Wilson’s Birthday

Leading up to Wilson’s birthday, I thought a scheduled c-section would be less stressful than the emergency c-section I had with Gus almost four years ago.

I was mistaken.

Turns out when you’ve been in active labor for several hours without an epidural, and your baby is suddenly in danger, you don’t have much time to process what’s about to happen as you roll into the OR (and then almost sleep through the whole thing from sheer exhaustion).

This time I was wide awake, over-thinking everything, and walked myself into the OR past tables of terrifying surgical tools before getting my epidural on the operating table.

The actual delivery went well, but caught me a little off guard only because a few minutes before we got started they got word another baby in L&D might be in distress and they warned me they may need to go to the other OR for an emergency delivery (Been there! I’ll wait.)

The next thing I knew: the doors opened, doctors and nurses were everywhere, someone turned on the radio (raise your hand if “Despacito” was playing when your baby was born!) and they were just talking like it was another day at the office.

“Did you see Roberta’s haircut?”
“Who has the medieval torture devices I sterilized?”
“Let’s make the first incision.”

Wait, what was that last thing you said?

No, hello. No, we’re about to get started. No husband (wearing a beard cover) sitting patiently by my side. No, ready, no set.

Just, GO.

Mike was there a few minutes later, but surgery was well underway at that point. And while I definitely didn’t feel pain, the amount of pressure I could feel was so overwhelming that it was extremely uncomfortable.


Ultimately I needed two extra doses of my epidural during surgery, and three doses of additional pain meds while they closed my incision.

Recovery has been going well, and we’ve been home for four days now. Aside from the usual newborn woes (mainly not sleeping) this time has been a lot less stressful for all of us.

I already know how to breastfeed (even though my milk didn’t come in until last night), I’m sleeping as much as I can when I can, I’m staying on top of pain meds and physically I feel really good.

The biggest difference: my mom is living with us this time, so we have an extra set of hands to help with baby and Gus. When I think about one day getting this baby fed and out the door in time to get Gus to preschool on time, it makes my eye twitch but I know we’ll get there eventually.

Wilson is a pretty good baby, and Gus LOVES him. It’s only been a few days so we’ll see how long it lasts, but he loves to help with diaper changes, he kisses him constantly, and whenever he cries, Gus sings him customized lullabies (“Rockabye Wilson” is his go-to, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Wilson” is a close second).


I genuinely still can’t believe this beautiful, healthy baby is here right now, after everything that happened in the last year. And in a few weeks, we’ll celebrate Gus’ fourth birthday as a little family of four!

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My Husband

I know I don’t say it enough — I would not be able to function without my husband.

Babies change things, man. All the little things I used to do without thinking or without help are all of a sudden a two-person job.

Yes, Gus and I are home alone all day. I manage to feed us, and clean us (well, at least one of us), and dress us. I try to get us to the grocery store each week. I occasionally pay attention to the dogs, even though they drive me insane.

But the dishwasher isn’t emptied. The laundry isn’t done. I can’t remember the last time I ran the vacuum. If it were solely up to me, the dogs would be starving by now.

Mike washes dishes. He empties and reloads the dishwasher. He carries dirty laundry downstairs and clean laundry back up. He changes diapers. He helps with bath time. He takes care of the dogs. He takes out the trash and recycling. He brings me water and snacks when Gus goes on marathon eating sprees. He lets me watch the Olympics for hours even though he hates figure skating.

He shoveled snow every day for what felt like a week. He finds new dairy-free snacks for me so I don’t get bored. He calls every night on his way home to see if I need anything from the store, or if he can pick up dinner. The man bought me a case of thin mints.

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And I know he thinks he’s not doing enough to help me.

Without him, I’d be hungry and dehydrated. And my house would be a mess. And I’d still be snowed in. And my dogs would be abandoned in the forest behind my house. And I’d have to get a job and wear real clothes every day.

I love him, and his face and his beard and he’s my BFF.

And yes, dear, bring home dinner.

Catching a Smile

This baby smiles all. the. time.

It’s the most wonderful thing in the world, and I still tear up a little when he sees me and lights up, gums galore (I blame the lingering postpartum hormones).

It’s a tricky thing to capture — mainly because they come and go very quickly, and I’m trying not to live behind the lens of my iPhone.

Thankfully I’ve managed to time things just right on a few occasions and caught a few great smiles with my camera.

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But I also have a phone full of blurry half-smiles, that are just as cute (in my very biased opinion) but will probably never make it into a picture frame.

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Next up is laughing, I think? I’m pretty sure he laughed in his sleep the other day (he smiled in his sleep before he did it for real too). If smiling makes me cry, I’m sure I’ll be hysterical when this baby starts laughing.

Milk Machine

This baby is growing too fast.

He was five pounds and eight ounces when he was born seven weeks ago. He was five pounds and four ounces when we left the hospital five days later.

The experts say a newborn should be back to their birthweight by the time they’re two weeks old. Gus did that, and then some in the first three days we were home.

Those same experts estimate newborns should gain 5-7 ounces each week. Gus has gained, on average, 13 ounces every week.

They also estimate a baby should double their birthweight by the time they’re four months old. Gus is on track to do that before Christmas.

I’ve already forgotten how small five pounds really is. Like, I have to look at pictures to remember. I’m tempted to put some of his premie-sized shirts on him, just to see the difference.

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Hellllooooooo, cheeks. (You should see his thighs.)

