The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Yesterday was Tucker’s two-month “birthday”! Time is already starting to move so fast; I remember when he was a couple weeks old and I kept thinking “I’ll never make it to three months. Every day lasts a year.” But it really is getting easier with each passing week.
Now that we’ve gone two weeks with no 4 a.m. feeding, I’m beginning to feel like I can get my feet under me. I still get a twinge of panic (like right this minute) when it seems like he’s going to nap for 30 minutes instead of an hour-and-a-half, but sleeping six to seven uninterrupted hours each night makes a huge difference.
Aside from being burned out, as a family, from our month of weekends away, this week was uneventful. My big life-improver recently was getting in gear to go to a weekly new mom’s group run by the midwives from the hospital where I delivered. It’s a casual drop-in group on Mondays, and there are usually a few guests--lactation consultants, an acupuncturist—there to do consultations. Tucker is now one of the older babies at the group, but it’s been a great way to meet other new moms in Cambridge, and it seems like a group of us are going to start doing things outside of the meetings. Anything to get out of the house regularly!
This week marks my first attempt to get back to work since Tucker’s birth. This column has been the only thing I’ve kept up; my food blog has gone on a (temporary! I hope!) hiatus and I avoided booking any other projects for the first couple months after my due date. Now I’m trying to figure out how best to juggle the still-irregular nap schedule with a sudden need to make a lot of phone calls. Honestly, though, I’m just grateful that I’m not prepping to get back to an office job in three or four weeks. I was just reading a blog post by a pregnant friend in Canada who will get “only” ten months of maternity leave because she needs to leave work two months early. Can you imagine getting a year of paid leave?? Of course it makes perfect sense--no need to try to handle that year of breastfeeding while working—but here in the U.S. your employer is generous if they give you three months! Man.
One new product hit my radar this week. We’ve had very hit-or-miss luck with pacifiers; Tucker generally resisted them, then would take it for a minute or two and spit it out (we mostly used Soothies. This week he was finally the right age for the Mam silicone pacifiers I’ve had sitting in the drawer, and they were a big hit from the get-go. I guess he likes the shape? I like how cool-looking they are, and that there’s no handle for him to knock his hand into! I was on a walk with a friend and had my pair of newly-sanitized pacifiers (they come in a storage box that can also be sterilized, yay!), and when her son started fussing we tried the extra one on him. He loved it, as well, despite usually preferring a finger to a pacifier.
Bonus book recommendation for any current or former New Yorkers in the crowd: Ben picked up a picture book for Tucker while he was on a work trip this week, Maira Kalman’s “Next Stop Grand Central.” I don’t know how I’d missed this, since Kalman is one of my favorite illustrators, but it is a very clever, quirky story about a day behind the scenes in Grand Central Station. It’s for older kids (3+ maybe?) but there are lots of fun details to find in the pictures and she made up hilarious names for all the passengers.
Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Mass. When she's not cooking or writing, she is gearing up for the arrival of her first child this summer.