I’ll repeat something I said on Twitter the other day–the more I think about it, the more I think Paul losing his job the week before I was induced is a blessing in disguise.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still bad timing, although at least we’ll have his severance pay, but we’re getting time together as a new, small family that we wouldn’t have otherwise. The original plan was for me to take my leave, and then for him to take a few weeks of FMLA to get some bonding time in. Instead, we’re getting most likely my whole six weeks together. Women always say maternity leave is not a vacation, and it’s not, but…it’s hard not to feel like I get six weeks to just hang out at home with my husband and newborn.
Last week was a whirlwind. After coming home and introducing him to grandparents and cousins in the early part of the week, he and I had checkups later in the week. He’s doing great and just needed to put some more weight on, so we’re now supplementing his breastfeeding with a little bit of formula.
The thing about breastfeeding is that I knew going in it would potentially be hard and that I’d have to be committed to it. Of all the moms I know, I can think of maybe only one or two who did it–and that’s not a judgment on commitment or parenting or anything at all, it’s just to get the point across that I know more women who struggled than not for various reasons. So my attitude going in was I’m gonna do it, but Charlie being fed is the most important thing and if my body just isn’t up for it, that’s fine. I wasn’t so hellbent on it that I’d get upset if I was told he needed a little boost, and I wasn’t. I had a few “Don’t get discouraged!” messages, which I appreciated but didn’t need. The pediatrician said he wasn’t gaining enough weight, so I said, “Okay.” Or I said it to Paul. Similar to my appointments since March, only one person is allowed in the office with Charlie, and being that I’m stitched up and moving slowly, handling a carseat with a baby in it isn’t the easiest thing for me. So I’ve been tagging along and waiting in the car while Paul takes him in.
Speaking of my stitches, I’m doing well, physically and mentally. I’m healing well and I feel good. Paul said I get around better now than I did nine months pregnant, and it’s true. And despite a family history of postpartum depression, I feel fine emotionally, and I’ve had a few people check in on that to be sure–Paul, Terra, and my mom, of course, but unexpectedly, a classmate from high school who I really only see at reunions sent me a Facebook message to check in, saying she likes to do so with new moms as she had postpartum depression herself.
We didn’t do anything for the 4th, which is probably for the best. If it wasn’t for having a newborn baby, we might’ve done something small. We weren’t invited anywhere, either, but probably wouldn’t have gone even if we had been, with the exception of something small.
On Sunday, we took Charlie to Paul’s parents’ house to meet his great-grandparents, and Jacob and Katie brought Arlo, finally after he was born right at the start of the lockdowns. The four of us kind of want to be on the same page with these things–it’ll make life easier for all of us–so we made sure they were going before we committed. The great-grandparents were all thrilled to see the babies, and it was a pretty nice afternoon with everyone. And the boys are adorable, of course.
And now…we have no other plans in the near future. Sure, there’s some things to be done related to life with a new baby, but overall, we have time for me to recover physically and for the three of us to continue bonding. It’s one day at a time, and it’s kind of nice.