Raza turns a month old on Friday. A month! To say the past four weeks have flown by would be an understatement. The days do go quickly but when you are doing the same thing over and over again you also forget the date, the time, the day of the week.
Becoming a parent is unlike anything else in this world. The emotions that come with it are the most powerful and consume all of you, more than you even thought you had to give. I experienced so much despite the never ending cycle of feeding, burping, changing and napping. The term zombie took on a whole new meaning during those first two weeks. It didn’t really matter if I ate, showered, changed. It was all about Raza. No matter how much you read, what others have told you, nothing really prepares you for it until you are in it.
For starters, I am now responsible for another human! What I do with him, shapes his future.
The first few weeks are excruciatingly painful. That immense sense of responsibility definitely takes its toll. It is physically taxing! After all, this cute little human did come out of me. Simple things like getting out of bed, sitting up and down become a huge task. I had to have Asghar give me a hand because my lower body strength did not exist.
I became a food source. The female body is capable of so many monumental things that it is incomprehensible. Raza and I, luckily, figured out a rhythm early on. But I wont lie, breastfeeding was the thing I was scared of the most. I and only I could do this for him. And I needed to do it every two hours, really it ends up being every 45 minutes, in those first two weeks. The time starts from the start time, not the end time. Who knew. But it is also a beautiful moment that only he and I share and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
There are so many diapers. For an eight-pound human, this kid can eat and there are dirty diapers beyond your wildest dreams. When people said we would need 300 diapers for the first month, I laughed. Turns out, it’s true. And with diapers come wipes, butt paste, diaper pails, liners, diaper bag and all these things that you become familiar with really quickly. You learn by trial and error.
There are no plans. Right before Raza’s first doctor’s visit, he had a meltdown and peed on himself as we were about to head out. We had these grandiose plans that we would take a leisurely stroll with him to the appointment. But in reality, we drove, left the house one minute before the appointment and looked like a deer had hit us when we arrived. We also arrived without our diaper bag. He of course, dirtied his diaper during the short two minutes from when we left the house and when we arrived. The nurse asked us to change him and Asghar and I just looked at each other like we failed. She smiled and gave us a diaper and some wipes. Since then we have learned that the diaper bag goes everywhere and that plans are lofty goals but reality is something different. We just need to go with the flow.
Everyone wants to visit the baby. Yes, they want to say hi to me too but they really want to stare at him. Which is totally fine because he is adorable. But on some days that is a lot when you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas and feel like a Whitewalker. For someone who is always organized, in meetings and doing things, this one was hard. I had to tell people no. There are good days and bad days. And on bad days, I can't muster up the energy to dress up and be on. I just need to be in my own comfortable state with my baby. Having said that, for me it is important to wash up and get dressed. It changes my attitude right away. And when I don’t, it makes me sad and feel sorry for myself for no reason. I’m still trying to find the balance and do this everyday. Eventually, I hope we get out of the house everyday.
I was lucky. I had help the first four weeks. My mom came to stay with us for three weeks and Asghar took four weeks off. This week is my first week alone with Raza. We are still figuring things out but it has gotten better and easier. I have the utmost respect and admiration for single moms. I have no idea how they do it all alone. I can’t imagine experiencing the past four weeks on my own. I didn’t write this to scare anyone. It’s more for me to process that we brought a human into this world. In my opinion, parenthood is the best and most important thing in the world. It is beautiful and magical but it is also tough and painful. I am lucky enough to have close girlfriends that tell me the truth whenever I have a question. Magical doesn’t always mean cute faces and cuddles. And that’s ok. The cute faces and cuddles do make it all worth it.