Becoming a mother feels a little bit like you've suffered some debilitating accident, and you have to slowly start to redevelop those abilities that once came so easily. I remember through those early weeks and months feeling like I had hit "milestones". Maybe baby #1 hit me harder than they hit other moms, but these were some of the milestones that I remember celebrating.
Milestone #1: Sleeping in my own bed
When I was pregnant, I had gotten all of this advice about how to keep a bassinet right by the bed for the first few weeks so that you can just pick the baby up, nurse, and set them back down. I thought that sounded like a great plan, and had my bassinet all ready to go.
Before you leave the hospital after you have your baby, they give you a little training on how to take care of your new little one. It goes a little like this: "If you do this your baby will die, and if you do this they will die, and if you do this they will definitely die". Okay, awesome. Don't ever touch/breathe on/look at the baby, got it.
One of those "your baby will definitely die" things is sleeping with your baby. I'd always been a pretty good rule follower, so no problem right? Then I had this baby who woke up crying within three minutes of being put down anywhere but in a human's arms. Turns out I had a rebel streak after all.
Luckily we had gotten this comfy recliner so that I could rock the baby in it, and it's a good thing we did because I lived in that thing for the first three weeks. After much practice, patience, and I think a little bit of witchcraft, I finally got that boy to sleep in his own crib (he never did like that bassinet). Scattered 1.5 hour chunks of sleep had never felt so blissful.
Milestone #2: Getting dressed (almost) everyday
When I say that I "got dressed" everyday, we're talking sweat pants and t-shirts here. If it wasn't stretchy and oversized I wanted nothing to do with it, but at least I could walk out to the mailbox without worrying about flashing my neighbors because a big gust of wind came through.
Milestone #3: Leaving the house
Eventually I got a hold of myself and learned how to be one of those baby wearing moms with a nursing schedule for the baby who can do things like go to the store and know that it's almost always going to go totally smoothly. I've re-learned all kinds of skills like showering regularly and cooking hot meals in something other than a crockpot. I even take less than five pictures a day of my cute boy, and try to keep the kisses to a healthy twenty-or-so a day. It's been some real progress.
Writing about these milestones when I'm less than three months away from having baby #2 was maybe not my best idea ever, but you only go through these with your first baby... right?