I thought I would be exhausted--the awful, jet lag exhaustion complete with stinging eyes and puffy cheeks. I can't tell you that I'm not ever tired but not in the way that I imagined. I'm a girl who LOVES her sleep. Usually when I would wake up in the morning I would figure out how long it would be until I could go back to sleep. I would look at my calendar every week to figure out when I could fit in a "sleep late day" during the work week, and I tried my hardest every week to go to 4pm Mass on Saturday so I didn't have to get up and be at church Sunday mornings. Now I sleep for about an hour and a half to 2 hours max at a time, but turns out if you string enough of those bits of sleeps together, you feel pretty good. And I can't deny that waking up to a sweet little baby face isn't all that bad. I don't mind waking up to feed her because I know I'm the only one that can do it. I've put 3 pounds on this baby in three weeks and I could not be more proud of myself. Will I be happy when she can take a bottle and I can get a few more consecutive hours? Yes. But for the time being, I'm loving where we are.
I thought I might have a hard time feeling like Charlotte was mine. Some friends told me that they had a little trouble connecting with their baby right away and warned me that that was normal so not to freak out if that happened to me. I was prepared for that feeling and it made sense to me. I understood how it might be hard to feel completely in love with someone that you've just met and know nothing about. I'm a practical girl. However, I had just the opposite feeling. As soon as Charlotte was out of me and on my chest, I knew she was mine. I did know her--I grew her for 37 weeks and so it wasn't even love at first sight because I loved her from the moment I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test. I was immediately connected to the little miracle that was wriggling in my arms and I've never stopped feeling that way. I never really had any "magical" feelings during pregnancy like you hear some people talk about. I didn't know I was pregnant the minute it happened--I actually was sobbing the night before I found out because I thought I wasn't. I didn't have a 6th sense that let me know she was a girl--Forrest told me she was a boy and I believed him so when they told me she was a girl I was in complete shock. However, I did know that she was my baby, whom I would do anything for, the minute she was born.
I thought I might be super grossed out. Poop, throw up--no way. That's not my game. Forrest cleans up any pet accidents because I'm not good at nasty things like that. However, when it's your child, and they are depending on you, you just get over yourself and deal with whatever nasty comes your way. I've been thrown up on, like for real thrown up on, not just a little bit of spit up, tinkled on, and nearly pooped on. It really doesn't matter--you just clean it up and get on with your life (and throw in another load of laundry).
I thought I would be so antsy to get back to work. I have actually been doing lots of work from home so as not to fall behind, but that makes me just want to stay here with her even more. Plus, I'm super amazing at wearing pajamas and watching movies all day long too. Mainly, I love being here with my sweet girl all day long. I hate thinking about returning to work and missing these precious hours with her during the day. I don't feel stir crazy or bored like I thought I would and I don't resent Forrest for getting to "leave" every day like some people suggested I might. I'm just happy and content to sit here and hold my little one all day long. I know my time to do so is almost up so I'm savoring every precious moment.
I thought I would feel "chained" to the baby and that I might resent her or regret giving up my regular life. I've yet to feel that way. Yes, it's hard to go somewhere when I am responsible for feeding her every three hours but you just plan well and make it happen. Or your don't make it happen and let people deal with the fact that you created a human and that human needs to eat. It won't be this way for long and I don't want to rush a single second of her needing me like this. I'm not worried about the fact that I need to get my nails done or that I could really use a massage and a trip to the gym because there will be plenty of time for that later.
Lastly, I thought I might look at Forrest and ask "what have we done" when things got rough. I have never ever once thought that. Of course, I think we are pretty lucky because Charlotte seems pretty easy and good natured, and we have both had a very positive attitude about everything, but I've never regretted having her not for one single second. I have no idea what we did or how we lived without this little love in our lives and I can't wait to see how her life, that we gave her, unfolds before our eyes.