Rookies of the Year

I don’t think there’s anything more humbling than being a new parent.

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No matter how much you read, prepare, or practice, it is inevitable that you will make some mistakes.

Some are  funny.

Some won’t be funny for many, many years.

We’ve had our fair share of rookie mistakes “learning opportunities” in these past three, short weeks.

This post contains a fair amount of talk about breasts and bodily functions, so if that makes you uncomfortable, the only thing you need to know is that we’ve survived the last 23 days and you can rejoin us at the next post.

If you’re down with the nitty, gritty of our rookie parenting moves here we go:

1. Rookie Parent Move: Thinking that the sleepy, content 2 day old we had in the hospital was the same infant that would come home with us. 

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Perhaps her lungs weren’t developed or she was sleeping her way through the transition from the womb to the real world, but that sleepy baby has been building up her lung capacity since day three.

The developing blood curdling cries sent me into a slightly panicked state.

What could possibly make a baby cry that loudly and that intensely?

Thank goodness my Mom and sister were here to remind me that crying is normal and it could just be some residual gas.

If they weren’t here, I would have thought for sure there were invisible gremlins taunting my child at every opportunity.

2. Rookie parenting move: Leaving the house without the diaper bag. 

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I was so anxious about an upcoming appointment with the pediatrician that the only thing I could think about was getting the kid in the car and safely arriving at our destination.

Thankfully P-Daddy remembered the diaper bag at the first stop light and we made a quick u-turn home to retrieve it.

And thank goodness we did, because the nugget stunk up the doctor’s office with an EPIC poo.

3. Rookie parenting move: Sending my sister a selfie that accidentally contained a nip-slip. 

(picture NOT included)

I never take selfies.

Why I thought it would be a good idea to take one immediately following a feed in which my entire upper half was uncovered and exposed would be a good idea is beyond me.

“Oh, I’ll just move slightly to the left and back so my boob is out of the shot,” said the postpartum idiot that then sent a selfie with a giant nipple in the corner of the frame.

We’re pretending that didn’t happen and moving on.

4. Rookie parenting move: Underestimating the challenges of breastfeeding.

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Nip slips aside, breastfeeding is a serious job.

I mean, it is work. 

I have never been so intimately aquatinted with my boobs.

I mean, they’ve been around since puberty but I never paid them much mind other than making sure they were adequately covered (pre-pregnancy and nip slip malfunction).

But then you give birth, and every nurse in the county wants to get hands on with your mammary glands while you are learning how to breastfeed.

Seriously, they were manhandling me before the kid was even cleaned off.

It all felt very foreign and awkward.

Also, they expected me to whip those puppies out and feed in front of everyone.

Well, by day four, I had lost all humility and was shoving the boob into the kid’s face at the slightest sign of hunger.

Three weeks ago, I couldn’t have even uttered the phrase “shoving the boob” let alone do it.

There is no shame now.

I have one job and it is to feed the Squish by any means necessary.

It required me to get up close and personal with my own body and let go of any embarrassment about breastfeeding that I was secretly harboring.

That does not mean that things got easier.

If anything, they got more challenging.

There were latch issues, engorgement, and other incidentals that I had no idea even existed until a few weeks ago.

There is still pain despite multiple conversations with lactation consultants.

And I had no idea just how demanding breastfeeding on demand would be.

It seemed like every time I turned around, the kid was rooting and eating her hands in an effort to communicate hunger.

Even though she just finished eating 15 minutes ago.

I was unprepared for the amount of effort required for the whole  process.

I have no idea how people do this publicly either.

By the time we’re half-way through, we’re both half undressed  and I’m furiously trying to manage the rogue milk that seems to be dripping everywhere.

Are you still reading?
This is shit they don’t tell you but needs to be normalized.

It’s not all work and no play, however.

It’s an awesome feeling to know that my babe can get all the nutrition she needs to grow and thrive from my own body.

Plus, we get uninterrupted bonding time every 1-4 hours throughout the day.

