Wow, you guys, I didn't think I'd get so many questions! Thanks! Oh this is fun! Here are the first few I managed to finish while Eliza napped today (please feel free to leave more questions in the comments of the original post if you want to!):
Jen asks: What is something you know now that you wish you would've known right away when you got home from the hospital to make your daily lives run more smoothly??? This might not be the kind of answer you were hoping for..... but here ye be: That everything is going to be OKAY, and to relax a little bit with the feelings of OMIGODWHATIFIDOITALLWRONG??? What I mean is... I wish I could go back and tell myself that - hey - if it WORKS for you, and you feel good about it, just do it, and don't feel guilty. Don't worry about what some book says you should be doing. Don't worry about what your mother/step-grandmother/friend's mother-in-law/whathaveyou says. There is absolutely - hands-down - more than one way to do something, and there is NO right way to do it - just one right way for your family. So, if it WORKS for you to have your baby sleep in his crib - GREAT! If it works for you to have your baby sleep in your bed with you - PERFECT! If it works for you to have your baby sleep in a tree fort in the BACKYARD - well... that's weird, but OKAY. I wish I would have - right from the beginning - followed my instinct and not questioned it or second guessed it. It would've helped me feel better about things and I think the first few weeks would have gone a little more smoothly.
1) Do you feel like your roll of "mommy" has completely taken over, or do you still feel like Ella? Good question. I hear many women say that the role of "mommy" takes over and their own sense of self goes away... I can honestly say that I still feel like myself. I definitely take this seriously; in order to be a good mom to Eliza, I know that it's important to keep my sense of self, of who *I* am, and to get "me" time. So, yes, I feel like I still am Ella, but I know that it would be easy to slip into being only Eliza's Mommy if I didn't make sure to carve out some time to keep me ME: Eliza's Mommy, and Ella.
2) How has your relationship changed with your husband (if at all)? I really don't think our relationship itself has changed, per se, but it is definitely true that we have had to change how we "do" us... hm... that sounded weird. I mean, we've had to re-negotiate how to be a happy married couple and happy parents at the same time, and to do both of those things well. My husband and I have always believed that our marital relationship is priority #1 (okay, it's mostly been ME telling HIM why this is true and HIM believing me) - that it should come before kids, because if we don't work on our relationship, it might not be there in the future. And so, we take time. We have always done this, but now it's a little more challenging to find time. But we look for it, and we take it when we see it. We take the time after Eliza goes to sleep (and before we do) - some nights it's 2 hours, some nights it's 5 minutes. We leave Eliza with my parents for an hour and go to the great little Thai place in our neighborhood for dinner once in a while. Or we run errands together on Sundays and chat as we grocery shop or buy cat litter. So yeah, in that way, our relationship has had to change - there aren't as many overtly romantic, easy opportunities to work on us.
1) How have your parents and IL been as grandparents? Grandparents are THE BEST. My parents live nearby, so they have been able to help us out with Eliza, which has been soooooo wonderful. They love watching her and are just great with her, it is really amazingly cool to see my parents in their new roles. My ILs live about 3 hours away so we haven't been able to see them as often, and my MIL broke her foot so it's been hard for her to travel recently, and with Eliza's declaration of WWIII on her car seat, a drive that long hasn't been very realistic... (though we are hoping to drive there for Easter now that now Eliza has started to - OMG YOU WON'T EVEN BELIEVE THIS - sleep in her car seat once in a while (but only if we put her in it around nap time)). But we send them photos and I'm sure she'll see them more often this Summer. Eliza is so very very loved by her grandparents, she is a lucky girl.
2) Have there been any IL issues? No, and in fact there haven't been many family issues in general - on either side! People really seem to think we're doing a good job as parents (imagine THAT!), so we haven't gotten many you're-doing-it-wrong comments from anyone.
Dawn asks: How has breastfeeding been going? Oh I'm so glad someone asked this. I haven't had any issues BFing, it has been going really really well. I love love LOVE it. I know some women struggle with BFing so I consider myself very lucky. I had a cracked nip.ple really early on, but once that went away, we've been great! It is a very special part of our day. Eliza loves it, too :) She's a great nurser. She's still nursing about 10 times a day or so. Honestly, I can't say enough about it... it's just... the most perfect experience. I have always wanted to do extended BFing (my mom did with both me and my brother), so hopefully Eliza will want that too!
(omg the spacing in this post is driving me crazy!)