One Month

What the hell happened? Gus is a month old? November is almost over? Thanksgiving is next week (and I have to leave my house?!)? Christmas is right around the corner?! Last thing I remember were some contractions, and some talk about Halloween coming up…

Newborns, man. They’re lucky they’re so cute.

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So here’s a little update on Gus, and our lives as a family of three.

Height: 21.3 inches (up from 19.25 inches at birth.)

Weight: 8 lbs and 10 ounces (up from 5 lbs, 8.5 oz at birth.)

Likes: Bob Marley, Huey Lewis, John Hughes movies, riding in the Moby wrap, bath time, ceiling fans, peeing everywhere, Daddy’s beard, Mommy’s boobs.

Dislikes: diaper changes, over-head outfit changes, dairy products.

Sleep: The first few weeks were rough, I’m not gonna lie to you. But it wasn’t because he was fussy or not sleeping — he always went to sleep. He just wanted to eat every 2-3 hours, so I didn’t get a lot of rest in between feedings. The last two nights, however, he’s slept 4-6 hours in between meals, and I have never been happier to sleep for five hours at a time.

Eating: Like his mother, this baby can eat, and he does so with gusto. He eats with the same enthusiasm as a Velociraptor who just realized the electric fences were down. He’s gained more than three pounds in a month, which is a lot when you’re not even two feet tall.

Clothes: We started out in newborn sizes, and even a few premie-sized shirts, but those days are over. Between his growing pot belly and his long legs, we’ll be moving up a size any day now.

Nicknames: Fussy Gussy, Grumpy Gus, Turtleneck, Milkman, Gremlin, Handsome Man, Buddy Boy, Milkasaurus Rex.

Mommy & Daddy: Mike is officially headed back to work on Monday, and I’m finally capable of thinking about that without bursting into tears! Take that, baby blues! Yes, I’m up throughout the night making sure the Milkman is fed but Mike wakes up and changes diapers, and makes sure I have enough water. If we have a long night with a lot of feedings, Mike will get up early and take Gus off my hands for a few hours so I can sleep (and they watch Netflix). Breastfeeding is exhausting and seemingly never ending, but it suits me and I’m good at it (Exhibit A: rapidly growing giant baby). I won’t tell you how much weight I’ve lost in the last four weeks, because you will hate me forever. I’ll just say, my pre-pregnancy clothes are back in rotation, and are …a little baggy. Long story short, if you’re at all on the fence about breastfeeding, I highly recommend it.

What No One Tells You

Like most ladies with a bun in the oven, I spent a lot of time consulting What To Expect while I was pregnant.

Well, almost three weeks into parenthood, and I think the authors forgot the last chapter.

I think it should be titled, “Shit No One Told You: Everything is Horrible.”

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE this baby. A baby that we struggled to create and deliver safely. And he is already funny, and sweet, and has my nose and his father’s legs.

But it’s 4 a.m. I’ve been up with him for the last 90 minutes, and before that I slept for two hours while Mike was trying to get him to sleep.

And he is sleeping. But he’s doing it on my chest. Because I know as soon as I put him down he’s going to grunt and kick and wake himself (and me and Mike) back up again. Whoever coined the phrase, “sleeping like a baby,” has obviously never shared a room with an infant.

Plus, I have to feed him again in another 90 minutes (breastfeeding never, ever ends!), so I might as well sleep sitting up in a chair. Oh, because laying down and sleeping is impossible. He knows when my head hits the pillow and he likes to make me get right back up again (I told you he was funny).

Sure, people makes jokes about how you’ll never sleep again. I mean, obviously that’s not true — we were all babies once and we pulled it together eventually and went to bed, right?! It’s just not logical for someone to never sleep.

But after three weeks of maybe sleeping two hours at a time? A “good” night is collectively sleeping six hours? Well, you can toss that logic right out the window.

In addition to being totally smitten with his handsome devil, I’ve spent the last 19 days (that’s it?! It feels like an eternity!) in a pit of anxiety-ridden baby blues.

Oh, they glance over the baby blues at your childbirth class, but I assure you that you are unprepared. I think I got a small case, and I still weep once a day. WEEP — not cry, or tear up. I WEEP. Usually when I think about doing this without help every day. Or another mom comes to visit. Aunts, cousins, friends — as soon as they come in the door and ask me how it’s going I turn into Weepasaurus Rex. “This is so hard! No one tells you that,” I weep at them.

And that’s when they tell you they felt the same way. Second guessing everything, over-analyzing every sound and diaper and decision. Weeping uncontrollably. (OMFG, people do this repeatedly? Voluntarily, even?!) Feeling like you’ll never, ever, get to sleep again.

Every question or concern you google has at least two answers that usually contradict each other. Every time I do manage to fall asleep I wake up thinking I’ve somehow smothered the baby (who is always asleep in his bassinet across the room).

I just keep coming back to my old pal logic. Eventually he HAS to sleep. Eventually he WILL eat real food. All of this exhaustion and uncertainty WILL end.

I thank my lucky stars I have a helpful and supportive husband who can work from home while I continue to heal from my c-section, and is willing to sleep in shifts with me. And we have mothers I can call after a sleepless night and long day who will come over and let me nap in between feedings. And I have friends and family who will listen to me cry, and assure me I’m not crazy and this happens to every new mother.

This time is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. Word on the street is things will start to look up by 6-12 weeks. While that feels like an eternity to me right now in the middle of the night, my buddy logic reminds me that it isn’t.

And so I try to enjoy it. I try to just look at his sweet little napping face and remember he’ll never be this little again.

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