Baby Nile is so sweet and wonderful. I am really enjoying being a mom much more than I thought I would. I was so freaked out about having a child, I was afraid I would have post-partum depression. But it has just been a joyful ride so far!
I feel GREAT since having her. SO much better than I felt while I was pregnant. I am just amazed at what the human body can do. Everyone who told me breastfeeding was the miracle transformer was right; I am completely happy with the way my body looks and the energy that I have. I think I look better than before I was pregnant. And pregnancy hormones at first made me break out around month 5 and then ever since then, even now, my skin has been perfectly clear! And my mood has been good, OK, sometimes unnecessarily tender, but that is part of being a mommy I guess. So all of that is a huge part of feeling good post-partum (for me).
Also, going to work has been really good, I have so many good (how many times can I say "good," I need a new adjective here) friends and coworkers there and I think I am the type of person who needs that time away from home, and mental stimulation. So that is what is working for me so far.
I went back to work on May 17, when Nile was two months old. It was a sad day! But after that day it was OK. Neil is doing school full-time online, but he was watching Nile, too. Well, the plan was to have a nanny because I want him to do school and knew that he wouldn't be able to give her 100% attention. He objected to the nanny but gave in.
Well, the nanny started this Monday. I stayed home Monday to show her around and answer any questions, and to kind of see how she does things. She was our friends' nanny for their two little girls and had been with them nearly 4 years before they moved. She had cared for their youngest daughter since the day she was born. So she knows babies.
Well, it was SO HARD to be home all day Monday and have to do my own thing and stay away from Nile. I had to give the nanny her time and space with her. The nanny (can we think of a less awkward name for her, other than her real name?) is so sweet and good with Nile. Nile was making her almost-laugh sounds (I haven't heard her do a full laugh yet) and grinning all day.
Nanny played with her on her Baby Einstein mat. And one time when I was watching her, Nile grabbed one of the things dangling from it. What?! I had no idea she could do that!! Nanny rocked her to sleep and put her down for a nap. When I went to get Nile to feed her, she had the baby blanket over her body in the bassinet. Yikes! I am so paranoid. We only use Sleep Sacks. I didn't want to be a total freak, so I talked it over with Neil. Of course, he thinks the blanket's fine. I need to tell her just to use the Sleep Sack. Anyway.
So Monday was hard and then Tuesday was harder. Nanny arrived (she is not live-in) and was there while I was getting ready for work and then I had to leave baby Nile with her. I felt this weird, misguided, slight anger (anger isn't the word, but I can't quite capture the feeling in a word) and jealousy toward Nanny for having baby Nile all day! VERY weird, unfamiliar, mommy emotion!! But luckily the feeling went away and I was happy to leave Nile with her after lunch.
I was describing this to one of my coworkers. I was saying how it wasn't bad at all leaving her with Neil, because he is like an extension of me, but it was really hard leaving her with Nanny. He said that makes complete sense, because Neil is family, but Nanny is "the other woman."
And I don't want Nanny to be the other woman in Nile's life, but I think it will be good having her. I come home every day at lunch to feed baby Nile. In the hours between when I leave in the morning---lunch---and when I come home in the evening, baby Nile is getting excellent stimulation, play, singing to, and naps. She is being cuddled, walked around, and allowed to explore. She is getting all this, punctuated by feeding and love and time with her daddy.
(Quick question for those who know babies: What other interactive activities can one do with a 2.5-mo.-old? Other than reading. Right now Nanny spends a lot of time with Nile on the Baby Einstein mat. I don't want either one of them to get bored. Also, the house is very quiet because we don't really use the TV. I don't want the TV or music blaring, but should I have something on or do you think it's fine to have a really quiet house like that? Ideas are welcome, please!)
Nile does sleep a lot. And when Nile is sleeping comes the bonus: Nanny is a housekeeper, too. So she cleans, cooks, shops for groceries, irons, feeds the pets, walks the dog, empties the litterbox (hallelujah!), takes my drycleaning down the block to the cleaners. L-O-V-E it. Really, it is the way to go for me, because when I get home, I am not doing all of those extraneous things that I HATE :) er, that I would otherwise have had to do after work (OK, major props to Neil, he is an amazing "helpmeet"). But it totally gives me 100% quality time with Nile and Neil, which is so wonderful. And I am not stressed about getting other things done around the house. It's working out really well so far.
OK, some more photos because really, how can I choose just one? These were from last Sunday.