Even at 2:00 in the morning.

And 3:00.

And 4:00.

Until we both fall into an exhausted sleep coma.

5. Rookie parenting move: Getting ridiculously excited about poop. 

Seriously, I dance a little jig inside each and every time the Peanut poops.

It’s a reassuring reminder that things are working properly.

And I kind of can’t help thinking,

“I made that digestive system. I made it work. Boo-yah!”

6. Rookie parenting move: Not knowing the enormousness of the amount of fear and worry that comes with being a parent. 

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Our first week home, we got a call from the pediatrician.

He told us that there was some concern about the results from the newborn screen that could indicate the Squish had a metabolic disorder.

I immediately began choking back tears.

What did this mean?
Is the Squish’s health in jeopardy?

I was so, so scared.

The doctor told me that she had a low serum of carnitine which is a fatty acid enzyme.

If it was too low, she may have carnitine uptake deficiency which could mean lifelong supplement treatment and special dietary requirements.

We were asked to repeat the screen immediately.

A week later, we were given no reassurance.

The results were still borderline and there was debate about sending us to a specialist or repeating the screen for a third time.

We ended up repeating the screen, which is a simple blood draw, for the third time.

At last we were told the results were normal and there was no cause for concern.

Holy cow.

Even though it was not life threatening, the whole ordeal was so scary.

I had no idea how frightening the health and well-being of our infant would be.

It was another reminder just how blessed and how grateful we are to be able to hug and kiss the Squish every day.

7. Rookie parenting move: Wanting to spend every second of every day holding and staring at the Squish. 

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I fight sleep because I want to stare into her oceanic blue eyes.

I pick her up constantly because I want her to feel the warmth of arms wrapped around her all day long.

I sleep next to her because the thought of her being alone in a big, giant room is too overwhelming.

I study her face because I don’t know if she looks like me or P-Daddy but I do know it’s miraculous.

I wear her in an infant carrier because I want her heartbeat next to mine.

I know everyone says this, but I can’t believe how quickly the time goes.

Three weeks have felt like three minutes and the hours of each day seem to fly by.

So much has happened in 23 days that I can’t possibly contain all of the greatness (or all of the challenges) in one post.

Sometimes it’s best to just let pictures do the talking.

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 By the Grace of God, we can do this! 

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A Brave, New World

Squish is 10 days old today.

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So much has happened in the last 10 days, it’s hard to think all the way back to the day Squish came into the world.

Monday, June 22nd at 12:08 PM.

I want to try to capture the moment, but I feel like words can not encapsulate the enormity of the experience.

The day before the scheduled Cesarian Section, it was as if all emotion had left me.

I had plum run out of the ability to feel the anxiety, nervousness, fear, and excitement that had been coursing through my brain and body for the past nine months.

And the knowledge that Squish was  a mere few hours away from arrival was almost too big to comprehend.

So P-Daddy and I spent our last day as a twosome at church, lounging in the backyard Oasis, and doing relaxation yoga.

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The next morning, the day of the C-section, P-Daddy indulged me in one more yoga and meditation session.

Then we hugged and kissed my Mom goodbye and we were off to have a baby!

It was all still so hard to comprehend and I sort of floated through the motions.

We checked into the hospital and they immediately started prepping me for surgery.

Still, nothing felt real.

I was focused on the surgery prep and trying to waylay to anxiety that was creeping in.

The prep consisted of lots of questions, a blood draw, and hooking me up to the IV.

The nurse explained how the procedure would work and I met with the anesthesiologist who would be administering the spinal block.

We all made casual conversation as if my life wasn’t going to change forever in a matter of minutes.

P-Daddy had to wait in the prep room while I got the spinal block so I hugged the bejeezus out of the pillow they gave me  and prayed while the anesthesiologist poked and prodded my spine with a needle.

There were a few flash moments of searing pain, but in the end it was far less painful than what I had imagined.

I was told P-Daddy would then be escorted in the room.

