I was feeling pretty calm about this whole pregnancy thing (especially now that the barfiness has mostly passed) until I read the information packet from my midwife, wherein they recommend we check out of the hospital and go home (accompanied by the midwife) within 2-3 hours of delivery. All of a sudden I realized WE HAVE TO TAKE THIS BABY HOME. And I have no idea what life will look like after that happens. I understand that at first you're just feeding and changing and sleeping and trying to stave off a nervous breakdown, but I have no idea what the days look like after the first weeks or months are over. I've asked a few friends and they've all said they don't really remember. What do you DO all day long? What does a typical day look like? Is there even such a thing as a typical day? It tends to be the unknown that freaks me out, so I feel like if I can visualize this a bit, I will feel a lot better about the whole situation.
Back when Rob was a baby, I wrote little monthly updates on him in my journal: what he was eating, how he was sleeping, a sample day, etc. These updates were draining and boring and time-consuming to write, but it was ALL WORTH IT FOR THIS MOMENT.
So let's see, we are looking for information about the stage AFTER the Newborn Craziness. Shall we say...3 months? (I'll use photos of 3-month-old Henry for decoration, because I've got those digital already whereas Rob's would need scanning.)
One thing you will notice right away is that I WAKE THE BABY UP in the morning. This was not because I was crazy, but rather because Paul and I shared a car and if I wanted the car I had to drive him to his car pool pick-up.
6:00-6:25 a.m. wake baby up, change him, nurse him on one side
6:25-6:50 a.m. baby and I take Paul to his car pool
6:50-7:00 a.m. nurse second side
7:00-8:00 a.m. play with baby, then give him his play gym and put him on the bathroom floor while I take a shower
8:00-9:00 a.m. baby fell asleep while playing, so he naps in bouncy seat
9:00-9:15 a.m. baby wakes up with blow-out diaper and needs major change
9:15-9:40 a.m. nursing
9:40-9:45 a.m. tummy time until crankiness
9:45-10:15 a.m. ran errand; baby fell asleep in car
10:15-11:50 a.m. baby napping at home still in car seat
11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. woke baby up so I could change and nurse him before baby group
12:15 - 3:30 p.m. baby group (one nursing and one changing) [note from Swistle: was baby group really THREE HOURS? That seems unlikely. It was probably 2 hours plus driving time and I forgot to write something else down, like maybe my lunch, or maybe he napped starting at 2:30 instead of 3:30 or WHO KNOWS.]
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. baby napping
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. baby changed, nursed, played with...
5:30 - 6:00 p.m. oh never mind, the day is too complicated and the summary ends up too inaccurate.
6:00 - 6:30 p.m. pick up Paul at car pool
6:30 - 7:15 p.m. take turns eating dinner and holding baby
7:15 - 7:45 p.m. baby bath
7:45 - 8:00 p.m. nursing
8:00 p.m. baby to bed
See how I lost hope around 5:30? I remember how I'd keep trying to guess how long something had been but then that wouldn't seem right at all and nothing added up and FORGET IT. But I'm still glad to have it, because it's a lot closer than what I would have been able to recreate at this point. I see I tried again the next day, and I'm glad I did or I would have thought I always woke the baby up in the mornings:
5:00 - 5:10 a.m. baby laughing and silly during diaper change
5:10 - 5:30 a.m. nursing
5:30 - 5:40 a.m. baby snuggling with Paul while I rinse diaper and scoop cat box
5:40 - 5:50 a.m. baby crying and uncooperative for tummy time
5:50 - 6:25 a.m. ?
6:25 - 6:50 a.m. taking Paul to car pool
And that's where I gave up that day.
In fact, that "?" at 5:50-6:25 probably sums up "a day with a baby" better than any other part. SO MUCH of the day is "getting interrupted"---like, if someone had followed me and done the documenting for me, it probably would have been stuff like:
8:45 - 8:46 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry
8:46 - 8:48 a.m. have to stop because baby is crying to be changed
8:48 - 8:49 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry
8:49 - 8:50 a.m. move baby from bouncy seat to bed where I'm folding laundry
8:50 - 8:52 a.m. search fruitlessly for baby's binky
8:52 - 8:53 a.m. change toys on baby's play gym
8:53 - 8:54 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry
8:54 - 8:55 a.m. pick baby up and pat him; does he need to eat yet?
8:55 - 8:56 a.m. change shirt baby spit up on
8:56 - 8:57 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry
8:57 - 8:58 a.m. find a chewing toy for baby
8:58 - 8:59 a.m. maybe binky is in the car?
8:59 - 9:00 a.m. try to nurse baby; baby not interested
9:00 - 9:01 a.m. fold several pieces of laundry
And so on. And then I would try to record that in the schedule, and it would have to be:
8:45 - 9:00 a.m. ?
More reports and opinions and rememberings, please: What's a day with a baby (after the crazy newborn stage) LIKE, would you say?