Monday, July 20, 2009

Surviving our first day

We've had a busy week... we had more visitors, including Ren(!), and this weekend we popped to the veg fest, which Rich usually helps to organize. This year we were just guests. We saw lots of friends who had hosted our second baby shower, and we also got to hang out with Kim and Joe who came specially to meet Rafi. On Sunday we got to see Jen and Sage! Jen and family had been on a family holiday when Rafi was born. We felt for sure they'd be back for the birth, but of course the little guy was 9 days early. So we were very excited to see them. We headed out to Whole Foods to meet them so we could get in a food shop, too, and it was just LOVELY seeing them. Sage was very, very sweet and whispered to Jen that she'd like their family to have a baby :) She was so gentle with him, rubbing his feet and feeling his soft skin. I forgot my camera, but Jen brought hers so we'll hopefully have some pics to share.

Today was our first day on our own... Eek. I can see now why people have family come and stay during these early weeks. It is VERY hard on your own. Going to the bathroom is a major event, and God forbid I need a drink.. Rafi loves to be held - and if he's not being held he likes to be eating :) And boy does this little one like to eat.

So far today has been going okay, though. Rafi slept for 6 hours last night. We got up around 3:45am and I nursed him for a good hour (he likes to nap on the job making nursing not the most efficient thing in the world). We went back to bed around 5ish and since he was fussing I asked Rich to take him downstairs for some daddy-time so I could nap for an hour before Rich left. I got up feeling somewhat refreshed and showered... and then the realization set in that Rich would not be back until close to 8pm as, unfortunately, he also has his night class this evening. I regarded the pile of washing up and dirty clothes with some dread and decided that we'd find a way to get somewhat organized. After another a feed I put Rafi in his sling and we headed our for a beautiful summer walk. He mostly sleeps in the sling and was still in deep slumber when we returned. This allowed me to get to the washing, washing up, and I also got to prepare lunch!

We planned to meet Rich at lunchtime for a picnic as I had an appointment with Deb in the afternoon. Getting out the house proved to be not the easiest thing in the world. I fed him, he pooped, I changed him, and he immediately popped again... I changed his outfit because of the inevitable spit up, started the car, put him in his seat.. and, yep, he was sick all over his new outfit. With the car going I ran upstairs to change him and, yes, another poop :) We had the car seat trauma again (he has a meltdown every time we put him in it) and eventually we were on our way....

Time has taken on new meaning... I used to be pathologically early for everything, and now we are LATE for absolutely every thing we've planned. I guess we're on Rafi-time...

We enjoyed a quick lunch with Rich, me trying to feed Rafi.. and then off to see Deb. The people who work at Deb's office are so amazingly lovely. From the women behind the reception desk to the nurses and medical techs who assist Deb. When we got to the room to be seen everyone came in to see the little guy. He is very well loved :) This was a postpartum appointment for me, and it was lovely to see Deb. While I haven't felt at all depressed I have been feeling a little bit sad that we don't have any family nearby.. Our friends are simply amazing - and it feels very much like we have our own extended family here in Maine - but there is a little lack which I feel quite intensely sometimes. Thus it was good to connect with Deb who isn't just a wonderful Dr. but is also a really generous and warm human being.

And now we're home... Rafi has been feeding non-stop. I have my laptop here with me, typing with one finger as Rafi now sleeps off his milk-fix. I'm going to try and get dinner in a bit (wish me luck) and then an evening walk with the puppies.. though we'll have to wait for dad to help with puppies, I think.

We've almost survived our first day. Not sure what's in store for tomorrow, though I think I may head to the gym early in the morning... well, if Rafi is ready for me to leave!

I think we'll find a routine soon enough.. but would love to hear about readers' routines with babies and kids.


  1. life slows down to a snails pace when you have a newborn - which can be both frustrating, but also kind of wonderful - life really does become about the "present moment", the "here and now".

    i've never been a great one for strict routines for little babies - trying to follow a strict routine made me feel like a failure (because my babies never slept/ate/played when they were "supposed" to). the most useful advice anyone gave me for a newborn/infant was to follow a "sleep/eat/play" routine (over and over again). so baby has a nap, eats upon waking, has some awake/alert time and then sleeps again, "rinse, lather, repeat". generally, though, i do a "go with the flow" approach... with some general goals (ie, i want my baby to do most of her eating during the day and most of her sleeping at night) and i find that by 6 months a routine has established itself. now that leila is 7 months old she is sleeping 6pm to 6am and having two naps during the day. she has breakfast, lunch, an afternoon bottle and dinner. all of this gradually evolved as she got older and started to fit in more and more with our lives. if you want more details feel free to email me :)

  2. Ah, the one-fingered typing! I remember it well.

    I have been thinking of you today, Alex, on your first day going solo. Aren't you just in awe of single parents? ;-) It sounds like you are doing GREAT. I was a wreck and paralyzed by anxiety. You are just doing fantastically, truly! But I know it doesn't always feel like it.

    So Rafi seems to be setting his own routine, and you appear to be doing a wonderful job of responding to his cues. He'll let you know when he needs what, and just when you think you can't stand a particular routine for another day, it'll change. Soon enough he'll do less pooping and spitting up--promise! But do you have enough burping cloths? We can bring you some more if you need them.

    It was so wonderful to meet Rafi and I know Sage really loved it, too. Thank you! I hope perhaps some time this week we can do a visit! If there is a particular day or time of day that you'd most welcome it (or that it would be the least bit an intrusion), let us know. We don't want to inferfere with your sleep!


  3. Routine schmoutine ;-)

    I overheard the Health Visitor speaking to a sobbing new mummy at our fortnightly weigh-in clinic the other week. She said the first 6 weeks are pure survival. Then, you can spend the next six observing your baby and after that MAYBE you can start to think about implementing a routine (or tweaking the one your baby has probably developed on their own). Sounds good to me!

    I'm only really trying to encourage a feed in the day, sleep at night plan like Kate says. I did try to 'Gina Ford' Gabriel briefly but it wasn't for us. I'd much rather have a baby that goes with the flow, since strict routines might mean leaving fun events and places too soon in order to stick to some prescribed schedule!

    You'll both get into the swing of things soon, it won't be long before you can identify the difference between a hungry cry, a tired cry and a plain old "I'm bored and being a baby sucks sometimes" cry. That makes things a LOT easier!

    I could not have done this baby-rearing business without my mum so I really feel for you being so far from family. It sounds like you have some amazing friends over there though and are getting great support from them.

    And can I just say - THE GYM? At 2-3 weeks post-partum?! I could barely make it to the post box at the end of the street at that stage! I am in awe.

    Alice x

  4. Thanks you three! It really helps to have some experienced mamas offer advice. We're definitely not trying for a schedule, as such... though I am encouraging the evening cluster feeding!! I was mostly curious about how you guys spent your early days... We've been enjoying some lovely walks and we're getting out quite a bit.. and we adapt everything to fit the feed/sleep/awake routine... we're for sure following Rafi's lead!

    Surprisingly I feel really great - physically. I've only made it to the gym a few times, and I'm doing about 50% of what I was doing the final days of pregnancy. This is more because I'm desperate to get back to Rafi.. and I worry that he'll be hungry - but I must say that it really is very nice to have a bit of time on my own. Even driving in the car listening to my audible book is pretty nice... It's definitely a challenge having no family, though.. Somehow you dont mind letting your family clean your bathroom... it would feed awful to let my friends do those chores, though!!!

    keep sharing your advice, everyone :)