Having My First Baby: The Before & After – Kveller
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Having My First Baby: The Before & After

Wow! Charlotte is 8 weeks old and it’s hard to believe she’s been home for two months now. My life feels like it’s been broken into two parts–B.C. (Before Charlotte) and A.C. (After Charlotte).

B.C. I could get up and go places without asking anyone to watch the baby, or could leave the house without taking a ton of baby supplies. B.C. I could easily sleep eight hours uninterrupted and leisurely shower and brush my teeth at will. B.C. the only pumping I did was at the gas station. B.C. my purse held my wallet, keys, and a tube of chapstick.

A.C. includes sleepless nights, experiments in finding which formula works best, doing loads of doll-sized laundry, and being spit up on. A.C. leaving the house involves packing diapers, wipes, formula, blankets, and a change of clothing, and if I’m going to be gone for more than three hours–a hospital-grade breast pump (and attachments). I’m not one of those moms who easily throw the baby into a sling and sail through life as if the baby’s just a purse. No, I tend to bring the infant sleep rocker, the boppy lounger, and my giant camera wherever I go.

B.C. I bought this awesome stroller and envisioned myself whisking my baby around the town.

A.C. I still haven’t mastered using my stroller–mainly because while I got an awesome “travel system” that’s all-terrain and sturdy, the stroller itself is so heavy I have trouble lifting it into my car. I should have been lifting weights throughout my pregnancy to prepare for this!

B.C. I struggled with Crohn’s Disease–which was often painful and awful, but kept my weight down and had me buying sized 2 and 4 clothing. While I certainly wasn’t healthy, I sure was fashionable! It was awesome going into a store and knowing that everything would fit.

A.C. The Crohn’s has mildly come back, but not with any severity. The 60 pounds I put on during pregnancy appear to have found a permanent home–on my tummy and thighs–so much so, that not even my “fat” clothes from pre-pregnancy fit after six weeks of pumping breast milk. I heard stories of women who are sliding into their pre-pregnancy jeans on their way out of the hospital–I am not that woman! My wardrobe has shrunk to a few items that don’t scream “maternity” but are still stretchy enough to mildly fit. I went shopping this weekend with my mother and was sifting through racks of clothing that I knew wouldn’t fit.

B.C. Mom would buy me a new outfit for the High Holy Days each year–which was super-fun! Shopping ruled.

A.D. I squeezed myself into a size 14, and even then, it’s going to need some squeeze-couture in order to look reasonable. Instead of having fun shopping for myself, we got that out of the way and headed over to Babies R Us and found Charlotte the most adorable little High Holy Days dress. Granted, she’s never actually worn a dress before (she’s really a onesie kind of baby), it was so much fun searching for the perfect little doll-sized outfit!

B.C. While my life was good–loved my husband and stepson, enjoyed my job immensely, and adored reality television and my dog–I felt like it had stagnated. I wasn’t moving forward. Things had been established to the point where growth didn’t feel possible.

A.D. I’m overwhelmed with how important this little baby makes me feel–Paul and I made her, she wouldn’t exist without us. She looks to us for everything and we hold her future in our hands. I’m also blown away by how much I love her. How even though it’s 2:00 a.m., when she smiles, it’s hard to be tired. How even though I feel fat, drained, and stressed out, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, yes, everything has changed, and it’s good. At High Holy Days this year, I have a lot to be thankful for! L’shana Tovah!

To read Tara’s full chronicle of pregnancy, click here.

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