Monday, October 20, 2014

A surreal existence

Amazing how quickly a week can pass. Especially given that life has become an hourly preoccupation: watching the clock to abide by Parker’s feeding schedule. Catching a 30, 60 or 90 minute nap when possible. And otherwise, just pretty much… watching her.

There are a lot of things I never knew about newborns. Like, 'cluster feeding' - those first few days when they want to feed hourly and are utterly insatiable and you start hallucinating at 4am because you’re on some weird spin cycle of nursing, again and again and again without any sleep.

That their 'daytime' is the middle of the night so everything is copacetic while the world is awake, and you’re all alone – and awake! sometimes hallucinating! – while the rest of the world sleeps.

I’ve been cycling between two sets of pajamas, I drink tea to stimulate milk production, I haven't touched makeup or hair products, and have been outside a total of probably 90 minutes in 10 days. It’s very surreal, indeed. 

That said, it, and she, is lovely. 
Parker has an awesome disposition and is sweet and adorable, with her little facial expressions and chicken legs. And as surreal as it all is, I’m loving it, exactly for what it is: this really bizarre, once-in-a-lifetime (in my case) phase where up is down and you're forgiven for losing touch with reality because there's nothing else you can do but tend to the needs of seven pounds of helplessness. Nothing is expected of you except being where you are, loving and caring for her.

This is life.


  1. Congratulations!
    I hear you on all of this. My firstborn is 2.5 years old now, and we'll be doing this all over again when the second one arrives in February. I remember then wondering why we didn't all bow and clap every time a mum walked past us, because the bf and sleeplessness and constant service feel so demanding at first. Surrendering to the new reality really helped me feel better, after my initial attempt to control everything. Hang in there and enjoy the sweet moments the way you are doing. And when you're up in the middle of the night nursing, know that across the world, you share the night with many invisible mums.
    All the best,

  2. Congratulations on little Parker. She is so precious! My son was born 12 years ago yesterday but your great writing just brought his newborn days back to me like no time had passed at all. This is a lovely time of year to have a baby (in my very humble opinion) because the cooler weather contrives to keep mother and baby (And father! And kitty!) inside to create a little cocoon of love. It is a special time in your life and I hope you enjoy every second of it. You have been blessed. XO, Jill

  3. Yup. Newborn babies run the household, whichever culture you're in. Seven pounds of helplessness, indeed... but so endearing:)

    You look radiant, even without makeup:) That's a lovely pic of you and Parker:)

  4. Parker is scrumptious. Also, I am loving the "Milo and Parker" pics ;)

  5. You explained it all perfectly, and there is just NO trying to explain to someone who really has not been through it, as you now probably realize. :-) Just keep in mind how it is now will change within hours/days/weeks -- just as soon as you think. "I have this Motherhood Thing DOWN" the playing field goes all wonky again. By the time they are about eight years old and can poo and pee and even get a bowl of cereal by themselves, it settles, haha. Oh, I am being hyperbolic -- after about the first eight weeks things seem to get remarkably easier, at least they did with my two, born almost 10 years apart. That's not to say it will be your truth nor experience. Take what other mothers say with a grain of salt and experience it all for yourself. Much love and huge hugs to you. Motherhood becomes you oh so well. ♥

  6. Beautifully said. And beautifully photographed! Totally captures the awe and chaos and "oh my god I'm a momma" feeling of those first few weeks. If you feel overwhelmed at any point (because I did) just know that it gets better.

  7. Merci, mes amis. Your words, compliments and support are the loveliest words ever. Things continue to go relatively well - just hunkering down in BK, trying to fatten this little peanut up, and now getting (hurrah!) a couple 2-3 hour stretches of sleep each night. The adventure continues, and I'm so happy to know it's a shared one. xo

  8. Amy, I absolutely love the picture of Parker on your chest. Motherhood looks simply beautiful on you. Your face says it all. Parker is beautiful. Congratulations again and again my dear friend.

  9. she's adorable and look at that mouth! a budding opera star

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  11. Beautiful post and stunning photo of you and Parker. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is surreal, and shocking at the same time. I remember asking Nina's pediatrician if she thought Nina may be nocturnal (tee hee... I was serious and seriously sleep deprived when I asked.)
    Nina and I love the screaming Parker photo, she is fierce. More fierce than Nina out.!!!
    Big hug to you, Andrew and Parker
    x.o. Connie & Nina