Friday, May 13, 2011

One Day More...

One day until go time! It was two days when I first wrote this post, but stinkin’ Blogger has delayed things (and prevented me from commenting on many of your posts...sorry). I’m feeling pretty on top of the packing. Pete has come through on his promise to do as much of it as he could. We currently have four suitcases packed and a couple more in process. We’ll get 6 on the way over, since the in-laws are coming. We plan to fill any extra space with diapers and then leave at least one suitcase there when we come back. A couple of them are on their last leg, so no big loss there.

I’ve come to a realization about myself in terms of my emotions and stress levels with a newborn. I--and others around me--have been surprised at the seeming stability of my emotions. I don’t think I’ve cried once since giving birth, except for a few tears of joy shed when my son was first placed on my belly. Most moms I’ve talked to remember the crazy emotions in the first weeks and the random tears, signifying nothing except hormonal shifts. But I’ve never been one to experience too many emotional ups and downs that I can attribute purely to hormones, so that’s not too surprising too me.

What has been more surprising is that I don’t feel too overwhelmed by the task of caring for a baby. I love almost every minute, though it’s certainly not without its frustrations (as in,  why is he screaming his little head off when he’s clearly exhausted and should be sleeping...). But I feel like I can handle taking care of him day in and day out.

What I’m having trouble handling is pretty much anything else beyond taking care of my little bean. All the visitors who come by to bring a meal and end up staying to chat and leaving me no time to eat the meal before I need to breastfeed the little fella and then would love to head to bed myself. The daunting prospect of packing (though that’s largely behind us now). The anticipation of a long plane ride during which my baby may or may not fuss and make everyone around us hate me for bringing him--or worse, hate him. The family members who want to skype and see the baby.

And, most of all, the in-laws, and the fact that we will be cooped up in a very tiny apartment with them for a week and a half while all dealing with jet lag and adjusting to a new place. This last one has very little to do with who my in-laws are. I do admit that my father-in-law is one of those people who just rubs me wrong in so many ways. But really, both of them are lovely people, and it is fun to see how much they love my baby. And my mother-in-law is pretty sensitive to trying to give me space. I think they would normally offer to stay in a hotel nearby, but, since neither of them has traveled much overseas, I think they are a little scared of staying somewhere without us in Beijing (as if Pete’s one year of Mandarin is going to get us very far). And we have said from the beginning that they could stay with us, and they even helped to pay some of the extra cost of getting a two-bedroom rather than a one-bedroom apartment (why, oh why, did I not anticipate six months ago how overwhelming that would be?).

Now, after all that whining, I just need to add something. I firmly believe that God has brought this situation along, and that he desires for me to truly love the people around me. And I also believe that he will never give me more than I can handle by still honoring him--that he is willing to give me the patience and grace I need to make it through a stressful situation with a peaceful and loving attitude. Right now, that seems somewhat impossible, but I guess that’s why I need God. The question is whether I will be faithful to focus on him and his love and patience with me rather than on myself and how irritated or stressed I feel at any given moment.

So that’s where I am. I know that I will survive the next few weeks, and that it will all probably be much easier than I expect. And I can’t wait until Brax’s six-week mark, when we will have been there for a week, the in-laws will be leaving soon, and supposedly, he will have reached his peak fussiness and be settling more easily into a rhythm. And smiling socially!

Not that I can complain too much about his current rhythm. He does, after all, usually give us 3.5-5-hour stretches of solid sleep at night (last night I actually woke him at 4:30 to feed him because my boobs were sore and it had been 5.5 hours since his last feed!). I’m a mother of an almost-5-week-old who actually feels somewhat rested. But daytime has been very unpredictable, and I’m constantly confused about when to put him down for naps, whether I should let him cry it out or do whatever I can to soothe him to sleep at this point, and what I did wrong when he doesn’t nap. I know, I know, I have it really good, and I’m so, so thankful.

But the six-week mark is only 9 days away...


Here’s a picture from his one-month “birthday” last weekend, which coincided nicely with Mother’s Day:



7 comments:

jill said...

Wishing you a wonderful trip! Sounds like things are going very well for you :) He is such a cutie!

Lesley (and Eric) said...

Brax is soooooo cute! Oh my goodness, definitely the cutest baby on the blogosphere (besides Penelope, of course! :)).

China sounds hectic at first, for sure. I'm glad you have the rest of it dialed in, otherwise it'd be REALLY crazy. I can't wait to hear about your adventures... Beijing will be so interesting!

Alex said...

So glad to hear that emotionally, you're doing so well. So very important! The move to China sounds tough, but hang in there - just think it's temporary. Good luck with the move! And let us know how it goes!!!

cgd said...

wishing much love and luck to you and baby Brax. Safe travles....

Amanda said...

I'm so impressed at how calm, organized and ready you are. It's going to be such an experience for your new family! Safe travels, can't wait for the next update xo

AmyG said...

I hope the trip goes well -- it sounds like you'll benefit from all your great planning. I'm sure Brax will charm the pants off of everyone on the plane.

Josey said...

I am SO SO excited for you, and I pray that you had safe, uneventful, sleep-filled travels last weekend. :) So glad to hear that you're not feeling like a crazy woman! Can't wait for updates from around the world.