Scarlett Cay joined our family here on earth December 15, 2013 at 3:26 AM.
7 lbs 2 oz
Ambiguous hair (dark brown on top, red on the sides, strawberry blonde eyebrows) We’re still trying to figure out her hair. It seems to be coming back in blonde, but who knows? Her hair has been quite the subject of intrigue from both sides of the family. Grandmas want red-headed grandchildren I guess.
|Our first family photo|
Let me start by saying I would like to apologize to my own mother for ever being sassy or bratty at any point in my life. I now have a 10 week glimpse at being a mom, and–wow.
Something about becoming a mom has made me reflect a lot on my own mother and father. It’s a strange and humbling feeling. I can’t entirely put it into words, but I guess I now understand them more, and I feel selfish for not realizing sooner all they have done for me. I’ve always been thankful to my parents, but now I can say I’m starting to understand just how thankful I should be. It’s not easy to care for a baby 24/7. And I have only been at this new job 10 weeks. It has also made me understand love in a way I never knew I could. I feel closer to my Savior and I am so blessed he trusted me with such a sweet spirit. I will eternally be grateful for my precious baby.
|The famous “Sad Lip”|
I’ve thought through all the cliched things people tell you about having a baby:
“They grow so fast.”
“Say goodbye to sleep!”
“Nothing can prepare you.”
But, I can honestly say I had no idea how high the highs would be, and how hard I would feel the lows those first few weeks. My body was raging with happiness one moment, and the next I could barely focus my thoughts in a sleep-deprived haze. Scarlett didn’t sleep longer than a couple of hours the first 3 weeks. She would cry whenever you put her down or stopped moving her. There were nights when Andrew and I took turns pacing the floors to calm her down. She lost a pound from her birth weight, and I was desperately trying to breastfeed and recover from an unplanned Cesarean section. Night after night she would cry after I put her down, and I would cry too as I struggled to get back out of bed and not pull on my incision.
After several visits with the doctor, I finally gave in to supplementing my breast feeding with formula. He told me, “Melanie, formula is not the devil.” And you know what? He was right. I wanted to be able to exclusively breast feed, but my baby at 3 weeks weighed almost a pound less than her birth weight. The first night we offered her formula after breast feeding, she was a changed girl. She relaxed, her body loosened, and she slept. My poor baby must have been hungry for 3 weeks. Hangry!
This brings me to why I think birth plans are BULL. You hear all this junk about how you need to have a plan, and there is a checklist of things you need to “decide” before that day. BULL crap.
Yes, of course it’s good to have an idea in your head of how your ideal birth would go. But, does anyone’s experience ever go exactly as they planned? I wanted a vaginal birth. But after 24 hours of labor, and pushing, and then “No, stop pushing”, and then waiting to progress more, than not progressing, then doctor telling me, it’s a C section now, or wait and most likely a C section later. You tell me, what choice did I have? Tell me how my birth plan helped me then? If anything, I was disappointed. I was upset because I did not want a C section. I was upset because I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. My advice? Go into it knowing what is ideal for you, but planning only on doing what’s best for you and your baby. Because thinking that it will go exactly how you want it to only sets you up to be upset and nervous when it doesn’t. I still feel disappointment from not being able to provide my baby with only breast milk. But when I really think about it, why should I? She’s happy and healthy and I’m doing my best.
I still am adjusting to my “new normal” and it hasn’t been easy. My clothes don’t fit the same, I often leave the house with a pile of clothes on the bed that I have tried on, but they didn’t work. I’m trying to be patient with myself. I know that I carried a baby and my body has changed, but it doesn’t stop me from being upset sometimes. I hate to catch a glimpse of my scar in the mirror. And oh the stretch marks-another gem I get to deal with from having such fair skin. They will fade hopefully.
People aren’t kidding when they tell you, “Having a baby will change your life forever!” That’s okay with me. I wouldn’t want to go back. One of my favorite parts of having Scarlett has been seeing Andrew’s interactions with her. It is the sweetest thing. He adores her and he’s such a good daddy. I’m truly blessed to have him.
|I love how tiny she looks in daddy’s arms|
I’ll leave you with a common scene from our household. Dexter competing with Scarlett for attention. He has been very sweet and curious, and sometimes I even think depressed. He’s adjusting though.