I fully intended to post a bit sooner, but as I've discovered first hand, life with an infant can be a bit overwhelming. Don't get me wrong, I love the little guy like nothing else in this world -- but he sure is a lot of work.
The first two weeks were definitely the most difficult. Roibeard and I were both off work during that time which helped, but it still felt like an endurance test designed to push us to our limits and explore what happens when we hit that breaking point. There were A LOT of tears shed during this time. Micheal insisted on being held 24 hrs/day. It is insane that an 8 lb infant can dictate when you can eat or even use the toilet. Of course there were other obstacles to deal with as well, such as feeding the cats, making sure they were loved, constant diaper/nappy runs, phone calls to insurance companies, and the biggest one of all...sleep.
We've all been sleep deprived at some point. If you've ever had to suffer through finals week in college or have lived through a week of imsomnia you have some idea of how terrible it can be at times. As for myself, I've had plenty of sleepless nights over the course of my life, but nothing could have ever prepared me for the type of sleepless night there is with an infant involved. It's not just lack of sleep where you're a little delirious but a cup of coffee can perk you up for a few hours before you go back to bed. This is having the tiniest most delicate creature depend on you to take care of him and meet all of his needs when he wants them met. Roibeard and I worked in shifts for the first two weeks and averaged about 2 hrs of sleep per day.
Once week 3 started Roibeard went back to work and for a few days I was completely on my own with the little one. It was scary. Just taking him on the bus alone or even strapping him in the pram alone for the first time caused my anxiety to shoot through the roof. About halfway through week 3 I started back at work as well, though only for about 12 hrs/week.
Going back to work was terribly difficult. I hated leaving the little guy each time. As difficult as it was I really think that working on such a part time basis was the best thing to do though. I had just started a new job, which I why I had to start before my 4 weeks of leave were up. It taught me how to be away from him and I have to admit that even though I missed him terribly...for those 4 hours away I felt like a (somewhat) normal person again. Also since I was only working part-time I was able to go to a few mommy and me sessions offered to new moms by the hospital. It was helpful for me to be around other sleep-deprived parents and good for Micheal to hear the coos of all the other babies.
Once mid-September hit I began working full time again...or mostly full time. Over the past month we have settled into a schedule where I work in the morning and Roibeard works in the evenings. It has been very difficult because we never see each other, but this way one of us is always home with the baby.
He has grown so much over the past 12 weeks. He is already 15 lbs and 25 inches long. I have a feeling he is going to be tall like his dad. Right now he is at a really fun age because he is curious, he smiles, he laughs, he coos, and even has his little nonsense words that he says. He is still incredibly clingy, which makes every day tasks a challenge. He also has reflux so he is constantly spitting up his milk and he has days where he cries and cries for hours on end. Overall though he is turning out to be a really sweet little baby. We just love him so much and we are really trying to treat each day as a blessing and really enjoy it the the fullest. I feel like the #1 thing I hear from anyone who has been a parent is that you really need to cherish every moment because it just goes by way too fast.