Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Darwin Nalin Kroll

Today I finally have a second to write about how my life has changed since I gave birth to my beautiful son Darwin Nalin Kroll who is now 11 weeks old. Now, looking back, pregnancy was far easier than raising a child, not to mention a newborn, and what was I thinking when I couldn't wait for the day I could hold my son in my arms. It seems forever ago but I did enjoy being pregnant aside from the swollen ankles and feet.

Pregnancy was really easy for me. I seemed to have a more extreme urge to go out and do things that I had been putting off for months to years, including doing pending renovations. I guess that perhaps I was just excited to be a mother but at the same time knew that I could never complete my to-do-list once I had a child to care for. And I was very right about that.

These last (almost) three months have been very time-consuming. All my time and energy has gone into taking care of Darwin and also just adjusting to being a mother both physically and emotionally. For one, I have never been at this weight (pre-pregnancy) ever in my life-- I am now 128 lbs-- and do not know when I will ever get down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 115 lbs. There goes trying to get down to 112 lbs before I got pregnant. Thankfully I have adjusted quite well emotionally and I would have to give a lot of credit to my mom who stayed with us for over 2 months to help care for the little one. Damn, was she ever good. She did everything for me, even take Darwin when I needed a break.

During the first 2 months of raising Darwin it was quite difficult for me to get used to caring for him. I felt that I needed to produce more milk (I am breastfeeding) since it seemed as though he was always hungry and never interested in sleeping in the day even though newborns are supposed to sleep for about 15 hours a day or more. Darwin would maybe sleep 2 hours in the daytime. So this meant that I had a lot less time to myself and for naps. But, since he was up in the day he would sleep fairly well at night which made for a more or less rested mommy.

I did however realize that I had to quickly change my diet since whatever I was eating was effecting his tiny little digestive system and giving him a lot of gas and cramps. This was keeping him up or waking him up from a nap and it took me weeks to adjust my diet to suit his little tummy. I eliminated eggs, most dairy, nuts, onions, garlic and citrus from my diet which was difficult since these comprised a large part of my diet. Oh well, as long as Darwin could sleep better I had no problem with that. To this day he gets very mild cramps and seems to prefer his bouncy chair (which was given to me by my friend Beth as a last ditch effort) and it has just been the best solution.

These days Darwin gets about 5 hours of sleep in the day and sleeps for about 10 hours at night with 2 feedings on average throughout the night. He is so much more calm now and ever since I have included foods and herbal concoctions into my diet to increase my breastmilk the supply now flows really well thus providing more than enough food for my baby. So he is satisfied! I still pump at night, mainly due to engorgement of my right breast and also to have a bottle in case I want to go out or give him a little extra at night before bed. Peter normally takes care of that and so he gets some bonding time with his son. Darwin also seems to love that very much since he doesn't see his daddy all day. My mom was in charge of these feedings when she was here and thus developed quite an attachment to little D. She still misses him dearly after being gone for over 2 weeks. I totally understand-- Darwin's such a cutie pie!

Last week Darwin had his first round of immunizations and it was also the first time that I really worried about my son. He had a fever which we were able to keep at bay by administering paracitamol suppositories. Poor Darwin slept on his dad for hours that evening as Peter watched UFC and then in the early morning slept on his tummy in the bed with us for the first time. He really just wanted to be comforted and, hey, I don't blame him. His fever cleared the next afternoon and he was back to his normal smiley self again.

These days he's been smiling a lot and I just love that he is such a happy baby. Not too long ago he was suffering from so much gas that it made me feel so bad that I was hurting him. This gas in particular was from restaurant food and I just had to accept that I could not eat out unless it was a salad or... MacDonalds which seems to not effect him... very strange! He just smiles at everything and loves to be playful. He particularly loves getting bathed in his tub and for the last month has been flashing me a smile to let me know how much fun he is having. Oh I just LOVE him!!

I never thought I could love someone so much. Of course I love me husband but this love is different. I carried the little guy for 9 months inside of me and painfully and naturally gave birth to him. It's a love like no other and it will only grow stronger as he grows. I mean, don't get me wrong, there have definitely been times when I just want to get up and leave the room with Darwin in it when he doesn't want to sleep or he is having gas pains but of course because I am adjusting to giving all my time to another human being.

That's the one thing I overlooked. That I would have a lot less time for myself but at the same time not really care so much. I used to be obsessed about working out and now, if I just can't do it then so be it. Although, this will have to change at some point when Darwin is older can play on his own. I definitely have to lose those 15 lbs and get back into shape so my clothes fit again. I refuse to buy new clothes, since I just love the ones I have and also do not want to start feeling comfortable at a heavier weight..

I am now starting to feel more liberated... to do laundry, read, continue with my volunteering, hang out with Pete, cook and go out with friends without feeling that I need to constantly cater to Darwin's needs. Overall, he is a very good boy and I really just had to get the hang of being a mother, a parent, a caregiver. That's who I am now, there's no turning back... and I wouldn't have it any other way :) I love my Darwin now and forever..