::presses hands to cheeks and screams like Macaulay Culkin::
It's been almost three weeks since I pushed this child into the world... and tomorrow, for the first time, it will be just her and I, alllll day.
The first three days of her life we were surrounded by friends and family and some of the kindest, most helpful nurses I could have hoped for. Every time we needed something - a diaper, help with breast feeding, a snack, whatever - someone was there at the push of a button to help us.
Then, we went home. I had Derek and my parents (and his parents) there to help whenever I needed it. My mom cooked and cleaned and did laundry and whenever we needed a nap or a shower there was a grandparent there to watch Addison.
The second week Derek and I were alone with her and we worked on figuring out a schedule that worked for us. When I got sick with mastitis, Derek's mom was here all weekend watching the baby so Derek could take care of me and run errands.
When Derek went back to work and my parents came back to keep me company and help out again. When I needed a few extra hours of sleep, they were here to watch baby and when I needed to go to the grocery store and couldn't manage on my own (realizing that our car seat doesn't rest on the carts like I hoped it would) they were there to chaperon me and take my crying daughter to the car in the middle of grocery shopping to give her a bottle and calm her down.
But now they are packing their bags and getting ready to go back to Everett and Derek is slated to work again tomorrow which means I am on the cusp of my first day alone with my daughter. I'm excited and I know that it'll be okay but I'm still so overwhelmed by all the things I don't know and don't feel comfortable doing alone (showering?? naps?? leaving the house??). I guess parenting is all about trial by fire - I didn't think I could really deliver a baby and I survived that without too much trauma. I worry that she'll cry and I won't know how to calm her, or that I'll be so exhausted and not be able to get a nap or a minutes rest, or that I'll try and breast feed and things will go horribly and I won't have anyone there to help me out. I know these are all things that I need to figure out but I'm chicken to do them wrong or that I'll fail. I haven't been able to convince myself that it's okay to not clean or do yard work or cook a gourmet meal for dinner - not to mention the desire to workout and lose these last 15 pounds that are haunting me. I feel like I still need to do all those things AND keep Addison fed, diapered, and entertained. They are my own expectations and I know they're unrealistic but that doesn't make them any less real to me.
So, here I go on my next parenting adventure... wish me luck.