Things moved quickly from there.

The doctor performing the procedure, whom I had met only moments before, quickly went to work as soon as my lower half was numb.

P-Daddy wasn’t even in the room yet and they were already slicing into my torso.

I was staring into blindingly bright surgical lights since the curtain draped at my shoulders was blocking my view from the happenings below.

I felt a bit like the bride of Frankenstein splayed out on the table with my arms restrained and felt totally numb from the breast line down.

I actually started to laugh.

This was all so surreal.

And ridiculous.

In minutes, they would be pulling a baby out of my belly.

P-Daddy was finally brought into the room and he squeezed my hand tight while a nurse to my right explained everything that was happening.

“Just a few more minutes” she kept saying.

I couldn’t hear what the doctors were saying but I’m pretty sure it was the equivalent of talking about the day’s weather and what people were ordering for lunch.

So, so surreal. 

I could feel no pain.

I can only describe the feeling as receiving a gentle belly massage.

I was told the worst of it would feel like extreme tugging, but it never felt like much more tummy rub.

I kept laughing at how perpostrous the whole situation was.

Not moments later I was told the procedure was done.

Squish was whisked  a few feet away to be measured and weighed and P-Daddy was allowed to follow and take pictures.

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I was a little relieved.

I wasn’t ready for her yet.

I was still in a state of utter disbelief and just could not grasp the fact that I had a daughter that was across the room crying.

I could hear everyone chattering about, but my mind was sort of dreamy and hazy.

P-Daddy tried to show me a picture of the fresh Squish, but I shooed his phone away.

I needed to see her face to face.

A few minutes later she was on my snuggled onto my chest.

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Because I was still strapped down and restrained, I could hardly see her despite my contortion like neck movements.

She remained there while my innards were sewn back into place.

I’m not going to lie.

I was still in shock and had very little emotion initially.

Disbelief was the word of the day because it stayed with me for probably the first 12 hours.

I just could not believe I had my own little human.

We were then moved to the recovery room where the snuggle fest continued.

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Finally I could see her dark hair, pleasantly round face, and perfectly pursed little pink lips.

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She weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces and was 21 inches long.

Perfection.

The lactation consultants descended quickly and attempted to help us establish breastfeeding.

My Mom arrived in no time and we would finally introduce the world to our daughter.

Our daughter.

Sadie Jane Bodnar.

A few short hours later we were transferred to our hospital room where we would discover each other for the next four days.

Somewhere around the first evening, I turned into every parenting cliche ever.

My heart was starting to swell and would damn near explode by the second night.

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I suddenly felt like nothing else in the whole wide world mattered.

I was awakened to the fact that I was now a Mom to the most perfect human being God ever created.

I realized that I would chop off limbs and run through fire if it meant the my girl would be safe and secure.

And my eyes would spontaneously leak from the intense joy and love I felt for the Squish and our new family.

When my sister surprised us after traveling all night from Michigan, I could barely contain the flood of emotion.

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Everything was just all too perfect.

So perfect that I couldn’t understand why God would give me such an incredible blessing.

Though the next four days were chaotic  and filled with doctors, nurses, social workers, lactation consultants, blood pressure and temperature checks, and newborn screenings, I couldn’t help but thank God for every single second of it.

And then came the biggest cliche of all: I felt like I was literally born to do this.

I could probably write a whole other post about those first days in the hospital, but I don’t know that I will.

Time is already moving so quickly that sometimes I can’t catch my breath.

The future of the blog is uncertain.

While I may not write weekly posts, I would like to keep friends and family afar up to date on our parenting trials and tribulations and little miss Sadie Jane’s new world experiences.

So you may find us here between feedings (do they ever stop eating?!?!), diaper changes, and the sleepy hours where I just can’t peel myself away from staring at those preciously pinch-able cheeks.

And so, that is the story of how Sadie Jane Bodnar was welcomed into our world.

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I hope you’ll continue to follow us on the journey!

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