So it’s been a little over month since we’ve brought our pickle into the world! Dilan was born on 10/10/2012, a date which is very near and dear to us. It’s the day Anil and I started dating in college, 11 years ago. We went through a list of names, but settled on Dilan since we find it such a simple, cute, yet pronounceable name (it’s pronounced the same as “Dylan”). Its origin spans across Sanskrit, French, and Welsh. I’d like to think it’s a name as international as we are :-).
So how have we been coping? Depends on when you ask us :-). Certain days are awesome and we feel on top of the world, others are pure torture. The main reason why I think parenthood is difficult is because of all the pretty pictures, overly positive Facebook posts, and advertisements you see everywhere. It makes you believe that parenting is something fairly consistent that you can just “learn” or “pick up”. Start with the videos they show you about giving birth. Everyone is calm, looks pretty and the baby slides out gracefully and is peaceful. NOTHING like it in real life. Middle of the night with only 2 hours of sleep. 18 hours of labor. No epidural or meds. Back labor from the very beginning. That was my story. Now am I glad I did it that way? Absolutely! I think it makes me a much stronger and confident person, not heroic or proud, but just stronger. It’s an experience neither Anil nor I will ever forget. But, nothing like they show you in the videos :-). It wasn’t pretty and I’m sure I said some ridiculous things during labor (I was in a daze for a good part of it)!
Now about the torturous days. Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely blessed that we have a roof over our head, food on the table, and enough disposable income to buy just about anything to make our lives a little easier. But even with all that, it takes one little pickle to wreak havoc, in the first-world-problem way. I think a lot of it has to do with our personalities, which Dilan seems to have a good dose of. We’re both fairly independent, somewhat picky, and rebel-ish. We always love a good challenge. You can see that in Dilan when we rock him to sleep, white noise cranked up, and all he does is yawn 12 or 13 times, but then FIGHTS his sleepiness. Why? I think he’s challenging himself…and what better challenge for a 5 week old than to see how long you can stay awake? So that, in addition to Dilan’s reflux,causes a good number of sleepless nights and fussy evenings. And then there’s breastfeeding. DAMN HARD. Breasts unfortunately don’t come with markers on them, so you never know how much you’ve just fed. And then there’s pumping and milk supply. Maybe I ate the wrong thing. Maybe I’m feeding too much. Maybe I’m feeding too little. Maybe I need to pump more. Maybe I need to pump less. Maybe I’m just doing EVERYTHING wrong. That’s how it’s been going for the past few weeks.
All in all, though, I have slowly come to love it. Now would be a good time to thank those who have made me love it. My mom stayed with us for a little over a week and slowly showed us the ropes of parenthood. The in-laws helped fill our freezer for two weekends in a row. My sisters sent text messages of encouragement. Countless friends, lactation consultants, and our pediatrician have given me the one thing that I think makes parenthood a bit easier: confidence. I slowly gain a bit more of it each day and that really helps me to appreciate motherhood. Whenever times get rough, I remind myself why I love it so much: Dilan’s cute noises and face at 3 AM and the way he sometimes shares subtle smiles, which remind me of my husband. Speaking of the hubs – I have come to appreciate him so much more as a daddy. Just when I thought I couldn’t love him any more than I already did, he became a dad. And if that’s not a huge motherhood bonus, I don’t know what is.