Thank you all, so so much for the comments, support and assvice. I really appreciate it.
I am putting WAY too much pressure on myself- I can see that. I think because we had such a long wait to become parents, I was able to spend far too much time deciding what type of parent I wanted to be. I probably read too many books. It is very easy to be a great parent when you don’t actually have a real live baby with his own needs to deal with. So I am trying to go with the flow more frequently, and to remember that E. is not even a month old yet. And I need to appreciate what I have right now, this very moment: a gorgeous (even if he is spotty with baby acne) healthy son who is happy, thriving and gaining weight like mad. A son who is THIS close to smiling. A son who does not have reflux, shows no signs of colic (knock wood), sleeps (usually) in his crib, (usually) goes 2. 5 to 3 hours between feeds (although we’ve been closer to 2 these last couple of days). He is a great baby, and I need to be better about recognizing the positives even after tough nights.
Yesterday I took E. to a park on the other side of the city to go walking with the friends I made in my prenatal exercise classes. There are four of us- we were due the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of May. The one due on the 10th went overdue by 11 days. The one due on the 11th had her baby at 36 weeks by emergency c-section and saved her baby’s life by monitoring her fetal movements (long story- but a one in a million complication involving the placenta and the umbilical cord, and thank goodness both mum and bub were fine). The one due on the 13th and I both had our babies on Mother’s Day. Two boys and two girls. I’m so glad I met them.
To get to this park required me to take E. and our massive stroller (B.aby J.ogger City E.lite) on a bus and the subway, including a subway station with no elevator, and only up escalators (I LOVE the Ba.by J.ogger one-handed fold. I think we’d still be there otherwise). He slept the whole way there, was quietly alert for most of the walk, and slept most of the way back, waking when we were still a ten minute walk from home and demanding BOOBIES NOW. So we ended the outing with screaming, but until then it had gone really well. I changed him at the park. We breastfed in public. I actually felt like a competent mum. (Although I am really looking forward to him being old enough for us to get a M.claren. That stroller is just not meant for public transit.)
What do you all do if you are only a few blocks from home and bub wakes up starving (or convinced that he is, which amounts to the same thing)? I don’t like to leave him to cry, but I feel if I stop the stroller, take him out, comfort him and cuddle him, that then only prolongs the agony when I put him back in to get home. I can see the attraction of pacifiers.
Perhaps as a result of all the excitement, E. also went back to sleep without too much fussing after his night feeds, which meant I got more sleep, which meant that motherhood seems quite manageable today.
Conversation with Q. at 5 am this morning:
Q.: Wow, epic sleep for the little guy.
Me: I guess so. He’s never gone four hours between these two feeds before.
Q.: When did he last feed?
Me: 1 am.
Q.: Oh. I guess I slept through that entire feed. I thought he’d been asleep since 10.30. (Rolls over and goes back to sleep)
Me: (thinking uncharitable thoughts).