Friday, February 26, 2010

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Introducing...

Little Ms. Catarina! This post is long overdue seeing as how Catarina was born on Valentine's Day. I can't believe she's already 12 days old. This new life with her has been everything but boring. I couldn't have asked for a better pregnancy and, truth be told, I kind of still wish I was pregnant because then I'd know the baby was always safe and developing well. Having her here, living in our world, is difficult because I am constantly worried about how much and how often she is eating, how many poopy and wet diapers she has a day. In short, I worry about things I didn't have to worry about when she was in my belly. Never again will I complain about pregnancy!
I started having contractions on the 12th, which was Alex's birthday. I was excited at the prospect of active labor being hours away. I was wrong. I had painful, irregular contractions for close to 2 days. This was not what I thought labor would be like. Once I was admitted to the hospital things moved quickly. I was dilating at a great pace and then things stopped. I was stuck at 8 cm for 3 hours and I could feel every single contraction despite the epidural. I had never felt such pain before. There really is no way to describe the pain other than saying it feels very primitive and animalistic. I ended up having a c-section, which is not what I wanted, but once concerns for your well-being and the baby's come up you don't have a choice because that maternal instinct kicks in and tells you to do whatever is best to make sure your baby is ok. At that point it's not longer about you, it's all about that tiny human being inside you. Consider this the first of many moments where your child comes before everything else.
Recovery has been great. I had no nasty side effects and I'm at my normal activity level. People were surprised by how quickly I bounced back. I blame it on motivation and determination. I am motivated and determined to live this new life as best as I can. I want to care for my daughter and still be self-sufficient and independent.
It's hard to really describe how parenthood changes you. It changes you to your core. If you were an impatient person, parenthood will automatically make you the most patient person in the world. If you used to stress out about little things, parenthood changes your priorities and makes you focus on the more important things. Parenthood is a HUGE emotional investment. Not only do you fall deeply and madly in love with a person you don't even know, but you also spend nearly all your waking hours thinking about your child's past, present, and future. You think about all your fears, hopes, and dreams. You cry, you laugh, and you spend hours upon hours just staring at the little human you helped create.
Parenthood is a rollercoaster. You have your good days and your bad days. I know I'm only 12 days in and my experience with parenthood is just a very small speck on the tip of the iceberg, but parenthood can be just as rewarding as it is upsetting. I had the joy of giving birth to a healthy baby girl but then I had the sadness of being discharged before her due to a case of jaundice. I had the joy of getting her to latch on for hour long breastfeeding sessions only to experience the sadness of seeing her weight quickly drop because she wasn't getting enough milk. So it's a rollercoaster. Things don't always go as planned, but parenthood isn't something you can plan for. You just have to go with it and try to enjoy each minute of it.
I love having a newborn despite the sleep deprivation. I am, however, looking forward to seeing Catarina grown and become an interactive infant. I'm also looking forward to becoming more confident in my parenting and enjoying Catarina more without all the worries I have now.

17 comments:

Jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

Congratulations! Catarina is just precious! Can't wait to see more photos :)

Jess said...

Whoops - I'll try that again!

Congratulations on your beautiful new daughter! I had my own "Catarina" (Katherine) almost 5 years ago and I still remember everything. I didn't believe it then, but it's true - enjoy it; it all goes fast.

I also had the weight gain issue with my daughter, which was scary, but we supplemented and I ended up being able to nurse for 11 months. Good luck and enjoy being a new mom!

Fallon said...

Aww she is beautiful!Congratulations.

Laura Blaauwiekel said...

Congratulations!!!She's beutiful. i can't whait to be a mom (that will be in september :))

Miss B said...

Aww! Congratulations! She's beautiful!

Kimberly300 said...

oh she's just precious! congrats!

City Girl said...

Congratulations!!

Mary said...

Congratulations! She is beautiful. As a fellow TWDer, I followed your pregnancy since you were due at the same time as my sister...she had her baby boy on Valentine's Day too...waht a great birthday! Enjoy, it goes so fast.

Nichi said...

Wow what a beautiful baby and I love her name. Congratulations!

I have to tell you something hilarious, Im reading your post and google ad at the bottom was for emergency contraception! Had to giggle at that one after your story about a difficult labor.

Tricia said...

She's beautiful Steph! Congratulations!

slush said...

Congrats to you and your husband! She is absolutely adorable. Enjoy every minute, they grow so very quickly. xo

Megan said...

Congratulations! She is just beautiful - enjoy every sleep deprived moment!

Eliana said...

Congrats to you and your husband. She looks absolutely precious.

Katrina said...

Awwww, congratulations, she is beautiful!

Elly said...

Congratulations! She's so beautiful!

Jen said...

Congrats Steph! She's so precious.