjorn has become my saving grace.  It keeps her content and snuggled up to me, and allows me to have both hands free when I want to get something done like the dishes or, I don't know, feed myself on occasion.  Actually, she's sleeping happily in the Baby Bjorn as I type this.

Thanks to her easygoing temperament, motherhood has been pretty blissful and relatively stress free so far.  Honestly, the hardest part has been breastfeeding.  I was aware how often babies need to be fed, but you don't realize quickly 3 hours can pass until your baby is crying hungrily and you are in denial that it's already feeding time again. I was not prepared to hand my postpartum body over to my child. I feel like a milk machine. My sole purpose has become producing milk, feeding the baby, and taking care off myself in order to keep producing milk. It's rewarding, but mostly it's exhausting. Exhausting and painful. To me, this has been harder on my body than the pregnancy was.

I absolutely could not have made it this far without the support of JD and my mom.  JD was amazing in those first 2 weeks that he was home with me.  He got up with me during nighttime feedings and did most of the diaper changing.  He was there encouraging me, telling me I was doing a great job, and reminding me that the pain and hassle was worth it.  My mom was there with a sympathetic ear when I needed it most (after all, she's been there!) and offered reassurance that breastfeeding IS hard and that there wasn't anything wrong with me just because I didn't find breastfeeding to be the "magical bonding experience" that it's "supposed" to be.  With their support, I made the decision to start pumping and integrating bottles with pumped breast milk into her daily feedings.  It has made all the difference.  The baby is still getting the benefits of breast milk (and JD and I don't have to pay for formula), but feedings don't all fall on my shoulders since anyone can give her a bottle.

I'm also thankful for the week long visits from both my mom and JD's mom, who cooked for us, helped out with the baby, took care of the dogs, and did what they could to make sure we got some sleep.  Their help made the transition into parenthood easier, because we could concentrate on taking care of the baby while they were taking care of so much else.  They also each left behind a fridge and freezer full of leftovers, meaning JD and I haven't cooked before the baby was born (hallelujah!)