So as of last week we have been Moms for a month. And what a month it has been. I can only hope for a million more months like this one.
I (Mary) am now back at work and Machelle is still home with Emerson Jane. We call her a multitude of things–EJ, Emmie Jane, Emmie, Doodle…it’s safe to say that she has a lot of nicknames. She is such a good baby. She doesn’t cry unnecessarily and is not fussy for no reason. I have no doubt that this may change in the next few months, but for now–it seems to be pretty much perfection.
From my standpoint, I sleep pretty well. Machelle was up for the first 4 weeks with her every 2 hours–almost like clockwork–but this past week she has settled in to sleeping 4-5 hours at a time. We are well aware that this could change next week–or tomorrow for that matter–so for now we enjoy it.
Machelle has been spending the past month developing a support system that is awesome! She goes to new mom meet ups and breast feeding support groups a lot of days of the week. As someone who works in mental health, I know that developing these support systems is so important. You have got to surround yourself with people going through the same thing–I mean think about the principles behind Alcoholics Anonymous. She and Emerson both enjoy the support groups and I have even made it to a couple of them. Sometimes it is a little strange for me because I am not the “birth mom” and I am not breast feeding, but most of the things they talk about I can relate to.
It is not as difficult as I thought it would be to not be the birth mom. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I feel disconnected from Emerson and like I have no idea what is going on with her–especially since I have gone back to work. But Machelle has recognized this and makes sure that I spend time with her doing things like bath time and wearing the baby. There is still this feeling of where is my group–the non birth moms–but we have been very fortunate to have met some pretty awesome people. We met another couple who just adopted a little boy who is about 3 weeks older than Emmie. He is adorable and we enjoy spending time with them! We are lucky to have them in our circle of people!
Emerson is now 10 pounds 4 ounces and growing like a weed. Machelle is doing wonderful with breast feeding and truly, we are blessed. Machelle said to me the other night, “I think we have this whole adulting thing figured out.” I know that “adulting” is a relative term and (actually a made up word) and next week we may feel completely hopeless–but for now–we are good.
It’s amazing how fast your life changes when you are not the partner of someone who has given birth. You see their belly growing over the 10 months that the baby is developing, but it doesn’t directly affect you a whole terribly lot–until they get that 3 am weird craving and you are on the way to the store;-). But as soon as I saw Emerson, my life changed. There is absolutely no way to describe it and there is no way to put it in to words. You love something more than you love yourself and you have to make sure that person is safe from all things–even things that you have no control over.
Machelle’s grandparents came to visit us the last weekend that I was on leave for 4 days and it was very nice! They live in Illinois and this is their first great grandchild. They said that they loved seeing her and we had a great time. We went to eat at a beach front restaurant one day and it was pretty chilly, but it was still delicious.
Emerson has also met her great aunt on my side–she was able to see her this past weekend. She lives in South Carolina and had come up to see my mom for her birthday. We went to a street festival and hung out around my parent’s house. EJ spends lots of time with her Aunt, Grandma and Grandpa. They love her so much and I know that they wish they could see her every day!
There’s not a lot to talk about in regards to me going back to work–I cried all day the day I had to go back. Every time that someone would ask me how I was doing, I would tear up. It is so hard to leave something that you love so much and that you were fortunate enough to spend a whole month with. I have started working 4 ten hour shifts so that I have one day off a week that I am able to spend with Machelle and EJ. Machelle brings her by my work sometimes to see me and eat lunch with me. EJ magically makes everything better. If I have had a particularly stressful day, just a few minutes with her and I am relaxed and peaceful. She is like a tiny little zen baby that I can look at and find peace. I hope to take a week off in December when Machelle has to go back to work so that she doesn’t have to think about EJ being at daycare the first week. She can just focus on being back at work. I imagine that this transition will be much harder for both of us than the transition back to work for me.
Machelle is doing awesome…she was made to birth, feed, and care for babies. She is an amazing woman and I am so lucky to be married to her.
I will leave you with some pretty cute pictures of Emerson and the knowledge of having a baby does change your life, but it is for the better. It is not some terrible, armageddon of an event..it is amazing, wonderful and so fulfilling. I pray that this baby high or honeymoon period never ends.